Monday, January 7, 2013

Lockout relief, tacky tattoos and other Monday morning musings

The most telling numbers in the aftermath of the NHL lockout won't have anything to do with salary caps, revenue sharing or wins and losses. The ultimate measure of whether the third work stoppage in 18 years was worth the risk will be taken in gate receipts, merchandise sales and corporate sponsorship. If jilted fans are going to deliver a message that resonates, it'll be by staying home from games and boycotting NHL-licensed products, and as slaves to the bottom line, corporate sponsors will react accordingly...Now that it's overshadowed by the end of the lockout, how about we stop trying to rationalize Canada's also-ran showing at the world juniors, and just give credit where credit is due: to the Americans, Swedes and Russians? Hockey is the one area where good, old-fashioned Canadian humility is out of practice, and of late we have much to be humble about...It wasn't a flat-out guarantee a la Joe Namath or Mark Messier, but posterity will note that American defenceman Seth Jones' pre-tournament expectation of a US gold medal was more testicular fortitude than it was empty bravado...If wild card weekend was as good as it gets in this year's NFL playoffs, I might finally make some time to watch that Honey Boo Boo marathon I've been saving on the PVR. All four games looked like pre-season fare more than they resembled do-or-die scenarios in the home stretch on the road to the Super Bowl...Not sure what the big deal is about New York Jets coach Rex Ryan's tattoo of his wife in a Mark Sanchez jersey. Show me Ryan with a tattoo of Sanchez in the coach's wife's lingerie and you'll have my attention.

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