Don Landry

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Don Landry is a blogger for Yahoo Canada Sports.

  • Come on, Pete. Give it a little oomph. (AP)Come on, Pete. Give it a little oomph. (AP)
    Now, maybe it's not up to me to decide. However, I've rarely let that stop me before.

    We need a change to the way football coaches offer challenges.

    Challenge flags in the game of football have become mundane. Do you recall the early days? The excitement surrounding the occasion of a coach tossing that challenge flag out to right an injustice brought down by uncaring zebras? Oh, those were the days, when he'd pull that flag out of his pocket, like he was unsheathing a sword, wind up and hurl that hanky, overhand, as far as he could out onto the field. "Challenge!!", I always imagined him bellowing, with the audacious righteousness of a fierce knight. "Get thee to a replay booth!"

    Now, coaches just casually grab that handkerchief from their back pocket as they wait for word from their spotters upstairs on whether the challenge ought to be issued. Once they get that, the referee is already standing near them and the coach basically just drops the thing on the ground, almost immediately

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Is this a flagger I see before me? Boosting football's challenge flag excitement
  • The World Curling Federation has adopted new regulations governing equipment. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)The World Curling Federation has adopted new regulations governing equipment. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)
    Just about a year from the beginning of a tumultuous chapter in curling's history, that tumult ends.

    The World Curling Federation (WCF) has now formally adopted new rules to govern broom heads at all of its competitions, beginning immediately. Broom head materials will be governed strictly, as will the use of brooms at any competition sanctioned by the WCF. And, thankfully, they've backed the new regs with stiff penalties.

    The new rules mean elite teams will all be playing with the same fabric and weave design on their brush heads, no matter what manufacturer is supplying them. This should do away with any kind of advantage being taken by one foursome or another due to the particular materials on their own brooms, after a season of experimentation led to an arms race of a sort - and some hard feelings -  where new fabrics were constantly being introduced in order to scratch the ice on the playing surface and allow players to back up, over-curl and even slow down a stone if they

    Read More »from Curling's broom drama formally ends: World Curling Federation adopts new rules
  • Monday Musings: The Why Cup of Hockey is here

    (Canadian Press)(Canadian Press)
    Training camps have begun for the World Cup of Hockey. So many questions.

    Right off the top, there is "why are we playing this?"

    Is it to stem the galaxy-wide divide between the presenting of the Stanley Cup and the opening of NHL training camps? You know, the one that stretches for an interminable twelve weeks? If that's the case, please just get to the point where the Stanley Cup Final is being played while all the other teams that didn't get there begin their training camps. So that hockey season never ends and The Cup is being handed out every nine months. Just keep 'er rollin'.

    There are other "whys," too. The jerseys to be worn by most every team are a bit of a "why?" My personal belief is that organizers wanted uniforms so unflattering that fans would actually demand that corporate branding be added to them to make them more attractive. "Please! Cover it with muffler shop logos!" Genius plan, Gary. Genius plan.

    The trophy to be awarded is its own special version of "why?"

    Read More »from Monday Musings: The Why Cup of Hockey is here
  • Monday Musings: I'm keeping my hat, thanks

    (Josh Donaldson Twitter photo)(Josh Donaldson Twitter photo)
    I don't get it.

    I mean, I get it... but I just don't get it. The long held tradition of the hat trick - a hockey staple for decades and decades and decades, has made its way into the world of baseball. And that's not the part I don't get either, because it happens in Toronto, where every sporting event can somehow be related to the Leafs or the sport of hockey in one way or another. Hockey traditions are so embedded, they're bound to cross over. So, when Blue Jays' third baseman Josh Donaldson hit not one, not two, but three home runs in Sunday's sweep win over the Minnesota Twins, the hats came flying out of the stands.

    That's the part I don't get and never really have. I mean, whenever I've gone to a game, I've never once worn a hat I didn't like. Didn't want. Didn't care for. A hat that I'd gladly discard. Chances are, whenever I go anywhere - to a ball game, hockey game, wedding or public shaming - I'm wearing a hat because, you know, I like that hat. I don't say "hey, I'm going

    Read More »from Monday Musings: I'm keeping my hat, thanks
  • Monday Musings: So long, Rio. It's been weird and wonderful

    August 5th. That's when I must have been stung by a hornet. Because I had a feverish dream.

    In that dream there was an international sports competition that was filled with amazing athletic accomplishments. But lots of odd stuff happened in there as well, making it all seem like a passage of weird, wonderful and head-scratching prose from Canada's favourite rock poet.

    The Rio Olympics had #PhelpsFace, diving pool water that turned green, and an IOC delegate who was arrested, in a bathrobe, for ticket scalping. It had a phony robbery story from U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte, a fencer who had his cell phone fall from his pocket during a competition, and the story of a kayaker who may or may not have had his craft capsized by a sunken sofa. For a finale, it had not one but two coaches stripping down - in plain view of spectators - to protest their wrestler's loss.

    (Reuters)(Reuters)

    In the midst of all of that, you had stories of great Canadian triumph. The stuff from which legends can be made.

    Oddities and

    Read More »from Monday Musings: So long, Rio. It's been weird and wonderful
  • Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 16 (August 21st)

    Overture, curtain, lights. This is it, the night of nights. The Olympics of Rio are coming to a close. Prediction: International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will not call these "the best games ever," which almost always happens at a closing ceremony. Instead, I'll bet he calls them "exceptional" or "wonderful" or perhaps just "completed."

    From the CBC media release on what we can expect at the closing ceremony: "Performances include International pop star Kygo performing with guest singer Julia Michaels, an homage to the Samba featuring Roberta Sá and tributes to Carmen Miranda and Roberto Burle Marx. A special segment of the Closing Ceremony will be dedicated to Tokyo 2020 with a mixture of Japanese cultural traditions and technological innovations."

    Excuuuuuse me? That's all well and good but I distinctly remember requesting either Duran Duran singing "Rio" or Barry Manilow singing "Copacabana" in my column following the opening ceremony.

    Oh, I'll watch your closing

    Read More »from Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 16 (August 21st)
  • Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 15 (August 20th)

    Man. Those Sportchek Olympics commercials they keep showing on CBC are terrifying me. The one where the narrator (spoken word poet Shane Koyczan) keeps asking questions about what we're willing to give, what we're willing to sacrifice, how far we can push, how much pain we can take... and on and on he goes. And he doesn't even leave us any room between questions to give any answers. Ease up, Shane! You've done it! You've beaten me down. Mercy! Stop! (Seriously, though, don't stop. Those are fantastic).

    Here's what's up on Saturday, although all of it is really just a run up to the main Olympic event which is, of course, live coverage of the Tragically Hip's farewell concert in Kingston, Ontario. But we already know the outcome of that one; Gord Downie gets the gold. 8:30 pm ET, CBC. That may be the one flaw in The Hip's exhaustive, depth of the collective Canadian soul catalogue; They never did a song about the 4x100 metre relay team winning gold in Atlanta. I'd like to have heard

    Read More »from Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 15 (August 20th)
  • Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 14 (August 19th)

    If I had my bet, it'd be that Usain Bolt's favourite Tragically Hip song would be "Ahead By A Century." Incredible, again, on Day 13. He's back in the spotlight on Day 14, along with Canada's Brooke Henderson and a horse named "Fine Lady 5." Seriously. Keep reading...

    Day 14 (August 19th):

    You kidding me, Brooke Henderson? You kidding me? Wowsers. Canada's 18-year-old golfing superstar absolutely slayed the course in the second round of the women's golf competition, carding a 7-under par to bring her total to 8-under, just two shots back of the leader, South Korea's Inbee Park. Another Canadian, Alena Sharp sits nine strokes off the lead. Sharp tees off at 8:14 am ET, while Henderson hits the links at 9:58 am ET, on TSN2.

    If your appetite for sprinting has not been satiated, I've got good news for you. Both the men's and women's 4x100 metre relay finals are on tap Friday night and Canada has medal hopes in both races. The women blast from the blocks at 9:15 pm ET while the men go at 

    Read More »from Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 14 (August 19th)
  • Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 13 (August 18th)

    With apologies to all the other athletes working hard in all the other events, Day 13 at the Rio Olympics is really about one thing for Canadians: The blossoming sprint bromance of Andrain De Bolt. (Usandre De Bolsse? Nah, let's go with the first one.)

    Day 13 (August 18th):

    Andre De Grasse (bronze medal winner in the 100 metres) is out to prove that his new best buddy, gold medallist Usain Bolt, is not so invincible. The 21-year-old Toronto native takes aim at the incomparable Jamaican champion in the final of the 200 metre sprint on Thursday night. 9:30 pm ET, on CBC. It's a tough task, kinda like trying to prove it ain't that hard to beat the sun in a staring contest. However, De Grasse at least showed Bolt, in Wednesday night's semi-final, that if the King of the Sprint wants to three-peat as Olympic 200 metres champ, he's not going to be allowed to let up over the final ten or fifteen metres. And that's what's been happening. Bolt has been making the tail ends of sprints look like

    Read More »from Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 13 (August 18th)
  • Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 12 (August 17th)

    No. No I did not get choked up by the beautiful sportsmanship and compassion shown by Abbey D' Agostino and Nikki Hamblin after they both crumpled to the track during the women's 5000 metre race on Day 11. There was some dust floating around in the room when I watched it and it... got in my... eyes... and, yeah. Dust. What? Why are you looking at me like that? No, YOU shut up.

    Day 12 (August 17th):

    Week One at the Olympics, as far as Canada is concerned, belonged to 16-year-old Toronto swimmer Penny Oleksiak. It's possible that Week Two could have a lot of chatter about 18-year-old Smiths Falls, Ontario, native Brooke Henderson. She's already won a golf major this year (The Women's PGA Championship, back in June) and is being touted by more than just a few golf experts as the gold medal favourite. First

    Read More »from Rio 2016: What to watch, Day 12 (August 17th)

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