North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Archive for October 2010

Felix, not CC and especially not the Yankees – notes on a baseball postseason

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A quick question: what pitcher is more important to his team? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by M.

October 21, 2010 at 11:11 pm

One from the Vault – Dispatches from a baseball championship

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I’m working on a longish piece about the baseball season and one about social media on top of my picks column, which is why this place has been slow in one of the best sports times of the year. For that, I apologize. In place of new content is new-to-you content, a mostly-unpublished piece I wrote in college.

My second year of college, I wrote for the student newspaper. I remember one of the first days of class, the Editor-in-chief, a very nice guy named Jerry, asked the entire staff of the paper who wanted to cover sports. Something like five if us put our hands up. We gathered in a semi-circle over one of the desks we used to lay out the paper on and Gerry presented us with a list of each sport. “Each person can choose one.” We went around the circle, each prospective sportswriter choosing what they wanted.

One, a former NHL prospect named Mike, chose OHL hockey. Another, a guy we called Nabber, chose the schools hockey team. Dwayne chose men’s basketball. When I was up, it was down to women’s basketball, womens softball, both soccer teams and men’s baseball. I chose baseball.

I lucked out. Durham’s baseball team lost something like one game that season, and that was in 11 innings to a school from down in New York State. The Lords tore through the season and the postseason and I wound up traveling with them to Moncton, NB, to cover the CIBA Championship Tournament.

What follows is a couple fragments from an extended piece I wrote on the trip. I thought about including everything I have written, but a big chunk is frankly kind of dull.

I forget where it was intended to go; it’s way too long for the newspaper and I can’t think of a magazine that would have run it. As it were, I never finished the thing and the paper ended up running an abridged version of the final part.

On the whole, this isn’t one of my best pieces, but it’s one of my favourites from college. My writing is still really terse, probably from my reading Raymond Chandler on the bus, and it feels somewhat constrained. Still, I like it; it’s the first longish piece of mine that really has any flow to it. More notes at the end, should you get that that far. Enjoy.

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Written by M.

October 19, 2010 at 9:10 pm

Twenty-nine thoughts, comments and predictions for the 2010-11 NHL Season

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With an afternoon game on a warm and sunny Wednesday afternoon, the NHL season kicked off. No weather can be described as more ‘hockey-like’, except for any kind of weather that occurs during the winter months.

It really seems like the season get longer and longer each year – wouldn’t it make more sense for the NHL to start after baseball ends? Or at least around the time the World Series starts? – but it’s something I’m resigned to. Why fight city hall, as it were.

While I can’t say I eagerly anticipate this day every year, it is nice to have hockey back. It’ll be nice to have stuff on TSN that isn’t a movie I’ve seen a million times, the day’s third broadcast of PTI or poker, the bane of any smart person’s existence.

So, to commemorate the day, here are 29 predictions, comments and general thoughts that all relate to the NHL. Why 29? To celebrate how last spring was the 20th anniversary of Felix Potvin’s joining the Leafs. The Cat, after all, was fuckin’ amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by M.

October 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm