Monday, January 21, 2013

Everything on the line, nothing to prove(and other Monday morning musings)

It's not a complete stretch to say that while both starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl 47 will be looking for their first ring, neither has anything to prove. Colin Kaepernick "only" had to get to the Super Bowl to justify his existence in his first season as a starter, and Joe Flacco verified his credentials as an elite quarterback by outduelling future Hall of Famers Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on back-to-back playoff weekends...Is there a more compelling Super Bowl scenario than Ray Lewis retiring as a champion or Kaepernick hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy fewer than three months removed from being an unheralded backup? Actually there is, and it goes like this: Kaepernick gets hurt and Alex Smith redeems himself with the most improbable MVP performance in Super Bowl history, causing San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh's head to blow clean off his shoulders the first time he's asked who his starting quarterback will be in 2013...Well, if you're going to pay full freight for an exhibition game, there might as well be something at stake, and that's what the belated NHL season opener at the Bell Center was: an exhibition game that counted. It wasn't coincidental that the three players who carried the mail in the win for the Leafs - Nazim Kadri, Ben Scrivens and Mike Kostka - are in mid-season form, even if it is mid-AHL season form. It's clear that the guys who didn't play during the lockout have some catching up to do, and the calibre of the product is going to suffer accordingly until everyone is up to speed...It's a measure of the lofty company he was keeping and not a slight against Vincent Damphousse that Damphousse almost seemed like an interloper among the pantheon of Canadiens greats who passed the torch at Saturday's opening ceremony...My two most memorable Montreal Forum and Bell Center press box encounters were with Richard Garneau, who passed away over the weekend, and the late Danny Gallivan. It was hugely gratifying for a lifelong fan that Gallivan was as warm and engaging in person as he was on his hockey broadcasts, and Garneau was every bit the elegant, cordial gentleman one-on-one that he was for a national TV audience. Some of the insincere blowhards who pollute the airwaves these days could have learned a lot from two legends of the broadcast industry who comported themselves with the same grace and humility whether the camera was on or off. If that's old school, we're worse off that it ever went out of style.

1 comment:

  1. Ray Lewis' dance is the gayest thing in sports since, well, ever. Why is no one talking about this? Who does this ridiculous display inspire, or into whom does it instill fear?

    The only athletes who can get away with a pre-game dance are New Zealand's rugby team, as they do the haka, which is steeped in history and will make you s**t your pants. Lewis just looks like a complete idiot.