Items that may grow up to be columns, Vol. XVII, Chapter 15:
PHAROAH RUNS SECOND: Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year award has resulted in (gasp) controversy. It’s a photo-finish to see who was more offended: the horseracing community, which has been counting on American Pharoah’s triple crown to revive a struggling industry, or those who think the cover photo of winner Serena Williams is exploitative, because the tennis star is displayed provocatively on a golden throne in full warpaint with several miles of leg showing.
First of all, Pharoah was a wonderful story, but even the great Secretariat lost to Formula One racer Jackie Stewart in 1973. No non-human has ever won the award, and no individual woman has been the solo winner since distance runner Mary Decker in 1983. So you might say it’s about time.
POINT, COUNTERPOINT: Pharoah did what Williams did not: win his sport’s Grand Slam, as it were. Williams won the first three legs of hers, and another strong candidate, golfer Jordan Spieth, came within a few strokes of winning all four of his.
Let’s just leave it at this: it was a hell of a year for sports performances. Novak Djokovic also won three of four Grand Slams and reached all four finals. Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry wasn’t too shabby, either.
There was no wrong choice, although they would have had to change the name to Sports … um, Performer of the Year for Pharoah.
And the cover photo? That was Williams’ own idea, says the magazine, though SI’s editors probably didn’t put up much of a fight.
KANE IS ABLE: You don’t have to be a huge fan of Patrick Kane the person to be blown away by the explosive Chicago Blackhawk winger’s 26-game point-scoring streak. Considering the volume of criticism heaped upon him when he started the season under the cloud of a sexual assault allegation, which prosecutors ultimately decided didn’t merit taking to court, Kane’s frame of mind as he has roared out of the gate like a man on a mission may be summed up best by the words of that old sportswriter, Friedrich Nietzsche: “It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge.”
GATHER NO MAAS: Should the Ottawa Redblacks get compensation for losing offensive co-ordinator Jason Maas to the Edmonton Eskimos, where he replaces Chris Jones as head coach of the Grey Cup champs? Absolutely. Should the Eskimos have demanded compensation from Saskatchewan for losing Jones to the Roughriders? Absolutely.
Both Maas and Jones were under contract and were valuable, maybe even indispensable (we’ll find out), pieces of what their teams accomplished in 2015. Nobody is against career advancement, but if you sign a contract, you honour it. If another team wants you, it should expect to pay for the privilege.
DANARI FANNO DANARI: Money makes money, and the Ryder Cup makes more of it than just about any other property in golf. So it’s a big deal for the 2022 event to be heading to Rome, only the second time it will have been held In continental Europe (Valderrama, Spain, 1997). It’s just another tree-shaking move by former TSN boss Keith Pelley, now the commissioner of the European Tour.
DONALD TRUMPED: When the media gets over its hot flashes, and America has not elected Donald Trump its president (because the great majority of Americans aren’t that dumb), you can probably expect Trump’s name to go back on some of the golf courses he owns, and the PGA Tour to stop distancing itself from him.
Golf and golfers are, by and large, so far right on the political spectrum, many probably had to be educated on the inappropriateness of some of The Donald’s lunatic ravings.
Let’s face it: it’s only 10 months ago that the 260-year-old Royal & Ancient finally admitted its first female members. Trump’s money will always have a place in a game that rarely looks a right-hitting, right-throwing gift horse in the mouth.
EX-FOLIATED?: The very idea of the Toronto Maple Leafs possibly changing their uniform logo for their 100th anniversary season next year has given traditionalists a case of the vapours.
How dare they? What’s next: the winged wheel in Detroit, the CH in Montreal, the spoked B in Boston, the chief’s head in Chicago? (Actually, that’s probably going to happen, eventually. See: Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, North Dakota Fighting Sioux).
As Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers would say: “R-E-L-A-X, Leafs fans.” How many ever-so-slight uniform redesigns happen every year in the NHL?
Here’s how it will go: they release a variety of garish commemorative jerseys, wear them here and there during the centennial season, sell a boatload of merchandise to the trendy suckers, and go right back to the tried-and-true logo in 2017.
They call it Sports Marketing 101.
Source: nationalpost golf news