If you were to ask what my favourite sport is, the answer might surprise you. Years ago, it was hockey. Then baseball. But now I love basketball the most, and it's because of the Toronto Raptors. Their success, combined with the recent failures of the Maple Leafs and Bluejays, has put basketball atop my list, and that has many of my friends upset and concerned.
I hadn't thought of Alison Gordon in 20 years. We used to spend a lot of time together, covering the Toronto Bluejays of the late 70s and early 80s. Then I read the news. She had passed away at the age of 72. Alison was like that person you sat next to in school all those years, or the teammate you dressed next to in the locker room or the work colleague you worked closely with and got to know pretty well. Your lives eventually go in different directions, and your memory gets jogged only when you run into them again, or when you find out they had passed away.
Saturday afternoon, in front of about 60 people, a game featuring 10 year old House League basketball players turned ugly. After a hard foul at game's end, parents came onto the court, and threats of bodily harm were made. Two kids were crying while a dozen adults were milling about, pointing fingers and shouting at one another. The refs didn't know what do do. It was sad to see, and I was embarrassed for the kids. Since when did so many adults involved in sport become such angry assholes?
Personally, I like Brendan Shanahan. I mean, how could you not like a Hall of Famer, 3 time Stanley Cup winner, Olympic gold medalist and the only man in NHL history to score more than 600 goals and spend over 2000 minutes in the penalty box? But to like his work as the President of the Toronto Maple Leafs after 10 turbulent months? I don't like it. Not one bit.