Fringe Friday – The hate edition

on February 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

What’s going on this week with all the hate? Seems everywhere we turn we come across some form of it. We have a Canadian hating themselves (go figure), an American hating their former boss (that’s actually normal) and several Americans hating the big, big boss Mr. Trump. Well, that actually is to be expected isn’t? So maybe I am making more about this than is really there, but at least it’s sports and at least it’s very entertaining and sure enough it fits right in with Fringe Friday, so let’s begin.

Sorry Canada

There is a long held truth that Canadians are overly apologetic in nature. What is not a long held truth however, is that sometimes, we have a very good reason to apologize. Case in point, perhaps glossed over by the theatrics of Super Bowl LI on Sunday was the fireworks that occurred at the Davis Cup Draw between Canada and Great Britain. We get down to the 5th and deciding match and it wasn’t going very well for Canada’s future tennis star and current Junior Wimbledon Champion, Denis Shapovalov. Already down two sets to love, Shapovalov hits a shot long and his serve is broken. In frustration at himself, he smashes a tennis ball straight up into the air. OK, maybe straight up is a slight exaggeration as it seemed to go more on a 30 degree angle and hit the chair umpire smack dab in the face. It was one of those moments that was scary to begin with but one you can’t help laughing at once you know the umpire was fine. Immediately, everyone realized there was never any malice intended, Shapovalov was just angry at himself. Considering that shot was a pure winner, I wonder if he couldn’t have turned his fortunes around and won the match if they were allowed to continue. Shapovalov and Canada defaulted the match however and our young star was fined $7K US. In typical Canadian fashion, Shapovalov issued a very sincere, heartfelt and mature (the kid is only 17 years old) apology to the umpire, his teammates and all Canadians.

Knick fans tougher than players

The New York Knicks have had their issues as of late and by late we mean at least the last decade if not longer. This year they are again a sub 500 team and sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. The good news is that this week we finally saw some fight coming out of Madison Square Gardens, the self proclaimed Mecca of NBA basketball. The problem though was that the fight didn’t come from any current player, it came from a fan who just happened to be ex-KnickerBocker and ex-Raptor Charles Oakley.

It has been well known that Oakley and Knicks owner James Dolan don’t see eye-to-eye on many things and Oakley has been quite public about it. On that night there was rumoured to be insults thrown in Dolan’s direction, but that all depends on who you ask. There is still plenty of discrepancy as to what did or did not happen and each side is sticking to their story. The only truth to come out of this is that the entire Knick fan base wish that their team showed as much fight as Oakley did. They can only hope.

Thank you, but no thank you

It used to be that one of the fantastic perks of winning a championship was to get to visit the President at the White House. Apparently a number of people are not seeing it as a perk anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, in the past there has been an athlete here or there who did not visit the home of the President for both political and nonpolitical reasons, that part isn’t new. But with President Trump (I am still not comfortable writing that) in office, there have already been five New England Patriots that have said they will not be going. A date for the event hasn’t even been setup yet (last year it was in June) but whenever it is, tight end Martellus Bennett, safety Devin McCourty, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, defensive end Chris Long and running back LeGarrette Blount will not be attending. Each of them have their own reasons and not all of them political, but it starts to make you wonder about this visit and when other championship teams visit as well. This isn’t a question of could there be more, it’s a question of just how many more as running back James White and defensive tackle Alan Branch haven’t decided to go yet either.

Or does it even matter? I’m sure President Trump and his team will come up with some “alternative facts” stating that not only was everyone there but it was a huge crowd, the biggest ever.

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