Moore-Bertuzzi, The Side of the Story No One is Talking About

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bertuzzimoore

It appears that the saga that is Steve Moore vs. Todd Bertuzzi is coming to end. An out-of-court settlement has apparently been reached that will see Moore get millions of dollars for the injuries suffered at the hands of Bertuzzi. But what this really tells me is that if you are a perpetrator, provoke someone into retaliating, and play the victim card long enough, you can get very rich. Don’t ignore this, it is happening right now in our society.

Let’s get to the root cause. Moore, while playing for the Colorado Avalanche, took out Vancouver Canucks forward Markus Naslund with an elbow to the head during a game between the two teams. No penalty was given and no suspension was handed down. It was considered a clean hit. Really? A clean hit to me does not involve a direct path, taking a good 3 or 4 strides into the player. Had Moore own up to his hit on Naslund and the NHL subsequently suspended him, we would not be where we are today. Who knows how long Moore’s playing career would have lasted but he would have left the game on his own terms.

Moore, by the definition laid out by the politically-correct media, is a goon. He is a guy that should have been kicked out of hockey. He should have not be able to lace up his skates again. But he was allowed to continue to play. Later that season, Moore had his ass handed to him first, ironically, by Matt Cooke and later by Bertuzzi. Moore dropped the gloves and took his lumps from Cooke and delivered a few of his own. That should have been the end of it. No one could recall if Moore went after another Canucks player in that game but no one on the Canucks bench seemed satisfied with that result. Thus, Bertuzzi’s involvement in this and the incident that led to where we are now.

Then there’s the sucker punch that apparently ended Moore’s career. I don’t like to be a conspiracy theorist but doesn’t it appear that Bertuzzi’s punch was soft and that Moore embellished his fall to the ice? Moore easily went down like a ton of bricks and he is definitely not an easy guy to knock down. I would hazard to guess that Moore’s career-ending injury was due to getting crushed by the weight of Bertuzzi and the players piling on top of him, not from that sucker punch as many are led to believe.

People don’t realize that they are being played as fools especially Moore’s lawyer Tim Danson. Danson is too smart to get suckered into this but he did his job. He put Moore in the position where he is and there is not a heart in Canada that is not bleeding right now. I bet Paul Bernardo and Steve Williams are finding this amusing. No one should be shedding a tear for Moore. But as long as he continues to play the victim card, no one will even dare call him a goon.

Outsiders Strike Again

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Home Plate Collision

The fiasco that is the rule prohibiting catchers blocking home plate before they have possession of the baseball has caused heads to spin from people who play and follow baseball. It is the latest call by those who have no interest in sports but feel they have every right to control it.

When the rule was first put in place, the idea was to eliminate collisions at home plate where the base runner delivers a body check on the catcher in order to prevent him from being tagged out. Home plate collisions are considerably down from last season but the way the rule is being enforced is a farce. In many cases, the catcher is in the right position to receive a throw and make the tag. But it appears the catcher has no right to stand on or near the plate unless he has the ball. If that is the case, there should be no attempt to block any other base on the diamond especially first base where a majority of pick offs are made there. The first baseman should not be on the base when there is a pick off attempt. Call it like it is.

The violent nature of sport has been in the crosshairs of “doctors”, safety groups, and media types over the last number of years. They don’t seem to like the fact that physical contact is the reason people watch sports. A lot do result in injuries but that is the risk of playing sports. That’s not a cliché, that’s the truth. ESPN’s Jason Whitlock, for one, likes the home plate rule. I hear him continually beating the drum that players and managers should stop “whining” and follow the rules but offers no explanation for justifying its existence. This from a so-called sports journalist.

Baseball is not the only sport getting overwhelmed about safety concerns. The NFL is going through its own head contact and concussion problems. Their rules are also as clear as mud. And then there’s hockey. Where do I begin there?

Even if the rules were made by those who played the game, I don’t think the end result is what they had in mind. But I suppose they have to toe the line and be quiet or they will be ridiculed, or worse, out of a job. Regardless, these rules about safety will do more to kill the game rather than saving it. Go thank a “doctor” for that.

Do You Need International Success to be a Great Canadian Athlete?

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The Tragically Hip

I have been a big fan of the Tragically Hip. The band from Kingston, Ontario write and perform great music with a unique Canadian flavour. It has been said that if you want to make it as a musician (or actor, comedian, etc.) then you have to gain attention outside Canada. The Hip have shown that they can be successful even though their music has not struck a chord with people outside Canada. It kind of makes you wonder whether Canadian athletes have to win Olympic Gold, major international titles, or world championships in order to be seen as successful. You will notice that I am focusing on sports not dominated by Canadians. I have omitted anything in this piece related to hockey.

Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic are just a couple of names that come to mind. Their level of play has gotten the attention of the tennis world. Both came close to a Wimbledon title this year with Bouchard losing in the women’s final. Their future looks bright but if they don’t play another match would their playing career be seen as a disappointment? I remember Scott Goodyear coming so close to beating Al Unser Jr. in the 1992 Indianapolis 500. As it turned out that was as close as Goodyear got to winning a race at the Brickyard. But people still see him as being one the great race car drivers from Canada.

Also, take this into consideration. Steve Nash was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in consecutive seasons (2004-2005, 2005-2006). Justin Morneau was the 2006 American League MVP. Larry Walker won the National League MVP in 1997. Ferguson Jenkins was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 1971 and was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1991. Race car driver Jacques Villeneuve won the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 en route to capturing the CART title that year. Golfer Mike Weir won the Masters in 2003, his first and only Major golf championship. They all achieved greatness but Nash, Morneau, Walker, and Jenkins were never part of a world championship team. Some would find that disappointing. Villeneuve and Weir had long playing careers after their crowning achievements but were never able to match that same success.

We have a lot to be proud of when we see Canadian athletes playing sports on the world stage. Considering there are millions competing in the field from around the world, the fact that they got there should be an accomplishment in itself.

Everyone’s a Critic

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Critics

From baseball fans to sports writers, everyone seems to have an opinion about the lack of movement by the Toronto Blue Jays at the non-waiver trade deadline. The team was in need to fill a hole in the rotation but the Blue Jays were not in a position to make the right move. Contrary to public opinion, I, for one, don’t believe in making a trade just for the sake of it.

It kind of reminds me of an old saying: everybody is a critic. I guess I include myself in this group. But there are far too many people ranting without a cause. Most of them are in the professional ranks. Their skin is either as thin as the paper they write for, or they have anger issues, or both. They also don’t believe they have to back up what they say. It takes some knowledge of the game (or the subject) to make an argument. In Canada, especially in Toronto, people think their knowledge of hockey is superior simply because they have the name of the country on their passport.

Toronto Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun is one of the good ones because he knows the game of baseball and articulates it well. He has been on Alex Anthopoulos’ case since the day he took over as Blue Jays’ General Manager. But Zaun understands reality too. While he was disappointed at the failure of the Blue Jays to add a starting pitcher, he knows it takes two to tango and either the asking price was too steep or teams had no interest in talking to the Blue Jays in the first place.

Criticism is a knife that cuts both ways. ESPN’s Jason Whitlock and Stephen A. Smith found that out the hard way when they recently made some controversial comments, Whitlock and his take on Canadian basketball players and Smith on the suspension of Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Rice. Whitlock may have expected some brushback after saying players from Canada are not motivated to win in the NBA. But he must have thought it would not be as harsh especially from “polite” Canadians or else he would not have written it. He went on Toronto radio station the Fan 590 to clarify his remarks but fell short of a full retraction. Smith had that same feeling. He must have believed his peers, especially in the African American community, would have his back in his analysis of the domestic assault accusation against Rice. Instead, he received a lot of backlash. Smith would later apologize but ESPN decided to suspend him for a week. I would guess he will use the time to count the number of stab wounds on his back.

Then there’s Rush Limbaugh. The conservative radio talk show host is never shy when it comes to rattling people’s cages. His remarks on Donovan McNabb while McNabb was quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles drew plenty of outrage. But since then, more and more people, including blacks, have come to the realization that McNabb was indeed overrated as Limbaugh pointed out but no one seemed to come up with enough guts to give credit where credit is due.

With the internet and social media, opinions are no longer confined to the Letters to the Editor page of the local newspaper. But take their arguments with a grain of salt. It takes more than stoking the fire to sway public opinion. In the end, the truth will come out on top.