Tagged: Football

Boxing and football make for a winning movie box office combination

Recently, I read an article on TSN’s BarDown website that talks about Darren Rovell’s list that he posted of the top ten-grossing sports movies of all time — in today’s dollars might I add. As it turns out, the top movies he listed are mainly football or boxing related. 

At the top: Rocky and Rocky III, followed by The Blind Side. Then it is Rocky IV and Rocky II. The Waterboy, The Longest Yard, Talladega Nights, Creed, and Remember the Titans round out the list. So, basically, it’s all Rocky or football movies, and one NASCAR movie. 

We shouldn’t be surprised these are up there. The Rocky franchise starring Sylvester Stallone is one that transcends sports, and football seems to be the one sport that translates the best to the big screen in terms of drama and action. Of course, there have been numerous iconic auto racing movies made. But I guess the surprise for me is that of all the racing movies, the one that landed in the Top 10 was Talladega Nights, the comedy with Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby. Not that it’s a terrible movie, but I’m surprised.

Now, here is my big rant about that BarDown article I just linked to. You can tell it was a Canadian article, because they made a huge deal out of the fact that there was no hockey movies in the top 10. And I’m going, good grief, man, can’t anyone in Canada run a story about the sports movie box office without using hockey as a point of reference?! It’s almost as if they are all offended that hockey did not make the list! As if the sport was being slighted! 

Guys, guess what: the reason no hockey movies made the list is because hardly any hockey movies get made! The only two that anyone has ever really heard of was Slap Shot and The Mighty Ducks, and that’s it!

The folks at the sports nets in Toronto need to realize the world does not revolve around their beloved hockey. Deal with it, Canada.

Frankly, though, the real surprise for me is not that there are no hockey movies on Rovell’s list — it’s the lack of any baseball and basketball movies. 

Think of the multitude of baseball movies ever made (Pride of the Yankees, The Natural, Major League, Moneyball, A League of Their Own etc.) and the number of basketball movies (Hoosiers, Space Jam, White Men Can’t Jump etc.) and it really is amazing neither sport made it into Rovell’s top 10 list. 

In fact, I’m thinking maybe this list of Rovell’s might not even be accurate, because I can’t believe some of these movies that were left off the top ten (ie Space Jam and A League of Their Own in particular) given the amount of money they made back in the day. I’m thinking maybe these are just the domestic grosses Rovell’s referring to? (If that’s the case, no wonder football movies did so well!) Anyway, I ought to look into it a bit further.

Tonight, Hawaii vs. Cal open the NCAA season in — Sydney, Australia!?


Yes, indeed, folks, it’s Hawaii taking on California to open the NCAA football season down in Sydney, Australia of all places.  It’s the start of the 2016 college football season. Good grief, is it that time already? I guess it is, eh? 

Apparently this game is getting 65,000 people showing up. That’s way better than what the CFL normally gets.

I’m tuning in the audio of this game online; far better than having to tune in to our local losing Saskatchewan Roughriders who are already down big in Edmonton.

Football is on today! Clemson-Oklahoma and Alabama-Michigan St. in College Football Playoff

  

I am exiting 2015 by doing what I do best — which is watching football games on TV. Still, I can’t believe these college football playoff games between Clemson and Oklahoma, and Alabama and Michigan State, aren’t being held on Jan. 1 instead of today. Traditionally, it’s New Year’s Eve that is the day of the second-rate, unimportant bowl games, and New Year’s Day is for the first-rate, important ones. 

So for these big and important bowl games, the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl, to be held today is kind of baffling. Anyway, I can’t complain.

The latest target of the PC-police: the “Kiss Cam” at football games!!

You know that political correctness is absolutely, completely out of control in the Upset States of America when you see a ridiculous story like this next one. 

In particular, it is out of control on college campuses and this is a perfect example. According to this story at Fox News, people at Syracuse University want to end the “Kiss Cam” at the football games — you know, where they show video on the Jumbotron of couples in the stadium, encouraging them to kiss and so on. 

Well, now there’s been a complaint about it at Syracuse, and they want to get rid of it because people are afraid it is promoting sexual violence and unwanted sexual advances on women. 

My friends, this is what life has been reduced to in the Uptight States. 

People have nothing better to do down there than lodge complaints about good old harmless fun, such as “kiss cams” at football games! Seriously, America, get a grip. Grab some humor.

Starting today, my blog goes All-Sports for the rest of this month!

  
I have an announcement to make. In honour of the fact that I am now “Temporary Interim Sports Reporter” for the coming couple of weeks, I have decided to completely turn over my blog to sports for the duration. 

This will be until my “interim” tag is lifted and I can go back to covering news — I expect Oct. 1 or whereabouts. Then I’ll go back to posting what I normally post.

That means, for now, (a) no coverage of the election, and (b) no coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival — although I notice eTalk and ET Canada, and Citytv, seem to be doing a good enough job of their live feeds. In fact, I notice Tanya Kim is with Citytv now, doing their red carpet coverage. 

Bottom line for me, though, is I have nothing to add about the film festival anyway because I’m not there.  Maybe I’ll go to The Martian or Black Mass or these other films when they hit the cinemas later on.

As for my whereabouts, I am covering the SJHL hockey season beginning tonight at the Civic Centre when the Battlefords North Stars host the Kindersley Klippers. The North Stars will also be on the road tomorrow in Kindersley, but I will not be at that one, it’s too far away.

As an aside, this is one year in particular when everyone is really, really happy to see hockey back, because this football season has been a BUST. 

It’s not just CFL season that is a bust, it’s also the CIS season! Tonight’s big university contest is between the Rams and Huskies in Saskatoon. Of course, both teams are 0-2. So yeah, it has been a big disappointment for everyone.

As for other football news — only in Saskatchewan is there a quarterback controversy for a lousy 1-10 football team! 

Veteran QB Kevin Glenn will start for the Saskatchewan Roughriders against the Ottawa RedBlacks, much to the consternation of fans who want to see the Riders develop young QB Brett Smith. 

People, get off the ledge. This Riders season is a write off, and it really doesn’t matter who plays. Smith has had enough playing time as it is and will likely get even more once the team is officially eliminated. As for Glenn, he is your best chance at winning right now and probably your best chance of evaluating the receivers and other talent on offence. On top of that, he’s still getting paid, so you might as well make him earn a paycheck in the meantime. 

Overall, this silly “QB controversy” means little in the grand scheme of things and getting all worked up about it is not worth the effort. It’s just more pointless drama being cooked up to maintain what little interest fans have left in this season. Folks here need to settle down and quit drinking so much Pilsner, already. 

Ohio State wins the College Football Playoff. Finally, a title settled on the field

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Well, Ohio State thumped Oregon and their Heisman winning QB Marcus Mariota last night to win the College Football Playoff title, and I actually got to see the second half of the game! And a good thing, too, because that is officially it for NCAA football for the next several months. Time to concentrate on Barclays Premier League soccer action and auto racing instead.

Whether you wanted the Buckeyes to win or not, the good news is this playoff process worked. In the end, it was the best team that won. This title was settled the way it should be — on the field, and not by sportswriters, rival coaches, or other so-called “experts” voting in these various polls.

Clearly, if you left it all up to these voters, the SEC conference would be in the title game every year! No one else would be given a fair shot.

Had the old system been in place, with voters choosing who got to play for a title, Ohio State would never have been given a shot despite similar records to the other contenders. They were the number four ranked team at the end of the season, which under the BCS system (and earlier) would have only earned them a spot in the Rose Bowl, playing for prestige — but not for a national title.

Now, after beating Alabama and Oregon, there is no question who the champion of college football is. This proves, once and for all, that democracy is only a good thing when choosing governments, not football champions.

Hype machine is on for tonight’s Oregon-OSU College Football Playoff title game

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I notice the sports media is going bananas hyping up tonight’s big Oregon Ducks-Ohio State Buckeyes College Football Playoff championship game in Arlington, Texas.

People are hyping this game as “historic”. And maybe it is, except it isn’t.

Yes, this is the first year for the College Football Playoff format. But college football has had championship games before at the Division 1-A level, so this is nothing new. It was really these “semifinal” playoff games that were “historic.” This contest, not so much.

I think the real reason you are getting all this “history being made” talk is simply because ESPN wants you to tune in.

As has been the case for other NCAA title games before, I will spend tonight as I usually do — not in front of a TV, but on the job. Yes indeed, folks, I am covering city council, again.

It figures.

I gotta say, I have absolutely no interest at all in the affairs of City Hall today — a sentiment I surely share with every one of you sports fans out there.

Hopefully, tonight’s council meeting will be a short one, so I might be able to catch the end of tonight’s thrilling contest at AT&T Stadium on TV. But if this meeting drags on my hope is for this title game to be a blowout, so I will feel less bad about missing the action.

Best thing about Alabama losing yesterday is we won’t be getting anymore “SEC! SEC!” chants!

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So much for the overrated and overhyped SEC conference! They lost one Bowl game after another including the Sugar Bowl national semifinals where No.1 ranked Alabama fell to Ohio State.

This, my friends, is why we needed a playoff to begin with! To take the power out of the hands of the sports writers and computer experts who all thought the SEC was the greatest conference ever, and to have things settled on the field like they should be.

Mind you, folks at TCU, who clobbered Ole Miss of the SEC 42-3 in the Peach Bowl, might still be feeling jilted that Ohio State got picked for the football playoff while their Big 12 school had to settle for a consolation-prize Bowl trip to Atlanta.

In fact, with a record of 12-1, the Horned Frogs will end this season with a better win-loss record than the College Football Playoff title-game losers — whoever they may be.

No doubt, the pundits and the sports radio hosts will be arguing for the expansion of the playoffs, soon.

Okay, now I’m mad — no Fiesta Bowl on Canadian TV, bumped for hockey again #fail

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I know this Canada-USA game is important at the World Juniors and a marquee matchup and so on — but seriously, TSN?! You have five channels now. Surely you could have used one of them, just one, to show a football game.

And not just any Bowl game, but the Fiesta Bowl!! It’s Boise State versus Arizona, two top teams! And we aren’t seeing it!

Seriously, folks, this a major bowl game, a game that was part of the BCS a year ago and which has settled a number of national championships over the past several years. And it is being bumped for world junior hockey on four channels, while the fifth one is showing the Winnipeg Jets. And no one else is picking up the game, either.

This, I respectfully say, is an absolute outrage. We’ve been putting up with one bowl game after another getting bumped from TV for days, but this is the most egregious example yet. Surely, I’m not the only sports fan in this country who’s mad about this, but I guess the views of the football fans do not count because we live in Canada.

Happy New Year, Canada. Enjoy spending New Year’s Bowl Day watching the NHL Winter Classic tomorrow, too.

Currently watching the Army-Navy Game on TV; have decided I still like football

I was going to do this big rant about how the local radio commentators are still going on and on with their football coverage even though the Saskatchewan Roughriders have been done for weeks. But here I am watching the Army-Navy game, and later tonight I’ll probably tune in the Heisman Trophy presentation, and I realize I would be a big hypocrite telling these radio stations to move on from football when I clearly am still interested in it.

So that is what I am doing today, watching football on the tube. Take a wild guess what I’ll be doing tomorrow on NFL Sunday.

I plan to post something here that is a little more substantive, eventually.

Today is football … And more football!!

I was planning a long extensive post on all the breaking international news but I realize I am too preoccupied with the NFL to want to post much today.

On top of that it is the Roughriders versus Bombers in the Banjo Bowl so I really do plan a long day plunked in front of a TV set.

So world events can wait. See you later.

College football season is back!!!

IT’S FOOT-BOWL SEASON!!!!

I am currently sitting at home watching college bowl games on TV. Yes, the bowl games have started and the full list of games and times can be found here.

I know that a lot of these sports people in the USA like to rant and rave about how meaningless bowl games are and how nobody cares about them, but I actually look forward to them all. They’re a fun part of the holiday season for me, and I enjoy having more football on TV to be able to watch.

As a total aside — I must say that the move towards naming these bowl games after one sponsor after another is confusing to no end. BEEF ‘O’ BRADY’S BOWL! LITTLE CAESARS BOWL! FIGHT HUNGER BOWL! The AdvoCare V100 BOWL!

There’s something called the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, and take a wild guess where that is. That’s right — it’s not in Buffalo! Instead it’s in Tempe, Arizona! Meanwhile, the Fiesta Bowl, which used to be played at that very same stadium, is being played now in Glendale. Even more confusing is that the Cotton Bowl is being played not at the Cotton Bowl, but at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game that is being played at the Cotton Bowl is something called the Heart of Dallas Bowl. And so on.

Even more confusing is there are now bowl games played in such locales such as Boise, Idaho and even New York City. It used to be that getting to a bowl game was meant to be a reward for a great season, so you got to play in some sunny locale somewhere. Some reward this is, folks, playing out in the ice and cold!

Anyway, welcome to bowl season.

NOW A FEW THOUGHTS ON TSN IN THE POST-NHL ERA

TSNWhen news broke that TSN lost national rights to NHL hockey for 12 years, my first suggestion was they become big football fans over there. Turns out TSN is following all my advice, even before I provide it.

It turns out right after Rogers took the NHL rights, Bell swiped away the Rogers late-Sunday-afternoon NFL package that Rogers has held for the longest time — going back to the old CFMT-TV days in Toronto. Bell also swiped away the entire NFL digital rights as well.

This is big news — it basically means the NFL belongs to CTV and TSN all day on Sundays, right from the early-afternoon package through the late afternoons, to the NBC Sunday night game, and into the Monday night game. On top of that, CTV has the entire NFL playoffs. Rogers is reduced to the Thursday night NFL Network package. I suppose having a Thursday game is better than nothing, but Rogers sure doesn’t look like the place for pro football at any point in the near future.

Combined with the CFL package on TSN, Bell basically owns football in Canada. In November from now on, they’ll be able to show an NFL doubleheader on CTV, another NFL doubleheader on one of the TSNs, and a CFL playoff game doubleheader on the other TSN during the afternoon hours.

That creates some excellent possibilities for programming over there if TSN decides to give football the kind of saturation coverage they currently devote to hockey, They could put on all kinds of football pre-game and highlight shows with the staff they have now, and basically give it the kind of coverage that we usually see from the Americans. Personally, I think it’s about time the sport got that sort of treatment in Canada, because many football fans in Canada are sick and tired of seeing that sport treated as second-class in this country by the nation’s media.

I don’t know what all the football coverage will mean, though, for TSN’s coverage of auto racing on Sundays. It shouldn’t impact Formula 1 since those races usually air in the mornings, but it could impact the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Coverage of the NFL and CFL on TSN could crowd NASCAR right out in November, during the “Chase.” Maybe Bell puts NASCAR on CTV2 or something like that. Then again, the package could end up moving to Sportsnet now that they have time to fill on Sundays. The bottom line is I have no idea what is going to happen. We’ll see, but in any event more football is a good thing for TSN.

The second big thing TSN has done is they have moved swiftly to re-sign a lot of their best talent, including James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and just recently Gord Miller. I get the feeling TSN is going to ramp up their coverage of the World Juniors as well as general news coverage about hockey, so you’ll keep on seeing their Trade Deadline shows and Free Agency coverage with the group they have now.

What they really need to do, though, is steal away the regional NHL packages that Sportsnet currently has now — for the Oilers, Flames, Canucks, Senators — and put the regional games on TSN. That would solve all their hockey coverage problems, but that’s easier said than done.

The most recent news from the other day is that TSN has extended their deal for programming with ESPN, prompting a lot of dismissive talk from people about how TSN is turning into the ESPN of the north. Well, it always has been the ESPN of the north, there is nothing new about that. At least this will mean programming like more college football, more college basketball and the NBA. I think that’s good, because if there is one thing I am really ticked off about, it is a lack of college football, college hoops and NBA coverage on Canadian television. Instead, we usually get stuck with the usual over-saturation of hockey coverage instead.

I’m sure soccer fans out there have similar gripes, too. Anyway, it looks like TSN will keep up with coverage of that sport — they already share half the Barclays Premier League with Sportsnet, and just recently came word TSN has grabbed the entire rights to the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS.

This is exactly what TSN needs to do. Soccer is on the rise as a TV property not just on Canadian TV but American TV as well. A big reason why is because these games simply look great on HDTV. But it’s also because fans in North America are slowly but surely realizing soccer is about as big-time as it gets in sports in the world. Billions of people in the rest of the world cannot be wrong.

Anyway, that is my extensive screed about TSN and what they ought to be doing. Basically, they don’t even need my advice because they are doing all the things I think they should be doing anyway, given the utter disaster that has befallen them. Seriously, losing the NHL national package really is a disaster, given the outrageous number of Canadians who are hooked on hockey, but as I point out, it isn’t the end of the world.

ROUGHRIDERS FOOTBALL WITHDRAWAL DOMINATES SASKATCHEWAN

saskatchewan-roughridersMy newspaper column this month is about Saskatchewan Roughriders withdrawal, now that football season is over in the land of wheat and potash. 

Basically, the main thing we’ve got going here now is the junior hockey season, which is great, but it’s definitely not the same as I point out in my column.

I will say, though, the dropoff from football season to junior hockey is mild compared to what happens when hockey season ends in the province. There, it drops off from hockey to basically nothing. Really, there is usually nothing to do in Saskatchewan except be bored silly once hockey is over.

Still, the end of Riders football season is nevertheless always a big shock to the system. Some people on the Riderfans.com forum page have compared it to postpartum depression.

Really? How can you be depressed at all about the Riders? Still, it is an adjustment to get out from the routine of being psyched every weekend for a Riders home game. Personally, though, I’m glad Roughriders season is over because it frees me up full-time to follow college and NFL football on the weekends, not to mention the other sports. I really don’t feel too much of a post-CFL season letdown, given the amount of other football options still out there. (I will have more to say on college football later.)

I will say, even though CFL season is now over, ‘Riders talk never really goes away. Just wait until the Ottawa RedBlacks expansion draft happens and the Riders lose a few players. Then Rider Nation will be back to their usual selves, ranting and raving. Such is life in Saskatchewan.

SPORTS NEWS LATELY HAS BEEN CRAZY, TO SAY THE LEAST

Having just come back from chilly Las Vegas, where I spent a few days watching nonstop sporting events in sports books last week, I have to say — it has been a crazy January for sports news. I don’t know what’s prompted this outbreak of nuttiness, but something weird is going on in the world of sports, folks. 

The craziness started early when Brent Musburger started drooling over the Alabama quarterback’s girlfriend, Katherine Webb, on live TV during the BCS title game on ESPN.

Then you had Lance Armstrong confessing his doping sins to Oprah last week.

Then came this Manti Te’o fake dead girlfriend nonsense.

What could top that? Two brothers facing each other as coaches in the Super Bowl, perhaps?  Come to think of it, nothing can ever top this Manti Te’o craziness, ever.

THE BOWL GAMES ARE ON!

As I write this, I am watching the R and L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on TV, one of many bowl games happening over the holiday season. Football bowl games are among the things I enjoy about the holidays — they keep life interesting during a period that is usually dull and boring for most things, generally.

Last week there was the Idaho Potato Bowl and the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. A few days ago was the Poinsetta Bowl, and last night was something called the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg. Later today is the Maaco Bowl from Las Vegas. All this corporate sponsorship nonsense.

Gosh darnit, why don’t they do what they do in Canada and just have playoffs?! Then instead of playing for “bowls” they can play for “Cups” — the Hardy Cup, the Vanier Cup, and so on. (I guess the Mitchell Bowl and the Uteck Bowl are “bowls”, too. Sort of. What they really are are playoff games, which is still a step higher than what these glorified exhibitions are in the USA.)

The full list of bowl games and scores can be found right here at the ESPN website.