Monday, October 17, 2011

When the reward doesn't justify the risk (and other Monday morning musings)

In the context of sports, the expression "high risk, high reward" doesn't normally imply the risk of death, but the tragic events at yesterday's Indy car race in Las Vegas were a sobering reminder that death lurks on every corner and straightaway. As with every fatality in elite level motorsport, there will be an appropriate mourning period for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon, then it'll be business as usual until the next driver is killed, whether it's next week, next month or next year. It's a measure of the magnitude of the rewards and the addictiveness of speed that racers routinely and willingly risk sudden, violent death, but how do his teammates, peers and rivals explain to Wheldon's widow and two young children that it was worth the risk?...I don't care if Peter, Paul and Mary are playing defence - anytime the Canadiens score five goals, there's no excuse for a goaltender of Carey Price's calibre not parlaying it into two points. By the time the Canadiens and Avalanche got to a shootout Saturday, Price almost looked like he'd given up...Kudos to the Canadiens and Price for supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month and for the subtle touches of pink on Price's goaltending equipment, Price's tastefully low-key presentation could serve as an example for the NFL, where over-the-top pink shoes, socks, towels and even whistles have had the effect of making the cause intrusive...It's only mid-October and the fossilized remains of Bob Cole are already in mid-season form. The marginally coherent Hockey Night in Canada windbag had some real doozies Saturday, announcing that a Colorado penalty when the Avs were already shorthanded was "the first penalty of the game," and calling Colorado's David Jones "Johnson." How do you not get "Jones" right? That's like mispronouncing Smith...Those throwback jerseys the Green Bay Packers were sporting yesterday looked like something a prison team wouild wear, complete with the black numbers inside a yellow circle providing tower guards with a convenient bulls-eye in the event of an escape attempt.

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