Pages

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Hate Tony Gabriel!!!

That shouldn't come as a surprise to those that know me, but my dislike for the man came back Tuesday night. ESPN Classic showed the 1976 Grey Cup so I watched it. Why?? I don't know. Was it part of a tripleheader involving Super Bowl 40 and Game 6 of the 2003 National League championship series----otherwise known as the Steve Bartman game? No it wasn't. I don't know why I sat down to watch it, but I did. I forgot just how much of a pain in the ass Gabriel was to the Riders on that afternoon.
Not only did he catch the pass that lives in Rider infamy, but he caught seven passes in total that afternoon for 124 yards. I had forgotten about some of the other catches. I had also forgotten about Gerry Organ's fake punt that he ran for 41 yards to keep a drive alive. When you consider Gabriel caught three passes in the drive leading to the Ian Sunter field goal in 72 that gave Hamilton the CFL championship and what he did in 76, there is no doubt in my mind that its Gabriel and not Henry Burris who should be the most despised Rider of all.
-----
Dany Heatley will not be coming to Edmonton. It looked like he would be going there with Cogliano, Penner and Smid heading to Ottawa. I can't say I'm that disgusted with this. Cogliano needs to stay in Edmonton silks and I think Penner can get his game going under Pat Quinn. Might the Oil be involved in the Hossa sweepstakes now???? How about Khabibulin???
------
The Flames have signed Jay Bouwmeester to a new contract. How can Calgary afford both Bouwmeester and Dion Phaneuf?? I guess we'll find out soon if they can. Maybe Robyn Regehr gets moved, but one of those big salaries has to go. There is no chance Calgary will keep Camalleri now.
------
Is the Vinnie to the Habs deal now officially dead??? One would think so now that Montreal has Scott Gomez. I'm thinking Hab fans are not liking this move.
-------
What will July 1 bring when it comes to NHL free agency. Where will Hossa end up??? Where will the Sedins end up??? Where will Saku Koivu end up?? Are there any more trades happening??? It could be an interesting day.
--------
I'm guessing there are many of you that will head to Wascana Park today and then get home in time to watch the CFL doubleheader. The new season begins tonight. I'll be honest with you---the Toronto-Hamilton game doesn't excite me. I will watch the Calgary-Montreal game. I'd like to see the Alouettes knock the cocky Stamps off, but I don't think it will happen.
-----
WHL news. Its now official. Rich Preston is now the coach and GM of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Rich is too good of a hockey man to stay in the WHL. I think the NHL will be calling for him in a couple of years. I wonder if he would have come back to Regina had Curtis Hunt decided to remain in the Senators organization. We will probably never know the answer to that question. Good luck Rich!!!!
------
BLOGGER NOTE: Brian, thanks for the message yesterday informing me of the enormous faux pas on yesterday's submission. Thanks!!!!!

Thats all I got for now. Have a good Canada Day.

Welcome Back


(Brendan Taman picture courtesy of Regina Leader-Post)

Brendan Taman and everyone else in the Saskatchewan Roughriders organization knows what people are thinking as news comes out that he is the football team's new director of football administration.
As word came out today that Taman was being employed by the football club, it had everyone wondering if this was the beginning of the end for current GM Eric Tillman. Taman can just come in and take over where Tillman left off. Yeah, that might happen some day, but if it does, it won't be immediately.
Taman made it crystal clear during his scrum with reporters that he is not here to take Tillman's job and that one of the reasons he is here is because of the excellent relationship that he and Eric have formed over the years.
President and CEO Jim Hopson also made it clear that Taman's hiring does not mean Tillman's days with the team are numbered. In fact, Hopson says all they have done is replace the outgoing Tony Playter---yes that is right....albeit Taman has more football experience in his backpocket than what Playter has.(and that's no shot at Tony who is one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet---even though he refuses to buy Trent Fraser and myself lunch!!)
All the Riders have done today is replace Playter. Eric Tillman will still do his thing while on administrative leave. In bringing Taman on board, they have added a valuable member to the organization who can give them depth in a variety of areas. If the day comes where the team needs a new GM whether it be because Tillman is found guilty or because Tillman decides one day after his innocence is declared that he has had enough, I would expect Taman to be a front-runner for the position. That day is a long ways away though. Those thinking otherwise might be in for a rude surprise.
This is a good hire for the football team. That's the way it should be looked at.

Brendan Taman Is On Rider Payroll

RIDERS NAME BRENDAN TAMAN DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL ADMINISTRATION

Saskatchewan Roughrider President/CEO Jim Hopson is very pleased to announce Brendan Taman has been named the team’s Director of Football Administration.

“We are thrilled about bringing Brendan back to Saskatchewan,” stated Hopson. “When the search started to replace Tony Playter in our football operations department, Brendan’s name was at the very top of the list. Brendan brings a tremendous amount of experience to the organization and will be a huge asset to Eric Tillman and Ken Miller in our football operations department.”

Taman joins the Riders after spending ten years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the last five seasons as the team’s General Manager. He spent the 1997 and 1998 seasons as the Director of Player Personnel with the B.C. Lions. Before that, he spent four seasons (1993-1996) as Assistant Director of Player Personnel with the Roughriders. From 1989-1992, Taman was Operations Manager for Football with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

“I am very excited to be back in Saskatchewan working with such a first-class organization,” stated Taman. “Eric and I have been friends for a long time and we have always wanted to work together. When this opportunity arose it was too good to pass up. Working alongside Eric, Ken Miller and the rest of the football operations department will be a great experience.”

Week 1 CFL Pix




It is time. The 2009 CFL season officially gets underway on Canada Day with a doubleheader. Here are my picks for Week 1.

Toronto at Hamilton

This is a game featuring two teams that need to get off to good starts. Kerry Joseph is looking to get his game back after a disastrous 2008 while the Tiger-Cats are just looking to regain some respectability. I am going to take the Tiger-Cats to take this one at home

Montreal at Calgary

A rematch of last year's Grey Cup right off the bat. Does the loss still sting to those Montreal players who were on the field. If this game was in Montreal, I would take the Alouettes to win this one going away, but its in Calgary and the Stampeders will want to show right off the bat that you can't come into MacMahon and win. Take Calgary!

Winnipeg at Edmonton

Mike Kelly makes his CFL coaching debut as does Richie Hall. The Bombers have a completely different look to them--especially in the secondary. This team will get taught a lesson by Ricky Ray and the Eskimos. The Eskimos take this one in a one-sided affair.

B.C. at Saskatchewan

The best game of Week 1 finishes off the opening week of the season. Both teams have holes they hope to have filled. These two teams don't like one another. Its a big Western division showdown right off the bat. I like the Riders to win this one, and don't be surprised if it goes right down to the final play before you can determine the winner.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Q and A With Kelly Bates




Regina's enemy No. 1 ; Bombers right guard used to being hated by Riders Nation
The Winnipeg Sun

Mon Jun 29 2009

BY KIRK PENTON


On Mondays a Sun staffer gets to know a sports figure a little better in Up Close. This week, Kirk Penton heads to the line of scrimmage to visit with Bombers right guard Kelly Bates, who spent the last seven seasons with the B.C. Lions.
The Sun: How many times do you get asked about breaking the Grey Cup in 2006?
Kelly Bates: You know what? They can bring it up as many times as they want. If I win again I'm going to grab that Cup, snap it in half and walk off the field -- when I win again.
Sun: Considering you've also broken the Canadian Bowl, is the guy who protects the Stanley Cup instructed to run away the minute he sees you?
KB: Listen, I should be thanked for breaking the Grey Cup. Because the next year, when the Riders won it and big Gene Makowsky won it, did you see how violently he shook that? Now, that would have snapped in half if I hadn't broken it and had it fixed. I should be congratulated and thanked.
Sun: You're a substitute teacher in the off-season. Have you ever made a student cry?
KB: I'm sure I have. It wouldn't have been on purpose. Sometimes my sense of humour may not get across ... but as soon as you said that, one face popped into my head and I felt bad again.
Sun: What's your favourite John Candy movie?
KB: Planes, Trains and Automobiles jumps out right away. Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors. Now you're making me happy.
Sun: You miss John Candy, don't you?
KB: I do. I do. I watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles quite a bit.
Sun: How many times have you seen it?
KB: I own it, so it'll get put in probably once a month.
Sun: Who's the more famous person from Quill Lake, Sask., you or Lyle Odelein?
KB: Ha ha! Wow! You can tell that bum -- no, I love Odie. Hey, Lyle's gotta be. We were family friends with them, and we got to go to the lake with those guys, and I looked up to him. He was a strong, tough, little guy, but now I'm twice the size, so you tell him I'm more famous.
Sun: Who was your favourite Rider growing up?
KB: It was Ray Elgaard. I loved Roger Aldag, Elgaard, Bob Poley, Don Narcisse ... I could go on forever. Eddie Lowe.
Sun: So does that make it weird playing in Winnipeg?
KB: No, because of the fact that I played in B.C. for so long. I've never gone into Regina as a fan favourite. We played down in Regina against the Rams all the time (when he was with the Saskatchewan Huskies). To be honest with you, I would feel weird if I wasn't the enemy going into Regina. I wouldn't trade anything for last year's playoff win there.
Sun: I read you didn't drive much until after university. Is that true?
KB: Really?
Sun: It was something about you being in an accident.
KB: Oh, I went through a lot of cars.
Sun: How many cars have you totalled?
KB: I've totalled a few. But more through fun driving, not accidents. You know, ramping cars. We used to buy junk cars and roll them. We'd put on our hockey equipment and roll 'em. Small towns. We had nothing better to do. Actually, in university I got into an accident -- not my fault -- and they totalled the car. I didn't get much for it. I bought a pedal bike, and I biked for the next three years. And then I stopped biking, and here we are (grabs his belly).
Sun: What is the perk of being the elder statesman on the Bomber O-line at age 33?
KB: The perk is more in what I've learned and the fact that I've finally learned to enjoy this game while being a part of it. I have fun in practice. I have fun in the games. There was a point in university where I almost quit football because I used to get so sick. Throughout the whole game I'd want to puke. It came down to making a decision: enjoy it or quit it. And I've slowly, over the years, started to enjoy it. I have the most fun. I feel like I'm being myself the most during a football game.

What's Wrong With Shaking Hands??

I am not a big fan of Sportsnet's Mike Toth. I have talked to many people that say Mike is a great guy, and I'm sure he is, but his style doesn't do it for me. Mike recently wrote a column for Sportsnet.ca that I found to be very interesting since he is talking about something I have done countless times at Mosaic Stadium, the Agridome, etc. etc.
Mike talks about a recent interview he did with CFL commissioner Marc Cohon where at the end of the interview, Cohon gets out of his chair and extends his hand to Mike's to shake it. Here is what he says about that....

He stuck out his hand for me to shake and as you'll see if you screen the video, my return shake looked a little awkward. Shaking your interview subject's hand, you see, is completely taboo. It's front and centre in the broadcaster's handbook, right beside never forgetting to brush your teeth before going on-air if you've had broccoli for dinner."What's the big deal about a simple handshake?," you might be asking.It's simple. Every award-winning journalist, and even those of us whose trophy cases are absolutely empty, knows that it's crucial to be impartial. Shaking hands with a person on the hot seat completely shreds the host's credibility and when Cohon made his move there was only one thought running through my mind.

Shaking the hand of someone you have just interviewed or about to interview is completely taboo??? Its the wrong thing to do??? I guess if that is the case, I have broken every rule in the broadcaster's handbook over the past many years. I have shaken the hands of many CFL coaches and players, I have shaken the hands of many WHL coaches and players and I have shaken the hands of NHL players as well. This has been done either before an interview or after one.
Yes, guys like Gene Makowsky, Eddie Davis and Neal Hughes have been around long enough to know who I am and vice-versa, but I have not had a problem with shaking the hand of Anthony Calvillo, Henry Burris, Ricky Ray etc. etc. when given the opportunity. To me, I think it shows a sign of respect to shake the hand of someone you've been interviewing instead of just starting a conversation with someone you don't see every day and then walking away a few moments later.

If Thursday and Friday, I happen to shake the hand of Wally Buono, Ken Miller, Brent Johnson or Darian Durant after speaking to them, oh well, bad on me I guess. Bad on me for showing some respect and thanks for their time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random Thoughts

--Chris Pronger and the Philadelphia Flyers are a perfect fit. Don't you think he would have made a great Broad Street Bully??

--I don't care what anyone says, the Western Hockey League and Canadian major junior hockey is still the best route to get into the NHL, not the NC double A route.

--How did Calgary Hitmen forward Brandon Kozun last until the 6th round in the draft. The Kings may have gotten the steal of the draft.

--Am I in a time warp, what the hell is Dan Plaster doing back with Global Sports?? What's next, I'll tune in to CTV and see Dave Mitchell doing the late night run.

--When there is nothing on TV, all I have to do is look for the NFL Network. Especially on Sundays when they have NFL replay.

--Is there really a better meal than BBQ'ed steak, potatoes, corn on the cob and garlic bread???

--I want to see the Oilers trade for Josh Harding.

--Edmonton meets Winnipeg in Week 1 of the CFL season. Ricky Ray might break the CFL's one game record for most passing yards in this one.

--Aaron Hill sets the record for most HR's by a Toronto 2nd baseman. It begs the question---would you rather have Hill on your team or Robbie Alomar when he was in his prime.

--Does Vernon Wells ever come up with a clutch hit??

--How can a team with guys like Soriano, Lee, Harden and Zambrano suck as much as they do. There has to be a curse on the Cubs. There just has to be!

--Nothing against Johnny Quinn or Eric Morris, but I want Weston Dressler returning kicks for the Riders.

--Speaking of Quinn, he apparently has changed his number to 81. There is only one Rider who should wear 81 and that is Ray Elgaard. That number really needs to be the 9th one in Rider history to be retired.

--When can I start my campaign to have Corey Holmes put in the Plaza of Honor?

--I'm taking the Seahawks to win the NFC West again this year.

--Is the Michael Jackson story going to be as nasty as the Anna Nicole Smith story???

--Do we really need Lady Gaga??? Seriously!!!

--Whatever happened to Samantha Fox???

--They say celebrity deaths happen in three and we saw that this week with Ed MacMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. Then Billy Mays has to go ruin it....maybe considering Mays' past, the extra death was FREEEEE!!!!! (Sorry, I do realize that may have been too early, but I had to pass it on)

--The North Dakota State Fair gets Motley Crue, Good Charlotte, Taylor Swift and Dierks Bentley for entertainment. Buffalo Days has Terri Clark, Thornley, Johnny Reid and MC Hammer. Its time for me to get a passport and head to Minot. SIGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

--I would love to see Steve Nash become a Toronto Raptor.

Questions, Questions, Questions

With the CFL season beginning on Wednesday, there are many questions being asked as seven teams get ready to knock off Calgary, while the Stampeders look to repeat. Here are some of the big questions in my mind as we get ready to kick it off

1. Is this the year the Tiger-Cats restore the roar???? The Tiger-Cats have been the league's doormat over the past few seasons. Since 2005, this team has won just 15 football games. How much longer can Hamilton football fans put up with what has been happening. Marcel Bellefeuille has a big task in front of him. He is hoping Kevin Glenn or Quinton Porter can lead the Ti-Cats back into a state of competitiveness.

2. Can Jesse Lumsden stay healthy? When Lumsden is on top of his game, there might not be a better running back in the CFL. However, the guy has the durability of a balloon. One pop and he's done it seems. Edmonton has not had much of a running game, and there is no doubt that Ricky Ray can shred defences when he has the time. If Lumsden stays healthy, it could be an MVP season for the Edmonton quarterback.

3. How far do the Lions fall or do they??? The BC Lions don't have the following players from last year. Cam Wake, Stefan Logan, Kelly Bates, Rob Murphy, Otis Floyd, Jason Clermont, Tyrone Williams and Jason Pottinger. It is safe to say the Lions are no longer the dominant team in the West. Wally Buono can usually get the best out of his guys, but losing that many impact players has to have some kind of effect on the Lions. How much??? Could BC be the West's cellar-dweller???

4. How will Mike Kelly do in Winnipeg? Who's kidding who, I wonder if Kelly will be the Bombers coach by the time they come her on Labour Day. It was an interesting off-season to say the least in Winnipeg with him at the controls. This team looks a lot different than the one that walked off the field at the end of the 2008 campaign. Getting rid of Kevin Glenn and anointing Stefan Lefors will either make Kelly look like a genius or a buffoon.

5. How will the Riders "D" perform?? When you lose all-stars in Mo Lloyd and Anton McKenzie and two members of your starting secondary in James Johnson and Scott Gordon, and then add the loss of your long-time defensive co-ordinator, it does beg a lot of questions. Gary Etcheverry has come in and he believes in the schemes he has put together. Will having a Canadian corner work?? Will Rey Williams be an adequate sub for Lloyd?? Can Tad Kornegay work as the "quarter". The new look D didn't look that bad against Calgary but it was pre-season.

Those are just five questions I have going into the opening week. There are more I could put on here and I'm sure there are more I will have after Week 1. Maybe the biggest question of all for Week 1 is do I watch the first two games or do I go to the park to watch the fireworks seeing those first two games are on Canada Day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reggie Hunt News

The former Riders linebacker, who was released by Montreal, may be finding his way to the West coast to join brother Aaron. Here's what Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun is saying on that.....

Reggie Hunt, the veteran defender released by the Montreal Alouettes Thursday, is yet another linebacker on Wally Buono's gathering wish list, which includes two former Lions, Jamall Johnson and JoJuan Armour.
Hunt, a seven-year CFL veteran who was a four-time West Division all-star in Saskatchewan, said he would phone the Lions head coach and GM soon after his release. That hasn't happened at this point, according to Buono. Hunt, however, would be a natural fit in B.C. with his younger brother, Lions defensive tackle Aaron Hunt.
"We needed to get our roster set first," Buono said. "We're going to look at all of those guys. Those are players who could help us. They have a lot of experience and they bring a lot of things as human beings. If we can fit one of them in and help our football club, we'll do it."
Reggie Hunt, who hurt his shoulder and was held out of practices early in the Alouettes camp, was the second "name" linebacker to be let go by Montreal. Earlier, the Als released three-year veteran T.J. Hill, the team's starting strong-side linebacker last season. His departure sent reverberations through the team. Hunt's deletion did the same.
"Reggie Hunt should be on everybody's [wish] list," Buono said. "He's a very good football player. You saw what he did last year in Montreal, in a position that was not really that familiar to him. Right now, I haven't spoken to him. He probably wants to get his thoughts together and find out what he wants to do."
Buono said he doesn't have a deadline to sign another linebacker, but mentioned that "I can't wait too long."

Graham Harrell Update

There is a lot of chatter in the Rider Nation right now after a Sportsnet.ca article from Perry Lefko that former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell is on his way to Saskatchewan. I found this piece on Harrell in a Dallas newspaper this morning. It would seem to me as if Harrell is still focussing his attentions south of the border....


Former record-breaking Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell is currently working out with his younger brother, Clark, in Abilene, said their father Sam Harrell, Ennis' football coach.
Clark Harrell is a quarterback at Abilene Christian University, where he's been joined by Graham as he continues to prepare for a shot with an NFL team.
Sam Harrell said that Graham and Clark are working out with a strength and conditioning coach at ACU. Sam Harrell said that Graham is hopeful that the Cleveland Browns will sign him to a free agent contract and bring him into training camp with a shot to make the team. Harrell spent a few days with the Browns after he wasn't selected in the NFL Draft. As of now, however, Graham has yet to hear from the Browns about a possible training camp spot.

Mitchell Heads To Washington

Pats forward Garrett Mitchell has heard his name get called at the NHL draft. He went in the 6th round to the Washington Capitals with the 175th pick overall.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Borrrrrrrr-ringggggggg!!!

That would be my assessment of the NHL draft. There was no drama, there was no excitement, there was no wheeling and dealing---at least not really. After all the hype that was given to the hours surrounding the draft, it really failed me.

The Islanders did the right thing in taking John Tavares. Tampa followed suit with Victor Hedman with Matt Duchene, Evander Kane and Brayden Schenn going to Colorado, Atlanta and Los Angeles just like Pierre McGuire predicted during the TSN draft preview the other night. It made me wonder if Pierre had just handed the GM' s his picks and told them to follow along.

I was at my daughter's softball game so I wasn't watching the proceedings, but I kept waiting for one of those TSN alerts saying Heatley had been traded or Lecavalier had been traded or something. I was not happy to hear the Oilers took some Swede whose name I won't even attempt to type. As I stated earlier, I would have liked to seen the Oil get defenceman Ryan Ellis or forward Jordan Schroeder. Ellis went one pick after Edmonton's to Nashville while Schroeder went late in the first round to Vancouver.

Before leaving for the game, I caught a very embarassing gaffe by Gord Miller. He let it be known when Phoenix took Swedish born defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the first European player taken. He was then corrected by Bob McKenzie who reminded what had to be a sheepish Miller about Hedman. Oops!!! In some places, I'm sure there are many who cackled as some don't find Gord to be the most up and up guy. I wouldn't know. I will say this---he's no Chris Cuthbert, but then again who is.
------
Am I hearing the Gary Bettman-Tampa Bay Lightning story right. A story is floating around Montreal suggesting Bettman with Lightning owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie saying if they want to sell the team, they had best hang onto Lecavalier. In fact the quote is "You better not trade this guy or nobody is going to buy this franchise." As you know, the Vinnie to Montreal rumours have heated up again bigtime this week. The question I have on this is if its true, then is not Commissioner Bettman guilty of tampering? Does he have the right to tell teams how they should run their day-to-day business??? If Bettman has indeed does this, I think he is very much in the wrong and that some other owners have to have him explain his actions.

I wonder what Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were thinking when they heard Chris Pronger had been traded to the Flyers. That should add some spice to the battle of Pennsylvania.

Is it just my hatred for the Leafs or is it another reason why I laughed at the fact Brian Burke said he would do this and he would do that in the days before the draft and in the end, he did nothing but make the 7th pick like he was supposed to. No Tavares and no Schenn and then no qualms in praising Nazem Kadri who you know was Burke's 3rd and worst option. How can you take his words seriously if you are Kadri knowing he didn't really want you wearing that Leafs uniform.
-----
I know he didn't mean to do it, but Rod Pedersen started an interesting little debate on Friday. With several former and current Pats taking part in the Sticks on Rose Road Hockey Tournament, RP was talking about Mike Sillinger. A comment on the blog asked Rod if Sillinger was the best Pat ever when you consider WHL and NHL careers. RP said Bill Hicke and the debate was on---and its one of those debates where you can't establish a clear winner. I would probably go with Clark Gillies. Others threw out names like Dirk Graham, Garth Butcher and Barret Jackman. As an Oiler fan, I'm hoping Jordan Eberle enters this argument in the next decade.
------
How about Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jeff Bennett. He comes into a game against the Yankees Wednesday night in the 6th and gives up a tiebreaking two run single to Alex Rodriguez. When the inning is over, he punches a door breaking his hand. Bennett says he pushed the bone back into place, told no one what had happened and then pitched the 7th. He's going to miss the next six weeks.
-------
Thanks to Glen for sending me this. I present the 10 worst commercials on TV (American TV) today.
http://www.manofest.com/Content/the-10-most-annoying-commercials-on-tv-right-now.html

Too bad there wasn't a Canadian one because I could think of a bunch of them that could go on this list----most of them revolving around Tim Hortons.
--------
I don't think you'll be seeing Joe Smith come to Saskatchewan any time soon....then again, he could be here next Friday night wearing the colours of the BC Lions again. I don't think Reggie Hunt will resurface in Saskatchewan either and I'm wondering if his shoulder injury may be serious enough to not have him play again period. I've always had a soft spot for the Reaper and I think if he had his choice, he would love to come back and finish his career in Saskatchewan. Did he spend his off-season here last winter??? I know D-J Flick lived in his house last year. Who is in it this year?
-------

And The Islanders Take......

John Tavares. Get ready Saskatoon, you will see him at training camp and maybe, just maybe in a Team Canada uniform this winter.

BLOGGER NOTE: Can Gary Bettman go anywhere in the NHL without being booed vociferously?? Not even the appearance of Henri Richard and Yvan Cournoyer could prevent the boos from raining down on the commissioner.

Pronger On The Move

TSN.ca Alert--The Anaheim Ducks have traded defenceman Chris Pronger to the Philadelphia Flyers. Joffrey Lupul, former Lethbridge Hurricane Luca Sbisa, a first round pick this year and next go back to Anaheim.

Durant Gets The Start

To no one's surprise, Darian Durant has been named the starting quarterback for your Saskatchewan Roughriders when they take the field next Friday night in the season opener against B.C. Head coach Ken Miller surprising virtually no one with that statement today.

I had a chance to speak with both Gene Makowsky and Neal Hughes today for a story you will see soon on Riderville.com. Both are not happy with the thought of having to watch the first few games in civvies because of their injuries, and both are frustrated that they aren't on the field with their teammates. Hughes letting us know he got kicked in the leg during the 4th day of training camp in the spot where the plate is in his leg from when he broke it while playing with the Rams.

If you were planning on going to practice this weekend, forget about it. The coach has cancelled Saturday's practice and there wasn't going to be one Sunday. It means the team has the weekend off. Enjoy it guys!!!
-----
As the NHL draft nears, I don't know if I'm more interested in whether or not the Islanders take John Tavares or if guys like Heatley, Pronger, Lecavalier and Bouwmeester get traded. I think its going to be an interesting night at the Bell Centre.
-----
Once you hit the age of 60, do you no longer have to signal that you are turning when driving in Regina??

Making The Right Call

CFL COMMAND CENTRE TO MAKE REPLAY QUICKER, MORE CONSISTENT
Video Review of Challenged Calls Moves to "High Tech, High Def" Centre at League Headquarters

TORONTO - The Canadian Football League's system for video review of on-field officials' calls challenged by coaches is moving to a high-tech, high-definition Command Centre here at CFL headquarters."Our fans love our game because of its quick pace and consistent quality, so we're taking this step to speed up our replay system, and increase the consistency of our decision making," said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. The new process - with a replay official in Toronto making the final call based on video review instead of an on-field referee -- will be in place for the league's regular season opening games on Canada Day, July 1st.

"By utilizing the latest technology in a central location, presided over by a dedicated replay official, we intend to make a good system that much better," said Tom Higgins, the league's Director of Officiating.It's designed to be quicker because a dedicated replay official at the Command Centre can immediately start reviewing a play from various angles, instead of fans and teams having to wait for the on-field referee to reach a video booth on the sideline, Higgins said.And the calls should be more consistent because the replay official can rely on the very best high-definition monitors. In the past, the quality of the standard definition pictures reviewed by on-field referees could vary from stadium to stadium, he said.

The league announced today the lead replay official manning the Command Centre will be Jake Ireland, who retired as an on-field official following last year's Grey Cup after a distinguished career that spanned 30 years and 557 games, including 15 Grey Cups."We're very pleased that Jake has agreed to take on this new role, because of the experience, integrity and dedication we know he will bring to the task," Higgins said.It's important to note that Ireland will see the same TSN replays fans can watch from home, but he will also have access to computer technology that allows him to slow down and isolate images to ensure the right call is made.

Developed by DVSport, the technology is already being used effectively by other high-profile sports including NCAA football. Under CFL rules, head coaches are allowed to challenge two calls made by on-field officials during each game. Starting this year, a third challenge will be granted if the first two are successful. Coaches can only challenge a prescribed list of calls, including catch/no catch, down-by-contact, and whether the ball crossed the plane of the goal line. In fact, 85 per cent of challenges last year fell into one of those three categories.The 2008 CFL regular season and playoffs included 105 challenges. In 66 instances, the on-field official's call was upheld, in 34 it was overturned, and in 5 the video evidence was deemed inconclusive."Our new Command Centre is a modern tool designed to augment the excellent job done by our officials, who are absolutely dedicated to doing everything possible to get each call right," Cohon said."It's just one of the ways we're moving our league forward, on behalf of our fans, and in the best interests of our game."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finishing Off The Week

One week from tonight, the Riders meet B.C in the first regular season game of the year. We are less than one week away from the start of the 2009 season. Here are the 46 man rosters for all the teams....

http://www.cfl.ca/uploads/assets/CFL/PDF_Docs/CFL_Rosters_-_June_25.pdf

I had a chance to sit down with Coach Miller today and ask him a few questions about cut-down day and the upcoming season. You can take a gander at that by going to....

http://www.riderville.com/news/press_releases/3260/

I don't know if the Riders are good enough to beat Calgary, but I do think they are better than both the Eskimos and Lions.

The injury suffered by Neal Hughes is a real mystery and one that Coach Miller says is a little worrisome. The doctors are stumped as to what exactly is wrong. All they know is walking provides pain for Neal and that isn't good. Here's hoping Neal gets back to 100 percent. He is one of the good guys and he's someone that I think would go stir-crazy if you took the game away from him.

Eric Morris and Johnny Quinn are going to be used as returners. I still think the team's best option at returner is Weston Dressler. He will be one of the starting receivers and will be on the field for just about every play, but I would like to see Dressler back there returning kicks because I frankly think he is the best guy. Here's hoping he gets some time back there.

Speaking of Morris, I do not remember watching this guy play last year. Texas Tech had I think three straight Saturday night games on ABC last season as they looked to secure a spot in the national championship game. I remember quarterback Graham Harrell, who could still find his way to Saskatchewan seeing he is on the Rider neg list, receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Shannon Woods, but I don't remember Morris. He had 74 catches. How did I miss this guy???

It had been suggested Henry Burris didn't want to talk about a new contract because he would bolt to Toronto next year and be the marquee player in the CFL's marquee city. Burris isn't going anywhere. He will sign a four year contract extension today. I'm guessing he will be the highest paid QB in the league.
------
The NHL takes centre stage tonight. The draft goes and many will watch to see if the Islanders screw it up. If they don't take John Tavares, they will have screwed it up. I don't know if Garth Snow is just trying to make an issue of this right up until the pick is delivered or if the club honestly is considering taking Victor Hedman, but if its the latter, Snow will be crucified by many and for good reason. Nothing against Hedman, but when you have a guy that's as offensively gifted as Tavares, you take him. If Hedman does go to the Islanders, one can only imagine what Brian Burke will offer the Lightning. The Oilers pick 10th and many mock drafts out there have them taking a number of different players. From Brandon's Scott Glennie to Windsor's Ryan Ellis to the University of Minnesota's Jordan Schroeder. I'd be OK with any of those three. Heck, I'd be OK if they offered their first this year, their first next year, Patrick O'Sullivan and a prospect for Tavares. I don't think that's happening.
The TSN guys think today will be a very interesting one. Hope so!!
-------
The Pats have released their schedule. I won't give you everything, but here are the highlights

The Regina Pats are pleased to have 22 of 36 home dates that fall on either a Friday or Saturday, as well as 5 Sunday games. The 9 remaining games will see 6 fall on Wednesday and 3 Tuesday dates.

Here are some of the highlights:
-The Pats home opener is Saturday, September 19th, hosting the Brandon Wheat Kings.
-Breast Cancer Awareness Night and the following jersey auction is Saturday, Oct. 17th versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
-The Trans-Canada Clash returns this season beginning with the Sportsman’s Dinner on Thursday, January 28th. 24 hours later, the Pats will host the Moose Jaw Warriors with the back half of the home and home series coming Saturday, January 30th in Moose Jaw. The Pats/Warriors alumni battle will be earlier Saturday afternoon in Moose Jaw.
-First Nations and M├ętis Awareness night is Tuesday, November 17th versus the Edmonton Oil Kings.
-Fan appreciation night is Saturday, March 6th with the Prince Albert Raiders coming to town.
-The season wraps up on Friday, March 12th with the Brandon Wheat Kings paying a visit to the Brandt Centre.

BLOGGER NOTE: The highlight of this is the return of the Trans-Canada Clash.
------
The NBA draft went last night. There are only two rounds in the NBA draft. The Raptors had just one pick the whole night. That just seems strange when you compare them to other drafts, but then again NBA teams have what 12-13 man rosters so you can't really have a seven or eight round draft can you.

The Orlando Magic got all the way to the NBA finals this year before losing to the Lakers. Management must not have liked Orlando getting there because the team made sure it won't get there again anytime soon by trading three players for Vince Carter. Yeah, he'll push you over the top....the top of a cliff that is. Carter isn't a championship calibre player. He is a championship calibre a***hole. Isn't that right Raptor fans???
-------
Are beer drinkers in Regina drinking anything besides Bud Lime these days??? I can't find the stuff anywhere and everyone tells me its just flying off the shelves. Is it that good?? Are the rumours about Miller Chill soon coming to Saskatchewan true????
-----
I'm trying to wean off Slurpees and soft drinks this summer. I buy Rider communications guru extraordinare Ryan Whippler a slurpee on Thursday and one of the flavours they have is cherry Dr. Pepper. This isn't fair!!!!
-------
Rod Pedersen says I have to see "The Hangover" because it is that funny. Is it?? If I can convince Tracey to see a movie this weekend, do I want that one or "The Taking of Pelham 123"
------
Could Michael Jackson not have waited a day so that Farrah Fawcett could have gotten the due respect she deserves. She got thrown on the back-burner after word of MJ's death didn't she.
-----

First Farrah And Now.......


Just hours after Farrah Fawcett dies from a long battle with cancer comes word that the iconic Michael Jackson has died of a heart attack in Los Angeles at the age of 50. Say what you will about Jackson and his personal life, but the man was one of the most famous entertainers of the 20th century. "Billie Jean" remains one of the top singles of all-time and "Thriller" remains one of the top albums. His lifetime record sales tally is believed to be around 750 million, which, added to the 13 Grammy Awards he received, makes him one of the most successful entertainers of all time.

Ummmmmm..........


Perhaps I will just let YOU comment on this one.

Count on Schultz For A Laugh

A perfect day for Rider practice as the sun was shining brightly and intensely on Mosaic Stadium as the team did its thing and the media did theirs---which is yak and tell story after story after story. Many which can't be repeated.
Obviously there weren't as many players on the field as several were cut. However, two that weren't were draft picks Tamon George and Nick Hutchins--both from the U of R Ram program. Kicker Perri Scarcelli is also still with the team as he has been put on the practice roster. It had some suggesting jokingly (is that a word?) that Rams coach Frank McCrystal has to be tearing his hair out knowing three of his players likely aren't coming back. While it is bad news for the Rams as they get ready for another season of Canada West ball, you know Frank feels great for those three. Frank loves to turn his players into the community leaders of tomorrow and he has done a great job over the years, but you also know he loves seeing his guys get to that next level because it says something great about what is a great program. He should be feeling very proud today and for good reason.
Scott Schultz was his usual jovial self after practice. He had just finished an interview with Rod Pedersen when a wayward punt came our way. The ball glanced off the back of Schultz and he went down as if he had been shot, writhing on the turf, screaming while holding his knee making sure every movement was seen and heard. It was great stuff. Too bad cameras weren't rolling.
Coach Ken Miller told reporters he knows who his starting quarterback for the season opener against B.C will be, but he hasn't spoken to either Darian Durant or Steven Jyles yet.

NBA fans. North Carolina alum Durant says Tyler Hansbrough will make a better NBA player than Ty Lawson. Both are expected to go in the first round of tonight's proceedings. He says another Tar Heel Wayne Ellington may be better than both of the aforementioned players.

One other piece of CFL news. The Ti-Cats have put Kenton Keith on the nine game injured list. He has a knee injury.

When I left for practice today, the Cubs were beating Detroit 3-0. I return to see they got beat 6-5 and are once again one game under 500. This season is slowly turning into a disaster---then again I shouldn't expect anything less from the Cubbies should I. SIGGHHHHHHHH!!!!

Mourning A Loss


Fellas, I am thinking many of you in my age category had this poster on your bedroom wall at one point in your lives. The Charlie's Angels star died today after a long battle with cancer at the age of 62. R-I-P Farrah.

The Cuts Are In

The Roughriders have released the following players:
Non-Import DL Nuvraj Bassi
Import WR Todd Blythe
Non-Import K/P Jeff Bolen
Import WR Brandon Childress
Import RB Jason Geathers
Non-Import DB Sasha Glavic
Import QB Juan Joseph
Import WR Casey McGahee
Import LB Sam Olajabutu
Import DL David Patterson
Import LB Brandon Perkins
Non-Import OL Brad Peters
Import WR Byron Ross
Import DL Seante Williams
Import DB Jerron Wishom

The Roughriders have placed the following on the injured list:
Import RB Wes Cates
Non-Import DB Tamon George
Import DB Denatay Heard
Non-Import OL Gene Makowsky
Non-Import WR Adam Nicolson
Non-Import OL Jordan Rempel
Import WR Gerran Walker

The Roughriders have placed the following on the 9-game injured list:
Non-Import RB Neal Hughes
Non-Import WR David McKoy
Non-Import DB Leron Mitchell
Non-Import OL Wayne Smith

The Roughriders have placed the following on the Practice Roster:
Import DB Carlos Armour
Import RB Justin Beaver
Non-Import OL Dan Clark
Import DB Daniel Francis
Non-Import DB Joel Lipinski
Non-Import K/P Perri Scarcelli
Import DL Joe Sykes
Non-Import DB Konrad Wasiela

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Who Goes And Who Stays

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will hit the Mosaic Stadium turf at 11 AM this morning. Many of the players that were at practice Monday and were involved in Tuesday's game against Calgary will not be there. They will have been told their services are no longer needed. Some of those that have been told that are known thanks to Rod Pedersen and Murray McCormick.

Juan Joseph, Sam Olajubutu, Seante Williams, Jason Geathers and Casey McGehee are just five of what will be many cuts. Who stays and who has been told their services are no longer needed. The team has to be down to 46 players --42 active and 4 reserve with seven staying on the practice roster. If I remember right, 22 players of those 42 including quarterbacks have to be imports. I have no rhyme or reason nor do I have inside knowledge when I make these picks. Here's my thoughts (the c beside the name indicates he is Canadian)

QB--Darian Durant, Steven Jyles, Dalton Bell
RB--Hugh Charles, c-Stu Foord, c-Chris Szarka
WR--c-Andy Fantuz, c-Jason Clermont, c-Rob Bagg, c-Chris Getzlaf, Weston Dressler, Chris Jones, Eric Morris, Johnny Quinn
OL-Bobby Harris, Belton Johnson, c-Jeremy O'Day, c-Marc Parenteau, c-Jordan Rempel, c-Chris Best, c-Jonathan St. Pierre, c-Jocelyn Frenette
DL-John Chick, Stevie Baggs, Marcus Adams, c-Keith Shologan, c-Scott Schultz, c-Luc Mullinder, Joe Sykes
LB-Renauld Williams, c-Mike McCullough, Sean Lucas, Kye Stewart, Jerrell Freeman
DB-c-Donovan Alexander, Eddie Davis, James Patrick, Lance Frazier, Omarr Morgan, Tad Kornegay, c-Joel Lipinski, Chris MacKenzie, Denetay Heard, Daniel Francis,
K/P-c-Jamie Boreham, c-Luca Congi

Practice Roster
RB Justin Beaver, WR Byron Ross, WR Gerran Walker, DL c-Mike Stadnyk, DL David Patterson, DB c-Sasha Glavic, DB-Carlos Armour

Injured list
RB Wes Cates, RB c-Neal Hughes, OL-c-Gene Makowsky, WR-Todd Blythe, DB-c-Konrad Wasiela, WR Adam Nicolson, LB Sam Olajubutu

Returned to CIS
DB Tamon George, OL Nick Hutchins (although this decision I'm sure was very tough)

Feel free to voice any changes you may have.
-----
You know I've never really had a problem with Dany Heatley until the last couple of weeks. In talking to people that I know that hang around NHL circles, the guy seems to be a real you-know-what. I don't know where Heatley is going to end up, but I hope he ends up somewhere on Ottawa's terms and not his. If the guy wants to be traded than so be it, but when he is one of those guys that says trade me and trade me to one of these teams, I say screw you. If you want to be traded, you go wherever. There is talk Edmonton is on Heatley's list. As good as he is, I don't think I want a guy like that in my room. I'm also hearing he could end up going to Vancouver with both Sedins going back to Ottawa in a sign and trade deal.
-----
It would appear as if Jarrett Stoll is no longer interested in Stacy's mom. The Yorkton-Melville product has apparently called off his wedding to actress Rachel Hunter. Word is he is having cold feet. How can a hockey player have cold feet??? If you don't know what I'm talking about when I say Stacy's Mom then take a gander......




Did Fountain of Wayne ever have another hit?? Would this have been a hit if it weren't for the video???? You are still doing Saskatchewan proud Jarrett, but what the hell???
------
The NHL says this year's Winter Classic will have the Flyers vs the Bruins at Fenway. Why wouldn't the NHL want Alexandre Ovechkin doing his thing in the league's marquee game of the regular season. This makes no sense at all.
------
I would not blame Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo if he never came back to Skydome. On June 24, 2008, Arroyo was pummelled for 10 runs at Skydome over an inning of work. 365 days later, Arroyo once again stood on the pitchers mound at Skydome and once again he was rocked. Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells and Adam Lind all sent one over the wall in the first inning as Toronto gets five in the first and beat the Reds 8-2. This would be great if it wasn't for the fact I have Arroyo on my fantasy baseball team. ARRRGHHH!!!
------
You know there has been a lot of turnover in the CFL when it comes to head coaches, but what about the WHL. The promotion of Dave Lowry from the Calgary Hitmen to the Flames means that when the puck drops for the start of next year, there will be seven teams with new head coaches. Regina-Curtis Hunt, Chilliwack-Marc Habscheid, Prince George-Dean Clark, Everett-Craig Hartsburgh. Three teams--Calgary, Lethbridge and Swift Current need new coaches. By the way, Rod Pedersen stated a while back that former Pats coach Rich Preston could be the new guy in Lethbridge. How about he just stay in Calgary and become the bench boss of the Hitmen. Actually, I would like to see Rich just stay in the NHL with someone, but the Hitmen should know what Preston brings to the table. If he is indeed interested in returning to junior, Calgary might be the best spot.
------
NBA news. Lebron James---meet your new teammate Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq is off to the Cavaliers as they swing a trade with Phoenix. To me that makes Cleveland the favourites to win the NBA title next year. Yes, I realize there is a long ways to go before their season actually starts.
------
US Hockey had its Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Olympics and now perhaps they have their Miracle on Grass. The US soccer team upset the number 1 ranked team in the world when they beat Spain in a semi-final game at the Confederations Cup tournament in South Africa. They play Brazil in the final. I will likely watch that.
------
Before I go, I just want to make sure I have one thing clear after seeing the headlines of the day. If you are a young mother that doesn't really want to have a baby, you can go into a department store washroom, deliver that baby in the toilet and leave it for dead before leaving period and then be found not guilty of what is to me a crime and a serious one at that. Is this proof enough that our justice system is in serious need of an overhaul? You can make all the excuses you want, but in the end, this is a crime that someone is not going to be punished for. NICE!!
------
Talk to ya later. Thanks for checking in!!!

I Love The Retro Look

How can you not want one of these if you're a Riders fan?????


Luca Congi photo courtesy of Saskatchewan Roughriders


The football team showing us what their 60's style uniform will look like as they were unveiled Wednesday afternoon.
You can see more at http://www.riderville.com/news/press_releases/3257/


Check out the logo. I almost forgot about that one as I'm so used to seeing the all too familiar /=S=/. I'm giving it the thumbs up.

Whats Cutdown Day Like??

I have said in a previous post how much respect I have for the Globe's Dave Naylor. Here is a piece from his blog today about what cutdown day is like in the CFL. Read on.....


With today and Thursday being cutdown days in the CFL, it’s worth reflecting a little bit on what just might be one of the most difficult processes in professional sports – both for players and management.
For there is nothing as ruthless in sports as cutting a pro football player.
There is no minor-league team to be assigned to, no guaranteed contract to be paid out. Players hit the street, plain and simple.
Here’s how players are cut during training camp. The coaches will tell a member of the team’s staff to book plane flights home in the names of all the players who are on the bubble. Then after the coaches meet and decide who stays and who goes, they cancel the tickets of those who are staying and confirm the ones of those who’ve been cut.
Then in the middle of the night, the staff member will go to the player's locker and collect everything, usually in a green garbage bag, so the player does not even have to go back into the locker room.
Then the player gets a knock on his door at about 5 a.m. and is told “coach wants to see you.”
After a short exit meeting with the coach, players are handed the bags that contain the items from their lockers, their plane tickets home and are shuttled to the airport where they take early morning flights out of town.
Most are gone before their former teammates hit the field for morning practice.
The final cutdown usually happens not so drastically.
But the process of players being handed green garbage bags and sent out on the street still stands. I can remember in 1995, while covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders, watching players come out of the locker room carrying those green bags, heads down, some of them knowing this was the end for good, that they would never strap on the cleats again.
There was a linebacker that year named Gord Webber, a Canadian guy who had played at the University of Ottawa and for a while with the Rough Riders. He came out of the locker room, smiled at the gathered media and then just kept walking. I watched him disappear down the road that led from Taylor Field to Albert Street in Regina, green garbage bag in hand, never to be heard from in CFL circles again.
I thought to myself, “Wow, for ever football player who says goodbye with a press conference, congratulations all-around and handshakes from every direction, there are a couple of hundred that go out like Gord Webber did that day.”

Its Not Deja Vu Is It????

The start of the 2009 CFL season is still over a week away, and already it would appear as if Saskatchewan Roughrider trainer Ivan Gutfriend may be the organization’s most valuable man again this year.
As you know. Gutfriend had many injuries to deal with last season, and already the team has three injuries on the offensive side of the ball as they get ready for the season opener.
We already knew Wayne Smith was done for the season with after rupturing his Achilles tendon. We already knew Wes Cates will likely miss the opener if not more as he recovers from an off-season shoulder procedure and now word last night that Gene Makowsky will miss some time after suffering a knee injury. Add that to the fact Leron Mitchell and Dave McKoy are on the nine game injured list as they continue to rehab injuries suffered last season and it appears the trainers table will be the busiest place in the Rider dressing room again this year.
Yes, the injuries to Cates and Makowsky are not as devastating as the ones suffered last year by D-J Flick, Andy Fantuz and Belton Johnson amongst others, but at least those injuries happened during the regular season.
Not having Smith, Cates and Makowsky will make it a little tougher to beat the Lions on opening night. The team has shown it has some great depth on the offensive line, and I would expect either Chris Best or Jordan Rempel to step in, but neither player is the calibre of Makowsky. Then again, that could be said about many offensive linemen in the CFL.
Smith is a solid force on that line and his veteran experience will be missed while Cates when healthy is likely the best running back in the CFL. Not having him in the backfield will make it a little more difficult for Darian Durant even though Hugh Charles showed he can fill the void with his performance Tuesday.
The 2008 Riders managed to fight through the injury bug to the point where they won 12 games. It was quite the feat to consider what they went through and how many wins they did achieve. Its one of the reasons why I believe Ken Miller should have been the CFL coach of the year.
If the football gods are frowning upon the Riders again by unleashing another battle with the injury bug, (can I go to Walmart and buy some kind of Raid that will repel the injury bug) I don’t know if fans can realistically expect to have a repeat performance of 2008. It’s not a condemnation of the football team and it’s not an excuse either. Its just reality. The team brought in a lot of talent this year and there are many guys that can play the game, but if they lose regular after regular for an extended period of time, can they win 12 games again in 2009. If they can, Ken Miller may be considered a miracle-worker and I will ask him if he can walk on water. Of course, I won’t ask him to do this on a 30 below day while we stand beside Wascana Lake.
Here’s hoping Ivan’s workday becomes a little less stressful and that he is a little less active. That for the Riders would be the best news of all.

Haven't We All Considered This At Some Time

Don't lie. Tell the truth!!!!

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/48808217.html

Geno Goes Down

The Riders are going to be without one of their on-field leaders for the first few games of 2009. Gene Makowsky suffered what is being called a torn MCL in his right knee when it was rolled up on during Tuesday's 27-19 pre-season loss to the Stampeders.
It means the team is now missing two of the hoggies that ended the season last year as Wayne Smith is done for the year after rupturing his achilles tendon before the season started. The Riders have tremendous depth on the 0-line, but they will be tested.
Make no doubt about it, the loss of Makowsky was the biggest loss of the evening. If you want more on the game and what was being said after, here's the story I wrote for Riderville.com.....

http://www.riderville.com/news/press_releases/3256/

When both teams had their regulars in, I thought the Riders were right there with the defending Grey Cup champs. John Chick, Stevie Baggs, Keith Shologan, Hugh Charles and Darian Durant stood out in my mind. Chick put tremendous pressure on Henry Burris many times and ended any speculation that he might not have his starting job as one of the defensive ends. Baggs had two forced fumbles, a recovered fumble and a sack. Shologan was a force inside making one wonder if he could get the start ahead of Marcus Adams. Charles showed there won't be a tremendous drop-off when Wes Cates isn't in the lineup and Durant ended any talk of a quarterbacking controversy with a fine performance.

So the Riders finish the pre-season with a record of 0-2. For some, I'm sure there is a lot of concern, but I don't think there should be any. This team showed me last night that they will be fine. Are they the best team in the West??? No, I don't think they are. Are they the worst team in the West??? No, they are not. As was the case last year, the team that does the best against their Western opponents will likely finish first in the West and there isn't a lot to differentiate from top to bottom. What should be concerning to the Rider Nation is the season hasn't even started yet and Smith, Makowsky and Wes Cates are already out for the opener. That is not good.

Cuts will be made Thursday and then its time to start getting ready for the first game of 2009 which is a week from Friday against the Lions.
------
What was the bigger shocker on Tuesday. The fact Mike Babcock will coach the Canadian mens hockey team at the Vancouver Olympics or the fact Brent Sutter is the new coach of the Calgary Flames. Both were not a surprise. As a fan of the Oilers, the fact Sutter is coaching the Flames is a tough pill to swallow. There is a long ways to go before they drop the puck to start next season, but one has to think Calgary is the favourite to win the Northwest Division as it stands right now and be able to take a serious run at Lord Stanley's mug.
-------
Ryne Sandberg is my favourite all-time ball player. The former Cubs 2nd baseman basically stating what many have already said in the wake of the Sammy Sosa testing positive for a performance enhancer story broke last week. Sandberg saying his former teammate does not deserve a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of the integrity issues associated with the steroids era. I agree wholeheartedly. It will be interesting over the next few years just what players who did play in the steroid era will get in. I would have to think Ken Griffey Junior won't have a problem getting in and either will Frank Thomas, but after that, I don't know. I still don't think "The Shaker" Lloyd Moseby will get in and I can't see Junior Felix or Ellis Valentine getting enough votes either. Who will get enough votes and what role if any did he have to play in the steroid era will dominate conversations on this topic for a number of years.
-------
Yzerman, Leetch, Hull and Robitaille. Those four players and Lou Lamoriello are making up the class of 2009 for the Hockey Hall of Fame and one has to think this is the most talented group to ever go in together. The argument can be made that this group is better than the 2007 class that saw Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Al McInnis and Ron Francis get enshrined. How about a 4 on 4 game with those guys when they were all in their prime. That would be a great contest!!
--------
Gee, Brett Favre is coming back. What a surprise!!!! Word is he will be at Vikings training camp. Sorry Brett, you are now officially making a mockery of what has been a great career. I hope for your sake that your game against your old team at Lambeau goes the way you want it to. If you suck in that game, there will be no doubt in anyone's mind about your legacy being tarnished. Actually the way this story has nauseating kept going, I do hope the Packers deliver a good old fashioned schoolyard beating to the Vikings on that night.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HHOF Welcomes New Members




My wife should be happy today. Its because her hockey hero Steve Yzerman has been named to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He will be joined by Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Lou Lamoriello.

I had it all set a few years ago where Tracey would meet Steve before a game in Edmonton. He then threw a monkeywrench into those plans by saying he was going to miss the opening two weeks of the season with a knee injury. She was beyond crushed!!!! I couldn't even tell her myself, I just handed her the copy of the story from the wire.

I keep telling her he will be here for the World Juniors. She doesn't believe me. She should.

No Surprise Here

Word is Saskatoon's Mike Babcock will be named head coach of the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team later this week. Was there really another candidate to consider?? The Wings bench boss has been a winner at every place he has been. Ken Hitchcock is expected to be one of Babcock's assistants.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome Back!!




It won't be as big as it will be in just over a week when the B.C Lions come to town, but football is back tonight as the Riders and Stampeders meet on the Taylor Field turf in a 7 o'clock start. I loved the line from Coach Ken Miller when asked if there is added motivation for this one because they are playing the Grey Cup champs. Miller's response "We're more concerned with how we play than who we play."


That is an attitude one must have every time they step onto the playing surface of choice. If you are in awe of your opponents before you get the chance to play with them, you are beaten before you start.


Coach Miller has got everyone talking with his decision to start Steven Jyles at quarterback with Darian Durant getting the second set of reps. Miller told everyone Monday they shouldn't read anything into that decision, yet later admitted Jyles could be the team's starting quarterback for that July 3 game. Even if Jyles were to play well tomorrow night, he would have to be outstanding and Durant would have to be absolutely terrible for Darian not to be the starter when 2009 begins in earnest. I don't think you have to utter those words "quarterback controversy", at least not yet.

There's no better place in Canada to be on game night(day) than Mosaic Stadium and I know there will be 30-thousand fans screaming their heads off--just remember its pre-season for you too you know, but I don't think you're getting cut before the weekend. If you can't be there, Rod and Carm have it all for you on CKRM.
------
RUMOUR ALERT: I heard last night the BC Lions are very interested in Hugh Charles as they aren't happy with the guys they have in their backfield to try and replace Stefan Logan. Charles won't start at running back tomorrow night as Stu Foord will get the honor in place of the injured Wes Cates. Is this just the Riders trying to hide him or showcase him against second and third stringers? With Justin Beaver making an impact at camp, Charles might be trade-bait.
Again I emphasize this is just a rumour.
-------


If you check out my blog list, you will see I have added a blog from a guy that I consider to be the best in this country when it comes to writing and overall knowledge and that is the Globe's Dave Naylor. There is no one in this country who is more plugged into the CFL than what Naylor is. As I said, he is the best. There is no argument on that as far as I'm concerned.
------


Hockey season is over, but you wouldn't know that by watching TSN as they are in full draft mode. Last night, Bob McKenzie(Canada's Mel Kiper Jr.) gave his top 60 ranking for Friday's draft. No surprise to hear that topping the list is John Tavares. If the Islanders do not take this guy with the first overall pick, then stupidity reigns supreme in Uniondale. I don't know if Tavares will have the same impact as a Sidney Crosby, but he will be a player in this league. McKenzie's top 5 are Tavares, Victor Hedman, Matt Duchene, Vancouver's Evander Kane and Brandon's Brayden Schenn--who of course is from Saskatoon. Saturday will be a big day for Bridge City players as Schenn, Jared Cowen and Carter Ashton should all go in the top 20 if not the top 15.


--------



Sid??? Do we want to know what happened in that room?? Did you provide cab-fare??? Did you cook breakfast??? Where exactly is Cup watcher Phil Pritchard?? Is he the one taking the picture??? I could go on and on, but I won't.
------
Lucas Glover is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame this morning. Many are trying to figure out who exactly Lucas Glover is. He's the guy that ruined two storybook endings by winning the US Open and yes he won it. Once again, Phil Mickleson lost it as he bogeyed two of the final four holes to end what certainly would have been a very touching story when you consider what his wife is going through. David Duval also showed he is back---or at least he appears to be as he was right there at the end. He tripled 1 as well. One can only imagine if he would have won had it not been for number 1. Only time will tell if Glover can become an emerging star in golf or if he is a one major wonder like Todd Hamilton and Mike Weir. Yes, Weir showed again why I consider him to be such a disappointment as he had this tournament in his grasp only to once again let things get away by shooting back to back 74's.
-----
Jon and Kate have decided to get a divorce. GOOD!!! Hopefully now, we don't have to hear about either one of you. I had no idea who you were two months ago and I couldn't care less about your future. Yes, once again this is why I hate reality TV. Reality TV to me....that's what I see on the ice, the court and the gridiron. Speaking of which, I'll be at Mosaic tonight to watch some football. I've missed it and I know you have too. Maybe I'll see you there. Thanks for reading.

Getting That Retro Look

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will be celebrating the ‘60s as their new retro jerseys will be unveiled on Wednesday afternoon in a fashion show at Northgate Mall.

Current Rider players and alumni will be sporting the new look jerseys during Wednesday’s fashion show which is set to begin at 2 pm at Northgate Mall centre court.

Fans will have the opportunity to purchase their own 1960’s jersey from the Rider Store kiosk which will be set up in conjuction with Wednesday’s fashion show, as well as the limited edition retro merchandise.

After Wednesday, the ‘60s retro gear will be available from both Rider Store locations – Mosaic Stadium and Northgate Mall. However quantities are limited.

The league wide initiative will have all eight teams wearing the throwback 1960s jerseys designed by Reebok. The Riders will debut their retro look at home on July 18th when they will play host to the Montreal Alouettes. The Green and White will also be sporting the flashback jerseys on August 21st in Montreal and at home for the Labour Day Classic on September 6th.

Rider QB News/US Open Winner

Steven Jyles will get the start at quarterback for the Riders tomorrow night in the pre-season finale against Calgary. He will be followed in the rotation by Darian Durant and then Dalton Bell. Juan Joseph may get some mop-up time. In making his decision, Miller says its an opportunity for Jyles to work in a starting role and Durant to work in a back-up role. He says fans shouldn't read anything into this decision when it comes as to who the number one quarterback is going into the season. However, he did add there is a chance that Jyles could be the starter July 3.

Miller adds the starters will play the first half and perhaps a series or two in the second half.

By the way, don't look for Stampeders linebacker Ja Juan Armour to be in attendance at Mosaic Stadium tomorrow. The Grey Cup champs released Armour today. He had been sidelined early in training camp when he was diagnosed with a heart murmur, but he got back on the field. He was apparently involved in an on-field incident with a teammate on the weekend sparking the decision to release him.
-------
It was a wild final round of the US Open, but in the end, a Tiger wins it. A Clemson Tiger that is. Lucas Glover wins it by two strokes over Phil Mickleson, David Duval and Ricky Barnes. Mickleson looked to have things going his way after an eagle on 13, but bogeys on 15 and 17 ended his dreams. Duval birdied 14, 15 and 16 but then bogeyed 17 while Barnes simply had a round that might have people close to him making sure he doesn't commit suicide as his game simply abandoned him at the worst possible time. Mike Weir shot his second straight 74 to finish four over.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Some Monday Golf

Well, Mother Nature completely ruined Father's Day for many by giving us a crappy forecast. I guess the farming community wouldn't say it was a crappy forecast, but for those wanting to get outside it wasn't really the greatest day.
Of course that meant you could have spent the afternoon watching the 3rd round of the US Open and watching Mike Weir once again gag his way out of contention. Weir is one of those guys that just gets under my skin because he could be one of the top players on the Tour if it wasn't for the fact that he just can't keep his head in it for 72 holes. I don't know if its a mental or physical problem with Weir, but how many times has he been right there after 36 holes only to screw it up.
At one point in Round 3, it looked like Ricky Barnes, Lucas Glover and Weir were going to run away from the field, but then the old Weir returned as he bogeyed four of five holes and basically took himself out of it. He sits six strokes back of Glover and Barnes when play continues with all three still early in their final round.
I think when all is said and done, Phil Mickleson is going to find some way to win this thing and David Duval will be there right to the end and Weir will finish the tournament at about two or three over par thus disappointing Canadian golf fans yet again.
------
No real Rider news coming on Sunday. The team will hold a short rundown tomorrow before getting ready for Tuesday's game against Calgary. I'm not saying this will give us a better idea as to what the 2009 Riders are going to look like coming out of the gate, but expect the veteran players to play a lot more than what they did in Edmonton with guys on the bubble having one last chance to show the coaching staff why they should stick. Coach Miller was asked Saturday if the decision on who to keep and who goes got easier or harder after the Eskimo game. He said guys have separated themselves in both directions. I'm sure it won't be easy for the coaching staff at several positions. In fact, I'm thinking there will be a handful of players who for one reason or another won't find a spot here, but will resurface with another team. That should tell you something about the talent that was brought in over the off-season.
------
Brent Sutter is going to coach the Calgary Flames. What a shocker!!! This Oiler fan will admit this is a great move by the Flames. Just as long as the move doesn't bring them you know what.
-----
Nickelback took home three awards at the MuchMusic Video Awards last night. I only mention the MMVA's because last year when they were on, I was in Toronto. I tried to get to the MuchMusic studios on Saturday to get some merchandise for my oldest daughter, but I could only get so far because of rehearsals and stage construction. I was going to walk over on Sunday and see what I could see, but a tremendous rainstorm hit downtown Toronto and I wasn't going to get wet. I watched their soggy red carpet special from my hotel room at the Royal York Hotel and then ventured out once the weather improved. If you know Toronto, you know the Royal York isn't that far from the Muchmusic studios so you could hear a lot of the show. What made it funny was on the Saturday night(Sunday morning), I returned to the hotel and there was a lot of commotion at the front desk. I looked around wondering what was going on when I saw a guy with an NKOTB lanyard go by me. I asked one of the hotel workers who was here and he asked if I recognized the two guys standing about 60 yards from me. Yes, it was New Kids on the Block members Jordan Knight and Donnie Wahlberg. Oh, if only I had my camera with me. I joked with the hotel worker that at least I wasn't the creepiest 40 year old in the hotel that night, he laughed and said his wife will kill him for not phoning and telling her who was there. Funny stuff.
------
Have a good Monday!!!

New Kicker At Camp

University of Regina Rams kicker Perri Scarcelli was at Rider practice today. Fear not Luca Congi fans. Scarcelli is just there to work with Congi, Jamie Boreham and Regina Thunder player Jeff Bolen.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Hopson Era Will Continue For A While

The Riders AGM went yesterday. Everyone knew what the bottom line was as it was revealed a few weeks ago that the team made a staggering 1.62 million dollars in 2008. Total gross revenues exceeded 28 million which is a record. A couple of items did come from the meeting with the biggest one being president and CEO Jim Hopson has had his contract extended through until 2011. That is likely the smartest thing the football team could do. If I have said it once, I will say it a thousand times. The credit for this organization turning the corner can be placed on Jim's door. I don't have to tell you this team was in a state of disarray just a few short years ago, but Hopson came in and gave the organization a solid cleansing from top to bottom. What resulted was a change in culture, a championship attitude and a never before seen enthusiasm when it comes to the people who support this team.
Hopson indicated that by the time his contract runs out, it will be time for him to move on meaning a new man will have to be found. A succession plan will begin soon. I have no idea who will replace Jim as the top dog, but he will have some big-time shoes to fill.
In what also was a clear indication as to how popular the /=S=/ logo is, the team also revealed that for every dollar of CFL merchandise that is bought, that 54 cents is spent on Rider gear. That is simply unheard of and goes back to the all time popularity this team has.
Tell me that can't put a little bit of pressure on Ken Miller and the coaching staff as you know the organization doesn't want this popularity high to end anytime soon. It means the squad must show they are a team that can be considered a serious threat to winning the Grey Cup again. I think Ken and crew are more than up to facing that challenge.
-----
The best Rider at practice on Saturday might have been defensive back Denatay Heard. He has had a pretty good camp overall and from all accounts was one defensive player who played well in Edmonton on Wednesday. With Omarr Morgan and likely Donovan Alexander manning the corners, Lance Frazier and Eddie Davis at half and James Patrick at safety, it will be interesting to see where Heard fits in the secondary equation.
-----
He said go ahead and blog that Scruffy, so alright I will. Sitting at practice today with Rod Pedersen, he was saying how Bryan Hall sings an Eskimo fight song at the end of the 3rd quarter. It was suggested by outgoing football operations co-ordinator Tony Playter that Rod should do the same thing. Imagine what it would be like when the 3rd quarter ends and the Maxtron Crew focuses their cameras on Rod who would lead the crowd into a stirring rendition of "Green is the Colour". It would be like Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley Field. Hey, it would be better than Worksafe Bob stretching while they play "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate". I hate that song!!!! I know I'm likely in the moral minority when I say that, but I do!
--------
Its the US Open and three Canadians are sitting near the top of the leaderboard. Rain, as golf fans know, has screwed this event up completely meaning it won't end until Monday or Tuesday if they have to go to a playoff. Ricky Barnes leads at 8 under with Mike Weir two shots back, amateur Nick Taylor, who hails from Winnipeg, is 2 under and Stephen Ames is even. It would sure be nice to see these guys keep their game going tomorrow and Monday. Tiger Woods is 3 over meaning he is 11 back. I don't think he can do it this time, but then again, this is Tiger Woods.
-------
If you take a look at the previous post on here, you will see that you have a chance to play the Bethpage Black course right from the comfort of your computer. I did that Saturday and well, lets just say I shoot triple digits and can't putt worth a crap when I play for real and I hit triple digits and couldn't putt worth a crap when playing BPB. I shot a 108 with 43 putts. BRUTAL!!!!!!
------
UFC fans, did you catch Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida last night. WOW!!! Those two guys just brought it. Dana White must have been frothing at the mouth when that was over. That might have been one of the best UFC fights I have seen since I started watching.
-------
Is there anything better than a good old fashioned thunderstorm? I love it when the rain comes pelting down with the sound of thunder overhead.
------
Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there. While Mom has done a lot for me, so has Dad. I will never ever forget my first NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, my first NFL games in Florida, those trips to Alberta and Montana to watch the Pioneer Baseball League and many other things too numerous to mention. To salute all the dads, here is a vintage father-son talk from arguably the greatest television father if not the greatest television character of all-time, the great Al Bundy....


You Can Play Bethpage Black

But you better hurry....

http://usga.usopen.com/2009/virtualopen/signup/

C'mon TSN!

So I'm catching the late night edition of Sportscentre and Dan O'Toole gives us a story on what NHL'er should get the no guts, no glory award. Basically its an award for someone in the playoffs who showed he was one tough s-o-b by continuing to play when hurt. The winner was Chicago's Matt Walker. He blocked a shot with his hand during the Calgary series leaving his finger a mangled mess. He came back out after missing a couple of series and continued to play. OK, Walker is tough. There's no denying that, however how TSN could ignore what Nick Lidstrom did is beyond amazing. Let me just refresh you.
Lidstrom missed Game 5 and Game 6 of the Western Conference final, but it was only revealed after the playoffs were over why Lidstrom missed those games. It seems Nick was speared in the berries by Patrick Sharp of the Hawks and had to have testicular surgery. Lidstrom practiced the day after the incident and before he underwent surgery. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!! He was also back at 100 percent for the Stanley Cup finals.
I don't know about you, but if my boys get injured to the point that surgery is required, I am not coming back anytime soon if you get my drift.
So I ask you, what was tougher during these playoffs. Matt Walker breaking a finger or Nick Lidstrom getting back into the lineup after missing two games to undergo testicular surgery. I would rather break a finger any day.
I don't know who came up with the idea of Walker winning, but whoever it was maybe needs a stick in the you know where to wake up.
------
Mike Weir is on the leaderboard of the US Open. Really?? The Canadian lefty led the Open for much of the day before faltering a little before shutting things down for the day as they continue to catch up at Bethpage Black after Thursday's rainout. Can Weir keep it going??? I highly doubt it as he has flirted with the top of the leaderboard in the past before fading away on the weekend. I guess we'll find out as I'm sure NBC will stay with Weir as long as he is in contention. Of course if Mike is shooting at the same time Tiger is doing anything we will see Tiger first.
------
I received an e-mail from a Rider fan on Thursday who wasn't happy with the performance of the team in Edmonton---especially from the quarterbacks. He asked if this will change the team's mind on Ryan Dinwiddie. The answer---NO!!! If Dinwiddie is so good, why hasn't he resurfaced elsewhere by now. Answer me that please Dinwiddie fans. Thank you!!!
--------
Sadness at High Impact Wrestling. It was revealed at last night's monthly dose of culture as Vanstone and I would like to call it that the German Club will no longer be the host venue. Who will step up and when will the next card be? Here's hoping its soon because it is a highly entertaining three hours. Its not WWE calibre style wrasslin and there are some interesting personalities in the stands, but it does make for some good yuks. Both Rob and I hoped there could be one more show at the old Exhibition Auditorium--the home of Stampede Wrestling back in the 80's, but it appears as if the building is nowhere close to having one last show before it is consumed by the wrecking ball as the renovations continue at Evraz Place. Its too bad because that place would be packed if there was one more card there. I absolutely loved going to the Auditorium in the 80's for Stampede seeing guys like Bret Hart, the Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith before they headed to the big-time. There were many great nights spent inside that decrepit old place.
-------
Was it really a week ago that the Penguins won the Stanley Cup????

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 13 In The Books

The following is the Day 13 report from the 2009 Saskatchewan Roughrider Training Camp.



ROSTER MOVES
SUSPEND DB Jeff Zelinski



INJURIES

LB Sam Olajubutu (calf) day to day

RB Neal Hughes (leg) day to day

WR Adam Nicolson (hamstring) day to day



PLAYS OF THE DAY

Quarterback Steven Jyles and veteran receiver Chris Getzlaf connected on a number of plays during today’s practice including a 30-yard pass down the sideline. On the defensive side of the ball veteran defensive back Eddie Davis stepped in front of a pass for an interception.



TONIGHT

Players will meet with their positional coaches and continue learning the playbook at Luther College.



TOMORROW

Players and coaches will be back on the practice field at 8 am for Day 14 of 2009 training camp at Mosaic Stadium.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Its Football Season Right???

The Stanley Cup has been given away, and the Riders have started the 2009 season, but it would appear as if hockey is dominating the headlines around these parts this morning.
First off, it looks like the NHL is returning to Regina for the first time in a long time. CTV Regina says the final touches are being put on an agreement that would see the Senators and Lightning play at the Brandt Centre in September. Add this to the Islanders training camp in Saskatoon and the World Juniors and there is going to be a lot of quality hockey in the province.
-----
The NHL awards went in Sin City and they might as well have gone on at Casino Regina. You would think the league would jazz it up big-time seeing they were in Las Vegas, but nope!!! It was one boring affair. No real surprises with the award winners as Ovechkin took the MVP title again with others like Thomas, Chara and Mason taking away hardware. Roberto Luongo was named the fan favourite winner and Jarome Iginla was given the Mark Messier leadership award. Really??!! Iggy?! No disrespect to Jarome, but if he's such a leader than why can't the Flames get it done in the playoffs. Then again, they could have given the award to Joe Thornton!!! How bad were the awards?? One of the musical guests---Chaka Khan!!! What was MC Hammer unavailable? Chaka Khan!!! What agency did the NHL ask to supply talent. Was Alannah Myles busy?? CMON!!!! You can do and should have done much better than that---especially in Vegas. Were there any showgirls????
-----
While the real awards were handed out, the people at canoe.ca had the awards they would like to give out. Take a look......
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Microgalleries/NHL/2009FakeAwards/?&pic=0

Blogger note: With all respect to Mike Comrie, there is no way he wins the award for hottest celebrity girlfriend when Dion Phaneuf is still with Elisha Cuthbert. Elisha wins hands down over Hilary any day of the week. If the two want to meet in a cat-fight though, lets do it during an intermission of an HNIC game.
-----
If Phaneuf stays with the Flames, he might be playing a game at MacMahon Stadium on New Years Day. There is talk the NHL now wants to have a winter classic doubleheader with the first game going at Fenway Park in Boston and the 2nd one going at MacMahon. Gary Bettman, do you know the definition of the word overkill!!! Why don't you get smart and see if you can play the game in Vancouver to help promote the league and the upcoming Olympics.
------
Nice to see Dean Chynoweth get a shot in the NHL. He is one of the good guys in the WHL and while I'm not crazy about the team he is going to(Islanders), it is a shot in the bigs. Some forget he was drafted 13th overall by the Isles in the 87 draft. I wonder who replaces him in Swift Current. Could Chad Lang re-enter the WHL mix by serving as the GM? Could he partner up again with Steve Young? Those two got the Warriors to the league final a few years ago. Is Swift Current the new home for former Lethbridge coach Michael Dyck. Is Tim Tisdale ready to get back into the WHL coaching wars???? Those are just a couple of names. C'mon Keener, c'mon Switzer, you both read this blog. Help me out!!!...or did I just help you???
------
Word out of Weyburn is Dwight McMillan is coming back for yet another season as coach of the SJHL's Weyburn Red Wings. How long has Dwight been the bench boss in Weyburn??? His tenure might be one of the longest, if not the longest in hockey. Its been at least 25 years. When Dwight finally hangs up the whistle, I hope he ends up in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He certainly deserves to when you consider he is one of just a handful of coaches who have won 1-thousand games.
------
Are the Sedins just stupid???? The "twins" want identical 12 year, 73 million dollar contracts from the Canucks. BA HA HA HA HA!!! They say they should get a deal similar to the one Henrik Zetterberg signed. BA HA HA HA HA!! Do the Sedins really think they are as good as Zetterberg???? Are these two going to come as a package. Have they not grown up enough yet to be separated from one another. Good luck in trying to get what you want boys.
------
Thumbs up to NFL commish Roger Goodell. He has indefinitely suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Dante Stallworth. This on the heels of the 30 day jail sentence Stallworth was given following a guilty plea on a charge of DUI manslaughter. You know damn well if you or I kill someone accidentally while drunk that we are not getting 30 days behind bars. We are getting a helluva lot more than that. How Stallworth gets away with 30 days for taking someone's life is beyond reprehensible. Michael Vick got more time in prison for killing animals. I guess our justice system isn't the only one that is screwed up. In my mind, Stallworth should not play a down of professional football for a long, long time.
-------
24 hours after the Eskimos beatdown of the Riders and the furore has died down somewhat. Some are still quite concerned over the 45-12 performance and I ask why?? Exhibition games don't matter when it comes to who wins and who loses. The Eskimos are not two points ahead of the Riders in the standings. Yes, questions must be asked after the performance, but the real Riders or at least a better indication of the players that will make this team will be on the field Tuesday at home against Calgary. By the way, if the Riders beat Calgary by 30 will those bemoaning what happened at Commonwealth be picking out a spot for their lawnchair on Albert Street to watch the parade. The real questions begin July 3 when B.C comes to town to open the season. Until then, relax!!! Take a deep breath!! I know you missed debating what your team is doing on the field, but don't start looking for the panic button. You do no one any good including yourself by doing that.
--------
In the "Is this really a story??" category comes the "heinous" act performed on a fly by President Barack Obama. Did you see how cruel the president was when on MSNBC.




Mr.President, you are a heartless bastard. How dare you do what millions of people around the world do on a daily basis. You are an animal!!! PETA is actually using this to try and gain some press clippings. Please!!!! Are the PETA people not the most annoying out there???? Maybe the President should hire someone to walk around him with a fly swatter. At least one of his Secret Service men didn't pull out a pistol and shoot the pest.
--------
So much for watching the US Open on Thursday. Rain basically washed the day away. They will try again this morning. I'm guessing by looking at the forecast that this one won't be ending Sunday. Say what you will about Tiger and his game, but the best part of it is the way he can get out of trouble. Did you see his drive on 1 yesterday. It was horrible, yet somehow he manages to still salvage a par. I don't know what he did to get to the green, but I do know he turned what looked like a double bogey to start off into a par.
-----
I'm a big Def Leppard fan and always have been since they first came out. I'm watching the CMT awards the other night, and I see that Def Leppard is nominated for an award with Taylor Swift of all people for best live performance for Photograph. I had to Youtube it to see what it was all about. I gotta say I like Taylor as a rock chick singing one of the best rock songs of all time in my mind. Here it is.....



There's a lot of excitement around Regina for Taylor's performance at Craven this year. Hey I know she's the next big thing in country music and maybe has already achieved that big thing status, but how can you be more excited to see her than you are to see George Strait. CMON!!!!! By the way, was Taylor even born when Photograph came out?? I don't think so! I'm glad for Taylor's sake that she wasn't doing any remakes with KISS because that would mean spending some time with Gene Simmons and well, I think you know the rest.
-------
That is all. As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to leave any comments you may have.

Chynoweth Is Heading To The Island

The Swift Current Broncos need a new coach and general manager. Dean Chynoweth is leaving the team to join the New York Islanders. He will serve as an assistant coach there to Scott Gordon. An official announcement is expected tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, here's the article....

http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/blog/2009/06/dean_chynoweth_new_isles_assis.html

Bad timing for the Broncos seeing Marc Habscheid just joined the Chilliwack Bruins.