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Vikings kicker really did break the pane

Ready or not, hockey season is upon us
August 21, 2016 2:28 P.M.

Well, we learned one thing about Olympic race walking on Friday: You are permitted to appeal. And you are allowed to appeal the appeal. But you can’t appeal the appeal of the appeal, and that is something that may have cost Canada a bronze medal. . . . A gem from comedy writer Jerry Perisho: “Breaking news: Donald Trump hires Hope Solo to write his concession speech.” . . . The Victoria HarbourCats of baseball’s West Coast League have a new head coach in the person of Brian McRae, the former major leaguer whose father, Hal, is a former big league player and manager. . . . Last summer, the WCL did some preliminary work involving a possible Kamloops franchise, and I am told that talks are ongoing with at least one local businessman. . . .

If you like homerism in a baseball telecast you should have been watching the eighth inning of a game between the Minnesota Twins and host Kansas City Royals on Friday night. With the score 4-4, Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a shot to left field. The TV crew obviously thought it was a home run, because they credited Perez with a homer and the Royals with a run as he rounded first base. But, gee, the ball hit the top of the wall and stayed in play. . . . If you happen to subscribe to the MLB Extra Innings TV package, you are subjected to some mind-numbing cheerleading by some announcers. . . . Or you can turn to Rogers Sportsnet and give a listen to the Toronto Blue Jays’ head cheerleaders, Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler. There really is nothing like listening to Martinez trying to cheer a Blue Jays fly ball or a double off the wall out of the park. . . .

“After a brutal dive, defending Olympic diving champion Ilya Zakharov received 0.0 points from the judges,” notes Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif.-based correspondent. “The dive reportedly was called The Triple Tebow.” . . . Littlejohn, again: “Six boxing judges were sent home from Rio after outrage over results from fights they oversaw. Too bad they couldn't do that on American Idol.” . . . Littlejohn was busy the other day. As he reports: “I went to a Diaz-McGregor press conference and a Geraldo show broke out.” . . . And one more from Littlejohn: “Brazilian police have identified a person of interest in the Ryan Lochte sage — Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.” . . .

“LeBron James said his goal is to own an NBA team,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “Up to now he’s settled for owning coaches.” . . . Currie, again: “Websites Gawker and Vox slammed NBC’s Olympic announcers for an Americans-only bias. That’s harsh — although one suspects their favourite Christmas tune is Jingo Bells.” . . . One more from Currie: “How about Canadian sprinter Shawn De Grasse’s come-from-behind silver in the 200-metre race? You don’t need to be Wordsworth to recognize splendour in De Grasse.” . . . The Rio Olympics caused Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong to reminisce: “The closest I ever got to making the track and field team in high school was when they asked me to shag javelins.” . . . Chong says the key thing he learned from the Games is that “a dive in track and field isn’t the same as a dive in boxing.” . . .

Here’s hoping you’re ready for it, because despite the summer-like weather a lot of WHL teams have players reporting to camp this week. Meanwhile, the junior B Nelson Leafs held their training camp last weekend. That’s right — their camp is over. . . . Sometime Montreal Gazette columnist Jack Todd has a question: “Is nothing allowed to happen in Canadian sports without Drake sticking his nose in for a little free publicity?” . . . Sweaters worn by players during this fall’s World Cup of Hockey will contain an advertising patch paid for by SAP, the international software giant. NHL execs say this doesn’t necessarily mean that advertising is coming to NHL team sweaters. On the other hand, SAP reportedly paid US$25 million for two weeks of the advertising on World Cup sweaters, so . . .

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times reports that Minnesota Vikings “backup QB Taylor Heinicke severed a tendon in one foot when he tried to kick in a door and missed, putting it through a window instead. On the bright side, they didn’t need instant replay to determine if he broke the pane.” . . . Perry with a suggestion: “Ryan Lochte, spokesman for Burger King? Hey, don’t laugh. They’d probably sell a lot of Whoppers.” . . . Headline on Page 1 of Friday’s New York Post: The Ugly American — Liar, liar, Speedo on fire. . . . Meanwhile, The Daily News went with: The Lochte Mess Monster. . . . “In Olympic news,” writes Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald, “there’s a new type of individual medley where Ryan Lochte changes his story every 100 metres.” . . .

American swimmer Michael Phelps said he would retire once he was done with the Rio Olympics. Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., reported: “Even Brett Favre is saying he’ll believe that when he sees it.” . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: Michael Phelps spots estranged father Poseidon in stands. . . . The only time I made sure to watch the Rio Olympics was when Usain Bolt was running. There is nothing grander in sports than watching him hit a higher gear when he feels a competitor bearing down on him. . . . “To show that they take domestic violence seriously, the Chicago Cubs fired an employee who played Prodigy’s song ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ after Aroldis Chapman pitched the other day,” notes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Babe. “Guess the employee couldn’t throw a 100 mph fastball.” . . . Thanks, Gord and The Hip. And thanks to CBC, too.

(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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