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Yes, The Great One really was great

Might you be from Sasquatchewan?
February 14, 2016 6:08 P.M.

After the Toronto Blue Jays signed Josh Donaldson to a two-year deal, former teammate Brandon McCarthy tweeted his congratulations like this: “Congrats on the deal. Now you can tip your barber so he'll stop doing what he does to you.” . . . More than a few people got excited on Thursday when Connor McDavid put up five points against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. So let’s put that in perspective, thanks to Elias Sports which points out that Wayne Gretzky had 79 such games while with the Oilers. He also had 14 of them with the L.A. Kings and two with the New York Rangers. So give him 95. . . . Think about that for moment or two. . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Knicks offer head-coach job to LeBron James. . . .

“There’s the Crimson Tide, and then there’s the Green Tide,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “The Southeastern Conference banked $527.4 million in the first fiscal year of the College Football Playoffs and the SEC Network, according to tax returns. In other words, $527.4 million more than the players made.” . . . One more from Perry: “The NBA All-Star Game will be played in Canada for the first time ever, on Sunday in Toronto, but not everyone’s happy about it. Factor in the exchange rate, and three-pointers will be worth only 2.1 points this year.” . . .

A note from Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post: “Researchers at Yale University suggest the erratic behaviour of King Henry VIII may have been the result of brain injuries he suffered during sporting events. Wait, did he play in Super Bowl VIII?” . . . Hamilton also pointed out that “Henry may have had concussions, but a couple of his wives suffered more serious head injuries.” . . . My favourite post-Super Bowl tweet came from Denver Broncos defensive co-ordinator Wade Phillips, whose Twitter handle is @sonofbum: “A little Dab (will) do you but too much Dab will undo you!” . . . Headline at Yahoo.com: Cam Newton goes from Superman to Incredible Sulk. . . .  

“Denver's offence gained only 194 yards,” notes Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent, in reference to the Super Bowl. “That’s the fewest yards needed for a victory since the U.S. invaded Grenada.” . . . Littlejohn, again: “In her surprising Australian Open final loss to Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams was gracious, friendly and reportedly 'happy and enthusiastic' for Kerber. Although, I hear they had to later bring in the Jaws of Life to unclench Serena's teeth.” . . . “Carlos Santana blasted the Super Bowl halftime show, saying that there should've been iconic San Francisco bands instead,” writes Littlejohn. “Oh, well, that's the way the ball Beyonces.” . . .

After the Super Bowl, while folks were speculating on whether Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning would retire, the Onion Sports Network had this headline: Peyton Manning Declares He Has At Least One More Surgery In Him. . . . “Super Bowl MVP Von Miller went to Disneyland after the game,” reports Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “Cam Newton was given tickets to Walt’s place as well, but he dropped them and DeMarcus Ware picked them up and ran off with them.” . . .

“American Airlines is the latest to trumpet that free snacks are coming back to domestic flights,” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “Really amazing, not that many years ago airlines gave us free meals, now they expect gratitude for free snacks. Kind of the travel equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome.” . . . Hough, again: “The Cleveland Cavaliers’ recent strong play was apparently sparked by a players-only meeting. Not sure what was discussed but maybe ‘Hey guys, we just got a 30-11 coach fired, if we don’t step it up fans will think it just might be OUR fault.’ ”

“Before the recent Northwestern-Maryland men’s basketball game in Chicago,” reports Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald, “the national anthem singer held a single note for 23 seconds. During that one note, 11 Chicago aldermen were indicted in separate incidents.” . . . A Belgian cyclist was found to have a hidden motor in her bike during a race at the cyclocross world championships. Dickson reports: “Other competitors got suspicious when she pulled into Jiffy Lube during a race.” . . .

“A Fox NBA commentator said Saskatoon-born Utah Jazz forward Trey Lyles is from a Canadian province known for sasquatches,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “So hello to the good folks of Sasquatchewan.” . . . An NHL all-star game tweet from @steveryan23: “Saw a guy take a penalty shot with a cowboy hat on against a goalie using a guitar for a stick. But John Scott is embarrassing for the NHL?” . . . After it was reported that Gary Bettman, the NHL commish, had signed a seven-year contract extension, Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen suggested: “It should have been put to a fan vote.”

(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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