August 9, 1988 was a day that changed the face of sports forever…because it was the day Wayne Gretzky was dealt from the larger-than-life Edmonton Oilers to the meaningless Los Angeles Kings. That Tuesday morning, I arrived at my CBC Network Sports office in Toronto a little late (just like every day) and plunked myself down with my feet on my desk. Many who worked on the fifth floor of that building on the east side of Yonge Street, just north of Gerrard, were in Seoul, South Korea. There to produce CBC’s coverage of the XXIV Olympic Summer Games. You know, the “Ben Johnson Games.” I stayed in Toronto to produce our CFL on CBC coverage, which continued during those months. With so many gone, our offices were a lot like a ghost town. Then my phone rang.
On Friday, November 24, 1978, at about 8 PM, the doorbell rang at our 82nd-Avenue house in Edmonton.
I was closest to it, so I ran down the stairs and opened the door. Wayne Gretzky was standing on the porch.
“Hi, Steve. Can I talk to your parents?” he asked. “Sure, Wayne. Come in,” was my eloquent response.
“I have something important to tell them,” said Wayne. (more…)
These days, it’s fun for you youthful hockey fans to believe Sidney Crosby is the greatest player in NHL history – mere games from becoming the on-ice equal of Number 99.
You will excuse me for a moment, won’t you, while I lose my lunch. The only way “Crosby” and “Gretzky” should be used in the same sentence is if you follow “Crosby” with “is not even close to both the skill and leadership level of.” We’re not going to dissect the stats to death (because Gretzky wins that battle hands-down against, well, everyone). It’s about the players and how they work on the ice. (more…)
Yesterday, outside TD Garden in Boston, a statue of Bobby Orr scoring his famous fly-through-the-air-win-the-Stanley-Cup goal was unveiled. It marked the fortieth anniversary of Orr’s unforgettable moment. And it got me thinking. Why are Americans so good at commemorating memorable sports moments – but Canadians really stink at it? Here’s a kick-start for the statue-makers north of the 49th. (more…)