Monday, March 5, 2018
Something To "Mitch" About
--For a long, long time (too long to remember), I have been a supporter of U of R Cougar basketball. I don't think that is a secret to anyone. Whether it be doing the play-by-play of games on Access 7 or doing the in-house public address as I have been doing for the past many years, it has been great to have a front row seat for both the men's and women's teams.
It is also no secret as to the program that has been established by the women's team. I would argue that the mission Christine Stapleton started years ago before passing the torch to Jeff Speedy who gave it to Dave Taylor is one of the best programs in Canada. How can it not be? Look at the track record! That being said, the conference banners haven't come for one reason or another. On Friday night, one came.
Over 1800 people filled the 2000 seat CKHS to watch the Canada West Final and get a preview of the national championship that starts Thursday at the U of R. If some of those in attendance weren't sure if they were going to come back Thursday as they entered the gym, they probably left having bought tickets as Friday night was a special one.
Whether or not the celebration that ensued after a 75-55 win over the U of S will be duplicated and perhaps increased next weekend is not known as there is no certainty that the Cougars will win the Nationals, but to see Taylor win a conference title after being at so many games and taking away silver was great to see. I don't really know if he gets the recognition he deserves and perhaps his record at nationals and conference finals is a reason why. All I know is he has done a tremendous job in keeping this program at the level it is at and there is no sign of that ending anytime soon.
--The Brier is underway and it got underway with a bang Saturday afternoon. Sara England--the daughter of the late Sandra Schmirler--had the honour of being the first woman to throw the first rock at the Canadian Men's Curling Championship with the other three members of Sandra's rink---Marcie Gudereit, Joan McCusker and Jan Betker. Sara didn't disappoint. All the 20 year old did with a packed Brandt Centre, all the Brier players and many of those who had represented Saskatchewan in previous players on the ice was throw one right to the button. Sara said after it was one of the coolest things she had done and being able to represent her Mom in a moment like that was awesome.
Right after that, Sara's sister Jenna sang O'Canada with proud dad Shannon right there. What a moment it was! I don't know when she will do it, but Sara will very soon represent this province at the Scotties. If she can carry on doing what her mother was able to do, look out! I still can't believe it was 20 years ago that Sandra won gold in Nagano. I remember watching that as if it was yesterday on a little TV in what was then my south-end apartment. It was 20 years ago? Where does the time go!
Team Saskatchewan goes into Monday with a record of 1-2. The crowd was definitely with Steve Laycock and company Sunday night in a win over New Brunswick and the team definitely fed off the energy. If they can get the crowd behind them the way another team that wears green across the street from the Brandt Centre can, it could be the start of a run for the Saskatoon rink.
Don't tell me Regina's Braeden Moskowy isn't loving the Brier. Moskowy, who is the Manitoba third, has helped his team to a record of 3-0 while scanning the stands looking for friends and family. The TSN cameras have caught his wandering eye a few times now. He told me after Sunday's draw this is the most fun he has had curling in his life. I wonder what he'll be thinking if his Reid Carruthers rink wins it all in one week's time.
--The MLS season has started. Didn't it just end about six weeks ago. That is the sport where the season seemingly never ends.
--I wonder how the NHL felt about NBC pulling the pin late in the 3rd of the Leafs-Capitals outdoors game to go to Saturday Night Live. NBC said a delay in a brief power outage was the reason. Would NBC do that if they had on a PGA event that went late because of rain or a playoff or something? Would FOX do that for an NFL or MLB game? What a slap in the face to the NHL from its American TV partner. I am guessing Gary Bettman is looking for some answers on that----as he should!
--Sportsnet floated out the idea about an outdoor game being played in Regina. I doubt it. People let it be known loud and clear they didn't want to sit outside and pay over 100 dollars for a hockey game this winter. They don't even want to sit outside for a Riders game in late October or early November when it was around minus 6, so why would they do this. Why would the Flames or Jets give up a home date and why would they alienate their local fan base by having a game elsewhere? The chance has come and gone as far as I'm concerned
--Seattle has definitely let the NHL know it wants a team. One is coming. When? Would former Brandon Wheat Kings coach/GM Kelly McCrimmon be a part of that team's front office, Why not? Look what he has helped form as assistant GM in Vegas!
--I think its safe to say we've had enough snow for a while. Wanted: One snowblower!!
--Have a good week. Hope you can get off your street and that a grader comes down it soon.