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More things we’re learning about Canada, and Mexican drivers

That was quite a performance by the Canadas, wasn’t it?

Look right into the maw of the giant beast and didn’t flinch, in fact they were the aggressors from the very start and it was quite something to witness.

No one knew for sure how they’d react – I know from quick conversations late on the weekend that Jay and Steve were quite interested in what would transpire – and as you’d guess, they were quite impressed with what happened.

Here’s three things that kind of leapt out at me in our usual but not consistent …


The unsung kid

Know who’s been wildly impressive for Canada and who sometimes gets lost in the team’s depth and his more notorious teammates?

Melvin Ejim.

The kid always around the ball, he never gives up on a play, I don’t have the advanced stats but he must lead the team in deflections and getting to 50-50 balls and his night last night was outstanding.

Twelve points and 10 boards off the bench, tenacious defence as always and a work ethic that makes him stand out.

He’s the kind of guy good teams need, and the kind of guy this team has in abundance, but his reputation is rocketing up here.

I haven’t seen any NBA front office types or scouts in the building but you know they have to be watching and this is the kind of breakout couple of weeks that will stand him in good stead when he gets to camp and into the pre-season with the Orlando Magic.

Ready for the next time

Now, Canada won handily and were never really threatened and I know some might not want to hear this but it’s likely to be a bit different if the same two teams meet in Friday’s game that counts.

Mexico did take the foot off the pedal a little bit in the second half – not quite like the Cuban women did in Edmonton last month – and I would suspect we’ll see different on Friday.

Gustavo Ayon, who had been playing about 34 minutes a night only played 20, and I know Mexico won’t be the same next time.

That’s if there’s a next time, of course. The semifinal seedings won’t be known until after Mexico-Argentina tonight at 9:30 east but here’s how it breaks down:

According to those with vastly superior math skills to me, if Mexico beats Argentina by somewhere between one and 34 points, Canada – if it beats Dominican Republic this afternoon – will finish first and get the fourth place team Friday and Mexico and Argentina will be in the other semifinal. Any other result and it’s Canada-Mexico for the Rio berth.

Give ‘em credit

Yes, it was a bit of an electric atmosphere —  not good enough to beat the three I wrote about witnessing yesterday – and the Mexican fans were impressive.

Even when the game was over at halftime they didn’t let up, if Mexico went on a 4-0 run in the fourth quarter they were screaming and I don’t recall seeing  single person leave early.

Oh, yeah, this works

Much respect to major league baseball for releasing its 2016 schedule with little fanfare and without doing a television show about it.

It’s that time again and I’m confused again.

A couple of guys here, and I am sure a zillion guys back home, have been pouring over stats and taking part in NFL fantasy league drafts this week as they get ready for “their” seasons.

It’s all well and good, I suppose, but, really, doesn’t this whole fantasy league thing take away from what being a sports fan is basically about?

Don’t you cheer for individuals rather than teams and spend weekends more worried about what your guys are doing rather than how your team is doing?

And isn’t that odd?

I suppose it stops you from losing interest if your team stinks and if the games suck – as they often do – because you now have a reason to pay attention to games.

But I’ve always thought that being a fan meant supporting team or appreciating a game.

I believe it might be Wednesday so let’s start the call for mail, please?

Still plan to do one big thing this weekend, likely Sunday before I finally get to leave this forsaken land but that means I need to putter away on it over the next few days.

Please get over to and help me make the week a wee bit easier, would you?

Okay, spent a fair bit of time in Mexico City cabs yesterday on a solo outing along Reforma to see the Angel of Independence along with people who haven’t been apparently beaten by life like those who live around my hotel and can report this:

How much? Who knows?

Fares are at totally at the whim of the driver, it would seem.

Going out it cost 200 Mexican pesos, which seemed quite fair; coming back it was 400 pesos and who knows what the Magic Wheel Of Taxi Fares will be Thursday when I head out again.

Just paint on the road

Lane markers are merely suggestions and if you want to float curb to highway divider or drive right in the middle of two lanes, go for it.

Turn signals?


Do as you please

You want to make a right hand turn out of the left hand lane on a three-lane highway? You go right ahead.

Take a guess

Merging? Just go and hope the other guy sees you.

Creeping up the list

Traffic? There’s always traffic. Now, the worst traffic I’ve ever seen and ever will see was in Istanbul and I’d rank Rome second with Athens third but Mexico City will make it to the podium if I get driven around a few more times.

And I’m thinking the off-day Thursday or the long days Friday or Saturday waiting for games will necessitate a trip the Museum of Anthropology and Lord knows what travel fun we’ll have to report on then.