Bobsled: As the new season begins for Canada’s Bobsled team, competition for the job of brakeman on the 2-man team also heats up. Former CFL player Jesse Lumsden’s switch from football to sledding landed him on pilot Lyndon Rush’s team. Olympian Lascelles Brown is back after spending two years on the Monaco team. Brown, who won a bronze medal with Rush in the 4-man team at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and a silver with Pierre Lueders in the 2-man at the 2006 Games in Turin, will be a tough competitor for Lumsden. Although brakemen are not usually media darlings – that usually goes to the pilots – without a top performing brakeman victory is not possible. In the 2-man Bobsled the brakeman is 50% of the team – in the 4-man they’re 75%. While both men are vying for the same spot,” it is a good healthy competition” says Lumsden. Both hope that Team Canada will be on the podium in the upcoming World Cup and Olympic competitions. The first World Cup race was November 9th at Lake Placid, N.Y. Canada’s 4-man team finished in 6th place with Pilot Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown as the brakeman.
Hockey: Angela James, one of only two women inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, is the subject of a new book by Corey Long and Tom Bartsiokas – “Angela James: The First Superstar of Women’s Hockey” chronicles the journey taken by James from life as a young Black girl in Flemingdon Park public housing to the very top of her chosen sport. She has been inducted into three Halls of Fame – IIHF Hall of Fame (2008), Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (2009) and along with American Cammi Granato, the Hockey Hall of Fame (first two women inducted). James, as captain of Canada’s National team led the country to four gold medals at the World Championships. She was also a medalist at 12 National Championships earning MVP honors in eight of them. The book was launched November 8th at Ryerson University’s Mattamey Athletic Centre in the old Maple Leaf Gardens.
CFL: The Toronto Argos played their way into the 100th Grey Cup Championship game, which was held on Nov. 25th in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre (ACC). After struggling during the latter part of the season, Toronto got it together by defeating first Saskatchewan and then the Montreal Allouettes in the Eastern Final. Discounted as the underdog by many, the Argos rose to the occasion with a determination that should it carry through to the Grey Cup game, should bring the Cup back to Toronto for the first time since they defeated BC in 2004 in Ottawa. The Grey Cup game was sold out since summer. The half-time – all-Canadian show headliners were Justin Bieber, Mission, B.C. native Carly Rae Jepson, pop-rock group Marianas Trench and Gordon Lightfoot. The pre-game show featured country artist Johnny Reid and rocker Burton Cummings.
Hamilton: the Ti-Cats played their last game in Ivor Wynne Stadium, defeating Winnipeg 28-18. It was an emotional farewell game in the stadium at Beechwood Ave., and Balsam Ave. After 85 years, the wrecking ball comes calling and the demolition will begin in early December to make way for a new facility in time for the 2015 Pan Am Games.
NBA: Toronto: Jamaal Magloire, 34, was waived by the Raptors at the end of the pre-season. A 12-year NBA veteran, Magloire, who is a Toronto native, played for eight teams in his career and was an Eastern conference all-star in 2004. The Raptors needed to get to the NBAS maximum of 15 players before the October 29th deadline. The move assures Forward Dominque McGuire a roster spot. Considered a defense specialist, McGuire is on a 1-year contract.
Major League Baseball: Toronto: After a longer than usual review, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig approved the controversial 12-player deal between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Miami Marlins. The blockbuster deal had caused an uproar in both cities and around the league. Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos put his career on the line in the hopes of fielding a winning team. Jays (whose fans are happy) got: all-star Jose Reyes (ss), veteran pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, John Buck (c) and Emilio Bonifaco (inf), for: Yunel Escobar (ss), pitcher Henderson Alverez, Adeiny Hechavarria (inf), Jeff Mathis (c) and three top prospects. Toronto fans are excited, Marlins fans not so much, some are calling for owner Jeff Loria to “just sell the team” because he has “betrayed their trust”. Blue Jays have also announced the hiring of John Gibbons as the team’s new manager. Gibbons, who managed the team previously (2004-2008) is considered “a good fit” for the team.