Thursday, February 28, 2013

This And That

John Hufnagel, what were you thinking? The Calgary Stampeders coach and general manager not embarasssed himself and his team, but the entire Canadian Football League by walking out on the Coach Of the Year luncheon just before Scott Milanovich was to be presented with the award.  I have never had a real problem with Hufnagel, but I just can't defend him here. What he did was wrong. There is no other way to put it. You just don't do what he did. The CFL needs to react. Hufnagel needs to be fined---not the Stampeders organization, but Hufnagel. The sad thing is I've never had a problem with John and have found him to be very co-operative. This really surprises me.

I can only wonder what their new president who has only been on the job for a couple of days thought of this little stunt that had to have left him red-faced.

Good on Scott Milanovich for making the most of the situation by asking if John had had the chicken or the beef at the luncheon. Deep down though, you know he had to be insulted and it will certainly create some great fodder when the two teams meet for a Grey Cup rematch. There is obviously some bad blood there as far as Hufnagel is concerned over the fact that Chris Jones went to Toronto much to the surprise of everyone in Calgary.


The CFL congress would have been interesting to witness as teams discussed making this league better not only on the field, but off of it as well. What was also great is the fact that they we didn't have to hear about the league propping up this team or that team or that they were trying to put out this fire or that fire as we have heard in the past. All seems to be rosy in the CFL and it would seem as if will be that way for a while. As a football fan in this country, you have to like that.


I think a lot of people are still shocked over what Marc Cohon did at the Press Box Sports Bar on Wednesday night. The CFL commissioner proved he is the coolest commissioner in all of sports by not only walking into the bar to mix and mingle with Rider fans and get their thoughts on the league, but to buy everyone a round. How much did that cost? To tell you the truth, I thought it would cost more. When Cohon tweeted what his plans for Wednesday were, I thought it would be standing room only and that some people might be turned away. After finishing co-hosting duties with Rod on the Sportscage Wednesday, I wondered  if I would be able to cram myself inside because of the crowd that I knew would be there. When I pulled in, I couldn't believe there wasn't a lineup outside the door. After all, not only was Cohon going to be there, but so was Global's Tom Vernon! Did some think there was no way they could get inside so they stayed home? I'm thinking that might have been the case.


I had a good chat with CFL director of officiating Tom Higgins about a long time pet peeve of mine when it comes to the CFL. Going back to the days of when Jim Daley was the officiating director, I wondered why there was no segment in which officials could discuss controversial calls and tell us why this call was and wasn't made. The NFL did that with Mike Pereira before he went to FOX. I think it would be great for TSN to do that on Friday Night Football. Lets just say I was surprised with the answer Higgins gave me. Speaking of Higgins, do yourself a favour if you haven't done it and go to Rod's blog and listen to the podcast of the interview that was done between  Higgins, Rod and Kelly Remple. Its outstanding on a variety of levels.

If the CFL allows players to "tweet' during games, they are opening a can of worms that they don't want to. I am 100 percent against this.


I know its going to be a part of common-day life in Saskatchewan from now on, but I gotta tell you that I'm not a fan of this 10 digit dialing for calls made within Regina. How many times have you gotten that message?


Congratulations to Regina Pats play-by-play man, co-worker and all around good schmuck Phil Andrews. Phil and his wife are parents for the first time having given birth to a baby girl on Wednesday night. Life will never be the same Phil. Enjoy each moment as it happens!  I was going to call Warriors play-by-play man James Gallo and tell him to buy a Warriors onesie for me for the newest member of the Andrews clan so that she could spit up, pee and poop all over it as only a little Pats fan can. However, I thought that might be what Phil would do so I never made the call.


Is Tim Tebow in the running to be the new Pope? Did Pope Benedict put some kind of blessing on the Cubs to win the World Series before going into retirement?


Someone needs to explain to me how a guy that is drinking and driving and kills four young men doesn't even get a year per life. How a judge in Grande Prairie, Alberta could give a sentence of three years for a crime that will haunt that city forever is just another example as to how soft our justice system is. This guy doesn't deserve any freedom for years. He will be driving again when he is 30. Is that right?


Graham DeLaet is showing last year was no fluke. The Weyburn native was the clubhouse leader for much of the afternoon at the first round of the Honda Classic and finished just one shot back of the leader. Here's hoping he gets another solid couple of rounds in and some TV time as well.


I heard some hockey chatter the other night with the topic being "What's the best rivalry in the game right now?". At no time did the answer Pittsburgh-Philly which is the best come up. OhhhhhhhhK!

The Extreme Hockey Regina Capitals and Traveland RV Storm renew their intense Prairie Junior Hockey League rivalry in the second round of league playoffs this week. The series begins Friday night in Pilot Butte. The series moves to the Ritchie Arena on Saturday night for game 2. The rest of the series is as follows:
Wednesday March 6, Pilot Butte
Thursday March 7 Ritchie
Saturday March 9, Pilot Butte
Tuesday March 12 Ritchie
Wednesday March 13 Pilot Butte
All games have a 7:30 start.


I'm really looking forward to the World Baseball Classic. I hope my Canada jersey comes before the first pitch is thrown

Speaking of Team Canada jerseys, the national womens hockey team is wearing a one time only black and gold uniform for an upcoming event. As TSN"s Darren Dutchyshen said when talking about this on Sportscentre, sorry, but my Canada is red and white. YUP! Said the same thing when the Canadian juniors wore green and white at the World Juniors in Saskatchewan. It wasn't right!

I love the idea of NHL re-alignment except for two things which is really one. Columbus should stay in the Western Conference and replace Winnipeg who would move into the Pacific Division with Canadian rivals Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. I think not having a Canadian rival in their division will hurt the Jets.

Heard a great discussion on "The Dan Patrick Show" about an openly gay athlete in a professional league and how sadly, we aren't ready for that. While no one would come out and say Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is the player that is being spoken about, it is becoming obvious by all the negative chatter that all of a sudden surrounds him that teams are looking to use any excuse they can find to not draft the young man who was a Heisman finalist when really we all know the real reason why. I don't think Te'o will have much of an NFL career unless this campaign against him that started with the baffling "dead girlfriend" story is turned around in a big hurry.

The Edmonton Oilers  beat the Dallas Stars???

The Cougar womens basketball team goes after a much sought after conference banner this weekend in Calgary. The Cougars have gotten to many a conference final only to see them ending up second best. I hope that changes this weekend starting tomorrow against Fraser Valley. You can watch the game by going
right here

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

Milanovich Named CFL Coach Of The Year

Toronto Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich has been named the 2012 CFL Coach of the Year. CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon presented Milanovich the Annis Stukus trophy at a luncheon today in Regina as part of the CFL Congress.

"On behalf of the entire league, congratulations on a remarkable year," Cohon said. "For a coach to do what Scott did in his first season as head coach is simply amazing."
After being hired in the off-season, Milanovich took over an Argonauts team that finished out of the playoffs in 2011 with a 6-12 record. In 2012, he led them to a 9-9 record, second place in the East Division and its first home playoff game since 2007.

In the playoffs, Milanovich's Argonauts defeated the Edmonton Eskimos at home and their rival Montral Alouettes on the road to earn a berth in the 100th Grey Cup in their own backyard.

The Argos completed their perfect post-season with a 35-22 victory over the Calgary Stampeders to capture the organization's 16th Grey Cup and first since 2004.

The CFL Coach of the Year award was voted on by 45 members of the Football Reporters of Canada.

"In a year that we celebrated many of our great players and coaches of our storied past, the 2012 season showcased the exciting players and coaches of our bright future," remarked Cohon. "Scott is certainly a part of that group and we look forward to seeing him on the sidelines for many years to come."

More on Scott Milanovich's 2012 season:

- Led the Argos to their first Grey Cup title since 2004.

- Joined Mike Clemons as only the second Argos head coach since 1952 to win three straight post-season games.

- Became the first Toronto Argonauts head coach since the formation of the IRFU in 1907 (105 years) to take a team that did not finish above .500 all the way to the Grey Cup title.

- His 9 regular season wins matched the Argonauts best record since 2007.

- Joined Adam Rita (1991) as the only Toronto rookie head coaches to win the Grey Cup since 1952.


Cohon Talks GC 101

As you most likely know, CFL commisioner Marc Cohon enjoyed a night out last night as he stopped by the Press Box Sports Bar to chat with Rider fans and buy the house a round. I had a chance to talk to him about Grey Cup 101 and what it will be like around here. As you will hear, Cohon is looking forward to next November.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The DH Debate Continues

With Interleague Play a constant presence from start to finish for the first time this coming season, the designated hitter's starring role in portraying baseball's split personality could draw more attention than ever before.

When the Mets travel to Minnesota for their Interleague matchup on April 12, they'll become the first National League team to trot out a DH so early in the regular season, and we'll see the DH dotting NL lineups throughout each of the season's six months in American League cities.

Considering the uptick in its use and the prospect of even deeper Interleague schedules in the future, the DH figures to be a topic of discussion as 2013 progresses. This uncharted territory, brought about by the balancing of leagues with the move of the Astros to the AL West, is bound to get people thinking -- and talking -- about the game's most debated position. Since the DH was instituted in 1973, and through the first 40 years of its use, opinions abound as to how far the no-defense, all-offense position should go, and whether it would ever go across the board and be adopted by the NL.

For a glimpse at some of the more educated opinions on the matter, sampled from baseball's different walks of life -- a manager, a club president, a general manager and a player -- to gauge their thoughts on the future of the DH.

To some, like Giants manager Bruce Bochy, the thought of the NL adopting the DH is something akin to blasphemy, a move that would take one of the last bastions of managerial strategy out of the game.

"It's a beautiful game with the pitcher being involved and the strategy that goes with it," Bochy said. "And there's the fact that a pitcher can contribute to the offense and do some little things to help himself.

"I think it's great that you get to see two different styles of baseball in two different leagues. I certainly wouldn't want a DH in the National League."

Bochy is among those who'd like to flip the script a bit and have the NL team use the DH in its own park in Interleague Play and have pitchers hit in the AL cities.

Nolan Ryan, the president of the Texas Rangers and a Hall of Fame pitcher with a .110 career batting average, sees it a little differently.

"I'd like to see [the DH] go away, but it will never happen," Ryan said. "With the strength of the [MLB] Players Association, I don't think they will ever let it go and let that kind of talent leave the game and [have] the position taken away from the game."

That being the case, Ryan is at the point where he feels the NL should come around to the DH, too, for consistency's sake.

"They should, if they are going to keep it," Ryan said. "I have a real issue with the disparity in the World Series and the disparity in Interleague Play. Both leagues are at a disadvantage depending on where you are playing. When you put pitchers out there running the bases, or they're not accustomed to running the bases or swinging the bat, you're opening the door to many things to happen."

As a general manager, Chris Antonetti of the Indians is focused on addressing the needs of his team more than the structure of the game, which he notes is mainly the domain of others. But as one of the game's decision-makers, he sees the DH as something that pretty much is what it is -- part of the game, and a bigger part for some AL teams than others.

"I think a DH position, I don't think that's going to change anytime soon -- the DH will exist," Antonetti said. "I think what players are filling those roles may have evolved over where it was five or six years ago. But if you have players who are exceptionally skilled hitters who aren't as adept in the field, or if putting them in the field may compromise their ability to hit, you'll still find places for them.

"David Ortiz has been such an important part of the Boston Red Sox despite being primarily a DH. When you have a guy who's that capable as a hitter, you'll be willing to make the tradeoff of losing some flexibility on your roster."

This past winter, Antonetti actually used the DH to create roster flexibility, with the Michael Bourn signing bumping Nick Swisher to first base and Mark Reynolds to DH in a merry-go-round of free-agent acquisitions.

As for players, the DH has its proponents and detractors -- and many who can see both sides.

One of those is D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel, who began his career with the Twins in the AL. There, the DH was a way to get him in the lineup, and he filled that role 85 times in 2008 and 82 times in '09 before gaining more time in the outfield. He had just six appearances at DH in 2012 with Arizona in Interleague Play, playing a career-high 125 games in the outfield, almost all of it in left.

"I wouldn't want to [be a DH] all the time," Kubel said. "It's nice to get a little bit of a breather every now and then, but to do it every day, it's boring and you end up sitting there dwelling on your last at-bat if it didn't go so well."

Count Kubel among those who appreciate both sides of baseball's DH coin and enjoy both styles of play.

"I like them both," Kubel said. "It's hard to explain, but there's just a little more let-up in the National League for pitchers, and in the AL, you have to focus on everybody. I like either way. They're different."

For the foreseeable future, this much is known: The Major Leagues will continue to enjoy the difference between the two leagues, doing it a little more often than ever before in 2013, and the DH will continue to play its starring role as the biggest difference of all.

This Is Why Sports Is Great

There are so many negative stories that swirl around sports that sometimes its hard to find the positives. You see stories like this and it restores the faith about how great sports can be. Take a watch and be prepared to leak some awesome...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Riders Make Foley Signing Official

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed non-import defensive lineman Ricky Foley. Financial details of the signing were not released.
Foley (6’3 – 245) will be entering his eighth CFL season after previously spending three seasons in Toronto and four with BC. Last season with the Argonauts Foley recorded 35 defensive tackles, five special team tackles and three quarterback sacks in 18 regular season games. The 30-year-old added three defensive tackles and one quarterback sack in two playoff games before helping lead his team to a Grey Cup Championship with four defensive tackles, one quarterback sack and one fumble recovery. He was named the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian.
The Ontario native was originally drafted in the 1st round (4th overall) by the BC Lions in the 2006 Canadian Draft after playing three seasons at York University. Foley appeared in 70 regular season games over three seasons with the Lions, winning his first Grey Cup in 2006 and being named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2009.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Where's The Schedule??

 Fans that have been waiting for the Canadian Football League’s schedule to be released will have to wait a little longer.
According to Jamie Dykstra, the league’s director of communications and broadcast, a perfect storm of scheduling snafus has the league unsure exactly of when its 2013 schedule will be released. The league is hopeful it will release its schedule next week, but Dykstra could not set a specific date.
“I think every year presents its own challenges and they’re all unique, but there are consistent factors that go into a schedule, too,” Dykstra said. “So, (things like) competitive balance, stadium availability, fan preference, TV schedule and team preference.”
A standard hurdle for the league to hop every season is co-ordinating the Toronto Argonauts’ schedule with Rogers Centre in Toronto, which houses Major League Baseball’s Blue Jays and numerous other events through the year.
“I don’t know this by fact, but it seems like that building is getting busier with more concert bookings and whatnot,” Dykstra said. “Then this year there’s more optimism, too, with playoffs for the Jays, realistic optimism, so that’s got to be taken into consideration as well.”
BC Place in Vancouver also poses similar scheduling issues, with its Major League Soccer team and housing other events throughout the year.
If you head down King’s Highway from Toronto to Hamilton, and concurrently in Guelph, Ont., where the Tiger-Cats will relocate next year as their new stadium is built, there lies another set of problems.
“This year there are additional moving parts and the ironic thing, the good thing is one of them comes from success. Hamilton is moving into a brand new facility this year, so this year they’re playing at Guelph where the Guelph Gryphons also play,” Dykstra said.
“When (the Tiger-Cats) played at Ivor Wynne Stadium, they had far more schedule control over dates that they could play on. That’s certainly one factor.”
CBC Calgary reporter Devin Heroux said on Twitter Saturday that he’d spoken with the CFL’s head of officiating, Tom Higgins, who had told him that there were lighting issues at Guelph University’s Alumni Stadium. The lights, he said, weren’t good enough for high definition TV and, as a result, the league was forced to draw up a schedule of daytime games for the Tiger-Cats this year.

Dykstra couldn’t confirm that, but did say there were other issues holding up the schedule, one of them being the potential return of a Touchdown Atlantic game in Moncton, N.B.
“We know that the fans are there, we know that fan base is there and we’re certainly interested in bringing a game back there this year,” he said. “But we still have a little more work to do on that. We hope as part of the (schedule) announcement, there will be an announcement there as well.”
Playing out of a temporary home already, the Tiger-Cats would be a likely participant in this year’s Touchdown Atlantic game. It would be the only ‘home’ game they would play away from Guelph this year, however.
Beyond the scheduling conflicts in Toronto, Hamilton/Guelph and Vancouver, Dykstra noted that televising every game without overlap requires co-ordination with rights-holder TSN. There are also tweaks to the schedules for teams that share venues with Canadian university squads (Calgary, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Montreal).
All of this to say that a schedule is coming, but no one is saying when, exactly.
“It’s one of those things where you hate to put a date on it,” Dykstra said. “One small change can have a large impact on the schedule. It is progressing and we do expect it out soon.”
The league has released its schedule no later than Feb. 28 in the last five years.

(Edmonton Journal)

Beatty Leaves La Ronge

One of the top coaches in the SJHL is leaving to head west.

Bob Beatty has resigned his position with the La Ronge Ice Wolves after nine years. He is off to Cowichan Valley in the BCHL where he will guide that franchise.

Beatty led the Ice Wolves to back-to-back SJHL championships in 2010 and 2011.

Something To "Mitch" About

I will never understand the allure of NASCAR racing. It doesn’t have the drama or excitement of Indy Car racing or F1 as far as I’m concerned. I can at least watch Indy and F1, but I just can’t watch “the good ole boys” doing their thing because it bores the living hell out of me. I tried from time to time to watch Daytona yesterday including the last few laps. The best thing about Jimmie Johnson getting the checkered flag was it was the end. No one made a bid for the lead in the last few laps. No one challenged Johnson. It was just turn after turn after turn after ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! In fact, the last two ends of the Scotties 3rd place game between Kelly Scott and Heather Nedohin was more interesting because there was some strategy involved and there was something being done instead of going around in circles. I know those that love NASCAR don’t like hearing that and I am sorry, but I just can’t get into the sport and I don’t know why there is such excitement for it. If you love it, good for you.
As for the curling, the torch was passed on Sunday night as Rachel Homan beat Jennifer Jones in the Scotties final. One has to think that the Jones rink will call it quits after the Olympics while the Homan rink likely won their  first of many Scotties and could indeed be the rink that represents our country at Sochi.
I have often said the coolest commissioner in pro sports today is Marc Cohon. CFL brass is coming to our fine city this week for the CFL congress. It will culminate in the CFL coach of the year luncheon happening. Cohon tweeted Friday night that he will be at the Press Box on Wednesday from 7-830 and that CFL fans should join him for a drink. Can you see Gary Bettman, Bud Selig, Roger Goodell or David Stern doing this. Cohon just gets it. The only thing is that I can’t see the old commish leaving the Press Box before 830 especially if Kevin Dureau and Jason White have anything to do with it.
Speaking of the CFL, someone I know who has some connections to the Riders told me the schedule will be released this week---perhaps as early as Monday seeing the CFL congress is here. This person also told me that 6 of the Rider home games this year will be played on a Saturday with 2 on a Friday and one on a Sunday. I'm a little doubtful of that. I can't see the Labour Day game being the only Sunday game of the season and I can't see the game being changed to a Saturday night because of the highly successful fan day that is held Saturday. My source has given me some info that has proven to be correct and some of that has proven to be incorrect. I will hold my breath on this one, but we will see. We will also see if the Riders are going to play in Touchdown Atlantic. If they do, it will be against Hamilton and I say why not! Its about time that the Maritime chapter of the Rider Nation got to see their team up close and personal. Hey Rod, can I come along on that roadie? That would be a great trip!

I've heard a couple of people say new Montreal coach Dan Hawkins will fall flat on his face because he has no CFL experience. Hmmmmmmm, the last guy Jim Popp had no CFL experience and he did quite well for himself.

I’ve had a few people ask me for some reason what I think of the Saskatoon Blades winning 15 games in a row. I say its great, but I also say it doesn’t mean anything right now. If you lose in the first round of the playoffs or the WHL final, no one will remember that down the road. I will also say that its about damn time the Blades started playing like a team that will be in the Memorial Cup. Enjoy the ride Saskatoon!
How can one possibly refuse buying this???

Congrats to Cougar track athlete Kelly Wiebe for a fine showing at the Canada West track championships in which he obliterated the conference record in the mens 3000 metres. Methinks Kelly is a guy that will soon be recognized at the national level as his future is bright. Watch for him at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Congrats to all the Cougar athletes who medalled this weekend as well.
Tough weekend for the Cougar womens hockey team. They were within a shot of heading to nationals on Saturday night, but they lost a heartbreaker in triple overtime to UBC to send their semi to a Game 3….a Game 3 that UBC dominated winning by a score of 7-1. It was a great year for Sarah Hodges crew and I would expect they will be back next year.
Motley Crue is coming to Moose Jaw and Estevan! Its amazing what positives can happen in a community when a new building is built. I'm guessing people in both would have never imagined that a decade ago. Well done to those who made that happen in both centres. I also think it is safe to say that Mosaic Place GM Scott Clark will have to file a restraining order against Kelly Remple very soon seeing two of his favourites are going to be on "home turf". The Silver Fox must think he is in a time machine!
I keep hearing people refer to Taylor Hall as the Oilers best player. ???? Perhaps its just my Regina bias coming through, but I think Jordan Eberle is the best player on the Oilers and not Hall. Speaking of the Oilers, when will the team go out and find some gritty forwards. I would love to see someone like a David Bolland, Troy Brouwer or Kris Versteeg wearing Edmonton colours. Someone that isn’t afraid to get their nose dirty. There’s a lot of talent on the Oilers, but they need those sandpaper guys to be successful too because at times they are just too soft especially in their own end.
So Curtis Granderson, how’s your season going?
My buds at Capital Ford Lincoln came through for me big-time on Friday. I needed a quick fix on my beast and a quick fix is what I got. I walked in at 910 and was at work by 1015. Thanks guys!
The Dennis Bermudez-Matt Grice UFC battle on Saturday night is perhaps the best UFC bout I have ever witnessed. That has to be a fight of the year candidate!
Why is Jim Hopson patrolling the crowd at High Impact Wrestling?

I don't really know who this person is supposed to be, but he thinks he's a someone at HIW. Sort of like Rex Roberts who once again didn't come through in the clutch. Thank you Thrillin Dylan!
Its nice that the Academy chose the Toronto Argos Grey Cup highlight film as the movie of the  year.

What's one way to avoid stress? Stop giving a you know what.
Have a great week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Local Angle To Daytona Crash?

It is the story of the weekend. Its the horrific crash that took place at the end of a Nationwide series race at the famed Daytona International Speedway where pieces of a car including the engine and a tire flew into the crowd injuring many.

There may be a Regina or a Saskatchewan twist to this story as one of the injured was wearing sone Rider gear. Here is the pic....


Does anyone know who this is? Here's hoping he's OK!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

This And That

Just an assorted collection of thoughts in no particular order of importance.

TSN showed why they are affectionately referred to as the "Toronto Sports Network" again on Wednesday afternoon. The CFL and the network agreed to do the 2013 Hall of Fame announcement live. However, the network had to lead with a preview of the Leafs-Buffalo game followed by one for the Habs game against the Islanders before getting to the CFL announcement. Would it have really killed TSN to drop hockey down in the nightly lineup for one night to give the CFL its due---especially when you are the exclusive home of the CFL. I understand TSN's bread and butter is hockey, but the Leafs game was not going to be on TSN that night and either was the Canadiens game. The CFL gets the short end of the stick again. The argument is made, people want to see the Leafs. Really? People in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver want to know if Ben Scrivens or James Reimer is starting. I don't think so. That argument is a weak one.

With the CFL Hall of Fame, how is it guys like Dave Dickenson and Kent Austin are not in yet a guy like Brian Fryer is? Brian Fryer? Yes, he was a part of five Grey Cups with the Eskimos, but Charlie Huddy and Lee Fogolin were part of the great Oiler teams that won Cup after Cup and they aren't in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The story of the 68 year old Regina man getting killed by a drunk thief who speeds through a red light is sickening. Why is this individual even going to court? Put this individual and his friend in a nice cell and tell him to enjoy it for the next 25 years because that is his home.


After a great start, it will be tough for Jill Shumay to make the playoffs at the Scotties. I don't think we expected her to challenge for the crown, but after a 4-0 start she had people talking. The Shumay rink has done quite well for themselves in Kingston and while the first half of the event will certainly be better than the 2nd half, they should walk away from the event feeling good about their performance.


I will be surprised if Jennifer Jones doesn't play Rachel Homan in the final of the Scotties. They have shown since early in the week that they are head and shoulders above the rest of the field.


I am 1 for 2 in Rolling Up the Rim. How are you doing?


It is time to show some Cougar love this weekend. The womens hockey team has a playoff matchup against UBC at the Co=Operators Centre while the womens basketball team has a playoff matchup against Victoria at the CKHS. Get out there and enjoy one of them. A win by Sarah Hodges team and they are off to nationals. As you know, Dave Taylor's lady hoopsters are already going to the Canadians seeing they are the host team.


No-good cowboy Rex Roberts takes on Robbie Gamble for the belt at the February performance of High Impact Wrestling at the Victoria Club tonight. While I won't be shocked to see Roberts win, I am hoping Gamble can keep the strap. I will be waiting for interference from Thrillin Dylan. DON"T LET ME DOWN DYLAN!!


Spring training has arrived. Baseball will soon be back!! Yes, this Cubs fan is excited for the season. I know its probably going to be another long one at Wrigley, but I am ready for the 2013 baseball season.

I do not know what the future of Pats goalie Matt Hewitt holds, but I hope for the young man's sake that he gets an opportunity to attend an NHL camp. He deserves one. I can't imagine where the Pats would be this year if it weren't for the play of the 20 year old tender.

I have often said the WHL is the best developmental league in hockey. The league proved that on Thursday with a release saying 156 of 778 players (20 percent) who suited up for an NHL game in the first month of play are WHL graduates. Add another 65 to that list when you add on front office personnel and coaching staff. The teams with the best representation are Calgary and Dallas with nine apiece.


With the Riders signing Carlos Thomas on Thursday, I would be shocked if you see Chris McKenzie back in a Riders uniform this year.

The poll question on the Canadian Curling Association's website Thursday was what superhero would make the best curler. The options were Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman and Iron Man. One of my facebook friends said "The Flash" would make a bad curler and then went on to say the best Superhero curler would be "Thor" because he always has the hammer. This makes me wonder about the quality of some of my Facebook friends. SIGHHHHH!!!


KISS might be coming to Moose Jaw? That is once again a sentence you could not say five years ago!


The two guys in the KD ads are just another example of Canada needing better and more creative ad agencies. How can anyone approve that schlock!


Watching the Minnesota Wild makes me want to go out and shovel the driveway. It would be more exciting. They may have added Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but they are still the trap-happy, sucking the life out of the game Minnesota Wild that they've always been.


The NFL Network's Rich Eisen will once again run the 40 at the NFL combine. Can the Riders have their media run the 40. The question is not who would win (my vote would go to Lee Jones), but who would have the slowest time. I could run a quicker 40 than Murray McCormick couldn't I. Then again as I've always said "In a race with a pregnant woman, I would finish 3rd".


How can you tell when you're getting old. You used to think about heading out to the club on Friday or Saturday night and now the only club I want to head to is Club Bed featuring MC Pillow and DJ Blanket! SIGHHHH!!!


Jays Add More TV Games From Spring Training

In response to unprecedented demand from Canadians for more Blue Jays coverage, Sportsnet and FX Canada today announced the addition of six Toronto Blue Jays 2013 Spring Training telecasts to their respective broadcast schedules.

Sportsnet has added the Blue Jays @ Philadelphia Phillies game on Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m. ET, which will feature Sportsnet’s broadcast team. FX Canada will provide coverage of five games starting with Toronto @ New York Yankees on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. ET. Rogers Cable customers will receive FX Canada in free preview during the Blue Jays broadcasts.

Sportsnet’s multiplatform Grapefruit League coverage from Florida begins on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT as the Blue Jays open the pre-season against the 2012 American League Champion Detroit Tigers on Sportsnet East, Ontario, and Pacific and on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Sportsnet’s Toronto Blue Jays 2013 Spring Training broadcast schedule includes seven games telecast on Sportsnet, 33 game broadcasts on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, and four games on Sportsnet 960 The FAN. Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s 33 pre-season games will also be streamed live online at

Leading up to the 2013 Major League Baseball season, Sportsnet is Canada’s ultimate resource for news, updates, and exclusive Blue Jays features across Sportsnet’s print, television, radio, digital and radio platforms. Sportsnet is the undisputed home of the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays and the exclusive Canadian provider of all 162 regular season games, as well as the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of the entire MLB Playoffs including the World Series.

FX Canada 2013 Spring Training Television Broadcast Schedule

· Thursday, Feb. 28, Toronto @ New York Yankees, 1 p.m. ET

· Thursday, March 7, Toronto @ Baltimore, 1 p.m. ET

· Sunday, March 24, Toronto @ Minnesota, 1 p.m. ET

· Wednesday, March 27, Toronto @ Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. ET

· Thursday, March 28, Toronto @ Philadelphia, 1 p.m. ET

Sportsnet 2013 Spring Training Television Broadcast Schedule

· Saturday, Feb. 23, Toronto @ Detroit, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, and Pacific)

· Saturday, March 2, Philadelphia @ Toronto, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Sportsnet Ontario, West, and Pacific)

· Sunday, March 3, Toronto @ Philadelphia, 1 p.m. ET (Sportsnet Ontario, West and Pacific; Sportsnet ONE)

· Sunday, March 10, New York Yankees @ Toronto, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific)

· Saturday, March 23, Atlanta @ Toronto, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Sportsnet Ontario, West, and Pacific; Sportsnet ONE)

· Friday, March 29, Toronto @ Philadelphia, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, and Pacific)

· Saturday, March 30, Toronto @ Philadelphia, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific)

Riders Add Two Imports

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import defensive back Carlos Thomas and import receiver Lyle Leong. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Thomas (5’11 – 185) has spent the last two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats appearing in 21 career games. Last season, the 25-year-old played six games registering 16 defensive tackles, one interception and one tackle for loss. He missed the remainder of the season due to injury.

After attending San Francisco 49ers training camp, Thomas entered the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders by joining the team in October of 2009, appearing in one regular season game. The Georgia native spent part of the 2010 season on the Edmonton Eskimos practice roster before being acquired by the Ti-Cats for 2011.

Leong (6’1 – 185) joins the Riders after a standout four year career at Texas Tech. As a senior, Leong lead the team with 926 receiving yards on 74 receptions. His team leading 19 receiving touchdowns ranks second on Tech’s all-time single season list. The 25-year-old finished his collegiate career with 152 catches for 1877 yards and ranks second on Tech career receiving touchdowns list with 32.

The Abilene, TX native spent time on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad last season.

U of R Action This Weekend

Home Events
Track & Field – at Canada West Championships, Friday and Saturday at Regina Fieldhouse
Women's Hockey – vs. UBC, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre – Game 1
Women's Basketball – vs. Victoria, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at CKHS – Game 1
Women's Hockey – vs. UBC, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre – Game 2
Women's Basketball – vs. Victoria, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at CKHS – Game 2
Women's Hockey – vs. UBC, Sunday (3:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre – Game 3 (if necessary)
Women's Basketball – vs. Victoria, Sunday (4:00 p.m.) at CKHS – Game 3 (if necessary)

Away Events
Swimming – at CIS Championships, Thursday to Saturday in Calgary, Alta.

Swimming – Five members of the U of R's swimming teams will compete in the 2013 CIS Championships this weekend in Calgary. Samantha Bancescu, Jessica Winter, Dale Hamilton, Quinn Moore, and Chris Myers will all represent the Cougars at the three-day meet, which starts on Thursday and runs through to Saturday. Moore is seeded in the top ten of two different events, including the 200-metre backstroke and the 400-metre individual medley. Check out for links to live video and live results from the championship meet.

Track & Field (Men's CIS Ranking: No. 7) – The Cougars host the Canada West Championships this weekend at the Regina Fieldhouse. Seven members of the men's team enter the meet ranked No. 1 in the conference in their event, including Jeremy Eckert (high jump), Lex Ewen (long jump), Tait Nystuen (300-metre dash), Codey Pakula (weight throw), Chris Pickering (shot put), Arthur Ward (triple jump), and Kelly Wiebe (3000-metre run). On the women's side, rookie Joy Becker is ranked first in Canada West in the long jump. Events are scheduled to run from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and 11:30 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Women's Hockey (CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The Cougars will host the UBC Thunderbirds this weekend in a best-of-three Canada West semifinal series at The Co-operators Centre. The stakes are massive – not only does the winner of the series advance to the Canada West final against the winner of the Alberta/Calgary semifinal, but also receives an automatic berth to the 2013 CIS Championship in Toronto. The teams will play on Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Game 3 – if it's needed – will be played beginning on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at and live video for the entire series will be available at

Women's Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 2) – The Cougars (19-3) jumped up one spot in this week's CIS Top Ten after they defeated Brandon twice on the road last weekend and Saint Mary's lost to unranked Acadia last Tuesday. The Cougars play host to the University of Victoria in a best-of-three Canada West quarterfinal series that begins on Friday night (7:00) at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. The teams will also meet on Saturday night with tip-off scheduled for 7:00, and will play a Game 3 beginning Sunday afternoon (4:00) if the teams split the first two games. The winner of the series advances to the Canada West Final Four, which will be hosted next weekend at a location to be determined. Tickets for this weekend's quarterfinal series are available at and live video will be available at

Men's Wrestling – Led by individual championships by both Golden Musonza (54 kg) and Steven Schneider (57 kg), the Cougars finished in third place in the overall standings last weekend at the Canada West Championships. Three other Cougar wrestlers also qualified for the CIS Championships, as Matt Fedler (68 kg), rookie Jacob Luczak (76 kg), and John Lendvoy (82 kg) all placed third at the conference meet hosted by the University of Alberta. The CIS Championships will be held on Mar. 1 and Mar. 2 in London, Ont.

Women's Wrestling – Lisa McKibben (72 kg) won her second career Canada West gold medal for the Cougars, who also finished in third place in the team standings at last weekend's conference championships in Edmonton. McKibben, Jillian Durant, Kristine Longeau, and Jasmine Slinn will all advance to the CIS Championships two weekends from now, as Durant (72 kg) and Longeau (82 kg) both won Canada West silver medals and Slinn (48 kg) took home a Canada West bronze.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars' season came to an end last weekend with a loss to the Manitoba Bisons in a best-of-three Canada West quarterfinal series at the Max Bell Arena in Winnipeg. Manitoba took a 6-2 win in Game 1 before clinching the series with a 5-0 win in Game 2. The Cougars – who improved from 13 points in 2011-12 to 29 points in conference play this year under first-year head coach Todd Johnson – are expected to return everyone to next season's roster with the exception of fifth-year defenceman Russ Nielsen and graduating fourth-year forward Ryan Sawka.

Men's Basketball – The Cougars finished the season with a 7-15 conference record after ending the year with a road split at Brandon last weekend, losing 68-54 on Friday before recovering for a 70-61 victory on Saturday. The weekend marked the last games in Cougar uniforms for fifth-year players Paul Gareau and Sterling Nostedt. Gareau ends his career with a .600 field goal percentage, the best of any University of Regina player that spent more than one season with the Cougars. Gareau also ends up sixth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1319 career points, while Nostedt's 131 three-pointers made stand as the third most in University of Regina history.

Lions Want 2014 Grey Cup

Batting orders are for baseball. But there’s nothing wrong with hosting the Grey Cup out of turn if the conditions are right, which is why the B.C. Lions are after the CFL’s 2014 championship game even though they only held the contest in Vancouver three years ago.

President Dennis Skulsky said Wednesday the fact the Ottawa expansion franchise won’t yet be in a position to take the game it was provisionally awarded was behind the recent application by the Lions to act as hosts.

It also doesn’t hurt, in Skulsky’s opinion, to have a remodelled B.C. Place Stadium to serve as a venue, and that the 2005 and 2011 games were deemed to be esthetic and financial successes.

Is it too soon between games? Not when the last two contests worked out so well, Skulsky said. Besides, in 1986-87, the Lions served as hosts and both games sold out at the dome.

“We’ve done a little research and the response we got was that people don’t mind having the game here every three to five years. Some people want it every year, but we’d be right in that range if we were successful,” said Skulsky. “We’ve got great facilities with the stadium and Vancouver Convention Centre, and we’ve shown we can organize well.”

With Ottawa unable to stage the game it was awarded in 2008 and no certainty of a rebuilt stadium in 2014 for Hamilton, the only other bid reportedly in the running at present is from Winnipeg, which is moving into a new facility this year, but is believed to have cost issues stemming from stadium construction.

“This opportunity came up because of the number of teams putting up their hands,” Skulsky said.

The B.C. bid only came up as a result of the provincial budget released Tuesday, in which a $2.7 million business development expense in the service plan was included for the 2014 bid to be used by the team’s landlord, B.C. Pavilion Corp.

The money has not yet changed hands, nor it is the first time the provincial Crown corporation has been involved in staging the game, with $2.01 million allocated to stage the 2011 contest, according to government figures.

For the last few years, CFL teams have been required to purchase staging rights for the Grey Cup game, reportedly in the $3 million range, and have greatly benefitted from the exchange.

Last year’s game at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, according to reports, generated $17 million in revenue and $10 million profit for Argos and Lions owner David Braley.

But Skulsky said the benefits for the region exceed the cost, noting the contribution of the B.C. government doesn’t come close to the $6.2 million given by the province of Saskatchewan for this year’s game in Regina, or the reported $9.5 million in federal and provincial contributions for events associated with the 100th Grey Cup last year.

The 2011 B.C. game produced an economic impact of $118 million. “If every time the government spent $2.7 million and turned it into $118 million, we’d all be better off,” said Skulsky.

The CFL holds its annual Congress next week in Regina, but the Lions are of a belief they will hear whether their bid will be successful in less than a month.

(Vancouver Province)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sabres Can Ruff

The Buffalo Sabres have relieved Lindy Ruff of his coaching duties, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

A 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the First Niagra Center on Tuesday night left the Sabres with a 6-10-1 record this season. Buffalo's 13 points are the fewest in the Northeast Division and tied for the third-fewest in the Eastern Conference.

Ruff, who played most of his NHL career for the Sabres, began coaching the team in 1997-98 and was the longest-tenured coach in the League. He led the Sabres to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final and had a career regular-season record of 562-452-84 along with 78 ties.

Ruff was also the second-longest tenured coach in North American pro sports next to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.

There is no immediate word on Ruff's replacement

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alouettes Hire Hawkins To Be HC

- Montreal Alouettes owner Bob Wetenhall and team General Manager Jim Popp announced on Tuesday that Dan Hawkins will become the club’s 20th head coach.

Hawkins arrives in Montreal following a long and successful career in the U.S. college ranks, including an impressive 112-61-1 combined record as a head coach at the college level, including stints with both Boise State and the University of Colorado.

“I am delighted to welcome Dan Hawkins to the Alouettes family as our new head coach,” said Wetenhall. “Dan comes to us with a distinguished coaching career in major US college football. Dan is especially well known in his profession for the contributions he made to the personal lives of his players as beyond just the science of football, he's by nature a teacher and an unusually fine human being.”

“During our selection process we have had extensive interviews with many fine candidates with an emphasis on candidates from Quebec, the rest of Canada and both the professional and college coaching ranks in the US,” continued the Alouettes owner. At the end of this process, it became clear to us that Dan was the best candidate at this time in the Alouettes history. We are looking ahead to his continuing the tradition of the Alouettes' success. Dan very well understands my three goals for the franchise, to institutionalize the Alouettes in Montreal, to make meaningful contributions to the community we serve and to win football games.

The 52-year-old got his first taste of the CFL last winter as a guest coach with the Alouettes, working with the team’s coaching staff during the offseason meetings while also getting familiarized with the Alouettes roster. He signed a three-year deal.

“We welcome Dan, his wife Misti, and their family to the Montreal Alouettes family,” said Popp. “Dan Hawkins is a successful, passionate football coach with a great ability to communicate and motivate the players, coaches, and all who are surrounding him. We welcome his talents to lead our football team in the class room, on the field, and in the community.”

Hawkins burst onto the coaching scene with Boise State where he compiled a 53-11 record (.828) over his five seasons, leading the Broncos to victories in the Humanitarian Bowl (2002) and the Fort Worth Bowl (2003).

In the process of leading Boise State to four-straight Western Athletic Conference titles from 2002 to 2005, Hawkins also guided the Broncos to an incredible 31-consecutive wins over conference opponents, while his 53 wins to start his NCAA Division 1 coaching career rank him fourth all-time in the modern era for wins by a rookie coach over their first five seasons. Known for his explosive offences, Hawkins led Boise State to three 500-plus point seasons, including one 602-point campaign.

Prior to coaching at Boise State, Hawkins led the Williamette University Bearcats to 40-11-1 record in four seasons as their head coach, bringing the team to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 1997. Prior to that, he was defensive coordinator at Sonoma State University for one season after three years as offensive coordinator at the College of the Siskiyous. The last two seasons he served as an analyst on ESPN following five years as head coach at the University of Colorado.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Rasmus Looking For Big Season

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The days of Colby Rasmus constantly changing his mechanics at the plate have hopefully come to an end.

That's the goal for Toronto's center fielder and the coaching staff as they aim to find a consistent approach that can be maintained throughout a 162-game schedule.

Rasmus has been known in the past for making rather frequent adjustments when things aren't going well, but this year, the club is looking to uphold a different philosophy.

"The talent in him is unbelievable," hitting coach Chad Mottola said. "The things he does, the way he gets to the front of the box, and we're just going to get his quick hands to work in his favor rather than going through swing changes all year.

"We modified [his approach] a little bit, but it's one of those things where as time goes on, we hope we're not going to see five different stances after an 0-for-4. We're trying to get a consistent base and then we're going to stay there."

The biggest adjustment Rasmus made last season occurred in May following a period of prolonged struggles. He opted to move up in the box and closer to the plate and for awhile, the adjustment worked wonders.

From May 21-July 8, he was easily one of the best outfielders in the league. During that stretch of 44 games, he hit .299 with 14 homers and 38 RBIs while posting an impressive .970 OPS.

The problems returned after that, though, as Rasmus possibly began overthinking things in the box and had trouble handling the high inside fastball. This year, he is maintaining the same location at the plate, but has slightly dropped his hands in the stance.

The change came after Rasmus watched countless hours of video during the offseason. It's a return to something he did in the past when things were going well, and the lower-hand slot has the potential for a rather dramatic difference in the box.

"I'm trying to get good separation because in the past -- sometimes when I've gotten in trouble -- I'd work on staying on top of the ball and getting my hands higher and [instead] it gets more under the ball," Rasmus said.

"You wouldn't think that, but it's happened to me. I'm trying to keep my hands lower in a good slot, and try to keep a good separation with my foot going forward and my hands going back. I think that will help with timing issues."

In addition to the changes at the plate, the other thing which plagued Rasmus in 2012 was that he physically wore down during the second half. It had nothing to do with being out of shape, but did relate to overdoing things at times.

Rasmus' work ethic often doesn't receive a lot of publicity, but last season he could constantly be found in the cage doing extra work with former hitting coach Dwayne Murphy. Rasmus seems like an incredibly laid-back player, but what's not noticed is that he has a tendency to be somewhat of a perfectionist.

Extra repetitions can be a good thing, but when taken too far, they can also become a detriment. That's something general manager Alex Anthopoulos noticed midway through the 2012 season, but at the time wasn't aware just how much of a negative impact it could have.

"I remember a game against the Marlins he hit a home run, had a great game, was on a hot streak," Anthopoulos said of a game on June 23. "It was a day game and guys were going to go out on a Saturday night in Miami to enjoy themselves, but he goes to the cage. I was like, 'Wow.' It was non-stop.

"You almost got the sense that he was playing well and he had to work even harder to maintain that pace. I give him credit because his mindset is to work extremely hard, but I think as a young player it's learning when to back off and give himself time ... He did wear down and get tired."

Rasmus' mentality this year is "quality over quantity" when it comes to his work on the side. An added benefit will be playing for a team that has more depth than at any point in recent memory.

With an injury-depleted roster in 2012, Rasmus had no choice but to play through a nagging groin injury which lingered during the final two months. This year, the Blue Jays have more than capable backup outfielders in Rajai Davis and Emilio Bonifacio, so appropriate rest shouldn't be an issue.

Rasmus no longer has the No. 2 spot in the order and instead likely will find himself in the lower half, but with any luck, the consistent approach will be take his performance to the next level.

"Last year when we had our pitchers go down, it put a lot of stress on the position players," said Rasmus, who has one year of arbitration remaining after this season.

"We were playing a lot of games in a row there, so I think pitching carrying us late in games and our bullpen being able to keep us off the field and keep us in the batter's box taking some hacks, will keep us more fresh to do damage at the plate."


Self Explanatory!!

Something To "Mitch" About

Are you enjoying the first long weekend of the year? I hope so. While we didn't get the Sunday snowfall that was predicted, I hear it was another nasty night on the highway so if you were out and about, here's hoping you got to where you wanted to go with no real problems.

The weekend has been highlighted by our play at the Scotties. Jill Shumay and her rink had absolutely no experience going into the event. None, nada, not one end of play at the national level. It sure doesn't look like it early on. The Shumay rink went into Monday morning as one of the unbeatens at 3-0. She is gaining some much needed confidence on the national stage and showing again that if you are from Saskatchewan, you have to be considered a contender at this event. Yes, Shumay has not played the likes of Jones, Nedohin or Homan and they will give her a solid test, but if you are a Saskatchewan curling fan, you have to be proud of what you seeing from this rookie foursome.

The Dwight Anderson signing by the Saskatchewan Roughriders has divided the Rider Nation. Some are furious with Brendan Taman for signing the defensive back who I would say is the CFL's current bad-boy. Others are saying if the guy can come in here and play that his previous hijinx will be forgotten. I will say I'm not a biggest fan of the guy, but I think Anderson is one of those players that you hate when he's not on your team, but if he is on your team that differs. The guy can play and he has showed that in the past. Corey Chamblin believes having Anderson on the corner will make his team a better one. If he takes stupid 15 yard penalties and does some stupid things on the field, he will be roasted by the fan-base, but any player doing that would get that backlash. Welcome aboard Dwight!

One other thought on Anderson's arrival. He has been given #33. The last time I looked a lot of people had jerseys with #33 on the back so on the surface it will look like D-A has a lot of support. Of course, the last Rider to wear #33 was Chris Szarka. He was just a little more popular. Where is Zark these days? I haven't heard anything of him since he lost his city councillor seat. He's been doing whatever he's been doing rather quietly.

What will the Riders secondary look like now? I would think Terrell Maze and Anderson would be at the corner. Eddie Russ and Weldon Brown at the half with Craig Butler at safety. That's a pretty solid starting five if you ask me. You then have the likes of Woodny Turenne, Tristan Jackson, Bryce McCall, Graig Newman and Paul Woldu as backups. Could one of those guys be used as trade-bait to perhaps land us a rush end? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

Here's a question! What time do you have to get into "The Keg" on a Saturday? The restaurant opens at 4 on a Saturday. We got there at 515 on Saturday night and the place was packed to the rafters. We were told there would be about a 60-80 minute wait. Does everyone show up at the same time? That's great for biz if you are that packed on a Saturday shortly after opening.

Thank you to the NBA for giving us a solid dose of Ke$ha on Sunday night before the all-star game. What did we as a public do to deserve that! The NBA all-star game is just like the other all-star games. No one is working hard and its a joke. Do we really need it?

Tough to hear about country singer Mindy McCready dying at 37. That girl lived a rough life.

The 2nd Sunday without any football on didn't go much better than the first one. SIGHHHHHH!!!!

Yesterday was the last Sunday in which there won't be a baseball game played until the end of the regular season. YAYYYY!!!!

The Blue Jays proudly announced this week that the home opener sold out within an hour. That's great! Tell me now how ticket sales are going for the game after the home opener. Its just not Toronto where you get a big house for opening night and then get a half-full stadium for night two. Send me a press release that says you have sold out the first homestand and I will know then that Toronto is quite excited for Blue Jays baseball. Who's kidding who, the Red Sox are there on the opening weekend and after the whole John Farrell controversy in the off-season, those are the games I would want to be at.

Speaking of the Red Sox, a friend of mine is going to see the Jays and Sox in September at Fenway. Its the first time he has ever been there. He won some contest that will allow him to sit on top of the Green Monster for the Saturday game. I'm not a big Boston fan, but having a chance to watch the game atop the Monster would be some kind of cool. I would equate that to watching a game at Wrigley from the rooftops across the street. That is something I definitely want to do when I head to the Windy City.

Who is going to stop the Chicago Blackhawks? I know there's a long ways to go, but my pick at the start of the season to win it all looks damn good right now.

What happened to Alexandre Ovechkin?

The Oilers had 56 shots on goal the other night for a team record. Any NHL team getting 45 shots in this world of defense-happy hockey we live in should be commended. The game would be so much better if all teams would adopt the theory of wide-open style that Edmonton wants to adopt. Sadly, in this defense-first mold that the game has become that will likely never, ever happen.

The Sun newspaper chain now gives you a snippet of the story and then allows you to decide if you want to read on or not with the hopes being you will and pay some. The Postmedia newspaper chain (Leader Post, Star Phoenix, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, etc. etc.) does not do this. Can anyone guess where I am reading my stories on out of province teams. While I would hope the Postmedia chain never resorts to this, I am guessing someday they will.

OMG, it will be the Rock and John Cena headlining Wrestlemania for a second straight year. Who'd have thunk it? SIGHHHHH!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Schmirler Telethon Goes Sunday

The Sandra Schmirler Foundation telethon always produces warm feelings but this year’s event will have a golden glow.
Members of Schmirler’s three-time world champion and Olympic gold medal team will be answering phones Sunday during the fundraiser, held during the
Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the team of Schmirler, Jan Betker, Joan McCusker, Marcia Gudereit and coach
Lindsay Sparks winning the gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Other curlers taking donations include former Ontario skips Marilyn Bodogh and Alison Goring; Lorraine Lang, a member of Heather Houston’s world championship team; and Cathy Overton-Clapham, who won Heart titles for Manitoba with both Jennifer Jones and Connie Laliberte.

Donations can be made online at or by calling toll free 1.866.210.6011.

The Schmirler rink still holds a special place for Canadians, said Francine Poisson, one of the telethon organizers.
“That team had that kind of impact,” said Poisson. “For a team to win an event like (the Olympics) you need something special. To be as dominate as Sandra’s team was, that team had something really special.

“Anybody who watched them couldn’t help but feel they really liked each other and they loved playing together and they were great friends.”
Overton-Clapham played against Schmirler.“She was such a great champion, she was such a great person,” she said.

Created in January 2001, The Sandra Schmirler Foundation is a registered charity that raises and donates money across Canada for the care of premature and critically ill infants. The foundation also helps develop future champions through direct funding to junior curlers.Since its inception the foundation has donated over $2.2 million dollars to help purchase life-saving equipment in neonatal units in 27 hospitals.

This year the foundation announced it would give six $5,000 scholarship for junior curlers who are pursuing their competitive careers while maintaining their post-secondary studies.

Schmirler, who was born in Biggar, Sask., died in 2000 at age 36 from cancer.
Poisson said this year’s goal is to raise $275,000. Last year’s telethon in Red Deer, Alta., raised over $257,000.“We like growth every year,” said Poisson. “When you look at the beginning it was in the $20,000’s and now here we are.”

Going Outside For Two Years

Next season will be the Minnesota Vikings' last in the 31-year-old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and fans of the purple and gold can look forward to blue lips and red cheeks as they shiver through two seasons of old-school outdoor football.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said Saturday that the team plans to play at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, while the team's new stadium gets built at the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis.

Team officials and the state authority overseeing construction convened at the dome Friday to finalize the deal for Minneapolis firm Mortenson Construction to earn $12.5 million to build the new stadium. That fee could reach $15 million if the firm meets performance incentives, but could be lowered if the construction lags. Mortenson also built the Minnesota Twins' Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium.

The Vikings had hoped to play only one season at the outdoor stadium, which is about a 10-minute drive from the Metrodome. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority had looked into starting construction while the Metrodome still stood, but authority chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen said that proved too difficult.

Riders Sign Two FA's and Keep One Of Their Own

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed non-import defensive back Weldon Brown. The club also announced non-import linebacker Tristan Black and non-import receiver Jordan Sisco have agreed to terms with the Riders. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Brown (5’10 – 185 lbs) joins the Riders after playing three seasons in Edmonton. In 13 starts for the Eskimos last season, Brown recorded 35 defensive tackles, a fumble return and a quarterback sack. In 47 career regular season games, Brown had 136 defesnive tackles, five interceptions and three quarterback sacks.

Black (6’2 – 220 lbs) spent the past three seasons with Toronto. In 15 regular season games last year, Black recorded eight defensive tackles and 17 special teams tackles. Originally drafted by the Calgary Stampeders in the second round of the CFL Canadian Draft, Black has dressed in 52 career regular season games and has recorded 17 defensive tackles and 50 special teams tackles.

Sisco (6’1 – 212 lbs) returns to the Riders for his third CFL season. The Regina native dressed in the Riders first seven regular season games last year before an injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season. Sisco finished last year with seven catches for 103 yards.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Brackenridge Is Back And Here Comes Anderson

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that they have signed import defensive back Dwight Anderson. The club also announced that import linebacker Tyron Brackenridge has re-signed with the Riders. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Anderson (5’11 – 185 lbs) comes to Saskatchewan after spending the past two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. In 16 regular season games with the Alouettes last season, Anderson had 47 defensive tackles and two interceptions.

Prior to joining the Alouettes, Anderson spent three seasons with the Calgary Stampeders after playing his rookie season in Hamilton. In 98 career regular season games, Anderson has recorded 290 defensive tackles and 14 interceptions. He is a two-time divisional all-star and was a Grey Cup champion in 2008.

Brackenridge returns for his third season with the Riders. After joining the team late in the 2011 season and playing in five games, Brackenridge started all 18 regular season games and the West semi-final last year. The Washington State product led the Riders last season with 77 defensive tackles, seven tackles for a loss and two interceptions. He was also the Roughriders nominee as Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

“Dwight is a proven veteran in this league and instantly bolsters our secondary,” stated Riders General Manager Brendan Taman. “His familiarity and relationship with Coach Chamblin was a major factor in his decision to come to Saskatchewan. We are also very pleased that we were able to re-sign Tyron. He showed tremendous growth with the team last year and has turned into one of our top defensive players.”

Shomari Williams Becomes A Ti-Cat

Shomari Williams is on the move.

A league source requesting anonymity said Friday the six-foot-one, 232-pound linebacker/defensive end signed Friday as a free agent with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Williams, 27, spent the last three seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and was the team's second-leading tackler in 2012 with 59.

Saskatchewan selected Williams first overall in the 2010 CFL draft out of Queen's.

The Toronto native capped his university career by helping Queen's capture the Vanier Cup in 2009.

Williams began his college career at the University of Houston.

Odell Heads To The Eskimos

The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club announces the signing of free agent import defensive end Odell Willis.

“Odell is a proven, perennial, prolific pass-rusher,” says Eskimo Head Coach Kavis Reed.

Willis joins the Eskimos after spending last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he recorded 23 defensive tackles, six quarterback sacks, three pass knock downs, two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The University of West Georgia product amassed a remarkable 40 sacks in four seasons and has a career total 101 defensive tackles and four fumble recoveries. In 2011, Willis was named an East Division and CFL All-Star after racking up a career high 27 defensive tackles and 13 sacks.

Who's Going Where

There are good beat writers in the CFL, but you would be hard pressed to find one better than Moosomin product Kirk Penton who is with the Winnipeg Sun. He breaks down who will go where as you can see.


Here is the list of 39 players who, as of Friday morning, were still eligible to become free agents. The team names beside some of the players are educated guesses made by a handful of CFL executives during conversations over the last few days. Some of the suggestions have evidence behind them, while others are speculation based on team needs. Either way, take a peek and see where your team shows up.

Winnipeg (5)
CB Deon Beasley — Edm, Sask, Wpg, B.C.
LB Marcellus Bowman — Wpg (injured)
DE Fernand Kashama* — Tor, Sask
DE Jason Vega — New England Patriots (NFL)
SB Clarence Denmark — Wpg
Toronto (6)
RB Chad Kackert — New York Jets (NFL), Tor, Mtl, Edm
DE Ricky Foley* — Tor, Ham, B.C.
LB Tristan Black* — Sask
OL Cedric Gagne-Marcoux* — Tor, Mtl, B.C.
WR Maurice Mann
DB Evan McCollough — Ham, Tor, Sask, Mtl, B.C.
Montreal (4)
RB Brandon Whitaker — Tor, Mtl, Edm (injured)
DB Dwight Anderson — Tor, Mtl, B.C., Sask
RB Dahrran Diedrick* — Mtl
DB Seth Williams
Hamilton (4)
LB Jonathan Hood*
LB Yannick Carter*
DB Chris Rwabukamba* — Sask, Edm
DB Marcell Young — Sask, Tor
B.C. (6)
LB Solomon Elimimian — Cleveland Browns (NFL)
OL Jon Hameister-Ries* — B.C.
S Cauchy Muamba* — B.C., Tor, Wpg, Ham
OL Jesse Newman* — expected to retire
OL Jovan Olafioye — Baltimore Ravens (NFL), B.C.
LB James Yurichuk* — Mtl, Ham, Tor
Saskatchewan (6)
DE Odell Willis — Edm, Tor, Ham
DB Chris McKenzie — Ham, Tor, B.C.
LB Tyron Brackenridge — Ham, Mtl, B.C.
OL Alex Krausnick-Groh* — Sask, Cgy, B.C.
LB Shomari Williams* — Tor, Ham
SB Jordan Sisco*
Calgary (2)
OL Mark Dewit* — Cgy, B.C.
DT Brian Bulcke* — Ham, B.C., Tor, Mtl
Edmonton (6)
DB Weldon Brown — Edm, Sask, B.C., Ham, Edm
RB Pascal Fils*
WR Marcus Henry — Edm, Tor
WR Tyler Scott*
OL Dylan Steenbergen* — Ham, Edm, Cgy, B.C.
DE Julius Williams — B.C., Cgy, Mtl, Ham

U of R Action This Weekend

Away EventsWrestling – at Canada West Championships, Friday and Saturday in Edmonton, Alta.
Women's Basketball – at Brandon, Friday (6:00 p.m.) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Hockey – at Manitoba, Friday (7:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man. (Game 1)
Men's Basketball – at Brandon, Friday (8:00 p.m.) in Brandon, Man.
Women's Basketball – at Brandon, Saturday (5:00 p.m.) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Basketball – at Brandon, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) in Brandon, Man.
Men's Hockey – at Manitoba, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man. (Game 2)
Men's Hockey – at Manitoba, Sunday (7:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man. (Game 3 – if necessary)

Women's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 5) – The Cougars enter this weekend's Canada West meet in Edmonton looking for their first conference title in program history. Danielle Anderson (59 kg) and Lisa McKibben (72 kg) have both had strong seasons for the Cougars and are ranked No. 2 in the nation in their respective classes by CAWA, while Jasmine Slinn (48 kg) and Jillian Durant (67 kg) are both ranked No. 3. Slinn, a three-time Canada West medallist and a three-time CIS medallist, is the lone fifth-year wrestler on the U of R's roster.

Men's Wrestling (CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The Cougars are the two-time defending Canada West champions and are looking to win a third consecutive conference title for the first time since the program took home six straight championships in the 1990s. Leading the way for the Cougars is Steven Schneider, who's in his final season of CIS eligibility and has won three consecutive Canada West gold medals. John Lendvoy, a two-time Canada West silver medallist, is the only other fifth-year athlete on the U of R roster. The University of Alberta hosts the Canada West Championships this weekend at the Universiade Pavilion.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars ended the Canada West schedule with a home split against Manitoba, getting doubled up by the Bisons on Friday night by a 6-3 score but replying with a 4-2 victory on Saturday afternoon. The U of R ends up with a conference record of 13-12-3 and in sixth place in the Canada West standings, which means that the Cougars will head to Winnipeg this weekend to face Manitoba in a best-of-three conference quarterfinal series beginning on Friday night. Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday night, while Game 3 – if it's needed – will go on Sunday. All three games will start at 7 p.m. and will be webcast live at

Women's Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 3) – The Cougars swept Lethbridge at home last weekend, defeating the Pronghorns 82-56 on Friday night and 74-55 on Saturday to improve their Canada West record to 17-3 on the season. The U of R travels to Brandon this weekend to close out the conference schedule against the Bobcats before returning home the following weekend to host a best-of-three Canada West quarterfinal series against a Pacific Division opponent.

Men's Basketball – The Cougars (6-14) suffered a heartbreaking 93-91 loss to Lethbridge at the overtime buzzer on Friday night and were also defeated 103-88 by the Pronghorns on Saturday. The team finishes the 2012-13 season this weekend in Brandon, where they'll square off with longtime rival Brandon University of Friday and Saturday night.

Women's Hockey (CIS Ranking: No. 8) – The Cougars took care of business on the road, defeating Manitoba 3-2 in a shootout on Friday and taking out the Bisons 3-2 in regulation on Saturday to finish the conference schedule in second place in the Canada West standings with a 18-7-3 record. The U of R will get a bye through this weekend's quarterfinals and will host a best-of-three Canada West semifinal series beginning on Feb. 22 at The Co-operators Centre.

Track & Field (Men's CIS Ranking: No. 7) – Joy Becker and Kelly Wiebe highlighted the track & field teams' performance over the weekend. Becker hit the CIS standard in the long jump on Friday night at the Queen City Kinsmen Indoor Classic at the Regina Fieldhouse, and her jump of 5.95 metres not only gives Becker the No. 1 ranking in Canada West and makes her the second-ranked athlete in the entire CIS in the event, but was also just one centimetre shy of Janine Polischuk's University of Regina record set back in 2008 and breaks a Manitoba provincial junior record that had stood since 2000. Wiebe won his heat and finished second overall in the 3000-metre run at the Husky Classic in Seattle, hitting the CIS standard with a time of 8:05.63. The teams will host the Canada West Championships on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 at the Regina Fieldhouse.

Women's Volleyball – The Cougars wrapped up the 2012-13 season with a pair of road losses to Calgary, falling in straight sets on Friday night and losing in four sets on Saturday. The Cougars, who finish with a 5-17 record in conference play, are expected to return everyone to next season's roster as the University of Regina prepares to play host to the 2014 CIS Championship at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.

Men's Volleyball – The Cougars finish off the season with a 2-20 conference record after two away setbacks to Calgary last weekend, as the Dinos won 3-1 on Friday night and in straight sets on Saturday night. With no fifth-year players on the roster this season, the Cougars expect to return all of their players to the 2013-14 roster.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

This And That

Before I even start with this post, I want to send my sincere sympathies and prayers to the family and many friends that Dan Marce had. Like many others, I was deeply saddened to hear the news of what happened to Marce when the story surfaced. I just can't imagine going out like that. One minute you are celebrating a night out with friends and then in a moments notice it comes to an end because of a drunk driver. Life just isn't fair.

I didn't have the dealings with Dan that others had, but I did have several conversations with him and it wasn't hard to see the passion that he had for the Riders and for the Plaza of Honor dinner. It would behoove the Plaza members to induct Dan and sadly that induction must come posthumously meaning he can't soak in the adulation that he would have received. He will be missed and future games at Mosaic won't be the same without him around.


Valentines Day has come and gone for another year. Guys, I hope you treated the lady in your life right or you are going to this weekend. It sounds like a lot of people put off Thursday plans until tomorrow or Saturday. That's what Mrs. Scruffy and I are doing. I had to laugh Thursday night when on the way home I stopped off at the Safeway to grab a couple of things only to see a line of men at the floral counter. I told the story to Mrs. Scruffy and she says Safeway has nice flowers. I don't know about you, but I liken getting flowers at a grocery store to getting some jewellery at Walmart. It just doesn't work for me. I guess the thought (even if it is a last minute thing) is what counts.


CFL free agency is upon us. Can the Riders re-sign Tyron Brackenridge or is he heading somewhere else. The same can be said about Chris McKenzie, Shomari Williams, Jordan Sisco, Alex Krausnick-Groh and Odell Willis.  Losing Brackenridge would be a big loss to this team, but after that, it wouldn't bother me if the other 5 did or didn't come back. I thought McKenzie's game took a step backwards this year, Sisco has just never blossomed into the receiver people thought he might be, Krausnick-Groh is replaceable and Odell is Odell. You can take him or leave him. He had his moments in Rider green, but he also hurt this team a lot. I really liked the statement Coach Chamblin had this week when he said if the guys haven't signed by now, they might as well wait for a couple of days.  Chamblin is basically saying if the guys don't want to be back and re-sign before the deadline then maybe their heart just isn't in Saskatchewan. Its that or we don't want anything to do with you. I have to wonder what the thought process is when it comes to Williams. On the surface, it would seem Shomari has gone down as a bust after not being an impact player since being taken #1 overall. The Riders put him in many spots, but he just never seemed comfortable. I guess we'll find out if some team Riders or not can find a spot where he can flourish.

Out of the players that are out there, who is attractive. In no particular order, here's a list of guys that I'd be interested in.

1. Ricky Foley (DE)  --an established pass rusher that was a key member of the Toronto team that won GC.

2.  Solomon Elimimian (LB) --yes, I know he has a desire to play in the NFL, but the guy can play and would look great in Rider green

3. James Yurichuk (LB) --  I don't know if we've seen the best of this Canadian LB. If the Riders were to lose Williams and gain Yurichuk, the Riders would win out in that scenario. He could be a player ready to burst on the scene if given a chance

4. Evan McCullough  (DB) -- If the team is going to lose McKenzie and perhaps Brackenridge, they need some people in the secondary that have CFL experience. You could add Winnipeg's Deon Beasley and Hamilton's Marcell Young and Montreal's Seth Williams in this group as well.

One player I am not putting on the list is Dwight Anderson. He is a free agent and he has played with Corey Chamblin when the two were in Calgary together. I put out a tweet this week asking the Rider Nation their thoughts on whether or not the team should go after him and it was an overwhelming "NO"!! I can't say I disagree!  This is the guy that tried to gouge out Weston Dressler's eye last year. I am thinking there are many vets in the Rider room that would have a tough time allowing that guy into the fraternity.

If Jim Barker is signed through the end of the 2015 season, I guess you can put those Eric Tillman to Toronto rumours to bed. Where did that story start anyhow? Who gets credit for that piece of journalistic gold!


Great question by Dustin Halvorson in the Sportscage on Thursday. When talking about Barker, he asked is it better to have  job security or financial security. I would take the latter!

I think its safe to say the Ottawa Senators are done this year. First, they lose Jason Spezza with a herniated disc and now Erik Karlsson is gone after undergoing surgery to repair his partially severed achilles tendon. I have to laugh at how some are reacting because it was bad-boy Matt Cooke who stepped on Karlsson's leg causing the injury. There was no dirtiness involved in that play. It was an accident! If the Penguin in question had been Crosby or Malkin or Letang, there would have been no questions asked, but everyone jumps all over Cooke because of his reputation. That's wrong in this case.


I self-admittedly have not watched the amount of Regina Pats hockey that I would have liked to this winter, but I have had some ask me if Chad Lang and Pat Conacher will be back next year. While I haven't seen a lot, I don't think either one of those two are going anywhere. Chad will have another year (the last year of his contract I think), and Pat will be there too unless a pro job comes along in the off-season. I wonder if some of Conacher's shine has come off considering the season the team has had,  as Pats p x p guy Phil Andrews says Conacher hasn't really had a chance to work with the lineup he has wanted so his stock shouldn't have taken the dip that some think it has. I can't disagree with that line of thinking.
Is Elisha Cuthbert really the hottest woman on TV as MAXIM magazine has suggested? No doubt she is a good looking girl, but Kaley Cuoco wins that prize hands-down---at least in this blogger's opinion!


Access needs FX Canada so I can see "The Americans". It looks and sounds like a great show that I want to watch and I can't. When is the box-set coming out?


Why do I get the feeling that this year could be one to remember on the PGA Tour? Tiger has won an event, Phil has won an event, Rory McIlroy is on the top of his game and Brandt Snedeker is unreal right now. There could be some great duels on the horizon. Add guys like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan to that mix of guys looking to move into the top tier and there could be some fantastic Sundays in store for PGA fans.

Where does the time go? 25 years ago, we were watching the world in Calgary as the Winter Olympics were going on. What's the biggest memory of those games? I would think it would have to be Elizabeth Manley's free skate on what I think was the 2nd to last night of competition.


Speaking of the Olympics, it is absolutely insane that the IOC is looking at dumping wrestling at the 2020 games. No disrespect, but sports like dressage, rhythmic gymnastics, sailing and trampoline have no business at the Olympics if sports like baseball, softball and wrestling are not there. How can the IOC even consider this knowing wrestling has been a part of the Olympics since the first one back in 1896. U of R wrestling coach Leo McGee suggested politics may have played a big role in this decision. I can't argue that.

That's all I got. Have a good weekend and remember it could be worse, you could be the PR director for Carnival Cruise Lines right now.

Riders Free Agent Forecast has been putting together a free agent forecast for the eight teams with free agency starting across the CFL tomorrow. Here is what is being said about the Riders going in.

Argos Extend Barker

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club is pleased to announce that General Manager Jim Barker has signed a contract extension through the 2015 season.

Commented Toronto Argonauts Executive Chairman & CEO, Chris Rudge, “Jim Barker has done a tremendous job of putting our football team in position to be a perennial winner. Creating this kind of long-term stability at the executive level infuses confidence into the entire organization and allows us, as a team, to execute on our plans for the future. Jim’s vision for this Club is exciting and I know that our fans will share in my enthusiasm for today’s announcement.”

Following the 2011 season, Barker focused fully on the General Manager position and began restructuring the club’s football operations. He started by hiring CFL Coach of the Year Finalist, Scott Milanovich, then,on December 12, 2011, Barker pulled off arguably the biggest trade in the 140-year history of the Club. In a blockbuster deal, he acquired future hall of fame QB Ricky Ray from the Edmonton Eskimos. Milanovich and Ray returned exciting offensive football to the city and led the Argos to three impressive playoff victories en route to hosting, and hoisting, the 100th Grey Cup championship at Rogers Centre – the 16th title in Argonauts history.

Barker commented, “I am very excited to extend my time in Toronto and continue to build on our Grey Cup Championship. As an organization, we experienced a lot of success this past season, and I believe 2012 was just the beginning of something special. Senator Braley and Chris Rudge have done an outstanding job laying a strong foundation and creating continuity within this franchise, on both the football and business operations side. We have the right coaches and staff in place to continue to build on our early achievements and ensure our fans will be proud of this team for many years to come.”

Before the start of the 2012 season, Barker continued to refine the roster by bringing CFL All-Star’s DT Armond Armstead and DB Pat Watkins, along with impactful players such asWR Dontrelle Inman and the prolific linebacker duo of LB Brandon Isaac and Argos 2012 Outstanding Defensive Player, LB Marcus Ball to the Argonauts.

Barker returned to the Toronto Argonauts as head coach in 2010, for the second time including 1999, and transformed a team that had won seven games in two years and led them back to the playoffs with 10 wins, including a berth in the 2010 Eastern Division Final. He was named CFL Coach of the Year for his efforts. He accepted the role of Head Coach & General Manager before the 2011 season and, following that year, he hired Scott Milanovich as the Club’s 42nd head coach.