By Rob Ficiur
As students start classes this week they marvel at the work before them. In their youthful enthusiasm, many only want to study the things they are interested in. They also don’t want to take classes they think are Useless to their real life in the future. Here are some classes that various sports teams and personalities might take – some they would label as useless others they would like to follow – but in the end, those classes might not be that helpful.
1. Using Futuristic Medical Equipment – In the Star Trek episode, The Empath, the alien species known as the Vians are able to cure Dr. McCoy from certain death with a wave of their Medical Triangles (that’s not the technical name). McCoy was back at full capacity in minutes.
The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays would settle for the physical therapists version of that machine. If the Jays could learn how to wave that device over their players’ injured arms, legs and blisters – the Toronto Blue Jays 2017 season might look different. Their inability to find magic cures – or any cures in some cases – has in the end made the Blue Jays roster look so different that the season’s result has been disappointing.
Injuries are part of sports, we know that. Teams know they need depth to make up for short and long term injuries. This season the Blue Jays injury list seems longer than the roster list. But if they had and knew how to use that Star Trek healing machine… this could have been a season to remember.
2. How to be a three-peat Stanley Cup Champion – Only the Pittsburgh Penguins have the pre-requisite two Stanley Cups in a row that allows them to take this class.
Instructors could include:1978 Montreal Canadiens and the 1982 New York Islanders. Both the Canadiens and Islander teams won four Stanley Cups in a row. However, this class will be focusing on a three-peat not a four-peat.
From the New York Islanders we could ask Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin. These three led the Islanders in scoring that playoff season. Mike Bossy won the Playoff MVP so he would be a great one to teach about clutch scoring. Bryan Trottier, was 25 when he won the 1982 Stanley Cup. He would go on to win one more with the Islanders(1983), two with Pittsburgh (1991 & 1992) and one as an Assistant coach for Colorado (2001). Anyone that has been an elite player, depth player and coach can give a few championship tips.
Billy Smith was the goalie of record for all the Islanders wins that playoff. It has been alleged by former players (including team mates) that Smith would slash anyone (including team mates) that came into his crease. Is that the kind of instructor we want to teach the Penguins?
The 1977 Montreal Canadiens were led to their three-peat by Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Jacques Lemaire and Ken Dryden. These four were part of a Habs core that won four titles in a row. Lemaire went on to coach over 1200 NHL games. He coaches the New Jersey Devils to their first Stanley Cup in 1995. Larry Robinson coaches 501 NHL games, leading New Jersey to their second Stanley Cup in 2000. Together these two could give tips to Crosby and Malkin. Dryden retired after the 1979 season, having won six Stanley Cups in his eight seasons. He has gone on to become an author and member of parliament.
These (possible) instructors come from a different era. Sidney Crosby was born after the Islanders dynasty had ended. Can these champions of the past connect with the champions of today? We will only know if the Penguins become three-peat champions in June.
3. Creating a Perfect Season – The Hamilton Tiger Cats are half way to a perfect season – a perfectly futile season. They have lost all eight games (ten when we count pre-season) they have played this year. If you take this class you will learn how a team can win 7 games last year (and ten the year before) and now lose every week. Only in week #5 were they within a touchdown.
The Tiger Cats are last in points scored and last in points allowed. Usually a weak team will be close in some area, but this year’s Tiger Cats are bad on all sides of the ball.
The clawless Cats do find ways to make news. Firing their head coach was a quiet event. General Manager and Coach Kent Austin fired Coach Austin after loss #8. GM Austin stayed on, which makes you wonder if the team is continuing in the same direction as it had been. This week the team hired Art Briles as an assistant coach over their offense. Briles was head coach at Balor University from 2008-2015. He was dismissed after a sexual abuse scandal was uncovered in the school’s football program. Though he was never charged with a crime, Briles was out of coaching for more than two years. Within hours of his hiring the team got pressure from the CFL, media and fans the Hamilton Tiger Cats un-hired Briles. They admitted it was a poor decision to hire Briles.
Days after hiring / firing Briles, the Tiger Cats were working on signing Danny Manzel – Johnny Football. The former Heinsman Trophy winner has been a media circus before and since he played two years in the NFL.
The great thing for the Tiger Cats players is that so much off field news means no one is paying attention to their play on the field.