Andrew Luck’s retirement forces debate over violent sports
This past Saturday evening Indianapolis Colts franchise quarterback Andrew Luck hung up his cleats in the prime of his career. Not since Barry Sanders, legendary Detroit Lions running back, unexpectedly retired in 1998 has a star NFL player walked away during their most productive years.
Both aged 29, Sanders and Luck, decided that risking further injury in such a violent contact sport was not worth the potential rewards. Luck specifically noted the mental fatigue of constant rehabilitation as a major reason to call it a career. The former #1 overall pick and Heisman Trophy runner-up’s decision has opened many discussions about football, its safety, and the dedication required to play it. Unsurprisingly in 2019, warriors on all sides of the culture used Luck’s decision to attack or defend football.
Canadians hoping to tune in to American Super Bowl commercials again this year are in for a letdown, as the Supreme Court has officially overturned the decision that allows Canadians to view the advertisements during official broadcasts of the event.
In 2013, Bell Canada Media had officially secured an exclusive licence from the National Football League allowing them to show the Super Bowl in Canada, selling ad time to Canadian companies who wanted to broadcast their advertisements to both US and Canadian stations.
This led to Canadians being snubbed from viewing the commercials, oftentimes meaning that Canadians would be missing out of multi-million dollar commercials which often generated a lot of buzz.
According to the most recent figures from Numeris, 4.3 million Canadians watched the 2019 Super Bowl.
This changed in 2016, though, as federal broadcast regulators opted to allow U.S. commercials in Canada, as showing Canadian ads was not in the public’s best interest, reports CBC.
According to Bell, the decision to now show Canadian ads costed them millions in potential revenue, which led to their appeal which ultimately led to the rejection of the challenge by the Federal Court of Appeals. According to the Court, it was “Parliament’s intention that the regulator would describe how best to balance competing policy objectives related to broadcasting in Canada.”
This means Canada won’t see the likes of any more potential classics, such as Budweiser’s timeless WASSUP! commercial.
A student with Down syndrome scored a dramatic buzzer-beating three-point shot this past week inspiring his school, province and country.
“He’s got an incredible spirit about him. He’s so positive. Just an awesome, awesome kid.” That’s what Greg Schellenberg, Director of Athletics at Heritage Woods had to say about Reid Demelo following the annual Kodiak Klassic tournament according to City News1130.
The Kodiak Klassic took place in Port Moody, B.C. this past Thursday with the championship game finishing out with the Heritage Woods Kodiaks getting the best of the Kitsilano Blue Demons.
The moment that made this game special was that the final basket was scored by a kid who wasn’t even on the team. With two minutes left in the game, the entire gymnasium began to chant, “We want Reid, we want Reid. And it’s deafening, you can’t ignore it.” said Shellenberg.
Coach Schellenberg walked over to the other team’s bench and asked the rival Blue Demons coach if he could sub in Reid Demelo, a Heritage Woods student with Down syndrome and a loyal fan of all the school’s various sports clubs.
The other coach agreed and with thirty-seconds left Reid was subbed in. Demelo wasted no time barrelling down the court before getting a pass and shooting from behind the three-point line to sink a perfect shot after the buzzer. The post on social media shows the gymnasium going into “absolute mayhem.” It was a great day for sportsmanship and the power of inclusivity.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the greatest example of Canadian national pride and the symbolism of Canadiana within a sports setting. Canada has always been a country where diversity is not only accepted but considered a source of strength.
In the mid 20th century, CFL was a place where diversity was accepted, in particular as a playing ground for African-Americans to play football in an environment free of discrimination. The Toronto Argonauts currently operate a platform for anti-bullying efforts and ensuring that youth know that the CFL is a platform for strong Canadian values.
Every fall, the Grey Cup is hosted in a different city each year in Canada and is known outside of the country as our version of the “Super Bowl” as represented in the media. The showcasing of the Grey Cup to a worldwide audience has the ability to represent Canadian patriotism, an idea that we as Canadians hold deeply.
We see true Canadiana every year at the Grey Cup with the Mounties in full uniform. No other sports league invites Canada’s treasured police force to present their trophy. Every time the trophy is handed off, every Canadian should be in awe of how unique and how special our country is.
At the Grey Cup this year, support for Canada’s vital oil and gas industry was on display by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Statements such as these are not seen anywhere else, but on the only stage where true Canadian spirit is showcased.
The acceptance of all athletes and personnel, regardless of race or creed, in the world of sports goes beyond the need for players or a full roster card. It speaks to the fact that Canada is a diverse nation and will always be accepting of any individual without regard to their nationality or ethnicity.
Football is seen as a symbol of homegrown Canadian professional sports with multiple meanings beyond the sport. Canadian universities outnumber American universities in regards to draft numbers and have special Canadian-only selections. There is always a particular emphasis on Canadian talent on every squad.
There are also basic differences between the CFL and the NFL, such as in scoring, ball size, field size. To many, the CFL style of football is like watching an entirely different version of football compared to watching the more hyped NFL-style football.
The CFL is largely seen as a league of diversity, of common values and goals, and a particular Canadian national pride. Those characteristics define in part what being a Canadian stands for.
There is no other major sports league in Canada that is solely Canadian and prides itself on being so. The league may not receive the highest of ratings, but it is the one league we know that is ours and ours alone.
Just watch a game for yourself to feel the heritage while watching. It is a feeling you cannot experience when watching any other sports league. It is the only league that has the word “Canadian” in it.
The past history of the CFL has definitely shaped the way we see its current formation.
The big-name ownership of the Argos (including Wayne Gretzky and John Candy) certainly catapulted the CFL into the much-needed spotlight by the early 1990s. Then a failed experiment in the mid-1990s led to expansion in multiple areas of the United States for a three-year duration; seven teams came and went.
It was this defining moment, where the league realized that they were not an international brand, but that they were Canada’s league, and needed to ensure the country gets behind the league to truly make it something special. It should be known that the commissioner of the league from 1996 to 2000 was John Tory, Toronto’s current mayor. Tory played a big part in saving the league entirely.
There is no doubt that the CFL will continue to display signs of strong Canadian values and culture, showcasing the uniqueness of Canada, and represents a one-of-a-kind point of view of how Canadians view professional sports, being Canada’s sole nationwide major professional sports league.
The CFL defines and moves us Canadians. No other sports league can do this in the ever-changing climate of professional sports.
Sportsnet reported earlier today that the Calgary Flames fired their head coach Bill Peters after allegations of racism were made by former player Akim Aliu on Twitter.
They were incorrect. They have pulled their original article and clarified that Bill Peters has not been fired but is under investigation.
On Monday, Aliu claimed that Peters, who he referred to as Mike Babcock’s “protege” had used racial slur against him “several times” while Aliu played for the Chicago Blackhawk’s AHL team, the Rockford IceHogs. Peters had previously been Babcock’s assistant coach.
Aliu tweeted: “Not very surprising the things we’re hearing about Babcock. Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree, same sort of deal with his protege in YYC. Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.