Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday thoughts

Let's get right to it, shall we?

  • It was a crazy busy week, so I had to neglect my semi-occasional blogging duties. Sorry about that!
  • The U2 concert in Vancouver was amazing. And hats off to the Black Eyed Peas who did a terrific job of opening for Bono and the boys.
  • The previous night, we attended the Canucks/Red Wings game at GM Place.
  • Having seen Roberto Luongo play in person, I can say he definitely deserves a shot at starting for Canada in the Olympics.
  • Bobby Lou, as the Canucks fans call their captain, was sensational in a 5-4 loss to the Red Wings.
  • Pavel Datsyuk is the softest player I have seen in a long, long time. I believe he may actually be allergic to back checking.
  • The Riders are saying all the right things, but let's hope they truly aren't looking past the Hamilton Tiger Cats to next week's matchup with Calgary.
  • A win over Hamilton tomorrow guarantees the green guys a home playoff game. That should be all the inspiration they need.
  • It will be very interesting to see how the secondary responds to the loss of Eddie Davis. The cagey veteran usually matches up against the opposition's best receiver, and also acts as an assistant coach on the field.
  • Oh, by the way - Level Corp still sucks. They couldn't even be bothered to respond to a Better Business Bureau complaint about them. Nice.
  • Time to go to the doctor to see about this nasty chest cold I've acquired. No, it's not H1N1! Sure hope not, anyway!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday thoughts

Lots of ground to cover, so let's begin!

  • The 2009-10 season opens tonight for the Hockey Regina atom Hawks. The J-man will be patrolling the blueline against. . . whomever we're playing.
  • I think it would be beneficial to have the schedule completed, with the season starting this weekend. Or is that too much to ask?
  • Didn't football season just end?
  • I polished off most of my Christmas shopping yesterday on Free shipping, no crowds and no lineups. What's not to love?
  • Casey Printers will start for B.C. against the Riders tomorrow at Mosaic Stadium.
  • B.C. has a former league MOP as their 4th string quarterback. That's not such a bad deal.
  • Here's hoping he plays as badly as he did in Hamilton last year. But, somehow I don't think he will.
  • Another week, another first place showdown for the Riders. No lack of drama this season!
  • Chris Jones will start in place of Gerran Walker at wideout for the Riders. Mr. Jones, this would be your last opportunity to make an impression, I'm guessing.
  • The Regina Pats look to snap a two game road losing skid in Swift Current tomorrow night. The rematch goes Sunday night at the Brandt Centre.
  • It's a little early to be writing the Pats off just yet, but I can certainly understand why some fans are skeptical. I'll wait until closer to Christmas before passing judgment.
  • My 48 hour liquid diet starts tomorrow morning. I think that means post-game pizza tonight?
  • Four days from now I'll be boarding a plane for a mini vacation in Van city. I'm kind of looking forward to that!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

And we're back with another spine-tingling edition of Thursday Jeers and Cheers, where we salute providers of exceptional service, and draw attention to those who..........well, suck. I'll start:


  • Provincial Auto Body. They do excellent work, and Laurie is a great guy (who just might show you the bullet hole in the ceiling if you ask nicely).
  • Venice Tailors. Again, excellent work at a good price. Manuel is close to becoming the official clothier of SportZone on Access 7.
  • Adrenaline: Regina Sports. It's the new local sports magazine/website launched by Regina's Julie Folk. I'll always support any efforts to profile local sports, teams and athletes.


  • City of Regina. I'm all for doing some long overdue road work, but it's now almost impossible to get from the Normandy Heights area to downtown. And getting back is even worse!
  • Regina Pat Canadians. The expression "gong show" comes to mind.
  • Mosaic Stadium concessions. The pre-Rider game burgers and pizza were quite tasty at the start of the year. The quality has slipped considerably since then.

And here's one that fits in both categories: Bon Jovi will play in Regina next July 28th (cool, in a kitschy way), which will be right in the middle of our annual trip to Ontario (darn). Oh well, life will somehow have to go on!

Okay, your turn!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SportZone lineup for October 20

Here's the lineup of guests for the latest edition of SportZone, airing Tuesday at 9 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m. this week and next on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for October 20/09
Community Co-Host: Corey Matthews

1. (High school segment - ENG) A profile of the O’Neill Titans high school football team. Reporter: Brendan Pawliw.

2. (Team profile) A profile of the Regina Capitals junior B hockey club. Guests: Rob Dowie (Co-Coach) & Ryan Husband (Capitals forward).

3. (Team profile) An update on the early season exploits of the Regina Rebels female midget AAA hockey team. Guests: Doug Folk (Head Coach) & Kelsa Duffy (Rebels Co-Captain).

4. (Sports/Leisure segment) An introduction to Adrenaline: Regina Sports, a new local sports magazine. Guest: Julie Folk (Editor).

5. (U of R segment) A profile of the University of Regina men’s hockey team. Guests: Blaine Sautner (Head Coach) & Craig Cuthbert (Cougars forward).

SportZone trivia: When did the Regina Capitals last win the Keystone Cup, the western Canadian junior B hockey championship? Send us your answer, and your contact information, for your shot at "smartest viewer" bragging rights!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pats pick up blueliner

I'm thinking this acquisition could bump Alex Pym down another notch on the depth chart. News release from the Regina Pats below.

Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats General Manager (Brent Parker, perhaps?) is proud to announce the acquisition of defenceman Cody Carlson from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for a 3rd round bantam pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft.

The 18 year old power play specialist from Victoria, B.C., has spent the past two seasons with the Tigers, accumulating 16 points in each season. In 7 games this season, Carlson has a goal and 3 assists.

Carlson will be at Pats practice this afternoon, and be in the lineup tomorrow night against Prince Albert.

Monday musings

Various and sundry, from the mind of a recovering flu victim:

  • Football players are taught to play to the whistle. Henry Burris was trying to get up, the whistle had not blown, and therefore the unnecessary roughness call against the Riders' John Chick was ridiculous.
  • That's the kind of call you might expect from someone who had never played the game, quite frankly.
  • Between that game and Montreal's 41-38 victory over Hamilton, CFL fans were very well entertained this weekend.
  • Don't look now, but the B.C. Lions are only a point back of Saskatchewan and Calgary in the race for top spot in the west.
  • Which makes Saturday's Mosaic Stadium matchup between the Riders and Lions another first place showdown. This thing is going right down to the wire, folks!
  • It was a good weekend for the Regina Pats, capturing three of a possible four points.
  • If not for some shaky defensive play (and netminding) against Kamloops Friday night, it would have been a perfect weekend for the Pats.
  • Ho hum, Jordan Eberle notches three points as the Pats roll past Lethbridge 4-1 on Saturday night. Is this kid money or what?
  • My decision to keep starting Randy Moss in fantasy football turned out to be a pretty good one this week. Moss collected three touchdown passes in a 59-0 rout of Tennessee.
  • Are the Patriots that good, or are the Titans that bad? I think it's a little from column A and a little from column B.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are still searching for their first win of the year. Can you imagine if they finish at the bottom of the standings and have to turn over the first overall pick to the Boston Bruins?
  • Would that mark the end of Brian Burke's brief tenure in Toronto? I suspect so.
  • Eight days until the Canucks and Red Wings at GM Place. That is a very good thing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday thoughts

Let's see what pours out today:

  • Having the flu sucks. Today is my first day out of bed since Tuesday. Consciousness is highly overrated, though.
  • I think I'll take in the Pats game tonight. Hopefully the week off will have the Pats firing on all cylinders against Kamloops.
  • Here's hoping Henry Burris' mini-slump continues for at least one more game. If the Riders win in Calgary tomorrow, first place becomes a very real possibility.
  • Great news about Andy Fantuz re-upping with the Riders. Assuming he doesn't get an offer from an NFL club, of course.
  • I can't see Tuz heading south, personally. His blocking isn't tight end calibre, and his speed isn't at a par with NFL wide receivers. However, he's just right as a CFL slotback.
  • Jeers and Cheers was preempted this week, but here's a quick plug for Quality Tire on McDonald. They set me up with good tires at a good price. That's about all a guy can ask for!
  • The J-man will suit up for the Atom Tier 3 Blackhawks this winter. Practices start this weekend. Good times to follow.
  • I was actually going to register for the Running Room's Learn to Run program, starting tomorrow. But apparently this flu bug has other plans for my lungs. I guess running will have to wait for a while.
  • Does anyone have a new Blackberry Tour? Do you recommend them?
  • Eleven days until my west coast mini-vacation. The Canucks/Red Wings, followed by U2 and the Black Eyed Peas. Bring it on!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

(Day after) Monday musings

A day late, and probably even a dollar short:

  • How does four days with the J-man seem like only four hours, the way it flies by so fast?
  • A serious cardio workout is needed tonight, to help negate the effects of that four day food binge!
  • I'm still a bit sore from Saturday's Krav Maga workout. I'd like to trade this body in for a newer model, please.
  • The Riders are tied for first in the west, with four games left in the regular season. Sure didn't see that one coming!
  • It's interested to note how critical some "fans" are in the wake of Saskatchewan's 32-22 win over Toronto Saturday night.
  • Let's try to keep this in perspective. The Riders went 3-15 in 1999. Ten years later we're criticizing the way they play when they win? Really?
  • Darian Durant has outplayed Henry Burris the last few weeks. What are the odds of that?
  • Let's hope that trend continues Saturday afternoon in Calgary.
  • The Regina Pats kick off a four games in six nights stretch Friday night against Kamloops.
  • Hopefully they learned what it takes to compete against the elite teams during Friday night's 5-0 loss to Calgary.
  • The Moose Jaw Warriors lead the WHL's east division. What?
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are still searching for their first win of the NHL season. Is it too early to talk about firing Brian Burke?
  • Let me guess, Burke is telling folks to "just wait" until sniper Phil Kessel is available for active duty next month? Great, and who exactly is supposed to get Kessel the puck?
  • Which export from the Boston are is more overrated - Burke or Kessel?
  • I'm getting sick of my Motorola Q randomly deleting emails. Any recommendations on a smartphone? It has to be a SaskTel phone, that's really the only restriction.
  • Oh pumpkin pie - why must you tempt me so with your delicious yumminess? You are a cruel mistress!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

We're back with another installment of Cheers and Jeers, a weekly look at the best and the worst in customer service over the past week - or in general. Here's mine:

  • Gus Giannoutsos at Courtside Sports Medicine - a darn fine massage therapist, and a sparkling conversationalist. What more do you want?
  • Venice Tailors - for all your alterations and formal wear, I heartily recommend Venice Tailors on south Albert St.
  • Italian Star Deli - Carlo makes a damn fine sandwich, and is a terrific guy to boot!


  • Level Corp., as per usual.
  • A Jack of All Trades Handyman Service - apparently "all trades" doesn't apply to returning phone calls.

That's my list for this week. Do you have any cheers or jeers to add?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monday musings

Maybe not the most lucid thoughts, but they're all mine!

  • Yes, Darian Durant had a bad game against the B.C. Lions. These are the growing pains you get when developing a young quarterback.
  • Durant's ability to march the team down the field for the game-tying touchdown is not to be underestimated though. That was impressive.
  • What to make of the Regina Pats? Are they as good as they've played the last three games, or as bad as they looked the first five games of the season? Likely somewhere in between.
  • Jordan Eberle will play maybe sixty games for the Pats this year, given his World Junior Championship commitments. Pencil him in for 40 goals.
  • Do you think Brett Leffler smiles when he looks at the lineup and sees himself on a line with Eberle and Jordan Weal every night? He should!
  • Reason #1 to be thankful this Thanksgiving weekend: four straight days with the J-man.
  • Reason #2: A four day break from speechwriting!
  • Hey Brian Burke! How's that big, bad blueline corps working out for you so far?
  • Watching Alex Ovechkin and friends play against the Leafs defence was like watching bantam kids skate against a novice team.
  • Thumbs up for the Regina Thunder, who finished the PFC regular season at 5-3. That's the second-best regular season mark in team history. Next up, a playoff showdown with the Saskatoon Hilltops.
  • The J-man has hockey evaluations tonight. And so it begins, again!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pats make the Rebels yell

Was the Billy Idol reference too obscure? Sorry about that.

Anyway, the Regina Pats hammered the visiting Red Deer Rebels 7-3 tonight at the Brandt Centre. Defenceman Matt Delahey led the offensive onslaught with two goals and an assist. Super sophomore Jordan Weal had a goal and three helpers.

It's amazing how much better the Pats looked since the last time I saw them - which was two weeks ago. The return of Jordan Eberle in particular has provided an incredible spark for the offence - as evidenced by the Pats' 22 goals scored in the three games that Eberle has been back in the lineup.

The first line of Eberle, Weal and Brett Leffler caused havoc all night. And, the second line of Brayden Metz, Matt Strueby and Tomas Hrcina (likely only until Garrett Mitchell is back from injury) has some potential too. The blueline is considerably better too, thanks to the return of Delahey and Colten Teubert from their respective NHL camps. Young Brandon Davidson looks like a keeper on defence.

All in all, a very entertaining night at the rink. Hopefully there will be plenty more nights like that this winter.

Putting it all in perspective

People (including this blogger) that are inclined to wail and gnash their teeth over the Saskatchewan Roughriders' loss to the B.C. Lions need to pause and look at the bigger picture. Sure it was a tough loss, but I was saddened last night to hear of an even bigger loss.

I logged onto Facebook last night after the game only to learn that Barry Davies had died. For those of you who don't know, Barry was a long-time morning man on CKCK (62 Kool) radio in Regina. He was also my friend.

Barry and I actually worked together twice during our radio careers. He was the morning man/sales manager at the first radio station I worked at in Saskatchewan, the WKRP-esque (and long gone) SUN 102FM in Saskatoon. I arrived in 1992, and was the morning sportscaster and morning show sidekick. We worked hard and occasionally played even harder in those days.

We reunited in the late 1990's when Harvard Broadcasting took over the operation of CKCK radio, and brought Barry in for a second stint as the morning show host. He and I became the morning show team and worked hard to restore the once-dominant station to some small measure of its past greatness. Again, we worked hard and had some fun doing it.

As much as I enjoyed working with Barry, I enjoyed his friendship even more. He and and his then-wife Randene opened their home to me and were among the most supportive people in my life during the darkest days of my divorce in the early part of this decade. I will never forget their kindness, or the way they welcomed me and a very young J-man into their home and their lives.

I left the radio business exactly two weeks before CKCK disappeared from the airwaves. True to his nature, Barry was there right up until the bitter end. Unfortunately, our paths seldom crossed after that, as we went our separate ways in our professional and personal lives.

Having heard of Barry's passing, I'm kicking myself now for not keeping in touch these last few years. I only hope wherever he is today he knows how grateful I am to have known him. Rest well, old friend. Your struggle is over.

Friday, October 02, 2009

How the heck did that happen?

A few thoughts on the Saskatchewan Roughriders' 19-16 loss to the B.C. Lions tonight:

  • Sorry, but this was a game a team with championship aspirations has to win.
  • Is Glen Suitor on crack? Was he serious when he said (twice) that Riders quarterback Darian Durant was emerging as a league MVP candidate?
  • Seriously?
  • I'm sorry but Durant played like crap for the first 56 minutes of this game.
  • He had some company, however.
  • It's kind of sad when an offensive line can't open any holes against the worst run defence in the CFL.
  • Andy Fantuz is a stud. The Riders desperately need to get him re-signed.
  • While they're at it, they should extend Weston Dressler's contract.
  • The defence couldn't cover Geroy Simon and Paris Jackson tonight. At all.
  • Buck Pierce has heart, I'll give him that.
  • Could the Riders blitz packages be any less effective?
  • I wish the CFL officials would grow some nuts and flag Wally Buono for wandering onto the playing field ALL THE TIME!
  • Do you think Jason Clermont will ask for his release in the offseason? He should.
  • Am I the only person who knew WITHOUT A DOUBT that Travis Lulay was going to throw a play action pass on second and one? He was pretty well bouncing in the huddle.
  • Quite frankly, if the Lions could convert on short yardage, they would have won this game easily.

Friday thoughts

Here's what passes for independant thought today:

  • Okay, that should be enough rain for now. Thanks!
  • So, Brian Burke's way of dragging the Maple Leafs back to respectabilty is to go with a no-name forward corps and glacial defencemen? And how did that work out last night?
  • Ian White is not an NHL calibre defenceman. Sorry Swift Current fans.
  • If the Leafs make Mike Komisarek the team captain, it would be....well, pretty much typical for the Leafs, actually.
  • There's a fine line between being aggressive and being stupid. Somebody should show the Buds blueliners where that line is.
  • What sort of goofy officiating and/or timekeeping will the Riders encounter at B.C. Place tonight?
  • It shouldn't matter. The Riders should win this one by ten points. The operative word being should.
  • I have to laugh at the mouth-breathers who described Wes Cates' 100-yard performance last week as "unimpressive".
  • Unfortunately, when your fan base grows, so too does the number of knuckle-draggers who jump on board the bandwagon. Such is the price of success, I suppose.
  • I'm starting to really dislike speechwriting.
  • Given the weather the past week, I'm actually feeling pretty good about the atom Cougars' season coming to an end last Saturday.
  • Hockey evaluations are on Sunday and Monday. And so it begins...
  • Personally, I'd be just fine if David Letterman never discussed his sexual exploits on tv again. Ever. Yuck.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

So, who has impressed or disappointed you this week? Here's my list:

  • Laser Quest Regina - especially the patience of their staff in dealing with 28 wild young football players (and a few coaches) at our team wind-up.
  • Good Earth coffee shop in Hill Tower #2. Good coffee, and reasonably priced.


  • Level Corp. Latest in a series. I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau this week. Let's see where that gets us!
  • Laser Quest Regina. Why the hell would you put a light standard right behind a parking stall? Suffice to say, my rear bumper found one while leaving our team wind-up. Bloody hell.
  • Walmart (Southland Mall). They won't replace your watch battery unless it's for one of their (crappy) watches. Okay, I'll walk down the hall to the jewelry store with my business then.

Okay, your turn!