Monday, August 31, 2009

Comments From Durant

Several media folk chatted with Darian Durant after Monday's practice. Here's a transcript courtesy Rob Vanstone....

A Blast From The Past

With the Rider return game suffering tremendously in the first half of the season, the team is bringing back a former Rider. Head coach Ken Miller says Jason Armstead will be practicing with the team tomorrow and could play Sunday against Winnipeg.
As for Reggie Hunt, Miller says he is meeting with Hunt today and that we will know tomorrow if he is suiting up for the team.
Continue on with your day.

Best And Worst Of The Weekend

Best--The last hour of "The Barclays". Golf fans had to love the final stages of the final round on Sunday. Steve Stricker and Heath Slocum trying to hold off a charging group that included Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els. In the end, Slocum managed to win after draining a 20 foot putt that avoided a playoff.

Worst--The removal of Paul Kelly as head of the NHL players association. Something is definitely wrong here, and I think we the fans could suffer. This is starting to look as if the association want a Bob Goodenow type individual to assume the throne and I am very worried when I hear the name Buzz Hargrove. The same Buzz Hargrove that used to be the head of the Canadian Autoworkers Union. Methinks the NHL is in for some more labour problems in the near future. Brace yourself!
Two other issues are catching my eye this morning. One is a story saying a study has been released showing women are indifferent when it comes to pro sports. In another startling discovery, its been discovered most men like steak and a cold beer. Who's kidding who....the only reason some women watch sports is to watch guys in their tight football pants or to make their boyfriend/husband cringe when that obvious statement is uttered. That statement being "Who's he....he's kinda cute." My wife is an NFL fan, but not a big one and my teenage daughter couldn't care less about pro sports. Here's the entire story if you want to read it.....

The other story revolves around Megan Fox. The "Transformers" star is seen by many as the hottest woman on the planet right now. As I have stated earlier, she's OK, but she's not what many paint her out to least not in my eye. Anyhoo, she will guys fantasizing after they hear about this....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thunder Turning Heads

The Regina Thunder haven't had many good years since they replaced the Rams in the Prairie Junior Football Conference, but they are certainly showing they have what it takes to be a championship football team in 09. The Thunder improved their record to 3-1 Sunday afternoon with a convincing 38-7 win over the Edmonton Huskies. The result means the Thunder, Hilltops and Calgary Colts are all 3-1. With the Rams making the move to University, a lot of attention went with it and the Thunder were put on the backburner. Perhaps those days are changing---at least this year.
What's happened to Roy Halladay?? Baseball's best pitcher in my mind is in a big time slump. Halladay was battered around by Boston yesterday as they handed "Doc" his 3rd straight loss. He hasn't been the same since all the trade talk started swirling around him. His shot at the American League Cy Young award may have gone up in smoke with the terrible August he had. Perhaps he can bounce back in September. Meanwhile, the Jays just continue to sputter towards the finish line. After the great start they had to the season, Toronto is now 58-70. They haven't bad this bad going into September since 2004. Nice job JP!! Nice job indeed. Start cleaning out your desk. Speaking of disappointment, how about those Chicago Cubs. At least they aren't going to get me mad come playoff time------because THEY WON"T BE THERE! They lost 4-1 to the Mets meaning they are only two games above 500, 10 back of the Cardinals in the NL Central and 5 and a half back of Colorado and San Francisco in the wildcard spot. They are baseball's biggest disappointment this year as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps they can get their act together in September, but I'm not holding my breath.
The Pats lose 8-7 in a shootout to Swift Current meaning they lose all three games this weekend in Edmonton. Its exhibition season...I don't care. Talk to me September 18th when the season starts.
How about Heath Slocum. Staring down a 20 foot putt to avoid a playoff with Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods, Slocum knocks down that 20 footer to win the Barclays. I'm guessing if Slocum doesn't drain that putt, he isn't getting the first place cheque either. If you saw the final round, you saw the putter let Tiger down. If he gets the flatstick going, he will be unstoppable in the final three weeks of the golf season. Then again, when isn't Tiger unstoppable. It seems as if the only thing that beats Tiger is Tiger.
One fantasy football draft in the books. Brady to Moss had better be a constant in New England's scorebook this season.
Michael Irvin is joining Deion Sanders as a game day analyst on the NFL Network. Just another reason to watch the FOX pre-game show.
Phil Kessel to the Oilers? That doesn't do anything for me. I hope it doesn't cost them Cogliano in return. Penner OK, but not Cogs.
The Ole Miss Runnin Rebels are rated as the 5th best team in the U-S by "The Sporting News" as another year of US College Football gets ready to kick off. Quarterback Jevan Snead is being called by some an outside candidate for the Heisman. I get the feeling the name Kent Austin is going to be heard quite a bit when it comes to the US College Football scene this year.
I finally saw the movie "Superbad" this weekend. Yeah I know I'm lame. Guys I ask you, have we not all been caught in one of those situations at least once during our teenage years?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Eskimos Pull Another One Out Of The Fire

I will say one thing about the Edmonton Eskimos this year. They may be the most exciting team in the CFL as you have to watch all 60 minutes with them most times to see if they win or lose. It came right down to the end at Commonwealth on Saturday night with the Eskimos winning 31-30 as Noel Prefontaine kicked the game-winning field goal in the final minute and then had to hold defensively as Hamilton threatened. How many games has Edmonton had this year where its come right down to the end....if you answered 5 go to double jeopardy. The Eskimos have had 5 games in which the game has been decided by a touchdown or less. 4 of them I think have come right down to the final minute.
The end result leaves Edmonton at 5-3 meaning they are one game up on both the Riders and Stampeders. Of course Calgary and Edmonton will play one another in their annual Labour Day back-to-backs with the Riders taking on Winnipeg and B-C playing Montreal. You have to like Montreals chances of beating the Lions twice, Calgary and Edmonton will likely split and I would have to say the Riders can beat the Bombers twice. Then again with the way the CFL has gone this year, one never knows what will happen on game day.
Break up the Seahawks. They're 3-0 in the pre-season. Yeah, I know pre-season means squat. Detroit won all four of their tune-up games and look where they ended last year. Its just nice to see a Seattle team playing with their regulars and not backups and 3rd stringers like they had to do for most of last year due to injury. Perhaps its my Seahawks bias, but I see them sitting atop the NFC West at the end of the season if the injury bug stays away. I think a 10-6 season is possible. Only time will tell. Just two weeks away from the start of the NFL season...actually just a week and a half with the first game being on a Thursday as usual.
A friend of mine asked me why the CFL and networks like TSN and Sportsnet don't embrace Fantasy Football the way the NFL does with Fox, CBS, ESPN.etc. etc. The answer is simple. You have eight teams in the CFL and 32 in the NFL. How can one have a 12 round draft in the CFL. That being said, it would be nice to see something done to generate some more excitement amongst Canadians. Fantasy football is one of the reasons why the NFL has really taken off. ESPN's Colin Cowherd said this week that a survey came out saying the average American that plays fantasy football spends eight hours a week on their teams. I am in a few NFL pools, but I don't think I spend that long managing my teams. Speaking of which, I am involved in a draft tomorrow with some of Regina's finer citizens. I'm sure good times will be had with lots of smack getting tossed back and forth. The way my team has performed in this league for the past couple of years, I can expect a lot of smack to be sent my way.
The Canada Games have come to an end in Prince Edward Island. Saskatchewan athletes are bringing home 48 medals---13 gold, 15 silver and 2o bronze. Congrats to all medal-winners and congrats to all Saskatchewan athletes who whether they finished with a medal or not likely had a week they will never forget. Just getting to an event like this is an accomplishment in itself and for some it won't be the first time they represent their province.

Mysterio on Roids?

It would seem as if the WWE's smallest competitor is trying to get big. Word out of Vinceland today that Rey Mysterio Junior has been suspended 30 days for steroid abuse--or should I say violating the company's drug policy. The suspension apparently takes effect after the taping of this week's Smackdown show which is Tuesday. It will allow the WWE to take the intercontinental belt away from him. I can only hope they don't put the strap around the waist of Dolph Ziggler who has been feuding with Rey for the past few weeks.

I don't know if I'm more shocked that the WWE is actually taking action against one of its wrestlers or that its someone like Mysterio who has wrestled for years who is found guilty. Could they be learning that these guys are damaging their bodies and that their lives will never be the same once they retire.
UFC 102 goes tonight in Dallas. I won't be seeing this one due to other committments.
The Pats lost their second game at the Edmonton pre-season tournament dropping a 4-3 decision to the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Friday, August 28, 2009


If Bart Andrus was coaching the Saskatchewan Roughriders and he pulled off the stunt he did last nite, he would be crucified by Rider fans......and for good reason. In my mind, the coach of the Toronto Argonauts let his team down last night by snatching defeat from the jaws of what might have been victory.
The Argos played a great game against Calgary, but sadly for the Argos, they haven't learned how to win. When Joffrey Reynolds fumbled the ball away deep in Toronto territory with 3 minutes left, it looked like Toronto had a win. However, the jocks got tight on the Toronto sideline while the experienced Stampeders knew they would get another chance. They did and they capitalized getting a Jermaine Copeland TD with 40 seconds left.
Toronto gets the ball back with 40 seconds and moves the ball to the Calgary 50 with 5 seconds left. Justin Medlock is a kicker who has missed once all year and in the team's last game kicked three field goals from over 50 yards out. Medlock could certainly try a 57 yarder for the tie. If he makes it, the game is going into overtime. If he doesn't make it, Calgary can concede the single or run it out to the 1 as they will win the football game.
Inexplicably Andrus decides to run another play and yes it doesn't work and Medlock doesn't get his chance to send the game into overtime. To me, Andrus blew this one plain and simple. You have to try and kick that field goal even if the chances are remote. However, I don't think Medlock's chances were remote with the way he has kicked this year. The result means Calgary is now tied with the Riders at 4-4. By the way if you didn't see the game, try and see the highlights as I'm sure they will show a hit by Calgary's Nik Lewis on Toronto's Zeke Moreno that without a doubt is the hit of the year. It was one of those hits that make you yell when you see it.
The TSN crew talked about year-end awards seeing we are at the halfway point of the season on the broadcast last night and I can't really disagree with who they were talking about. Although I did scratch my head with talk of Fred Reid being MOP by Matt Dunigan. That award looks to be firmly in the hands of Anthony Calvillo again. I think BC receiver Paris Jackson has to be looked at as top Canadian although you can never ignore Ben Cahoon. While Stewie Baggs got some love for defensive player of the year, the panel thinks Anwar Stewart is the guy and even though I bleed green, I would have to go with Stewart as well. One of those Montreal hoggies has to be considered for top lineman, Edmonton's Tristan Jackson would be the top special teams player, but Medlock has to be considered as well while the rookie of the year would be DeAndra Cobb in my mind. Then again is Cobb considered a rookie?
Tom Brady hurt his shoulder last night in New England's exhibition win over Washington when he was slammed into the turf late in the first half. Brady didn't return for the 2nd half, but chances are he wouldn't have played anyhow. One can only imagine the shockwaves in the NFL if Brady were to be injured for an extended period again this year. Brady's season-ending knee injury certainly ruffled the NFL in many ways last year and it likely would again this year. I don't think New England fans have anything to be worried about, but you never know.
The Pats lost 4-0 to Edmonton in their first game of the pre-season tournament in Edmonton. They will play two more games before coming home. I had someone tell me on Friday Brett Leffler would soon become a member of the Portland Winterhawks with Nick Ross' brother Brad coming back to Regina. I'll believe that one when I see the release.
Rumour has it Danica Patrick is ready to shed her racing suit for a "tastefully" done pictorial in ESPN--The Magazine. Is posing nude for a magazine going to help Patrick's career? Whether it is or it isn't, you know the pictures will be splashed everywhere once they are out.
The Leafs have invited Jason Allison to training camp! Really?? Was Eric Lindros busy? Is this some kind of a joke. They'd be better off asking Theoren Fleury to come to camp.

Partying With The Penguins

OK, be honest. You would have loved to party with the Riders in the dressing room after they had won the 2007 Grey Cup. You would have loved to be celebrating with them, smoking some cigars and swilling some champagne while rubbing elbows with your football heroes. This guy managed to party with the Penguins after they won the Stanley Cup. Read this great story.....,180369

Clearing Room For Heatley??

The San Jose Sharks have traded defenceman Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to Vancouver for d-man Daniel Rahimi and forward Patrick White. Could this be a case of the Sharks clearing some cap space to they can get Dany Heatley?

Week 9 Predictions/UFC-Vancouver

A 1-1 week last week has me at 19-13. Just two more games again this weekend.


The Stamps are 3-4. Offensively, they have been getting it done averaging just over 34 points a game. Defensively, they haven't been getting it done--at least not when it comes to stopping the run. If Toronto is going to win this one, it will have to be a steady diet of Jamal Robertson. The problem is Toronto will have to abandon its running game because they will likely fall behind early. I don't see this one being much of a contest. Take the Stampeders by at least two TD's.


Two good 4-3 teams meet at Commonwealth. There's not a lot separating these two teams. Whoever makes the big play in the final quarter will win it. That's what happened in Hamilton when DeAndra Cobb had a huge run in the game's final moments setting up the game winning touchdown. The same script could be written here. I take the Eskimos, but just because they are the home team.
Good news for UFC fans in Western Canada. UFC grand poobah Dana White says it looks like they are likely headed to Vancouver for a card in June 2010 with GSP being one of the headliners. The whole story is here courtesy the Globe's Matt Sekeres. Note there is a Saskatchewan mention in here.....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Fed Ex Cup. Why?

Golf's playoffs have started. The first of four season ending tournaments started yesterday with the first round of the Barclays. This is all to end at the aptly named Tour Championship in a few weeks. The thing I don't understand about the golf playoffs is how do they work. The field is supposed to get whittled down over the next few weeks, but if for some reason Tiger Woods soils the linen and doesn't make the cut this weekend, he can still play next weekend. That doesn't make sense does it? I guess in golf it does. In the end, I'm sure Tiger will win the Tour Championship and/or the Fed Ex Cup but the PGA really needs to do a better job in explaining how exactly this works.
Speaking of golf, I laugh when watching golf on TV and seeing the players react with disgust after hitting a shot. You follow the track of the ball thinking its landing in the rough or worse and it ends up on the green--albeit 70 feet away. As CTV's Lee Jones has said, (and I totally agree) I don't care if I'm 70 feet away, the main thing is I'm on the green. That's the way I see it too. Of course, its getting the ball onto the green---especially from inside 75 yards thats the problem. At least it is for me. OK, its just one of many problems with my golf game, but that's the main one.
Did you watch the Miami-Tampa game on FOX last night. It looks to me like former B.C. Lions defensive lineman Cam Wake has found a job with the Dolphins. He looked good to me--albeit he wasn't playing against Tampa's number one unit. The Buccaneers had former Edmonton receiver Kelly Campbell in their lineup working with the second string team. Tampa doesn't have the strongest receivers so he may make it, but it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up back in Edmonton.
A pat on the back to both Global's Warren Woods and CTV's Chris Hodges for their late night sportscast last night. Woodsy started with a high school football preview and followed it up with some WHL, a minor football score, Canada Games results and then the nightly baseball scores. That was followed by a piece on the Thunder with things wrapping up with Michael Vick's return. As for Chris, he went Rams, WHL pre-season highlights from P-A and the Canada Games. There was not even one mention of the Canadian Olympic hockey scrimmage. BRAVO!!! Global, CTV along with Rod Pedersen and everyone at the Leader Post realize that keeping it local is key. All these guys do a great job of covering the local sports and getting the information out. They know people care about that stuff. If you want all the national goings-on, Sportscentre and Sports Connected is on at various times at night and during the overnight hours. There's nothing wrong with the local media talking about the pro leagues, but keeping it close to home makes me want to watch, read or listen. I know many of you feel the same way.
Is it just me or does the sight of CNN's Nancy Grace nauseate you as well?
Quite the story coming out of California where a kidnapped child is found alive almost two decades later. First off, I can't imagine the hell and don't ever want to imagine what the parents of this girl must have felt in the days and weeks after her abduction and I can't imagine the reaction when authorities told them all these years later that their daughter is alive. Considering the ordeal she has gone through. I'm sure her life is shattered forever but to have your child return when you thought for so many years that she was dead has to be the best ever feeling in the world.
Jacques Demers has been named a Senator? Shouldn't Don Cherry get this distinction first. Seriously, how can Jacques Demers be named a senator? That simply isn't right.
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star poses an interesting question. If the NHL is so bound and determined to buy the Coyotes so it can keep them in Phoenix, then why didn't the league buy the Jets and Nordiques so they could stay in Winnipeg and Quebec City. Can you answer that one Gary???
Will Reggie Hunt be on the field when the Riders get back from their week off on Monday? I've always liked "Reginald" and he was one of the first guys I looked for in Montreal last year at Grey Cup. Who's kidding who, he was one of the first guys I looked for when the Riders won the Cup. While talking to Reggie, someone tapped me on the shoulder wanting to know if I wanted to get my picture taken with the Reaper while interviewing him. I said yeah sure so I handed my camera to Premier Brad Wall who got shots of me interviewing Hunt and Gene Makowsky. Here's the pic of me and Reggie....who knew the Premier was a good photog as well.

When in Montreal last year, he was one of the first Alouettes I chased down. I walked up behind him at a team luncheon and said "Hello Reginald". He turned around and then got a big smile on his face as he recognized who had said it to him. For those that don't know, when Rob Murphy was with B.C., he sent a package to the Rider dressing room and addressed it to "Reginald" Hunt. Reggie's brother Aaron had said he hates being called that. Reggie's a good guy and if he can find his way back into Rider green, I would applaud the move.
I honestly thought the SJHL already had a hall of fame. I was quite surprised to hear the inaugural recipients of the hall were named on Thursday. Its quite an inaugural class as well when its headed by guys like Ron Hextall, Chris Chelios and Dwight McMillan. The next question is where is the hall?
Have a good Friday!

First CIS Top Ten Of Year Is Out

For the fifth consecutive year, the Laval Rouge et Or open the Canadian Interuniversity Sport season as the top-ranked football team in the nation.The defending Vanier Cup champions, who led all nine CIS polls last fall and have topped 49 of the past 50 national rankings dating back to the start of the 2005 campaign, earned the 54 available first-place votes and 1,710 points in the inaugural Top 10 this season. The Western Ontario Mustangs, reigning OUA champs and Vanier Cup finalists last year, are ranked second with 1,543 points, followed by Calgary, the defending Canada West champs (1,168), Saskatchewan (1,125) and AUS champion Saint Mary’s (1,108).Rounding out the first Top 10 of 2009 is Concordia, Wilfrid Laurier, Queen’s, Montreal and Ottawa.

The CIS poll has expanded this year and is now run by the University Football Reporters of Canada (UFRC), representing journalists and reporters from every region of the country. Coaches from all 27 CIS football programs also take part in the voting. The 2009 CIS schedule gets off to an early start again as the Simon Fraser Clan visit the UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time. The Clan defeated their cross-town rivals 24-10 on August 23 last year to kick off the 2008 campaign.The rest of the Canada West conference as well as Quebec and Ontario teams get into the action on Labour Day weekend, while Atlantic conference play is set to begin Sept. 12.

Early-season marquee match-ups include No. 3-Calgary at No. 4-Saskatchewan on Sept. 4. Two days later, No. 6-Concordia plays at No. 1-Laval and No. 2-Western travels to No. 10-Ottawa.The top-ranked Rouge et Or, who defeated Western 44-21 last November at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton to capture their fourth national crown in six years, will get a chance to defend their title at home this fall as the Vanier Cup final will be played in Quebec City, on Nov. 28. It will mark only the second time since its inception in 1965 that the CIS championship game will be staged outside of Ontario. The event was held in Saskatoon in 2006.

A total of 121 games will be played across the country before the Bowl games on Nov. 21, when the Canada West champions visit the AUS division winner for the Uteck Bowl and the QUFL champs travel to Ontario to battle the OUA titlists in the Mitchell Bowl. The national semi-finals and the 45th Vanier Cup final will be televised on both TSN and Radio-Canada (SRC).

Pts (1st)
Last Week
1710 (54)
Western Ontario
Saint Mary's
Wilfrid Laurier
Other teams receiving votes: Simon Fraser (138), Manitoba (128), StFX (48), Sherbrooke (18), Regina (6), Bishop’s (5), McMaster (4), Guelph (4), UBC (3), Mount Allison (3).

Interesting Read From J-C

The Leader-Post pulled off quite the coup when they convinced Jason Clermont to write a weekly column for them. Its something he did in Vancouver with the Lions and he has continued on with what is a must-read every week. He should do some writing for Riderville instead of the clown they have doing it now.........I digress!!

If you haven't read this week's installment, Clermont talks about teams making possible roster Here's his paragraph on that...

The timing of the bye week this year allows a few teams to evaluate their rosters and possibly make some moves during the week off before Article 15 of the CFL Collective Bargaining Agreement comes into effect.
Article 15 deals with the release of a veteran player, and states that a veteran of six years is entitled to his full compensation after the ninth game (a five-year veteran after the 10th, a four-year vet after the 11th and all other veteran players after the 14th game). With the bye week coming after the eighth game, there exists the possibility of some roster movement, much like what was done with Marcus Crandell last season.

I know there are some out there that believed this was going to happen to Scott Schultz so he decided to make the move on his terms instead of the clubs. You have to wonder if a veteran is going to be axed though to save some room under the SMS. Looking at the lineup the way it stands today, I don't think there will be, but you just never know. Perhaps there are some guys wearing green and white that are a little nervous when they head back to work on Monday. We'll see if the Rider braintrust has anything up their sleeve very soon I would think.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Goodbye Mike And Well Done Watrous

Some may not agree with me, but Regina's best all time NHL'er---at least during my time on this earth--has called it a career. Mike Sillinger might be best known to NHL fans as the guy who played for 12 teams over a 17 year career. In that time, he played over a thousand games and had over 500 points. With the exception of getting his name on Lord Stanley's mug which is a shame, Sillinger did everything else. After a great junior career with the Pats, he was taken by Detroit in the first round of the 1989 draft with the 11th pick. He also won a World Junior gold medal and he won a Calder Cup. He was the complete hockey player. He could generate some offence, he was a good defensive forward, he was great in the face-off circle, he was a great locker-room guy. Perhaps more importantly, he was a guy who never, ever changed. He stayed true to his roots. His ego never got too big. If you needed him for an interview, he always obliged. He is helping give back to the community with the charity that he and Jamie Heward have started. Thanks for a great career Mike. I'm sure you won't be a stranger at Pats games this year.
I can only wonder what was going through the mind of TSN's Darren Dutchyshen yesterday afternoon as the countdown to Sportscentre inched closer and closer. The Kraft Celebration Tour touched down in Saskatchewan yesterday with Watrous getting a visit from the pride of Porcupine Plain and Jennifer Hedger. For "Dutchie", it was a chance to do his thing in front of an audience in his home province. The excitement he must have had coming home would be a feeling second to none. Perhaps the only thing better for Darren is if the broadcast would have originated right from Porcupine Plain.
I know if I was still doing the sports thing, I would have hopped in the car and taken in the sights and sounds in Watrous for myself and it would have been a very enjoyable afternoon. The people of Watrous and area did themselves proud. With the town's elevator in the background, many showed up and they showed up wearing their Rider green. It was Saskatchewan. It was better than Dog River. On this day, Canadians got a real taste of what Saskatchewan is all about. I don't know how many from Watrous read this blog if any, but if you do, well done Watrous....take a bow because you did yourself proud.
By the way, I really like this promotion TSN has where Sportscenter comes from a different place in the country. A place that normally wouldn't get the attention they have this week and next. We get to see what makes sports great in this country and some of the people that make it that way. The promotion is being done to celebrate TSN's 25 years of being beamed in our living room. I hope they can find a way to get out and do it again next year and in years to come.
If the Phoenix Coyotes story wasn't stupid before, its gotten that way now. Now the NHL wants to buy the team just to keep it out of Jim Balsillie's hands. I don't understand why Gary Bettman is so stubborn on having Balsillie become a league owner. He has a vision for what he wants to do and it will be a successful one. Bettman is just making the NHL look bad. Gee, there's a sentence that's never been uttered before.

Defending Ken Miller

If there is one thing that has bothered me about this season, it is the endless criticism of head coach Ken Miller. Do I agree with everything Miller has done this season? No! He has made some decisions that like you have made me wonder what he is doing, but I haven’t resorted to questioning his abilities to coach this football team. A lot of the criticism Miller is getting is his seeming lack of emotion on the sidelines. I ask this to those of you that think Miller is sleeping on the sidelines. Do you really need to see someone getting in the face of players or officials? Do you need to really have someone throw his headset off in disgust or throw his clipboard down in a fit of anger? Is that what makes a good coach in your opinion? I don’t see Marc Trestman getting emotional on the sidelines? I don’t see Marcel Bellefeuille blowing a gasket on the sidelines? The same goes for Bart Andrus and Richie Hall. When Wally Buono walks out on the field to get in the faces of the officials, you all squawk about it, (as do I) so why do you expect Miller to be more animated? Will that really make him a better coach in your mind?

Here’s the one thing about Ken Miller that I think dooms him to failure when it comes to many in the Rider Nation. They want Kent Austin. Austin was the perfect coach to everyone because he had a fiery temper, he got the most out of his players and in the end, they won a championship. Its because of this that fans now want that level of excellence to be achieved every year. There’s nothing wrong with thinking that, but attaining it is another story. Would Kent’s popularity have taken a nose-dive had the Riders lost the Western final to B.C or had they lost the Grey Cup to Winnipeg. While some took some needless potshots at Austin when he left for Ole Miss, one wonders what the reaction would have been had Austin not directed this team to a Grey Cup championship. Dare I say, Austin would not have had the “rock star” image that he still has now.

One can argue that with a weaker football team than what Austin had in 2007, Miller guided the team to a better finish and that much-desired home playoff game in 2008. Sadly for Ken, he didn’t get the team to the championship game and win it again. While he was recognized as a coach of the year finalist, he didn’t win the award and to this day, I say that was a mistake when you look at the smoother road that John Hufnagel and Trestman traveled.

There is nothing wrong with the coaching style or the coaching abilities of Miller. He knows what to do and he knows how to get the best out of his team. Without guys like Smith, Johnson, Makowsky, Fantuz, Cates, Williams and Chick, he has still managed to get this team to a record of 4-4. Those that think the glass is half full might say they could be 6-2 had it not been for that freak touchdown that shouldn’t have counted in B.C and that second half collapse against Edmonton. Those that think the glass is half empty might say the team should be 2-6 as they were lucky to beat the Lions in the season opener and were lucky to beat the Stampeders in Calgary.

Ken Miller knows his football. He spends many hours in the office by himself and with his coaches trying to make this team better. He does not have a glass of warm milk and go to bed at 9 PM. To suggest that is simply insulting. Kent Austin realized that when he brought Miller over from Toronto to become offensive co-ordinator and say what you will, he endorsed Miller to be his replacement. Shouldn’t that be good enough for everyone in the Kent Austin fan club? To expect nothing but championships is fine, but one must be a little realistic and understand it won’t happen every year. He hasn’t been perfect during his season and a half, but he gets more than a passing grade from this individual.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Way It Should Be

There are many problems in sports these days. Whether it be athletes that are getting paid an exorbitant amount of money or athletes that are complete idiots or having a brush with the law. Whether it be the price of tickets to see your favourite team or whether that player on your favourite team is drug-free, we all know sports is not what it used to be. One of the things I love about the game is the raw emotion you see---especially in the amateur ranks. A perfect example of this happened yesterday at the Little League World Series with Canada's team front and center.

The Canadian kids from East Vancouver were playing Germany in what was the last game for both at the event. For some of these kids, it may be the biggest thing they ever do in their lives when it comes to athletics. The Canadians led 10-2 after 5 innings and it seemed as there would be nothing too newsworthy about this game. Hold the phone. The Germans came back with an 11 run 5th inning to take a 13-10 lead. However, Canada came back and they won the game 14-13 as they scored three times in their last at-bat to get the win.

This game was on TSN and it had it all. The highs and lows, the celebration, the disappointment. The Canadian kids were happier than you know what, but you could see those smiles turn into frowns as the Germans came back to tie it and eventually take the lead. What was happiness had soon turned to shock and disappointment. The Canadian kids never gave up and turned the emotions around again sending them into a state of euphoria with their opponents having that spaced out look on their face wondering what was going on.

It was a tremendous game to watch and it was a very compelling game to watch. Games like this don't come around every day and its special when you see it. As I said, this is the biggest thing some of these players will ever do. Its a game they will talk about for years. In Canadian sports lore, it won't even come close to what Jordan Eberle did in Ottawa at the World Juniors last year, but to those kids and to those watching, it was just as big---at least on this day.

It was sports the way its meant to be played and perceived. I wish we could only see more of it. Then again, if we did, it might not mean as much as it does when we get reminders from time to time of what could be.

If It Works, I'm All For It

Jessica Simpson has put a curse on ex-boyfriend Tony Romo with the help of a witch she met on the internet.

(BANG) -

Jessica Simpson paid a witch to put a curse on her ex-boyfriend.

The unlucky-in-love starlet - who was dumped by American football star Tony Romo the night before her 29th birthday last month - has visited a woman she met on the internet to help her put a spell on Tony and ruin his chances of falling in love again.

A source told National Enquirer magazine: "Jessica is normally a really sweet girl, but she still can't believe Tony callously dumped her.

"She found a woman in California. The two met at the star's Beverly Hills home where they lit a candle, burned some incense and performed a couple of incantations."

The scorned singer-and-actress hopes the meeting will also taint the sportsman's career, and is waiting in readiness for Dallas' first game on September 13, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Baggs Gets Another POTW

Toronto, ON – (August 25, 2009) – Fred Reid, Stevie Baggs, Larry Taylor and Matthieu Proulx were named the Gibson’s Finest CFL Players of the Week for week eight, 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.


RB – Fred Reid – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37 @ BC Lions 10

Highlights / Key Stats:

Fred Reid had the game of his career Friday night against the BC Lions setting a Blue Bombers record for rushing yards in a game. Reid ran for a career-high 260 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in the Bombers’ victory.

Reid currently leads the CFL in combined yards with 1,390, yards from scrimmage with 892 and rushing yards with 795. Reid has 160 more rushing yards then Avon Cobourne who sits second in the category.

Reid’s 260 rushing yards eclipsed the previous Bombers’ record of 249 yards set by Blaise Bryant 15 years ago and is the third most in CFL history. Only George Reed who rushed for 268 yards in 1965 and Ron Stewart who ran for 287 yards in 1960 had more rushing yards in a single game.

- Unanimous Selection -


DE – Stevie Baggs – Saskatchewan Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders 25 @ Montreal Alouettes 34

Highlights / Key Stats:

Stevie Baggs had another impressive performance for the Roughriders in their loss to the Alouettes on Friday night. Baggs recorded 10 tackles, including two sacks and a forced fumble to lead the way for the Saskatchewan defence.

Baggs now leads the CFL with seven quarterback sacks this season. He is also tied for the league lead in forced fumbles with three.

- Unanimous Selection -


KR/WR – Larry Taylor – Montreal Alouettes

Saskatchewan Roughriders 25 @ Montreal Alouettes 34

Highlights / Key Stats:

Larry Taylor was excellent returning kicks on Friday night in the Als’ victory at home over the Roughriders. Taylor had his second punt return touchdown of the season on a 68-yard return in the first quarter. He finished the game with 74 yards on four punt returns. He also returned a kickoff 51 yards to the Saskatchewan 53-yard line following a Roughrider touchdown to help set up another Montreal major.

- Unanimous Selection -


S – Matthieu Proulx – Montreal Alouettes

Saskatchewan Roughriders 25 @ Montreal Alouettes 34

Highlights / Key Stats:

Matthieu Proulx led the way for the Alouettes defensively with two interceptions on Friday night. Proulx returned his second interception 42 yards to the Saskatchewan 28-yard line giving the Alouettes excellent field position to set up their first touchdown of the second half. The Als’ fifth-year safety out of Laval also recorded three tackles and one special teams tackle in the victory.

- Unanimous Selection -

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who's Spezza Trying To Kid?

I heard Jason Spezza talking about Dany Heatley last night and I had to laugh. I guess Spezza is trying to be the team player, but I wonder if he even believes what he's saying. Spezza says he doesn't think it will be awkward if Dany Heatley comes to Senators training camp at least not as far as he's concerned. Really?? No one wants this guy! Yeah the Oilers tried and thank goodness they didn't land him. He's Ottawa's problem now and I'm guessing Senators fans won't be welcoming him with open arms.
It will be very awkward when he walks in that dressing room for the first time when the others in that room look at him knowing he doesn't want to be there and wanted to desert them in the off-season.
Spezza will be lucky if he is wearing Ottawa colours when training camp begins as he is constantly mentioned in trade talks and I think would be much more attractive to teams than what Heatley is. Time will tell.
Is the start of the WHL season really less than a month away???
It sounds like AC/DC was the hit that everyone thought it would be. The next question is "Who's next?" Talking with someone yesterday, they said Regina is showing that sometimes it can still be considered "Hickville" because of all the attention this concert is getting. If this was a bigger city like an Edmonton, Vancouver or Toronto, the presence of AC/DC wouldn't even be front page news. I don't necessarily subscribe to that theory, but I can understand it. Hopefully the day will come when a big entertainment story doesn't become THE story and its just another act rolling through town. Then again, it was frickin AC/DC which is one of the top musical acts period.
I like Matt Dominguez analyzing the latest Rider game on CTV Regina. I think he's doing a tremendous job. If I have one critique of Matt's performance though, its this. Stop calling the Riders "we". You're not playing for them anymore Matt. Many of us wish you were, but you aren't.
At some point yesterday morning this blog went over the 100-thousand mark when it comes to page views. I'm not really sure what the difference between a page visit and a page view is and I'm currently sitting at almost 71-thousand visits. Regardless, I once again thank you for checking things out. I know some of you don't enjoy your daily visits(then why are you here), but most of you do so thanks again for checking it out and for the kind words you send either through the comment board or in person. It is appreciated.

Best And Worst Of The Weekend

There wasn't much sports-wise to talk about this weekend. It was very slow, but there was still a best and a worst. They both come from Friday's Rider game.

BEST--Weston Dressler's performance. He just continues to perform at a level of excellence for this football team. I remember a relative of Dressler's seeing me in the Southland Mall food court wearing a CJME jacket and he asked me if I worked in radio here. Once I told him yeah I was, he told me about Weston and his exploits with North Dakota and how he would be a star in this league. This was about a month before his official signing. After some surfing, I found he was quite the player, but how many guys have come to Canada with impressive resumes and failed. Watching Dressler the first day of rookie camp, you knew he was going to be a player and he hasn't disappointed. If his career is a long one, he might go down with some of the Rider all time great pass catchers like Elgaard, Fairholm, Dawson, Campbell, Walters, Kareem Kelly etc, etc.

WORST--Seeing the Riders bumble and stumble their way to not scoring a TD after being 1st and goal at the 1. There was so much wrong with that series that I could write a novel on this. I don't know how a team in the CFL can't get a yard when running the plunge seeing the defence has to give a yard. There has to be a major, major mistake and obviously there were three on successive plays for the green and white.

What was your highlight and lowlight for the weekend???
By the way music fans, KISS is coming to Saskatchewan. Tuesday November 10 in Saskatoon.
If you're bored at work today, here's a time-waster for you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

AC/DC's Winnipeg Show

A taste of what you can expect at Mosaic Stadium tomorrow.

An Uneventful Saturday

For a guy that loves football, thank god for the NFL Network. With no CFL this weekend, I checked out a few of the NFL pre-season games yesterday. Rider neg list quarterback Chase Daniel looked very good as his Washington Redskins defeated Pittsburgh. I wonder if Daniel doesn't stick with the Redskins, if the Riders would want to bring him north. With Graham Harrell here, I don't know if Daniel is needed. What a tough problem to have?

I also managed to see the Seahawks beat Denver 27-10 and I texted good friend and Broncos fan Rob Vanstone to make sure he was aware of what was happening. Good god, the Broncos are terrible with Kyle Orton at quarterback. I asked Rob if the presence of Orton meant the arrival of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford next year meaning Denver would have the number one pick. He texted back that he would rather have Nealon Greene calling the signals. OUCH!!!
Former Rider coach Kent Austin is getting some love south of the border. While listening to ESPN Radio on my XM satellite radio yesterday, I heard someone who was previewing the SEC talking about the Ole Miss Rebels and how they could be one of the few teams in the conference to give the Florida Gators a run for their money. The Gators are the preseason number one pick and are looking this year to make it three national titles in the last four years. Whoever it was (I think it might have been an ESPN writer named Chris Low)that was being spoken to said the Rebels offence has really taken off in the last couple of years and that the credit should go to Austin. He then went on to say that a BCS berth by the Runnin Rebels this year and NFL teams may be knocking on Austin's door to go from college co-ordinator to pro co-ordinator or at worst quarterbacks coach. That is how Austin got to Ole Miss as their former offensive co-ordinator David Lee went to Miami to become quarterbacks coach.
There's a lot of buzz around the city for Monday's AC/DC concert. Alas, I will not be there. Here's hoping no band members fall off the stage tonight and that they get here in one piece. Here's hoping the weather co-operates. Rain is not needed tomorrow night in the Queen City. Speaking of the weather, the kids go back to school on Thursday and temperatures both Thursday and Friday are to be in the high 20's, low 30's. That's just not fair to the kids ---or the grownups is it?
What are the armchair quarterbacks going to do without a football team to coach this week? I'm sure they will find a way to keep dissecting the performance of the green and white.
The WWE holds one of its big pay per views today as its Summerslam. Back in the day when Wrestlemania, Summerslam, the Royal Rumble and the Survivor Series were the only four PPV's that Vince had, Summerslam was maybe the 2nd biggest event behind Wrestlemania. No more. This one is just like any other. In fact, I think the Rumble might be the 2nd best PPV they have now behind Wrestlemania. I'm taking a pass on it unless I get a late invite somewhere.
It looks like its going to be a nice Sunday so maybe its time to start enjoying it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Moral Victory Still Equals A Loss

Give credit to the Riders. They gave Montreal a football game when not many thought they would. In fact, its a football game they could have won and maybe should have won. One can only imagine how this game turns if
1)The Riders score when they had the ball at the one yard line. By the way, was I the only one who knew the ball was going to Wes Cates on 3rd down and why is Chris Szarka on the field if he is going to block on the wing when the ball is going up the gut?
2)Mike McCullough intercepts the Anthony Calvillo pass deep in Montreal's end
3)John Chick hits Calvillo in the endzone about a half second quicker
4)They somehow eliminate the 3rd quarter. This has gotten beyond ridiculous
5)Eric Morris isn't called for facemasking on the Weston Dressler punt return in the 4th quarter
6)Keith Shologan recovers Calvillo's fumble in the 4th. Yes by the way they did rule it a fumble with a Montreal recovery.

Darian Durant threw three interceptions, but I thought he was solid. The 3rd interception was a bad one at a bad time, but I thought he made more good plays than bad.
Weston Dressler was unbelievable! Did Duane Forde call him "The Baby-Face Assassin". I like that!!!
The defence still allows too many big runs, but they shut down that Montreal offence for the most part. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me but I don't think the TD drives were long drives as Montreal had great field possession to start those drives.
There is nothing special about the Rider special teams. Kavis Reed has to be one frustrated man.

Bottom line is there were many positives, but the Riders lose and are now 4-4. No one is running away with the West and while a loss isn't palatable, it is not the end of the world. Many of the guys are getting out of Dodge for a week, but I'm guessing the coaching staff will be working hard(and maybe rockin out to AC/DC on Monday)trying to iron out the problems they have. The biggest one of course being how to score some points in the 3rd quarter.
As for the other game on Friday, I didn't see that one coming and I'm guessing either did many of you. Some of you may have thought Winnipeg could beat B.C----but I'm guessing none of you thought it would be by 27 in B.C Place. I honestly thought this could be the end for Mike Kelly after the Stefan Lefors incident, but this team got its act together. Fred Reid runs for 261 yards and Winnipeg walks out of Vancouver embarassing the Lions who now get Montreal back to back. Could they be 3-7 by mid September? I can already hear some in the Rider Nation wondering what Fred Reid could do to a Rider defence that has its difficulties stopping the run.
Brett Favre gets a hero's reception in Minneapolis as he makes his Vikings debut and then goes 1 for 4 in brief action. Whatever! I guess its true that you don't cheer for the player, but for the uniform. I have had two friends of mine who are Vikings fan who absolutely hated this guy now saying they can live with him being a Viking and that it looks good on Green Bay. Puh-leeze!!!! You hated this guy for many years and you hated him when he was a Jet, but now that he's on your team you love him and will continue to do so until he throws that crucial INT that costs them a game or he doesn't deliver on a Super Bowl. Lets just put it this way...I would be hating life if Tony Romo was quarterbacking the Seahawks. I would be hating life if Darcy Tucker had been traded from Toronto to Edmonton, I would hate having to see Sandro De Angelis wearing a Riders uniform. Just because the guy is wearing your colours doesn't mean you can go from despising him to loving him. Not in my books! I can't wait to see what Viking fans are saying in December. He will let you down and when he does, don't go back to hating him because its way too late.
Dany Heatley remains a douchebag. He didn't like his role thus he wants out. Suck it up big boy. You think you're the only guy whose role changes during a year. If I were the Senators, I would just let this guy rot. If I was Hockey Canada, I would not want this guy infecting the dressing room nor would I want him wearing the Maple Leaf in Vancouver at the Olympics. There are many good hockey players in this country...ones that have a better attitude than Heatley. His stupidity almost cost him his career and did claim the career and much more of a teammate. While this situation is obviously less severe, his stupidity is costing him again. For all I care, this guy can go to Europe or the KHL and never, ever come back.

It Won't Be That Bad

I don't know if the Riders believe in bulletin board material or not, but if they do, they may want to go to the blog of Montreal Gazette Alouettes reporter Herb Zurkowsky. Zurkowsky, who might be the best beat writer in the CFL now that Darrell Davis is gone, believes the Alouettes will win tonight's game 55-5. I doubt as if Herb is serious and I doubt as if the outcome will be anywhere near this, but I would like to see a copy get attached to the Riders dressing room door.

The Legend of Punch McLean

Former Leader Post sports editor Gregg Drinnan has a great story on junior hockey legend Ernie "Punch" McLean. As you may know, McLean was in the news this week when he went missing in BC. He has since been found. This is a great article and it details the beginnings of what is now the Western Hockey League.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Week 8 Predictions

A 4-0 week means I'm 16-12 on the season. Only two games to talk about and both of those games are Friday night.


Can the Riders actually win this one??? Well, yes they can. In this topsy-turvy season of the CFL, any team can beat any other team on any given night. There are many negatives staring the Riders right in the face. A short week, playing the CFL's best on their turf, a week off after the game which means many players will be heading home to reunite with families, playing in a stadium that has not been kind to them...etc, etc, etc. This is not a recipe for success boys and girls. A Riders win tonight and they will deserve every kudo that is thrown their way. A win tonight and maybe the criticism of both Ken Miller and Darian Durant can stop for a while. That being said, a win tonight is unlikely. I take the Riders with my heart, but my head says take Montreal and if Calvillo gets on a roll early, it could be over by halftime. Here's hoping he doesn't get on a roll.


I wonder how the Stefan Lefors story is resonating within the Bombers dressing room. We could find out tonight. Methinks Mike Kelly is dangerously close to losing this football team altogether after the move with their former starting quarterback. The Bombers could very well send a message to management tonight. It wouldn't surprise me one bit. Take B-C and take them big.

Andy Fantuz' status is certainly generating a lot of coffee talk. Is he going to sign a contract extension or not? Rider fans should know by now that the regime has changed and they aren't going to be held hostage money-wise by someone(ie: Kerry Joseph, Maurice Lloyd). I can't see the Riders breaking the bank for their talented Canadian receiver. This will all come down to Andy's desire to stay in Saskatchewan. If he wants to go home and play in southern Ontario for either the Tiger-Cats or Argonauts, he will. I'm sure Hamilton or Toronto will outbid Saskatchewan for his services if it should come down to that. If an extension has been offered as has been rumoured, he will sign it. If he doesn't, I would think it would mean there will be a lot of Rider fans who will have to get a new jersey because #83 will be gone. Fantuz is one of the top young players in this league and losing him would be tough for this team even though they have a couple of talented Canadian receivers in Chris Getzlaf and Rob Bagg. If he stays, great. If he doesn't, one can't blame him for wanting to play near home. The only question I have is if he leaves will he go from one of the more popular players to one of the more villified players. I think I already know the answer to that.
Good job by Murray McCormick of the Leader-Post in silencing those or hopefully silencing those who are upset over the Rider travel plans. You can see what I'm talking about by checking out this....
Plaxico Burress gets two years in prison. Whatever!! By the sounds of it, he's getting a break as it could have been a lot worse. However it is interesting to note that he is getting a worse sentence than Donte Stallworth and Stallworth killed somebody!!! Its just another sign that the justice system is screwed.
Usain Bolt sets another world record in the 200 metres and makes it look ridiculously easy. Should this be surprising?
Who do the Pats keep as their three 20 year olds. They have 5 right now--Brett Leffler, Linden Rowat, Matt Strueby, Mitch Czibere and Matt Delahey. For what its worth, I say Leffler, Strueby and Delahey. Some will argue Rowat should stay in place of perhaps Strueby because the team will be young on the back end after Delahey and Colton Teubert and he will solidify things. I understand that, but it may be time to give the goaltending reins to Damien Ketlo and Derek Tendler. Rowat could probably secure a solid blueliner in a trade. As I said, that's just my two cents.
UFC fans take note. Brock Lesnar's next fight will apparently be November 21 against Shane Carwin at UFC 106.
Because one person couldn't make it, I was asked to be an emergency fill-in for one of the teams in the first ever "Press Box Sports Bar Golf Tournament" yesterday. The tourney went at Deer Valley. That course is one of the nicer ones in Saskatchewan and it is challenging---too challenging for this cowboy. Playing that course just frustrates the you know what out of me even when I am on a four man team. My golf ball inventory has taken a decided dip after 18 holes if you know what I mean. All in all, it was a good time though on what was a great day. I had a few people come up to me with some very kind words---words that were appreciated.
One last thing. I have said in the past that the NHL's annual version of the outdoors game is getting stale for me and something is needed to get me revved up about one. Its not the NHL, but the American Hockey League. The Norfolk Admirals are apparently looking at playing a game this year on get this...........the deck of an aircraft carrier. That would be so cool!!!!!!I can't see there being much of a crowd and when the puck goes over the boards, it will likely go kersploosh and be never used again, but if this happens, I'll be watching for sure.
Enjoy the Riders game!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Next Two Weeks Are Not Good For CFL Fans

The CFL has hit its dead time. For the next two weeks, we get a total of two games per week instead of four. After what I think has been a great first half to the season, it screeches to a halt this weekend and next as only two games are being played. In fact, CFL fans who like to weld themselves to the couch and watch football on the weekend can only do so for six hours on Friday night and then thats it as Week 8 will start and end with the Riders-Alouettes game followed by Winnipeg and BC.

Yes, CFL teams deserve to have a bye and hopefully when the league gets back to nine teams or even ten, teams will still have a week off, but there has to be a better way of doing things than having just two games a week for the next two weeks--especially when the NFL season is getting closer and closer to starting. The last thing Commissioner Cohon wants is for some CFL fans to migrate over to what is happening in the NFL. Those wanting their football fix will have no choice.

Is there a way to schedule three games a week for a few weeks thus allowing two teams to have a week off? It would be better than what we have now.

Maybe you like it this way and if that's so--hey that's cool. Count me though as one of those who thinks the next two weeks are simply a waste of time and has cooled off what is some great momentum that has been built.

Fantuz Once Again a No-Go

Riders coach Ken Miller says Andy Fantuz will not dress in Montreal because of that tender hamstring that has forced him to miss the past few games. Miller said Fantuz could probably play, but with the bye week coming up, it will give him some more time to be at 100 percent.
Say what you will about Bobby Harris, but they are going to have to drag this guy off the field. He is bothered by a bad knee, but he remains out there. Miller doesn't know how much longer that left knee can hold up and he may be scratched from the lineup for this one--and perhaps much longer. If he doesn't go, look for Gene Makowsky to head over to left tackle with Chris Best taking Makowsky's spot at guard.
Miller also talked about the fact that the football gods have not smiled upon them this week. You are playing a short week, having to travel through Calgary with a long layover before heading to Montreal, you are facing the best team in the league, you are facing the best team in the league in a city where the nightlife is second to none and you know that once the game is over, you have a week off. Its certainly not a recipe for success is it? Miller says you have to play with the hand that you are dealt and that there are distractions, but they are going to try and turn the distractions into a positive.

Mike Kelly Strikes Again

The last line in this story might be the best one. Courtesy Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

Winnipeg Blue Bomber quarterback Stefan LeFors not only lost his starting job after just four games this season, he was also forced to take a hefty pay cut.

The Sun has learned the Bombers took the unusual step of clawing back $60,000 of LeFors' salary -- cutting it from $150,000 to $90,000 -- when he became the backup to Michael Bishop.

Two sources said LeFors was basically given an ultimatum: take the pay cut, or be released, outright.

Asked about the move yesterday, the 28-year-old didn't hide his disappointment.

"They didn't put me in the best position," LeFors told the Sun. "But when I feel like I have a gun to my head, what am I going to do?"

Now, Bomber fans may argue LeFors deserved a pay cut, after the way he played.

But while off-season pay cuts aren't unusual, it's rare for players to give back pay for their performance during a season.

It's a startling development for a player anointed by head coach Mike Kelly as his guy going into the year. How can you back someone so staunchly for months, then hack his paycheque after four games?

The news won't go over well in the Bomber locker-room -- not that anybody will say anything publicly.

But I'll say it for them: this move lacks class, plain and simple, and won't put the Bombers in a good light around the CFL.

LeFors, though, wasn't about to criticize his head coach. He simply called it "frustrating" that the organization would put him in that position.

"When you're approached to do something like that, I wouldn't wish that on anybody," LeFors said. "I was put in a position where it was tough for me and for my family."

There's more.

The timing of the whole incident, around LeFors' shoulder injury, raises some serious questions.

To force a pay cut on a player, a team has to cut him first, then re-sign him to a new deal.

But teams aren't allowed to cut players who are hurt.

LeFors hurt his right, non-throwing shoulder in Hamilton, July 18. He played with the injury a week later, at home, against Toronto, a 19-5 loss that cost him his starting job.

He was then given his pay cut ultimatum -- before he was to have an MRI exam, a procedure that would show a second-degree sprain to his AC joint and some bleeding in the trapezius muscle.

Doctors now suspect he may have a slight tear in the labrum, as well.

Seems to me LeFors was, in effect, cut when he was hurt. He probably has a case for a grievance with the players association.

But he's taking the high road, saying he's simply going to keep working at doing his job better.

"I know I can do better than what's shown on the field," LeFors said. "This is not the way I want to go out. It comes down to this team. I'll do whatever it takes to help this team out. All that other stuff just goes out the window."

It's amazing LeFors can keep so levelheaded through this whole thing.

He didn't hide from the questions I asked, but not once did he question his head coach.

A head coach who's already thrown him under the bus, and put a serious dent in his livelihood.

The thing is, four quarterbacks have taken the controls of Kelly's offence, and all four have failed. Thousand-yard receivers from a year ago look like rookies.

And there's no inkling things are getting better.

What's next: pay cuts for the receivers? How about the O-line? Don't scoff -- word is this team has some salary cap issues, too.

Which leads me to one, final question.

Has anybody asked the head coach to take a pay cut?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Will Favre Make That Much Of A Difference?

Brett Favre is 40 years old. A lot of people believe his return to the NFL besides being something to stroke his massive ego, is something that will catapult the Minnesota Vikings to a Super Bowl berth. ??????. Favre is an upgrade over either Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson, I will give you that. However to say the Vikings are now the team to beat in the NFC is somewhat of a stretch.

The Vikings have a good running back in Adrian Peterson--he might be the best in the game. Their offensive line is solid, their receivers are average. Their defence is maybe a little above average. I ask you if you really think the Vikings are better than the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys? Are they better than the Saints, Panthers or Falcons? I don't even know if they are the top team in their division as I would give that honour to Chicago and maybe even the team Brett made a living with---the Packers.

I know many a Viking fan out there and they admit while they are getting better, they can't be considered one of the top teams in the conference. Brett Favre while over the hill doesn't get the Vikings over the hill.

I just can't see this working out the way he wants. Then again, if he goes into Lambeau Field and leads his new team to a win over his old team, Favre may get what he has wanted, and that's to stick it to the Packers. If that is what he truly wants, he is a petty, vindictive individual. End of story!

Chick Gets POTW Recognition

Jeremaine Copeland, John Chick, Justin Medlock and Paris Jackson were named the Gibson’s Finest CFL Players of the Week for week seven, 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.


R – Jeremaine Copeland – Calgary Stampeders

Calgary Stampeders 35 @ Edmonton Eskimos 38

Highlights / Key Stats:

In the first battle of Alberta this season, Jeremaine Copeland had a sensational game as he compiled a career-high 11 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns for the Calgary Stampeders. Copeland gave the Stampeders a 34-31 lead with 38 seconds left after hauling-in his second touchdown of the game, a 20-yard pass from Henry Burris. The Edmonton Eskimos reclaimed the lead, and eventually the win, after Ricky Ray connected with Fred Stamps for a 23-yard touchdown.

Runners Up
QB – Ricky Ray – Edmonton Eskimos
QB – Henry Burris – Calgary Stampeders


DE – John Chick – Saskatchewan Roughriders

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 23 @ Saskatchewan Roughriders 33

Highlights / Key Stats:

John Chick put in a great defensive effort in the Roughriders’ win over the Tiger-Cats this past weekend, as he recorded two quarterback sacks and one forced fumble. Chick and the rest of the Riders’ defence made it difficult for the Ticats’ offence to claw back from a big first half deficit at Mosaic Stadium.

- Unanimous Selection -


K – Justin Medlock – Toronto Argonauts

BC Lions 36 @ Toronto Argonauts 28

Highlights / Key Stats:

Justin Medlock had one of the most impressive performances by any special teams player this season as he kicked a perfect seven for seven field goals in the Argonauts’ narrow loss to the BC Lions this past weekend. The mark tied him with former kicker Lance Chomyc for the most field goals made in a single game by an Argonaut.

Medlock was good from distances of 52, 15, 46, 51, 51, 32, and 17 yards to cap off an impressive performance. The rookie Medlock is now 18 for 19 on field goal attempts this season for a 94.7 percent accuracy rating, tied for best in the league.

- Unanimous Selection -


SB – Paris Jackson – BC Lions

BC Lions 36 @ Toronto Argonauts 28

Highlights / Key Stats:

Paris Jackson had a huge game for the Lions in their come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Argonauts this week. He had six catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. This is the second time this season Jackson has been named the Gibson’s Finest CFL Canadian Player of the Week.

Runner Up
S – Matthieu Proulx – Montreal Alouettes

You Knew It Wasn't Over

He just won't go away. He just can't retire. He just can't let the spotlight get away. He has to be front and center on the minds of all. He is Brett Favre and he is apparently a Minnesota Viking. Last month, he said he just couldn't do it, but once again he has changed his mind. Word is he is signing a contract with the Vikings that will pay him 10 to 12 million. I'm just waiting to see who comes out first and says this makes the Vikings a Super Bowl contender.
Don't say I didn't tell you so.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What Did We Learn?

Another week of CFL football is over. Once again, the four games provided some thoughts.

--How long is the Michael Bishop experiment going to last in Winnipeg?
--How can Edmonton and Calgary even come close to duplicating what we saw Thursday when they play each other again. These teams battle one another three more times.
--Who said Ricky Ray was washed up?
--Tristan Jackson might be Gizmo Williams in disguise.
--Why isn't Jarious Jackson starting in B.C.?
--How many Rider fans are going out and getting jerseys with Rob Bagg's name and number on it?
--Will the Riders ever find a return man?
--Is Anthony Calvillo the odds-on favourite right now to repeat as the league's M-O-P. Who would the West nominee be right now?
--I wonder if Hamilton and BC fans bitch and moan about the development of Quinton Porter and Buck Pierce like Rider fans do about Darian Durant. Patience is the word.
--Is Kerry Joseph done?
--Is Kelly Bates done?
--If the Riders lose Andy Fantuz in the off-season via free agency, is it that big of a loss considering they still have Chris Getzlaf, Bagg and Jason Clermont.
The family went to Circus Gatti on Monday. It was the first circus for my 5 year old. Her wide eyes as she saw the various acts was worth it. I'm sure she will be yapping about this one for days. I pity her babysitter today. I thought stuff at the exhibition was expensive. Yeesh!! Is it just me or do you think clowns get the chicks?
The Western Major Baseball League will not declare a champion this season. With players from both the Okotoks Dawgs and Melville Millionaires scheduled to fly back to their US colleges in the next couple of days, the league has decided to name both teams co-champs. They couldn't get the entire final in because of rain that prevented Games 3 and 4 in the best of 5 to be played in Melville. It had then been decided that Game 3 would be a one game winner take all seeing the series was even at one, but then they decided to just pull this. Could they not have played the game in Regina at Currie Field where there was better drainage or something? I understand the rationale behind the move, but it looks bad. You gotta have a winner!!! In the end, blame Mother Nature as it played havoc with the league schedule all season long.
Nice to see the Cubs take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of 9 against San Diego and blow it. ARRGGHHHH!!! I can't see there being a playoff heartache this year. The drought continues. SIGHHHH!!!!
I heard an interesting debate about Tiger Woods and sportsmanship yesterday. I didn't really notice this on Sunday, but Tiger basically knowing the tournament was over after Yang hit that great 2nd shot on 18 should have putted out thus giving the stage to Yang who would have had to three putt to have things continue. NO! Tiger told Yang to putt out which he did and then finished the tournament by putting in himself. Some were chastising Tiger saying he should have shown proper protocol and that he was being a poor sport by not allowing Yang to have the last putt. I guess, but I don't find it to be that big a deal. Then again, had it been the other way around, you know Mr. Woods would have wanted that stage all to himself.
If you have not bought Rob Vanstone's book on the 1966 Riders then go out and do it. In fact, buy one for yourself and buy another one for someone for Christmas. It is an excellent read. Once again "the rumpled scribe" has outdone himself!
Is this really the 25th anniversary of the Moose Jaw Warriors? Where does the time go?


Best and Worst Of The Weekend

I'm going to try something new today. I'm hoping you weigh in with your two cents on this each Monday. What was the best and the worst for you when it comes to sports this weekend. From the time you left the office Friday night to the time you are back having coffee with your cohorts this morning, what was the one best thing and what was the one worst thing you saw. It can be one game, one play from a game, one event, whatever.
For me, the best thing I saw this weekend would have been the Calgary-Edmonton football game which was the best CFL game I've seen in a long time, but it doesn't count because it happened on Thursday. So......I will go with the first half of the Rider game. I have never seen a defence be as dominant as what the Rider D was against the Ti-Cats. No first downs and minus 7 yards of total offence. You simply can't get much better than that.
The worst thing I saw this weekend was Padraig Harrington losing any hope he had of winning the PGA championship with a disastrous 8 on the 8th hole. Its nothing for me to get an 8 on a par 3, but for one of the world's best to do it on such a big stage, and to have it all fall apart on one hole for two straight weeks was a little surreal.
There's my entries for the weekend that was. What about you?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


How about your Saskatchewan Roughriders! They know you are wet and they know you are cold as you sit in the stands cheering them on. They go in the dressing room at half-time and see that you need to get a little hot under the collar to get you warmed up so they blow a 23 point lead before coming back and winning. A caring bunch are they not??

I joked to CKRM's Joe Hadesbeck when it was over that had the Riders lost Sunday night that Taylor Field might have burned down had it not been for the fact that the wood was wet. Joe responded by saying they would have found a way. He's right!!

Here's the post-game wrap-up...

Players that deserve a shout-out include John Chick and Mike McCullough on the defensive side of the ball. Chick was the player we all know and love making life miserable for the quarterback while McCullough showed he is more than capable of being our middle linebacker when given the chance. Some remember he was the starter when Trevis Smith's problems surfaced and that he only lost the job to Mo Lloyd because of injury. On the offensive side of the ball, Darian Durant didn't have stellar numbers, but I thought he was very composed in the pocket and with the exception of one bad throw he perofrmed very well. Wes Cates was the Wes Cates of old as maybe, just maybe he is now 100 percent after that shoulder problem and Jason Clermont finally got into the offence and may now just be starting to make his mark.

I am still concerned with the fact that special teams play is far from special and that the 3rd quarter remains to be nightmarish, but in the words of Darian Durant--"A win is a win. We aren’t going to dwell on what happened in the 2nd half. We’re just going to celebrate this victory and come back tomorrow to start getting ready for Montreal." I have a bad feeling in my gut that when you combine the short week with a long road trip out East that it won't be a banner trip to Le Belle Province, but you've got to play the game and see how everything falls. Remember, you wake up this morning knowing your favourite football team is in first place with a record of 4-3. Many of you didn't believe this team was one that would be in first seven games into the season. There is still a long ways to go, but in a CFL where not much is separating top to bottom, you've got to be happy with where this team is at.
I admit I didn't know who Y-E Yang was until Saturday afternoon when he started to climb up the leaderboard. I'm guessing a lot of you didn't know who he was either, but you know now who he is. Yang did the improbable on Sunday. He came out the winner in a head to head duel with Tiger Woods. It has many asking now "Did Yang win the PGA Championship or did Tiger lose it?" I think Yang won it. Going head-to-head with the world's best golfer, Yang did not lose his focus and did not wobble any. In fact it was him who had the big shot with his chip in for eagle on 14. That's the shot Tiger is supposed to make, but this time he didn't. When Yang put his approach on 18 to within 8 feet, you knew it was over and it wouldn't be Tiger holding the trophy aloft. I don't know about you, but I found the result to be refreshing. Everyone, including me, thought when Tiger led after 36 holes that it was fait accompli and that the weekend would just be window-dressing to another title. NOPE!!
You had to feel sorry for Padraig Harrington. For the 2nd straight week, he watched his chance at a win disintegrate on one hole. Harrington making golfers like you and me feel good when he butchered his way to an 8 on the par 3 8th. OUCH!!
Usaim Bolt runs the 100 metres in 9.58 seconds!!!!! Holy crap!!! That isn't just breaking the old world record---that' s obliterating it. Bolt says he can be quicker yet and feels that a 9.4 second run isn't out of the question. I can't see it. I really don't know how much lower you can get this to. If someone is going to do it though, you would have to bet on Bolt.
Is it just me or as a Jays fan, do you cringe whenever Brandon League comes out of the bullpen? The guy does not make one feel secure. He comes into the game against Tampa yesterday to start the 8th with the contest tied at one and a couple of batters later, he is giving up a grand slam to Geoff Zaun thus giving the Rays a win. SIGHHHHH!!!!
I received an e-mail from Pats media man Dan Plaster saying the team is available for interviews tomorrow as they get ready for training camp. Is it really time for the Pats and the rest of the WHL to get going again???.
One other thing. If you get a chance, listen to Jamie Nye's interview with Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News from Friday night's Sportsnight with Jamie Nye on CJME. The guy who's trying to replace me(and you're doing a good job of it young man) talked to Iyer about Michael Vick and his new employer--the Philadelphia Eagles. Its a good few minutes of radio.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Go Back To The QB Store Mike!!!

I type this just moments after the Montreal Alouettes lay a first class boot-kicking to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. If you watched this game, I just ask you this. Does Michael Bishop look even worse to you than he did last year? He was TERRIBLE!!! 12 of 34 for 149 yards with two picks just doesn't cut it. Yeah, he was playing against a Montreal defence that is probably the best in the CFL, but he just looks bad.

You can see the frustration starting to set in on Mike Kelly when it comes to Bishop. I would have loved to hear the conversation in the 3rd quarter when Bishop called a time-out and was told by the coach that he missed the play coming into the huddle. Glen Suitor then saying after the conversation was over that Kelly threw his challenge flag down the sideline. Do you think Kelly regrets getting rid of Kevin Glenn now? Even Ryan Dinwiddie could do a better job than this. It certainly says the Stefan Lefors experiment is over when he doesn't even come in for some mop-up time.

I can't see it happening until after the Banjo Bowl, but would the Riders dangle Steven Jyles out there. It depends on a number of things like the development of Darian Durant, but it is so obvious the Bombers need someone who can lead them down the field and not someone who appears to be as clueless as Bishop right now. Perhaps they can get Kerry Joseph!
I'm not really sure what Tiger Woods had on his mind at Round 3 of the PGA championship, but he has allowed for what should be an interesting final round. All of those chasing Tiger actually made up some ground on him as the world's best player decided to have quite a conservative round in which he had to do some scrambling to save par on several holes. Chances are he still wins, but the coronation isn't as set in stone as I thought it might be playing the final 18. For some reason I think Padraig Harrington might spoil Tiger's party. The fact he isn't playing with Tiger in the final pairing may really help him. Tiger won't lose it, but Harrington might win it. By the way, who is Y.E Yang!!
I don't know what to expect from the Rider game tomorrow. It depends on the forecast. A rainy afternoon may mean a rather comedic night with both teams struggling to hold on to a slippery football. Hopefully the elements don't come into play. I think the Riders win this one, but I also think it will be a game that will go right down to the wire. I will say that I think Mr. Dressler will have a big game.
Congrats to the Regina Thunder. They beat the Saskatoon Hilltops 26-23 at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday night. They are 2-0 on the season.

Keith Shologan Overcomes Tragedy

Keith Shologan has had to endure a major family tragedy while becoming a professional football player. TSN's Dave Naylor has what is a very sad story....

It's Over!

Yes, there will be golf at the PGA Championship near Minneapolis today and tomorrow, but who's kidding who, it's over. I don't know if they engrave the winners name on the Wanamaker Trophy, but if they do, they can start putting Tiger's name on it. He will not lose. He is three strokes ahead of everyone else going into the 3rd round. ESPN's Jason Sobel is trying to keep the excitement up though. He is trying to find something to give us a reason to watch this weekend just in case Tiger should slip up. He is trying to add some drama to a story that is basically already over. He has these four reasons why Tiger won't be holding the trophy around the time the Riders and Ti-Cats kick off....

1. Someone else gets hot. The fivesome in a share of second place includes three major champions and five very good players. It's not entirely inconceivable that Vijay Singh, Padraig Harrington, Lucas Glover, Ross Fisher or Brendan Jones could post a pair of 68s while TW goes 70-71 for the final two rounds
2. Things get ugly off the tee. Stephen Ames once said of Tiger's game before getting waxed in the opening round of the WGC-Accenture Match Championship, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting the ball." Though it was construed as an insult, there was some truth to the statement. When Woods is playing from the rough, he's beatable.
By the same token, when he is able to keep the ball in the short stuff, he's almost unbeatable. So far this week Woods is hitting 75 percent of the fairways -- 12 of 14 in Round 1; 9 of 14 in Round 2 -- nearly 14 percentage points higher than his season average entering the week.
We've seen that driver get crooked at times this year, though. If it happens over the weekend, meaning Woods is forced to play more shots from the rough than in the opening two rounds, we could see a player scrambling to make pars as opposed to putting for birdie so often.
3. Another major disappointment. At this year's Masters, Kenny Perry was primed to become the oldest player to win a major … and lost to Angel Cabrera in a playoff. At the U.S. Open, sentimental stories Phil Mickelson and David Duval were in the mix … but neither could climb past Lucas Glover. At the British Open, Tom Watson was writing a story for the ages … until Stewart Cink flew past him in extra holes.
No offense to our current trio of major champions, but it's largely been a year filled with disappointment for the masses. If the majority of fans are rooting for Tiger to triumph here at Hazeltine, could it be a fourth consecutive letdown this season? If so, the golf gods must be angry.
4. Illness or injury. OK, so if this entire exercise can be considered grasping at straws, then I just drew the short one in trying to explain away this one. Then again, you never know …
Scratch that. This is a guy who has won tournaments while playing on a torn ACL and while vomiting because of food poisoning. He's what they'd call a "gamer" in other sports. I'll go out on a limb and say that if Tiger contracts a case of the sniffles over the weekend, he'll suck it up and play some golf.

So, there you go. Four ways -- well, three ways, really -- Tiger Woods could lose the PGA Championship after holding a 4-stroke lead with 36 holes to play. Do I think any of 'em is gonna happen? Nope. Uh-uh. No way!

At least he is being honest at the end.
Do you think Rider fans are hoping Sunday's round doesn't go long. Then again, it may not matter. If you are wondering why the kickoff of the game isn't till 5, look no longer than the PGA Championship and TSN's coverage of it. There is no way TSN will come to Mosaic Stadium until Tiger has put that last putt down on the 72nd and final hole or the playoff hole. (What is the playoff format for the PGA??)As it was last night, they abandoned Tiger on 18 and went to the BC-Toronto game which was five minutes old by the time we started watching. That won't happen Sunday. Then again, I have heard nothing about a sellout meaning this game might be the first one in a long time that has been blacked out around here so those thinking they can tune it in may have to listen to Rod and Carm. That's not a bad option, but still.
Smart move by the Riders having their quarterbacks and receivers play with wet balls at the end of practice on Friday. It may be weather that only a duck will love on Sunday. What's a summer Rider game without rain right?
Kerry Joseph's career took one further step towards ending last night. Cody Pickett looked alright for the Argos even though they lost. Pickett threw for 326 yards and a TD as the Argos lost 36-28 in a game they led throughout until the final 30 seconds. Toronto's problem was they had to settle for 3 instead of 7 as Justin Medlock kicked 7 field goals. Medlock has missed just one field goal this year in 18 attempts and that miss was a 57 yarder that hit the upright on the last play versus Winnipeg. The only reason he had to try it from 57 was because of a penalty because he had nailed it from 47. Note to Calgary mouthpiece Sandro De Angelis, you are not the best kicker in the CFL anymore.....although you weren't before either. Getting back to K-J, I have to wonder if the Argos will keep him around. If they get rid of him before Labour Day, they can save some money. I know some have suggested Joseph return to Saskatchewan, but its not going to happen.
I could tell you to stay thirsty my friends, but looking outside, I think its more apropo to say "Stay dry my friends".

Friday, August 14, 2009

How Did This Squeak By The Sensors??

This ad aired on the Boston superstation last night. Is it because it was after midnight Boston time when I saw it or has Hardees pulled one off. Take a look......

Kick For A Million Returns

Canadians from coast to coast are dusting off their cleats, as TSN's international award-winning million dollar giveaway, Wendy's Kick for a Million is back. For the fifth year in a row, one lucky fan will get the chance to kick a 50-yard field goal for $1 million.

The big event will air live nationally on October 23 during halftime of the CFL ON TSN: WENDY'S FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL broadcast featuring the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts (game starts at 7pm et/4pm pt). Both the game and the halftime event will air in High Definition.

The highly-anticipated promotion returns with brand-new formats to its quarter-final, semifinal and final events. For the first time, total points awarded for successful field goals kicked during the regional quarter-finals in Toronto and Calgary and during the semifinal in Toronto will now determine which one of the four randomly selected participants from Eastern and Western Canada will have the chance to turn a 50-yard field goal into a $1 million payday on October 23. This marks the first time that a regional quarter-final event is being held at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

In addition, the final event in Toronto will now give the participant the chance to score big from 50 yards even without splitting the uprights, as he/she will receive $1,000 for every yard kicked in the air. Similar to last year, the participants are allowed to practice prior to all events (see Contest Format below).
The contest begins today and runs through September 27. Fans are invited to enter online at, with bonus entries being awarded for playing the Wendy's Field Goal Challenge game and referring friends. Fans can also upsize their combo at any participating Wendy's restaurant to receive a Game Card for 50 bonus entries and a 1-in-9 chance to win instant prizes such as Wendy's food prizes and gift cards, JVC home electronics, ESQ watches or a 2009 Nissan Rogue.

Lucrative prizes for this year's Wendy's Kick for a Million final event are bigger and better than ever leading up to the $1 million reward. The prizes are as follows:

- 20 yards - $20,000 JVC Family Electronics Package- 30 yards - 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster- 40 yards - $100,000 cash- 50 yards - $1,000,000 in a one-time payout - if the 50-yard kick falls short, the participant will receive $1,000 for every yard kicked in the air
In 2005, the first year of the contest, 25-year old mechanical engineer Brian Diesbourg of Belle River, ON, became an overnight sensation by splitting the uprights at 50 yards and winning the $1 million grand prize.

Contest Format
On October 2, four randomly chosen participants will be drawn from the pool of entries - two from Eastern Canada (Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island) and two from Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut).
On October 16, the Eastern Canada participants will practice together at Rogers Centre in Toronto with Argonauts kicker Lance Chomyk, while the Western Canada participants will receive a practice session at McMahon Stadium in Calgary with Stampeders kicker Sandro DeAngelis. Later that evening, the Eastern Canada participants will go head-to-head in a quarter-final event at halftime during the Edmonton @ Toronto game. Similarly, the Western Canada participants will face off the following afternoon (October 17) at halftime during the Saskatchewan @ Calgary match-up. The winner of the Eastern and Western Canada quarter-final events will move on to the Wendy's Kick for a Million semifinal in Toronto.

In both quarter-final events, each participant will receive three kicks from distances of their choice, ranging from 15 to 50 yards. The participant will receive points equal to the distance (i.e.: 15 yards = 15 points) for each successful field goal, with their final kick being a Wendy's Classic Double and worth double the points. The participant with the most points after three kicks moves on to the semifinal. Highlights and results from the quarter-finals in Toronto and Calgary will be seen during the 4th quarter of the Argos and Stampeders games, respectively.

On October 22 (one day prior to the televised event), the winners of the Eastern and Western Canada quarter-finals will receive a second practice session with Chomyk at Rogers Centre. The two will then compete against each other in the Wendy's Kick for a Million semifinal. The semifinal event will have the same format and scoring system as the quarter-finals; however, each participant will now receive a total of six kicks from distances (15 to 50 yards) of their choice. The participant with the most points after six kicks will advance to the main event the following day.

On October 23, the one remaining participant will attempt to win outstanding prizes by kicking field goals from 20-, 30-, 40- and 50-yards, live on TSN, during the CFL ON TSN halftime show.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Busy Thursday

You've got CFL, you've got NFL, you've got the PGA, you've got one busy Thursday. It has to start with what was not only the best CFL game of the year, but the best CFL game I've seen for the past couple of years. I thought the Eskimos and Stampeders had the potential to give us a shoot-out and did they ever.
Edmonton looked to maybe have the game in the bag, but Henry Burris converts on a huge 3rd and 10 and then hooks up with Jermaine Copeland for a TD--and a questionable one at that to give the Stamps what might been have a win with just 38 seconds left. Undaunted, Ricky Ray gets the ball in great field position and a la peanut butter sandwiches, he connects with Fred Stamps on a 23 yard TD pass with nine seconds left to give the Eskimos a 38-35 win. It means the Eskimos are first in the West. The Riders can join them atop the division with a victory Sunday against Hamilton.
BTW--I have said it once, I have said it twice, I will say it a thousand times. There is no better play-by-play man in this country than Chris Cuthbert. As I have said before, he could make poker exciting.
What is going on in Winnipeg? First we heard Kelly Bates had been placed on waivers by the team and Mike Kelly basically said goodbye to him in his post practice scrum. However, hours later we hear Bates has not been placed on waivers because of an injury. He could end up still being put on waivers or he may end up on the nine game injured list. While I have thought guys like Dinwiddie, Armstrong and Armour have not been needed here after being released by their respective teams, I wouldn't mind seeing the Riders bring the Humboldt product in if he is indeed placed on waivers. He would strengthen that offensive line.
Jesse Lumsden is done for the year. The oft-injured running back had surgery again on that shoulder that he injured in the first game of the year meaning he won't be back this year. You seriously have to wonder if the Eskimos back will ever be 100 percent.
I would expect Argos coach Bart Andrus to be fined by the CFL. Andrus was critical of the officials saying they lack consistency (WELL DUH!!!!). Are these not comments detrimental to the league??? If Eric Tillman was fined for talking about the salary cap last year around this time, Andrus needs to be and should be fined for his comments. Not fining him would prove there is no consistency.
NOTE: If Bart was talking about Andre Proulx, I might agree with him.
Tom Brady is back. The Patriots quarterback played his first game since getting hurt in the season opener last year and he showed no rust. Brady throws a couple of touchdown passes and goes 10 of 15 for 100 yards as New England beats Philadelphia 27-25. I had a brief conversation at Rider practice on Thursday with WOLF 104.9 morning guy Michael Ball. Ballsy is a huge Chargers fan and told me he thinks Phillip Rivers is the best QB in the NFL. Rivers is a good QB, but I would rather have Brady, Peyton Manning, Brees and maybe even Roethlisberger and McNabb. I would take Rivers ahead of guys like Eli, Romo, Cutler, Cassel and Rodgers. I did let Ballsy know though that I think his Chargers might be the class of the AFC this year. He then reminded me they have Norv Turner. Good point!!
Michael Vick is an Eagle. I didn't see that one coming. ESPN's John Clayton answers some of the questions I had....
Vick is maybe the only thing that takes Tiger Woods off the front page of US sports sections today. Tiger was Tiger in Round 1 of the PGA championship. He leads at 5 under going into the 2nd round. If Tiger is in front after 18 holes, this can't be good news for the rest of the field. I wonder what everyone is thinking knowing Tiger is already at the top of the heap.
OK let me get this straight. The International Olympic Committee says golf and rugby will be played at the 2016 Olympics, but baseball and softball won't be. This is just wrong on so many levels!!!
The 2009 Canada Summer Games open up this weekend in Prince Edward Island. If you want to know how our athletes are doing, just go to