Overtime!: July 2009
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Felipe Massa recovers after scary crash.

Some great news have been heard today from the doctors at the AEK hospital in Budapest. Felipe Massa, Ferrari's Brazilian driver, is responding well after the surgery. Some bone fragments were taken out around Massa's left eye.

The doctors will need about ten days to know if Massa will fully recover from this incident. Massa's left eye is the biggest concern right now. The other injuries should completely heal at a normal pace.

The Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session presented this Saturday gave us some intense emotions when Ferrari's driver was hit to the head by Rubens Barrichello's suspension spring that went flying.

As the cars were negociating a very fast portion of the circuit, the piece entered Massa's helmet through the visor. Massa lost control of his Ferrari that went straight into a tire wall. A scary scenario for the racing fans watching the live event.

As for the race itself presented yesterday, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton won the race, his tenth career victory but more importantly his first victory of the season.

(Picture: Felipe Massa, Canadian Press.)


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Villeneuve, Ranger and Brisebois at the 2009 Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.

The 40th edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres will be very interesting to watch.

Last week, the former Formula One champion, Jacques Villeneuve, announced that he will be a part of the NASCAR Canada event at the GP3R. Villeneuve's last participation in Trois-Rivieres was in 1993 in the Atlantic series.

This week, Montreal Canadiens' defensemen and racing fan, Patrice Brisebois, announced that he will also be a part of the NASCAR Canada race. Brisebois said that he was very excited to be a part of such an event.

As for myself, nothing will make me miss this event. I will be on the site and I will be taking pictures all weekend long. I will post my pictures of this great weekend on this very blog. Last year, I was very lucky and took a picture with Andrew Ranger, the winner of the 2008 NASCAR Canada race. This year, I will try to convince Jacques Villeneuve that taking a picture with me is a ''guaranteed ticket to the checkered flag''. :)

(Picture: Patrice Brisebois, Getty Images.)


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Amanda Rodrigues taken in custody.

The story around Arturo Gatti's death evolved in the last hours as the Brazilian police has taken Gatti's wife, Amanda Rodrigues, into custody in this murder case.

The 23-year-old woman and her lawyer are pleading that a small and frale woman like Mrs. Rodrigues could not physically abuse an ex-pro boxer.

As for the police inquiry, a verification with the hotel facilities prooved that nobody entered or broke in the couple's room that night. Mrs. Rodrigues said to have slept in the second floor bedroom while Gatti slept elsewhere, in the lower level bedroom at the Porto de Galinhas resort in northeastern Brazil.

Also, some details about the story that I did not mention was that Arturo Gatti was apparently strangled with the strap of a purse, which was found on the crime scene. Mrs. Rodrigues also said that Gatti pushed her on the ground in a fight the night before Gatti was found dead in his bed. The couple was known to argue and fight occasionnally.

This sad story will continue, a trial will probably give us more details later on. I sincerely hope that justice will be served.

(Picture: Amanda Rodrigues, Associated Press.)

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Arturo Gatti 1972-2009.

One of my favorite boxer of all time, Arturo Gatti, has been found dead today in his hotel room in Brazil.

The Brazilian police was short on details but has declared that the death was considered ''suspect'' as some blood was found in his hotel room. We do not have any other details at the present moment about the circumstances and the causes of the death.

Arturo Gatti had a brillant career as a pro boxer. He was crown World Champion a couple of times, had fought a memorable trilogy with Mickey Ward in 2002 and 2003, was a part of three different ''fight of the year''.

His charisma and his extreme punching power made him a superstar in Atlantic City, his second home. Gatti sold many seats every time he was on the card. His heart and punching power coupled with his rather poor defense was a feast for boxing fans.

Gatti registered 40 wins, 31 of those by knock out and 9 losses. His last fight in career was almost exactly two years ago on July 14th 2007 when he lost to Alfonso Gomez.

I want to take a second to give my support to the entire Gatti family in these difficult times. I will always remember Arturo Gatti for his determination in the ring and for his all out style.

The news of the loss of this great champion is already having a huge impact in Montreal. More details should come in the next hours and days.

(Picture: Arturo Gatti.)

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Joe Sakic retires.

Another great player will announce his retirement this week. Joe Sakic will meet the press tomorrow to give his impressions on his great career.

Sakic began his NHL career in 1988-1989 with the Quebec Nordiques. He quickly became the leader of the team and also became the public enemy number one for every Montreal Canadiens fans.

Sakic player 20 seasons with the same organization, a rare thing in the current era. The Nordiques moved to Colorado in the mid 90's but Joe was never forgotten by Quebec's hockey fans.

Joe Sakic registered 1641 points in 1378 career games. He also won the Stanley Cup twice with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and 2001 and won the Conn Smythe trophy award in 1996. Sakic also registered six 100+ points seasons during his career. He also helped Canada to win an olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City as he scored two goals during the gold medal match against the Americans.

His induction into the hockey hall of fame is only a matter of time. Thank you Joe for the great memories.

(Picture: Joe Sakic, Getty Images.)

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

The tragic end of Steve McNair.

Yesterday, Steve McNair, an ex-NFL star quarterback, has been found dead in Nashville, Tennessee.

The police reported yesterday that multiple firearms wounds were found on McNair's body and head. A second body was also found on the scene. One of McNair's friend, 20-year old Sahel Kazemi was found on the ground a short distance from McNair's body who was laying on the couch.

The family and ex-teammates are in shock today as nobody was able to explain what happened. As for his wife Michelle, she was interrogated and described as ''restless''. The Nashville police department will continue their investigation this weekend.

Steve McNair played many seasons at the quarterback position for the Houston Oilers, the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens from 1995 to 2008. The quarterback was known for his endurance as he played injuried on many occasions. McNair went to the Super Bowl with the Titans in 2000 but fell by the score of 23-17 in front of the St-Louis Rams.

McNair is on of the few quarterbacks to ever combine 30 000 yards passing and 3500 yards rushing in career. He was named in 2003 the league MVP along with Peyton Manning.

I wish the family all the best in these hard times and I hope that the police will elucidate this awful crime.

(Picture: Steve McNair, Canadian Press.)


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Thursday, July 02, 2009

The new face of the Montreal Canadiens.

During the course of the last few days, the General Manager, Bob Gainey, transformed the Montreal Canadiens roster.

The transformation began during the 2009 NHL entry draft. Gainey and his staff decided to draft some local talent, something that the Habs fans have been demanding for many years. Louis Leblanc, a solid young 18 year old center, became the Canadiens' first round pick. Then in the fifth round another local junior player was picked. Gabriel Dumont from the 2009 Memorial Cup semifinalists Voltigeurs de Drummondville, was chosen.

I can't precisely remember who was the last Quebec native player to be chosen during the first round by the Habs. And don't ask me when was the last time the Habs chose two of them during the same year. It feels like almost fifty years ago.

The Canadiens' choices overall pleased the fans but the transformation was far from over. The Canadiens had to deal with more than ten regular players without a contract at July 1st. Bob Gainey offered a contract to Mike Komisarek and Alex Kovalev before the deadline.

Komisarek rejected Gainey's offer and signed a five year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs instead. The defense men obviously wanted to go away from Montreal for some reason. A big mistake in my opinion. As for Kovalev, he decided to play a game of poker and lost his bet. On July 1st, Kovy didn't accept the deal hoping to get a better offer from Bob Gainey. The General Manager turned around and decided to sign a contract with forwards Brian Gionta and Mike Cammallari, and to defense men Hal Gill and Jaroslav Spacek.

Bob Gainey also traded Christopher Higgins to the New York Rangers for Scott Gomez before July 1st. A total of five new players in only a couple of days, a clean house more or less.

Many questions are still to be answered. This is a hot summer in Montreal for the members of the press. Questions such as: Who will be the team Captain for next season? and Will Gainey try to acquire Vincent Lecavalier once more? Is there any more free agent of any interest for the Habs? will ring in the General Manager's head all summer long.

The Montreal Canadiens will show a brand new face at the first game of the regular season. With that many new players on the roster and a brand new head coach, the Habs will have to learn to work together and create a chemistry quickly.

(Picture: Louis Leblanc and Trevor Timmins, Getty images.)

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