Monday, October 28, 2013
Picking on PK (and other Monday musings)
Whether or not it's true, there's a perception that Canadiens defenceman and reigning Norris Trophy winner PK Subban is targeted by NHL referees. Ample anecdotal evidence exists to suggest officials are more inclined to call penalties on Subban or overlook infractions against him because they don't appreciate being shown up his vocal and demonstrative demeanor. In the same way that hockey sinks to the carnivalesque standards of pro wrestling by interpreting the rulebook differently at different times of the game or the season, there's no credibility in applying the rules in a vindictive context designed to satisfy a referee's ego. For the sake of its own integrity, the NHL has a moral and ethical obligation to remind its on-ice officials to place principles before personalities - even larger than life personalities like PK Subban.
It's a difficult concept to wrap your head around given their decade-long domination of the CFL East, but the Alouettes are officially in transition. There's no other way to describe a team that's used two head coaches - one of whom isn't even a coach by profession - and trotted our four different starting quarterbacks en route to a 7-10 record. That said, the CFL's open house postseason format and the one-and-done nature of playoff football mean even a team in transition can win the Grey Cup.
Forty years after its introduction, the designated hitter rule remains anathema to most baseball purists, but without it, whither David Ortiz? On his own, Ortiz doesn't represent a slam dunk case for the DH, but there's no denying it extended the career of a guy who has provided some of the most dramatic and memorable October moments of the past decade.
America's love of patriotic fervor and abiding respect for military tradition were on full display prior to Game 1 of the World Series in Boston, where pre-game ceremonies included the introduction of three recent recipients of the Medal of Honor - the country's highest award for battlefield heroism above and beyond the call of duty. Meanwhile, there weren't enough Medals of Honor to go around for a capacity crowd whose conspicuous gallantry was sorely tested during Mary J. Blige's roadside bomb version of the Star Spangled Banner.
If 1980s pop singer Juice Newton married former major league baseball pitcher Burt Hooten, left Hooten for Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Fedor Tyutin, won the lottery, became a cheerleader and went on a gluten-free diet, she'd be high-falutin' rootin' tootin' Juice Newton Hooten Tyutin, sans gluten.