HEADLINES AND SIDELINES BY KEVIN ADSHADE
The Commonweath Games get neither the respect nor the attention of the Olympic Games (and let's be serious, with good reason), but Pictou County sports fans have extra reason to pay attention to the 2014 Games, the boxing portion of which begins today: Lyons Brook native Brody Blair, whose first fight in the 75-K class takes place today.
Blair, who got his start at the Albion Amateur Boxing Club in Trenton, is only 22 years old but it seems like he's been boxing forever. He trained for a couple of years at the Albion club, then became the youngest boxer at the 2007 Canada Games, and he has since travelled the world in pursuit of his boxing dreams.
Pictou County has a long and storied boxing tradition, and no matter what he does over there in Scotland in the days ahead, Blair's trip to the Commonwealth Games has only added to the county's boxing legacy.
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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: I woke up one early morning this week to hear the radio blaring the news headlines: violence in the Gaza (the fun never ends over there, does it?); the ugly aftermath of a Malaysian commercial airline blown out of the skies over Ukraine; a 22-year-old Glace Bay man hunted by the cops for his alleged role in the severe beating of a man, which put the victim in hospital with life-threatening injuries; and it all made me want to go back to sleep for a long, long time. Humans are supposed to be the most intelligent of all creatures on this planet – that distinction, in some ways, helps makes us so flawed – we just don't always act like we are.
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Know What Grinds My Gears?
Most people who play golfers know this feeling: missing a birdie putt of less than three feet, a virtual tap-in. I've done it more than once, in fact I did it last week at Eagle's Chance. (Yeah, I know it isn't Augusta National, but still, a birdie chance is a birdie chance. So shut up about it.) It always makes me want to gag – I've missed hundreds of two- or three-foot par putts and those can be shaken off, but a tap-in birdie miss can really tick a guy off, especially when his skill level means he doesn't get many chances like that. When it happens, your fellow golfers are usually thinking what a soldier thinks when his buddy gets shot in the trenches: I feel bad about it, but better you than me.
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No One Should Think It's Funny: Lars Eller, who scored a whopping 12 goals and had 16 assists last season, just signed with the Montreal Canadiens for $3.5 million a year, through 2018. I could make jokes about that, only then I'd have to think about Dion Phaneuf who signed with the Leafs for $7 million per year – for what I anticipate to be seven horrifying seasons – last winter.
So as usual, Leafs fans really have nothing to laugh about. I mean, by this point, any Leafs fan who mocks any other NHL team has rocks in his head (unless it's the Calgary Flames – it's safe to say they're fair game, even for Leaf fans).
Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.