Eh Game

  • It’s likely one of the first songs every Canadian child learns, which is why when our nation’s anthem, "O Canada," is altered, it catches many off guard and usually incites anger, bemusement or both.

    When a member of the Canadian singing group, The Tenors, unexpectedly changed the lyrics of “O Canada” to include the phrase “all lives matter,” ahead of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, the usually innocuous tradition of singing the national anthem became the game’s greatest controversy.

    Never mind that it’s frowned upon to change the lyrics to a country’s anthem, but the group member, identified as “lone wolf" Remigio Pereira, altered the usual lyric of "With glowing hearts we see thee rise. The True North strong and free" to instead sing, "We're all brothers and sisters. All lives matter to the great."

    The change immediately caused intense backlash and embarrassment on the part of Canadians, seeing as how the phrase “all lives matter” is seen as a rejection of the Black Lives

    Read More »from From forgetting lyrics to changing the melody, five other Canadian anthem mishaps
  • Milos Raonic didn't win at Wimbledon, but his final matches drew record audiences on TSN. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)Milos Raonic didn't win at Wimbledon, but his final matches drew record audiences on TSN. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
    Sports television and Mark Twain have at least one thing in common: reports of their imminent demise were greatly exaggerated.

    With the death knell ringing for televised sports in many circles, a casual observer might be thinking that these are indeed dark days for those both in front of and behind the cameras.

    Twain eventually did succumb and who knows how much longer sports will continue to bring home the bacon for the TV folks. But they're still looking pretty good.

    While things aren't looking quite as rosy as they used to, it's certainly been a pretty good summer for Canada's sports networks and for the sports they broadcast.

    (And, by the way, when we say that things aren't quite as rosy as they used to be, we mean that instead of storing their cash in warehouses, the likes of Rogers and Bell Media are now reduced to using empty office buildings. For proof, read David Shoalts' report this week  in the Globe and Mail.)

    Let's take a look at what happened over the weekend:

    1) The

    Read More »from The Great Canadian Ratings Report: It's shaping up as a hot summer for Canadian sports TV
  • Video: New sprint star Brendon Rodney meets Karina LeBlanc

    Sprinter Brendon Rodney emerged as one of the surprises of the Canadian track and field championships, becoming just the second Canadian male to cover the 200 metres in under 20 seconds when he clocked 19.96 in Edmonton. That was good enough to earn Rodney a spot on Canada's 65-strong athletics contingent for next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    But as Yahoo Sports Canada's Olympic analyst Karina LeBlanc found out in a chat with Rodney on an airplane after the trials, he's been racing with a heavier load on the road to Rio, and the call he got from his mother at the finish line after beating Andre DeGrasse and the rest of the field in the 200 made the ticket to Brazil all the sweeter.


    Read More »from Video: New sprint star Brendon Rodney meets Karina LeBlanc
  • Brooke Henderson is 18, and in the grinding world of pro golf already a major tournament winner and among the game’s brightest young talents. Ask her about being a part of golf’s return to the Olympics, and she’ll answer the expected, about national pride, long-held dreams, but also more: For her, this is history, and the motivation of wearing the Maple Leaf to defend the last Olympic golf title handed out 112 years ago to George Lyon, a Canadian sports hall of famer.

    Ditto Henderson's compatriot Alena Sharp, for whom surviving the cut has taken on added meaning in 2016. Her weekly routine this year has included a check of the LPGA rankings which determine Olympic eligibility. At No. 31, she’ll join No. 2-ranked Henderson in Rio’s field of 60.

    Brooke Henderson, of Canada, second left, and her caddy and sister Brittany Henderson are doused with water and sports drinks on the 18th green after Brooke Henderson won the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Brooke Henderson, of Canada, second left, and her caddy and sister Brittany Henderson are doused with water and sports drinks on the 18th green after Brooke Henderson won the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Sahalee Country Club on Sunday, June 12, 2016, in Sammamish, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    So there’s two women - two Canadian women - not just eager to head into the South American winter and brave the storm of calamities that have beset these Olympic Games, but schooling themselves for it and working every angle to get there.

    Read More »from Golf's gender gap: men are from Mars, women are from Olympia
  • Milwaukee Bucks rookie Thon Maker achieved a rare, if somewhat dubious, basketball feat in an NBA summer league game in Las Vegas on Monday.

    Playing against the Memphis Grizzlies, the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft committed 10 personal fouls in 31 minutes. That display, of course, would be impossible in an NBA game, where a player fouls out after six personal fouls. The summer league, however, follows a different set of rules and allows for a player to commit 10 personal fouls before they’re forced to exit a game.

    The double-digit foul total gave Maker the unusual 10-point, 10-foul double double. But he’s not the only player to have achieved such a milestone this season. A week ago, Los Angeles Clippers center Diamond Stone committed 10 fouls in only 17 minutes of play. According to CBS, the pair of them join a elite list that includes Andrew Bogut, DeMarcus Cousins and Greg Oden, who also fouled out of summer league games.

    In the summer league, where the goal is to get

    Read More »from Thon Maker achieves rare double-double in summer league with 10 fouls
  • The pre-Olympic buzz has been building around the Canadian track and field programme for the past year.

    Best in years, was the word, and primed to deliver the deepest team Canada’s ever sent to an Olympics: a far more diverse group from the sprinter-heavy glory days of Donovan Bailey and the rest two decades ago, with many having acquired self-confidence, maturity, organization, resources and no little swagger since the last time this circus pitched up, four years ago in London. Some bling, too, including eight medals at last summer’s track worlds in Beijing and a pair of world champions in high jumper Derek Drouin and pole vaulter Shawn Barber.

    At least in terms of numbers, with Monday’s announcement of a team of 65 athletes -- billed as the biggest Canadian track contingent to ever descend on an Olympics -- the promise continues apace. The way these Canadians are talking, Rio is going to be some kind of coming-out party.

    MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15: Crystal Emmanuel of Canada competes in the Women's 200 metres heats during Day Six of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 15, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)MOSCOW, RUSSIA - AUGUST 15: Crystal Emmanuel of Canada competes in the Women's 200 metres heats during Day Six of the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 at Luzhniki Stadium on August 15, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    “You never really hear about Canada -- you always hear the

    Read More »from A strong Canadian track team carries more than numbers to Rio
  • It took a second half run for the ages last season for the Blue Jays to get into playoffs. As thrilling as it was, though, it's best not to leave it so late again. So far, so good, with these five areas from the first half that indicate they should be recognized as contenders in the American League.


    At 51-40 the Blue Jays have their best record at the All-Star break since 1992, when they were 53-34. Of course, they went on to win their first of back-to-back World Series later that year.

    There is, however, one major difference. While they had a four-game lead in the division in 1992, Toronto is tied with the Boston Red Sox for second in the AL East this season, trailing the first-place Baltimore Orioles by two games, but good enough for a wild-card spot.


    Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, Marco Estrada, Michael Saunders, and Aaron Sanchez are headed to the All-Star game, giving the Blue Jays their most All-Stars since 2006. The only year Toronto had

    Read More »from Blue Jays by the numbers: Five things from the first half
  • In the end, I don't think winning Wimbledon was the best news Andy Murray got on Sunday. Murray likes to fist pump and he sure lets a lot of them fly. He did that again during his straight sets win over Milos Raonic, to be sure.

    But his most emotional, jacked up fist pump might just have come in the aftermath, as he lugged his trophy all around the clubhouse at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club. Meeting actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who had been a guest in the royal box during the final, Murray asked him what he was up to. When BeneBatch replied that he was shooting upcoming episodes of "Sherlock," Murray greeted the news with the heartiest of pumps. Guy's carrying the championship trophy from his sport's greatest tournament, moments after he wins it and he gets stoked that there are new episodes of "Sherlock" coming? Can't blame him, really. That is a damn good show.

    Then again, maybe Murray fist pumps over everything. Make a good shot? Fist pump. Win Wimbledon? Fist pump. Score a great

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Fist pump, fist pump, fist pump!
  • WIMBLEDON – A year ago at Wimbledon, 16-year-old Denis Shapovalov had to go through the qualifying to reach the boys' singles draw.

    A year later, with a ton of match wins at both the junior and pro levels under his belt, the 17-year-old version went all the way.

    Shapovalov defeated No. 7 seed Alex De Minaur of Australia 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to take the boys' title. He came close to doing the double as well; later in the afternoon, Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal, the No. 1 seeds, won the first set of the doubles final before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Kenneth Raisma of Estonia 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

    Here's what it looked like.

    Seeded No. 5 in the boys' draw because of his ATP Tour singles ranking, which stands at a career-high No. 374, Shapovalov played some precocious grass-court tennis throughout the week. 

    A year ago, he lost to American William Blumberg in straight sets in the third round. This year, he beat him routinely in the first round before going on to

    Read More »from On a busy Canadian day at Wimbledon, Denis Shapovalov comes home with the big trophy in the boys' singles
  • WIMBLEDON – If you tuned into Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s singles final largely because the Canadian Milos Raonic was playing, you might not have been all that familiar with his opponent, No. 2 seed Andy Murray.

    He’s best known for the week’s growth of scraggly beard, the monotone voice, the unkempt mop of hair, the perennial look of a grim reaper and a propensity to bark angrily at his supporters on the sidelines during matches.

    He also is a hell of a tennis player. And when he’s playing at peak level as he did Sunday against Raonic, it’s a huge challenge to find solutions.

    Raonic acquitted himself well in his first Grand Slam final, but he was no match for a tactically sound and inspired Murray, who defeated him 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) to win his second career Wimbledon title.

    “I think I did the best I could.  I tried to put the things together.  I tried coming forward, putting pressure on him.  He was playing much better than me off the baseline.  He was more effective there. Probably

    Read More »from Milos Raonic beaten by a superior Andy Murray in his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon
  • Canada's men's basketball team will not be playing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after another do-or-die qualification loss, the second in consecutive summers.

    Playing in Manila against highly-ranked France, Canada couldn't keep control of the talented French side en route to an 83-74 loss in the tournament finale.

    Cory Joseph was again the high-scorer for Canada with 20 points, completing the tournament leading the young team in scoring every game.

    "We weren't able to get it done but we fought hard and I'm proud of my guys," said Joseph at the post-game press conference.

    "Being the youngest team here is a good growing experience for us, we're going to keep getting better," added head coach Jay Triano. "We've got some great talent in our country and I appreciate the sacrifices our players made and it was unfortunate we couldn't get the win and have these guys rewarded with becoming Olympians."

    For France's Tony Parker, another shot at the Olympics is likely his last with the

    Read More »from Canada's men's basketball team misses shot at Rio Olympics with do-or-die loss to France
  • WIMBLEDON – Milos Raonic isn't the only Canadian who will play on Sunday at Wimbledon.

    An hour before Raonic enters Centre Court for his men's singles final against Andy Murray, 17-year-old Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont. will head to No. 1 court for the boys' singles final.

    Shapovalov will play Alex de Minaur of Australia, who eliminated his friend and doubles partner Félix Auger-Aliassime in three sets in a tough quarter-final match.

    Later in the afternoon, Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime will face No. 2 seeds Kenneth Raisma of Estonia and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the boys' doubles final. The Canadians are the top seeds.

    Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime defeated the No. 3 seeds, Casper Ruud of Norway and Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 7-6(1) 3-6 6-3 in one semi-final. It was a match they always seemed to have under control, even if it went the distance.

    Their friend Ben Sigouin, the No. 4 seed in the doubles with Germany's Louis Wessels, dropped a tough one in their own

    Read More »from A big Canadian weekend at Wimbledon as Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime join Raonic on Sunday
  •  WIMBLEDON – The Wimbledon “Masters of Spin” award goes to … ESPN.

    The network that employs Milos Raonic coaching consultant John McEnroe as an analyst (he also works for the BBC here) has now taken the awkward conflict of interest that is a coach calling his charge’s match and is milking it for all it’s worth.

    McEnroe will be crowded into the little courtside booth during the Raonic-Murray men’s singles final Sunday along with his brother Patrick and Chris Fowler. But the network told the Associated Press that the elder McEnroe would have a “different” role.

    "I'm not trying to put him in a box ... and have him be an objective observer of the match and wear two hats," ESPN vice-president Jamie Reynolds said. "I'm having him here as Milos' coach."

    McEnroe managed to sneak out between TV gigs (note the suit and tie) for Raonic's first-round victory.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)McEnroe managed to sneak out between TV gigs (note the suit and tie) for Raonic's first-round victory. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


    It’s probably easier than having him wear a microphone while he’s sitting in Raonic’s player box – how awesome would that be? – or having Pam Shriver go down during changeovers and get his thoughts.

    Reynolds told AP the network “had

    Read More »from John McEnroe will be in the ESPN booth calling charge Milos Raonic's Wimbledon final against Andy Murray
  • WIMBLEDON – By reaching the Wimbledon men’s singles final, Milos Raonic has broken new ground for the men’s game in Canada and climbed another step up the ladder towards the pinnacle of the game.

    But the main narrative here over the fortnight at the All-England Club and the weeks leading up to it has centered on the 25-year-old Canadian’s grass-court season consultant, John McEnroe.

    Andy Murray has brought back former coach Ivan Lendl, but it’s still about Murray. A few years ago Roger Federer brought in Stefan Edberg – but it was still all about Federer even if the Swedish champion was given far too much credit for Federer’s return to a more attacking game in the late stages of his career. Serena Williams coach Patrick Mouratoglou discusses her on too many networks to mention, and yet it has still always been about Serena. Boris Becker has been around for Novak Djokovic’s dominant years, and yet no one can really figure out what the former Wimbledon champion even brings to the table.

    Read More »from The John McEnroe effect on Milos Raonic: real, or just a fun narrative?
  • Up just three points with less than a minute left, Canada's Melvin Ejim stole the ball with tough defence on New Zealand's best player Corey Webster. Then when teammate Cory Joseph's shot missed Ejim was there to clean up the offensive rebound and score the basket plus the foul to seal the game.

    "He's our energy guy," said head coach Jay Triano. "We feel comfortable going to him in the fourth quarter."

    Ejim has been getting it done on both ends for Canada and could be auditioning for another NBA job after summer league stints with Philadelphia and Orlando the past two years didn't lead to a contract.

    "We keep talking about how we have to be so good defensively because there could be a game where

    Read More »from Canada one win from Olympic berth after tough victory over Kiwis
  • WIMBLEDON – Milos Raonic is the headliner. But he’s not the only Canadian on fire at Wimbledon this week.

    Denis Shapovalov, a 17-year-old who hails from Richmond Hill, Ont. (just a stone's throw from Raonic's hometown of Thornhill) reached the boys’ singles final after an impressive 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over world No. 1 junior Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the day.

    Shapovalov then teamed up with Félix Auger-Aliassime to defeat Youssef Hossam of Egypt and Ergi Kirkin of Turkey 6-0, 7-6 (0) to advance to the doubles semi-finals.

    The reigning US Open junior champions are the top seeds while Vancouver’s Ben Sigouin, teamed with Louis Wessels of Germany as the No. 4 seeds, also are in Saturday’s semi-finals. They won't play each other, and so could all be in Sunday's final if things go right.

    Here's how everyone looked Friday.

    The last Canadian junior boy to win a Grand Slam title was Filip Peliwo, who took Wimbledon and the US Open in 2012, the year Genie Bouchard won the girls’ title at

    Read More »from Milos Raonic not the only Canadian on a roll at Wimbledon this week: the junior boys are getting it done
  • WIMBLEDON – Once the game falls into place and the belief grows, the last piece of the puzzle for a player aspiring to be the best in the world is the nerve in the biggest moments.

    At the other end of the tennis road, it’s often said that the first thing to go – even if the game is still there and the belief stubbornly and deservedly intact – is that very nerve.

    The match between Milos Raonic and Wimbledon legend Roger Federer featured both and it may be remembered as one of those changing-of-the-guard moments everyone always wants to point to.

    When a clash of this type happens, though, it’s both exciting and bittersweet.

    In a Centre Court jam-packed with 15,000 fans trying to will their champion to one more moment of glory, it was the 25-year-old Canadian who took the penultimate step on his journey, remaining steadfast as the legend faltered just enough in a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory that puts Raonic into the Wimbledon men’s singles final against home-country hero Andy

    Read More »from As a legend stumbles, Canadian Milos Raonic seizes the day and reaches his first Wimbledon final
  • John Tait said he has probably spent more time with the women on the Canadian rugby sevens team than he has with his own three daughters over the last few years. The team has become a family in pursuit of their Olympic dream.

    That’s what made cutting down a list of about 20 names to 12 so challenging for the head coach. With this being the Olympic Games, he said there was “massive pressure" to get his 12-person squad heading to Rio right.

    “While there was 12 really great conversations, getting to tell the athletes they’re realizing their dream, there was four extremely difficult ones and painful ones to have to tell those girls that they’re reserves at this time,” he said.

    The 12-player squad includes national team staples such as captain Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry, Kelly Russell, Ashley Stacey and Karen Paquin, but one surprising omission was Quebec’s Magali Harvey.

    Tait said the staff chose players based on “form not potential form.”

    “It was really important for us going into the

    Read More »from Canada names official Olympic rugby sevens roster; Magali Harvey left off the list
  • When Jordan Hamilton scored against the Seattle Sounders last weekend, it fulfilled a dream the young Canadian has held since growing up watching the early days of Toronto FC.

    It was his second MLS goal, having scored against Orlando City SC a week before, but it was his first for his hometown team at BMO Field in an MLS game.

    “I’ve been at games since I was 12 or 13 years old and seeing guys like Dichio and DeRo score and the atmosphere’s always been incredible there,” Hamilton said after Toronto trained on Thursday.

    A regular scorer for Canadian youth teams, Hamilton has really yet to fulfil the potential many have expected since those days, but at just 20 years old he’s got plenty of time yet to grow.

    With his first MLS goals, it’s certainly been a step forward this season and a lot of study off the field has been going into his growth.

    “I spent a lot of time in the off-season studying myself and other players in the world and just working hard,” he said. “I’ve learned so much and

    Read More »from #CanadaRed soccer notebook: Jordan Hamilton taking steps forward at TFC with Altidore on shelf
  • Three years ago almost to the day, a healthy, overjoyed Marion Bartoli lifted up the Venus Rosewater dish on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

    Thursday, the emaciated 31-year-old appeared on a morning chat show rambling at a breakneck pace about a virus she believes she caught in India last February that doctors have been unable to identify, but which has her praying for her life.

    The astonishing interview came two days after Bartoli was replaced by former British player Melanie South in the legends' invitational at Wimbledon, an exhibition tournament that features many past champions. She is also doing commentary at the tournament for various networks.

    Word of her withdrawal was contained in a brief e-mail.

    MARION BARTOLI (FRA) is replaced in the Ladies’ Invitation Doubles event (medical).

    Bartoli arrives at the ITV television studios to appear on the network's morning show Thursday. (REX/Shutterstock)Bartoli arrives at the ITV television studios to appear on the network's morning show Thursday. (REX/Shutterstock)Bartoli was said to be furious, although she made no official comment. Two days later, on the television show, she said she completely understood the tournament's decision. "I was just happy to be on a

    Read More »from Marion Bartoli, out of the WImbledon legends' event, says a mystery virus is the cause of her alarming weight loss, and is worried for her life