Major league sports in North America aren’t merely surviving in these difficult economic times and through all the scandals surrounding them. They’re flourishing.
MLB, for instance, amassed a record $6 billion US in revenues last season and has attracted an unprecedented number of advance ticket sales for the coming season. The NFL also emerged with record profits for the 2007 season. NBA attendance is up. So, believe it or not, is the NHL’s.
•Bettors who suspect the New York Giants can actually beat the undefeated New England Patriots in the Feb. 3 Super Bowl would stand to make $3.75 for every dollar they’d invest in book shops.
And, indeed, there are thousands of Giant believers who have already placed their money where their mouths are.
But I ask you this: Tom Coughlin over Bill Belichick?
•Speaking of football coaches, I wonder if Kent Austin will show up in Calgary Feb. 23 when the CFL announces he has won the coach of the year award for 2007. After leading the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the Grey Cup in his only head coaching season, Austin bolted to the University of Mississippi to become its offensive co-ordinator … It’s come-and-go in the CFL all the time. Running back Tyler Ebell, for instance, is trying to go to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a decent rookie season in ’07 with the Edmonton Eskimos … Riders offensive co-ordinator Ken Miller seems to have jumped a bit ahead of fellow Saskatchewan assistants Mike Gibson and Richie Hall in the club’s head coaching derby … In 2004, when billionaire Bob Young was talked into buying the Tiger-Cats, ex-Eskimos chief Hugh
Campbell and owners David Braley of the B.C. Lions and Bob Wetenhall of the Montreal Alouettes provided him with advice on how to operate the Hamilton club. This week, Young said: “Some of what these guys told me was very sincere and very valuable, but some of it was very self-serving.”
•And don’t forget to visit www.metronews.cafor my latest NHL Report.
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.