Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss Joe Thornton's locker room comments, the Raptor Mascot's injury, Canada's Olympic jerseys and the booing of Andrea Bargnani.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to big centre Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks. After 19-year-old teammate Tomas Hertl scored his fourth goal of the game on a brilliant between-the-legs play in a 9-2 win over the rangers, some suggested the youngster was too, uh, confident. During a question to this effect in Vancouver, Jumbo Joe interrupted a teammate's scrum to tell reporters what he would do if he ever scored four goals in a game, and it would have made slap shot's strip teasing hero Ned Braden blush. Yes, Thornton was foul-mouthed; maybe he didn't expect to be quoted, but there you are. At least he was honest, which we could use more of in hockey, and in sports. Now let's all pray, together, that Joe Thornton never scores four goals in a game.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is down to the poor forever downtrodden Toronto Raptors and the season ending injury from which they cannot recover. And no, I'm not talking about any of their players, not that any one of them would be thumb-worthy. It's their mascot, the Raptor, who is out after attempting a flip in a pre-season game in Halifax and ending up having surgery for a severed Achilles tendon. Normally, I could care less about furry arena-laden mascots. Most of them annoy me. But this Raptor, working for a perpetually losing team, is many nights the best part of the show. A season without him just won't be the same.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to Canada's Olympic third jersey, which, as you know, is black. Now you might have noticed that the national colors are red and white, pretty much from sea to sea to sea. Of course, Canada does feature some black. You have your Alberta oil sands and the black watch regiment. And there's Randy Carlyle's heart after a bad turnover by a Maple Leafs' defenceman. But in a two-week tournament, Canada hardly needs to deviate from the colors it has worn so proudly and successfully. Goalie Carey Price joked he likes the black sweater because he finds it slimming. I don't like it because I find it foreign.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is down to the booing of Andrea Bargnani, but not just any Bargnani booing. Specifically, the booing of Bargnani, the New York Knick, at Friday's exhibition game. Now, I can't imagine going to an exhibition game for the purpose of booing anyone, but as you may know, I can't imagine going to an exhibition game period. Presumably, you boo an opposing player to somehow get him off his game, to somehow help the home team. If there's a way to make Bargnani pay for being such a letdown as a Raptor, for goodness sake, come up with it during the regular season.