GOOD EFFIN’ RIDDANCE TO BAD GAY-BASHING RUBBISH Ritch Dowrey was known as ‘3rd Down’ on several CFL internet chatboards I frequent. Though he was a bit out there – like most of the people who contribute to internet chatboards under an assumed name – there was no mistaking his passion for Canadian football in general and the British Columbia Lions in particular. So it was a shock for me to learn last year that he had been beaten to an inch of his life at a Vancouver bar where he was celebrating his first day of retirement. His accuser said Ritch came on to him in a sexual way, though it was his word against that of the other witnesses, (who said the only contact was Ritch touching the guy’s shoulder and asking if he could buy him a drink) and the perp possessed a hate-on for gays in general. The jerk who left Ritch with a lifetime of rehab was convicted in a Vancouver court yesterday (The Globe and Mail).

MAYBE THEY SHOULD PUT THE TEAM IN A WINEABAGO AND DRIVE AROUND SOUTHERN ONTARIO To be honest, a football stadium that’s built downtown isn’t a smart idea (which is why the provincial government is pushing through the SaskaDome on the old CP lands, but I digress). So, when we witness the stadium debate in Hamilton, we see a city council wanting to build a CFL stadium (Hamilton Spectator) is a place that, frankly, is probably the worst site of all – in a place where traffic is already congested, where there’s little public transit, little parking, bordering a residential area (goodbye concert tours and monster-truck shows, events they will need to offset the facility’s operating costs, not to mention hosting a Grey Cup) and the facility’s major tenant-to-be would rather move the team out of Hamilton than play there. The promise of economic riches in the area of a sports stadium is pretty much overblown (Field of Schemes) – especially for a CFL stadium that has only 10 guaranteed dates a year. Tying up downtown space for such a project is a very expensive and inefficient use of city funds, and won’t lead to the downtown redevelopment the city says it wants. But it might satisfy some property developers – who may or may not have financed several city council candidates, and a mayor’s candidacy … not sayin’ anything. Just sayin’.

DAVID ASPER’S OUT OF SOMEBODY ELSE’S MONEY … AGAIN Oh yeah, things aren’t going very well with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ new stadium project (Winnipeg Sun via SLAM sports).

EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN Speaking of the Blue Bombers, they will take a page off the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ marketing strategy and wearing a retro jersey in upcoming games. (CFL Shop) Makes you wonder why they changed in the first place … which is the real story behind this internet petition. (

NARCO GETS HIS DAY Don Narcisse gets his long-overdue induction to the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame tonight, and is the subject of some pre-game honors before tonight’s game against the BC Lions. (CBC Saskatchewan)

OBLIGATORY NON-FOOTBALL RELATED CANADIAN MANDATORY CENSUS STORY What’s at stake with the mandatory census? The status of the Canadian social safety net. It’s just taken these (Macleans’) journalists (The Tyee) this long to figure it out … but in the Canadian journalistic world, that makes them ahead of the curve.