Pictou Advocate sports

Will it be Farewell to Nova Scotia?

Every so often I’m asked if there’s a difference between writing for a weekly newspaper like The Advocate as opposed to working for a daily like The Chronicle Herald. There sure is. During my last 36 years with the provincial paper, I produced five columns every week. For the last 17 years, I’ve been submitting...

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Pictou Advocate sports

Thinking of Donnie and Jean Murray

It hasn’t been easy for any of us, day after day after day, listening to Justin Trudeau from Ottawa and Dr. Robert Strang in Halifax. At the beginning, we believed the COVID-19 pandemic might hang around for a few weeks, maybe a couple of months or more. Now we’re halfway into a 14th month, still...

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Pictou Advocate sports

My conversations with Prince Philip

When I started my newspaper career in New Glasgow 67 years ago, I never imagined the endless number of exciting adventures I would experience — in the sports world and beyond. There were big events like the Olympics, World Series, Stanley Cup championships, Grey Cup games and Canada Games. Closer to home, there were thousands...

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Pictou Advocate sports

Three old friends get stories flowing

There were three of us. It was early last Tuesday afternoon at a Tim Hortons in the south end of Halifax when a trio of old friends got together for the first time in several years. Oh how the stories flowed — for over two hours. Joel Jacobson and Ken Mantin came downtown from their...

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No fooling, the Jays are looking okay

What have I done? The Toronto Blue Jays were preparing to open the new major league baseball season last week — just as April Fool’s Day pranksters were exercising their ancient custom of nabbing victims for their worn-out jokes, hoaxes and tricks. At about the same time, I was busy getting ready for the fantasy...

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Pictou Advocate sports

Pictonians crossed paths with Sparks

Another champion fighter from Nova Scotia’s greatest boxing era has passed on to the big squared circle in the sky. Lenny Sparks was 81. His obituary last week said he had “an amazing boxing career.” That, I’d say, was a pretty accurate assessment when you consider that he won several championships and was honoured by...

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The Canadian teams making it exciting

The National Hockey League, like everything else that matters in our world, couldn’t escape when COVID-19 swept across North America just over a year ago. The pandemic took on the 100-year-old league at centre ice and won. The repercussions disrupted the 2019-20 season far more than even a world war could 80 years earlier. It...

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Pictou Advocate sports

Why the old APC survived so long

There’s a question that keeps being asked in emails from readers or during conversations with acquaintances or total strangers. How do I keep finding new column ideas after writing for so many years? The longevity reference just makes me smile. Sometimes I get a subject in a rather peculiar way. It happened again for this...

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One of the finest I’ve ever known

When I think of excellence and people I’ve met in the hockey world, I immediately think of Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky. When I think of excellence and people I’ve known in Canadian university sports, I think of Steve Konchalski. Perfection and class. There’s no need, after all this time, to re-examine the lifetime achievements...

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Pictou Advocate sports

Packy McFarland: A true Xaverian in so many ways

When the shock of golf icon Tiger Woods’ car crash in Los Angeles settled in my mind last week, I was thinking of another car accident involving an athlete — one that occurred a long time ago and much closer to home. It was the fall of 1956. I was an 18-year-old freshman arriving on...

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