This has got to be the best time of year if you are a sports fan---especially a football fan. The CFL is approaching the midway mark, the CIS season is about to start and the junior football season is underway. South of the border, NCAA Football started Thursday night and we are less than a week away from the start of the NFL season.
Add to that that WHL training camps are going on and Major League Baseball is into its last month with a lot to be determined and its a great time of year. I can't forget about golf either which has a little more signifance in these parts right now because Graham DeLaet of Weyburn is performing quite well in the Fed Ex Cup playoffs and has an outside shot at being in the Top 30 and competing in The Tour Championship in a couple of weeks time.
It was great just to sit down on the couch and watch six hours of football--college and NFL and with college ball really getting going on Saturday highlighted by a Michigan (Mitchigan) vs Alabama game, things are fine. Of course, the big game as it always is on the first Sunday in September is at Mosaic Stadium as the Labour Day Classic is here and the tables are turned somewhat. Last year, the Riders had a new head coach going into the game as Greg Marshall had been let go and replaced by Ken Miller while this year as you know Tim Burke now guides the Bombers after the questionable firing of Paul LaPolice last weekend. Will the Bombers be a different team under Burke? They can't make any radical changes to what they do in just a week so I don't expect to see a different Winnipeg team, but I do expect to see a more focussed Winnipeg team. As for the Riders, they can't lose six in a row can they??? Labour Day has usually been pretty kind to the home team so lets hope it is this year too.
I love being at Mosaic for any Rider home game, but it is extra special on Labour Day, The thing I love the most is the fact that no other team travels here like Winnipeg does so its nice to see the blue and gold mixed in with the green and white. Like the Rider fans on the road, the Winnipeggers have fun coming here cheering on their team and its great to see them most years come here, spend their money in our businesses and then going home without a win.
Needless to say I am thrilled knowing the Oilers have now locked up both Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle to long term contracts. These two will be the cornerstones of that franchise over the next few years as they try to get back to a level of Stanley Cup contender. There is still some work to do, but the team is on the right track. If we have hockey this year, I think the Oilers could have what it takes to squeak into the playoffs. Lets just say I don't think they will be a lottery team this year and if they are, well then I don't know what to do.
The story of the old Canadian senator and his little hottie trophy wife amuses me. You have to think Senator Zimmer was smiling like a butchers dog when he married that 21 year old a year ago. I'm guessing when he slipped that ring on her finger he didn't think he would be celebrating his first anniversary in a courtroom after she went bonkers on a plane. With this guy having Saskatchewan roots, how did we not know about this? I also find it hard to believe that this story isn't getting a little more national attention considering it is a Senator.
The one story that does not amuse me is the tragic story of the young highway worker killed this week near Midale because of some idiot who couldn't bother to slow down. I don't care what you say, this guy is guilty of vehicular manslaughter and needs to spend some time behind bars and not just a year or two either. There is simply no excuse for what he did. The outrage surrounding this story is justified. What's sad is that he isn't the only person not following the rules of the orange zone. Is it that important to get to where you are going by not following the rules of the road. Hey, I know we will all speed from time to time and perhaps pass a car on a single lane highway when its unsafe to do so, but when there are people on the road and there is a lot of notification to slow down, why aren't you doing it? If this guy doesn't go to jail, I will be some kinda choked and I don't think I'll be the only one.
A lot of people have been taking pictures of the Civic Center in its various stages of teardown. As someone who went to many games in that building---even before the Warriors started up in the WHL---its sad to see.
Rod Pedersen and Kelly Remple discussed the notion oh so briefly on Thursday about a 12 hole golf course. I have just one word for that idea. DUMB!!!!! Play 9 or 18 if you want, but not 12. If we are going to have 12 hole golf courses, lets cut football fields to 90 yards and have hockey periods be 14 minutes instead of 20.
I haven't got Madden 13 yet, but I've played the demo. It looks good! NHL 13 is supposedly better than it has been in recent years. It comes out in a few weeks and will likely be the only NHL action on my TV screen for a couple of months.
The Paralympic games have started in London. You have to admire the Paralympians for competing in a sport that they love when life hasn't given them a fair shake for whatever reason. Its too bad more attention wasn't paid to this event, but I guess you gotta take what you can and there has been more exposure over the last couple of years. Remember, you can help cheer on our Canadian athletes by hitting the cheer button on the right hand side of this page. One of the Canadian paralympians sponsored by VISA has already received gold as swimmer Benoit Huot finished first in the 200 meter individual medley. Some people who cheer will win a 250 dollar pre-paid VISA card so give it a shot and maybe you will have a card coming to you. Who's kidding who, a 250 dollar pre-paid VISA card can come in handy with the kids going back to school.
Thumbs up to TSN for showing games from the 1987 Canada Cup. Those three games against Russia in the final that all finished 6-5 were three great hockey games. If you have never seen them, watch it. If you do remember those games, watch it again. The one thing you will notice though is that the hockey of 1987 could never be duplicated today because of the hook and grab tendencies and the amount of interference that players got away with. If you watch the game winner by Mario Lemieux, you will see that in today's NHL Dale Hawerchuk would have been called for interference.
Lets hope the warm temperatures continue through the end of September and into October. I haven't heard anything about what the winter forecast is for Saskatchewan. Is it supposed to be a normal winter, a colder winter or a warmer winter?
Life is too short, smile while you still have teeth.