Hall of shame sports owners led by Ottawa’s Melnyk

Far too many odious owners haunt the world of professional sports, preying on ticket-buying fans

Hall of shame sports owners led by Ottawa’s MelnykIt takes a lot of talent to screw up a National Hockey League franchise in a Canadian city. But Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is up to the challenge. The Melnyk misery tour has reduced Ottawa to the frozen equivalent of an Albanian shoe factory. The Sens are four points clear in the Titanic Cup, my…

Kawhi Leonard’s slow, painful march out of Toronto

It’s a good bet the transcendent NBA star will leave the Raptors after this season. In the meantime, he takes far too many nights off

Kawhi Leonard’s slow, painful march out of TorontoHas there been a more tender wooing than the Toronto Raptors’ pursuit of Kawhi Leonard, their presumptive star? Perhaps Prince Harry pitched a sweeter song to his intended Meghan Markle. But were the chocolates and flowers from the palace more passionate and pleading than the Raptors’ entreaties to their meal ticket to stay in Toronto?…

‘Disorganized’ youth sports offer lessons on democracy

Pickup games help kids learn to think for themselves and develop problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills

‘Disorganized’ youth sports offer lessons on democracyFor years, Fred Bowen has written a column for young readers on youth sports topics for the Washington Post. He’s also a successful children’s sports book author. If you have young athletes in your family, or work with them, it’s well worth introducing them to Bowen’s work. Recently, Bowen wrote a column that departed a little from…

Baseball must embrace its uniqueness and stay retro

Every time MLB moves away from its history, tradition and nostalgia, the game doesn’t improve a little, it dies a little

Baseball must embrace its uniqueness and stay retroBaseball is a significantly different sport than football, basketball and hockey. It’s that uniqueness, and the tradition that comes from the fact that baseball has changed very little over the years, that accounts for a lot of its popularity. “There’s no crying in baseball!” said Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) in the movie A…

Pro sports have become a grinding bore

The tanking masses of the NHL, NBA and MLB have turned the regular season into a race to the bottom in search of top drafts

Pro sports have become a grinding boreO joy. The Feb. 25 National Hockey League trade deadline slides into view just as the National Basketball Association’s version of Trader Vic’s has expired. The fact that these two arbitrary dates are considered five-star attractions of the regular season tells you a lot about what a grinding bore the regular season has become in…

The fundamental flaw in coaching by instinct

Analytical detail determines winners and losers. So why do coaches insist on winging it at crucial moments?

The fundamental flaw in coaching by instinctI’m reading Ted Barris’s book The Dam Busters, about the epic 1943 raid by Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force flyers on the Möhne and Eder dams. The raid was famous for its risk – 53 men were killed, 18 of them Canadian – and for the new technologies used by the bombers…

Is gambling a big deal to the NFL? You can bet on it

With billions now being bet legally on sports, the simple outcome of the Super Bowl game will no longer be the only story

Is gambling a big deal to the NFL? You can bet on itIt’s late in Super Bowl LIII this Sunday. The driving New England Patriots, favoured by a field goal, have a three-point lead in the game. Hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide ride on whether the Los Angeles Rams can keep them out of the end zone or whether quarterback Tom Brady will push it in…

What happened to baseball’s free-agent frenzy?

If there is collusion this time, MLB has likely not left crumbs behind for the players association to dine upon

What happened to baseball’s free-agent frenzy?It was supposed to be the winter when money ran like water in baseball. With superstars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper dangling for anxious teams, it was predicted that the previous record for a Major League Baseball contract was going to be shattered. That would be the $325-million deal inked by Giancarlo Stanton with the…

Great NFL playoff games tainted by bad officiating, OT rule flaw

The NFL’s officiating video review system needs to be fixed. And overtime comes down to who wins the coin toss. How is that fair?

Great NFL playoff games tainted by bad officiating, OT rule flawI don’t know why some people aren’t sports fans but I’m certainly glad I am. Sunday’s National Football League games reinforced that feeling. What great drama and entertainment the NFL gave us with the conference championship games. Elite athleticism and clutch performances were on exhibit by players from each of the four teams. Sadly, the…

Tied up in knots over ties in sports

Every sport has a different approach to dealing with games that end in a stalemate, including overtime and skills contests

Tied up in knots over ties in sportsThis year marks the 20th anniversary of the debut of the transcendent TV series The Sopranos. As its creator, David Chase understands better than most that a lousy ending can ruin a lot of the good work. Chase famously used a sudden blackout to conclude the final episode while Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ played in the…
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