North of the 400

North of Toronto, South of a championship

Posts Tagged ‘ESPN

Further Notes From the Bottom of the Sports World

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I wouldn’t normally ask something like this, but is it just me or does ESPN have it in for Toronto?

ESPN The Magazine, everyone’s favorite sports glossy with an unwieldy name, recently named the Toronto Maple Leafs the worst team, of all teams among the four majors. They ranked behind the Cleveland Browns, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Columbus Blue Jackets. They even ranked behind the Sacramento Kings, whose owners are doing everything they can to make the city of Sacramento hate them.

One wonders how poorly the Leafs would’ve faired if MLS were included in the list: certainly the Toronto FC are just as awful. And what if other leagues were included? Remember, a Grantland columnist once called Toronto the worst sports city in the world, which means it’s worse than Pyongyang, Tehran or Freetown.

Unlike that ranking, the Leafs one comes with some justification: teams were ranked in categories like Bang For the Buck, Fan Relations, Affordability and Title Track, because RINGS BABY, THAT’S WHAT MATTERS. Read the rest of this entry »

Five hockey pitches for 30 for 30 + NFL Week 13 picks

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ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is fascinating, unique and surprisingly good.

They’re also heavy on the big sports – except hockey.

Basketball is especially represented: there are docs on Reggie Miller, Len Bias, Allen Iverson and Hank Gathers. So is football, with docs touching the USFL, the Raiders in Los Angeles and Miami’s powerhouse Hurricanes in the 80s. Baseball is also in the mix: Jordan’s foray with the White Sox, Steve Bartman and the new Yankee Stadium.

Hockey’s lone entry: one about the cultural impact of the 1988 Wayne Gretzky trade.

Not to bash ESPN – I do understand that hockey is still a niche sport in the eyes of The Worldwide Leader – but it does feel a little lacking, especially given how other, far less popular sports (women’s tennis, for instance).

But rather then write some lengthy diatribe about how ESPN has screwed the NHL – a topic beaten to death – how’s this: five angles that ESPN could use to fill any remaining slot in it’s 30 for 30 series. Read the rest of this entry »