Monday, June 3, 2013

Messier skepticism ill-founded

If it wasn't so maddening, it would be amusing to read, watch and listen to lesser mortals than Mark Messier summarily dismiss Messier as a credible candidate to coach the New York Rangers. We're not talking about brain surgery or splitting the atom here. We're not even talking about repairing a refrigerator, which also requires a degree of professional training. Coaching a hockey team is about leadership above all else, and there's no greater leader in the game's history than Mark Messier. Insulated by capable, experienced assistants, he would be no worse an option than anyone else and a better choice than most...Well, that didn't take long. The ill-conceived coincidental minor penalty call that almost changed the course of the Stanley Cup playoffs is yesterday's news, as the NHL grapples with the aftermath of Matt Cooke face-planting Adam McQuaid into the boards in Game 1 of the Boston-Pittsburgh Eastern Conference final. This time, though, the NHL got it right. Cooke's 5 minute major and game misconduct are justifiable, and so is the league's decision not to suspend him. Call it blaming the victim if you want, but McQuaid saw Cooke coming, knew he was going to get run, and turned his back to the hit anyway. When you deliberately put yourself in harm's way, you're at least partly responsible for the consequences...The Quebec Soccer Federation has shown its true colors - or, more appropriately, true color - and that color is white. Quebec is the only province refusing to abide by a Canadian Soccer Association directive to lift a ban on turbans in youth soccer. The Quebec federation cites safety concerns but doesn't or can't explain how turbans are more dangerous here than they are on soccer fields in the rest of the country. But what do you expect in a province where fear-based ethnic discrimination is official state policy?...My son Charlie had a rugby jamboree yesterday in NDG. No banjo, no fiddle, no homemade alcohol in a moonshine jug and everybody had eyebrows and fingernails. Worst. Jamboree. Ever.

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