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CFL getting media heat in Edmonton

Eskimos lower cone of silence for 10 days
June 26, 2016 8:36 P.M.

Hey, TSN, as you may be aware this is Vin Scully’s last season as the man on telecasts of Los Angeles Dodgers’ home games. You also may be aware that Vin is the best ever. You also may be aware that when you pick up Dodgers’ home games via ESPN, the telecasts that include Scully are blacked out on MLB Extra Innings. So, please, TSN, I beg of you, don’t be picking up any more Dodgers’ home games from ESPN this season. OK? . . . “Russia’s track team has been banned from the Olympics due to doping issues,” reports Brad Rock of the Deseret News. “IOC officials suspected testosterone was involved when they learned everyone on the women’s team refused to ask for driving directions.” . . .

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship by holding the Golden State Warriors without a point for the final four minutes 40 seconds of Game 7. The odds of that happening are about the same as getting 10 seconds of continuous silence during the telecast of a Toronto Blue Jays game. . . . A lot of people hit social media late in the game to talk about how great it was. Uhh, after Golden State tied it, 89-89, the two teams combined to shoot 1-for-17 from the floor. . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: Cavs teammates sheepishly tell Kevin Love they’re not aware of any post-game parties. . . .

Shanga Hankerson, the son of Gladys Knight, may be a real pip. He apparently owns three Atlanta restaurants and has been arrested in Florida and charged with theft and tax evasion. TC Chong, our favourite Richmond, B.C., blogger, notes: “Speculation is he was arrested getting on the midnight train to Georgia.” . . . Chong, again: “Singer Don MacLean and his wife have finalized their divorce and a settlement of $10 million has been agreed upon. So . . . bye bye to a 10-million dollar piece of pie . . .”

“The Detroit Lions plan to add a sideline cheer staff this season because, they say, ‘the Ford Family is unwavering in their commitment to improving the Detroit Lions fan experience’,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Hey, don’t laugh: It was either that or try to field a winning football team.” . . . One more from Perry: “Donald Trump fired his campaign manager? Hey, don’t laugh. Just look what the Cleveland Cavaliers and Pittsburgh Penguins — who won this year’s NBA and NHL titles — did after lopping their head coaches in midseason.” . . .

There is a petition making the rounds with the goal of getting Gordie Howe onto the cover of NHL 17. “If that happens,” writes Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, “gamers should have to play with their elbows instead of their thumbs.” . . . The 12th hole at Oakmont Country Club, the site of last week’s U.S. Open, was 684 yards in length. As Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald put it: “North Korea has had long-range missile tests that didn’t make it that far.” . . . According to the Detroit Free Press, after a doctor finished stitching up Gordie Howe in a dressing room during a game, Mr. Hockey told him: “Don’t go very far, because the guy who did this will be coming in soon.” . . .

“The latest NBA star to skip the Olympics — LeBron,” notes Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “One Team USA assistant was heard to fume: ‘Goodbye, LeBron. Hello, LeBronze’.” . . . Littlejohn, again: “Ben Affleck went on a profanity-laced tirade regarding Deflategate. Call it 'Good Will Ranting’.” . . . The U of Florida is to rename its football field Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. “Not wordy enough,” suggests Greg Cote of the Miami Herald. “Throw in a ‘Ball Coach’ reference, too.” . . . Headline at fark.com: City whose temperature is currently 111 degrees just awarded an NHL team. . . .

“Richard Jefferson, 35, retired Sunday night after the NBA Finals,” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “That awkward age . . . too old to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers and too young to join the San Antonio Spurs.” . . . Hough also pointed out just how the U of Alabama has its priorities in order: “Alabama football team’s strength coach, Scott Cochran, will now be making US$525,000 a year. Well, that’s a whole $10,000 less than the $535,000 Judy Bonner, the president of the university, makes.” . . . What Hough didn’t point out is that ’Bama head coach Nick Saban is pulling in a cool $7.09 million this year. . . .

There is no one more paranoid than a football coach. On Sunday, Chris Jones, the head coach of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders, implored fans not to reveal on social media anything that they may see during practices, including roster-related information. Not only that, but Jones claimed that last season the Edmonton Eskimos’ coaching staff — he was their head coach — plucked stuff off social media and used it to their benefit. Seriously? . . . Meanwhile, Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun was on Twitter on Sunday, the day after the Eskimos’ home-opener, pointing out “Esks announce 27,000 with massive number of no-shows in season-ticket territory for classic OT thriller in Grey Cup rematch. Then this. . . . no media availability today, Monday or for about 10 days with new head coach. EE fans used to be best-serviced in CFL. Now worst.” . . . The Eskimos are into a bye week and next play on July 8. . . . The Sun’s Derek Van Diest added: “Blame the terrible CFL media policies. Worst access of any pro sports league in North American.” . . . Yes, the CFL has issues in the area of communications. It also has a lot of seats to sell.

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at greggdrinnan@gmail.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)

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