Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the courage of Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton, the honesty of Buffalo Bills centre Eric Wood, the judgment of Evander Kane and the health of Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to Suzy Favor Hamilton: three-time Olympian, motivational speaker, real estate brokerage owner, married mother of one, Disney half marathon spokeswoman and, it was revealed this week, a $600-per-hour call girl for a Las Vegas escort company in her spare time. This is not a thumbs up to her podium-worthy work in the bedroom decathlon, where she was apparently the third-ranked such provider in Vegas. No, what's good is how she took responsibility for her mistakes, and pledged to do better. Favor Hamilton's motivational speeches are about her struggles with depression, which was a factor in this. Many are still afraid to talk about depression; more people need to. Well, Suzy Favor Hamilton may have done the impossible: she may have made talking about depression sexy.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is up to Buffalo Bills centre Eric Wood who said this week what oh, 50 or so other players had to be thinking - that the Bills in Toronto series is a joke. Of course, it's not just the players in Buffalo who hate this concept, so do the Buffalo fans - you know, the ones who are about to fork over $95 million in public funds as part of a new lease agreement that will keep the Bills in Buffalo for at least six more seasons. But the real reason Wood is right about this series being a joke is the other group of people who don't seem to care for the Bills coming to the Rogers Centre - those would be the sports fans of Toronto. And they're extending this series... why?
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to Evander Kane because what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, not when you post it on twitter. The Winnipeg Jets star tweeted a picture of himself on a Las Vegas rooftop talking into a stack of bills, an apparently humorous effort to contact Floyd Mayweather. This was the dumbest telephone moment since Maxwell Smart spoke into his shoe. It's great to be young, handsome and wealthy. But in the context of the NHL lockout, with players demanding their fair share, and the holiday season, when not everyone has wads of cash, Kane's little joke was ill-timed at best and insensitive at worst. Poor optics. Lousy judgment.
Dave Hodge, TSN: Just another story about money in Las Vegas. And I think we should close this particular show on December 23 with a story that deals with different values. The medical clearance to return to work received this week by Indianapolis Colts' head coach Chuck Pagano is timely in several ways. There is no greater gift for Pagano or the Colts and the team is in a position to welcome him back with a playoff berth that could be clinched Sunday at Kansas City. We often hear stories of inspiration - every time the Colts played in Pagano's absence this season, we saw one. And the season only gets better with Pagano's expected return on Sunday, a week ahead of schedule, a day before Christmas.