LONDON, ONTARIO – Blame it on baseball. If it weren’t for the most exciting and most pressure-packed week in baseball history, one that saw The Curse Of The Cup come alive, Detroit and Philly would still be on the back pages, but not for the Tigers and Phillies. Instead, we’d be rightfully flooded with reports of Canadians Gone Wild[ing] during an exhibition between two other teams from Motown and the City Of Brotherly Love; the Detroit Wings and Philadelphia Flyers. To be specific, our polite neighbors to the north were nothing of the sort at the John LaBatt Centre.
Borrowing from Thursday’s Bunt-gate piece, I’ll call this cover-up of the NHL’s latest black eye, Banana-gate. For those of you caught up in the baseball vortex, Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers, an African-Canadian(?), was the target of a wayward banana thrown from the London, Ontario crowd during the overtime shootout.
There is little doubt about the intent of the banana toss and unfortunately, the NHL is no stranger to this behavior. If I recall correctly, goaltender Kevin Weekes, was once on the receiving end of the yellow fruit in Montreal. Since the event took place Quebec’s hockey heaven, there wasn’t as much of an outcry as in the Simmonds case – which wasn’t much to begin with. Either way, it’s unfortunate because both players are Canadian-born. Side Note: NY Ranger goalie Eddie Mio had a fish thrown his way that landed in the net after a failed glove save, but that can’t be cited as a precedent.
What’s next, Canada? A box of Carr’s Table Water Crackers being thrown at a 7-foot white center at Toronto Raptors game? Or will you try to hire mascot that shows up at Florida Panthers hockey games – courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays? Since the recent NHL event, I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing this guy at hockey games but baseball is a different story… Get the puck out of here with that!
NFL Picks: 3-3 last week. This week: Pittsburgh +4 San Diego -8, Jacksonville +7 ½, Den/GB UNDER 46 ½.
West Coast Craig, tomorrow.