Old friend Adam Proteau had a sweet tweet this week: “Bob Cole should be the voice of everything: your smartphone, your car’s navigation voice, the ‘all our agents are busy’ voice, etc.” Tough to argue with that idea. . . . “Mike Babcock has Toronto Maple Leafs players believing they can make the playoffs,” writes Cam Hutchinson in the Saskatoon Express. “He also has them believing in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and peace in the Middle East.” . . . One more from Hutchinson: “The list of those laid off last week at TSN/CTV includes Sheri Forde, Mike Toth, Carolyn Waldo and David Bastl. In a related story, TSN still has 15 Hockey Insiders and Rod Black.” . . . If you weren’t aware, Jeff Paterson, a former radio voice of the Kamloops Blazers, was among those who lost their jobs in that purge. . . .
There is one of those LED changeable traffic signs hanging over the Trans-Canada Highway just east of Kamloops. Last weekend, it informed drivers: “Avoid driving in bad conditions.” Seriously. It cost more than $100,000 and that’s what it gives us. . . . “When a ball is thrown,” wonders Larry King, “why do dogs chase it?” . . . Steve Pikiell, the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Stony Brook U, defines his squad to the New York Post: ““We have good outside shooters. Unfortunately, we play our games indoors.” . . .
Organizers of the Bangkok half-marathon screwed up and added an extra three miles to the route. As Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent, put it: “That would've meant just one more subway transfer for Rosie Ruiz.” . . . Littlejohn also reports: “The town boss who controls the Double Deuce bar, the one that Ronda Rousey is slated to clean up in the upcoming Road House remake, has just hired Holly Holm.” . . . Quarterback Blake Bortles of the Jacksonville Jaguars said the other day that his team is a “small step” from being a contender. As Littlejohn was quick to point out: “Well, remember, it took a decade and billions for Neil Armstrong's small step.” . . .
Have you seen that McDonald’s commercial in which Mike Ditka is wearing a Green Bay Packers sweater and cap? Did you know that the Packers are 0-3 since that spot started airing? So leave Olivia Munn alone, OK? . . . Going into this weekend’s NFL games, Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, noted: “The Indianapolis Colts, at 4-5 and 1-4 outside their division, are in line to host an NFL playoff game. Even NBA teams are thinking that’s crazy.” . . . Here’s Hough, again: “Michigan, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana and Illinois have all said now they won’t accept Syrian refugees. Because in those states, Americans already do a good enough job of killing each other?” . . .
When he compiled his Bottom 10 NCAA football rankings this week, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald had Central Florida (0-10) in top spot (or bottom spot, if you prefer). “I read that the Knights don’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit,’ ’’ Dickson explained. “So the academics stink, too.” . . . You may not have heard that Major Football League — yes, another spring professional league — is on the drawing board. As Greg Cote of the Miami Herald wrote: “The date of its inevitable demise has not yet been set.” . . .
Andy Van Slyke used to be on the Seattle Mariners’ coaching staff. Here he is the other day, chatting with a St. Louis radio station about second baseman Robinson Cano’s ability to hit in the clutch: “He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried.” . . . “Actor David Hasselhoff had his name legally changed to David Hoff,” notes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Indianapolis Colts QB Matt Beck was unavailable for comment.” . . . “McDonald’s is out with a new value meal called the ‘McPick 2,’ ” Perry writes. “Except in Cleveland, where it’s known as the McPick 6.” . . .
According to Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong, “Justin Bieber is trying to put his past behind him by apologizing and acting more polished. To start, he will only bomb his neighbours’ houses with ‘cage-free’ eggs.” . . . “The Houston Rockets said ‘the team wasn’t responding’ to recently fired head coach Kevin McHale,” notes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “The skipper had such poor support from his crew, they looked like McHale’s Navy.” . . . “Ohio residents voted not to legalize marijuana,” Currie writes. “Not to worry Cleveland Browns fans: you’ve still got liquor.” . . .
Does anyone really care what the NHL does with its all-star game? . . . Here’s Ray Ratto, of CSNBayArea.com: “The NHL All-Star Format, which changes every three years no matter what, is now going to a 3-on-3 tournament format. Gone is the player draft (probably out of fear that New York State might arrest Sidney Crosby), and the new format may turn out to be a magnificent hit. But in three years, it’ll be something different anyway. Maybe bears in goalie gear.” . . . If you are wondering what ‘swagger’ looks like, spend some time watching Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors. . . .
BTW, the folks responsible for all of those regional NHL telecasts are to be credited for turning me into something of an NBA watcher. It also makes it a whole lot easier to watch Monday and Thursday night NFL games. . . . MLB’s managers of the year are Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs and Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers. As Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen put it: “You’ll have to try harder next year, Ned Yost.” . . . Yost’s Kansas City Royals didn’t win even one major post-season MLB award. They won the World Series, though, so somehow I don’t think they are bothered by the snubs. . . . The first Syrian refugees have arrived in Seattle. “They are already complaining about the Mariners bullpen,” Rolfsen reports.
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at email@example.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)