The Simpsons used to be the show you would watch when you wanted to laugh at the world. Now, it’s just become a joke itself.

In a move which most likely got thumbs-up from the Chinese government, Disney+ has pulled an episode from the 16th season of the show from its streaming service based in Hong Kong. It mocked Chinese censorship, which included references of the Chinese regime pretending the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 never happened. Don’t think this won’t be the last time China gets its way and don’t think this won’t be the last time the Walt Disney Company cowers.

Anyway, on with non-censored material:

Maybe it’s the end

Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of our generation. Period. No question. I’ve had my criticisms of him but there is no denying his place in the golfing universe as one of the most dominant and influential players ever.

But it seems his days are numbered as a full-time professional if his latest interview is anything to go by. Woods gave an exclusive to Golf Digest late last month, the first chat he’s had since his crash back in February in California which almost killed him. It was that bad, the jaws of life were needed to extricate him from the wreckage. The injuries were so bad — multiple broken bones — he thought he would lose one of his legs because of it.

In the interview, Woods admitted his days of playing a full season are probably done. He said he wouldn’t do a full season but pick and choose his events, much like the great Ben Hogan did.

“You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it,” is what he was quoted as saying.

He also said his recovery isn’t even at the halfway point with more muscle development and nerve development left to do to even get back into something resembling playing shape. That’s a hard thing for an athlete to admit because you always want to go out on your terms, not have it dictated to you. He said he probably won’t ever challenge for the top of the World Golf Rankings ever again, though he did overcome back surgeries and the subsequent rehab to win the Masters in 2019, his 15th career major title and probably his last.

Part of me wants to see him get back out there and try for one last hurrah but the realistic part of me knows he’s probably right — his best days are gone. The worst would be seeing Woods out there simply going through the motions but what he decides is up to him. He knows what the right decision will be.

And now what?

I knew Marcus Semien wouldn’t be back with the Toronto Blue Jays. After the season he had, he was always going to go somewhere else and get paid.

That somewhere else is the Texas Rangers as Semien signed a seven-year deal with the team on Nov. 29. Semien had himself quite the year, setting a new Major League Baseball record for home runs by a second baseman with 44 and being a runner-up for the American League’s most valuable player. He was never going to be short of suitors and the Rangers are looking to splash some cash to improve on the 2021 season, which really sucked for them. Robbie Ray, the American League’s Cy Young Award winner as the best pitcher, is on his way to Seattle on a five-year deal. Again, he was on a one-year deal and once he got his hands on the award, he was good as gone.

As bad as it was, it’s good that the Jays didn’t get saddled with two big deals. Never fails whenever a player has a big year after a one-year deal, it all goes to crap when they end up getting the big contract that follows. Kevin Gausman was a good pick-up for the Jays from the San Francisco Giants and he’ll replace Ray just fine. The question is how do the Jays replace Semien and his output?

And finally …

Good Idea: Grigory Panin exchanging pucks for animal shelter donations.

Bad idea: Why hasn’t this caught on elsewhere?

Kids clamour around the glass before a hockey game looking for pucks, right? Most players oblige because it makes a kid’s night but Grigory Panin is taking one step further. In a very good way.

Panin, who plays with Salafat Yulaev Ufa in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, is offering game pucks to fans and will happily toss a few over the glass in exchange for donations to animal shelters. There’s a video from Nov. 22 where Panin gestures to a group of young fans before a game that if they throw their donations over the glass, he’ll go and grab pucks for them. Sure enough, all sorts of food and snacks fly onto the ice and Panin makes good on his end, picking up a bunch of pucks and delivering them. His teammate, Andrei Zubarev, jumped on board and gave Panin a bag of dog food in exchange for a puck.

I love this idea and it makes everyone happy, especially animals who have a rough go of it at the present time through no fault of their own.

Until next time, folks …

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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