Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SportZone lineup for Oct 30th

Here's the lineup for the "big show" running this week and next on Access7:

SportZone Guests for Oct 30/06
Community Co-Host – Carlo Palazzo

1. The Regina Pats limp home from their first extended road swing of the WHL season. Guest: Garrett Festerling (Pats forward).

2. A profile of the U of R women’s basketball team. Guests: Gabby Gheyssen & Maja Kralovcova (Players).

3. The Miller Marauders capture the city 2A high school girls soccer championship. Guests: Barb Barnes-Wilcox & Sharon McKechnie (Coaches), Erin Payette & Alyssa Kress (Players).

4. The Luther Lions capture the city 2A high school boys soccer championship. Guests: Larry Fry (Head Coach), Andrew Strilchuk & Jiyu Iida (Players).

5. A preview of winter soccer leagues and clinics available in Regina. Guests: Dennis Morse (Regina Soccer Association Executive Director) & Lori Wiens (Women’s Morning Soccer League Coordinator).

6. The Regina Optimist Dolphins get set to host the 1st Annual Queen City Swim Challenge. Guest: Jasen Pratt (RODS Head Coach).

Monday, October 30, 2006

A little perspective

Do yourself a favour. Read this. Then ask yourself why we care so much about the outcome of games. The Ryan family has its priorities straight. We could all learn a lesson.

I have come to know Jon and Steve Ryan through the SportZone program I host on Access. Two finer young men you will not meet. And, after meeting their parents Bob and Barb I can safely surmise the apples don't fall far from the tree in that family.

I can relate to the unfortunate circumstances the Ryan family is dealing with. I only hope to deal with my situation with half as much class, faith and love as these folks.

A BIG thumbs up to Jim Hopson and Paul Hill for their efforts on behalf of the Ryans this past weekend. Nicely done, gentlemen. And, a tip of the hat to Rob Vanstone for reporting the story in a thoughtful and compassionate manner. I think I'll call my mom tonight...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Glad that's out of the way

I wouldn't get too worked up about Saskatchewan's 20-18 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos last night. Sure, it would have been nice if Luca Congi's 49-yard field goal had split the uprights on the last play of the game. But really, the Riders almost pulled out a win with a roster full of rookies and bench-warmers. In a nutshell - an insignificant outcome to an insignificant game. On the positive side, Barrett's Boys go into next weekend's West Semi-Final in Calgary healthy and rested. Now, that's worth getting worked up about!

There were a couple of noteworthy accomplishments last night, though. Rookie receiver Andy Fantuz cemented his status as Jacob's favourite Rider by posting the first 100-yard receiving game of his CFL career. Marcus Crandell did a very competent job at quarterback in his first extended action of the season. Marcus "Chunky" Adams played a strong game on the defensive line. And Jason French had a potential game-winning touchdown pass bounce off his helmet. Oh well, some things never change.

Time to get back to the offspring. We have an action-packed day ahead of us, before Yoda arrives later tonight. Hopefully the little Jedi leaves the big stick at home.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hardly an epic battle

Tomorrow night's regular season finale between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos is shaping up to be a yawner. Mind you, that's probably a better scenario for the Riders than needing a win to make the post-season. They've sewn up third place in the West, and will travel to Calgary next weekend for the West Semi-Final.

So, the Gang Green is taking no chances, and resting lots of regulars for this week. On offense we'll see the likes of Nathan Hoffart and Neil Hughes getting some work, while guys like Luc Mullinder and Dwan Epps will take a regular turn on defence. It'll be interesting to see if Rider sack-master Fred Perry gets much playing time. Perry is two back of BC's Brent Johnson for the league lead, with 14 quarterback sacks.

I'm thinking Jacob and I will be dabbling in Madden Football at halftime. If the game's a dog, we may just keep the game on.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

SportZone lineup for Oct 23rd

If you like hockey, you don't want to miss this week's show - airing Wednesday at 6pm and Thursday at 3pm on Access 7.

SportZone Guests for Oct 23/06
Community Co-Host – Tim Hubic

1. The Regina Pats get set for their first extended road swing of the WHL season. Guests: Linden Rowat (Pats goalie) & Craig Schira (Defenceman).

2. A book review of “Never Give Up – Ted Jaleta’s Inspiring Story”, the story of a Regina athlete’s harrowing escape from Ethiopia. Guest: Ted Jaleta (distance runner/coach) & Deanna Driver (Author).

3. A profile of the U of R men’s hockey team. Guests: Blaine Sautner (Head Coach) & Jordan McGillivray (Cougars forward).

4. An update on the Regina Pat Canadians 2006/05 Midget AAA hockey club. Guests: Landis Chaulk (Assistant Coach) & Jordan Heywood (Defenceman).

5. A preview of the winter frivolity planned at the Regina Ski Club . Guest: Hal Herbison (Regina Ski Club).

6. An update on the Regina Capitals 2006/05 Prairie Junior Hockey League (Junior B) club. Guests: Leo McDonald (Head Coach) & Byron Alexander (Forward).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Putting sports in perspective

By now you've likely heard about that horrific early-morning car crash in Moose Jaw Sunday morning. Three members of the Warriors hockey team were in a car that was hit by a pick-up truck around 7am. The Warriors had just returned from a road trip and were heading home for some sleep. Two of the players were treated and released from hospital. However, 18 year old forward Garret Robinson remains in critical condition in a Regina hospital with severe head injuries. Garret is the younger brother of Matt Robinson, who toiled brilliantly for the Regina Pats last season.

Needless to say, the thoughts and prayers of anyone even remotely connected with junior hockey are with the Robinson family and the Warriors. Hockey rivalries are terribly insignificant at this point, as we all hope for a full and speedy recovery for Garret.

As for the driver of the pickup - I'm not interested in trying anyone in the court of public opinion, but Moose Jaw police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Off to a good start

The weekend is rolling along pretty nicely so far. The Riders turned in a tremendous defensive effort last night in knocking off the Toronto Argos 13-9. Rookie sensation Andy Fantuz scored the only touchdown of the game, but failed miserably in mugging for the TSN cameras afterwards. Seriously dude, stick with "Hi, Mom". Heck of a player, though.

The only drawback was the 2.5 hour (!) wait for sustenance from Houston Pizza. Two and a half hours for a pizza?!?!?! Fortunately, the folks at HP knocked 50% off the price, and threw in some free salad. And let's face it, the boys and I aren't in danger of fading away to nothing any time soon, so we managed to survive the wait.

Then, after the game Yoda and I took in a movie at the Rainbow Cinemas. All in all, time well spent.

Tonight, I'll try to do my best Harry Neale (or Cassie Campbell?) imitation as I join Rod Pedersen in the booth to provide colour commentary for the Pats and Lethbridge Hurricanes at the Brandt Centre. I'll try to keep the outrageous comments to a minimum.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Never a dull moment in Riderville

So, Rider running back Kenton Keith broke his personal three-month media blackout yesterday. And, Rider coach Danny Barrett started his own. What's up with that? Since when has Danny Barrett avoided media scrutiny? Speculation is DB's actions relate to a story Don Hewitt ran on CTV Regina, alleging the Rider bench boss is resigned to moving on at the end of this season. All this coming off a big win over Montreal. Man, this team really doesn't handle prosperity well, does it?

Well, we'll see how the latest machinations play out when the Green Gang takes to the turf in Toronto tomorrow night. Riders tomorrow night. Pats Saturday night. And at some point this weekend I've gotta find time to compose another critically-acclaimed paper for my university class. Good times, I tell ya. Good times.

Oh, and a big thumbs down for a few members of the Campbell Tartans football team. I was out with a friend at Boston Pizza south last night, when we noticed our server Adam was a little down in the dumps. It seems several members of the Tartan delegation decided to "dine and dash" last night, leaving poor Adam on the hook for their bill. Nice.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

SportZone lineup for Oct 16th

Here's the lineup for the show, airing on Access 7 Wednesday at 6pm and Thursday at 3pm:

SportZone Guests for Oct 16/06
Community Co-Host – Dale West

1. A Regina athlete is off to compete at the World Bodybuilding Championships in the Czech Republic. Guest: Ron Gonzales (Bodybuilder).

2. An update from the Commissioner of Regina High School Athletics. Guest: Greg Johnson (RHSAA Commissioner).

3. An update on ringette action in the Regina area. Guest: Troy Herring (Ringette Regina Vice President).

4. A profile of the Regina Rebels, our entry in the new Saskatchewan Midget AAA girls hockey league. Guests: Doug Folk (Head Coach) & Kylie Rossler (Rebels Captain).

5. A profile of the U of R women’s hockey team. Guest: Sarah Howald (Head Coach).

6. A profile of the Miller Marauders high school football team. Guests: Dean Kuz (Head Coach), Chris Knoll & Matt Hall (Players).

7. An update on the Regina Thunder football team, including a recap of their semi-final matchup with the Edmonton Wildcats. Guest: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Congi comes through!

Thumbs up for Rider rookie kicker Luca Congi, who calmly stroked a 29-yard field goal on the last play of the game togive the Green Gang a 27-26 win over the Montreal Alouettes. The Riders overcame all sorts of miscues and misfires in this one, including a couple of Kerry Joseph interceptions, and one (almost two) fumbles by sure-handed Matt Dominguez. On the flip side, the pride of Moose Jaw - defensive tackle Scott Schultz - had a monster game, including two of the six sacks of Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo. On a side note, young Jacob shivered a bit as the mercury dropped, but enjoyed the evening immensely.

So, if the Edmonton Eskimos lose to Toronto this afternoon - the Riders officially clinch a playoff spot. And the Eskimos 34 year streak of postseason play comes to an end. Sweet.

As an aside, that 13th man song.........the one recorded by Jason Armstead and Shermar Bracey..........not bad! If anyone knows where to get an mp3 of that song, let me know.

Tonight, the progeny and I will be camped out in the Brandt Centre pressbox for the Pats and Swift Current Broncos. See ya on the radio!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rocky can't answer the bell

Riders quarterback Rocky Butler is officially out of commission for tomorrow night's rematch with the Montreal Alouettes. Kerry Joseph is listed as #1 on the depth chart this week, followed by Marcus Crandell and Darian Durant. Butler - a surprise starter against the Als Thanksgiving Day - is recovering from a mild concussion suffered in that game. Joseph is still dealing with a knee injury that may require offseason surgery.

With any luck, Joseph will make it out of Mosaic Stadium alive tomorrow. Healthy quarterbacks are becoming a rarity in Riderville. Plus, the Riders really need a win to restore young Jacob's faith in the Green Gang. Seven is far too young to be jaded.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pats Deal Puckstopper

The Regina Pats have dealt 19 year old goaltender David Reekie to the Everett Silvertips. Reekie won 31 games for the Pats last season, but lost the starting job to 17 year old Linden Rowat this year. Too bad, nice kid - and one of Jacob's favourite Pats. I wish him the best out west.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Can't always get what you want

I refuse to let the Saskatchewan Roughriders latest bed-soiling episode spoil an otherwise excellent weekend. In case you missed it, the Riders looked flatter than my grade six girlfriend in Montreal Monday, losing 35-8. A late touchdown flattered the visitors, who were outclassed in every aspect of the game. And for those of you hoping this latest implosion leads to a coaching change; sorry. No way Eric Tillman sends Danny Barrett packing with only four days between games.

Thankfully, the Regina Pats brought me out of my Rider-induced funk by blanking the P.A. Raiders 2-0 Monday afternoon. Jacob's favourite Pat Nick Ross scored the game-winner, and Linden Rowat staked another claim to the #1 goaltender's job by posting the shutout.

And then there was Sunday night. After a succulent Thanksgiving feast in Moose Jaw, I joined 45,000 of my closest friends for the Rolling Stones concert at Mosaic Stadium. Wow. Quite simply, wow. Yes, I know the Stones are ancient. Yes, I know they haven't released a great album in many, many years. But you know what? It was still a fantastic show. It's just too bad some people spent so much money on their tickets that they had to cut costs by passing their cigarettes around while at the show. Funny smelling cigarettes too. Must have been imported.:)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Regina Makes the Daily Show!

Anyone remember that zany Bill Whatcott? You know, the zealous anti-gay crusader? The folks at the Daily Show seemed to enjoy meeting him.

Gimme Shelter!

It's gonna be a wild and wacky weekend in the Queen City. The first of two massive Rolling Stones concerts is tonight at Mosaic Stadium. 45,000 people watching a gaggle of grandfathers strut their stuff. Imagine. I'll be at the Sunday night show. I always hoped I'd get the opportunity to see the Stones in concert. But in Regina? Didn't think it was possible. This is gonna be an experience. I'm prepping myself by listening to their 40 Licks greatest hits package from a few years back.

On Monday morning, I'll settle down in front of the big screen to watch the Riders and Alouettes from Montreal. Lord only knows which version of the Green Gang will suit up for this one, or how the Als will respond to the departure of Head Coach Don Matthews this week. At least we know Kerry Joseph will be taking snaps for the Riders. How effective he'll be with a (still) injured right knee remains to be seen.

Then, once the Rider game wraps up it's time to dash over to the Brandt Centre for the Pats and P.A. Raiders. I'm hosting the CKRM post-game show on my own for that one. Tune in if you dare! I'm a little nervous, truth be told. But, hopefully the Pats win big and I can lob lots of softball questions at the guests. They tend to like that.

So, buckle up your chinstraps and put on the foil - it's gonna a wild ride this weekend. And I'm liking it!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Expanding our reach

This blog is now listed on the SaskBlogs Aggregator site. I encourage you to visit, and check out what's happening with Saskatchewan's vibrant blogging community. After all, we're all in this together!

Now, about those Riders - I expect the Montreal Alouettes to come out firing Monday, now that Don Matthews has been deposed as the Als Head Coach. And make no mistake - despite assertions Matthews stepped down for health reasons - the Don was dumped. So now Jim Popp is pulling the chains, and I expect Anthony Calvillo to be putting the ball in the air early and often. This might not bode well for the Green Gang.

The Pats dropped another one last night, losing 5-2 to Medicine Hat. Too many Pats are playing "cutesy" hockey, unwilling to pay the price by doing some of the dirty work required to make a team successful. That will change. Bank on it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

SportZone lineup for Oct 2nd

Here's the lineup for the show, airing On Access 7 Wednesday at 6pm and Thursday at 3pm this week and next week:

SportZone Guests for Oct 2/06
Community Co-Host – Corey Matthews

1. A profile of the new indoor baseball facility in Regina, offering year-round training for the boys of summer. Guest: Ken Geber (Owner, Triple Play Sports).

2. One of the Regina Red Sox import players liked the city so much, he decided to stay and get an education. Guest: Shane Lucci (Red Sox pitcher/U of R intern).

3. An update on the Regina Pats, in the early days of the 2006/07 WHL season. Guest: Kyle Deck (Pats captain).

4. A profile of the RMF Pee-Wee Blues, bringing youth football to North-Central Regina. Guests: Brandon Brooks (Head Coach) & (Players TBA).

5. A profile of the Usher Unicorns high school football team. Guests: Danny Paskiw (Head Coach) & Wyatt Catley (Quarterback).

6. A profile of the University of Regina cross-country team. Guests: Ted Jaleta (Coach) & Dale Wig (Runner).

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Are you kidding?

What gives with the Saskatchewan Roughriders? Once again, they had a struggling opponent on the ropes, but failed to deliver the knockout punch. The Edmonton Eskimos rallied Saturday night to beat the Riders 30-25, keeping the Evil Empire's hopes of a playoff berth alive. The Schmoes improved their record to 5-9, while the Green Gang slipped to 7-7 - also known as their customary .500 record. Yet again.

Kerry Joseph was having (yet) another so-so night at quarterback for the Riders when he went down with an apparent knee injury in the second half. Enter Rocky Butler, much to the delight of the leather-lunged minority at Mosaic Stadium. Alas, this time the Butler didn't do it, and Saskatchewan dropped an opportunity to inch closer to Calgary in the race for second place (and a home playoff game) in the West. And the beat goes on...

Tonight, the Pats fell behind 4-0 to the Red Deer Rebels, before mounting a spirited comeback in the last ten minutes of the game. However, the comeback fell short, and the Pats dropped a 4-3 decision. All in all, not such a great sports weekend.