Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss a 10 year CBA, a shortened NHL schedule, NHL buyouts and NCAA football referee Ron Cherry.
Cathal Kelly, Toronto Star: The thumb is up to the length of the new CBA, 10 years with eight years guaranteed before either side can opt out. I think that we tend to forget that Donald Fehr once floated the idea of a four year CBA, which almost guaranteed that we'd be back here. The fact that they decided this issue at least for eight years, now we can shuffle all these actors off the stage before we start this again.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to the 48 game season. And I'm not saying this completely sarcastically, but just a little. Every year what do people complain about? The season is too long, the February blasé, the games don't mean anything. You're not going to hear that this year. Every game is going to mean something and I think for the first time in a long time, the compressed regular season will be a little bit interesting.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to compliance buyouts. Two per team starting next season and it's not because of salary cap reasons, it's because every once in a while in life, you just get sick at looking at somebody's face! And so teams can just get rid of guys. Fans feel the same way as general managers do: "get rid of this guy!"
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is up to Fiesta Bowl referee Ron Cherry, who should win some sort of award for his understanding and explanation of a bizarre play in Thursday's game between Oregon and Kansas State. Oregon had a convert blocked, and in trying to take the ball the other way, a Kansas State player was tackled in his end zone, and something called a one-point safety was awarded to Oregon. No, they don't call it a rouge. The referee said it best into his microphone: "on the previous play, we have an unusual ruling." Boy, all the refs ought a say that, at least once a game.