Random Sports Thoughts
• First, Mike Babcock is portrayed as some kind of tyrannical maniac after he gets fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. A guy I know in the Toronto media – and just so you know, it’s not Pictou native Ken Reid – once told me that Babcock “is a genius. Just ask him.”
Then, Calgary Flames coach Bill Peters had to resign when allegations (backed up by more than one person) surfaced of him using extremely racist language directly toward a black player a decade ago, while he was coaching in the minors.
When you read what he allegedly said, it’s mind-boggling that it took so long to come to light. It’s also amazing that he uttered those words in the first place, and that his mindset was so stuck in 1930s Mississippi.
Then, we learn that when Marc Crawford was coaching the Los Angeles Kings years ago, he once kicked Sean Avery in the back during a game because Avery had made a glaring on-ice error (Crawford shouldn’t have done that, of course, but since it was Sean Avery, you’re tempted to say that the coach showed remarkable restraint).
The dam has been breached and here comes the flood – there’ll be a lot of coaches whose past indiscretions will be made front-page news. You want discipline, coach? Well, discipline starts at the top, at your front door. Nobody wants to go to their job these days and put up with some wailing, abusive lunatic. That kind of thing doesn’t work anymore.
Coaches yell, scream and threaten, and sometimes with good reason, but there’s a line that can’t be crossed, and it should go without saying that racial slurs and physical assaults are way over that line.
• Some more hockey insight: it’d almost impossible to win when you give up three short-handed goals in one game, as the Pictou County Junior A Crushers did on Nov. 28 against the Miramichi Timberwolves. I’m sure it’s happened at a rink somewhere in the last century or so, but we’ve never heard of it.
The Timberwolves, who were (and still are) in last place, said, ‘thank you very much’ and took their 5-4 win back home to New Brunswick.
That aside, the Crushers had been playing good hockey in the month of November and those who follow the team should be satisfied by their progress. Some won’t be, but they should be.
Non-Sports Thoughts of the Week:
• When U.S. president Donald Trump was somewhat critical of Canada’s defence spending this week – he wasn’t too harsh, but made his point – your first impulse might be to dismiss it out of hand, as just more of the usual acting out from crazy Uncle Don. But if you look at the numbers, really take a gander at them, it’s hard to find fault with his point.
• And now that positive karma I was talking about here last week; every year around this time, 4-H groups in Pictou County send a box of home-made goodies to The News office.
This year, the treats came from the 4-H gang in Sutherland’s River and while everything was delicious (excepting that I didn’t try the frosting-covered pretzels because it’s hard to think of that combo and make peace with it), I made sure to plunder those Fudgie Macaroons. I didn’t hog them all, just almost all of them.
You know the kind I mean: they’re shaped like cookies (maybe they really are cookies) have coconut and lots of chocolate, and some kind of oats-y thing to hold it all together. Sometimes, people make them too dry, but these were perfect – you can’t bake them any better than this.
I don’t know who made them, but feel free to send another box or two.
Kevin Adshade is a writer with The News. His column appears each week.