When the National Football League was largely unknown in Canada (one game-of-the-week on TV, period), a friend of mine followed American football studiously. Its most dominant player was Jimmy (later Jim) Brown and, while my friend educated me of his dominance, he always mentioned “Wooten and Hickerson” in the same […]

There has been a lot seen, written and said lately about Harold Ballard, the Toronto Maple Leafs owner who went to hell 30 years ago. We know that’s where he went because that’s what the CBC documentary Offside: Harold Ballard — and everyone who appeared on it — told us, […]

Seeing Madame Beliveau as the Hockey Night in Canada camera found her watching the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs last Saturday, I was reminded of something her late husband never knew he did. In his lifetime of class and caring, Jean Beliveau helped many people, including me. He […]

Next week, major league baseball writers will announce which player(s), if any, are going to Cooperstown. That’s where the Baseball Hall of Fame is, with a membership probably more exclusive than any yacht club or Augusta National, home of golf’s Masters. Players are dying to get into Cooperstown. In fact, […]

It’s time for a little name dropping: My “cousin” was once one of the top 25 defencemen in hockey — in the world! His name is Bob Chrystal. Let me explain how he’s my cousin, hoping it won’t bore you to tears, or to sleep. My mother’s cousin was married […]

Hockey celebrates its roots every January by playing outdoors — the Winter Classic with its numerous offspring — and by remembering great moments like the New Year’s Eve game (Montreal vs Red Army) in 1975. But what about celebrating Danny Gallivan? It was New Year’s Eve 1950 when hockey’s greatest […]

Ricky Picard would’ve been 63. He was a goalie, playing Midget ‘B’ for a suburban Montreal team. On December 14, 1974, during a practice re-scheduled because a game was forfeited, a teammate fired a puck that deflected off Picard’s glove and struck him in the throat. He couldn’t breathe. “He […]

There is a theory, if you follow emotional intelligence or neuroscience, that it takes six seconds to manage anger…to create compassion…to change the world. On a snowy January night in Montreal — all January nights in Montreal are snowy — Henry Boucha changed the world in six seconds. In the […]

Next month will be the 66th anniversary of an event that changed, or at least impacted, my life. A plane crash, on a wintry December night at the top of a British Columbia mountain, forever sealed the mountain’s name in my mind. Mount Slesse. The death toll was 62 crew […]

Pele. Maradona. Ronaldo. Eusebio. Kaka. Zidane. Neymar. Socrates. Soccer is full of great players known by one name, many of them Brazilians. Sometimes, even people who know nothing about soccer have heard of them. By the time the current World Cup is over, Canada could have one of its own. […]

There are people who think I covered the 1950 Grey Cup, the last time the Toronto Argos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers met (I didn’t), and some who think I remember it (I don’t). If I had, it would’ve been my second-best memory of the year, the first being the birth […]