Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss the NFL suing rapper MIA, Toronto Argonauts QB Zach Collaros, boxing judge CJ Ross, and Philadelphia Eagles fans' warm reception for Donovan McNabb.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is down to the NFL which has apparently been secretly suing the Sri Lankan singer/rapper MIA since she appeared in the Super Bowl halftime show last year with Madonna where she flipped the bird to the camera. And yes, she did sign a contract which acknowledged the “tremendous public respect and reputation for wholesomeness of the NFL.” And the NFL thinks that this has apparently damaged that reputation as opposed to say Bountygate, the fact that Aldon Smith is playing this Sunday after being picked up for a DUI Friday morning, or the $765 million concussion settlement in which it has been revealed the NFL tried to exclude players who died or killed themselves before 2009. Nope, it's MIA, that's the problem.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: This surprises even me to say this but my thumb is up to Zach Collaros , the backup quarterback to Ricky Ray now starting for the Toronto Argonauts. The Argos went on the road to Montreal, to Regina, and last night to Calgary. Win, win, win. Collaros came back in the second half of each of those games and brought the Argos to victory. The Argos are now not just the defending Grey Cup champions but I think the favourites for this year because Collaros has kept them in games and won them. Collaros has done more than anybody could have possibly anticipated.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to CJ Ross, who made her best decision of the week after making a mess of her scorecard at the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez mismatch. The veteran boxing judge has decided to take a break from the sport, perhaps permanently. In what looked to be a one-sided fight to just about anyone with vision last Saturday night somehow ended up as a draw on Ross' scorecard. This wasn't the first time anything like this has happened in a big fight. Ross was criticized for improperly scoring the Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquio controversial fight last year as well. It's best for her to walk away now. And it's best for boxing.
Dave Naylor, TSN: And my thumb is up to the reception given to former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb at his jersey retirement ceremony on Thursday night. Etiquette has never been the strong suit of Philly fans, and we sure know they seemed to hate McNabb as much as they loved him, starting with the infamous booing of his selection on draft day. But though McNabb never delivered a Super Bowl win to the City of Brotherly Love, Philly fans recognized that he kept the Eagles in the hunt during nearly every one of his 11 seasons in Philly. All the while managing the distinction of being a lightning rod for controversy and a model citizen at the same time. The fact his former coach Andy Reid was there to be honoured as well made this a rare touching moment for what is undoubtedly one of the most harshly critical - and occasionally abusive - fan bases in all of sports.