No, I don’t really get it either:
UPDATE: Customers will experience longer than normal wait times between Sheppard and Don Mills due to graffiti on exterior of 1 train. #TTC
— Official TTC Tweets (@TTCnotices) April 21, 2014
No, I don’t really get it either:
UPDATE: Customers will experience longer than normal wait times between Sheppard and Don Mills due to graffiti on exterior of 1 train. #TTC
— Official TTC Tweets (@TTCnotices) April 21, 2014
The weather forecast for today and tonight contains a little bit of everything:
— 680News Toronto (@680News) April 14, 2014
Update: The rest of the story:
With spring now well over three weeks old, the snow tires are off, the yard work has begun, and the boots and parkas are already at the back of the closet
However, winter weather is expected to make a comeback on Tuesday, as much of the province will see a major swing in temperatures and a mixed bag of precipitation.
Temperatures are expected to plummet from a high of 21 C on Monday to a low of -7 C on Tuesday night, with the potential for freezing rain and snow.
Ahead of winter’s reappearance, it will be a warm day for parts of southern Ontario on Monday as temperatures may reach the mid-twenties mark.
Environment Canada has once again issued a “special weather statement”, which they seem to do every other day recently. It’s not a storm warning or even a storm watch, but just a “hey, there’ll be some weather!” kind of thing. A communication tailored to the fact that weather is now treated like celebrity news in a lot of media markets.
In the Toronto Star, Bob Hepburn looks at how about-to-be-declared mayoralty candidate Olivia Chow will handle the renewal of the accusations that she and Jack Layton were living in subsidized co-op housing (despite earning very high salaries) in the late 1980s:
Chow fully expects to be under constant attack from Ford Nation fanatics and the more vocal supporters of candidates John Tory, Karen Stintz and David Soknacki as a “tax-and-spend” downtown New Democrat who is supposedly out of touch with middle-class and suburban voters.
But the nastiest attacks will centre on a 1990 story about how Chow and her late husband Jack Layton were living cheaply in a subsidized downtown Toronto co-op housing building designed for low- and moderate-income families.
Chow and Layton’s combined income at the time was about $120,000. The rent on their three-bedroom apartment was just $800 a month.
Because the story is now 24 years old, many of today’s voters have never heard of it. Others, though, have a long memory, are still furious about what they call “a scandal” and won’t let it die.
“You mean the Queen of Public Housing, sponging off of the taxpayer,” one reader emailed me last week after I wrote a column about how Chow was all set to enter the race. “I would call that theft,” he added.
“What annoys me about her is how righteous she can be,” a female reader wrote yesterday after Chow had resigned her federal seat, referring to Chow’s background fighting on behalf of the poor while at the same time having lived in housing predominately meant for lower-income families.
In June, 1990, the Toronto Star published a story inside the paper, not on its front page, about how Layton, then a city councillor, and Chow, who was then a public school trustee, lived in a three-bedroom apartment at the federally subsidized Hazelburn Co-operative at Jarvis and Shuter Sts.
At the time, Layton earned $61,900 a year as a councillor plus $5,000 as a University of Toronto lecturer. Chow earned $47,000 a year as a trustee. One-third of their salaries was tax-free.
Their annual income was double what was considered as a “moderate” family income in Toronto. Provincial co-op housing officials said they knew of no other couple in Ontario living in a co-op unit whose income was as high as Chow and Layton’s.
It may have been a “manufactured” scandal, but it certainly tainted Layton’s image in local politics and it’s no surprise to find that Chow’s opponents are eager to bring the issue back to the public debate. Colby Cosh is probably right here:
Note: answer to the Chow-Layton subsidized-housing “smear” is literally “They were doing poors a favour by creating a mix of income levels."
— Colby Cosh (@colbycosh) March 13, 2014
Hell, it’s probably an accurate answer. I wouldn’t want to be the poor bastard trying to sell it.
— Colby Cosh (@colbycosh) March 13, 2014
Earlier this year, I had occasion to run a Google search for “Mr Gameway’s Ark” (it’s still almost unknown: the Googles, they do nothing). However, I did find a very early post on the old site that I thought deserved to be pulled out of the dusty archives, because it explains why I can — to this day — barely stand to listen to “Little Drummer Boy”:
James Lileks has a concern about Christmas music:
This isn’t to say all the classics are great, no matter who sings them. I can do without “The Little Drummer Boy,” for example.
It’s the “Bolero” of Christmas songs. It just goes on, and on, and on. Bara-pa-pa-pum, already. Plus, I understand it’s a sweet little story — all the kid had was a drum to play for the newborn infant — but for anyone who remembers what it was like when they had a baby, some kid showing up unannounced to stand around and beat on the skins would not exactly complete your mood. Happily, the song has not spawned a sequel like “The Somewhat Larger Cymbal Adolescent.”
This reminds me about my aversion to this particular song. It was so bad that I could not hear even three notes before starting to wince and/or growl.
Back in the early 1980′s, I was working in Toronto’s largest toy and game store, Mr Gameway’s Ark. It was a very odd store, and the owners were (to be polite) highly idiosyncratic types. They had a razor-thin profit margin, so any expenses that could be avoided, reduced, or eliminated were so treated. One thing that they didn’t want to pay for was Muzak (or the local equivalent), so one of the owners brought in his home stereo and another one put together a tape of Christmas music.
Note that singular. “Tape”.
Christmas season started somewhat later in those distant days, so that it was really only in December that we had to decorate the store and cope with the sudden influx of Christmas merchandise. Well, also, they couldn’t pay for the Christmas merchandise until sales started to pick up, so that kinda accounted for the delay in stocking-up the shelves as well …
So, Christmas season was officially open, and we decorated the store with the left-over krep from the owners’ various homes. It was, at best, kinda sad. But — we had Christmas music! And the tape was pretty eclectic: some typical 50′s stuff (White Christmas and the like), some medieval stuff, some Victorian stuff and that damned Drummer Boy song.
We were working ten- to twelve-hour shifts over the holidays (extra staff? you want Extra Staff, Mr. Cratchitt???), and the music played on. And on. And freaking on. Eternally. There was no way to escape it.
To top it all off, we were the exclusive distributor for a brand new game that suddenly was in high demand: Trivial Pursuit. We could not even get the truck unloaded safely without a cordon of employees to keep the random passers-by from snatching boxes of the damned game. When we tried to unpack the boxes on the sales floor, we had customers snatching them out of our hands and running (running!) to the cashier. Stress? It was like combat, except we couldn’t shoot back at the buggers.
Oh, and those were also the days that Ontario had a Sunday closing law, so we were violating all sorts of labour laws on top of the Sunday closing laws, so the Police were regular visitors. Given that some of our staff spent their spare time hiding from the Police, it just added immeasurably to the tension levels on the shop floor.
And all of this to the background soundtrack of Christmas music. One tape of Christmas music. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
It’s been over 20 years, and I still feel the hackles rise on the back of my neck with this song … but I’m over the worst of it now: I can actually listen to it without feeling that all-consuming desire to rip out the sound system and dance on the speakers. After two decades.
Uh-oh. I think this Kimmel guy is finally on to us…
It had been a while since the late night talk show hosts zeroed in on Rob Ford, but at least one of them poked fun at the Toronto mayor and city council Tuesday night.
On ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host played a video clip of Ford and other councillors dancing during their council meeting earlier in the day.
“What the hell is going on?” asked Kimmel. “Are they all on crack?”
Ford and several councillors danced to a performance by a local jazz trio in a rare moment of fun in what has been a highly charged venue of late.
“One minute they’re yelling at each other and the next they’re dancing all around the room,” joked Kimmel, who added that the “Mayor Ford experience” has been very educational.
“For a while, I thought it was just Mayor Ford, but what I’ve realized is Canadians are much, much weirder than any of us had any idea they were,” joked Kimmel.
Elizabeth and I got married in Toronto on this date in 1983. It was a bit of a race to get to the courthouse on time — my so-called best man decided that he had to go back to Mississauga “for a shower” that morning, and was quite late getting back into Toronto. Trying to get a cab to hurry in downtown Toronto traffic was a waste of effort, so I very nearly missed my own wedding. Elizabeth was not pleased with me holding up the show (even though I could rightfully claim it wasn’t my fault). The rest of the day is rather a blur to me now.
We had the reception that evening at a lovely house in the Playter Estates (during which my father tried to pick a fight with Elizabeth’s uncle), and then set off for our very brief honeymoon in Niagara-on-the-Lake the next day. We could only afford two nights at the Prince of Wales hotel, and because we got married on Saturday, we were in NOTL for Sunday and Monday nights. Back in 1983, Ontario still had fairly restrictive Sunday closing laws, so there was very little to do — almost everything was closed. (And that was probably for the best, as we had almost no money to spend anyway…)
One of the few businesses we found open in the area was the original Chateau des Charmes estate winery (not the huge, imposing facility of today: a small industrial-looking building a few kilometres away), where the only person on duty was Mme Andrée Bosc who gave us an exhaustive tasting experience and showed us around the winery. Neither of us were experienced wine drinkers, so this was wonderful for both of us. I’d love to say that we started our wine cellar that day, but that would only be partially true: we bought about a dozen bottles of various Chateau des Charmes wines, but we couldn’t afford to restock after those had been opened. We visited the winery every year on our anniversary for about a decade, until we got out of the habit of going back to NOTL (which was around the time our son was born).
After our brief honeymoon, we both had to go back to our jobs. Very shortly after that, my employer (the almost-unknown-to-Google Mr Gameway’s Ark) went bankrupt, which was financially bad timing for us, having just spent most of our tiny cash hoard on our honeymoon.
Kathy Shaidle responds to a David Warren post on the demise of one of the last used book stores that used to cluster along Queen Street West in Toronto:
I owe much of what passes for my education to one particular second hand bookstore in Hamilton.
My mother would try not to roll her eyes when I returned from yet another all-afternoon excursion with two or three white plastic shopping bags full of dusty, smelly paperbacks.
The closing of yet another independent Toronto bookstore never fails to prompt meditations such as David’s, although they are rarely as well written.
However, the sad fact is that most of these indie booksellers were well-meaning book lovers but terrible businessmen, with (as David notes in his piece) crusty, eccentric personalities who not-so-secretly didn’t like seeing their precious babies being carted off in your unworthy mitts.
At least 20 years ago now, one iconic bookstore just north of Yonge and Bloor shut its doors, at the start of the Chapters/Indigo invasion.
I think it was Kevin Connolly, but anyway, some such young whippersnapper dared to counter the generalized wailing and gnashing of the city’s self-appointed elites.
He pointed out the truth: that the staff had been petulant; the inventory uneven and pedestrian; the music that classical stuff which urban planners prescribe to keep hoodlums from crossing the threshold.
I used to be a regular customer of several of the used book stores on Queen West, but as they began to move further west — driven by “gentrification” and rising rents (the same thing, really), I stopped trying to find the latest location they’d fled to. There are still a few used book stores I visit, but they’re in places like Port Perry or Port Hope, not downtown Toronto. They may not have the variety that the old shops used to have, but they usually lack the attitude too many old shop owners displayed toward their customers.
And failure gives me a rash, and is possibly contagious. I simply can’t bear to patronize shops of any sort that are so “authentic” and “organic” that the joint is falling apart or they keep having to move because they can’t afford the rent.
For all their snobbish sentimentality about Hemingway’s “clean, well lighted place,” too many indie bookshops are neither.
But Chapters is. So, in its way, is the internet — which is also the new second-hand-bookshop.
I’m as brokenhearted as anyone, sometimes more so, when one of my old haunts goes out of business.
But if any industry deserves to die, it’s traditional book publishing, which has been running on fumes of glamor and nostalgia for a few generations at least.
Sic transit gloria mundi.
Leslie Loftis has more on one of the odder aspects of the recent Munk Debate:
Last week I was in Toronto. I arrived just after the Toronto City Council stripped Mayor Rob Ford of his authority. In the non-stop news coverage, the local news was a little giddy that US big media was covering the story. They even excerpted part of CNN’s coverage.
The reporter’s excitement at the big US coverage reminded me of my friend’s hockey story, and that bothered me. This wasn’t about rivalry, but about us noticing them. Doesn’t the Northern US cover Canada? Down in Texas, I’m not shocked that we don’t cover Canada. We cover Mexico. (I don’t buy the internationally ignorant American conventional wisdom. We are quite big. I can hop in a car and drive west for 15+ hours and still be in Texas. The American Resident covered this point well a while back.) Regardless, it isn’t remotely cool, for CNN or Canada, that this story was getting play outside of Toronto.
But at the debate, America’s treatment of Canada came up again, courtesy of Maureen Dowd.
She spent most of her time recycling Dick Cheney and Ted Cruz insults from her columns. If the Rob Ford scandal had not been all over the news, she wouldn’t have made any Canadian reference.
Not only did Dowd not bother to find examples relevant to Canadians, but also her repeated slam against Ted Cruz, a man she clearly loathes, was to call him Canadian. I know she simply hoped to sabotage any future presidential run for the Senator from Texas, but she obviously didn’t consider how it might come off to a Canadian audience when she used their nationality as a slur.
In fact, the participants seemed completely unaware they were speaking to a Canadian audience. They kept using the royal “we” for Americans, as if they were debating in Toledo, Ohio not Toronto, Canada.
This is probably the fastest way to annoy Canadians. It is why they wear a maple leaf on their person when they go abroad. It isn’t that they disapprove or hate Americans but that they are not Americans. They have their own identity. It’s probably annoying if excusable when, say, Germans mistake them for Americans. But when Americans, who should be aware of our differences, do it, when we completely subsume their identity in our own, it is insulting and disrespectful.
Leslie Loftis attended the recent Munk Debate at Roy Thompson Hall and had a few observations:
The organizers had no intention of keeping on the actual topic. The End of Men resolution was just a flashy disguise for a chat about the rise of women. That is probably why no one objected when Rosin changed the premise in the middle of the discussion. It wasn’t really a question of whether men were obsolete — of course they weren’t, Rosin conceded about midway in the discussion. By default, the question became “Are they in decline because the rules favor women?” an obvious and hardly debatable notion. In fact, a post-debate critique I heard both in the lobby and saw on Twitter, the panelists agreed about too much. [...]
Prior to the event, I met a lovely older lady in the lobby. A Toronto resident and Munk Debates member, her favorite debate was the one with Kissinger on China. Impressed I’d flown so far (I came in from Texas), she told me these were usually great debates. I told her not to get her hopes up for this one, that Paglia was the only one on stage with any intellectual credibility. This would not be a clash of gifted minds that she had seen in the past. Two hours later, she waited for me as we left the auditorium and asked with wide eyes, “How do they expect me to buy that women are rising when they can’t even stay on topic? What was that?”
She was particularly taken with what Camille Paglia had to say:
Paglia was more diplomatic than I expected. I had thought that the exacting and scathing Paglia of the recent piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education — Scholars in Bondage — would show up and relentlessly pound Rosin on her lack of knowledge or evidence.
Rosin’s book is full of anecdotal evidence. Like Betty Friedan who wrote The Feminine Mystique based on a questionnaire of a few hundred Smith College graduates, Rosin’s The End of Men is based off interviews and a smattering of uncritically examined data.
Aside, however, from an early statement that “the only men who gain voice in your book are those willing to confess their victim status” (Rosin freely admits she didn’t include the non-victim men because she didn’t think there were enough of them) and a later comment that to believe in the end of men is naive, Paglia didn’t go on the attack. Instead, she was almost pleading with the audience to understand.
She has the advantage of age and the perspective that comes with it. The omens are bad, Paglia observed. No one is listening to men. We are using them, mocking them. And Rosin and others might say that men have no choice to submit to the new women’s order — but they have choices. Whether men retreat into themselves or decide to overthrow the women’s order, it ends badly for women. And the hollowed out shell of modern feminist thought will provide no defense. We change all the rules that we can to favor women, but some rules won’t yield, no matter our wishes.
In the Telegraph, Jake Wallis Simons tries to explain to a British audience how Rob Ford has managed to stay alive in Toronto politics all this time:
… from a British perspective, the oddest aspect of the story is Toronto’s seemingly indomitable affection for its mayor. It is only now, after months of scandal, that public confidence in him is finally starting to dip, and not particularly sharply.
The reason for this reveals the sharp divisions within Canadian society. And while it would be simplistic to offer a like-for-like comparison between different countries, it seems certain that there are lessons here for Ukip.
First some background. Toronto is a divided city. In 1998, six separate municipalities were merged as a “cost-saving measure” by the Government of Ontario. This led to a huge increase in levels of municipal staff, while ambiguity surrounded the question of whether money had actually been saved.
People felt that they had been deprived of their local identities. Even today, in many districts, such as Scarborough and North York, the old names are still defiantly used. The issue is given an added bitterness by the fact that in a referendum on the question in 1997, more than 75 per cent of voters opposed the amalgamation; it was forced through anyway.
Ironically, the unification only entrenched the distinctions between people living in different parts of the city, particularly between those with a 416 (inner city) area code and those with a 905 (the outer suburbs).
Among the metropolitan 416-ers, there is a visceral hatred of Mr Ford. In the more conservative 905 suburbs, however, where people are pro-car, pro-booze and pro-sport, voters feel unfairly removed from the levers of power. Here the mayor commands widespread affection.
Canadian divisions may not map precisely onto Britain, but the rise of Ukip has demonstrated that we too live in a split society. From the perspective of Ukip followers, their needs and views are simply not represented by the overly polished political elite known as Lib-Lab-Con.
Of course, Nigel Farage’s cigarettes and pints are nothing compared to Mr Ford’s crack pipe and drunken stupors. In Toronto, where tensions and divisions are even more marked, the suburbs have an even greater appetite for the “ordinary guy”.
I no longer live in Toronto, so the question of who occupies the Mayor’s seat on council isn’t of direct concern to me, but I do find the worldwide attention to Rob Ford’s antics to be amusing … the great and the good of downtown Toronto always wanted to be internationally known, but not like this. Richard Anderson wonders how the Rob Ford problem can be solved:
There are other conservatives on City Council, quite a few actually. The impression that Toronto is run by crazy Leftists is an exaggeration. Most of the former suburbs, such as North York and Etobicoke, send fairly right-leaning pols to Council. The Lefty nutters are mostly concentrated in the downtown area. There is something about high urban density that allows such beings to exists. In free open spaces they would likely die from lack of WiFi.
The more polished conservatives are too polite to say what needs to be said, too afraid of offending some crucial though obscure voting block. Their personalities are too cautious, too constrained to genuinely connect with the voters. Their language too careful to say anything clear. They censor themselves until nothing remains except a moderate with a slight rightward limp.
With Rob Ford there is only Rob Ford. This vulgar beast of a man who is what he is. There is no artifice. His frequent lies have a childlike obviousness that defies satire and even compels pity. An awkward Falstaff stumbling through the life of a city that, well within living memory, was called Toronto the Good. Yet there he is. A very sick, very brave man who tried hard to do his best. A tormented man who served his city well until he destroyed himself. The MSM often criticizes those on the Right for their alleged callousness toward the flawed and weak, yet they have shown no mercy to this man. Had his politics been different they would have hailed him as a hero.
What comes after? Someone smoother, more polished in their deceits, yet ultimately a timorous non-entity or a craven power luster. Rob Ford must go. Yet there is no one better to replace him.
The Toronto Star and the usual selection of community activists have been gunning for Ford since the start of the last election, but it’s taken Ford’s own errors of judgement and amazing lack of self-control to give them their best opportunities to attack. Each time he appeared to be finished, and each time he somehow managed to come back. I don’t know if he’ll be able to come back from his latest set of self-inflicted wounds, but if there’s any way to survive, Ford might do it. His opponents must feel they’re fighting a modern hydra-headed monster…
Update: Rick Mercer doesn’t like Rob Ford at all, but he recognizes why Ford got to be Mayor in the first place.
Update, the second: Camille Paglia was asked about the Rob Ford situation:
Once you have become the centre of a conflict in a complex governmental enterprise you have the obligation to resign. Why are all the energies of one of the world’s great cities being absorbed in the psychodrama of an adolescent personality? I think an honourable man would resign. It’s like a reality show. I think it’s terrible for the city of Toronto and Canada. I’ve heard some anti-Canadian things [in the States], some mocking things about Canada. I don’t think people are saying, ‘oh what a wonderful rollicking place! What a fun place!’ There’s a sense of ‘how is this happening in a major city’? It seems like chaos, like a reductive lowering. It’s very debasing.
David Warren explains why Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford had to exist:
… every left-thinking person in the Greater Parkdale Area had been teased to apoplexy by the contemplation of this gentleman. This because he was: 1. fat, 2. colourful, 3. rightwing &, 4. freely elected by a large margin over some gay leftwing establishment darling. (Some other reasons have accumulated since then.)
Turns out, the police have recovered some video in which — it is alleged — our peerless mayor is shown doing crack with local low-life. Whether smoking or snorting or otherwise ingesting, we do not know, & neither apparently does our splendid mayor, who now says he was actually too drunk to remember the occasion. Dear Mayor Ford: among our living national treasures.
Quite frankly, we tried mayors who were not crackheads. They didn’t work out. Also, the last one didn’t drink enough. That’s why we elected Ford. He’s doing great: slashing through the city bureaucracy & privatizing everything he can. He even holds the civic unions in subjection: not one has dared to strike. And ho, he’s trying to build subways. Anyone who has attempted to ride a trolley across this town will understand our need to tunnel. So what is the problem?
As our good, excellent mayor told his Police Chief: bring on your video! Ford says he’s curious to see it himself, & that the rest of Toronto would surely also like a chance to catch it on YouTube.
Gentle reader knows I am a traditionalist in most things, & a loyal Canadian. Our very first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was a magnificent drunkard, who managed to hold office for nearly twenty years. There is an Arabian Nights of anecdotes that our primly officious historians have been too shy to tell. Verily, half of Macdonald’s Cabinet were awash most evenings, & the debates in Parliament were enlivened thereby. Almost all the damage ever done to this country was by sobersides.
Update: Take it away, Taiwanese animators!
I’ll be honest: I haven’t been following the twists and turns of the crusade by the Toronto media to oust Mayor Rob Ford. That’s not to say there isn’t actually news on the situation:
More bombshells are contained in a weighty police document used to obtain a search warrant for Mayor Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver, according to a Star analysis of court information already released.
“Project Traveller and the Rob Ford connection” is the bold heading atop one section of still-sealed information. The pages are blacked out pending an ongoing court challenge.
Project Traveller was the recent guns and gangs investigation that saw massive arrests in north Etobicoke. Police Chief Bill Blair has said information learned in that probe led to the creation of the Ford investigation, dubbed Project Brazen 2. (Brazen 1 was an unrelated Scarborough investigation.)
Nearly 500 pages of a document presented before a judge to obtain a warrant to search Alexander “Sandro” Lisi’s home were released Thursday. Half is censored pending a court challenge by the Star and other media lawyers.
In examining the document, the Star has learned that some remarkable information remains sealed.
Whether any of the censored pages relate to the mysterious second video the Star first learned about in early August, and Blair confirmed last week, is not known.
The Star has been told by two sources this second video also features the mayor. Blair has said the second video is “relevant to this investigation.”
In his dramatic Thursday news conference Blair answered a question about whether Ford was in the first video. The chief first said the mayor was in “those” videos, then caught himself and only spoke about the first video.
Update: It’s worth noting that Ford’s popularity actually increased after the latest news came out.
Wired‘s Angela Watercutter on the amusing report that Julian Assange seems to be the only person who thinks Benedict Cumberbatch’s accent is wrong:
Going into the making of The Fifth Estate, Benedict Cumberbatch had a tough task ahead: Resembling Julian Assange – a complex figure with a well-known public persona. And while Cumberbatch’s final performance in the film does the WikiLeaks founder justice, there’s one person who took issue with his accent: Assange himself.
In a video interview with Marc Fennell that was posted just a few days before the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, the WikiLeaks founder said that the Australian accent Cumberbatch – a Brit – uses in the film was “grating.” Only, in the video he sounds eerily similar to the man whose performance he’s saying sounds nothing like him – an irony not lost on Fifth Estate director Bill Condon.
“It is crazy, isn’t it? I heard it before I saw it, and they sounded identical, and I thought that was really funny,” Condon said in an interview with WIRED. “Who actually can hear their own voice, I guess, right? That proves that. Benedict hasn’t seen it yet, but we just talked about it over lunch and he’s dying to.”
In the video (above) Assange, who once called Condon’s film the “anti-WikiLeaks” movie, also calls out the director for instructing Cumberbatch to portray him as a “sociopathic megalomaniac.” (Assange doesn’t cite his source, but he may be referencing comments Cumberbatch recently made in Vogue, stating that when it came to the stage direction in an early version of the script, the actor and director “collided paths because Bill did seem to be setting him up as this antisocial megalomaniac.”) But Condon said that characterization doesn’t come through in the film.
For the record, I actually like Judd Zulgad’s view of the Minnesota Vikings (although I’m already missing the wonderful point/counterpoint fencing of Tom Pelissero and Zulgad in their traditional post-game videos). That being said, Judd Zulgad would have to be counted as one of Christian Ponder’s chorus of detractors:
Christian Ponder will have at least one thing going for him as he prepares for the Minnesota Vikings’ second preseason game on Friday night at Buffalo. The third-year quarterback will be extremely well rested.
Ponder played only two snaps in the Vikings’ 27-13 exhibition loss on Friday to Houston at the Metrodome, completing his first pass for 15 yards to Jerome Simpson and then having his second pass intercepted after it was tipped by Simpson.
A check of the NFL game books from the 15 other preseason games that had been played through Friday showed no other quarterback took as few snaps as Ponder.
In fact, the Texans’ Matt Schaub was next on the list, having been under center for six snaps in one series. In games not involving the Vikings, the lightest workload went to the Broncos’ Peyton Manning, who handled seven snaps in a series before being pulled.
There were seven quarterbacks, including Ponder, Schaub and Manning, who were pulled after only one drive. That list included Dallas’ Kyle Orton, who started the Hall of Fame game in place of Tony Romo; San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick; Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers; and Kansas City’s Alex Smith.
Despite Zulgad’s clear anti-Ponder bias, he’s quite right that Ponder should have been granted at least another series in the first preseason game. I’m not completely convinced that Ponder is the answer to the Vikings’ needs, but he deserved better than being pulled after an incredibly short series. Whether the blame for the interception belongs to Ponder or to Jerome Simpson, I think the coaching staff short-changed Ponder by sticking to the “one series then out” philosophy. There’s the risk of injury in a meaningless game, but there’s also the psychological need to establish whether Ponder has the chops to be the starting quarterback for this team (I have nothing against Matt Cassel, and I’m glad he’s our backup QB, but I want Ponder to be given the opportunity to prove that he’s learned from both the positive and negative aspects of the 2012 season.)
Ponder and the rest of the Vikings first team should see at least a full quarter of action against the Buffalo Bills — which should be available in the Toronto TV-viewing area — in next week’s match-up.
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