The Monday Morning Quarterback on the Taylor Hall watch

&&&& now boys and girls, by way of wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving, we’d like to send you a little Christmas music for this special season:

Deck the Hall with bags of money

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la la-la…

Yes, folks. It’s true. Like everyone else, your Monday Morning Quarterback is working hard on the Taylor Hall watch. It goes like this:

Dum-de-dum-dum-dum. Did he sign yet? Nope? What’s Pierre LeBrun say? What does fake Pierre LeBrun say? What does fake fake Pierre LeBrun say about fake Pierre LeBrun?

And what about Anonymous Bob, that anonymous guy sitting in his basement who gets calls from Marc Bergevin several times a day?

Dum-de-dum-dum-dum. Did he sign yet?

Seriously, y’know – it’s all a little crazy. So many teams have been undone by free-agent signings. So many free agents have been undone by free agency. You get a whack of money, but you also end up outside your comfort zone, with coaches and assistants and off-ice personnel you don’t know at all, and you have these huge expectations because people think a $77 million contract automatically puts goals on your stick and it doesn’t work that way.

But the Habs Mob will want its free agent. Like fan bases everywhere, they want that sexy signing and never mind that Taylor Hall is coming off a 16-goal season and has never really made his bad teams better.

In Montreal, at least, he’d be coming to an improving team. Bigger, stronger, better up the middle, with that gaping hole on left defence more than filled and with as good a one-two punch in goal as you’re going to find. And apparently the Habs are at the front of the line for his services, with Nashville and perhaps Boston.

So will Taylor Hall sign with the Canadiens? I dunno. Ask fake fake Pierre LeBrun.

Rafa forever: Many years ago, I covered a victory by a young Spanish player at the Jarry Tennis Centre. His name was Rafael Nadal. He had lots of hair and a great smile and he did his best to talk to the assembled media wretches even though his English was terrible.

So here we are, in awe after watching Rafa beat the obnoxious Novak Djokovic to win his 13th French Open. He doesn’t have all that much hair left, his English is still pretty terrible – but goodness this man can play tennis. That 13 wins in a one major is a record that will never be approached, much less beaten. And this with something like three previous matches to prepare.

Hats off, Rafa. And I hope you win 13 more. 

&&&& making history on the track: I covered the weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in June of 2007 when Lewis Hamilton won his first pole position and then his first race in Formula One. Yesterday, he won his 91st race at the Nurburgring in Germany, tying Michael Schumacher atop the all-time winner’s list.

With that, Hamilton formally joins the group of four F1 drivers who are the greatest ever in the sport: Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton. And with the number of races they run today, Hamilton should far surpass both Schumacher and the the 100 mark in victories before he’s through.

No sooner did I mention Hamilton’s feat than F1 fans started putting him down and insisting he won because he had a great car. But, uh, so did Schumacher. And I have to wonder what’s behind some of the putdowns. Hamilton has been great all the way. If you want to tear drivers down for having superior technology, let’s wind it all the way back to Fangio and leave it there.

Dumb and dumberererer: Your Monday Morning Quarterback skipped around and watched a bunch of NCAA football yesterday. Depending on the state where the games were played, some stadiums were empty while others let in 10,000 to 15,000 fans.

In theory, 15,000 fans in a stadium that seats 80,000 shouldn’t be a problem. There’s enough room to distance everyone and if they’re all wearing masks, they should be relatively safe.

Except that’s not what they do. At schools like Texas A&M, the fans (most of them students) sat in tight clusters without masks, screaming in each other’s faces.

These are university students, right? They have to pass college entrance exams? So how could they be so flipping D-U-M-B????

Lies, rumours &&&& vicious innuendo: Spell Check, which for me creates far more errors than it catches, changed “Josh Anderson” into “John Anderson” in a couple of tweets I wrote last week. That reminded me of my late, great colleague Ian MacDonald, who had his infernal Spell Check turn “Rubens Barrichello” into “Robbing Boorishly” and “Felipe Alou” into “Feline Aloud” in stories that actually got into print. …

Great line from my friend Dejan Kovacevic covering the Steelers yesterday. After watching Abbotsford, B.C. native Chase Claypool score four touchdowns against the Eagles, Kovacevic noted that Pittsburgh is good at finding Canadians who can score. …

If President Batshit doesn’t kill us all before then, there is talk that the NHL might open its next season outdoors in Lake Louise in January. I’ve not been a fan of the outdoor games but if I were still a full-time sportswriter, I’d hitchhike to Alberta to cover that one. …

Meanwhile, we would be remiss if we did not mention our estimable Quebec government, letting the pandemic reach levels worthy of Florida or Texas while finding time to spend $5 to $6 million dollars unleashing more Tongue Troopers to harass small businesses in the province – because heaven knows, small business owners have nothing else to worry about at this time.

And finally, this word: Please sign with the Canadiens, Taylor Hall. It’s going to be a long pandemic winter and if you sign, at least there will be something to write about.

Heroes: Rafael Nadal, Jimmy Butler, Iga Swiatek, Brooke Henderson, Chase Claypool, Marc Bergevin, Josh Anderson, Evan Bush, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Leylah Annie Fernandez &&&& last but not least, Lewis Hamilton.

Zeros: Every Squeegee brain who votes for President Batshit, unmasked fans sitting in tight clusters at football games, Novak Djokovic, Dan Snyder, Jerry Jones, Ron MacLean, Don Cherry wherever he is, Claude Brochu &&&&& last but not least, David Samson and Jeffrey Loria.

  Now and forever.

TWITTER: @jacktodd46