Small Balls: Thursday July 10, 2008


La première étoile: Dara Torres. The 41-year-old U.S. swimmer qualified to compete in her fifth Olympic Games this week by winning the 100-metre freestyle at the U.S. swimming trials in Omaha, Neb. And she ain’t going just to wave at the crowd. During her 24-year career she has won nine Olympic medals, including four golds.

Two minutes for … killing the King. The Green Bay Packers better start using another approach when it comes to dealing with Brett Favre. I know they’re sick of his constant speeches about retirement and the tears that follow, but they could use a little more class. With GM Ted Thompson telling Brett via a text message that he’ll talk to him after his vacation, you know something fishy is going on. It seems that they would be better served to tell the truth instead of just wasting everybody’s time and insulting the hell out of one of the best QBs of all-time.

Who’s got tickets? Toronto Argonauts at Edmonton Eskimos, 10:00 p.m., TSN. The Argos were listless last week against Hamilton but have finally started to deal with their quarterback situation by placing Michael Bishop on waivers. The Eskies won a thriller last week against Calgary but have some serious holes on defence. Prediction: Argos 31 – Eskimos 24.

Fun police: Is Ray Emery’s career as an NHLer over? I’ve been sitting here for 10 minutes trying think of a Canadian-born hockey player who’s gone to play in Russia and returned to have a somewhat decent career in the NHL. I can’t think of a single one, not including players who played in the Russian Super League during the lockout. Does anybody have a name? And is Eddie Belfour still playing in Sweden?

Extra bases: From the few clips that I’ve seen of Jermaine O’Neal, including a rather funny segment with the The Scores Cabral Richards, he seems to have his head on straight and has a real affable disposition to him. Hopefully he becomes the big man the Raps have always needed to go deep in the playoffs.



Small Balls: Thursday July 10, 2008

  1. Canadian-born players in Russia? Can’t think of any.

    US-born Brian Raflaski was overlooked in his draft year, went to play in Finland and Sweden, and made the NHL at age 27. Oleg Petrov Lost his spot with the Habs in 1996, went to Switzerland, tore up that league for a couple of years, then came back in 2000 for 4 years as a productive forward during a very lean period for the CH. Fred Brathwaite got a career boost from his time witht he Canadian national team in 1999, winning the starting goalie job in Calgary shortly after.

    All this to say that NHL redemption does happen, but it’s definitely rare.

  2. And let me just say that, if I looked that good in a bikini, I’d wear one all the time too. Go Dara: the only 2008 Olympian who actually danced to Duran Duran in a club, when doing so was not considered ironic in any way.

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