Over the past few years there’s been talk of the Kings leaving Sacramento for Las Vegas, Anaheim and most recently, Virginia Beach. Perhaps fashioning fonder memories for Bryant “Big Country” Reeves’ NBA tenure than any sane person should allow, a published report from the Conference Board Of Canada proposes Vancouver, B.C. as a prime spot for an NBA franchise-on-the-move (link swiped from Canada.com’s Hasan Alanam :
Vancouver, like Montréal, is projected to see a population increase of over 1 million over the next 25 years, and it should attract more corporate headquarters. Most of the population increase will be due to immigration, much of which will come from Asia, where the popularity of basketball has grown rapidly. Vancouver demonstrated its appetite for basketball with the Grizzlies, and that appetite should continue to grow. Although the Grizzlies left Vancouver following the 2000–01 season, the population of the Vancouver CMA at that time was barely 2 million and the Canadian dollar was sinking. Those conditions have now changed. The NBA could return to Vancouver one day and be successful there, especially if the Canadian dollar remains strong. With a population of 3.5 million in 2035, the Vancouver market will be large enough to sustain franchises in the NHL, Canadian Football League (CFL), Major League Soccer, and the NBA—but not MLB.
The professional sports scene in Canada will continue to expand over the next 25 years. The conditions for growth are right—the Canadian dollar will likely remain strong and the taxation gap with the U.S. is expected to continue to narrow. This will allow existing franchises to prosper, and offer a better chance for new franchises to succeed. Canada could be home to 10 NHL teams, with new franchises in Québec City and Hamilton, and a second team in the Toronto CMA. If the league conditions are right and the city gets a new stadium, Montréal could once again be home to a Major League Baseball team. And with its continuing rise in population, Vancouver should be in a position to get a second chance at a National Basketball Association franchise.
…here’s a home run by our old friendLastings Milledge hit a few days ago. He should be halfway to 2nd base by sometime tomorrow afternoon. Back to matters on our own shores, however, with tonight’s 3-1 loss to Houston (a club a mere 46 games under .500), the Mets have now scored 6 runs in their last 45 innings, while facing the NL’s two worst pitching staffs. At home. So with that in mind, I look forward to Sandy Alderson’s December announcement they’ll be moving Citi Field’s outfield fences in an additional 300 feet.
Former Boston lefty Bill Lee took a no-hitter into the 5th inning last night for the San Rafael Pacifics of the independent North Atlantic League, ultimately hanging around for a complete game, 9-4 victory over the Maui Na Koa Ikaika last night. “Lee did not take the Albert Field mound wearing a gas mask, a Daniel Boone cap or a beanie with a propeller,” writes a somewhat disappointed Daniel Brown of the Contra Costa Times, also adding the Spaceman claims to have flipped off a Yankee fan en route to Johnny Pesky’s funeral.
In those days, as now, Lee threw a baffling assortment of junkballs — an appropriate repertoire, given his personality type. Lee said a high school knee injury, combined with an already weird body type — “sway back, big ass,” is how he put it — allowed him to put a natural sink on the ball.
Lee’s only handicap Thursday was that both his sway back and ample backside were sore. He never stopped trying to stretch out, bending and twisting as he spoke. As the Pacifics gathered ’round to listen to Lee in the bullpen before the game, he offered this bit of gray-haired wisdom: “For you guys out looking for dates tonight, find a massage therapist.”
The late Reggie White was as verbally and demonstratively religious as Tim Tebow. White was praised for it, admired for it, respected for it. He was never, ever mocked for it, not even after he created a brief tempest when he condemned homosexuality from a pulpit. Yet Tebow’s religiosity is relentlessly ridiculed by fans, media, NFL opponents and late-night TV show hosts. Why the radical difference in treatment?
Y’know, if I’m ever inclined to wake up some morning feeling glum about how few newspaper columnists are ready to defend the white race against double standards, at least I can face the day knowing Phil Mushnick is always on the case. And it would help matters considerably if I chose to ignore some pretty basic facts. Like for instance, the late Reggie White — however bigoted against homosexuals he might’ve been — was pretty respected as professional football player. White went to the Pro Bowl thirteen times. He was the NFC Defense Player Of The Year on three occasions. His number was retired by the Eagles and the Packers, and White was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Despite all these achievements, CBS still saw fit to tear up a $6 million contract for White’s TV analysis after he publicly blamed homosexuals for a litany of society’s ills. Perhaps Phil doesn’t think that’s nearly as bad as being widely ridiculed, but it’s a pretty fair bet had White and his statements survived into the era of sports blogs and Twitter, he’d have been a far bigger target than Tebow.
As for the 25 Year Old Virgin, he’s pretty fucking easy to ridicule. And much of that mockery stems not simply from his “religiosity”, but from Tebow’s proselytizing and anti-abortion advocacy. Had Reggie White appeared in a similar Super Bowl commerical alongside his mom, chances are very slim no one would’ve taken issue with it.
Of course, all sorts of things are tolerated when someone is very good at their job. For instance, Tebow’s current team once employed a former pill-popper who liked to send lewd text messages to women who weren’t his wife. The guy in question was far more adept at throwing a forward pass than Tebow, yet didn’t escape the wrath of the public or media. Given that Tim Tebow’s professional resume is pretty modest compared to Reggie White (and I’m being kind here), his non-football activities are going to prove tiresome for reasons that aren’t limited to religion or politics. Some folks are just plain sick of the guy.
“We are gluttons for punishment for allowing this man to hoodwink us after giving him a quarter of a billion dollars to renovate Kauffman Stadium so he can make additional millions. And we get nothing but bad baseball in return.”
It’s pretty tempting to buy a similar ad in a New York paper encouraging Fred & Jeff Wilpon to end their serial neglect of the town’s other (alleged) MLB franchise. Until I remember that a) they’ll pay no mind, and b) placing such an ad would only serve to enrich Rupert Murdoch, Mortimer Zuckerman or James Dolan. Some choice.