If you’re a regular reader of this blather, you’ll know that I am most decidedly not a “fan” of the Toronto Raptors (and for the record, neither are the millions of Canadians who suddenly became Raptors “fans”; they are bandwagon jumpers who don’t know a jump shot from a slam dunk). The worst happened on Thursday when the Toronto basketball team (NOT Canada’s team) won the NBA championship, an event previously given about as much coverage in Canada as Australian rules football.
The faux fans, and the rah-rah Canada attitude of the media made me sick. But how could I avoid it? Turns out it was easier than I thought. On the advice of my sons (who, amazingly, hold the same opinion of Toronto sports teams that I do), I imposed a media blackout. On game night, I watched something else – ANYTHING else. I didn’t watch the late news. I didn’t read the next day’s newspapers, which long ago stopped being local papers and are now controlled in Ontario. I didn’t read The Globe and Mail online, knowing that their giddy small-town reporting would make me puke. I didn’t watch any TV news the next day. And when CTV shows the Raptors victory parade on NATIONAL TELEVISION on Monday, I won’t watch that either.
And you know what? It worked! Turns out, if you just ignore something, just pretend it’s not happening, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen at all. I know for the next few months I’ll have to avoid going to a Chapters or Indigo store as the inevitable quickie books about the ‘Raps’ will be churned out by Toronto hacks, but I can handle that; Chapters/Indigo stores are predominantly gift stores aimed at women now, anyway. But I know now that if the Leafs ever win the Stanley Cup, or the Blue Jays win the World Series, I can now just pretend it never happened.
Still with the sports world, the Women’s World Cup is underway in France, and as always the Americans are the heavy favourites to win. They are not, however, favourites of anyone who appreciates sportsmanship (or should it be sportspersonship?).
On Tuesday, the Americans crushed poor Thailand 13-0 in the most lopsided game in women’s World Cup history. Obviously, FIFA – the governing body of soccer – has expanded the number of teams in the tournament, adding teams that are clearly not ready for prime time. The result is something like the 13-0 score. But the real disgrace is the reaction of the American golden girls, lionized by the American media as the darlings of the sports world. They celebrated wildly with each additional goal. Even the coach was seen jumping in the air and fist pumping as the goals poured in. This is appalling. When you’re up against an inferior opponent, you can at least give them a shred of dignity. Thailand was never going to win, but they did not deserve to be humiliated by the Americans. The U.S. made some bogus claims about goal differential maybe making the difference in the standings, but the Americans are in a cushy division that won’t give them a challenge. The TSN panel, all Canadian female soccer players, called them out for their “disgraceful” behavior, prompting some idiot American media types to call them “whiners”.
For once, I’m with TSN. Their over-the-top celebrations set a terrible example for young players. The image of the ugly American is alive and well.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will ban single use plastic (straws, forks, plates, etc.) by 2022. This is one of those feel-good plans that governments like to announce just before elections, with precious few details attached. What good will come from a puny nation like Canada banning plastic straws? Nothing, but I guess it’s a nice thought.
Speaking of thoughts, Trudeau seemed to be at a loss for thoughts when he was asked by a reporter about how his family is reducing plastic use. Here’s a transcript: ““We, uh, have, uh, recently switched to drinking, uh, water bottles out of…water out of, uh, when we have water bottles, uh, out of, uh, plastic, uh, sorry, away from plastic towards, uh, paper, um, like drink box water bottles sort of things.”
Well, uh, I’m, uh, sold.
Pat Bowlen, 75, owner of the Denver Broncos who made the bulk of his fortune in Edmonton and Calgary … Franco Zeffirelli, 96, extravagant Italian film director.