You see, young fella, sometimes it really is the coach's fault.
I'm not talking about the Weeks Major Midgets – I have no idea what problem(s) they're having to deal with, other than the losses keep piling up like horse manure in a neglected stall – but after me and this guy who used to hang around the office and plus this other guy went to watch a penalty-filled garbagefest of a university football game last Saturday in Antigonish, I gotta say it: much of the St. F.X. X-Men's loss to the St. Mary's Huskies is on the coach.
Because of that loss, the X-Men are sitting home today and watching the playoffs on TV, just like the rest of us.
It's bad enough when you're sitting on cold benches, freezing on a Saturday afternoon at Oland's Stadium, the temperature feeling a lot colder than it actually is, it's worse that X-Men head coach Gary Waterman watched as St. FX quarterback Dante Dijan did next-to-nothing, threw his passes into the ground as if that was what he was trying to do, apparently couldn't read a defence, and led his offence to a measly three points in three-plus quarters of work.
Thanks for not trying hard, coach, but could you do something here? Sure, it's easy to criticize from the bleachers, but if playing quarterback is so hard, why did Tivon Cook make it look so much easier when coach Waterman pulled the starter and inserted Cook, who not only looked like he knew what he was doing (and seeing) in moving the ball down the field, but merely ran out of time before he could compete the comeback. He may have had more time, too, but coach Waterman kept a timeout in his back picket until one second was left on the clock, instead of using the timeout earlier on the final drive as precious seconds ticked away.
Seriously, it was like watching Romeo Crennel coach the Browns back when: you know he's gotta know more about game management than some guy sitting on a couch in Nova Scotia while he's eating tacos (with diced tomatoes), but what is the coach doing out there, and why does Romeo look so confused all the time?
And what's with the annoying music crammed into every second between plays at Oland's Stadium? This is a university football game, not a Saturday in an Antigonish nightclub (assuming they have those down there). While I'm on the subject, I think it's time to retire Rock You Like a Hurricane from the playlists at every sporting event. And as much as I think Ozzy's a loveable old coot who tragically hasn't been as good since Randy Rhoads died (it was only 31 years ago), I could live without hearing Crazy Train one more time, too.
Not only that, where was the St. FX studentry for this game? Usually they are solid in their support for their football team, but the stands were maybe half-full and it was a football game with playoff implications (had the X-Men won, they'd have been in the playoffs, but as you know, they didn't). Maybe it was too chilly outside for the students, bless their hearts, but what else is there to do on a Saturday afternoon in Antigonish?
Alas, the game ended with the X-Men on the wrong end of a 12-6 score, the X-Men defence gamely putting up a fight against the Huskies and giving their team a chance to win. If only the coach had started paying attention earlier.
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A Passion for Fashion: I like the uniforms to be worn by Canadian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics, which were unveiled this week. I also like the jerseys that the hockey teams will be rocking as they hunt down gold over there in Russia, so everyone who's whining please stop now. Even if I didn't like them, I really wouldn't care either, because it's not something worth worrying about.
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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: Mike Duffy, Stephen Harper, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau. Who to believe? Some of them? How about none of them?
Did former Harper chief-of-staff Nigel Wright resign, or was he fired by the prime minister himself, as Harper finally alleged this week, when it was in his own political best interests to do so?
Sometimes I think people are forgetting what's really important here: this is a good time to re-vamp the Senate. If we must have one, change how they in fact become senators. What makes Wallin and Duffy better candidates than the thousands upon thousands of other Canadians who might be qualified for the job? I don't know if an elected Senate is the answer – at the risk of offending Joe Schmo, I'm not completely confident in the electorate – but that would be better than someone being appointed to the Senate just because he/she cozied up to the Tories or the Liberals for 20 or 30 years.
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.