Ed Milliken is SUN TV's senior producer for Sports and Current Affairs. A veteran Canadian network sports producer, Ed is in Turin working for the Host Broadcasting Organization. The Grill Room is SUN TV's daily sports opinion talk show.

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Postings for 2006/02/21

Random Thoughts

Ed At The Games
The most passionate fans I have seen to date are the Latvian hockey fans....The fans are Gold medallists in fanaticism, celebrating from the beginning of the warm-up to the very last buzzer of every loss. They bang drums and play a weird sort of Latvian kazoo non-stop. Every fan has a flag, a painted face, a team sweater or a bizarre hat in the colours of the Latvian flag. They dance, sing and shout chants for every pass, shot and hit...Just imagine what they might do if Latvia ever won a game??... Seems the people in charge of ordering the official Olympic souvenir merchandise underestimated the rush on hats, posters, mugs, commemorative wine, t-shirts and anything logoed with the Turin 2006 official crest. Reports are that the stores are basically out of everything and there are still 5 days left to go, so if you did not shop early the folks back home are going to be disappointed... Still have yet to see a fast-food outlet anywhere. McDonald's is an official sponsor, but so far Turin has resisted the temptation to allow one to open up here (good for them!)...Ciao for now.
  Posted: 2006/02/21 08:38:31

Please do not celebrate Fools Gold

Ed At The Games
OK, OK, this will be my last rant on women's hockey, but after last night's gold-medal win by Canada I have to have one more kick at it. Let me begin by saying that I have nothing against women's hockey, it simply should not be in the Olympics. I mean seriously, how can you call a gold-medal final legitimate when the Swedes only managed 5 shots on goal through 40 minutes?? And even in the third period when Canada let up and played at half speed the Swedes struggled badly... Until the USA and Canada can somehow raise the level of the other countries skill by holding exhibition tours and friendly tournaments, then this sport has to be removed from the Olympics... The entire tournament was a joke!! There I feel better now... Now on to the men. I truly believe that Mr. Gretzky, Tambellini, Quinn, Hitchcock and Martin can pull a rabbit out of a touque and pull this thing off, but anything short of an appearance in the gold-medal final and there must be huge changes at the top of Hockey Canada... Let's hope they can turn this thing around, but failing that, the feeling here is that without at least silver then they all must go and be replaced by Marc Habsheid and a new generation of hockey thinkers... stay tuned.
  Posted: 2006/02/21 04:49:56
Rob in Montreal
"My question is pretty straight forward. Do you know of any rumours or work taking place in regards to remunerate our Canadian athletes in the event they win a gold? The Italians get $150,000, the US get money, why not our athletes? They are our pride and should be encouraged."
Ed At The Games
As far as I know, no one is getting any money for gold medals. What does happen though is the promise of big endorsement bucks. Companies like to be associated with winners and if you have a big personality, are attractive and well spoken and come back from Italy with gold, you can be sure of many lucrative opportunities to cash in, especially this time around because Canadian companies are all geared up to be associated with the Vancouver Games, so a winter gold medallist here will be able to ride an endorsement deal for 4 years.
  Posted: 2006/02/21 04:03:53
Rob in Calgary
"Why can't we pull our men's hockey team out of the Olympics right this minute??? They are embarrassing themselves and Canada."
Ed At The Games
it's a little too early to panic. Once they get to the medal round they should improve and rebound as they usually do...if not then there will be some weeping and wailing going on!!!
  Posted: 2006/02/21 03:59:42
Odell Stephenso in Calgary ,Alta
"Why is the coverage on the Olympics so terrible? It's not only the Canadian coverage that is bad, also the U.S. They dont stick to the coverage on any event, but jump all over the place. Most people I have talked to have stopped watching. I especially find the skating to be the worst. Brian Williams should stop talking so much and show more. Thank you, Odell."
Ed At The Games
I think the big reason that the coverage is so fractured is that most of it is taped. The best Olympic coverage is always live, so when you get networks who package things for prime time they somehow lose that immediacy that comes with live. Plus they seem to over do the up close and personal feature stuff, which some times gets too warm and fuzzy, when what viewers want is just the competition.
  Posted: 2006/02/21 03:57:32
Jordan in Ottawa
"How was Whitney Houston's performance at the medal ceremony at the Plaza on the 19th?"
Ed At The Games
Jordan, I did not see it live, however all reports from people I know who attended said it was just OK... The big American stars, when they perform here, never seem to WOW the crowds like they do at home. I heard that she basically does like a night-club act, that does not always go over well in a large setting.
  Posted: 2006/02/21 03:52:33