Thursday, January 31, 2013

This And That

Is it safe to say that as the calendar turns into February that I have had enough of winter? Am I alone in that thought? We are a tough, hearty bunch in Saskatchewan but this minus -45 degree weather is a little extreme is it not? Thank god we are getting temperatures that while still minus are in the single digits.

What knuckledraggers leave their animals out in this cold weather? Are these the same knuckledraggers that leave their dog in the car when its 30 above too. Anyone who is caught leaving their house pet outside in these conditions should have the pet taken away. Just my two cents on that! Agree? Disagree?

Did you watch Geroy Simon's press conference on Geroy certainly makes it sound as if he wants to be a Rider and is excited at the opportunity to keep his career going in green and white. One of the things I liked is he said he wants to be a part of the community and that he is moving his family here. I have to wonder if he got an endorsement from former teammates Barron Miles and Jason Clermont. Clermont is a Regina native as you know, but I wonder if Miles told Simon what a great place this is to be and that moving the family here would be worth it.

An interesting question was asked of me this past week and I didn't really have the answer. I don't know if Rod Pedersen would be able to answer the question either. The question was "Who's the most famous guest you have had in the Cage?" We have had a lot of NHL'ers, CFL'ers, NFL'ers along with some pro wrestlers and various media personalities along with others in the Cage, but I don't know if there is one that stands out. As I said, Rod is probably the best person to ask because I'm sure he has had someone on that I am forgetting about.

How about the toughness of Pats p x p guy Phil Andrews! Phil is a little sore these days after crashing hard into the boards during the skills competition on Monday night. He was in the fastest skater competition and he took a header after his skate hit the net. He says his back and shoulder are a little sore. I'm thinkin they are a lot sore.

It was cool talking to Mark McMorris the other day. I don't know if this kid realizes what a star he has become. He's only getting started.

I'm taking the Ravens on Sunday to beat the 49ers. If you want a score, I will say 24-13. Ray Lewis will go out a winner in his final game. It might also be the final game for Ed Reed and Joe Flacco will get that elite quarterback status that Eli Manning got a couple of years ago after he led the Giants to a Super Bowl win.

Its great to have finally secured a parking spot downtown. Its not so great going into my lot and finding it full meaning I have to find another spot--especially when the lot I am in has plug-in service. Oh well, at least I don't have to go to the machine every day to make a payment seeing its now paid monthly.

I heard a Saskatchewan media outlet leading a sportscast with the NBA this week. Sorry, but to me and many others that's just wrong!

The Humboldt Broncos made a profit at the Royal Bank Cup. A profit of $125 dollars. OUCH!

Did the Winnipeg Blue Bombers approach the BC Lions to see what the asking price for quarterback Mike Reilly was? If they didn't, why? I am guessing two words----Joe Mack! Surely, the Bombers can't go into 2013 with Buck Pierce as their number one guy.

How many more days until Baseball's Opening Day?

Poor Phil Mickleson. A chance at a sub 60 round lips out on 18. A 60 is still something many of us can only dream of----unless we are just playing the front 9.

I want to try one of those indoor golf places. That looks like a good way to spend a Friday or Saturday night. Are they OK?

I was hoping gas would get down to that one dollar a litre mark at most stations, but instead of going lower, they went higher in Regina. SIGHHHHH

Have a good weekend! Enjoy the Super Bowl

U of R Action This Weekend

Home EventsWomen's Hockey – vs. Alberta, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Women's Volleyball – vs. Saskatchewan, Saturday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Hockey – vs. Alberta, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men's Volleyball – vs. Saskatchewan, Saturday (7:30 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Events
Women's Volleyball – at Saskatchewan, Thursday (6:15 p.m.) in Saskatoon, Sask.
Men's Volleyball – at Saskatchewan, Thursday (8:00 p.m.) in Saskatoon, Sask.
Women's Wrestling – at Wesmen Invitational, Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg, Man.
Track & Field – at Bison Classic, Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg, Man.
Men's Basketball – at Calgary, Friday (6:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men's Hockey – at Alberta, Friday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Edmonton, Alta.
Women's Basketball – at Calgary, Friday (8:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Women's Basketball – at Calgary, Saturday (5:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men's Basketball – at Calgary, Saturday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Calgary, Alta.
Men's Hockey – at Alberta, Saturday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Edmonton, Alta.

Women's Hockey (CIS Ranking: No. 10) – The Cougars (15-7-2) had a home-and-home against Saskatchewan last weekend, winning 4-2 on Friday in Saskatoon and losing 4-3 in overtime on Saturday in Regina. The U of R moved past Alberta into second place in the Canada West standings with 32 points, one ahead of the third-place Pandas. The Cougars can clinch a first-round bye with a pair of regulation wins over Alberta this weekend, as the two teams clash on Friday and Saturday at The Co-operators Centre.

Women's Volleyball – The Cougars (3-15) lost twice to Manitoba last weekend in Winnipeg, falling in three sets in afternoon matches on both Saturday and Sunday. Just four matches remain on the Canada West schedule, including a home-and-home this weekend with Saskatchewan that will see the teams play in Saskatoon on Thursday night and at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport in Regina on Saturday.

Men's Volleyball – The Cougars (2-16) suffered a pair of road losses over the weekend in Winnipeg, as they were defeated on Saturday and Sunday by No. 4-ranked Manitoba. The U of R is back in action on Thursday night with a game against Saskatchewan in Saskatoon before hosting its final home match of the 2012-13 season on Saturday night against the Huskies.

Women's Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 3) – The Cougars improved their Canada West record to 14-2 after a pair of home wins over Alberta, winning 78-63 over the Pandas on Friday and following that up with a 74-61 win on Saturday. Lindsay Ledingham hit a major career milestone during Saturday's game, becoming the 10th player in U of R history to score 1000 career points. The Cougars have a huge road weekend coming up against No. 8 ranked Calgary, as the two teams are tied for the Prairie Division lead. Catch the action live at

Men's Basketball – The Cougars (6-10) lost 79-65 to Alberta on Friday night, but recovered for a 76-75 win over the No. 4-ranked Golden Bears on Saturday night in a thriller at the CKHS. Saturday's win was due in no small part to the late efforts of Darius Mole, who hit three huge triples down the stretch and scored 11 points in the final period alone as the Cougars erased a deficit that reached as much as seven points in the fourth. The Cougars have road games against Calgary (9-7) upcoming on Friday and Saturday.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars (12-9-3) collected three out of a possible four points in a home-and-home against No. 5-ranked Saskatchewan over the weekend, recording a come-from-behind 5-4 shootout win on Friday night in Regina and losing 5-4 in double overtime on Saturday in Saskatoon. The Cougars remain in sixth place in the Canada West standings, two points behind fifth-place UBC and three points back of fourth-place Calgary. They're back at it this weekend with a pair of road games against No. 2-ranked Alberta.

Track & Field (Women's CIS Ranking: No. 10 / Men's CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The Cougars sent a small roster to compete in the Sled Dog Meet in Saskatoon over the weekend. Chantelle Labrecque led the way for the Cougars with second-place finishes in the shot put and the weight throw, while Iain Fyfe placed third in the 1500-metre run. The Cougars will send a full squad to the Bison Classic this weekend in Winnipeg.

Swimming – Samantha Bancescu took home only the second conference medal in the history of the U of R's women's swimming program over the weekend, placing third in the 100-metre backstroke on Sunday at the Canada West Championships. She also set school records in the 100-metre and 200-metre backstrokes and qualified for the CIS Championships, while accumulating 38.5 team points for the Cougars at the meet. Jessica Winter also had a strong meet for the women's team as she racked up 46 points, while Quinn Moore led the men's side with a team-leading 31 points. The CIS Championships are scheduled for Feb. 21 through Feb. 23 in Calgary.

Women's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 3) – The Cougars return to the mats this weekend at the Wesmen Invitational, which will be hosted on Friday and Saturday by the University of Winnipeg. After this weekend, the team will prepare for the 2013 Canada West Wrestling Championships on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 in Edmonton.

Reilly Is An Eskimo

The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club acquired import quarterback Mike Reilly from the BC Lions.

Reilly joins the Eskimos after three seasons with the Lions where he completed 55 of 77 passes (68.8%) with four touchdowns. He also carried the ball 34 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

“Mike has the chance to be an elite quarterback in this league,” says Eskimo GM Ed Hervey. “This is a step toward stabilizing our quarterback position.”

Reilly, who under the terms of his contract would have been eligible for free agency in February, has signed an extension with the green and gold. As per club policy, the terms of the contract are not disclosed.

In addition to Reilly, the Esks acquire the Lions’ second round pick (14th overall) in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft in exchange for Edmonton’s second round pick (11th overall) in the 2013 CFL Canadian Draft and a second round draft pick in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft.

Riders Sign Three

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that non-import linebacker Aaron Crawford, import linebacker Brian Peters and import defensive back Terrell Skinner have signed with the team.  Financial details of the contracts were not released.


Crawford (6’4” – 260) returns to the Riders after spending a month on the team’s practice roster last season. The 26-year-old was originally drafted by the Toronto Argonauts in the 6th round (40th overall) of the 2012 Canadian Draft.  The Medicine Hat, AB native played his collegiate career in the CIS with the Saint Mary’s Huskies where he finished his senior season with 33 tackles.   


Peters (6’3 – 218) returns to the Riders after joining the teams practice roster for the last three weeks of the 2012 season.   The Pickerington, OH native originally signed with the Riders as a free agent out of Northwestern University.  The 23-year old Academic All-Big 10 honoree appeared in 52 games for the Wildcats while making 34 career starts. During his four-year tenure at Northwestern, Peters finished his collegiate career with a school record 301 tackles while adding 12 interceptions, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.


Skinner (6’2 – 212) joins the green and white as a free agent out of the University of Maryland. The two year starter with the Terrapins recorded 142 tackles in 44 career games. The St. Petersburgh, FLA native had a career high 67 tackles as a senior, receiving an All ACC Nomination and an invite to the 2010 Senior Bowl.


After college, Skinner signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent and attended 2010 training camp. In 2011, he spent time with the Indianapolis Colts after signing as a free agent and attended training camp.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Super Bowl 47 Primer

It all comes down to this.
On Sunday, February 3, the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will meet in Super Bowl XLVII (6:00 PM ET, CBS) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The game will mark the first time in any of the four major professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL) that brothers – Baltimore’s JOHN and San Francisco’s JIM HARBAUGH – will match up against one another as head coaches in a postseason game.
“I guess it’s pretty neat,” says John Harbaugh, who has eight postseason wins in his first five seasons, tied with TOM FLORES for the most since the 1970 merger. “It’s pretty cool. But it’s really about the team. It’s about the players. That’s what it’s about. It’s about those guys. The more we focus on those guys, the better it is for everybody.”
The 49ers (5-0) and Ravens (1-0) are a combined 6-0 in the Super Bowl. San Francisco won Super Bowls XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV and XXIX. Baltimore won Super Bowl XXXV. This is the 49ers’ first Super Bowl appearance since the 1994 season. The Ravens’ lone Super Bowl appearance came during the 2000 season.
San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens
Super Bowl XLVII will be the second Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXX between Dallas and Pittsburgh) in which each team lost its Conference Championship Game the previous year. In 2011, the 49ers lost to the New York Giants in the NFC title game and the Ravens were defeated by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be in the Super Bowl,” says 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker PATRICK WILLIS, who leads the team with 19 tackles in the postseason. “I’m really grateful for this.”
During Championship Game weekend, the Ravens and 49ers became the first set of road teams to win the Conference Championships since 1997 (Denver and Green Bay). In the second halves of their games, the Ravens (21-0) and 49ers (14-0) outscored their opponents 35-0. The AFC (47.7 million viewers) and NFC (42.0 million viewers) Championship Games ranked as TV’s most-watched programs since Super Bowl XLVI.
“This is a great moment for our team, for the city of San Francisco and the whole Bay Area,” says 49ers Pro Bowl safety DONTE WHITNER. “Now for the big one in New Orleans. We’re going to be ready.”
The Ravens defeated New England 28-13 at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship Game. It marked the first time that the Patriots lost a home game in which TOM BRADY started and New England led at halftime; the Patriots had been 67-0 (including postseason). In the victory, quarterback JOE FLACCO threw three touchdown passes, including two to wide receiver ANQUAN BOLDIN.
“Joe Flacco has been great at playoff time,” says NFL Network analyst and former quarterback KURT WARNER. “That’s when he plays his best football.”
With the Ravens playing in the Super Bowl, this is the seventh time in the past eight seasons in which a team that played in the Wild Card round has advanced to the Super Bowl.
The win at New England marked the sixth road playoff victory for Flacco, the most in NFL history. His eight postseason wins are tied with BEN ROETHLISBERGER for the second-most in a quarterback’s first five NFL seasons, trailing only Brady (nine).
Tom Brady
New England
Joe Flacco
Ben Roethlisberger
*Currently in fifth season
“This is just one of those things you dream of when you are a little kid,” says Flacco about advancing to the Super Bowl. “You watch JOE MONTANA and those guys in the Super Bowl. So to be here at this point is pretty special.”
Flacco leads the NFL in the playoffs with a 114.7 passer rating, which includes eight touchdowns and no interceptions. In NFL postseason history, the only quarterbacks to finish a postseason with at least nine touchdowns and no interceptions are former 49ers quarterbacks and Pro Football Hall of Famers STEVE YOUNG (nine touchdowns; 1994) and Montana (11 touchdowns; 1989).
Veteran linebacker RAY LEWIS – who was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXXV – has led the Baltimore defense. The Ravens joined the 2010 New York Jets as the only teams to defeat both PEYTON MANNING and Tom Brady in the same postseason. Lewis, who will retire after the season, leads the NFL with 44 tackles in the playoffs.
“Ray Lewis is a guy who has been here since the beginning of this franchise,” says Baltimore safety BERNARD POLLARD. “He’s a guy who is ‘The Raven.’ We all respect him. When he speaks, everybody stops, everybody hears him. He’s kept the team together. He’s kept this organization together in so many ways. We’re all in this together. We want to go win this thing.”
The 49ers erased a 17-0 deficit in the NFC Championship Game to defeat Atlanta 28-24. San Francisco is one of only three teams to win a postseason game on the road after trailing by as many as 17 points.
“We fought hard,” says 49ers running back FRANK GORE, who rushed for two touchdowns in the win over Atlanta. “We fought and we deserved it.”
San Francisco’s COLIN KAEPERNICK, who took over as the team’s starting quarterback in Week 11, has guided the team to a 7-2 record (.778) in his starts, including a pair of postseason victories. In those nine starts, he has a 101.2 passer rating (13 touchdowns, four interceptions) and has rushed for 440 yards with four TDs.

In the NFC Championship Game, he completed 16 of 21 passes (76.2 percent) for 233 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 127.7 passer rating. His 11.1 yards per pass mark was the highest in 49ers postseason history, besting the previous club record of 10.7 held by Joe Montana.
“He’s made great plays for us and stepped up big for us all season,” says 49ers Pro Bowl tackle JOE STALEY about his quarterback. “I’m excited to go into this next game with him.”
Kaepernick will be the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to start the Super Bowl in the same season as his first career NFL start, joining TOM BRADY, KURT WARNER and VINCE FERRAGAMO.

CFL News From Ottawa And Calgary

The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group today announced that Marcel Desjardins has been appointed General Manager of Ottawa’s new Canadian Football League franchise. Desjardins, a 19-year CFL football operations veteran, will be responsible for all facets of team operations in Ottawa, including coaches, scouts and player contracts.

“I’m delighted that one of the CFL’s most experienced and accomplished football operations leaders has agreed to become the architect of our new team,” said Jeff Hunt, President, OSEG Sports.

“As an Assistant General Manager with the Montreal Alouettes, Marcel played a major role in the design of three Grey Cup winning rosters and he oversaw one of the League’s most effective football operations teams. He has an ideal skill-set that’ll only grow in his new role with us, and I can’t wait to see the fruits of his labour when we kick-off a new era of CFL football in Ottawa in the summer of 2014.”

“I’m honoured and humbled by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a CFL team from the ground up,” said the 46-year-old Desjardins. “Jeff Hunt and the other team owners are committed to reestablishing a winning football tradition in Ottawa and reigniting fan passions, and to be able to contribute to that process is a dream come true.”

Prior to joining the Ottawa franchise, the bilingual Desjardins served 5-seasons as Assistant General Manager under Jim Popp with the Montreal Alouettes, winning Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010. He was responsible for scouting NFL camps, CIS football and some US college bowl games, as well as contract negotiations, salary cap management and day-to-day administration of the team.
Desjardins admitted he's looking forward to finally putting everything he's learned in Montreal into practice in Ottawa.
"It's done right there. (Jim Popp) has done a good job of structuring things," he said.
"Contiunuity means a lot at all levels, I honestly believe that. If you have the right people there, there's no reason to make changes. That's how the approach has to be here."
Popp also expressed his excitement for Desjardins in a statement released by the team.
“On behalf of the Montreal Alouettes, I first want to congratulate Marcel for obtaining the job in Ottawa and second, to thank him for a fantastic job in the way he has serviced the Montreal Alouettes,” said Popp. “Marcel is a real hero in the organization who doesn't get nearly enough thank you's that should go his way.”
Prior to his AGM role with the Al’s, Marcel, a native of Burlington ON., served as General Manager of the Hamilton Tiger Cats from August 2006 through the 2007 season. Prior to that, he served 5 seasons as Montreal’s Assistant General Manager and won a Grey Cup in 2002, and he served 3 previous seasons as the Al’s Assistant Director of Football Operations.
Before joining Montreal, Marcel spent 5 years at CFL headquarters in Toronto where, among other things, he helped transition the football operations department into the database age. He also ensured player contracts adhered to the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and was involved in other player personnel matters.

Marcel holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree with a specialization in Sports Administration from Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON. His experience in the sports industry prior to joining the CFL office included tenures with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League and the Canada Games Council.
"It's not about one person, you do it right, do it with the right people and if your thorough with the things you do, you'll have success," he said.
The Calgary Stampeders announced Wednesday the release of veteran receiver Romby Bryant.
“By releasing Romby now instead of waiting until Feb. 15 when he was eligible to become a free agent, we wanted to give him more time to explore opportunities with other teams,” said Hufnagel. “Romby has been a great player and a great person and I thank him for everything he has done for the football club.”

Bryant played 60 regular-season games for the Stampeders and had 210 catches for 3,025 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also made seven playoff appearances for Calgary.

A Locker-Talk Giveaway

As some of my Regina readers know, I co-host Locker-Talk on Access 7 with the gruff, but lovable Pete Paczko. We were supposed to have a give-away on last night's show, but we weren't told about it. So here goes....

The Regina Boxing Club hosts an Olympic style boxing card this Saturday  at the Riddell Centre at the U of R. The first five people to send us an email win a free pair of tickets - courtesy of Locker Talk and the RBC!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Chat with Mark McMorris

Regina snowboarder Mark McMorris is getting a lot of talk after his performance last weekend at the Winter X-Games. I caught up with McMorris and had this chat with him that appeared on CKRM's "Sportscage" Tuesday afternoon.

Broncos Bus Crash Book To Be Turned Into A Movie

January 29, 2013 (Regina, SK) Trilight Entertainment Inc. is pleased to announce it has
optioned Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos (Dundurn,
2012) and will produce a live-action feature film adaptation of the book. Award-winning
Saskatchewan writer/director Rob King (Corner Gas, Hungry Hills) is on board to pen the

Described by the Globe and Mail on February 2, 2008 as “The Most Amazing Hockey Story
Ever”, the incredible-but-true saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos is brought to life in
Sudden Death. After a tragic game-day bus accident left four of its star players dead, the
Broncos made headlines across Canada when the team rebounded and won the prestigious
CHL Memorial Cup only two years later.

Sudden Death is a spellbinding collaboration between three individuals with a unique
connection to the unbelievable story: Bronco’s defenceman Bob Wilkie, WHL historian
Gregg Drinnan, and Leesa Culp, the lone female witness to the infamous crash.

“We are extremely happy that we have been able to secure the option for this book,” states
Shayne Putzlocher of Trilight Entertainment Inc. “The story of these players, and the
community of Swift Current, overcoming such a huge adversity has always been
overshadowed by other very publicized events. It is time to have their story told.”

“It’s just a shame that due to recent decisions made by the Saskatchewan government and its
continuing promotion of instability in the Saskatchewan film industry, we have to look at
other jurisdictions in Canada to shoot this amazing story, which took place in none other than
the Premier’s hometown,” says Trilight Entertainment Inc.’s Holly Baird.

“Sudden Death is a remarkable story of loss and survival that resonates just as strongly now
as it did twenty-seven years ago,” says Dundurn publisher Kirk Howard. “To have this
remarkable story turned into a movie will not only introduce it to a new audience, it will
ensure the legacy of the Swift Current Broncos.”

Stamps Keep Taylor

Calgary Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel is pleased to announce the re-signing of import kick returner/receiver Larry Taylor. As per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Taylor, who had been eligible to become a free agent on Feb. 15, is one of the most dynamic return men in the CFL having accumulated a combined 6,710 yards and six touchdowns on kickoff, punt and missed-field goal returns in 60 career regular-season games.

In 2012, Taylor was fourth in the CFL with 1,583 combined return yards despite missing seven games with a knee injury. He returned 44 punts for 484 yards, 44 kickoffs for 900 yards and four missed field goals for 199 yards and one touchdown. The 27-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product also had nine catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns and six rushes for 32 yards.

In the playoffs, Taylor amassed 364 all-purpose yards in three games.

“Larry is an exciting player and he has been a tremendous asset for us on special teams since he joined the Stampeders in 2011,” said Hufnagel. “His contributions on offence are also very valuable and I’m pleased that he has agreed to continue his career here.”

Taylor signed with the Stampeders as a free agent on Feb. 14, 2011, after starting his career in 2008 with the Montreal Alouettes. The University of Connecticut alum was the CFL’s special teams player of the year in 2009 and has played in eight playoff games — including three Grey Cup contests — during his career.

In 2011, his first year with the Stamps, he led all West Division players and ranked second in the CFL with 1,778 return yards.

“I’m glad to be remaining with the Stampeders,” said Taylor. “My family and I have really enjoyed being in Calgary the past two years and that’s why I wanted to stay here. This is a great team and a first-class organization.”

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Chat With Geroy Simon

Geroy Simon has had his first dealings with the Regina media since his trade last week from the B.C Lions. I spoke with Geroy Monday afternoon and if you missed it on the Sportscage, here it is....

Craven Partners With SJHL

What do Saskatchewan folks love more than country music? Hockey! It doesn't matter if you live on a farm, in a small town, or in a city, hockey is the pulse that drives every community in Saskatchewan. If hockey is the pulse, country music is the heartbeat! It was therefore inevitable to connect the storied SJHL and the World's Greatest Country Music Festival.

"It just makes sense," said Kim Blevins, director of marketing. "The hockey rink is the central meeting place for every community and we wanted to be visible in as many communities as possible. With twelve teams in smaller centres, it was a no-brainer for us to connect with the SJHL. Plus, the partnership allows us to do more than advertise in these communities. It allows us to help support an essential program that gives our youth the opportunity to further develop their skills."

"The SJHL is proud to partner with the Craven Country Jamboree", said Bill Chow, President of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, "We are particularly thankful that the largest tourist event in the province recognizes the importance of Junior A hockey and the communities that we represent. This partnership will result in significant contributions being made to the SJHL Education Fund where many of our hockey players will benefit directly in terms of scholarships and post-secondary assistance."

The partnership is mutually beneficial. Besides advertising opportunities, the Craven Country Jamboree will participate in several playoff games this spring, providing prize packages for each community. At the show, each SJHL team will be highlighted to 25,000 people per day on the main stage. Long-time hosts, comedy duo, Williams and Ree (with the help of local radio personalities) will introduce four teams each day, with jerseys from each team taken for signing by festival artists. Proceeds from the signed jerseys will benefit the SJHL Education Fund.

As well, during the second annual On the Road to Craven promotional tour with Williams and Ree, proceeds from some of the performances will go to benefit the SJHL team in that community. Watch for an upcoming schedule of performances and partner charities.

The Craven Country Jamboree is proud to support communities across Saskatchewan, and is excited to bring the strongest lineup yet to the Craven valley from July 11-14, 2013. Don't miss your chance to see Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, and the Dixie Chicks who chose the festival as one of only four appearances the group will make in 2013. Don't miss this historical event and be sure to catch more amazing talent like Brantley Gilbert, Scotty McCreery, Doc Walker, Phil Vassar, Chad Brownlee, Gloriana, and many more. The party of the summer is only six months away!

Tickets are still available at $159, but they won't last long. Visit to purchase tickets and camping. Don't forget about the EZ Pay option. Fans can purchase tickets and pay in monthly installments.  

Refs Tweet Gets Him In Trouble

A controversial tweet made by an Ontario Hockey League referee, apparently led to that official being replaced prior to Saturday’s Soo Greyhounds game at Essar Centre.
Joe Monette of Windsor, Ont., worked the Hounds Friday night game against the Windsor Spitfires here with fellow referee Ryan Hutchison.
But late Friday, at 11:34 p.m., Monette apparently posted the following on his Twitter account (@MONZY25): Soo Saint Marie, two words, Slim Pickens. #noteeth #hicktown #allfaties.
Scheduled to work the Greyhounds game the following night against the Oshawa Generals, Monette was not in attendance.
Instead, Hutchison refereed the game with Chris Carnegie.
Greyhounds general manager Kyle Dubas said he was made aware of the tweet by his staff on Friday night.
On Saturday morning, he received a telephone call from Conrad Hache, director of OHL officials.
“He (Hache) told me the league is aware of what happened and is handling it,” said Dubas.
Asked if that meant Monette was to be replaced for Saturday’s game, Dubas said he wasn’t sure whether Monette had been scheduled to work the Oshawa contest.
“But, obviously he didn’t do the game,” Dubas added. “And the other guy (Hutchison) did both games. I’m not sure of the particulars. I’m not going to speculate whether he (Monette) was pulled by the league.”
Asked whether he took offence to the referee’s comments, Dubas said: “It was an unfortunate thing to be said. But I wasn’t too upset about it. We had a hockey game to play. We have other things as an organization to worry about.”
Dubas also said he has confidence the OHL will handle the situation in the appropriate manner.
Attempts to reach Hache for comment Sunday were not successful.
At Monette’s home in Windsor, his father, Chuck, confirmed his son had been scheduled to work the Oshawa - Greyhounds game.
Saying his son was not home, Chuck Monette agreed to take a message requesting comment from Joe Monette.
A message was also left on Joe Monette’s cell phone.
Neither call was immediately returned Sunday.
At some point after posting the controversial tweet, public access to the @MONZY25 account was blocked.
The Hounds were 6-4 winners over the Generals after losing 3-2 to the Spitfires in a shootout.

Something To "Mitch" About

Congratulations to Jill Shumay's rink from Maidstone. They won the provincial Scotties womens curling championship beating Amber Holland and Stefanie Lawton Sunday to take the crown in Balgonie. On Wednesday night, Shumay beat defending champ Michelle Englot and she was asked if   that was an upset. She didn't get mad, but she reminded people that it wasn't and that she finished 3rd last year. In a province where there are so many great teams, no one thinks of the Shumay rink and she flew under the radar in Balgonie. She was the best rink on Sunday and her post-game interview with Arielle Zerr on Access when it was over was great because the raw emotion of what had just happened came through. I love that part of sports. 

Once again, the guys at Access did a great job in covering the curling live. That's no easy feat and its no easier when they ask some idjit like me to do play-by-play. All in all, it was good day in Balgonie and it may have been a prosperous one. I need to find out the 50-50 number because I think I had the last three numbers. I just don't if I had the first four or the right coloured ticket. 

The U of R’s Lindsay Ledingham made me feel old on Saturday night. Ledingham became the 10th player in the history of the womens basketball program to score 1000 points. Talk started on other players that have cracked that 1000 point plateau. I knew of a couple, but I got home and looked at the Cougar record book and saw the names. I remember most of those players playing and doing their games on Access.  Names like Jana Schweitzer, Trena Mott and Bree Burgess.  Yup, I’ve seen me a lot of Cougar basketball over the years in the Christine Stapleton, Jeff Speedy and Dave Taylor eras and I remember many of the great ones that have worn the uniform.

I've said it once on this blog and I will say it again. The Cougar basketball teams are very entertaining to watch. The women are fast and talented and while the mens team isn't going to be confused for a CIS champ this year, they are competitive and they can pull out some big wins as Saturday's one point victory over Alberta would attest. Its a cheap night out and its good basketball. 

Everywhere I went this weekend, people wanted to know about my thoughts on the Geroy Simon deal. Say what you will about what the Riders have done over the past couple of months, they are generating a lot of talk and that is just what the team wants. I don’t think its close to being over yet.  Speaking of Geroy, he will be on the Sportscage with yours truly on Monday night. He’ll be on around 630.

There are some that don’t think Geroy should wear 81 here because it was worn by Ray Elgaard. This just in…if the Riders are going to let guys like Freddie Barnes and Terrence Jeffers-Harris wear that number, they will let Geroy wear it. Should Barnes, Jeffers-Harris and others have worn 81 after Elgaard wore it?  Lets just say that’s another topic for another time.

When Corey Chamblin says he met Joe Lobendahn for the first time, he scared him. I wonder what Corey would think if he ever met Ray Lewis. For that matter, I wonder if Corey played against Ray Lewis. I will have to ask him that.

One Rider fan told me this week he can’t wait till June. I told him I can’t either, but my reason is it will be a helluva lot warmer than it is now. I know Environment Canada told us at CKRM back in early January that we were in the middle of one of the snowiest, coldest winters that we’ve had in a long time.  It will make spring feel that much better although I hope this snow doesn’t mean a repeat of the heavy floods that southern Saskatchewan and North Dakota had to endure a couple of  years ago.

The casino ad where the couple is in the restaurant and she breaks up with him in the way you would at a Montana’s or an Applebees when its your birthday is outstanding. They are a thousand times better than the lame Tim Hortons ads that you see. Perhaps Tims needs to find a new advertising agency.

Regina radio lost a major talent this week as Seanna Jefferson gave up her post at the WOLF to take a job at the BEAR in Edmonton. Seanna was “unique” in her ways and if you listened to her, you know what I mean.  I hope the Alberta capital is ready for “Pantless Thursdays” and whatever else is cooking up in that mind of hers. She will knock Edmonton on its ass and as I wrote on her goodbye card, she will probably become Mrs. Jordan Eberle.

The Oilers are close to having a 700 million dollar stadium built. 700 million! That makes our 278 million dollar facility look piddly dont’cha think. Is each seat going to be lined with gold. It will do for Edmonton what other new rinks and buildings have done and that is make the city better.

Those against the stadium in Regina are upset with the city’s plan to close some pools saying they won’t find the money to keep them open, but they will find the money to build a stadium. This just in-----pools won’t do one ounce of good when it comes to money and other benefits that will come pouring in from the new facility at Evraz Place. Losing a couple of pools means nothing to me. Yes, I understand to some that is a big deal, but in the end, a pool and its benefits doesn’t even come close to the positives that the new facility will bring. 

If the SJHL wants to re-align and create new divisions that’s fine, but not having Humboldt in the same division as Melfort and Nipawin and not having Notre Dame in the same division as Weyburn and Estevan doesn’t make sense to me. I thought the current divisional format was fine and so did some of the coaches in reading Ian Hamilton’s Saturday story in the Leader-Post  Hopefully they can get everyone on the same page and make that league what it used to be. 

Why is it in the NHL a guy gets crushed by a good hit and moments later the guy that delivered the hit has to drop the mitts because someone comes in to “protect” the player that has been hit? Someone needs to give me a valid explanation as to why this occurs.  The NHL really needs to crack down on this.  Kicking the guy out and giving him a one game suspension would be a good start.

There is only one thing wrong with Jack Keaton’s. That is its in the northwest end where my travels don’t take me very often. They took me up there Saturday and I stopped in knowing when I left that I would be full and extremely satisfied. Lets just say I was right. Their chow is simply outstanding.

Speaking of restaurants, a friend of mine had told me I had to try this little place on Broad Street called “Brownbag Deli” because they made homemade soups and sandwiches. I checked it out last week since it’s a hop, skip and a jump from Harvard headquarters and it met up to expectations. I find out Saturday night that Friday was their last day of business and that they are moving elsewhere. SIGHHHHHHHH!!!!

The Pats need wins and lots of them as they start the final third of their season. I hope they can make a serious playoff push in the final 22 games, but they are running out of time. I hate to say it, but they may be on the outside looking in again come playoff time. I really thought they would be a lot better this year, but those injuries they suffered in the first half of the season is something that looks as if it could be the knockout punch. Its not over till its over though and I’m sure Pat Conacher will have his guys working hard for as long as they are still in contention and then some.

Rumour has it High Impact Wrestling doofus-extraordinaire Rex Roberts will be appearing on a future “Locker-Talk” to promote the February card.  Hey, I didn’t say all Locker-Talks were good ones.  Perhaps I’ll ask the dumb cowboy how many ceiling tiles there are on the roof of the Victoria Club since he’s counting them a lot of times when he is laying on his back getting the three-count.  Is there no one better to promote the show? Oh well, I guess you gotta take the good with the bad. Maybe Rex should go on “The Lamb of Love”! Speaking of Access, I was asked if I knew the whereabouts of comical duo James and Kevin who made themselves famous thanks to Access. I think James is still in Regina, but I have no idea where Kevin Allardyce is these days. Do you?  Those guys were funny! Can we get a reunion tour or show from them?

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Down To Three

The provincial womens curling champion will be decided in Balgonie this afternoon.

Jill Shumay of Saskatoon will take on Amber Holland of Regina in the semi-final game. The winner meets Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon in the final. Lawton advanced to the final last night by beating Shumay 5-4.

All of today's action will be shown on Access 7 live across the province starting with the semi-final at 1 and the final at 5. I will have the play-by-play with Mark Lane providing commentary and Arielle Zerr doing rink-side interviews.

If you don't have Access, I am guessing you can also see it on

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mark McMorris Continues To Shine

If the world didn't know who Mark McMorris was before, they should be now. The 19 year old from Regina is making the Winter X games his own with his efforts. Take a read!

Meet Geroy On Monday

Fans of the Riders will have an opportunity to meet the CFL’s All-Time leading receiver on Monday, January 28th at 4:00PM in the Rider Store at Mosaic Stadium. Simon will be on hand to sign autographs, pose for pictures and meet Rider Nation for the first time as a member of the Green and White.

SC Deciding Game Goes To OT

The 5th and deciding game of the Scruffy Cup final had to go to overtime to decide it and in the end, Wayne Gretzky's goal in overtime lifted the 84 Oilers to a win over the 76 Habs to take the title. Here's the boxscore.

Period 1
1:5683-84 OilersGoal scored by Glenn Anderson assisted by Jaroslav Pouzar and Mark Messier83-84 Oilers 1-0
2:3883-84 Oilers2 minute penalty on Raimo Summanen for unsportsmanlike conduct83-84 Oilers 1-0
9:2475-76 CanadiensGoal scored by Guy Lafleur assisted by Guy Lapointe and Larry RobinsonGame tied 1-1
16:5375-76 CanadiensGoal scored by Murray Wilson assisted by Larry Robinson75-76 Canadiens 2-1
Period 2
0:3983-84 OilersGoal scored by Paul Coffey assisted by Wayne Gretzky and Dave SemenkoGame tied 2-2
0:5283-84 OilersGoal scored by Glenn Anderson assisted by Mark Messier and Paul Coffey83-84 Oilers 3-2
12:1075-76 Canadiens2 minute penalty on Guy Lapointe for roughing75-76 Canadiens 2-3
13:5183-84 OilersPowerplay - Goal scored by Glenn Anderson assisted by Mark Messier and Paul Coffey. *** Anderson gets a hat trick! ***83-84 Oilers 4-2
15:5875-76 Canadiens2 minute penalty on Doug Jarvis for cross check75-76 Canadiens 2-4
Period 3
0:3975-76 Canadiens2 minute penalty on Serge Savard for high sticking75-76 Canadiens 2-4
6:1675-76 CanadiensGoal scored by Jacques Lemaire assisted by Larry Robinson and Yvan Cournoyer75-76 Canadiens 3-4
16:1375-76 CanadiensGoal scored by Murray Wilson assisted by Serge Savard and Jacques LemaireGame tied 4-4
Period OT1
18:5183-84 OilersGoal scored by Wayne Gretzky83-84 Oilers 5-4
Team Statistics
1975-76 Montreal Canadiens1983-84 Edmonton Oilers
Goals Scored45
Shots On Goal3937
Shooting %10.313.5
Powerplay Scoring0/11/3
Shorthanded Scoring0/30/1
Powerplay %0.033.3
Penalty Killing %66.7100.0
Powerplay Minutes2:005:41
Penalty Shots0/00/0
Faceoffs Won40/6525/65
Empty Net Goals00
Time Of Possession40:5537:56
Shots By Period
1975-76 Montreal Canadiens1579839
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers61310837
Player Statistics
DSerge Savard-247:480:382:0750:33102101000.012
LWSteve Shutt-337:071:220:0038:29657005271.400
RWGuy Lafleur-136:111:220:0037:335612104450.000
CDoug Jarvis035:180:001:4737:05631003537.512
DGuy Lapointe223:221:222:1326:5752301000.012
DDon Awrey-225:130:000:0025:1356100000.000
DLarry Robinson223:140:380:4824:4049003000.000
RWYvan Cournoyer216:560:385:4123:15381015183.300
DPierre Bouchard022:350:000:3323:0844000000.000
CPete Mahovlich-219:041:220:0020:26312007750.000
CJacques Lemaire216:480:382:5520:213431113572.200
CDoug Risebrough-118:110:001:0119:12341002166.700
LWBob Gainey117:070:000:3517:422630010100.000
LWMurray Wilson216:480:000:0616:5428420000.000
DJohn Van Boxmeer00:081:222:464:1614000000.000
DBill Nyrop00:000:002:552:558000000.000
LWYvon Lambert00:000:380:000:382000000.000
CWayne Gretzky134:570:000:0034:5757811111345.800
RWJari Kurri134:570:000:0034:5757400000.000
LWJaroslav Pouzar033:300:000:0033:3053301000.000
DPaul Coffey025:143:401:1230:0668312000.000
DRandy Gregg-122:443:400:0026:2450100000.000
DLee Jr. Fogolin024:590:000:4825:4756000000.000
DDon Jackson-122:202:011:1225:3350200000.000
DCharlie Huddy123:272:010:0025:2850200000.000
LWDave Semenko120:313:401:1225:2340001000.000
RWGlenn Anderson019:045:410:0024:4538530000.000
DKevin Lowe123:360:000:4824:2446300000.000
CMark Messier019:043:401:1223:563620381633.300
LWRaimo Summanen-117:002:010:0019:0130100000.012
CKen Linseman-117:090:000:4817:572910061037.500
RWKevin McClelland-117:000:000:0017:0026100000.000
CGord Sherven00:002:010:002:014000010.000
LWDave Hunter00:090:000:480:573100000.000
RWDave Lumley00:090:000:030:121000000.000
1975-76 Montreal Canadiens Goaltending
Ken Dryden3753286.578:510:00
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers Goaltending
Grant Fuhr3943589.778:510:00
Three Stars
1. Wayne Gretzky (Edmonton)
2. Paul Coffey (Edmonton)
3. Jacques Lemaire (Montreal)

Friday, January 25, 2013

James Patrick And Greg Marshall Have A New Home

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced today that they have signed import defensive back James Patrick.

Patrick, a 5-11, 188-pound native of Tuskegee, Alabama joins the Ticats after recording 227 defensive tackles, 18 interceptions and five fumble recoveries in 86 games over five seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Patrick enjoyed his best season in 2010, when he was named a CFL All-Star and the Roughriders Most Outstanding Defensive Player after leading the league with nine interceptions.

“As a former all-star, James is a proven player in the CFL and will be a welcome addition to our secondary,” said Vice President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach Kent Austin.

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Eskimos have announced former Riders head coach Greg Marshall is their new defensive co-ordinator.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This And That

I think Riders coach Corey Chamblin might have said it the best yesterday when he said January could be considered Christmas for his football team. Santa has given the Riders a couple of nice presents this week. Like many of you, I didn't see George Cortez re-surfacing in the CFL with the green and white. Cortez is an offensive genius. He has a lot of talent to work with and I can't wait to see what opposition defenses are going to deal with when Sheets, Dressler, Getzlaf, Simon, Bagg and Smith are on the field doing their thing. Darian Durant can't have any excuses now and he could end up with one of his best years if not his best year on the field if he can play the type of game that Rider fans know he is capable of.

Riders GM Brendan Taman should be commended for getting Geroy Simon. As Taman stated, he didn't want Simon to go to free agency and he wanted him. Did the team spend too much for him? In my mind, I think they did, albeit not by much, but Taman wanted him and really in my mind he didn't give away a lot. Justin Harper has hands and size, but I didn't think he adjusted well to the Canadian game and who knows what the 3rd round draft pick will be and if it will pan out. The Riders look a lot better after this week and you know and I know they aren't done. Until the Simon trade was announced, I thought they might land Romby Bryant. They still could, but I think they now spend their money elsewhere.

I think the big winners in the Simon deal are Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf. Simon will create some more space for those two. We know what Dressler can do and we know what Getzlaf can do when he is the number 3 option as he had been when Andy Fantuz was here. Chris admittedly struggled in 2012 as he adjusted to being the number 2 guy. He gets back into a role where he is more comfortable. He should be a huge beneficiary of the Simon move.

I'm guessing Geroy will wear #81 as a Rider. I wish the team would have retired #81 by now as Ray Elgaard  should have been the last one to wear that number, but he's not. SIGHHHHH!!! I'm guessing Ray could care less and probably doesn't mind if a future hall of famer wears the number that helped get him into the CFL Hall of Fame.

I wasn't surprised to see James Patrick released. Patrick had a great 2010, but his play really tailed off in 2012. If you are making the $$$, you have to perform and he wasn't. I was surprised to see Sandro De Angelis get released. I thought he had done a good enough job to at least get a training camp invite. It would be my guess that Coach C wants Chris Milo to handle all three kicking duties. That will open up another Canadian somewhere.

Montreal Alouettes owner Bob Wetenhall has invited potential head coaching candidates to his Florida home so he can decide who Marc Trestman's replacement will be. Why couldn't Wetenhall do this in Montreal? I'm sure there are several hotels where candidates could have stayed. Why is it all leagues and teams seemingly have meetings in warm weather locales. I wish Ryan Whippler and Ryan Pollock would call a meeting with their Riderville writer in some nice place where we could get in a quick 18 while discussing how to take on the next year. Who's kidding who, we don't even have that meeting at a Tim Hortons!

Its been a great CFL off-season. We've seen Marc Trestman go to the NFL, Kent Austin come back to Canada and Geroy Simon switch teams.. Who saw that coming? We've got the draft and free agency coming up as well. Its great to see the CFL continue making headlines when the season is over.

The people of Balgonie should be very proud of their rink. I entered into the Stardome for the first time on Wednesday night as I checked out Draw 2 of the provincial Scotties. Its a nice little facility and its one that if the SJHL ever thought of expanding would be a great place to do so. I know they have a Junior B team there as well, but reach for the sky if you can.  The only thing I didn't see was a good pressbox. There is ample opportunity to build one if they have to though.

I saw a news release from a somewhat credible organization that just made me shake my head this week. Not only was it four days late, but it may have been one of the worst written things I have ever seen. If this organization thinks its helping itself by putting stuff out this late and this bad, good for them. I just shake my head.

I know they are setting it up to make it look like John Cena vs the Rock 2 at Wrestlemania, but for some stupid reason I don't see Cena winning the Royal Rumble Sunday night. I do see the Rock beating CM Punk.

I think many of you will agree when I say Old Man Winter can _______ right off for this year. I've had enough and we haven't even hit the end of January yet. This is one of the worst winters I can remember. I can only hope we have a bug-free warm summer to make up for it. I won't hold my breath waiting.

How historically bad have the Toronto Raptors been? Demar DeRozan hit a buzzer beater Thursday night to beat Orlando. Its the first buzzer-beater the Raptors have had in six years.

Talk by Jerry Rice and Tim Brown that Raiders coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the team before their Super Bowl loss to Tampa is just laughable, For guys like Rice and Brown to make the accusations only cheapens their reputation. I can't see any coach ever ever getting to the big game and then throwing it just because of the respect you have for the other coach. Lets just say I can't see John Harbaugh sabotaging Baltimore's efforts against San Fran just so that his little brother can have a moment in the sun and vice-versa! Here's the reason you lost Tim and Jerry. Your QB sucked and Jon Gruden knew exactly what you were doing!

One more thing. The Edmonton Oilers will be a treat to watch this year, but Nail Yakupov had better learn when is the right time to celebrate the way he did last night. Moments after getting jobbed on a potential game-tying goal in the final minute by a referee who seemed to make it all about him, the Oilers scored with 4.4 seconds left on a goal by Yakupov sparking this...

I am all for kids being excited and it was a big goal, but it was GAME 3 of the regular season. If that's a playoff game and thats an overtime winner, go nuts young man because you deserve to. Jarrett Stoll let it be known after the game that the Kings weren't too happy with that act and I'm guessing Drew Doughty can't wait till Nail comes across the blueline. The kid is going to get a reputation and he will pay for it with an elbow here and a stick there if you know what I mean.

That's all I got. Have a great weekend! Stay warm!