A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘sports

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross wonders–among other things–what the Trump Administration is getting done behind its public scandals.
  • blogTO notes a protest in Toronto aiming to get the HBC to drop Ivanka Trump’s line of fashion.
  • Dangerous Minds reflects on a Talking Heads video compilation from the 1980s.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reflects on a murderous attack against Indian immigrants in Kansas.
  • The LRB Blog looks at “post-Internet art”.
  • Lovesick Cyborg notes an attack by a suicide robot against a Saudi warship.
  • Strange Maps links to a map of corruption reports in France.
  • Torontoist reports on Winter Stations.
  • Understanding Society engages in a sociological examination of American polarization, tracing it to divides in race and income.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the many good reasons behind the reluctance of cities around the world to host the Olympics.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that where the Ingush have mourned their deportation under Stalin the unfree Chechens have not, reports that Latvians report their willingness to fight for their country, looks at what the spouses of the presidents of post-Soviet states are doing, and notes the widespread opposition in Belarus to paying a tax on “vagrancy.”
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the linguistic markers of the British class system.

[ISL] “From sand beach to frozen lake, meet the guys of the Cayman Islands pond hockey team”

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The Toronto Star‘s Curtis Rush writes about the Cayman Islands’ hockey team, staffed heavily by Canadian expats.

After trading long Canadian winters for the perpetual summer of this luxurious Caribbean tax haven, Bill Messer was content to enjoy the soft sands and warm waters of island living. The only thing he really missed was hockey.

So in 2003, when he saw a television report about the nascent World Pond Hockey Championship, he began plotting a strategy to get a team from his adopted home ready to play in his native country, Canada.

The initial response to his inquiry, however, felt like a cold slap in the face.

The tournament organizer, Danny Braun, warned Messer in an email that it was frigid up in Canada and that hockey was a very fast, very rough game.

As he read the email, Messer said, he realized that he had not made it clear to Braun that he was Canadian.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 16, 2017 at 9:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Burned down Badminton and Racquet Club had 90-year storied history”

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CBC News’ Alexandra Sienkiewicz looks at the long history of the Badminton and Racquet Club destroyed by fire, noting–among other things–a conservatism that once extended down to barring non-white males from membership.

When a devastating fire swept through the 90-year-old Badminton and Racquet Club near Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue Tuesday afternoon, the organization added yet another chapter to its storied history.

The club opened in 1924 when the old TTC streetcar barns on St. Clair Avenue were converted into seven badminton courts. The B & R, as it’s affectionately known among those who use it, started with only a few members from Toronto’s elite — but has since grown to include more than 2,750 members. To this day, it remains a private facility and access can be gained by membership only.

The club has also been known for its history of segregation of the sexes. It wasn’t until 1980 that women were allowed to sit in on board meetings — but without voting rights. “Women are to be seen and not heard,” says the club’s website in describing that period of its history.

“The idea of women on the board had been rejected annually as many of the men on the board felt that the “right kind of man” would not serve if there were women at the table,” it adds.

It was only in 1997 when men and women could sit together when a co-ed dining room was introduced — nearly 75 years after the club’s opening.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 15, 2017 at 5:30 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Toronto skateboarders carve out space in park design”

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The Toronto Star‘s Jonathan Forani recently reported about how the concerns of skateboarders are now being considered in planning for parks in the city of Toronto.

For years, the only skate park Ariel Stagni had was the concrete and metal of the financial district.

Its railings and stairwells transformed into the perfect space for kick flips, grinds and ollies — until, inevitably, a security guard appeared with the typical scolding.

“There was a lot of ‘Don’t do that here’ and ‘You can’t skateboard here.’ Me and my buddies were like, ‘Where are we supposed to go?’ ” he recalls. They instead turned inward to their garages and converted plywood and junkyard finds into their own makeshift skate parks.

“That was the experience of a lot of people skateboarding,” says Stagni, now 41 and a skateboard consultant. “A lot of it was finding a place or making a place.”

But now, as the public park movement grows to become more inclusive of varying demographics and cultures, Stagni and his community are seeing more spaces for themselves. There are now over a dozen skate parks spanning from Etobicoke to Scarborough.

The movement has gathered steam in recent months, with the city’s October unveiling of a Skateboard Strategy, which outlines how the city can transform spaces into a skater’s paradise. One of the key features is the inclusion and consultation of groups such as the Toronto Skateboarding Committee, of which Stagni is a founding member.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 10, 2017 at 10:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO reports on how a trespasser at track level disrupted subway service today.
  • Crooked Timber argues Trump’s migration ban is best under stood as an elaboration of existing Western immigration policies, taking them to their logical conclusion.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at 1980s New York City industrial rockers Missing Foundation.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze examines the orbit of Proxima Centauri around the A-B pair.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog profiles four millennial students to attack the idea of their generation as lazy.
  • Language Log and Strange Maps look at how the list of countries whose citizens are banned from the US does not map onto the list of countries which have provided terrorists who have attacked the United States.
  • The LRB BLog looks at the first ten days of the Trump Administration.
  • The NYRB Daily looks at the scale of the popular mobilization against Trump.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at how modest immigration controls in Argentina are overshadowed by the US.
  • Transit Toronto reports on streetcar line repair on Queen Street.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Trump will allow Russia to do as it will in most of the former Soviet Union, and looks at the prospect Russia might lose out in international sporting events.

[URBAN NOTE] “Legalized skating on Grenadier Pond a small win for Torontonians”

While skating in High Park does sound delightful, I do hope for the sake of–among others–The Globe and Mail‘s Marcus Gee that Grenadier Pond turns out to be consistently solid enough for skating. Sometimes regulations are a burden; sometimes, they’re life-saving.

About a year back, breaking with custom, Toronto city council actually did something sensible: it ended a ban on skating on Grenadier Pond.

Skaters have been going out on the long pond in the southwest corner of High Park for a century and more. Archival photos show women in long skirts and overcoats lacing up their skates.

It is a wonderful Toronto experience. When I took to the ice on Monday morning, a middle-aged man with his shoes in a backpack was sailing around on long speed skates, his hands linked behind his back as he took big swaying strides. A couple of guys were playing shinny, using their bags as goalposts. A woman in a parka with the hood pulled up against the stiff breeze was skating alongside her dog.

One of the delights of pond skating is simply observing the ice, so different from the monochrome man-made stuff. Grenadier’s went from a cloudy white at the shallower end to an almost translucent black in deeper parts, marked here and there with circular white patches that looked like miniature galaxies in deep space. It is no wonder that Grenadier regulars wait with sharpened blades for a cold snap that will turn the pond into the city’s biggest outdoor rink.

In recent years, city officials concerned about safety and (more the point) liability issues tried to shut the party down. “No skating” signs went up. Those who ventured onto the pond sometimes found city bylaw officers hollering at them from the shore to cease and desist. They were, after all, violating Section 608-21 B of the Toronto Municipal Code, stating that, “No person shall access or skate on a natural ice surface in a park where it is posted to prohibit it.”

Written by Randy McDonald

January 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm

[AH] What would it take for the Buffalo Bills to move to Toronto?

When I visited the Microsoft Store in the Eaton Centre at the beginning of December, I was interested to see that among the covers for the Surface Pro 4 that this store carried were some carrying the logo of the AFL’s Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo Bills for the Toronto market #toronto #eatoncentre #microsoftstore #surface #buffalobills

Clearly, this store’s inventory came from someone who knew Toronto’s history with this team.

The intermittent efforts of urbanists and regionalists to make Toronto part of a cross-border megalopolis, one stretching west along the shoreline of Lake Ontario from Toronto up the Niagara River to Buffalo, have really not worked out. There’s not enough binding the Golden Horseshoe together, never mind roping the American side of the Niagara River into a community divided by relatively impermeable borders. The only readily visible sign that such a community exists lies in the relative popularity of the Buffalo Bills in the Greater Toronto Area.

As early as 2007, there were seriously concerns that the Buffalo Bills might be moved to Toronto in its owners’ search for a larger and richer market. For a few years, the Buffalo Bills even held home games in Toronto’s Rogers Centre. In 2014, these came to an end, as the people concerned decided the games just were not worth it.

Even if the owners had wanted to move, Toronto, I think, would have been a difficult market. Mine is just not a good sports city from the perspective of high-performing teams or popular teams, whether you look at Toronto FC or the Argonauts or the Maple Leafs. Perhaps the Raptors might be an exception? There would have been controversy surrounding the move at the Buffalo end, as well as at the Canadian end–an AFL intrusion into Canadian football territory would have been controversial.

Could it have happened? What would it have taken for this to occur?

Written by Randy McDonald

January 3, 2017 at 11:59 pm