Monday, October 22, 2012

Junk punches, googly eyes and other Monday morning musings

The NHL's fundamental strategy in the current collective bargaining process is tantamount to a money grab, which doesn't make the league a whole lot different from other corporations in a changing economy. The difference is that salary cuts imposed on lucratively-compensated professional hockey players for no other reason than to enrich their employer are significantly less likely to cause the kind of living standard changes experienced by middle class workers who get take it or leave it offers for jobs with workloads two or more times the relatively recent norm. None of that makes the NHL's money-grubbing any less shameless, but the wealth and privilege that NHL players would continue to enjoy - even if they settled on the owners terms - put them at a complete disconnect with fans who know real hardship at their employers' whim...Twitter and Facebook have only been around for a few years, and there's already a well-documented litany of social media blunders by pro athletes, but Alouettes linebacker Shea Emry is using the medium try to set things straight. Within 24 hours of getting kicked out of Saturday's game for punching Saskatchewan's Brendon Labatte in the groin, Emry was on Twitter apologizing to both teams, the league, the commissioner and the fans. Given the nature of the offence, it might not be enough to avert a suspension, but Emry's quick mea culpa and seemingly genuine contrition are a blueprint for social media damage control...A win is a win, but I feel better as a Giants fan almost losing to RG3 and the Redskins than I would as a Patriots fan needing overtime to put away Mark Sanchez and the Jets...The best part of Friday's NBA game at the Bell Center was the Toronto Raptors inflatable mascot. It's not that the basketball was boring - the mascot was that entertaining. Nice to see someone put more into it than a matted fur suit and a googly-eye.

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