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?