Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's Happening In Cougarville?

Home Canada West Events

Women’s Basketball – vs. UBC, Friday (6:15 p.m.) at CKHS

Men’s Basketball – vs. UBC, Friday (8:15 p.m.) at CKHS

Women’s Basketball – vs. Victoria, Saturday (5:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Men’s Basketball – vs. Victoria, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Canada West Events

Women’s Volleyball – at Winnipeg, Saturday (1:00 p.m. CDT) in Winnipeg, Man.

Men’s Volleyball – at Winnipeg, Saturday (2:30 p.m. CDT) in Winnipeg, Man.

Women’s Hockey – at Manitoba, Saturday (3:00 p.m. CDT) in Winnipeg, Man.

Women’s Volleyball – at Winnipeg, Sunday (1:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man.

Men’s Volleyball – at Winnipeg, Sunday (2:30 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man.

Women’s Hockey – at Manitoba, Sunday (3:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man.

Away Non-Conference Events

Women’s Wrestling – at SFU International Open, Saturday in Burnaby, B.C.

Men’s Basketball – The Cougars finished their non-conference schedule last weekend with their first three games of the year against CIS competition, as they took on York, tournament host Brock, and Saint Mary's in St. Catharines, Ont. The Canada West slate begins this weekend with the Cougars opening up at home against No. 8 UBC and No. 5 Victoria at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Women’s Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 6) – The Cougars won all three games at last weekend's tournament at the University of Manitoba, beating the host Bisons, Lakehead, and Winnipeg to end up with a 7-2 record in their nine non-conference games. The U of R hosts its Canada West home openers at the CKHS this weekend, as the Cougars have UBC in town on Friday night (6:15) and play Victoria on Saturday night (5:00).

Women’s Hockey (CIS Ranking: No. 7) – The Cougars (6-2-0) collected their second consecutive weekend split at The Co-operators Centre over the weekend, winning 2-0 on Friday over Mount Royal but falling 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars have four wins in four games away from Regina so far this season and put that perfect record on the line on Saturday night (7:00) and Sunday afternoon (3:00) at Manitoba.

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (0-2) lost their first two matches of the Canada West schedule after a five-set setback to No. 5-ranked Brandon on Friday and a four-set loss to the Bobcats on Saturday. The losses overshadowed a fine weekend by fourth-year middle Michelle Sweeting, who hit for a team-high .412 percentage in the two matches. The Cougars are back at it this weekend with Saturday and Sunday afternoon road matches at Winnipeg, which opened its season last weekend with a pair of losses to Manitoba.

Men’s Volleyball – Last weekend marked the first matches of the conference schedule for the Cougars (0-2), who lost in four sets to No. 4 Brandon on Friday and in straight sets on Saturday. It's right back on the road for the U of R this weekend, as the Cougars will square off with Winnipeg (1-1) this Saturday and Sunday at the Duckworth Centre on the U of W campus. All four men's and women's volleyball matches will be available via live webcast on

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars moved to 4-4-0 on the season after a road split at Mount Royal, winning 5-1 on Friday before losing 5-2 on Saturday. Brody Luhning had three assists for the U of R over the two-game set and the rookie defenceman now leads all CIS blueliners with eight helpers this year. The Cougars will have a weekend off before returning to action on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 with a home series against Manitoba.

Men's & Women's Wrestling – The men’s and women’s teams had their first competitive event of the year last weekend as both squads wrestled at the Dinos Invitational in Calgary. Danielle Anderson led the women's team with a first-place finish at 59 kg, while Jacob Luczak's second-place showing at 82 kg was the men's team's top finish. The women's team returns to the mats at the SFU International Open this weekend in Burnaby, B.C.

Cross Country – After two weekends off, the Cougars return to action this Saturday at the Stewart Cup in Edmonton. The race will mark the final event for the school’s cross country teams before the CIS Championships, which will be held in London, Ont. on Nov. 9.

Women’s Soccer – A long goal by Molly Glass brought the Cougars to within one goal midway through the second half, but they eventually lost 5-1 to No. 1-seeded Victoria on Friday night in the Canada West quarterfinals. The loss ends the season for the Cougars, who qualified for the postseason for the second consecutive year after finishing with a 5-5-2 record through the conference schedule.

Rams Football – The Rams ended their season with a turnover-plagued 33-15 loss to the University of Saskatchewan on Saturday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium, as they finish fifth in the Canada West standings with a 2-6 record and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2005. The game marked the final time in a U of R uniform for five fifth-year Rams, including Brady Aulie, Logan Brooks, Mark McConkey, Kolten Solomon, and Taylor Wandler.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Conversation With Tom Higgins

As you know, I haven't been enamoured with the state of officiating in the CFL. I spoke with director of officiating Tom Higgins today and asked him the questions I wanted answers to. I thank Mr. Higgins for answering my questions in a professional manner and I look forward to sparking up the conversation again during Grey Cup week. I'm even buying the first one Tom!

Week 9 NFL Capsules

Week 9 of the NFL season will get underway with coincidentally a contest featuring a team whose colours look Hallowe'enish when the Cincinnati Bengals visit Miami. For an indepth look at that game and other matchups, click here

And The Nominees Are.....

The Saskatchewan Roughrider nominees for the CFL awards were announced today.  This year’s nominees are: Kory Sheets (Most Outstanding Player), Chris Getzlaf (Outstanding Canadian), Tyron Brackenridge (Outstanding Defensive Player), Brendon LaBatte (Outstanding Offensive Lineman), Levi Steinhauer (Outstanding Rookie) and Ricky Schmitt (Outstanding Special Teams Player).                                                           





First nomination as Riders Most Outstanding Player…has played 15 regular season games…registered 1,598 yards and 12 touchdowns on 287 rush attempts…added 264 yards on 37 receptions…totaling 1,862 yards from scrimmage…began the season by recording six straight 100-yard games and has tied a franchise record with nine overall…named CFL Offensive Player of the Week twice this season…second straight season surpassing 1,000 yards rushing…last Roughrider to win Most Outstanding Player was Kerry Joseph in 2007.





Second career nomination as Most Outstanding Canadian…unanimous selection…has started 17 regular season games at receiver…has 63 receptions for 1,045 yards and seven touchdowns…second career 1,000 yard season…was named CFL Canadian Player of the Week once this season…the last Rider to win Outstanding Canadian was Andy Fantuz in 2010.





First nomination as Riders Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman…Fourth career nomination as he was named Winnipeg Blue Bombers Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2011, 2010, 2009… has started in 17 regular season games at guard…last Roughrider to win this award was Gene Makowsky in 2004 and 2005.






Second consecutive nomination as Riders Most Outstanding Defensive Player…has started all 17 regular season games at safety…has 47 defensive tackles, six special teams tackles, five pass knockdowns, three interceptions, and two tackles for loss…leads league with five forced fumbles…last Roughrider to win Outstanding Defensive Player was John Chick in 2009.





Selected by the Riders in the fifth round (40th overall) of the 2013 Canadian Draft…unanimous selection as Riders Most Outstanding Rookie…played 13 regular season games…registered 11 special teams tackles and two forced fumbles…spent time as long snapper…last Roughrider to win Outstanding Rookie was Weston Dressler in 2008.





First nomination as Riders Most Outstanding Special Teams Player…has played in all 17 regular season games…has totaled 5,821 yards on 129 punts for a 45.1 yard average (net: 4,833 yards/37.5 average)…adding a league leading 5,131 yards on 79 kickoffs (64.9 average) …Corey Holmes won this award in 2002 and 2005.




The players were selected by voting members of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and the CFL head coaches.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting Ready For Canadian Bowl

The Regina Thunder are the 2013 Prairie Football Conference Champions.  They now move on to host the Vancouver Island Raiders in the 2013 Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) Championship, the “Canadian Bowl”, on Saturday, November 9th at 2pm in Regina, Saskatchewan.
The City of Regina will also play host to delegates from the 20 CJFL football teams across the country as the CJFL Annual General Meetings will take place November 7-8.
Local football legends, Roger Aldag and Jason Clermont have been named Co-Ambassadors of the 2013 Canadian Bowl.
There are three major events taking place during the 2013 Canadian Bowl weekend. They are as follows:
The Canadian Football Hall of Fame Luncheon and Press Conference
Hotel Saskatchewan Radisson Plaza – Friday November 8, 2013 NOON
All media welcome. Head Coaches and star players will be introduced and available for interviews.

The CJFL Banquet of Champions
Turvey Centre – Friday November 8, 2013 6pm-9pm
Official introduction of both teams and the annual CJFL Player Awards
Tickets $75 (tables of 8 $500) available at

2013 Canadian Bowl
Mosaic Stadium – Saturday November 9, 2013 2pm
Trophy Presentation and Interviews to Follow
Tickets Adults $20 Students/Youth $10 (Kids 5 and under free) available through the Roughrider Ticket Office

Both teams will be available for media interviews during team practice on Thursday, November 7. Location and times to be announced.

Radio coverage of the 2013 Canadian Bowl will be brought to you by 620 CKRM with Michael Ball and Marco Ricci on the call beginning with the pre-game show at 145. Access 7 in Regina will also provide live coverage of the game at 2 o'clock with Mitchell Blair doing the play-by-play. 

Congrats To Carm and George

The CFL Alumni Association is pleased to announce that the co-recipients of the 2013 CFL Alumni Man of the Year Award are George Reed and Carm Carteri. The presentation will take place at the annual CFLAA Legends Luncheon presented by Saskatchewan Lotteries during this year’s Grey Cup Festival.  The two CFL stars from Saskatchewan have made their mark not only on the playing field but off the field as well.


“We thought about the concept of having co-recipients and think it is a very good model,” said Terry Bulych, president of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Alumni Association. “George is sort of a stand-alone guy – an icon who is still actively involved. He is very humble and a treat to be around. Carm has been the heart and soul of the Association for the past two decades or so. He is really the backbone of the organization and has kept it all together. They needed to be acknowledged and appreciated and it made sense to do so.”


Reed has been active in Saskatchewan in community service for many years and is a past president of the CFL Player’s Association. He is a Member of the Order of Canada and is currently Director of Guest and Community Relations at SaskGaming. He was one of the league’s premiere running backs during his 13 year career (1963-75) with the Roughriders and one of the CFL’s best of all time. The nine-time all-star owns virtually every Saskatchewan club rushing record, including most rushing yards in a career (16,116), most carries (3,243) and most rushing touchdowns in a career (134).


“It was a total surprise to me,” said Reed. “It’s excellent to be recognized by the ‘Rider Alumni Association for my time in Canada. It’s good for the league in terms of recognition and through the Association it’s great that more and more will be known about it.”


Carteri has had a life-long association with Saskatchewan and was president of the Roughrider Alumni for 15 years. He is in his 25th season as colour commentator for 620 CKRM Rider Radio. Carteri was born and raised in Regina and has been a successful businessman and community contributor since his playing days in the CFL. He is a six year veteran of the CFL and played for Saskatchewan, Hamilton and Montreal. He was an Eastern all-star linebacker with Hamilton in 1981.


“It’s a great honour to represent the Saskatchewan Roughrider Alumni,” said Carteri. “It’s been an honour to serve these guys. Helping out the Alumni is more about friendship and giving back to the community than anything else. It’s humbling to be honoured along with George Reed, he’s one of my all-time heroes.”


The CFL Alumni Man of the Year Award is given to the Alumnus selected in the host city of the Grey Cup and is honoured during the CFL Alumni Legends Luncheon.   The recipient is selected by the membership of the local Alumni Association. Past recipients include Don Durno, 2012, Toronto Argonauts; Norm Fieldgate, 2011, BC Lions; Bain Norrie, 2010, Edmonton Eskimos; and Sam “The Rifle” Etchevery in its inaugural year 2009.


The CFLAA Legends Lunch will take place at the Queensbury Convention Centre at Evraz Place.  Tickets and information about the luncheon can be found at


Monday, October 28, 2013

Tiger And EA Sports Go Their Separate Ways

Since 1998, EA Sports has annually released a Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game, starting with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 99 on the PlayStation and PC. The games have been critically praised for more than a decade, but Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14, released in March, will be the last game in the series named after the current world No. 1. EA Sports is keeping its partnership with the PGA Tour, but in a statement released online, EA VP and GM of Golf Daryl Holt wrote that the decision to discontinue the relationship with Woods was mutual.
EA SPORTS and Tiger Woods have also made a mutual decision to end our partnership, which includes Tiger’s named PGA TOUR golf game. We’ve always been big fans of Tiger and we wish him continued success in all his future endeavors.
Moving forward, we will continue to work with the PGA TOUR exclusively to create groundbreaking golfing titles and our partnership remains strong.

(USA Today)

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos, Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel and Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 27.


Stamkos tied for the League lead with seven points (3-4—7) in helping the Lightning win a trio of games. He opened the week with 2-2—4, including the primary assist on Martin St. Louis’ overtime winner, in a 6-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Oct. 24. Stamkos then recorded one assist in a 3-2 triumph over the Buffalo Sabres Oct. 26 and 1-1—2, plus the shootout winner, in a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers Oct. 27. The 23-year-old native of Markham, Ont., has posted five multi-point games this season and ranks second in the NHL with 17 points (8-9—17) in 11 contests.


Kessel found the back of the net in all three of Toronto’s games, leading the NHL with five goals while scoring on half of his 10 shots. He recorded his fourth career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Oct. 22. Kessel added a goal in a 5?2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Oct. 25 and closed the week with 1-1—2 in a 4-1 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins Oct. 26. The 26-year-old native of Madison, Wis., has recorded at least one point in nine of his 12 games this season, totaling 7-7—14 to lead the Maple Leafs in goals and points.


Kesler ranked second in the NHL with four goals and tied for third with six points as the Canucks closed a season-long, seven-game road trip with three consecutive wins (5-1-1 overall). He opened the week with a pair of 1-1—2 games: in a 5-4 overtime win over the New York Islanders Oct. 22 and in a 3-2 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils Oct. 24. Kesler then scored two goals, including the overtime winner, in a 3-2 triumph over the St. Louis Blues Oct. 25. The 29-year-old native of Livonia, Mich., leads the Canucks with seven goals, including two game-winners, and ranks third on the team with 10 points in 13 games this season.

Something To "Mitch" About

The Riders should have beaten the Stampeders Saturday night. They should still have a shot at finishing first in the West. However, that won't happen because they let one get away. Where do you start?

1. Darian Durant didn't have a good game, but he still did enough to get the winning points on the board with 5 minutes to go. The defense that had played so well the whole game then decided to take the next series off and Drew Tate drove them right back down the field for the winning touchdown. How many times has this scenario played itself out?

2. Kory Sheets did not have to do what he did, but his frustration was obvious. The offensive play-calling was a little offensive especially inside the 10 yard line. You AREN"T giving one of the CFL's top two running backs the football? Is it just me or does this Rider offense try to get a little too cute inside the 10. I don't care how you punch it in, just punch it in because too many opportunities at touchdowns are turning into field goals and you can't win that way.  When it comes to Kory's outburst, while it shouldn't have been done in public fashion, I would much rather have him show his emotion than just sit there and do nothing as so many others have been known to do.

3. I have said it before and I will say it again. Tom Higgins should be absolutely embarrassed at the work of his officials and Marc Cohon should be sending Higgins WTF was that e-mails every Monday morning. It was bad enough that Winnipeg got called for a penalty in the BC-Edmonton game on Friday, but the work of the stripes Saturday in Calgary was abysmal and that is being kind. What did Dwight Anderson do to get a 15 yard penalty in the first quarter when he was not near the tackle and video showed him doing absolutely nothing. Was that a reputation call? No wonder the fiery-tempered Anderson gets mad at the refs. What did Terrell Maze do to garner a pass interference call in the game-winning drive for Calgary. He did what Tom Higgins apparently said you can do. Why wasn't Eric Fraser hammered with a 15 yard penalty on the play that knocked Chris Getzlaf out of the game for a hit on a defenceless receiver? Why did Tearrius George get a 15 yard roughing the passer call when Kevin Glenn ducked seeing what was about to happen and ends up getting hit helmet-to-helmet? I have said it once and I will say it a thousand times. This league MUST do something about the quality of officiating because its not getting better. Its getting worse! I don't know how you fix it, but Higgins had better find some way because more and more people are getting hot under the collar over the work of his officials. I would love to get Corey Chamblin's thoughts and the thoughts of other coaches about CFL officiating  in a room where there is no microphone and an agreement that what is said in the room stays in the room.

Enough of that game. Lets go to something more pleasant and Congrats to the Regina Thunder!!

The Thunder went into Saskatoon and beat the Hilltops not once this year, but twice with that second one being for the PFC Championship. The Thunder will now meet Victoria Island at Mosaic on November 9 in the Canadian Bowl. Its great to see this team that has been around for just a decade finally taste some championship success that the Rams used to have in their junior days. This won't be the only one! 

There is talk UBC's football program might be in jeopardy. This would be a HUGE mistake if the powers that be at UBC decide to scrap the program especially if its at the need of intramural sports as has been suggested. That's insane! 
I wonder how TSN feels about none of the games in the last weekend of the CFL season meaning anything. That won't mean great #'s, but it won't stop the amount of Pathfinder ads from being played.
The Rams season ended on an ugly note. Cayman Shutter threw 5 INT's before finally being pulled as the U of R lost to the U of S. I can only imagine what life would be like for Shutter if he threw 5 INT's in just under three quarters playing for another team that works at Mosaic. He may not have had any tires left on his car. It was a great deal of fun doing the game with the one and only Marco Ricci on Saturday afternoon. I had a great time doing the games on Access as well with Gary 'Chop" Bresch. When I walked into the RM booth on Saturday, there were three mikes there. If I could have, I would have made it a three man booth. Ricci, Bresch and Blair might have brought the internet to its knees.

I could care less who wins the World Series, but let it be known I think the call to end Game 3 was a terrible one and one that shouldn't be made. Allen Craig could have avoided Will Middlebrooks but he tried stepping over him and failed. Is Middlebrooks supposed to lay there or get back into the play as quickly as possible. They say the call was right by the book, but to call that in the 9th inning of a World Series that is tied at one really reeks as far as I'm concerned. 

I did not know Savy Turcotte, but as the father of one girl who is a teenage and a 2nd who will be in a couple of years, I can not imagine what she was going through nor do I want to. All I do know is there are some young people out there who can feel "satisfied" knowing their efforts helped take a young girl's life. I hope they are real proud of themselves this morning seeing what they have done and think about what they did every day  as they get older.  This story is a terrible one and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who knew this young girl who sounded like she was a very delightful person to be around.
My condolences to friends of former Leader Post photographer Roy Antal. It shocked me to learn of his passing on Saturday due to cancer. Roy was always a very friendly individual and he was kind enough to be the photographer at my wedding. R.I.P Roy. I will miss seeing you around.

Two weeks in a row that my NFL Sunday has not involved the Seahawks. They are in St. Louis in the Monday nighter which begs the question why the NFL would put a Monday night game in a place where a team could conceivably be playing a World Series game as is the case tonight. That's a major scheduling snafu and it may look real bad for the Rams if a national TV audience sees no real crowd because they are a few blocks away at Busch Stadium. 

What has happened to Tom Brady? He just seems so ordinary now.

Why didn't FOX cameras give us an opportunity to see the look on Jerry Jones' face after the Lions marched down the field with no timeouts to beat the Cowboys in the waning seconds. That would have been priceless!

In this month where the NFL and CFL are going pink for breast cancer awareness, why haven't we seen a pink football or at least a football with pink stripes?
CKRM program director Grant Biebrick is a Calgary sports fan through and through as he makes no bones about rooting for the Stamps or Flames. It could be a long day. At least he cheers for the Seahawks.
The Seahawks have the Monday niter and I've got another early shift on Tuesday. It could be a short night!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bowl with Kory Sheets

Kory Sheets and teammates will be bowling this week with money going to kids healthcare at the  General Hospital. For more details, click here

Friday, October 25, 2013

Whats Happening In Cougarland?

Home Canada West Events
Women's Hockey – vs. Mount Royal, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Rams Football – vs. Saskatchewan, Saturday (1:00 p.m.) at Mosaic Stadium
Women's Hockey – vs. Mount Royal, Saturday (3:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre

Home Non-Conference Events
Men's Basketball – vs. Williston State College, Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Postseason Events
Women's Soccer – at Victoria, Friday (6:00 p.m. PDT) in Victoria, B.C.

Away Canada West Events
Women's Volleyball – at Brandon, Friday (6:00 p.m. CDT) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Volleyball – at Brandon, Friday (7:45 p.m. CDT) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Hockey – at Mount Royal, Friday (7:00 p.m.) in Calgary, Alta.
Women's Volleyball – at Brandon, Saturday (5:00 p.m. CDT) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Volleyball – at Brandon, Saturday (6:45 p.m. CDT) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Hockey – at Mount Royal, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) in Calgary, Alta.

Away Non-Conference Events
Men's Basketball – vs. York, Thursday (6:00 p.m. EDT) in St. Catharines, Ont.
Women's Basketball – at Manitoba, Friday (4:00 p.m. CDT) in Winnipeg, Man.
Wrestling – at University of Calgary Open, Friday and Saturday in Calgary, Alta.
Men's Basketball – at Brock, Friday (8:00 p.m. EDT) in St. Catharines, Ont.
Men's Basketball – vs. Saint Mary's, Saturday (1:00 p.m. EDT) in St. Catharines, Ont.
Cross Country – at Stewart Cup, Saturday (12:00 p.m.) in Edmonton, Alta.
Women's Basketball – vs. Lakehead, Saturday (4:00 p.m. CDT) in Winnipeg, Man.
Women's Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, Sunday (12:00 p.m. CDT) in Winnipeg, Man.

Rams Football – The Rams (2-5) were eliminated from postseason contention after a 46-27 loss to Calgary last Saturday, a game in which the U of R trailed by just eight points in the fourth quarter before two late majors by the No. 3-ranked Dinos put it out of reach. The Rams finish off their Canada West schedule this Saturday at home against Saskatchewan (4-3). Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium.

Women's Hockey (CIS Ranking: No. 6) – The Cougars (5-1-0) won their fifth straight to start the conference schedule on Friday night with a 2-0 victory over UBC, but finally lost their first of the season after dropping a tight 3-2 decision to the Thunderbirds on Saturday night. Jennifer Schmidt was named the Canada West First Star of the Week after her 41-save shutout on Friday for the Cougars, who will be back at home this weekend against Mount Royal on Friday night (7:00) and Saturday afternoon (3:00).

Women's Soccer – Tayler Firth scored the match's only goal and Stephanie Possberg had a shutout as the Cougars (5-5-2) finished the Canada West schedule with a 1-0 win over UNBC last Saturday at the U of R Field. The Cougars qualify for the postseason for the second consecutive year and will match up against No. 5-ranked Victoria (10-2-0) on Friday night (6:00 p.m. PDT, The winner advances to the Canada West Final Four, which will be hosted by the highest remaining seed.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars (3-3-0) lost 5-4 on Friday night despite leading 3-0 after the game's opening six minutes, but recovered for a 1-0 win on Saturday thanks to a goal by Troy Hunter and a 30-save shutout by Andrew Hayes. In sole possession of third place in the early Canada West standings with six points, the Cougars return to the ice this weekend for a pair of road games at Mount Royal (2-4-0). Both games will be webcast at

Volleyball – Both the men's team and the women's team start the Canada West schedule with four consecutive away matches starting this weekend at Brandon. Friday's women's match starts at 6:00 p.m. (CDT) with the men's match to follow, while the women start things off on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. (CDT). All four matches will be webcast live at

Men's Basketball – The Cougars completed a three-game tour of NAIA opponents in Montana over the weekend, losing to the University of Great Falls on Thursday night before setbacks to MSU-Northern on both Friday and Saturday. The Cougars continue non-conference action on Tuesday night against Williston State College at the CKHS before hitting the road for three games at a tournament hosted by Brock starting on Thursday.

Women's Basketball – The Cougars went 1-2 at the Pandas Hoopfest in Edmonton, losing to defending national champion Windsor and St. Francis Xavier before defeating New Brunswick by a 66-46 margin on Sunday to close out the tournament. Now 4-2 in non-conference play, the Cougars will have their final tune-up games this weekend against Manitoba, Lakehead, and Winnipeg at the Bison Invitational hosted by the U of M.

Cross Country (Men's CIS Ranking: No. 9) – After two weekends off, the Cougars return to action this Saturday at the Stewart Cup in Edmonton. The race will mark the final event for the school's cross country teams before the CIS Championships, which will be held in London, Ont. on Nov. 9.

Wrestling – The men's and women's teams travel west this weekend to compete in the University of Calgary Open on Friday and Saturday. After this weekend, the women's team will get ready for the Hargobind Invitational hosted by Simon Fraser on Nov. 2 and the men's team returns to the mats on Nov. 7 with a dual at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.

Who's It Going To Be Gainer?

This And That

Just the usual collection of Friday thoughts in no particular order from this muddled brain

--Who's kidding who, the Riders and Stampeders will be must watch TV in Saskatchewan, southern Alberta and many other parts of Canada. If this doesn't have a playoff atmosphere to it what does? Will these two teams meet again November 17. The BC Lions will decide that, but one has to think these two teams haven't seen the last of one another no matter who wins Friday.

--I may be biased. OK, I am. Kory Sheets is a better back than Jon Cornish. He is that elusive scatback that can score whenever he touches the ball. Cornish can't do that. Both guys are fantastic running backs and there is no doubt Cornish is the top Canadian in this league and should be considered for the top Canadian athlete of the year. When it comes right down to it though, I take Sheets because of his quickness.

--The Pats are having Riders night and that is great because the two teams should partner up considering they are basically neighbours with the Riders moving a little closer in a few years. Does that mean we need to see green Rider jerseys worn by the Pats? Call me a traditionalist if you like, but the Pats should wear blue jerseys or white jerseys. They can wear special jerseys for charity like their pink ones for breast cancer and I guess like most other teams a third jersey, but that's it.  That's not a slam against the Riders or the pro rodeo when the Blades wear their denim jerseys etc. etc, I just think at some times it looks hokey. Like I said though, its great the two teams are finally working together and it should be a good night at the Brandt Centre.

This is the back of  Pats captain Kyle Burroughs' jersey. I thought they might have given this one to the starting goalie because with the number he is wearing, some can then truly make it Riders night and yell for the backup to come in.  SIGHHHHH!!!!
--Tough break for the Moose Jaw Warriors in losing Morgan Rielly to the Maple Leafs for the rest of the season. This doesn't surprise me though and those who have seen Rielly shouldn't be surprised either. His absence may cost the Warriors a playoff spot this year.
--Has the buzz worn off Mosaic Place or has the Moose Jaw hockey fan got a case of the "What have you done for me lately" blues.  Watching the Edmonton-Moose Jaw game on Access the other night, there seemed to be a lot of empty seats in the new rink. I go back to the days of the Civic Centre and the place was packed no matter the record---at least it seemed that way. I was told it would be interesting to see how Moose Jaw would react when the Warriors started to slide and that the team had to find a way to keep the many more around that couldn't get into games at the archaic crushed can. I may have found the answer.  It just reinforces the best promotions are wins.

--I spent the last two nites doing play by play of the 2014 Canadian Elite Mens and Womens Boxing Championships at the Orr Centre for a group called GoFightLive TV. The boxing was first-rate and its only going to get better as the finals approach. I've watched boxing, but I've never done play-by-play of it before. Lets just say I was no Jim Lampley, but I don't think I'll be called the Rod Black of boxing either.

--As many of you know, former mayor Pat Fiacco is the president of Boxing Canada and he has been front and center at this event. What I didn't realize until Michael Fougere told me the other day was that its been one year on Wednesday that Fougere took office. Where does the time go? He shocked me when he told me that and I think I surprised Pat when I told him the other night. Its tough to do what Fiacco did for this city over his time and Fougere has just started, but I have no major problems with what I've seen in the first year of office.

--Seeing Josh Harding play well for the Minnesota Wild does nothing but make me smile considering the battle he is going through and what he is doing to make people aware of MS.

--What doesn't make me smile is the battle with cancer former Lady Cougars basketball player Crystal Heisler (now McGregor) is going through. I've watched Crystal play basketball for a long time from high school and right through University and I have never seen someone as talented and tenacious as her. To see a young mother fight this horrible disease and have it come back after she thought it was gone is devastating to me and many others. The Cougar basketball teams will have their Shoot for a Cure night November 16. It will mean so much to the girls on the team today and the many alumni coming in and it will mean a lot for the guys team too. It would be great to see a huge turnout at the CKHS on that evening as we do what we can to find a cure for a disease that affects all of us sadly in some way.

--Attn Global's Rustie Dean. You know I love you girl, but I can't say nice things about you when you start talking about that word "snow". Not yet at least!!!

--How was Brad Paisley? He's one of my fave country singers, but sadly Mrs. Scruffy isn't a country fan so we didn't go. She would rather attend Papa Roach concerts than Paisley. Did he do this one?  I love this song!!

Guys, I'm guessing the scenery was something else wasn't it?

--Why wouldn't baseball play a World Series game on Saturday afternoon? Is it because of prime-time or they don't want to go up against college football. I understand not wanting to compete against the juggernaut that is the NFL on Sunday, but I would love to see an afternoon tilt.

--The TV numbers I put up last week were very interesting. I'll have thoughts on that in 'Something to Mitch About" Monday.

--How sad are the St. Louis Rams when they actually consider bringing Brett Favre out of retirement to play for them seeing Sam Bradford is injured. Why not Kurt Warner? Was Vince Ferragamo unavailable? What does this say for their scouting system? Puh-leeze!!!!

--Good luck to the Regina Thunder this weekend as they chase the PFC Championship in Saskatoon.

--Week 8 NFL Lock Of The Week ---Seahawks over Rams
--Week 8 NFL Upset Of The Week ----Falcons over Cardinals (How exactly is Arizona favoured in this game)

--Are you ready for the NBA? Yeah, me too!

--Have a good weekend everyone and remember don't drink the Kool-Aid when you can quench your thirst by drinking some juice or a Coke.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Week 8 NFL Capsules

The NFL week starts in Tampa as the Bucs meet the Panthers. For a complete look at the games, click here

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Flames Tell Monahan He's Sticking Around

Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster has announced rookie Sean Monahan will be spending the remainder of the 2013-14 season with team and will not be returning to his junior club, the Ottawa 67's (OHL).
Monahan, who was selected sixth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey, is leading the Flames in goals scored this year with 6 through 9 games. The 19-year-old also has the best shooting percentage on the roster, connecting on 28.6 per cent of his 21 shots on net this year, and leads the team with 2 power play markers.
He is currently sitting third in team scoring with 9 points. Captain Mark Giordano has also recorded 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) this year but has done so in 8 games played.
Monahan has been held pointless in just 2 games this season - Oct. 16 in Anaheim and Oct. 22 in Phoenix. He registered his first NHL point in the Flames season opener in Washington on Oct. 3 - an assist on the Flames first tally of the year - and scored his first NHL goal the following night in Columbus.
The Brampton, ON also has a pair of multi-point games on his resume - Oct. 9 vs. Montreal and Oct. 19 vs. San Jose.
Prior to being drafted by the Flames, Monahan spent three seasons with the Ottawa 67's, serving as the club's captain in the 2012-13 season. In 185 games with the 67's, he scored 84 goals and 203 points. In his final year in Ottawa, he averaged 1.34 points-per-game.

Who Wins World Series and Why?

The random nature of baseball's playoffs often blindsides regular-season juggernauts. Not this year. The 109th World Series, starting Wednesday in Boston, pits the 97-win Red Sox against the 97-win St. Louis Cardinals, the first time since 1999 each league is represented by teams with its best records. And these are two franchises loaded with tradition, smarts, resources and passionate - some might say entitled - fan bases.


They actually have the edge at DH: There's no advantage this time for the Red Sox, because the Cardinals' DH happens to be Allen Craig. Yes, the same Craig that had 97 RBI, and was hitting a major-league leading .454 with runners in scoring position Sept. 4 when he suffered a sprained left foot.
He declared Sunday that he is back, and certainly looked it in the batting cage, spraying the ball to all fields against his teammates, and running fine to first base.
"I'm not a doctor,'' Craig said, "but I feel like I timed it pretty well with the World Series starting this week. I'm starting to feel better.''

While David Ortiz had the key hit in the ALCS - a Game 2 grand slam - he was 1 for 21 in his other at-bats.
The Cardinals haven't formally placed Craig on the World Series roster yet, but it's only a formality.
"He's such a prolific hitter,'' GM John Mozeliak said, "it's definitely worth the chance. We're trying to get him as much live pitching as we can, but to simulate Game 1 of a World Series is virtually impossible.''
They are October regulars: This will be their fourth World Series in 10 years. It has become so routine that the Cardinals might as well include it in their pre-season pocket schedules.
Certainly, they won't be intimidated. If they can beat the Los Angeles Dodgers' tandem of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke three times in four starts, they're certainly not going to be scared of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Jake Peavy.
And, unlike their miserable 2004 World Series experience, they will be staying in a five-star hotel in downtown Boston, unlike 2004, where they found themselves marooned in a Quincy, Mass. hotel without late-night room service. They instead were forced to dine on pizza and chicken, like Little Leaguers.
"That was one of the toughest experiences in my baseball career,'' says Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, a catcher on that team. "You don't forget that.''
This time, they vow to make it a World Series the Red Sox won't want to remember.
While they don't have home advantage, they still get three games in St. Louis: Sure, we know the Red Sox have four home games in the World Series.
Yes, they love to remind us that no National League team has won a World Series game at Fenway Park since Oct. 22, 1986, and won eight of 10 games in interleague player this season at Fenway.
Well, guess what?
The Cardinals are even better at home at Busch Stadium in front of the Clydesdales and a passionate, fanbase.
They've won 24 of their last 29 home games since Aug. 15. And the Red Sox will likely lose the services of Ortiz or power-hitting first baseman Mike Napoli in St. Louis with no DH.
The Cardinals believe they're invincible at home, and instead of fearing the Green Monster, can't wait for their lefty power bats to take aim.
The Cardinals, who have scored 11 runs in their last nine innings this postseason, can't wait to unleash their new offensive attack in Fenway, and they'll let their pitching take care of the rest back in Busch.
Michael Wacha can't be beat: The question isn't will Wacha beat the Red Sox; it's what inning do we start our no-hit pool?
This 22-year-old is that good, going 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA this postseason, yielding eight hits and one run while striking out 22 in 21 innings.
Wacha, with his nasty fastball and devastating changeup, doesn't give teams a chance. The Red Sox can study scouting reports, but when you're facing him for the first time, you've got no chance. Just ask the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates this month.
Wacha, who visited Fenway Park a few years ago in a college tournament, concedes he'll be nervous when he's expected to pitch Game 2.
Oh, it's got nothing to do with the offensive exploits of Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli or Jonny Gomes.
It's those bushy, unkempt beards - putting Wacha'sstubble to shame.
"I might have to shave mine,'' Wacha said, "so I can't get embarrassed.''


Their games are short (really!): The bullpen has become the not-so-secret weapon. Closer Koji Uehara was the ALCS MVP with a win and three saves. He, Junichi Tazawa and lefty Craig Breslow have combined to allow two runs and 13 hits in 19 innings this postseason. Uehara, since July 1, has pitched 58 innings in 45 appearances, allowing two earned runs and 17 hits while striking out 65 and walking two.

Their games sure do feel long: The Red Sox have seen more pitches than any other team this season. They pride themselves on working deep counts and eventually wearing down the opposing pitcher, no matter how good he is. They got Anibal Sanchez of the Tigers out of a no-hitter after six innings because of a pitch count. They won two ALCS games when they had been stifled for six innings by Detroit's Max Scherzer, but turned around those games once they got to the bullpen. The Red Sox are fully confident they can win a battle of the bullpens with anyone and even more confident they'll get the chance to face their opponents' relievers.
The AL won the All-Star Game: Nowhere is home advantage more important than in Fenway Park. No National League team won a World Series game there in 2004 and 2007. Come to think of it, no NL team won a game anywhere in either of those series. This season, NL teams were 2-8 at Fenway. It's quirky and gets in the heads of pitchers as well as outfielders. If it's not the Green Monster making left fielders, center fielders and even shortstops change the way they play, it's the low walls and funky corners in center and right (ask Torii Hunter how easy it is to flip out). There's a reason the Red Sox hit 205 doubles at home, 48 more than any other team.
They fight fire with fire: Word is the Cardinals are bringing the heat, as in some impressive young flamethrowers. Beware: The Red Sox have torched the fastball better than any other team on any type of pitch. According to, Boston's offense is a positive 103.9 runs against the fastball (zero is average). That's not only tops in the majors, but 33% better than any other team. Three of their four ALCS victories came in games started by Detroit's hard-throwing Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

(USA Today)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Canadians Not Watching Baseball Playoffs

It's certainly within the realm of possibility that the upcoming World Series could be a ratings hit. There are plenty of good story lines between the hairy Boston Red Sox and clean-shaven St. Louis Cardinals that could engage baseball fans.
A seven-game thriller could easily capture the imagination of fans across Canada, especially among men with beards, and send ratings skyward.
But to date, things haven't been all that positive in Canada as fans appear to be ignoring the playoffs. For example, Friday's deciding game between the Cards and L.A. Dodgers, exclusive to Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, attracted only 416,000 viewers. That's not even a quarter of the audience for Saturday's Hockey Night In Canada prime-time offering and less than half what Saturday night's CFL game drew on TSN.
Saturday night's dramatic American League game between Boston and Detroit did significantly better, averaging 499,000 viewers -- a total that did not include the unknown numbers who chose to watch the game on Fox. That's not a terrible number, but the league championship series averaged only 383,000 viewers -- down 28 per cent from last year. The division series audiences were also down on Sportsnet, 34 per cent behind 2012.
In a year when Blue Jays ratings were up substantially, it does seem odd that there would be such a drop-off in playoff ratings. Maybe all those disillusioned Jays fans have just had enough baseball for this year and can't bear the prospect of John Farrell being sprayed with champagne.
It's never easy to assess ratings when U.S. channels also carry games, because they don't track Canadian viewers, but it's safe to assume that Peyton Manning's dramatic return to Indianapolis on Sunday night attracted more than 1 million Canadians. The game drew 725,000 viewers to TSN alone.
Here are the weekend overnight ratings as compiled by BBM Canada:
1. NHL, Leafs-Hawks/Preds-Habs, Saturday, CBC: 1,800,000
2. CFL, Lions at Riders, Saturday, TSN: 863,000
3. NFL, Broncos at Colts, Sunday, TSN: 725,000 (NBC ratings not calculated)
4. NFL, 1 p.m. games, Sunday, CTV: 710,000
5. CFL, Argos at Bombers, Saturday, TSN: 650,000
6. CFL, Stampeders at Eskimos, Friday, TSN: 631,000
7. NHL, Flames at Sharks, Saturday, CBC, 565,000
8.  MLB, Tigers at Red Sox, Saturday, Sportsnet 499,000 (Fox ratings not calculated)
9. CFL, Ticats at Alouettes, Sunday, TSN: 473,000
10. MLB, Cardinals at Dodgers, Friday, Sportsnet: 416,000
11. NASCAR, Sprint Cup, Sunday, TSN2: 297,000
12. NFL, 4 p.m. games, Sunday, Sportsnet: 227,000

Sheets Gets POTW Honour

Saskatchewan Roughrider running back Kory Sheets has been named the CFL Gibson’s Finest Offensive Player of the Week.


Sheets received this award following Saturday’s 35-14 victory over the B.C. Lions. The second-year Rider continued his outstanding season rushing 25 times for 148 yards and one touchdown. It was his league leading ninth 100-yard rushing game of the season, tying a franchise record.  


In 14 games this season, the 28-year-old Purdue product leads the CFL with 12 rushing touchdowns and has racked up 1,556 yards on 276 carries.  


This is the third time this year that Sheets has been named offensive player of the week.          

It is the tenth time this season that a Rider has earned player of the week honours after Chris Getzlaf, Tyron Brackenridge, Darian Durant, Rey Williams (twice), Rob Bagg, Kory Sheets (three) and Jock Sanders have all picked up weekly awards. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

NHL 3 Stars of Week


Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau have been named the NHL’s "Three Stars" for the week ending Oct. 20.


Making his first three appearances of the 2013-14 season, Gustavsson posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and .953 save percentage in helping the Red Wings (6-3-0) move into first place in the Atlantic Division. He recorded victories on consecutive days for the first time since Jan. 23-24, 2012, posting 28 saves in a 3-2 triumph over the Boston Bruins Oct. 14 and 36 stops in a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Oct. 15. Gustavsson then handed the Colorado Avalanche their first loss of the season, making 38 saves – the fourth-highest total of his NHL career and most since Nov. 19, 2011 (with Toronto) – in a 4-2 victory Oct. 17. The 28-year-old native of Danderyd, Sweden, has played in 117 games during his five-year NHL career, compiling a 44-47-16 record with a 2.94 goals-against average, .901 save percentage and five shutouts.


Crosby extended his season-opening point streak to a career-long eight games, leading the NHL with six assists and eight points as the Penguins remained atop the Metropolitan Division with a trio of victories. He opened the week by assisting on all three of Pittsburgh’s goals in a 3-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers Oct. 15, his 36th career game with three or more helpers. Crosby then notched one goal and one assist in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Oct. 17 and registered 1-2—3 in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 19. The 26-year-old native of Cole Harbour, N.S., has five multi-point efforts through his first eight games of the season and leads the League with 17 points, while ranking tied for first in goals (7) and assists (10).


Marleau also extended his season-opening point streak to eight games, totaling 3-3—6, including a League-best five power-play points (2-3—5), to help the Sharks remain the only team undefeated in regulation (7-0-1). He registered 1-2—3 in a 6-2 triumph over the St. Louis Blues Oct. 15, one goal in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars Oct. 17 and 1-1—2, including the game-winning goal, in a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames Oct. 19. The 34-year-old native of Aneroid, Sask., has scored a goal in seven of San Jose’s first eight games of the season, including five straight, and is tied for first in the NHL in goals (7) and power-play goals (4).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Something to "Mitch" About

The Riders have their home playoff game. Yes, the slippery fingers helped out immensely, but the Riders were the better team on the Mosaic Stadium turf and deserved their 35-14 win. First place is not out of the question and I really don't believe the Lions will lie down at home in the final regular season game of the year should it mean something. I'm not saying the Riders will beat the Stampeders next weekend, but it will be the first of what should be two great games between the two over the next couple of weeks. Just some thoughts on Saturday

--If Darian Durant is playing with a broken rib as was suggested Saturday night, it just tells you a little bit more about the Riders pivot. We have all seen Darian play through injuries and if you have a broken rib that can't be easy on you in a variety of ways. It seems to me as if he is telling this team to hop on his back and he will push, pull and drag them to that finish line.

--Mike McCullough may be playing at an all-time best. He has always been there when the team has needed him and he has really played well in the absence of Rey Williams.

--Object #1 for Brendan Taman in the off=season is to get Craig Butler signed to a long-term deal. There might not be a better Canadian defensive player in the league right now

--Welcome back Weldon Brown! He was flying around the field.

--Is it really necessary to tell fans when to cheer at Mosaic? I found that one to be odd. This isn't Calgary!

--A guy complained to me Sunday about too many ads on the Maxtron. Really? Is that the complaint of the week?

--With a playoff spot on the line, I really thought 40-thousand or more would be inside Mosaic. It was pointed out seven thousand more were in the building from past years when attendance was 28 and something which is true. However, the demand and the passion for Riders football is high so I thought 40-thousand would be a given. Perhaps I have underestimated the "fanaticism" of some who would rather stay at home than watch this team play live and soak in the game day experience especially when conditions aren't ideal.

--After the game, I asked Jim Hopson how much that game was worth to the football team seeing it clinches a home playoff game. His answer " A million dollars." I will always remember asking Rider marketing director Steve Mazurak how much the 13th man disaster cost the team in what would have been oodles of Grey Cup champions merchandise. His answer was over a million. That's the business of sports ladies and gentlemen, its about so much more than the wins and losses.

Other odds and ends

--Is that Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Grey Cup talk going to simmer down just a little after they were crushed by Troy Smith and the Alouettes? Hamilton is improving, but I still think Toronto is the class of the East and Scott Milanovich will bring his team here in November.

--I hope its not the end for Anthony Calvillo, but I fear it is. Part of me hopes Calvillo takes a page out of the book of the great Mariano Rivera. The Yankees closer thought about retiring last year until a season ending knee injury. He said that wasn't the way he wanted to go out. A healthy AC is what I want to see, but the pounding on Calvillo next year is much greater than the pounding Rivera took this year. We may have the seen the last of him.

--Are you as shocked as I to learn Kevin Glenn is 10th all time in CFL passing? That's not a shot at his ability either, but a compliment to his longevity. At what point do we start discussing Glenn as a Hall of Famer once his CFL days are over.

--To think at one time, the Riders had Kevin Glenn, Henry Burris and Nealon Greene as their quarterbacks and it was decided Nealon should be number one. If that isn't one of the all-time OOPS in Rider history, I don't know what is.

--I know I've bitched about CFL officiating before, but its getting worse and no one seemingly cares. Pass interference calls in this league are sketchy at best sometimes and now roughing the passer calls are getting into that chintzy stage while others that should be called are not. Max Hall had a legitimate beef at the end of the Bombers-Argos game when a guy did to him what Carlos Thomas did to Mike Reilly a week earlier. By the way, it was the same crew doing that game that did the Rider game where Thomas was penalized. Consistency---can we try to have at least some. It really does downgrade a great product. I wonder if Marc Cohon phones Tom Higgins up on Mondays and goes WTH??

--Speaking of Cohon, if you were listening to Rod Pedersen and I chat before the game on Saturday during "Rider Nation Game Day", Rod wondered aloud how the Commish must be feeling knowing there hasn't been a lot of exciting games lately. None of the four this weekend could be entered in that "classic" category. There haven't been a lot of right down to the wire games this year that have been good football games. The CFL needs that stay in your seat until the last second feel again. Its one of the things that makes the game great.

--I'll be looking for TV numbers on Saturday. How did the Riders-Lions compare with the Saturday night HNIC game between the Leafs who were in Chicago. Canada's team goes up against the Leafs on the road on a Saturday night. Hmmmmmmm!!!

--I wonder how Blue Jays fans feel about John Farrell being in the World Series. This blogger isn't crazy about the Cardinals being in the World Series because I am a Cubs fan, but at least it means Carlos Marmol won't get a World Series ring.

--Mason Raymond has more goals than the Sedins combined. As much as I hate to say it, the pickup by the Leafs on Raymond was a great one.

--What are the Oilers going to do with Mark Arcobello when they get healthy at forward and Sam Gagner returns? Then again, with Taylor Hall suffering a possible knee injury Saturday in Ottawa, they may have more time to think about it.

--The NHL will never see another defenceman like Scott Stevens because the game has changed somewhat when it comes to hitting. I have to ask though if the game will ever see someone as dominant on the blueline as Chris Pronger again.

--Congratulations to Scott McAuley and the Regina Thunder. They have advanced to the PFC Final in Saskatoon next weekend. Three words---BEAT THE HILLTOPS! You did it once in Saskatoon, you can do it again!

--How about those Regina Pats! Six straight wins! When was the last time a Pats team rattled off six victories in a row? They will try to make it 7 when Prince Albert comes to town Wednesday.

--The Kansas City Chiefs are the last team in the NFL to lose a game this year. Who had that at the start of the year? What were the odds on that in Vegas?

--Sunday night could not have been an easy one on Peyton Manning. Former Rider Jerrell Freeman and Robert Nathis didn't make it any easier.

--The Indianapolis Colts have now beaten the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos this year. I would not be surprised to see them in the Super Bowl, but realistically I think they need at least one more year.

--The Rider game meant I missed what I hear was a spectacular UFC PPV on Saturday night. I was told the heavyweight battle between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos was unbelievable and that a fight of the year candidate match occurred when Diego Sanchez took on Gilbert Melendez.

--Someone needs to prevent Alabama from playing in the BCS National Championship football game. I am tired of Nick Saban and the Tide. I'd love to see Oregon against Florida State.

--I'm not lazy, I just enjoy doing nothing.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Don't Mess With This Ref

This is outstanding!!

Has A-C Thrown His Last Pass

Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo will remain on the sidelines for the rest of the season, a decision that casts serious doubt on the prospect of the CFL's all-time passing leader taking the field again.

Calvillo hasn't played since suffering a concussion in a game at Saskatchewan over two months ago. Alouettes general manager and head coach Jim Popp confirmed Friday that Calvillo will not play again this year.

Popp said the decision was reached Friday morning after Calvillo recently had a setback.

``He still can exercise, still train, but he's made a decision to shut it down this season,'' Popp said after practice. ``He's not going to return this year and he's going to concentrate on getting his health back where it needs to be.''

Calvillo was injured on Aug. 17 when his head struck the turf following a legal hit by Roughriders defensive end Ricky Foley.

Calvillo suffered from headaches and had vision trouble in the days after the hit. The 41-year-old Los Angeles native later made appearances on the practice field and sat in on team meetings.

There is concern that Calvillo's 20-year career may be over though his plans beyond this season aren't clear. He didn't speak with reporters Friday.

Calvillo broke Damon Allen's league records for passing yards, completions and touchdown passes. His 79,816 passing yards are the most in pro football history, nearly 8,000 yards more than Brett Favre, the top passer in National Football League history.

His 5,892 completions are second only to Favre in pro football history, and he ranks third in touchdown passes with 455, behind only Favre and Peyton Manning.

The CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award recipient in 2003, 2008 and 2009, Calvillo has led the Alouettes to eight Grey Cup appearances. He has won titles in 2002 (when he was named the championship game's MVP) and had back-to-back victories in 2009 and 2010.

It was in the middle of celebrating his third Grey Cup win that Calvillo revealed that he had cancer. He had a complete thyroidectomy and recovered to continue his career uninterrupted the following season.

Calvillo's cancer scare came two years after his wife Alexia waged a successful battle against cancer. He seriously contemplated retirement following the 2011 season after suffering two head injuries.

Josh Neiswander took over as the starting quarterback in Montreal this season after Calvillo was injured. Rookie Tanner Marsh held the job briefly before he tore a ligament in his right thumb a month ago.

Troy Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2006 with Ohio State, is expected to make his first CFL start Sunday when Montreal hosts Hamilton in a key East Division showdown. The 6-9 Alouettes are in third place in the division, four points behind the 8-7 Tiger-Cats.

(Canadian Press)

This And That

Where to start, where to start, where to start?

I guess no better spot to start than talking about this guy.

The rumours became fact on Thursday afternoon when 620 CKRM's Phil Andrews texted me from a speech Premier Brad Wall was giving to see Brock Lesnar was there followed by a picture of him sitting at a table. I had heard for the last few years Lesnar either had relatives in the Maryfield area or had farmland there himself.   Lesnar surprised everyone by calling the Regina Chamber of Commerce saying he wanted a ticket to Wall's address and that he wanted to meet the Premier. He did so and told "the grand poobah" he would like to call Saskatchewan home someday. What an ambassador he would be!  Wall tweeted he heard Lesnar wanted to see him and he was glad he wasn't carrying a chair. I'm guessing Brad's pants might have been full of potash if he had been carrying a chair.  Hey, if a former WWE and UFC superstar wants to set up roots in Saskatchewan I am all for it. He obviously has spent time in our fine province and he says he loves the wildlife, the tranquility and the rural life. He has obviously also heard about what a fine job Mr. Wall is doing with our province and he someday perhaps wants to be a piece of it. I say that is fantastic! Could he perhaps help the government and Tourism Saskatchewan land a much-coveted UFC bout which is now legal here.  The only thing that disturbs me about this story is that I was not there to have a chance to interview this behemoth. That would have been great.  I joked with Phil when he got back to the station that the Riders should have brought him over to film the "Lets Bring Em Out" segment before Saturday's game. He could have ripped a jersey off and got the crowd going. That would be awesome!
I don't know what the CFL standings will look like going into the final week of the regular season, but I will tell you this. If the BC Lions have a chance to beat the Calgary Stampeders at BC Place in the last weekend of the regular season, they will do it. If that means the Riders could finish first, then OK.  Kelly Remple seemed to discount that notion when I told him of my thoughts in between commercial breaks on Thursday's Sportscage.  The Lions won't roll over and play dead as they will want to send Calgary a message should they get past the Riders in the Western final. They are tough to beat at home and I can't see Mike Benavides resting a lot of guys. If the Riders can pull off wins against BC and Calgary, that last game against Edmonton at Mosaic could very well mean something and I think it will. Who's with me?
I opined in Monday's "Something To Mitch About" about the Alex Hall situation and how he will go on the Rider ballot for Most Outstanding Defensive Player and all-star consideration. I don't think it is right. A good chat with my friend Rob Vanstone Wednesday just magnified it even more. Is Alex Hall the top defensive player on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers? Absolutely! Is he the best defensive player on the Riders? You can't say that. If he is named the Riders top defensive player, it could leave many worthy players like Chick, Foley, Butler and Brackenridge with a sour taste and not only for that, but for all-star nominations where a bonus could be due. If I was a Western Division defensive lineman, I might be extremely sour knowing a bonus I could have got won't be coming because of a technicality. The CFL needs to change this rule and change it yesterday. It really makes the league look bad. As Rob and I agreed on, why do you need a West and East nominee. Can't you be like the NHL and have three nominees for the year-end award?
Sportsnet's Arash Madani is probably the best insider in this country and his appearances twice weekly on "Sportscage'" is one of 1687 reasons why the 4-630 timeslot on 620 CKRM is must listen to radio as many of you already know. However, while having respect for Madani, I respectfully disagree when he says the Riders should not throw a lot of money in Kory Sheets' direction because running backs are a dime a dozen. While Madani is right with the latter part, you just don't ignore the type of running back Sheets is. He is the best RB this team has had in a long, long time and that includes Kenton Keith.  Madani used the Shawn Alexander analogy where the former Seahawk went from league MVP to being out of the league in a couple of years. A broken foot helped that scenario a lot, but so did age. NFL running backs seemingly hit the bottom of the tank as they hit 30-31 years of age. Kory is 28 right now and will turn 29 next March. He still has some good years left. Personally, I believe (as I have said many times) Sheets will not be wearing Rider green in 2014 as he will head to the NFL where he deserves an opportunity. Many teams employ two running backs now and I can see Sheets being in a rotation. Are you going to tell me the New York Giants couldn't use him? How about the Arizona Cardinals or the Pittsburgh Steelers? He could certainly make Atlanta a better football team. If Kory thinks he can take one last kick at the NFL can, he will and who can blame him. I would love to see him wearing the /=S=/ for years, but I realistically don't think he will be until at least Labour Day next year if at all.
How about this guy!!! Russell Wilson just continues to impress. 235 yards in the air and three touchdowns for the 2nd year Seattle QB as they get rid of Arizona in the Thursday night NFL game.  The thing about Wilson I can't get over is how easy he makes it look. 2nd year quarterbacks aren't supposed to be that poised, that polished and that smart.  I don't know if the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, but I do know they are set at the QB position for a long time. I don't know how many guys I'd put ahead of him right now when it comes to what the future holds in 2-3 years time. Aaron Rodgers might be the only guy.
Speaking of great quarterbacks, I can't wait to see Peyton Manning back in Indianapolis this Sunday night. Manning is without a doubt one of the top 5 to ever play the position (Number one in this bloggers book is Joe Montana FWIW) and you can be sure the Colts will pay him one helluva tribute Sunday night as they should. It should be an emotional night and a great one as he goes up against Andrew Luck who is new slouch either.
I'm sorry, but if I am in charge of music at NHL games I am playing a certain Michael Jackson song everytime Joe Thornton scores. How can you not?
A shout-out to the performers of High Impact Wrestling. They had a rare Wednesday night show in Regina and it wasn't well attended. That didn't stop the guys from still giving it their all and entertaining everyone in attendance. I don't know how much these guys get for doing what they do, but it can't be a lot. They could have seen what they had and mailed it in, but they didn't.  As I've said before, the High Impact stars of today will never ever rival the Stampede Wrestling days of the 80's, but all the HIW stars do what they can to entertain and yes they do entertain.
Good luck to Moose Jaw as they put in a bid for the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. I think they would do a fantastic job of hosting the event.
Week 8 NFL Lock of the Week  ---Chiefs over Texans
Week 8 NFL Upset of The Week ---Colts over Broncos
The Warriors can say goodbye to Morgan Rielly as far as I'm concerned. I would be shocked if the Leafs send him back to junior. He has fit right in with Toronto and is showing he belongs.
Great story from the majors I heard this week. L-A Dodgers centerfielder Skip Schumaker went to a game as a small child and asked for several autographs from Dodgers players only to be shunned. Orel Hershiser saw the young boy crying and told him he played for the Dodgers. He ended up getting a picture taken with Hershiser and an autograph. Schumaker carried that picture with him throughout the minors and he showed it to Hershiser earlier this year when he ended up with the Dodgers. He even wore Hershisers 55. As a thank you to Skip, Hershiser was honored by the Dodgers before a playoff game against St. Louis this week so he had Schumaker catch the first pitch.
Congrats to CTV Regina's Lee Jones who enters the world of marital bliss this weekend. Lee and many others in the Regina sports media won't be at the Rider game Saturday night. It just makes me wonder why this isn't the half-time show. Lee could have gone right from his TSN duties interviewing someone to saying "I Do" moments later.
Have a great weekend!!