Saturday, February 20, 2010

It’s (well past) time to move on.

tiger woodsSome 80-odd days ago Tiger Woods exited his home in Florida in what could best be described as a spectacular fashion. And all of a sudden this golf icon (a title well and truly deserved) became the poster boy for everything wrong in sports and the lives of its elite practitioners.

What followed was nothing more than a hypocritical knee-jerk reaction by the media and society in general, with the only missing element being a congressional inquiry into sex as a diversion for our sports “heroes”. (And probably the only reason for that is the US Congress couldn’t withstand the spotlight of unfaithfulness being turned on itself, unlike steroid use which, as far as I know, hasn’t yet reached epidemic proportions in the halls of government.)

I’m not an apologist for Tiger Woods. What he did was wrong. Full stop. But what he did was no different, sadly, than uncountable scenes being played out every day, in every community, at every level of society, by both men and women. His “crime”, as it were, was his celebrity which, it should be said, was based on his prowess on the golf course and not between the sheets.

However, under intense media pressure to “do something”, Tiger  Woods has now made a full and public apology. But was that enough? Of course not. Not wanting to let this juicy issue go away the media are now crying that it wasn’t heartfelt, it was just spin, and staged, and that Elin wasn’t there, and they shouldn’t be blamed for following his children to school, and blah, blah, blah.

So to the media and the public who are keeping this alive, get a life, and move on. And to Tiger, sort out your personal problems in private and get back on the golf course where you belong.

Monday, February 15, 2010

“Canada has never won a gold on home soil”

That phrase must surely go down as one of the most over-used expressions in the modern Olympic era – at least in Canada. All last week (and for weeks before that) every time the Olympics were mentioned, the news anchor would sombrely intone, “And Canada has never won a gold medal on home soil.” as if God Himself was responsible for this continued slight on Canadian honour. Then he or she would rhyme off a list of athletes expected to finally break the spell and cast our national demon into the furnaces of Hell.

Well, no more. Thanks to an amazing moguls run by Alex Bilodeau (who, it’s worth noting, was not usually included in the aforementioned list of names) the writers now have to come up with some new theme to fill those long, boring stretches where talking heads fill the gaps between coverage of the actual events.

So congratulations Alex for your gold medal, and for ridding the airwaves of this particular hackneyed phrase. Canada thanks you for both.


Photo: Lyle Stafford, Reuters

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


DSCN0550 - 2 - web 

Immune to the steady roar of traffic from the nearby highway, they stand in solitude, overlooking the cold, barren winter fields.

Together they have fought the ravages of time, Dutch elm disease, ice storms, and development. And in the spring they will return to life as they have, without fail, every year for a century or more.

New green growth will cover the bare bones of the elm, and the now empty barn will once again echo with the sounds of an active farm.

They are survivors and we should stop more often to honour them and listen to their stories.