J_Logan's Blog

Posted Sunday, February 28, 2010 06:14 PM

Perfect end to Vancouver 2010

With one sharp-angled goal, Sidney Crosby became an instant folk hero in Canadian history.

Crosby, who struggled in the quarterfinals and semifinals, lifted Canada back to the top of the hockey world with the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory over the rival Americans in Sunday’s gold medal final.

Crosby’s goal will be replayed for years and years to come and joins other notable scores in Canadian hockey past like Paul Henderson’s goal in the 1972 Summit Series and Mario Lemieux’s top-corner snipe in the 1987 Canada Cup.

Crosby’s game winner also helped the 22-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins star avoid a career’s worth of criticism. In the two previous games, Canada’s wunderkind failed to register a point and was the butt of much hostility.

If the shoe had been on the other foot and the U.S. had pulled off the upset, Crosby would be the biggest scapegoat for Canadian hockey fans, much like Alex Rodriguez was blamed for the New York Yankees’ postseason swoons until this past fall.

But, like something out of a fairytale, Crosby was in the right place at the right time and capped Canada’s best Olympic showing ever.

The closing ceremonies are officially Sunday night, but it will be hard to wrap up the 2010 games better than Sid the Kid’s goal.


Posted Friday, February 26, 2010 10:10 AM

Hockey girls uphold Canadian culture

Part of the Olympic experience is opening up the host country’s culture to the rest of the world. And the 2010 Vancouver games have done just that, integrating Canada’s multicultural heritage into everything from the opening ceremonies to those wooden medal podiums.

But not all aspects of Canadian life are being welcomed by the outside world. There have numerous news reports bashing the conduct of Olympic fans in downtown Vancouver and the binge drinking and partying that go along with any major sporting event.

That bad press has even forced liquor stores and downtown restaurants to limit the amount of booze dished out and forced them to cut back their store hours, as to not add to the drunken tomfoolery going on in the streets.

Even more fuel, or booze in this case, was thrown on the fire when the Canadian women’s hockey team celebrated their gold medal win over the rival Americans by having a couple brown sodas and sparking up some cigars on the ice at Canada Hockey Place Thursday night.

As most of my fellow Canadians know, hockey and beer go hand-in-hand in this country. Whether it’s an 11:30 pm ice time for shinny with the boys or the biggest international stage. Celebrating with a Molson, Labatt's or any one of our country’s fine brews is a tradition - let's say, as American as apple pie.

I think much of the stink has to do with the fact that this is the women’s hockey team. Although, most media outlets and the IOC are playing... [More]

Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010 02:15 PM

NCAA Tournament: Who will be the No. 2 seeds?

I have the complexion of an 800-pound woman confined to her bedroom. I can’t close my eyes without seeing dribble-drive dishes for an open three in the corner.  And every sentence ends with a Vitaleian “Baby!”.

I’ve either got a nasty case of that “Basketball Jones” Cheech and Chong sang about or it’s nearly tournament time. Or, like last year, it’s both.

The furious conference schedule has taken over my life. Winter Olympics by day and college hoops by night, leaving little time to shower, shave or brave the now-scary outside world which is full of what I call, “normalites” - or people who don’t dedicate six nights out of their week to the NCAA basketball Gods.

I know I’m not alone. There are plenty of you out there, staying up to 1 a.m. to catch the end of some WAC matchup, practicing your “I told you so” for the office pool and scribbling projected brackets on the front window of your house like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.

With just a few games left on each team’s plate before conference tournaments tip off, the No. 1 seeds for the field of 65 are becoming a little clearer. Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse and Purdue are the consensus among most notable “Bracketologist”.

But the million dollar question is who gets the No. 2 seeds?

The contenders appear to be Duke, Kansas State, Villanova, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Ohio State and the red-hot New Mexico Lobos.

Who are your No. 2s? ... [More]

Posted Monday, February 22, 2010 10:45 AM

The ugly truth about Canada and the Olympics

As a Canadian, it’s been very easy to get sucked into the Vancouver Winter Games the past week and a half.

Not since my university professors went on strike during the Salt Lake City games in 2002 have I watched so many winter sports.

Olympic fever isn’t just confined to my living room either. Everywhere you go, there are Canadian flags waving, red and white mittens on every corner and the bars are packed with drunken short track speed skating fans. And I’m in Ontario – five provinces removed from the games themselves.

Even at my local grocer, the talk from the produce section to the dairy cooler is about the 2010 games. A quick trip to pick up some sandwich essentials Sunday found me in the chatty cashier’s lane and, of course, the hot topic of the day was the Canada vs. USA men’s hockey game.

And, following Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Americans, the talk about town – and the entire country – remains centered on the Canadian hockey team.

While the loss doesn’t eliminate Team Canada from the tournament (forcing them to play Germany in a play-in for a shot at Russia in the quarterfinals), you’d swear that Gretzky got traded all over again.

The long faces on the street, the stunned front-page headlines and the disappointed, long-winded cashiers at the grocery store, all can’t believe that our national sport (which is actually lacrosse by the way) is being stuffed down our boys’ throats by a nation that could care less about hockey ... [More]

Posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 12:59 PM

Fantasy NBA Slam Dunk Contest

The NBA All-Star weekend Slam Dunk contest just hasn’t been the same since the actual All-Stars took their balls and went home – or off to host an after party instead of lacing them up.

This year’s field is perhaps the saddest in some time. Nate Robinson is played out like trucker hats, Shannon Brown and DeMar Derozan lack true star power and the one actual “All-Star”, Gerald Wallace, is known for his nasty, in-your-face dunks – not dunk contest dunks (perhaps he should hire Shawn Bradley as his prop?).

All of these guys can get up and there will be a few impressive slams Saturday night. But with LeBron’s dunk contest balk leaving the event without a real name, it’s safe to say there is as much or more interest in the skills competition with guys like Derrick Rose, Steve Nash, Deron Williams and Brandon Jennings involved.

That said, who would be your dream dunk contest field?

Sticking with current players, I’d have to sign up LeBron, Jason Richardson, Josh Smith and Dwight Howard. I think that is a nice mix of stars, power, style and creativity.

Of course, people would love to see Vince Carter and Kobe back in it, but those guys don’t bounce like they used to.

So who is your fantastic flying four for your NBA fantasy dunk contest and why?

Posted Saturday, February 06, 2010 08:17 PM

My dog's Super Bowl pick

It’s amazing how fast a year can whip by. It seems like only last week that Santonio Holmes dragged his toes for a Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl title.

But here we are, staring down another Super Bowl spread. And much like last year, I’m shunning the analyst and experts when it comes to capping the big game.

Last season, I matched wits with my 85-pound English bulldog Fritz. I had a good feeling about the Arizona Cardinals getting seven points while my dog was dead set on the Steelers. In the end, I was relieved that I could cap games better than an animal that eats its own puke.

How does my dog pick games you ask? Well, he sticks to what he does best – eat.

We assign a side to each of his favorite snacks and whatever treat Fritz goes for first is the winner. Last year, he sealed his fate by taking the Pedigree Breath Buster Biscuit (Steelers -7) instead of the delicious and profitable Purina Chew-rific Bacon & Cheese treat (Arizona +7).

This time around, the Super Bowl XLIV competitors were represented by a Greenies Dog Dental Brush and the infamous Dog Whisper’s secret weapon, Pup-Peroni.

The Greenie was tagged as the Colts (-5 at BetJamaica.com) for its efficient teeth-cleaning power, similar to Peyton Manning’s efficient offense. The Pup-Peroni was assigned to the Saints (+5) due to its spicy flavor, much like New Orleans’ zesty offensive prowess.

After sending the dog out of the room and placing both teams (treats)... [More]