TAMPA, Fla. — We’ve been out watching hockey, baseball and golf for a week.
Here are some things we’ve heard and a whole lot of things we’ve seen.
1) Sure, just about everyone you talk to in the NHL these days believes Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett will easily win the Jack Adams Coach of the Year Award. But could it be that Tippett is merely the illustration we’ve been given to show that Wayne Gretzky was a horrible coach? Could it be that Tippett is a good coach (there are plenty of good coaches) who just happened to inherit a very good hockey team that got plenty of help at the trade deadline?
This past Saturday night, the Nashville Predators locked up a playoff berth with a brilliant 4-3 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. Tippet is worthy, but Barry Trotz is the best coach in hockey. Nashville — with a lineup of no-names, has-beens, never-weres and Shea Weber — is now 46-29-6 and will play either Vancouver or San Jose in the opening round of the playoffs.
For a guy who has never won a major coaching award and only coached our national team on one occasion, he’s the most outstanding coach that nobody really knows. And this year, frankly, he’s the Coach of the Year.
2) Watched Tiger in the opening round of the Masters on Thursday. What an incredible performance. Say what you will, Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in history.
Considering that after all the crap he went through — some of it of his own making, most of it the media’s making (he didn’t do anything that hundreds who have gone before him didn’t do) — Woods went out and shot a first round 68 at the Masters. It was his finest opening ever at the Masters. The first time he ever had two eagles in the same round. It doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the way. Nobody plays the game better than Tiger Woods. Period.
And golf is better off now that it has him back.
3) See the Bombers lost $1.2 million in 2009. See the Winnipeg mainstream media wants to blame Mike Kelly for it.
Talk about a one trick pony. The Winnipeg mainstream media either hasn’t got the cojones or the intelligence to point the finger at the people responsible. Wonder how long this will last? In 2016, when the Bombers go 4-14, it won’t matter who’s coaching, it will be Mike Kelly’s fault. Nice deal for Paul LaPolice, though. If he goes 0-18 as head coach this season, the local media will blame Mike Kelly.
If the coach is the guy who single-handedly lost $1.2 million, why wasn’t he fired a helluva lot sooner? In fact, why wasn’t the guy who hired him fired? And why weren’t the people who hired the guy who hired Mike Kelly all fired? When a football organization loses $1.2 million, the responsibility lands a lot higher up than the head coach. The local media in Winnipeg did a lot more to help the Bombers lose $1.2 million than Mike Kelly did. When you keep telling people to stop buying tickets, a lot of them will eventually stop buying tickets.
By the way, I see that the CFL sent $150,000 less than it did a year earlier to each of its eight teams. That means the CFL raised $1.2 million less in corporate sponsorships in 2009 than it did in 2010. How did that happen? How did the CFL lose $150,000 per team in revenue when the league’s popularity has never, ever been greater.
Wonder where Tom Wright went?
4) The Stanley Cup playoffs start next week. After this past week in Tampa, I can’t wait. Too bad Steven Stamkos doesn’t play in a city where people actually care about hockey.
Speaking of which, my people in Phoenix tell me that the chances of the league still owning the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night after Glendale city council votes on that sweetheart rental deal for Jerry Reinsdorf at jobing.com Arena, is better than 50-50.
Winnipeg might not be dead yet.