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Virk's Take On Burke's State Of The Union

by Adnan Virk / Toronto Maple Leafs

In terms of a State of the Union address it wasn’t quite Barack Obama but Brian Burke was still in fine form on Thursday. The playoffs may not be a reality for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season but Burke is taking a wait and see approach on whether the team will be buyers or sellers at the deadline and that’s a wise move for now.

Although it’s doubtful the Buds will make the playoffs without a bona fide winning streak, Burke also made it clear that head coach Ron Wilson isn’t going anywhere. He doesn’t think the coaching staff should be held accountable for the fact the club has underachieved this season.

Wilson himself said later in the day that he’s still good friends with George McPhee and other prominent hockey bosses that have fired him and holds no grudges and in fact, wouldn’t hold it against ‘Burkie’ if he thought the Leafs needed a coaching change. But Wilson did add that nothing can break their bond from their school days, regardless of what plays out with the Leafs this season and in years to come.


If you had told me during Andrea Bargnani’s second season in Toronto that one day he would grab a career-high 17 rebounds, I would have done to you what happened to Dr. Emmett Brown in Back to the Future 2. But Il Mago continues to show improved maturation and understanding of the game in his fourth season, after being given a multi-year contract extension in the offseason.

We all know how superb a shooter he is and his form is beyond reproach. But heading a streak of at least one block in 11 straight games and eight of those having two or more rejections speaks to the continued dedication he’s showing at the defensive end.

In the top five for voting for the All-Star game for all Eastern Conference centres, Bargnani is proving to be along with Chris Bosh a potent frontline that has been consistently the heart of this Raptors team as they attempt to claw their way up the Eastern Conference standings. Bargnani’s even lightened up off the court, with his improving English allowing him to crack a joke occasionally with the media and show another side of himself.


- Just rewatched the entire first season of Arrested Development yet again. I can’t emphasize how grateful I am to creator Mitch Hurwitz and his gifted band of collaborators for one of the most original, zany, eccentric, intelligent and hysterically funny television shows I’ve ever seen. Never-nudes, cut-off jean shorts, banana stands, ahnyong and the stair car. Television comedy has never been the same since with one of the best (and now lucratively successful) ensemble casts ever.

- Amazing late night wars between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel chiming in for fun. Best line from Conan: “Kids you can grow up and do anything you ever wanted. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it too.” Dave referred to NBC as ‘nitwits and twits’ while Jimmy did an entire show as Leno in a scathing and dead-on impression. Public sentiment is clearly behind Conan who’s getting the shaft in a big way from NBC and will likely end up on FOX in a true grudge match against Jay and NBC.

- Didn’t see any of the Kids In The Hall reunion but it was a ratings smash for CBC. Once felt compelled to say hi to Dave Foley as he passed by me in my Ryerson days outside Sam the Record Man. Told him I was a huge fan of Newsradio and he graciously appreciated the praise.

- Ricky Gervais is going to be hysterical at the Golden Globes this Sunday. Special shoutout to my guy Martin Scorsese receiving the Cecil. B. Demille Award.

- My picks are Saints and Vikings from the NFC and the Colts and Chargers in the AFC. All favourites - hope I’m right!
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