Monday, November 25, 2013

Hanks for the memories

There wasn't a dry pair of pants in the house last night as the drunken denizens of Rider Nation celebrated a Grey Cup victory in their own backyard.  As insufferable as they can be as a travelling circus, there's something oddly endearing about legions of grown adults wearing hollowed-out watermelons on their heads when they do it in the relative privacy of their own home stadium. Either way, there's no currency in begrudging the CFL's most fanatically faithful fans their moment in the OH MY GOD IT'S TOM HANKS!  TOM HANKS IS AT THE GREY CUP!  TOM HANKS!  IN REGINA!  HE MUST LIKE CANADA!  AND THE CFL!  And that's what I brought away from the 101st Grey Cup: an appropriate result for the unswervingly loyal (if moderately batshit crazy) Saskatchewan fan base, and widespread Canadian self-validation because Forrest Gump showed up at our national football hootenanny.  Canadiana at its finest. 

Talk about not being in Kansas anymore: members of the Hamilton Tiger Cats suffered frostbite while practicing outdoors in Moose Jaw, despite the availability of indoor practice facilities.  I'm as enured to the northern elements as the next ski-doo suit wearing hoser, but there's a time and place when common sense comes into play.

Much has been made about Stephane Waite and the wonders Waite has worked with Carey Price, but as the Canadiens goaltending coach, Waite's fingerprints are also all over the early season work of backup Peter Budaj.  Like Price, Budaj has lifted his game to another level: 4 wins in 5 starts, a .942 save percentage and a sparkling 1.58 goals against average.  With George Parros and Douglas Murray in the press box more often than not and Daniel Briere pulling substantial fourth line minutes, Twitter associate Tony Braca isn't far from the truth when he calls Stephane Waite general manager Marc Bergevin's best off-season acquisition.

Disgraced New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez's grandstanding at a grievance hearing last week was an act of desperation, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Demanding to face his accuser in the person of baseball commissioner Bud Selig was effective spin control.  Perception is everything, and Rodriguez  left the impression that he's being denied due process.

Note to kids in Sierra Leone: everybody line up in an orderly fashion - there are plenty of "Hamilton Tiger Cats 2013 Grey Cup Champions" hats and t-shirts to go around.

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