Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

dwyane-wade-dumps-jordan-brand-for-li-ning-0Dwyane Wade was the first one to line up for “O Canada” prior to Game 4, and the Miami Heat star made sure to issue a formal apology for shooting during the Canadian anthem the game prior.

‘No disrespect at all from me,” Wade said. ”I apologize for Canada thinking I would disrespect them as a country. So today, I just adjusted how I normally get ready for a game and got in the line first.

”I have so much respect for the Toronto Raptors, obviously, and I have respect for the country of Canada,” Wade added. ”So I didn’t mean any disrespect.”

Wade was caught on video prior to Game 3 on Saturday shooting warmup shots after the Canadian anthem started. He said he didn’t mean any disrespect, but was finishing his routine, which wraps up on a made shot.

“If anyone thinks I was being disrespectful, they don’t know who Dwyane Wade is,” he said Saturday.

The NBA spoke with the Heat to make sure no pregame routine interfered with any anthems, and Wade said he made it a priority to be ready for the anthems in Game 4.

 

Former WWE Intercontinental and tag team champion Jacques Rougeau spoke to the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast recently. You can see highlights below, and the full interview at this link.

His time as The Mountie:

“To be honest with you I had the greatest moments as The Mountie in my career. I was working guys like Macho Man, I remember a match with him in England against him with Elizabeth, I had matches with Undertaker, matches with Sid Vicious of course matches with Big Boss Man just so many fantastic memories. There is nothing I didn’t do as The Mountie. I remember simple matches with Tito Santana as The Mountie or Koko B. Ware. I had so much fun with that character and I honestly made people believe that I thought I was The Mountie. That I was so convinced that they started believing. It is amazing because when you build a character and I always tell this at my school that how are you going to get people to believe in your character if you don’t believe it. I had a brother-in-law who was a real Royal Canadian Mounted Police who gave me some tricks and some moves that they used when they arrest a guy so all those moves that I used in the ring were actually legit.”

The infamous Summer Slam 1991 Jailhouse match vs. The Big Boss Man:

“It is one of the greatest matches that I’ve ever had in my career. Ray Traylor who was the Big Boss Man who unfortunately left us was the kindest person. I had never seen Big Boss Man talk bad to anyone in the dressing room or show lack of respect. He was another Owen Hart. So working with a guy like that for a year to a year and a half around the world was a night off every night and it was such a pleasure because he would take care of my body, take care of me and I would take care of him. It was a great time in my career.”

Not being able to use The Mountie name in Canada:

“I was doing such a great job of making The Mounties look bad in Canada that they suspended me on TV and I wasn’t allowed to be used on TV anymore. So the only way I was allowed to wrestle was if I took off the sleeves, the shirt and kept the black pants and they would announce me as Jacques Rougeau. Everyone knew me as Jacques Rougeau anyway so that was fun. I think they (The Mounties) took it all a little too serious. Like in movies and everywhere else there is always dirty Cops or bad Cops but they don’t ban the movie because the Cop is crooked. But I think that my character was becoming so strong that eventually they decided and voted on it and sent a letter to Vince saying that I wasn’t allowed to wrestle on TV in Canada anymore. Eventually and after that they let that character go because it wasn’t helping me at all so I took a year off and came back a year and a half later with Carl Ouellet as The Quebecers ith the same suit and our music was “We’re not the Mounties”. So I think Vince wanted to get back at them in a way.”

The impact The Mounite had on Jacques and how today it is fondly remembered:

“The Mountie was great. I’ll never forget winning the Intercontinental Title against Bret Hart and losing it to Rowdy Roddy Piper. I had three different dolls made and sold in Toys R Us’s around the world as The Mountie and when I give conferences in schools now against intimidation. The first thing I do is because they don’t know me because they are too young and they have only heard of me but I do so many personal appearances and am on TV that when I come in and start talking to kids and I take my belt out and my dolls out they start to say “hey this guy was important”. All of that was done because of the Mountie character. “

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump this week sparked outrage – OK, more outrage than usual – when he suggested that the U.S. ban all Muslims from entering the country, including Muslim Americans that are, like, vacationing overseas.

“What I’m doing is I’m calling very simply for a shutdown of Muslims entering the United States — and here’s a key — until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” he reiterated this week.

Nazem Kadri, the Toronto Maple Leafs center and a practicing Muslim, has figured out what’s going on with Trump … and he thinks the real estate magnate is delusional.

Sean FitzGerald of the Toronto Star caught up with Kadri about Trump’s comments, and Kadri said:

“I think he’s hurting his own campaign, to be honest,” Kadri said. “I mean, I think he’s pretty delusional. But his opinion’s his opinion.”

“It’s unfortunate that this is what it’s come to,” Kadri said. “But I mean, that being said, I’m lucky to live in a country like Canada, where people of political stature don’t say those kinds of things to make people feel out of place.”

(Kudos, by the way, to Sean FitzGerald for wading into political waters in a hockey locker room, and specifically asking about a Republican candidate in a sport whose athletes generally lean right. At least fiscally.)

All of this just underscores how important diversity is in hockey, and particularly in the NHL.

Kadri was born to Lebanese parents in Ontario. Growing up, he didn’t have any Muslim or Middle Eastern role models in the NHL, and understands the role he plays in being one. Now you have Kadri, and you have Nail Yakupov (a Muslim, though not devout), and you have at least some representation.

Which is important, as Naveed Bahadur, a social worker who helps run a ball hockey league in Toronto, told Al Jazeera when that network did a story on Kadri in 2014:

“Unlike other communities, they don’t realize sport is important for children’s development. It keeps their brains active, develops teamwork  and these things are very important.”

All it takes is one player that makes a kid feel included to get that kid involved. Especially when that player also isn’t afraid to stand up for that heritage against  a demagogue like Donald Trump.

It appears the owners of the Montreal Canadiens are at least feeling out the NBA in regards to a potential basketball tenant one day joining the hockey club in the city’s Bell Centre.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with Canadiens vice president Kevin Gilmore in New York in January, according to Rejean Tremblay of Le Journal de Montreal (article in French). Silver reportedly told them that no team is currently available.

Beyond Seattle and perhaps even Las Vegas, there are not a ton of sizable U.S. markets left in search of an NBA franchise. Montreal is Canada’s second-largest city and the ninth-largest in North America.

The Grizzlies moved from Vancouver to Memphis in 2001 due in part to a lack of corporate support, leaving Canada with only one NBA team, the Toronto Raptors.

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is expected to make his preseason debut Monday against the Minnesota Wild.

 Crosby, who traveled home to Nova Scotia, Canada to be with his family after the passing of his grandmother, is set to rejoin the team Sunday after missing Saturday’s preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I talked to Sid (Saturday), obviously these situations are really difficult for individuals,” head coach Mike Johnston said, via NHL.com. “And as an organization, you’re always going to side on the player making sure his family is taken care of. But I talked to Sid a few minutes ago and the funeral arrangements are being made. He’s expecting to be here (Sunday) sometime and then play on Monday.”

Crosby will appear in his first game after missing the start of training camp due to an unspecified injury.

StephM-300x455

by Dan Kinvig – Abbotsford News

Acrimony between Legends Football League Canada management and players in Calgary and Saskatoon has resulted in the complete cancellation of the 2013 season.

The four-team league, formerly known as Lingerie Football League Canada, announced last week that half of its scheduled games would be cancelled and the season-opening date pushed back by three weeks in order “to insure a better product on the field with greater preparation.”

A Metro Calgary newspaper report later indicated that there had been a mass exodus of players from the Calgary Fillies, a new expansion squad, amid complaints of league disorganization and safety concerns.

Then earlier this week, according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, the Saskatoon Sirens voted not to suit up in 2013 after their schedule was trimmed from four to just two games, prompting the league to dissolve the season entirely.

The move was described as “devastating” by B.C. Angels linebacker/receiver Kate Marshall, one of five returning veterans from last year’s squad which won the inaugural LFL Canada championship. The Angels play out of the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre (AESC).

The Angels, according to Marshall, were organized and prepared for the 2013 season – they had a roster of 17 committed players, and had been holding two to three practices per week in Vancouver and White Rock for the past four-plus months.

“Our team was definitely ready to go,” she said. “It’s a pretty big disappointment for us, because of the time commitment and everything we’d put into this season and launching the season in Canada.

“We were just starting to get into major promotion mode and selling tickets and everything.”

Complaints out of Calgary about player safety – the Fillies reportedly only received shoulder pads and helmets two weeks before their first scheduled game – weren’t shared by the Angels, Marshall said.

“Obviously with a contact sport, there’s a concern with player safety,” she noted. “But at the same time, we were pretty prepared in that aspect – we’d done a bit of hitting and contact with our pads and helmets to get up to speed. But my understanding is that a lot of the other teams hadn’t gotten there (practicing in pads) yet.”

As for the claims of LFL disorganization, Kevin Snell, who coached the Angels last season and has been mentoring the new coaching staff, noted that there’s not typically a lot of communication between the league and the coaches until just before the season starts.

“(LFL founder) Mitch (Mortaza) is running a U.S. league and an Australian league,” he said. “To be a coach in this league, you have to be a self-starter. They kind of give it to you and let you run with it, which is awesome – nobody likes to be micromanaged.”

Snell said that the Angels players are “crushed” and “devastated” that the season has been kiboshed.

“It’s unfortunate, because it’s about the girls,” he said.

Mortaza told the StarPhoenix that the LFL – which tends to generate controversy to begin with due to the players’ skimpy attire – plans to return to Canada in 2014 with six teams and an expanded schedule.

The B.C. Angels had two home games scheduled at the AESC, and ticket purchasers will be issued refunds.