Here’s some of the most entertaining reads of the past week, you know…

 

Landing In Mumbai Season 2 Episode 5.

The most unusual sports venues.

 Incredibly ignorant comments in defence of Joe Paterno.

Toronto glass condos could face a short life span.

Notorious B.I.G. calms crying baby.

Good article on the NBA lockout.

Before you take out a $80,000 loan for college, watch this expose.

Sad story about a 16 year old losing his life on the ice.

This definitely HAS to be done. Glass walkway, 4000 ft above a ravine.

So that’s what going 462 mph looks like. I got next.

Toronto interested in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Politichicks. A conservative version of the view. These chicks are insane.

Mila Kunis (my future wife) is amazing, and has found the cure for the cold?

The Toronto Blue Jays new logo. It’s a beauty.

A picture of a booth at a Mental Hospital themed restaurant in Tokyo.

Monster dog for sale, with a great street name.

Why Heavy D. matters.

Here’s some of the most entertaining reads of the past week, you know…

 

 

Landing In Mumbai Season 2 Episode 4.

The 5 best MLB uniform changes over the last 20 years.

Mike Tyson as Herman Cain Part 2.

Author of “Whore of Akron” delivering book personally to LeBron James.

Trying to understand the riots at Beaver Canyon after Joe Paterno was fired.

The real genius of Steve Jobs.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos kidnapped.

Mark Madden wrote about Jerry Sandusky’s sex scandal back in April.

Tony Reali does Goodfellas on the set of Around The Horn.

US wealth gap between young and old is widest ever.

Great piece on Joe Frazier.

100 Twitter Accounts every sports fan should follow.

Remembering Heavy D.

ESPN dropped the ball on the Penn State riots.

The more money you make, the more fast food you eat.

7 Things you should always take to the bar.

This 3D Lego Chalk Art is friking AWESOME!

 

 

 

 

Anger, despair, disappointment and sadness are the general feelings of a Toronto sports fan. However, there’s one more feeling Toronto sports fans are also accustomed to over the last 17 years. Hope. Why hope? What else are we supposed to feel? It’s all we have to hold on to. It’s either hope or apathy and it’s not in my nature to feel apathy. The day I feel apathy is the day I give up watching sports.

There have been many articles written about how bad of a sports town Toronto has become. ESPN has a yearly sports city ranking and Toronto has been near the bottom annually. ESPN, being the giant conglomerate that they are, uses vast resources to come up with a ranking system, in which they use attendance, ticket prices, player salary, and success. Being that I am a much smaller conglomerate with far fewer resources, I’ll use just one piece of data. Winning.

I don’t care how much ticket prices are, or that beer at the arena costs $10 or that a slice of pizza is $6.50. This is Toronto, and being a Torontonian for almost all my life, I’m used to corporations gauging money out of my wallet at every possible turn. It’s part of being a Torontonian, we pay more than anyone else for everything and we bitch about it. Good times.

All that matters are wins and loses. Where are they in the standings? Are they going to make the playoffs? Do they have a shot at a title? The ranking of a city in terms of its sports teams always comes down to one thing. Winning. So where does Toronto rank in terms of success? I decided to look at the numbers and made a spreadsheet. Thanks to Sports And The City’s older brother for teaching me the art of the spreadsheet. He is a master.

The data simple, enough so that most NFL players could understand them. I collected data from 1994 to 2010. I started at 1994, because 1993 was the last year a Toronto sports team won a title. Every city with at least a team in one of the 4 major sports organizations: NHL, NFL, MLB, and NBA is included. The data includes the total number of seasons played over the time period (17 seasons per franchise from 1994 to 2010), playoff appearances, finals appearances and championships. Click on the chart below to take a look.

As the chart above indicates. San Antonio has by far the best success rate of any city. They win a championship roughly every 4 years. However, the data is skewed due to the fact that the city of San Antonio has only one franchise, the Spurs. A city with one or two franchises that wins a title will have higher success rate due to a fewer number of seasons compared with cities that have three to five franchises.

To get a better indication of success I  broke the data down further into two charts. The first chart includes only cities with three or more professional franchises, and the second only cities with two or fewer franchises.

The data above gives a better indication of the futility we have had to go through here in the city of Toronto. Of the 20 cities with three or more franchises, only Oakland has had less playoff appearances in the last 17 years than Toronto. It gets worse. Minnesota and Toronto are the only two cities that have not had a franchise reach a finals in the last 17 years. The final knife through the heart is that Boston and New York have been the most successful cities over the last 17 years. I just threw up in my mouth.

Looking at the data, you can deduce that the most successful sports towns have a team in the playoffs roughly every two years. It’s no surprise that cities around a 50% playoff appearance rate (PAR) also reach the finals more with a finals appearance rate (FAR) of around 25%. There are of course outliers, Chicago & Tampa Bay both have a FAR over 20% while having a PAR in the low 30’s.

However, if there is one franchise that other teams should model them after, it should be the San Antonio Spurs. In the last 17 years, the Spurs have reached the playoffs 16 times, winning a championship 4 times. Luck has had some part to play in their success, getting the #1 pick and drafting Tim Duncan the only year you miss the playoffs. Having said that, the type of sustained success the Spurs have experienced over the last two decades is due to an exceptionally run organization, from the owner down. The Spurs are the perfect sports franchise model.

I wonder what it feels like to have your franchises reach the playoffs once every two years or the finals once every four years like in Boston, Los Angeles or New York? I wonder, if I experienced that level of success here in Toronto, would I also turn into an absolute arrogant douchebage like the Massholes or New Yorkers? I doubt I would, but I all I want is the opportunity.

A lot has been said, written and tweeted about the horrific sex scandal involving former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. The scandal has taken over the media since the allegations were revealed a few days ago. What’s shocking to me is that this scandal was revealed months ago. As far back as April, Mark Madden authored an article for the Beaver County Times alleging that Sandusky’s sex crimes had been swept under the rug by Penn State in the late 1990s in exchange for his quiet resignation.

Madden had connected the dots seven months ago and only now has it caught the attention of the mainstream media? How could it go under the radar for seven whole months? There’s an easy explanation. Sandusky points it out in his column.

“Did Penn State’s considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?

Don’t kid yourself. That could happen. Don’t underestimate the power of Paterno and Penn State in central Pennsylvania when it comes to politicians, the police and the media.”

The power of Joe Paterno. JoePa is a football god. Isn’t that the problem right there. A football coach that yields that kind of influence is just sad and scary. That is the culture of college sports in the United States. Something I’ve never been able to understand as a Canadian. A culture that was once galvanizing is now flawed and broken.

When the news of the allegations first broke, it was reported that Paterno was not a target and was legally cleared. Legally, JoePa had done the right thing by alerting his bosses when he first learned of the sex acts by Sandusky. Paterno may have been cleared on a legal basis, but he is just as guilty as Sandusky. Do you expect me to sit here and believe that the most powerful man in the university did not know what was going on? Isn’t it unsettling that Sandusky retired in 1999, in his coaching prime, one year after the first allegation of his deviant acts surfaced in 1998? Am I supposed to believe that Paterno, a powerful man with powerful connections, didn’t call in favors to help clean up this mess in order to protect his own legacy and livelihood?

The minute these allegations broke, Paterno had a chance to do the right thing and resign immediately. In stead in a statement released a few days later, he announced he would retire at season’s end. Personally, I found his statement troubling.

“…I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this  as easy for them as I possibly can.

This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

Done more? What does he mean by done more? Done more, as in gone to the authorities immediately rather than his bosses? Done more as in stopped letting Sandusky have access to all Penn State facilities as early as last week? Done more as in not help slide it all under the rug to protect his legacy? What do you mean by done more JoePa?

This is a man who just doesn’t get it. A man who doesn’t get the gravity of the situation. A man who doesn’t get that these allegations are bigger than football, than Penn State, than the NCAA, than him. Yet in his statement he is still barking orders to the Penn State board of trustees.

Thankfully the board of trustees finally did the right thing and fired Paterno late last night. The firing of JoePa led to a riot at Beaver Canyon. For the life of me, I can’t understand why. I get these are just kids, of which most are probably under the influence of alcohol and do not understand the seriousness of the situation. They rioted in support of this football god. I wonder if they would still be supporting this god if it was their brother, their friend or someone they knew that had been violated?

JoePa is a football legend with a legacy many would dream of. No Pa, you don’t deserve your legacy anymore.

A tribute to one of the greatest wide receivers and characters the NFL has ever seen. Hate him or love him, he was entertaining to watch. Even though he was an enigma, he is a first ballot hall of famer.

Catch the highlight video and the “Straight Cash Homey” interview after the jump.

Last Saturday at about 8 at night a couple of friends and I decided to hop in a car and make the drive to Cooperstown, NY to watch Roberto Alomar get inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. The first player ever go into the hall in a Blue Jays cap. So around 2 am we hoped into the car and made the 6 hour drive. I’m so glad that we did.

Many Canadians made the drive to Cooperstown, which was expected. What I personally didn’t expect was the large number of Puerto Rican baseball fans. The Puerto Rico flags were out in full force in support of Alomar. I knew that Alomar was revered in his home town of Salinas, Puerto Rico, however I never expected it to be on this level. Many were from the US, but a few had made the trip from Salinas. I’m glad that they did make the trip, because they truly made the atmosphere something special. Something I’m glad I was a part of.

While Roberto’s speech wasn’t the greatest, due to English being his second language, it was heart-felt. He started his speech in Spanish, which was a beautiful touch. I just wish I understood Spanish. Judging from the reaction of the Puerto Rican fans, they definitely approved of what he said. What I personally loved about his speech was the fact that he thanked every organization he ever played for, leaving Toronto for last. As he spoke of his time in Toronto, I felt like I was 11 again, watching my favorite player. Roberto Alomar was the reason I fell in love with this great game of baseball. It’s only fitting that I was there to watch him get inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

On a side note. If you ever plan on making the trip down to Cooperstown. You MUST go to the Cooperstown Diner and have the Cinnamon Roll French Toast. It is quite possibly one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten.

Let the truth be told from young souls that become old.

From days spent in the jungle, where must one go?

To find it, time is real, we can’t rewind it.

Out of everybody I met, who told the truth? Time did.

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