Archive for the ‘bill root’ Category


The UFL: here today, gone…

October 9, 2009

It’s easy to mock the new league but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.

In a moment of insomnia induced masochism, I watched a quarter and a half of the first UFL match between the Las Vegas Locos and the California Redwoods. The nascent league was kind enough to provide an online feed to the clash of the titans. Indeed, given the empty stands, it is probable that the internet viewers here in Italy outnumbered the paying (?) customers in Las Vegas. The tv crew kept the lenses focused tight on the field – keen to avoid showing the barren seating area.

Of course the quality of the football was rubbish. Here is the Youtube video of the first touchdown, scored by a reject qb who had a cup of espresso with the Montreal Alouettes this preseason.

Here is a video by one of the alleged 14,000 fans in attendance, showing the crowded conditions at the stadium:

Yet what struck me, apart from the air of desolation, desperation, and incompetence, was the myopic choice of uniforms. Not only did the 2 teams have exactly the same design, but the colours were so similar that California and Las Vegas players were indistinguishable on video. 


California Locomotives

California Locomotives

Las Vegas Redwoods

Las Vegas Redwoods


Bottecchia on You Tube 7: Too Slow!

March 19, 2009

Cringe as speed-thirsty Italian Bottecchia rider ‘Il barone’ (The Baron) tries to breakaway from the pack in his shiny new bike. Even the guy with the bikecam manages to catch him up…


Poll: Are you convinced by the 2009 Bottecchia range?

January 20, 2009

The new 2009 range is finally visible on the Bottecchia website. What do you think?


Mystery Virus Memories

April 15, 2008

A tribute to intermittent 80s Leaf icon Tom Fergus

auto He always had time for autographs

When we think about the great Ballard teams of the mid 80s, filled with personalities like Borje Salming, Dan Daoust, Dave Semenko, and of course the legendary Bill Root, one player stands out for his place in the hearts of Toronto Maple Leaf fans: Tom Fergus. Cursed in 1987 by the unknown malady that soon became known to everyone in Canada as “the mystery virus”, Tom became firmly ensconced in the nation’s hearts just like a sick brother or decrepit grandfather.

At the end of every match the beLeafers standing outside the Gardens would wait for the hockey invalid to limp out of the stands, where he was forced to watch his more physically sound teammates, and try to encourage Tom in the best way they could. Some inquired after his health: “How the ol’ mystery virus going there, eh Tom?” Others sought to cheer him up by recalling past feats of greatness: “That was a good goal you scored last season!”

Though he would go on to recover from the virus, the pile of Fergus sicknotes continued to fill Maple Leaf Gardens as he missed much of the 1989-90 season and almost the entire 1990-91 campaign with a chronic groin injury.

Hockey is a tough business and such a sincere outpouring of emotion and faith could not last forever. Without a thought for all of his important contributions to the team, like holding the bus door open on road trips and signing autographs for young fans who confused him with Gary Leeman, the ruthlessly efficient Leaf organization ended his illustrious time in Toronto by placing him on waivers in 1991.

He went on to finish his career with Zug of Switzerland, a neutral nation known for the quality of its health care.