I was fortunate enough to be at the TED tonight to take in the Bills/Steelers game. OK, there, I said it. Not trying to be anti-CFL or anti Canadian, but I was there and I had a blast. Truth be told, I lived south of the border for 15 years, with all but 4 of those years in cities with an NFL franchise (If the Leafs count as an NHL franchise then the Detroit Lions count as an NFL franchise too!). I really enjoy the NFL. It’s not the game per se as much as it is “The Show”. Everything about the games is fun. The tailgating, the environment, the fanatical fans and so on.
With little expectations I headed down to the TED around 530 to see what was going on around the stadium. In all honesty, it was not the same tailgating I am used to seeing in an NFL parking lot. Having said that it was really fun. There were people all around the dome in various parties. The smell of beer and BBQ was impossible to avoid. People were behaving. It was a great atmosphere. Was it perfect? No, of course not (but what is), it was fun though.
Inside the stadium, the game was as good as exhibition anything gets. To my surprise the starters lasted 3/4 through the first half. Unfortunately the roof was closed about 15 minutes before the game started and it was uncomfortably hot inside throughout the game. I expected to be marketed to death and I wasn’t. There were no promotions, not freebies. The only real sponsor of the event was Rogers. There was one give away for a Samsung MP3 player (stop laughing), but other then that it was Rogers, Rogers, Rogers. The dome wasn’t filled with 10,000 vendors selling over priced food, always in your face. All in all a great night for a sportsfan in Toronto. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to read or hear the predictable NFL vs. CFL analysis tomorrow?
I have to stick to a fellow blogger. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but man is the guy off base. Check it out here at your leisure but here is the gist:
The guy makes some predictions for the upcoming season, keep in mind the article was written last night but still…
He lists seven questions all on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being low probability of that item occurring and 10 being the most likely to happen. On the issue of McCabe playing for the buds, Jeff Finger’s signing being viewed as bad and Luke Schenn playing this year for the Buds, Lukas Hardonk the “analyst” rates the probability of each of those occurring at 5 out of ten. Here is the rationale:
“The reason that the Luke Schenn, Jeff Finger, and Bryan McCabe questions are a 5 is because they are all 50/50 propositions”
Ummmm, yeah, they are 50-50 propositions. Either Schenn will play for the leafs, or he won’t, similarly, McCabe either will play for the leafs or he won’t (unless he gets traded mid-season) and well, the Finger question is just plain dumb. McCabe won’t be a leaf this season, I would say the odds on Schenn are less then 50-50 and the Finger signing is already being viewed by all the pundits as being brutal (which I think is a tad premature given how few games of his any of these geniuses actually saw)
The Analyst rates the odds of Sundin coming back as a 6 out of 10 and the odds of Matt Stajan being named Captain in the event #13 is elsewhere is 7/10. The rationale:
“Mats Sundin is a 6 because he has been with the Maple Leafs his whole career and says that Toronto is like a second home to Sweden. Matt Stajan would be likely to become captain because he just seems like the perfect choice.”
On Sundin, he is wrong on the facts. He has not played his entire career in Toronto. The rationale for Stajan is silly.
I was really happy to learn today that Doug MacLean and Jack Armstrong are collectively the replacement for Chuck Swirsky. I can’t speak to Armstrong’s work on basketball, I have no clue if he is good or not, on the basketball issues. I do like listening to him, and on issues I have an opinion on I respect his point of view. I think hiring MacLean is a home run for the Fan 590 and fans in Toronto. Unfortunately they are in the death valley 2-4 slot, where next to now one listens. MacLean, is smart, he is credible and he has no reason to constantly bash the hell out of the buds unlike a certain someone who was fired by them not so long ago. He brings a unique perspective having been a GM and coach in Florida and Columbus. He doesn’t seem like a dumb jock, and having done call in shows in every city he worked in he is polished enough to sound professional. Great hire Nelson.
I have to laugh, I am watching prime time sports on replay on sportsnet as I write this and MacLean is being interviewed about his new gig and issues in hockey in general by McCowan and Ed McMahon (I mean Jim Kelly). Maclean was saying how a friend of his just got his invoice for his season tickets in Columbus and it was $16,000 and MacLean was saying how $16,000 for hockey tickets is a tall order given the state of the US economy right now, and Kelly starts to laugh and said that $16,000 would pay for medical school! Ummmmm, Jim, what planet are you on? $16,000 wouldn’t cover the labs fees for medical school…..He then said how great Sundin would look in Vancouver centering the 2 Sundins!
For those of you out there who don’t believe we leaf fans are suffering given our current hockey blogger, take a gander at this example from THE beat writer for the Florida Panthers. How great would it be to have someone who wrote like this covering the Buds on The FAN? Can we throw Howie into the deal with McCabe and get George back too?