Thursday, January 30, 2014
This And That
A weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled brain
--No doubt as to what the number one thought is. Super Bowl 48 is just a few days away and I obviously can't wait. There is no doubt in my mind the Seahawks will beat the Broncos. I will explain why before kickoff.
--Yes, I will be a basket case from about 3 o'clock-11 o'clock Sunday night. This is my Grey Cup ya know! I think those of you who support the green and white know exactly what I will be going through, but you were at least able to relax for the second half. I don't think I can say that.
--I would like to publicly thank Toronto mayor Rob Ford for sporting a Denver Broncos jersey at some function this week. Ford has also sported a Toronto Argonauts jersey before the CFL East final and a Buffalo Bills jersey before their game in Atlanta this year and in those cases, the other team won. Here's hoping Robbie boy can make it three in a row.
--I have offered to make a wager with Denver Broncos fan and good-natured schmuck Rob Vanstone, but he has declined saying he can't bet against Jon Ryan. I say this is a good old fashioned cop-out. He agrees! Hopefully Ian Hamilton (fellow Seahawks fan and good man) has plans to make his life a living hell after Sunday night. If you need any help Ian, you know where to find me!
--Regina MP Tom Lukiwski needs to stick to the political arena and stay out of the sports arena. When talking about Jon Ryan's involvement in the game, Lukiwski in the House of Commons said the Seahawks would be in tough going up against "Preston" Manning and the Denver Broncos. Oyyyyy!!!
--I have heard US journalists bemoan the decision about awarding the Super Bowl to New York City because of the weather and how a cold weather Super Bowl is not any good for the CFL. The forecast for New York City on Sunday is a high of plus 4 with a low of minus 3. BOO FRICKIN HOO!!! I would love to have that type of day here on Sunday. I can't imagine what the Americans would say about conditions for the West semi-final or what they would have said about the temperature for here on Grey Cup Sunday. Some of these people really need to spend a month in our shoes to see what its like! I'm sure the Ryan family will be "freezing" watching Jon play as they wear their 9 jersey with no jacket on. Speaking of which, while there is no doubt there is a tremendous amount of pride amongst the Ryans seeing Jon play, I can't imagine what would be going through Bob Ryan's mind right now. He would be bursting at the seams knowing his son was playing in the Super Bowl. Bob will have the best seat in the house and should the Seahawks win, I know Jon and family will be looking upwards.
--How many Riders have been in the Super Bowl? I know Jay Alford, Yo Murphy and Ken Clark have. I thought Kenton Keith might have been with the Colts when they beat Chicago, but he wasn't as he played for them the next year. Did I miss anyone? If I did, its perhaps because he played in one of the first SB's.
--What's the over/under on Peyton Manning calling "OMAHA" Sunday? How many times will he do it.
--Lets be honest. When Weston Dressler said he wants to wear 13 with the NFL club that he will be signing with soon, you said you will be buying that jersey. I don't know if the Chiefs (his rumoured destination) or NFLShop.com will be able to handle all the orders that come in from Saskatchewan, and you know orders will come in. What a class gesture from a truly class individual. I think Rod Pedersen put it the best on Sportscage when he wrapped up an interview with Dressler by saying I hope I never, ever, ever see you on Mosaic Stadium turf again unless you are being honored in some fashion. I couldn't agree more and I think many that read this will say the same thing.
--Congrats to Kerry Joseph on an outstanding career. I think we all knew Kerry was going to call it quit after his emotional scrum following the Eskimos last game of the year at Mosaic. As Kerry was walking off the field, I pulled out my cellphone looking to get that shot of him walking to the tunnel for the last time from behind. Just as I was focusing, he started to run so I missed the shot. I told him about that during Grey Cup week and he was sorry he had started his run to the tunnel before I got the shot. He said it was one he would have wanted and I would have gladly given it to him. I hope he retires as a Rider. Who's kidding who, I would love to see him on Coach Chamblin's staff and I think he could do for Darian what Khari Jones did.
--Isn't it pleasing to know Regina's court jester isn't going away. Can we not export him somewhere? He certainly is something we should let Brandon have.
--Sounds like Gary Etcheverry is back in the coaching biz with the Bombers. I don't know about you, but I thought he was great on "Etchs and O's" on the Sportscage. Who's the next coach to get hired again thanks to that show.
--A story on MSN.com this week was titled "How I ended up naked in a hot-tub with a monkey. I instantly wondered when Rod Pedersen started writing for MSN.com. What?
--Councillor Mike O'Donnell has put a motion out there suggesting garbage be picked up twice a month in Regina with recycling being picked up every week. With all due respect to O'Donnell, the idea is a good one, but if it came to a vote, I would be voting for things to stay the way they are now. I don't want garbage being picked up every 14 days----especially in the summer.
--The Edmonton Oil Kings had their annual hooky from school hockey game on Tuesday against Brandon. Over 11-thousand were there. I know I have asked it before, but I will ask it again. Why isn't this being done in Regina? I think an afternoon game in the middle of the week in which schoolkids are the target would be a tremendous promotion and it might drive some kids back to the game with their parents when $$$ are in play. You can't tell me kids wouldn't love missing an afternoon of school to go to a Pats game.
--Sandis Ozolinsh will carry the Latvian flag into the opening ceremonies at Sochi as he will be on the country's hockey team. If you are like me, you are going Sandis Ozolinsh is STILL playing hockey?
--Ben Scrivens may have had the best performance by a goalie I've seen in a long time Wednesday night. He stopped an NHL record 59 to get the shutout in a 3-0 Edmonton win. The last time I saw a goalie play that well was when Igor Bobkov stoned the Swedes at the World Juniors in Regina a few years ago.
--Seeing all those "The Keg" ads just makes me grumble because its been wayyyyyyyy too long since I enjoyed a good steak there.
First Ticket Package Announced For Scotties In Moose Jaw
The Old Classic ticket package, including a guaranteed seat for all 22 draws during the nine days of competition, is priced at $349.
It m...arks the first time Moose Jaw has hosted the Scotties, but the city has already proven its passion for championship curling. The 2012 Capital One Canada Cup, also held in Mosaic Place, resulted in a record-setting attendance for the event.
Every ticket to the championship action includes complimentary admission to the HeartStop Lounge, situated right next door to Mosaic Place in the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre. The HeartStop is where fans gather, in between and following draws, to enjoy the tasty selection of food and beverages, and dance to the sounds of some of the hottest bands around.
shuttle bus service to transport fans between Mosaic Place and participating hotels: Details are available online at curling.ca/2015Scotties-en/
Old Classic ticket package can be purchased online at curling.ca/tickets or by phone at 306-624-2050 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 31st at 10 a.m.
Riders Release Dressler
After six years as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, it looks like Weston Dressler is going to get an opportunity in the National Football League.
The football team has announced it is releasing Dressler ahead of the time he would become a free agent on February 15 so he can seek NFL employment.
Dressler has been with the Riders since coming here from the University of North Dakota in 2008. In his six years he has had 5 1000 yard receiving seasons.
Riders Re-Sign Two DB's
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
A-C Coming To Regina
Regina Thunder president Brin Werrett announced Wednesday on CKRM's Sportscage that recently retired Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo will serve as guest speaker at the team's annual dinner which this year is being expanded to a ring ceremony because of their CJFL Championship.
The dinner goes March 22.
Cougar Athletics This Weekend
Women’s Volleyball – vs. Thompson Rivers, Friday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women’s Hockey – vs. Manitoba, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men’s Volleyball – vs. Thompson Rivers, Friday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women’s Hockey – vs. Manitoba, Saturday (3:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Women’s Volleyball – vs. Thompson Rivers (5:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Men’s Volleyball – vs. Thompson Rivers (7:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Track & Field – at Bison Classic, Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg, Man.
Men’s Hockey – at Manitoba, Friday (7:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man.
Women’s Basketball – at Fraser Valley, Friday (6:00 p.m. PST) in Abbotsford, B.C.
Men’s Basketball – at Fraser Valley, Friday (8:00 p.m. PST) in Abbotsford, B.C.
Men’s Hockey – at Manitoba, Saturday (1:00 p.m.) in Winnipeg, Man.
Women’s Basketball – at Trinity Western, Saturday (5:00 p.m. PST) in Langley, B.C.
Men’s Basketball – at Trinity Western, Saturday (7:00 p.m. PST) in Langley, B.C.
Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (8-10) secured a weekend split with No. 6-ranked Manitoba, winning in straight sets on Friday but losing in four on Saturday. Now 5-1 in January, The U of R is right back at home this weekend at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport with two matches against Thompson Rivers (0-18). The Cougars and the WolfPack start at 6 p.m. on Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Women’s Hockey – The Cougars (11-10-3) defeated Saskatchewan 4-3 on Friday, overcoming a 3-1 deficit with third-period goals by Bailey Braden and Tori Head before Brooklyn Moskowy’s goal in the first round of the shootout stood as the winner. The Huskies salvaged a weekend split with a 1-0 win over the Cougars on Saturday, but the U of R continues its homestand this weekend with two games against Manitoba. Games go Friday night (7:00) and Saturday afternoon (3:00) at The Co-operators Centre.
Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars took out Manitoba in straight sets on Friday night, notching their first Canada West win of the season by scores of 25-23, 25-23, and 25-20. They’re at home again this weekend, as the Cougars (1-17) host No. 5 Thompson Rivers (11-7) at the CKHS before closing out their 2013-14 schedule at UBC Okanagan on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8.
Women’s Basketball (CIS Ranking: No. 4) – With assistant coach Carly Graham behind the bench, the Cougars (14-2) kept rolling with 89-59 and 74-50 road wins over Manitoba on Friday and Saturday. Still mired in a three-way tie atop the Prairie Division standings despite their impressive .875 winning percentage, the Cougars will take their 10-game winning streak on the road to Fraser Valley and Trinity Western this weekend.
Men’s Basketball – The Cougars (3-13) lost 84-58 and 83-71 road decisions to Manitoba last weekend. They’ll have their final road trip of the season this weekend with games at Fraser Valley and Trinity Western before finishing the year off with four consecutive home games, as the U of R hosts Calgary (Feb. 7/8) and Brandon (Feb. 14/15) to close out the conference schedule.
Men’s Hockey – The Cougars (9-11-2) will be a well-rested group following their weekend off as they prepare for a pair of critical road games at Manitoba. With only six conference games remaining for both teams, they come into the two-game set separated by just one point for fourth place in the Canada West standings – and the right to host a conference quarterfinal series. The Cougars and Manitoba will meet on Friday night (7:00) and Saturday afternoon (1:00) at the Wayne Fleming Arena in Winnipeg.
Track & Field (Men’s CIS Ranking: No. 9) – After a weekend off from competition, the Cougars are in action this weekend at the Bison Classic on Friday and Saturday in Winnipeg. The Kinsmen Indoor Games next weekend in Regina will be the team’s last meet before the Canada West Championships, which will be hosted by the University of Alberta on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22.
Swimming – Eva Madar and Sabrina Wielsoe both qualified for next month's 2014 CIS Championships over the weekend at the Canada West Swimming Championships hosted by the University of Calgary. Madar hit the CIS standard and set a new U of R record in the 50-metre butterfly, while Wielsoe hit the CIS standard in the 200-metre butterfly. The other Cougars will have one last chance to qualify for nationals at the Speedo Western Canadian Swimming Championships in New Westminster, B.C. in mid-February.
UFC Outlines Plans For Canada in 2014
The UFC will hold five events in Canada in 2014 as the promotion will visit Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Montreal.
Tom Wright, the UFC’s director of operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, made the announcement at a press conference in Quebec City Wednesday.
“Last year was a banner year for the UFC but Canada is set to break new ground in 2014 as we’re literally going from coast to coast with events stretching between Nova Scotia and British Columbia,” Wright stated. “We’re excited to bring our fans five live UFC events north of the border in 2014.”
The first Canadian event of 2014 will be the TUF Nations Finale on April 16 at the Colisée Pepsi—the former home of the Quebec Nordiques—in Quebec City. The province of Quebec is a hotbed for MMA talent and fans in Canada and the UFC has hosted six events in the province, but they’ve all been in Montreal at the Bell Centre.
On June 14, the UFC will return to Vancouver for the first time in three years with UFC 174. Vancouver hosted two previous events—UFC 115 and UFC 131—during a two-year trial period where MMA was sanctioned.
On Sept. 27, the UFC returns to Toronto for a fifth time when UFC 178 takes place at the Air Canada Centre.
On Oct. 4, the UFC will make its debut in Halifax at the Metro Centre. This event will be a free, televised Fight Night card.
Finally, on the Dec. 6 at UFC 181, the promotion hosts its seventh event at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
To date, the organization has held 14 events in Canada since April 2008 with a cumulative gross gate of close to $60M, according to the promotion. The UFC has held three events in Canada in each of the last two years. In addition to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, the UFC has held events in Calgary (UFC 149) and Winnipeg (UFC 161).
As part of the UFC Community Works program, the organization also announced it will visit four Canadian cities this year in 2014 to host interactive UFC Experience fan events and exclusive viewing parties. The cities are still to be determined but the promotion says they’ll take place between May and August and visit smaller communities in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan.
Jose Canseco Coming To Regina
The Regina Red Sox are proud to announce former major leaguer Jose Canseco will be the guest speaker at the team's annual sports dinner. The date of the dinner is April 5 and it will once again be held at the Turvey Center.
Tickets will go on sale in early February.
For Sponsorship Opportunities and Individual Tickets
please email email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your table or tickets now!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
KJ To Call It A Career
CKRM Sportscage/Sportsnet CFL insider Arash Madani is reporting quarterback Kerry Joseph is ready to call it a career.
After some time in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks where he was a defensive back, Joseph came to Canada and became the quarterback of the Ottawa Renegades. His best year was 2007 when he was named the league's most outstanding player while guiding the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the Grey Cup.
The 40 year old finished his career with the Edmonton Eskimos. It is not known when an official announcement will be made.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Another NFL Workout For Kory Sheets
Riders running back Kory Sheets is working out for a second NFL team. Sheets put out this photo on his Instagram account late this afternoon.
Sheets has already worked out for the Indianapolis Colts. He becomes a free agent February 15.
NHL Three Stars Of Week
FIRST STAR – KARI LEHTONEN, G, DALLAS STARS
Lehtonen went 3-1-0 with a 1.25 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and two shutouts to help the Stars (24-20-8, 56 points) move within sixth points of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. He made 19 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators Jan. 20 before picking up three consecutive victories, recording 18 stops in a 4-0 shutout of the Minnesota Wild Jan. 21, 24 saves in a 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Jan. 23 and 24 stops in a 3-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 25. The 30-year-old Helsinki native has played in 43 games this season, compiling a 20-14-8 record with a 2.52 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and three shutouts. Lehtonen also now has 25 blank sheets in his NHL career, 11 of which have come in a Dallas uniform. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is just the third goaltender to reach double-figures in shutouts since the franchise relocated to Texas in 1993, joining Marty Turco (40) and Ed Belfour (27).
SECOND STAR – GUSTAV NYQUIST, RW, DETROIT RED WINGS
Nyquist recorded 4-2—6, scoring in all four games to help the Red Wings (23-18-11, 57 points) pick up five out of a possible eight points and move into the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He posted the team’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues Jan. 20. Nyquist then collected 1-1—2 in consecutive games: a 5-4 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 22 and a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 24. He closed the week by scoring his ninth goal of the season in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers Jan. 26. The 24-year-old Halmstad, Sweden, native has 9-8—17 in 27 games this season, including 4-3—7 and a +4 rating during a five-game point streak.
THIRD STAR – ANDREJ SEKERA, D, CAROLINA HURRICANES
Sekera posted 1-5—6 and a +8 rating to power the Hurricanes (23-19-9, 55 points) to three consecutive victories, moving them within one point of the No. 3 spot in the Metropolitan Division. He opened the week by earning the primary assist on Jiri Tlusty’s tiebreaking goal in a 3-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 22. Sekera then posted a career-high three points (1-2—3), including his first game-winning goal since March 6, 2009, in a 5-3 victory over his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, Jan. 23. He capped the week with his sixth two-assist performance of the season in a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators Jan. 25. The 27-year-old Bojnice, Slovakia, native has played in 49 games this season, leading all Hurricanes blueliners in goals (8), assists (22) and points (30).
CTV Has You Ready For Super Bowl 48
CTV announced today its broadcast plans, sponsor details, and associated programming for the biggest annual television event in North America, the SUPER BOWL. CTV culminates its broadcast of the 2013-14 NFL season with exclusive Canadian coverage of SUPER BOWL XLVIII featuring the AFC Champion Denver Broncos taking on the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Feb. 2 (coverage begins at 12 noon ET). For the second year in a row, CTV will also offer live streaming of the game in Canada on CTV.ca.
CTV's extensive live coverage of SUPER BOWL XLVIII from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. airs live nationally on Sunday, Feb. 2 beginning at 12 noon ET, with six-and-a-half consecutive hours of pre-game programming (see below for details; visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times).
Last year's SUPER BOWL broadcast on CTV and RDS was the most-watched broadcast of the year in Canada with a combined television audience of 7.38 million viewers.
Mobile coverage of SUPER BOWL XLVIII is available exclusively on Bell Mobile TV.
Sponsors and Advertising
Each year, the SUPER BOWL ranks as the single hottest property for Canadian advertisers, and SUPER BOWL XLVIII is no exception with CTV exceeding all sales objectives.
Labatt Breweries of Canada returns as presenting sponsor of the SUPER BOWL on CTV, with Ford of Canada, McDonalds Restaurants of Canada, and Nissan Canada all returning as quarter sponsors.
Key advertisers for CTV's SUPER BOWL XLVIII coverage also include Bell, Bank of Montreal, Disney, H&R Block, H&M, Kia, Mazda, Petro Canada brand, SunCor, Telus, and Wonderful Pistachios, among others.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Something To "Mitch" About
What a great night for hockey! I thought the outdoor game between the Kings and Ducks at Dodger Stadium was fantastic. What I laughed at is all the people who thought the game was a joke. They apparently have no problem with the game being played outdoors in a winter climate like Detroit,m but they didn't like the game being played outdoors in southern California. They say hockey shouldn't be played outside in warm weather, but they have no problem with football being played in cold weather. What's the difference? We still bundle up and dress for the elements and we watch. Its because we are fans. Dodger Stadium was sold out and I'm guessing many of those had perhaps never been to a hockey game and now will return because the game wasn't that bad. The NHL was even smart enough to get Vin Scully involved. That man is a true, true legend. The story he told Scott Oake on HNIC Saturday night about Jackie Robinson and skating was just like every other story he tells----riveting. He is second to none. I would listen to that man read a phonebook!
I still think the NHL has over-killed the outdoors game by having too many of them this year and going a little too far in trying to capitalize on this, but Saturday's game was great. I loved it!
We went into 2014 saying its only a matter of time until Graham DeLaet wins a title. That time was so close to happening Sunday. DeLaet finishes tied for 2nd and takes home 366-thousand dollars in his first tournament of the year. If Scott Stallings doesn't make birdie on 18, who knows what happens in the playoff. I was out on Sunday afternoon and I listened to end of the event on satellite radio. (Yes, I listened to play-by-play of golf on the radio) In their wrap-up, the commentators were really high on DeLaet saying the Weyburn native was definitely one of the up and comers in 2013 and that they are expecting a huge year from him. He got started on the right foot I would say.
Tiger Woods had a terrible round at the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday firing a 79. CBS' Jim Nantz was very politically correct when he told those watching Tiger had "politely refused" to do a post-round interview. Gee thanks Tiger. If you shoot a 68, I bet you are right there waiting for the cameras to be shoved in your face. GROW UP!!! You had a bad round and everyone knows it. Were you going to go all "Richard Sherman" on David Feherty? You are the face of golf and you are supposed to be helping grow the sport.
This is just a great story! Could you do this Rider fans? I honestly don't know if I could...
Is it just me or is everyone talking to much about the weather for the Super Bowl? It really makes me wonder what the ESPN's and Fox Sports 1's would say about the Grey Cup each year if it wasn't in Toronto or Vancouver. They'd have gone off the rails here if they had been here the week of Grey Cup.
The Super Bowl marathons on the NFL Network are outstanding.
The NFL can try and re-package the Pro Bowl anyway they want and they tried this year with the players being picked in a draft by Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, but it still doesn't work. At the end of the day, the Pro-Bowl is just a bunch of guys basically playing a pick-up game. There's no intensity, there's no drama, there's nothing. The fact players on the same team in the regular season could be on opposite teams now only enhances that. You know a linebacker or a defensive end isn't going to lay out someone who is a teammate of theirs if the opportunity arises. Let the game go the way of the do-do bird.
If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, it will cap off a great football year for Saskatchewan. Jon Ryan winning a Super Bowl, the Riders winning a Grey Cup and the Thunder winning the Canadian junior title. That would be a pretty good year I say.
The Edmonton Oilers had a skills competition on the weekend. Considering the way the team has played, that must have been quite the event. I hope Jeff Petry was given the day off.
Has anyone noticed former Pats forward Jordan Weal leads his Manchester Monarchs in scoring and is in the top 15 in the American Hockey League scoring race. Is a call-up to the big team coming? The kid just keeps getting it done.
At what point do the Winnipeg Jets consider making Paul Maurice the full time coach and not just the guy until the end of the year. Whatever he's doing, its working.
Batista wins the Royal Rumble. That's a fail in my books. This year's Rumble will not rank up there with one of the best the WWE has had. For that matter, "The New Age Outlaws" win the tag belts. Have I been transported back to 2003?
Only 65 more days until baseball's opening day.
I don't know if there is anything more you can see about Anthony Calvillo that hasn't been said. Football people have been doing nothing but praise Calvillo since he decided to hang it up and for good reason. He arguably is the best quarterback the CFL has ever seen, but in my mind that honor goes to Warren Moon. The renaissance he had under Marc Trestman was tremendous, and while he QB"ed his team to two Grey Cups over the Riders, I think the Rider Nation can only sit back now and salute him for what he accomplished.
I have said it once and I will say it again. There perhaps is no worse song in the history of the world than "Cottoneye Joe". I would rather hear Barbie Girl than Cottoneye Joe and yes, I would rather hear "Last Saskatchewan Pirate than "Cottoneye Joe"
Sundays without football isn't right. I don't count the ProBowl as football either.
Have a good week! Stay warm! GO SEAHAWKS!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
McMorris Suffers Injury At Winter X Games
The Regina native caught his snowboard on the lip of a rail and went sliding down the bar on his right side before landing hard on the snow. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes before riding down the hill under his own power.
McMorris was taken to hospital, where X-rays showed he had a fractured rib, X Games officials said.
He finished second in the event on the strength of an earlier run.
10 Minutes With Jon Ryan
The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will both arrive in New Jersey tomorrow to start getting ready for Super Bowl 48. For Regina's Jon Ryan, its his first ever Super Bowl and he is looking forward to it. This is the interview done with Jon that aired Thursday in "Sportscage".
Friday, January 24, 2014
This And That
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Taylor Takes Absence From Cougs WBB Team
CFL Thinking Of Abolishing Convert
The CFL continues to discuss the elimination of the extra point - the kicked convert following a touchdown - but nothing is imminent with regards to a rule change.
"Our rules committee discussed the idea of eliminating or altering the convert several years ago and as recently as last year," said Glen Johnson, the CFL's vice-president of officiating.
"We plan on continuing to explore this idea, but no change is imminent."
Both the CFL and the NFL have bandied the idea about, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell making headlines in the leadup to the Super Bowl with his apparent support of abandoning the convert.
In its place, both leagues have separately discussed making touchdowns worth seven points - they are currently worth six, with the convert tacked on afterward.
Both the CFL and NFL have seen the convert's success rate hover at very near 100 per cent, making it too much of a sure thing. The idea is to allow teams options to add points to the touchdown but lose a point off the seven if that option fails.
"We discussed several alternatives over the years, including changing the rule so teams are automatically rewarded seven points for a TD, and giving them the option to risk losing a point or gaining an additional point by trying a two point convert . . . or changing the distance of a kicked convert, making the convert always a play from scrimmage," Johnson said.
Most CFL officials are at combine camps in the U.S., but the league's rules committee meets several times a year. Any rules changes for the coming season will be discussed next at the CFL's combine in Toronto on March 17.
The convert has been a part of football dating back to its roots in rugby. In fact, the free kick - the predecessor of the convert - was the main focus of the game, and the touchdown was merely the play that set up the free kick.
The Latest From Cougar Athletics
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A Chat With Graham DeLaet
On the eve of his first tournament of 2014, I spoke with Weyburn's Graham DeLaet about his great 2013, expectations for 2014, his love for the Riders and heading to the Masters. If you missed it on Wednesday's Sportscage, here it is...
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Not Flashy, But Solid
When people talk about the Seattle Seahawks this season, they talk about 2nd year quarterback Russell Wilson or power running back Marshawn Lynch or a defense led by the controversial Richard Sherman. Many forget about their outstanding punt coverage led by Regina's Jon Ryan. A story on just how good the Seahawks punt team was this year can be found right here
A-C Calls It A Career
After a Hall of Fame career that spanned 20 seasons, more than 79,000 yards and countless records, Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo announced his retirement from professional football Tuesday.
The longtime face of the franchise and five-time CFL All-Star was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player on three separate occasions over the course of his career and holds league records of 79,816 passing yards, 455 touchdown passes, 5,892 completions and 9,437 pass attempts.
“It has been quite a ride! As a kid growing up in California, I never thought that it would be possible to play professional football for 20 years in a country and a city that I knew nothing of,” explained Calvillo, who resides in Montreal with his wife Alexia and two daughters Olivia and Athena. “I will forever be thankful to our owner Bob Wetenhall and General Manager Jim Popp for allowing this franchise to have all the success that we have had over the years.
The city of Montreal and all the great Alouettes fans across the Province of Quebec have embraced me and that feeling is mutual.”
Calvillo broke into the CFL with the Las Vegas Posse in 1994 and spent the following three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before rising to stardom after joining the Montreal Alouettes in 1998. Serving as quarterback Tracy Ham's understudy for two seasons, Calvillo took over as the starting pivot in 2000 on his way to winning three Grey Cups with Montreal in 2002, 2009, and in 2010. He was also named the 2002 Grey Cup Most Outstanding Player.
"My family has been privileged to be associated with Anthony over all these years," said Alouettes owner Bob Wetenhall. “We wish him well and are looking ahead to our continuing engagement.”
Calvillo, who was presented with the Key to the City at the end of the 2011 season, led the Alouettes to eight Grey Cup tilts and owns several championship records for most pass completions (179), passing yards (2,470) and touchdown passes thrown.
“Today a hero to many steps to the side, not to be forgotten but to be cherished and respected for years to come. Anthony, you have earned your stripes,” added Alouettes General Manager and Head Coach Jim Popp. “I, first and foremost, want to thank you for being a true gentleman and professional. Secondly, for inspiring us all with your courage and determination. And thirdly, for being such a great leader on and off the field.
Your will to help and give has made us all better people, and the Alouettes a better family. I wish you, Alexia, Athena, and Olivia many years of good health, happiness, and that memorable walk off into the sunset as you all reflect on what an outstanding career you have had and all that you have given to your family and work."
The veteran pivot became pro football’s all-time passing leader in spectacular fashion at Percival Molson Stadium against the Toronto Argonauts on October 10, 2011, following a 50-yard touchdown strike to Jamel Richardson.
“On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Anthony for his great contributions to our team. Not only for what he has done on the field but in the community as well. Anthony was, and always will be a prestigious ambassador for the Alouettes,” declared team President and CEO, Mark Weightman.
In 2012, Calvillo became the first QB in league history to reach the 5,000-plus passing yards mark seven times over his brilliant career. He also threw for over 300 yards in eight-straight games, breaking Doug Flutie's single-season CFL record of seven, set in 1991 with the B.C. Lions. That season, Calvillo deservingly earned his tenth nomination as the team's Most Outstanding Player.
"I would like to thank Anthony and Alexia for their contribution to the Alouettes organization and to the Montreal community throughout the years. I look forward to a continued association and friendship with Anthony and his family for many years to come," said Alouettes Chairman, Paul Harris.
Calvillo is one of the Alouettes’ most active members in the community, particularly with Cedars Cancer Institute.
Canadian Football League Commissioner Mark Cohon said, "Anthony Calvillo is more than one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He is one of the most remarkable people to ever grace our league.
We know he has rewritten the record books, completing passes, throwing touchdowns, and leading teams to wins and championships, amassing a legacy as a player that is second to none. What we can't measure is how many lives he has inspired with his example of courage and perseverance. For all of his touchdown drives and comeback victories, his greatest triumphs have been over poverty and circumstance, disappointment and discouragement, injury and illness.
He has shown us what it takes to be a winner on the field. Along the way, he taught us much about what it means to be a true teammate, a loving father and a devoted husband.
All of us will miss AC the player. He is a singular talent. But Canadians from coast to coast, and football fans beyond our borders, have also come to know Anthony the person. And that is why we have every confidence that he will continue to excel, in his career after football and in his life, most of all."
Monday, January 20, 2014
Canadians Loved NFL Championship Sunday
TORONTO (January 20, 2014) – The final stop on the road to SUPER BOWL XLVIII drew record audiences to CTV, as overnight data from BBM Canada confirms that the Seattle Seahawks’ thrilling victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Conference Championships attracted 2.7 million viewers to the network. Up 45% compared to last year’s NFC Championship, it was the highest audience ever recorded for a non-Super Bowl NFL Playoff game in Canada.
The game was the most-watched program on Canadian television on the weekend, with the audience peaking late in the fourth quarter with more than 3.6 million viewers as the Seahawks intercepted quarterback Colin Kaepernick to seal the victory over their NFC West rival, the 49ers.
Earlier in the day, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos’ decisive victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots attracted an average audience of 2.2 million viewers to CTV. The AFC Championship was up 12% compared to last year.
Overall, a total of 10.3 million viewers tuned in to CTV to watch some or all of the network’s coverage of the NFL Conference Championships on Sunday.
Together, audiences for both NFL Conference Championship games on CTV were up 28% compared to last year.
CTV’s exclusive coverage of the NFL Playoffs continues with the most-watched television event in Canada, the SUPER BOWL, airing live on Sunday, Feb. 2 with coverage beginning at 12 noon ET.
Daryl Katz Writes Letter To Oilers Fans
We all thought this was going to be the year the Oilers turned the corner. Obviously, that hasn’t happened, and it hurts. It’s frustrating – for all of us. For our fans, for our players and staff, and for everyone in our community who shares a common bond around a game, a team and a city that we love.
I know this will almost certainly be the eighth consecutive year since we made the playoffs. I hate that fact as much as anyone, but the reality is that this is only year four of the rebuild that started when we drafted Taylor Hall. The good news, if you can call it that, is that other teams that committed to fundamental rebuilds went through the same kind of droughts over the same kind of time frames, or longer. That doesn’t make it fun for anyone; it just means we have to stay the course.
Yes, we hoped and expected to be better this year – there’s no question about that. But we’ve also been more active than any team I can think of in rebuilding our organization from bottom to top by supporting player development in OKC and Bakersfield, revamping our scouting organization, naming a new GM and a new coach, signing free agents like Justin Schultz, Boyd Gordon, Andrew Ference, Anton Belov and Ilya Bryzgalov, and trading for players like David Perron, and now Ben Scrivens and Matt Hendricks. And we’re not done.
But I can also tell you that we are not going to sacrifice the future by doing something short-term. Those days are over and they’re not coming back. If we’re going to rebuild, we want to do it right and we only want to do it once.
I hear a lot from fans about accountability, so let’s be clear. We are all accountable. That includes me, Kevin, Craig, Dallas, every player who wears our jersey, and every member of our staff. I know Kevin is the target of a lot of personal attacks right now, and that’s really unfortunate. Kevin is a big part of our organization, and it’s not just the Oilers that value his knowledge and perspective. He is consistently chosen, year after year, to play a leadership role with Hockey Canada. But when it comes down to it, this is Craig MacTavish’s team. He is the GM. He makes the calls, and he is accountable for building a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup — year in and year out for years to come.
That’s our vision. We are committed to it — and we’re confident that we are on the right track.
Our fans have been incredibly patient and supportive. At the same time, we know there’s a lot of frustration and we are asking you to hang in there while we fight through this and put the next few pieces of the team in place.
I’ll tell you this, despite everything, we all wear our Oilers colours with the same pride now as we ever have, and as we will when we’re back on top. We hope you’ll do the same.
We value our fans, we hear you, and we appreciate your support.
NHL Three Stars Of Week
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 19.
FIRST STAR – MARTIN ST. LOUIS, RW, TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
St. Louis paced all skaters with five goals and eight points, highlighted by a four-goal performance Jan. 18 versus the San Jose Sharks, to help the Lightning (29-16-5, 63 points) maintain second place in the Atlantic Division. He began the week with one point in each of his first three games: an assist in a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 13, an assist in a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers Jan. 14 and a goal in a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders Jan. 16. St. Louis then became the second player in Lightning history – and first since the team’s first regular-season game Oct. 17, 1992 (Chris Kontos) – to score four goals in a game in a 5-4 loss to the Sharks Jan. 18. He also matched his own club record by tallying three goals in one period, last accomplished Jan. 15, 2004. St. Louis then closed the week by collecting one assist in a
5-3 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 19. The 38-year-old Laval, Que., native leads the Lightning and ranks seventh in the NHL with 25-25—50 in 50 games this season, including 8-4—12 during an eight-game point streak, the longest active streak in the League.
SECOND STAR – JONATHAN QUICK, G, LOS ANGELES KINGS
Quick posted a 2-0-1 record with a 0.97 goals-against average, .967 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Kings (29-14-6, 64 points) to five out of a possible six points. He made 28 saves in a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Jan. 13 to earn his second shutout of the season and the 27th of his NHL career, five shy of Rogie Vachon for the club record. Quick followed that up with another 28-save performance in a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues Jan. 16. He closed the week by making 33 saves, plus another two in the shootout, in a 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Jan. 18. The 27-year-old Milford, Conn., native has compiled a 14-6-2 record with a 2.05 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 23 appearances this season, including a 4-1-2 mark with a 1.40 goals-against average and .946 save percentage since being activated from the injured reserve list Jan. 4.
THIRD STAR – COREY CRAWFORD, G, CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Crawford went 2-0-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .916 save percentage to help the Blackhawks (32-8-11, 75 points) remain in first place in the Central Division. He recorded 23 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche Jan. 14. Crawford then made 19 saves in a 4-2 victory over the League-leading Anaheim Ducks Jan. 17. He capped the week by turning aside 34 shots, plus another two in the shootout, in a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins Jan. 19 in the teams’ first meeting since the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. The 29-year-old Montreal native has played in 34 games this season, posting a 19-7-7 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
Richard Sherman Comes Clean
Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman is the talk of the sports world today after his emotional rant with FOX's Erin Andrews at the end of the NFC Championship. A calmer Sherman spoke with CNNSI's Peter King and comes clean on what happened yesterday. You can read that interview right here
Coach C Up For Coach Of The Year
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Something To "Mitch" About
Love him or hate him, Richard Sherman is going to the Super Bowl and he is taking his NFC champion Seattle Seahawks with him after a nail-biting win over the San Francisco 49ers which obviously makes this blogger very, very happy.
Sherman is taking a lot of heat for his in the moment post-game interview with FOX's Erin Andrews where he exploded and went on a rant that will go down forever, but the bottom line is like him or not, he gets the job done. He is the NFL's Dwight Anderson ladies and gentlemen.
Speaking of which, did the scene at CenturyLink field not resemble a certain November night at Mosaic. It sure did to me with the fans cheering their heads off to make it nearly impossible for Colin Kaeperpick to hear and for them to stick around to see the trophy presentation (albeit not THE trophy presentation) and then celebrate with the players who ran around the field to share it. Was throwing Skittles at Niners linebacker Navorro Bowman the right thing to do...absolutely not. At least, it wasn't full beer cans.
Thoughts on the game and on the AFC Championship
--I will be the first to admit the fumble Bowman recovered when he suffered that gruesome leg injury was a horrible mistake for the officials to make and it was good to see the game didn't change on that possession as Seattle was stuffed on 4th down. This of course made my heartrate elevate just a little until Sherman's tip into the hands of teammate Malcolm Smith, but the wrong call was made and it would have cheapened the victory somewhat
--Say what you will about Sherman, but Crabtree is just as big a yapper if not more
--It seemed for a while the ball was not going to bounce Seattle's way, but you earn your bounces and Seattle's D did that in the 2nd half.
--I thought New England would be able to run the ball on Denver and kill valuable time. It was Denver who successfully ran the ball and killed valuable time.
--If you put Brady on Denver with receivers and Manning on New England without, what would the verdict be. How Brady got this far with the talent he had is beyond me.
--Seattle's o-line needs to improve tenfold before the Super Bowl. Aldon Smith just ate Russell Okung alive. Then again, does Denver have an Aldon Smith like player since Von Miller is done for the year.
--FOX's decibel meter had to be broken. There is NO way the decibel level at C-Link got to 110 in a winner goes to the Super Bowl game when it got to nearly 137 for a Monday nighter. That place had to explode on the Lynch TD, the Kearse TD and the Smith INT to end it.
Vanstone's Broncos against my Seahawks in two weeks.......CAN'T WAIT!!
Alright, the other big story of the weekend.
The hockey world is buzzing and they should be after the antics of Saturday night’s game between the Flames and the Canucks. Both teams brought their “Charleston Chiefs” mentality to Rogers Arena as a line brawl erupted as soon as the puck was dropped. What a wonderful thing to happen on “Hockey Day in Canada”! I am not one who thinks fighting should be abolished in the NHL, but the staged fight is something we don’t need and while John Tortorella takes all the heat (which he should), the blame must fall on Flames coach Bob Hartley as far as I’m concerned. He was the instigator.
Hartley knew exactly what he was doing when he put his “enforcer” line out to start the game. "Those guys are playing well for us," he said. "They got a goal last game. We're not scoring many goals. We had zero intentions there.” What a crock of crap! Watch the video and you will see HNIC announcers Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey knew what was about to happen.
Hartley lit the match for the explosives to go off and while Tortorella is way off base for what he did and should be suspended for a while, Hartley should also get out his chequebook and give way to his assistants for a while because he should also be reprimanded heavily by the NHL.
As bad (or entertaining) as the incident was, the performance by PJ Stock was just embarassing. I’ve never been a fan of the HNIC analyst, but he went right off the rails talking about what happened. As someone tweeted Saturday night after his meltdown, “PJ Stock is the dumbest analyst in the history of analysts and TSN used to use a monkey.” That may be stretching it just a little. I just hope the suits at Rogers realize Stock should not be a part of HNIC once they get control of it. Then again, that could mean Nick Kypreos and is that much better. YEESH!!!
Who does ESPN baseball writer Peter Gammons think he is when he calls the NHL a "minor sport" on his Twitter account. I'm a baseball fan Mr. Gammons, but do you want to start comparing the two sports and the problems they have. I think its safe to say Gammons got a lot of opinions from Canadians on his Twitter feed.
A great will leave the sports world later this week when Anthony Calvillo calls it quits. The debate is already on so lets pick it up and that debate is where does Calvillo rank when it comes to CFL quarterbacks. He is definitely top 10, but where do you put him. I would put him 5th behind Moon, Flutie, Damon Allen and Ronnie. I might even have Calvillo ahead of Ronnie when you look at the post-season success he had. It’s a shame to see A-C call it a career because of an injury because he didn’t get to go out on his terms, but certainly he will get his day in Montreal and we will see him in the CFL Hall of Fame sooner than later. He has been a true professional in every sense of the word and I do salute him for the long and glorious career he had.
A lot of people are wondering what the Riders do if Weston Dressler and/or Kory Sheets finds NFL employment. I say its too early to even know the answer to that. What you see now is not what you will see when training camp starts. Some have suggested Geroy Simon’s time in Riderville will continue if Dressler doesn’t come back. Again, it is wayyyyyyy too early to start thinking about that. Lets let the cards be played before we start wondering how the hand will turn out. We have free agency, a draft, and a lot of organizational decisions to be made before we start putting things together.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS must have been salivating upon hearing it looks like Craig Butler will go to free agency and see how everything plays out. The REDBLACKS, and every other CFL team, would love to have someone of Butler’s ilk wearing their uniform. Ottawa may have the most money to throw at Butler. I hope he stays in green, but his statements make me wonder if the Riders will cough up enough money for that to happen. I know they won’t overspend for him. I also know Sam Hurl is likely ready to step into the starting lineup should it come to that.
This baseball fan is not pleased with the fact instant replay is coming to the sport. How long will these replays take and how much longer will that make a game that can sometime go three and a half or four hours if not longer. I am all for getting the call right, but at what price. Baseball needs to do something to speed up the play whether it be telling pitchers to stop fidgeting on the mound or batters to stay in the batters box. This could end up being more harm than good.
I’m wayyyy late on this, but I saw the 60 minutes documentary on Alex Rodriguez. I’ve lost any respect I had for A-Rod. If he doesn’t come back, I have no problem with it. What disturbed me the most was the guy who was administering this stuff to A-Rod. What a sleazebag! Is A-Rod not smart enough to see you couldn’t trust this guy. WOW!!!!
I hope for the sake of the Regina Pats that when they make the playoffs, SHAW TV does not decide to do their first round playoff series. If they do, it might be four and out for the home side. Why doesn’t this team play well when the cameras are on? With the exception of an Access game where they played perhaps their best game of the year against Kelowna, they have not looked good when the bright lights of TV have shined on them. I can’t even begin to offer an explanation.
I had a chance to finally visit Fortuna Regina on Saturday. Lets just say the visit was overdue and well worth the wait. I highly recommend it.
All this talk about Aaron Hernandez on Sunday and the fact the former New England tight end who sits in a jail cell because he murdered someone hasn’t seen a play of his team on TV nor will he this year even if they win the Super Bowl. WHO CARES!!!! Does Aaron Hernandez deserve to watch football or any TV after what he did. NO! End of story!
Curling in Vegas. Jennifer Jones says rinks were bag-piped through casinos to wherever they were playing. That must have the old cronies playing the slot machines wondering what was going on.
Have a great week!
The Bombers Are So Classy
Just click here and you will see what I mean!
Thursday, January 16, 2014
This And That
Have a great weekend!! GO SEAHAWKS!