Channel Surfing With Slant Pattern

Lots of sportsy stuff on TV on this night of Tuesday, April 30th, so let me flip through the channels and share my thoughts.

I'm starting here at 8:25 Eastern, and we will start with the draft ... the CFL draft, that is. You won't be shocked to hear that it's a much more subdued affair than the NFL draft, and it sort of seems like it might be being produced by TSN (Canada's version of ESPN) rather than the Canadian Football League.

I believe players are eligible for the draft if they are Canadian; whether they played college ball in Canada or the U.S. is not relevant. The first pick, belonging to the Edmonton Elks, is a linebacker named Joel Dublanko, who played for the Cincinnati Bearcats before spending time with the Philadelphia Stars, as well as the camps of the Saints and the Seahawks.

As in the NFL, the commissioner is announcing each pick, but he's doing so in a studio, no spectators are in attendance. Let's move on...

... to the more high-profile NBA playoffs. Sixers! Knicks! Knicks! Sixers! New York is leading by 2 early in the third quarter after a layup by the underrated Tyrese Maxey. That said, he also did that letting-the-ball-roll-off-the-inbound barely halfway through a close game? Why?


Over to the NHL playoffs on ESPN, where the Bruins are trying to close out Toronto, which I thought they already did, ack-shually. It's 1-1 late in the 2nd period. Leafs are lucky to be tied with Auston Matthews not dressed.

With 22 seconds left, no less than 3 fights are going on, which seemed to start completely organically after a big scrum in front of the Bruins goal. Ultimately, it results in a power play for Toronto, but then halftime hits.


ESPN2 is showing the Backyard Brawl, baseball version. It's the bottom of the fifth and it's all West Virginia, 11-0 over Pitt.

The game is being played at the Pirates' PNC Park, and good thing they are, because the stadium is overflowing.

Just kidding! It's super-dead. The 30 or so seats behind home plate you can see from the centerfield camera are 100% empty. To be fair, things look a bit better in the seats along the first base line. Don't think I will be coming back to this game.


Some major league action, where my Guardians lead the Astros 3-0 in Houston in the bottom of the 3rd. Carlos Carrasco is pitching for Cleveland. He's beloved in Northeast Ohio, and while he was thought to be done after a disastrous 2023 with the Mets, he came back to Cleveland as a non-roster invitee, made the team and the starting rotation, and has pitched reasonably well.

And as I type that, he gives up a 3-run blast to Alex Bregman so I obviously jinxed him. I better move on.

On to CBS Sports Network, where the PBA Finals are on. I have written at length in this space about how candlepin bowling is better, because it's harder. In fact, I bet four of the first five rolls I watch are strikes:


My opinion has been officially validated with that huge sample size. I ain't watching more of this.

I check back in on Knicks/Sixers. The Knicks score a bucket to go up by 3, and the crowd is going nuts and the Sixers call timeout. Fair to assume then, that the Sixers must've gotten out to a decent-size lead since we last checked in and now New York has stormed back. They go to commercial.

We turn now to a PWHL game (that's the women's hockey league), as Ottawa tries to mount a 2-goal comeback over New York City with just a minute and a half left at the Devils' Prudential Center. Empty net, and uh-oh! They do get one back! 58 seconds left now...

Ottawa puts their goalie back in for the center drop, which, boo.

Both teams have their city names stitched diagonally across the chest, like the Rangers do. Is that the standard for all PWHL teams? And now, Ottawa will have to make up this last goal shorthanded as they commit a crucial foul.

And, no dice, New York wins 4-3 and brings this column to a close.

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