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…

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…

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…

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…

Lawsuit could end sham known as U.S. college sports amateurism

The organization that oversees college athletics broke the $1-billion mark in annual revenue for 2017. And it's considered a non-profit

Lawsuit could end sham known as U.S. college sports amateurismThe College Football Playoff (CFP) championship game recently generated millions of dollars for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, the universities involved and their media partners. The players who put on a great show of athleticism? Well, they probably got a nice steak dinner. Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Notre Dame made…

The lessons Fred Rogers taught us still resonate

A new documentary, followed by a feature film, bring the spotlight back to Mister Rogers. His legacy is worth rediscovering

The lessons Fred Rogers taught us still resonateFred Rogers said, “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.” Of course, Fred Rogers is best known as the star of the television program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was not only the main character, however, he was responsible for most of the content of a show that ran…

Tom Higgins: leadership truths from football to business

The CEO of the Canadian Football Academy talks about why team building, leadership and motivation are so important

Tom Higgins: leadership truths from football to businessTom Higgins is CEO of the Canadian Football Academy and a former coach in the Canadian Football League. What is the Canadian Football Academy and what does it do? Higgins: The CFA was born of an idea between me and Tony Fasano. We wanted to promote youth football in a positive, safe and skilful way.…

The sad, slow descent into CTE hell

The terrible degenerative disease is claiming more and more victims who played football at all levels

The sad, slow descent into CTE hellAs a sports policy analyst, I’ve learned a lot more about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in athletes than I ever expected to. Actually, at this point, I’ve learned more than I really want to know. CTE is a terrible degenerative disease, and it takes an immense toll on those who are stricken, as well as…

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – again

Donald Trump may take the credit, but you can blame CTV/Bell Media and the CRTC

The Super Bowl ads get punted in Canada – againNow that the nation is deep into the seasonal gridiron grind, it’s time to talk money, TV and some serious Canadian angst. No, this isn’t about why the Canadian Football League can’t draw flies in Toronto. This is about the ads, the rights and all the money that makes football a fantasy land for fans…