Just go away, baby

Why did I enjoy watching the Oakland Raiders get their rear ends kicked by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII on Sunday?
Where would you like me to begin?
Certainly, finishing off my playoff predictions with a completely atypical (for me, anyway) record of 8-3 was soothing, although granted, I was, er, slightly off on the final score.
Knowing that Raider-loving buddies of my past would have no opportunity to phone me and rub anything in was a definite comfort.
Watching the usually self-assured Al Davis squirm in the owner’s box while his beloved silver-and-black got whacked was a heart-warming scene.
Thinking about the hordes of loutish Raider maniacs who were on hand at the game, and those watching throughout the Oakland area, finally would have their lunatic behaviour curtailed (save for their classy gesture of staging riots Sunday night in Oakland) was a pleasant consideration.
But for this media slug, the best part had to be knowing that a Raiders team which had thumbed its nose at journalists throughout the week, even to the point of being fined $50,000 by the NFL for their lack of co-operation with the reporters, now would get to sit back and watch that very same media roast them for being unable to handle the pressure of the big game.
Indeed, what comes around, goes around.
• • •
The SIJHL’s four-game suspension of Borderland Thunder head coach Dave Allison for his actions following Saturday’s 2-2 tie here with the Fort William First Nation Wolves smacks somewhat of overkill.
Granted, Allison shouldn’t have launched the verbal blast he said he did at referee Andrew Barker, both coming off the ice after the game and in the hallway corridor of the Memorial Sports Centre a short time later.
While frustration with the officiating was understandable in a game that saw the Thunder have to kill twice as many penalties as the Wolves, restraint on Allison’s part would have been the better option.
However, one or two games at the most would have been suitable to get the message across—unless there was more to the incident than what Allison described to me Monday.
SIJHL president Jerry Blazino, while declining to give details, contends the suspension was based on verbal abuse, and mentioned nothing about any kind of physical confrontation between Allison and Barker.
I can see four games if Allison had bumped the man in stripes or took a swing at him. But for criticizing his work? It seems a bit much.
It will be interesting to see if the team—which has played inconsistently since the Christmas break—uses this suspension as a rallying cry down the stretch and into the playoffs.
• • •
Those who relish basking in the great outdoors while tracking their next prey, be it in the woods or on the water, will gather here tomorrow night to talk shop and look ahead at 2003.
The Fort Frances Sportsmen’s Club will hold its annual meeting at 7 p.m. at the Elks Hall on Scott Street (near Safeway). All club members are invited to attend.
Word to the wise: always keep track of your live bait. Otherwise, you might get a nasty surprise putting on your socks one morning.
• • •
Ice warriors will turn into hospitable hosts this Saturday (Feb. 1) at the Elks Hall as the annual Muskie Tea takes place.
The annual event, which runs from 2-4 p.m., once again will feature members of the Muskie boys’ hockey team displaying their more polite nature by serving tea and other treats to the general public, who are welcome to attend.
A baked goods table and a “Chinese auction,” which offers the public a chance at a variety of prizes, also will be a highlight of this year’s event, the proceeds of which will go to the Blueline Club, which funds the operation of the team.
I’ve seen these guys deliver some stiff bodychecks this season. It will be a twist to see them serving tea and crumpets.
• • •
Congratulations to the Atikokan Snow-a-rama organizing committee, which pulled off the 25th-annual event in style last weekend.
Accurate totals weren’t available as of press time, but Easter Seals spokesman Laurie Lundale said Monday that the event had surpassed its goal of $25,000, with the money going towards the local branch of Easter Seals.
A total of 72 riders made the run to White Otter Castle in frigid temperatures to do their part to help those less fortunate.
I offer a hearty salute to you brave souls. I only hope everyone’s regained feeling in all their extremities.
If you are planning any sporting events, or have some sports-related information or scores, feel free to reach me at 274-5373 ext. 237 or by e-mail at jpayeur@fortfrances.com
All statistical and story information, with the exception of events held Monday night or Tuesday, must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Monday to ensure publication for that week’s edition of the Times.

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