Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Those dirty Bengals!


Cincinnati is obviously a lot more interesting town than people think! Check this out. That Carson Palmer must have picked up more than a Heisman trophy at USC.

They actually have tournaments for this type of thing? I've been leading a far, far too sheltered life.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

SportZone lineup for the week of May 29th

Sorry for the shortage of fresh material lately - life's been a little crazy. A sick mom, active kid and a new job. If only I could squeeze a little more stress into my days! Anyway, here's the lineup for this week - the show airs Wednesday night at 6pm and Thursday afternoon at 3pm.

SportZone Guests for May 29/06
Community Co-Host – Corey Matthews

1. An introduction to the new head coach of the Regina Red Sox baseball club. Guest: Scott Douglas (Red Sox Head Coach).

2. An introduction to the new head coach of the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guest: Dave Taylor (Cougars Head Coach).

3. An update on the goings-on at the Regina Lawn Bowling Club. Guests: Keith Roney (International Competitor) & Jean Roney (Competitor/Club President).

4. A Regina mother/daughter combination takes part in the national baton twirling championships. Guests: Elan Paluck (Mom/Coach) & Kierra West (daughter/baton twirler).

5. The Regina Squids capture a national water polo championship. Guests: Mike Mortin (Head Coach) & (Players TBA).

6. A 43 year old Regina man pays for the privilege of suiting up for a pro indoor football team. Guest: Danny Massier (World’s oldest pro football rookie).

7. A re-cap of the Prairie Fire rugby team’s exhibition win over Calgary. Guests: David Wickman & Scott Kennedy (Import players).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy me

Well, I successfully managed to turn another year older this morning. Based on the week I've had, I guess I should be grateful when something does go according to plan!

Jacob woke me up bright and early and showered me with gifts. Actually, just having him here is enough of a gift for me, but I digress. We're off to baseball this morning, then I'm thinking I'll take him to the circus tonight (shhh! It's a surprise).

Maybe we'll swing by the tennis club this afternoon and I can show off some of my imported (all the way from London! No, the other London) tennis gear I picked up this week. Like they say, if you can't be good, you might as well look good.

Speaking of the Roughriders, no major news out of training camp yet - which is probably a good sign, meaning things are going more or less according to plan. Had to chuckle when I read the story in the L-P today about how the lousy weather has made it hard to evaluate the kickers. Frankly, this is exactly the kind of weather you want! If I was the special teams coach, I'd be more interested in (at least right now) how a potential kicker deals with wind and rain, rather than sunny skies and a gentle breeze. Blow, wind blow!

Did you see the plans for expansion of the Brandt Centre in the paper this morning? Me like. I think 7,000 seats (and upgraded seats!) will suit the Pats well - and hopefully be enough to encourage a few more concerts and other events to come to town.

Anyway, time to gear up for another senior rookie White Sox outing. Good times!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

An update from the "old country"

Well, it looks as though Mom's condition has stabilized and she's (hopefully) on the road to recovery. She seems to be getting some top-notch care here in London. I don't know why I keep thinking of the contrast to the Baby Paige case, but I'm just thankful there was no such clusterf*&k in my mom's case.

So, it's back to Regina on Friday. I'll sure be glad to see Jacob, especially for my birthday Saturday (still time left to get that last-minute gift folks!). Junior and I will be coming back here at the end of June for our scheduled vacation, so I don't feel quite as bad about leaving my mom. Still sucks though.

I still can't get over how much energy there is in this town (London) these days. I guess you don't really appreciate it until you move to a place that's a "little" less vibrant (ie. Regina). Not that one is necessarily better than the other, just different strokes. Still, no point dwelling on it, since moving back here is not even an option - but it is a pretty swell place to visit.

Time to swing by the hospital. Pretty sure a couple of those nurses are into the visitor from the "Wild West". Who can blame them, really?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back to the home country

My mom was admitted to hospital last night, and they operated on her this afternoon. The nurse I spoke to wasn't exactly sure what the procedure(s) entailed (nice!), but apparently everything went well and the prognosis is good.

Regardless, I'm off to sunny London, Ontario for a few days. Later!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Long weekend, indeed

Thank goodness for North Regina Little League baseball - Jacob's team has games today and tomorrow. Otherwise I wouldn't see him for the entire long weekend, and that would suck! Now, if we can just do something about the team's three-game losing skid...

Andy Fantuz created quite a stir upon arriving at Rider camp this week. Great - it was getting boring being the only wildly popular ex Western Mustang around here! I wish folks would stop comparing him to Ray Elgaard though. Totally different styles. Fantuz is a lot less "smashmouth" than Elgaard was. Oh well, at least the fans and media are excited about a Canadian draft pick - which is an exciting change of pace. He's no Ducarmel Augustin, but he'll do!

Is it just me, or have the Edmonton Oilers not captured Canada's attention the way the Calgary Flames did on their march to the Stanley Cup finals two years ago? Oh, I suppose there's lots of time for the bandwagon-jumpers to make their move yet, but I'm just not sensing the same level of excitement surrounding the Oil. They are playing awfully well though.

Time to see if I can scare up a tennis game this weekend. Who's up for some of that action?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Anyone smell a deal cooking?

It would seem the Edmonton Eskimos are very much in the market for experienced offensive linemen, with the announced retirements today of Kevin Lefsrud, Bruce Beaton and Chris Morris. Now, despite having a few young prospects in the wings, with the money the "Evil Empire" has invested in quarterback Ricky Ray you have to think Edmonton is looking for help on the O-line!

I wonder if the Saskatchewan Roughriders would be interested in dealing someone like Fred Childress, Andrew Greene or Rob Lazeo to the Eskies? I guess that would depend on the progression over the past year of prospects like Chris Best and Matt O'Meara. Also, what would the Eskies be offering in return? A non-import receiver (Pat Woodcock?), or a defensive lineman to back up Nate Davis and Scott Schultz in the middle would be nice.

Interesting times!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wake me when it's over


Rider rookie camp is in full swing over at the U of R. Sorry, don't care. Without Andy Fantuz (first round draft pick) here, it's just not that exciting. Now, when main camp starts on the weekend, that's another story.

I've had a good chuckle over the Trevis Smith debate on Rod Pedersen's blog. Anyone who wants to pretend the story doesn't concern the Riders, just because Trevis is no longer with the team, is painfully naive. But then again, most zealots are...

Oh, and Jacob's team lost again on the weekend, dropping their record to 2-3. And after my experience with team tennis tonight, I can relate to my son even more. It sucks having to carry teammates that aren't pulling their weight. Jeez, just think how cranky I'd be if I was still getting up at 4am every weekday! Now THAT was not a lot of fun.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Oh, the irony!

Is is just me, or does there seem to be more graffitti in Regina since the introduction of the city's much-heralded graffitti bylaw? Seriously, the crap is everywhere!

So, if that's the case - I hearby commence lobbying for the introduction of a bylaw banning attractive, intelligent single women between the ages of 33-42 from the city of Regina. I demand city council take immediate and decisive action!

Now, damnit!!!!!

SportZone lineup for May 15

Here's the lineup for this week. Because of the Victoria Day holiday next Monday, this show will run for two weeks (Wed @ 6pm and Thurs @ 3pm).

SportZone Guests for May 15/06
Community Co-Host – Carlo Palazzo

1. An 11 year old Regina boy captures a national bowling championship. Guests: Scott Ogilvie (Bowler),Yvonne Gray (Coach) & Kyle Harry (Sask 5 Pin Bowling Association). (confirmed)

2. A look at the pitching corps of the 2006 Regina Red Sox baseball club. Guests: Rob Cherepuschak (Red Sox Pitching Coach) & Justin Eiswirth (Red Sox Pitcher). (confirmed)

3. A review of the 2006 WHL bantam draft, and look ahead to Regina Pats training camp. Guest: Todd Ripplinger (Pats Director of Scouting). (confirmed)

4. A preview of the 2006 Football Saskatchewan high school Senior Bowl. Guests: Len Antonini (Team South Assistant Coach) & Chad Sinclair (Defensive Back). (confirmed)

5. A preview of a Seven on Seven football passing camp, put on the Regina Thunder June 3rd/4th. Guest: Erwin Klempner (Thunder Head Coach). (confirmed)

6. Another preview of the 2006 Prairie Fire rugby season, as the home opener approaches on May 27th. Guests: Jered Kirkland (Prairie Fire captain) & Emil Christianson (Import Player). (confirmed)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mom's Day


All-in-all, not a bad Mother's Day. Jacob spent the afternoon with his Mom. We called mine this morning. I don't often get homesick, but it would be nice to be able to bring her grandson over for special occasions.

Oh, make it three losses in a row for the Senior Rookie White Sox. Dropped another one yesterday. It's official, our bats have gone colder than an ex-wife's...............nah, I'll be nice. It's Mother's Day, after all.

Friday, May 12, 2006

This and that

A few idle thoughts...

- Rider training camp is rapidly approaching, and the faithful are anxious to see the new (and improved) offence in action. All the pieces are in place, let's hope the performance approaches the hype.
- A new Memorial Cup champion will be crowned this year, as the London Knights lost the OHL final in four straight to Peterborough. Rats!
- I'm skipping the Ken Goff boxing classic this year to hang out with my son. I'll take that trade-off any time.
- If plans for a new rink don't come to fruition soon, was this the last hurrah for the Moose Jaw Warriors?
- Isn't it scary how good Sidney Crosby is when he gets real linemates to skate with?
- Is CJME making a dent in the ratings with the Drew Remenda sports show? Don't suppose CKRM will counter by expanding Sportsline to a nightly offering?
- Access Communications is shaking up the on-air lineup for In the Huddle (the province-wide Riders show) this year. Who would you like to see hosting the show?
- Would anyone really be sad if Barry Bonds announced his retirement tomorrow? There's no reason to believe he will, but we can dream can't we?
- Anaheim is in the NHL final four. Boy, good thing the Canucks got rid of that Brian Burke loser, huh?
- Paul Maurice gets another crack at coaching an NHL team. Hopefully John Ferguson gives him some talent to work with (not that Eric Lindros and Jason Allison weren't great pick-ups, mind you...)
- should I tell Rob Vanstone that Javon Walker is almost as overrated as Jake Plummer? Nah, that would be cruel...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Running hot and cold

Two losses in a row for the Senior Rookie White Sox. Clearly the other coaches suck.

Batting practice on Sunday. Not a moment too soon. Jacob got one (1) at-bat in last night's game. Hardly seems worth the effort.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ex Pats in Mem Cup


Paul Albers, Kyle Lamb and Dustin Slade have advanced to the Memorial Cup with the Vancouver Giants. Good for them, I suppose.

Would all three have looked good in a Pats uniform this year? Of course. Mind you, Matt Robinson was a great addition to the lineup - so Slade wasn't that big a loss. But, not having any contributing players to account for the loss of Albers and Lamb - that's a little less easy to take.

Anyway, good luck to the Giants - hopefully they represent the WHL well in Moncton. Damn shame the London Knights won't be going for a repeat championship, but dem's da breaks.

Some folks just don't get it

You know what seems awfully ironic? When local or provincial sporting organizations complain about a lack of media coverage/awareness, yet can't be bothered to do a damn thing about it!

Or, are the folks at the Saskatchewan Softball Association, KidSport, and the organizers of the recent mini World Cup soccer tournament in Regina just not that swift? Quite frankly, it doesn't break my heart that they haven't seen fit to send a representative to appear on my little cable sports show. But, they should also forgo the "right" to whine about a lack of interest/coverage of their respective endeavours. If they can't make time for free air time, one wonders how interested they really are in growing their respective sports.

Or, would they be more inclined if the offer came from a higher profile media outlet? Well, here's a little tip folks - TSN and SportsNet aren't going to come knocking. Take what you can get.

Just one of those things I wonder about. This concludes today's lesson in amateur sports media relations.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

SportZone lineup for May 8

Here's the lineup for the week of May 8th. Remember, SportZone airs Wednesday nights at 6pm and Thursday afternoons at 3pm on Access channel 7 in Regina. Feel free to suggest questions for current guests, or topics for future shows.

SportZone Guests for May 8/06
Community Co-Host – Tim Hubic

1. A preview of the 2006 Ken Goff Memorial Boxing Classic and Mayor’s Cup. Guests: George Goff (Regina Boxing Club President) & Drake Thauberger (Regina boxer).

2. A preview of the 2006 season for the Regina Red Sox baseball club. Guest: Bernie Eiswirth (Red Sox General Manager).

3. The Riffel Royals capture another city high school badminton championship. Guests: Shawn McCall (Royals Coach) & (athletes TBA).

4. A preview of the 2006 Prairie Fire rugby season, and profile of one of the team’s top local players. Guest: DTH Van der Merwe (Prairie Fire fullback).

5. A look at the legacy (financial and otherwise) created by the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina. Guest: John Lee (2005 CSG Chief Operating Officer). (pre-taped last week)

All good things...

Well, despite a 2/2 effort at the plate and more flawless fielding from Jacob Paczko, the White Sox saw their season-opening winning streak come to an end today, dropping a 4-2 decision. Two stinking runs? I'm thinking batting practice awaits!

Or maybe the kids were distracted by the glare from Ronald's buck teeth. But I digress.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Make it two in a row

Another nail-biting win for the Senior Rookie White Sox tonight, with Jacob Paczko providing the game-winning RBI. Just one of three hits for my protege. But then again, Paczko men have always been known as superior batsmen.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Pin the C on..............Me?

Well, we're screwed. I signed up for Team Tennis again this year at the Lakeshore Tennis Club. It's a fun way to hit a few balls on Wednesday nights in a semi-competitive environment. But, the organizors saw fit to make me the CAPTAIN of my team! So, apologies in advance to Rick Kullman, Jim Peter, Karen Hewson, & Jennifer Kuzmicz. They'll have to overcome a distinct disadvantage (that would be me) every week. Oh well, there's always next year.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Is it something in the water?

The Regina and Saskatchewan sporting communities have lost a third high-profile member in the past week!

Saskatchewan Soccer Association Executive Director Bjorn Osieck is leaving in July, to take on the head job with the B-C Soccer Association in Vancouver. For those who don't know, Bjorn has done a tremendous job with the SSA - restoring the organization's credibility in the wake of a fraud scandal involving his predecessor as E.D. He's also worked tirelessly to raise the profile of soccer in this province - not an easy task in the land of the Riders and junior hockey.

Best wishes to Bjorn and his family. They'll be missed.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of saying goodbye to bright, energetic young people who leave this province for greener pastures. "Wide Open Future" indeed...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Update on #88

Almost forgot..........On SportZone this week Ivan Gutfriend discusses Matt Dominguez's rehab from that season-ending knee injury. Ivan says Matt's injured knee is almost back to 100% (makes you wonder why people thought he'd play in the playoffs last year), and his other leg - thanks to the rehab - is even stronger than ever.

Good news, I'd say!

Run the Table?

I'm happy to report the North Regina Little League White Sox (Senior Rookie A) won their season opener last night. I know this will come as a relief, and significant news for most people in the Western Hemisphere.

I'm proud to report the Sox were led defensively by 2nd baseman Jacob Paczko, whose solo put-outs in the field were reminiscent of a young Robbie Alomar. The old apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Regina Loses a Good One

By now everyone has heard about Jeff Speedy leaving the U of R to coach his home province team at the University of New Brunswick. From a selfish perspective, I'll miss dealing with Jeff. He was very accessible, accomodating and an interesting interviewee.

From a basketball perspective, I suspect the Cougars will be fine. The U of R program has developed (especially under the guidance of Jeff and his predecessor Christine Stapleton) into one of the elite programs in the country.

I wish Jeff all the best. I guess sometimes it's possible to put family concerns first, without sacrificing your career goals. This looks to be one of those rare instances.

Monday, May 01, 2006

SportZone Scoop Du Jour

I promised not to let the cat out of the bag, but let's just say Ben Hebert wasn't the only guest on tonight's show who is leaving Regina. Details tomorrow.