Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Gelevan’

Injuries and sports go hand and hand but no matter how many games you watch or play… nothing can tone down, or prepare you for the feeling that sets in when an athlete lies motionless with a suspected neck injury.

It’s terrifying, the consequences are permanent and life changing.


(Photo: CBC)

So when Bishop’s university football player Joe Fortin was placed on a spinal board at Percival Molson stadium on Friday night the reaction, the outpouring of concern, the fear of the worst case scenario was all understandable.

The stadium held its breath… and waited for help to arrive.

It took a while.

It was 27 minutes before an ambulance showed up. An unacceptable delay which was swiftly criticized on twitter by those watching this young man wait for help.

Bishop’s graduate and Sportsnet reporter Arash Madani was one of the most vocal, “Emergency protocols must be instituted IMMEDIATELY at all arenas/stadiums for amateur sport. Initial moments after major trauma is critical” he tweeted.

Madani is right. But the sad part is… in the CIS changes are LONG overdue.

In 2004 I was a defensive back for the Mount Allison Mounties. Playing in Halifax against Saint Mary’s University, the quarterback scrambled on a broken play and I rallied down to make a tackle. I didn’t quite make it. My linebacker caught the quarterback from behind, as he fell forward I jumped to avoid him. But at the same time my teammate was blocked from behind and fell head first into the into the collision area. As I jumped my left leg was caught between my teammate’s helmet and the quarterback’s helmet. It snapped like a twig about six inches above the ankle.

Just like Joe Fortin on Friday night, I had to wait nearly 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive. After team trainers wrapped my leg in whatever was available, I was dragged to the sideline, given a piece of foam to bite down on, and told help was on the way.

I was lucky it was a clean break and the delay didn’t cause permanent nerve damage to my leg. But i’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I can only imagine what Fortin was thinking as he waited 27 minutes strapped to a spinal board.

In the end Fortin was not paralyzed, but the fact that ten years after my injury CIS football players are still left to revel in pain on the sideline without immediate top end medical care is shocking.

Football is a violent game where serious injuries to players is probable at all times. But still some universities choose not to pay for an ambulance to be on site during games.

On Saturday, McGill athletic director Drew Love told the CBC’s Tanya Brikbeck that the university is going to rethink its policy on providing an ambulance for games. My question is… what is there to think about? This should be a no brainer.

Right now (as it was in 2004) schools are left to decide on their own if they want to pay to have an ambulance on site.  As a result, I’ve found that schools in the downtown core of a cities tend not to take the same precautions as schools which are located further away from a hospital emergency room.

McGill is next door to the Royal Victoria Hospital but Love said that construction on the streets near the stadium may have delayed the ambulance’s arrival.

When you’re dealing with a high collision sport like football any delay in treating a serious injury can make a significant difference to the long term health of the athlete. Top end on field care should not be optional. The players in these games are strapping on the university logo and putting everything on the line when they step on the field. Any delay is unacceptable. The players in these games deserve better.

It’s time for the CIS and the RSEQ to make on field ambulances mandatory at football games. This incident once again serves as an example that when you let institutions police themselves… they often don’t. And when services aren’t offered at the expensive of a player’s safety, it’s simply unacceptable.

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***This article was first published in 2006 – I wrote it for an Anglo magazine while I was living in Japan… I thought I’d re-post it tonight in honor of Bon Jovi’s back-to-back sold out shows in Montreal (Also I had sushi for diner…)

Bon Jovi’s popularity – will – never – die.

Rock on…

Half Way There: Why I Will Never Be Cool in Japan

Why is Bon Jovi such a hit in Japan? This is a question that has haunted me since my arrival here. I have always known that Bon Jovi was popular in places other than North America. But upon seeing his face on the cover of a hard core metal magazine entitled BURN I realized that in Japan, Mr. Jovi has taken it to another level and I am officially out of my element. I mean if Bon Jovi is the face of ‘cool’ in Japan I am so not cool it is embarrassing.

The fact is, certain English speaking celebrities seem to become more popular in non-English speaking countries than they are in English speaking countries. For example David Hasselhoff is huge in Germany and is a joke in North American. Kevin Costner was so loved oversees that even Water World made money outside of North America.

These are just a few minor examples. However, Mr. Jovi takes the cake. It is mind boggling that even well over a decade after he was even remotely cool in North America he can still be going strong and influencing fashion in Japan.

I had always assumed that Japan was the place where celebrities who were falling out of fashion in the ‘real world of cool’ went to die. They could come to the land of the rising sun and for a few years at least they could prolong their careers.

Like the last scene in the movie Spinal Tap where head banging Japanese rockers are just catching on to a trend that was long dead. I naturally assumed that Bon Jovi was making one last comeback in Japan, and then he would gracefully fade away into the archives of the karaoke machine.

How wrong I was.

It turns out that in Bon Jovi’s case he actually got his start here in Japan. He was big here before he was big in the North America. So that can explain and justify, to a certain degree, his popularity and quasi love affair with this country.

However, his longevity is what is most outstanding. If he was big in Japan before he was even heard of in North America it means that this guy has been trend setting in Japan for something like 20 years.

His image has become synonymous with the image of young Japanese. Somehow it is still cool in Japan to sport his tight ripped jeans and his rocker hair doo combination. New fashions may come and go, but if you’re Japanese and stuck for an outfit to wear out you can always fall back on the Bon Jovi classic look. In Japan this is the fashion formula that works 100% of the time.

Despite this un-questionable truth, I simply cannot, with any shred of self respect or dignity, pull off the Bon Jovi style. Therefore I lack the primary building block on which to become cool in this country.

When I see people wearing the Bon Jovi throw backs I can’t help but think, “man that is just not cool,” but after seeing person after person wearing this style, it began to dawn on me; in Japan I am just straight up not cool.

By moving here I have become the parallel to the awkward Asian exchange student that we all most undoubtedly had some experience with during our high school or university days. I am now that guy that the cool people took out because it was funny to see what things they would say and do because he simply didn’t know any better.

In an attempt to tune myself into what it means to be cool in Japan, I have reached out to the most obvious available resource; the youth. I’m constantly asking my students for the most popular music and carefully looking for new trends. The only re-occurring theme is…yes you guessed it… Bon Jovi.

Even Jr. High and High School students like him. They like him so much that students even write in their journals that he is their favorite musician. Young kids seem to have equally as strong as passion for Bon Jovi, his music and his style, as do those who spurred his blossoming popularity over 20 years ago.

Bon Jovi, like a tobacco company, somehow gets people hooked when they are very young and turns this demographic into his fans for life. Based on my sample polling of the youth in Japan his ballads will be sung in karaoke bars for decades to come. As with each new generation is born another generation of Japanese who are loyal to living the Bon Jovi dream.

Unfortunately this condemns me to never being able to achieve cool status in Japan. I simply can’t accept that Bon Jovi and all things Bon Jovi are cool. Maybe it’s because the prettiest girl in school refused to dance with me during a playing of Always at a grade 4 sock hop. Or maybe it’s because in his style of clothing I look like I belong in a Twisted Sister video. This is a part of Japanese life that I will never come to terms with personally. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll belt out a course or Living on a Prayer just as loud as the next guy at karaoke. But it will never make me cool in Japan.

Douglas Gelevan July 2006

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Canadian university sport could be in for a major shake up. Pierre Lafontaine takes over as the new CEO of the CIS next month.

LafontaineHave a listen to the story…

This aired on February 5, 2013


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If the Habs players are happy to have PK Subban returning to the team they’re sure doing a good job of burying their enthusiasm.

Subban rejoins the team today in Ottawa – and the players need to show more support for their teammate than they showed with their comments yesterday.

Have a listen to my column from Daybreak this morning…


This aired on January 30, 2013

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The Habs aren’t the only team with a couple of top round draft picks on their roster this season! The Montreal Impact have two first rounders -Blake Smith & Fernando Monge in training camp this year.

Have a listen to my feature on them from Daybreak Montreal…

Monge SmithFernando Monge (left) & Blake Smith (right) at Impact training camp in Montreal North

This aired on January 29, 2013

**NOTE** – Feb 2, 2013 This story is now updated with video – click on photo (or here) to watch

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P.K. simply couldn’t wait any longer. He’ll rejoin the Habs tomorrow and when he does he’ll have a few new teammates to meet… including rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Both ‘Gallys’ learned they’ll be sticking with the big club…


For more listen to my column from Daybreak Montreal…

This aired on January 29, 2013


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It’s decision time… Do the Habs send rookies Alex Galchenyuk & Brendan Gallagher down? Or do they stay with the big club?

Galchenyuk Gallagher

Have a listen to my column from Daybreak…

This aired on January 28, 2013


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