Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Whole Lotta This, A Whole Lotta That

A lot of thoughts by yours truly as we begin this Thursday morning. Here ya go...

These are the new Reebok RBK Edge jerseys that the Pats will wear this year. All teams in the Canadian Hockey League will be sporting the new duds this year. I like them! Let me correct myself, I love them!!! This is a sharp looking sweater.

On the ice, the Pats lost 6-2 to the Wheat Kings in a pre-season game. Regina has not tasted victory in five pre-season games now. Just remember Pats fans, it doesn't count in the standings. Yes, I'm sure Curtis Hunt wants to get his troops feeling that winning feeling especially after last year, but the end results don't matter for another week or so. Don't push the panic button.

I was out and about last night and heard Rod Pedersen and the bombastic (and I mean that in a good way) Kelly Remple discuss the state of Jordan Eberle and whether or not he will be back in a Regina uniform or if he will be in the silks of the Edmonton Oilers. Both Rod and Kelly had some very good points with one of them being whether or not its in Jordan's best interests that his coach Pat Quinn was his coach in Ottawa last year at the world juniors. Quinn knows what Eberle is all about and that may be enough to have Jordan playing at the NHL level. Quinn is smart enough to know that unless Eberle is one of his six top forwards that playing on the 3rd or 4th line this year won't be the right move when you can play on the first line of your junior team. Keeping Ebs in Regina will do the Oilers a lot of good in 2010 when I would then expect him to crack the opening day roster. It also wouldn't surprise me if before the team sends Eberle back that he plays in the first 5-6 games for the Oilers so he gets a taste of it. That's my two cents.

As many of you know, Kelly and I form the play-by-play team on the Access Communications broadcasts of Pats hockey and Kelly is a good friend of mine. He may be one of the only people I know who is more passionate about sports than I am. There was a suggestion on RP's blog a few weeks ago that Kelly and I should team up for a sports talk show. While I can't see it happening for a variety of reasons, I know that if it were to ever come to fruition, it would be outstanding and it would be worth listening to every night--especially when I start grinding his gears on another Vikings loss. Throw Lee Jones in there and it would be absolutely explosive and there wouldn't be a lot of "open phones" time. It would certainly beat that crap show that airs on the Score weekday afternoons. By the way, Hi Gabe! Are you still on the air? If so, keep up the mediocre work.
Thumbs up to the Riders and their 100 year anniversary initiatives. There is no doubt this football team is more than Regina. It is Saskatchewan. President and CEO Jim Hopson and his gang are going full out to involve the entire province in what will happen in 2010. It will be a very special year in Saskatchewan in 2010 and it will be one that I think football fans from Shaunavon to La Ronge will remember. Here' s hoping the whole year ends with one great big party----one that starts with the team hoisting the Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium. It would only be fitting to see the Riders win it all next year as they celebrate their past with the people that have made this franchise what it is---that being the very passionate Saskatchewan football fan. Of course, a Grey Cup in 2009 wouldn't be bad either.
CFL commissioner Marc Cohon has made his decision on the Alouettes protest of Friday's loss in BC. As I expected, the victory for the Lions stands which is a good thing (check earlier post for thoughts on that). Here's the statement....

As you may know, the Montreal Alouettes submitted an official game protest to me in relation to the Canadian Football League game held in Vancouver on Friday, September 4, 2009.

The protest relates to a sequence of events surrounding a play late in the game in which Montreal appeared to score a touchdown. This play was subsequently called back by the referee and replayed. On the replay, Montreal failed to obtain a first down and turned the ball over to B.C. on downs. B.C. went on to win the game by a score of 19-12.

An official game protest falls within the scope of Section 2 of the CFL By-Laws. Section 2, Paragraph 1 of the CFL By-Laws provides that:

1. If a member Club, knowing a player is ineligible under the Constitution, By-laws or Rules and Regulations of the League, permits said player to participate in a game or if a game official intentionally misinterprets or misapplies a playing rule, which participation or misinterpretation or misapplication could reasonably have affected the result of the game, a protest against the result may be made.

This paragraph directs the standard of my review, which has been extensive. I reviewed the television footage of the play in question, and surrounding events, as provided by the official TSN broadcast, other camera angles provided by TSN but not part of the official TSN broadcast, and the in-stadium game film provided to the league office and all Member Clubs by B.C., according to normal practice.

I also conducted separate interviews with several of the officials involved in the game in question, including the Instant Replay Official, Game Supervisor, Referee, Field Judge, Back Judge and Umpire. I also conducted an interview with representatives from the Montreal Alouettes, to fully understand the nature of their protest.

I have determined that the facts relevant to this matter are as follows:
• Play number 145 concluded with 1:05 remaining on the official game clock.
• The official game clock commenced prior to play number 146, but was subsequently stopped when B.C. called a time-out. Following the time-out, the stadium game clock showed 0.58 remaining.
• The Referee asked that the stadium game clock be reset to 1:00.
• The Game Supervisor and Instant Replay Official discussed whether the game clock should have been reset to 1:05, being the time play number 145 concluded, and agreed that there was sufficient uncertainty that it should be reviewed by the referee.
• The Game Supervisor sent an electronic page to the four on-field officials equipped with pagers, including the referee, to request that the game be stopped to review the timing issue.
• The four on-field officials received the pages contemporaneously with, or immediately prior to, the snap of the ball on play number 146.
• No whistles were blown or arm signals made during the course of play number 146.
• Following the conclusion of play number 146, several whistles were blown by the on-field officials to indicate an issue and an on-field meeting of the officials was immediately convened.
• During the on-field meeting, the four officials equipped with pagers confirmed that they each had received a page contemporaneously with, or immediately prior to, the snap of the ball.
• During the on-field meeting, several on-field officials indicated that they had blown their whistles. However, there was a lack of precision as to when such whistles were blown.
• The referee concluded that play number 146 had been ruled dead, and ordered it to be replayed.
In order for this protest to be successful, it must be shown that there was an intentional misinterpretation or misapplication of a playing rule. A mistake, notwithstanding the severe effect it may have upon the outcome of a game, does not provide sufficient grounds for the Commissioner to allow the protest and determine a remedy.

In the matter at hand, it is my conclusion that three significant errors occurred. First, the game supervisor sent an electronic page to the on-field officials too late for the matter to be addressed prior to the snap of the ball. Second, the on-field officials failed to blow their whistles and indicate a dead ball immediately upon receiving the electronic page. Third, the referee failed to accurately determine whether the whistles blown by the on-field officials were done so prior to the conclusion of the play. However, it is only the third error which negatively affected Montreal.

It can be concluded that the third error may reasonably have affected the outcome of the game. If it had not occurred, the Montreal touchdown would have stood and the game would most likely have been tied with less than one minute remaining in regulation time. This is unfortunate, and extremely regrettable.

However, despite the significant negative implications resulting from this error, it is my conclusion upon my thorough review that this error was not made by the referee intentionally. The referee believed at the time that a whistle had been blown by an on-field official prior to the conclusion of the play. He communicated this to the game supervisor and the instant replay official following play number 146 and, based on this erroneous belief, made the decision to replay the play in question. This demonstrated a lack of clear communication between the game officials, and a lack of judgment, under pressure, but was not an intentional misinterpretation or misapplication of a playing rule. For this reason, it is my decision that the result of the regular season game between Montreal and B.C. held in Vancouver on Friday, September 4, 2009 stand as a B.C. victory by the score of 19-12.

No discipline is contemplated for the officials involved, but my review will be factored into the assessment of the officials involved, and such assessments are used to determine future assignments. While we can never eliminate human error in the game of football, how it is played or how it is officiated, we are considering measures to ensure this particular set of circumstances is not repeated. Specifically, we will engage the CFL's Competition Committee to consider improved protocols around when a Game Supervisor may contact an on-field official in the course of a game, stricter guidelines for on-field officials when contacted by a Game Supervisor, and formal procedures for Referees to follow before nullifying a play.

The integrity of our game is paramount to our fans. And while they know that perfection is not attainable, they are entitled to know that everyone associated with our game strives to conduct themselves with integrity. I can assure them that my review has concluded that while errors were made, they were not in any way intentional. I can also assure them the Montreal Alouettes' official protest is something we take very seriously, the review that has been conducted has been very thorough, and that our regret at this incident is deep and profound.
What were the top four watched sports programs in Canada this past week. If you guessed CFL football, you can move into final jeopardy. How bout these numbers....
1. Football, Blue Bombers at Roughriders, Sunday, TSN: 982,000
2. Football, Eskimos at Stampeders, Monday, TSN: 979,000
3. Football, Argonauts at Tiger-Cats, Monday, TSN: 844,000
4. Football, Alouettes at Lions, Friday, TSN: 750,000
5. Baseball, Yankees at Blue Jays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 622,000
6. Auto racing, NASCAR Labor Day Classic, Sunday, TSN: 608,000
7. Baseball, Yankees at Blue Jays, Friday, Sportsnet: 586,000
8. Baseball, Yankees at Blue Jays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 325,000
9. Auto racing, NASCAR Nationwide V12, Saturday, TSN: 321,000
10. Tennis, U.S. Open, Monday, TSN: 274,000*
11. Tennis, U.S. Open, Sunday, TSN: 239,000
12. Baseball, Padres at Dodgers, Sunday, Sportsnet: 220,000
13. Baseball, Red Sox at White Sox, Saturday, Sportsnet: 207,000*
14. Golf, Canadian Women's Open, Sunday, CBC: 168,000

Do you think the CFL regrets its marriage with TSN and vice-versa? Those numbers are impressive. Its especially impressive that almost a million people watched the Riders when they were at home. Usually those numbers are big when they are on the road for obvious reasons, but at home??? WOW!

The NFL season starts tonight with the Steelers home to the Titans. I am a little surprised with the results of the poll that you can find in the upper right of this blog. To those who have voted "other", what team do you think will win?? A lot of people believe New England, San Diego or Pittsburgh will win it all. Not many are giving NFC teams a chance, but some have predicted New Orleans or Green Bay. Green Bay??? To those who did vote other, I would like to know who you took and your rationale behind it? For some reason, I'm thinking a lot of Colts fans have voted. There will be much more on the NFL before kickoff. Trust me on that one.
There have been many great players to wear the uniform of the New York Yankees. Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Maris, etc, etc, etc. However, I have to wonder if Derek Jeter cemented himself as perhaps the greatest ever Yankee last night. The shortstop is one hit away from becoming the team's all time hits leader after a three hit effort last night against Tampa. One more base-knock and he will surpass Lou Gehrig. You simply can't argue with the career Jeter has had. He isn't slowing down either. When he is done, he just might go down as the best ever player to wear pinstripes. He's also one of the few players in today's era that has to be considered as sure-fire hall of fame material because one would have to guess he is clean. He's no McGwire, he's no Bonds, he's no Rodriguez. If there is a ballplayer that today's youth should look up to as they learn the sport, I can't think of anyone better than Jeter.
The Senators will be in Regina to play Tampa in NHL pre-season action in just under two weeks. It means that barring a trade, Dany Heatley will be on Brandt Centre ice. How are Reginans going to treat Heatley? Will he be booed every time he touches the puck?
It's not good news for the Blue Jays when they have their smallest ever crowd---especially when Roy Halladay is pitching and Canada's best major leaguer is on the other team. Justin Morneau homered off of Halladay in a 4-1 Minnesota victory. A victory that came in front of just 11, 159. That is not good! Methinks the fine people of Toronto are sending a message to the baseball team. Either that or they are starting to think of excuses already seeing the Leafs are starting up.
Andrea McNulty says she will drop her sexual assault case against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger if he admits to raping her. If you have heard about this story, you know Ms. McNulty's story is extremely flimsy and many believe she is trying to extort Big Ben. My advice to her is don't wait by the phone because I don't think Roethlisberger will be admitting anything anytime soon. Just a hunch!!
I don't know how they drive in Halifax, but in Regina, you don't stop in the middle of a busy street to start talking to someone. Yes that was the scene on Wednesday as traffic moved around this clown driving a vehicle with Nova Scotia licence plates who felt he could just stop in his lane to have a conversation with someone. You wouldn't want to park that vehicle and have that conversation would you bud?? I didn't think so. I wonder how many honked horns and how many "one-fingered salutes" you received because it looked to me like you were getting a few.
Guys, what truly is fantasy football for you. Is it one of the drafts that you probably got into over the last couple of weeks or is it the Lingerie Football League? By the way, who has the TV contract for that league. I somehow missed the opening week of play. Does it come on the NFL Network late at night?
And finally for a good laugh, (unless you're a fan of the Detroit Lions) check this out.

Have a good one? Is Sparky's still standing this morning Mr. Weaver. Perhaps the better question is are you? :)


Anonymous said...

That's a whole lotta writing from Cohon to say we aren't allowing your protest.


Anonymous said...

As someone who was one of the few at the Pats game last night, I am hoping Ebs returns. If he doesn't, I don't know if that team can win 25 games. I know a lot of vets didn't play, but that team looks like it has a lot of work to do.


Anonymous said...

Its been a long wait since the Super Bowl. Thank god the NFL is back. I love the Riders and the CFL. However, I am NFL through and through.


Anonymous said...

It was when I left. I'm like Jamie Moyer, a pitcher much older than my teammates (by 10 years at least) so I have to go home early and get my rest.

I got the ice bucket douse at the end of the game. They thought it was funny. In actuality, it was therapeutic.


Anonymous said...

I picked GB cause I'm a giant Homer, and hope that when they knock Brett Farve on his ass and into forced retirement (a guy can dream right?) the momentum will take them all the way to the Superbowl.

Little Johnny

Anonymous said...

I've taken the Eagles. The video is damn funny.


Anonymous said...

Put you and Remple together and it would be chaotic. It would also be better than any other sports show in this market. I'd be listening every night.


Tyler said...

Mitch should be on the radio daily, no question.

As far as Jeter goes, he also scored with Mariah Carey back when that meant something. Babe Ruth never did that. Meanwhile, A-Rod was with *shudder* Madonna of all people.

Anonymous said...

If you and Kelly Remple got togehter for a daily show, I know there is one show that could basically shut it down around here. Then again, I wish that show would just shut it down now because for the most part, its crap!


Anonymous said...

Pilzner Pete loves the new Pats unis. Why didn't they wear them last night.

When will Linden Rowat be set adrift?

Can't wait for the Riders to start anniversary celebrations.

At least Montreal tried to correct things, give them credit for that. Cohon should at least give them back their 5 grand.

I'll be booing Heatley.

I don't know Kelly Remple. I've heard him a couple of times though and he sounds like he knows his stuff. You really should be teaming up with Pedersen. He needs the help and you would be the ideal solution.

Anonymous said...

My two cents is you and Jamie Nye should be doing a show together and Remenda should be turfed. I know that won't happen, but that's my thought on the matter.


Anonymous said...

That release by Cohon is just gobbledygook extraordinaire.

Anonymous said...

TSN and the CFL must be doing cartwheels with those numbers. I'm guessing they were never that high for regular season games on CBC. Despite what some say, TSN does an excellent job of covering the CFL and this proves it.


PS: The Super Bowl trophy will be back in New England when all is said and done

Sammy said...

I voted for the Titans and last nights loss doesn't change my thoughts on that as they took the powerful Steelers to OT.

Reason, One of the best coaches in the NFL, always has a great defense and we know that defense wins championships, and two good RB. Their offense could probably use some work as they are only adequate at QB and WR positions but in the NFL sometimes you only need to score 13 points to win. Proof of that is last night.

If Bironas connects on those two field goals last night they come out of Pittsburgh with the win. Not an easy achievement by any stretch.