Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Make it stop!

This is all Yoda's fault. First, she sends me one of those email "get to know your friends" deals. You know, the ones with 57,000 questions that you answer and then send out to people - who in turn fill in their responses (ex. Have you ever seen Santa naked? Why, actually...), and so on, and so on, blah, blah, blah.

Well, I did the usual - filled in some responses that some folks might find a little "off centre" (ex. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, on my belt buckle), hoping that would stop the madness. But, no! Now the return responses are flooding in, and I want it to stop. Seriously, I think it's lovely that you put up your Christmas tree on Hallowe'en. Really, that's special. In a "wear a hockey helmet and ride the short bus to school" kind of way. But enough!

Whoever came up with the idea of these email questionaires should be violated by angry prison inmates reeking of toilet bowl booze and looking to take out some frustrations. Enough I say!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive!

Darn work, getting in the way of blog updating!

Okay, so now it's official. Danny Barrett will not return for an eighth season as the Riders Head Coach. Call it a firing, or a mutual understanding, but it's done. The Head Coaching job at his alma mater (University of Cincinnati) has opened up. I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up there.

Meantime, Eric Tillman will start interviewing potential replacements tomorrow. Tillman expects to hire someone he's worked with previously, which bumps Dave Ritchie and Kent Austin (please God, not Joe Paopao!) to the top of the list.

Bring on the news!

It's the start of a new week, and sports fans are anxiously awaiting news from Regina's pre-eminent sports franchises.

1) The Saskatchewan Roughriders are launching their season ticket campaign. Now might be a good time to clear up the status of Head Coach Danny Barrett and his staff. If Barrett is moving on (and the smart money suggests he is), then let the fans know - and they can make their ticket purchasing decisions accordingly.

2) The Regina Pats limp home with a 2-4 record on their west coast road trip. Enigmatic (although lazy and/or uninspired might also be accurate) forward Justin Bernhardt was a healthy scratch the last two games. I suggest the time has come for the Pats to stop waiting for #41 to live up to his 40-goal potential, and make a change that benefits all parties. The Pats desperately need an infusion of offensive ability. Making a deal before the P.A. Raiders come to town Friday night is highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Zany times!

This is turning into quite the road trip for the Regina Pats. The Pats were blanked 3-0 in Prince George last night, their second straight shutout loss. Obviously the shortage of offensive talent is becoming more pronounced for Curtis Hunt's crew.

Former Pats goalie Dustin Slade - upset at not getting the start against his former team Saturday night - has walked away from the Vancouver Giants. The Giants are interested in reacquiring netminder Tommy Tartaglione from the Pats. Now, there's word that Pats blueliner Derek Reinhart has left the team. What the???

And, to make life even more interesting, apparently someone has started up an anti-Rod Pedersen website. Well, I suppose that was just a matter of time...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SportZone lineup for Nov 20th

Here's the lineup for this week's program, airing Wednesday night at 6pm and Thursday at 3pm on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for Nov 20/06
Community Co-Host – Dale West

1. The Sheldon-Williams Spartans go into the season as the top-ranked boy’s high school basketball (5A) team in Regina. Guests: Kolton Solomon & Jason Price (Spartans Players).

2. A profile of the Skate Regina figure and synchro skating club. Guests: Garrett Gosselin, Mervin Tran & Justin Duong (Skaters).

3. The Sheldon-Williams Spartans celebrate the 2006 city and provincial high school football championships. Guests: Kyle McFetridge (Head Coach), Marc Mueller, Kolton Solomon & Jason Price (Players).

4. A profile of the University of Regina women’s volleyball team. Guests: Jenn Prokopetz & Anne Fleming (Captains).

5. The Campbell Tartans capture the city 5A high school boy’s volleyball championship. Guests: Calvin Toffan (Head Coach), J.P. Willner & Robbie Findlay (Players).

6. The Winston Knoll Wolverines capture the city large schools high school girl’s volleyball championship. Guests: Tom Foster (Head Coach), Katie Mario & Renita McWhirter (Players).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Oh, was there a game on?

I don't think "electrifying" will be used by many people to describe yesterday's Grey Cup game, in which the B.C. Lions downed the Montreal Alouettes 25-14. Former Rider Paul McCallum tied a Grey Cup record with six field goals, and earned top Canadian honours in the process.

Now, the fun starts around the CFL. Will Danny Barrett still be the Riders' head coach at this time next week? I suspect he won't. Will the Riders announce a host of player signings and/or contract extensions? Probably. Will the fans be thrilled to the point of delirium, and storm the box office to purchase/renew season tickets? Yeah, whatever...

The Regina Pats are 1-1 on their 6-game west coast road swing. They visit Prince George tomorrow night.

Jacob's soccer team was eviscerated Saturday afternoon. However, my offspring played his little heart out - so the outcome was pretty much irrelevant. Oh, and Yoda's birthday included the new Bond movie, Casino Royale. I didn't expect to like Daniel Craig in the title role, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spare time - go figure!

Geez, what's a guy to do with all the spare time this weekend? It's Yoda's birthday tomorrow, so I'll be busy with that in the evening. Might even keep the little Jedi up past 11pm for that one!

But, with the Pats on the road - and the Riders out of the playoffs - things have definitely slowed down on a personal sports front. Young Jacob has a soccer game Saturday, and I suppose I'll watch the Lions and Als do battle Sunday. But really, that's it. Gee, I might even have time to drag my carcass down to Carm's gym this weekend. What a radical idea!

So, who else thinks:
1) The Lions are going to b-slap the Als Sunday; and,
2) The Pats will be lucky to win three of six on their road trip?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

SportZone lineup for Nov 13

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

SportZone Guests for Nov 13/06
Community Co-Host – Corey Matthews

1. The Lonsdale Boxing Club holds a grand opening of its (still fairly) new facility, and gets ready to host a competition in December. Guest: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale Club President).

2. The Leboldus Golden Suns capture the city 3A high school girl’s soccer championship. Guests: Ben Leung (Head Coach), Kara Gartner & Sarah Novak (Players).

3. (7:50) A profile of the Regina Diving Club. Guests: Andrew Mitchell (Head Coach) & Tyson Hillman (Diver). (confirmed)

4. A preview of the 2006/07 city high school basketball season. Guests: Glen Fekula (Balfour Senior Boys Head Coach) & Lance Alcorn (Balfour player).

5. (8:10) The Campbell Tartans capture the city 3A high school boy’s soccer championship. Guests: Robbie Mintenko & Devin Sembaluk (Players). (confirmed)

6. A recap of the 2006 season for the University of Regina women’s soccer team. Guests: Leigh Fitzpatrick (Assistant Coach) & Janine Peckford (Player).

7. A preview of the 2005/06 season for the U of R men’s basketball team. Guests: Glen Fekula (Assistant Coach) & Brad Fekula (Point Guard).

Monday, November 13, 2006

The winds of change

It would appear the Danny Barrett era with the Saskatchewan Roughriders came to an abrupt end at B.C. Place stadium yesterday. If you missed it, or would prefer not to remember, the Riders were throttled 45-18 by the Lions in the CFL Western final. Yoda says she (no really, Yoda is a she. I was as surprised as anyone.) fell asleep during the 2nd quarter. Coincidentally, that's when the Riders dozed off too! Anyway, the Leos take on the Montreal Alouettes next Sunday in the Grey Cup, while the Green Gang begins what should be an eventful offseason.

It became painfully obvious yesterday that the Riders have gone as far as they're going to go under Coach Barrett. That's not a criticism of the coach, just an observation. And, let's face it, DB knows the Board of Directors was lobbying for his dismissal earlier this year. I would suggest a change might be in everyone's best interest.

Speaking of, I couldn't help but notice the Pats put forth their best 60-minute effort of the season Saturday night, in beating the Moose Jaw Warriors 5-2. Enigmatic forward Justin Bernhardt dressed for the Pats, but didn't take a single shift. Very interesting move by the coaching staff, and hopefully the obvious message was received by #41. Same deal with forward Levi Lind, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday night. The Pats host Portland tomorrow night, before launching a six-game west coast road swing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ultimate sports weekend!

This is gonna be fun! Here's what Jacob and I have going this weekend:

  1. Friday night - Regina Pats vs Medicine Hat Tigers. It's time for the Pats to start imposing their will on visitors to the Brandt Centre. Actually, it's overdue. Let's hope it starts with this game. It'll be nice to catch up with Rod Pedersen during breaks in the action. You may not have noticed, but he's a little busy these days :)
  2. Saturday - Jacob has an indoor soccer game, then we return to the Brandt Centre for the Pats vs. Moose Jaw. Drew Haubrich will be filling in for Rod, so I'll get a chance to catch up with the "Droopy One".
  3. Sunday - another scintillating 1st Communion class over the noon-hour, then the munchkin and I fire up the big screen for the Riders and B.C. Lions in the CFL West final. Geez, if the Riders win Jacob will think a trip to the Grey Cup is a regular occurence for the Green Machine. Ah, so much to learn...

Talk about a swinging bachelor's weekend! Hell, maybe we'll round up some hot chicks and really..................uh, never mind.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Karma's a bee-otch

I don't know why, but I've got this nagging feeling that Sunday's CFL Western final will be decided by a familiar foe. I can't shake the feeling that the game will come down to a field goal attempt by Lions (formerly Riders) placekicker Paul McCallum.

And we all know how it turned out the last time McCallum attemped a game-winning boot in a west final at B.C. Place. That would be the infamous 18-yard miss that helped propel the Lions past the Riders into the 2004 Grey Cup. More recently, McCallum's failed attempt at a punt single in overtime helped the Riders knock off the Leos 23-20 on September 24th at Mosaic Stadium.

Of course, in both cases, that was then and this is now. Just some food for thought, I suppose. But I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the outcome of the game comes down to the right foot of Mr. McCallum. Here's hoping karma prefers green.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where'd that come from?

I have to admit, I thought the Saskatchewan Roughriders were going to be blown out of McMahon Stadium during yesterday's CFL Western semi-final. Let's face it, the Riders trailed 21-5 late in the first half, and their offense was..............offensive.

Cue the comeback, as Kerry Joseph hit Matt Dominguez with a touchdown strike with three seconds left on the clock. Then, Kenton Keith ripped off a 76-yard scoring scamper on the first offensive play of the second half, and the Green Gang was in business. Even Luca Congi picked up his punting, atoning for a dismal first half performance. And the defence was tremendous, harassing Henry Burris into serving up four interceptions and a fumble. The end result was a 30-21 victory for the Riders, and a sense of closure for any fans who were still lamenting the departure of Smilin' Hank to Calgary after the 2004 season.

So, now it's on the West final in Vancouver against the Lions. The Riders have already beaten the Leos three times this season. Is that a guarantee of success? Uh, no. But if I were a betting man, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Barrett's Boys advancing to the big show in Winnipeg in two weeks time. Should be a great week!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Show time!

Just a few hours to go until the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders lock up at McMahon Stadium. Sure hope the Riders don't repeat their recent post-season formula of falling behind early, and scrambling to catch up. That would..........what's the word I'm looking for? Oh, yeah - suck. Jacob's gonna miss some - or all - of the game because of a birthday party. What kind of parents schedule a kids' birthday party on the same afternoon as a Rider playoff game? I'm not from Saskatchewan, but even I know what a faux pas that is!

Last night, the Pats dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Everett Silvertips. The Pats' lack of a bonafide sniper was highlighted in the shootout, as they sent three competent - but not scary - shooters to the line. All three were denied by 'Tips netminder Leyland Irving. Oh well, at least Yoda figured out where the post-game show was. That was a plus.

Well, whattya say we hit the gym before the Rider game? See you there?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I feel as though I'm the only person in Saskatchewan not worked into a frenzy over the great Gainer debate. In case you've missed it, the Calgary Stampeders have forbidden the Riders' mascot from patrolling the sidelines during Sunday's CFL west semi-final at McMahon Stadium.

Rider fans are up in arms over the perceived slight. Stampeders officials are sticking to their guns (presumably 22 caliber). Rodents everywhere are painting signs and preparing to march en masse.

You just know the players and respective coaching staffs are loving this. The longer the spotlight shines on the giant rat, the longer they can prepare for Sunday's game in relative tranquility. It'd be a brilliant PR move, if it was intentional. Geez, even Yoda is threatening to watch the game, to see what all the excitement is about. Well played, Gainer. Well played indeed.