1) Last week’s humungous U.S. Powerball jackpot of over $1.5 billion got me musing about the seven Canadian lottery winners who became clients of mine back in the 70s and 80s. Of course none of their winnings approached Powerball; the largest was a bit under ten million. During my career I had many very wealthy clients, but I enjoyed dealing with the lottery winners more than any others. They were all down-to-earth, intelligent people who handled their new-found wealth with common sense. I suppose the fact that they sought professional financial advice immediately after winning was an indication that they weren’t going to do anything foolish. How did they come to consult me? Two routes: six were referrals from bankers and other accountants; and one had bought my book Get Smart, Make Your Money Count which has a chapter in it on what to do if you win a lottery.
2) The foregoing musing reminds that any success achieved without hard work is better characterized as luck, and the best definition of luck I’ve ever heard is that luck is opportunity meeting preparation; even to win a lottery you have to buy a ticket.
3) Another great artist, Glenn Frey, a founding member of the Eagles, has died. Although the Eagles are my all-time favourite band, and even though I knew their manager, Irving Azoff, fairly well when I was heavily involved in the entertainment business, I never had the pleasure of meeting any of them. I would have loved to have had the chance to chat with Joe Walsh, a truly unique character, a great guitar player and, in my opinion, a vastly underrated member of the band.
4) Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, who, to the best of my knowledge, was the first to refer to taxes as “revenue tools,” has struck another blow to the English language. Responding to a question about her broken promise to NDP leader Andrea Horwath that the Wynne government would reduce Ontario automobile insurance rates fifteen percent by August, 2015, (a promise she didn’t even come close to keeping), Wynne said it wasn’t a promise, it was a “stretch goal.”
5) The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that statues of Dave Keon, Turk Broda and Tim Horton will join those of Johnny Bower, Darryl Sittler, Borje Salming, Mats Sundin, Ted Kennedy, George Armstrong and Syl Apps outside the Leafs’ home rink, the Air Canada Centre in downtown Toronto. All of these players are worthy honorees, but it’s high time the Leafs correct their glaring and mystifying omission of the late Charlie Conacher. I believe Conacher should have been the first Leaf honoured. A strong argument can be made that he is the only Maple Leaf who, while wearing a Leaf uniform, was the best player in the NHL. That cannot be said about any of the others. Doubters should compare Conacher’s stats in the early 30s to other NHL players of that era.
6) I played against Keon in Junior B here in Toronto when he was with St. Michael’s Buzzers and I was with Lakeshore Bruins. The only future NHL player I played with in Junior B was defenseman Barry Ashbee, but I also played against Gerry Cheevers, Dennis DeJordy, and one exhibition game against Frank Mahovlich.
7) Carolina’s 1-0 OT win over the Leafs on Thursday night was by far the worst NHL game I’ve ever seen; and I’ve seen thousands. Both teams clogged up the neutral zone, and the vast majority of shots were from bad angles on the outside, which meant that all that goalies Lack and Reimer had to do was stay square to the puck and get hit. I’ve seen more exciting haircuts.
8) It’s interesting that so many Toronto Blue Jays fans are more upset over losing occasional fill-in Munenori Kawasaki to the Cubs than they were over the loss of ace pitcher David Price to the Red Sox.
9) Sticking with baseball, I’m delighted to hear that Commissioner Rob Manfred thinks that the National League will adopt the designated hitter by 2017. There are few things as painful as watching pitchers trying to bat. It will also mean that NL pitchers will be able to stay in games longer rather than getting lifted for a pinch hitter. It will also make both pitching and batting stats comparable in both leagues.