There was an embarrassing, inexcusable blunder Monday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, where the cover of the game program promoted in large, colourful type a matchup of the Raptors and the Charlotte Hornets.
Of course, the Hornets are no longer Charlotte’s NBA team. The Bobcats are. And the goof-up certainly caught the attention of journalist Rick Bonnell, who wrote this in yesterday’s Charlotte Observer:
“Apparently, news of the Bobcats’ entry into the NBA stopped at the northern border three years ago … In other breaking NBA news, there are no more Vancouver Grizzlies and that Jordan guy is no longer a player.”
•Also from Bonnell:
“Even in freezing rain, followed by snow and that wonderful phenomenon of black ice (you don’t see it until you slip on it), Toronto is a wonderfully cosmopolitan, friendly city. Canadians know how to laugh off daily hurdles better than the rest of us. Buy one a beer and you’ll make a friend for life. Buy him two beers and he’ll loan you the money to pay your mortgage.”
• And, to add to the stereotype, let’s go on record today by declaring that Canadians love their hockey.
According to an NHL release yesterday, the league set an attendance record for the month of November, averaging 16,922 spectators per game. Four of the top five clubs that drew the most fans were in Canada — Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary. The only U.S. club to crack the top five: Philadelphia.
Imagine how much NHL attendance figures would soar if anyone really gave a hoot about hockey in places such as South Florida and Long Island.
•The Blue Jays are interested in Ontarian Erik Bedard but they won’t obtain the pitching ace from the Baltimore Orioles unless they’d relinquish Alex Rios and Dustin McGowan. So forget it. More likely destinations for Bedard are the Seattle Mariners, the Los Angeles Dodgers or the New York Mets … Mysteriously, the San Diego Padres continue to show interest in pitcher Josh Towers, whom the Jays will unload with pleasure … Free agent Matt Clement, injured for most of the past two seasons, will join the Jays’ pitching staff if he accepts one of their now-familiar, incentive-laden contracts.
•Monday night’s NFL thriller was spoiled late when the Baltimore Ravens’ Bart Scott threw a bizarre tantrum and was penalized 30 yards. His teammates say he was provoked by racist remarks from an official. They say they heard the official call teammate Samari Rolle: “Boy.”
•And I’ve become so enamored of www.freemyteam.comthat I’ve decided to start blogging on the site. Check it out.
In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.