Category Archives: Sports

Sam Selection Special, But in a Perfect World it Wouldn’t Be

By Jason Menard,

Tonight, we were privy to what was, in my opinion, the best seventh-round selection of the NFL draft. And I hope we’ll have more of these moments in the near future so that, eventually, they won’t be special.

The video of Michael Sam receiving a phone call from the St. Louis Rams notifying him that he was their seventh-round selection is powerful, emotional, and uplifting. The image of his boyfriend, holding his hand and comforting Sam as the player struggles to regain his composure, is touching. And the kiss between the two was natural, organic, and will have ultimately no impact on his on-field abilities.

But the Sam situation was unnecessarily different. And it shows how far we have to go in this society until what should be considered normal actually is. Continue reading

Filling Out My Dream Team Roster

By Jason Menard

It’s been proven over and over in sports that success does not come exclusively by having the best players — it’s having the best team that wins championships. After all, even on the Dream Team not everyone could be Michael Jordan. Someone’s had to be Christian Laettner.

That rings true in all aspects of life, including business and politics. Everyone wants to be (or thinks they are) the idea person, the visionary, the leader. There’s a whole market predicated on selling motivational posters to those who want to believe that individualism matters more than collective will.

It’s true that single-mindedness and tunnel vision can lead to successfully completing a goal or project. And if you’re interested in your own needs, that’s often enough. But true success — the kind that uplifts people from across all walks of life — can only come from balance and teamwork. Continue reading

Sochi Olympics? It’s OK to Have a Gay Old Time

By Jason Menard

How can anyone who supports gay rights support this year’s Olympics in Sochi? It’s easy – it comes down to remembering the lessons taught by one man:

Jesse Owens Continue reading

Oh Canada: Accepting Our Olympic Mediocrity As Fans

By Jason Menard

We’re just days away from the start of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games and after hitting the slopes yesterday, I’m feeling pretty athletic (OK, I was tubing, not doing anything actually physical). Maybe that’s why my feelings towards the Olympics have somewhat softened.

OK, who am I trying to kid? The Olympic movement still hits me in the bowels, but I’ve realized that my real issue, like Sloan once sang, “it’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans.Continue reading

Hockey: Not Our Game, But Our Gift

By Jason Menard,

The great game of hockey may have been born here, but it’s by no means our birthright. And it may be time to reflect upon some 40-year-old lessons that obviously haven’t been learned.

In 2014, the hand-wringing has already started. Back-to-back years where Team Canada has not medalled in the World Junior Championship has some questioning our nation’s hockey development. A gold-or-bust attitude already seems to surround discussions about the Olympic men’s squad. There’s been an unnatural fascination about eighth defensemen and 13th forwards.

There’s an underlying arrogance throughout all of this, which assumes that Canada in some way deserves the gold medal, without even needing to lace it up. All the other nations are pretenders to the throne. Continue reading

A Sure-Fire Way to Get Fighting Out of Hockey

By Jason Menard

When I was younger, I loved fighting in hockey. When I played, we’d mock throw down, dropping the gloves, trying to pull each others’ jerseys over our heads. As I got older, I became indifferent towards fighting. I could appreciate a good throw down as much as the next person, but, in general, I could take it or leave fighting.

Over recent years, I’ve seen less and less of a need for fighting in the game. The best hockey I’ve had the pleasure of watching was in the Canada Cup, the Olympics, and in the NHL playoffs — forums in which fighting was infrequent at best, non-existent for the most part.

Last night was the first time I actively wished a fight wouldn’t have happened. George Parros, early in the first period, squared off against Patrick Bordeleau of the Colorado Avalanche. It wasn’t a great tilt at all, but when Parros and Bordeleau hit the ice, I felt something in the pit of my stomach.

Fortunately, Parros was fine. But I shouldn’t have to worry about watching a player turned into a vegetable for a non-essential part of the game. Continue reading

In Hockey, Life, There’s No Place Like Home

By Jason Menard,

Whether your name is Dorothy or Dmitri, there really is no place like home.

In the wake of Alexander Burmistrov’s return to the KHL and Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to forsake $77 million US to return to his homeland, the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen looked into whether teams should be concerned about drafting and investing in Russian players. Continue reading