Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for December 13

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7. It really is must-see tv!

Locker Talk Guests for Dec 13/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. The University of Regina cheerleading team captures a silver medal at the national championships. Guests: Thomas Rath (Head Coach), Madeleine LePage & Evangeline Allison (Cheerleaders).

2. Locker Talk roving reporter Arielle Wood reports on the slam dunk competition at the Balfour Classic high school basketball tournament.

3. Elite Boxing News. Locker Talk boxing correspondent Moses Alli drops in with his monthly report on local and provincial boxing news.

4. A profile of the University of Regina track and field team. Guests: Ethan Gardner, Tait Nystuen & Tevaughn Campbell (Cougar runners).

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Musings

Here's what the world looks like from this corner of it:

  • Ricky Ray is a Toronto Argo? I guess the boatmen are serious about competing for the Grey Cup in their own backyard in 2012!
  • Steven Jyles is heading to Edmonton in the trade, but I really can't see him starting for the Eskies. Henry Burris, perhaps?
  • The Regina Pats are back in familiar surroundings, and starting to string a few wins together. Good to see.
  • Jordan Weal seems to have kicked his game into another (even higher) gear after getting snubbed by Team Canada for the World Juniors.
  • Will Weal finish the season as a Regina Pat? If he keeps leading the team to wins over the next month, he very well might!
  • Tim Tebow? Really? We'll know if he and the Broncos are for real when they host New England next weekend.
  • The Green Bay Packers are 13-0, and Aaron Rodgers holds the new team single season record for touchdown passes. Life is good.
  • The stars of High Impact Wrestling did not disappoint on Friday night. A good time was had, although the sight of Santa beating a second Santa to a pulp in the ring was enough to scar any children in attendance for life!
  • Only two more episodes of Locker Talk left for 2011. This week's episode promises to be a dandy, followed by the Christmas Extravaganza next week!
  • It's going to be very, very nice to have my Sirius radio back up and running when I pick up my vehicle after work. Nothing against the hard-working people in Regina radio, but...well, you know.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Friday thoughts

Assuming there are 1-2 functioning (ie: not frozen) brain cells up there:

  • I don't know who the next head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be. I do, however, know that whenever a fan opines "We should hire..." I want to respond with "Based on your extensive knowledge of what exactly?"
  • It'll play out the way it plays out. In the meantime, it's fun to speculate.
  • The Regina Pats must wonder what it takes. For the second straight year, the Riders' search for a bench boss is receiving extensive media coverage during the CFL off-season.
  • Mind you, in some of the past few years the play of the Pats had pretty much made them irrelevant by December anyway.
  • The Pats travel to Moose Jaw tonight for the first meeting between the two clubs since the Warriors' Tanner Eberle "fought" Pats star Jordan Weal. It could get interesting.
  • Speaking of wanton violence, the stars of High Impact Wrestling invade the Victoria Club again tonight. The upper crust of Regina's social elite will be in attendance.
  • If there were such an award (and there really should be), who would you vote for in the competition for Regina amateur athlete of the year? I'd probably go with curler Amber Holland.
  • Jason Ackerman (mixed) also won a national curling championship. After that, who else shone on a national or international stage?
  • So, the J-man's school holds its annual Christmas (not Holiday!) concert next week, but only the K - grade 5 kids are performing. That's odd.
  • I normally look forward to the show, but with a kid in grade seven there's really no point in attending!
  • My holidays start in six days. Mentally, I'm already gone!
  • I'm getting really good at doing your job! How about you give it a try for awhile?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Jeers are becoming harder to come up with. Either it's the festive nature of the season, or I need to get out more!

  • Thumbs up for Rod Pedersen, who returns to hockey broadcasting in a big way over the holidays. "Rodzo" will be the radio play-by-play voice of Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
  • District Fitness Studio. Eating healthy sucks, but the new training regimen is pretty cool.
  • U of R cheerleading team. Congrats to the crew on a silver medal performance at nationals last weekend.


  • Regina drivers. If traffic is backed up on the Ring Road, that doesn't mean you get to pass on the shoulder, ya maroon!
  • 7 am workouts. A necessary evil, but so very, very unpleasant!
  • SportMart (Albert Street). Some good deals to be had, but absolutely no customer service.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for December 6

Here's the lineup for this week's show, which aired last night at 9 p.m. on Access channel 7. But don't be distraught, you can still catch it Thursday at 6 p.m., Saturday at noon, or through Access' On Demand service. Heck of a deal, really!

Locker Talk Guests for Dec 6/11
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the Balfour Classic high school basketball tournament. Guests: Glen Fekula (Tournament Chair/Balfour Senior Boys Coach), Brandon Buttazoni & Tanner Brightman (Players).

2. Regina athletes return from an international karate competition in Chile. Guests: Todd Parker, Mike Tchozewski & Heather Nelson (Team Canada - Karate).

3. A profile of the University of Regina women’s hockey team. Guests: Stephanie Sawchuk (forward) & Courtney Mish (defense).

4. The Dundee Wealth Regina Super Curling League is into the home stretch, with the finals on Access 7 next week. Our resident curling guru previews the match-ups. Guest: Mark Lang (Curler/commentator).

5. A Regina rink celebrates a national mixed curling championship. Next up, the world! Guests: Jason Ackerman (Skip) & Colleen Ackerman (Lead).

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

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Running into any exceptional, or abysmal, service on your Christmas shopping (or other) exploits? Make sure to tell people about it, right here! Tell you what, I'll go first:

  • Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca - the battling septuagenarians may very well have provided the highlight of the 2011 Grey Cup. The game itself? Meh.
  • Hill Avenue Drugs. Andrew, Mike and the gang provide exceptional service. Without fail.
  • Legends Sports Memorabilia. Despite his woeful taste in pro sports teams (Flyers/Patriots), Trent will probably have something for the hard-to-shop-for sports fanatic on your list.


  • Washington Capitals. It's sad when a decent coach (Bruce Boudreau) loses a power struggle with a whiny "superstar" (Alex Ovechkin). Oh well, that's show biz!
  • Walmart (south Regina). Do they ever have anything in stock?
  • Toronto Maple Leafs. Yet again, the Boston Bruins expose the Leafs' matador defense and porous goaltending. Burke's boys have a long way to go before they can be considered legitimate contenders.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday musings

This is the way we post our thoughts, post our thoughts, post our thoughts...

  • In the end, the B.C. Lions did what everyone expected them to do - beat Winnipeg comfortably in the Grey Cup.
  • I have to admit, I found myself hoping the Bombers would complete their fourth quarter rally, and possibly take the game to overtime.
  • Just think what sort of game Bombers receiver Greg Carr could have had it he actually battled for balls. He doesn't strike me as pro football's most intense competitor.
  • On the flip side is Leos pass-catcher Arland Bruce III. Yeah, he's a bit of a douche, but he sure can play when he chooses to!
  • Was that really Chad Kroeger fronting Nickleback during the half-time show? He cleans up well!
  • Scratch Scott Milanovich's name from the list of potential head coaches for the Riders. The Argos have pried him away from Montreal to be their new bench boss.
  • What does that mean for Jim Barker, the guy who currently holds that title?
  • The Vanier Cup was the most entertaining football game I've seen in a long time, this despite a Hamilton (ptooey!) university winning the CIS championship.
  • If McMaster quarterback Kyle Quinlan doesn't get a serious look from a CFL team, something is seriously wrong with the system.
  • So, Bruce Boudreau is out and Dale Hunter is in as head coach of the Washington Capitals? Good luck to Hunter.
  • I hope the loss of their head coach (Hunter) doesn't derail what has been a great season thus far for the London Knights of the OHL (ie: my hometown team).
  • If Ovechkin and Semin didn't like playing for Boudreau, wait until they get a hold of Hunter, who is considered hockey royalty in Washington - not to mention one of the nastier SOBs to ever lace on a pair of skates.
  • I'm thinking that relationship will be rocky from day one.
  • 7 a.m. workouts are hard. Having a trainer pushing you at that ungodly hour just doubles the fun.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday thoughts

For better or worse, here's what is making that rattling sound up there:

  • The B.C. Lions absolutely should be favoured over Winnipeg in the Grey Cup. The Leos are solid across the board.
  • There's just something about that Bombers defense though. At the very least, they may make this a much closer game than many people thought.
  • Prediction for Grey Cup MVP: Geroy Simon. Outstanding Canadian: Paul McCallum (yikes!).
  • Would pending free agent offensive lineman Brendon Labatte (Bombers), the pride of Weyburn, look good in Rider green? Darn right!
  • Don't look now, but another Weyburn product is starring on the o-line for the U of R Rams. Expect Brett Jones to be selected very early in the 2013 CFL draft.
  • Have the Regina Pats come crashing back down to earth, or have they just hit a big-time bump in the road?
  • The Pats need a win in Everett tonight to snap a five game losing skid. They visit Tri-City tomorrow night.
  • Tomorrow marks the beginning of my three month tour with a personal trainer. Pray for me.
  • I think it's time for Access Communications to step up, and start handing out an award for the Regina Amateur Athlete of the Year.
  • Should that happen, my vote for 2011 would go to Amber Holland. (Or can she be considered an amateur since curlers play for cash prizes?)
  • Feel free to offer your own suggestions!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

As our American friends celebrate Thanksgiving, lets pause and give thanks for those who've earned a cheer over the past week. And perhaps issue a warning to steer clear of those who haven't.

  • Regina Northwest Wrestling Club. Kyle Dumont and company run an excellent program. The J-man is really enjoying his first mat grapplin' experience so far.
  • Trevor Folgering. If he can get me eating healthy and working out regularly, he'll probably be able to claim the title of Regina's preeminent personal trainer. Miracle worker, more like it! We'll see...
  • Advance Eye Care Center. They have my two year old reading glasses looking new again. And for free! What more does a guy want?
  • Sidney Crosby. I'm not a big fan, but Sid the Kid couldn't have scripted a better return to active duty than a four point effort in his first game of the season.


  • Whatever cold or flu bug is making the rounds this week. Get away, I have stuff to do!
  • Not having Sirius satellite radio in my vehicle for weeks, because of a defective part. Really? It takes that long to get a replacement? Nice.
  • Incompetent people being put in positions of authority. Not a new or unique phenomenon, but annoying nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for November 22

Here's the lineup for this week's show. As per usual, it airs tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and will be available through the Access On Demand service. So many options!

Locker Talk Guests for Nov 22/11
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of a multi-province boxing tournament being held at Regina’s Lonsdale Boxing Club. Guest: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale Club President) & Claudino Nelson (Boxer).

2. A Regina native gets back from the Pan Am Games, just in time to turn his attention to organizing the 2013 Grey Cup in Regina! Guest: Neil Donnelly (2013 Grey Cup Executive Director/Basketball official).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo opines on another sports cinema classic from days gone by. This time: The Program.

4. The Campbell Tartans capture another city 5A high school boys volleyball championship. Guests: Calvin Toffan (Head Coach), Jeff Toppings & Liam Nystuen (Players).

5. A post-mortem on the 2011 season for the University of Regina Rams. Guests: Brett Jones (OL) & Brenden Owens (SB).

6. Access 7 Sports Highlights of the Month.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Really? It's been a week already? Well, alright then.

  • Jordan Weal. The Regina Pats sniper earned Player of the Game honours in last night's WHL win over a Russian touring squad. Invite the kid to the Team Canada junior camp, already!
  • Aaron Rodgers. Is there a more fun player to watch in the NFL than the Green Bay Packers' quarterback?
  • Amazon.ca. On-line retailers have really picked up their game in recent years. Their customer service has significantly improved and free shipping options abound. If I can get a chunk of my Christmas shopping done without dealing with crowds and disinterested sales staff, I'm in!


  • Dairy Queen (south Albert St.). I'm all for giving newcomers employment opportunities. But having the drive-through window staffed by someone who barely speaks (and clearly doesn't understand) English seems rather pointless, doesn't it?
  • Occupy Regina. Since these folks obviously have lots of spare time on their hands, and have been removed from Victoria Park, why not volunteer for a few hours at a local charity?
  • Toronto Maple Leafs. They lured me in with another promising start, and now appear headed for another winter of losing hockey. Damn you, ghost of Harold Ballard!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for November 15

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. And don't forget, if you miss it (the horror!), it's also available On Demand to all Access customers. Bonus!

Locker Talk Guests for Nov 15/11
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A profile of the University of Regina men’s volleyball team, coming off the first weekend sweep in recent memory. Guest: Drew Smith (Player).

2. The Riffel Royals capture another city 4A high school football championship. Guests: Rhett Freistad, Sean Mueller & Jack Komonosky. (Players).

3. Eng Segment. A profile of the sport of wheelchair curling. Reporter: Arielle Wood.

4. The O’Neill Titans celebrate a second straight city 3A high school football championship. Guests: Ashton Vien, Leiland Kolodzinski & Billy Gibbs. (Players).

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

It's been a while. Hopefully I remember how to do this. Keep in mind, you are welcome - nay, encouraged - to contribute your own entries for either list. So, here we go:

  • To everyone who ran in the just completed provincial election campaign. Regardless of their political stripe, I admire people who are willing to take a stand and subject themselves to public scrutiny.
  • Ken Miller. Despite the 2011 horror show, Coach Ken rides off into the sunset as one of the classier individuals to ever patrol the sidelines for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
  • Regina Pats. Chad Lang and Pat Conacher have done a masterful job building a playoff calibre squad. In fact, their plan may be a year or two ahead of schedule.
  • Regina Minor Football. Congrats in advance to the recipients of Coach of the Year awards tonight, and to the board and dozens of volunteers for another successful season.


  • Dwain Lingenfelter. I was going to flip the NDP leader a one-fingered salute after he cut me off in traffic Monday afternoon. But why make his election night any worse than it was already going to be?
  • Anyone involved in the cover-up of the sexual abuse of young boys at Penn State University. While we're at it, I hope Jerry Sandusky receives a little jailhouse justice, if you know what I mean.
  • Occupy Regina. While I suppose I have to respect their willingness to take a stand, I would suggest the protestors vacate Victoria Park at least temporarily for tomorrow's Remembrance Day ceremonies. Is that too much to ask?
  • My inability to wish my mom a happy birthday. A great lady would have been 79 today. I miss her.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for November 8

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 Nov 8/11
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Mustangs celebrate a second straight Regina Minor Football pee wee division championship. Guests: Deron Kuski (Head Coach), Brayden Kuski (QB) & Parker Filazek (LB).

2. The LeBoldus Golden Suns celebrate another city 3A high school girls soccer championship. Guests: Ben Leung (Head Coach), Sydney Langen & Kennedy Harvey (Players).

3. Elite Boxing News. Locker Talk boxing correspondent Moses B. Alli updates us on what’s happening in boxing circles in November.

4. A unique fitness facility will open in Regina in January. Just in time to tackle those New Year’s resolutions! Guests: Trevor Folgering (Co-owner, Optimum Lifestyle Center).

5. A profile of the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guests: Dani Schmidt & Brittany Read (Players).

6. A profile of the University of Regina women’s volleyball team. Guests: Solveig Nilson & Michelle Sweeting (Players).

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

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for November 1

Here's the lineup for this week's show. It aired last night, and will hit the airwaves again Thursday at 6 p.m. It's also available on demand for Access customers. What a deal!

Locker Talk Guests for Nov 1/11
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A review of the first season of harness racing at the new West Meadows Raceway. Guest: Glenn LeDrew (Saskatchewan Standardbred Horsemen's Association President).

2. A profile of the University of Regina men’s hockey team. Guests: Russ Neilsen & Adam McPherson (Cougars defencemen).

3. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month. A look at local sports highlights from the month of October.

4. A young Regina athlete completes a cross-Canada canoe trek, and raises money and awareness for charity. Guest: Stephanie Robertson (Regina canoeist).

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for October 25

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 in Regina.

Locker Talk Guests for Oct 25/11
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. ENG segment. A post-mortem on the 2011 season for the Regina Thunder junior football club. Guest: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach).

2. The Regina Pats get set to host the Edmonton Oil Kings October 28th on Breast Cancer Awareness Night. Complete with pink ice! Guest: Cliff Mapes (Pats VP Operations).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo delivers another adrenaline-charged review of a sports cinema classic. This time: Remember the Titans.

4. ENG segment. Interviews with some of the 2011 Regina Sports Hall of Fame inductees (Part two). Reporter: Arielle Wood.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for October 18

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. My coaching duties kept me out of the studio again this week. I'll let you decide whether that's a good thing or not!

Locker Talk Guests for Oct 18/11
Hosts: Mitchell Blair & Carlo Palazzo

1. The Regina Bears celebrate a championship in Regina Minor Football’s atom division. Guests: Steve Sombach (Head Coach), Jackson and Carson Sombach (Bears players).

2. Summer’s over. Are you gonna hibernate all winter, or try to get in some semblance of shape? Guest: Michael Lindenbach (Managing Partner, Gold’s Gym Regina).

3. ENG segment. Interviews with some of the 2011 Regina Sports Hall of Fame inductees. Reporter: Arielle Wood.

4. The Notre Dame Hounds are definitely the team to beat in Regina high school (3A) football, after an undefeated regular season. Guest: Wayne Morrison (Head Coach).

5. A profile of the University of Regina wrestling team, and a new youth wrestling program starting up in the city. Guest: Leo McGee (Cougars/Cattown Wrestling Club Head Coach).

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

What a finish!

Who says there hasn't been any exciting football at Mosaic Stadium this season?

Those nay-sayers obviously weren't in the stands for last night's RMF pee wee U of R Coaches Bowl showdown between the Vikings and our Unicorns. A back-and-forth battle featured numerous lead changes, and wasn't settled until the very last play.

With just nine seconds left on the clock, the Unicorns scrimmaged from our own 40 yard line, facing a 22-19 deficit. Our strong-armed pivot Jayden Lorenz dropped back and launched a bomb in the direction of fleet-footed receiver Jace Kobylansky. JK #21 hauled in the pass, evaded a couple of would-be tacklers and hauled butt to the end zone as time expired! Make the final Unicorns 25, Vikings 22!

How's that for a thriller? Or, as the players quickly dubbed it, the "Miracle at Mosaic". Our team was proud to dedicate the game to our offensive coordinator John Makie, who is in the General Hospital recovering from a mild stroke. That left the offensive play-calling in the trembling hands of yours truly, the head coach. Amazingly, we still managed to move the ball. That one was for you, coach Makie!

Thus ends our RMF season. Good luck to the teams still in the hunt for city championships this week in the pee wee and bantam divisions.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday thoughts

Here a thought, there a thought, everywhere a thought thought...

  • Is there any chance the Saskatchewan Roughriders will knock off the B.C. Lions at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday?
  • I suppose there's always a chance, but that's contingent upon the offense actually putting some points on the board.
  • What would you do? Would you let an injured Darian Durant play?
  • I don't think Ryan Dinwiddie is a realistic back-up plan. So that leaves third-stringer Cole Bergquist. Isn't it time to see if the kid can play?
  • Win, lose or draw, the RMF season will come to an end for the Unicorns on Monday night against the Vikings.
  • At least the kids get to wrap up the year with a game at Mosaic Stadium. That should get them properly motivated!
  • I wonder if the 2013 Grey Cup committee needs a full-time communications person. Just wondering...
  • The timing won't work, but wouldn't it be great if that 2013 championship was the last game played at the old Taylor Field? Dare to dream!
  • Is 2016 still the projected date for the opening of the new facility? Can't wait.
  • Speaking of 2013, wouldn't it be something if both the Saskatoon Blades (host team) and the Regina Pats (WHL champs) were in the Memorial Cup tournament that year?
  • Dare to dream again!
  • In the meantime, fans are enjoying the resurgence of the Pats under new head coach Pat Conacher - who has to be an early candidate for WHL coach of the year.
  • The Memorial Cup, the Junos and the Grey Cup are all coming to Saskatchewan in 2013. Better start resting up now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday musings - a day late

Slowly easing back into the swing of things after a great long weekend with the offspring:

  • Can we just call a spade a spade and admit the Saskatchewan Roughriders are a bad football team right now?
  • Yesterday's 17-1 loss to Edmonton was just about as sad a display of offensive football as I've seen. Give the defense some respect for keeping the game within reach, I guess.
  • Does this mean Ryan Dinwiddie isn't the answer?
  • On the O-line. I think Mssrs. Gauthier and Goodspeed have passed their best before date. They simply don't move quickly enough to handle the DE's of today.
  • Speaking of DE's - the Riders are still searching for an impact player at that position.
  • So now what? Is it time to start auditioning young replacements at key positions? Yep.
  • Is it time to revisit the goofy organizational structure? Yep.
  • Trade Andy Fantuz? Nope.
  • The RMF Unicorns concluded the regular season on the weekend with a heart-breaking 28-22 loss to the Patriots. We were stuffed twice inside the opponent's five yard line on the last two plays of the game. Ouch.
  • Still, considering last year's team went 0-9, we'll take a 4-4 record - no complaints!
  • We may not have the deepest team (we're down to 25 players), or the biggest or fastest, but these kids NEVER quit! Suffice to say I'm proud of them.
  • We wrap up the season with a playoff bowl game next Monday night at Mosaic Stadium. Bring on those Vikings!
  • The Green Bay Packers are 5-0, and there doesn't appear to be anything resembling a Super Bowl hangover happening in the land of the cheeseheads.
  • The Detroit Lions are also 5-0. Are the NFL's ultimate doormats for real this year? Apparently so!
  • Their rise hasn't been quite as dramatic as the NFL's Lions (mostly because they were never as bad as the Lions), but Regina Pats fans have to be feeling pretty good about things these days.
  • The Pats boast a top-notch goalie and a rock-solid blueline corps. Add on a tremendous work ethic and timely goal scoring from a young group of forwards, and the future is looking bright.
  • Hell, if they keep rolling, the future may be now! Well, let's hold off for a while before getting that excited.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for October 6

Don't forget to catch the rebroadcast of Regina's favourite (ie: only) hour long local sports program tonight at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7. Once again this week I was not available for the taping, so that's probably all the reason you need to tune in!

Locker Talk Guests for Oct 4/11
Hosts: Mitchell Blair & Carlo Palazzo

1. The Saskatchewan Roughriders are limping to the finish line of the CFL season. What’s up with that? Guest: Rob Vanstone (Regina Leader-Post Sports Coordinator). (www.leaderpost.com)

2. Elite Boxing News. Locker Talk’s boxing correspondent Moses Alli takes a look at what‘s happening in local boxing circles this month.

3. A preview of the 2011/12 Prairie Junior (Junior B) ocHhHockey League season for the defending champion Traveland RV (Pilot Butte) Storm. Guests: Chris Lewgood (Head Coach) & Mitch McNish (Storm forward).

4. A profile of the University of Regina cross country team. Guests: Kelly Wiebe, Matt Johnson & Kaytlyn Criddle (Cougars runners).

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

Monday, October 03, 2011

Monday musings

A random collection of random thoughts. How...random.

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders have been outscored 82-8 in their last two games. And with that, the CFL playoffs become next year country.
  • I wish there was a ready-made scapegoat (ie: send "insert name here" out of town, and things will be fine!), but the problems run much deeper than a player or two. Or three.
  • You ever work somewhere where everyone comes to work, does their thing, and hates every minute of it? That's what the Riders look like right now.
  • For whatever reason, it seems the corporate culture of the organization has deteriorated rapidly over the past 12 months.
  • On a much brighter note, the RMF Unicorns posted a 36-14 victory to run our latest winning streak to two games.
  • We wrap up the regular season Saturday morning. I'm hoping our starting running back is a quick healer!
  • Unicorns win. Packers win. Rams and Thunder win. Darn near a perfect football weekend!
  • Don't look now, but the Regina Pats have opened the WHL season with four wins in five starts.
  • Chad Lang's decision to bring Pat Conacher on board as the head coach is looking borderline brilliant! Mind you, there's a lot of hockey left to be played this season.
  • Thanks to the guys at Tri's Dent Care for taking care of the hail damage on my buggy from July. Gotta hate when the Riders and your vehicle get pelted on the same day!
  • Is there any chance this weather can continue until the end of the month? Can we put it to a vote?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for September 27

My football coaching duties prevented me from attending last night's taping. So, that pretty much guarantees it'll be the best show ever! Once again this week, Locker Talk airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7.

Locker Talk Guests for Sept 27/11
Hosts: Mitchell Blair & Carlo Palazzo

1. The Riffel Royals have established themselves as the team to beat in Regina High School (4A) football this season. Guests: Mason Rossler (Royals running back), Matt Knight (Offensive Lineman) & Tyler Hogan (Assistant Coach – Defense).

2. A preview of the 2011 Regina Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Guests: Darrell Davis (RSHF Director) & Gary Frank (2011 RSHF Inductee).

3. A preview of the 2011/12 minor hockey season for Hockey Regina. Guests: Blair Watson (HRI Executive Director) & Geoff Thachuk (HRI President).

4. A preview of the 2011/12 Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA hockey season for the Regina Rebels. Guests: Doug Folk (Rebels Head Coach) & Nikki Watters-Matthes (Rebels Defenceman).

5. Members of Regina’s kart racing community get set to race at an event in Italy. Guests: Keith Miller & Garret Britton (South Sask Kart Club).

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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday musings

Always nice to start the work week with a clean slate, so let's do some cleaning:

  • I thought the Riders looked a little flat when they came out of the tunnel for their game against the B.C. Lions Saturday afternoon.
  • But, I certainly didn't anticipate a 42-5 beat down! Who did?
  • So, now the playoffs are a definite long shot for the Riders. Who would have expected that, after trips to three of the past four Grey Cups?
  • The RMF Unicorns are gearing up for a rare mid-week matchup against the Razorbacks. We've been fortunate to play almost all of our games on weekends the past couple of years.
  • Congrats to the U of Rams for posting their first win of the season, and to the Regina Thunder for running their winning streak to two games.
  • A great start for the Regina Pats under new head coach Pat Conacher, as the Pats took both ends of a home-and-home set with Swift Current on the opening weekend of the WHL season.
  • I don't think fans expect the Pats to be world beaters this season, but they do expect a competitive, hard-working team. So far, so good!
  • Thanks to Carlo Palazzo for filling in for me on Locker Talk the next two weeks. Football coaching responsibilities are keeping me out of the broadcast studio (is that cheering I hear? Ouch).
  • I have to admit, a person doesn't usually expect to encounter "roid rage" at Gold's Gym. What a weird experience that was.
  • If this weather continues, raking leaves might almost be enjoyable this year. Almost.
  • The Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills are both 3-0? Is this the NFL's version of bizarro world? Mind you, the Packers are also 3-0, so I have no complaints!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for September 20

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 in Regina. Enjoy!

Locker Talk Guests for Sept 20/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A profile of the University of Regina women’s soccer team. Guests: Nicole Westcott & Adrianna Bonutti (Cougars players).

2. A profile of the University of Regina women’s softball team. Guests: Mike Smith (Head Coach) & Tory Gillis (Cougars LF).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk’s resident sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo brings us his thoughts on another sports cinema classic. This time: The Fighter.

4. A preview of the 2011/12 curling season, and the Sandra Schmirler Curling Classic. Guest: Amber Holland (Team Canada Skip/SCA Executive Director).

5. A profile of the Campbell Tartans, the defending city and provincial 4A high school football champs. Guests: Evan Johnson (OL) and Ryan Warner (DL).

6. Regina’s resident NFL star Jon Ryan gets his long locks cut for charity. Video courtesy Seattle Seahawks.

7. A look ahead to the 2011/12 Prairie Junior (Junior B) Hockey League season for the Regina Capitals. Guests: Sandor Jerkovits (Head Coach) & Ryan Husband (Capitals forward).

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

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday musings

Just another manic Monday (whoa, whoa)...

  • Don't look now, but the two hottest teams in the CFL's west division go head-to-head Saturday at Mosaic Stadium.
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders will look to run their winning streak to four games, while ending the B.C. Lions' four-game string of success.
  • Both teams are capable of putting points on the board, but it'll be interesting to see how the Rider offense matches up against the Leos resurgent defense.
  • Speaking of winning streaks, the RMF Unicorns' lost for the first time in three games yesterday.
  • We'll try to get back on the winning track against the Razorbacks next week.
  • Thumbs up to the atom division Gators and Badgers, who entertained the fans during halftime of the Rider game on Saturday. Coaches Stusek and Probe (ably assisted by the always stylish Gary "Chop" Bresch) have a couple of good-looking teams.
  • Two games, and two wins for the Green Bay Packers. So far, so good.
  • Carolina Panthers rookie Cam Newton has passed for over 400 yards in his first two professional starts.
  • So much for the theory that he wasn't going to amount to much in the NFL!
  • By all accounts, the Regina Pats have played some entertaining hockey during the WHL preseason. Let's hope it translates into an exciting winter for the fans.
  • Is a playoff spot too much to expect for the rebuilding Pats and their new coaching staff? I would suggest not.
  • From the world of junior B hockey, the Regina Capitals quietly (but effectively) cleaned house in the off season. That's what happens when a first place club bows out in the first round of the playoffs, apparently.
  • The forecast is calling for a few more days of convertible weather this week. Bring it on!
  • Looking for a killer workout? Try the UFC training "game" for the Xbox Kinect. Ouch.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for September 13

We're baaaaaack! We kick off a brand new season of Locker Talk with this week's show, which airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7. Tune in - it'll put some zippidy in your doo dah. For sure!

Locker Talk Guests for Sept 13/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. An update on the 2011 season for the Regina Thunder junior football club. Guests: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach) & Wyatt Catley (Thunder Quarterback).

2. The Regina Red Sox celebrate their first Western Major Baseball League championship. Is it too early to talk about a repeat? Guest: Justin Eiswirth (Assistant Coach).

3. Regina’s Lonsdale Boxing Club and Regina Boxing Club host boxers from Wales in a fundraiser at the club next week. Guest: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale Boxing Club) & Don Owens (Bridgend Boxing Club).

4. The Regina Hockey Officials Association (RHOA) is hosting a recruitment night this month. Guests: Don McMillan & Keith Miller (RHOA).

5. Elite Boxing News. Locker Talk’s amateur boxing correspondent Moses Alli brings us up to date on what’s happening with the “sweet science” locally.

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

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday thoughts

It's a Friday and I have thoughts. That in itself is a great accomplishment, no?

  • Andy Fantuz has been released by the Chicago Bears. Maybe, just maybe he'll be back in a Saskatchewan Roughriders uniform within two weeks.
  • I think the Saskatchewan Roughriders just might upset the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic.
  • If the defense can slap Buck Pierce around a bit, things could get pretty interesting.
  • However, the Rider offense also has to contend with the league's best defense. Darian Durant has to get rid of the ball quickly, and accurately.
  • If DD has a sub-par performance, the Bombers' defense may outscore the Riders.
  • The RMF Unicorns take part in their own Labour Day Classic on Monday against Yorkton.
  • Let's hope our season-opening two game losing skid comes to an end Monday!
  • Our offensive coordinator may be a little growly tonight, as his Martin Monarchs lost 60-0 to O'Neill in high school action last night.
  • Frankly, I'm just glad that the football program at Martin is still alive and kicking. That alone is worth celebrating.
  • Wade Belak is gone too? What the hell is going on this summer?
  • Three NHL brawlers gone within weeks of each other. Is there a connection, or is it just a horrible, horrible coincidence?
  • The U of R Rams are favoured to win the Canada West conference in a preseason poll. The fun starts tonight against UBC.
  • If you like football, you'll want to check out a Rams game or two this season. CIS football is good value for your entertainment dollar.
  • The Regina Pats open the WHL preseason at home (Cooperators Centre) to Moose Jaw tonight. It's a battle between a rebuilding club, and one expecting to contend for an east division championship this season.
  • Anyone been to that new Taste of Tuscany restaurant yet? Your reviews are welcome!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday musings

Scattered thoughts, rattling around in a scattered brain:

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to the practice field yesterday, under the watchful eye of new/former head coach Ken Miller.
  • Miller faces the task of getting his crew ready to take on the league-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic. Not an easy job!
  • Once again this year, the two combatants in this game are at opposite ends of the standings. It's rare for both the Bombers and Riders to have winning (or losing) records when Labour Day rolls around.
  • However, that rarely affects the intensity of the action on the field - or off the field, for that matter!
  • The RMF Unicorns are off to an 0-2 start, after a pretty one-sided loss in Lumsden Sunday afternoon.
  • Rumour has it management is already pondering a coaching change! In fact, I believe last year's coach has been spotted lurking around our practices. :)
  • If the kids keep working hard, we'll get this thing turned around. No worries.
  • There's some head-scratching going on with the Regina Thunder today, after a loss in Winnipeg dropped the Thunder's record to 1-2.
  • The Thunder better things turned around quickly, as their next two games are against the league-leading Saskatoon Hilltops, followed by a rematch with Winnipeg.
  • Early indications suggest Regina Pats rookie forward Morgan Klimchuk is in fact the real deal.
  • Will Jordan Weal and Brandon Davidson finish the season in Pats jerseys? I suppose that depends on whether the Pats are in contention for a playoff spot by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
  • If they aren't, I'd expect both those players to be dealt.
  • How long before the good people of Moose Jaw start complaining (loudly) about the paucity of parking spots near their new arena?
  • Can anyone make use of a 51 inch rear projection high def tv? First reasonable offer takes it!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday musings

There's a dwindling number of active brain cells up there, but here's what has been keeping them occupied lately:

  • Good luck to Ken Miller as he steps back into the roles of head coach and offensive coordinator with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He also steps into a tough situation, but with a little luck he just might be able to get his team into the CFL playoffs.
  • If the Riders can get a few players healthy (Koch, Cates, Mitchell) and 1-2 guys back from the NFL (Hi Andy Fantuz!), fans could see some significant improvements in the on field performance. Let's hope so, anyway!
  • I'm not sure how I feel about Greg Marshall's parting shots at his weekend media conference. On the one hand I respect him for speaking openly and honestly about his disappointment over being let go as head coach.
  • But to say the team took the "easy way out"? Not sure I'm with you on that one, (former) coach.
  • The RMF Unicorns dropped an 18-14 heartbreaker to Weyburn in our season-opener, as the Eagles scored on an 80+ yard pass and run play with less than two minutes remaining on the clock. Ouch!
  • Great effort by our kids though, and we'll be better next week against Lumsden.
  • Kudos to the J-man, who held his own despite giving up what seemed like a foot in height (and probably 20 pounds in weight) to the linebacker he was assigned to block.
  • Leibel Field has become a fantastic facility for minor football. Hats off to everyone who worked so hard to make that project a reality. I can't wait until all the work (scoreboard/press box) is done!
  • Kinda tough to get there, though - with roadwork closing one of only two entrances to the Douglas Park complex.
  • Stain resistant khakis are one of the greatest inventions of the modern era.
  • The first planning meeting for the 2011/12 season of Locker Talk on Access 7 happens today. If you have any requests/suggestions for guests we should be inviting onto the program, let us know!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Marshall era ends

Greg Marshall has been fired as head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Offensive coordinator Doug Berry was also let go. Former head coach Ken Miller (the current VP of football operations) takes over. The Riders currently sit in the CFL basement with a record of 1-7.

Friday thoughts

So, I wonder how many people around the Saskatchewan Roughriders' offices will be feeling like this next week?

Seriously, that was another butt ugly performance by a bad football team last night, as the Riders fell to 1-7 on the year with a 24-18 loss in Toronto. Anyone who honestly believes the Riders are poised to turn things around is either naive, delusional, or is gainfully employed by the team.

Blow it up. Blow it up real good.

  • The RMF Unicorns open their season tomorrow at Leibel Field. Good seats are still available!
  • Note to self: Don't stand on the sidelines glaring at people, chewing gum, and looking generally confused. Apparently that's not the key to coaching success!
  • Hey, at least the Riders' starting quarterback didn't decide to quit football three days before a game. Let's see Greg Marshall adjust to that little curveball!
  • Rider fans are quickly making the transition from angry to indifferent. That slippery slope eventually leads to telethons. Let's not let that happen, okay?
  • The kids go back to school in a little more than a week. Where did the last two months go?
  • Our collective braintrust will gather next week to plot and conspire for the upcoming broadcast season of Locker Talk on Access 7. Can't you just feel the excitement?
  • The first show of the new season will air the week of September 12th. Hilarity (intentional and otherwise) will ensue.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

It's been a while - hopefully I remember how to do this!

  • The Regina Red Sox. At this pace, we may not be winning a lot of championships around here this season, so congrats to the Sox for capturing their first.
  • Everyone associated with bringing about the facelift at Leibel Field. Can't wait to lead the Unicorns into battle there on Saturday!
  • Calvin Rhead at Krazy Kiley's. Cal and the guys down the street at Radio Centre are my "go to" guys for electronics. Their prices are great, and their service is outstanding!
  • The people who are choosing to remember former Pats captain Rick Rypien for the outstanding person he was, rather than judging him for the way his life ended.
  • Anyone who still thinks less of professional athletes (or anyone) that struggle with diseases like depression. "Snap out of it" isn't a cure, people!
  • Saskatchewan Roughriders. Please turn this train wreck of a season around. Starting tonight in Toronto, please.
  • The bizarre phenomenon of parents registering their kids for sports, and then never showing up or informing anyone of their whereabouts/intentions. And they wonder why so many kids lack a sense of responsibility/accountability? Go figure.
As always, if you have anything to add to the list - feel free.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crappy news

I'm very sad to hear that former Regina Pat captain Rick Rypien was found dead in his Alberta home earlier today. Rypien had battled depression for several years, but it appears the disease (and let's be clear, it is a disease. Shame on anyone who would say "snap out of it" to someone suffering from it.) claimed the final victory.

"Ryp" was a classy kid who grew into a tough as nails NHLer. He will be missed.

Did I miss anything?

Okay, I suppose this blogger has had a sufficiently long break. Maybe it's time to weigh in on a few things, in the unlikely event anyone cares to read my opinions!

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders are not a very good football team. There is no magic button (ie: fire this guy, replace that guy) that can be pushed to fix this situation.
  • Make no mistake, there are some talented players on the roster. Just not enough of them.
  • And clearly, the coaching staff has not been able to get the most out of the talent they've been given to work with.
  • Wes Cates is missed, no question about it. Although Hugh Charles had a terrific game in a losing cause against Calgary Friday night.
  • Did you notice Charles seemed to come up lame when trying to catch the ball carrier on that tragic endzone interception that was returned for a touchdown? Hamstring injury, perhaps? (I haven't read the paper yet today. Maybe that's been covered)
  • Can the Riders snap out of it with a win in Toronto Thursday night? Sure they can. Will they? I dunno.
  • Congrats to Rob Cherepuschak, Bernie Eiswirth, Gary Brotzel and the rest of the Regina Red Sox on their first Western Major Baseball League championship. It's been fun watching that organization build a consistent winner.
  • Training camp is well underway for the RMF Unicorns. Coaching 12-13 year olds is a whole different ball game, I'm finding.
  • We started the season with 37 players, and seven have already packed it in. Was it something I said?
  • We open the season Saturday morning at the brand spanking new Leibel Field against Weyburn. Hopefully we can get the troops fired up between now and then!
  • Preceding the start of our training camp was the minor football camp put on the University of Regina Rams. What a well-run camp!
  • I know the J-man learned a lot during those four days, and so did I. Thanks again to Frank McCrystal and Bernie Schmidt for the opportunity to help coach the offensive linemen.
  • Immediately prior to Rams camp was a sweltering nine day holiday in the home country (London, Ontario).
  • The highlight was probably the day spent at Niagara Falls. Taking a ride on the Maid of the Mist isn't a bad way to cool off when the humidex is up around 40 degrees!
  • I was right, it was weird driving (and jogging) past my mom's house now that she's gone.
  • Yes, jogging. Although in that heat, if you didn't get your outdoor workout done by about 9 am, it just wasn't going to happen.
  • I'd share some visual memories with the folks on Facebook, but young Jacob left his camera in our rental car! Thanks to long-time pal Donato for retrieving it.
  • Less than two weeks after returning to work, and I'm ready for another holiday. Is that so wrong?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Maybe it's because my summer holidays are a few short hours away. Or, maybe it's just been a good week. But I really don't have much to complain about!

  • Regina Minor Football. I don't know if our team (Unicorns) will be successful on the field this season, but we're gonna look good! Sweet new uniforms guys, thanks! And thanks for allowing us to adjust our pick-up schedule to get everything done in advance of our (the J-man and I) trip to Ontario.
  • Air Canada. We don't actually fly out until Monday, but a little premature praise (or is it wishful thinking?) never hurt anyone, did it?
  • Ljiljana's Reflexology. She has my neck feeling better than it has in years. For this, I am grateful!
  • WestJet. Their flight offerings into and out of Regina have really dropped off in recent years. I'd love to give them some business, but they're not making it easy!
  • Driving past my mom's house next week, and knowing she no longer lives there, is really going to suck. That's life, I suppose. Still sucks though.
  • The doom and gloom crowd who have already written off the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2011. Two games into an 18 game season. I guess some folks just aren't happy unless they're miserable.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for July 12

Here's the lineup for this week's show, marking the end of the 2010/11 broadcast season for Locker Talk. We plan to be back on the air with more local sports fun and frivolity in September. Until then, this week's show airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m. on Access channel 7.

Locker Talk Guests for July 12/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the world junior racquetball championships later this month. Guest: Ross Richardson (Junior racquetball coach).

2. (ENG segment) An update on the exploits of the Regina Red Sox baseball club. Guest: Rob Cherepuschak (Manager).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk’s resident movie guru Carlo Palazzo reviews another sports cinema classic from days gone by. This week: Invincible.

4. Regina gets set to host the 2011 Tri-Province Challenge in lawn bowling. Guests: Keith & Jean Roney (Regina Lawn Bowling Club).

5. (ENG segment) A Regina athlete looks ahead to the 2011/12 NHL season. Guest: Tyler Bozak (Toronto Maple Leaf forward).

6. The North Central Lakers bantam team is gearing up for another Regina Minor Football season. Guest: Brandon Brooks (Coach).

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday musings

I've got to get these thoughts out of my head to make room for a fresh batch. Consider this the blogging equivalent of an "everything must go" sale!

  • Yes, the Riders are 0-2 and have looked terrible (particularly on defense) in losing back-to-back games on home turf.
  • Yes, they now hit the road for two straight, and face the prospect of sporting an 0-4 record when they host Calgary on July 30th.
  • Yes, every member of the staff is facing tough scrutiny and (in some cases) public criticism from a disgruntled fan base.
  • Yes, the defensive secondary looks lost, as do a couple of members of the receiving corps.
  • But you know what? The reaction of some zealots just feeds the generally-held impression that there really is nothing else going on in this province.
  • Fire the GM? Fire the head coach? Fire the defensive coordinator? Fire the team president? After two games?
  • For better or worse, this is the 2011 edition of the team. If they don't get it done, then feel free to call for heads to roll. But after two games? Ain't gonna happen, sorry.
  • I wonder if the Regina Pats will announce who their new head coach is soon? I'm assuming that process is into the home stretch.
  • High Impact Wrestling did not disappoint on Friday night. A good time was had in the company of local sports media luminaries Mitch Blair, Rob Vanstone, Tony Playter and Carlo (Our Man Carlo!) Palazzo.
  • This week's edition of Locker Talk on Access 7 is the last one of the 2010/11 season. Set your PVRs.
  • We'll be back on the air with more local sports fun and frivolity in September.
  • I'll be on holidays as of 5 p.m. on Thursday, and I've already started mentally checking out. That's not good!
  • The J-man and I definitely hit the ground running when we return from Ontario. First it's the U of R Rams football camp on the long weekend, followed immediately by the RMF season.
  • Needless to say, I'm looking forward to two weeks off before getting back on the merry-go-round.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday thoughts

This is what I think. Feel free to agree, disagree, or disregard. That's the beauty of the interwebs!

  • Judging by the reaction of some "fans", the Saskatchewan Roughriders must be the worst 0-1 team in the history of professional football.
  • Seriously, they didn't look good in losing the season opener last weekend. But let's give it another week or two before calling for wholesale changes!
  • Everyone is looking for (hoping for?) an improved performance from the defensive line against Montreal this week. That likely won't translate into sacks, though.
  • The Als routinely give up the fewest sacks in the league, thanks to a combination of stellar offensive line play and Anthony Calvillo's quick release.
  • So, if the Riders can bat down, hurry or force AC to redirect passes, that would have to be considered a big accomplishment.
  • High Impact Wrestling is on the entertainment menu tonight at the Victoria Club. Looking forward to it!
  • Not only is the action in the ring fun to watch, so are the members of Regina's social elite who frequent these shows.
  • Really Brian Burke? You really think Tim Connolly should be the Toronto Maple Leafs' first-line centre? Good luck with that.
  • Which team should be considered the early contenders for the Stanley Cup next season? Don't rule out Pittsburgh, if Crosby and Malkin are back.
  • Will the loss in the Stanley Cup final inspire the Vancouver Canucks to dig even deeper next season? Or was that the beginning of the end for that team?
  • Note to self: Make sure the side gate is firmly locked before letting Dexter the hound out in the morning!
  • Many, many thanks to the unnamed lady who returned our wandering pooch home this morning. Talk about a scary start to the day!
  • Hey! Want people to take what you write seriously? Here's a free lesson: question marks (?) and exclamation points (!) are not interchangeable. Maybe write that down for future reference.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

It's time for our weekly self-help guide and venting therapy. No charge!

  • The (majority of?) Rider fans who realize last weekend's sheet-soiling display in the season opener against Edmonton does not necessarily mean the green guys are destined for a horrible season.
  • Walmart (south Regina). I received some excellent service from assistant manager Joel (didn't get his last name) last weekend. And he gave me a sweet deal on some patio furniture. Consider me impressed!
  • Everyone who worked so hard on the renovation project for Leibel Field in Regina. That is one sweet looking facility. Can't wait to coach there this RMF season!
  • The parents who can't be bothered to return a phone call from their child's football coach. I can pretty well guarantee you that (in most cases) their children will be the ones who show up late for practice (if at all), put in minimal effort, and then whine when they get passed over for the so-called "prime" positions.
  • The less emotionally stable denizens of Rider Nation who have spent the past week issuing doom and gloom forecasts after the season-opening loss to the Eskimos. Get over it, ya drama queens!
  • The absolute wastes of skin who broke into homes in the flooded-out parts of southern Saskatchewan this year. They should be put on the front lines of future sandbagging efforts, for starters.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Brace era begins in Riderville

No, it's not news on a new stud defensive end brought in to shore up the d-line, sorry.

But, I would like to offer congratulations to former radio colleague Darryl Brace on his selection as the new public address announcer for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Darryl and I worked at the old Harvard Broadcasting plant on Halifax Street "back in the day". Good luck, DB!

Actually, another former "Heck on Halifax" co-worker was the other finalist for the public address position. Congratulations to Darren Szabo on a fine performance behind the mike as well. By all accounts it was not easy decision for the Rider brass.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for July 5

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. Is this the week the feud between co-host Mitch Blair and HIW wrestler Rex Roberts erupts into violence? Only one way to find out!

Locker Talk Guests for July 5/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2011 Regina Thunder football club’s training camp. Guest: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach).

2. Regina will play host to the 2014 national ringette championships. Guest: Denise Treslan (Host Committee Chair).

3. The University of Regina women’s basketball team lands one of the top recruits in the province. Guest: Madeline Docherty (Cougars guard).

4. (ENG segment) Registrations are being accepted for the 2011 Regina Touch Football season. Guest: Mike Thomas (TRY Commissioner).

5. A preview of the Pile ‘O Bones Rumble 2011, as presented by the folks at High Impact Wrestling. Guests: King Kash (HIW champ) & Rex Roberts (Mitch’s favourite wrestler).

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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's just the tip of the iceberg!

I have to give credit where credit is due. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have done an outstanding job of developing and growing their brand in recent years.

The marketing efforts extend to products featuring star players, including last year's wildly popular Fantuz Flakes cereal. This week, a Darian Durant cereal was unveiled, along with Weston Dressler potato chips.

That's great, but I'm thinking many more players in the locker room would like to get in on the ($$) action! So, how about:

"Visit Capital GMC, and we'll get your Wheelright"
"SGI and the Riders team up to remind you to have Nunn for the road"
"Come see us at Dilawri Nissan, and we'll get you moving at a Goodspeed"
"What are you waiting for? Tamon in and see us at Colin O'Brian's!"

Man, this stuff pretty much writes itself!

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

We can't all be stars, but it's nice to acknowledge those who put in an honest effort. And, warn others about those who do not! So, without any further ado...


  • North Regina Little League. The weather consistently causes scheduling headaches, but once again organizers found a way to get all the games in by the end of the school year. Well done.
  • Eriksen Construction. Dave is a treat to deal with. He gets the job done well, and always looks after any issues that may crop up afterward. And he returns phone calls promptly. Imagine!
  • Dale Degenstein. If you're looking for an electrician, Dale's your guy!
  • Regina Minor Football. The league has appointed me the head coach of the pee wee Unicorns for this season. Let the games begin!
  • The "yeah, whatever" generation. When did so many kids stop having any enthusiasm for...well, anything? Actually, after meeting their parents, I can see where it comes from.
  • The controversy over the Craven country music festival getting indirect government funding. As long as no flooded homeowners and/or farmers are being left out as a result, I'm totally fine with it.
  • Graffiti. It's really becoming my least favourite thing about living in this city. The people who do it are complete wastes of skin.
That's my list for this week. Add your own, if you dare!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday musings

This is the way we start our week, start our week, start our week...

  • Congrats to all the players who survived cutdown day with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
  • No huge surprises among the cuts, although I'm sad to see long-time long snapper Jocelyn Frenette get sent packing.
  • Congrats to all around good guy Marc Parenteau on winning the competition for the starting centre position. Marc takes over from Jeremy O'Day, who retired in the off season to take a football operations position with the team.
  • Travis Lulay, you better stay healthy! The Pac's Rats selected the B.C. Lions pivot with the 6th overall pick of our CFL fantasy draft last night.
  • Our league looks to be very well run by commissioner Scott Clark, despite his annoying habit of stealing players who were on my draft list!
  • Despite that, my running backs are Fred Reid (Winnipeg) and Jon Cornish (Calgary), with Ken-Yon Rambo (Calgary), Fred Stamps (Edmonton) and Jermaine Copeland (Toronto) handling the pass-catching.
  • My reserve receiver is none other than Andy Fantuz - a brilliant selection if he doesn't make the NFL's Chicago Bears.
  • The North Regina Little League season came to a merciful end for the Major A Orioles on the weekend. This might have been the most frustrating team I've ever been involved with!
  • We (coaches) knew it was going to be a challenging task when about half of the parents dropped their kids off at the diamond and didn't even bother to stick around to watch the games!
  • It's really tough connecting with kids in the "yeah, whatever" era. I'm not a fan of it.
  • Let's hope the Regina Minor Football pee wee Unicorns are a more enthusiastic lot. It would be hard for them not to be!
  • On that note, the J-man and I ramp up our football training tonight. Wind sprints, how I've missed you!
  • Looking for a cool gift for the hard to shop for Rider fan in your life? Check this out. Scroll down for some interesting gift ideas from a very talented fan of the green and white.
  • The CFL season starts for real Sunday at Mosaic Stadium. See you there!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Critiquing others while in a sleep deprived state probably isn't such a good idea. But, when has that ever stopped me?

  • The Saskatchewan Roughrider prospects who had their final sniff of a CFL career in last night's exhibition game. Hell, you made it through a CFL training camp. That in itself puts you miles ahead of the mouth-breathers who slag you on the message boards.
  • Novia Cafe. A downtown Regina landmark is shutting its doors for good this week. You will be missed!
  • Josh Harding. He's a millionaire NHL goaltender. And yet he makes time to be interviewed for a cable tv show in his hometown. Some other local puckheads could take lessons.
  • Chuck Toth. The Commissioner of Regina high school athletics had a tough (lousy weather, teachers' job action, controversy over scrapping baseball and softball) first year on the job, but his commitment to amateur athletics in this town is incredible. We need more like him.

  • Access Communications. Normally, their customer service is excellent. However, the "technician" they sent over last Friday was a rude, incompetent douche bag. Seriously, that clown gives Access a bad name.
  • Representatives of formerly elite local sports franchises who can't even be bothered to return phone calls.
  • The slack-jawed yokels who dared to launch verbal insults at a lady who wore a #14 Edmonton Eskimos jersey to last Friday's CFL exhibition game at Mosaic Stadium. She's proud that a member of her family was about to play in a professional football game. How many CFL games have you suited up for?
  • The pending tragedy on 10th Avenue south of Mosaic Stadium. Exiting vehicles run smack-dab (literally, in one case last Friday) into pedestrians cruising down the middle of the street after every Rider game. You don't have to be a traffic specialist to know this ain't gonna end well.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for June 21

Here's the lineup for this week's show. Unless you're a duck, chances are you'll be indoors. Might as well watch some enthralling television while you're at it! The show airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m.

Locker Talk Guests for June 21/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the regular season finale for the Regina Riot women’s football team. Guests: Ciara Bray(Riot linebacker) & Teisha Bray (Riot fullback).

2. A preview of the 2011 Regina Minor Football season. Registrations are closed. What happens next? Guest: Len Antonini (RMF Vice President).

3. A Regina native looks back on an NHL season lost to injury, and ahead to pending free agency. Guest: Josh Harding (Minnesota Wild goaltender).

4. A look back at the 2010/11 season in Regina high school athletics. Guest: Chuck Toth (RHSAA Commissioner).

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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday musings

Let's wring out the old noggin. It's water-logged, just like everything else around here!

  • It's a quick turnaround for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, as they get set to take on the B.C. Lions in their CFL exhibition finale Wednesday night.
  • It's kinda sad to think that this will be the final few days as a pro football player for a lot of guys.
  • U of Rams quarterback Marc Mueller was released by the Edmonton Eskimos yesterday. Young Marc has nothing to hang his head about, as he likely exceeded everyone's expectations in training camp.
  • Congrats in advance to Darren Szabo, who I expect to be named the Riders' new public address announcer. He'll do a fine job.
  • Good luck to all around good guy Marc Parenteau in his bid to succeed Jeremy O'Day as the starting center for the green and white.
  • All of this weekend's little league playoff action was rained out, so the Major A Orioles are still alive!
  • Seriously, we could be out in two games (double knockout format), or win the league. There's no way of knowing with this crew!
  • Hopefully Regina Minor Football will be in touch this week, so we can formally start preparations for the 2011 season. Can't wait!
  • I feel badly for Curtis Hunt and Todd Ripplinger, as they look for new employment in the hockey world.
  • Still, a fresh start may be exactly what the Regina Pats franchise needs right now.
  • Gotta wonder about the O'Neill Titans, who turned down some free airtime on Access this week to celebrate their high school softball championship.
  • Considering they'll likely be the last-ever city champs in that sport, you'd think they'd be up for a little exposure. Oh well, moving on...
  • More rain on the way today? Terrific! Can't wait!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Riders open pre-season with win

In the unlikely event that anyone is waiting with bated breath, here are my thoughts on last night's 23-22 win by Saskatchewan over Edmonton in CFL pre-season action.

  • Cole Berquist impresses me. However, at the end of training camp I believe he'll still be below Ryan Dinwiddie on the Riders' quarterback depth chart, unfortunately.
  • A big thumbs-up for Marc Mueller, who took CFL snaps for the Eskies on the same field his grandfather (Ron Lancaster) owned.
  • The kid acquitted himself well, completing all three passes he threw for 45 yards, and making a tackle. Attaboy Marc!
  • Marc's mother Lana sat near us last night, looking resplendent in her #14 Eskimos jersey, and some mouth-breather actually had the audacity to yell out "He's gonna get cut!" when she took her seat. What a moronic comment, which I'm assuming suits the person who made it.
  • If Larry (Marc's dad and Lana's husband) wasn't in the spotter's booth, do you think there would have been some pre-game fireworks in the stands?
  • Darren Szabo was the best of the two finalists who auditioned for the public address gig. The other guy rarely told us the down and distance - kinda important little tidbits of information, actually.
  • The situation south of the stadium (where drivers leaving the parking lots along the train tracks collide - not literally, usually - with pedestrians walking and/or stumbling all over the road after every game) is a tragedy waiting to happen. Something seriously needs to be done before someone gets killed.
  • Thumbs-up to the folks who passed along the information that helped the police nab the bozo driver who knocked down a pedestrian following last night's game. Again, something needs to be done.
  • As for the action on the field: Hugh Charles scored a punt return touchdown. For the Riders. Yes, apparently such things are possible.
  • Saskatchewan's pass rush was non-existent. That worries me.
  • Mind you, we'll get a better idea of who's who and what's what in the second pre-season game, after a few prospects have been sent home.
  • I'd probably holding off on ordering a replica Chris Leak jersey if I were you. Just a thought.
  • Alert me when the games start counting in the standings. Until then, it's just a glorified scrimmage.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Axe falls in Pats-land

The Regina Pats have turfed head coach Curtis Hunt and Director of Scouting Todd Ripplinger. Basically, General Manager Chad Lang has cleaned house in the hockey operations department, after earlier deciding not to bring back assistant coaches Shaun Sutter and Ryan Cyr.

The move comes just hours after the conclusion of the NHL season, which is definitely not a coincidence. Let the speculation begin!

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

The good, the bad, and the downright fugly from the past week:

  • The Boston Bruins. The B's sent their long-suffering fans into delirium by winning their first Stanley Cup since 1972 last night.
  • Tyler Seguin. The second overall pick in last year's draft (thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs) wins the Cup in his first NHL season. Not bad!
  • Only one more sleep until CFL football returns to Mosaic Stadium. There's nothing wrong with that!
  • The exceptional individual who came up with the idea for jalapeno-flavoured mustard and bagels. Arriba!
  • The lower life forms (I won't call them hockey fans) who trashed downtown Vancouver after the Canucks' loss last night. Stay classy, Van City!
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs. The buds are the only original six NHL franchise to not win the Stanley Cup in the last 18 years. It's 44 years and counting for them!
  • Mother Nature (again). I see that rain is forecast right through the weekend. This is getting really, really old.
  • The complete douche bags who think it's okay to berate some 13 year old kid who is trying to make a couple extra bucks by umpiring a little league baseball game. Get a life, or get back to the trailer park!
Got anything or anyone to add to either category? Let us know!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for June 14

It's time for another fantastic edition of Locker Talk, the pre-eminent (ie: only) television talk show devoted entirely to Regina sports. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 6 p.m.

Locker Talk Guests for June 14/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. (Eng segment) Various and sundry Regina Pats alumni and other NHL players were in town this week for the Red, Blue and Bling charity fundraiser. This week’s guest: Brooks Laich (Washington Capitals).

2. A preview of the first annual Saskatchewan Lacrosse Festival, coming up in Regina later this month. Guest: Jocelyn Schindel (Sask Lacrosse Festival Chair).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo shares his thoughts on another sports cinema classic. This time: The Rookie.

4. (ENG segment) A former Regina Pats star looks back on his first season in the NHL. Guest: Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers forward).

5. (Eng segment). A preview of the upcoming Mini Indy race in support of Juvenile Diabetes research. Guest: Merv Armstrong (Race organizer).

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

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday musings

If it's Monday, this must be what I'm pondering:

  • Who knew there were so many Dallas Mavericks fans around here? The general basketball viewing populace is downright giddy over the Mavs' NBA championship.
  • Or, they're thrilled that the title did not go to the Miami Heat - Dallas just happens to be the team that beat the NBA's version of the evil empire.
  • Dallas owner Mark Cuban was uncharacteristically quiet during the final rounds of the playoffs. What's up with that?
  • In the end, Miami continues to struggle with uninvited Cubans landing on its shores.
  • Only four more sleeps until the Saskatchewan Roughriders butt heads with the Edmonton Eskimos in CFL exhibition action.
  • Let's see if some of the players that are impressing observers at training camp can get the job done when the bullets start flying for real in game action.
  • It sure sounds like the starters on the defensive line will be Luc Mullinder, Keith Shologan, Dario Romero and Brent Hawkins. We'll see if any of the other d-line prospects step up in the preseason.
  • It would appear that Rider slotback Weston Dressler is poised for a monster season. He's been virtually uncoverable in training camp thus far.
  • Oh my, the North Regina Little League Major A Orioles are riding a four game losing skid into the playoffs. At this rate, it'll be a darn short post-season!
  • Unless of course the brilliant and disarmingly handsome coaching staff can work some inspirational magic in practice this week.
  • The J-man and I will be on a plane headed for Ontario five weeks from today. Can't wait!
  • Our RMF season starts two weeks after that. That's also a good thing!
  • After three years of working with the 0-line, this head coach is moving over to the defensive side of the ball. Feel free to send your sympathy cards to Nathan Hofmeister, our defensive coordinator!
  • I'm fairly certain jalapeno-flavoured bagels are the work of the devil. And yet, I cannot resist.
  • Those new Magnum ice cream bars are also ridiculously tasty. I may need to invest in pants with elastic waistbands if this keeps up!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday thoughts

Here's what I'm thinking. There's probably no need to alert the Pulitzer Prize committee.

  • Only one more week until the CFL pre-season opens with the Riders home to Edmonton. Let the games begin!
  • I hope U of R Rams quarterback Marc Mueller is still in Edmonton's camp by then. What a thrill it would be for him to take a few snaps in a CFL game on his home turf.
  • I wonder what kind of response Kerry Joseph will get when he goes into the game for the Eskies. Hopefully a warm one. He's still one of only three guys to quarterback the Riders to a Grey Cup win.
  • It's not that I want the Dallas Mavericks to win the NBA crown so much; it's that I don't want the Miami Heat to win. Go Mavs! Go Dirk Nowitzki!
  • Someone named Dirk hasn't captivated audiences to this extent since Mark Wahlberg's performance in Boogie Nights.
  • It'll be very interesting to see how the Vancouver Canucks respond to the drubbing they took from Boston in games three and four of the Stanley Cup final.
  • Have the Canucks hit the wall? Or was that just a speed bump on their path to a Cup title?
  • Based on the way our squad has been playing, I suspect it'll be a short playoff run for the NRLL Major A Orioles. Must be the coaching!
  • Baseball season will be over in a couple of weeks at the most, then it'll be time to focus on the big enchilada - another year of Regina Minor Football action! Can't you just feel the excitement?
  • Mind you, I haven't officially been told I'll be coaching yet, so perhaps I'll hold off on getting Unicorns Football embroidered on all my golf shirts for the time being.
  • Seriously, our team will be the Unicorns. Doesn't that just strike fear into the hearts of..........no one?
  • More rain this weekend? What a surprise! Mother Nature, you really are one nasty b#$^h.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

This may require more thinking than I'm capable of today, but we'll see how it goes!

  • CFL training camps are in full swing, and each passing day brings us another step closer to the regular season.
  • Boston Bruins. They've certainly made a series of the Stanley Cup final. Now let's see how the Canucks respond back on home ice.
  • Auto Lounge Customs. Nice job installing the stereo and alarm guys, thanks!
  • Regina drivers really are awful, you know? Between never signalling and not knowing what the hell to do at a four-way stop, it's a real treat driving in this town!
  • Road construction. How is it the Lewvan is seemingly under repair every year, yet most other city streets look like the surface of the moon? Just wondering.
  • Terrelle Pryor. From quarterback of one of the most prominent teams in NCAA football, to a CFL prospect that nobody wants to touch. I didn't know Ohio State offered a class called How to Screw Up Your Life 101. Must be the only class he went to.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for June 7

Here's the lineup for this week's show. It airs tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7 in Regina.

Locker Talk Guests for June 7/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2011 Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner. Guests: Sheila Kelly (SSHFM Executive Director) & Dunc Fisher (2011 Inductee).

2. A preview of the Battle for the Belt boxing card put on the Jaguar Boxing Club on June 11th. Guest: Fitzroy Solomon (JBC Head Coach).

3. An update on preparations for the Queen City Marathon. Guest: Doug Russell (Race Director).

4. A preview of the Regina Pats’ Red, Blue and Bling charity fundraiser on June 9th. Perhaps we’ll even talk a little hockey! Guest: Dan Plaster (Pats broadcaster).

5. A preview of the annual Hoop Factory summer basketball camps. Guests: Jamal & Kai Williams (Instructors/pro basketball players).

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

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

This week is absolutely flying by! Which runs contrary to the leisurely lifestyle of sloth and gluttony I enjoy, but whatever...

  • CFL training camps open this weekend. Football season is upon us. This is a good thing.
  • The days will continue getting longer for the next 19 days.
  • NHL hockey is back in Winnipeg. Now if only Toronto could get a team.
  • Me, for recycling the same tired Toronto Maple Leaf joke.
  • The days will start getting shorter in 20 days.
  • Matt O'Donnell. The Riders' offensive line draft pick honestly thinks he has a shot at making the Boston Celtics? After not playing basketball since high school? Okay, good luck with that.
  • "Super Rush" assignments, that are neither super, nor do they involve the band Rush.
That's my list. Who or what is on yours?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for May 31

Here's the lineup for this week's show. It aired last night at 9 p.m., and will hit the airwaves again Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m.

Locker Talk Guests for May 31/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2011 Saskatchewan Roughrider training camp and CFL season. Guest: Murray McCormick (Regina Leader-Post Rider reporter).

2. A preview of the 2011 Cal Murphy charity golf tournament, and plenty of football talk too. Guest: Cal Murphy (Indianapolis Colts scout).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk’s movie guru Carlo Palazzo reviews another sports cinematic classic. This week: A Knight’s Tale.

4. A preview of the 2011 Regina rugby season. Guests: Robin McDowell & Chantel Morrison (Regina Rogues).

5. Want to train like the MMA fighters train? Or, do you just want a killer workout? Give Regina’s Chi Ki Training a try! Guests: Ron & Kim Gonzales (Chi Ki Training).

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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday musings

The things that are flitting in and out of my stream of consciousness on this Monday:

  • Football season is almost here, as the Saskatchewan Roughriders open rookie camp on Wednesday and main camp on the weekend.
  • For the first time in his CFL career, Rider quarterback Darian Durant won't be touching Jeremy O'Day's butt on every offensive play.
  • The competition for the starting centre position (pretty much the quarterback of the offensive line) will be one of several to watch during camp.
  • I'll be interested to see who lines up at defensive end opposite Brent Hawkins, at defensive tackle in place of Chunky Adams, and at the slotback spot vacated by Andy Fantuz.
  • JR Hildebrand - what the hell were you thinking? Has there ever been a bigger choke job in the history of the Indianapolis 500?
  • I had a nice chat with Josh Harding this morning. That young man has had a tough year. The Minnesota Wild netminder suffered a season-ending injury early in the NHL campaign, and the death of one of his best friends (New York Ranger Derek Boogaard) this month.
  • We'll talk to Josh on Locker Talk when he gets back from Minnesota in mid-June.
  • I can't decide who to cheer for in the Stanley Cup final. On the one hand, a Vancouver win would return the Cup to Canada for the first time since 1993.
  • On the other hand, I just don't like the Canucks!
  • Nothing to report from the world of little league baseball, as the NRLL Major A tournament was cancelled this weekend.
  • All in all, it was a pretty low-key birthday weekend. Which is to be expected at my advanced age, I suppose!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday thoughts

I'd better get these thoughts out while I can still remember them. You know, advancing age and all!

  • A week ago the Boston Bruins looked like a lock to advance to the Stanley Cup final. Now they'll have to hold off Tampa Bay in tonight's game seven to get there.
  • I'm learning to never, ever count the Lightning out this post season. Steve Yzerman's crew may very well be hoisting the Stanley Cup when it's all said and done.
  • Gary Etcheverry resigns his coaching position with the Saskatchewan Roughriders just days before training camp?
  • The decision isn't a surprise, but the timing is a bit curious. Oh well, now folks won't have to worry how Etch will co-exist with new/former defensive coordinator Richie Hall.
  • The forecast isn't looking promising for this weekend's NRLL Major A ball tournament. I can live without the baseball, but not seeing the J-man all weekend would suck.
  • It's LeBron James vs Mark Cuban in the NBA final. Gentlemen, start your egos!
  • I'm becoming a Dirk Nowitzki fan as the hoops playoffs progress. A 7-footer that shoots three-pointers? Crazy!
  • That Saint John team at the Memorial Cup is fun to watch. And most of those players will be back next year? Look out!
  • So this is what 46 feels like, huh? Just another day closer to 50.
  • Mind you, if I want to make it to 50, I'd better get back to working out semi-regularly! This lifestyle of sloth and gluttony isn't getting it done.
  • The only thing truly monumental about today is it marks my first birthday without a call from my mom. That's going to take some getting used to.
  • I think a change of scenery might be the best birthday present I can give myself. We'll see.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

What can I say, it's been a busy day! Here's this week's edition of Cheers and Jeers. As always, feel free to add your own entries to either list.

  • Eriksen Construction. I've been keeping Dave busy around Chez Paczko, and he's been doing some darn fine work. Everyone wins!
  • Thor. The J-man and I were well entertained by the latest superhero flick to hit the big screen. The ladies in the audience seemed to think the male lead was quite acceptable as well.
  • Graham Condo. Our Locker Talk producer at Access has been going above and beyond the call of duty lately. Now, if only he could come up with a golf shirt or two...
  • Not having any time to resume Krav Maga training. A little punching and kicking action would be just fine right about now!
  • The weather forecast for the next few days. Seriously, enough with the rain every weekend!
  • People who bought into the end of the world prediction for last weekend. Everyone knows the one undeniable sign of an impending apocalypse is a Stanley Cup parade down Yonge Street in Toronto. Until that happens, the world keeps on spinning!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Locker Talk lineup for May 24

What better way to recover from a gruelling long weekend than with some fine local sports viewing? You're welcome.

This week's show airs tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. on Access channel 7.

Locker Talk Guests for May 24/11
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2011 Regina Red Sox baseball season, with the reigning league MVP. Guest: Mitch MacDonald (Red Sox slugger).

2. The University of Regina Rams’ quarterback gets a tryout with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. Guest: Marc Mueller (Eskimos quarterback prospect).

3. The Regina Thunder’s star quarterback is moving on to CIS football with Concordia University. Guest: Reid Quest (Concordia Stingers quarterback).

4. An update on the zany folks who belong to the Regina Pile ‘O Bones Roller Derby Club. Guests: Lindsay (Shredder Two-Bits) Schroeder (Skater) & Dallas (Coach Fearsum) McPherson (Coach).

5. A Regina karate instructor will compete in the Traditional Karate World Cup in Poland in June. Guest: Todd Parker (Chief Instructor, MidWest Karate).

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

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Yes, it is in fact time for another edition of Cheers and Jeers. I can feel your excitement. Try not to make a mess.

  • The fine men and women of the Nissan Motor Company. The 350z convertible is a delightful example of Japanese automotive engineering. Bravo!
  • Vancouver Canucks. These guys may just end Canada's Stanley Cup drought. Granted, their best forwards are a pair of Swedes and an American, but I'm okay with that.
  • Speaking of an impressive pair in Vancouver...I bet Sharks forward Ben Eager has never enjoyed a trip to the penalty box so much!
  • Scotiabank (Regina main branch in particular). This must be the place where customer service goes to die.
  • Mother Nature. First we get the winter from hell. Then spring flooding. Now it's the invasion of the body snatching mosquitoes. Take a Midol, you nasty b#*ch!
  • The self-professed experts who have been spouting theories in the wake of the sudden death of New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard. We'll know what happened soon enough. Until then, I'll offer my condolences to a grieving family and leave it at that.