Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss the New England Patriots, the Quebec Soccer Federation, Andrew Wiggins, and baseballs umpires.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is up to the New England Patriots, who this week signed the one and only Tim Tebow. This is good news because it would have been wrong if Tebow's career had ended in an incomplete set fashion in his one year as a backup with the New York Jets. Actually, I'm not sure he was the backup with the Jets, I don't know what he was doing there and I'm not sure what he's going to be with the Patriots. You have to give Tebow credit, nobody can start a conversation topic like he can, that is unless you are Bill Belichick, the Patriots head coach, who this week deflected 14 consecutive Tebow questions without giving a hint away about what they have planned. This sets up the first great matchup of the 2013 NFL season - Boring Bill Belichick against Tebowmania.
Cathal Kelly, Toronto Star: My thumb is down to the Quebec Soccer Federation for their flip flop on a turban ban this week. The FSQ claimed two false things. First, that turbans represent some sort of a safety risk on a soccer field, they don't. Second, that they had the support of FIFA in enforcing the ban, they didn't. FIFA pointed that out on Friday and on Saturday the FSQ climbed down. What they have done cannot be wiped out with a press release, shame on them for trying.
Dave Feschuk, Toronto Star: My thumb is up to Andrew Wiggins for deciding not to play for Canada at this summer's World Junior Basketball Championship. I know what you are thinking, another Canadian hoopster is blowing off his country and why is my thumb not down? I think Wiggins deserves the benefit of the doubt here, he is the most famous Canadian teenager since Justin Bieber. He has tons of talent and tons of hype, but unlike Bieber he has not been seen walking shirtless through airports or abandoning his pet monkey in Europe. This kid is actually doing his country proud. He is the consensus number one pick in next year's draft NBA Draft. He will be available for Canada in Olympic qualifications, so let's wish him a healthy holiday.
Dave Hodge, TSN: Did you hear the story of the Japanese Baseball commissioner, who secretly ordered new and livelier baseballs to be put in play this season? He told the manufacturer, but didn't tell anybody else. He didn't tell the teams. He didn't tell the pitchers who might have wondered why fly balls were homers, and didn't tell the batters, who might have wondered what was making them stronger. It made me wonder whether Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has secretly ordered changes to the strike zone. I know we say the umpires get their calls right most of the time, but this season's wrong calls continue to be some of the worst ever.