Darren Dreger’s Dive Bar on TSN

Darren Dreger sits back, trying not to look too jowly, in his faux European cafe. Darren Dreger wants to be someone important by casting aspersions, or stirring the shit, as he might say. He wonders aloud if there is a rift between Coach Mike Babcock and Auston Matthews. Babcock replies with civility because that is the business. But the truth is that Dreger’s methods – TSN’s desire for ratings – are nothing more than muck-racking. This tendency in sports journalism is nothing new – noted for its low bar – but why can’t it be hosted in a place where we will all get the point, loud and clear?

Blackhawks Fans: This Is What Racism Looks Like

Chicago Blackhawks fans chanted “Basketball, basketball!” at Washington Capitals player, Smith-Pelly. He rose to challenge them, and they didn’t let up.This type of ugliness remains rampant across the country, especially at sports events and bars and especially by white men. The question remains: what are we actually going to do about it?

Win, Lose or Indifferent

When I cheer, I cheer. And when I don’t, I don’t. And when I’m looking at something else – or asleep – leave me alone so I can do that.

Mindful Gong for Leaf Goals

Instead of the damned blaring horn, spotlights and screaming, the Toronto Maple Leafs should focus on the import of the moment. A single note on a gong followed by the crowd rising in silence, a bow between teams and audience, after which they would resume play. That’s what makes a champion.

Leafs Fandom: Losing the Moment

It was to be magic, the stuff of dreams: a pair of seats ten rows behind the Capitals’ net for Game Seven, perfect for that overtime goal by Matthews, Marner or Nylander. And then not…and I was sent this damnable message: “Thanks for being a fan”? Fuck you. They’re my seats! Mine. I owned them on this night, just like the Leafs owned…ugh.

Waking Thoughts: I & Leafs

Where am I? Am I all right? What’s wrong? What have I done now? The Leafs? How are they doing again?

Bobby Nystrom Figurine Smashed in Malice

I’ve never liked Bobby Nystrom. Brash and conceited, he’s the New York Islander I remembered for almost taking out Borje Salming’s eye in 1978. And so it was with a mix of revulsion and childish glee that I received his figurine at Barclay’s Center on Bobby Nystrom Night. I knew I would destroy it as soon as I had it. But what started out as a joke – it was Lorne Henning and not Nystrom who was responsible for Salming’s injury – turned into a glimpse of a personal abyss, in the creation of seedy ISIS-ish video.In my mind, it was fine and funny, something I had to do, but as an act it wasn’t. It was awful really, just wrecking something for a reason that didn’t exist. Not that I’m sad it’s gone.

The Real Problem with Phil Kessel

Phil Kessel started the summer by bringing the Stanley Cup to Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto. kessel-jpg-size-custom-crop-1086x724He ended it with a biting tweet on being left off the USA team, which lost all of their games at the World Cup of Hockey. cs5f9ucvuaaf4u4-jpg-smallCoach Tortorella – and some players – took offense. They said that Kessel shouldn’t express an opinion, no matter how relevant, because it had an edge. Screenshot (964)They have a problem with Kessel simply because he’s his own person, because he says what he thinks. Which says a lot more about them.

Soshkinov’s Goal: A Beautiful Thing

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded away the majority of veteran players over the past season  to begin anew.

On Monday, February 29, four young players had their NHL debuts: Connor Carrick (21), Kasperi Kapanen (19), William Nylander (19), Nikita Soshkinov (22). Soshkinov was the first of the rookies to score, two days later, on March 2 against the Washington Capitals. Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.46.02 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.45.20 AM

It was a beautiful thing.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.45.01 AMAnd so it begins anew.

The Best Thing About Encarnancion’s Home Run

The best thing about Toronto Blue Jay Edwin Encarnancion’s home run against the Miami Marlins on June 9th wasn’t the swing. Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 9.03.52 AMIt wasn’t the look. Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 9.01.21 AMIt wasn’t the trot. Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 9.00.17 AMIt wasn’t the celebration at home plate of the walk-off winScreen Shot 2015-06-10 at 9.17.33 AMIt wasn’t even the high five with BJ Birdie. Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.58.54 AMIt was the moment when this Sportsnet reporter got shrugged off.Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.58.31 AMOh, the desperation! The indignation!Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 8.57.41 AM 1“Edwin?! Edwin, please!!”Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.56.00 PM