Monday, November 30, 2009

Should Keith Ballard Be Suspended??

I don't know about you, but I think Florida defenceman Keith Ballard should be facing a big-time suspension for his act Monday night against the Thrashers. The problem is this incident involved his own goalie. Take a look....

If Keith Ballard did that to any other player in the NHL not wearing a uniform like his, he would be gone for a long, long time. Can the league act on something like this? Will the league act on something like this? Will the Panthers act on something like this. I don't even know how Ballard can look at his team-mates after this and what does he say to Tomas Vokoun. YIKES!
15 hundred strong were at Mosaic Stadium to welcome home the Riders today. It looked like many of them didn't really want to face the crowd as they still come to grips with Sunday's devastating defeat. I can't really blame them. Darian Durant said the welcome home was therapeutic, but you have to think it will take a long time before this team gets over what happened in Calgary. Its still eating away at Ken Miller and that was very evident in speaking to him on Monday. I hope for Kenny's sake that he doesn't let this gnaw at him for a long time. He had nothing to do with what happened in the game's final moments. He was one play away from having many people throwing tributes at his feet for the job they had done not only on Sunday, but all season long. While this game will haunt him for a long time, he has to know this team has what it takes to be back in the Grey Cup next year, but for many years in the future. I don't know how you forget something like what happened Sunday night, but it will just make the celebration that much sweeter if the Riders can get the Cup in their hands next year.
By the way, TSN is now saying Sean Lucas was the "mystery" 13th man. So now the blame has gone from Jason Armstead to Adam Nicolson to Lucas. As I've said in an earlier post, I don't care who it was and it was just one of many plays in what was a disastrous last half of the 4th quarter. Identifying the guilty culprit wouldn't do anyone any good right now. If that player wants to identify himself so be it, if he doesn't, he doesn't.
The sign at the Superdome said it all last night as the Saints were on their way to dissecting the Patriots. The sign said "respect earned". A lot of people said yeah New Orleans is 10-0, but let's see what they do against New England. A national TV audience saw what they can do. Drew Brees and the Saints basically pulverized Brady and the Patriots as he throws 5 TD passes in a 38-17 rout over New England. Can the Saints go 16-0? I don't think so, but I think right now this team has become the favourite to win the Super Bowl if they weren't before.
The world is starting to realize that Tiger got beat up by his wife. This story is not going away until he sits and front of some cameras and tells us what went on. The sooner, the better!
Message to frequent blog poster Mike. Mike, I do have an answer for your query, but I need a way to contact you. Please pass that along! You may not like the answer, but you have asked the question so I will answer it. Thanks!

Record Numbers For Grey Cup

2009 GREY CUP is the most-watched program on Canadian television this year –
– TSN sets a network audience record with 5.087 million viewers for classic game –
– 1.009 million viewers watch the Alouettes win on RDS –

Toronto -- It was a GREY CUP classic and now it’s a GREY CUP record. More Canadians watched the GREY CUP last night on TSN and RDS than ever before. Preliminary overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that 6.1 million viewers watched last night’s thrilling CFL championship game – making it the most-watched GREY CUP ever* as well as the most-watched telecast of the year in Canada**.

More than 14 million Canadians, or nearly 43% of the country’s population, watched the game in whole or in part. An incredible 8.35 million viewers were watching the broadcast at 9:49 p.m. ET on TSN and RDS as Montreal kicker Damon Duval converted his second game-winning field-goal attempt as timed expired.

The combined TSN and RDS audience for 2009 GREY CUP surpasses the previous combined Grey Cup audience high of 5.2 million set in 2002 by 16%.

TSN’s GREY CUP audience of 5.087 million becomes the highest audience ever recorded for the network, surpassing the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship Gold Medal game that attracted 3.7 million viewers on TSN earlier this year. RDS’ French broadcast attracted over one million viewers. The broadcast on RDS surpassed all conventional television audiences on a competitive Sunday night in the French market.

The GREY CUP on TSN becomes the most-watched telecast on Canadian television this year – ahead of both THE 81ST ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS® and SUPER BOWL XLIII**.

“An incredible audience for what was an absolutely incredible game. We are obviously thrilled that so many Canadians joined us for what will go down as one of the most dramatic Grey Cups of all time,” says Phil King, President of TSN. “We are incredibly proud of our CFL broadcast team – last night and throughout the whole season – they captured all of the drama and emotion that makes the CFL so special.”

“What a way to end the season, and unbelievable game with more Canadians watching than ever before. The Grey Cup is truly a national celebration and its wonderful so many of our fans across the country joined us for one of the most remarkable games in CFL history,” said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the CFL. “Our league offers its congratulations to our partner TSN on a truly outstanding broadcast, and our thanks to our fans across Canada for their tremendous support."

TSN’s support programming also had impressive audiences with GREY CUP: Countdown to Kick-off attracting 2.2 million viewers and the Grey Cup Post Game Show averaging an audience of 2.1 million viewers.

Online, attracted more than 2.9 million page views on Grey Cup Sunday. More than 5,000 people viewed TSN’s Grey Cup blog from CFL analyst Duane Forde. The Grey Cup blog attracted users from all over the world including from such far away places as China and Chile.

The Grey Cup is available on-demand on and will soon be available in the iTunes store for fans who want to purchase a copy.

Final audience numbers for the 2009 GREY CUP will be available in the coming weeks.

The Next Day

The sun came up this morning, but the misery remains. The Rider Nation is returning from Calgary in a state of disbelief and people everywhere are discussing the 4th quarter meltdown that cost the Riders their second Grey Cup in three years. Yes, it was a 4th quarter meltdown. This game was not lost on the too many men on the field penalty. There are many what ifs that could be asked. It ranges right from Luca Congi's first missed field goal right down to that last play.
When I look at that 4th quarter, I would think you have to agree that all three phases failed to operate with the efficiency they had in the first three quarters.

Offensively, miscommunication between Darian Durant and Andy Fantuz resulted in a bad interception being thrown. An interception that gave Montreal some more momentum which is something they didn't need. Many are bemoaning the last two offensive plays, but I will defend Paul LaPolice and Ken Miller on this one. We all know when you are hanging on to a lead, that you run the football to kill the clock. You see it in the CFL, the NFL, the NCAA, the CIS. You take as much time off the clock as you can and you hope there are no turnovers. I can only imagine the scrutiny LaPolice and Durant would have been under had Darian thrown an interception. All the good he did this year would have been forgotten on one play.

Remember the end of the 2007 game, there was less than a minute to play when James Johnson intercepted Ryan Dinwiddie to give the Riders the game. They still had to kill the clock and they managed two on a pair of Wes Cates' runs. In 2007, they did it, in 2009 they couldn't--its that simple. The pass in the flats to Rob Bagg was like a run. It was his duty to make a move on the defender and perhaps get that first down---one that would have ended the game. It didn't happen. On that series, Montreal was the better team.

Defensively, you can't ignore the fact the Riders led this game 27-11 with 10 minutes to go. Yes, this was Anthony Calvillo and the high-powered Alouettes, but a championship defence must come through and the Riders didn't. Calvillo did what he had to do three times in those final 10 minutes. He has to be given some credit for bouncing back. He showed us why he is one of the top 10 if not top 5 quarterbacks to play in the CFL.

The play of the special teams---well that has been debated enough and will continue to be. Charlie Brown always screams why couldn't McCovey hit the ball three feet higher. Rider fans can scream why didn't the punt team recover Brian Bratton's fumble. Kavis Reed is taking a majority of the heat, but give this to Reed. He manned up when it was over. He admitted it was his fault. He didn't throw a player under the bus. He could have said this guy or that guy wasn't supposed to be on the field, but he is taking the blame himself. I find that very admirable. We will always wonder who the player was, and in some ways I wish he would identify himself and do some manning up on his own, but then I think of the Paul McCallum incident in 2004 and say perhaps its better that this player keep his mouth shut ---at least in public.

The bottom line is that while yesterday's game leaves a mark and makes it a very tough winter wondering what could have been, one can sit back and go what a great year it was. The team finished first for the first time in 33 years. They got to their 2nd Grey Cup in three years. They found a quarterback who can hopefully lead them for years in Darian Durant, they proved they have the best Canadian talent. They did it all with a general manager confined to his home. The positives this year far outweigh the negatives. No one knows what will happen between now and June when training camp opens, but you can be confident in knowing this team is more than capable of being at and winning Grey Cup 2010 in Edmonton.

The Alouettes say they never forgot the feeling of losing at home to Calgary last year and that it served as a motivator. Montreal has no idea how the Riders will feel when Ken Miller blows that whistle for the first time next year. There is a mission next year and it starts for many who were on that field last night wearing green right now.

BTW: If you want to find someone to blame, blame Blue Rodeo. THEY WERE AWFUL!! That was the lamest half-time show for a Grey Cup in years.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another Tony Gabriel Moment

Shocked, devastated, nauseous. A great game with a horrible ending for the Rider Nation. This one will leave a mark on many. Is this how Rider fans felt in 76?

My Thoughts On Today's Game

We all hope to see the Saskatchewan Roughriders in this position every year, but reality is there are not many of us that thought we would sit down in front of our TV's or at a sports bar or even sit in McMahon Stadium today watching the green and white play for the CFL championship today.
The Rider Nation knew this team was better than what many said. We knew there would be some growing pains with Darian Durant, we questioned Tad Kornegay playing linebacker, we bemoaned the fact they couldn't stop the run, we criticized head coach Ken Miller and we cheered our hearts out each and every game as this team took us on a great ride. From Chris Getzlaf's last second TD in Calgary to that putrid effort in Hamilton, we experienced many highs and many lows. A win today will certainly be the highest of high, but if for some reason the Alouettes should deliver a one-sided victory today(which I don't think will happen), it won't be the lowest of lows.
Darian Durant has shown us what the future holds at quarterback and the future is very bright for this organization in a variety of areas. Two Grey Cup appearances if not victories in three years is nothing to sneeze at. The Riders are no longer considered a fluke to be in the big game. In fact, it may be expected by some now and that's not a bad thing.
As I watch today's game, I will think of guys like Scott Schultz and Matt Dominguez wondering what is going through their minds as their compadres fight it out. I will also think of Eric Tillman and how it is too bad that he is not there to celebrate his accomplishments. I understand the decision not to have Tillman there as it would have been a major league distraction, but one can not argue what footprints he has on this team. Believe it or not, I will think of Roy Shivers and Danny Barrett. Say what you will about the two gentlemen, but they started this team on the road to respectability. That road only went so far and Jim Hopson was needed to tune the car up to get it over the hill.
What I'm basically saying is a loss today is not the end of the world, its just a momentary blip. Don't hope this team is back at GC 2010 in Edmonton, expect it. That's what the organization's mindset will be.
Now the game. There is no doubting Montreal is a more talented team from top to bottom. They win many of the positional battles. Their offence is electric and their defence is stifling. The green and white will have to be at the top of their game from player 1-42 if they are going to win. However, we all know the Alouettes record in the GC and with that veteran lineup, you have to think if the Riders get ahead or stay close with Montreal, doubt will set in. 45-thousand people will be cheering against the Alouettes. I can't recall the last time Montreal will have played in an environment that is hostile towards them. The 13th man will definitely be front and center today. The last reason I think they win is destiny. I walked out of Mosaic Stadium on the night they beat BC in overtime saying I am now convinced they win the Grey Cup. Everything has fallen into place for this football team and now it is time for two men who didn't get a lot of respect this year to have their moment in the sun----that is Darian Durant and Ken Miller. Yes I'm biased, but the Riders will win this game today 29-24.
I've been meaning to put this up all week and I keep forgetting. Here are seven reasons from Winnipeg Free Press writer Randy Turner as to why you should be a Riders fan. I don't disagree with any of this.

1. Canadian content
Like most solid CFL teams, the Roughriders play more Canadians than legally required. Not just special teamers, either. In sweeping the Stamps this year, the Riders squadron of Canuck receivers -- Rob Bagg, Andy Fantuz and Chris Getzlaf -- were front and centre. Fittingly, all three scored majors in the West final. Meanwhile, one of the most beloved Riders is Stu Foord, the Viking-ish fullback who is the second coming of Chris Szarka.

2. Ken Miller
When the old dude was promoted to head coach, replacing Kent Austin, it looked like they put Grampa Simpson in charge. Miller must be the most low-key, uncharasmatic head man in the loop -- at least, from afar -- and sometimes you just like to see good things happen to football coaches who aren't narcissists who create more headlines than victories. Not that we're mentioning any names or anything.

3. Brendan Taman
See Miller. Although Taman has never won a Grey Cup as an executive, he's lost a couple in Winnipeg and had two teams win championships the year after he left them. Dude is not exactly a good-luck charm. But less than a year after seeing the writing on the wall in Winnipeg, it looks like Taman might find the holy grail among his own kind in Saskatchewan.

4. Gainer
I can't help it. Seeing that giant rodent with a beer belly always makes me laugh. I mean, compare that to the creepy-looking blow-up contraption that serves as the Als mascot and any connoisseur of sideline critters would take the gopher. In fact, Gainer looks a lot like Yogi Bear without the hat. Maybe that's why seeing him triggers cravings of pic-a-nic baskets.

5. Rider Priders
Face it, this is Manitoba, so we love to take shots at our country cousins to the West. But aren't you just a bit envious looking at the sellout crowds at Mosaic Stadium and seeing that sea of green. Tens of thousands of them, from all over the province. The Melonheads abound. One lady held a sign that read, "I Could Eat a Horse." So they did. Compare that rabid scene to the 20,000 or so that bothered to show up to the second-last Bombers home game. Now you know why the Riders have the nerve -- and the cash -- to think they can build a $350-million domed stadium.

6. Grey Cup Party
To say the host team won't play in Calgary's Grey Cup is not entirely true. There are supposed to be more Saskatchewaneans living in Alberta these days than live in Regina. As you are reading, countless Roughriders fans are making harried arrangements to find transportation and lodging in Cowtown. They will settle for transportation.

7. And our final reason the Riders should win the Grey Cup:
Because they could do it with a weapon the Bombers haven't developed in a generation -- a young quarterback moulded from scratch. That's right, Darian Durant is everything the Bombers were desperate for this past season; a pivotal star of the future who was recruited and mentored in Regina before patiently earning the No. 1 job.

Want to rag on those Melonheads? Go ahead. Just remember they have pretty much everything Bombers faithful don't.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Not Much More To Say Is There

All I have to say is this Rider fans.....

I hope there's an addition to this sign...

Riders 29 Alouettes 24

Can't wait.

Riders Welcome Home Set For Monday


The Saskatchewan Roughriders will return home to Regina on Monday afternoon and are inviting fans to greet them at Mosaic Stadium upon their arrival.

Fans are asked to be at the stadium by 2:30 pm with the team expecting to arrive on the field at approximately 3:00 pm. Admission is free and the program will consist of player and coach speeches along with a 2009 highlight video.

Friday, November 27, 2009


The 2007 Grey Cup game was on ESPN Classic Friday night. Did you watch it? I was in Rogers Centre that evening bringing it all back for those in Saskatchewan, but last night was the first time I have actually watched the game. I taped it, but for some reason I never watched the whole thing.
The funny thing about the game is I just about didn't see the end of it because of the CFL and their stupid rules.
With five minutes left, the media is instructed to go to an area where they can go before doing whatever they do post-game.
When the game was in Regina, we were all huddled just inside the tunnel watching a small monitor trying to stay warm before being given the opportunity to go outside and start talking to players. I know how cattle at Agribition must feel. Anyhoo, we get to this area which is behind the one endzone opposite Windows in the bowels of Rogers Centre. The problem is there is no monitor. I ask a security guard where I can go to watch the end of the game and he says right here. I tell him that perhaps he doesn't understand I am from Saskatchewan and I do not want to miss this historic moment so where can I go. He wants to tell me where I can go and vice-versa when all of a sudden something happens on the field where a fan jumps on to it or something. This curtain gets peeled back and VOILA, there is the field with people standing there watching the game. I tell the security guy that is where I am headed and he says I can't go there. OK whatever, as I said, I'm not missing this. I got so caught up in arguing with this bonehead that when I saw James Johnson collect his 3rd pick, I didn't realize there was less than a minute to go. It was only when I looked at the jumbotron that it hit me that the Riders had won the game. From then on, it was bedlam as I tried getting comments back to Saskatchewan. The scenario was much better in Montreal in 2009 as there was a room where we could watch the end of the game. I have no idea what it will be like at McMahon, but I know the configurations of that station and I'm guessing the local media won't have a chance to see what is going on outside when they hit the elevator to come from the press box to field level.
Having covered five Grey Cups, I always found the Saturday practice to be the most interesting one. When its over, the guys know that's it. The day-after-day routine of practice that started in training camp is now done. Its one more sleep and then you play for all the marbles. The players actually seem relieved that its come down to the game. They seem much more loose, but they also seem as if they are ready for battle. I wonder what Coaches Trestman and Miller have in store for their players Saturday night. I'm guessing you won't see any of them partying with the rest of Canada, but I assume they will be given time off Saturday night to spend with friends and family so they can unwind a little before going to bed for what could be a very sleepless night. Henry Burris told me last year when it was over that he might have gotten only one hour of sleep before the GC game. He said he just laid in his hotel room staring at the ceiling wondering about this and that.
I've been watching CTV Calgary and Global Calgary this week to see what they've had for Grey Cup coverage and I have to admit I'm a little disappointed. If the GC were in Regina, both Global and CTV and CBC too would be bringing you the colour of the event, but it doesn't seem to be that way for both of the Calgary stations. They have buried the event somewhat into their coverage. Is this just because their beloved Stampeders aren't in the game? I hope it changes as the weekend now arrives and the party really gets going.
OK, what part of this Tiger Woods story seems fishy to you. What was he doing leaving his home so early in the morning? Was Tiger rushing to Best Buy to get in on those Black Friday sales? Did he see a 46 inch Plasma for just 299 dollars that he had to have? Alcohol wasn't involved, but he hit a tree and a fire hydrant? The National Enquirer(a true bastion of journalism) has suggested Tiger is having an affair (WHY?) so did he and Elin have a squabble? There are just too many questions here. The bottom line is it appears someone jumped the gun with the seriousness of Tiger's injuries and that his only injuries appear to be cuts to the face. Nonetheless, he has some explaining to do.

I'll Probably Just Tape It

For the first time ever, CFL fans across Canada will have the chance to own the Grey Cup. TSN today announced that the 2009 GREY CUP broadcast will be made available from the iTunes Store in Canada, giving fans the opportunity to relive all the action from Sunday's big game anytime they want. TSN's 2009 GREY CUP broadcast will be available in the iTunes Store ( for downloading to a Mac or PC, iPod with video, iPhone or a television with Apple TV.
Currently, every CFL ON TSN game from the 2009 season including all four CFL Division semifinal and final games is available for $2.49 per match-up exclusively at the iTunes Store ( The 2009 GREY CUP broadcast will be available for $2.49, or as part of a package that includes all five 2009 CFL playoff broadcasts for $11.99. All CFL ON TSN games are made available for purchase following each live broadcast.
TSN's exclusive coverage of the 2009 GREY CUP, featuring the Montreal Alouettes taking on the Saskatchewan Roughriders, airs nationally on Sunday, Nov. 29 in High Definition, beginning at 1 p.m. ET with the network's five-hour pre-game show, GREY CUP SUNDAY, live from the Scotiabank CFL Experience and McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

Tiger Seriously Hurt In Car Crash

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger Woods has been seriously injured in a car wreck in Florida, authorities said Friday.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Woods hit a fire hydrant and a tree as he pulled out of his driveway early Friday in his 2009 Cadillac sport utility vehicle.
Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital. His condition was not immediately known, though the news release said his injuries were serious.
The airbags in the car did not deploy, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel. The newspaper said that airbags typically do not deploy if a vehicle is traveling less than 33 miles per hour.
The highway patrol says the crash is still under investigation, and charges are pending. However, the highway patrol said the crash was not alcohol-related.
The Orange County Fire Rescue received a call about the accident at 2:28 a.m. ET. The Florida Highway Patrol did not report it until 2 p.m. ET.

Week 12 NFL Pix

Yeah, I know the week has already started but picks were in before kickoff yesterday(at least most of them Mr. Meyers) so here we go.

Vanstone 110-50
Mr. X 109-51
Meyers 108-52
Colhoun, Blair 107-53
Jones 105-55

Games this week
GB @ Detroit
Oakland @ Dallas
Giants @ Denver
Miami @ Buffalo
Washington @ Philly
Tampa @ Atlanta
Seattle @ St. Louis
Carolina @ Jets
Cleveland @ Cincy
Indy@ Houston
KC@ San Diego
Jacksonville @ San Fran
Chicago @ Minnesota
Arizona @ Tennessee
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore
New England @ New Orleans

Vanstone (11-5 last week) GB, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Jets, Seattle, Atlanta, Indy, Cincy, Philly, San Diego, SF, Arizona, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, NE

X(11-5 last week)GB, Dallas, Giants, Atlanta, Miami, Philly, Seattle, Carolina, Cincy, Indy, SD, SF
Minnesota, Tennessee, Baltimore, New England

Meyers(12-4 last week)GB, Dallas, Giants, Atlanta, Miami, Cincy, Sea, NYJ, Philly, Indy, SD, Jax, Tennessee, Minnesota, Baltimore, NE

Colhoun (12-4 last week)GB, Dallas, Giants, Atlanta, Miami, Cincy, Seattle, Jets, Philly, Indy, SD, SF, Arizona, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, NO and Saskatchewan (NOTE: No bonus points are awarded for this pick, just common sense. Kudos to Colhoun though for being the only one to publicly make this choice)

Blair( 12-4 last week) GB, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Cincy, Seattle, Carolina, Philly, Houston, SD, SF, Tennessee, Minnesota, Baltimore, New England

Jones(12-4 last week)GB, Dallas, Giants, Atlanta, Miami, Philly, Seattle, Jets, Cincy, Indy, SD, SF, Minnesota, Arizona, Baltimore, New England

Closer and Closer to Kickoff

Friday is here! Many Rider fans have already arrived in Calgary, and many more are on their way. I'm sure Riderville is already established as the place to be again. I'm sure that 90 percent if not more of the Rider Nation that will come back to Saskatchewan on Monday will be infected with the H1 We Won Flu. I gotta give credit for that line to my good buddy Tom (Mongo) Pura in Grande Prairie. He is a huge Rider fan and has been ever since I first got to know him when I was in Peace River.
Knowing what a huge Rider fan he was, I phoned him from the Rogers Centre turf in 2007 after it was all over. I knew he was going through every emotion I was. It was something that had to be done. Mongo, let it be known right now that you and I are convening in Riderville at Grey Cup 2010 in Edmonton. Its been way too long since we had a cold one or two.
While many people are arriving in Calgary, one person is leaving and I don't really understand it. That person would be another good friend of mine---the one and only Rod Pedersen. With the Pats on the West Coast trip, Rod is leaving to do games tonight and tomorrow before flying back into Calgary Sunday morning to do the first half of the football game. I don't know the rhyme, the reason or the rationale for this, but certainly Dan Plaster could have done the weekend games thus allowing RP to get ready for calling what I am guessing is the 2nd biggest game of his life. I'm also a little confused with the radio broadcast for Sunday's game. RP will bring the nation the first half of the game with Carm on radio stations across Canada with Rick Moffat (the Alouettes p x p guy) doing the 2nd half. This is dumb! Nothing against Rod or Rick, but the play-by-play guy should be given the opportunity to do the whole game to his home audience. There are Rider fans out there that have the last call of the 2007 Cup from RP. That's a piece of history right there. If the Riders win on Sunday, I don't want Rick Moffat telling me that. Nothing against Rick, but it would be the same if it was Rick Ball in Vancouver, Mark Stephen in Calgary or the legendary voices of Bryan Hall in Edmonton or Bob Irving in Winnipeg. I would want Rod. On the flip side, do you think Alouette fans want to hear Rod Pedersen telling the country that the Alouettes have won? Stupid idea! On Rod's blog this morning, I told him if the Riders are winning and there are three minutes left to yank the national feed and do the rest of the game from somewhere on his cellphone. He deserves his moment. If I'm ruffling some feathers with these statements, well sorry, but that is how I feel. Its tough enough for Rod to get yanked and pulled every which way from the time Pats training camp starts until Rider season ends and this situation doesn't make it any easier. By the way, Rod knows how I feel on the topic because I have told him several times and vice-versa.
Jamie Nye had David Braley on "Sportsnight" last night. I would have liked his chances at getting Elisha Cuthbert on better than having Braley on. Good work son! I haven't heard the phrase "Someone shoot me now" uttered yet on the show like it was in 2007. That's a story I'm not even going to get started with.
It was NFL football on a Thursday, but the games were a major league disappointment. Yes, I shouldn't have been expecting exciting football with the likes of the Lions and Raiders playing, but CMON MAN! Even the Giants-Denver game was disappointing. What has happened to the Giants anyways? The best game of the day was the college game between Texas and Texas A and M.
I think its great that another big time curling event is coming to Regina. We have shown we can host things like the Scotties and the Brier. Those events are I think bigger than a Worlds Men Championship because of the atmosphere that surrounds both events---especially the Brier, but having a Worlds here is impressive. Regina will do a great job in hosting this event. If anyone on the organizing committee is reading this, I am more than willing to help in anyway possible. It would be outstanding if Saskatchewan could end its Brier jinx in 2011 wouldn't it.
If you are going to Calgary, have a great time win or lose. The Grey Cup is a special event because it does bring people together from across this great country of ours. Its even more special when the Riders are involved. I don't have to tell many of you what 2007 was like in Toronto. Get there safe and get back home safe as there are many stories that will be told. Hopefully one of them is saying you were in McMahon when the Riders won the Cup. Yes, Montreal is a very strong team and they have this mindset to kick our ass after what happened last year, but this is also a team that told me there was no way on earth that Calgary was coming into their stadium to beat them in the big game.
One last thing. Congratulations to John Chick! I laughed yesterday when Henry Burris told Michael Landsberg that Chick was the biggest trash talker on the team. He wouldn't have been in my top 5. Having said that, if you go back to the Western final if you have it on tape, I think its in the first quarter, Burris makes a throw to Nik Lewis just before he gets pushed to the turf by Chick. On the endzone replay, you can see Chick standing over Burris just chirping at him.
Just one thought. Who are they cheering for in Gravelbourg this weekend?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

CFL Award Winners

MOP-Anthony Calvillo-Montreal
Rookie-Martell Mallett-B.C.
Canadian-Ricky Foley-B.C
Defensive player-John Chick-Saskatchewan
Top Lineman-Scott Flory-Montreal
Special Teams-Larry Taylor-Montreal

2011 World Curling Champ'Ships To Regina

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced that Regina, Saskatchewan will stage the 2011 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship.

The event will be held April 2-10, 2011 at the newly-named Evraz Place, formerly the Agridome, which has hosted such major curling championships in the last 12 years as the 2001 Canadian Curling Trials, the inaugural Continental Cup in 2002, the 2006 Tim Hortons Brier and the 1998 and 2008 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The city has also held the world men’s curling championship twice before - in 1973, when won by Sweden’s Kjell Oscarius and in 1983, when taken by Canada’s Ed Werenich.

“The World Curling Federation is extremely pleased to have the 2011 Ford World Men's Curling Championship return to Regina where it has had great previous success,” said Les Harrison, President of the World Curling Federation. “Saskatchewan curlers and fans have been exceptional in their support for high level competitions in the past and as this will be the first qualification process for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, we expect this event to be an unqualified success. We look forward to working with our partners, the CCA and the local organizing committee, led by Chairman Derek Boe.”

“Regina continues to be such a wonderful host to our events. Over the last few months, the Canadian Curling Association and the City of Regina have worked hard to see the 2011 Ford Men's World Championship come to fruition in this great curling city,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. “Regina has been highly successful on so many fronts with large curling events in past that it is no surprise to award the men's world championship to this community.”

“On a personal note, I would also like to commend Ford of Canada for their wonderful partnership with the CCA and the WCF and their involvement once again with the World Championship. Ford has been nothing but first class to deal with and it is nice to have partners who are so committed to what we do and clearly see value in what we are able to provide to them.”

“Regina is excited to be hosting the 2011 Ford World Men's Curling Championship,” said Host Committee chairman Derek Boe, who is also the current President of Curl Regina. “We figured since the (Saskatchewan) ‘Riders hosted the (Canadian Football League) Western final for the first time in 33 years (last Sunday), that 28 years was long enough between world championships for us!”

Ford of Canada has sponsored the world men’s and women’s championships since 1995, when the first Ford Worlds was held in Brandon, Manitoba. When the men’s and women’s championships were separated, beginning in 2005, and alternately held in Canada, Ford continued to be the title sponsor.

The 2005 Ford world men’s was staged in Victoria, British Columbia, the 2007 renewal in Edmonton and the 2009 edition in Moncton.

The 2006 Ford world women’s was in Grande Prairie, Alberta, followed by the 2008 version in Vernon, British Columbia, while the 2010 renewal will take place in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, March 20-28.

Tickets are expected to go on sale in March of 2010. Canada’s team for the 2011 Ford world men’s will be determined at the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier in London, Ontario, March 5-13.

Canada has won 31 men’s titles since 1959, followed by Scotland and Sweden with five wins apiece. Regina’s Ernie Richardson is the only four-time winning skip, having won in 1959, 1960, 1962 and 1963.

At the 2007 Ford world men’s in Edmonton, an attendance record for a men’s only event of 184,970 was established.

The 2011 Ford world men’s will also be the first championship (followed by the 2012 and 2013 world men’s) for countries to earn Olympic qualifying points. The top ten countries will then qualify for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

They're On Their Way!!! New Rider Song!

Aerial photos taken high in the sky just outside of Swift Current today show many Rider fans are en route to Calgary. Take a look.

Meanwhile, Edmonton's all-sports radio station "The Team 1260" has come up with a Rider anthem that is quite catchy and could stick. Take a listen.

Lets Have Some Fun

I can't give a prize away for who is closest, but lets have some fun here for the rest of the week. Give me your Grey Cup prediction with both the final score and the game's MVP. Just throw it in the comments section.

Week 12 NFL Primer


THE 11-0 CLUB: With victories this week over Houston and New England, respectively, the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints can boost their records to 11-0. Prior to this season, 19 teams had posted 10-0 records, with 13 winning their 11th game. Of the 19, four finished the regular season undefeated and untied – the 1934 and 1942 Chicago Bears, 1972 Miami Dolphins and 2007 New England Patriots.

This marks the third consecutive season with at least one 10-0 team – the longest such streak in NFL history.

The 21 teams to start 10-0 and their final records:





1929 Packers
Undefeated season
1985 Bears
Dolphins (13)

1934 Lions
Packers (11)
1990 Giants
Eagles (11)

1934 Bears
Undefeated season
1990 49ers
L.A. Rams (11)

1942 Bears
Undefeated season
1991 Redskins
Cowboys (12)

1953 Browns
Eagles (12)
1998 Broncos
Giants (14)

1961 Chargers
Oilers (12)
2005 Colts
Chargers (14)

1962 Packers
Lions (11)
2007 Patriots
Undefeated season

1969 L.A. Rams
Vikings (12)
2008 Titans
N.Y. Jets (11)

1972 Dolphins
Undefeated Season
2009 Colts

1975 Vikings
Redskins (11)
2009 Saints

1984 Dolphins
Chargers (12)


NO STRANGERS TO PERFECTION: The New England Patriots will face the undefeated New Orleans Saints (10-0) on Monday, two weeks after facing the undefeated Indianapolis Colts (8-0). It will mark only the fifth time since 1970 that a team has played two games against teams with records of 8-0 or better in the same season.


New England Patriots
Miami* 8-0; Miami 11-0

Los Angeles Rams
NY Giants* 8-0; San Francisco 10-0

San Diego Chargers
Denver* 8-0; Denver 11-0

Kansas City Chiefs
Denver* 9-0; Denver 12-0

New England Patriots
Indianapolis 8-0; New Orleans 10-0

* Won Super Bowl


BRADY THROWING 300 IN BUNCHES: New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY has thrown for 300 yards in five consecutive games. With a 300-yard performance on Monday night against the Saints, Brady can tie STEVE YOUNG (1998), KURT WARNER (2000) and RICH GANNON (2002) for the most consecutive 300-yard passing games in NFL history.

The most consecutive 300-yard passing games in NFL history:


Steve Young, San Francisco

Kurt Warner, St. Louis

Rich Gannon, Oakland

Tom Brady, New England

* Active streak

CJ GOES FOR SIX: CHRIS JOHNSON of the Tennessee Titans, the NFL’s leading rusher, has posted 125+ rushing yards in five consecutive games. He aims to tie the NFL record – set by Pro Football Hall of Famers EARL CAMPBELL (1980) and ERIC DICKERSON (1984) – with his sixth such game in a row on Sunday against Arizona.



Earl Campbell
Houston Oilers

Eric Dickerson
Los Angeles Rams

Chris Johnson

Jim Brown

O.J. Simpson

Barry Sanders

Clinton Portis

Larry Johnson
Kansas City

With five consecutive games of 125+ rushing yards and a 5.0+ yards per carry average in each of those games, Johnson has joined Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (1958) as the only players to accomplish this feat in NFL history.

IN-VINCE-IBLE: The Tennessee Titans have rebounded from an 0-6 start to win four consecutive games, the most ever by a team that started a season with six straight losses. The Titans aim to extend their winning streak to five against the Cardinals on Sunday. The Titans have won all four games that quarterback VINCE YOUNG has started this year. Young has won eight consecutive starts overall and is 22-11 (.667) as a starter in his career.


THE FAVRE FACTOR: Minnesota’s BRETT FAVRE has thrown 21 touchdown passes this season versus only three interceptions. His seven-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio is the second best in NFL history through a team’s first 10 games among passers with a minimum of 20 TD passes (TOM BRADY, 2007, 9.5-to-1 ratio, 38 TDs vs. four INTs).

The record for touchdown-to-interception ratio through 11 games is also held by Brady from 2007 (9.7-to-1 ratio, 39 TDs, four INTs).

If he keeps up his current pace, Favre will record the best such ratio in a season in NFL history for quarterbacks with at least 20 touchdown passes. Only six quarterbacks have ever had a ratio above 4.0 (min. 20 TDs) in NFL history.

The quarterbacks all-time with a 4.0+ touchdown-to-interception ratio for an entire season with a minimum of 20 TD passes:


Tom Brady
New England
6.25 (50 TDs, 8 INTs)

Steve DeBerg
Kansas City
5.75 (23 TDs, 4 INTs)

Peyton Manning
4.90 (49 TDs, 10 INTs)

Steve Bartkowski
4.40 (22 TDs, 5 INTs)

Milt Plum
4.20 (21 TDs. 5 INTs)

Vinny Testaverde
NY Jets
4.14 (29 TDs, 7 INTs)


OWENS THE MOMENT: Buffalo Bills wide receiver TERRELL OWENS will play in his 200th career game when he takes the field against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Owens already ranks in the top three all-time in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for a player in his first 200 career games. He can continue to climb those charts in Week 12.

The top five most receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in a player’s first 200 career games:




Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice

Marvin Harrison

Terrell Owens*

Randy Moss*

Terrell Owens*

Marvin Harrison

Terrell Owens*

Tony Gonzalez*

Isaac Bruce*

Marvin Harrison

Isaac Bruce*

Randy Moss*

Cris Carter

* Active

Note: Owens has played 199 games; Moss has played 180 games; Harrison played 190 career games.


NEVERS SAY NEVER: Eighty years ago on Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 1929), Chicago Cardinals halfback ERNIE NEVERS produced one of the most memorable performances in NFL history. Nevers scored all of the Cardinals’ 40 points – on six rushing touchdowns and four extra points – in their 40-6 win over the cross-town rival Chicago Bears.

His records for rushing touchdowns in a game (six) and total points scored in a game (40) have never been broken, and stand as the oldest individual single-game records in league history. Only two other players have ever scored six total touchdowns in a game – DUB JONES of the Cleveland Browns in 1951 (four rushing and two receiving) and GALE SAYERS of the Chicago Bears in 1965 (four rushing, one receiving and one punt return).

Some of the oldest individual records in NFL history:


Ernie Nevers,

Chicago Cardinals
Most Points, Game (40)
Many tied (18)

Ernie Nevers,

Chicago Cardinals
Most Rushing TDs, Game (6)
Many tied (3)

Beattie Feathers,

Chicago Bears
Highest Rushing Avg., Season (8.44)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (6.24)

Don Currivan, Boston
Highest Receiving Avg., Season (32.58)
Miles Austin, Dallas (19.40)

Sammy Baugh, Washington
Highest Yards Per Pass Avg., Game (18.58)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (13.17)

Norm Van Brocklin,

Los Angeles
Most Yards Passing, Game (554)
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia (450)

# # #

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Respect For Coach Miller

I will be the first to admit that when the name Ken Miller first surfaced as a replacement for Kent Austin as Riders head coach, I went who? Yes, Miller had been the offensive co-ordinator under Austin in 2007, but I don't think I ever spoke to the man once as all questions pertaining to the offence were directed to Austin.

It did not take long though to see that Miller was a fine choice for the job. Yes, he is a quiet, unassuming man. He rarely shows emotion. He does remind one of your grandfather. You do keep expecting him to rub your head after a media session and pull out lollipops for everyone. While he is very quiet and unassuming, I have garnered a tremendous amount of respect for this man and the job he does. He is a very likable individual and his wife Maureen is one of the nicest women I have ever met.

Coach Miller deserves a lot of credit for what we have seen out of this football team over the past two years. This team did not crumble up and blow away as many suggested either this year or last. The reason for that is his players love him. He gets the most of the players and it shows. He is a fighter and more often than not, he has been a winner.

Needless to say I was shocked when I heard that he admitted Wednesday to being a prostate cancer survivor. While I was shocked, I was not surprised to hear that Miller fought the battle and won it. Cancer of any kind is horrible. We are all exposed to it in one manner or another. As much as we don't want to, we realize it affects all of us in some way. Many good people have died from that disease and I truly hope that before my days on this earth are over that a cure is found.

To know that Ken Miller has fought the war and has beaten it gives me more respect for this man and more of a desire for this team to win on Sunday so that he can get the moment in the sun he so truly deserves. He will try to shrug it off and deflect it to his assistants and his players, but a win on Sunday and he won't be able to get away from it hopefully the way Anthony Calvillo won't be able to get away from Chick and Baggs.
That was the big story of the day in Montreal. One that fell on the lap of everyone. Today it will be the player awards. Its Calvillo against Joffrey Reynolds for the player of the year. You have to think Calvillo will wrap that one up for the second straight year. Last year one could argue he got the sentimental vote because of his comeback after his wife's cancer, but there is no denying the outstanding season he had this year. I would be very surprised if Reynolds won.

I think John Chick will be named the top defensive player. He was a beast on that d-line this season. I'll take Scott Flory to be the league's best lineman, B.C.s Martell Mallett to be rookie of the year and Ben Cahoon to get the nod as the top Canadian. I'll also take Larry Taylor to win the top special teams player award.
My good friend Jamie Nye is doing a bang-up job in bringing the Coupe de Grey festivities back to CJME listener. He's also taking a page out of my book by delivering a Grey Cup blog to the station website which is something I started last year in Montreal. Here's his day 2 entry...

I know Jamie is loving life right now because he is a huge Rider fan. Hopefully he gets the chance to experience what I did at Rogers Centre in 2007. As I said, he is doing a great job. Rod Pedersen is also doing a great job (as per usual) in bringing the sights of Calgary to his blog. Here's hoping both gentlemen get some great shots of a Rider locker-room in celebration mode.
It takes me back to that magical Sunday in 2007 when the Riders had won. The first thing I saw when I entered the dressing room was Scott Schultz with the Cup in one hand and a great big cigar in the other. I had this contraption hooked up around me called a cellphone mike. Basically, I plugged a microphone into a cellphone that was hooked up into a tape recorder so that everyone in Regina could hear my interviews during our live coverage. I could have been mistaken for a suicide bomber with all the wires I had coming out of me. Anyhoo, I'm talking to Reggie Hunt when I see this head pop out from around a corner. Its the head of Premier Brad Wall. He is grinning like a cheshire cat and he looks like a kid on Christmas morning. Seeing a camera hanging off my wrist, he leans over and whispers in my ear if I would like him to take some pictures. I give him the nod of approval so he takes the camera and starts taking pictures of me interviewing Reggie and me interviewing Gene Makowsky. I look over at one point and think how cool is this for the Premier to be taking pictures of me. Its one of the many fond memories I have of that week. There were a few not so fond memories as well, but the good far outshadowed the bad.
The Pats couldn't stretch their winning streak to what would have been a season-high 5 games as they lose 5-2 in Seattle. Garrett Mitchell got the team going by scoring the first goal of the game, but the T-Birds got the next 5 to take control.
Do Blue Jays fans really want to see Roy Halladay come back to Rogers Centre wearing a Red Sox or Yankees jersey? It looks more and more as if Halladay will be traded. It will be a like a dagger going through the chest of Toronto fans if Halladay comes back to pitch against Toronto two or three times a year. The team should find a suitor in the National League so that Toronto fans can only see him on TV unless of course an inter-league game should bring him back, but it would just be for one appearance.
Even though the Riders are front and center on the minds of most sports fans, many football fans know today is American Thanksgiving. That means a triple-header of NFL football. Yes, we have to endure the Lions again, but its football right? Exactly!
We're now less than a month away from Christmas. I was in the Southland Mall yesterday and it was emptier than what I thought. I guess the Riders and the warm weather has no one thinking about Christmas. The Riders spirit will die in early December, but here's hoping the warm weather doesn't go away. I've been loving this. I know you have been too.
Did CTV's Dan MacIntosh send his hair to Calgary with Lee Jones and Morgan Reed? What happened to the mop Danny Mac?

Ridgway To Speak With Williams On Sunday

Pre-Game Show Features Ridgway, Fans, Grassroots Football and More on November 29

– Brian Williams goes one-on-one with former Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker and 1989 Grey Cup champion Dave Ridgway in an exclusive interview –

– GREY CUP SUNDAY also includes a tribute to Calgary’s history of passionate fans, profiles on GREY CUP players and a feature on halftime headliners, Blue Rodeo –

Toronto, ON (November 25, 2009) – TSN celebrates the glory and the grandeur of the Grey Cup with a series of special features throughout the day during the GREY CUP SUNDAY pre-game show on November 29, beginning at 1 p.m. ET leading up to the 2009 GREY CUP. CFL ON TSN’s Brian Williams and CFL Insider Dave Naylor explore the compelling stories behind some of the leagues greatest milestones and achievements.

In one feature, Williams examines one of the greatest Grey Cup games ever played in league history – the 1989 GREY CUP, with the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 43-40 on Dave Ridgway’s game-winning field goal. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Roughriders’ come-from-behind Grey Cup win, Williams sits down with Ridgway in an exclusive interview at his private residence in Southern Indiana and takes a look back at the big game. The feature also includes interviews with some of Ridgway’s former teammates, including Kent Austin, TSN’s Glen Suitor and former Hamilton Tiger-Cats Mike Kerrigan and kicker Paul Osbaldiston. This is Ridgway’s first interview regarding the game since he was not in attendance for the official 20th anniversary celebration in Saskatchewan earlier this year.

Another feature pays tribute to the CFL fans in Calgary, as Williams looks back at the 1948 Grey Cup, when 250 passionate Stampeders fans took a train from Calgary to Toronto and set the benchmark for all Grey Cup week celebrations to follow. Williams explores the lore that surrounds the 36th Grey Cup, which includes stories of square dances and chuckwagons at Union Station and men on horseback inside the Royal York Hotel. Williams also sits down with Alberta lieutenant-governor Norman Kwong, who reminisces about his journey to Toronto on the train as an 18-year old fullback with the Stampeders.

Naylor examines the growing number of young men from immigrant families playing grassroots football in Canada, with an increasing number of these players making it to the CFL. Naylor speaks to Canadian football scouts, who suggest that the ethnic communities are enhancing the growth of the sport in the Canada.

TSN then takes a close look at Saskatchewan defensive end John Chick to find out how he maintains his high level of play in the often violent sport of football despite wearing an insulin pump to control his type-1 diabetes.

In another GREY CUP SUNDAY feature, TSN follows Blue Rodeo members Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor as they return to their Toronto high school to relive their days as members of the school’s football team. Blue Rodeo will perform during the Pepsi Max Halftime Show as part of Sunday’s big game on TSN.

In addition, GREY CUP SUNDAY includes two documentaries titled ROAD TO THE GREY CUP, chronicling how the Roughriders and Alouettes made their way to this year’s championship game.

GREY CUP SUNDAY also features seven vignettes that follow recent Grey Cup champions, as they take the coveted championship trophy to schools, hospitals, their hometown and even home for Christmas. As well as a Brian Williams sits down with CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon to examine some of the league’s key issues.

A Message For the Riders Communications Trio

To Ryan Whippler, Sheri Trapp and Reid Lambden(otherwise known as the best in the biz):

I realize you are very busy with the many things you do on a daily basis to accomodate the needs of the media who need a few seconds with the football team that you work for. The three of you do an excellent job(although your decision to have a certain someone write for Riderville is still questioned by many including this blogger), but I do have one request for you as the big game draws near. Can you please go by a dollar store or something and buy one of those "Hello, my name is" stickers and give it to your quarterback so he can write his name on it so that everyone knows who he is.

It wasn't funny when Milt Stegall didn't know who he was before the game in Toronto this year. It was slightly humourous when TSN's Claude Feig referred to him as "Kevin" in that game. The TSN ads saying Kevin promoting Sunday's game is a huge slap in the face and now Als coach Marc Trestman is referring to him as "Damien". This is ridiculous. If its a motivator, so be it, but the lack of respect "Darian" is getting is starting to become a little nauseating. Thank you and stay away from Cowboys during your trip. See you on Monday.

A Great Ken Miller Story

Actually, there are two great Ken Miller stories I have come across today. At the news conference this morning featuring the two coaches, Miller revealed he is a prostate cancer survivor. He is also very good with a paintbrush in his hand. Here's a story from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun that is a great read.

He's the Rembrandt of Regina.
The Picasso of the Prairies.
Who knew?
Ken Miller, who will coach the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Sunday's Grey Cup, is a man who is still largely undiscovered by the nation.
But Sun Media has discovered the 68-year-old second-year head coach is an accomplished painter of hundreds of landscapes, several of which have sold for as much as $1,500 U.S.
And that isn't to even mention his bonsai plants.
Miller is a man of few words who has not exactly been revealing of himself.
For that reason, last week in Regina your correspondent spent an entire practice sitting in the stands with Maureen, the delightful wife of the head coach. There I believed the essence of Ken Miller had been revealed to me.
Turns out she was just skimming the surface.
Maureen Miller subsequently produced the pictures which accompany today's column, some of the excellent landscape oil paintings and pencil line drawings created by her husband.
His players have no idea that their head coach has produced such works of art. But if the man keeps having this sort of success with the team, everybody in Saskatchewan will want to have "a Miller" on their walls. Heck, somebody might even give him a couple grand to paint their barn. You know, on canvas. For framing. What Saskatchewan fan wouldn't want to be able to brag that the Roughriders head coach painted his barn.
And if the barn was a classic, with the right lines and maybe one of those famed Saskatchewan sunsets in the background, the coach might actually come out and do it.
Miller won't be giving many one-on-one interviews this week. But the head painter and bonsai sculptor sat down and spoke of the passion of painting.
"It goes back to high school and biology class," he said.
"One of the reasons I got through biology in high school was that after dissecting things I was able to make illustrations.
"Sometime in the early '80s I actually became really interested in oil painting. At the time I was a school administrator and part-time coach and I took some classes.
"It takes a certain amount of energy in it's own right and I haven't been able to do it since I've become head coach in Saskatchewan. But I have the canvas, paint and everything in my house in Regina and I'm hoping to find some time to paint again.
"I've done hundreds of them but sold most of them. Most of them have been landscapes but I'm interested in doing portraits."
The man who grew up on a 4,000 acre farm combine in Oregon, managed college baseball teams and has had a multi-faceted career path, says his inspiration to paint again is Saskatchewan, the flatlands many see as being endless miles of nothing.
"There are no more fascinating skies anywhere than we have in Saskatchewan. Wind rows, grain elevators, there's tremendous subject matter," he said.
As for bonsai plant sculpturing ... "I went to a show and was fascinated with that. I loved it. It's a real art form in Japan and China."
Maureen said she "almost cried" when the two decided to have a Canadian coaching experience, not because they were leaving California to come north but because of the bonsai plants.
"He had to leave behind almost 40 plants," she said.
And what, you might ask, does any of this have to do with football?
"I think it does," said Miller.
"I approach coaching from a little different perspective."
He's teaching football as an art.
"I teach a little more theory and a little more about the 'Why?' part of it. It's very satisfying when you're a coach and somebody like our young quarterback Darian Durant has what I call an 'Ah hah!' moment. An 'I get it now' moment.
When they learn it on their own, they have ownership."
Then they have the inspiration to paint their masterpiece.
"He's a very special man," said Maureen.

Sign Of The Week Perhaps The Year

It is one of those moments where you spit coffee out because you are laughing so hard. I had to steal this from the blog of one Rod Pedersen. You will agree with me when I say outstanding!!!!

A Tiny Break From Football.....

To bring you some musical enjoyment.

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

As I am typing this, ESPN Classic is showing the 1972 Grey Cup. That game was held on the day of my 6th birthday. My parents in a never-ending way to embarass me like telling me I was all pouty at the end of the game crying that the Riders had ruined my birthday. Of course I would later discover that Chuck Ealey would hit Tony Gabriel with three straight passes in the game-winning drive leading to the game-winning Ian Sunter field goal. After what Gabriel did in 1976, would he ever be welcomed to Regina? I hate that guy!

The question is Why am I watching this? Why haven't I gone to bed? Isn't there a "Girls Gone Wild" infomercial on somewhere? SIGHHHHHH!!!


The Alouettes are nine point favourites to win on Sunday. That's a little generous if you ask me. Its just another sign of disrespect to the Riders. They will play that underdog card all week.

Rob Vanstone has an article on Ken Miller in which the Rider coach says he has no intentions of retiring. There were some rumblings that Miller might call it quits at the end of this season. I thought at the AGM last year it was said he would leave in 2010. He's having too much fun to quit. Kenny isn't going anywhere! Some have wondered about some of the other aging Riders like Szarka, Makowsky, O'Day and Davis perhaps hanging up the helmet if they should win Sunday. Zark might because it could be difficult juggling his football and political career. That being said, I think #33has a year or two left. I think the other guys do too. I do wonder though if Jason Clermont may call it quits. We all know this wasn't the season that Jason and the fans envisioned. It would be great if Jason could make a contribution on Sunday. Time will tell.
The WHL is screwing around the Pats. Regina didn't have Jordan Eberle and Colten Teubert in the lineup for last night's game in Portland because they had to be in Victoria for duties surrounding the Subway Super Series game tonight. It didn't matter as they beat Portland to stretch their win streak to 4. Why is the WHL scheduling games on nights of the exhibition games between the league all-stars and the Russians? Its just another reason as to why these games are becoming more and more of a joke. If the league wants their marquee players in this game, that is fine, but then take a couple of nights off so that teams aren't affected by losses. I think they could still get the entire 72 game sked in if they took a couple of nights off. Yes, some will say players are gone for a month when they head to the World Juniors and that's fine. When you are taking on a 3rd or 4th rate Russian team just to pump your ego, you can shut the league down for a bit. I'm not even going to watch these games on Sportsnet because the WHL will likely skate circles around the Russian players. OK, I might watch one period, but I'm guessing that's about it.
Finally, I had to laugh when I saw this in the Leader-Post's Rider rumblings blog. I had to read it twice to see if this guy is joking, but he's not. This is an actual letter written by someone to the Calgary Herald. Someone who should stick to watching "Dancing with the Stars" and poker. PUH-LEEZE!!! This might be one of the funniest, if not dumbest things you will read all year. (Besides this blog!! Beat many of you to that one didn't I--HAH!)

Re: "Heartbreaker; Dream of defending Grey Cup at home dies in Regina," Nov. 23.

I watched the Stamps-Riders game on Sunday and saw the Riders fans screaming whenever Calgary tried to run a play. I know this has become the practice in most stadiums in the league, including Calgary, but the Riders fans seem to be the best (worst?) at this. What makes people think this behaviour makes them great fans? It just shows a lack of confidence in their team to win, without disrupting the other team's signal calling. It should be a penalty to the home team for unsportsmanlike conduct if the other team cannot hear the quarterback. I believe there used to be a rule in place for that, but it is never called.

Only if the announcer instigates it does the referee have discretion to call a penalty. It shows a lack of class and I hope the Grey Cup game will have a fan base that is diluted enough so both teams will be able to hear their quarterback. If not, I will be cheering for the team who has to overcome the Neanderthal factor.

Rick Gibeault,


(How high have your eyebrows raised after reading that schlock!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The CFL's Annual Media Poll Is Out--And Its Good

Candid. Misunderstood. Over his head. Hilarious. Refreshing. An embarrassment. The single best thing to happen to football reporters since God invented the buffet and happy hour.
That’s just a sampling of the responses to one of the questions in the seventh annual Calgary Herald-Winnipeg Free Press CFL media poll.
The question put out to print and electronic media across the country?
Finish the following sentence: “Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly is . . .”
You get the idea.
No coach polarized reporters, fans and, yes, players more than Kelly after his, ahem, newsmaking rookie season as Bombers coach, in which he launched tirades at players and reporters in equal measure, and somehow pulled his team to within one win of a playoff spot after most had written the Bombers off by Labour Day.
However he continually bucked the trend of head coaches, offering only guarded statements to the media.
Asked, for instance, in the pre-season if there was one move he thought was paying off for the Bombers, he replied, “Yeah, hiring me.”
Then, there was his infamous comment about the shotgun offence, that it was for “flag football, and guys that haven’t coached quarterbacks very well.”
Keep in mind, both of these comments were intended to be humorous and not at all taken seriously, but it’s such a rarity to hear them coming out of the mouth of a head coach.
Which, uh, brings us to Calgary Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel, who pulled off the repeat as the league’s least quotable coach despite making significant strides in this department.
Hufnagel is actually an engaging interview in one-on-one situations, with a great self-deprecating sense of humour. Scrums are not his strength, but most coaches are tight-lipped in scrums, so he’s not the exception. It’s quite likely he won this award on past reputation as opposed to his actual performance in interviews this year.
In fact, the Stamps swept the board in the least quotable department, as quiet receiver Romby Bryant was voted the most tight-lipped player. He’s co-operative in interviews; just not all that communicative.
Here, for your enjoyment, are the full poll results.
1. Mr. Over-rated: which CFL player gets way more hype/pub than deserved?Rob Murphy, Tor. — 13.3 per cent
Arland Bruce III, Ham.; Adriano Belli, Tor. — 8.8
Michael Bishop, Wpg.; Jesse Lumsden, Edm. — 6.7
Maurice Lloyd, Edm.; Brandon Browner, Cal.; Nik Lewis, Cal.; Ben Cahoon, Mtl.; Ricky Ray, Edm — 4.4
2. Mr. Under-rated: which CFL player deserves a little more publicity?Avon Cobourne, Mtl. — 11.1 per cent
Joffrey Reynolds, Cal.; Rob Bagg, Sask. — 8.8
Darian Durant, Sask. — 6.7
Dave Stala, Ham.; Markeith Knowlton, Ham.; Arkee Whitlock, Edm.; Jamel Richardson, Mtl., Fred Stamps, Edm. — 4.4
3. League’s biggest jerk
Mike Kelly, head coach, Wpg. — 56.1 per cent
Adriano Belli, Tor. — 7.3
Barrin Simpson, Wpg.; Nik Lewis, Cal. — 4.9
4. Nice Guy Award: Which CFL player would you love to sit down and have a pint with?Geroy Simon, B.C.; Brent Johnson, B.C.; Henry Burris, Cal. — 7 per cent
Marwan Hage, OL, Ham.; Doug Brown, Wpg.; Adriano Belli, Tor.; Anthony Calvillo, Mtl., Bryan Chiu, Mtl. — 4.7
5. Oops! Award: Worst personnel move by any CFL coach/GM this season.Bombers trading for/committing to Stefan LeFors — 29.8 per cent
Argos trading Arland Bruce III — 27.7
Bombers passing on Casey Printers; Bombers cutting Kevin Glenn — 8.5
Esks firing Rick Worman; Esks signing Lumsden; Bombers pursuit of PacMan Jones; Bombers hiring Mike Kelly — 4.3
6. Ready for prime time: Which CFL assistant is ready to be bumped up to head coach?
Greg Marshall, defensive co-ordinator, Ham. — 45.5 per cent
Mike Benevides, defensive co-ordinator, B.C. — 25
Chris Jones, defensive co-ordinator, Cal. — 11.4
Scott Milanovich, offensive co-ordinator, Mtl. — 9.1
Paul LaPolice, offensive co-ordinator, Sask. — 4.5
7. Say what?!: Worst quote, player.Romby Bryant, Cal. — 27.7 per cent
Ricky Ray, Edm. — 11.1
Michael Bishop, Wpg. — 8.3
Brandon Browner, Cal.; DeAndra’ Cobb, Ham.; James Patrick, Sask. — 5.6
8. Worst quote, GM/coachJohn Hufnagel, Cal. — 29.3 per cent
Ken Miller, Sask. — 21.9
Marc Trestman, Mtl. — 19.5
Bart Andrus, Tor. — 9.8
Mike Kelly, Wpg. — 7.3
9. Best quote, playerDoug Brown, Wpg. — 29.3 per cent
Henry Burris, Cal. — 11.6
Jeremaine Copeland, Cal. — 6.9
Anwar Stewart, Mtl.; Arland Bruce, Ham.; Nik Lewis, Cal; Avon Cobourne, Mtl.; Otis Floyd, Ham.; Mo Lloyd, Edm. — 4.7
10. Best quote, GM/coachMike Kelly, Wpg. — 65.9 per cent
Wally Buono, B.C. — 19.5
Marcel Bellefeuille, Ham. — 7.3
11. Next Stefan Logan/Cam Wake: name a player who may be the next to make it big in the NFL.
Martel Mallett, B.C. — 20 per cent
Justin Medlock, Tor., Emmanuel Arceneaux, B.C. — 12.5
Jovon Johnson, Wpg.; Calvin Armstrong, Edm.; John Chick, Sask.; Ricky Foley, B.C. — 5
12. Finish the following sentence: “Winnipeg Blue Bomber head coach Mike Kelly is . . .”
• Lost in the cloud of his over-inflated ego
• Lucky to be getting another year in Winnipeg
• An endless source of personal amusement
• thin-skinned
• Candid
• Over his head
• genius in only his own mind.
• Misunderstood
• Different. And soon to be unemployed!!
• Hilarious
• A smug disaster
• Is standing in the way of his own success. He’s his own worst enemy.
• Ferociously defensive regarding his players and wonderful to talk to.
• In desperate need of media training.
• Refreshing. I’d rather deal with him than a spouter of cliches.
• A live wire who needs a PR guy.
• An embarrassment to the CFL
• The single-best thing to happen to football reporters since God invented the buffet and happy hour.
• A mental midget
• A great guy if you’re visiting media.
• A narcissistic fool
• A breath of wind, oops, I mean air, a tireless self-promoter, always helpful to those fuzzy on the details of his powerful resume, a prolific sideline spitter, unshakably committed to the glory of Mike Kelly, yet curiously humble (You never see him wearing any of his Grey Cup rings, do you?).
• n desperate need of media-relations training
• Ruining the Bombers
• A different cat
• Still employed . . . for now
• Next coach to be paid not to coach
• Is like a box of chocolates
• Too worried about things he can’t control.
• A national treasure.
• A jerk.
• A great quote, because he doesn’t think before speaking. God love him!
• In need of some PR skills, but please, oh, please, don’t ever find a mute button.
• A work in regress.
• The most-entertaining personality in the league and I would love to have a beer with him.
• In dire need of a pause button, mirrors, manners and a one-way ticket.
• A man whose sense of humour is lost on many.
• The CFL’s Sarah Palin. He’s gone rogue.
• Good for media, bad for Bombers.
• A beat writers dream.
• Unstable.
• In over his head.
13. Best CFL on-air personality, Radio or TVChris Cuthbert, TSN — 31.1 per cent
Bob Irving, CJOB-Winnipeg — 26.7
Duane Forde, Jock Climie, Chris Schultz, TSN — 6.7
Rod Pederson, CKRM-Regina, Glen Suitor, TSN — 4.4
14. You’re Jeff Hunt, co-owner of the pending Ottawa franchise; who is your first GM?
Brendan Taman, Sask. — 29.3 per cent
Eric Tillman, Sask. — 12.2
Wally Buono, B.C. — 9.8
Jim Barker, Cal. — 7.3
15. Your first move as the Toronto Argonauts president would be:Clean house — 31.7 per cent
Fire Adam Rita and Greg Mohns — 24.4
Fire Bart Andrus — 14.6
The Lightning Round
Mark Cohon’s rating as CFL commissioner to date, thumbs up or down:
Up — 95 per cent
Down — 5
Will the CFL see a work stoppage in 2010, yes or no?No — 95.5 per cent
Yes — 4.5
Best CFL road tripMontreal — 52.4 per cent
Vancouver — 33.3
Calgary, Toronto — 4.8
Worst CFL road trip
Hamilton — 60.9 per cent
Regina, Winnipeg — 14.6
Edmonton — 7.3
Name the CFL’s most-professional organization, top to bottomMontreal — 43.2 per cent
Calgary, Edmonton — 22.7
Saskatchewan — 6.8
Name the CFL’s least-professional organization, top to bottomToronto — 52.4 per cent
Winnipeg — 45.2
Should CFL teams be allowed to start fewer Canadians, yes or no?
No — 97.7 percent
Yes — 2.3
Officiating this year:
Improved — 18.2 per cent
Stayed the same — 54.5
Took a step backwards — 27.3
Do you scan your team’s fan chat-boards?Always — 22.2 per cent
Never — 33.3
Occasionally — 44.4

Another Sign That The Riders Are Canada's Team

Former Globe and Mail columnist William Houston has his own blog (a lot of media or former media guys have that don't they?) in which he discusses things with the Canadian sports media. His latest article talks about the numbers the Riders draw in and the money they generate. Take a read...

They don’t play in a small market as much as they do a teeny-weeny market. And they don’t win all that much.
But when it comes to television, merchandising and attendance, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are giants on the Canadian sports scene.
Consider the popularity of the Riders, who will make their second Grey Cup appearance in three years, against Montreal Alouettes, after a reasonably good season of 10-7-1, tops in the West Division.
They are TSN’s audience champions. Four of the network’s five most watched regular season CFL games involved the Riders.
Last Sunday for the West final, the Roughriders along with Calgary Stampeders, delivered an audience record of two million viewers to TSN, the most to ever watch a CFL playoff game on TV.
“[The Roughriders] are clearly the biggest draw,” TSN president Phil King said this week. “It kind of flies in the face of logic, but they just are.”
They’re also a big gate attraction on the road. All figures weren’t available, but the Edmonton Eskimos, for example, set a club record for home attendance, 62,517, when the Riders visited on Sept. 26. In terms of retailing, nobody’s close. The CFL sells more Riders merchandise than the combined total of the seven other teams. In overall CFL sales, by the league and elsewhere, the Riders make up whopping 38 per cent of the total.
Why are they so popular?
You could perhaps invoke the mystic pull of the prairies, the ghost of Ron Lancaster scrambling around in the backfield. Or you could compare the appeal of the Riders to another wildly popular small market football team, the Green Bay Packers.
But there is a difference. The Packers have a history of excellence, starting the legendary Lombardi teams of the 1960s and then the Brett Favre years. The Roughriders don’t. In their long history, starting in 1910 with rugby, they’ve won only three Grey Cups
A more apt comparison than Green Bay, King says, is a U.S. college team.
“If you went to Syracuse University, no matter where you live, you’re an alumni and a fan, and your kid becomes a fan,” he said. “I think Saskatchewan might be a little that way. Somebody living in Regina 20 years ago maybe has moved to Toronto my now, but he’s still a huge Green Rider fan and his kids are fans.”
That intimate connection between a fan and the team doesn’t exist as much in other markets where a fan, say in Calgary, has two professional teams for which to throw his support.
“Being the only pro team in that province, they obviously get a ton of profile,” King said. “If you’re a sports fan in the province of Saskatchewan, you’re a Roughrider fan. It just comes with the birthplace.”
Roughriders resonate because viewers in Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere are impressed by the popularity of the team in its home market It gives the Riders status. They’re the little team everybody loves.
“People like pulling for the underdog,” King said. “The old saying is they’re everybody’s second favourite team.”
All of this, King notes, adds up to the contradiction of a small market team ranking as the league’s leading TV attraction.
“It’s one of the biggest paradoxes I’ve seen in sports,” he said, “where the smallest team in the league is the most popular team on television. It just doesn’t follow logic.”
In fact, the Riders are so big on TV that King says given a choice between having Saskatchewan in the Grey Cup or the Toronto Argonauts, which play in Canada’s largest TV market, he’d take the little team on the prairie.
“If you ask me from a pure ratings point of view which team I would like to see in there, truthfully we’d probably say Saskatchewan,” he said. “If Toronto was having a great year with 15 wins and were marching along, would that improve it? I don’t know.
“How about Toronto and Saskatchewan in the Grey Cup?”
By the way, Houston's blog can be found at

Two Riders Win Weekly Awards

Saskatchewan Roughrider linebacker Renauld Williams has been named Gibson’s Finest CFL Defensive Player of the Week, while teammate Andy Fantuz has been named Gibson’s Finest CFL Canadian Player of the Week.

Williams was a dominant force on Sunday as the Riders clinched a berth in the 2009 Grey Cup with a 27-17 win over Calgary. The Rider linebacker had ten defensive tackles and three quarterback sacks in the West Final. Williams finished the regular season with 59 defensive tackles, eight special team tackles, three quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four pass knockdowns.

Fantuz was the Riders’ top receiver in the West Final victory on Sunday with five catches for 89 yards and one touchdown. This marks the fourth Gibson’s Finest Canadian Player of the Week award for Fantuz who tallied 67 catches for 882 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season.

Williams and Fantuz join teammates Stevie Baggs, Jason Armstead, Mike McCullough, Luca Congi, and Chris Getzlaf as Rider weekly award winners this season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Who Is The Rider Quarterback?

As I was watching Monday Night Football, I had to rewind my PVR early on because I thought my ears were deceiving me. During the first quarter of the game, TSN ran an ad promoting Sunday's big game with it being a showdown between Montreal's Anthony Calvillo and Saskatchewan's Kevin Durant. Who? In the words of Keyshawn Johnson, CMON MAN!!!

This is embarassing. The official broadcaster of the CFL is running an ad in which they can't even get the name of the starting quarterback right. That's another slap in the face to DARIAN and its something that could prove to be a motivator.

Someone at TSN has some explaining to do. Actually, there would be a few. How many times did the original copy get looked at before that script went to whoever to voice. TSN does a great job in covering the CFL and they are going to do a great job in bringing everything into your living room from Calgary this week, but this is a major league faux-pas. Just to recap.

This is Darian Durant. He is the quarterback of the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders.

This is Kevin Durant. He plays for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.

This is Elisha Cuthbert who will be the grand marshal of the Grey Cup parade. I just wanted to throw this picture in for the heck of it. I also couldn't think of another Durant besides Darian's brother Justin who plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Reynolds in Green???

Take a read on this story out of the Calgary Sun. Nothing against Wes Cates, but wouldn't Joffrey Reynolds look good in the Saskatchewan backfield.

I don't think they could afford him without losing one of their core guys, but you just never know.

TSN Will Get You Ready For Grey Cup 97

After 21 weeks, 76 games and more than 4,560 minutes of football played, it all comes down to one game - the 2009 Grey Cup - and TSN is there, on site and in full-force in Calgary, covering Canada's biggest and most prestigious sporting event of the year from all angles. With more multi-platform coverage on TSN, and TSN Mobile than ever before, Canadians will not miss any of the action on - or off - the gridiron at the 2009 Grey Cup.

TSN's exclusive English-language coverage of the 2009 Grey Cup, featuring the Montreal Alouettes taking on the Saskatchewan Roughriders, airs nationally on Sunday, Nov. 29 in High Definition, beginning at 1pm et/10am pt with the network's five-hour pre-game show, Grey Cup Sunday, live from the Scotiabank CFL Experience and McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

TSN's French-language counterpart, RDS, has live coverage of the 2009 Grey Cup in High Definition, beginning at 5:30pm et/2:30pm pt. The 2009 Grey Cup will also be available on-demand at following the game.

Leading up to Sunday's championship game, TSN once again has a full day of CFL programming featured on Grey Cup Saturday on November 28, with 12 hours of comprehensive coverage beginning at 10am et/7am pt.

All week long, TSN also celebrates Canada's game with a comprehensive lineup of Grey Cup programming, featuring coverage from Calgary across all of the network's properties and programs: SportsCentre, Off The Record with Michael Landsberg and TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge, and online at and on TSN Mobile. (See details below.)

Football fans can enjoy the 2009 Grey Cup and related Grey Cup programming in High Definition, as all HD customers will have access to TSN HD during its free preview from November 26 to January 6. Fans are encouraged to contact their local television service provider for more information.

Below is an overview of 2009 Grey Cup programming on TSN:

Sunday, Nov. 29

· 2009 Grey Cup at 6pm ET/3pm PT (encore at 11:30 p.m. ET on TSN2)

TSN's Gemini-Award winning broadcast team of Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor are in the broadcast booth at McMahon Stadium, providing play-by-play commentary and game analysis, respectively, during the 2009 Grey Cup. Veteran broadcaster Cuthbert has called the action in 11 previous championship games, while Suitor - a Grey Cup champion with the Saskatchewan Roughriders - makes his second appearance in the booth for the big game.

Hosts Dave Randorf and Brian Williams are live at field level inside McMahon Stadium during the game, alongside the popular CFL ON TSN panel featuring Grey Cup champion Chris Schultz, two-time Grey Cup champion Matt Dunigan, Jock Climie and Milt Stegall, plus TSN's Farhan Lalji and Sara Orlesky reporting from the sidelines. CFL on TSN analyst and two-time Grey Cup champion Duane Forde is also on site, keeping up with all the action and answering fans' questions in his second-annual live Grey Cup blog on

At halftime, TSN has live coverage of the highly-anticipated Pepsi Max Halftime Show featuring Blue Rodeo playing three songs as selected by fans through a national online vote. Randorf and the CFL on TSN panel also return to break down all the action from the first half.

Following the game, TSN's Grey Cup post-game show features CFL commissioner Mark Cohon presenting the Grey Cup to the game's winning team, as well as the awards for Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Canadian.

The CFL on TSN panel is also on hand to provide post-game analysis and conduct live interviews with coaches and players on the field, leading up to SportsCentre at 10:30pm et/7:30pm pt, with complete highlights, plus more reaction and analysis from McMahon Stadium.

· Grey Cup Sunday Pre-Game Show from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET

TSN's pre-game coverage kicks off with SportsCentre hosts Rod Smith and Darren Dutchyshen live from the Scotiabank CFL Experience, and then moves to McMahon Stadium, where CFL on TSN host Dave Randorf and Brian Williams continue to tee up the championship game with in-depth analysis from the CFL on TSN panel, interviews with players and coaches, special features on the 1948 and 1989 Grey Cup, and reports from CFL Insider Dave Naylor. Williams also goes one-on-one with CFL commissioner Mark Cohon to address some of the league's hot-button issues.

The pre-game show also includes two episodes of Journy To The Grey Cup. Seen through the eyes of the players and coaches, the TSN-produced mini-documentaries follow the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders from the end of last season to now, as they each travelled towards the CFL's championship game. Journy To The Grey Cup also features unprecedented access inside both teams' locker rooms and chronicles the regular season highs and lows encountered by Alouettes and Roughriders.

Saturday, Nov. 28

· Grey Cup Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET

TSN delivers more all-encompassing coverage of the Grey Cup than ever before with Grey Cup Saturday, featuring SportsCentre hosts Rod Smith and Darren Dutchyshen live, on location at the Scotiabank CFL Experience in Calgary's TELUS Convention Centre. The comprehensive 12-hour show includes all the latest news, special reports and expert analysis in anticipation of the big game. The CFL on TSN panel is live from the Alouettes and Roughriders' practices at McMahon Stadium at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. ET, respectively, while TSN reporters are also on the sidelines to provide reports as the teams make their final preparations for the final on Sunday.

Throughout the day, Smith and Dutchyshen return to recap all the latest news from the 2009 Grey Cup, while the CFL on TSN panel checks in with additional analysis on both teams. Grey Cup Saturday will also have Blue Rodeo's sound check live from McMahon Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.

Additional highlights from Grey Cup Saturday include:

· TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge: Grey Cup Saturday Special Edition at 10:30 a.m. ET (encore at 8 p.m. ET on TSN)

Host Dave Hodge is live, on location at the Scotiabank CFL Experience with the panel from his Sunday morning show, TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge, to debate all the key issues leading up to the 2009 Grey Cup. Joining Hodge in Calgary are Globe and Mail columnists Dave Naylor and Al Maki, and Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox. In addition, an expanded one-hour live edition of TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge will air on Grey Cup Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.

· XLV Desjardins Vanier Cup at 12 noon ET (encore at 3 p.m. ET on TSN2)

The biggest game in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football returns to TSN for the first time since 2005 as the Queen's Gaels and Calgary Dinos do battle in the XLV Desjardins Vanier Cup live from Universite Laval on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 12 noon ET. Rod Black handles the play-by-play duties and is joined in the broadcast booth by analyst Duane Forde. The game will also be available on-demand at Earlier this fall, TSN and CIS announced a two-year agreement that will see TSN and TSN2 provide exclusive English coverage of several marquee CIS events for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 university sport seasons.

· Friday Night Gladiators at 3:30 p.m. ET (encore at 8:30 p.m. ET on TSN)

Hosted by Glen Suitor and Chris Cuthbert, the 30-minute special honours standout CFL players that have demonstrated gladiator-like prowess, toughness and exceptional performance on the gridiron during the 2009 regular season. Suitor will also reveal his choice for 2009 Gladiator of the Year. The top contenders include Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Fred Reid, Montreal Alouettes' Avon Cobourne and Calgary Stampeders' Joffrey Reynolds, proving that it was a banner year for running backs in the CFL.

· Gibson's Finest CFL Player Awards 2009 at 4:30 p.m. ET (encore at 9 p.m. ET on TSN)

The CFL honours its most outstanding players in an awards ceremony with host Dave Randorf and featuring Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan, Jock Climie and Chris Cuthbert as presenters at this prestigious event.

· SportsCentre Grey Cup Top 10 Special at 5:30 p.m. ET (encore at 9:30 p.m. ET on TSN)

SportsCentre hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole revisit some of the most memorable moments in Grey Cup history with the Top 10 plays, bloopers and finishes from the CFL's championship game. Highlights of the 30-minute special include a look back at pre-game speeches from former Toronto Argonauts head coach Mike ''Pinball'' Clemons and current Calgary Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel, as well as SportsCentre reporter Katherine Dolan sitting down with the CFL fan who topped the list for best Grey Cup blooper.


TSN's flagship sports news program has comprehensive coverage of the 2009 Grey Cup, with expert analysis, interviews, features and in-depth reports beginning today and continuing up to and following the CFL's championship game. The CFL on TSN panel is in Calgary, filing daily reports and breaking down all the action, while SportsCentre reporters will also provide additional reports from the Alouettes and Roughriders' camps.

SportsCentre will also have live coverage of the Gibson's Finest Most Outstanding Player award presentation from the Gibson's Finest CFL Player Awards 2009 on Thursday, Nov. 26 at 11 p.m. ET.

Off The Record with Michael Landsberg

Off The Record travels to the 2009 Grey Cup, as host Michael Landsberg is live, on location in Calgary on November 26 and 27 for two episodes. The daily sports talk show, which airs at 6 p.m. ET (9 p.m. ET on TSN2), will feature key CFL newsmakers and shakers as they debate all the compelling storylines. is the definitive online destination for Grey Cup fans in Canada, as the country's leading sports website features all the latest news, analysis, interviews, photo galleries and video leading up to and following the big game. In addition, will reveal the winner of the inaugural CFL Play Of The Year Showdown on Thursday, Nov. 26. Voting for the final round, featuring Saskatchewan's Darian Durant going head-to-head against Winnipeg's Jovon Johnson, begins today.

Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan and Glen Suitor return to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the 2009 Grey Cup in Calgary with online columns and blogs, while Schultz also reveals his final pick of the CFL season in the last instalment of his popular online feature, Schultz Against the World. Duane Forde also gets in on the action with the return of his live blog during the final on Sunday, and fans are invited to participate with questions and comments.

Along with having the championship game available on-demand, will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2009 Grey Cup on the TSN Video Player, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes video from Calgary, plus news, features, one-on-one interviews with players and coaches, and a daily roundtable with the CFL on TSN panel leading up to the final. Fans will also be able to access programming from Grey Cup Saturday on demand, including TSN The Reporters with Dave Hodge, Friday Night Gladiators, SpoprtsCentre Grey Cup Top 10 Special and coverage of the East and West team practices.

On Sunday, will have scoring updates, extended highlights and post-game coverage from inside the teams' locker rooms available on-demand.

TSN Moblie

CFL fans on the go can keep tabs on all the action in Cowtown with up-to-the-minute Grey Cup news on TSN Mobile - the portable version of TSN's industry-leading sports website,, accessible on any wireless device with Internet capabilities. Fans can also sign up for TSN text alerts for breaking news delivered directly to their wireless device.

ESPN Classic

ESPN Classic gets pumped for the 2009 Grey Cup with Grey Cup Week from November 23 to November 28, featuring a slate of vintage Grey Cup match-ups leading up to this year's big game. Highlights include Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker Dave Ridgway's game-winning field goal in the 1989 Grey Cup, plus bonus interview footage with Ridgway's former teammate and current CFL on TSN analyst Glen Suitor in celebration of the game's 20th anniversary; a Canada-U.S. match-up in the 1994 Grey Cup; and Ron Lancaster's Grey Cup win with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1966. The broadcast schedule is as follows:

· Mon., Nov. 23 - 1998 Grey Cup: Calgary vs. Hamilton at 9 p.m. ET
· Tue., Nov. 24 - 1972 Grey Cup: Hamilton vs. Saskatchewan at 7 p.m. ET
· Tue., Nov. 24 - 1974 Grey Cup: Edmonton vs. Montreal at 9 p.m. ET
· Wed., Nov. 25 - 1994 Grey Cup: BC vs. Baltimore at 9 p.m. ET
· Thur., Nov. 26 - 1996 Grey Cup: Toronto vs. Edmonton at 9 p.m. ET
· Fri., Nov. 27 - 1989 Grey Cup: Saskatchewan vs. Hamilton at 7 p.m. ET
· Fri., Nov. 27 - 2007 Grey Cup: Saskatchewan vs. Winnipeg at 9 p.m. ET
· Sat., Nov. 28 - 2007 Grey Cup: Winnipeg vs. Saskatchewan at 2 a.m. ET
· Sat., Nov. 28 - 1966 Grey Cup: Ottawa vs. Saskatchewan at 4 a.m. ET
· Sat., Nov. 28 - 1978 Grey Cup: Edmonton vs. Montreal at 6 a.m. ET
· Sat., Nov. 28 - 2002 Grey Cup: Montreal vs. Edmonton at 4 p.m. ET