Tag Archives: sports

I Don’t Know How Tall I Am

I don’t know how tall I am. I used to, or I thought I did. I’m fairly tall, often the tallest person in any room I enter, and people occasionally ask me how tall I am. I replied 6′ 2, though I have no idea why. I was never measured. I never took a tape measure out. At one point I was pronounced as six feet tall, and then I got a little bigger and then a little bigger and so I must be 6’2 right?

It’s hard to be sure, because there’s apparently a big difference between 6’1 and and 6’3.

This completely random number nonetheless seemed confirmed when I asked other people how tall they were. Someone would say 6’6 and they are definitely taller than me, so that makes sense. Another person is 5’10, and I’m taller than that person by about the same as the other guy is taller than me. Yup, I must be 6’2.

Then I realized, almost in a flash, people lie about their heights, and suddenly my whole world was turned upside down. Okay, not really, but I definitely don’t know how tall I am. Continue reading

Sports are Weird: Stamkos and the Off-Season

Yesterday was Canada Day, the day Canada celebrates its independence from Britain … which we got by asking politely. I know, Canadian history isn’t exactly rivetting. Nowadays we mostly celebrate by having a day off, watching some fireworks and, well, watching the NHL off-season officially kick into high gear.

Free agents can officially sign with any team after noon on July 1, and this is the last chance for a team to make a big splash until October next year. It’s usually a very busy day. Last year, my team the Leafs traded their best player for virtually nothing, and already this year even bigger trades have happened, as well as some huge, league-changing signings…

… and I don’t care. I’m completely bummed out, because I’m not getting Stamkos.

This will just be a dream.

Continue reading

Why is Soccer so Popular?

For the last month I’ve been inundated with soccer propaganda. With the NBA and NHL playoffs over, and MLB still relatively early, there isn’t much for the average North American sports nut to watch… except for soccer. Some tournament or something is happening right now, and all the shows and websites have highlights, sometimes even as the main story! Talk about a first for TSN.

When I make small talk with people, it’s turned to soccer lately. “Have you seen the latest match?” Or they discuss breathlessly the latest 1-0 game. Around my city, a moderate-sized Canadian city, I’ve seen various country flags and jerseys adorning cars and people like. People are really into this, to the point the television monitor at work, normally reserved for breaking news, has been airing the games.

It’s been thrilling…

Soccer is incredibly popular … and yet whenever I try to watch I game, I can only wonder “how?”

Continue reading

A Retrospect on the Great Tank, Leaf 2015-2016

(Alternate Title: Greatest Tank Battle’s Over, We Out-Tanked the Oilers!)

And with a whimper, the NHL campaign for the Toronto Maple Leafs ended Saturday night, losing 5-1 to the New Jersey Devils. The Leafs did not make the playoffs, and so their season is done. In fact, the exact opposite occurred: they finished dead last. In a year filled with terrible teams, where most of the playoff spots were already secured before the final month, the Leafs were the pinnacle of failure.

And for some reason, everyone’s pretty okay with this. In fact, most Leaf fans are happy.

This might be a little too happy.

Continue reading

Stupid Autoplay Videos

I think we can agree, by and large, that the Internet is a pretty awesome thing. It lets us communicate in ways previously unimaginable, and it has changed the world more in two decades than most inventions have in a century. There was a time where, if you didn’t know something, you had to call a friend or go to the library. Now we google it and get an answer in five seconds. That’s a massive change.

And images! Can you imagine living in a world before lolcat?

Of course, some of these changes are for the worse. The Internet has likely made us lazier, both physically and mentally. We are less likely to memorize information when a quick search finds anything we need. We are more likely to trust dubious authority, and a whole generation of people are currently growing up in a world where ‘trolling’ is seen as normal, even common behaviour. Strange.

Today, I don’t care about any of that. I want to condemn the Internet for one stupid thing, autoplay videos. Also known as the devil. Continue reading

Fantasy Hockey and the Butterfly Effect

When it comes to sports, we fans know that nothing we do really affects the outcome. Maybe, just maybe, if you attend a live event and cheer really loud with the thousands of other people, that might give the home team a boost. Maybe. Certainly wearing a lucky jersey or a certain tie or always sitting on your lucky couch at home when watching the game has no impact. That said, we fans often joke that it does, and sometimes we might even believe it.

Come on, Babsocks, don’t let me down!

It’s easy to fall into such rituals and superstitions, especially if your team keeps winning. The last time the Leafs regularly made the playoffs … so, over a decade ago, when I was still a teenager … I had a certain Leaf dinosaur. When I put it on the TV, the Leafs always won. Before every game, I made sure to put the dinosaur in the perfect spot. When we lost, invariable it was because someone had moved it, or it fell over, or something. It was never the dinosaur’s fault! Continue reading

Sports are Weird: The NHL Trade Deadline

Yesterday was a special day. For one, it was February 29th, something we won’t get to experience again for 1460 days. Apparently people actually celebrate this, doing various ‘Leap Day’ festivities. Not going to lie, that seems odd but I’m not going to judge. I celebrate far weirder things.

More relevant to the topic at hand, yesterday was also the NHL’s trade deadline, the last day to make any trades and get ready for the championship run. It’s the busiest day of the year, with over 20 transactions happening most years, sometimes much more than that. Every team gets in on the action, with the bottom-feeders selling assets for future draft picks and the contenders loading up for the final sprint to the finish. When the dust finally settles, the NHL’s landscape is often drastically transformed.

It even has its own little graphic thing.

Well, that’s what happens in theory. In practice, yesterday was a complete waste of time. With all due respect to Kris Russell et al, absolutely nothing happened yesterday … though you couldn’t tell by the media circus. Continue reading

Sports Are Weird: The Phaneuf Trade

Yesterday, February 9th 2016, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded their captain, Dion Phaneuf, for essentially nothing. If you are not a hockey fan, or a sports fan in general, that above sentence doesn’t mean anything to you. If you are a hockey fan, though, then that trade likely shattered your world.

I was tempted to put a picture of a pylon instead. That’s a joke.

The Leafs are similar to the Yankees in baseball: they spend and make a lot of money, they have a ravenous fanbase and most fans of other teams hate them. Unfortunately, though the Yankees have a long tradition of winning, the Leafs have an equally long tradition of losing. In the past decade they have made the playoffs once, a complete fluke, and they haven’t won a championship in 50 years. It’s tough being a Leaf fan. Continue reading

Pretending to Watch the Superbowl

Tonight is Superbowl Sunday, the biggest sporting even of the year, at least according to the media. Millions of people will watch, and millions will be spent on advertising, and millions will forget about it by next week. Super Sunday indeed.

Feel free to substitute in the current Superbowl if this one becomes outdated.

I will watch the game the same way I’ve watched it for the last few hours: it will be in the background as I do other things. If I hear the announcers get all excited, I might watch a replay. Maybe. Football isn’t the most exciting sport in the world, visually, and you can only watch so many catches or runs

before they all bleed together.

Nonetheless, I will watch it, just so I will know what everyone is talking about tomorrow. That’s really the only reason. Continue reading

On Not Watching Television

“Making a Murderer? Have you seen it yet?” For the past week this is all I’ve heard, both from online and off-line friends and acquaintances. It’s all anyone seems to talk about. I ran into three different people in the space of an hour all talking about this new show, all saying how wonderful it is and how addicted they are. At some point, when they realize I’m not saying anything, they ask if I have seen it yet.

The first time I saw this is when I went looking for pictures for this blog post.

Notice the keyword there: ‘yet’. It is simply assumed that if I am not currently watching it that I will. The thought that I might not watch it doesn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind. “You will really like it,” my one friend said, after he spent about five minutes gushing about how he binge-watched all the episodes in two days. “It’s right up your alley.”

He’s probably right, but there is one small problem: I don’t watch TV. Continue reading