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Who are Sports best Athletes

April 15, 2011 3 comments

Well this is an age old question that came up the other night where most great conversations take place..At a sports bar. While spending some time with some friends and Alexander Keith we had a brief debate about which sport has the best athletes? Well let me first eliminate some sports that I have heard actually people paid to talk about sports on TV suggest. Golf more specifically Tiger, No Way! Golf is for people who are retiring why am I even trying to give examples, it’s golf!! Baseball, Uh No, unless you are playing in the middle of the field you are doing very little on the field and you get a break every inning. Football, well these guys tend to be quite athletic but I will elimate them, because 1 they play half a game as there is a defence and and on offence. Also the actual action on a football field is about 5% of the allotted time to play the game as most of the time nothing is happening the game is on pause. I will narrow the debate to 3 sports – Hockey, Basketball and yes – Soccer. In all these sports you play continuously, you play offense and defense, you use your entire body and when you look at the average player they are in physically good shape. (Some of the guys you see playing football or baseball could not be put in a rink, a ball court or a soccer field.). My vote goes to the Soccer players as I think although Hockey would likely be the hardest sport for the average person to play because it involves skating. The debate with my arguement comes down the high impact and high intensity of Hockey and Basketball vs Soccer. Reason being in Soccer most players play the full game (90 Mins). Much longer than Hockey or Basketball and do not get subbed off at all. In Hockey you take 90 sec shifts and may play 20 mins on a given night and in Basketball you tend to have most guys play 30-40 mins a night. I mean the stats for Soccer players is crazy when you see how much a player runs during a game. Even if you dont have the ball you are in constant movement whether on offense or defence. However one could argue the pace of soccer is much slower than basketball! But at the same time since Hockey and Basketball are North American and created in the birthplace of the mighty dollar. The average 48 min Basketball game or 60 min Hockey game takes 3 hours to watch from start to finish while a soccer game may take 2hrs. The soccer game is constant with no breaks other than halftime. Hockey and Basketball games tend to have numerous breaks in addtion to quarter ends and period ends. TV timeouts allow for the players to get numerous breaks that allow them to play the so called heavy minutes. Also for Hockey the inclusion of a stick and equipment devalue the athleticism of the sport, where Basketball and Soccer is man and ball strictly.

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Categories: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer

Leafs Overmatched

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Last nights 2-0 loss to the Habs clearly showed that the Buds have a bit of a way to go yet. The effort was there but player for player, Montreal is simply a better team. At the same time though, both goals were completely preventable and should not have happened. The first one, both Leafs defenseman let Jeff Halpern go to the net right off the face-off. When the point shot came though Halpern was in a perfect position to make the tip and he made no mistake. Plus Gustavsson, as well as he played, was too far back in his net. If he was on the white ice, Halpern’s tip does not beat him. The second goal was a great tape to tape pass made by ex-Hab, Mike Komisarek. He picked the puck up on the boards and made a perfect pass threading the needle between two Leaf defenders to an open Mike Cammallerri. A horrible back-breaking gaffe that should not be made at this level.

What made the night a good one for me was the pregame ceremony for the late Pat Burns. I’ll never forget Burns because he coached the first “good” Leafs team that I observed.

The game will miss you Pat….Thanks!

Nazem Kadri

November 19, 2010 1 comment

Well Leafs Nation, you got what you asked for! Nazem Kadri has landed and if he continues to produce the way he has, he will not be featuring at the Ricoh Coliseum ever again. He has yet to score his first NHL goal but he has registered 3 assists in 2 games. Those 3 assists came on passes to Kessel and Versteeg – both of whom were in a bit of a scoring funk.

All of the preseason talk was about who would get the big guns the  puck. Tyler Bozak was supposed to be the guy and although he has not played badly, he has not had the impact that many were hoping that he would have. He clearly was not gelling with Versteeg in particular, resulting in the ex-Chicago winger being held off the score sheet and being removed from the top line.

Kadri’s 2 assist night against the New Jersey Devils was hopefully not the exception, but what will be the norm for both the team and Kadri. He has shown  the ability to find the right guys at the right time and in the right position resulting in some quality scoring chances. Players with the skill set of Kessel in particular will have a field day if the chemistry continues to develop.

Truth be told, I was one of the people who was saying that Kadri needs more time in the AHL to develop as a player. I felt that he was not strong enough to keep up with the elite in the best hockey league in the world. Well thankfully dude is making me, Burke and several others look like we got it all wrong. With the vision and creativity the kid looks like he belongs. He appears to be aware of what he can and cannot do and is playing within these parameters.

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here but if (and that’s a HUGE if) Nazim Kadri continues to develop, we’re going to be in for some good times in Leaf land. Lets wait and see!

Go Leafs Go!

League Across Continents?

November 3, 2010 2 comments

Recently David Stern of the NBA was enthusiastically discussing the merits of European expansion in the NBA. All I can say is WOW! In fact, this year the Raptors will be playing 2 league games in London (not Ontario – but I doubt if many NBAers know the difference). Now to me having 2 North American based NBA teams playing in Europe may be somewhat feasible, but to expect a team to fly for 5 hours to play league games is a bit ridiculous. Traveling across 3 time zones from Toronto to L.A. is bad enough – Let alone from L.A. to London, England.

My only hope is that other professional sports don’t get this bright idea. Over the years NFL teams have played regular season games overseas and some big soccer teams from Europe have played pre-season games over here. I have no problem with this simply because both teams have come from abroad to showcase the product – as opposed to NA based teams playing against European teams or other teams from other continents for points. Think of how complicated it could become when you consider the economical effects – not to mention the immigration issues that may arise if this were a regular thing.

Ya sure you are expanding your audience but you are also cheapening the product.

Categories: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer

“Thank-You Kessel”

October 29, 2010 3 comments

Last nights frustrating loss by the Leafs to the Bruins was a VERY bitter pill to swallow.  First of all the Leafs carried the play for the most part but couldn’t get anything by Tim Thomas. He looked like a wall at times. He made his impressive GAA at the start of the night even better – hard to believe because it started out below 1.00.  Anyone else notice that whenever the Leafs play anyone, it looks like it’s Mr. Veizna in net for them? What’s the common denominator here? THE LEAFS! Every goalie can’t be hot so that must mean that the Leafs simply can’t score. Without Clarke MacArthur’s hot start and Phil Kessel, the Leafs may have only scored a handful of goals on the year. We definitely need more scoring from other players. the only question is from where? Grabovski, Kulemin, Versteeg and Bozak need to step forward ASAP. Or Burke needs to make a deal (like the rumoured Brad Richards deal) . To me our wingers need better pivot men than Grabovski and Bozak to get them the puck. A call up for Nazim Kadri perhaps? Not sure this will fix things because like Burke and Co, I don’t think Kadri is ready for the big stage quite yet.

Not sure if anyone else noticed but last night the crowd in Boston was chanting, “Thank You Kessel”. Why are they thanking him you ask? Is it because they loved him so much for his time in Boston? Not quite since they also boo’d him every time he touched the puck. They were actually thanking him for not agreeing to a new contract with the B’s opening the door for a trade to the Leafs for some draft picks. You know who one of the draft picks turned out to be? The scorer of Boston’s second goal of the night – Tyler Seguin. This guy looked really good last night; better than Kessel I might add – and he’s only 18!! What made it worse is that he’s a “Home Town” boy hailing from good ole B-Town (no not Boston but Brampton – Ontario). For those of you who don’t know, Brampton is considered part of the Greater Toronto Area. Brain Burke, why can’t we have more players or even a captain from Toronto on the Leafs? Reason = Toronto is not an American city and Burke has a hard-on for American born players. I wonder if Dion Phaneuf has Yankee roots in him. Maybe when Burke acquired him from Calgary last year he had his beer goggles on!! Who knows?

Anyway, I just want to correct the fans of Boston. They should not have been chanting, “Thank You Kessel”. They should have been chanting, “Thank you Brian Burke” or “Thank-You MLSE!”

Categories: Hockey