Headlines and Sidelines
Congratulations to the athletes representing Pictou County at the Canada Games being held in Sherbrooke, Que. – officially, they're representing Nova Scotia, but you know what I'm getting at. To wear Nova Scotia's colours against the best athletes in the nation in their age group is a huge, colossal deal for all the athletes, and it doesn't matter what sport it is either.
We hope they win of course, but almost any colour of medal in these types of athletic gatherings is fine, and even finishing out of the medals is OK, too. I used to think that a personal best doesn't mean much if you don't win or at least place Top 3 (in many sports, it's true that second place is no place), but I have a sneaking suspicion it's more about the experience with happenings such as the Canada Games.
* * *
Here's what I think of the whole anti-bullying legislation the NDPers have put in place, more specifically the idea that on-line bullies (and/ or their parents) could be subjected to lawsuits: you can criticize all you like, but in light of what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons and all the other depressing cyber-bullying incidents we hear about (and plenty more we don't hear about), they had to do something. I write this knowing full well that the vast majority of kids are all right, and basically decent human beings. Smarter than many of us "adults," and in many ways.
And true, parents can't be aware of what their kids are doing 24/7; and maybe it's unfair that they could be sued just because their son or daughter acts like a dumbass, but that's too bad and so sad. The buck has to stop somewhere, Mom and Dad.
I'll avoid another anti-cellphone rant because it's an un-winnable war, let me say though that while a 15-year-old without a cellphone these days is a social pariah, not all 15-year-olds are responsible and wise enough to have one, so maybe they don't deserve one. Maybe owning a cellular phone or a mobile texting device or whatever those things are called this week is not a right, but a privilege.
And maybe instead of jerking around with their texts and sending crappy pictures to other people all day and night while guzzling Red Bull and Rock Star, some of those kids (and sadly, no small contingent of adults) could be out exercising their minds and their bodies.
Oh well, so much for avoiding another anti-cellphone rant.
* * *
It is historic when Milos Raonic becomes the first Canadian male tennis player to crack the World's Top 10, as he did with his run to the Canadian Open final last weekend (it is now called the Rogers Cup, only not by me).
One thing it is not: a sign of greatness in waiting.
Raonic beat fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil in the semifinal on Saturday afternoon, then waited as World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 Rafael Nadal battled it out in the semifinal that night.
Nadal survived that high-calibre slugfest, then took care of Raonic the next day with relative ease.
In tennis, the difference between being No. 10 in the world and being in the Top 3 is usually a significant one. Had you watched last Saturday's two semifinals at the Canadian Open, you'd know what I mean. Compared to Nadal and Djokovic, Raonic/Pospisil looked like they were a step down in terms of straight-up ability. The quality of tennis was not glaringly unequal.
Raonic is capable of beating a player like Nadal or Roger Federer, but the odds would be very long. Not just today, but tomorrow, and two years from now.
Playing well in Toronto in Cincinnati is one thing, but Wimbledon or New York – home of the U.S. Open – would be a whole other thing.
Raonic has a big enough serve that he can be dangerous in any match – and if the stars all aligned for a week or two, it's possible he could win a major someday. Long odds, but it's not completely out of the question.
Beyond his serve, his game has too many holes; Raonic is not consistent enough from the backcourt, not a great volleyer at the net; average athletic ability, (in fact, his on-court movement is close to being awkward. I sometimes think he's going to trip over his own feet on the tennis court) and perhaps worst of all, he'll turn 23 in December and if you're 23 in tennis and just now scraping into the Top 10 and haven't made a significant dent in a Grand Slam event (don't get me wrong, it is still a fine achievement), reaching No. 1 or No. 2 is not likely going to happen.
Still beats working for a livin' though. Any day.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.