Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The NHL's half-assed response to tragedy, and karma's a bitch for Tiki Barber
If the National Hockey League's first major statement following the deaths of three players by their own hand this summer is any indication, the league's resolve in assessing and protecting the mental health of its players leaves something to be desired. In a statement released over the Labor Day weekend, the league says "we are committed to examining, in detail, the factors that may have contributed to these events, and to determining whether concrete steps can be taken to enhance player welfare and minimize the likelihood of such events taking place." That's "whether" concrete steps can be taken, not "what" concrete steps to take. So the NHL has already given itself an out on the issue if it can come up with the right spin on the results of whatever it deems to be a detailed examination of the facts. That's not exactly an iron clad committment to the stated goals of enhancing player welfare and preventing future tragedies...The Alouettes have some serious soul-searching to do at the midway point of the CFL season. The thinking that they're a lock for the playoffs with Anthony Calvillo at quarterback and Marc Trestman as coach only holds up if the rest of the players and coaches do their part, and that's not happening...Blue Jays rookie Brett Lawrie did it again yesterday, lifting Toronto past Boston 1-0 with a walkoff home run in the 11th inning. He's only been in the major leagues a month, but he's already the toast of Toronto and his legend is spreading. Lawrie's only downside is that he strikes out a lot, but so did Reggie Jackson. And Mike Schmidt. And Mickey Mantle...Thirty-six year old former NFL running back-turned-broadcaster Tiki Barber is reportely devastated that no team was interested in facilitating his comeback attempt after four full seasons out of football. I wonder if Barber's as devastated as his wife was when he left her for a 24 year old NBC intern while Mrs. Barber was pregnant with twins.