Friday, September 17, 2010

Back from the abyss: Five-Tool Friday

There are many possible reasons for such a long delay between blog entries here at Five-Tool Farq. Perhaps my blogging mindset has failed miserably. But nevertheless, I still have some thoughts on the sports landscape today.

I never did stop having those thoughts mind you, I just haven't typed them out here in a very, very long time.


The sport that never stops is in full swing as it always is. Club seasons are back in Europe, Euro qualifiers under way, Champions League group stages under way, and the end of the season is near in MLS.

My thought today focuses on the recent announcement that MLS will be expanding it's regular season from 30 games to 34.

It's a smart move with new franchises entering the league every year, but what really grinds my gears is that the league won't halt play during the CONCACAF Gold Cup next year. Much like the international break for the Euro Qualifiers a couple weeks ago, the MLS doesn't halt its schedule when the best leagues in the world close up shop for a weekend to allow for international play.

I thought they were starting to get the idea when they took a break during the group stage of the World Cup this summer, but apparently not. They're going back to their old ways, and teams will suffer when they lose their top international stars once again.


How fascinating will it be for the football world when Michael Vick steps up behind centre on Sunday for his first start in four seasons? Let me answer that for you. It'll be very fascinating.

The guy has paid the price for his crimes, taken the time to get back into the game he was made famous for, and now has a tremendous opportunity for himself to win back a permanent starter's role.

The story has written itself once Donovan McNabb was traded to Washington, leaving Kevin Kolb as the only obstacle in Vick's way.

After his performance in Week 1 replacing Kolb, he gets the Lions in his first start for the Eagles. As improved (and cheated) as the Lions feel they may be so far in this young season, they're still the Lions. And I'm thinking Vick will run wild in Detroit.


Once September hits and the summer weather starts fading, the thought of playoff baseball approaching always brings a warm feeling.

The Blue Jays futility and horrible luck of being in the AL East has increasingly dulled that over the years, but it's still a time of year I always look forward to.

That being said, the stretch run this season is rather dull. The wildly unpredictable NL West is once again a mess, and the NL East and NL Wild Card will provide some exciting finishes, but I'm an AL guy. With everything wrapped up other than the Rays and Yankees battling it out over the division, it's a bit of a snooze until the postseason begins.

The fantasy baseball stretch run and Jose Bautista's home run chase will have to do until October baseball begins.


With baseball season winding down, that can only mean one thing. Hockey is back! Another season for my Toronto Maple Leafs starts and everyone is thinking once again: "Is this the year?"

Of course I say that sarcastically given the Leafs' current streak of futility, but with my blue and white shades on, I'm cautiously optimistic about the Leafs new acquisitions.

I will once again waste some of my hard earned money on a couple Leafs games and upgrade my cable package so I can actually watch the rest of the games, but in my mind there is no greater passion in my sports universe than cheering on the Leafs. The Jays come a close second, but I have seen them win in my lifetime (I was 6 when Joe Carter hit the home run, but I still remember it as if it were yesterday). The Leafs winning the Cup would be my "Now I can die happy" moment in sports.

But too bad it will probably never happen...


And with hockey season approaching, it's a given that basketball will soon follow suit. I've written before about my reluctance to fully invest myself into this sport, citing the Raptors lack of success as the main reason.

Well, the build up to this season really won't help. This year might just be the worst season in Raptors history in terms of pre-season hype, and while I'll tune in and hope for a miracle, all I'm really interested in at this juncture is seeing how good the Miami Heat will do with LeBron, Wade and Bosh.

I will be cheering for them to do something stupid like go 82-0, mainly because I'm sick of the Lakers and Celtics and other predictable outcomes that we've seen lately.

But I don't like to be negative, and in due time I'll catch up to everything that has gone on this off-season other than the obvious. But the biggest news that I can relate to now is that the Raptors signed Ronald Dupree. And that speaks for itself.