Chris Young

  • Like
Author

Chris Young is a writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of sports and news for the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, including seven World Cup finals and one glorious Euro 2004.

  • Remembering the night Vinsanity conquered the business

    With the NBA coming to Toronto for the first time for its All-Star party, the stock-taking has inevitably included Vince Carter’s star turn 16 years ago in Oakland. As someone who was privileged enough to have been there, sitting baseline behind the basket where Vinsanity truly came to rest by an elbow hanging on the rim, that 2000 slam-dunk final is among the most electric things I’ve ever witnessed.

    What’s been less evident in the reminiscing is the backdrop to that Saturday night that came 48 hours after Carter, Tracy McGrady and the rest of the Raptors party left Toronto in Larry Tanenbaum’s private jet. Carter came off the plane and headed pretty much straight to a late-night Sports Illustrated photo shoot. The next morning was an early wakeup call and he was on the move again through the day, and the pace never let up on Saturday nearly right up till showtime.

    Any All-Star is going to have to go through this gauntlet of glad-handing and promotional work. But that weekend, Carter

    Read More »from Remembering the night Vinsanity conquered the business
  • For Theo Fleury, there's life in a country song

    To Theo Fleury, the ongoing unravelling of Johnny Manziel’s NFL career is more than just a story he’s following.

    “I’ve been there,” says Fleury. “I’ve done it. I’ve seen it.

    “It was the same with Tiger Woods a while back, with a little different circumstances. It was painful to watch. I was watching my own movie.”

    At a decade on since the effective end of his pro hockey career and the beginning of his sobriety, you could say Fleury at 48 years old has changed the reel on his own particular film. For a guy who says “I got everything from hockey,” he has moved off into new directions as a writer, an advocate and public speaker for mental health and healing, and now via a country music project that is growing louder. On the back of his release last fall of debut LP "I Am Who I Am," Fleury and his Death Valley Rebels bandmates are readying for a busier season including a six-night Western Canada tour in early March, with more dates later in the year.

    “Let’s see how these first few months

    Read More »from For Theo Fleury, there's life in a country song
  • It's Super Sunday again, but for how long more?

    On Sunday, I’ll be headed to a friend’s place to eat well (barbecue) or not (chips, peanuts), drink something cold (I’m thinking a nice stout), buy a couple of $5 squares, sit through this year’s overblown pop act (hoping for a Left Shark reprise), and finally, perhaps, though this always seems an afterthought (and almost always, less than promised), watch a bit of football – because you don’t just watch the Super Bowl. You consume it, as if on vacation from midwinter, a one-day-into-the-night binge that at this downtown Toronto house I'm headed to will be shown on a screen that at 80 inches across sits against the basement wall looking like the arse end of the Titanic come to rest.

    Stay with that metaphor. If the NFL is the unsinkable luxury liner, there be icebergs about, and as the Super Bowl hits 50 I wonder not so much at how it got here as for how much longer it will reign as, at least in North America, one of the last places of communal sharing in front of a TV. Sure, there are

    Read More »from It's Super Sunday again, but for how long more?
  • A HoloLens-powered Super Bowl party without nachos? Say it ain't so

    It's Super Bowl week, so that means a blizzard of material, some of it even connected to the game and much of that piggybacking a branding/advertising/marketing message – from chili recipes for your Super Bowl party, say, to more. As in Microsoft, releasing this video that begans with a simple question – what could the future of football look like? – and answers it with a vision of an augmented reality, Microsoft-powered party of the future joining two impossibly clean living rooms.

    A HoloLens for everyone! Kids in the Hall-style Head Crushing! Wall-crashing holograms! (And notice how there's not a tablet in sight. Or a plate of nachos, for that matter. The tablets, well, that's understandable. Not sure I want to sign up for a future without nachos, though.)

    Read More »from A HoloLens-powered Super Bowl party without nachos? Say it ain't so
  • Olympic-bound Canadian wrestler Lappage unfazed by Zika virus worries

    For Danielle Lappage, this summer’s Olympic Games will be the culmination of a lifelong dream. The Zika virus? It's not really on the Vancouver wrestler's radar.

    “It wasn’t something I was super concerned or scared about - I don't really know why, but that's how it was,” Lappage said on Tuesday, barely an hour after she returned to her parents' home in Calgary from the weekend’s Rio de Janeiro wrestling test event at the new Carioca Arena, where she won her 63-kilogram weight class.

    “I heard more about it from people here, from friends and family, to be careful. It didn’t seem like that scary an issue. They were giving out bug spray at the venue. We put that on a lot, and we tried not to sleep with our windows open.

    "That was really about it."

    The test events will pick up pace over these final six months before the Aug. 5 opening of the Games. On Tuesday, a day after the World Health Organization deemed the virus a “public health emergency of international concern,” the Rio organizing

    Read More »from Olympic-bound Canadian wrestler Lappage unfazed by Zika virus worries
  • Report: Canadian Olympic Committee issues warning on travel to Rio

    Every Olympics has its share of pre-Games anxieties, but even by usual standards this Rio 2016 checklist is getting pretty lengthy.

    Brazil’s economy and politics have the staggers. The water quality literally stinks. Now the World Health Organization has warned the Zika virus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas, and called an emergency meeting in Geneva Feb. 1.

    The International Olympic Committee on Thursday said it would issue guidelines to NOCs, but it appears that the Canadian Olympic Committee is way ahead of them. TSN’s Rick Westhead reports that the COC’s chief medical officer Robert McCormack has drafted a memo for sports federations noting that at least for now, pregnant women should not travel to Rio for pre-Games visits. Dr. McCormack told Westhead:

    “Right now, it’s as bad as it’s going to be. It’s their mosquito time of year. There’s the issue with Zika, and also an issue with the dengue virus and even malaria in some of the cities like Manaus, Belo Horizonte and

    Read More »from Report: Canadian Olympic Committee issues warning on travel to Rio
  • Youth in, Leroux out: Canada, U.S. announced Olympic qualifier rosters

    Canada’s 20-woman roster for next month’s Olympic qualifier came out Tuesday, coach John Herdman and his staff naming seven players 20 years old or younger for their first real intense bit of competition.

    But perhaps the biggest piece of news came from south of the border.

    While we (grit our teeth and) wish the couple mazeltov and all, the question now becomes - who’s our designated villain in the stars and stripes? First Abby Wambach retired. Now Leroux’s on break, all the way until after Rio. Throw in a couple of other considerations, and suddenly the defending world champions have a few questions of their own to answer.

    Given the tournament’s format, wherein the semifinal winners of the eight-team tournament claim berths for Rio 2016, and the fact that the U.S. and Canada are clear favourites to advance,

    Read More »from Youth in, Leroux out: Canada, U.S. announced Olympic qualifier rosters
  • Toronto Maple Leafs finally welcome back Dave Keon

    Dave Keon played for Toronto from 1960 to 1975. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)Dave Keon played for Toronto from 1960 to 1975. (Photo by Melchior DiGiacomo/Getty Images)
    The Maple Leafs have finally buried their most inexplicably exposed hatchet, one that goes back nearly as long as their Stanley Cup drought, in welcoming Dave Keon back to perhaps the most conspicuous unoccupied spot in their Legends Row outside the Air Canada Centre.

    Beyond the kind of work ethic, leadership and ability he showed in his time in Toronto, it's worth noting that Keon is still alive, and such elemental considerations are necessary when it comes to this sort of thing. The other two ex-Leafs going in for bronzing shuffled off this mortal coil long ago – it’s no fun saluting coffins, and therein lies the problem when your most glorious moments have long since faded to the same grainy clips on repeat, and the whole thing verging on creepy ritual re-enactment that lacks just a Ouija board, a few candles and everybody holding hands to be complete.

    When the Leafs hold their ceremony this fall for Keon, and the late pair of Turk Broda and Tim Horton whose glory days are even

    Read More »from Toronto Maple Leafs finally welcome back Dave Keon
  • Raptors sit mid-pack in Forbes' annual NBA valuations

    Next month's NBA All-Star Weekend, the first to be held outside the U.S., will be pitched as something of a coming-out party for Toronto as a first-rate NBA city, even though they've been part of the league for some two decades now and hey, we've got Drake too, along with a growing rep as a basketball nursery.

    Alas, the Raptors' place in the NBA's economic firmament is still a middle-tier work in progress. That's the takeaway, anyway, from a pair of financially oriented rundowns just out – Forbes' always entertaining NBA valuations, and the league's own jersey sales numbers.

    Within a league at record-high levels, Forbes pegs the New York Knicks as No. 1 with a $3 billion valuation, up 20 per cent over last year. The Lakers ($2.7 bil.) and the Bulls ($2.3 bil.) are next. Down at No. 14 in the estimates sits the Raptors, just under the billion-dollar mark with a net valuation of $980 million (below the league average of $1.25 billion) off revenues of $163 million and operating income of

    Read More »from Raptors sit mid-pack in Forbes' annual NBA valuations
  • 4K era underway with bigger, broader Raptors and Leafs

    TSN and Sportsnet are ready to take the next step for their televised sporting events. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)TSN and Sportsnet are ready to take the next step for their televised sporting events. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
    The cardinal rule of sports on television is simple: stand out of the way and let the spectacle and speed speak for itself.

    The people at the microphone sometimes forget that. The producers never do, and this week, another illustration of that fundamental comes with Rogers and Bell Media firing off the first salvos in what may well come to be known as the 4K battles -- or, less rhetorically, simply the next step on the road to sports broadcasting’s pursuit of the faster, the higher, the crystal-clearer (and all of it via screens growing as if on steroids).

    “Sports as a live broadcast, a live transmission, is where you’re really going to see” 4K’s advantages,” said Rogers Media president Rick Brace on Monday.

    Last week, Rogers jumped on UK pioneers BT’s 4K broadcast of the Raptors and Orlando Magic, live from London’s O2 Arena -- a North American debut of the new technology that effectively quadruples the amount of picture content, or pixels. TSN delivers its first such show with

    Read More »from 4K era underway with bigger, broader Raptors and Leafs

Pagination

(37 Stories)