The Scrooge List
It's Yin and Yang time, otherwise known as the Holiday season.
Where there's Santa, there's also Scrooge and with my Santa list in the books it's time to unveil a Scrooge list made up of all the villains in the sports world this year.
Read on and if you're on the list, remember, you still have until Christmas morning to repent.
The Scrooge List
Toronto Maple Leafs Despite last spring's epic Game 7 play-off meltdown, the Leafs still took the big, bad Bruins to 7 games and there was loads of excitement around the blue and white heading into this season. But while the Leafs got off to a solid start, they've really hit the skids the last few weeks and will have to pick up their game just to return to the post-season. The key? The "David duo", as they need to get heart and soul guy, David Bolland, off the injured list and get loads more out of disappointing free agent David Clarkson.
Toronto Blue Jays A Las Vegas pick to win the World Series, the Blue Jays turned out to be Major League underachievers. Nothing went right for the ball club, as most of their big buck free agents turned out to be big-time busts. Lousy starting pitching, injuries, mediocre managing..... and unless the Jays turn it around next year, they could find themselves a permanent home on the Scrooge list.
Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC Hmmm.....Do you see a terrible Toronto trend developing here? Like a lump of coal in a stinker's stocking, we'll lump these two struggling franchises together. "Just win, baby!" is a popular lexicon in sports, but for the Raps and TFC it should read "Just quit embarrassing yourself, baby!" The bottom line? Both the Raptors and Reds have passionate fan bases who deserve a whole lot more.
HBO 24/7 Leafs-Red Wings Documentary You know you're in trouble when the hi-light of the opening episode was Leafs coach Randy Carlyle burning his toast. But to be honest, episode one was as dry as toast and, yes, like burnt toast, this whole concept has become way over done. Unfortunately, most hockey players just aren't all that interesting as they've spent most of their lives suffering from a severe case of "freeze brain" as they chase pucks across a frosty sheet of ice ice. A lot of viewers do seem fascinated with hockey player's creativity when it comes to dropping "F" bombs, but if you're a big fan of salty language just take a ride on the Toronto subway.
Ian Troop and the Pan-Am Games Troop was recently fired from his post as CEO of the 2015 Toronto Pan-Am games, with sources labeling "leadership issues" as the reason for his ousting. What a mess! Executives pulling down gaudy salaries, reports of roaring expense accounts and potential cost overruns.....all for a competition that most people could care less about. It's almost embarrassing for a major city such as Toronto to host a second-rate deal like the Pan-Am's, and you know there's trouble when one veteran sportscaster is thinking of booking his summer vacation during the event. (What do you say, boss?)
Richie Incognito The poster boy for all things "Scrooge" in 2013, Incognito was the big clod at the heart of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal that saw young O-Lineman Jonathan Martin quit the team after being subjected to serial abuse. Bullying is a huge crisis in the school system and the Incognito-Martin saga proved that even rough, tough pro athletes aren't immune from the problem.
Let's see.....People who say they're hockey fans but refuse to attend junior and university games, minor hockey coaches and parents who take the game way too seriously; and anybody who does the wave at a sporting event.....a few more folks who belong on the Scrooge list.
But in the spirit of the season, we'll leave it at that and wish everybody (Yes, even the Scrooge's) a happy holiday.