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Sports Talk: One of the phoniest winning streaks in sports is gone ... thanks, Russia

One of my joys during this pandemic has been seeing all of these Lockdowns-For-Thee-But-Not-For-Me politicians and bureaucrats get caught with their pants down.

Dick Pound of the International Olympic Committee thinks Olympic athletes should get priority for any Covid-19 vaccine over those who need it for such silly things as prolonging life. Wikimedia Commons photo

You know, the same people who preach to us about staying at home to stop the spread, to make those sacrifices during these difficult/unprecedented/strange/weird times, to avoid travelling because it will save lives, to wear a mask because it shows you care. Shut up, the lot of you. Every single one of these walking contradictions needs to be named and shamed whenever they get busted and when they do, I get a right good laugh. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. They can stuff their excuses. Small business owners and the working class are losing their livelihoods but I can guarantee you not one of these hypocrites has lost a paycheque while all this stuff has been going on.

A pox on every single one of you.

What an impressive (and phony) streak

There have been some great winning streaks in the history of sport. UCLA's men's basketball team won 88 straight under the tutelage of the great John Wooden, the University of Connecticut's women's hoops squad won 111 consecutive contests and the University of North Carolina's women's soccer team were victorious in 103 straight, which included nine straight national championships along the way.

Those are legitimate streaks which ended with success in championship games. The key word there is "championship" because there was one streak which everyone lauded before it came to an end at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton on Dec. 30.

And it was as phony as it was impressive.

Sweden's 54-game winning streak in the round-robin portion of the annual U20 hockey tournament or as we call it in Canada, the only hockey tournament that matters, came to an end courtesy of a 3-2 overtime loss to Russia on New Year's Eve eve. This amazing run of success in non-medal competition started in 2006 and continued for 15 years.

How impressive it was ... winning all those games before the playoffs and coming up short every single time when the rent was due save for 2012. That's right – Sweden has only been to the top of the mountain in this tournament once since their phony winning streak began.
TSN doing a segment on how great it was only added to the joke that the streak was. All it proved was how great Sweden is before elimination time. It's a seemingly annual exercise watching this outfit choke every single time they hit the playoff round and I get a kick out of it. Sure, they're favourites every year but would I ever pick them to win gold? Exactly.

They didn't win gold this year, either ... hell, they didn't even win a medal. What a great streak it was, right? Thankfully, Russia did us all a favour by beating them in the round-robin so we can go back to talking about Sweden will choke again in 2022.
Speaking of gold medals:

Yes, the Americans were better

Canada had to swallow that bitter pill on Jan. 5 when they lost the gold medal contest to the U.S. by a score of 2-0. Yeah, it sucked but it's not like the Americans got lucky. They were the better team that night, even if you don't want to admit it.

Canada gave up the first goal of the game and it was the first time they had trailed at any point during the entire tournament. They showed flashes of intensity but the Americans shut them down as well as any team could have. In short, we got beat by a team that came prepared.

Travis Zegras of the U.S. said it best when he commented after the game about how Canada hadn't faced a real test from a real team. He's wasn't wrong, you know. You can call it bragging, cockiness ... whatever you like. But the Americans went out and did the business.

It looked an awful lot like the opening game of the 1972 Summit Series when Canada (Team NHL, for full context) took on the Soviet Union. Game one in Montreal saw the Canadians absolutely run the Soviets out of the Montreal Forum in the first seven or so minutes but once the Soviets settled down, they were the ones doing the running.

That's how the gold medal game began: Canada was all over the Americans in the first half of the first period but the Americans weathered the onslaught and when they pocketed the opening goal, you could sense the tide beginning to turn. My wife did and, for reasons still unknown to humanity, she correctly predicted that Canada would fall short.

It stings, like every other time we haven't won gold, but there's always next year. And make sure there's a barrel with the American team logo on it. Go look up that reference.

And finally ...

Good Idea: Giving Covid-19 vaccinations to those who need it the most.
Bad Idea: Giving Covid-19 vaccinations to Olympic athletes so they can jump the line.

Leave it to the International Olympic Committee to do/say something stupid at exactly the wrong time.

Dick Pound, who's been with the IOC for about 20 years too many, actually suggested on Jan. 6 that Olympians should be able to get vaccinated in order to protect the integrity of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

I could go on about how stupid a suggestion this really is but let's just say it's plain stupid. I'm certain millions of other people such as the elderly, those with respiratory issues, those with immunodeficiencies (just spitballing on those) would take priority but no, let's give it to athletes so they can run around in a billionaires' playground. Prolonging someone's life? That's crazy talk.

I wonder, though: do you think this could be a ploy to allow athletes to get some designer steroids? Don't discount that conspiracy theory and don't think the Russians wouldn't latch onto this suggestion by Pound. Isn't Covid-19 fun?

Until next time, folks ...