Getting better is all you can ask for

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HEADLINES AND SIDELINES BY KEVIN ADSHADE

Practice Makes Perfect (or, it Makes You Suck Less): 

My insider with the East Pictou junior high boy's basketball team tells me the Blue Eagles are looking sharper of late, and playing like they're more organized and not as prone to running around aimlessly on the court "like a bunch of Timbits hockey players." 

Hey, I didn't say it, the insider said it.

Just so you understand, my East Pictou insider shall remain nameless because he doesn't want to be hassled by upset parents who might read this and think little Johnny's being picked on by the jaded and heartless newspaper guy. 

The Blue Eagles are still losing losing more games than they're winning, according to the insider, but they're getting better, which is all you can ask for... well, maybe it's not all you can ask for, but it's still better than getting nothing.

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Correction: I was reading through a column of mine that appeared in these pages, where I was critical of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price being invited to camp for Team Canada's entry in next month's Olympics. After having watched Price play this season, I've changed my mind and now think he could easily be the starting netminder when Canada goes hunting for gold in Russia.

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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: Two of Canada's favourite bad boys – teenybop superstar Justin Bieber and Toronto mayor Rob Ford – were in the news again this week, and as has become customary, the news was bad for both of them (although good for the media – oh yeah baby, it's great stuff on a cold and blah January day). 

Bieber was busted for impaired driving and resisting arrest after he was caught drag racing a yellow Lamborghini through the streets of Miami Beach. (Seriously, a yellow Lamborghini? Red, royal blue or black would be cooler, but hey, Bieber's on top of things so we shouldn't question his judgment.) 

With Ford, it was pretty much same stuff, different day: videotaped in public, seemingly drunk and acting nutty again, this time affecting a Jamaican accent during a rant (Ford did admit the next day that he had been drinking "a little bit"). Ford is like the Jim Morrison of politics, unpredictable and whacked out of ’er, but at least Morrison was actually talented at his chosen profession, and smarter than Ford, too – which isn't saying very much, now that we think about it.

I can't decide on Ford: sometimes I'd d prefer he'd go away because he's too embarrassing to be the mayor of a major Canadian city, but when things quiet down, as they had of late, I miss the loveable old lout and his zany frat-boy antics. 

Ford still has his admirers up there, the so-called Ford Nation, but it only adds weight to a theory of mine: not everyone over the age of 18 deserves a vote. If Ford gets re-elected next fall (please tell me the good people of Toronto aren't that stupid), it'll certainly be grim news for the City of Toronto, but good news for the rest of country, at least for those who like to slow down to get a closer look at car accidents. 

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Canadian tennis player Eugenie Bouchard took her career to the next level this week, when the 19-year-old reached the semifinal of the Australian Open, in only her fourth Grand Slam event. Bouchard lost to Li Na, who is no slouch, as she is currently ranked four in the world and the French Open champion of 2011. There is absolutely no shame in Bouchard losing to Li NA. 

While Bouchard let a golden opportunity slip away – Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova were both ousted earlier in the week – time is on Bouchard's side: she has enough talent – and just as important, the right mental makeup – to contend in and perhaps win multiple majors. So if things go according to plan (and don't they always?), she'll have many chances in the future.

 

Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.

Organizations: Montreal Canadiens, Team Canada, Australian Open

Geographic location: East Pictou, Toronto, Canada Russia Miami Beach

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