Delay of game

Three weeks ago, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a traffic sign designed specifically for snowmobilers.
To be honest, coming to Fort Frances from southern Alberta, I actually only knew one guy who even owned a snowmobile (and even he was from northern B.C.)
Yet at the end of February, as I drove farther and farther in an easterly direction, I noticed dozens of little stop signs and yield signs popping up on the side of the highway.
Manitoba and Ontario are nothing if not safety-conscious.
• • •
I also didn’t know there was such a wide variety in style and size of ice-fishing shelters. Special recognition goes out to the guy (or gal) who converted an old truck camper into an ice fishing oasis on Lake of the Woods.
Bonus points for ingenuity.
• • •
I have spent more time at hockey games over the past three weeks than I did during three years as sports editor for my university newspaper in Lethbridge.
It’s not that the games didn’t get covered; I just had a dedicated staff who let me focus my efforts on basketball and the Boston Red Sox. But the Muskies and Jr. Sabres have made my first few weeks here a joy.
• • •
Speaking of the Red Sox, the defending World Series champs have opened the 2008 season in Japan, taking on the Oakland A’s in a pair of games at the Tokyo Dome.
The rest of Major League Baseball will get their start March 31.
• • •
And as if winning their second title in four seasons isn’t enough for Boston fans to get excited about, the Celtics are doing their best to bring more hardware back to Beantown.
The Celts clinched a playoff spot back on March 5.
Think about that for a second—the whole team could have spent the final 23 games of the season relaxing on a beach somewhere and still finished ahead of seven teams in the Eastern Conference.
• • •
While the Celtics make their charge, the Toronto Raptors have fallen into a bit of a slide of late. The Raptors have dropped eight of their last 10 games and fallen to the #6 seed in the East.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76’ers are surging, going 17-5 over their last 22 games to claim the #7 spot.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Raps would face the Orlando Magic in the first round.
• • •
My wife and I are in the middle of a heated NCAA March Madness competition. We both filled out our brackets knowing next-to-nothing about the teams or players (more on this next week), and we’re fairly even through the first two rounds.
Of course, her pick of USC to make the Final Four may not have been the wisest decision (the Trojans lost to Kansas State in the first round).
In bracketology, as in golf, minimize your mistakes and let your competition screw up on their own.
• • •
Random number of the week: 202.
That’s number of consecutive days over which Tiger Woods won every PGA event in which he was entered. Woods ended the streak with a fifth-place finish (15-under) at the rain-delayed CA Championship, which wrapped up Monday morning with Geoff Ogilvy taking top honours.
• • •
Random quote of the week: “You don’t get anywhere in this world by having sympathy, especially not in the NBA.”
That was Chris Bosh following the Raptors’ 96-54 win over the lowly Miami Heat earlier this month. Miami’s point total was the third-lowest in the NBA since the 1954-55 season.

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