Sports Video Reviews

Like many sports fans I don’t enjoy the delays while “war rooms” review plays. I don’t watch basketball, and as there’s probably less than ten minutes of actual action in football games I usually read a book while watching them, so it’s basically hockey and baseball that concern me. And both sports could very easily fix their major delay problems.

If the NHL would get over its inexplicable obsession that offsides be determined by the position of a player’s skate while in contact with the ice, rather than whether the player breaks the plane of the blue line, these delays would be reduced to an acceptable level. And most goaltender interference delays could be avoided by adopting the rule that when an attacking player enters the crease play is immediately blown dead and the puck faced off outside the blue line. This would initially result in a lot more face-offs, but hockey players are very adept adapters.

If major league baseball eliminated the opportunity for a team to look at replays before deciding whether to review a play, and instead gave the teams ten seconds after a play ends to decide, all would be well.

Tom Wilson’s Suspension

Like many hockey fans I was surprised when Washington Capital’s winger Tom Wilson was suspended twenty games for his ugly hit on St. Louis’ Oskar Sundqvist last weekend. But unlike most others, it’s not how lengthy it is that surprised me, it’s how short it is. He should have been suspended for at least fifty games, and perhaps for the entire season.

This is Wilson’s fourth suspension for dirty hits in a span of only 105 games. Put another way, he commits a suspendible offence every twenty-six games. And, three of them were in exhibition games! Wilson is what the late Canadian musician and singer John Allan Cameron used to call a “contumacious recidivist.”

Another example of the inadequacy of Wilson’s suspension is that five years ago the Leafs’ David Clarkson was suspended ten games for simply leaving the bench during a fight, also in an exhibition game. As I recall, he didn’t even clash with anybody; he just left the bench. Clarkson’s transgression calls for an automatic minimum ten-game suspension. Well, how about an automatic graduated minimum suspension for head hits? Say, ten for a second offence, fifty for a third, life for a fourth.

When I mentioned to a colleague a couple of days ago that Wilson is clearly the dirtiest player in the game today (and challenging Chris Pronger for the title of dirtiest player ever), he asked if I thought Wilson has surpassed Brad Marchand. My answer was, “Yes, for dangerously dirty play; but Marchand is still today’s most despicable player.”

Then There’s Trudeau and Goodale

While on the subject of punishment inappropriateness, this week also saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale take a disingenuous stand regarding the decisions of  Corrections Canada to remove two outrageous killers from behind bars, one to what’s been described as a near-luxury “indigenous healing lodge,” and another to a psychiatric hospital that provides many amenities

Child torturer, sex offender, and vicious killer, Terri-Lynne McClintock, is ensconced in the indigenous lodge, even though it seems that all her “indigenous” blood would be lost through a paper cut; and, furthermore, she has served only about a third of the twenty-five years before she even becomes eligible for parole. The other is serial-killer nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer, who murdered eight healthy seniors, and who has served even less time behind bars than McClintock.

The disingenuousness is that both Goodale, the minister in charge of Corrections Canada, and Trudeau, Goodale’s boss, both said that they can’t do anything about it. If that’s really the case then some laws need to be changed. How can unelected bureaucrats be ultimately in charge of pubic safety? And even if it is the case, Goodale clearly has the power to fire his wrong-headed employees who made these decisions; and Trudeau has the power to order him to do so. 


Since posting my article “The Genesis Of Thought For The Day” two weeks ago, I’ve had inquiries about whether I’ve written an autobiography. Well, sort of. Four years ago I published a career autobiography titled “Memoirs of a Grade Ten Drop-out,” which is still available on Amazon.