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HEADLINES & SIDELINES: Happy Birthday, fellow hosers!


Published on June 30, 2017

A few glimpses of famous Canadian athletes, as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday on Saturday.

For the most part, it’s going to be all warm and fuzzy: no negativity allowed in this space until we get to John McEnroe.

• Terry Fox. If he’s not a Canadian legend, there’s no such thing as one.

• It’s possible that people are getting tired of hearing Sidney Crosby’s name. It’s not his fault, but yes I am (although, proud to say he’s from Nova Scotia). He’s the best hockey player of his generation, a proven winner and a solid Bluenoser.

• Darryl Sittler appeared at the Scott Weeks annual golf tournament in 2000, and I was so nervous meeting my boyhood hero I couldn’t speak properly. An after-effect of that interview is, since then I’ve never been nervous when interviewing anyone else.

• Penny Oleksiak won four swimming medals at the 2016 Olympics. She turned 17 years old a couple of weeks ago and has already accomplished more in her sporting life than most of us could even dream of, let alone make happen.

• Canadian golfer Adam Hadwin could win a major title someday because he’s a great putter. Two things most golfers love: cold beer and a hot putter.

• Since the tall ships are coming to Pictou, we thought it’d be interesting (not really) to find out what’s big in Canadian sailing. The 2016 female sailor of the year was Olympian Brenda Bowskill, which by the way is great last name for a sailor, eh?

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We interrupt this Canada Day celebration for John McEnroe, the tennis great and current TV commentator who was promoting a new book this week and found himself in trouble during an interview.

• McEnroe had praised Serena Williams, calling her the greatest female tennis player in history. So far, so good.

• The female interviewer, it seems, wanted him to say Serena is the greatest tennis player of all time, man or woman (she won her 23rd Grand Slam title this year, an all-time record. Roger Federer leads the men with 18. But unless I’m mistaken, Williams won all those titles by beating other women).

• McEnroe said Williams couldn’t beat the 700th-ranked male player (she’d probably get steamrolled by the the 1,500th-ranked male, to be honest). It doesn’t even matter, but the interviewer persisted so now it must be approached with logic.

• Social justice warriors lost their minds on Twitter and vilified McEnroe, who probably doesn't care. They made an issue of something that isn’t an issue.

• I like watching female tennis, always have. It’s just as entertaining as men’s tennis because they don’t pound the ball into smithereens, which forces them to use a little more guile and tactical planning than the men, generally speaking.

• Oh, and Vanity Fair called Serena Williams the world’s best athlete.

Think about that for a moment, and then ask yourself if it’s even close to the truth.

Happy 150th, my fellow hosers everywhere!

Kevin Adshade is sportswriter with The News. His regular appears each Saturday.