About the ancient art of booing…the rules of rah, rah, rah…boo birds and James Dean…CFL power rankings…Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in tough…scary car crashes…the baddest woman wins a fake fight…and other things on my mind

Cold pizza and some weekend leftovers for a Monday morning breakfast

I think we should declare this as Hug A Quarterback Day. You know, in honor of Matt Nichols who, when last seen, wasn’t feeling the love.

But, hey, if some members of the audience gave Nichols the Bronx cheer on Friday night at Football Follies Field in Fort Garry, he can take comfort in the knowledge that he’s in mighty fine company.

I mean, no less a terrific ball player than former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter heard it from the boo birds at Yankee Stadium. Ditto the Mick (that’s Mickey Mantle, for you whippersnappers in the reading audience). The rabble in the Bronx Zoo also booed Giancarlo Stanton early in his life in pinstripes.

Bob Dylan was booed for plugging in his guitar.

Emerson Fittipaldi, who owned a 500,000 acre orange grove in Brazil, was booed for taking a swig of OJ instead of milk immediately after winning the 1993 Indy 500.

It’s been said that folks in Philadelphia go to the airport to boo bad landings.

Heck, some of you are probably booing me right now.

The point is, Nichols need not get bent out a shape if pockets of the faithful went all boo bird on him during the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ face plant vs. the Bytown RedBlacks on Friday. Stuff happens. And it’s been happening since ancient Greece, when the rabble would gather to watch theatrical plays and razz the flops off stage.

The question becomes: Is it bad manners for the hometown crowd to boo their homeboys?

Probably. But it’s also understandable when the lads soil the sheets, which Nichols and the Bombers surely did in their latest Canadian Football League frolic, a 44-21 drubbing. That tends to agitate the congregants, some of whom surely find their voices after spending too much time at the Rum Hut. And more often than not, it’s the coaches or starting quarterback who hear the braying.

Fair or not, that’s part of the gig.

The thing is, there are no official guidelines to fandom. We’re expected to root, root, root for the home side, but what if they unload a stinker? What do we do when it isn’t a wonderful day in the neighborhood? Well, I say we establish guidelines. Right here, right now.

To wit:

  • Fans are expected to keep their clothes on.
  • It is never permissible for a fan to run onto the playing surface, especially if he has taken his clothes off.
  • It is permissible to boo the home lads based on these circumstances only:
    He is dogging it;
    he has crapped on Good Ol’ Hometown and its amenities like the zoo (hello, Dieter Brock);
    he has lashed out at the faithful;
    his name is Evander Kane.
  • It is permissible to boo the following:
    A team owner if he’s a complete doofus;
    team mascots because they can be annoying and obstruct your line of vision;
    any jock journalist, except Knuckles Irving.
  • It is never, ever permissible to boo the following:
    Injured players;
    kid athletes or their coaches;
    our Olympic athletes;
    cheerleaders (hey, they aren’t hurting anyone, regardless how much or how little skin they show).

Break any of the above rules at your own peril.

James Dean

The booing of hometown heroes, whether it was aimed at Nichols or head coach Mike O’Shea, brought to mind a quote from the late actor James Dean: “Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn’t hiss or boo me.” The answer, then, is to play in front of cattle and fowl.

Stamps lose! Stamps lose! And here I thought the Calgary Stampeders only lose the Grey Cup game.

I don’t know about you, but while watching the Saskatchewan Roughriders dismantle the Stamps, 40-27 on Sunday, I got the impression that the Gang Green doesn’t miss Duron Carter. Not at all.

Last week in CFL quarterbacking (starters only)…

Here are this week’s CFL power rankings…

1. Calgary (7-1): That loud thump you just heard was the Stampeders falling back to earth.
2. Edmonton (6-3): Still living the life of Reilly.
3. Saskatchewan (4-4): Life without Carter looks good on them.
4. Ottawa (6-3): Statement victory over the Bombers.
5. Winnipeg (5-4): No more feasting on the East.
6. Toronto (3-5): Here come the Boatmen.
7. B.C. (3-5): Dudes are tough at home.
8. Hamilton (3-5): Hard times in the Hammer.
9. Montreal (1-8): Defence is bad in either official language.

Don’t look now, but Winnipeg FC is in tough. Here’s the Bombers’ remaining sked: at Calgary; at Saskatchewan; vs. Saskatchewan; vs. Montreal; at Edmonton; at Ottawa; vs. Saskatchewan; vs. Calgary; at Edmonton. That’s tough sledding. I see them going 4-5 for a 9-9 record and a crossover playoff berth. And, since no West Division team has ever advanced to the Grey Cup game via the eastern route, they’d be toast.

Even though the Bombers attracted their highest head count of the crusade (27,602) for the RedBlacks’ visit, they fell further behind in attendance through five home dates. They’re down 11,672, which is a whack of lost revenue in ticket sales.

Watching what was left of Robert Wickens’ car spin and thrash through the air in Sunday’s IndyCar event at Pocono Raceway actually brought tears to my eyes. That was incredibly frightening. It’s why I cannot watch fast car racing.

Nadal, Federer, Djokovic…Djokovic, Federer, Nadal…do any other men play pro tennis?

It’s about the Edmonton Oilers. Scottie Upshall? Really?

Ronda Rousey

And, finally, I note that Rowdy Ronda Rousey, the so-called “baddest woman on the planet” who had to leave UFC because she was not, in fact, the baddest woman on the planet, won the WWE SummerSlam Raw women’s wrestling championship. She then said her title belt is “a torch to be carried.” She does know that pro rasslin’ is fake, right?