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The web can haunt you

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LOL, dude, u still sayin that what u put on Facebook now won’t ever come back to bite u?

Check out this Toronto Star story about would-be police cadet Sean Pierson, now a former would-be police cadet.

It’s not because he’s also an aspiring UFC fighter, says the story, it’s because he can’t satisfactorily explain away or distance himself from his UFC persona as Pimp Daddy, and other Internet references that will follow him throughout his life to the persona of a pimp or a player.

Hands up anyone who thinks that’s appropriate imagery for a police officer.

Wake up, kids — this stuff you put on the web follows you forever. Some of it can haunt you.

Moving along to other stuff......

I’m reading in our paper how it will take 40 years for the Blue Bombers to pay for the new stadium at U of M. And I’ve also read about the problems at the Metrodome, not just the roof, but the Vikings’ lease expires next year and Los Angeles is wooing the Vikings. The Vikings want a new stadium in Minneapolis, the dome is the ninth-oldest stadium in the NFL, and the Vikings are saying the stadium is done, regardless of the roof. And it’s only 28 years old.

The Twin Cities tore down a football stadium to build the Metrodome. There’s a new major league baseball stadium just opened last season. The Vikings want a new football stadium built. The North Stars’ arena is a parking lot for Mall of America now. The hockey rink is in St. Paul, the NBA arena in downtown Minneapolis. The University of Minnesota has its own big arena, and a football stadium bigger than any CFL stadium save Edmonton’s. Nobody seems to think that building one stadium for football, baseball, and soccer both professional and amateur is a good idea, nor is it a reasonable idea to put an ice plant beneath a basketball floor. And you look at the anguish over spending on education and health care in the States.

We have one arena and one stadium.

Just saying.

I’ll be happy in the new stadium if there are enough concessions so that you can use the loo at halftime, get a snack with a decent variety of choice, and obtain a cold beverage, and still not miss the second half kickoff. Right now, you’re lucky if you can do one of the three during halftime.

Seamless segue......

Person from out in the country emailed in high dudgeon over Pembina Trails SD’s wanting a supposed 25-acre carbon footprint at a high school proposed for Waverley West. Why so big, why not go multi-storey, asked my correspondent. To which I pointed out that the building would not cover the entire 25 acres, that the high school would include a full playing field, track, and other green space.

And someone else emailed to demand to know, in reference to the ongoing math PhD/extreme exam anxiety situation at U of M, whether I’d give the same attention to a prof fired for teaching creationism instead of evolution. I replied, asking if there was or had been such a person fired by a public university in Manitoba, and, alas, have yet to hear further from the particular correspondent. I didn’t add that I’d be amazed if a public university would hire such a person in the first place.

Oops, my Spidey sense is tingling, I think I’m going to hear about that last line.

Moving along.....

I’m listening to the CBC local Thursday morning, as we always do at home, and the sports guy was talking about the death of Bob Feller, yet another in the steady list of obits of baseball players and hockey players, and even the boxers I watched on Friday nights with my dad — seems like Florentino Fernandez boxed about every two weeks — from my youth, many of whom I have on cards in plastic sleeves.

Then the guy talked about Feller pitching in the majors into the 1960s, and I was taken aback, appalled that my memory could be so poor. I was sure that Feller pitched from the late '30s through 1956, interrupted by war service, and retired only a couple of years after being part of that amazing 1954 pitching staff of Mike Garcia, Early Wynn, and Bob Lemon.

So I looked it up to be sure.....CBC, I expected better from you than that.

Speaking of awesome pitching staffs, and Cliff Lee going to the Phillies — who have Joe Blanton as a fifth starter, which everyone seems to be overlooking — it’s not yet the greatest ever. That staff Atlanta had a while back would be in the ballgame, Baltimore had four 20-game winners one year back in the 70s, but the standard has to be the early '60s Dodgers, with Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, and Claude Osteen.


Switching sports, I got a message from the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association this week about a recent blog, wanting to know which teams were involved when hooting parents loudly congratulated a 15-year-old girl for knocking me down with a kick blasted into my head from five yards away.

I appreciate the concern, and it’s nice that WYSA recognizes that the reaction of some of the parents wasn’t OK, though in retrospect I’m far more troubled about last weekend’s incident which I recounted in a blog earlier this week, 14-year-old premier girls at Coverall last Saturday morning at 8 a.m., in which a father followed me into the washroom to berate me.

I know I take too much guff, I’ve had referee supervisors listen to stuff that’s happened and tell me they can’t believe I didn’t red-card kids or throw coaches out. I recognize that I still operate far too much from the criteria prevalent in my decade of coaching youth soccer, when I operated under the unjustified expectation of parents that once someone like me decides to get involved, that I implicitly agree to whatever treatment a tiny minority of parents or players unleashes on you. And I say once again, that the abuse I get as a referee doesn’t even register on the scale of the abuse and harassment and even physical threats I received as a coach.

There was a series of stories in the Toronto Star a little while back about the treatment of officials in youth minor hockey, and I remember reading the comments from coaches, parents, and a few players, so many of the adults commenting about the times they’d screamed at, confronted, threatened, or even got physical with the referees, many of whom were kids. So many of these adults said that their behaviour was out of character for them, but that they had acted only because the referees were asking for it and fully deserved it.


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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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