Friday, March 5, 2010

Kerrzy's Notebook: Random Friday Thoughts

Special Delivery

Thanks to the efforts of Sidney Crosby and the rest of Canada's gold medal winning hockey team, it looks like Prime Minister Stephen Harper won't have to go on a beer run this weekend if he decides to let loose.

That's because US President Barack Obama owes him a case of Molson Canadian, according to the Vancouver Sun, who say it's part of a friendly wager between the two leaders. He wasn't the only one of his staff to lose a bet though - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs lost a pair of bets with Harper's spokesman, Dimitri Soudas, on the Canada/USA women's final and went double or nothing for the men's final.

In addition to the suds, Gibbs will now have to wear a Team Canada jersey during one of his daily on-camera briefings.

Had the Americans prevailed last Sunday, Harpo would have had to buy Obama a 2-4 of American beer - though if he was smart, Obama would have asked for the Canadian stuff too!

Missing Gear (again)

If you're planning to head to the Hockey Hall of Fame sometime soon to see the stick that Crosby used to score that overtime winner against the States - don't hold your breath!

For the second time in his international hockey career, Sid the Kid has had some post-championship gear stolen.

You might remember back in 2005 when someone swiped his Team Canada jersey on the way home from a win at the World Junior Hockey Championships in North Dakota (it was later found in a mailbox outside a Quebec post office). Well, Crosby is now missing the gloves and stick he used to score Sunday's deciding goal, which he jubilantly threw up in the air moments after beating Ryan Miller with a low shot.

If you watch the replay closely, he takes his mouth guard out with one of his gloved hands and then throws his arms in the air, shedding the mitts in the process. When the HHOF came calling, Hockey Canada had to tell them they didn't know where Crosby's gear was!

I heard him say in an interview earlier this week that he actually got the mouth guard back somehow, which is actually a little bit strange.

As for the Hall of Fame, Hockey Canada says they ended up just giving them some equipment from other players.

Dmitry Madvedev!

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev took his frustration out on his country's top Olympic officials earlier this week as the 2010 Winter Games came to a close with Russia earning just three gold medals and 15 overall - their worst showing since (if you'd believe it) 1912!

That, along with his country's hockey team falling flat on its face against Team Canada, didn't sit too well with the President. He called for the resignation of Russia's "sports bureaucrats," saying the country's sports pyramid should be turned upside down, according to CNN.

Before the games started, Russia was predicting a top three finish with at least 30 medals and they had one bronze after the first week - and we thought we were doing bad!

It only took a few days for the first guy to take Medvedev's advice - on Wednesday, the president of Russia's Olympic Committee, Leonid V. Tyagachev gave his two weeks. Apparently the money that's supposed to be going to the athletes doesn't always get there, says the NY Times.

That, my friends, is why playing in the KHL may not be the best call!

Performance Enhancing?

The blog With Leather posed an interesting question earlier this week when Steve Holcomb won the USA its first medal in the four-man bobsleigh since 1948 - what constitutes performance enhancing?

Holcomb didn't (as far as we know) take steroids or HGH or any other banned substance and his bobsleigh didn't have a motor in it or anything like that, but he did undergo a procedure which definitely enhanced his performance - he had laser eye surgery back in 2000.

A Sports Illustrated feature on Holcomb says he suffers from a degenerative eye disorder that causes streaking and blurring, and the eye surgery only helped his cause for a little while. By 2007, his vision was bad again and so he opted for a "radical procedure" which isn't yet approved by the FDA.

If Holcomb couldn't see, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be very successful on the ol' bobsleigh.

Does that, or should that count as performance enhancing? There's definitely a valid argument there if you think about it - but what do you think?

Co-Ed Practice

Here’s an interesting bit of news I stumbled upon this week – the WNBA’s (Women’s National Basketball Association’s) Phoenix Mercury are holding tryouts for an all-male practice squad later this month.

Coach Corey Gaines says the team is looking to fill a 15-man squad, who will scrimmage and train with the team.

"I encourage any man who thinks he is on the same level or even thinks he can outplay the women from the Mercury to put his skills to the test and tryout for the practice team," he told AZCentral.com.

If you make the team, you’ll get a new pair of basketball shoes and tickets to a Suns and a Mercury game. If you don’t end up making the team, you still get a boxed lunch and a complimentary t-shirt.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal either way!

One more thing…

I found this pretty funny feature on ESPN yesterday featuring the worst banners found in the rafters of North American stadiums and arenas.

Usually, that part of the roof is reserved for retired jersey and/or championship banners, but as you’ll see, that’s not always the case.

An example? The Washington Mystics proudly displace their 2002 and 2003 WNBA Attendance Champions flag. The Oilers even feature in this one!

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