Thursday, November 7, 2013
This And That
I don't know where to start this week. There's a lot I want to talk about, but I guess I will start by eulogizing a pure legend. Growing up in Regina and being a sports fan, I knew who Bob Hughes was. Everyone knew who he was. His daily columns in the Leader-Post were legendary. They were humourous and they were biting---oh they were biting. My dad says he was always surprised someone hadn't snapped that little bastard in two because of the things he wrote.
Fast forward to 1987 and I am working at 620 CKCK Radio in my first ever job in the business. It was doing evenings and at that time the building was at the corner of Park and Victoria and shared space with the Leader-Post. In one of my first nights, I was doing some re-writes, minding my own business when all of a sudden this voice from behind startled me. It was Bob Hughes. He apparently voiced a commentary that I didn't know about and he was telling me it was done. He introduced himself to me and I was in awe. I couldn't wait to phone Dad the next day to say I had met the legendary Bob Hughes. Once he found out I was a sports fan, we sat and yapped many a time with the Riders most time being the topic of choice. When I left for Peace River, Alberta in 1990, I returned to Regina for a friends wedding a few months later and ran into Bob at the Golden Mile of all places where he was having coffee. I didn't think he would even notice me, but as I walked by, he asked where the hell had I been.
I ran into him many times over the years after that. He was the guy who told me CJME was about to change their format from oldies to newstalk and while he denied it, I heard he had told Michael Zaplitny about a kid that might make a damn fine addition to what they were wanting to do and low and behold I got a call from Don Kollins just before the change was about to be made asking if I was interested.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago and Rod Pedersen wasn't able to host Sportscage because of a Riders roadie. It was a Football Friday and he told me Scott Schultz wasn't able to do the show, but he had Bob Hughes coming in. Are you kidding me? A chance to talk Riders football on the air with Bob Hughes? It was an unbelievable experience and sadly it was a one time thing. I was just metres away from the studio where we do the Sportscage when I got word of Bob's tragic passing and while it hit many a lot harder, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Calling my good friend Rob Vanstone, who I know worshipped the ground Bob walked on, to get some thoughts was not a pleasant experience and either was reading the 11 and 12 o'clock casts informing Regina and southern Saskatchewan of his passing.
Rest in peace Bob! I thought I would see you at Grey Cup. It was an honour reading your columns and I was privileged to have gotten the chance to talk football with you. As Rod Pedersen put it so well earlier this week, the drums on the Wascana have fallen silent. When the new stadium is built, may I suggest calling the pressbox, the Bob Hughes Memorial Pressbox. It would truly be a fitting honor.
I can't believe in the biggest game of the year for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, a large contingent of the Rider Nation has seemingly gone on vacation. Why isn't this game sold out? Is the weather that much of a factor and have we gotten soft because of it? With a stadium that can seat well over 40-thousand, we should have 40-thousand at the game. Has your team really turned you off despite an 11-7 season? If so, what exactly are your expectations. I am still holding on to some blind faith that says Sunday will see many walk up to be a part of what should be an electrifying night at the old girl and one that will hopefully just set the table for what could be an historic night and one that will never be repeated in two weeks time,. All I know is that those who designed the new stadium to be 33-thousand seats seems to have perfectly gauged the football community.
I'll state it right now. My pick to be in GC 101 is the same thing I said at the start of the season---the Toronto Argonauts will take on the Riders. By the way, the Argos will beat the Montreal Alouettes to advance to Regina.
Good luck to the Regina Thunder on Saturday. I am hoping to see a crowd of around seven to eight thousand for the Canadian Bowl against the Vancouver Island Raiders. I will call the game live on Access beginning at 2, but don't let the fact the game is on TV keep you from being there. Scott McAulay has done a helluva job in his first year as head coach. A lot of people said he would, but I don't know if those people thought McAulay would be in this spot so soon.
This story about Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin and the Miami Dolphins is just staggering on so many levels. Does anyone really know the truth in this story. Incognito is no choir boy and he is being made to come off as the biggest douchebag in the history of pro sports, but was he instructed to act this way towards a rookie. All I know is Incognito wouldn't have tried this stuff with Aaron Hernandez!
I just shake my head when Rob Ford's name comes up. What an out of control greasefire this guy has become. I will admit though his "I did it in a drunken stupor" is something most guys can relate to because hey. haven't we all done something stupid when alcohol is calling the shots. He would make for great reality TV, hell he is already. Would he come to Regina if the Argos made it to the Grey Cup or is he too much of an NFL fan as evidenced by the tie he wore when admitting to smoking crack cocaine. I will just ask you this. If you were doing your thing in Regina doing Grey Cup week and you saw Rob Ford, would you get your picture taken with him. Hell, I've told Rod if he is here that he MUST be a guest on Sportscage. Lets just imagine how that interview would go.
Are the Edmonton Oilers even actively searching for a goalie?
Usain Bolt ate 1,000 Chicken McNuggets during the last Summer Olympics. Really? That's wrong on sooooooooo many levels.
Something can be said for women who look good as it is and then add glasses to their repertoire.
Saskatchewan people drink on average 235 beers a year. I will confess I'm not a beer drinker, I'm more of a rye guy. I will drink my fair share of beer though, but not 235 a year. Someone is making up for me.
Another year where I didn't win a damn thing in the Riders touchdown lottery. Hey Tom Shepherd, I had a dream!!!!
Week 10 NFL Lock Of The Week --- Saints over Cowboys
Week 10 NFL Upset Of The Week ---Panthers over Niners
It was great to see Ricky Foley and Weston Dressler to come out and publicly support Darian Durant after what has been a season of needless grief from a small, but vocal minority of the Rider fanbase. Darian continues to put up the numbers and he still won't get the respect from many for whatever reason. With Ricky Ray being named Eastern Conference MOP, chances are he will get the nod as the all-star quarterback this year, but a solid argument could be made for Durant considering he played 16 of 18 games this year while Ray didn't.
A question for you as to where your loyalties will be on Grey Cup Sunday if the Stamps meet the Ti-Cats. Do you go to Mosaic cheering for Cornish and the Stamps or Henry and the Tabbies? What will your thoughts be if Kent Austin, Henry Burris and Andy Fantuz are pictured surrounding Canadian football's prized trophy?
If TSN is the home of the CFL, it would be nice if they would give the league some more exposure. 40 minutes after the league announced its finalists, the TSN front page had stories on Taylor Hall returning, Robin Lehner starting for Ottawa and the Canucks taking on San Jose. Cmon guys! I love my hockey, but the overkill is just too much for this guy. Its why I want ESPN or Fox Sports 1. Variety is the key!
Face your problems, don't Facebook them!
Have a great weekend! GO RIDERS!!! GO SEAHAWKS!!!