Sports is the canary in the COVID-19 coal mine

So when will sports be resumed and how can they play a role in transitioning to normalcy again?

Sports is the canary in the COVID-19 coal mineCanada hasn’t been a trailblazer in much of the response to COVID-19. The federal government has been a day late and a quarantine short on some crucial issues. But in becoming the first major Western nation to completely withdraw from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Canada has made a bold step. Now, an avalanche…

Don’t expect a pandemic to slow down the NFL

The league has a new deal with players, free-agency frenzy begins this week and big-time bargaining for TV rights is on the horizon

Don’t expect a pandemic to slow down the NFLThe National Football League has always thought it doesn’t play by the same rules as everyone else, so it shouldn’t be a total shock that – in the midst of a global pandemic – the league announced its new collective bargaining agreement with players that will take it through 2030. It also announced that it…

Blowing coronavirus all out of proportion

Politicians and sports officials, wary of a negative media broadside, are taking no chances about infection. If they have to hobble the economy, then so be it

Blowing coronavirus all out of proportionLike dominoes, high-profile sports and cultural events are falling to the spectre of the coronavirus threat. The 2020 World Women’s Championship of hockey in Halifax was cancelled last weekend. This week’s Indian Wells ATP/WTA tennis tournament has been cancelled over the perceived coronavirus threat. The LPGA cancelled an entire three-event swing through Asia. Chicago State…

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachievers

We could see as many as five Canadians teams in the playoffs – but more likely we’ll see two or three at this pace

Dissecting Canada’s NHL underachieversFor fans of Canada’s seven embattled National Hockey League teams, the man from Zamboni is a suitable talisman of their frustration. As most everyone now knows, a 42-year-old Zamboni driver – a kidney-transplant Zamboni driver – stepped in for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night in Toronto to defeat the listless Leafs 6-3. When both…

Can Bronfman bring baseball back to Montreal?

Can Bronfman bring baseball back to Montreal?Among its many traits – some charming, some not – Quebec seems to be the home of the faint-hope sports story. Rumours of a revival of the Quebec Nordiques are periodic reminders of the futility of building an expensive arena to please National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman. The city built a puck palace in…

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sports

The future of franchise-based leagues and pro tours may hang in the balance as big-money investors look to strip out superstars

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sportsIn business they’re called corporate raiders. People who buy up a publicly traded stock whose assets are thought to be undervalued. They then strip out the valuable assets and sell them at a large profit, leaving the shell of a company behind. The world of sports has been largely immune to raider capitalism so far.…

Baseball being buried by a tsunami of cheat

Baseball being buried by a tsunami of cheatThe first question to ask the Houston Astros signal corps is: Why did you think any of this would stay a secret? As the sports world struggles with the implications of a team cheating to win a World Series for the first time since the 1919 Black Sox scandal, there are more questions than answers…

Short and sweet: pro sports need to pare down the length of games

Fans are staying away from stadiums in great part because the games take too long to play. The new XFL is trying a number of modifications to cut the length of games

Short and sweet: pro sports need to pare down the length of gamesFootball fans have spoken: the games last too damn long. Delays, reviews, timeouts and injuries turn 18 minutes of action into three-plus hours. At least that’s the results of research done for the new XFL, a football league that starts play on Feb. 8, right after the National Football League’s Super Bowl. The startup league…

NFL coaches need to embrace data and probability

If coaching has a capital offence, its ignoring the obvious probabilities that a good analysis could provide

NFL coaches need to embrace data and probabilityWe’re in the heart of the football malpractice season. Across the frozen tundras, National Football League coaches are being overwhelmed by the pressure of making key calls during the post-season. On Saturday, Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien was like a punch-drunk fighter from the very first quarter. Quickly down 7-0 after Buffalo drove on their…

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBA

But the NHL, the league that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, will sit back and let others get the gravy

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBAIf there were a handicapping contest on who has the best handle on the future between the major sports leagues in North America, there’s little doubt the title would go to the National Basketball Association under its dynamic commissioner Adam Silver. When it comes to innovation, it’s “Hi-ho Silver away.” Silver, who replaced David Stern…
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