Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Vancouver (and the world) loses Luc Bourdon

Just a short time ago it was confirmed that the young up-and-coming Vancouver Canuck, Luc Bourdon, died tragically in a motorcycle accident in New Brunswick.

Bourdon, 21, was killed in a motorcycle accident near Shipagan, N.B., Montreal’s CKAC Radio reported. The accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. PDT)… …Bourdon was the Canucks’ first-round draft choice in 2005, and played 27 games the following season. [The Province]

More information is available on Canucks and Beyond, including confirmed reports and updates. Our thoughts go out to Luc’s family.

[Hat tip: John Bollwitt for the heads up on this.]

The Griffiths Way

There are many families with deep-rooted histories in Vancouver but none other has represented hockey since the Patrick brothers like the Griffiths.

The patriarch of the family was Frank Griffths who was a media mogul in BC being associated with and acquiring radio and TV stations around Vancouver over several decades. In 1974 he bought the Vancouver Canucks, which the family held on to dearly until 1997. After being inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992, Frank Griffiths passed away during the 1994 hockey season. In his honor, the Canucks wore patches on their jerseys for the remainder of the season, “2Pts FG” which meant “two points for Frank Griffiths,” a term he liked to use instead of calling a win.


Photo Credit: squeakymarmot on Flickr

Frank’s son Arthur was involved with the team since 1988 and financed GM Place in 1995, moving the team from the Pacific Coliseum to its new home. He eventually sold the team in 1996 but remained involved in Vancouver’s business and sporting scene, being a supporter of an Olympic bid for years.

Tomorrow it is reported that Arthur will announce he’ll be running as a candidate for the BC Liberal Party.

Griffiths is expected to run in the newly created Vancouver West End Riding. The official announcement is set for Tuesday morning in the West End of Vancouver. [News1130]

Although deals made throughout the years may not have been crowd favourites, and our NBA team failed miserably, I still like to share stories about families that helped build business and hockey dreams in this city. Hopefully anyone now driving down near GM Place or BC Place will note Griffiths Way and know of its significance.

Vancouver Canadians’ New Logo

It was only three years ago that I took in my first Canadians game, ever. It was then that I discovered that an afternoon out in the sun, surrounded by trees, facing the city and mountains and feasting on hot dogs and beer was pretty amazing. The fact that you can do all this for under $20 makes a day at Nat Bailey Stadium just that much more perfect.

Today the team launched a brand new logo for their upcoming season.

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The new design takes its cues from “old time” baseball while combining with the colours and themes of the recently-revitalized Nat Bailey Stadium, the Canadians much-loved ballpark. The clean, contemporary font compliments the retro “C” graphic, while the stitching effect was a natural fit to create the baseball within the logo. [Canadians Baseball]

Last summer I arranged for my office to have the “executive suite” for an afternoon game in August. Since then I’ve been in the Canadians’ good books and have received news updates, a Christmas card signed by all the staff, and information about the 2008 season complete with a baseball card for one of the players. They’re an approachable, and community-driven organization and I’m pretty excited about the chance to head out to the prettiest little ballpark around – even if I’m not even the biggest baseball fan.

Tubing Mount Seymour

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I used to live a five minute drive from a massive park, which then managed to burn down [ck], but even then it was a great place to ride a toboggan. In an attempt to capture that rural past time of hurtling down a hill at high speeds, the girlfriend and I looked up sledding opportunities in the Vancouver area. Both Mount Seymour [ms] and Cypress Mountain [cm] offer tube rides. The Cypress website made it look more appealing, but they had a notice that their tow lift was not operating yesterday, so we settled on Mount Seymour.

The drive up to Mt. Seymour is short enough as long as you don’t hit Lions’ Gate Bridge traffic. It was a bit surprising as the snow piles up the further up the hill we got, living downtown I had begun to forget that more than six inches of snow can exist in one place.

The area set aside for tubing is divided into four tubing lanes, and one lane for the tow rope back up the hill. Unlike sledding in the wild the snow is not the fresh powder of so many ski hill promo shots, but rather hard packed ice. That’s good if all you’re looking for is speed, but not so good if you’re trying to walk around in boots that are not exactly designed for traction on compacted snow. Yes, if like me you wear impractical city boots then walking down to the starting gates can be an issue.
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Nash to buy all of England, or at least the football part


Steve Nash Canucks ad

Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I like it when I get to blog about soccer, and since I’m going to be in Toronto when David Beckham rolls into town with the LA Galaxy next week I guess I’m going to have to take every chance I can get. So when Victoria native Steve Nash started talking about buying the English Premier League Club Tottenham Hospurs [lg] I got kind of excited. I mean arguably the most famous non-Celine Dion Canadian is going to buy a football team, how cool is that?

It’s not because I like Tottenham that I’m excited, as a Gunner I can’t stand them, but because as much as we might think Beckham’s famous in North America Steve Nash actually is famous in North America. I mean people on the streets of Vancouver, Calgary, LA, Havana and New York understand what Nash does. And having a famous basketball star owning, or co-owning, a football club just might help with football’s popularity in Canada. I mean the man opens a gym in Vancouver and we think it’s the greatest thing since bread slicing first began [snsc].

I feel bad for the guy, being a Tottenham fan must be hard and he’s always seemed so nice and non-crazy. Still I guess there’s no accounting for taste. Ah well, it’ll give him something to do when he retires aside from modeling Canucks jerseys.

NBA in Vancouver: please no


Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Originally uploaded by Fashionable Male.

Beyond Robson has a really good post up about a recent attempt to bring back the National Basketball Association to Vancouver [br]. It seems with the recent success of Steve Nash’s charity game talk of Vancouver once again being home to the NBA surfaced. Team 1040 the local sports talk station even had a poll where according to BR blogger Keith “60 percent said yay, 40 percent said nay, though another permanent franchise in this city is not currently on the NBA’s radar.”

Definitely check out Keith’s post, he makes some key points including the fact that players just don’t want to play in Canada. For more examples of that see the Edmonton Oilers’ recent troubles getting premier players to come to, and stay, in Edmonton and that’s hockey.

I personally found the NBA dull, and the one game I went to I fell asleep during the third quarter. Of course we shouldn’t base our bid on whether or not I find the sport interesting, otherwise we’ll never have that Professional Mime Squad that the Mayor is so keen to get from Seattle, but I do feel it might be my goal in life to ensure that the NBA never returns to set up shop in Vancouver.

If we’ve all forgotten how it feels to have a franchise ripped from us and sent packing to somewhere else then please head over to Metroblogging Nashville and read their post on a recent rally to keep the Predators in town [mbn]. With some in town already upset about the Olympics are we going to be wanting to play Tax Break Santa to a new NBA franchise?

Noon and Night at the Nat

Not only is Nat Bailey stadium the prettiest little ballpark around, it’s also home to a ton of fun almost every day of the week. Vancouver Canadians baseball is a great way to get out, take in a sporting event, and have a beer or hotdog in the sunshine with Queen Elizabeth Park as a backdrop. This is definitely excellent bang for your buck with tickets starting at just $5.99 if you purchase in advance at Safeway, or $7.99 anywhere else.

Now I’m not the hugest baseball fan but I find that sporting events are usually a pretty good time wherever you go. The fact that the Canadians also have theme nights just takes the cake. Last year we made it to Mexico night where they had a mariachi band at the gates welcoming spectators, and making appearances on the field throughout the game.


Photo Credit: Audihertz on Flickr

Viva Las Vegas night, Mullet Madness, Ladies Night and Fireworks ‘Extravaganzas’ are just some of the extra goodies and theme nights offered at the Nat throughout the season. My personal favourite will be Simpsons Movie Night, this coming Thursday, July 19:

…the Shelbyvillians take on the Isotopes! Get to the game early for your Simpsons Movie poster, first 500 fans get a Krispy Kreme donut and get limber – some lucky Dancin’ Homer will win exclusive Simpons Movie passes! And if you can’t dance, dress up as the best lookalikes vie for Simpons Movie passes![CanadiansBaseball]

For more info about Canadians games, theme nights and tickets, head over to their website, CanadiansBaseball.com

This Week is Super Week


Photo:
Judy B

When it comes to bike racing in Vancouver, this is the big week. the Tour de White Rock wrapped up this weekend, and the Tour de Delta is next weekend (yours truly will be participating by driving a support car), and midweek, there’s the Giro di Burnaby on Thursday.

But the crown jewel in this series of pro bike races is the Wednesday night event, the Tour de Gastown, right in the heart of the city.
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The Under 20 World Cup, a good day out


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Originally uploaded by amb688.

I do not like the sun. Though not technically a vampire, I don’t have the fashion sense for that, I am pretty much against being outside when it is hot enough to instantly evaporate any moisture inside my body and leave me a withered corpse. I do, however, like the soccer (football to the rest of the world) and so I decided to venture out into the sun yesterday to watch a day of the U-20 World Cup being held across Canada.

Swangard Stadium in Burnaby is the location of the Vancouver portion of the event, and that means that Vancouverites have the chance to see Jordan, Spain, Uruguay and Zambia.

The games are in sets of two, and there’s another set on Saturday. It’s a generally fun atmosphere, though you’ll be standing in line forever if you want to buy food. The fans, many of which have travelled to Canada from their native countries just for the games, are excitable and if you were ever left cold by the sometimes lukewarm crowds at Whitecaps games this is a nice change.

Advice though, security seems to be a bit officious (it is FIFA after all). One fan had had his camera confiscated during the game for taking pictures, and they won’t let you bring in your own water or food. Which sucks because of the previously mentioned infinite lineups for food and drink, and the fact that water alone costs $3 a bottle.

The North Shore Knee Knacker Run

Ouch. That doesn’t sound good at all, but in support of my friend, Wendy, I’ll be cheering her on. This big run is 30 miles long and follows the Baden-Powell Trail from Horseshoe Bay up to Deep Cove on July 14th. Me? I can’t even imagine running like that, but Wendy is feeling pretty confident with her goal of completing the run in 8.5 hours. Again, I can’t even imagine that. The only thing I can imagine myself doing for 8.5 hours straight is sleeping.

In addition to supporting Wendy, I’ll be the official photographer for the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve area. I’m pretty sure that’s located at the Demonstration Forest up near Capilano College. The volunteers and directors of this event are very organized, and just about all the spots for all types of volunteers are filled (timers, marshals, etc.) but there are a few volunteer spaces left, and if you’re interested, check out what vacancies are left here.

I’ll post my pictures of the event after July 14th. I’m fairly certain I’ll be seeing some tired faces and some dirty legs. I feel sorry for the runners already.

The official website for The North Shore Knee Knacker Run is right here.

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