Sunday, December 2, 2012

Something To "Mitch" About

I’ve been covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders for many, many years both as a member of the media and writing articles for them. You get to know the players pretty well when you see them just about every day for six months. I don’t know what it would be like to go to a practice or a game knowing a player had done something as heinous as what Kansas City Chief linebacker Javon Belcher did Saturday. I really don’t want to. There are so many things I could write about what happened Saturday, but it would take forever.

How could the Chiefs play a game after one of their teammates committed suicide and murdered his girlfriend just over 24 hours from game day? How could the NFL not step in and postpone the game for 24-48 hours. How could Coach Romeo Crennel not have the sight of one of his players committing suicide right in front of him? How could they win? I didn’t know what to expect of the Chiefs in their game against the Carolina Panthers. It was a game that I don’t think anyone wanted to play, but its something that had to be done and with all the adversity staring them right in the face, they won.

For some sick, twisted reason, I also wonder why Belcher did what he did. He sounds like he had every intention of killing himself after murdering the mother of his three-month-old child who sadly will never get to know his mom and dad, but hear stories of what happened to them. Why did he drive to the Chiefs facility? Please tell me he wasn’t going to go in and start firing at teammates and staff. After it had all passed, I couldn’t help but wonder if Javon Belcher will be a modern-day Chris Benoit. Did he have the same demons in his head that the former Stampede and WWE wrestler had when he killed his wife and small son before committing suicide. It’s a story that I hope I’m never close to and I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that. Its also a story where sadly a young woman's death is overshadowed.


There are great football games and then there are GREAT football games. The Alabama-Georgia SEC championship game was in that latter category Saturday night. Two of the best teams in US college football went at each other for 60 minutes of what might have been one of the best football games I have ever seen. I taped the 2nd half because I was going out Saturday night and watched a game where I knew the end result Sunday morning. It still had me glued to the screen. You add that to the ends of the Seahawks-Bears, Colts-Lions and Niners-Rams game and it was a great Sunday of watching football.


Colts QB Andrew Luck is everything that was advertised. Scouts said this guy would and could be the next Peyton Manning when Indy took him first overall and he is early on. It will be very interesting in five years to see where the rookie class of 12 is as Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson are turning the NFL on its ear. Wilson is not as flashy and dramatic as the other two, but he gets the job done as evidenced by his performance in Chicago.


On the other end of the scale, who is Ryan Lindley and can someone honestly tell me that guys like Travis Lulay, Drew Tate, Ricky Ray and Darian Durant couldn’t do a better job of quarterbacking an NFL team than Lindley. For that matter, you can add Greg McElroy of the Jets to that equation. Perhaps you can add Mark Sanchez to that list too after his effort yesterday. Some of these puds that throw a pass in the NFL make me wonder if they would ever come close to succeeding in the CFL and then I think of Cleo Lemon. You can’t tell me that there are CFL starters that shouldn’t be on NFL teams whether it be as a number 2 or 3 signal-caller.


The Fraser Valley basketball teams will be going home with a story to tell. The BC university played in Brandon Friday and had plans to come to Regina after the game only to get to Virden to find out the highway was closed because of freezing rain. They arrived in Regina for their games against the Cougars around 530 with the womens game starting about 45 minutes late. It is my understanding that had the games been postponed or had Fraser Valley wanted to wait to play, that the games would have went early Sunday morning. Yeah, that would have been fun! Thankfully it didn’t happen.

With Movember being done, is there a way to blend Movember into "Decembeard"?

I didn’t know until Rob Vanstone mentioned it on Saturday in his “Robservations” column that Liam Stewart, an 18 year old forward for the Spokane Chiefs, was the son of legendary rocker Rod Stewart. I knew the Chiefs had a Stewart on their team, but I didn’t know he was the son of music royalty. What Rob forgot to mention was Liam’s mom was supermodel Rachel Hunter who of course was once engaged to Yorkton product and current L-A King Jarrett Stoll. I wasn't at the game Saturday so I have to ask what kind of player is he. Is he a scorer or a grinder?


Rob also brought up another good point… that has made me laugh for the last couple of months. Why are stores continuing to have hockey preview mags available for sale. GET RID OF THEM!!! They are now useless.

This just in---the Prince Albert Raiders are not like the Prince Albert Raiders like we've seen for the last few years. Steve Young and Bruno Campese are assembling a very nice hockey team. Is it any coincidence that they have started to get better since Dale Derkatch started working with them.
I like the job that Pat Conacher is doing with the Pats as they are once again a gritty bunch, but this team needs to start helping out goalies Matt Hewitt and Teagan Sacher. The Pats had 167 shots against them this weekend. Sorry, that won't win hockey games. Those kids must be sore --especially Hewitt. He has been without a doubt their MVP this year, but with Hewitt being a 20 and Sacher just 18, one has to wonder if there is any thought of trading Hewitt to a contender at the trade deadline if GM Chad Lang feels the right deal is there.

I filled up my gas tank at one of the discount places for 1.02.9 this week. Gas at some point in Regina may be sold somewhere for less than a dollar a litre. I never thought that would happen again. Bless you Costco! I may mutter under my breath at the long lines you have and the fact I can’t pay for purchases with my VISA, but bless you Costco!


There is going to be an Amazing Race Canada. Will it involve people wearing Stampeders and Eskimos gear trying to get from Maple Creek to Moosomin? In all seriousness, YAWWWWNNNNNN!!! Never really watched the show before and this won’t get me watching it.


NBA commissioner David Stern went wayyyyyyyy over the line by fining the San Antonio Spurs 250-grand for not dressing four regulars during a nationally televised game against Miami this week. I understand that the league wants the best product it has on the floor, but if Gregg Popovich wants to rest his starters against the defending champs or any other team, he has the right to do so. Popovich says his aging lineup needs a rest from time to time and this night was one of them. It sucks for those who bought tickets to the game in Miami wanting to see the Spurs best, but that’s the chance you take. The fact the Spurs were just seconds away from beating the Heat makes the fine even that much more ludicrous.
Q:What does a Toronto Maple Leafs fan do after he sees the team win the Stanley Cup?
A: He turns off NHL 13 and goes to bed.
Have a great Monday!


Anonymous said...

Just a couple of responses to some of your comments.

-I don't blame the Chiefs for playing as it took their minds off of something that will hanut them for a while for just a few hours. The grieving process for the player and the young woman now begins for the team.

--I hear ya with the NFL/CFL quarterbacks question.

--Gas at under a dollar would be a wonderful Xmas present and yes, thank you Costco.


Anonymous said...

Mitch, how is it the Pats can't do what the Raiders do. Regina was in the doldrums much like P-A, but the Raiders have found players to make a complete team of themselves. Is it a Parker thing, a Lang thing or is it scouting. Perhaps the team should have kept Ripper.

Anonymous said...

That's a terrible joke and one I will use often over the next couple of days!

Anonymous said...

To the guy complaining about the Pats. I believe they have eight regulars out of the lineup. Take eight regulars out of P-A's or anyones lineup and see what you get. That's an unfair criticism!

Steve said...

In regards to the Raiders & Pats, the Pats have been nowhere near as dismal as the Raiders have been the last few years.

Being a Raider season ticket holder for a while, I can tell you we haven't had a bona fide superstar like Eberle or Weal. McNeil is the closest since Chipchura like 7 years ago. It's taken a long time to put this together.

The Pats seemed to have a real good team attitude last year, kinda like what the Raiders have this year. It's tough to keep the focus going when things aren't working out like you want but they do have good coaching and management. It may take another year or two to get things back on track. Keep supporting them and they'll reciprocate by playing better. Don't give up or they will too.

Anonymous said...

Those NHL preview mags can just have the cover re-done and used for next year. Yes, an edit here and an edit there, but it will be sadly the same book.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity, what is the best football game you've seen played Scruffy. The Bama-Georgia game was good, but I can think of better--CFL, NFL and College.

Anonymous said...

I echo your thoughts completely on Costco!


Mitchell Blair said...

Best football games I've seen. I may have to use that in a future blog posting. Thanks for the idea!

Doug said...

Mitch, as has been mentioned in other discussions, the NFL and NBA played in NYC shortly after more than 100 people died when Hurricane Sandy struck the New York/New Jersey area. Given that, postponing one football game for a murderer would seem out of proportion.


Anonymous said...

Interesting analogy made between Belcher and Chris Benoit. I think its a stretch, but in today's world, you just never know.


75flyersbestteamever said...

Interesting sidebar to your Liam Stewart nephew roomed with him at Spokane training camp: (nephew was one of the final cuts,) and he told our family that Liam's dad was "one of those old guys singing in bars, or something" I think Liam is more Rachels boy than Rod's son by the sounds of it (17 year old nephew had never heard any of his music either,--youtube videos didn't ring any bells...sheesh, this younger generation