Category Archives: Sports

You can’t do that.

picture-41I just read something nice.
It simply proved something I thought true, but that I was told is impossible.
You see, being at Phog, it’s not uncommon to wax futuristic and wonder what the world might hold for us (or vice versa).
When the topic got to cars, and how we’re making vehicles in Windsor that few consumers want anymore, even the artists (lefties) at the bar were nagging, “Well, what the hell can they do to them? Huh? Nothing!”
“Well guys, what if Windsor was a city that decided they didn’t like the status quo. What if people ditched their cookie-cutter cars for older cars, the ones they used to make with steel…and had them retro-fit with eco-friendly parts, making them not only road-safe, but more environmental than ever…maybe even making them electrical? Imagine what the streets would LOOK like! You wouldn’t look out of a window and see what EVERY North American sees. You’d see something unique! And it would all be in part to the engineering and manufacturing prowess in this city!”
Bucky, a local enviro-guy, brilliant guy, was the actual person who hatched this idea some weeks and weeks earlier. I loved his idea. Preserving the past, but doing one better and making something new and refreshing to the eye while blowing a kiss to Mother Nature at the same time.
The people at the bar, most times I reintroduce Bucky’s idea for the sake of dreaming, almost always get out of sorts and try to think of all the ways this idea can’t work.
As a matter of habit, this is how my community OFTEN approaches new ideas and concepts about absolutely anything. They think of all the ways it can’t work before they think of all the ways it can. I can’t be sure, but I wonder if they are just talking themselves out of participating if it ever DOES happen.
This frustration has guided me to some new groups of folks who foster and develop new ideas. Thanks to you, you know who you are…

But back to this article I read at the beginning of this post.
Apparently, there is a company in the US who is way ahead of us, and WAY ahead of the naysayers I lock eyes and wits with almost every shift.

They take gas guzzlers, and make them more acceptable vehicles. Old, new, whatever.
The working class in Windsor could do this in their sleep. I wish the creative spirit drove someone to these lengths. I don’t feel it’s my obligation to “find” the right people and get them fired up to start a company doing this, because SO MANY people in this city could do this work. It would be wonderful if they’d just emerge on their own, and shock this motor city under their own volition, like the company currently doing so in the United States.

I really never listen to anyone who tells me, “You can’t do that,” anymore.


Me and the Olympian: Scott Russell

Well, I saw film tonight, getting ready to sleep, of Scott Russell (Windsor boy) screaming or howling and growling after throwing a javelin. Yes, in Beijing. It was bizarre to see, because I had never seen him in action since he left Windsor to go to Kansas University in the US. I knew he was doing shot-put, maybe even discus, and now I see a guy with a reddish beard post-fling, and I’m thinking, “Was that dude in red and white? That might have been Scotty.”

So I go online and I find the image and story above of Scott, which was extremely uplifting. A proud moment. Yeah, I know, I see the Olympics for what it is to the people running the show, but I still appreciate the skill, finesse, strength, ability and dedication it takes to be an elite athlete. And to see Mr. Russell there, representing Windsor and Canada was awesome.

How do I know Scott. Simple. He and his brother were twin towers in sports (basketball of course) at F. J. Brennan High School. I had to play against him. It wasn’t fun, because the guy is massive, and skilled.

Flash forward to the summer of grade 10, when I make the Ontario travel basketball team (Riverside) that tons of great players tried out for, all hoping to be among all-stars. John Mastromattei, and Bill Davis, and I (all from Catholic Central High School) make the team. We are now shoulder to shoulder with the guys we despise all year long. Of course we formed a friendship with one another, which was shocking at first due to the vitriol we had for one another all season, but it was a majorly rewarding experience.

Ron Crumb, J.R. Bias, Ron Andriash (spelling?), John Fletcher, Marvin Caston, and several others joined Scott Russell, knowing him as the huge guy (6’9”) in the middle…not so much as the future Olympian who weighs 269 pounds and throws a spear over 80 meters! The story of his trials and tribulations to get to the Olympics can be read HERE.

We roomed together, and we got along quite well, as he was an extremely quiet guy, and a dedicated athlete when on the court.

Having come home tonight from playing with some pretty wicked basketball players (at the University of Windsor Student Centre gym) and some great kids who make up the Windsor Filipino team who will be traveling and competing, I felt it was a good time to remember Scott in this blog. Tonight, playing with guys who I haven’t seen/played with in YEARS AND YEARS brought up the nostalgia of what it means to be on a team of extremely talented guys.

And after I saw Scotty on the TV I thought, “Shit, shouldn’t I know he’s there? I mean, I like this guy, and I want him to medal…so I gotta see how he’s doing.” From what I can tell, he’s still in the running, and I encourage you to follow his quest for a medal.

Good luck Scott!