Opinion

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Sports in spotlight

Some bits and bites from the world around us such as it is in late January during a particularly grey stretch of weather here in the Okanagan....

.......it’s funny that just when the media and fans alike are were thinking it’s a new John Tortorella since his days with the New York Rangers and run-ins with journalists, etc, all heck breaks loose on Hockey Night in Canada and he ends up with a 15-day suspension.

Now Calgary coach Bob Hartley also got fined for essentially putting his fourth line, i.e. tough guys, first, and giving Torts a reason to match it with his tough guys which resulted in a donnybrook (brouhaha, line brawl, goon show...pick one, any one) at the two-second mark of the third game in what was supposed to be a salute to Hockey Day in Canada on CBC.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Torts tried to get to the Flames dressing room after the first period which NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations, otherwise known as the old Canucks defenceman Colin Campbell, called “an embarrassment to the league.”

Right. Well, the brawl didn’t help much either but I would say the man with the toughest, most analyzed job in hockey pretty much got it right.

You can’t have coaches going after each other in the hallways between periods and the brawl probably didn’t help the league’s image south of the border much either.

I happened to be in the States last weekend and the ESPN Sportscentre show led with the brawl Saturday night, which I’m sure is the first time they led with hockey this season, especially seeing how the NFC and AFC title games were on the horizon.

Oh well, what do they say, no such thing as bad publicity?

The interesting thing about this, in my mind, is the possible motivations of the coaches.

I wasn’t aware of any reasons for retribution on the part of Calgary that would result in their choice of starting lineup. Or, on the other side, what would have happened if Torts chose to ignore Calgary’s antics and started his first line as per usual, very possibly nothing?

So for two teams struggling lately there might have been some reasons for the coaches to try something a little different on the motivation side of things. Maybe, maybe not but we’ll have to wait and see how the players react over the next little while and judge accordingly. At the very least it’s fodder for all those talking  heads on all those sports shows filling up all those hours when there’s no real sports to show on TV.....

.........and speaking of the States, spent an enjoyable few days in Wenatchee, Wash. last weekend for a Midget hockey tournament.

The hotel and facilities were great and the weather was perfect for driving, grey like here, if not a little on the depressing side (I hate sunny forecasts when the sun somehow never shows up).

But what struck me was the level of love for the Seahawks.

Of course it was championship weekend and the buzz was more than evident at all times. The billboards were all utilized to urge on the Hawks and during the actual game itself it was mainly a sea of blue and green.

It may be Seattle’s team but the spirit of the  competition is felt statewide (and I know in B.C. to some extent as well) and it was very cool to witness the excitement and anxiety of a close game that meant so much to the wellbeing of Washington.

And, of course, the Hawks won, thankfully, and all’s right with the world in these parts, for now.

The Super Bowl is next weekend and the level of excitement and angst will be notched up even higher and things will be wild in Wenatchee.

 

Go Hawks go.

 

 

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