I don’t wish to engage in a war of words, but do feel I should respond to Walter Farquharson; who wrote a letter to the editor a couple of weeks ago expressing sadness about my negative comments on judges. While Walter is correct in saying me being critical doesn’t do anything for building a community and society of respect; it should also be noted that judges are our community’s and society’s last line of defense when it comes to keeping everybody safe. And, time and time again, judges fail in this regard. How many times as an accused person gotten off with committing a crime because of a technicality? Why can’t a judge put a convict away for life by using a similar technicality? Judges are in their positions to interpret the law. True, some of our laws are ridiculously slanted toward criminals and there isn’t too much a judge can do in some cases. But, far too often I see judges knee-capping the ability to build a community by setting people free who have no business on the street making it dangerous for the rest of us. It’s not me who should be blamed for that.
Approximately 150 Air Canada pilots staged an illegal strike over the weekend by calling in sick. It should be noted, these 150 shouldn’t be the voice for the 3,000 pilots that are represented through the Air Canada Pilots Association. I’m not too sure what Air Canada employees hope to gain here. Air Canada isn’t exactly a big money maker. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the company reported an operating loss of $98 million; and yet they still forecast an employee benefits expense increase of $35 million for 2012. My feeling is this: if you don’t like your job or are unhappy with the money you are making, then go somewhere else. Personally, I made that very choice at the end of 2008. I wasn’t happy with my job or the money. And, yet there wasn’t a position in broadcasting for me that would get me to a wage that I wanted. So, I changed careers. It might be time for some Air Canada people to do the same if things are that bad.
The first NHL game that I watched all year from start to finish was Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on Sunday. I have to admit, I was thoroughly entertained. Head Office should issue a memo to these players and declare open season. Let’s face it. The players don’t want a safer game with less body contact. They want to take one another’s heads off. And if that’s what they signed up for, then there is no point issuing meaningless two game suspensions. If you saw this game on Sunday and paid attention to the Philadelphia crowd, you would see that blood and guts is exactly what the fans want. Not to mention, the abundance of goals kept things unpredictable from a win-loss point of view too.
Sidney Crosby took a lot of criticism for his play on Sunday, but I had no trouble with it. The Pens were having a hard time getting into the game, and Crosby was simply trying to get some of his teammates going. I also like the fact that he’s emotional. Sure, he came unglued and looked rattled. At least the man has a pulse. There are players out there on every team who sleep walk through games win, lose, or draw. I’ll take Crosby any day of the week.
SJHL President Bill Chow didn’t win many friends in Weyburn on Friday. Chow suspended SJHL Player Of The Year Jesse Ross for last Friday’s game six of the Canalta Cup Finals (a game Humboldt won 6-0 to take the championship). What’s lost in the anger from the folks in Weyburn is that Ross put himself in a position to be reviewed for a possible suspension. You can argue whether or not his slash warranted a suspension, but you cannot argue he put himself in a spot where a suspension was possible. And, there is nobody else to blame for that but Ross himself. Did the Humboldt player involved do something that got Ross’ temper going? Maybe. But that’s where you have to show discipline and turn the other cheek. I also didn’t like the fact that Ross, Jordon Hoffman, Ron Rumball, and Dwight McMillan neglected to shake hands with Chow when accepting their championship final appearance plaques, but that’s just me being picky, I suppose. McMillan didn’t even accept the plaque. He left the bench and went (I assume) to his office and didn’t watch the remainder of the ceremony after his name was called.
Full marks to Mitch Kilgore, who won the SJHL Playoff MVP award in a losing effort. But, the Weyburn goalie garnered further respect from me when he held up the rest of his teammates in the hand-shake line so that Andrew Johnston could finish his television interview and still get the congratulations from the Red Wings. Kilgore is a real class act and I hope he is able to continue his career somewhere.
One of my favorite Twitter accounts to follow is called Damn It’s True. Here’s a couple from the weekend: “Hearing something that kills you inside, but having to act like you don’t care is the worst.” And, this one: “I propose we add a new day to the week and call it Someday. Just think of all the awesome stuff that would happen on it.”