If there is a person alive that can rationalize how NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman just received a five year contract extension worth $36 million, I'd love to meet them for a talk. Sure, the league has grown from $2 billion in revenues to $3 billion since the lockout, but I'd love to see what that figure looked like if not for the Canadian dollar jumping to par more or less for the last three and a half years with the U.S. greenback. Last I looked, the game is more in the news for violence than anything else, it continues to be a non-factor south of the border, and there are at least a dozen teams said to be for sale and even more losing money. How that's not on him at least in part is beyond me.
Roy MacGregor says it is time for the NHL to move from judging intent to focusing on the result of an action. To quote Charlie Sheen, "duh". Here's a look at the NHL's season of mayhem in pictures, as only SI can take them. And love that the NHL Wheel of Justice has finally gone public. No need to wait for a lame press-release detailing how a maiming act will be handled anymore, you can figure it out all by your lonesome with a quick spin of the wheel.
Phil Jackson just won his 600th regular season game with the Lakers. The Raptors have won 520 games, total.
The Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund has put its stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment up for sale for $1.3 or $1.6 billion, depending which story you believe. Surely there's somebody out there that would float me a loan for that? If you're a fan of the Maple Leafs, Raptors or Toronto FC, you're probably thrilled that the profit-at-all-costs pension fund is out of there. Rogers is expected to be heavily involved in the bidding, and could greatly change the sporting landscape in Toronto. Steve Simmons quotes a source saying that Brian Burke and Bryan Colangelo won't have the freedom they do now under a new regime.
The New York Knicks are finally relevant again, after years of being terrible, and how are they going to repay their ridiculously loyal fans? Why, by raising ticket prices 49% of course.
The AS Roma vs. Lazio Rome derby went yesterday, though for all the empty seats - I'm talking thousands upon thousands - you wonder how much Rome really cared. The last 20 minutes of the game were about as dirty as I've seen in any sport. Embarrassing seeing guys get their faces stomped on, shoving each other. Hell, it looked like they were channeling the NHL. Roma were 2-0 winners with a pair from the ageless Francesco Totti.
I've heard of some ridiculous reasons to be out of a game, but Manchester City's nutjob Mario Balotelli had to be removed from a game because of - wait for it! - an allergy. To grass.
9 first quarter points, 22 at the half and 56 for the game. A high-school hoops team? WNBA? Toronto Raptors? Nope, the Milwaukee Bucks yesterday in their 87-56 loss to the Boston Celtics.
New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made his first appearance of the spring yesterday, aiming to throw 12 pitches off the bump. He did just that, with nine going for strikes to retire the side. The guy is a machine.
Here's Francesco Totti's first goal yesterday. More impressive was the call by the Italian broadcaster.