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Hockey Concussions: NHL Players Are Suckers for Themselves

By Steve Thompson On March - 27 - 2011
The recent spate of concussions in the NHL has prompted a question that has been occasionally raised from time to time: What would happen if a hit were so hard that somebody dies? What do Nodar Kumaritashvili, Steve Moore and all the recent serious NHL injured people have in common? All are human. All are victims. What are they victims of? Two things. Physical contact. And man's hubristic challenge to the world—that he can take anything that can be dished out and keep on going as if nothing as happened. And still worse: No one will take any responsibility. That stance ...

Do Love And Marriage Affect Free Agency in Pro Sports?

By Steve Thompson On June - 27 - 2010
Lately, sexual moralists have had their way in the sports world.  Tiger Woods has been thoroughly chastened, and swingers like Ben Roethlisberger (above) are getting, or will soon get, their comeuppance in the courts. "Amen," say upholders of marriage and family. "This is how things should be. Happily ever after." But is happily ever after really compatible in the sports world?  On paper, at least, a happily married player should concentrate on his job better. The ideal picture is one where the player looks after his job and his wife looks after the home. But in most cases, the two become intertwined. There has never been, and may never be, a study of professional ...

From Ben To Nodar: Canada’s Descent Into Shame

By Steve Thompson On June - 7 - 2010
I recently wrote a slideshow article listing 10 bad moments that changed sports forever. The slide that got the most comments was that of the death of Olympic Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Obviously recent history, which contemporaries experience, creates the most impact. One of the other slides was about Ben Johnson and the start of the “steroid era” in sports. It is interesting to compare the reaction of Canada in 1988 to an embarrassing sports incident and the reaction the now, 22 years later, and note what has happened in the interval. ...

New BC Stadium Casts Doubt on All Professional Sports

By Steve Thompson On January - 7 - 2010
In this era of billion-dollar sports facilities, a modern miracle has surfaced, comparable to the visit of the three spirits to Scrooge. The BC Lions, who require a temporary place to play while their home field gets renovated, are able to build to a stadium seating 27,500 that can be erected in 10 weeks and costs a tidbit $14 million. How good is this instant sports utopia? Good enough to be accepted by both the Lions and the CFL. Good enough to have a pleasing model and noteworthy article on display at the CFL's official website. That's more than the return of Ottawa to ...

Sports Movies For The Holiday Season

By Steve Thompson On November - 13 - 2009
Now that it is November, the Hollywood studios like to come out with their blockbusters for the holiday season. When it comes to sports movies, the plots are usually the same. Somebody who is unknown joins a down and out team and leads it to victory, usually overcoming some handicaps and personal crises on the way while winning the girl/guy depending on the gender. Or there are tragedies about athletes with incurable diseases like Brian Picolo, Lou Gehrig, etc. But how about some really different sports movies for a change. If Hollywood would use its imagination, there are plenty of different plots ...

It’s Still the Greatest Bowling I’ve Ever Seen

By Steve Thompson On November - 2 - 2009
Over six months ago, I wrote an article listing my personal top ten sports events I'd like to see on DVD that have not been released yet.  All were hockey, baseball, and football games with the exception of the legendary April 4, 1970 final game of the Firestone Tournament of Champions Professional Bowling Tournament. So imagine my surprise and delight to find that ESPN Classic channel was showing that tournament again yesterday and this afternoon.  It was the first time I had seen it since I saw it live as a teenager, 39 years ago, and I found it just ...

Should Jim Balsillie Start Another League?

By Steve Thompson On June - 23 - 2009
Now that Jim Balsillie has antagonized Gary Bettman and enough NHL Governors to never get a franchise (unless there is absolutely no one else) there are three other courses of action for him.  First, he can switch to another sport (the CFL would probably welcome him with open arms if he started a tenth franchise) or walk away from sports all together. But if he wants a major professional hockey franchise, perhaps the best thing to do is to skip the NHL and start his own league like the WHA in the 1970's. For Canadian fans, this might not be the worst ...

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