Some of the most important names in the world of sports from 2022:
Lionel Messi — The 35-year-old Argentinian soccer player confirmed his status as one of the best ever — perhaps the Greatest Of All Time — by leading his team to the World Cup in Qatar.
Alexander Ovechkin — The Washington Capitals sharpshooter passed the 800-goal mark for his career, passed Gordie Howe for No. 2 on the all-time list and now has his sights set on the unthinkable, relegating Wayne Gretzky and his 894 career NHL goals to No 2 on the all-time list.
Felix Auger-Aliassime — The 22-year-old Montrealer established himself as the best Canadian male player, was instrumental in Canada winning the Davis Cup for the first time ever, and rose to No. 6 in the world. That’s a pretty good 2022.
Marie-Phllip Poulin — Canada’s athlete of the year in 2022, Poulin had a year to remember: captain of Canada’s women’s hockey team that won gold at both the world championships and the Olympic Games. Poulin was the first winner of the Northern Star award, formerly known as the Lou Marsh Award.
Maggie Mac Neil – A Canadian swimming superstar, Mac Neil (yes, there is a space been the ‘Mac’ and the ‘Neil’) set a world record in the 50-metre backstroke in late December and won gold in the 50-metre butterfly during December’s world short course championships in Australia. Born in China, the 22-year-old Mac Neil was adopted as a baby by a Canadian family.
Connor McDavid — The Edmonton Oilers’ superstar seems to get faster and better with each passing year, yet the thought persists that he may never have enough of a supporting cast for the Oilers to win a Stanley Cup during his career.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — The best of Canada’s representatives in the National Basketball Association, the Toronto native and star with Oklahoma Thunder has been among the top five NBA scorers all season, averaging 31.3 points per game at last glance.
Brooke Henderson—Canada’s golfing sweetheart, Henderson won twice in 2022, including a major (the Evian Championship). With 12 career wins, including two majors, Henderson is Canada’s most accomplished (at least measured by victories) professional golfer, male or female.
Nathan Rourke — The B.C. Lions quarterback flash — by far the best story of the 2022 Canadian Football League season — may not be back in the CFL because he’s too darn good. At least eight NFL teams recently put Rourke through workouts, and reports indicated a couple of offers would be coming his way.
Shohei Ohtani — Slugger Aaron Judge won the American League MVP award due mainly to his 62 home runs, but come on, the best player in baseball is this Japanese phenom, who belted 34 home runs and had a 15-9 record with a 2.33 ERA on the mound for the Angels. He will be a free agent after the 2023 season and boy, will he be in demand.
• Steve Simmons of Sunmedia: “Do you believe it was Pat Tabler’s choice to leave Blue Jays’ broadcasts after all these years? I don’t. Rogers goes through broadcasters the way I go through socks.”
• fark.com headline: “Qatar to IOC: ‘You see that pile of cash we gave to FIFA? Well, there’s plenty more where that came from.”
• Pro golfer Joel Dahmen on golfchannel.com, on fear motivating him: “I’m scared to death of having to get a real a job.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “In the World Cup, France beat England 2-1. What I like about France is no trash-talking. Actually, they can’t trash talk because, in soccer, you’re not allowed to use your hands.”
• Bob Molinaro of pilot online.com: ”The Yankees have guaranteed $415.5 million to free agents this offseason — a large chunk of it for Aaron Judge — the Orioles so far have spent only $10 million. Or what Yankee management calls loose change.”
• RJ Currie of sportsdeke.com: “Let me say one thing about Tom Brady. Whenever he tries to run to pick up a first down, I’m thinking he’ll get a delay of game penalty.”
• TheOnion.com, looking ahead to a Panthers-Steelers game in Week 15 of the NFL: “With Pittsburgh’s rookie quarterback injured, expect Steelers backup Mitchell Trubisky to prove beyond a doubt that he has a strong future on the bench.”
• Comedy guy Torben Rolfsen of Vancouver, after Cale Makar of Colorado told the referee he just slipped, and was not hooked or tripped by Islanders’ Matt Barzal, who was being signalled for a penalty: “Makar banned for life by FIFA.”
• Tweeted by Gary Lawless of the Vegas Golden Knights: “Referee Garrett Rank to Arizona Coyotes’ Clayton Keller on his way to penalty box: ‘Careful what you say, Santa is listening.’”
• Al Michaels on Thursday night Football, about Jets’ QB Mike White seeing a plethora of doctor to deal with an injury: “He saw every doctor except Zhivago and Julius Erving.”
• Headline at the onion.com: “Neymar wins World Cup’s ‘Golden Tears’ award for most faked injuries” Care to comment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
by Bruce Penton