Volume 94, Issue 86

Tuesday, March 6, 2001


Western whips Waterloo to end series

Hard luck on hard court - Western season comes to an end

Maybe the CFL isn't so bad after all

Sports Briefs

Maybe the CFL isn't so bad after all

By Ryan Dixon
Sports Editor

One trade deadline has passed and another is rapidly approaching. Spring training has begun and XFL ratings have dropped lower than my grades. This calls for some sports quickies.

–Not that I'm any sort of authority on the topic of basketball, but my sources tell me that with the acquisition of Chris Childs, the Raptors have added an element of grit that could carry them to at least moderate post season success.

–If I'm Colorado Avalanche general manager, Pierre Lacroix, it's time for me to start prioritizing. The newly acquired Rob Blake, NHL scoring leader Joe Sakic and the all time leader in goalie wins, Patrick Roy, are all poised to be free agents. Don't be surprised if the odd man out is Sakic. Nice guy and all, but Lacroix knows he has the fiery Peter Forsberg to lead this team up front.

–The XFL is such a bad product on the field, it's starting to make the CFL look good. Note to Vince McMahon: Only one thing can save this collection of cast-offs – rigged games!

–So the boys of summer are back on the field in Florida and Arizona preparing for the upcoming season. Major League Baseball might as well just cut to the chase and put the Yankees in the World Series against whatever National League team upsets the Braves. Seventy-five per cent of the teams in the league are already officially out of the pennant race.

–It wasn't supposed to be this way for Mark Messier and the New York Rangers. Following in the footsteps of his grand "we will win tonight" prediction in the 1994 Eastern Conference final against the Devils, Messier felt compelled this year to guarantee a return to the post-season for the Blueshirts. With goaltender Mike Richter out for the rest of the year, and the Rangers currently more than 10 points out of the last play-off spot, things are not looking positive. What a mess.

–Speaking of the Rangers, their spark plug Theo Fleury has checked himself into a drug rehab centre right in the middle of a comeback year. I'm not surprised to find out a star hockey player has a substance abuse problem, but what does surprise me is that this sort of thing still catches people off guard. Face it folks, athletes are people too, and the truth is the majority of them take advantage of the fast paced lifestyle their talent affords them.

–On the home front, Western has placed both the men's basketball and hockey teams in the Ontario University Athletics finals this weekend. You have to like both teams, chances of advancing to the national finals. The track and field team has already done that, thanks in large part to OUA coach of the year Vickie Croley and first-year phenomenon Jessica Zelinka, who was a no brainer for rookie of the year.

–The death of Dale Earnhardt rocked the racing world and now, just two weeks later, debris from Canadian Jacques Villeneuve's BAR Honda killed a track marshall in Australia. Auto racing can be a thrilling sport, but steps must be taken to ensure tragedies like these become far less frequent.

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