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!

 

 

 

 

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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.

I love hats. All sorts of hats. Baseball caps, fedoras, toques. In fact, it’s rare to find me without a hat on. Baseball caps are my favorite. In fact, I collect them. Currently I have 12 different baseball caps. My goal is to have every hat of every baseball team. That includes the hats from the past and the present. Here is a list of my 10 favorite baseball caps of all time. Hope you enjoy the list.

10. Boston Red Sox New Era Alternate cap – Love the simplicity of the socks on this cap. Again, love the cap, despise the team.

9.  Oakland Athletics New Era Authentic cap – Always loved this hat. It’s a classic, love the colours as well as the font.

8. Chicago White Sox New Era Authentic cap – Love the font on this cap. Has a classic feel.

7. Detroit Tigers New Era Authentic cap – Love the font on this cap. Another timeless classic.

6. New York Yankees New Era Authentic cap – Love the cap, absolutely despise the team. It’s a timeless cap.

5. Baltimore Orioles New Era Cooperstown cap – Love the logo on this hat. Much better than the plain bird of today.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates New Era Cooperstown cap – Love the colours and the way that “P” looks. Classic hat.

3. Milwaukee Brewers New Era Cooperstown cap – This cap is absolute genius. A baseball glove that also has the “M” and “b” for the city and team name. Also love the colours.

2. Montreal Expos New Era Cooperstown cap – A beautiful cap with a great logo.

1. Toronto Blue Jays New Era Cooperstown cap – Call me a homer, but in my opinion this is the greatest hat ever made.

Due to security concerns at the G20 Summit in Toronto the series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies has been relocated to Philadelphia. The series which is to take place on the weekend of June 25th was to be held at the Rogers Center in Toronto. Many Jays fans, including myself, have been looking forward to this series since December 15, 2009.

This series was going to be Roy “Doc” Halladay’s homecoming. The first time he’d visit Toronto in an opposing uniform, and hopefully pitch. Now it’s not certain if he would have pitched in the series, but the thought of Toronto’s greatest athlete returning home would have brought fans to the ball park. The Toronto Blue Jays’ attendance has been awful this year. Up to this point in the season attendance at the Rogers Center has dropped to levels the likes I have never seen in the 20 years I have lived in Toronto. Many of us were expecting attendance to boost significantly for the series with the Phillies and possibly a sellout on the day Doc pitched.

Upon hearing about the decision to move the series to Philadelphia earlier today, over concerns about security at the G20 summit, I like many other Jays fans were severely disappointed. Listening to the president of the Blue Jays, Paul Beeston, address the media at a press conference I learned, this was a decision made by the Toronto Blue Jays organization and not at the request of the G20 Summit organizers or Major League Baseball. I understand his reasons and agree with the decision, even if it is a very disappointing one.

The security zone for the G20 Summit would include the Rogers Center among many of the surrounding area. It will result in street closures, parking lot closures and even public transportation closures. If that’s not enough, consider the perimeter fence that will be put in  place in the security zone and the countless police checks and security checks. Not to mention only the west end gates will be open to Jays fans to enter the Rogers Center.  This would be chaos.

Consider the following. A family with young kids has to park miles away from the Rogers Center and make a lengthy walk to the park. On approaching the security zone they may be subject to multiple security checks conducted by local police and RCMP officers. No one will be allowed to carry any bags, food or drinks with them into the security zone. They may be subject to searches. Once through all the security checks they would have to line up at one of only two open gates. Now considering it’s Doc’s return to Toronto it’s safe to estimate an attendance over 20,000 per game, and if Doc pitches I’d expect a sell out. Try having 40,000 people enter the Rogers Center through just two gates. I’m no expert, but that may take a few more hours than usual. Remember that family with young kids that has to go through all this, you think they’re going to have a great experience going to the park?

Being of Indian descent, and thanks to the colour of my skin, I’ve been subject to a few security checks at airports over the last 8 years. Security checks are not dreadful. They are long, frustrating, annoying and most of the time make you regret the trip all together, and I consider myself as someone with a lot of patience.

While we will not get to see Doc here in Toronto this year, I hope Major League Baseball will do the right thing and schedule a make up series next year so Toronto can give their beloved Doc another much deserved standing ovation.

Erin AndrewsErin Andrews, ESPN sideline reporter, recently has made national news. I’m sure by now most of you know about the peep show hotel tapes of her circulating around the Internet. If not, just about a week ago a video tape was posted of Andrews naked in her hotel room. Andrews was video taped through the peep hole of her room door from the hallway. The video while very blurry is of Andrews, her legal team confirmed. The five minute video shows Andrews doing mundane things such as curling her hair.

Andrews, plans to take criminal action and file civil lawsuits against the person who shot the video and anyone who publishes the video. So sorry fellas, you won’t find the video on this site. Not only because of legal reasons, but also for moral and ethical reasons. Andrews was video taped surreptitiously without her knowledge or consent. She was in the privacy of her hotel room and was violated, wronged.

Andrews, 31, is probably the most well known female sportscaster in North America. She was a Internet sensation before the video. Playboy named her the “sexiest sportscaster” in 2008 and 2009. While her beauty is without question, she is also a very accomplished sportscaster. At ESPN since 2004, she has covered MLB, College sports, and the NHL, very well actually.

While authorities are still trying to find the person(s) involved behind the video tape, it begs the question: What is happening to our privacy? How is it that a man can stand in a hotel hallway for 5 minutes with a video camera and the hotel doesn’t know? Don’t hotels have video camera’s in the hallways for security reasons? If so, isn’t anyone watching these video feeds making sure their paying customers are safe?

Few media members have spoken out about this incident. ESPN refuses to make reference to the situation, citing it has no bearing on her talents as a sportscaster. While some members of the media have spoken out in defense of Erin Andrews, USA Today’s award-winning  sports columnist Christine Brennan seems to have taken a shot her. Brennan via twitter and facebook made this comment:

On the Erin Andrews situation, a quick thought for those who have asked: There are hundreds of women covering sports in this country who haven’t had this happen to them. I wish it didn’t happen to Erin, but I also would suggest to her if she asked (and she hasn’t) that she rely on her talent and brains and not succumb to the lowest common denominator in sports media by playing to the frat house.

That sounds like a shot at Andrews and her coverage of college sports. Andrews who regularly covers college sports has a huge following of college males. With the majority of Andrews fan base being college males, who’s lives revolve around sports, sex and drinking, Brennan’s comments seem to indirectly convey that she was playing with fire. It almost seems like Brennan blames Andrews and what happened to her was inevitable due to her seemingly immature fan base.

I’m not sure how ESPN assigns their reporters, but I’m sure they are behind Andrews covering college sports. ESPN is a business, and a smart business. I’m sure they know of Andrews popularity among the male college contingent due to her beauty and I’m sure they take full advantage of it. Sex sells, ESPN knows this. Maybe Andrews has no choice but to play to the frat house, I wonder if Brennan thought along those lines. Brennan comes off classless, taking a shot at a colleague who did nothing wrong but do her job and did it well; taking a shot at someone who’s privacy was grossly violated simply because of her beauty.