Days of Grey glory
I loved going to the Argo games in Varsity Stadium when I was a boy. It was cold, sometimes very cold, but the Argos had winning teams and it was exciting.
The Mud Bowl in 1950 was really something. By the end of the game, the players were indistinguishable. A big snowfall the night before had just melted, so the field was pure mud to start with. Beginning a long tradition of weather-related drama, the game continued despite the conditions. Part way through, a Winnipeg Blue Bomber plummeted face down into a muddy puddle. When he didn't move for several minutes, fans called out, trying to alert someone he might be in danger. Years later, the game the Argos won is remembered as the only Grey Cup in which a player nearly drowned.
The famous Fog Bowl at CNE Stadium started normally on Dec. 1, 1962. By the second quarter, fog started to roll in. It became so thick that my father and I couldn't see the action on the field; receivers lost sight of the ball after it left the quarterbacks' hands, punt returners didn't know where the ball was until it hit the ground. The fog became worse as the afternoon wore on, so the game was suspended with Winnipeg leading Hamilton. The game continued the following afternoon, but there was no further scoring.
Weldon Thoburn, Toronto
Kudos to Bank of Montreal vice-president Paul Deegan for allowing Marty, the stand-in for Calgary's mascot horse, to enter BMO's downtown premises, and especially for taking a turn riding (From Petting Zoo To Grey Cup hoopla – Nov. 23). This is the fun and spirit of the 100th Grey Cup!
People from Cowtown sometimes think Hogtown is full of stuffed shirts – guess we were wrong.
Marlene Hurton, Calgary
Say this, do that
Wonder why the Liberal Party has become a nonentity in this country? This is why: Liberal Energy Critic Quits Over Oil Quip (Nov. 22). Not because of gaffes or bad judgment, but because it has become a party of wimps. The Tories say and do whatever they want; oftentimes, it is remarkably inappropriate or offensive. However, they defend it or deny it, but either way, sweep it quickly under the rug and it's forgotten before the other parties can even tweet about it.
What do the Liberals do? They apologize, admit guilt and quit, making it big news. You think Jean Chrétien would have apologized for this? No way.
Sarah Wasylycia, Ottawa
There is one reason the chattering classes are vexed by David McGuinty's observations about Alberta MPs: His observations are accurate. Or, as they used to say in the schoolyard: The truth hurts.
David Thompson, Edmonton
For the defence
As a young lawyer, I am disheartened to read that the perceived decline in the quality of young lawyers has been attributed to "flood upon flood" of students graduating from law school (Top Lawyers Fear Their Profession Is Broken – Nov. 23).
By any objective measure, the quality of law school students has only improved in recent years. Acceptance rates at Ontario law schools are lower than they were 15 years ago. Any decline in the skills of young lawyers – itself questionable – relates more to a lack of courtroom time after the call to the bar than the aptitude of the students entering the profession.
Rory Gillis, Toronto
While it is true that the health benefits of marijuana are often exaggerated, so, too, are its dangers (Are We Blinded By A Smoke Screen? – Life & Arts, Nov. 23). The same Canadian study you quote that found "a significant synergistic effect between marijuana smoking and tobacco smoking" also found no increased risk of chronic lung disease in people who smoked only pot.
The evidence for increased cancer and heart disease risk with cannabis is tenuous at best. While it is likely that chronic cannabis use does have negative health effects – for example, there is evidence of increased risk of psychosis in the young – overstating the dangers only serves to undermine efforts to educate the public on the negative health effects of marijuana.
Jeffrey Eppler, MD, Kelowna, B.C.
Anything used immoderately, from pot to coffee to salt, has a down side. The ravages of alcohol abuse on our health system and social order should be of far greater concern. There are no mandated photographs of battered wives and kids on beer cans or whisky bottles. But smoke a little weed and you land in jail.
David Smith, Halifax
Neil Young is no stranger to excess, and at his ACC concert, he showed no letup on the volume dial (A Legend Undiminished – Nov. 20). But in the crowd, control was the operative word as no fewer than three people in my view were escorted away by an efficient squad of yellow-jacketed security personnel for lighting up. They've got it down to a science: Rocking is permitted onstage, but, please, no rolling in the seats.
Chris Higgins, Toronto
Margaret Wente rightly suggests governments tend to be wasteful and inefficient in their delivery of social services (Can Goldman Sachs Help The Homeless ? – Nov. 22).
But her suggestion that the private sector may do better is overly optimistic. I've worked in both sectors: Both are wasteful and inefficient. They just have different ways of going about it.
Hugh K. M. Macdonald, Tsawwassen, B.C.
Senate got it right
As an MS patient, taxpayer and someone with a science background, I applaud the senators who quashed the MS treatment bill (Tory Senators Quash Bill For Contentious MS Therapy – Nov. 23). Accumulating scientific research around CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) is showing that MS patients have no greater venous narrowing than the general population.
Huge amounts of money have been wasted on this illusion, monies that could have been spent helping patients with effective therapies and social support.
Francis Rolleston, Ottawa
A mayor, a song
Re Mayor's Refusal To Resign Puts London Council In A Bind (Nov. 23):
Sung to the tune of Oh! Susanna:
Oh won't you try for me.
I come from London City
With a mayor and a plea.
Oh won't you make the call.
Have some pride and step aside
In the interest of us all.
James Riordan, Breckenridge, Que.