John Chidley A blog about reading, writing, pop culture and sports.

25Oct/100 – Northeast Notebook

Nathan Horton has been an impact player for the Boston Bruins so far this season.

I'll be talking about this more tomorrow, but I wanted to remind all of you that every Saturday night I write an article on the comings and goings of the National Hockey League's Northeast Division for Follow the block quote to read the piece from two days ago.

The Maple Leafs have been one of the biggest surprises this season. The question is whether or not they can maintain that pace, especially with the Bruins closing in fast. This weekend will go a long way to separating the wheat from the chaff in the Northeast.

- Northeast Notebook: Behind their offense, Bruins beginning to break out


Back to the blogging!

It’s been weeks since I last posted on ye olde blogge, thanks largely to my ongoing involvement with the development of new content for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

But since I was waiting on some editorial turnaround, I decided to go on a baseball pilgrimage of the northeastern United States, touring the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., the new Yankee Stadium and Citifield in New York City and then on to the oldest stadium in the majors, Boston’s Fenway Park.

It was at the home of the Red Sox that I proposed to my fiancé Katy, capping off an amazing vacation.

But I owe you, my readers, an apology. I was so busy planning my trip and proposal that I didn’t do my due diligence and post links to my most recent writing before leaving for the U.S. I’m sorry because I like to keep you all updated on my various projects.

Recently,  I’ve been doing some pretty exciting work for, including a draft preview, a free agent preview and a notebook, all on the National Hockey League’s Northeast division.

Even worse, my holiday matched up with one of the craziest fortnights in sports history. Let’s recap with a few quick hits.

Only Japanese officials from now on – Yes, early favourite Spain did win the World Cup on Sunday. But their victory, along with the results of many other games, was tainted by terrible officiating.

What was particularly galling in the championship game was that Spanish forward Andrés Iniesta’s winning goal was made possible by an undeserved  goal kick - the ball had clearly been deflected out of bounds by a Spanish defender.

By my eyes, the only consistently strong officials hailed from Japan, odd for a nation that has only recently taken to soccer. The 2010 was a huge opportunity for FIFA to expand its brand to North America, a chance that was blown by the officials.

Iroquois Nationals might not make FIL World Championship – In a completely bizarre situation, the Iroquois Nationals team is currently unable to attend the lacrosse world championship in Manchester, England later this week.

Inside Lacrosse editor-in-chief John Jiloty explains:

“The issue centers around the Nationals (a group of 42, all members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy) traveling on their Haudenosaunee passports. For more than 20 years, they’ve traveled on these passports with no problem. But the United Kingdom will only allow them into their country if the United States will let them back in. And as of Friday, the Iroquois did not have that assurance from the U.S.”

This is totally nuts. Yes, they’re travelling on a very specialized kind of passport, but the Iroquois are all Canadian and American citizens and upstanding ones at that.

The idea that they might miss out on playing a sport they invented because they can’t return to a continent that they’re indigenous to is pure lunacy.

The Decision LeBacle – I know, I know. Everyone and their aunt has already talked about LeBron James’ one-hour ESPN special where he callously announced his move to the Miami Heat. But how can I not talk about it? It will undoubtedly become one of the turning points of sport in the past 50 years, not just because that hour of television was a public relations disaster, but because it’s going to change the face of free agency in the National Basketball Association, and probably other major league sports as well.

I’ve got a lot more to say on all these topics, but I’ll leave you on that note. Blogging on weekdays has returned! Brap-brap.


Taking Care of Business

It has been three weeks to the day since I last posted on here, and for that, I am sorry.

It just couldn't be helped though - I’ve been very busy with my continuing work at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. The good news is that most of my work is now done, and the final stage should be completed in about mid-July.

My work hasn’t been limited to freelancing for the Hall of Fame though. I’ve been spending the summer doing pagination for the Canadian Press, as well as a few side projects.

The first of these projects was for my friend Victor Bachmann, a professional mixed martial artist based in Edmonton.  I had interviewed him years ago for a Canadian fighting magazine. Unfortunately, they never had the space for the article and its references quickly became dated.

In addition to his prizefights, Victor is a teacher at the Hayabusa Fighting Training Centre, and he needed a profile for the gym’s website. Remembering the story I’d written about him, Victor asked me to re-write it for him.

I’ve never had to re-write an article so dramatically before, but I think I really sharpened this piece up.

My other project was for, a website that covers the National Hockey League.

Their editor, J.P. Hoornstra, asked me to do a preview of the Northeast Division’s draft possibilities and I happily complied.

It was a lot of fun looking at the different needs and draft picks of the hockey teams I am most familiar with: the Boston Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres, the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The next few weeks are all laid out for me - I’ll be doing a preview of the free agent prospects of the Northeast Division teams for and completing my work with Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Fortunately, I’ll also have more time to do blog posts.