Column: Well, let me tell you ...Views of a grumpy writer

Robin Short
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I’m crooked as sin ... fed up, poisoned, fit to be tied, rotted. I’ve had it.

It’s April, Opening Day was this week, spring is supposed to have sprung and we’re up to our tonsils in snow.

My snow tires are worn out. And I’m worn out shovelling.

I don’t ski. I don’t Ski-Doo. And I sure as hell don’t ice fish. My driveway’s like the Hahnenkamm. I’ll need a bank loan to pay the plow bill.

And the other night I was minus-two at hockey.

I’m pissed.

So on that dour note, there’s a few things I’ve been meaning to get off my chest. I’m right in the mood.

So here goes. Let ’er rip.


• Leaf fans are a sad lot, almost as pathetic as their lousy hockey team. Now it’s time to fire Randy Carlyle, trade Dion Phaneuf and banish poor James Reimer to Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Thing is, where did these deranged backers of losers collect such lofty expectations of the Leafs?

What, the great Beantown collapse of 2013 never happened?

Mark it down, the Blue Jays will win a World Series before the Toronto Maple Leafs lift the Stanley Cup again.

• If I hear one more time about curling being mentioned in the same breath as hockey in terms of grabbing the Canadian sports fan’s attention, I’ll shriek.

It’s usually about now, during the world championship season, shortly after the Scotties and the Brier, that curling trots out the TV numbers, usually touting that sport’s ability to rival NHL broadcasts in viewership.

Which may be true. For a 10-day period.

But don’t tell me if curling was on every weekend it would stack up against hockey’s numbers.

Truth of the matter is this: curling fans across Canada gear up for the Brier and the Scotties because they like to cheer for their home province. A few diehards will get jacked up to watch two favourites go head-to-head, regardless of the provincial colours they wear. But that’s it.

I’ll say this: I’ve never, ever, not once, heard around the water cooler — or the bar — one sports fan mutter to another, “Boy, Kevin Koe’s front end sure is struggling.”

• This one really, really drives me — upper/lower body injury.

So the NFL, for example, can tell us each week exactly what is sidelining Peyton Manning or Calvin Johnson, but the Montreal Canadiens will only divulge that Travis Moen is out with a, “lower body injury.”

A) Who cares, though those of us in the media have to ask because there is a segment of the population who wants to know about such things; and B) what’s the big deal? If the NFL isn’t concerned about its players, the roughest and toughest in the world of pro sports, going after opponents just back from IR, why should the NHL?

Even more laughable now is the fact local teams in provincial senior hockey are using the ol’ upper body and lower body lingo.

Boys, you’re in Newfoundland, the farthest drop-off point from pro you’re going to find.

• NBA players fight like girls. Embarrassing.

• But on the prima donna spectrum, they pale in comparison to baseball players. Some of these guys are built like Zeus, and then they throw their back out in the on-deck circle.

• Anyone who sits to watch a couple hours of NASCAR needs their head examined. I get it, though. They want to see the crashes. Otherwise, however, watching cars go round and round ranks somewhere between “Dancing with the Stars” and the “Stephen and Chris Show” on the things you want PVRed.

• On a per capita basis, there are more Newfoundlanders wearing Ski-Doo jackets and camouflage ball caps than in any other part of Canada.

• Tiger Woods figures to be breaking down. Looks good on him. Now, if Brad Marchand could only get jock-itch.

• And another thing. I’m fed up with minor sports parents. Not all, but a few. And notice I didn’t say minor hockey, which sometimes gets a bad rap. They’re everywhere, these nuts — soccer, basketball, baseball, you name it. In a perfect world, these people would sit down, shut up ragging on the officials and coaches, let the kids work up a sweat, have a bit of fun and chat about X-Box afterwards. You know, stuff that kids do.

• Yes, St. John’s/Mount Pearl has two indoor Field Turf facilities, and yes, we now have a Training Centre (Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Centre ... i.e. a great, big gym) but this province is still Third World when it comes to sports facilities. Our hockey rinks are old and outdated and, in most cases, downright dumpy. This is Newfoundland, where winter lasts six months. We need more indoor facilities, not another softball field in a remote outport.


Robin Short is The Telegram’s crotchety Sports Editor. He can be reached by email Follow him on Twitter @TelyRobinShort

Organizations: Ski-Doo, NHL, Blue Jays NFL Toronto Maple Leafs Montreal Canadiens NASCAR Training Centre Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Centre

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland, Mount Pearl

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