Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss Phil Kessel's tweet, the great curling career of Kevin Martin, the demise of Manchester United manager David Moyes and video replay in the NBA.
Dave Naylor, TSN 1050
My thumb is down to Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel for his tweet this week, since deleted, which read, "night fishing with friends … doesn't get much better." Okay so no one expects Kessel to be sitting in his basement for weeks brooding about what happened during the final month of the season, like so many Leafs fans probably are. But an NHL star tweeting the words "doesn't get much better" about anything besides hockey during the first round of the playoffs is just asking for it. There's nothing more insulting to fans than the perception that players who are paid millions don't care as much as they do. And true or not, that's the impression Kessel's tweet delivered to Leafs fans.
Gary Lawless, TSN 1290
My thumb is up to the greatest money player in the history of men's curling, Kevin Martin. Martin retired this week and goes out the winner of four Briers, a world championship, two Olympic medals and a record 18 Grand Slams on the World Curling Tour. Martin revolutionized the game, fought for players rights and was a master strategist. He could throw with big weight or make the finesse come around. The Bear, as the sometimes gruff Martin was known, roared atop men's curling for 25 years and most cowered in the face of his abilities and will. If you had to pick someone to make a shot with the money on the line, Martin was your man. Canadian curling was better for his presence. He raised the bar. Others chased but never caught him.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated
My thumb is up, regretfully, to the firing of Manchester United coach David Moyes. Moyes had the toughest act in sports to follow, replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm of one of soccer's signature franchise. Like succeeding Vince Lombardi with the Packers or John Wooden at UCLA, this probably was never going to end well. But after 26 years of Sir Alex, Moyes, Ferguson's fellow Scot and handpicked successor, lasted just 34 games. Manchester United was a dysfunctional mess under Moyes, losing frequently at Old Trafford and generally playing like a team trying to get its manager fired. Well, lads - mission accomplished.
Dave Hodge, TSN
If I haven't made myself clear in the past, I am an opponent of any replay system that does not allow for anything and everything to be reviewed. Here's how restrictions hurt the process. Thursday night's NBA playoff game had Atlanta leading Indiana by six points (score was 84-78). Jeff Teague of the Hawks made a three-pointer, but it was subject to review. The refs used video replay to determine two things--was it, indeed, a three and not a two, and was Teague in bounds when he released the ball? Yes, on both counts. But the replay also showed that prior to the shot, Teague had stepped out of bounds--sorry, not reviewable. Sorry, don't get that. The purpose of the review was to determine if the basket should count. Video evidence proved that it shouldn't count. But it counted.