Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the financial dealings of the Carolina Panthers, the beginning of Mariano rivera's farewell tour, the lasting effect of Stompin' Tom Connors and the excellence of Canadian curlers.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is down to the Carolina Panthers, the latest team to be caught with their hands in the cookie jar in the shell game of professional sports. During 2010 and 2011, the Panthers said they had a net loss, in terms of profit flow, of $200 million. Well, Deadspin.com found some financial documents that showed that, while owner Jerry Richardson was leading the charge during the NFL lockout, the Panthers were making $112 million in profit over those two years, despite having a lousy team. And right now, Carolina is trying to get public money for a stadium, which is the grand-daddy of all shell games in professional sports. Before this report, polls were going against the idea in terms of the public favour. I have an idea the polls might look a little worse today.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to the beginning of the Mariano Rivera farewell tour. On Saturday, Rivera announced this will be his final season in the Major Leagues. And who comes to your news conference says a lot about you. Derek Jeter was there, Andy Pettitte was there, Reggie Jackson was there, some of the greatest Yankees who have ever played, to pay tribute to the greatest closer in baseball history. I admire things when you can say this is the best ever and with Rivera, the number that blows me away is 42 post-season saves. That's more than 100 per cent more than anyone else who's ever played.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to the good old hockey game, it's the best game you could name, and the best game you could name, is the good old hockey game. That's what Stompin' Tom Connors sang. As a songwriter, he's not Bob Dylan or Paul Simon but he had the ability to paint a portrait of this country in stick figures and it worked. It wasn't elaborate, it was simple but he made people believe and he will be missed.
Dave Hodge, TSN: On this final day of the Brier in Edmonton and two weeks after Rachel Homan's impressive win at the Scotties in Kingston, my thumb is up to Canadian curlers, seemingly the best, or certainly among the best in the world again this year.
I had intended to use Glenn Howard as an example of the skill and precision that is on display when Canada's best take to the ice. Then there was Saturday night's extremely rare and costly miss by Howard that dropped him into Sunday morning's semi-final. But hey, I miss my wastebasket with crumpled paper from 10 feet and guys like Howard put a curling rock on the 'H' in Tim Hortons when the first 'o' would spell defeat. It's only news when they miss a shot.