In case you were busy throwing your old iPad in the garbage like the trash that it is, here's what you missed in sports on Tuesday:
The University of Miami avoided major additional sanctions related to the Nevin Shapiro scandal, as the NCAA only revoked a small number of scholarships, deeming the school's self-imposed two-year bowl ban to be sufficient punishment. "Are you serious?" said former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel when asked for comment. "Nothing? Weren't they having crazy sex parties? My boys just got a handful of free tattoos and we faced worse. Well, I want to be very careful with what I say here. Because I know NCAA procedure is complicated, and we were not in the right when I was let go. But fuuuuuuuuuuuudge that." Only Tressel didn't say "fudge." He said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word. Later, when asked by NCAA president Mark Emmert where he learned that word, Tressel refused to admit that it was from former NCAA president Myles Brand, instead blaming former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, who is now himself under investigation by the NCAA.
Welcome to a weekly grab bag of thoughts and observations from the past few days and/or decades of NHL hockey.
The Three Stars of Comedy
Recognizing the NHL personalities from around the league who produced the most comedic fodder for fans.
The third star: The Toronto Maple Leafs may never win again
And it’s all thanks to Tyler Bozak, who somehow arranged for “We Can’t Stop” by Miley Cyrus to become the team’s postgame victory song. This being Toronto, that led to intense media coverage like this story, in which a clearly annoyed Joffrey Lupul would like to remind you that he is far too cool for all this.
The second star: Patrick Roy proves the hockey gods have a sense of irony
The rookie Avs coach tied the NHL record for consecutive wins at the start of a coaching career Tuesday, with six. The other person who shares that mark? Mario Tremblay, with the 1995-96 Canadiens. Why yes, that would be the same Mario Tremblay who, just a few weeks after setting the record, had his rookie season derailed when this happened to him.
The first star: The Vancouver Canucks are doing it wrong
I’ll be honest, I had to watch this clip five times just to figure out what happened. Then I watched it 50 more because it was funny. I bet Joffrey Lupul starts doing this several times a game. Then again, he may not need to.
Let’s start with the easy part: Brian Burke failed in Toronto.
There’s really no way to spin it otherwise. Some people will try, because that’s how these things always work, but it’s futile. Brian Burke failed.
He came to the Maple Leafs in 2008 when it seemed that the franchise had hit rock bottom, and, as general manager, he never made it significantly better. He missed the NHL playoffs all four years. He took over a team coming off an 83-point season that everyone agreed was a disaster and managed to top that total only once. He compiled a .490 winning percentage, which, in a league that gives out points for losing, is indisputably awful.
All of that might have been acceptable if Burke, who was fired Wednesday, could point to an organization stocked with can’t-miss prospects. But the Leafs don’t even have that. The farm system is in better shape than it was when he inherited it, because it would've been nearly impossible for it not to be. But not by much, and with the (optimistically) possible exception of defenseman Morgan Rielly, it’s lacking the sort of top-tier young talent that almost all of today’s winning NHL teams are built around.
No playoffs. No blue chips. No progress. And, increasingly, no hope. That’s failure, any way you cut it.
So that’s the easy part. Now the harder question: Why? Why did someone who seemed like such a perfect fit for the job fail so spectacularly?