Volume 95, Issue 12

Thursday, September 20, 2001
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Lesser knowns make gains

Wannabe football players rejoice

The sports bitch list

The sports bitch list

Joel Brown
News Editor

With the North American sports world at a standstill since last week, actual sports coverage has been hard to come by.

But that doesn't mean the bitching has to stop.

TSN drops the maple leaf

This month Canadian sports fans lost a huge piece of their identity.

Tuning-in to the 11 p.m. sports news on channel 30 has all of a sudden become one of the most painful experiences of my life.

TSN used to be my Mecca of quality Canuck sports coverage. Not only was it well produced with outstanding programming, it was a shining example that Canadian sports journalists could do something right. But it is now vividly apparent that even though American sports giant ESPN holds a minority share in TSN, ESPN has been given the right to exercise control.

Last week I had a case of vertigo after watching the opening sequence to TSN's Sportscentre. Why the hell did it have to get changed from Sportsdesk? The whole look of the channel with the new logo and copycat ESPN theme music smacks of American sports journalism.

How is it a channel watched and adored by so many Canadians becomes completely unrecognizable and unidentifiable overnight?

The faces may of the commentators may be the same, but the Canadian sports scene has changed.

What were NFL referees thinking?

Explain this to me: how many men would die for the chance not only to have a job where you only have to work one day a week but have the best seats in the house to watch football?

But, it seems NFL referees were willing to sacrifice all of this in an attempt to get their way and get paid on par with officials in the other three major sports.

In the end, it looks like they won't get what they want anyway, so you've got to ask the question – was the strike worth it?

If you ask baseball umpires, they'll tell you from experience that a strike is rarely worth the hassle. They put themselves out of a job in much the same fashion. They went on strike, they lost their jobs. Referees should understand that next to street bums, sports officials are the lowest on society's occupational food chain.

They simply had no leverage, no one cared if they were at home and the game still went on.

They will survive.

Doctors must be amazed and captivated by the unique case that calls itself the CFL. No other league in professional sports has ever shot itself in the foot so many times and survived. It's truly a miracle.

In the latest twist on the league's scheduling fiasco, it seems the Calgary Stampeders want their money back for their cancelled weekend game in the wake of last week's unfortunate tradgedy.

Stop, please. Why do so many idiots exist in one organization?

Like most Canadians, this league seems doomed to forever impede its success purely by way of self-inflicted wounds.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001