Thursday, May 31, 2007

Just a thought

Something occured to me while I was whiling away a few moments on the CFL website. The league offers the complete 2007 schedule as a downloadable (Excel) file that fans can import into their desktop (Outlook/Palm) or mobile phone calendars. Wouldn't it be handy if the Riders did the same? Personally, I have no use for the complete league schedule, but having every Rider game on my PDA/desktop would be awfully handy. True, nothing's stopping me from manually entering that information (and I did), but still...

While we're at it, it'd be great if the Regina Pats offered up that service to their fans as well. Just a thought.

It's day two of the Riders rookie camp. Sorry, just not that excited - yet. I do get a kick out the message board zealots who annoint players as the "next big thing" or a "solid prospect" based solely on their college stats or a couple of highlight videos on the web. Silly rabbits.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

SportZone lineup for May 28

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7 in Regina:

SportZone Guests for May 28/07
Community Co-Host – Tim Hubic

1. A Regina baseball player signs his first professional contract. Guest: Mitch MacDonald (Florida Marlins prospect).

2. A preview of the 2007 Cal Murphy (Holy Cross) charity golf tournament. And maybe a little football talk thrown in! Guest: Cal Murphy (Indianapolis Colts scout).

3. The Regina Optimist Dolphins hire a new Head Coach. Swimming ensues. Guest: Jeff Toth (RODS/U of R Head Coach).

4. A preview of the 2007 Regina Red Sox season, opening June 1st at Currie Field. Guests: Scott Douglas (Head Coach).

5. Hockey Regina has a new President, and some changes in store for next season. Guests: Andrew Puglia (HRI President) & Blair Watson (HRI Executive Director).

6. A preview of the 2007 Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp. Guest: Rob Vanstone (Regina Leader-Post Sports Coordinator).

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Old enough to know better

So this is what 42 feels like, huh? Not too exciting, actually. It must be true, birthdays stop feeling special after 40 - at least until you hit the big 5-0.

Mind you, it'll be a fun day. Jacob is taking me out for lunch. My mom has already called. A few friends have emailed their best wishes. All in all, not so bad.

Speaking of the fruit of my loins, his Little League batting average is now up to .851. Major league scouts can contact me directly.

Looks like a nice day out there - enjoy it!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Must be the weather

The local sports scene has been decidedly ho-hum the last little while. Sure, that'll change next weekend when the Saskatchewan Roughriders open training camp. And yes, Regina is currently hosting a national championship (gymnastics). But, much like the constant rain the past couple of days, the sports scene in general is rather blah these days. Maybe it's the calm before the storm. One can only hope.

Uber-pest Derek Dorsett scored last night to give Medicine Hat a 1-0 victory over Vancouver, and a direct path to Sunday's Memorial Cup final. Dorsett is a less offensively gifted version of Darcy Tucker. Mind you, I don't think Tucker ever bit an opponent - not that I know of, anyway.

Apparently LeBron James was worth all the hype. I really dislike the Detroit Pistons.

If Anaheim wins the Stanley Cup, will Brian Burke's ego form a black hole and swallow up the rest of our solar system? Does anyone else gag when they try to say "The Ottawa Senators. Canada's team."?

Jacob is sporting an .818 batting average, while his Little League team has only one win in six games. This must be what Carl Yastrzemski's dad felt like.

I think my boy is taking me to Boston Pizza for my birthday this weekend. Shh! Mum's the word.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

CFL gets wake-up call

The death of Orlando Bobo this week didn't generate a lot of media coverage. But, perhaps it should have. The 33-year old former offensive lineman died of heart and liver failure in a Dallas hospital last Monday. Bobo played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2004, and retired prior to the 2005 season after a contract dispute with the Bombers. Prior to coming to Canada, he played for several NFL teams, including the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

All in all, Bobo's death barely caused a ripple in the sports media pond in Canada and the U.S. And, perhaps, that's the greatest tragedy in all of this. Let's examine the facts. A 33-year old man - only a couple of years removed from playing professional football - dies of heart and liver failure. At the age of 33! Okay, class - stay with me now. What could possibly cause the heart and liver of a professional athlete to shut down so dramatically? A 6'3", 299 lb man? I can only speculate, but my informed guess would be S-T-E-R-O-I-D-S.

If "the juice" was in fact a contributing factor to this young man's death, then the CFL needs to use this tragedy as a wake-up call. How many current players are prolonging their careers, and flirting with death, by using performance-enhancing drugs? Is there a valid reason why the CFL does not have a stringent drug-testing policy in place? The idea has been tossed around for years. Perhaps it's time to stop paying the issue lip service and bring in a program that does what is needed - weed out drug cheats, and hopefully prevent future tragedies like this one. I strongly urge new Commissioner Mark Cohon to make this a priority.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Idle thoughts

Why not, everyone else is going with this format today!

  • The first long weekend of the summer season is upon us! So, of course rain is in the forecast.
  • The Senior Rookie Orioles have two games scheduled this weekend. Can Jacob Paczko maintain his torrid .857 batting average? Why haven't the scouts been calling yet?
  • Have we already had our long weekend gas price hike, or is one more in store today?
  • Are oil company executives really rat bastards?
  • Speaking of, has anyone jumped on board the Ottawa Senators bandwagon? I'm pulling for Anaheim, because of the Regina (Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz) and London (Corey Perry) connections.
  • I'd love to see Vancouver and Medicine Hat square off in the Memorial Cup final, but the Plymouth Whalers are capable of steamrolling teams - should be a great tournament.
  • Charles "Turnstile" Thomas has been released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Now who will BC's Brent Johnson run up his sack totals on?
  • Well placed sources suggest Pats netminder Linden Rowat will be selected in the first round of the NHL entry draft - likely by the Edmonton Oilers.
  • I bit the bullet and traded in the PlayStation2 for an XBox 360. Now my boy can kick my butt in high definition! Sweet...
  • And speaking of big ticket purchases, only nine days left until my birthday - don't leave it until the last minute!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SportZone lineup for May 14

An eclectic mix of guests and sports on this show, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. this week and next week on Access channel 7. Here's the deal:

SportZone Guests for May 14/07
Community Co-Host – Dale West

1. A preview of the 2007 national U14/U16 Boys All Stars Soccer Championships, coming to Regina in July. Guests: Trevor Sutter & Astrid Baecker (Organizing Committee).

2. The Luther Lions capture the 2007 city high school badminton championship. Guests: Mark Anderson (Head Coach), Lindsay Braul & Jin Netirangseevachara (players).

3. A profile of the Regina Cricket Association – yes, people play cricket in Regina. Guests: Alfred Trotman, Mazhar Lateef, Uzair Hamaed & Mike Sharma (RCA members/Executive).

4. A preview of the 2007 Canadian Gymnastics Championships, in Regina May 21 - 26. Guests: Lorne Lasuita (Organizer) & Tamsyn Lasuita (Competitor).

5. The 2007 golf season is in “full swing” at courses around Regina. Guests: Scott Knapp (Tor Hill Golf Course) & Doug Warne (Joanne Goulet Golf Club).

6. The new Head Coach of the Prairie Fire rugby club arrives in Regina, straight from Australia. Guest: Doug Hauff (Head Coach).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

To put it simply, thanks Mom.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Green is the colour alright!

Now that the Regina Pats are long-gone from the WHL playoffs, and there are no Western Canadian teams remaining in the NHL postseason, Saskatchewan is firmly in the grips of football fever. This week's episode of SportZone is a testament to that, with guests from the Roughriders, a former Rider, a Winnipeg Blue Bomber, and a junior football segment. And we're just getting started!

Thank goodness Rider camp starts in less than a month. The more rabid fans (including the message board faithful) have been ravaging every morsel of news from Mosaic Stadium this offseason, no matter how insignificant. Only in this province could a CFL player sighting at WalMart generate a 5-page message board thread. Awesome. Creepy, but awesome.

So, which of our three post-secondary teams in Regina is the best bet to host a postseason game this year? I have my doubts about the Regina Thunder. The Rams are a possibility, if the defence is significantly better. And the Riders? To do that, they'll have to finish ahead of either B.C. or Calgary (assuming Edmonton isn't a contender yet) in the West. It's possible, but I'm not ready to bet Jacob's college fund on it happening either. Let's just say I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.

Alright, I'd better run. Just heard the Riders signed a one-legged punter from a Division III school in Eastern Mongolia. The message board crowd is gonna be all over that!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

SportZone lineup for May 7

A definite football flavour to the show this week, airing Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7. Here's the lineup:

SportZone Guests for May 7/07
Community Co-Host – Corey Matthews

1. A re-cap of the WCP Mini World Cup soccer tournament. Guests: Kevin Holness & Gladwin Henry (Event Organizers).

2. A preview of the KidSport Corporate Challenge, and some other cool things KidSport has on the go. Guests: Andrew Greene & Chris Chepil (KidSport Saskatchewan).

3. A preview of the 2007 Scott Schultz Football Camp. Guest: Scott Schultz (Saskatchewan Roughrider Defensive Lineman).

4. A re-cap of the 2007 Regina Thunder spring training camp. Guests: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach), Deke Junior & Jason Janssen (players).

5. Many of Regina’s elite teams and athletes depend on Level 10 Fitness for their off-season training regimen. Guest: Dan Farthing (Co-Owner, Level 10 Fitness).

6. A preview of the 2007 season for the Prairie Fire rugby club. Guests: Drew Kendal & Dustin Luther (Players).

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A dandy weekend

Man, that offspring of mine is keeping me busy these days! And I'm loving it. Jacob's little league season is underway, with the Orioles winless after two starts. But hey, at least my munchkin is 2/3 at the plate so far. Yep, a whopping three at-bats in two games. Good times.

Another ball game is on the menu for tomorrow, as well as the highly anticipated First Communion tomorrow morning. Oh, the cameras will be getting a workout at Good Samaritan Church tomorrow!

Speaking of workouts, no wonder I can't find time to sneak in a tennis game. However, I did manage to go for a jog/walk tonight - for the first time in oh..........twenty years! Granted, there was a lot more walking than jogging, but hey - we've all gotta start somewhere, right? And, if anyone is strolling in the area of Sheldon Collegiate and spots one of my lungs - I wouldn't mind getting that back at some point. Thanks.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pats stock the cupboard

The annual crapshoot known as the WHL bantam draft was held today. The Pats Director of Scouting Todd Ripplinger told us on SportZone this week that speed and skill were Regina's top priorities in selecting players this year. Here's a look at the top few picks made by the Pats:

With their 1st pick in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft, the Regina Pats have selected centre Dominick Favreau 13th overall.

Favreau, the native of Martensville, SK, played this past season with the Martensville Bantams. In 54 games with Martensville, Favreau collected 43 goals and added 58 assists for 101 points. He also compiled 70 penalty minutes.

“Dominick has great skill and speed, he competes hard every night, and is a tremendous athlete” commented Pats Head Scout Todd Ripplinger.

With their 2nd selection in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft, the Regina Pats traded 2nd round picks with the expansion Edmonton Oil Kings in order to select left winger Graham Hood with the 23rd overall pick. The Pats also sent their 3rd round pick, 57th overall, along with Expansion Considerations to the Oil Kings in the deal.

Hood, a native of Martensville, SK, played this past season with the Martensville Bantams. In 51 games with Martensville, Hood collected 61 goals and added 53 assists for 114 points. He also compiled 120 penalty minutes.

“Graham is a big power forward who likes to take the puck to the net. He collected tremendous numbers this season” offered Pats Head Scout Todd Ripplinger.

3rd Round
LD – Justin Slobozian 5’11 165lbs
2006-07 Team: Dauphin Bantams
GP: 26 Goals: 17 Assists: 15 Points: 32 PIM: 68
Hometown: Dauphin, MB

4th Round
C – Jordan Weal 5’8 140lbs
2006-07 Team: Notre Dame Hounds
GP: 32 Goals: 47 Assists: 55 Points: 102 PIM: 36
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC

5th Round
G – Derek Tendler 5’11 210lbs
2006-07 Team: Regina Oilers
GP: 18 Save %: .920 GAA: 2.87 SO: 0
Hometown: Regina, SK

7th Round
C – Andrew Reider 6’1” 160lbs
2006-07 Team: Regina Canucks
GP: 25 Goals: 15 Assists: 18 Points: 33 PIM: 42
Hometown: Regina, SK

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

SportZone lineup for April 30

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

SportZone Guests for Apr 30/07
Community Co-Host – Carlo Palazzo

1. A preview of the 2007 Ken Goff Boxing Classic and Mayor’s Cup. Guests: George Goff (Event Organizer), Drake Thauberger & Patrick Thibeault (boxers).

2. Regina gets set to host the national baton twirling championships in July. Guest Lisa Wilde (Event Chair).

3. The Regina Pats look to restock the cupboard through the annual WHL bantam draft. Guest: Todd Ripplinger (Pats’ Director of Scouting).

4. A preview of the 2007 season at King’s Park Speedway. Guests: Jim “Sharky” Braden & Greg Wagner (Racers).

5. A profile of the Wascana Racing Canoe Club. Guest: Tim Sweeney (Head Coach).

6. The Regina Stingers capture a national ringette championship. Guests: Marcel Garnier (Head Coach), Kailee Karchenski & Alicia Seitz (players).

7. A chat with B.C. Lions slotback Jason Clermont. Will he finish his career in Rider green? Guest: Jason Clermont (Lions slotback).