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The Globe and Mail

Gary Bettman: A dim bulb in Sports Illustrated's power list

A look at the winners and losers in the world of sports

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR GARY BETTMAN: For someone with enough power to put an entire sports league on hiatus for half a season, you’d think the NHL commissioner was a real man of influence on the North American sports scene. Sports Illustrated begged to differ this week, pegging Bettman at 27th in its “most powerful people in sports” list, right after Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney. Still, it was a personal victory of sorts for arguably Canada’s least favourite American, as he placed four spots better than nemesis and NHLPA head Donald Fehr, so, just like Anchorman Ron Burgundy, Bettman can still consider himself kind of a big deal.

Frank Franklin II/AP

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IT’S BEEN A GOOD WEEK FOR RONALDO: Some Manchester United fans took their Champions League elimination harder than others – the one who phoned the English police to report a crime springs to mind – but for anyone called Ronaldo, it was a pretty good Tuesday. While Cristiano Ronaldo made the headlines – scoring the winner on his return to Old Trafford took care of that – the now retired 36-year-old Brazilian of the same name, above, was equally pleased with the result after being called the “fat, old” Ronaldo by United manager Alex Ferguson. They say two wrongs don’t make a right, but two Rons? That’s hard to beat.

SERGIO MORAES/REUTERS

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR THE BUFFALO BILLS: Western New York’s finest – it’s slim pickings these days with the Sabres sitting 14th in the NHL’s Eastern Conference – just can’t catch a break, even on celluloid. Oscar winner Kevin Costner was all set to be unveiled as the Bills’ general manager for Ivan Reitman’s football comedy, Draft Day, but due to economics, the film has switched to Ohio, with Costner taking the helm of the Cleveland Browns. “What we were told is that the Cleveland incentives were better,” said Tim Clark, head of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission. Who says Hollywood doesn’t mirror real life?

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR THE CHICAGO CUBS: With the advertising cognoscenti of the Magnificent Mile around the corner from Wrigleyville, you’d expect those lovable losers from Chicago to come up with something better than “Committed” as the Cubs’ catchphrase for the 2013 season. But after 105 years of largely woeful baseball, and Windy City resident Barack Obama taking “Hope” with him to Washington, it’s probably time someone questioned their fans’ sanity.

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR RORY MCILROY: The Northern Irishman has taken his fair share of heat in the last week for abandoning his round at the Honda Classic last Friday, but of greater frustration to him was the tabloids’ insistence that there was trouble in paradise between him and paramour Caroline Wozniacki. “Everything on that front is great,” he said of his relationship with the Danish tennis player on Wednesday, although maybe it is her who should be worried. After all, compared to Tiger Woods, he may look the model of fidelity, but as last week showed, McIlroy clearly has trouble staying the course.

Wilfredo Lee/AP

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