Calgary Dinos celebrate winning Vanier Cup title in 2019 | Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press
U Sports, the national governing body for interuniversity athletics, announced today that it’s cancelling this year’s fall championships because of the pandemic. The most prominent event lost is football’s Vanier Cup, which has been around since 1965. The other sports affected are men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country running, women’s rugby and women’s field hockey. Continue reading →
On Saturday November 25, the Canadian university football championship was held in Hamilton between the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and Laval Rouge et Or, with the former prevailing 39-17 . The Vanier Cup, attended by 10, 754 fans, was not broadcast on either CBC which featured an Alpine skiing race, an elite sport, or CTV, which featured the Hollywood doomsday movie Armageddon. Instead, it was relegated to TSN 3. (TSN is owned by Bell Media, with EPSN holding a 30 per cent share; Bell owns CTV.)
Sport in Canada has been commercialized, privatized, Americanized and colonized by private empires, reinforced by the sports media monopolies. To watch a Canadian championship, one has to be a cable TV subscriber. But even that is no guarantee. About ten years ago, CIS sports had to quietly pay the then Score TV cable channel $50,000 to come to Halifax to broadcast the semi-final and the final of the college basketball finals. (Score was later bought out by Rogers Sportsnet.)
Remember a month or two ago when the Duke Blue Devils came to Toronto and Montreal for an exhibition basketball series and we all went ga-ga over RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson and Coach K? Continue reading →
What about the neo-colonial mentality and behaviour of the monopoly sports media? Every foreign star who touches down in Canada is celebrated as some singular being, and Canadians are supposed to be blessed and thankful for the favour of paying to watch them perform.
Throughout the past week, the sports media has been hyping non-stop the first start of American football quarterback Johnny Manziel in the Canadian Football League. A former NFL first round draft pick, his two seasons with the Cleveland Browns were marred by off-field troubles including spousal abuse. He has not played since the end of the 2015 season. Continue reading →
The above photo comes from this Nick Faris story on the oldest hockey rivalry in the world: Queen’s University vs. Royal Military College, dating back to a wintry afternoon on Kingston, Ont.’s frozen harbour in 1886. The animosity has endured for 132 years, through arena fires, Stanley Cup challenge games, off-ice mischief and a whole lot of losing seasons on the part of RMC of the Department of National Defence, which trains officer cadre for the Canadian Forces. The svelte, century-old uniform seems to be an improvement on today’s expensive, padded armour! It raises the question: when did the private NHL owners introduce “goon hockey” and to what end?
As a brief summary of the NCAA, John Oliver says: “This whole system seems fundamentally flawed” | Screen grab/YouTube
By TONY SEED
(March 19) – On Sunday afternoon in Toronto, the Carleton Ravens extended what is likely the most under-appreciated and little known dynasty in Canadian sport. The men’s basketball team obliterated an over-matched opponent to win the national title for the fifth year in a row — and for the 11th time in school history.
CARLETON University Ravens won the annual CIS men’s basketball championship on March 10th, defeating surprise co-finalist Lakehead University 92-42 at the tournament in Ottawa. The team entered the history books, winning their record-breaking ninth championship. The Ottawa Gee-Gees beat the Acadia Axemen 92-85 in the bronze-medal game. Judging from the print media, you’d hardly know any other college tournament was underway except that of the U.S. NCAA “March Madness” – and it is still to begin. Even on the websites, the story was buried while the woeful Toronto Raptors and the U.S. college rankings were given top billing. In this context we are reprinting a letter to the Montreal Gazette and published March 8th from the athletic directors of McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s universities in Quebec denouncing the lack of coverage of university athletics in the monopoly media. As if to prove the directors correct, the newspaper illustrated the letter with an action photo – taken from a 2009 match between Concordia and McGill. The blackout by the Montreal Gazette is by no means unique. All those involved in sport should raise their voices against the media discrimination against Canadian amateur sport. Continue reading →