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Saturday, July 31, 2010

An Interesting Saturday Afternoon









I had never been a part of game day coverage for Saskatchewan Roughrider football until today---and I was starting to wonder if I was going to be a part of it. I had a chance to host "The Touchdown Club". That is the 90 minute pre-game show before Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri take over. I was ready with John Lynch to discuss the game, but those oh-so-famous technical difficulties that happen at I think every radio station raised its ugly head again.





We were forced to leave the practice field and hurry it up to Rod's broadcast location in the press box. When we finally got going, an hour and a half show got condensed to about a half hour. It wasn't the way I thought it was going to be, but what can you do. All of the people involved in the broadcast were doing their best to get us on and all you can do is sit back and hope. It just made me think back to the problems we used to have in getting U of R Rams games from the road on CJME. Many, many stories could be told there. I still laugh when I think of my colour man Sheldon Stener carrying this briefcase with our tieline (portable studio) around Thunderbird Stadium at UBC trying to find a broadcast location because the only broadcast line set up was for a Vancouver radio station and not us. When we finally got to doing the game, it was because we were using a phone line that was the stadium office. Anyone wanting to phone the stadium that afternoon got a busy signal. At least their calls didn't knock us off the air because that's what I thought would happen. The bottom line is when the equipment isn't working, it causes chaos and stress for many good people.


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Thoughts on the game....





--The Riders should have blown Hamilton out. They scored 37, but it could have been and should have been 50. While it was a celebratory dressing room at game's end, I think everyone in that room knew it could have been a lot better.





--Defensive co-ordinator Gary Etcheverry seemingly has to teach his unit how to tackle again. There have been a lot of missed ones over the last two weeks.





--The special teams play was much better today. Dominique Dorsey didn't break a major return,. but there was a tremendous improvement. Neal Hughes' blocked punt may have been the game's biggest play.





--Louie Sakoda's days in green appear to be numbered. Eddie Johnson has won that job with his performance.





--I think Hamilton's game plan was to get the ball into the hands of Arland Bruce! I don't care if you win the game or not, you can't be happy with the fact that one guy caught 16 passes for 270 plus yards. I know Lance Frazier wasn't very pleased.





--This team is 4-1 and I don't know if they have had a complete game yet. The B.C game was arguably their best one of the year.





--The chicken breasts we were treated to at halftime might have been the best meal at the half we have had over the past couple of years.

--Dave Stala's touchdown celebration was fantastic! Even Rider fans have to give him his due for that one.





--Kevin Glenn got the ball away lightning quick, but there still wasn't a lot of pressure on him. Lynch and I argued about the team not having impact ends like Chick and Baggs anymore. I said the sacks are still coming so why worry. I think I was wrong.

--Kudos to CTV's Lee Jones. He did sidelines for TSN on Saturday and he did his usual outstanding job. He even did it while wearing a suit! Where were those TSN golf shirts? With the game on the NFL Network, he even got to do his thing in front of an American audience. Who needs Suzy Kolber or Erin Andrews or whoever when you could have Jonesy!!!! He even did his own post-game package for CTV Regina. A gold star for him ladies and gentlemen. He gets the hardest-working media award. Its why you will see him on Sportscenter one day.





Before the game, we found out Jordan Sisco had been released by the Indianapolis Colts. It means he is likely on his way to Riderville. What do you with Sisco when he comes back? Can you realistically send him back to the U of R Rams? If he comes in, does this mean the end of Jason Clermont or Obed Cetoute. I would say the latter, but if it comes down to money, it could mean the end of Clermont's days in green and white. I hope that isn't the case. We will find out over the next couple of weeks.

--My six year old daughter had a blast at her first ever Rider game. I don't know if she could see a lot, but she told me all about it. Her only disappointment was she didn't get one of those little yellow footballs. Mom even took a picture of her and it ended up on the Maxtron at the end of the game. Of course, Dad didn't see it because he was walking from the press box to the field. GRRRR!!


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The Eskimos fired Danny Macioccia. Its about time! Many people believe Eric Tillman will be the new guy there. However, I had one person in the Rider organization tell me that he heard Lynch and I discussing the scenario and that it won't be Tillman. We will see. If it is Eric, he will get the Eskimos back to a level of prominence. In his opening remarks, will he say the E-E stands for something? (ITS A JOKE!!)


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Former Rider play-by-play man Geoff Currier was in attendance at the game. I spoke with Geoff for about five minutes. He is as classy and first-rate as ever. I told Rod that he should get a picture of the two of them at halftime, but there wasn't enough time for that to happen. I don't think I remember anyone else doing games except for Geoff and Rod. I remember Tim Dancy, Steve Brown and Ron Barnet doing games, but many of my Rider years have been spent listening to Geoff and Rod. I wonder what it would be like if Rod ever handed the mike off to Geoff for just a couple of series. I would have to find a radio to listen to that.


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The Jays resisted the urge to trade Jose Bautista. They also didn't trade any of their relievers which surprised me. Meanwhile, the Yankees acquired Kerry Wood from Cleveland. I've always been a big Kerry Wood fan since he started with the Cubs. His 20 strikeout game a few years ago against Houston was one that I just marvelled at. That game comes on ESPN Classic every now and then and I usually watch it. Not being a Yankees fan, it won't break my heart if he blows a few 7th or 8th inning leads.
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The Regina Red Sox are one win away from Round 2 of the playoffs. They beat Weyburn Saturday night 9-4 to take a 2-0 lead in their best of 5. Game 3 is Sunday night at Currie Field.
David Fox homered for the winners to give them an early lead.
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That's it. Have a good Sunday. Stay cool!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Colossal Display Of Ineptitude

The Eskimos have their first win of the season. They beat BC 28-25 in what was just a brutal football game. Thoughts after this one

--The Western final will be played in either Calgary or Regina with the Stamps playing the Riders. Both the Lions and Eskimos are simply pathetic and I don't see things changing unless some roster moves are made

--The LP's Rob Vanstone makes some idiotic suggestions for the CFL from time to time (ie: abolishing the extra point and forcing teams to go for two during regulation time), but his questioning why teams don't spread the field on short yardage situations at the goal-line is bang on. The Eskimos fooled absolutely no one with a 3rd and goal play from the one. Ricky Ray could have stepped back and thrown one to a wide open Kelly Campbell, but he tried to plunge in from the one and failed. Nice play calling Kevin Strasser. Then again, don't blame Strasser because seven other offensive co-ordinators would likely call the same play.

--Ricky Ray's best days are behind him. Its time to start considering Jared Zabransky. How many times is he going to throw a pick six and a bad one at that? I thought it was BC's ball game when Davis Sanchez intercepted Ray and took it back to the house.

--Now that BC has lost four straight, will anyone turn the heat up on Wally Buono? If not, why? Yes, Wally is the dean of CFL coaches, but he's not getting the job done in Vancouver and its been that way for a couple of years.

--Will the weather that affected that game be making its way across Saskatchewan tomorrow? I hope not, but methinks my six year old daughter's first ever Rider game is going to be a wet one.
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I don't see the Riders laying a good old fashioned schoolyard beating on the Ti-Cats tomorrow, but I do see them winning comfortably. I just can't see this team having back to back bad games under Ken Miller. If they lose this one, it might be a three game losing streak as they can't see the Riders going into Montreal and winning, but stranger things have happened. Bottom line is I see this football team rebounding from last week's effort in Calgary and playing the football we are accustomed to in Saskatchewan. I also get the feeling Prechae Rodriguez is going to have a big game.
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Those saying Jason Clermont never got on the field last year need to look at the CFL Guide and Record Book for this year. Clermont is on the cover battling an Alouette defensive back for the ball during their game in Montreal last season.
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Regina is finally noticing the Red Sox. They had a great crowd out Friday night for their playoff opener against Weyburn---a game they won 8-5. While Mitch MacDonald has gotten most of the ink this season and deservedly so, some ink also has to go to right fielder David Fox. The rightfielder has had a monster year at the plate and he had a good night in Game 1 as he had a pair of RBI's along with a defensive play in which he made a catch and then got up and fired a lazer right to 3rd stopping a potential Weyburn player from moving up. One of my favourite baseball plays might be the right fielder gunning someone down at 3rd. Fox didn't throw anyone out on this play, but he would have had it not been for the Weyburn base coach realizing what was going to happen. Game 3 of the best of 5 goes in Regina Sunday night. If you haven't checked out the Red Sox yet this year, go Sunday. Its a great evening of entertainment.
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Its days like this when I wish I had air conditioning. Thank goodness for a cool basement and a comfy couch.
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I'll be hosting the Touchdown Club on 620 CKRM tomorrow from 2-330 before Rod and Carm take over for Countdown to Kickoff. This will be a first for me being an actual part of a Rider broadcast. I guess you never can say never.
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Was Friday's Sportscenter a symbolic passing of the torch as Jennifer Hedger and Kate Beirness did the show together. Think about it for a second.
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There is a law in place that prevents people from talking on their cellphones in Saskatchewan isn't there? I just want to make sure seeing I have seen three people doing it in the last day and a half.
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Have a good Saturday and oh yeah----GO RIDERS!

Vanstone Chats With Fantuz

The Leader-Post's Rob Vanstone took time out to chat with Rider receiver Andy Fantuz today. The topics of discussion were "Fantuz Flakes" and more importantly tomorrow's game against the Ti-Cats. Check it out here

Ch-Ch-Changes!!!


The Riders are making some lineup changes for Saturday's game against Hamilton.
--Tamon George and Leron Mitchell have been taken off the 46 man roster. This means Donovan Alexander will go back to his starting corner spot after missing last week.
--Almost one year after suffering a knee injury, linebacker Kye Stewart returns to the active roster. Cory Huclack has also been added on as the team tries to improve its special teams play.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Doubt As To #1 Is

Four teams went into the CFL with 3-1 records. Two of them played last night and in the end, there is no doubt as to what team is the best in the league. The Montreal Alouettes sliced and diced the Argonauts to a tune of 41-10. Montreal looks just as good as they have ever been. Regardless of the Rider performance against Hamilton Saturday afternoon, they will be hard-pressed to beat the Alouettes in Montreal one week from tonight.
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Do I even have to comment on the Rob Murphy story?
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If you were at the concert last night, were you a little sleepy today? Was it worth it though? Speaking of which, Bon Jovi said the Riders could use "This Is My House" and they are going to. Click here to see what I mean.
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I failed to mention this with my concert review post, but if you bought one of Bon Jovi's concert t-shirts (guilty as charged), you will notice a list of stadiums where the latest tour stopped. That stadium in Regina says Taylor Field. Oops!
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Has anyone seen the weather forecast for Saturday? Could the Hamilton game be the annual Rider home game in a storm game? Perhaps!
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The Regina Red Sox meet the Weyburn Beavers in Game 1 of their first round WMBL playoff series at Currie Field tonight. Here's hoping for a huge crowd.
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When is A-Rod going to hit his 600th homer? Its been over a week. I don't care if he isn't the most popular player. He has at least admitted to taking some performance enhancers and I would much rather see him atop baseball's home run ladder than Barry Bonds.
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I'm not sure I understand the Jays trade today. Brett Wallace was said to be the heir apparent to Lyle Overbay who may be gone by the weekend. Overbay won't be with the Jays in 2011 so who plays first. There is talk it might be Travis Snider. That being said, Anthony Gose (the guy acquired in the Wallace deal) is apparently a Carl Crawford clone. If he is, the Jays have themselves a player.
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Are you having Fantuz Flakes with your coffee today?
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Does the KFC ad for their new product remind you of Peter asking Quagmire what he has been up to since discovering internet porn? If you don't watch Family Guy, you have no idea what I'm talking about, but if you do, you know exactly what I'm talking about!
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Do people that come out to fix your tires when they need air do it for a flat rate?

Reginans Are Getting Their Fantuz Flakes



Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) is proud to announce the launch of Fantuz Flakes, a limited edition cereal developed as part of FCL’s sponsorship of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Centennial celebrations.

“I am very excited about this initiative and it was a tremendous honour having been chosen,” stated Andy Fantuz. “I want to thank Saskatchewan Co-ops and everyone involved for making this unique opportunity a reality,” concluded Fantuz.

With every purchase of this great tasting cereal, Saskatchewan Co-ops, along with Andy Fantuz, will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.

“The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan is honoured to have been chosen as the recipient for a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Fantuz Flakes,’’ says Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of the Foundation. “We wish to thank Saskatchewan Co-ops, Andy Fantuz, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders organization for supporting our Foundation and the new Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.”

Andy will be at the Sherwood Co-op’s Quance Street Marketplace food store in Regina (2925 Quance Street East) from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Thursday July 29th to autograph purchased boxes of Fantuz Flakes cereal. This personal appearance will be the official launch of the Fantuz Flakes for Co-op Food Stores across Saskatchewan.

“Saskatchewan Co-op food stores are proud to be a sponsor of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Centennial celebrations,” explained FCL CEO Scott Banda. “Like the Riders, Co-ops have a long history in Saskatchewan and our presence in so many communities gives Rider fans across the province a chance to purchase a collector’s edition product like Fantuz Flakes. We’re also very proud to partner with Andy to offer support to the Children’s Hospital Foundation.”

Fantuz Flakes is a unique, limited edition product that is available exclusively at Co-op food stores in Saskatchewan. In addition to the donation to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, each box also includes a coupon for $5.00 off any purchase of $50.00 or more of Rider Centennial Merchandise from the Rider Stores. Quantities are limited, and available only while supplies last.

Thigpen Has Chip On His Shoulder

end of training camp, the 24-year-old kick-return specialist was convinced his professional football career was over.

"I thought I had all this ability and speed and I couldn't make a team and it was tough," said Thigpen, who also failed to catch on with the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos during short stints with those NFL teams in 2009. "I was ready to be sent back home and to have a regular life with my family."

But Thigpen had caught the eye of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and just three days after being released by Saskatchewan, he was on a plane heading for southern Ontario. He would get another shot and he would make it count.

In Week 1 against Winnipeg, Thigpen returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and followed in the fourth quarter by returning a missed field goal 118 yards for another touchdown. In Week 2 against Calgary, Thigpen returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown early in the game and added a 33-yard touchdown catch before halftime.

Thigpen's next chance will come on Saturday when the Ticats play the Roughriders at Regina's Mosaic Stadium.

"I definitely feel a little extra motivation going back there. You feel motivation going into every game, but there's more against them because they released me and I feel like I didn't have a fair opportunity to prove myself," said Thigpen, who signed with Saskatchewan last October but never saw game action.

Roughriders general manager Brendan Taman said the club recognized Thigpen's talent, but it had no choice but to release him because a significant commitment had previously been made to primary return man Dominique Dorsey and backup running back Hugh Charles.

"Obviously, people in hindsight will go, 'Well, Marcus is probably the best of the three,' and after four games this year he sure is," Taman said.

"It is obviously a little surprising how successful he's been so far. That's a very impressive thing that he's done with all those touchdowns, but the bottom line is we had Dorsey and Charles and we couldn't keep a third guy similar to those two.

"We structured our salary cap this year around the idea that we weren't going to keep as many bodies as we had in the past."

Thigpen leads the CFL in punt-return average (12.1) while Dorsey (6.3) is well behind. Taman said he expects Dorsey's numbers will improve now that he's recovered from an early season hamstring problem. The coaching staff in Saskatchewan has also identified sub-par blocking as a cause of Dorsey's slow start.

But Thigpen is not just a factor on special teams. Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille is starting to integrate him more into the team's offence.

Thigpen has recorded four receptions for 64 yards and six carries for 26 yards. Dorsey, meanwhile, is not a factor when the Roughriders are on offence. Charles, when spelling off starter Wes Cates, has eight carries for 69 yards and two catches for 26 yards.

"I pick up things pretty fast so I've pretty much got the offensive schemes down," Thigpen said. "Now things are starting to come together for me in Hamilton. Everything happens for a reason and I just had to be patient."

Triple Crown For MacDonald

Regina Red Sox first baseman Mitch MacDonald has won the Western Major League Triple Crown.

MacDonald finished the season at the top of the pack in batting average (.476), runs batted in (48) and homeruns (8). The three categories make up the Triple Crown for batters.

MacDonald has spent the bulk of the season batting in the number five slot of Regina’s high-powered offence, and helped lead the Red Sox to a WMBL East Division pennant.

Regina (29-13) is slated to open the playoffs on Friday night at Currie Field, with the Weyburn Beavers in for Game One of the East Division quarterfinals. First pitch is at 7:05.

What A Night!!

If you were one of the 35-thousand in attendance at Bon Jovi's Regina concert Wednesday night, you are talking about it today, and you are likely saying it was one of those evenings you won't forget for a long time. Kid Rock and Bon Jovi came to Regina and proved to everyone again why they are who they are.



Sitting in the 9th row meant a great night. It would have been better had I been on the 9th row by the West side stands since most of the action was happening there, but hey I'm not complaining. I had better seats than the Mayor. Yes, Pat Fiacco was two rows behind me. I don't know if Canada's coolest mayor was trying to enter a Kid Rock look-alike contest, but he was sporting a hat very similar to the bad ass Detroit rocker. Then again, neither of us had the seats that my Access 7 Pats colour man, Sportscage Co-host and financial planner extraordinaire Kelly Remple had...










There's Kelly waiting for his entourage or trying to somehow snag himself a backstage pass so he can witness some of the degeneracy for himself.

First up was Kid Rock and he did not disappoint as he got everyone revved up for the main event with the high energy performances he can give. He didn't say some of the things he has said about previous concerts which is probably a good thing, but he treated us to a solid show leading up to the main event.







The Snowbirds came from the downtown core for a flyover and they came back for a second one
to get the crowd started up and then it was SHOWTIME! The first appearance of Bon Jovi had the wife energetically punch me in the arm because like many ladies in the crowd she has a deep love for the New Jersey pretty boy(and I mean that in a good way).

From the time he took to the stage, he had the audience in the palm of his hand. He showed why Bon Jovi has sold well over 100 million albums in over a quarter-century of work.





Over two hours and I think about 20-25 songs later, he was done. He did the songs that we all love "Bad Medicine", "You Give Love a Bad Name", "Its My Life" and "Livin on a Prayer". He didn't do "Runaway" which made the wife sad seeing that's her favourite Bon Jovi song and that's twice now that she has seen him and he hasn't done that song.
What was interesting (and I find doubtful) was that when he came out for an encore, he did a new song called "This Is Our House". He claimed it was the first time the band had done the song live and he wanted to use the footage for a video. In fact, they did the song twice. If Regina is in that video, I will be shocked but it takes nothing away from what is a great song. People in our area said what a great theme song this would be for the Rider Nation. If you want to hear it, whether you were there or not, just click here.
As he started singing it the 2nd time, I was already envisioning the video with Durant touchdown passes, Dressler catches, Cates runs and big hits by the D. Someone with the Riders has got to get onto this. This song will catch on in stadiums and arenas across North America, but lets be the first to get our hands on it. Even Jon said he wouldn't mind one bit if the Riders used it so why not!!! Is it too early to have it done for Saturday??
This was the 4th time I have seen Bon Jovi and I thought he was at his best. He didn't run around the way I thought he might, but a calf injury he suffered earlier in the tour may have contributed to that. He said its been 20 years since he was last in Regina, but it won't be another 20 till he's back. If I'm around, I'll be there to see him again and I'm guessing many of you that were there last night feel the same way.








He Still Knows How To Rock




Jon Bon Jovi was outstanding last night at Mosaic Stadium. Details and more pics to follow. This tired blogger spent way too much time waiting for the bus to come home. If you were there, give me your thoughts and tell me this. Is that new song that he did late in the concert not a perfect Rider anthem? It is in my books!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bad News For B.C.

B.C. Lions quarterback Casey Printers could be done for the season after MRI scans of his injured right knee showed a torn meniscus and a partially torn ACL, according to media reports.

The extent of the injury wasn't known conclusively until Wednesday, as the initial tests done last week weren't accurate due to the massive swelling in his knee subsided.

Printers, who was hurt in the Lions' Canadian Football League loss to Montreal on July 16, is the third straight B.C. quarterback to have major injury problems, though Buck Pierce and Dave Dickenson both had concussion problems.

Travis Lulay will start for the second straight week against Edmonton on Friday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And I Thought Price Was The Problem

How many of us have been to an NHL game? An MLB game? An NFL game? How about the NBA? Chances are you a lot of you are saying yes. How many of you have bought something to eat at said game. Again, a lot of you are probably raising your hand. You might not though the next time you go to see whoever play. Why? Reading this will answer the question. I think I just might get something before I go next time. EWWWWWW!!!
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Terrell Owens has teamed up with Chad Ochocinco and will play with the Bengals this year. What's the over/under on that greasefire spreading out of control?
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Are you ready for Bon Jovi?
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Chili's is fast becoming my favourite Regina restaurant.
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If the Jays could play Baltimore every night, they would be a contender. Then again if the Regina Red Sox played Baltimore every night, they might be a contender too.
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Who knew Jose Bautista would hit 30 homeruns this year with two months to go? Seriously!
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On May 29, Angels first baseman Kendry Morales broke his leg while celebrating a walk-off homerun with his teammates. I didn't think you could have any injury more bizarre---until this one. Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan tore meniscus in his left knee when he threw a shaving cream pie into the face of teammate Wes Helms after a game Monday. Explain that one to the coach!
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Saskenergy will sponsor Don Narcisse Day on August 12 in Regina. On that night the Riders play the BC Lions. Wouldn't it be great if number 80 was retired on that evening! Does he have one more Narco shuffle in him. I hope so!
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Kootenay Ice Name New Head Coach

Cranbrook, BC -- Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Kootenay ICE Hockey Club, today announced the Club has promoted Assistant Coach Kris Knoblauch (knob-lock) to be the fifth Head Coach in franchise history. Knoblauch, who has signed a two year contract with a club option for a third year replaces Mark Holick who was named Head Coach of the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League in May.



“After going through the numerous applicants for the Head Coaching position the decision to promote Kris was ultimately an easy one as he has been with the Hockey Club for three years and has worked in the Western Hockey League for the past four years. The philosophy of our organization is to hire and promote from within wherever possible. Kris is very familiar with our returning group of players which will make the transition from Assistant to Head Coach that much easier,” continued Chynoweth.



“When I came here three years ago it was one of my goals to someday be a Head Coach in the WHL. To be named as bench boss for an organization that gave me an opportunity and has moved on as many coaches as they have to professional hockey is definitely a huge honor. I look forward to the many challenges that lie ahead, but know the foundation is definitely in place to continue on with the winning tradition,” commented Kris Knoblauch.



Kris Knoblauch played three seasons in the WHL and was a member of both the Edmonton (1997-1998) and Kootenay ICE (1998-1999) organizations. He also played with the Red Deer Rebels (1996-1997) and Lethbridge Hurricanes (1998-1999). Upon graduating from the WHL he went on to play five years at the University of Alberta and was a member of the 1999-2000 Golden Bears team that won the CIS Championship. Kris achieved a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining the ICE he was an Assistant Coach with the Prince Albert Raiders for one season (2006-2007).



Kris Knoblauch is a 31-year-old native of Imperial, Saskatchewan. He and his wife Autumn are the parents of one son – Marek (2).

Best Goal Celebration EVER!!!

Lets see Ochocinco or the Stampeders top this one!

You seriously have to check this out and then pass it on!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thank You Captain Obvious

Eskimos president Rick Lelacheur stood before the Edmonton media today to discuss the Eskimos 0-4 start with that 4th loss being an ugly one in Winnipeg. Why? His newser accomplished absolutely nothing, Lelacheur saying

A) four straight losses is embarrasing

B) losing is unacceptable

C) winning is the only thing



HOLY CRAP BATMAN!! What a revelation! Did Mr. Lelacheur think he was enlightening anyone with his comments? I think the bigger question is why isn't Mr. Lelacheur telling Danny Macioccia where the door is. That team is not going to go anywhere until he has left the premises. The team has just continued to funnel into a downward spiral and he is about as popular in Edmonton as someone connected with the Flames. Danny might as well just appear in public wearing a hat with the flaming "C" on it to get everyone riled up. It seems to be clear to everyone except Lelacheur as to what has to be done. Perhaps that will change after Friday's game against B.C.



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There are many people in Saskatchewan who are sympathetic to the plight of the Eskimos right now because of Richie Hall. Many don't like seeing the Eskimos struggle because they know it is affecting the former long time Rider assistant in a negative way. If Calgary was struggling would the Rider Nation feel sorry for John Hufnagel, no one felt bad about Bart Andrus last year around here. Its odd to see. That being said, I feel sorry for Richie as well because he is a top notch individual. I just wonder if he is in over his head and I just wonder if he is canned if he will ever get another shot at being a head coach in this league.

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I spent the 2nd hour of the Sportscage with Rod and John Lynch on Monday. In the first hour of the program, Rod took calls from Rider fans who were "allegedly" abused in some manner or another. Stories are filtering out about how Rider fans were mistreated at the hands of Calgary fans, but there is no action being taken by the league. I'm not saying nothing happened, but where is the proof? When a Rider fan is seen on video arguing with a Calgary police officer, you can't deny what happened. When TSN cameras show Rider fans pelting the Lions bench with beer cans, you can't deny what happened. Did all Rider fans in Calgary go to the game with cellphones that don't have video? There is video of some shenanigans that happened at the baseball game, but there's nothing to suggest any abuse of Rider fans at the game. I'm sure it happened, but the case would be strengthened if there was video of said incident. The Stamps wouldn't be able to deny it and either would their media. Its as simple as that! I'm not saying that to pick a fight, I'm just stating fact.

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Did anyone catch the Jays game Monday night with Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler and Sam Cosentino decked out in 80's garb. Sam takes top prize for his Ghostbusters T-shirt underneath his Michael Jackson jacket. I thought he would go Miami Vice, but he went down that road instead. Why is it when these teams have retro games they don't have retro prices?

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Another no-hitter in the majors as Matt Garza tosses one for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Detroit Tigers. I can only wonder what Tigers pitcher Armando Gallaraga was thinking as Garza no-hit his team. If you have forgotten, it was Gallaraga who had his perfect game taken away with two outs in the 9th because of a bad call by umpire Jim Joyce.

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Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is bucking tradition. The rookie refuses to carry the pads of teammate Roy Williams saying he isn't here to screw around, he is here to win football games. It seems as if Dez's ego is a little too big for his britches. Methinks the Cowboys vets will be having a word with him or else they will be making his life difficult. Suck it up Dez!

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If the Bengals don't sign Terrell Owens, one would think his career is over. I'm surprised some CFL team hasn't put him on their neg list. That would be a way to get some press for the Argos in T-O.

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Weird Al Yankovic at the Queen City Ex? No thanks! I'm all for Doc Walker and the Roadhammers though. Just once I would like to see the QCE get the same type of lineup that they get for the North Dakota State Fair in Minot. They've got Brooks and Dunn, Kiss, Buckcherry and Sugarland performing. SIGHHHHH!!!!

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What are the handles for corn on the cob called?


Richie Survives-----For Now!

Eskimos president Rick Lelacheur told the Edmonton media this afternoon that losing is not acceptable and everyone's job including his is on the line this week. Lelacheur added both Danny Macioccia and Richie Hall understand winning is the only option.
The Eskimos will look for that first win of the season Friday at Commonwealth against BC.

Has Richie's Time Come To An End

Eskimos president Rick Lelacheur has called a media gathering for 2 o'clock this afternoon in Edmonton. I'm guessing this won't be good news for Richie Hall.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Those Mean, Nasty Riders

TSN's the Reporters is one of my favourite shows on the network. It probably ranks right behind Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption. I found it very interesting during the thumbs up/thumbs down segment when Damien Cox of the Toronto Star decided to rail on the Riders for the story made public this week about Ottawa getting the Riders permission to rejoin the CFL as long as their nickname is not the "Roughriders". I don't have a problem with this. I think its dumb for two teams to have the same name in a 9 team league----and don't give me any of this "Rough Riders" compared to "Roughriders" crap. Anyhow, this is what Cox said....



"My thumb is down this week to the apparent reality that Ottawa's new CFL team, whenever it starts, will not be called the Rough Riders. Now I know it was a long-standing joke that two teams in the CFL were named the Roughriders. To me it was a link to the past, and an opportunity for the new Ottawa team to make that link and establish a new identity in Ottawa. It's not that they don't own the name - they do now - it's that the Saskatchewan Roughriders don't want them to. The second team in everybody's heart in Canada kind of looks like a big bully in this case. "



What do you think? Are the Riders being a bully here or are they protecting their own interests? Perhaps Rod Pedersen can have Damien explain himself on "The Sportscage" today. Having said that, I'm sure there are many who want to vent to RP about Saturday's performance.

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If I told you after three weeks of the season that the Riders would have the same record as Montreal and Calgary, you would have said yeah that's OK. What would you have said if I told you after four weeks the Riders would have the same record as Toronto. You would likely be going ballistic calling for the head of everyone right from Ken Miller to Gainer.



Speaking of Mr. Pedersen, I had this article sent to me by a blog reader on Sunday. Its an interesting little take on just what did or didn't happen this week. I'll let you judge for yourself. By the way, there is going to be a new group of voices heard across the WHL this year. Besides Dan Plaster taking over for Rod, there will be four other new play by play men in the league. Edmonton, Kamloops, Vancouver and Prince George have either gotten or need new ones. You usually see several coaching changes, but I don't know if there have ever been this many play-by-play changes.

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Helio Castroneves has proven road rage is alive and well on the streets of Edmonton. Did you see that post-race meltdown after the Edmonton Indy was over? If not, watch Sportscentre or look for video of it. WOW!

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Is the TV show on Muchmusic "The Hard Times of RJ Berger" this generation's version of "Saved By the Bell". Have you seen this show? Its worth a laugh or two. Former Seahawks cheerleader Amber Lancaster is one of the stars. She's not hard to look at.

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My oldest daughter is spending some time with relatives and my youngest daughter is spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa. It means Mrs. Mitch and yours truly have a nice, quiet house for a few days. What to do? What to do!

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One of my buddies was absolutely outraged at the 2nd and short call last night where Wes Cates was stuffed for a loss. He said that play changed the game and gave Calgary the momentum they needed. He then went on to launch into a diatribe on Doug Berry's play-calling and Ken Miller's coaching. As I said yesterday, I think Miller had a bad game on the sidelines last night but even the best of coaches are going to have those. As for the play call, I will say this. Was anyone complaining when Berry pulled that double reverse to Rob Bagg on the Rider goal-line against Edmonton out of his bag of tricks. NOPE! Like I said yesterday, you aren't going to be successful on every call. No one wants to give the Stamps credit for making a play, but I guess that should be expected in a place where everyone wears green-tinged glasses. That's not a criticism, its just a fact!

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Former Moose Jaw Warriors and Team 1260 Morning Host Bryn Griffiths has an outstanding Facebook status on his page Sunday night. Griffiths says Kelly Campbell should talk to the Eskimo Cheer Team GUYS- they haven't dropped one in years! OUCH!

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The more I watch the Blue Jays, the more I think they might have a shot at contending in the AL East next year. I was SO wrong about their performance this year.

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CFL commish Marc Cohon in an online chat with the Globe and Mail yesterday said 43 percent of the games last year were decided in the last three minutes. Is that true? How would that compare to NFL games decided in the last two minutes? I'm too lazy to look that one up. Speaking of Cohon, I still say there is no better commissioner when you compare him to Bettman, Selig, Stern and Goodell. In fact if I had to rank the five, it would be Cohon, Goodell, Stern, Selig and Bettman but the gap between two and three is wide.

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When did TSN and Sportsnet become movie channels? Kingpin was on TSN last week, Bull Durham is on this week, Youngblood (worst sports movie ever) was on Sportsnet Sunday night. What gives? Does this mean the poker fad is fading. One can only hope!

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Congrats to Cape Breton Nova Scotia for winning the Canadian Big League Championships. They knocked off previously unbeaten BC 6-3 to win the title at Optimist Park Sunday afternoon. Cape Breton beat the host team to get to the finals.

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The Regina Red Sox have captured the Eastern Division title in the WMBL. They did so with a win over Weyburn Sunday night. Playoffs start Friday against an opponent to be named. I think I know where I might be Friday night.

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Can someone please tell me why they would want to participate in "The Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. Who's kidding who, I cheer for the bulls. If you're that dumb to get in the way of a stampeding bull, too bad for you!
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Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

Forgotten By Many, But Still Making An Impact



On a day where Andre Dawson goes into the Baseball Hall of Fame, there is a good story on the Expos that I thought I would pass on for those who still fondly remember the Montreal major league team.
Having been in Montreal a couple of times and speaking to people, I truly believe that had those involved invested in a downtown stadium that this team would still be around. Yes, the baseball strike that might have prevented this team from winning a World Series helped, but a new location to play the game would have been huge. What is sad is that when you are around Olympic Stadium, there is hardly any notice of the team having been there with the exception of a picture when the all-star game was there that hangs with a bunch of other photos of events that have been held there when you come off the subway and a sign downstairs in the bowels of the building pointing you to where the batting cage would be.

By TYLER KEPNER
There is an episode of “Newhart,” the 1980s sitcom set at a lodge in Vermont, in which George the handyman considers which baseball team to root for. The Montreal Expos were somewhat local, but they would not do.

“I can’t figure out their hats,” he said. “I mean, is it an ‘M’ or are they trying to spell out Expos?”

Such was the plight of the Expos, baseball’s mystery team from 1969 through 2004. They had erratic fan support, a bubbly M on their caps and a furry orange mascot with an exclamation point on his jersey (Youppi!). They also had an ever-flowing pipeline of talent that continues to make an impact.

This week’s election of Andre Dawson to the Hall of Fame is further evidence of the continuing influence of Canada’s first major league team. Gary Carter wears an Expos cap on his Cooperstown plaque and Tim Raines appears on the Hall of Fame ballot, on which Larry Walker will make his debut in December.

“Their legacy was how well they went through the draft and were able to bring players up through their minor league system,” Dawson said Thursday after slipping on a Hall of Fame jersey in a news conference at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan. “They had a lot of talented players.”

The Cy Young winners Randy Johnson, who was developed by Montreal, and Pedro Martinez, who thrived there after a trade, seem destined for induction into the Hall. Modern All-Stars like Jason Bay, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Javier Vazquez were drafted by the Expos.

Carter, now the baseball coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University, is something of an orphan at the Hall of Fame, a member without a sponsor. The Expos are now the Washington Nationals, but the Expos’ history is not acknowledged at Nationals Park.

“That’s really the sad part,” Carter said. “At least recognize and embrace the fact that they were in Montreal for 36 years.”

His former teammates can relate. Steve Rogers spent his 13-year career with Montreal, won an All-Star Game there and threw a shutout to clinch the team’s only playoff series victory, in the 1981 divisional round. But there is nowhere to go for Old-Timers’ Day.

“I felt so bad for the players that were there at the end, when they’d announce a crowd of 2,500 and you might have been lucky to have 250,” said Rogers, who now works for the players union. “So when they did move, with all the promise in Washington, I was thrilled for them. Yet at the same time, for anyone who played in the halcyon days of the Expos’ franchise, all of a sudden it was, ‘Hey, where’s my team?’ ”

The Expos were on pace for 105 victories in 1994 before a strike ended the season in August. That left the 1981 team as the only one to reach the postseason. The Expos lost to the Dodgers in the decisive fifth game of the National League Championship Series.

Jerry Manuel, the Mets’ manager, was on second base as the tying run when the series ended. He later spent six years as an Expos coach.

“When I came over there and saw all those players, I thought, ‘Wow, this is a different level here,’ ” Manuel said. “I was an extra player, and I would sit there and watch those guys on a daily basis, and it was unbelievable.”

The talent extended to the front office at Olympic Stadium, which bred several top-level executives, including Alex Anthopoulos of Toronto, Larry Beinfest of Florida, Dave Dombrowski of Detroit, Neal Huntington of Pittsburgh, Omar Minaya of the Mets and Frank Wren of Atlanta.

Dan Duquette constructed the bulk of the 1994 Expos. He said Charles Bronfman, the team’s original owner, emphasized scouting as the best way for his team to compete.

“The guiding principle was to champion the player-development operation,” Said Duquette, who now runs a sports academy in Hinsdale, Massachusetts. “People that were in scouting and player development knew that their work was going to count in the major leagues, because that was the source of players for the team.”

There were misses, of course. Bronfman’s command to swap prospects for veterans in 1989, his final year as owner, led the Expos to trade Johnson for four months of Mark Langston. In 1992, the Expos passed on Derek Jeter, taking the college pitcher B. J. Wallace, who never made the majors. But more often, there were well-rounded stars like Dawson and Raines, Ellis Valentine and Tim Wallach, Walker and Vladimir Guerrero, standout athletes promoted from within.

“Every year, it seemed like we would bring someone up who stuck around for six or eight years,” Rogers said. “The philosophy they implemented through the minor league system was speed. They absolutely believed in having base-stealing speed and extra-base speed and the pressure that put on the opponent.”

The Expos sought players who ran, but put them on the most unforgiving turf in baseball. (Dawson and Carter have each had 12 knee operations.) The retractable roof at Olympic Stadium ultimately did not work. There were distracting shadows in the outfield, a track encircling parts of foul territory and space heaters in the dugouts.

Dawson said the fans were polite and appreciative, and the Expos ranked no lower than fourth in the league in attendance from 1979 through 1983.

“A lot of the fans weren’t quite knowledgeable about the game; they would make comments like, ‘What time is the match today?’ ” Dawson said. “But for the most part, they were learning the game and they enjoyed it. I really had a wonderful time there.”

The missing piece, Dawson said, was the inability to lure a top free agent. Reggie Jackson considered a five-year, $5 million offer in 1976, but decided he could not play in Canada. Players like Rusty Staub and Carter learned to speak French, but others disliked the hassle. The Hall of Fame has not yet consulted with Dawson, who played 11 seasons for the Expos and 6 for the Cubs, about which cap he will wear for posterity. The museum makes the final decision, and Carter said he hoped Dawson would go in as a Cub so an existing organization could celebrate his career. If that happens, Carter is prepared to carry the banner alone.

“I enjoyed my time up in Montreal,” he said. “I’m very proud that emblem is on my Hall of Fame plaque.”

I'm Actually OK With What Happened

The Saskatchewan Roughriders came crashing back to reality with an earth-shattering KABOOM on the MacMahon Stadium turf Saturday night. They were beaten 40-20 by the Calgary Stampeders in a game where frankly the final score flattered the green and white. It would have been a lot uglier had James Patrick not intercepted two passes in the endzone. Believe it or not, this loss doesn't disturb me. Yes, it was ugly, very ugly, but its perhaps something this football team needed.

I am not saying they were getting too high on themselves or that they were too cocky, but a loss like this always humbles you. It makes you take a close look at thing and it should make you respond. I'm sure a bad habit or two had developed. Its time now to find out what is wrong and how to make the adjustments.

That being said, there were questions from this game.

I have a great deal of respect for Ken Miller and think he's a great head coach, however Miller may have had his worst game as a coach in his two and a bit years at the helm.

--Why did he keep his starters in the game when the final result was academic? This was only magnified by the fact it appeared as if the team had thrown in the towel when it did not gamble on a 3rd and two play electing instead to kick a field goal.

--How much longer will Dominique Dorsey fail to dazzle us with good returns? Late in the game Weston Dressler was back with Dorsey on punts. The off-season signing of Dorsey has so far been a bust. This needs to change

--The offensive line had arguably its worst performance of the season as Darian Durant was pressured all night long. As Weston Dressler said after the game, its tough for a quarterback to do his thing when he has guys in his face all night long. This is true. At least two of DD's interceptions can be traced back to the fact he didn't have the necessary time. That being said, Durant did not perform well either.

The loss did provide one thing though and that was some solid laughs. As I have said on this forum and on the air many times before, I love the passion that Rider fans have. It is unequalled, however there are a small fraction of fans that either A) need to have their card revoked or B) not be allowed to have any form of communication with any other human being for 24 hours after a game). Did you catch the CKRM phone-in show last night? OH MY GOD!! I don't know if i was the Pilsner talking or some of these morons actually believe what they were trying to tell Michael Ball and John Lynch. One fan went as far as saying Darian Durant was garbage and that we should have kept either Kerry Joseph or Steven Jyles who put up 40 points. HUH? REALLY? Ballsy and Frenzy must have just looked at one another in disbelief. Its always an entertaining hour after a Rider loss. Fans usually love wins too, but find something to pick at, but its after losses when the wingnuts come out to play.

In closing, I'm not overly concerned over what happened. Teams are going to have games like this. As I said, this will ground them somewhat and get them focussed for Hamilton on Saturday. You can be disappointed and mad and whatever you want to be, but I will just say this. You could be a fan of the Eskimos! That team has disaster written all over it after last nite's effort in Winnipeg. I don't know how much longer Richie Hall will be the head coach. The only thing is if Hall is gassed, they will need to find two coaches--one for Richie's head coaching gig and the other as defensive co-ordinator. We all know Richie isn't to blame and that the architect of this "masterpiece" is one Mr. Danny Macioccia. If the Eskies brass are doing the right thing, they will ask Macioccia to leave. That might happen at the end of the season, but sadly, I think Richie will fall on the sword first.

That is all!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jersey Giveaway

The Riders have put up a great video at riderville.com of fans getting their jerseys after last week's win over Edmonton. Not only did they get a chance to meet Rider greats of today, but the best living Rider to ever wear the green and white--George Reed. I can't imagine what a thrill it would be for fans to meet Dressler and Reed or Makowsky and Reed or whoever and Reed. By the way, George does not look right in red and black.

Take a look.


video

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Huge Opportunity

Just four weeks into the CFL season and the Saskatchewan Roughriders have a chance to accomplish a couple of things with a victory in Cowtown tonight. A win over the Stamps would give the green guys a victory over all of their Western opponents and a victory would give them a two game cushion over their Western rivals. Edmonton is struggling and so is BC. The Lions let one get away in Toronto as Byron Parker intercepted a Travis Lulay pass with just under three minutes to go and took it back for a TD as the Argos beat BC 24-20.
Consider this, a win by the Riders tomorrow and the Argos---yes, the Argos--will have the league's 2nd best record of 3-1.
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Take a look at this picture from the Leader-Post's Roy Antal that was taken at Rider practice Thursday....



I didn't think gray clouds hovered over this team during the Hopson era. I thought that only occurred in the Al Ford regime. All kidding aside, that is a great picture taken by Roy.
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Speaking of the L-P, they have video of that CF 18 crash in Lethbridge. It is something you may want to check out. Click here
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I really find it bizarre that the Calgary Vipers baseball team is having a "Rider" day at the ballpark today complete with Jim Hopson throwing out the first pitch and a special salute to the Riders happening during the 7th inning stretch. Give credit to the Vipers marketing staff for hitting a home run, but I can only imagine the firestorm it would create in Regina if the Red Sox were to have an "Eskimo" day at Currie Field. Rider fans would absolutely lose their marbles over that. The funny thing is Calgary fans haven't really had a reaction to this. Are they now just willing to accept they can do nothing to stop "The Tractor Factor"
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Speaking of the Red Sox, Mitch MacDonald continues to have one of the best ever seasons a baseball player can have as they inch closer to a division title. MacDonald had 3 RBI's to give him a league high 47 while going 2 for 3 at the plate as Regina beat Yorkton 6-5 Friday night. MacDonald is now hitting a jaw-dropping .492 this season. That is literally unheard of. I am guessing if you pour through minor league stats you will not find anyone having a better season than the Regina first baseman.
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How angry is France over their World Cup failure. The French soccer federation has suspended all 22 members of the national team for an upcoming friendly against Norway. Imagine if Hockey Canada said that all members of the Olympic team were being benched with 22 new players coming in for a game. That would be the talk of every TV station in this country. Don Cherry wouldn't know what to do, Pierre McGuire wouldn't shut up and Nick Kypreos would---well he would be Nick Kypreos.
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It really baffles me as to how there aren't more accidents on the Ring Road. Whether it be someone driving way too fast or someone driving way too slow or someone not willing to let traffic merge in, it is just ridiculous.
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In what has been a summer of storms, I don't know what pictures have been more dramatic. Is it the one of the number one highway washed out at Maple Creek with the water rushing through or is it the pictures of North Battleford where hail made it look more like December than July.
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Just a few more sleeps until Bon Jovi. I don't know if Mrs. Mitch will be the same after Wednesday.
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Roller derby in the Brandt Centre every night during the Queen City Ex at 7 pm. If roller derby is at the Ex somewhere, why isn't High Impact Wrestling making an appearance?
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Whenever you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, make sure you are lying on an uncrushable super comfy sofa... Rejoice in the benefits of modern comfortable furnishings.

I Wonder What They'll Say About The Riders?

When the Toronto Argonauts drew up their advertising plans for the 2010 season, it didn't take them long to realize that they had little choice but to face the bitter truth.

They had to address the fact that this team had been pretty awful the two previous seasons. They had to face the fact that they were now owned by a guy who owns another team in an eight-member league.

Normally, these are things organizations try to sweep under the carpet or hide in the upstairs bedroom. The Argos decided to embrace them and the result has been a pretty edgy radio ad campaign that's making a bit of a splash.

Head coach Jim Barker, who's been the main pitchman, has talked about making a lot of changes because he had to.

In flogging Friday's game against their kissing cousins from B.C., the ad didn't dodge the rather embarrassing fact that Argonauts owner David Braley also owns the other team.

The ad refers to them as "co-workers" while noting that they'll still try to kick the bejeezus out of each other.

As for cheekiness, Barker noted in a previous ad that he couldn't avoid the obvious truths, which included the "facts" that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats "sucked" and the Calgary Stampeders played like a bunch of "Nancy schoolboys."

If the latter offended anyone, nobody's saying so. Needless to say, this is not an accident.

"You have to cut through a very cluttered advertising market," said Argo president Bob Nicholson. "The agency's intention was to do that and you have to be a little edgy at times to get noticed.

"The other prime objective is to tell people we're prepared to admit that we weren't very good last year. We can't hide from that, but we believe we're bringing a new intense team to the league this year."

Nicholson says the radio ads, produced by the Bensimon Byrne ad agency, aren't intended to offend or stir up the opposition.

"It's all done in fun," he said. "Most of the teams appreciate that." (For the record, the Stampeders did not respond to a request for comment.)

It is odd, however, to have the head coach as the main focus of the ads. But with so few recognizable names in Double Blue there was little choice.

"We needed to bring somebody who was identifiable with the club," said Nicholson, whose team is doing a lot more advertising than it did the past two seasons. "Until we developed and promoted more personalities with the club, Jim was a natural."

He's certainly game.

One ad extolling the virtues of quarterback Cleo Lemon ended with Barker waxing poetic about how much he liked saying Lemon's name and that it sounded like an elaborate touchdown celebration for your mouth. Sheesh.

Nicholson says the ads are about reviving the Argo brand and that he doesn't expect fans to flock to the ticket windows as a result.

"There was a definite intention to get our brand better exposed and be in the marketplace and let people know that we're here," he said. "We know that the advertising by itself won't necessarily put a lot of people in the seats, but it makes people more open to the message and to hear about the Argonauts and maybe take notice of them."

So far, that appears to be working. The obvious next step is to starting putting more bums in the seats at Rogers Centre. That will take more than a cheeky ad campaign.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What Did We Learn Tonight CFL Fans?

The Montreal Alouettes returned home Thursday night. After three straight road games in Western Canada, the Als came back for their home opener as they took on Hamilton. Going in some were wondering if Montreal was showing signs of perhaps slowing down after losing in Regina and then being fortunate to take wins out of Edmonton and Vancouver. Many were also wondering if the Ti-Cats were ready to challenge the Alouettes and end the dominance Montreal has had for the past many years. Many were taking the Ti-Cats to win this one. So much for that!
The Alouettes showed why they are the team they are while Hamilton showed they have a long ways to go before they can seriously consider themselves a contender as they were throttled 37-14. Like the Rider offence against Montreal, they started slow, but once they got it going they were unstoppable.
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Speaking of the Riders, only in Saskatchewan. The topic of who the punter will be was the big debate today. Newly acquired Eddie Johnson will punt instead of the struggling Louie Sakoda on Saturday. This really reminds me of the Andy Fantuz situation a few years ago when Kent Austin benched Fantuz for a game because of his dropsies. I think Sakoda will get back on the roster and when he does, he won't be coming off unless he is hurt.
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Disappointing first round for Graham DeLaet at the Canadian Open. At one point early he was three under, but he had some difficulties at the end and ended up with an even par 70. Mike Weir struggled yet again and shot a 72. Some are finally starting to say what I said a long time ago---that being his shine is starting to become quite dull.
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Can someone please tell me what is going through the mind of a driver when he sees a huge lake in an underpass or something and tries to get through? Seriously?! I just laugh when I see pictures like the one I saw today of the guy stuck at the Victoria Avenue underpass with water up to his hood. What are you thinking when you see this? Does the macho just take over or what?
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I love listening to ESPN Radio and FOX Sports radio on my XM, but I'm getting tired of Colin Cowherd and Dan Patrick and Scott Van Pelt talking about the NBA. When do NFL camps get started? Then again, my radio will likely be on the NFL channel so I won't care what the other guys are saying.
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If you have the number one pick in an NFL fantasy football draft, are you taking Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson or Drew Brees.
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I was at Jersey City in the Northgate today when I saw an Oilers t-shirt---one of those that has the logo on the front and the players name on the back. I was shocked when I saw the name and number on the back was "Eberle 14". Alas, the shirt was a medium.
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My six year old daughter is going to her first Rider game on July 31. She has a Rider t-shirt, but does she need a jersey before that game? I really don't know how she is going to respond to a Rider game with 30-thousand yelling around her. If she likes it, adopted grandma and grandpa may have to try again and take her to the Family Fun day on Labour Day weekend. They tried that last year only to find out as it was time to go that she didn't want to attend as Saturday morning cartoons were more important.
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That is all for now. Have a great Friday!

Again!!

While it rained hard in Regina for a while this afternoon, it doesn't compare to North Battleford who now sadly knows what Maple Creek and Yorkton were feeling. Click here to see the story from the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

Congrats To Dan Plaster!!

After 15 seasons the Regina Pats, will have a new voice across the airwaves of Southern Saskatchewan. Rod Pedersen has decided to step aside to continue his work as the voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and build his daily all-sports talk show, “The Sportscage” from 4-6pm on 620 CKRM “The Source”.

620 CKRM “The Source” Sports Director, Rod Pedersen, “Thank you to CKRM and the Parkers for the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong goal of being the voice of the Pats for 15 seasons, and thanks to Pats fans for the wonderful support. Good luck to Dan Plaster as the next voice of the Regina Pats.”

Regina Pats President Brent Parker, “There is no doubt that it will be different not hearing Rod’s silky smooth voice on Pats Broadcasts. When we brought Rod to Regina from Prince Albert you could tell he was a tremendous talent after a few years with the Pats he received an opportunity to try his hand at football, and we all know how well that has turned out for him! When we were informed by the station that Rod had made the decision to relinquish his role as the Pats broadcaster we were shocked and disappointed but also we are understanding of his reasons to be with his family more and to concentrate on his new show. The Pats Broadcasting Job is a high profile position and the job was Rod’s for as long as he wanted it. I would like to thank Rod for his commitment his dedication and his friendship and wish him all the best.”

A familiar voice to Pats fans will take over the play by play duties. Pats Director of Communications, Dan Plaster, has been providing colour analysis on the road and filled in for Rod for the past two seasons as well as being the host of PatsTV. Prior to joining the blue and white, he has been a part of both the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Red Deer Rebels broadcasts and covered the Regina Pats for 5 seasons with Global television in Regina.

Harvard Broadcasting Regina - General Manager, Michael Olstrom, “After 15 years as the voice of the Regina Pats, Rod Pedersen is hanging up the hockey play by play microphone. Rod is one of the best hockey play by play announcers in the country and exemplified true professionalism in his approach to the game over the years, he will be missed. However we are very excited to have another great talent join the Regina Pats play by play for the future on 620 CKRM “The Source”…Dan Plaster is a familiar voice that has been involved with our hockey broadcasts in the past and we know that he will step in with a flawless transition”.

“We believe that Dan is up to the challenge of this position and with a year under his belt working with Rod he is ready to take on this role”, Brent Parker comments. “We are excited to have Dan as the new Voice of the Pats and with his extensive knowledge of the WHL from his years in Lethbridge and Red Deer we are sure that our listeners will receive comprehensive WHL and Pats news in our broadcasts.”

New voice of the Regina Pats Dan Plaster, “It’s an honour that Brent has given me this opportunity to follow in a legend’s shoes. To join a fraternity of broadcasters like Rod Pedersen, Peter Loubardias, Kevin Gallant, John Wells and all the other voices that have called Pats games is an opportunity like no other in the Western Hockey League. I can’t wait for the season to get started.”

The season is set to begin on the road in Brandon on Friday, September 24th against the Wheat Kings. To see the Regina Pats for the upcoming 2010-11 season, purchase your season tickets now. Adult prices begin at just $199, which averages out to just over $5 per game! For more information, call 522-PATS, click on www.reginapats.com, or head to the Pats office located in the west entrance of the Brandt Centre.

Camp Update

Chris Getzlaf and Barrin Simpson are practicing today. Getzlaf has been bothered by a calf injury while Siupson left yesterday's practice with turf toe. Donovan Alexander may be a no-go for Saturday though as he is not on the field. He left yesterday with what was diagnosed as a hamstring problem. Leron Mitchell was working out with the first team in Alexander's spot today.
It also appears as if Eddie Johnson will handle punting duties Saturday.

Taking Over

The Stampeders are reacting to what will be another take-over of MacMahon on Saturday when the Riders come to town. However, they aren't fanning the flames any. Click here to see what I mean.

Hank is being gracious in this story---almost too gracious!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They Won't Be The Roughriders!!

It would appear as if the Saskatchewan Roughriders were a major player in making sure Ottawa got back into the CFL. The Riders gave a "yes" to the expansion franchise, but it came with a condition. That condition can be read right here.
I have no problem with this, none whatsoever. It only begs the question as to what the franchise will be called.
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A lot of people seem to be sold on the fact the Toronto Argonauts have turned the corner after starting the CFL season at 2-1. I'm not one of them. I'm not a believer yet. Despite the fact the Lions go into Rogers Centre with Travis Lulay as their starting quarterback, I am taking them to beat the Argos this week in CFL play. Believe it or not, I think the Lions have the 2nd best team in the West. If Lulay beat out Jarious Jackson it means he can play.
A lot of people also believe Hamilton can beat Montreal this week. I'm not one of them. The Alouettes return home to play their first home game after starting off with back to back to back trips through Western Canada. This team will be ready to play their home opener and I think they beat the Ti-Cats and beat them handily. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see all four home teams win this weekend. Yes, that would mean Calgary would beat Saskatchewan. The Riders are the better team. but I just have a bad feeling about this one. Henry Burris isn't going to have two bad games in a row and Joffrey Reynolds always seems to come up big against the Riders. Like a lot of the games between the two, this one will be in doubt come the 4th quarter.
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Memo to Global's Jill Morgan. Just refer to Derek Meyers one night as "Duke". C'mon Jill, you can do it. I'm sure some of you realize where the Duke Meyers reference comes from. If not, you don't know what you missed.
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Rider cheerleaders are having a reunion later this year. No matter the year, those that were Rider cheerleaders are being asked to attend. Why do I get the feeling secrets in John Lynch's closet will be exposed! Lets hope thats the only thing exposed!
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Speaking of oldtimers. former Cowboys coach and NFL on Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson is going to be on "Survivor". What next? Will Johnson be "The Bachelor".
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I don't get downtown a lot, but whenever I go down Victoria Avenue, I just marvel at the Rider logos on the twin towers. That is just amazing. I wonder what it looks like from the air. Many have told me it is quite the sight when you fly over the city and see that.
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A lot of people will be watching Graham DeLaet to see how he performs at the Canadian Open this week. He will tee off at 1025 our time this morning. Go to www.pgatour.com and launch the shot tracker feature to follow his round.
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My jaw might have hit the ground at Mosaic Stadium this afternoon. I was told about something happening that I thought never would. Rumour has it CJME news director Murray Wood has shaved off his "stache". Is this true? I can't believe this wasn't breaking news. I don't know if I would recognize Murray if I passed him without that thing. This will hurt his chances of playing Ron Burgundy in Anchorman 2. To my former co-workers that read this, yes I am disappointed in you Mr. Book, Mr. Kolt and Ms. Mills for not informing me of this development.
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Summer TV sucks!
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How can the NHL say no to the Ilya Kovalchuk contract. but allow the ones signed by Henrik Zetterberg, Roberto Luongo and Alex Ovechkin?
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I would be all for Ryne Sandberg to take over next year as manager of the Cubs. My favourite all-time player(and the greatest 2nd baseman to play the game) managing my favourite team. It would be sweet. If Sandberg got this team to a World Series championship, they may knight him in Chicago.
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I asked my wife for breakfast in bed this morning. She told me to sleep in the kitchen!

Another Sellout

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are pleased to announce that the Riders next home game on July 31st versus Hamilton has reached its capacity of 30,048.



“Once again we thank our tremendous fans for the support the Riders continue to receive,” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “Tickets are selling quickly for the final games at Mosaic Stadium and we are encouraging fans to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment.”



This announcement marks the 3rd sell-out at Mosaic Stadium this season.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How Much Longer Will It Be?

I hadn't heard about the rumour until Rod Pedersen mentioned it on Tuesday's edition of "The Sportscage", but Rod quashed it in a big hurry with a little help. A story was apparently going around saying the Edmonton Eskimos were ready to offer Eric Tillman a position within their organization. Eric told Rod that was not the case. It made me wonder just how much longer it will be before Eric is involved with another CFL team.

Before I go any further, I just want to say that I have never had a problem with Eric Tillman. He always treated me fairly and with respect. I have spoken to him a few times since his resignation from the Riders. He has given me some advice and he made a statement to me in a conversation we had shortly after his resignation about my dismissal that rings so true and is something I completely agree with. I won't get into that statement, but he definitely hit the nail on the head with it and its something I have quoted to many people.

Can Eric Tillman return to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in some fashion anytime soon? No he can't. This community as a whole simply won't accept that. I understand that and he does too. Do I think Eric Tillman belongs back in the CFL with some team? Yes I do. His track record speaks for itself. When Eric says he is not going to Edmonton, Rider fans should breathe a sigh of relief because he would turn the Eskimos around and he would be a definite improvement over Danny Macioccia. Then again, some would argue Barney the Dinosaur would be a definite improvement over Danny Macioccia.

Do I expect to see Eric in Toronto, or back in Ottawa, or helping guide the first ever Atlantio team in the CFL. Yup! The man's football knowledge and his mind are second to none. He would bring instant credibility to any franchise that was struggling.

I know the mere mention of his name draws forth a tremendous debate--a debate in which good points are made by both sides. I'm not going to get drawn into that debate in this post. All I know is a year off is probably the best thing for Tillman. The issue that forced his resignation in Saskatchewan will never go away and he will have to answer questions about it for a long time, but I think he will be back in the CFL very soon---perhaps as early as 2011. If he starts running the ship of an existing team, look out. If he takes control of a fledgling team, I don't give that team long before they are a contender. A year off the game will not have dulled the mans senses any...it may only have enhanced them.
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Tony Crudo had the big hit for the Regina Red Sox Tuesday night. His bases clearing double in the bottom of the 8th keyed a 4 run rally leading Regina to a 9-6 win over Saskatoon. The Red Sox are now 2 up on Melville in the East Division.
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The Jays can't trade Jose Bautista. If they do, they had better get a LOT for him.
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Why do I get the feeling this Ilya Kovalchuk contract story is going to become very messy and very ugly. Do you think there should be a maximum amount of years that a player can have a contract for in every sport?
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Weyburn's Graham DeLaet is getting the expected ink he deserves as the Canadian Open is just days away. A good story on DeLaet is in the Globe. Click here to see that story.

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Regina police are taking some heat these days for their action or inaction on making some crimes public knowledge. I can see both sides of the argument. What is ticking me off these days is the fact on Saturday I saw some idiot talking away on a cellphone in his truck with not one but two officers passing this guy but doing nothing. Did I miss something here? Is talking on my cell while driving legal again? Was it not close enough to the end of the month to stop this guy? Don't get me wrong, I think police do a good job, but I think they get a little chintzy with some offences and let some more serious ones get away without punishment. Bottom line---I'm not having any "conversations" with them if you know what I mean so I guess all is good. Then again, the latest crime numbers aren't all that flattering even though we are at the lowest crime rate the city has seen since 1991. It just asks the question "Is the glass half-empty or half-full".
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Look for opportunity. You can’t wait for it to knock on the door. . . . you might not be home.

BOOOOOO!!!!

Outlook, Saskatchewan has been named the sixth winning community in the Kraft Celebration Tour.

As part of the Kraft Celebration Tour, Outlook hosts a special edition of SPORTSCENTRE with anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole when they broadcast live from the Saskatchewan community on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. ET.

Outlook also receives a $25,000 community refresh from Kraft Canada that goes towards renovating and repairing the swimming pool at the Outlook and District Regional Pool.

Located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, the town of Outlook is a quaint community of more than 1,900 residents. The swimming pool at the Outlook and District Regional Pool was built shortly after World War I and is used extensively by the community for exercise and recreation.

Outlook joins Bay Roberts, NL; Port Dover, ON; Pictou, NS; Pinawa, MB; and Abrams Village, PE, as one of the 10 winning communities in the Kraft Celebration Tour. Outlook was named to the tour after winning a national head-to-head online vote over the community of Indian Head, SK.

BLOGGER NOTE: Congrats to the fine people of Outlook, but this blogger was wanting his hometown to win. Next time!

GSP vs Koscheck In December

Welterweight challenger Josh Koscheck says he will meet Canadian UFC title-holder Georges St-Pierre on Dec. 11.

The two 170-pounders recently wrapped up filming as rival coaches on Season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter reality TV series.

“Can't wait until tuf 12 airs in Sept! & oh ya did u guys know, that I am going to be the next welterweight champion come dec 11th,” Koscheck tweeted.

Two sources confirmed the date, saying no venue has been chosen yet. In a perfect world, the UFC would love to stage the show in Toronto but the provincial government has yet to show any inclination to sanction mixed martial arts.

Koscheck (17-4) lost a unanimous non-title decision to St-Pierre at UFC 74 in August 2007. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak.

St-Pierre (20-2) has won his last seven fights, a string that includes four straight title defences.

CFL POTW For Week 3

-- Kevin Glenn, Maurice Lloyd, Noel Prefontaine and Dave Stala were named the Gibson’s Finest CFL Players of the Week for week three, the Canadian Football League announced today.

The four players were chosen by a panel of judges that includes former Canadian Football League players Matt Dunigan and Duane Forde, now of TSN, and Pierre Vercheval of RDS.

Glenn provided a much needed spark to the Ticats offence, leading them to their first win of the 2010 season and earning Offensive Player of the Week in the process. The Hamilton quarterback completed his first 14 passes of the game and finished 29 of 36 for 336 yards and three touchdowns in the 28-7 rout of the visiting Blue Bombers.

Glenn also rushed for 19 yards on three carries and was a unanimous selection.

Defensive Player of the Week honours go to Eskimos linebacker Maurice Lloyd. Lloyd, who spent his first three seasons in Saskatchewan, made life difficult for Riders quarterback Darian Durant and played a key role in limiting his production.

Despite being on the wrong side of a 24-20 scoreline, the week three defensive standout compiled six tackles, including two sacks and one tackle for a loss in the losing effort.

Saskatchewan DT Marcus Adams and Montreal DB Jerald were named runners up.

Edmonton kicker Noel Prefontaine scored 12 of the Eskimos 20 points in a losing cause against the Riders. The 13-year veteran was a perfect three-for-three in field goals, connecting from 16, 18 and 31 yards respectively.

The Special Teams Player of the Week was solid punting the ball as well, amassing 440 yards on nine punts for an average of 48.9 yards and notching single points from 56 and 66 yards out. He also added one extra point convert.

Argonauts return man Chad Owens was the runner up.

This week’s top Canadian is Hamilton wide receiver Dave Stala. Stala was Kevin Glenn’s favourite target on Friday night picking up nine receptions for 124 yards in the club’s 28-7 winning effort over the Bombers.

Stala was a force to be reckoned with, totaling 112 yards and eight catches in the first half alone including the game’s longest reception of 40 yards to set up the Ticats first touchdown.

The former Saint Mary’s Huskies player is currently in his eighth CFL season and second with the Ticats.

Vanstone Out Does Himself

Reading Rob Vanstone's columns in the Leader-Post are usually informative and entertaining. His Sunday Sun columns usually leave me chuckling. His column today though is one he should frame. I don't know how long he has been working on his "Breakfast of Finalists" commentary, but his brilliance shines through in this one.
Many times I have had to lean on Rob's encyclopedia-like knowledge of the Riders to get an answer on a question. One night when doing the sports show on CJME, I referred to the endless list of "great" Rider quarterbacks that had started a game saying I know I have forgotten many, Within moments, an e-mail popped up from Rob who had been listening with "the list".

I was thinking of doing a how the CFL could use Fantuz Flakes and go a step further by starting a line of Henry Burris eye drops because of his whining or a Wally Buono GPS since he always becomes lost and wanders on the field, or Adriano Belli lipstick because of his penchant for giving people a big smooch. However, Rob has taken that and gone one step further with today's column.

Check it out here
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Some good baseball is in Regina over the next few days as the Canadian Big League Championships are going on over at Optimist Park. 6 regional teams consisting of 17 and 18 year olds are looking to represent Canada at the Big League championships in Easley, South Carolina. Many, many years ago the prairie championships for this event was in Peace River, Alberta which is where I was working. A Regina team was involved and while doing a report, I took a good natured poke at Regina seeing it is the place I call home. Some woman who was from here did not take kindly to this remark. She found me at the ball diamond and decided to take a strip out of me saying I needed to visit Regina and Saskatchewan and blah, blah, blah. It was then that the scorekeeper looked at this woman and said "Lady, he is from Regina and there might be no bigger Rider fan than this guy". She turned about eight shades of red and walked away. She would not look at me for the rest of the week. Her husband came up to me near the end of the tournament just laughing saying she was so embarassed.
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The Red Sox were beaten in Melville last night as the Millionaires keep the heat on the first place Regina squad. Melville is a game and a half back in the East. Saskatoon is at Currie Field tonight in a 705 start. Weather permitting!
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Ilya Kovalchuk gets 17 years for 102 million. Puh-leeze! The Devils will find out what a waste of money that is in about two years.
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I like what Steve Yzerman is doing with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This team will make the playoffs next year.
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The Yunel Escobar trade is paying early dividends for the Blue Jays. I'm starting to think they might be a team to contend with next year.
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Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Indian Head vs Outlook

Where will the Kraft Celebration Tour end up? What Saskatchewan town will get 25,000 from Kraft to help fix up ailing facilities and get a visit from Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole. Indian Head is my hometown so you know where my vote is going. Make yours count. Click here to vote

Higgins Admits An "Oops" Was Made

From Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun

The CFL has admitted it made a mistake during Friday night’s game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Tom Higgins, the league’s director of officiating, said Monday the league’s replay command centre officials erred when they reviewed a Bomber challenge that Ticats quarterback Kevin Glenn fumbled on a third-quarter run at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Glenn took off running with six minutes left in the third and the Ticats leading 14-0. Bomber defensive tackle Deji Oduwole hit Glenn at Winnipeg’s 21-yard line, popping the ball loose. The on-field officials blew the play dead because they felt Glenn was down by contact, but Winnipeg’s Don Oramasionwu fell on the ball shortly after the whistle anyway.

The rule book states that if a team challenges the call, it’s deemed a fumble and their own player fell on the ball “directly and immediately” — even if it’s after the whistle — then the squad that recovered takes possession.

That’s exactly what happened on Friday night, but the replay officials in Toronto didn’t see it that way.

“This is going to go down as an incorrect ruling, because we didn’t allow enough time,” Higgins said. It’s believed those in the command centre watched the replay in slow motion, which Higgins said “distorts reality.”

“When it went to the command centre, they ruled that it was a fumble,” Higgins said. “But they were looking at the second aspect of it, which is ‘directly and immediately’ recovered.

“And that’s where we feel we erred. That was the choice of the command centre, and we’re not perfect. We take responsibility, and we want to hopefully learn from it.”

Two plays later, Glenn threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Mann that gave the Ticats a 21-0 lead. Hamilton went on to win the game 28-7.

From here on out, Higgins noted, “we’re going to add time to it as far as the interpretation of ‘immediately and directly.’ ”

Higgins said the replay command centre reviewed 90 plays during the 2009 season and made two mistakes. He wants fans to trust instant replay despite Friday’s error.

“It’s a shame, because that’s what we have replay for,” Higgins said. “People now are losing faith in the fact that it can’t get it done. It’s still human. There’s a human element to it and it’s disappointing that it happens, but we deal with it. We move on.

“We know there’s going to be some other mistakes that are going to occur. We hope that we can minimize them.”

Sunday, July 18, 2010

No Big Deal

A friend of mine e-mailed me Sunday morning to give me his thoughts on the Rider game and then ask if I had seen Mo Lloyd in the Rider dressing room after the game. I gave him my thoughts and then asked where on earth the Lloyd question came from. He said he had seen it on Riderfans.com and that a good debate had started as to whether or not he should be in the room.



I didn't see Lloyd in the room after the game, but if he had been in there, who cares? The decision isn't up to you or me its up to the Rider brass. I am guessing Mo would have the courtesy to ask if he could come in and I'm guessing the Riders would be gracious to say yes. I'm sure Lloyd wanted to catch up with a few of his ex-teammates, teammates that he maybe didn't see after the game when players congregate to talk to one another and reunite if just for a couple of seconds.



He wouldn't be the first ex-Rider to have made an appearance in that dressing room and he won't be the last. I've seen Wally Buono and Tom Higgins and I believe I have seen Henry Burris in there as well. Its no big deal. Those who are angered by this had better get over it. Its not the first time a player will go into the other teams dressing room and it won't be the last---regardless of the sport.

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Graham DeLaet shot a 62 on Saturday at the Reno-Tahoe Open and got himself near the top of the leaderboard. TIMBERRRRRR!!! DeLaet imploded on Sunday shooting a 6 over 78 to finish nine back of the leader and take home a paltry 18-grand. Its still better than nothing.

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Who is Louis Oosterhuizen? Will we ever hear of this guy again? Will he be like Y.E Yang or Trevor Immelman or Graeme McDowell or dare I say it---Mike Weir? Yes, I went there and if it wasn't for the fact he was Canadian, he would have been off our sports radar years ago.

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I really don't like the Miz even though I should. Get ready to see him get elevated to main event status as he won Money In the Bank. He will be right up there with Cena, Sheamus, Edge and Orton very soon.

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Rascal Flatts will be the headliner for the 2011 Craven Big Country jamboree. That is drawing a mixed reaction early on. How was Kenny Chesney? Once he had done "There Goes My Life", I would have been happy. That's one of my faves.

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How many people that spent this weekend at Craven are taking Monday off?

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How many times will I vote for Indian Head today in the Kraft Celebration Tour sweepstakes?

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What will become of the Norwegian curling pants that the Rider coaching staff wore Saturday. Some one save at least one pair for the Rider hall of fame exhibit that will be at the new stadium!

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Mitch MacDonald's 7th homer of the year helped the Red Sox to a 7-0 win in Medicine Hat. The win was Regina's 4th in a row and leaves them with a mark of 26-11. They have a two and a half game lead on Melville in the East. They will be in Melville for a big game tomorrow before coming home to take on Saskatoon Tuesday.

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ESPN's Pierre Lebrun has five suggestions to improve the NHL. Click here to see what he thinks. I agree with most of what he is preaching.

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As you start a new week, please remember this. Love means never winning at tennis!

Seeking The Triple Crown




With the Western Major Baseball League season down to its final days, the race to history is on.
Regina Red Sox first baseman Mitch MacDonald is hunting for the Triple Crown of batting statistics, looking to become the first player in league history to reach the achievement.

Through 35 games, with 7 left to play, here's a look at MacDonald's numbers in the Triple Crown categories:

Batting average: .457 (1st)
Runs batted in: 37 (1st)
Home runs: 6 (2nd)

MacDonald should have the batting title when the season comes to an end with ease, leading teammate David Fox (.422) by a fair margin.

In the RBI race, MacDonald is four up on Fox and Jeff Harkensee (33).

Second place in home runs, the first baseman is just one back of Kyle Albright (7) in Swift Current.

Despite the chance for history, it's another honour MacDonald is concerned with.

“The stats are nice, but we're looking for wins and losses, and a chance for that championship. That's all that really matters.”

What Was Uglier--The Game Or The Unis?


Tell the truth Rider fans. What was uglier? The garb worn by head coach Ken Miller and his assistants or the red and burgundy uniforms. Saturday's tilt at Mosaic was certainly not aesthetically pleasing, but the home team won and that is all that matters. In what was a bad football game, the Riders won it 24-20 or perhaps I should say Edmonton gave it to them because the Eskimos probably deserved a better fate on this day. Just some random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon at the stadium.

--Make fun of those pants all you want, but if Steve Mazurak and the Rider marketing staff get some of those with green and white on it, they will sell and they will sell big.

--I felt bad for Chris Cuthbert, Rod Pedersen, Evan Bray and the Eskimos play by play guy Morley Scott. It was tough trying to decipher the numbers of those Rider uniforms. I'm glad that was a once in a 100 year experiment. Those jerseys can now be ditched much like the Seahawks lime green jersey of a couple of years ago. I'd put a picture of that jersey up, but I may vomit.

--Contrary to popular belief at the start of the year, Wes Cates is not done. He's the first RB in the CFL to hit the 300 yard mark.

--Even though the Riders were ineffective for most of the afternoon, I had this sneaking suspicion that with the wind in the 4th quarter, they would come through.

--Does Ricky Ray look at any other receiver besides Kelly Campbell and Fred Stamps. The way those two let him down--especially Campbell--I might want to look elsewhere.

--I don't think Louie Sakoda is done as Rider punter as some are suggesting, but he is on strike 2.

--The Rider return game is one that needs to be returned.

--Andy Fantuz asked fans to wear black. Many fans did that and I applaud them for doing that. You would think those that have a jersey with Fantuz's name and number might accomodate Andy's request because he is obviously their favourite player. NOPE! I must have seen 20 Fantuz green jerseys yesterday.

--The finalists for Riderville were announced and if I had a vote I would go for Yorkton. Why? Those on the field representing Yorkton were wearing black while the reps of the other 3 towns were not. The spirit of the day was to wear black, not green. Thumbs up to the Yorktonians for doing what was asked and not snubbing the request---something that shows you should be Riderville.

--What were former Eskimos coach Danny Macioccia and current president Rick Lelacheur discussing after the game? The two did not look happy (nor should they have been). There is talk about Richie being dumped. I hope for Richie's sake that was not the case.

--I am just going to throw this one out there and I am not endorsing this whatsoever when I do this. If Richie should get axed in Edmonton, would you consider him as a candidate to replace Ken Miller if he indeed should step down as head coach at the end of this season. Right now, I would think Doug Berry would have the inside track, but if Richie were available, would he be the favourite?

--Mo Lloyd and Shomari Williams were exchanging words at the end of the game with all the reporters on the field. TSN and former co-worker Wray Morrison was almost caught in the middle of it. Wray came up to me after the game and said he thought he was going to inadvertently get caught in the middle of it, but he knew I had his back. My response "Nope, I don't play for your team anymore!"

--With the recent woes of the Oilers and Eskimos, the city of Edmonton should think about taking down those "City of Champions" signs. Then again, they still have the Golden Bears.

--Do the Rams 50/50 sellers come into the top deck anymore? I haven't seen them up there this season. Still with the 50/50, a great idea from Global's Derek Meyers. Duke thinks the Rams should invest in that system that they had at the World Juniors where you can see the running total. I don't know if you can do that and sell to people sitting in the stands as they would have to go into the concourse areas to buy, but it might increase the already big jackpots somewhat.

Just a couple of other things before starting my Sunday

--While watching the British Open today, you might also want to check out the Reno-Tahoe Open. Weyburn's Graham DeLaet was on fire yesterday shooting a 10 under 62 to put him a couple of strokes off the lead. I believe the Golf Channel has the final round of that event today. I think Graham will get a lot of pub this week with the Canadian Open happening.

--I know its been out there for a couple of days, but former Pats goalie Josh Harding--one of my faves--has signed a new contract with the Minnesota Wild. Truth be told that disappoints me. Harding's time is now and he should be starting, but he is stuck behind Nick Backstrom. There are many teams that could use a good young goalie of Josh's calibre--yes Edmonton is one of them. I'm tired of seeing him sit on the bench.

--Texas Rangers catcher Bengie Molina hit for the cycle Friday night. I look better than Molina! How the hell did he stretch out a triple?

--Another big win for the Red Sox. They pounded Medicine Hat 13-1 as Shawn Wilyman pitched a complete game 7 hitter.

--Craven! What an interesting mix of life lumped together.

--I've had my Blackberry for a month and it crashed and died yesterday. Not a happy camper when it comes to that topic.

--Have a great Sunday!