Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday musings

Where the heck did that weekend go?

  • Congrats to the J-man and the rest of the Twins for winning the North Regina Little League Minor A championship on the weekend! The 10-9 victory over the Royals in the final was the most exciting baseball game I've seen in a long time.
  • This part-time coach and full-time fan is honoured to have received one of the championship trophies. Thanks guys!
  • I had to pass on the victory celebration to rush over to a coaches meeting for the RMF Atom Cougars. Offseason? We don't need no stinkin' offseason!
  • How's this for a crazy week? Wedding rehearsal Friday afternoon, Rider game Friday night, wedding and reception Saturday afternoon/night, then the J-man and I fly off to Ontario early Sunday morning. I may spend the first day of holidays sleeping!
  • So, what will be the storyline for the lead-up to the Riders home opener? The return of Anton McKenzie? Nah. The return of Roy Shivers? Nah, been there. Jason Clermont's first game against his old team? Hmmm, that one has some potential.
  • I wonder how nervous Darian Durant will be this week? I sincerely hope DD lights it up Friday night. That could keep the message board experts off his back, at least for a few days.
  • Congrats to Regina's Garrett Mitchell on being selected in the NHL draft this weekend. I expect a coming-out party for Mitchell this WHL season. Pencil him in for 20 goals and 100 PIMs.
  • A good time was had by our crew at the Press Box Sports Bar Saturday night, at least until my friend was assaulted by some punk in the parking lot. Nice neighbourhood.
  • Is it Sunday yet? Air Canada, take me away!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday thoughts

Next stop, the first official weekend of summer:

  • The NHL draft starts today in Montreal. Expect a flurry of activity away from the actual draft. Dany Heatley should be a former Ottawa Senator by the end of the day.
  • Regina's Mike Sillinger is apparently hanging up the blades. Rod Pedersen has the news of Silly's pending retirement on his blog today. Check it out here.
  • Former Pats netminder Josh Harding expects to be traded by the Minnesota Wild, possibly as early as today. I would have loved to ask Josh about that on my show, but we just weren't able to hook up this spring.
  • Will the New York Islanders do the expected, and take John Tavares with the first overall pick? Or will Leafs G.M. Brian Burke swing a deal to get Tavares in the blue and white?
  • Is it just me, or is Victor Hedman really overrated? A huge defenceman with no physical presence? No thanks.
  • Matt Duchene might end up being the best NHLer of all of this year's top picks.
  • A big thumbs up to (former?) Regina Rams Nick Hutchins and Tamon George, who survived cut down day with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
  • I see Reggie Hunt was released by Montreal. No, the Riders should not try to sign the Reaper. He was great in his day. This is no longer his day.
  • I stopped to talk to two ex-colleagues (who also happen to be smokers) on my way into work this morning. Now my shirt is going to stink all day. Great.
  • I think I can speak for many in my age group in saying Farrah Fawcett was our first significant celebrity crush. Yes, I had "the" poster on my bedroom wall. Actually, I think it's still bundled up with a bunch of sports posters at my mom's house in Ontario. Rest in peace, FF.
  • Yes, I was also one of the many who bought the Thriller album on cassette, and thought Michael Jackson was cool, in a girly sort of way.
  • A musical genius? Definitely. A pop icon? Sure. One bat-shit crazy dude? Yep. RIP, MJ.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SportZone lineup for June 25

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing today (Thursday) at 3 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and next Wednesday at 6 p.m. SportZone is now on summer hiatus, so chances are this show will air a couple more times between now and September. Check your local listings!

SportZone Guests for June 25/09
Community Co-Host: Corey Matthews

1. (Event profile) A preview of the 2009 home opener for the Prairie Fire rugby squad. Guests: Dick Cornish (Player/Coach) & Drew Kendall (Player).

2. (Event profile) A preview of the 2009 SaskCentral Queen City Marathon. Guest: Doug Russell (Race Director).

3. (High School segment) The Riffel Royals celebrate a city high school baseball championship. Guests: Jason Edmands (Head Coach) & Evan Zerff (Pitcher).

4. (Team profile) A preview of the 2009 season for the Regina Thunder junior football club. Guests: Stefan Endsin (Offensive Coordinator) & Shawn McCall (Defensive Coordinator).

5. (CFL segment) A review of the 2009 Saskatchewan Roughrider training camp, and a look ahead to the regular season. Guest: Murray McCormick (Leader-Post sports writer).

SportZone trivia: In what year did Regina’s Prairie Fire rugby team capture the Super League national championship? Email us your answer, and your contact information, for a chance to win a free medium pizza from Panago!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The morning after

A few thoughts on last night's 29-17 Calgary victory over Saskatchewan in CFL preseason play:

  • If Darian Durant had a stronger arm, there would be absolutely no question who the Riders' starting quarterback is.
  • Steven Jyles telegraphs his passes, and makes too many ill-advised throws to be a legitimate starting quarterback.
  • Then again, Henry Burris and Kerry Joseph make some pretty poor decisions too, and they both have Grey Cup rings.
  • Dalton Bell might have potential. However, it's hard to tell when he has the Regina Rams' offensive line playing in front of him.
  • The pass rush was virtually non-existent in the first quarter, but improved after that.
  • Hugh Charles is a very capable fill-in for Wes Cates at tailback.
  • Who will the primary returner be, McGahee or Morris? I would probably go with Eric Morris. Casey McGahee's hands (or lack thereof) scare me.
  • If necessary, Luca Congi can do a heck of a job punting the ball. This could make Jamie Boreham nervous.
  • $6 appears to be the going rate for everything at the concessions. A little pricey for a slice of pizza, but it was some darn tasty pie!
  • I love how much the J-man loves going to the games with me. That alone is worth the price of season tickets.
  • It was fun to hook up with my old high school buddy Jeff Parker yesterday, and take him to his first Rider game. Have a safe trip back to B.C. Jeff!
  • Someone is going to get run over crossing in front of traffic on the road heading east from the stadium. I may do the running over.
  • Seriously, wouldn't it make sense to have a few people directing (vehicle and pedestrian) traffic at the stadium? People walking in the middle of a street that vehicles are trying to drive down is a friggin' recipe for disaster!
  • Another reason to look forward to a new stadium: individual seats! Those benches get a little cramped when you get a few "full-figured" people sitting together.
  • I can't imagine how stressful the next 24 hours will be for the players facing the prospect of having their pro football dreams come to a crashing halt. Getting cut sucks. Waiting to get cut is equally lousy.
  • Okay, the dress rehearsals are over. We do it for real in only 10 days!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday musings

Time to dry out a water-logged noggin:

  • Father's Day was great. The J-man presented me with a very nice Rider decorative mug, and lots of hugs.
  • He actually got a little nervous when I was looking at the same mug in the Rider store the day before.
  • So my boy takes me out for a Father's Day supper to Chili's on Saturday night. I hadn't been before, so my 10-year old recommends the ribs. Great ribs, he raves.
  • When the ribs come, he says "Oh yeah, it's the ribs at Montana's that I really like." Classic. However, there were no complaints about the eats at Chili's either.
  • Anyway, enough free plugs for local businesses.
  • The Minor A Twins won their playoff opener on the weekend. A win tonight vaults them into a Saturday showdown for a trip to the final. Of course you know the parents are way more excited about this than the kids, right?
  • The defending Grey Cup champs invade Mosaic Stadium tomorrow night. Despite being a pre-season contest, this one will have the intensity of a game that counts in the standings, I suspect.
  • The Riders may say last week's shellacking in Edmonton is not significant, but I guarantee they're determined to put in a better performance in this week's "nothing at stake" game.
  • So what happens if Darian Durant struggles and Steven Jyles looks good again? I shudder to think of such a scenario.
  • Congrats to Tony Playter on the new gig with SGI. With auto insurance rate hikes looming, I'm guessing Tony will be a busy guy! But, he'll also become reaquainted with a little something called weekends off. Which is not such a bad thing.
  • Thanks to Kelly Forsberg and the crew at the Rider office for treating the J-man so well when he and his "homies" toured the stadium last week. A great time was had by all!
  • So I'm guessing Brian Burke won't be trying to swing a trade for Dany Heatley? Burke's comments about "Heater's" trade demands were volcanic! And right on the money.
  • Then again, if Heatley is sad about the media scrutiny in Ottawa, trading him to Toronto would be poetic justice! He'd probably cry when getting worked over by a couple of those Toronto columnists.
  • Still no winner of this week's SportZone trivia contest (scroll down). Who doesn't like free pizza?
  • 13 days until the Ontario excursion of 2009. Hopefully I don't break any body parts this year!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SportZone lineup for June 18

Here's the lineup for the "big show", which airs Thursday at 3 p.m., Friday at 6 p.m. and next Wednesday at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7:

SportZone Guests for June 18/09
Community Co-Host: Brandon Brooks

1. (Event profile) A preview of the 2009 racing season at King’s Park Speedway. Guests: Greg Wagner (Driver/Board Member) & Ken Bell (Driver).

2. (High school segment) The Balfour Redmen celebrate a Regina high school (large schools) softball championship. Guests: Ashton Hughes, Kelsey Gullickson & Kayla Morgan (Players).

3. (Amateur sport spotlight) The Prairie Storm Minor Hockey Association celebrates the selection of five of its players in this year’s WHL bantam draft. Guests: Kelly Markwart (PSMHA Board Member), Allan Kilback & Brandon Halbgewachs (WHL draftees). (Thanks for the plug on the PSMHA web site guys!)

4. (Sport and Leisure Segment) The new Gold’s Gym location launches a new team circuit training program. Fitness ensues! Guest: Kelly Jawhari (Managing Partner, Gold’s Gym Regina South).

5. (High School segment) The Campbell Tartans celebrate a second straight Regina high school track and field championship. Guests: Darren Peters (Head Coach) & Kate Kujawa (Distance runner).

6. (Event profile) A preview of the 2009 Touch Regina Youth (TRY) Football season. Guest: Mark Budinski (League Commissioner).

SportZone trivia: How many city high school softball championships has Balfour won since 2003? Email us your answer, and your contact information, for a chance to win a free medium pizza from Panago!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WHL enters video age

Officials in the Western Hockey League will have the use of video replays for the 2009/10 regular season. That's the big news coming out of the league's Annual General Meeting in Vancouver. Video replay was first used during this year's playoffs.

As well, the league's Board of Governors voted to keep the current conference playoff format in place for at least the next five years.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday musings

A hodge, and a podge, of scattered thoughts:

  • How long before people around here start complaining about the heat? Have we forgotten the cold, miserable weather of January - June so soon?
  • Congrats to young Jacob - who was presented with a customised Rider jersey at a special assembly at his school this morning.
  • It, along with a stadium tour tomorrow, is his reward for setting a NEW SCHOOL RECORD in the annual year-long Accelerated Reader competition. Way to go champ!
  • Tonight, it's a first place showdown between the J-man's Twins and the arch-rival A's for the Little League Minor A regular season pennant. One game, winner takes all. Can you feel the drama?
  • I don't know, is it obvious I'm a bit of a proud parent?
  • Two more shows, and then SportZone shuts down for the summer. I think I'm ready for a break.
  • Kobe Bryant. Champion. Yuck.
  • Could the Orlando Magic have put up less of a fight in the NBA final? Just another reason to wish Cleveland had beaten Orlando in the east final.
  • Canadians are goofy. If Sidney Crosby was American, fans and media in that country would be singing his praises as the great young leader of the new Stanley Cup champs.
  • In Canada, we seem to enjoy tearing people down way more than we build them up - especially in sports and politics.
  • Is Marc-Andre Fleury in the running for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team now?
  • Nothing to get excited about out of Rider training camp yet. Alert me when they start sending some guys home.
  • Wanna bet Wednesday night's encounter between the Riders and all the ex Riders (Richie Hall, Mo Lloyd, Kitwana Jones, Scott Gordon) in Edmonton will be hyped way more than a pre-season game needs to be?
  • Circle Saturday, July 25th on your calendars. That's when the Schmoes come to town in a game that means something. Now that will be worthy of some hype!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

(day after) Friday thoughts

I spent Friday in sick bay, so it's catch up time:

  • Congrats to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who did the previously unthinkable - beat the Red Wings in game seven in Detroit.
  • Two game seven road victories in the same playoff year? Impressive.
  • I might have gone with Crosby or Fleury over Malkin for the Conn Smythe, but whatever.
  • I believe the Leafs may have officially lost the battle for young Jacob's hockey loyalty to the Pens. Can't blame the kid, really.
  • If you're thinking of giving Pizza Pizza a try, don't. Seriously. At least not until they get the bugs worked out. And there are many, many bugs.
  • My goodness the message board mutants are worked up about today's "major announcement" by the Riders in Saskatoon. If it was truly significant, it wouldn't be announced in Saskatoon on a Saturday.
  • Joe McGrath - WTF?
  • Oh well, getting a first round pick for a guy who wouldn't have even started here is a pretty good deal. Back to E-town you go, Princess!
  • Coach Miller doesn't exactly sing the praises of Darian Durant when asked, does he?
  • If Durant and Bell don't play well in the first pre-season game, does Casey Printers get a phone call?
  • Just how long will it be before Wes Cates is ready for game action?
  • If the season started today, who would start at tailback? At quarterback?
  • Is Eric Tillman ever coming back from administrative leave?
  • If you're looking for something to read on holidays, may I suggest The Spy Worker by Regina's very own John Makie? I picked up my copy last night, and recommend you get yours soon!
  • If the name sounds familiar, that's because John is a veteran football coach (he'll be the Offensive Coordinator for F.W. Johnson Collegiate AND the Atom Cougars this year!), and the father of former Regina Thunder and Manitoba Bisons quarterback John Makie Jr.
  • See you at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner tonight!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

SportZone lineup for June 11

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

SportZone Guests for June 11/09

1. (Sport/Leisure segment) A profile of the PaddleAbility program offered through the Wascana Racing Canoe Club, and the Regina Rowing Club. Guests: Stephanie Robertson (WRCC Coach), Christine Selinger (Kayaker) & Jason Hubbs (Regina Wheelchair Athletics).

2. (Amateur sport spotlight) A review of the inaugural spring league, and look ahead to the annual fall league, for Regina Minor Football. Guest: Kelly Hamilton (RMF President).

3. (Event Profile) A preview of the 2009 Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Guests: Sheila Kelly (SSHFM Executive Director) & Kevin Holness (2009 Inductee).

4. (Event Profile) A preview of the 2009 Saskatchewan Special Olympics Summer Games. Guests: Howard Schweitzer (SOS C.E.O.) & George Reed (Summer Games Honourary Coach).

5. (Athlete profile) A general sports discussion with a young Regina athlete/budding broadcaster. Guest: Jacob Paczko (Multi-sport athlete).

SportZone trivia: In what year did 2009 Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Holness make his debut with the national senior men's soccer team? Email us your answer, for a chance to win a medium pizza from Panago!

You must not have won in the past 60 days to be eligible.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Monday musings

The noggin is a little waterlogged this morning, so there's no telling what will slide out:

  • We're almost halfway through 2009, and the weather in this part of the world has absolutely sucked this year.
  • On the bright side, maybe this is Mother Nature's way of expressing her support for a domed stadium for Regina?
  • If Mother Nature was a dude, I'd boot him in the plums. Several times.
  • Ryan Dinwiddie as a Saskatchewan Roughrider? Say it ain't so!
  • Is the interest in Dinwiddie an indication of the Riders' general lack of prowess at quarterback, or a lack of depth behind Darian Durant?
  • I thought the Riders had advanced past the point of picking up other teams' table scraps.
  • Or, have we already forgotten how the Michael Bishop experiment turned out? Or Nealon Greene? Reggie Slack? How about Warren Jones? Enough already!
  • It'll be very interesting to see how the Pittsburgh Penguins respond to the 5-0 shellacking they took in game five of the Stanley Cup final. Can they rebound on home ice, or are the Red Wings moving in for the kill?
  • Tiger Woods and Roger Federer are back on top of their respective sports. It's almost enough to make a guy run out and buy a Gillette razor.
  • Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers are poised to capture the NBA championship. I have to go wash my hands now. That felt icky to type.
  • Seriously, is there a wimpier/crappier band in existence than The Fray? Their music makes me want to gouge out my eyes with a tuning fork.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday thoughts

Gotta clear this stuff out, I suspect new thoughts are on the way:

  • Nice forecast for this weekend. I guess last Saturday was our summer?
  • For a well-run organization, the Riders sure are making some stupid moves these days - off the field.
  • You only need to scroll down to find out how I feel about the 2009 parking passes.
  • What exactly did sending out season tickets by registered mail accomplish? Most people in Regina likely had to travel to their nearest post office to pick theirs up, since they weren't home when Canada Post tried to deliver them.
  • And how exactly is that more efficient than having local folks pick theirs up at the stadium?
  • And now the Rider store is offering a pre-sale on the new 60's retro jerseys. That's cool, but the news release accompanying the announcement didn't even include a picture of the jerseys. No picture on the Riderville website either.
  • So, you want us to plop down $90 (plus tax) on a jersey, without even knowing what the jersey looks like?
  • Has the business operations side of the organization been taken over by simpletons? I'm just saying.
  • Seriously, these decisions would be comical if they weren't so painfully. . .what's the word...dumb.
  • In other news...(radio flashback)
  • Lo and behold, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a little life left in them after all.
  • It was fun while it lasted, but the Toronto Blue Jays have crashed back down to earth. Hard.
  • Anyone going to Mosaic tonight? I have the J-man, so I'll be taking a pass this weekend.
  • I'm torn between taking my young associate to the movie Up this weekend, or to Star Trek. Any recommendations?
  • If you need me, I'll be outside trying to figure out where to stick my Rider parking pass. Oh, I have some ideas where to stick it alright...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

What the hell were they thinking?

My Rider season tickets arrived in the mail today. At least I think they did. It looks like I'll have to wander down the post office to see for sure, as the mail carrier only left a notice in my mailbox.

However, it would appear my parking pass for the 2009 season was delivered. And that's what has caused me to scratch my head in bemusement this afternoon. For some unknown reason, the Riders have switched from parking decals (hung from rear-view mirrors) to stickers this year. Um, why?

Actually, I assume it's a parking pass that I've received. There was no explanatory letter, no note, nothing in the envelope but a sticker and a receipt. I guess the top-notch marketing staff at the Rider office didn't think to include any sort of explanation, or instructions? Do I stick the sticker on my front window? Back window? I have several exciting ideas for where they could stick theirs, but I digress.

Seriously, what horrendous problem was this move designed to fix? Was there a lot of parking decal tomfoolery going on? Quite frankly, if I pay for a parking pass and decide to loan my pass to someone else for a game - whose business is that? Was there a burgeoning black market in counterfeit passes developing?

Here are the problems this creates:

1) Stickers are tacky, and a pain in the butt to remove after the season.
2) What if my vehicle is in the shop? Do I get to pay twice for parking for that game?
3) What if I sell my vehicle? Stickers aren't exactly transferrable!

Frankly, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense. And the lack of communication on the issue is quite bush league, actually. Or am I missing something?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Monday musings

Direct from my cranium to your computer screen:

  • I have no idea how Pittsburgh can hope to knock off Detroit after opening the Stanley Cup final with two losses in Motown.
  • It probably wouldn't hurt if Bill Guerin could convert a couple of those sweet passes Sidney Crosby is sending his way.
  • Henrik Zetterberg is doing a masterful job of shutting down Evgeni Malkin. Malkin's attempted beat down of Zetterberg near the end of game two was just sad.
  • I was very surprised when the Moose Jaw Warriors made Chad Lang their General Manager in 2004. Now it's Jeff Truitt's turn to deal with the brilliant hockey minds on the Warriors' Board of Directors. Good luck with that!
  • Lang's a good guy. I assume he'll land on his feet somewhere in the WHL.
  • Now the important stuff: Congrats to the J-Man for clubbing his first home run of the season yesterday afternoon! The Jakester followed that up with a triple his next at-bat, and earned the save on the mound. Way to go, kiddo!
  • There's only four games left in the regular season, and the Minor A Twins are still undefeated. Great job kids! And coaches!
  • On the flip side, the coach of the Minor A Tigers is a complete butthead. Screaming at teenage umpires? Way to set an example for the kids, you putz.
  • Anyone who gets that agitated about minor sports should just stay the hell away from the diamond, rink, court, etc.
  • Ever notice that the worst writers are the people who write the most? It's as if they think illiteracy doesn't count on the internet.
  • Oh well, I guess life would be pretty dull if we didn't have any lower life forms roaming around. I mean, who else would keep the mullet alive? Or buy Camaros? I'm just sayin'.