BLOGGERNAUT: ’71 Argos Get The Doc Treatment From TSN

 Toronto Filmmaker To Chronicle Their Exploits As Part Of TSN Grey Cup Documentary Series

Joe Theismann and Leo Cahill

Those fabled and fabulous swashbucklers known as the 1971 Toronto Argonauts are getting together for more than just old times’ sake, this summer. An upcoming reunion of coach Leo Cahill’s stylish and swaggering crew will form the backbone of a movie that will be part of an extensive stroll down the CFL’s memory lane.

As part of its celebrations to commemorate the 100th Grey Cup, TSN has commissioned 8 documentaries, by 8 esteemed Canadian filmmakers, including Christie Callan-Jones, the Toronto director at the helm of a film whose working title is: “Mavericks: The Story Of The 1971 Argos.”

“I have a huge passion for football movies and stories,” Callan-Jones told me as we chatted after TSN’s announcement reception. “It’s a dream for me to do a football film. Especially the ’71 Argos. I mean, they lost (the Grey Cup Game) and people still remember them. That’s crazy. So, that’s a testament to the coach and to this crazy bunch and to Toronto. For me, it’s been so much fun.”

Still early in the process of shooting and putting the actual film together, Callan-Jones has already come to gain a certain affinity for the team, after doing an extensive amount of research and a number of interviews with the 1971 alumni. The energy she has for the project is clearly tangible, as she talks excitedly about moving forward.

“I’m actually bringing back a lot of the players for a reunion that we’re going to capture,” she said. “It’s sort of the ‘over-arc’ of the film. That’s going to be pretty amazing, to capture that energy. I can’t wait.”

July 7th is the date of the get together and Callan-Jones is counting on a big turn out with some of the mainstays and main characters of the team attending.

Joe Theismann’s coming back and Jim Stillwagon and Jim Corrigall, and Leo Cahill will be there. He was really the ‘Krazy Glue’ that held them together. It’s going to be awesome. And Tricky Dick’s coming from Manila,” she added, with enthusiasm, at the thought of Dick Thornton making the 13,000 kilometre trip.

Undoubtedly, Callan-Jones will get some colourful and contemplative comments during the reunion, to go along with interviews she’s already completed.

“I’ve done a ton of research. I’m still very early on in the interview stage. I’ve interviewed Bill Symons, Dave Raimey, Mike Eben, Gene Mack….”

Next on her movie to-do list was to head for Tampa Bay, to talk with friends and relatives of the late Leon McQuay, who was at the centre of the Argos’ story in so many ways. A rookie sensation in 1971, it was McQuay’s fumble late in the Grey Cup Game that helped the Calgary Stampeders salt away the victory.

The Documentarians: Callan-Jones is front row, right. -TSN Photo

Callan-Jones, who’s built a reputation as a socially conscious documentarian while tackling topics such as anorexia, stereotypes and homelessness, has always wanted to do a sports movie. With TSN executives deciding to have football-related stories told by filmmakers who don’t necessarily have any strong attachments to the sport, her chance came.

“Ever since I saw ‘The Natural’ as a kid, sports stories have spoken to me,” she said. “Triumph, redemption, I think, really, that even if you don’t understand sports, everyone gets that.”

“This is a story of stories,” she said about the ’71 Argos. “Football is the subtext. Football is sort of the canvas upon which you can tell these very human stories.”

While the on-field exploits of the 1971 Argos are well-documented, Callan-Jones’ film is likely to centre more on the men who wore the uniforms, as opposed to what they accomplished during the regular season and the playoffs. That’s because of the  mesmerizing hold the personalities of the players had on the city of Toronto and the role they played in the shifting attitudes of a changing city.

“Really, it’s a story about the times; the crazy 70’s, the city coming into its own,” Callan-Jones began. “But, also, it’s about a unique bunch of characters who were really, really close, beyond just being teammates. They spent their time together off the field. There’s something that bonded them that, even 40 years later, many of them are still really good friends.”

The ringleader of the Argos of the day was, of course, head coach Leo Cahill. Callan-Jones doesn’t underestimate the role he played in the formation and fostering of those special personalities and relationships.

“A lot of credit has to go to Leo. In many ways he built a team that reflected Toronto. Toronto was no longer ‘Toronto the good,’ it was becoming a world class city. It was really changing. Then you have this team that had been so terrible for so long. Starting in 1967 he, whether it was a conscious decision or not, built a team that reflected not only his personality but also that of a city. They both had swagger.”

“They were the team everyone loved to hate, the city everyone loved to hate and  it was this perfect marriage that, I think, could only have happened in the late 60’s and early 70’s. It was a magical time. I don’t think you could ever have that again.”

It’s an essence that Callan-Jones will be trying to capture in the film.

And one that might just be relived a little, when the 1971 Argos ride back into town this July.

 

[button link=”http://www.argonauts.ca/writer/landry” window=”yes”]TO READ DON’S COLUMNS AT ARGONAUTS.CA, CLICK HERE[/button]

[button link=”http://www.cfl.ca/writer/landry” window=”yes”]TO READ DON’S COLUMNS AT CFL.CA, CLICK HERE[/button]

 [button link=”http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/tsn-producing-eight-documentaries-commemorate-100th-grey-cup-220403682.html” window=”yes”]TO READ DON’S COLUMN ON TSN’S DOCUMENTARIES AT YAHOO! SPORTS, CLICK HERE[/button]

 

 

 

BLOGGERNAUT: Is Barnes The Guy The Argos Have Needed?

[button link=”http://www.argonauts.ca/article/landry-is-barnes-the-guy-the-argos-have-been-looking-for” window=”yes”]TO READ THIS COLUMN AT ARGONAUTS.CA, CLICK HERE, OR ON THE PHOTO BELOW.[/button]

 

[box border=”full”]To read “Anatomy Of The Rocket Ismail Deal,” click here.[/box]

[box border=”full”]To read more of Don’s work at CFL.ca, click here.[/box]

[box border=”full”]To read “Don Cherry: You Should Be Thankful For Him,” click here.[/box]

The Gist Of It – November 30, 2011

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Don Landry (L) and Bill Hayes discuss the top rock guitarists of all-time during a paid appearance at a Toronto high school sports banquet

 

This week on The Gist Of It, Don Landry and Bill Hayes marvel over the new Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens. Actually, they marvel at the fact that people would line up to be the first in. As well, they discuss the Leafs’ continuing good play, the Grey Cup Game (including Nickelback), Bill’s new favourite website and, once again, the never ending delight that is the Republican Party of the United States Of America. And they argue over Rolling Stone’s list of top 100 guitarists of all time.

 

Segment 1 – Hey, a new grocery store has opened at Maple Leaf Gardens! Don’t you wanna line up in the freezing rain, overnight, so you can be first in?! Us either.

Segment 2 – The Toronto Maple Leafs. If you’re waiting for them to slip back into the pack, mightn’t you be waiting in vain?

Segment 3 – The Grey Cup Game. Don spent a week in Vancouver and gives you his impressions of the game, the festivities and a theory as to why Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca got into that dust up.

Segment 4 – Want substance? Depth? Then, why are you listening to this podcast? Actually, Bill has a good website for you to check out.

Segment 5 – Rolling Stone’s list of 100 greatest guitarists. They got number one right, but after that? Not so much.

Segment 6 – Try as they might, Bill and Don just can’t take their eyes of the Republican Party. Bill worries about America’s future. Don doesn’t think any of these candidates are worth worrying about.

THE NUTSHELL: “Cain And Shuster,” Mayor Ford Cracks The Nut And London’s Baseball Blunder

A collection of random thoughts on random things.

POLITICS

"So, how's your campaign going?"

Herman Cain and Rick Perry should draw salaries from the following TV shows: The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. And any other show that lampoons the increasingly martian-like characteristics of the Republican Primary landscape. instead of needing to work hard at clever turns of phrase or outrageous extensions of what’s really happening, producers can just say “roll tape,” and have done with it. When I imagine the Republican Party’s topography these days, I envision a young Mel Gibson surveying the arid Australian outback in a postapocalyptic world, with the lawless and the crazies bombing around in dune buggies in hockey masks and football shoulder pads. It’s Mad Max out there, and getting “Madder and Maxier.” When Perry challenged Democrat Nancy Pelosi to a debate this week, I thought: “Why don’t we just cut out a step or two and schedule their square-off at 11:30 on Saturday night, on NBC?”

[button link=”http://www.donlandry.com/2011/11/the-gist-of-it-november-16-2011/” window=”yes”]To hear more on Herman Cain and the Republicans, click here for this week’s podcast, with Don Landry and Bill Hayes.[/button]

Toronto mayor Rob Ford has confirmed he will make a cameo appearance in the National Ballet Of Canada’s annual presentation of “The Nutcracker.” It will, unfortunately, be a non-dancing part. After seeing his performance at the Caribbean Festival kick-off, I’d love to see His Worship tippy-toe across the stage in a uni-tard. But, come to think of it, the mayor isn’t particularly adept at tippy-toeing. Ever. So, we’ll have to be satisfied with his role as a cannon doll. Keep an eye on him during this performance. That cannon may somehow end up pointed at Mary Walsh.

While I was cleaning out a drawer that had been systematically filled up over time with long-forgotten items, I came across a Blockbuster Video membership card. Sure hope it hasn’t expired. Among the other things I turned up as I continued to rifle through: An 8-track tape of the album “Cornerstone,” by Styx, a gift certificate for Frank Vetere’s Pizzeria and, finally, in the back corner of the drawer, The Liberal Party Of Canada.

 SPORTS

Every time I see Ryan Fitzpatrick trot out onto the field, I think: “Hey, Zach Galifianakis is quarterbacking the Buffalo Bills!”

Hmm, intriguing. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released underused receiver Terrence Jeffers-Harris on Thursday. On Friday, their opponents in this weekend’s CFL East Final, the Hamilton TiCats, added him to their practice roster. He’s ineligible to play for Hamilton in the game, but is eligible to give his new bosses every bit of information he has on Winnipeg’s offensive scheming, if he so desires.  If the TiCats’ defence appears to know pretty much exactly what the Bombers do on any given play, it won’t be because they have some keen sense of ESP (or, as it’s known in sports circles, ESPN) but because “new guy” gave them the blueprints. Or bomberprints. Whatever they’re called. We’ll see how this plays out. The Bombers may have just made the biggest strategic blunder since somebody once said: “Hey, I’ve got an idea! A new Coke!”

 

"He's lined one into the alley. The dark, dark alley."

So, some geniuses in London, Ontario, decided to name their new baseball team the “London Rippers.” Now, no problem, if the logo is a big, burly strongman belting a Roy Hobb’s-like home run. That would make perfect sense. “Ripping” the ball  has, for years, been known as a term for crushing home runs. Instead, they decided on the logo you see to the left, which obviously plays on the Jack The Ripper theme. Fun for the kids!!  Tonight is cloak and dagger night at the ballpark! Now, I don’t much care how long ago this guy terrorized the women of London, England. It could be a thousand years ago, instead of 120. You don’t name teams after serial killers. Unless you’re devoid of conscience or… what’s the word? Oh, yeah. Taste. I look forward to you expanding your baseball empire with the Stratford Zodiacs, the St. Thomas Stranglers, the Guelph Gacys and the Beamsville Bundys.

[button link=”http://www.donlandry.com/2011/11/the-london-rippers-and-political-correctness/” window=”yes”]To read: “The London Rippers And Political Correctness,” click here.[/button]

 

POP CULTURE

"Don't be afraid. I just want to shake Regis Philbin's hand."

Next week, the U.S. will celebrate its Thanksgiving. One of the highlights for many people is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But, beware, New York City. With all those giant balloons of Snoopy and Shrek and Mr. Potato Head and dozens of others, wouldn’t this be the perfect time for the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to blend in for a sneak attack? Not saying he’s ready to strike. Just saying ‘be prepared.’ And know who you gonna call.

FINAL THOUGHT

Saskatchewan Roughrider offensive lineman Gene Makowsky was elected to the provincial legislature. Caucus meetings will now be held in a tight circle and end with a single, group clap.

 

[box border=”full”]To read a previous “The Nutshell,” click here.[/box]

The Gist Of It – November 16, 2011

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This week, Bill Hayes and Don Landry take a serious run at NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. No worries, they know the guy handing out suspensions would allow them to, without penalty. Bill wonders if people may be treating Penn State’s Mike McQueary a little too harshly.  As well, there are light hearted discussions about Rob Ford’s ballet career, Herman Cain’s, well, “Herman Cain – ness,” and whether we’re seeing the first few crumbles at the beginning of the fall of the Facebook empire.

Let’s just put NHL goaltenders on the “Endangered Species” list and have done with it.

Segment 1 – The guys ask the question: Are you sure you know exactly how you’d react if you walked into that infamous shower at Penn State?  [button link=”http://www.donlandry.com/2011/11/former-argo-givens-in-a-penn-state-of-shock/” window=”yes”]To read Don Landry’s column on former Argo and Penn State linebacker Reggie Givens, click here.[/button]

Segment 2 – Occupy Toronto. Should demonstrators be kicked out of their tent city at St. James Park? Wouldn’t they be better off moving around anyway? And Don sings some Gordon Lightfoot.

Segment 3 – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford joins the National Ballet of Canada. Obama takes out crocodile insurance. And, who wants to lead the federal Liberals?

Segment 4 – Herman Cain. The comic gift that just keeps on giving. He should get paid for almost single-handedly writing The Daily Show and Colbert Report.

Segment 5 – One of Don’s friends has decided to quit Facebook. Don’s thinking about it, too. Is Facebook’s time starting to fade?

Segment 6 – Boston Bruins’ forward Milan Lucic gets a walk after running Buffalo Sabres’ goalie Ryan Miller, and both Bill and Don think that’s unacceptable.

Segment 7 – Toronto Star reporter Dave Feschuk called Leaf goalie James Reimer’s mom to get a story. Is that okay?

Former Argo Givens In A Penn State Of Shock

Being Saturday, today was no different for retired linebacker Reggie Givens, former Penn State Nittany Lion. Well, maybe it was a little different. How could it not be?

At noon, Givens was in front of his television, doing what he usually does on a weekly basis; watching his alma mater battle an NCAA foe (today, it was the Nebraska Cornhuskers). For the first time in nearly half a century, the Lions did not have Joe Paterno patrolling the sidelines as their head coach. Unless you’re Ashton Kutcher, you know why. Actually, that’s unfair. I’m sure even Kutcher knows just why by now.

“It’s like one of those out of body moments,” said Givens, over the phone from his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “It’s like, not real. Like, am I really watching this?”

Reggie Givens as a Toronto Argonaut

He wasn’t talking about Penn State’s failed comeback in a 17 – 14 loss to the Cornhuskers. But, rather, all the sordid details of the week’s events serving as a backdrop – actually, more like a “frontdrop” – to the game.

A three-time Grey Cup Champion with the Baltimore Stallions (one) and Toronto Argonauts (two), as well as a former San Francisco Forty Niner and Washington Redskin, Givens patrolled the fields of the CFL and NFL with great speed, tenacity and vigour, the way he was taught back at Penn State, also known as “Linebacker U.” Givens’ adaptability and versatility made him an important reason why the Argo defence of ’96 and ’97 dominated like few others in CFL history have. Givens was able to convert to the position of rush end with the Argos. And he could do it all. Contain the run, rush the quarterback, or drop back in pass coverage when necessary. His 182 fumble recovery yards in 1997 remains a single season CFL record to this day. Couple tremendous athletic ability with good coaching, and that’s what you get.

The painful thing, these days, is having to come to terms with one of those good coaches being hauled away in handcuffs, charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse against young boys. When word first arrived about his former coach at Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, being arrested, Givens thought people were joking with him.

“I got text messages and I thought someone was trying to play a trick at first.”

As a protegé of the disgraced former Penn State Defensive Coordinator, and a proud alumnus of the university that now struggles with the great weight of a horrific sexual abuse scandal, you’d expect Givens to have strong feelings about the heartbreaking and angering details that have emerged in the past week, leading to the charging of Sandusky, the firing of Paterno as well as the dismissal of the university’s president, and rioting students on campus.

(A night after the rioting, that same campus was the scene of a peaceful candlelight vigil, for the victims of the crimes alleged.)

Givens does have strong feelings about all this. Feelings of disbelief, feelings of anger and, very specifically, feelings about knowing that he doesn’t know everything about the situation right now. It seems he’s struggling to make sense of it all, and you can hardly blame him for that. So are many.

“It’s a heinous crime, if it happened, but I don’t know that it did,” he said. “I’m not in a rush to judgment. I want to hear everything. I want to hear his side, I want hear him (Sandusky) talk. I want to hear the process, before I truly make a decision.”

It’s important to note that Givens is not maintaining Sandusky’s alleged crimes did not happen. What became very clear over the course of our 30 minute discussion is that Givens is unhappy with what he believes is the ignoring of a simple matter of due process. And he’s having trouble merging two very different things, in his mind: The Sandusky that coached him and the one being portrayed in the media.

“I’m not saying he didn’t do it,” Givens continued, choosing his words carefully. “I’m still in disbelief. That’s not the guy I know. What I know, and what’s being reported is two different things. Up to this point. It sounds really bad. There’s got to be some kind of truth to it. But I don’t know the extent of what’s going on. I don’t know what really happened.”

Givens at Penn State, in the early 1990's

I asked Givens whether there was ever a hint that there may be something wrong about Jerry Sandusky, while he played at Penn. Did anyone ever say anything? Were there rumours of any sort? Jokes?

“Nothing that I can come up with. No one ever said anything.”

Givens has been a noted “community guy,” if you will, helping out with charitable projects whenever and wherever he can. He believes a lot of that sensibility was instilled at Penn State. And that Jerry Sandusky played a part.

“He was the one who got me doing community service with the kids,” said Givens. “He’s one of the reasons why I started doing that.”

When we turned our attention to the firing of Head Coach Joe Paterno, Givens renewed his distaste for knee-jerk reactions and also trained his sights on the media and its role. More than just documenting things, Givens believes the media had a hand in shaping the events of the past week.

“The media’s the one who caused him (Paterno) to be fired, in my opinion. They’re a large reason why the situation is like it is.”

“In the beginning, they made it all about Joe Paterno. Now they’ve started to come around and talk about the kids. The media didn’t care about the story, they cared about Paterno. The kids were an afterthought. That’s all they talked about for 2 or 3 or 4 days.”

Pressed for more of an answer on Paterno, Givens admits it’s not necessarily that Paterno shouldn’t have been fired. Just that he shouldn’t have been fired in the way that transpired. He points the finger not only at the media, but at Penn State’s Board Of Trustees.

“Getting fired by the Board Of Trustees in the middle of the night, that made it even worse,” he said. “There was no due process in the whole situation. If you’re gonna do it in the right way, which Penn State’s always been about, you don’t succumb to pressure. You’ve got to figure out what really happened. And they didn’t wait to see what happened, and call Joe in and say ‘okay, what really happened?’ You could have had an opportunity to call Joe in to ask him those questions. You never let him say anything. And that’s the problem I have with it. You could decide to fire him afterward, but I don’t like the due process in how they did it. You can’t condemn someone on speculation.”

Retired from pro football since 2000 2005, Givens is now a coach himself, with his own company, Blitz Mobile Fitness, in Fort Lauderdale. He’s also a realtor and coaches a little high school football, at Pine Crest. The football lessons he learned from Paterno, Sandusky and others during his time at Penn State? He remains grateful for those. He can still apply some of those lessons in his vocations. But some, if not all, of the rest will be torn to shreds if Sandusky is found guilty of his crimes.

“If he’s guilty, he became a predator. A monster. And that’s horrible. Kids you’re supposed to help, you end up hurting….” Givens’ voice trailed off as he tried to deal with the enormity of those charges. “There’s no words for that. Respect and admiration for a coach is one thing. A man preying on kids… there’s no coming back from that.”

Maybe not for Jerry Sandusky. But as for the school he loves, and the football team he watches every Saturday, Givens is more hopeful. Can it return to glory?

“Yes,” he offered without hesitation. Because this doesn’t have anything to do with the high graduation rates and the quality of education. The kids and the alumni, they won’t let Penn State go away.”

 

 [button link=”http://www.cfl.ca/writer/landry” window=”yes”]TO READ DON LANDRY’S  COLUMNS AT CFL.CA, CLICK HERE.[/button]

The Gist Of It – November 2, 2011

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This guy, America? Really? Really??

This week Bill Hayes and Don Landry play verbal ping pong with some wide-ranging topics: The CBC’s anniversary and its ongoing funding, quarterback headhunting in the CFL, the hilarity that is Herman Cain’s presidential campaign in the U.S., Raffi Torres’ Hallowe’en costume, Kim Kardashian’s divorce, the World Series and Queen Victoria’s underwear. That’s right. They go there.

Segment 1 –  Don describes some of the celebrity trick-or-treaters that came to his door Monday night. And the guys talk about Raffi Torres’ Jay-Z costume.

Segment 2 – Bill talks about his high school’s 75th anniversary reunion. Bet the class of ’36 out-partied everyone.

Segment 3 – The CBC. On the day of its 75th birthday, the guys discuss its relevance. In a folksy, Stuart McLean fashion, though.

Segment 4 – The CFL suspends Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Johnny Sears for one game after he drilled Argo quarterback Stephen Jyles in the head. Warranted? Bill says “hell, yeah.” Don’s a little surprised by it. As well, they talk about the twitter fallout from the whole sordid affair.

Segment 5 – The World Series and its fabled Game 6: Beauty, or beast? As well, is Tony LaRussa a genius?

Segment 6 – Herman Cain. I mean, are you serious? What the hell is wrong with the Republican Party?

Segment 7 – The big finish. Quick thoughts on Tim Hortons and its menu changes, Queen Victoria’s undergarments and Kris Humphries.

The Gist Of It – October 5, 2011

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This week on “The Gist Of It,” Bill Hayes and Don Landry wonder how the Progressive Conservative Party let Ontario get away from them (at least according to the latest polls). They’re amused by Hank Williams Jr’s attempt at political commentary and the possibility of Madonna playing the halftime show at the Superbowl. They size up the Leafs’ chances in the upcoming NHL season and debate Leaf forward Clark MacArthur’s view that hitting is being taken out of the game. Bill thinks MacArthur has a point, while Don says that’s nonsense.

Segment 1 – Is Madonna the right choice for the Superbowl’s halftime show?

Segment 2 – How did Tim Hudak and the Tories sink so quickly in the polls?

Segment 3 – Hank Williams and his Netenyahu/Hitler golf comment. How stupid do you have to be…

Segment 4 – Bill is not impressed by the Leafs’ latest trade.

Segment 5 – What chance have the Leafs in the Eastern Conference? Don: playoffs. Bill: uh, no.

Segment 6 – Is hitting being taken out of the NHL? Bill believes it might be. Don gets irked by the argument.

Segment 7 – Isn’t Apple ticking off its customers by being too innovative?

Segment 8 – Bill wants to know what Don is thankful for.

THE NUTSHELL: Palin’s Past, The Maple Leafs’ Future And The NHL’s Twits

A collection of random thoughts on random things.

SPORTS

Eddie Shore: “Look forward to breaking stick on Mush March’s shins 2nite. LMAO. #thiskidbrimsekwillnevermakeit”

How will we ever live without game day tweets from NHL players? How is a fan expected to adjust to a life where their favourite fourth line winger isn’t telling them how their pre-game nap went? Or just how pumped they are to play in Nashville that night? The NHL has banned game day tweets from its players. And this has somehow turned into an issue. Here’s the part where I sound like an old fart and wistfully harken back to the simpler times, where I’d never even heard of tweets, twitter or any kind of social media. Back then, hockey issues were things like: “Do the Red Wings have the goaltender they need to go all the way?” Or: “Can the Leafs survive while Mats Sundin is injured?” Or: “Should the NHL add more teams to the playoffs?” Or: “Can the Kansas City Scouts lose every game they play?” Now those were hockey issues. Am I really supposed to care if  a Canucks’ defenceman feels like “y-frogging” a picture of his buddy taping a stick at the morning skate? Just drop the friggin’ puck.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have decided, as part of a sponsorship agreement, to wear a Purolator patch on their game day skate jerseys. Ah, we take that first tippy-toe step out onto the slippery slope. Make no mistake. At some point, the Leafs will have advertising patches on their game jerseys. You will hate it. You may even threaten to “never watch another game if those greedy bastards sell out.” But you will get used to it. And it will one day become the norm. Remember when they started showing commercials before movies in theatres? How many of us swore never to go again? Now, we’re used to it and don’t much give it a second thought. When internet sites started running commercials before their highlight clips, how many times did you immediately click away from it, muttering under your breath? How many times do you do that now? Advertising on game uniforms in North America’s big four leagues will come. It won’t be the NHL, MLB or NBA that does it. It will be the NFL. Not because they need to, but because they will be able to. They’ll be able to gather in ungodly amounts of sponsorship money, and they’ll be able to easily withstand any fan backlash that rises out of it. Soon after that, the way paved, the other leagues will follow.

Not much room for advertising patches on the “uniforms” worn by the girls of the Lingerie Football League. The expansion Toronto Triumph makes its home debut tomorrow night against the Tampa Breeze. I have questions, not knowing much about the league. Three downs or four downs? Fair catch or no yards? Victoria’s Secret or La Senza? C’mon, folks, get out to Ricoh Coliseum, these girls need your support. I think. Could be their uniforms come complete with some underwire technology. Added attraction: Toronto Councillor Doug Ford’s daughter, Krista, is listed on the team’s roster. I’m happy she shares the family passion for football. I’m equally happy that her dad and uncle don’t share her passion for showing plenty of skin.

POLITICS

"And that's the sports news. Well, there is one other story, but I can't get into that. Tee Hee."

Let’s stay with the colliding worlds of politics and sports. The unauthorized biography of Sarah Palin is apparently rife with salacious, sure-to-be-denied details of the former and possibly future U.S. presidential candidate. Did she have a fling with NBA star Glen Rice, when Rice was still in college and she was an aspiring sports reporter? Will Palin claim that it did happen, but only because Rice was one of those liberal elite college guys, who surprised her with “gotcha” sex? Another claim in the book: “Searching For The Real Sarah Palin,” is that witnesses saw Palin snorting coke from the top of an oil drum. Don’t know if it happened, but it does make some sense. With Palin’s famous passion for  oil (drill, baby, drill), her snorting coke off a barrel would be akin to Charlie Sheen doing blow off the chest of a $10,000.00 a night hooker. Wait a second. It actually might be more probable that Palin snorted a line of oil off a brick of cocaine. Or, the carcass of a freshly bagged moose.

A rat was caught in the Toronto City Hall Budget Chief’s office. It was immediately killed. Well, reducing redundancies is one way of tackling the city’s operating deficit.

POP CULTURE

Sarah Jessica Parker has a new movie out. It’s about a busy supermom who endeavours to balance work and family life. Called “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” the title refers to the character she plays. Or, it might actually refer to her getting jobs after “Sex And The City 2.”

Bladder control undergarment maker “Depends” has a new TV commercial out. The soundtrack for it is the classic R & B tune “Green Onions,” by Booker T and the MG’s.  I don’t suppose that ol’ Book and the rest of the crew ever thought, back in 1962, that their ultra cool tune would ever be used to make adult diapers seem badass. Sorry, wrong choice of words. Now, when I reach that stage, I’m going to demand an 80’s tune or two to sell me. “Six Months In a Leaky Boat.” No, wait! “Let It Go,” by Luba.

FINAL THOUGHT

NASA says there’s now way to much space garbage orbiting the earth. To the point where the debris is a danger to future missions. Time to build a giant orbiting blue box. An International Space Recycling Station.