ANIMAL ACT ON ICE
With many of its finest players involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Canada has been ill-represented in the world hockey championships in Vienna. Returning to the eight-nation tournament after a seven-year absence, Team Canada fielded a lineup of NHL also-rans and retreads, which partially explains last week's 11-1 defeat by the Russians—Canada's most humiliating hockey loss ever.
Team Canada's lack of talent can be blamed on unfortunate timing, but the manner in which it comported itself on the ice can only be blamed on itself. In their frustration, some of the Canadian professionals resorted to high sticking, slashing and other forms of thuggery. Wilf Paiement of the Colorado Rockies, who incurred a major penalty for high sticking and three minors for slashing, was Canada's most flagrant offender against the Russians, although Walt McKechnie of the Detroit Red Wings, who was called for cross-checking with one second left in the game, was almost as bad.
It should be pointed out that the Russians led 3-0 in the first period, before the first penalty was called. Thus the intimidation tactics were not only shoddy sportsmanship, but also stupid.
"We come over here and do things we would never do in the National Hockey League," Guy Charron of the Washington Capitols told Red Fisher of The Montreal Star. Charron, who was hurt in the first game and didn't play thereafter, added, "We're never going to win doing things that way. Never. If you're going to do anything at all, make damned sure the whole world doesn't see it. We wait until everybody is watching, and then we do it. It's sad."
And it's not hockey.
GAUNTLET VS. GLOVES
When he isn't castigating Chicago politicians or deflating pompous officials, columnist Mike Royko of the Chicago Daily News serves as manager and pitches for the newspaper's softball team.
Recently the league in which the team plays has evoked Royko's wrath—and a lawsuit—by changing its rules to allow players to wear gloves. The new rule, Royko says, "penalizes those with talent and calloused hands and gives unfair advantage to those with tender and well-manicured hands."
Besides that, Royko says his team can't afford the gloves.