Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss Nike dumping Lance Armstrong, Filip Peliwo's underrated year, the NBA's steps to kill bromance and the real value of expired barbecue sauce.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to Nike, which led the race to abandon Lance Armstrong as a pitchman, which soon turned into a fast-moving peloton: Radio Shack, Trek bikes, Giro helmets, Anheuser-Busch - to the exits, every one. Sure, it took a week after exhaustive evidence was released that buried the notion that Lance competed clean. And, sure, they stood by for years while he intimidated witnesses, and former Tour de France champion Greg LeMond's wife once testified under oath that she was told Nike paid $500,000 to effectively cover up a positive test in 1999.. But, hey, the last athlete Nike dropped was Michael Vick. Sure, it took too long, and was likely a cynical bottom-line decision. But, finally, Nike just did it.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Filip Peliwo, the Vancouver tennis player who this week was named Canada's junior male Athlete of the Year. It's not exactly the Lou Marsh - where he's still a candidate - but it's clear indication of the remarkable season he's had. It was one thing to win Junior Wimbledon and follow it up by winning the Junior U.S. Open , especially considering it's never been done by any Canadian before. In fact no Canadian had ever made a grand slam final in singles and Peliwo happened to make the final in all four majors, losing at the Australian and the French opens. We have no idea where Peliwo goes from here but we do know at his level, in his sport, he's the best in the world.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to Commissioner David Stern for announcing the NBA will reinforce the existing rule permitting 90 seconds between pre-game introductions and tip-off. Stern seems bent on killing the bromance, editing the elaborate team hugs and handshakes and mandating that players get on with the business of playing. Collateral damage might be LeBron James' popular powder toss, but something has to give in order to speed the proceedings. Me, I would have trimmed the number of timeouts in the final two minutes. Or maxed pre-game salutations at 30 seconds. Really, how long does it take a team to huddle and chant "one-two-three-defense"?
James Cybulski, TSN: My thumb is up to Mort Bank for giving all of us the reason we need to keep hanging on to that quirky piece of memorabilia that's been collecting dust in our basements, because it actually is worth something! Twenty years ago, Bank decided to hang onto a jug of McDonald's McJordan barbecue sauce after the golden arches discontinued the burger with the thought that it might have some value down the road. He was right. Just a few days ago, the North Dakota man sold the expired sauce for $10,000 giving all of us sports hoarders the logic to say: 'See honey, I told you there's value in that California Golden Seals shower head!'