Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for December 21

Here's the lineup for the Christmas extravaganza episode of the big show. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m., and then will be repeated (frequently?) over the holidays on Access channel 7 in Regina. We'll be back with a brand new episode on January 11th!

Locker Talk Guests for December 21/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. An update on the junior racquetball scene in Regina. Guests: Ross Richardson (High Performance Director, Racquetball Saskatchewan) & Zoe Hanson (2010 World Junior bronze medalist).

2. An update on the Regina Capitals, who are having a terrific season in the Prairie Junior (junior B) Hockey League. Guests: Rob Dowie (Co-Coach) & Ryan Husband (Capitals forward).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo takes a look at another sports cinema classic. This time: Dodgeball.

4. A look ahead to the 2011 season for the Regina Red Sox baseball club. Guest: Bernie Eiswirth (General Manager).

5. A couple of local speed skaters are having terrific seasons. Guests: Kali Christ & Taylor Leugner (Speed skaters).

6. Media panel. A review of the highlights of the Regina sports scene in 2010, and some predictions for 2011. Guest: Derek Myers (Global TV Sports).

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

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday thoughts

The last day before two weeks of holidays. It's amazing that I can form thoughts at all, so take what you can get:

  • A big thumbs up to everyone at St. Gregory school for a stellar Christmas concert last night.
  • Of course, the kindergarten munchkins stole the show (as they do every year), but the J-man's class did a pretty darn impressive dance number. My kid, the dancer. Who knew?
  • I would have loved to congratulate him in person after the performance, but...that's another story.
  • We have a lot of leftovers from yesterday's office Christmas party. Who's hungry?
  • If there's a charity that wanted to pick up some of this stuff, I imagine that could be arranged.
  • So, a Montreal newspaper is reporting that neither Doug Berry nor Richie Hall are in serious contention for the head coaching job with the Riders. Interesting, if true!
  • I'm going to place my faith in the three wise men (Brendan Taman, Ken Miller and Jim Hopson) on this one. Seems appropriate, given the time of year!
  • It looks as though the makeover of the Regina Pats is almost complete. Will it pay off? We don't know that until next year at the earliest.
  • In the meantime, it'll be another season without a playoff berth. This has to be getting really, really old for season ticket holders.
  • Dion Phaneuf doesn't deserve to wear the C for the Toronto Maple Leafs. There, I said it. Okay, typed it.
  • Mind you, he is Brian Burke's type of guy. All bluster, with no substance. Or tangible results.
  • I think we'll be announcing the winner of the first annual Locker Talk Regina Athlete of the Year on next week's show. It's an idea that's long overdue, in my opinion.
  • "But hey, isn't someone else already planning to present an award like that?" True, but is there a problem with providing even more recognition for local athletes? The Oscars and Golden Globes seem to be able to coexist. I don't see a problem.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

In the spirit of the season, here's a look at who has been naughty (and not in the fun way), and who has been nice over the past seven days.

  • Locker Talk guests. Let's face it, people are very busy this time of year. We certainly appreciate it when folks take time out of their busy lives to talk sports on a local community channel tv show, especially at Christmas time.
  • Paul Woldu. I may not be thrilled that the Montreal Alouettes have won the last two Grey Cups, but knowing this young man (from Regina, no less) is about to collect his second championship ring softens the blow a bit. He's a class act.
  • Deja Vu. I made my first trip to this Moose Jaw eatery last weekend. The service and the food were excellent.
  • Sears Canada. The great treadmill saga continues. Six weeks and counting. Inept isn't even a strong enough word to describe the staggering, mind-numbing incompetence I've been subjected to.
  • Sports message boards. They are overrun by the dregs of society, including the chronically bitter and the exceptionally unintelligent. And yet, I keep reading them. What does that say about me?
  • Regina sports organizations (one rhymes with"Rats") that can't be bothered to return phone calls. Impressive? Not so such.
Want to add some names to either list? Go ahead, 'tis the season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ho Ho Ho...ly crap!

Apparently Santa needs to keep his medicine cabinet locked!

Forget about Rudolph, this is the guy I wouldn't want joining in any reindeer games!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for December 14

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

Locker Talk Guests for December 14/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. An update on preparations for the 2011 World Men’s Curling Championships in Regina. Guest: Derek Boe (Event Chair).

2. The Campbell Tartans celebrate a city championship in senior boys large schools volleyball. Guests: Calvin Toffan (Head Coach), Andrew Nelson & Jakaeden Frizzell (Players).

3. The University of Regina cheerleading team celebrates a gold medal performance at nationals. Guest: Thomas Rath (Head Coach).

4. A review of the first half of the athletic season at the University of Regina, and a look ahead to 2011. Guest: Dick White (U of R Athletic Director).

5. A Regina native celebrates a second straight Grey Cup championship. Guest: Paul Woldu (Montreal Alouettes defensive back).

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday musings

It's Monday. Things can only get better!

  • I suspect the collapsed roof in Minnesota will at least prevent anyone from pitching a "bubble" roof as a compromise in the debate over a new stadium for Regina. Yikes!
  • It's very, very fortunate that no one was hurt when the roof collapsed at the Metrodome this weekend.
  • So the Giants and Vikings will play in Detroit tonight. It's a rare opportunity to watch two NFL teams at the same time in Motown.
  • Yes, I realize the Lions beat the Packers yesterday. Shut up.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs still stink, but at least they have bragging rights over the Habs until the teams meet again on February 12th.
  • With Carter Ashton gone, who will be the next Regina Pat to be dealt as part of the rebuilding project? Probably Brandon Davidson, but I'm thinking Thomas Frazee might also be attractive if a team is looking to upgrade a 20-year old roster spot.
  • Georges St-Pierre made Josh Koscheck's face into his personal punching bag on Saturday night. Koscheck looked like Sylvester Stallone in the first Rocky movie ("Cut me, Mick!") after the fight.
  • Did you see the yahoo fan at the Bell Centre try to get at Koscheck on his way to the octagon? I'm guessing security laid a serious beat down on that clown.
  • Is this the week the Riders announce their new head coach? I suspect it might be.
  • The J-man's basketball team finally won a game on the weekend! I have to commend the coaching staff on the job they've done with these kids. They're finally starting to look like a team.
  • The presents are all wrapped, the cards should have all arrived at their destinations by now. Bring on Christmas, I think I'm ready!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Goodbye to a Bud

I was saddened to read this morning about the sudden passing of Mark (Bud) Budinski of Regina. Bud was a regular guest on my Access sports show, in his role as Commissioner of the Regina youth touch football (TRY) league. He was also in charge of programming at the Regina Court and Fitness Club, and always greeted folks warmly at the old court club.

Rest in peace Bud, you'll be missed!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday thoughts

The things I think about, assuming I think at all:

  • Kavis Reed is a CFL head coach? For real? Well, we'll see how that works out for the Edmonton Eskimos.
  • I wonder if Paul LaPolice is trying to get Richie Hall to take over his defense in Winnipeg?
  • I have a nagging feeling that Doug Berry will be the Riders' new head coach. I'd be very surprised if he isn't.
  • Apparently Peyton Manning isn't quite washed up yet! However, the same cannot be said for Randy Moss. When a guy with Hall of Fame credentials is only contributing one catch a game, something isn't kosher.
  • Anyone checking out the UFC pay-per-view this weekend? I'm not normally a big fan, but I do want to see how Georges St-Pierre does against Josh Koscheck.
  • My hometown was hit with more than 130 cm of snow this week. It almost makes a Regina winter seem not so bad. Almost.
  • I think the Toronto Maple Leafs might actually be getting worse. I didn't think it was possible, but it looks as though it's happening.
  • Is it safe to say Brian Burke's tenure as Leafs G.M. has been less than an overwhelming success?
  • As for the local junior team, the Regina Pats look like they're a long way from being a playoff team, much less a contender.
  • When will the Pats start dealing assets? Probably in another week or so.
  • We're heading into a deep freeze around here this weekend? Awesome. Looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Consider this the blogging equivalent of Santa's naughty and nice list. You do believe in Santa, don't you?

  • Mark's Mini-Tune. Mark found me a replacement bag for my leaf blower for significantly less than an online supplier wanted. Thanks Mark!
  • Regina Automotive Warehouse. Roy set me up with a fantastic set of Toyo snow tires. These things are amazing in the snow, and - even more impressively - on the ice. Me like!
  • Lakeview Fine Foods. They don't have the selection of a big supermarket, but it's a great place to stop for a few essentials. And the staff are super-friendly.
  • On-line shopping. With free shipping, I no longer have to elbow your grandma out of the way in the mall. That's a plus.
  • Sears. Five weeks and still no resolution to my treadmill issue. This just in - they suck!
  • Randy Moss. When I started the NFL fantasy football season with Moss and Atlanta's Roddy White as my starting receivers, I thought things looked pretty good. Apparently Moss had other ideas.
  • Ron Wilson. I'm not saying a coaching change will make the Toronto Maple Leafs a contender, but it seems obvious the players hate this guy. In that case, let's welcome our next contestant.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Locker Talk lineup for December 7

Hey folks, we've got a brand new episode of Locker Talk for you this week! You've been waiting a while for it, but now it's finally here. (Granted, you have to watch a LOT of Access 7 programming to get the humour in that one...)

Anyway, 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 in Regina.

Locker Talk Guests for December 7/10
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A look back at the 2010 CFL season for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and a look ahead to 2011. Guest: Murray McCormick (Regina Leader Post sports reporter).

2. An update on the 2010/11 season for the University of Regina men’s volleyball team. Guest: Greg Barthel (Head Coach).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo gives us his thoughts on another sports movie. This time: The Replacements.

4. A preview of the 2010 Balfour Classic high school basketball tournament. Guests: Glen Fekula (Balfour Boys Head Coach), Brandon Bodnar & Jeremy Zver (Players).

5. An update on the 2010/11 season for the Regina Rebels female midget AAA hockey club. Guests: Doug Folk (Head Coach) & Nicole Mitchell (Player).

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

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday musings

Admittedly, there's not a lot to offer today. I've been quite distracted.

  • Is Dave Dickenson really ready to be a CFL head coach? Most Rider fans seem to think the cerebral ex-quarterback should take over from Ken Miller.
  • Granted, the last time the Riders put a cerebral ex-quarterback in charge, things worked out pretty well. But Kent Austin had more coaching experience than Dickenson does.
  • I could live with either Doug Berry or Richie Hall in that position, although I'll admit neither option excites me terribly.
  • Another parallel to Austin's hiring in 2007: By the end of the 2006 season, the Riders had reached a plateau, having gone as far as Danny Barrett was capable of leading them. Some might say the team is in a similar position now. So, maybe a fresh perspective would help.
  • If Montreal had to win the Grey Cup, at least it's some consolation to know Als defensive back Paul Woldu of Regina is a terrific young man. Congrats Paul!
  • Hmm.....the Riders' starting Canadian corner (Leron Mitchell) suffers a devastating injury in the Grey Cup. Woldu may be ready to move into a starting position, after backing up other players in Montreal for three years. Is there a little synergy there?
  • It's December, and the Regina Pats only have eight wins to show for their first 29 starts. Is this season still salvageable, or is it time to think seriously about unloading assets?
  • I would imagine Pats forward Carter Ashton's value will only rise if he cracks Team Canada's roster for the World Junior Championships.
  • Mind you, the teams ahead of Regina in the race for a playoff spot aren't exactly setting the hockey world on fire, so I'm sure that complicates things a bit.
  • Ron Wilson's days with the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be numbered. Good.
  • I may have to re-think my position on Leafs rookie Nazem Kadri. He's still terrible in his own end, and ridiculously easy to knock off his skates, but at least he demonstrates a bit of offensive creativity. That puts him in rare company in Toronto.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

This week's installment is brought to you by the letter F (as in eff you!):

  • Ken Miller. Despite his 0-2 record as a head coach in the Grey Cup, Coach Ken was a tremendous leader for "the men", and leaves his successor with some pretty big shoes (Hush Puppies?) to fill.
  • Anne Hathaway. The star of Love and Other Drugs must have saved the producers of the movie lots of money on wardrobe costs by appearing in so many scenes sans clothing. What a team player!
  • EB Games (Moose Jaw). Their excellent customer service is worth the short drive to the Band City.
  • Cornerstone Inn Pub & Eatery (Moose Jaw). Darn fine nachos, and apparently the rest of the menu is pretty fine as well.


  • Sears Canada. The antithesis of good customer service. Latest in a series.
  • The "fans" who want to pin the latest Grey Cup loss on Riders quarterback Darian Durant, or Ken Miller.
  • The classless individuals on the Montreal Alouettes who couldn't bring themselves to show their opponents any respect following the Grey Cup. Fortunately, head coach Marc Trestman made up for it with his respectful and articulate comments.

Coach Ken packs it in

I just received a text alert from TSN, saying Ken Miller is stepping down as head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Riders have called a news conference for 11 am.