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Sports

20040608(Sport):SupeRally Format
The Acropolis Rally round of the 2004 World Rally Championship featured a logistical run of the proposed SupeRally (pronounced super rally) format in which cars which retire during a day can be re-started on subsequent days if they can be repaired in time. Points would be awarded at the end of each day, giving the returning teams something to work for.

Read More:It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

20040421(Sport):Ottawa Senators: That's It For Hockey 2004
...and depressingly, I find myself proved right in predicting a complete lack of game play from the team. While Lalime's play in the first may be an easy target, the fact of the matter is that all three goals got past five other men on the ice before Lalime got a look at it.

The bottom line is that Lalime isn't good enough to carry a team which is otherwise playing like they have pressing tee-times in the next week; similarly, the team isn't good enough to protect Lalime from insulting attempts. Everyone needs a good talking to.

There is still a psychological barrier in the team -- they have never played a game seven and won. All of their other series they would dispose of their opposition in five or six games, but if the series goes the whole way they are finished. This definitely has to change if the Senators are going to make it in the post season.

20040419(Sport):Ottawa-Toronto 2004: Game 7
OK, so I was wrong. Sunday's game was pretty riveting, even if it wasn't hockey -- there was too much bump, grind, and distracted referee for it to be hockey. I'm still not hopeful for game 7 -- the team has a history of playing do-or-die games as forgone conclusions. Until Chara made his move in game 6, that's how they were playing then, too.

Still, I can hope to be proved wrong again.

20040412(Sport):Ottawa-Toronto 2004: Leafs in six
So a hockey playoff season is just not permitted to pass without comment from me -- that is just the way it is. Comment is mandatory.

Read More:Always More.

20040314(Sport):Well, is it ok or not?
In my view, the furor over the Bertuzzi attack last Monday only illustrates the hypocrisy of the sport's proponents. Violence, in the form of hitting, hooking, and holding, is OK and an essential part of the game. Having the boys bang it out with their fists is OK and an essential part of the game. But if someone gets hurt...

When I first saw a replay of the hit, I thought to myself: that's not a bad hit. As a casual fan, even I can name a specific incident which was a worse hit -- Daniel Alfredson on Timo in game five of the 2002 series between Toronto and Ottawa. In Bertuzzi's case, I think he got lucky (or unlucky, as the case may be) in that he hit Moore at a fluke angle, causing Moore to fold faster than a card table on poker night when the wife's car hits the driveway. And if Alfie's hit is acceptable (which it was, there was little outcry beyond the borders of Toronto), then so was Bertuzzi's.

And if Moore got hurt, well that's just part of the game.

If the NHL is serious about violence in hockey, they already have a mechanism to stop it: it's called the rule book.

Order the refs on the ice to call the rules, all of them, all of the time. And hold them accountable -- if blatant hits are captured on tape but not called -- fine the refs. Suspend them. Make them do their jobs. Because if they don't do their jobs, there is an implicit approval of the way things are carrying on. And inequitable calling of the rule book leaves open the door for those like me to suggest that perhaps there are reasons for a pattern of inequitable calls.

The way is clear -- if the NHL is serious about being a sport, and not merely the Sports Entertainment that they are today.

But I'm not holding my breath.

20031117(Sport):Richard Burns to mis 2004
WRC.com is reporting that Richard Burns is to miss the entire 2004 season due to a medical condition. Doctors advised Burns to sit out the season so that treatment could be focused on an astrocytoma, a form of brain tumour, detected in tests run after Burns fainted at the wheel of his road car during preparations for the Rally of Wales. Doctors are confident that the treatment will be successful.

We wish Richard Burns all the best and hope to see him back in action and at the top of his game as soon as he is well.

Speculation is that this breaths life back into Colin McRae's carreer, as the top-ranked driver is currently without a 2004 drive.

In unrelated WRC news, there are rumors that Hari Rovanpera is now doubtful for the second Peugeot seat in 2004. Rovanpera struggled in Wales, being outpaced by both Loix (in a sister factory Peugeot), and Panizzi (in a private Peugeot). Rovanpera was to share the second Peugeot seat with Loix, with perennial Peugeot rocketman Gronholm in the lead car. There has not been any speculation yet regarding what arrangements would be made should Rovanpera be released.

20031111(Sport):Rallying Meets Local Regulation
Watching the WRC on TV, you sometimes see cars which have been in the wars on stages being driven around on public roads afterward in an attempt to reach the service area. In may countries it seems that the local officials turn a blind eye to this practice of driving unsafe cars on the public roads (when the public is also driving on them), but Britain has a history of being more reasonable. Witness Marcus Gronholm's Peugeot being sidelined after losing the front suspension, and Carlos Sainz being halted when his car was discovered to be shy a rear wheel a couple of years ago.

And now, speeding fines and license suspensions levied on offenses from last year. Those who have their licenses suspended will still be able to drive competitively, but on the road sections between stages their co-drivers will have to take over. This only applies to events in Britain.

20031014(Sport):Montreal: In or out?
According to the Home of F1, Montreal may be back on the calendar for 2004. There are apparently deals afoot to compensate organizations which depended on tobacco money. However, one potential hold-up is that the Concorde Agreement permits a maximum of 17 events, and Montreal's return would make 18. We should know more in two weeks.
20031001(Sport):Formula One notes
Two F1 notes:

  • The French Grand Prix could be moving to the Bugatti circuit of LeMans, possibly as early as next year. The event at Magny-Cours is under some financial pressure, and apparently Renault has threatened to withdraw if there is no event in France.

  • A Canadian court has rejected a request for an exemption from Canada's new tobacco sponsorship legislation. The decision notes that the basis for the claim, allegedly a Charter freedom of expression violation, was really driven by economic interests.
20030917(Sport):Change in WRC
Two items of recent note:

First, the current championship leader, Richard Burns, has a seven point lead with four events to go. What is notable is that he leads the title chase without having won any of the events thus far, but instead by virtue of having finishing in the points, no lower than fifth, in all but one event. The one event he has failed to score in was the only event he was threatening to win.

Read More:...and second?

20030509(Sport):Formula One: 1993
The improbably-named Speed TV network is presenting something special for Formula One fans: the entire 1993 season of races. Starting this Sunday, 11 May 2003, with the South African GP.

Read More:Retrospective 1993 from my TV

20030219(Sport):F1 Friday Test Teams
F1 Update: The three teams who have chosen to participate in Friday testing are Minardi, Renault, and Jordan. Today we have learned that Jaguar will also be participating. This should mean that there are enough cars on the track to make it interesting enough for any spectators who care to come out.
20030214(Sport):F1 Race Weekend 2003
The FIA has released a provisional timetable for a Formula One race weekend. It will look somewhat different from past years.

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20030110(Sport):What's So Special About Sports Franchises?
This is getting old. The Ottawa Senators yesterday filed for bankruptcy protection so that they could restructure and hopefully go forward. Naturally, the media is full of speculation that the team's departure from Ottawa is imminent, and that the world will end shortly thereafter.

One particular commentary I heard today mentioned that it wasn't the players themselves that he was concerned about, it was the thousands of people peripherally involved in the team -- average working people for whom the collapse of the team would mean instant unemployment and financial difficulties for the future, plus the loss of the trickle down spending which would stop when these families hit hard times.

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20021127(Sport):Jaguar Fires Lauda
Niki Lauda, engineer of the Jaguar F1 coup that ousted Bobby Rahal, was himself fired today from his positions as Team Prinicple and CEO of Premier Performance Division. Lauda was deemed insufficiently technical for the task of turning Jaguar from the over-financed Sauber rival it currently is into a championship caliber team. Lauda celebrated his release from the team by complaining that his lack of being British was the principle reason for his dismissal.
20020617(Sport):NHL under fire
From: me
To:Fred Flintstone
Subject: Re: Re: NHL under fire

Read More:incoming!

20010314(Sport):In Support of F1's Safety Car
One of the articles in the current issue of Atlas F1 is a discussion on the dangers of the Safety Car in F1. The article hints broadly that perhaps the Safety Car isn't a safety measure at all, and puts drivers at a higher risk then they might otherwise be put in to.

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19980101(Sport):1998 Formula One Technical Regulations
The 1998 Formula One Technical Regulations.

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19980101(Sport):1998 Formula One Technical Regulations
The 1998 Formula One Technical Regulations.

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19980101(Sport):FIA Formula One World Championship - Sporting Regulations
This document was created by jean-Michel MOUREY (FIA)

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19980101(Sport):FIA Formula One World Championship - Sporting Regulations
This document was created by jean-Michel MOUREY (FIA)

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