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Pan Am Games are approaching and they mean much to many


Little things today, if that’s okay; been a loooooooong fortnight on the road and entirely loafed last night and early this morning.

Got the note last night that the Pan-Am Games credentials are ready to be picked up and validated, which is the final step to being fully engaged for the big event that’s coming next month.

And landing back here yesterday to see the signage on the side of the roads and the temporary HOV lanes clearly marked on highways made it hit home pretty hard that this thing is just around the corner.

That also means we’ll be inundated with comments and columns and opinions on whether this is all going to be worth it and what kind of traffic carnage might accompany the event and whether anyone will care.

We haven’t actually talked about this much in the past – and I know we’ll get a lot more into it as the days pass by until the thing starts for real – but here’s one thing to think about right now:

Of course they’re worth it.

I don’t really care whether people come out to watch in droves or whether the 16-day sports festival captures the attention of the entire country.

What I care about is that a whole bunch of Canadian athletes who have worked a large percentage of their lives training in their sports and competing around the world finally get to show their stuff at home.

That’s a very cool aspect of the Pan Ams that may not touch too many of us but will provide a lifetime of memories for the specific athletes and their family and friends.

That’s huge.

As I said, the whole “are the worth it, what’s the inconvenience factor, how will this impact me” discussion is for another day but there is no denying that the men and women who pull on Canadian jerseys in Canada will get something out of the Pan Ams that will be with them forever.

Worth it? Sure is to them.

Missed these guys at the ACC, how’d the show go?

Way down on mail folks and it’s time to get cracking.

The plan, eventually, is to get it down to one day on the weekend so I can have a summer morning to do nothing but loaf so that’s probably going to mean a bit earlier start each week.

Do your part, please. Got stuff on your mind, get to askdoug@thestar.ca and let me know what it is.

More workouts for the HOTH today – six guards I know nothing about – as we’re closing in on draft day rather rapidly.

As we know, been sorta busy around these parts criss-crossing the continent watching the final but I’d guess that a week to get fully up to speed is probably more than enough.

And, besides, with the No. 20 pick there’s no way in the world anyone can figure out for sure which players might be available; the word about the draft from the few folks I talked about it with on the trip is that you can really throw a blanket over guys who might go, say, No. 11-22 because the difference in talent is that minimal.

I’ll say this now and I’m sure repeat it over the next six or seven days: It’s a big longshot they’ll get someone at No. 20 who’ll play substantial minutes next season and they should just pick whichever player they think is best at that spot, regardless of position.

Since the Raptors need help all over – bigs, wings, a point guard – there is no gaping roster hole that has to be filled.

And as we saw a year ago, Masai certainly isn’t above taking a huge gamble so we have to keep that in mind next week as well.

Best thing? They currently don’t have a second round pick and I’m not sure they’ve got much interest in acquiring one so the bottom of the draft should unfold with no fanfare here.

I don’t know when the Raptors are going to get around to showing off their new uniforms and colour scheme that’s such a big part of the “remake” that’s basically unnecessary and being done mainly to separate fans from their money but surely to goodness it’ll look better than the abomination that the Clippers came up with this week, right?

Kind of ugly if you ask me and it seems all these rebrands and new logos look pretty much the same.

I don’t have any idea what the new Raptors uniforms will look like and we already know that I think the logo is confusing and not attractive and there’s not nearly enough red in it.

My fashion sense makes me think we’ll all be underwhelmed by whatever the new look is since nothing any team has done so far has really been imaginative.

The women’s World Cup that’s going on now is lacking in one thing and it’s keeping it from being all that it could be.

And that’s a recognition factor away from Canada and, perhaps, the United States. Oh, and maybe Brazil because of the legendary Marta.

But that’s about it, isn’t it? It’s not like a lot of us know anyone from the other teams and these games on days that Canada isn’t playing don’t hold nearly the interest that they could.

I’m not suggesting it’s not good soccer and I imagine a few of you are glued to the TV when the old country is playing but, overall, the tournament tends to fizzle and disappear from view on those non-Canada days.

Maybe it changes once the elimination rounds get here but I’d be surprised.

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