Friday, December 5, 2008

From 'Jumper' to...

In honor of the movie Jumper, starring Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson, this edition of the Canadian Sports Junkie bounces around from subject to subject.

I haven't actually seen Jumper, but I have seen the extended trailer and it felt like I saw the entire film. I figure this column will flow much like I imagine the movie did. For those of you unfamiliar with the premise, here's how IMDB describes it:

"A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between "Jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill them."

Ok, so after reading that maybe this isn’t an exact replica of the formula, but I’m prepared to give it a try...

You see, originally this was going to be a column about 'What Sam Mitchell Could Do Next', a tongue-in-cheek piece suggesting the Raptors coach was about to be fired and therefore should be touching up his resume and thinking about all the new things he could fill his time with. But then Bryan Colangelo went out and fired the guy before I could post the article.

These were a few of the ideas:
1) Make mix-tapes for Kevin Garnett.
2) Learn how to correctly draw-up an inbound pass play.
3) Count his money: Mitchell is owed the remainder of his $3 million salary this year, a full $3M for next year, plus a buyout of the final year. Anyone still wondering why Jay Triano got the 'interim' gig and will reportedly hold it until the summer? (Hint: He's already on the payroll.)

As a Raptors fan, I'm happy with the move. Sam improved the team during his four-and-a-half-year tenure and did a solid job overall, but last year's playoff defeat and this year's plateauing efforts meant it was time for a change.

With that article's shelf life over before it ever began, I immediately turned to the biggest most monumental story currently happening in Canada: Sean Avery confirming for the umpteenth time that he is a total jerk. This is somehow 100 times more newsworthy than our government being in total chaos and perfectly illustrates why only 59% of registered voters in this country turned out six weeks ago.

But I’m the Canadian Sports Junkie, not the Canadian Politics Junkie, so, back to Avery. I'm not condoning what he said by any means (indeed, it was in poor taste), but the media reaction along with the NHL handed-down suspension of six games are both way over the top. By Thursday night I was so sick of “Sloppy-Gate” that I couldn’t bring myself to fully contribute to the frenzy, and decided to shift gears again.

I thought about my beloved Blue Jays and free agent starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, who left $24 million on the table when he opted out of his Toronto contract and will likely gain an extra $50 million on top of that in his next contract. I was ready to say good riddance and make claims that the sucker-of-a-team who signed Burnett would be grossly over-paying for a guy who has averaged less than 10 wins a year and generally seems more amped about delivering a possible shaving cream pie to someone's face than getting a key out in a tough situation. But right now, at the beginning of December, with more than four months until opening day and a full 11 months until the playoffs, it makes my heart hurt to think about a team that is destined to finish fourth (at best).

So I moved on to the Buffalo Bills/Miami Dolphins game to be played this Sunday in Toronto at Rogers Center. I was going to trumpet the first-ever regular season NFL game to be played in Canada and ruminate about how the franchise will probably end up in the T-Dot at some point, but mostly I just wanted to work in that I would be in attendance. (Check.)

Then I convinced myself I could tie all these ideas together and that was how the bridge was built to the Jumper introduction. And now I realize it was a stretch to work in ‘Jumper’ when I actually wrote an article about writing an article.

I should have just made the ‘Adaptation’ connection.

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