Kody MacDonald hoists 2017 Rob Charney Cup as Team Black routs Team White 5-4 at CN Centre | James Doyle Photography

Commonly, the Labour Day weekend marks the transition from summer sports, to those played in the fall and winter.

The hockey season is just around the corner with the pre-season schedule set to begin for the Prince George Cougars.

Meanwhile, exhibition play will conclude this weekend for the PG Spruce Kings… the NHL starts its pre-season this month… the NFL wrapped up exhibition action Thursday.

Wikipedia defines an exhibition game as a sporting event in which there is no competitive value of any significant kind to any competitor regardless of the outcome of the competition.

In some sports, exhibition games take the form of a handful of pre-season games that are intended to familiarize teammates with each other and prepare for upcoming matches.

There are varying theories on the importance of ‘winning’ exhibition games.

One school of thought suggests that with no points, standings, or championships on the line the ‘W’ is irrelevant.

In other words, just surviving the dress rehearsal without obtaining a significant injury is a victory unto itself, something the New England Patriots did not achieve.

Pats star wide receiver Julian Edelman will miss the 2017 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in a pre-season game last week against the Detroit Lions.

On the other hand, one can argue that although results do not officially count, it is important for a team to establish a winning attitude right from day one.

Even if two points are not at stake, a team should not let its guard down because that is where injuries can occur, and where bad habits are created.

Without hesitation I endorse the first philosophy.

The ‘result’ of a pre-season game has no significance, and I’m not sure if there is a purpose to keeping score.

I suppose that past history shows that fans and media want a result, but the final outcomes of these games contain little or no substance.

An exhibition game, or ‘friendly’ match, allows prospects and bubble players a chance to showcase their talent and earn a spot on the team.

The established veterans and/or star players need a minimal amount of playing time just to prepare them for the regular season.

Those key core players have a spot locked up (even if coaches try to suggest otherwise), so human nature suggests these vets will not participate to their full extent.

Why should they? Yet, fans are expected to shell out big dollars for these kinds of scrimmages.

There are rare occasions where one can be tricked by the terminology of “exhibition”.

A glaring example of this was the historic 1972 hockey series between Canada and Russia.

In retrospect, it’s hysterical to think that 45 years ago, September 2nd to 28th, 1972, the Summit series was deemed an eight-game exhibition.

There was more emotion in that battle than any arguably any North American sporting event.

There was also an “exhibition” of a different sort last weekend.

The Floyd Mayweather 10th round TKO victory over Conor McGregor could be considered an ‘exhibition,’ but one where the winner pocketed some $300 million in the richest bout in boxing history.

It was an event rather than a legitimate fight.

Sure… McGregor was courageous and lasted longer than many pundits thought, considering it was his first boxing match, but part of that was because the 50-0 Mayweather decided to carry his opponent and didn’t take it seriously until the midway point.

One should never gauge or read anything into pre-season scoreboard results.

It’s a tease that often can lead to dismay.

To put this into perspective, the 2008 Detroit Lions went 4-0 in the pre-season and then went on to earn the dubious distinction of the first team in NFL history to finish 0-16 in regular season play.

This year, the Atlanta Falcons lost all four of their exhibition games while the Cleveland Browns finished 4-0.

Does anyone believe the Falcons are anywhere close to being at the bottom of the NFL while the Browns are near the top?

Of course, not!!

In the WHL, the 2013-14 Edmonton Oil Kings finished 1-4 in pre-season action, yet they won the Memorial Cup while the 2013-14 Prince George Cougars finished 5-0 in exhibition play, yet they missed the playoffs.

These examples help put pre-season results in context.

Perhaps we can all agree that the beauty of the word ‘exhibition’ lies in the eye of the beholder.

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Does watching the Browns win four games in a row require special glasses, or can I use the ones I have for watching the eclipse?”

*Reader Rev, to the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, on the Browns 4-0 exhibition record.

 

Passing the torch: Browns send Jets keys to NFL basement.

*TheKicker.com

 

The Texas Rangers refused to swap locations for a series against the Houston Astros after Hurricane Harvey.   And Dallas Cowboys are going, wow, we may not even be the most hated team in Texas anymore.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

 

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is the fastest ever in MLB history to reach 1,500 strikeouts.  It was accomplished in 1,290 innings. (Of course it most likely would have been under 1,000 innings if Yankees’ Aaron Judge was around when Sale embarked on his pitching career)

*Comedy writer Tony Chong of Vancouver

 

Michelle Wie is recovering after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. This time she was more concerned about her surgeon being able to make the cut.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Top five reasons 51 teams competed in Top five reasons Brits gave for attending the recent World Hen Racing Championships.

5. Competitors show pluck;
4. To egg on their favourite;
3. Excitement at its beak;
2. We’re off to see the gizzards;
1. It’s poultry in motion.England’s 12-hour, overnight lawn tractor race:

Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

 

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Hartley Miller is the sports director and morning news anchor for 94.3 the Goat.
He also is the 94.3 radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller