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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

The Summer Olympics in Toronto…and Chicago?

In Canada, London, Olympics, South of the boarder, Sports, The World Comes To Toronto, Toronto on August 6, 2012 at 16:51

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So I’m watching the Summer Olympics and getting into the spirit of it all. Also the envy of, “wouldn’t it be cool if we had the Olympics here, in the T-Dot.” Of course this is madness. The economy is in the shitter. Toronto has failed twice in the last 20 years. Atlanta in 1996 and Beijing in 2008. We’ve got the Pan Olympics happening in 2015 but that’s like the Triple “A” of sporting events. No the Olympics in Toronto might be a far distant want. But what if Toronto got some help. What if we teamed up with another city. No not Mississauga or Hamilton. Ottawa might be cool but I’m thinking bigger, much bigger. Why not look outside of our province. Heck outside of the country. My pick would be Chicago!?! What the heck are you talking about. How/Why would Chicago even think about partnering with us. In one word, Money! Chicago has already put their hat into the ring for the 2016 Olympics and was handed a first ballet boot to the ass. Foot in mouth was felt throughout Michigan Ave and City Hall.  Beating chests and red, white and blue did nothing for the Olympic committee.  Heck not even the President could get the Olympic committee to look their way.  But a dual bid from two of the largest cities in North America could be very attractive.

Here’s my break down of who does what

Opening Ceremonies – Chicago
Closing Ceremonies – Toronto
Track and Field – Chicago

Pentathlon – Chicago

Triathlon – Toronto
Aquatics – Toronto
Gymnastics – Chicago
Cycling – Toronto
Courts (basketball, volleyball) – Chicago
Canoeing, Kayaking and Rowing – Toronto
Equestrian – Toronto
Boxing, wrestling – Chicago
Judo, Taekwondo- Toronto

Weight Lifting – Toronto

Wrestling – Toronto

Soccer – Toronto

Baseball – Chicago

Softball – Chicago

Golf – Toronto

Field Hockey – Toronto

Sailing Toronto, Chicago

Tennis & Badminton – Chicago

Archery – Toronto

Hey it could happen..maybe

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The @CityofLdnOnt rocks!

In Canada, Olympics, Sports, The World on July 25, 2012 at 11:35

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No Olympics for London, Ontario or London, Norway, or London, Nigeria or Little London, Jamaica.

That’s just fine.

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Hockey Night in Canada sans the #CBC

In Business, Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Hockey, Sports, The CBC, YouTube on May 29, 2012 at 16:24

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“Rogers Media is broadly hinting for the first time Tuesday that it would be keen to win the television rights that the CBC has held for six decades.

Broadcasters pay the National Hockey League for these lucrative rights, whose costs have been rising substantially.

In 2007, when HNIC’s rights were last on the auction block — the price the CBC paid was not revealed, but media reports suggested it ranged from $90 million to $100 million for the six-year contract, up $20 million from the previous deal.” via CBC

Loose our 2nd national anthem to TSN then loose the only reason to watch hockey in Canada to Sportsnet.  Thank goodness I’ve got CBCRadio3 (no pun)

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Don’t hate Nickelback

In Canada, Customer Service, Have to Laugh, Media, People that Matter, South of the boarder, Sports, YouTube on November 25, 2011 at 10:04

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It couldn’t have been easy for Chad and the boys.  Talk about a rough start.  The hard knocks band from Hanna, Alberta, released their third album Silver Side Up on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  But since that day, Nickelback has raked up 32 Awards from Billboard Music, AMA’s, MuchMusic Video, The Grammy’s and The Juno’s.  They’ve sold more than 50 Million records.  So why so much hate for this truly Canadian band?  The answer may never fully be understood.

“There’s almost something fun about disliking Nickelback,” says Sam Sutherland with Toronto-based AUX TV, which created the Nickelblock plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome. “I think it bonds people.”

It’s a meme, a sort of pop cultural flu, says Robert Belton, a professor in the faculty of creative and critical studies at the University of British Columbia. “Someone somewhere said, ‘Nickelback stinks,’ and it was funny, so everybody else piled on, whether they actually think that or not.”

Well, not everyone has been piling on – the Canadian Football League petition only had 52 signatures as of Wednesday.”

Well here’s hoping the City of Detroit made it through their Thanksgiving Day game shedding more tear for the Lion’s 27 – 15 loss to the Green Bay Packers than to Nickelback’s halftime performance.

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The letter reads as follows:

“This game is nationally televised, do we really want the rest of the US to associate Detroit with Nickelback? Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback?!?!?! Does anyone even like Nickelback? Is this some sort of ploy to get people to leave their seats during halftime to spend money on alcoholic beverages and concessions? This is completely unfair to those of us who purchased tickets to the game. At least the people watching at home can mute their TVs. The Lions ought to think about their fans before choosing such an awful band to play at halftime.”

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Here’s Nickelback’s response on Funny or Die ~ http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5166240802/nickelback-responds-to-NFL-petition

Canada’s Walk Fame, eh!

In Canada, Celeb, Entertainment, Movies, Music, People that Matter, Sports, The CBC, Women, YouTube on October 2, 2011 at 10:07

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Never a bad thing showing off our Canadian all stars.  This year a songwriter, an astronaut, a tennis player, and some brown guy that will “Put a hurt on you”.  The Toronto Star’s Bruce DeMara has a nice little write up below, but here’s some video of this year sidewalk winner.

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read the full article here http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/1063098–eclectic-mix-joins-walk-of-fame

Roberta Bondar

Birthplace: Sault Ste. Marie

Best known for: Becoming the first Canadian woman in space and the world’s first neurologist in space when she travelled aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1992. More recently, she’s become known as a landscape photographer. She was named among North America’s best explorers by Time magazine in 2003.

Burton Cummings

Birthplace: Winnipeg

Best known for: Co-founding the Guess Who, and for writing or co-writing numerous Canadian and international hits, including “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “Undun,” “Hand Me Down World,” “Clap for the Wolfman” and, of course, “American Woman,” which was named the greatest Canadian single of all time in the book 100 Top Canadian Singles.

Daniel Nestor

Birthplace: Belgrade, Yugoslavia and raised in Toronto

Best known for: Being the third most decorated doubles champion in tennis history. He won 73 ATP Tour doubles titles. He’s also the only player ever to win all four Grand Slams, all of the Masters Series events, the year-end Masters Cup and Olympic Gold (for Canada in Sydney) in doubles.

Sandra Oh

Birthplace: Ottawa

Best known for: Her role as the driven Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, for which she has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Golden Globe and five Emmy nominations. She also had a significant part in the 2004 movie Sideways. She first came to prominence in Canada playing a teenage prostitute in The Diary of Evelyn Lau in 1997.

Russell Peters

Birthplace: Toronto

Best known for: His live comedy shows and YouTube clips, specializing in sometimes raunchy humour that skewers all ethnic groups, including his own Anglo-Indian background. He was on Forbes magazine’s list of top-earning comedians in 2009 and 2010. And his autobiography, Call Me Russell, was a bestseller.

Mordecai Richler

Birthplace: Montreal

Best known for: His novels, including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, which became a 1974 movie starring Richard Dreyfuss; St. Urbain’s Horsemen, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award; and Barney’s Version, which won the Giller Prize for Fiction and became a Genie- and Golden Globe-winning movie (also nominated for one Oscar) starring Paul Giamatti.


 

Oh Canada: The Blue Jays need a new look

In Canada, Sports, Toronto on August 9, 2011 at 21:55

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A new General manager in Alex Anthopoulos, a bunch of new players including Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus, could we see a hint of 1992 and/or 1993?  Nope we’re just changing our uniforms…maybe we could get rid of that damn mascot Ace…next!

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You can read full article in the Toronto Star here http://www.thestar.com/sports/baseball/mlb/bluejays/article/1037201–jays-making-a-uniform-change

Jays players, who wore red caps during the Canada Day weekend series in Toronto, could have a more pronounced maple leaf and red and white colours on the uniform to capture characteristics of the Canadian flag. The Jays have been wearing a bright red maple leaf on the right sleeve of their uniforms since the 2009 season.

With Canadian Brett Lawrie making his home debut Tuesday at the Rogers Centre, the Jays are also anxious to boost emphasis on their national marketing plan in Canada.

That plan blossomed during the World Series years in 1992-93, and saw the Jays play exhibition games in Western Canada. The club this year opened a minor league team in Vancouver and visits seven Canadian cities with a baseball training program featuring former greats like Robbie Alomar and Duane Ward.

Now, Lawrie may help spearhead the latest initiative to boost sales with a new design.

“Part of it is . . . we’ve put a team in Vancouver and we’re also trying to get as much TV exposure in Canada as we can,” Jays president Paul Beeston said. “But still, we have to perform on the field, that’s our best marketing tool.”

Music Monday: The Power of Coke’s Wavin’ Flag

In Business, Canada, Celeb, Entertainment, Media, Money, Music, Sports, The Social, The World, TIA (This Is Africa), YouTube on July 19, 2010 at 18:21

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This 32 year old music mystro may have created one of the greatest collaboration between a soft drink maker and artist since MJ!  Well maybe not that big but Coca Cola is a very happy partner.  K’naan is pretty happy as well.

Celebration Mix

K’Naan ft. Nancy Ajram

K’Naan ft. David Bisbal

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You can read Duane Stanford’s full article in Bloomberg Businessweek here

Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner

Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop music

Music industry executives have been making an unusual pilgrimage to Coca-Cola’s (KO) Atlanta headquarters, a telling measure of the company’s successful World Cup soccer marketing blitz. They want to learn how Coke turned a song called Wavin’ Flag by a little-known Somali-Canadian hip-hop artist into a World Cup anthem and No. 1 iTunes hit in 17 countries in less than a year. “They are getting on planes from New York, from U.K., from Los Angeles,” says Joe Belliotti, Coke’s director of global entertainment. “Word of mouth is a great thing in the music industry.”…

…Coke’s marketers liked Coke’s World Cup Song is a Marketing Winner Wavin’ the Flag has boosted sales and light-heartedly tied its brand to things young consumers care about—soccer and pop musicthe singer and his multinational upbringing as well as Wavin’ Flag‘s sweeping melody and hopeful chorus: “When I get older, I will be stronger. They’ll call me freedom, just like a waving’ flag.” Darker verses detailing K’naan’s struggle as a child in Somalia and his “fighting to eat” wouldn’t work. So K’naan (full name Keinan Abdi Warsame) offered to write a version of Wavin’ Flag with lyrics more befitting a soccer tournament.

K’naan and his producers added a bridge with Coke’s five-note melody and pumped up the African vibe with chanting and drums. The lyrics now talked of champions taking the field and fans rejoicing in “the beautiful game.” K’naan also recorded versions of the song with pop stars ranging from the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am to Japan’s AI and Spain’s David Bisbal, broadening its appeal.

Although financial details are confidential, Coca-Cola co-owns the rights to its Celebration Mix of Wavin’ Flag along with K’naan and his record company, owned by Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Coke, which split the cost to tour K’naan around the world, is plowing the unexpected profits from the sale of Wavin’ Flag downloads into its six-year, $30 million Replenish Africa Initiative, which seeks to provide clean water and better sanitation. The continent figures big in Coke’s long-term growth plans, where water scarcity is an immediate problem as well as a long-term threat to the company’s beverage production.

Thank you Pan-Am Games..Thank you?

In Business, Canada, Design, Media, Sports, The World Comes To Toronto, Toronto, YouTube on July 14, 2010 at 13:43

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Here’s a question for you, “when and where was the last Pan-Am Games?  Here’s a hint.  It’s only held in countries within North and South America.  Well if you got Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 without going to wikipedia you’re doing better than most.  The last time the Pan American Games came to Canada (Winnipeg 1999)  The US sent their b-swimming team and the media basically left this sporting event as an after thought.  These are not the Olympics, but for our fair city, they might be the best way to jump start all the projects that need to be done to make Toronto (the egotistical centre of Canada) a Wolrd Class’ish City.  Peter Ustinov called TorontoNew York run by the Swiss” back in 1987.  That was 23 years ago.  We’ve lost two Olympic bids; had SARS; have the second tallest structure in the world; a lack luster transit system and of course survived an earthquake, two blackouts a heat wave and the G20.  Two World Series wins though, but Leafs still suck.  Pan Am you will be our coming out party.  No not out of that closet.  Coming out party of Toronto having a bit of fun and hopefully looking good while we do it.

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Courtesy of the National Post.  You can see the full blown pic here

You can read Natalie Alcoba’s full article in the National Post here

Pam Am Games puts city projects on steroids

The Pan Am Games are scheduled to begin five years from today, a fact Torontonians would be forgiven for not knowing, or even forgetting — these are no prized Olympic Games, after all.

But for a city frustrated by the seemingly grinding pace of transit and waterfront improvements, there is one benefit to the Games that so many other grand projects are missing: a hard deadline.

It’s thanks to these Games that governments have pooled our cash and committed to building major transit, sporting and housing infrastructure that has been dancing in the wind. That elusive rail link from Union Station to Pearson Airport we’ve long been talking about? Officials say it’s their “intention” to have it running by 2015.

Same with the Sheppard East LRT, which attracted federal funding, and the Spadina subway extension that will, finally, punch through northern city limits into Vaughan.

The city-building effect of the Pan Am Games is not so much in the complexes themselves — though certainly that will be the case in a variety of Ontario municipalities that will be hosting events, from Hamilton to Oshawa — but in the way it potentially propels projects that have been in the pipeline.

The Games have accelerated waterfront renewal, so that the area known as the West Don Lands will already be beating with new life when athletes make it their home away from home.

The new mixed-use neighbourhood will feature five condo buildings, an affordable housing complex and a collection of nearby parks, including Underpass Park, by Eastern and Richmond, the lush 18-acre Don River Park, and further west, the whimsical Sugar Beach, with its brightly coloured umbrellas and rock outcroppings at the foot of Jarvis Street, and Sherbourne Commons between the Lakeshore and the waterfront.

The NHL can’t wait to come to Canada…right?

In Business, Canada, Hockey, Me Myself & I, South of the boarder, Sports on July 9, 2010 at 09:04

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Does the NHL need to come back to Canada?  Probably yes, but the likelihood of that happening is completely up in the air.  The Globe and Mail and TSN had a great series giving readers the ins and outs of “if”, “why” and “when” a new Canadian team will make it’s home here in Canada.  For me Winnipeg and Quebec City are no brainers.  Hamilton and another team in Toronto, not so much.  Though London or K/W  would be awesome.

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You can read David Naylor’s full six part series in The Globe and Mail here

Why not Canada?

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Winnipeg: The city’s economy showed resiliency during the recession and the population is growing at roughly three times the rate as when the Jets left for Phoenix in 1996. Local businessman Mark Chipman and his Toronto-based partner David Thomson aim to bring a team into the downtown MTS Centre, which would be the NHL’s smallest building with 15,015 seats and 50 luxury boxes. Given that revenue generated by the building wouldn’t match that of the top buildings in the league, there’s limited upside and the franchise could conceivably have trouble attracting free agents. Is the league really interested in returning to the ’Peg? Bettman has recently indicated that the priority of the league may be to take care of markets where teams existed previously. “The market size to me hasn’t been a concern,” Bettman says. “I know there are plenty of hockey fans there.”

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card here

Quebec City: In 1995, Aubut sold the Nordiques to Denver investors after the Quebec government refused to authorize a bailout. The economy has diversified over the past 15 years and Quebec’s unemployment rate ranks among the lowest in North America. The NHL’s decision to return would hinge on the success of a campaign for a new publicly funded $400-million arena, championed by the mayor. How passionate is the business community? Suites for the nonexistent building have already sold out. Media giant Quebecor, led by CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau, wants to own the franchise.

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card here

Hamilton: The market is far bigger than the city itself; more than three million people live within an 80-kilometre drive of Copps Coliseum. But the arena needs major upgrades, and various estimates of costs range between $50-million and $200-million. Despite acknowledging in federal court in Phoenix that revenues generated by a Hamilton franchise would be among the league’s highest, the NHL claims not to have studied the feasibility of putting a franchise in the city. Says Bettman: “If you were to have a second team in Southern Ontario … maybe it belongs in London, maybe it belongs in Waterloo. Who knows? The notion that ‘well, there’s an old building that happens to be there [so] let’s go,’ I don’t think that’s the way you put your franchises on the ground.”

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card here

Toronto: Research demonstrates a massive appetite among sports fans for a second NHL team in Toronto, roughly double the interest in attracting an NFL team. The corporate support would be all but guaranteed, as Toronto is the location of more than 900 head offices. There is land available for a new arena at the Woodbine racetrack and the former Downsview Airport. But a second team would have an impact on the overall entertainment industry, in which Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is heavily engaged. Do the Leafs have a veto? MLSE disagrees with the NHL about its right of territorial control over a market of more than five million people. But even if a deal could be made to compensate MLSE, the cost of an expansion or relocation fee, plus a new arena, could be prohibitive. Meantime, in spite of many rumours, no company or individual has stepped forward to begin the process of establishing a franchise.

You can read David Naylor’s full article in The Globe and Mail here ~ Also you can read the full Report Card Here

Finally some words of wisdom from good old Gary

I love you Toronto…but I have to go

In Canada, Customer Service, Sports, Toronto, YouTube on July 8, 2010 at 22:35

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Now that “The king” has made his move to create the ultimate trifecta (Lebron, Wade & Bosh) I have to wonder if the Raptors aren’t thinking what they have to do keep their franchise players from leaving.  We’ll here’s hoping CB4 and the gang have a good all time out in South Beach.  Toronto will miss you but unfortunately we aren’t surprised.

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15 years of the Raptors in Toronto has given us some great players…that have all walked out of Toronto.  Here they are in order.

“Mighty Mouse” Damon Stoudamire 1995-1998

“T-Mac” Tracy McGrady 1997 – 2000

“VC” Vince Carter 1998- 2004

“CB4” Chris Bosh 2003 – 2010

Who’s next to come…and go