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MORNING BRIEFING

Toronto just isn't this guy's cup of tea

October 17, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Ice hockey has never really caught on in England, but newspapers there occasionally take a peek at the NHL, such as in this blog after a visit to Toronto by the Guardian's Ian Winwood:

"Toronto is probably the ice hockey capital of the world. The city is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame (which, frankly, isn't all that great); it's home to The Hockey News (which, frankly, isn't all that great), and it's home to Gretzky's, a burger joint owned by 'The Great One,' which, frankly, isn't all that great. Toronto is also home to the Maple Leafs, one of the NHL's 'Original Six' teams. And, frankly, they're absolutely awful."

Trivia time

In 1998, six Major League Baseball players weighed 250 pounds or more. How many did so in 2008?

Fists of . . .

Revealing far more than he needed to, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko told the German tabloid Bild that he has a method of keeping his fists from swelling after fights: He wraps them in the urine-soaked diapers of his 3-year-old son, Max.

"Baby wee is good because it's pure, doesn't contain toxins and doesn't smell," Klitschko said, adding that his grandmother gave him the idea.

Wonder what weight she fought at.

Mirror, please

Don't look for the San Francisco Chronicle's Ray Ratto to fret if the 49ers ditch Mike Nolan as coach.

Wrote Ratto: "Nolan has not looked comfortable in his own skin since he got here, as though he spends too much time in his own head wondering how he looks while he's coaching."

Bench marks

David Beckham has played 10 minutes, six minutes, 11 minutes and two minutes in England's last four soccer internationals. Should England Coach Fabio Capello simply drop him altogether?

Yes, said 28.7% of those responding to a Guardian poll. No, said 71.3%.

No fizz there

The Chicago Blackhawks have fired Coach Denis Savard, but as Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune recently pointed out, it probably won't make much difference.

"The last time a Chicago Blackhawk drank champagne out of a Stanley Cup," Downey wrote, "was so long ago, there was no such thing as a Chicago Bull."

Trivia answer

Twenty-three.

And finally

From Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, noting that John Wayne Bobbitt is training for a celebrity boxing match: "It's hard to believe that it has been 15 years since the Bobbitts severed their relationship."

--

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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