Seamus triple threat mornings – A-Rod betting on Hollywood – Tiger’s blather – Hodgson relying on Gary the Guru

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"I'm all in!" That would be "in" deep doo-doo as A-Rod is being investigated for gambling with people like Matt Damon and Ben Aflected. Never mind the fact that the Yankees and every other MLB, NFL, and NBA club in America indulge in rather high stakes games every time they board a jet. Photo by Steve Shutt.

Alex Rodriguez gambling? We’re shocked

BY SEAMUS OBRADAIGH  – HALNEWS-SPORTS

I’ve played poker with Ben Afleck and Matt Damon.

Good guys. Two rubes. With “tell”s the size of Al Capone’s cohones.

So if A-Rod is playing poker with these guys?

It ain’t really gambling. It’s called stealing Skittles from blind orphans.

By the way. I’ve been on red-eyes with baseball players.

You don’t even want to know what the buy-in is. I’m pretty sure if Damon and Afleck got into some stakes game with any baseball player in the MLB?

They’d leave the plane naked, shoeless, and Rolex-less. Hollywood-schmolleywood. They’re wanna-be’s and poseurs. Which I guess is the definition of their day jobs.

For the real skinny on gambling?  Google NBA basketball players. I’ve seen New Guinea’s GDP pass back and forth several times on a charter flight from Miami to Boston.

So someone please tell me what the fuss is all about. A-Rod gambling.

Pshaw. Balderdash. And no, none, and nada on the suspension.

Wanna bet on  it? Rubes?

Tiger Woods’s brave face and pithy bleats

A link to this video is all we need to know apparently from Tiger Woods.

Tiger has left the building. Pain free. Caddy-less and goatee’d.

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A perplexing, head scratching lie gives us an inner glimmer into a vapid shimmer of Tiger's former prepossessing self. Where did it all go? Photo by New York Daily News.

Hopes as ripe as a seven week old Georgia peach. Bona fides as dated as a Buffalo Head nickel.

Arnold Palmer was on a show the other day. Asked about Tiger’s burning brightness making a fireflied return.

Arnie chose his response carefully.

Paraphrased he said that sometimes. The magic just disappears. Of course Arnie didn’t say that. It’s too poetic and conspiratorially ironic for a mere golfer to come up with.

But that in a nutshell is what Mr. Palmer said on the Tiger tragi-comedy. Stevie Boy Williams is gone. That caddy who apparently was not as genuflectory as he might have been in the wake of The Tige’s many discombobulations since that fateful night in a Florida driveway which landed him in the trees. And in divorce court. And off of many sponsor’s A-lists.

Stevie Boy Williams is appropriately hurt. And characteristically stodgy in demeanor. He has not deflected or genuflected in the wake of this three iron to the gonads.

Tiger said he and Stevie Boy had it out man-to-man.

This weekend Tiger made it to the cut and to a third day. Middle of the pack. Tiger says he still intends to win.

Where Tiger is not winning? Sponsorship. They’ve left in droves and another, Tag Heuer is gone this weekend.

From USA Today’s Mike McCarthy:

Tiger Woods is losing another corporate sponsor. Woods is parting ways with watch-maker Tag Heuer, according to Ron Sirak of Golf World. That makes six corporate sponsors Woods has lost, or mutually split with, since the Thanksgiving 2009 car crash that ignited a storm over his private life.

“Tiger’s agent confirms Woods’ Tag Heuer relationship has expired,” Sirak tweeted Friday night. CNBC’s Darren Rovell tweeted the split was “amicable” between Woods and Tag Heuer.

Woods had previously lost or mutually split with five marketing partners: Gillette; Gatorade; Accenture; AT&T; and Golf Digest.

Point is I guess. Tiger is divesting himself intentionally and by virtue of a virtueless life from his mainstays. Sponsors do not like this guy. Even diehard Tigerites are unimpressed with his continued smugness.

The Bear Jack Nicklaus has dissed him on several occasions. We are none of us impressed with that smarmy “I’m the best” wink and sneer.

Yesterday he and his new caddy walked past Steve Williams and neither Tiger nor Steve even nodded at each other.

This happens when you throw your BFF under the golf cart.

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Steve Downie is under intense scrutiny from Sgt Major Gary Roberts. Sir! Yes! Sir! Aaron Vincent Elkaim for National Post Former NHLer Gary Roberts puts Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim for National Post.

Steve Downie is under intense scrutiny from Sgt Major Gary Roberts. Sir! Yes! Sir! Aaron Vincent Elkaim for National Post Former NHLer Gary Roberts puts Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim for National Post.

Gary Roberts – Hockey guru and healer of body, mind and hockey soul – and, oh yeah, Cody Hodgson

Haliburton’s Cody Hodgson credits former NHL’er Gary Roberts with putting his body back together.

Hodgson’s club, the Vancouver Canucks, apologized formally to Hodgson last year for a misdiagnosed back injury. It’s an injury that kept the young Haliburton cottager teetering on the verge of an NHL promotion.

Drafted 10th overall in the 2008 NHL entry draft by Canucks, Hodgson was sent home to the Brampton Battalion for the 08-09 season. He was chosen to the Canadian National Junior squad. Won a gold medal and led the team in scoring. He went on to win Player of the Year honors in the CHL and OHL. He was chosen top scholar in the OHL. Smarts, tools and two-way play? Bellwethers to a captaincy in the NHL.

Later that year after the Battalion’s playoff run ended he joined the Manitoba Moose – now Newfoundland based – on their long playoff run. Last year he started the season with the Moose, suffered another freak, but debilitating facial injury in practice just before Christmas and was called up to the show with the Canucks several times and for the duration of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Hodgson was underutilized in the playoffs by coach Alain Vigneault and then banished from the lineup in the final series. He’ll be back at training camp again this fall as it does not look like the Canucks – very deep at centre ice – will be trading him. Current number two center Ryan Kesler is out of the line up for the foreseeable future after a recent surgery.

That leaves a centerman spot open for Hodgson. If Hodgson wants to fulfill all that promise garnered from his superb junior career?

He’ll want to do it this September in Vancouver. Otherwise he’ll be playing for former Edmonton Oiler exec and coach Craig MacTavish with the new AHL farm team the Chicago Wolves.

That in mind, Hodgson is back at Gary Robert’s magic Emporium.

What’s that? You all remember Gary Roberts. A journeyman NHLer with some Nostradamian predilictions toward fitness.

All learned, says Roberts, from painful experience. You see Gary Roberts was oft injured but not a shrinking violet. He has developed his own fitness regimen, which he says can help today’s players. because 80 plus games and playoffs? Well, the human body is never intended to absorb that much punishment.

So Roberts says that without the necessary and core evident regimen of fitness, the average NHL player will run out of tissue, moxy and ligament tolerance to eke out a lengthy career.

NHL players are flocking to Roberts Toronto Gym.

Here’s an excerpt from a recent National Post article.

  Aug 2, 2011 – 8:30 AM ET | Last Updated: Aug 2, 2011 10:28 AM ET

It is a Civic Holiday. Most stores are closed and the city feels empty. Folks have either fled for the cottage or are out relaxing on a patio with a beer. But for 15 or so hockey players — almost all of them multi-millionaires — it is just another day of training to the point of exhaustion at Gary Roberts High Performance Centre.

“Working out doesn’t take a holiday,” says Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos.

Think the NHL is a winter sport? Think again. The real work takes place in the summer, inside hot and cramped gyms with no windows and no rest.

Arriving at 9 a.m., players begin the day by having their body fat measured. This involves pinching a player’s skin with a pair of calipers that resemble lobster claws. When the skin around the waist of Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Sam Carrick is too easily grabbed, wisecracks are made.

“He spent a week fishing,” someone says. “Obviously, he hasn’t been doing sit-ups.”

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner also gets the gears for taking the last two weeks off. “Rookie of the year,” says someone. “I guess you can do whatever you want.”

The trash talking is to motivate. Many of these players might be opponents during the season, but during the summer they are all students enrolled in what they call “School of Robs.”

This is not your local gym’s BodyPump class. This is an intense summer-long program that includes physical training, nutrition and mandated rest. Roberts’ advice to anyone interested: do not sign up unless you are serious.

For those that are, serious gains can be expected. Stamkos won the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal-scorer in 2009-10 after working out with Roberts the previous year. Skinner, the youngest player in the NHL last season, won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.

Those testimonials is what brought brothers Jordan and Jared Staal here. They live in Thunder Bay, but both travelled to the Toronto gym, located in the north end of the city, to learn the program for the first time this summer so that they can do it at home.

They do not mind that Roberts is not a certified strength and conditioning coach. Or that he did not go to school to be a nutritionist. They trust that Roberts knows what works because, as he says, “I’ve learned from life experiences.”

And here’s the thing.

Cody Hodgson is ultra motivated. He’s been an advocate – one of the first – of Roberts’s regimen since he met this wily 42-year-old on a search for someone who could heal his back. Now? Hodgson is like a convert to an evengelical church.

Bursting with pride, dedication and soul. Yes soul, because it’s soul that Gary Roberts wants from his ingenues.

So at the end of the article this telling little postmark and addendum.

Between student and teacher.

“Get some rest, eh,” Roberts urges Vancouver Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson, who wants to stay and work out some more rather than enjoy the holiday.

“Relax.”

Trust this. Cody Hodgson may like Craig MacTavish. But I can assure you that he doesn’t want to play for him in Chicago this year.

Nothing personal. It’s all professional.

 gav@pardontheeruption.com and twitter.com/terrancegavan

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