Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wednesday Roundup

The Toronto Star's online edition features a nice summary of the candidates for the 2008 Lou Marsh Award, presented to Canada's athlete of the year. Against all odds, a soccer player has made the list, and it is none other than the Black Jesus himself, Julian de Guzman. (To be fair, Dwayne De Rosario made the short list last year, so there is no real evidence of anti-soccer bias in this instance). The same summary includes a chance for you to cast your own ballot, and currently de Guzman is 2nd to the half man, half horse, equestrian rider Eric Lamaze, who fought back from a battle with nose candy to Olympic glory.

Remember the good times?

Far be it for me to steal a page from our suddenly very Dale Mitchell-like prime minister, but I urge you to stuff the ballot box in favour of the Canadian de Guzman brother. Frankly I'm shocked that he ranks so high, but likely the Voyageurs have something to do with it, as does the fact that nearly all the other contenders are Olympic athletes that Canadians forgot about the Monday after the Beijing games ended.

However, in order for me to be honest in my support of Julian, I had to overlook the fact that he didn't have his best performances for Canada in the games that mattered. He may have shone against Brazil (though we mustn't forget that horrid backpass that resulted in the 3-2 goal against) but in the WCQ matches (with the notable exception of the Jamaica match in T.O.) he was often frustrated by the opponents, and later suspended, before missing the last few matches to injury. This argument, though, isn't really fair and could be used against past recipients like the NBA's Steve Nash, who has declined invitations to suit up for Canada for the last half decade.

On to other things . . .
  • A new Canadian soccer blog has entered my consciousness lately, with one of the least self-aggrandizing names ever: some canadian guys writing about soccer. It's the off-season for soccer that matters in Canada, so like most other Canadian blogs out there they seem to have turned their attention to the EPL. But you readers just wait until I go all Eredivisie on your asses to see how it feels to read about teams you don't give a shit about. . . Wait! This was supposed to be an endorsement: go read this blog.
  • A week after Montreal's MLS bid kicked the bucket, it looks like Vancouver's money men are thinking twice about the ridiculously high expansion fee. MLS is pulling a Plaxico Burress and shooting itself in the foot with high fees in these times, when what they really need are strong soccer markets.
  • OK, I could only come up with two soccer-related bullet points, so I'll cheat for the third: Stephen Harper is a douche. Discuss.

And I was serious with my Eredivisie threat above. Now that my AZ is in first again I think I might start talking about Dutch soccer a bit and gloryhunt a little, pretending that I have anything to do with these circumstances.

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