Coach passed away last Friday, having fought the good fight against cancer, the scourge of our times. You may not know Coach, but I hope you know someone like him -- a person who pours water on you when you are about to flame out, who picks you up by the scruff of your neck and puts you back on track, who shows you that there is indeed a big, wide world out there.
Andy Juniper is an author and humorist who has written three novels and two humor compilations. He is also the founder of <a href="http://www.thesportjesters.ca/pages/The_Sport_Jesters/The_Sport_Jesters.html" rel="nofollow">The Sport Jesters</a> ("Levity & Lunacy in the World of Sports"). He can be followed on Twitter @theSportJesters, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Sport-Jesters/231068424331?fref=ts" rel="nofollow"> Facebook</a>, or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donaldson deserves all the love he's getting. Off the field he's reported to be a mentor to the young guys and, to boot, the social butterfly who keeps the Jays' clubhouse loose and laughing. On the field, he's a leader, all grit and fiery determination.
09/08/2015 12:48 EDT
For the first time since touch-'em-all Joe Carter hit his historic three-run, walk-off homer to lift the locals to their second-straight world championship nearly a quarter-century ago, your Toronto Blue Jays may just (gasp) find themselves in the World Series. Your Blue Jays have been reborn. And their rebirth is killing me.
08/27/2015 05:32 EDT
Last season, of course, a bullying scandal came to light in pro football wherein Richie Incognito, a truly offensive offensive lineman, was (in the words of <em>The New York Times</em>) "found to have engaged in serial harassment" and "a pattern of bullying" against Miami Dolphin teammate Jonathan Martin, who eventually left Miami under "psychological duress."
09/02/2014 12:25 EDT
This goes back to my youth. To the very young version of me, glued to the television in the family room, having been informed
06/05/2014 11:19 EDT
Some golf courses across North America are starting to replace the traditional four-inch holes on putting greens with...15-inch holes. That is, gaping holes the size of pizzas. That is, yawning chasms, colossal craters, a virtual Grand Canyon on every green. Why? Excellent question.
05/06/2014 05:16 EDT
Over the course of a long baseball season, unforeseeable and unimaginable things happen on a regular basis and what purported experts deem to be inevitable isn't always inevitable. So-called 'sure things' stumble with surprising regularity and even those universally considered to be without hope can rightfully harbour hope.
03/28/2014 06:20 EDT
Tomorrow is the National Hockey League's trade deadline. Major, monstrous, mind-boggling deals are brokered, big-name players change addresses and on-ice attire, and the future fortunes of franchises are forged. Or... not.
03/04/2014 05:28 EST
As we trundle toward Sunday's Super Bowl game, I can tell you three things with certainty. I can no longer handle the hype and hoopla surrounding this event. Bigger is not always better. And I already miss the big game's usual heat.
01/30/2014 12:31 EST
As the NFL begins its Road to the Super Bowl this weekend, some critics are contemplating the point of it all. No, not the point of the playoffs. Or the point of the game of football. But, rather, the point of the point. You know, the PAT (Point After Touchdown). Which some call the 'conversion'. And others call the 'extra point'. And which esteemed <em>Sports Illustrated</em> scribe Peter King calls "The biggest waste of time in sports."
01/03/2014 12:07 EST
It's that time of year again, when critics, reviewers, amateur enthusiasts of all things aural pull tiny muscles in their large heads compiling and posting for public consumption their lists of Top Albums of the Year. A female friend once pointed out that these oftentimes inane lists are (strangely, suspiciously) almost always the domain of men. We demand demarcation. We want to know. We need to know.
12/17/2013 12:21 EST
Sex reared its head in a press conference featuring the Grey Cup's two coaches this week: "Hey, coach, should your players have sex before the big game?" Roughriders coach Corey Chamblin brought down the house with his response: "They win the championship, they'll have a lot of it. Trust me."
11/23/2013 03:47 EST
Honestly, I don't know what I'm more tired of, and I don't know what exhausts me more: fighting in the National Hockey League, or the debate that has raged like a wildfire for as long as I can recall on the contentious issue of... fighting in the National Hockey League. Fighting's going nowhere. Don Cherry will stop prefacing every comment he makes with "I gotta tell ya" before fighting is banned. Players will stop wearing protective cups. And arenas around the league will stop overcharging for beer. Why? Because it's fighting that puts the National Hockey League at the top of sportscasts.
11/04/2013 12:21 EST
The Toronto Maple Leafs have blasted out of the blocks like world-beaters -- currently sporting a sparkling 6-1 record whilst sitting alluringly atop the National Hockey League's Atlantic Division -- and Leaf fans are naturally feeling all the appropriate emotions of supporters of a squad that's really on a roll. That is anxiousness, apprehension, fear, dread and paranoia.
10/17/2013 12:44 EDT
Faking it is part of our culture. Soccer players around the globe have been faking it for years -- that is, feigning most-grievous injury where, in fact, not even a light stroke of contact occurred. And in recent years, even the big boys of basketball have taken to faking contact, flopping about on the court like a fish on a dry dock with Oscar-worthy performances.
09/11/2013 05:33 EDT
Inarguably, the quarterback position is the most glamorous in all of sports, certainly in all of football. Uncertain of whether the glamour claim is 100 per cent true? Ah, when was the last time you saw an offensive guard on the cover of a fashion magazine? <em>Never</em>, that's when.
09/03/2013 05:26 EDT
True story. Early one morning as my wife was signing-in at a corporate golf tournament, a charming and magnetic man sidled up to her and, with a playful twinkle in his eyes, he smiled mischievously and told her that he loved her. Turns out, that man was Walter Gretzky. This was just another notch in my long (and partially true) history with the Gretzky family.
08/26/2013 05:27 EDT
When I was a teenager, I golfed. Once. It did not end well. Or start well for that matter. Suffice to say, my game failed to ascend to the dizzy heights of my expectations. Fast forward a century or so, to about 13 years ago when I took up golf once again, and I've discovered something amazing: <em>how to have fun while golfing</em>. Gather around and I'll share my secrets.
08/08/2013 12:42 EDT
For the first time in eons, the city that was once the heart of hockey (with Montreal being the soul) was back in the Stanley Cup playoff picture. All told, it was good for the franchise, good for the fans, and good for the city. Hell, it was good for hockey...
05/14/2013 10:10 EDT
In a story appearing in <em>Sports Illustrated</em>'s May 6th issue, a professional athlete publicly acknowledges that he is gay. The riveting, first-person story by the thoughtful and sincere Jason Collins opens, remarkably enough: "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay..." Is the sporting world ready for this? Within the fantasy realm of professional athletics, there are people whose heads are buried so deep in the sand, they are unable to grasp the concept of reality, or the basic laws of averages. Which is to say there are people who, Jason Collins be damned, are fully convinced that there are no gay men in professional sports. Right.
04/29/2013 05:17 EDT
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