’Tis the sea­son for a proper list

The Compass - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Mercer — Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

If I could have one gift this hol­i­day sea­son, it would have to be a true Top-10 list from our hock­ey­mad friends over at TSN.

On Dec. 13, Canada’s sports leader trot­ted out its list of top sports sto­ries for 2013.

Now, it seems ev­ery year I use this fo­rum to dis­play my ut­ter con­tempt for the way TSN se­lects its sto­ries, and this time will be no dif­fer­ent.

In case you did not know, here is the list:

• MLB stars Alex Ro­driguez and Ryan Braun are im­pli­cated in PED use;

• The Toronto Maple Leafs’ epic Game 7 col­lapse against the Bos­ton Bru­ins;

• The Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers host and win the 101st Grey Cup;

• South African sprinter Os­car Pis­to­rius is charged with mur­der­ing his girl­friend;

• The rise of Cana­dian basketball phe­noms An­thony Ben­nett, the first Cana­dian to go No. 1 in the NBA Draft, and An­drew Wig­gins - the pro­jected top pick in next year’s draft;

• The Van­cou­ver Canucks’ goal­tender con­tro­versy sur­round­ing Roberto Luongo and Cory Sch­nei­der;

• The Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing, fol­lowed by an out­pour­ing of Bos­ton Strong sup­port and the Bos­ton Red Sox win­ning the World Se­ries at home;

• A power out­age af­fects Su­per Bowl XLVII, which fea­tured Ray Lewis’ last game and the Har­baugh broth­ers coach­ing against each other;

• The Chicago Black­hawks win the Stan­ley Cup in a lock­out-short­ened sea­son;

• LeBron James leads the Mi­ami Heat to a se­cond con­sec­u­tive NBA Cham­pi­onship.

Pe­ruse that list for a mo­ment, then think about which one of those does not be­long.

If you guessed the goal­tender is­sue in Van­cou­ver, you get the top prize.

I can’t imagine very much com­mon sense be­ing in the room when

I un­der­stand TSN is a Cana­dian net­work and has built its rep­u­ta­tion on the steady, yet some­times over­board, cov­er­age of the sport of hockey. I get that they want to cater to their au­di­ence of hockey-crazed Canucks.

that was se­lected.

I un­der­stand TSN is a Cana­dian net­work and has built its rep­u­ta­tion on the steady, yet some­times over­board, cov­er­age of the sport of hockey. I get that they want to cater to their au­di­ence of hockey-crazed Canucks.

But, is some goal­tender con­tro­versy even wor­thy of men­tion out- side of Van­cou­ver? No, it’s not. Just like the col­lapse of the Toronto Maple Leafs should not be on a list out­side of Toronto, yet it’s on TSN’s list also.

Don’t get me wrong, hockey should be in­cluded. How­ever, there are more im­por­tant sto­ries to in­clude than these two.

For one, who says you can’t have the Chicago Black­hawks there twice?

Once for win­ning the Stan­ley Cup, and a se­cond time for start­ing the lock­out short­ened sea­son without a loss in reg­u­la­tion or over­time for the first 24 games.

Maybe I’m be­ing too harsh, but then again, I don’t think I am. Both of these might make the top 10 in an all-Cana­dian Top-10 list. Even then, they are prob­a­bly lumped in with Daniel Al­freds­son leav­ing Ot­tawa in­stead of be­ing sep­a­rate sto­ries.

In that case, these sto­ries would beat them out:

• Mi­los Roanic and the re­birth of Cana­dian ten­nis;

• Cal­gary Stam­peder’s run­ning back John Cor­nish be­ing named the CFL’s most out­stand­ing player and first Cana­dian in 35 years to win the award; • The end of the NHL lock­out; • The NHL con­cus­sion law­suit; or • UFC wel­ter­weight cham­pion Ge­orges St. Pierre, of Que­bec, takes leave of ab­sence.

If we are go­ing with a list from the en­tire world of sports, these would rank higher:

• The re­tire­ment of New York Yan­kees closer Mar­i­ano Rivera;

• Lance Arm­strong’s ad­mis­sion to us­ing per­for­mance- en­hanc­ing drugs;

• New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots tight end Aaron Hernandez is ar­rested on charges of first-de­gree mur­der;

• the NFL con­cus­sion set­tle­ment; and

• Andy Mur­ray’s vic­tory in the Bri­tish Open.

All of these sto­ries are vi­able op­tions for any pun­dit’s end-of-year lists, but they were not on TSN’s list.

I like hockey just as much as the next guy, but the sport does not need to dom­i­nate these lists be­cause we live in Canada.

There are big­ger things than our na­tional pas­time.

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