Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the strategy of the CFLPA, the Oilers hiring of Bob Nicholson, the Alouettes firing of offensive coordinator Rick Worman and the U.S. Open.
Gary Lawless, TSN Radio - My thumb is down to the ill-fated strategy of the CFLPA and the underwhelming results they've achieved once again. Disorganized and delusional best describe the players' union in this latest CFL labour impasse. Their first offer was inflammatory and unattainable. They followed up with a series of retreats and eventual surrender. The CFLPA has followed the lead of legal counsel Ed Molstad since 1974. Lacking best describes the results. The CFLPA needs to represent its constituency with a spirit of inclusion and a face of diversity. The union must look inward and evolve. Questions must be asked and answered and hard decisions executed. The CFLPA finds itself at the intersection of change and rot. It's time to pick a new route.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media - My thumb is up to Edmonton Oilers owner Darryl Katz for going outside the family and hiring Bob Nicholson to oversee everything that is Oiler. This isn't necessarily a hockey move as much as it is a business move but in either area Nicholson is clearly equipped for the challenge. And this is a challenge both in the standings and from what Katz wants from the newly formed business called Oilers Entertainment Group. Sports is no longer about only wins and losses. It's so much about veneer. In Edmonton, there will be a new downtown arena, an area to grow around it, a footprint for the future. When Nicholson took over Hockey Canada, it was a small disorganized operation, lacking in business acumen. He left it as a hockey corporation. The Oilers are fortunate to have him.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated - My thumb is down to the Alouettes for the firing of offensive coordinator Rick Worman. Three months after coach Tom Higgins hired Worman, he canned him - before Montreal had played an exhibition game. Higgins was right to act sooner rather than later, unlike 2013 when the era of occupationally-challenged head coach Dan Hawkins lasted five games. But the abrupt dismissal speaks to the dysfunction of the franchise, whose owner, Robert Wetenhall, hired Higgins without involving GM Jim Popp. The Alouettes used to stand for quality on the field and steadfastness off it. If the Worman saga is an indication, soon the only thing the Alouettes will stand for is O Canada.
Dave Hodge, TSN - My thumb is up to the U.S. Open golf championship, with emphasis on "open". To win the Masters, you have to be invited. To win the Open, you have to qualify, and everyone is eligible to try, which means anyone from anywhere can win. And that creates interest because "anyone" can be someone like 49-year-old Fran Quinn, who put his name on the leaderboard with a first-round 68. Who is Fran Quinn? He has one year of experience on the PGA Tour. Last year? No, 1992. He played in 18 events that year and he missed the cut 12 times. This year, he has played one event - on the Web.com Tour, golf's development league, if you will. Fran Quinn is still playing at Pinehurst - he followed his 68 with rounds of 74 and 79. He won't win. But he had a chance to win.