The Garden City Refugee

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Random Thoughts – Old Country Storm, Flaky Infrastructure, Ted Green and More

October 15, 2019

1. My thoughts go out to all those in the Old Country dealing with the lingering effects of the unseasonably early snowstorm that ripped through my former home province.

2. Such devastating weather events would become a thing of the past if only we paid more taxes to Justin Trudeau. Don’t laugh, Liberals actually believe this.

3. Not to say that the hydro workers in the Old Country aren’t going above and beyond the call of duty right now, but let’s not forget that it’s those same hydro workers who are responsible for the flaky power grid that gives you random and frequent outages for no apparent reason in a province with an abundance of hydroelectric power. I remember a conversation with the owner of a prominent manufacturing company in Winnipeg who, on his own without being prompted, suddenly brought up the issue of how the many power outages cause so much havoc with his daily production cycle. It’s no different with the Mysterious Telephone System. During my last couple of months there, my phone and Internet service was down for 16 of 20 days with two separate outages, neither of which anyone at MTS could tell me when they would be able to get around to fixing patching up. Not to say things don’t happen here, but they’re a lot more proactive with infrastructure in this part of the world.

4. I was saddened to learn of the recent death of Jets legend Ted Green, a stalwart on the blue line during the team’s later years in the WHA. I never knew him personally, but I remember how Anders Hedberg made a point of telling me how much Green went out of his way to welcome the Swedes during an era when non-North American players weren’t universally accepted the way they are today.

5. For those who missed it, I released my newest book, Broken Wings: The sordid history of the Atlanta Thrashers (1999-2011) recently. Click here for more on the book.

6. I occasionally read the blog of former Winnipeg Tribune sportswriter Pat Doyle Patti Dawn Swansson, and her latest ramblings stuck in my craw a little. For starters there was this line:

Thanks to Saskatchewan for being next door, because the Flattest of Lands gives us Manitobans one more reason to feel good about ourselves. Not that we need another reason.

“Us Manitobans?” As she’s written in earlier posts, she left the SPRM long before I did and is no more a Manitoban than I am. And she has obviously not been keeping up with current events, as the roles have long since been reversed. No more can those in the SPRM credibly sneer at their neighbors to the west. Today, the SPRM is at the bottom of the barrel.

Then she goes on to complain about Sportsnet ignoring the CFL:

I’m still waiting for someone at Sportsnet to explain why it bills itself as “Canada’s #1 Sports Network” yet it ignores the Canadian Football League.

Maybe, just maybe, it’s because the CFL is not a major league. Fans of the league can gripe about that characterization all they want, but the CFL has never been, nor will ever be big-league. It’s just a niche product. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but let’s not get carried away and call it something that it’s not.

Finally, she suggests that the singer-crony of the Mark Chipman Personal Hockey Club, née Atlanta Thrashers, should be belting out O Canada in Quebecese before every game.

Perhaps she’s not aware of how many, including me, have been turned off by all the politics in sports these days, including, but not limited to, the anthem protests in the NFL (does anyone watch that league anymore?), the CFL’s Diversity is Strength campaign and the offensive Indian land acknowledgments read before every game. But hey, let’s add one more to the growing pile by groveling to another privileged minority group. That sure makes a lot of sense . . . NOT!

7. As the time comes for what might be our last shot to eject Captain Blackface and the Liberals from office, a shout out to local Conservative candidate Krystina Waler for all her hard work over the past few months. Whatever happens on election day, that effort makes her a winner in my books.

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