Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss how some NFLers turned in their guns in the wake of the Javon Belcher murder-suicide, Dave King and Paul Henderson's selection into the Order of Hockey in Canada, Anthony Calvillo's announcement that he will be back for at least another season and the NFL's strange stance on dealing with kickoffs.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to the seven NFL players, who, according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, turned in their guns to the NFL last week in the wake of the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide. At least one player apparently told the team he didn't feel like he could trust himself with them, which in a sport where head injuries can cause erratic behaviour is both a chilling and admirable decision. Now, we don't usually talk about things outside sports on this show, but we all know what's happened in America since Jovan Belcher shot Kasandra Perkins, then himself. But remember the outcry when Bob Costas raised the mere notion, on Sunday Night Football, that fewer guns might be a good thing? It's hard to believe anybody's shouting at him now.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to the selection of Dave King and Paul Henderson for the Order of Hockey in Canada, the new award presented by Hockey Canada that I wasn't sure about from the start. In its first year, Hockey Canada honoured Wayne Gretzky, Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe - like they needed another award. But this year, they got it almost right. Dave King is one of those hockey lifers who has contributed to the game at every level, coaching junior and CIS, three Olympic teams and several spots as a pro. And we all know the Henderson story. His goals were the most important in Canadian hockey history. But he, like king, can't get in to the Hockey Hall of Fame. So this is next best for contributors to Canadian hockey and that's what the Order of Hockey should be all about.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to Anthony Calvillo, who will grace the CFL with his excellence for at least another season and maybe two. Certainly this so-called quarterback league can use the help. The 40-year-old Alouettes quarterback, who holds every passing record worth having, is the best of his generation and among the most accomplished in league history. He can't throw a deep ball like Ricky Ray, but no current quarterback reads the game like Calvillo. While the Grey Cup champion Argonauts might indeed become the CFL gold standard, a rejuvenated Calvillo, with a healthy receiving corps, could make the Argos a one-and-done and not a two-and-out.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is down to the NFL's inability to deal properly with what we'll call its "kickoff dilemma." The NFL doesn't like kickoffs because too many injuries occur on kickoffs, but the NFL has been reluctant to eliminate entirely the sometimes-exciting kickoff return. But that rule change might be coming. One wacky idea would be replace the kickoff with a punt, or an opportunity for the team that would otherwise be giving up the ball that way to keep it by making a first down on 4th and 15 from its 30-yard line. If Roger Goodell approves that, somebody should appeal to Paul Tagliabue.