Sunday, October 31, 2010

Well, that sucked!

What a lousy weekend this was for Regina sports teams! To recap:

  • The University of Regina Rams were crushed 52-29 in Saskatoon Friday night, costing the Rams a CIS home playoff game. The Rams will travel to Calgary for a Canada West semi-final next weekend.
  • The Regina Pats saw their three game winning streak come an abrupt end, as the Pats were destroyed 11-1 by Spokane at home Saturday night. When you can't keep the game within ten goals, things aren't so good.
  • The Regina Thunder lost the PFC final 32-24 in Saskatoon. It was the Thunder's first trip to the league final in the ten year history of the club. They'll be back.
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders' losing skid has now hit four games, after a 23-17 Sunday afternoon loss in B.C. The Riders will try to stop the bleeding in the regular season finale at home to Edmonton next Saturday.
Further thoughts on the Riders, and their "performance" today:
  • Anyone who cannot see the Riders' special teams are staggeringly inept is either blind or an idiot. It really has become that obvious.
  • The Riders gave up their fourth special teams touchdown of the season this week. On the bright side, Ryan Grice-Mullin only fumbled one kick (yay!), and it was even recovered by the Riders. Sure, linebacker Sean Lucas was injured on the play, but you've gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet! (sarcasm off)
  • Darian Durant isn't in the top three quarterbacks in the league. Not yet, anyway.
  • Durant might have better luck if he didn't have to run for his life in crucial situations. As an example, left tackle Joel Bell was a complete turnstile on the final play of the game.
  • Defenses must love playing the Riders right now. You can get great pressure on Durant with only 3-4 guys, and drop the rest into coverage. Bonus!
  • The defense only gave up 16 points this week. Most weeks, that should be good enough to win.
  • Wes Cates may have just posted the least impactful 1,000 yard rushing season in CFL history. That's not a knock on Wes, but the running game (there is one?) in general.
  • An increasingly large percentage of the fan base has lost confidence in the ability of the Riders' brain trust to right the ship. I'm on the verge of joining them, frankly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday thoughts

Well, we've all managed to survive the week - despite the nasty first taste of winter weather in this part of the world.

  • The University of Regina Rams face a tall order tonight. They can earn a CIS home playoff game, but they have to beat the U of S Huskies in Saskatoon. That's never easy.
  • The Regina Thunder face a similar challenge Sunday. They have to beat the Hilltops in Saskatoon to earn their first PFC championship. Good luck to both Regina squads!
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders look to snap a three game losing skid in Vancouver on Sunday. Expect Lions running back Jamal Robertson to get the ball early and often.
  • If the Riders can finally hold a running back under 100 yards (it's been six games since they did that), they can win. If not, it'll be another looong game.
  • The J-man plays his first game of the RCBA season tomorrow. His basketball team has decided to name itself Chuck Norris. Odd.
  • The who's who of Regina will convene at the Victoria Club tonight for the latest installment of the cultural phenomenon known as High Impact Wrestling. The Palazzo man and I will join the denizens of the area affectionately known as degenerates row.
  • The Regina Pats will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they host Spokane tomorrow night. I almost wish I didn't have other plans, as I'd like to check out the action for myself.
  • Well, it looks as though the Stanley Cup parade down Yonge Street will have to wait a while yet. It was fun while it lasted though. Sigh...
  • Any chance we could hook Graham James and Russell Williams up as cellmates? And then throw away the key?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

It's a bit of a challenge to find things to be cheery about this week, as the weather is just ugly. But, we'll try!

  • The Regina sporting community. It is a pleasure meeting so many interesting and committed people through the Locker Talk program on Access.
  • The Regina Pats. I think we all know they aren't Memorial Cup contenders this year. But hey, a three game winning streak is a step in the right direction!
  • Clark's Luggage and Shoe Repair. For the cost of one lower-end pair of shoes, they're breathing new life into four pairs of shoes I already owned. Works for me!


  • The venom with which some "fans" have reacted to the Saskatchewan Roughriders' three game losing skid. Nobody is happy about the team's performance, but some of the on-line comments have crossed all lines of acceptable public discourse.
  • The weather. Snow should be outlawed until at least Remembrance Day. Who's with me on that one?
  • The weather, part two. Dexter the dog took one look at the snow yesterday and decided his bathroom break could be accomplished in much comfortable (ie: indoor) surroundings. Damn!
  • Regina drivers. Inevitably, the first snowfall of the year brings out the worst in local motorists. I'm pretty sure it's not a phenomenon that's unique to this city, but it sure is annoying!

Again, feel free to contribute your jeers and cheers. It's very therapeutic!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for October 26

Here's the lineup for the "big show" this week. In case you missed the extensive and expensive advertising/promotional campaign (ha!), it airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7.

Locker Talk Guests for October 26/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2010 World Men’s Curling Championships, coming to Regina. Guest: Derek Boe (Event Chair).

2. A Regina team captures the silver medal in the elite division at the recent national touch football championships. Guests: Deron Kuski & Jordan Hardy (Megalomania touch football club).

3. Eng segment. The University of Regina Rams prepare for their regular season finale, with first place in Canada West on the line. Reporter: Mitchell Blair.

4. The high school football program at Martin Collegiate is on life support, but still dreaming of better days ahead. Guests: Perry Leitner (Head Coach) & Jake Buzila (Monarchs player).

5. A Regina track and field coach saves an athlete’s life at the recent Commonwealth Games in India. Guest: Carla Nicholls (Athletics Canada Coach).

6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

You read it here first

I took in the U of R Rams game last night. Unfortunately, the Rams lost 35-27 to the Calgary Dinos. Fortunately, I was able to observe the coming-out party of Rams first-year slotback Jared Janotta. Remember that name, folks. #21 for the Rams might be the next Andy Fantuz, only faster.

If this kid can stay healthy, I would not be surprised to see a Hec Crighton award in his future. Not unlike #83 for the Riders (Fantuz), who starred at slotback for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs before launching his CFL career.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

I haven't had much to complain about lately. So, either life is good or I need to get out more often! Anyway, here's my list for the week. As always, feel free to add your own cheers and jeers in the comments section:

  • Advanced Auto Cleaning. Chris and his crew do a darn fine job. Granted, it ain't cheap! But if you want your ride looking spiffy clean, I'd certainly recommend them.
  • Actually, most on-line retailers. With discounts on shipping (or free shipping in many cases), Christmas shopping has never been easier!
  • Dexter the dog's sitter. Nancy runs a darn fine doggie daycare (for smaller dogs only) for a darn reasonable price. It stinks that Dexter never wants to leave with me when I pick him up Tuesday nights, but I suppose that's an indication of how much he likes it there!


  • I was looking for a pair of brown oxfords (ie: shoes) a few months back. Found a pair on the Sears site, but they were out of stock. Went back this week. Same shoes are still on the site, and still out of stock. WTF?
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders. No running game, run defense or special teams creates the perfect storm of football suckage. Please fix that. Thank you.
  • Colonel Russell Williams. I'm not generally a proponent of the death penalty, but I might be willing to make an exception in this case.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for October 19

Here's the lineup for this week's show. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7.

Locker Talk Guests for October 19/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Regina Thunder football club gets set to host the first home playoff game in team history. Winning ensues! Guests: Dwayne Masson & Andrew Sinclair (Assistant Coaches)

2. A profile of the University of Regina men’s and women’s wrestling teams. Guests: Kirk Ackerman & Steven Schneider (Cougar wrestlers).

3. A profile of the University of Regina cross country team. Guests: Graeme McMaster (Coach) & Kelly Wiebe (Cougars runner).

4. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo reviews another sports movie. This time: Major League.

5. A look back at the first place showdown between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders, and look ahead to the final weeks of the CFL season. Guest: Murray McCormick (Leader-Post Rider reporter). (

6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday musings

What can I say, I've been busy today!

  • There's really nothing new I can contribute to the discussion and hand-wringing following the Saskatchewan Roughriders' loss to Calgary yesterday. It's all been covered by others.
  • The question is - what's worse: The Riders' matador run defense, the anemic running game, or the (not so) special teams? Pick your poison, I guess.
  • If the Riders end up hosting Edmonton in the west semi-final, does Eric Tillman make the trip to Regina with the Eskimos?
  • How much of a media circus would that become?
  • Congrats to the Regina Thunder, who will host Calgary in a PFC semi-final Sunday afternoon.
  • The Thunder's regular-season record of 6-2 ties the best mark in team history, set back in 2002.
  • The late Randy Shaw was honoured as CJFL coach of the year that season. Should Erwin Klempner start working on his acceptance speech?
  • Speaking of, should Frank McCrystal be a leading candidate for coach of the year in the CIS?
  • Frank has his troops in first place in Canada West and they should be in the top three when the weekly top ten rankings come out. Not bad for a team predicted to finish sixth in Can West!
  • Let's hope the Riders find a way to secure the services of the Rams' dynamic duo of Adrian Charles (running back) and Akiem Hicks (DT). We already know they look good in green!
  • Expect some rain in the Regina area tomorrow. I'm getting my vehicle professionally cleaned, so that should pretty much guarantee rain. Sorry about that!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday thoughts

It's time to blog about a little of this, and a little of that:

  • If the Rider defense can make life uncomfortable for Henry Burris on Sunday, Saskatchewan will be in first place in the west by Monday morning.
  • That doesn't mean the defense has to sack Burris. Just make him uncomfortable.
  • I suspect we're going to see lots of pictures of smilin' Hank in a black bra at the stadium Sunday. I could do without it, but whatever.
  • The CFL won't allow players to wear pink, not even for one game, during breast cancer awareness month? That's not a well thought out strategy.
  • It's becoming increasingly obvious that a portion (thankfully, not the majority) of the Roughrider fan base is insane. When the team loses, they want players cut and coaches fired. When the team wins, they don't feel the victory was convincing enough.
  • Frankly, even if the team won every game by 50 points, some folks would still find things to complain about. Wow.
  • Good luck to the Regina Thunder in Winnipeg this weekend. The Thunder can clinch the first home playoff game in team history with a win over the Rifles.
  • The University of Regina Rams are also in the Manitoba capital this weekend. The 4-1 Rams take on the 1-4 Bisons.
  • The Regina Pats are on the road this weekend. I guess their remaining two thousand fans will have to find something else to do.
  • Regina Sports Hall of Fame inductee Jamie Heward was a guest on Locker Talk this weekend. Seriously, how is Hewie not working in hockey in some capacity? It boggles the mind.
  • How would you like to show up for a game in the Adult Safe Hockey League and find out Jamie Heward and Mike Sillinger are playing for the opposition? Yikes!
  • If you haven't heard about it, the rivalry between Regina and Pilot Butte in the PJHL (junior B) is getting pretty heated. It might be worth swinging by the Al Ritchie arena on November 24th to check out the next battle between these two clubs.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Oh yes, it's time for another installment of Cheers and Jeers. Me first!

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs. A 3-0 start doesn't mean it's time to plan the parade route, but at least it's a step in the right direction.
  • The Co-Op grocery store on Rochdale. The J-man and I were in there a few days ago to pick up our Fantuz Flakes. Nice store and helpful staff. Imagine!
  • Huffy Sports. I sent them an email asking for instructions, fully expecting to never hear back. The instructions were in my inbox the next morning. Nice!


  • The Toronto Maple Leafs. For the inevitable losing skid that is sure to follow this 3-0 start to the season. I've seen this movie before, and it always ends the same damn way!
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders' special teams. Really, I don't think an explanation is required.
  • Casey Printers. The guy had the physical skills to be a star in the CFL. Instead he'll be remembered as a one-hit wonder. Sad. But then again, based on the photo Rod Pedersen dug up and posted on his blog yesterday, I suppose the Lingerie Football League is still an option for Printers! (My eyes! It burns!)

That's my list for this week. By all means, if someone/something has impressed or depressed you - let us know!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for October 12th

Here's the lineup for this week's show. It airs tonight at 9 pm and Thursday at 6 pm on Access channel 7 in Regina.

Locker Talk Guests for October 12/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A profile of the Pilot Butte Storm junior B hockey club. Guests: Chris Lewgood (Head Coach) & Sean Delwo (Storm forward).

2. A profile of the Regina Capitals junior B hockey club. Guests: Cliff May (Assistant Coach) & Mike Brodziak (Capitals Captain).

3. A profile of the Saskatchewan Field Hockey Association. Guest: Aaron Demyen (SFHA Executive Director).

4. A profile of the University of Regina men’s hockey team. Guests: Neal Kodman & Matt Strueby (Cougars forwards).

5. A former Regina Pats star celebrates his induction into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame. Guest: Jamie Heward (2010 RSHF Inductee).

6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

It was kind of a quiet week, but let's see what sort of a list we can come up with:

  • Roy Halladay. The best pitcher in baseball throws the first post-season no-hitter in over 50 years. This just in: he's pretty good.
  • Boston Pizza (north Albert). Not to be confused with fine dining, but the food and service were both good last night. That's all I ask, really.
  • Regina Minor Football. The amount of work Kelly Hamilton and Len Antonini put into that organization is amazing. I'm already looking forward to next season.


  • Randy Moss. He really is the poster child for the era of selfish, petulant pro athletes. Enjoy not getting to the Super Bowl with Favre in Minnesota, Randy! (but feel free to score me many, many points in fantasy football in the meantime)
  • 2-4-1 Pizza. I thought I'd try something different for our football coaches meeting the other night. Which just proves the point that different is not always good!

That's all I've got. Feel free to send in your own lists!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for October 4th

It's still a work in progress, but here's the latest version of the lineup for this week's show, airing tonight at 9 pm and Thursday at 6 pm on Access channel 7 in Regina:

Locker Talk Guests for October 5/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. An update on the Regina Thunder Junior Football club, and the quest for a PFC home playoff game. Guests: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach) & Dan Clark (Offensive lineman).

2. Just in time for Christmas, a new book about the 1989 Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders hits the shelves. Guest: Rob Vanstone (Author/Leader-Post Sports Coordinator).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk’s new segment featuring reviews of sports movies, by our resident movie buff Carlo Palazzo. This week: Slap Shot.

4. A profile of the O’Neill Titans high school football team. Guests: Mason Dick (QB), Terry Giovannetti (OL/DL) & Spencer Zwarych (OL/DL).

5. The Regina Gaitors capture their second consecutive Regina Minor Football atom division title. Guests: Jeff Stusek (Head Coach) & Oliver Bolsteri (Offensive lineman).

6. A profile of the Riffel Royals high school football team. Guests: Brad Grywul (RB) & Max Ziegler (OL).

7. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Monday musings

Might as well start the week off right, by getting rid of some leftover thoughts:

  • The Riders defense should be commended for making the second half adjustments necessary to shut down the Argos Saturday afternoon. The Riders D was bad in the first half. Tackling was particularly poor.
  • Darian Durant had a fantastic game against the Argos. I wondered how it was possible to combine the attributes of a gunslinger and a surgeon at quarterback. That performance proved it is possible.
  • If the season was over, who would you pick as the Riders' candidate for league Most Outstanding Player? That's a tough, tough call. At this point, I might go with Andy Fantuz over DD (but just barely).
  • Regina post-secondary football teams went 3 for 3 on the weekend, as the Rams and Thunder both posted easy victories.
  • Has any city ever been home to the Grey Cup, Vanier Cup and Canadian Bowl champions in the same year? Wouldn't that be something!
  • Rans quarterback Marc Mueller ran for 75 yards against the U of A, including two long touchdown runs. When did Mueller become Michael Vick?
  • Tonight I get to dissect the atom Cougars season with my offensive and defensive coordinators. Should be loads of fun! Wanna bet the discussion focuses on the two losses at the end of the year, rather than the five consecutive wins to start the season?
  • Let's hope this darn fine weather sticks around long enough for the J-man and I to dust off the tennis racquets one more time. Which would bring our grand total of tennis games for this year to two.
  • There's an interesting debate brewing today about whether the Riders have more than their fair share of obnoxious fans .
  • I'm not sure about that one. However, there does seem to be a significant increase in fans in the younger demographic (17-25) in recent years. And, unfortunately some of those nouveau fans seem to use Roughrider football as a convenient excuse to talk smack on the internet and get drunk and stupid at home games.
  • Mind you, that's a very small percentage of the total fanbase.
  • And, it still beats the heck out of 1999, when the team finished 3-15 and you couldn't give tickets away.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday thoughts

It's been a while since I posted on a Friday. Let's see what falls out when we shake the cranial tree:

  • It's a local sports smorgasbord this weekend! You could go to the Pats game tonight, or attend the cultural phenomenon known as High Impact Wrestling. Tomorrow afternoon, it's the Riders vs Argos on the tube. In the evening, the University of Regina Rams are home to the University of Alberta. On Sunday afternoon, the Regina Thunder is home to Winnipeg in junior football action. Wow!
  • And if you're into curling, the Tartan Club hosts the Horizon Laser Vision Classic all weekend long.
  • Somehow I have to get yardwork done in the midst of all that. Should be interesting!
  • If the Riders can keep Argos tailback Cory Boyd at bay, they shouldn't have too many problems with the Boatmen. They do need to get some pressure on quarterback Dalton Bell though.
  • Where are all those "experts" who thought the Riders were crazy to start James Patrick at safety instead of the long-gone Scott Gordon? Wanna bet they're the same "people" who've been dumping all over the coaching staff this season?
  • So, if the Pats are not holding down a playoff spot by the time the WHL trade deadline rolls around, it seems obvious they would (or should) trade Carter Ashton for prospects. What about Jordan Weal?
  • I think Weal will be back in the WHL next year, so I'm not sure if I'd "weal and deal". (sorry)
  • LeBron James is playing the race card in explaining the negative response to his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Really? Just when you think somebody can't possibly look like a bigger douche than they already do.
  • Henry Burris wears a bra as a gag at a birthday party. Somebody takes pictures. Okay, I get that. But why did the woman in the photos have her shirt off? Just wondering...
  • RiderGirl disappears, and Mitchell Blair reappears on the airwaves. Coincidence? I kid!
  • Speaking of the airwaves, we're still looking for a volunteer roving reporter for Locker Talk on Access 7. If you're interested, let me know!