A Top Ten Tuesday For a Final Blast of Winter?

Many of us in Saskatchewan are experiencing what we hope will be the last taste of winter this year with more snow expected the further south you go.

Well let’s spring into this week’s top 10 thoughts.

10 – The Best ever? Steve Nash retired from basketball over the weekend. Back issues forced Canada’s greatest player ever to hit hardwood to call it a career. To me it’s very unfortunate and sad when an athlete cannot leave the game on their terms. That being said how many athletes can you say left the game when they wanted to as opposed to being told by medical professionals or others to leave?

9 – How important is winning a title to an athlete’s net value? Well that is one of the things that is being asked following the announcement of Nash’s retirement. Some analysts are even trying to make an argument that Nash is the best Canadian athlete ever! I will concede that there is an argument for him, but I think that the true test of an athlete’s value is his/her ability to raise the level of those around them and the ability to perform in the clutch and deliver when titles are on the line. Case in point two of my favorite hockey players are Daniel and Henrik Sedin in Vancouver and there little doubt their ability to make their linemates better. However, their inability to deliver a championship to VanCity will tarnish their careers.

8 – So using that argument is Wayne Gretzky the undisputed best athlete in Canadian history? Vote on the right.

7 – Over to football and what’s up in Toronto? Yes there is the uncertainty off the field with venue and ownership issues. On the field, the contracts of Ricky Ray, Chad Owens and Jim Barker all expire at the end of the year. Tough to extend any of them without ownership in place but I wonder if any teams would take a run at them at the trade deadline?

6 – More Football and speaking of not going out on their terms. Edmonton Eskimo Quarterback Pat White announced his retirement from football this week due to concussion issues. White was a promising quarterback, talented enough that the Eskimos built an entire offensive package around him! It’s too bad as the future seemed very bright for him. Additionally, linebacker Chris Borland’s retirement from the NFL after his rookie season is also startling but putting your body first is a tough choice but the right one.

5 – For those that invited me to do a March Madness bracket I apologize! I honestly don’t know my Arkansas from my Massachusetts. That being said I absolutely love the emotion and intensity in every game played. I preface this by saying that I know that there is no way that this will evrer happen but could you imagine if the Stanley Cup tournament went from a best-of-seven to a single game knock-out, a two game total goal or best-of-three series? That would be entertaining.

4 – Capturing that emotion with fans is what the future is for the Canadian Football League in my eyes. One of the driving forces behind the NCAA tournament is the bracket betting that creates instant fan interest and investment. That is where the CFL needs to improve. TSN attempted a Fantasy type pool a year ago it will be interesting to see if fan interest will continue or grow on that front.

3 – Place your bets on Brandon to win WHL Championship? In that vein the annual prediction pool for the WHL play-offs has been put on my desk. In addition to picking the winner in each round a champion for the entire shooting match needs to accompany the list before I can submit my picks. My heart says Kelly McCrimmon and the Brandon Wheat Kings have been the best team throughout the season and his experience will take his team, that he built the right way, to the title. However, I think travel is going to be their undoing. In the first round alone they are facing Edmonton, a mere 2280km round-trip. That’s why I will put my money on Kelowna!

2 – More hockey and I love the rumor coming out of Philadelphia this weekend. Apparently on the Flyers swing through Alberta they were heavily courting Brent Sutter to becoming their next Head Coach. Many fans and even some journalists were taking the bate without realizing that Sutter is taking on, perhaps, his most lucrative project ever. With his Red Deer Rebels preparing to host and play in the 2017 Memorial Cup there is no way that he is leaving.Simply put it is too important both on and off the ice for the Rebels for him to leave.

1 – Lastly the Major League Baseball regular season is a little over a week away and with a new season comes a renewed debate as to whether or not Pete Rose should be reinstated so he can be included in the Hall of Fame. I am a believer of the forgive and forget principle but he knew the rules, broke the rules and threw dirt on the integrity of the game. I say sorry Pete you made your bed now you have to lay it in. That being said here’s hoping the Baseball writers of America do their best to also keep out the HGH and steroid users.