How dare those Americans — cluttering up such an important Canadian sports weekend with their Roman numerals!
Canadian golfer Nick Taylor needed two playoff holes to win his fourth PGA Tour event Sunday, the “Wasted Management Open” in Phoenix, right about when the San Francisco 49ers scored the first touchdown of a slow-starting Super Bowl LVIII against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Behind MVP-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City won its third Super Bowl in five years with a 25-22 overtime victory. It was a boring start, exciting finish that included unhappy Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce screaming and bumping into head coach Andy Reid, a sideline quarrel between the celebrated QB and one unhappy receiver, plus superstar Taylor Swift chugging beer, cheering beside Ice Spice in a crowded luxury suite and afterwards kissing Kelce, her boyfriend. All to the apparent chagrin of American MAGAs.
Extra Super Bowl distractions included Usher’s halftime performance inside Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium. It started with him dancing on the playing field, included some on-stage roller skating and featured Alicia Keys among his guest performers. Tough to dislike that.
There were also new TV commercials to consume. Canadian viewers couldn’t even see all of the much-hyped American ads, including proclamations from some religious group that spent $7 million per 30-second spot to apparently help mankind. Nothing yet has topped the E*trade baby.
The Canadian telecast did include Bell commercials, just days after the multimedia giant laid off 4,800 employees.
Back to the underplayed Canadiana.
Pro golf may be disappearing from the sports radar, but the party atmosphere at the Phoenix Open still draws drunken, boisterous crowds. Give credit to Taylor and his Canadian peers, who have remained loyal to the PGA instead of selling their souls to ObLIVion golf, the Saudi Arabia-funded tour that reportedly staged another who-cares event somewhere.
Earlier Sunday, the Canadian women’s basketball team lost an Olympic qualifying match against Japan. That started the hardcourt drama as Hungary, the tournament’s host team, subsequently blew a 19-point lead and lost to Spain, giving Canada a backdoor berth into its fourth straight Games.
Across this country several provinces declared curling champs to complete the Montana’s Brier field. The Canadian men’s championship runs March 1-10 in Regina.
And don’t forget Canada’s favourite sport, hockey, which has gone nearly a week without a high-profile assault scandal. The latest controversy concerns the poor Toronto Maple Leafs, whose feelings were hurt Saturday when Ridly Greig capped an Ottawa Senators victory with a slapshot into an empty net. For his horrifying transgressions, Greig got cross-checked in the head by Morgan Rielly.
There was better news Sunday from the women’s game, as Canada beat the Americans 6-1 in Minnesota. It’s the second straight year Canada won the last four contests to claim the seven-game Rivalry Series. And keep your eyes open for the latest from 17-year-old Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh, whose performances at an American meet last week presage an amazing career.
Those Americans really don’t care. Why should they when they can spend their time criticizing Super Bowl play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and analyst Tony Romo? Was Romo really hugging Mahomes before the championship presentation, featuring the wimpiest trophy in pro sports being presented to the Chiefs owner, who didn’t make a single tackle or catch one pass all season?
All everyone wanted to talk about was the ‘Dynasty’ being built by the NFL’s Chiefs, who have won two straight Super Bowls. Kind of like the dynasties of the CFL’s Grey Cup-winning Edmonton Elks (nee Eskimos) and NHL’s Stanley Cup-winning Montreal Canadiens, only smaller.