Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for December 18

It's the last show of 2012! There are plenty of opportunities for you to catch the fun and frivolity, as the show airs tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 4 p.m. Thanks for watching (for those that do), and we'll see you in 2013. In the meantime, here's the lineup:

Locker Talk Guests for December 18/12 – Christmas Extravaganza
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Regina Rebels are riding high in the Sask Female Midget AAA Hockey League standings. Guests: Kim Perepeluk (Head Coach) & Erica Rieder (Rebels defenceman).

2. A mid-term report card on the performance of the athletic teams at the University of Regina. Guest: Dick White (Athletic Director).

3. Stuck for Christmas gift ideas for that hard-to-shop-for sports fan on your list? Look no further! Guest: Trent Herda (Owner, Legends Sports Memorabilia). Reporter: Pete Paczko.

4. Want to give your young athlete a competitive edge this winter? You should enroll him or her in the Miles of Fitness training program run by a Rider assistant coach. Guest: Barron Miles (Rider DB coach/Miles of Fitness Director).

5. Year in Review. Our illustrious Locker Talk panel looks at the top local sports stories of 2012, and looks ahead to 2013. Guests: Arielle Wood & Carlo Palazzo (Locker Talk correspondents).

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for December 11

We're back after a quick one week hiatus, with an all new episode. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 4 p.m.  Here's the lineup:

Locker Talk Guests for December 11/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2012 Balfour Classic high school basketball tournament. Guests: Glen Fekula (Tournament Chair/Balfour Senior Boys Coach) & Mitch Jackson (Balfour forward).

2. NHL star Jordan Eberle talks about having his jersey number retired by the Regina Pats. Reporter: Phil Andrews.

3. The countdown is on to the 2013 Grey Cup in Regina. Guest: Neil Donnelly (2013 Grey Cup Festival Executive Director).

4. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month (for November).

5. The University of Regina cheerleading team celebrates its third national championship in the past six years. Guests: Thomas Rath (Head Coach), Janessa Rath (Assistant Coach) & Kristen Slinn (Team Captain).

6. A preview of the 3rd annual King’s Challenge event put on by High Impact Wrestling on December 14th. Guests: Bull Bodnar and Thrillin’ Dylan (Wrestlers).

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

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Thunder to Name New Coach

The Regina Thunder junior football club will name its new head coach this evening. If I had to bet, I'd throw my money on Assistant Coach Scott MacAuley getting the gig.  He's been front and centre on the recruiting trail for the Thunder this offseason, and is considered one of the up and coming young football coaches in the province.

Whomever gets the job will succeed Erwin Klempner, who stepped down this offseason after seven years at the helm.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for November 27

Here's the lineup for this week's show, airing tonight at 9 p.m. and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7 in Regina.

Locker Talk Guests for November 27/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A profile of the University of Regina men’s hockey team, off to a strong start in league play. Guests: Russ Neilson (Cougars Captain), Lucas Gore (Goalie) & Tyler Henry (Defenceman).

2. A profile of the University of Regina men’s basketball team, who've been struggling in league play. Guests: Darius Mole (Guard), Jeremy Zver (Forward) & Frank Brown (Guard).

3. University of Regina Athlete of the Month. With host Arielle Wood.

4. A preview of the 20th annual Hockey Regina Female Hockey Challenge, an elite tournament featuring 58 teams and 900 players. Guests: Rodney Hammett (Tournament Organizer) & Cassidy Hammett (Bantam AA Ravens).

5. It’s been a busy start to the PJHL (junior b) season for the Regina Capitals, including a coaching change and a major corporate sponsorship deal. Guests: Jeff MacPherson (Team Governor) & Erik Knudsen (Head Coach).

6. A preview of the annual RAZZ youth indoor soccer tournament in Regina. Guest: Trevor Sutter (Organizing Committee).

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for November 20

And here we have the lineup for this week's sports broadcasting extravaganza.  Unfortunately, the show won't air tonight, as Access goes with WHL hockey in our Tuesday night time slot. Saskatoon at Victoria. Should be huge viewership numbers in Regina.

Anyway, don't panic. The show will still air Saturday at noon and 3 pm. And On Demand.  So all is not lost! Here's the lineup.

Locker Talk Guests for November 20/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A Regina competitor recaps his bronze medal performance at the recent World Traditional Karate Championships. Guest: Todd Parker (MidWest Karate Regina).

2. A post mortem on the 2012 season for the University of Regina Rams. Guests: Marc Mueller (Rams quarterback) & Larry Mueller (Assistant coach).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo offers his thoughts on another sports cinema classic. This time: Whip It.

4. The Campbell Tartans celebrate a high school senior boys volleyball provincial championship, and 4th straight city championship. Guests: Calvin Toffan (Head Coach), Connor Gorman & Mack Burns (Players).

5. A preview of the High Impact Wrestling event Regenesis in Regina on November 23rd. Guests: Robbie Gamble (HIW Heavyweight Champ) & King Kash (HIW Legend).

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for November 13

Here's the lineup for this week's show. It aired last night at 9:00, and will hit the Access 7 airwaves again Saturday at noon. Enjoy!

Locker Talk Guests for November 13/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the Canada Cup curling event coming to Moose Jaw at the end of the month. Guests: Danielle Sicinski & Alison Fisher (Organizing Committee).

2. The LeBoldus Golden Suns celebrate a provincial 4A high school championship. Guests: Daniel Nesbitt & Eric Wicijowski (Captains).

3. Locker Talk Fitness File. With host Trevor Folgering.

4. A post-mortem on the 2012 season for the University of Regina cross country team. Guests: Kelly Wiebe (CIS Men’s champion) & Karissa LePage (Cougars runner).

5. A profile of the University of Regina women’s hockey team. Guests: Kylie Gavelin (forward) & Callin Harland (forward).

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

Friday, November 09, 2012

Pat Fiacco's New Gig

Relax folks, you don't have to worry about former Mayor Pat Fiacco struggling to make ends meet after leaving office.  He hinted an announcement about his next career move would be forthcoming in November, and lo and behold, here it is.

Interesting times folks!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for November 6

Don't look now (actually, please do!), but it's time for another edition of Locker Talk on Access 7.  This week's show airs tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon.  Here's the lineup:

Locker Talk Guests for November 6/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A profile of the top-ranked University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guest: Dave Taylor (Head Coach).

2. The Mustangs celebrate a third straight Regina Minor Football pee wee division title. Guests: Steve Sombach (Head Coach), Brayden Long (RB) & Matt Weins (LB).

3. Regina’s Lonsdale Boxing Club is holding a charity fundraiser featuring only female boxers later this month. Guests: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale President) & Mary Bermudez (Boxer).

4. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month (for October).

5. The Regina Speed Skating Club gears up the 2012/13 season. Guests: Bill Christ (Head Coach) & Roslynn Dagenais (Skater).

6. The University of Regina women’s soccer team celebrates the best season in the program’s history, including the team’s first trip to the conference final four tournament. Guests: Bob Maltman (Head Coach), Sarah Novak & Kelsey Abstreiter (Players).

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for October 30

Behold! It's the frightful lineup for the special Halloween edition of Locker Talk on Access 7! This macabre offering airs tonight at 9 pm and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7 in Regina. You've been warned.

Locker Talk Guests for October 30/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. The head coach of the Regina Thunder retires, after a 35 year football coaching career. Guest: Erwin Klempner (Thunder head coach - retired).

2. The Raiders capture the Regina Minor Football bantam division championship. Guests: Darren Finkeldey (Head Coach) & Kai Finkeldey (LB).

3. Regina gets set to host the 2013 Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships. Guests: Terry Mountjoy & Selina Coward (Organizing Committee).

4. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo is back to offer his thoughts on a sports cinematic classic. This time: Space Jam.

5. (pre-taped) Canadian Olympic soccer star Kaylyn Kyle visits the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in Regina. Reporter: Mitch Blair.

6. The ladies of Queen City Roller Sports are gearing up for another season of exciting roller derby action. Guests: Jodi “D'Ablo” Barber & Keely “Stabitha” Tyler (Queen City Roller Sports).

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Guessing Game

With two high profile resignations in Regina coaching ranks this week, maybe it's time for a little speculation.

Now that Justin Eiswirth has stepped down, we can ponder who might replace him as manager of the Regina Red Sox.  As two-time defending Western Major Baseball League champs, the Red Sox gig would be attractive for a lot of people.  I think it's safe to say the organization wants someone who will continue building on the foundation that's already in place, and ideally that candidate should be from the Regina area. Former Manager Rob Cherepuschak should be at the top of the list, although I suspect he isn't ready to consider a return to that role yet.  One of the assistant coaches (Kent Morrison, Josh Hughes or Nathan Bourassa) could be next in line. Or, how about Mitch  MacDonald? The Red Sox slugger was virtually a player/coach the past few years anyway, so it wouldn't be a huge leap. I could see it happening.

The Regina Thunder junior football club is in the market for a new head coach, following Erwin Klempner's resignation. Klempner spent seven years building that program, but could never get past the Saskatoon Hilltops in the playoffs. Mind you, who can? I think the list of internal candidates is topped by two names - defensive coordinator Shawn McCall, and special teams coordinator Scott McCauley. McCauley is a former Thunder player, and is considered one of the rising young stars on the local coaching scene. Personally, I'd be surprised if  Campbell Collegiate head coach Ryan Hall wasn't in the conversation as well.

I assume we'll hear the outcome of both hiring processes by Christmas at the latest.  Should be interesting!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for October 23

Change is the operative word in local sporting circles today. Red Sox manager Justin Eiswirth is stepping down, after leading the Sox to a second straight WMBL championship. I've also caught wind of a shakeup in local amateur football circles that may raise a few eyebrows. More on that later.

In the meantime, thanks again to Arielle Wood for filling in with Mitch as hosts of Locker Talk in my absence the past few weeks. Now that my RMF coaching duties are fulfilled, it's time to get back into the studio. So, here's the lineup for this week's show. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 3 p.m.

 Locker Talk Guests for October 23/12
Co-Host:  Mitchell Blair

  1.  A recap of the Prairie Junior Football Conference final between the Regina Thunder and the Saskatoon Hilltops. Guest: Camille Lagimodiere (Thunder Receiver).   
  2. Outgoing Mayor Pat Fiacco reflects on how the local sporting landscape has changed over the past 12 years. Guest: Pat Fiacco (Regina Mayor). 
  3. A Regina men’s touch football squad captures a third straight silver medal at the national championships. Guests: Deron Kuski & Reilly Kuski (Megalomania touch football club). 
  4. Looking for a great way to keep your young football player in shape, and get them ready for next season? Get them into wrestling!  Guest: Leo McGee (Head Coach, Cattown Wrestling Club, U of R Cougars). 
  5. U of R Athlete of the Month. Reporter Arielle Wood interviews the University of Regina’s Athlete of the Month for October, and the U of R Rams starting quarterback. Guests: Joey Dwyer (Rams DB) & Marc Mueller (Rams QB). 
  6. The Thom Trojans celebrate a successful high school football season, and look ahead to the playoffs. Guests: George Heuk (Assistant Coach), Eric Wood (MLB) Dryden Kemp (LB/RB) & Atlee Simon (RB/LB). 
  7. The Blair Necessities.  Mitch’s weekly sports commentary. 

    Note: Don't be surprised if the Thunder announce a coaching change in the next day or so, ending Erwin Klempner's tenure as head coach. Hope I'm wrong, but my spidey sense is tingling big-time about this one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Locker Talk Lineup for October 16

Before we begin, a little local sporting news to pass along. Condolences go out this morning to Don Pankewich, the long-time general manager of the Regina Capitals Junior B hockey team. Don's brother Terry - who was also very involved with the Capitals - passed away the other day.

Also with the Capitals, the team has parted ways with second year bench boss Sandor Jerkovits, despite opening the season with a 4-1 record.  The ever popular philosophical differences are responsible. The head coaching gig with the Caps has been a real revolving door in recent years.

Locker Talk Guests for October 16/12

Hosts:  Mitchell Blair & Arielle Wood

 1.   A profile of the Regina Rebels female midget AAA hockey club. Guests: Bob Brennan (Assistant Coach) & Melissa Murray (Defenceman).

2.   The Cardinals celebrate a Regina Minor Football atom division championship, knocking off the previously unbeaten Thunderbirds.  Guests: Ryan Katchuk (Head Coach) & Spencer Morrison (Player).
3.   Locker Talk Fitness File.  Our resident fitness guru Trevor Folgering has some advice on getting yourself on the road to a new, and healthier, you!

4.   Preparations are well underway for the 2013 CIS women’s basketball championships, to be held at the University of Regina.  Guest: Dean Kleisinger (Tournament Committee Chair).

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

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for October 2

 Another week without yours truly in the host's chair. You're welcome! The show aired last night at 9 p.m., and will repeat Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon.  Here's the lineup:

Locker Talk Guests for October 2/12
Hosts: Mitchell Blair & Arielle Wood

1. A preview of the 2012 Regina Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Guests: Doug McCaw (2012 Inductee) & Darrell Davis (Nominating Committee Chair).

2. A profile of the University of Regina cross country team. Guests: Karissa LePage (4th year runner), Iain Fyfe (5th year) & Adam Strueby (1st year).

3. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month. Local sports highlights from the month of September.

4. The Regina Riot women’s football team gets set to hold a fall football camp for aspiring female players. Guests: Darren Fisher (Head Coach) & Megan Jalbert (Receiver).

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for September 25

Last night, the NFL brought you the latest follies resulting from the use of replacement refs. Tonight, Locker Talk will have much better luck with a replacement host.  My football coaching duties require me to miss tonight's show, but Arielle Wood will be a more than adequate replacement! Find out for yourself tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon.  Here's the lineup:

Locker Talk Guests for September 25/12
Hosts: Mitchell Blair & Arielle Wood

1. A profile of the University of Regina women’s softball team, as they get set to host nationals this fall. Guests: Mike Smith (Head Coach) & Brittany Hewlko (1B).

2. A profile of the Traveland RV (Pilot Butte) Storm, the defending champs in the Prairie Junior (B) Hockey League. Guest: Chris Lewgood (Head Coach/GM).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo is back to offer his thoughts on another sports cinema classic. This time: Space Jam.

4. The Regina Pats hope their young guns are ready to take the next step in the 2012/13 WHL season. Guest: Josh Dixon (Assistant Coach).

5. The O’Neill Titans are gunning for their third straight city (3A) high school football championship. Guests: Alex Clement, Cole Wilchynski & Yol Piok (Captains).

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for September 18

Here's the lineup for this week's show.  It airs tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7 in Regina. Watching the show may not change your life, but it could shine a little light on an otherwise dreary existence!

Locker Talk Guests for September 18/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the 2012/13 Regina high school athletic season. Guest: Chuck Toth (RHSAA Commissioner).

2. The premiere of a new monthly segment on Locker Talk, The Fitness File. Guest: Trevor Folgering (Locker Talk fitness guru).

3. An introduction to the new head coach of the University of Regina men’s hockey team. Guest: Todd Johnson (Head Coach).

4. A preview of the 2012/13 season for the Regina Capitals junior B hockey club. Guests: Sandor Jerkovits (Head Coach) & Rob Crone (Board Member).

5. A profile of the Leboldus Golden Suns, the preseason favourites in Regina high school (4A) football. Guests: Noah Picton (Suns Quarterback) & Mitch Picton (Suns Slotback).

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Follies

Idle thoughts from a semi-regular blogger (meaning I post semi-regularly, as opposed to me being...well, you know):

  • Only the Chicago Bears could be stupid enough to talk smack in advance of a game in Green Bay, a place they never win.
  • Mind you, I sort of enjoyed watching Packers linebacker/rush end Clay Matthews make Bears quarterback Jay Cutler his beeotch for four quarters. Keep chirping, Cutler!
  • If Drew Willy leads the Saskatchewan Roughriders to a win in Montreal on Sunday, he could run for mayor of Regina. And win.
  • I still think Darian Durant is the Riders' best option at quarterback. But at least he's no longer the only option.
  • Speaking of the race for the mayor's chair in Regina...nah, too easy.
  • The one major downside to the emergence of the internet and social media is that every disenfranchised and bitter geek can now have a forum from which to spew their nonsense.  
  • Crap, I hope that's not the pot calling the kettle black!
  • The RMF Unicorns look to improve our record to 4-0 as we travel to Weyburn tomorrow afternoon. If we pull off the win, we meet Jeff Stusek's Golden Hawks next in a battle of unbeaten teams.
  • Let's assume the Saskatoon Blades are the team to beat in the WHL's east division this year.  Do the Pats finish second?  I think they have a realistic shot.
  • I'm going to be very interested to see Morgan Klimchuk perform for the Pats this year, coming off a promising rookie season.  I think he's the real deal.
  • Another season of Locker Talk on Access 7 is underway.  If you've missed this week's episode, check it out through Access' On Demand service.  Let's just say that co-host Mitchell Blair and I survived a very hostile takeover attempt!
  • We introduce our monthly fitness segment on next week's show. Our resident fitness guru Trevor Folgering will give you some great advice on how to get lean and mean!
  • Trevor has me working out with one of his trainers and eating things that aren't baked in cheese.  And yet, I seem to enjoy it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for September 11

It's time to launch a brand new season of Locker Talk on Access 7.  The usual cast of characters is back, along with some new wrinkles we hope you'll enjoy.  The show airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon. Here's the lineup for week one:

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

1. Opening: A recap of last season’s cliffhanger finale, and the ensuing carnage.

2. The Regina Red Sox celebrate a second straight Western Major Baseball League championship. Guest: Bernie Eiswirth (Red Sox General Manager).

3. An update on the 2012 season for the Regina Thunder junior football club. Guests: Erwin Klempner (Head Coach) & Nick Brown (Running Back).

4. A profile of the University of Regina women’s soccer team. Guests: Meagan Cormier, Adrianna Bonutti & Tayler Firth (Cougars players).

5. A profile of the Regina Rage, our city’s squad in the Lingerie Football League. Reporter: Mitch Blair.

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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Follies

It's been awfully busy in the land of Pac lately, so apologies for not posting for such a long time.  Assuming anyone noticed or cared, of course!

  • Can the Riders snap their five game losing skid at home against Winnipeg in the Labour Day Classic? Yes. Will they?  I think so. 
  • Moving Shomari Williams from middle linebacker was a definite step in the right direction. That experiment was a colossal failure. Here's hoping #99 finds his niche as an outside linebacker.
  • For all the people hoping fired Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice will come back to Saskatchewan to reprise his role as offensive coordinator, sorry - not gonna happen. At least not this year.
  • The start of the NFL season is just days away.  I know my Packers won't roll through the season with a 15-1 record again, but I'll take a few more losses during the season if it means a few more wins in the playoffs!
  • The CIS football season gets underway this weekend.  The Rams face a stiff test against the defending conference champion Calgary Dinos. Man, has Blake Nill done an amazing job turning that program around!
  • Speaking of turnarounds, the RMF Unicorns, who limped through an 0-9 season two years ago, then improved to 5-4 under our tutelage last year, will try to improve their record to 2-0 Tuesday night against the South Griffins. Should be a dandy!
  • All the northeast Regina teams are doing well this year.  The atom Cougars are 2-0, and the bantam Dinos are also undefeated. All three teams have won rather handily, in fact. Nice to see, after a few less than stellar years for the NE teams.
  • Apparently Clint Eastwood is almost as bad at ad libbing as Mitch Blair. I keed! Clint's performance at the Republican National Convention wasn't that bad...
  • Now that the first shot has been fired at my co-host, I should let you know that the new season of Locker Talk on Access 7 will premiere the week of September 10th.
  • When we signed off last season, there was an "incident" involving a couple of goons from the High Impact Wrestling locker room.  Tune in to see how that played out!
  • Speaking of Locker Talk, our sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo marries his long-suffering soulmate Rhea Paska tomorrow in an outdoor ceremony. Congrats, you guys!
  • I've assured the happy couple-to-be I won't dig into my repertoire of inappropriate jokes to help fulfill my emcee duties.  I lied. :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday musings

Oh good, it's the start of another work week, following another loss by the Riders! How much misery are we expected to endure?

  • There's no nice way to put it - the Riders completely soiled the sheets in the 4th quarter against Hamilton on Saturday. Blowing a 19 point lead is unacceptable. And at home? Double whammy.
  • The effect of that 35-34 loss can't be allowed to linger, as the worst part of two straight 4th quarter implosions is the effect on the collective psyche of the football team. 
  • In other words, it's tough to play with confidence when you know you've given away the last two games you've played. Rider coach Corey Chamblin has to find a way to get his team to erase that memory - and quickly.
  • Having said (written) that, if the Riders stormed back from a 19 point deficit to win, do you think we'd be talking about how Hamilton blew the lead? No, we'd be praising the Riders for overcoming adversity, fighting until the end, blah, blah, blah...
  • So, maybe the Ti-Cats (led by Henry Burris) deserve some credit too. 
  • Interesting decision by the Riders and SGI to pull the Gainer/Batman drinking and driving ad that plays on the big screen during games. As soon as last year's spot played during Saturday's game, it was obvious the move was a reaction to the Colorado theater shootings. I suppose that's appropriate. Mind you, I hated this year's spot to begin with - so no great loss as far as I'm concerned!
  • The J-man's two week vacation with his "other" family is over. Longest two weeks ever.
  • Note to self: never, ever feed the dog tuna mixed with mayo again. Never. Ever. I'm debating getting the house fumigated in the grisly aftermath.
  • So I've resumed working out with a trainer and I'm in pain. Must just be a coincidence, huh?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday follies

These thoughts are mine. Who else would want them?

  • Andy Fantuz makes his first trip back to Mosaic Stadium tomorrow since signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the offseason. What sort of response will he get from the home crowd?
  • I'd be up for giving him a warm greeting prior to kickoff, and then treating him with general disdain (just like any other opposition player) the rest of the game.
  • It's hard to knock Fantuz for leaving Riderville for an opportunity to live and work closer to home in Ontario.  Heck, there was a time that I would have done the same thing. In a heartbeat.
  • This game shapes up as a showdown between the Rider defense and the Tiger-Cats offense, led by the rejuvenated Henry Burris. If the Cats can establish their running game and give Burris time to pass, it could be very long afternoon for the men in green.
  • Steven Jyles fumbled in the dying moments of last night's CFL tilt, allowing Winnipeg to escape with a 23-22 win over Edmonton. That's Winnipeg's first win of the year, after opening the season with four road losses.
  • I'm sure he's a nice enough person, but Jyles just isn't a starting calibre quarterback. When the chips are down, he'll make a bad decision. Bank on it.
  • I suppose I should try to get excited about the Olympics, but I'm just not there. Are you?
  • Truth be told, I haven't gotten worked up about the Summer Games since Ben Johnson broke our hearts in 1988.
  • It appears the plantar fasciitis has healed enough for me to resume working out with a trainer. Oh joy!
  • Still, I can't very well expect the Unicorns to be the fittest team in the pee wee division of Regina Minor Football if the head coach doesn't get himself in some semblance of shape, can I? That'd be the height of hypocrisy!
  • NFL training camps have started. Let's hope the Packers erase the memory of last year's first-round loss by going all the way this year!

Riders shake up the starting O

Terrence Jeffers-Harris (SB) and Taj Smith (WR) will start for the Saskatchewan Roughriders tomorrow against Hamilton. The Riders are looking for receivers to step up and take some of the pressure off Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf, who have caught the majority of balls thrown by Darian Durant this season.

So, Jeffers-Harris and Smith join the starting crew, with Efrem Hill moving from slotback to wideout. Justin Harper moves to the reserve list for this game.

To accommodate the extra American starter, Patrick Neufeld gets the start at right tackle in place of import Chris Patrick.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Not much to complain about these days. I must not be getting out enough!

  • My friend Rhea (fiancĂ©e of Our Man Carlo) and her aunt and uncle, for assisting my long-overdue house tidying project by holding a garage sale this weekend.  Swing by 86 Cannon Street tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday for some great deals!
  • Rick's Fix Computer Repair.  Rick is a die-hard, all-out Saskatchewan Roughrider fan. He also got my ailing laptop running smoothly again for a very reasonable price. What more do you want?
  • Regina Automotive Warehouse.  I know, I've sung their praises here several times.  But what can I say? I'm consistently impressed by Roy, Ken and the gang. You will be too.
  • Kave Haz Cafe. What a cool little coffee shop, featuring all sorts of coffees, teas, pastries and home made gelato.  It's on Dewdney, across from Luther College high school. Check it out sometime!
  • Fate. As in, oft-injured Rider receiver Rob Bagg deserves a better one! Here's hoping he gets one more shot at reaching his pro football potential.
  • Having to drive all the way to Minot to spend money at Scheels Sporting Goods.  A store like that would kill up here! Who do we talk to about making that happen?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday musings

That felt like the shortest weekend in recorded history! Onward and upward, I suppose:

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders held onto sole possession of top spot in the CFL's west division by virtue of Edmonton's win over the B.C. Lions Friday night.
  • How are the Eskimos 3-1 with the tandem of Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph at quarterback? 
  • Mind you, the Eskies defence is pretty darn good. I suppose that's been their edge so far.
  • Some people are suggesting Lions quarterback Travis Lulay was just a one hit wonder last year. Some people are clueless.
  • A busy week ahead for the Regina Red Sox, with six games in the next seven days. The Sox lead the Western Major Baseball League with a record of 30-9 heading into the home stretch.
  • The Penn State football program is going to be irrelevant for years, in the wake of the sanctions handed down today by the NCAA.  I'll leave it up to Jerry Sandusky's victims to decide if the punishment fits the crime.
  • I'm not the biggest golf fan, so excuse my ignorance, but when was the word "British" removed from the title of the British Open?
  • Congrats to Ernie Els, but my goodness what a collapse by Aussie Adam Scott over the last four holes!
  • Southwest Regina was hit with a quick downpour Saturday afternoon, literally within a half hour of my exit from the Co-op car wash.  Isn't that always the way it goes?
  • I was introduced to an interesting little out of the way coffee shop on the weekend.  It's called Kave Haz Cafe, and is located on Dewdney Ave across from Luther College High School. Not bad!
  • Telemarketers will be relieved to know that the 4th service call from the phone company appears to have restored full service to the Paczko residence. I probably should have appreciated the peace and quiet while it lasted!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday follies

The things a fellow thinks about, in the waning hours of the work week:

  • It's not that the Saskatchewan Roughriders lost in Calgary last night. It's the way they lost.  The Riders played the final 9.5 minutes afraid to lose, as opposed to determined to win. 
  • Still, I remember 1-2 stinkers along the road to the 2007 Grey Cup as well. It's what you learn from those games that matters.
  • And really, how much does a football game matter in light of that horrific mass shooting in Colorado last night?
  • I agree with the people who are suggesting we don't even mention the suspected shooter's name. It's the victims we need to remember, not some deranged freak.
  • Thanks to Rider superfan Rick Gallinger for the quick repair job on my laptop this week.  The old machine is humming along nicely!
  • I wish I could be in Calgary taking part (or leading!) in the debauchery for Carlo Palazzo's stag this weekend. I'm sure the boys will manage to have some fun regardless.
  • So, for the Riders to hang onto sole possession of first place in the West, we need to cheer for Edmonton against B.C. tonight?  Not sure I can do that!
  • Some mouth breathers are actually pinning last night's loss on Rider quarterback Darian Durant? Really? How many passes did he drop? 
  • Plantar fasciitis or not, it's back to working out with the trainer tomorrow! Hilarity ensues.
  • Imagine my delight to find a supply of Vernor's ginger ale on our recent Minot trip. I thought that stuff was only available back home! Nectar of the gods, I tell ya.
  • So, with the boy on holidays with his mom, the next two weekends offer an excellent opportunity to get the house organized/tidied up.  Odds on that actually happening?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

I've only been back from holidays for a couple of days, so there's not much to complain about - yet!

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders.  The green gang takes a 3-0 record into tonight's tilt with the Stampeders in Calgary. So far, so good!
  • Corey Chamblin. It's too early to start casting coach of the year ballots, but the Riders' rookie bench boss is off to an impressive start.
  • RMF Unicorns. An impressive turnout for last night's meeting with the parents. I hope the kids are as enthused as their folks! 
  • Special thanks to Chris Zimmer for volunteering his services as offensive coordinator for the Unicorns this season, after a very unexpected turn of events (below).
  • Minot.  I can't believe it's taken me this long to make the trip to every southern Saskatchewan resident's favourite North Dakota getaway spot. The J-man and I enjoyed it immensely! We really need a Scheels sporting goods store here.
  • Crappy things happening to good people, part one. On behalf of the Unicorns football team, we wish a full and speedy recovery to our offensive coordinator John Makie, who suffered another stroke in late June. I couldn't ask for a finer coaching mentor, and friend. We miss ya, coach.
  • Crappy things, part deux.  It absolutely sucks that Riders receiver Rob Bagg is back on the disabled list, after working so hard to recover from his previous injuries. Hopefully this isn't the end of his pro football career.
  • I eagerly await a 4th (!) service call from the phone company, as efforts continue to restore full land line phone service at Casa de Paczko. Granted, not being able to hear telemarketers on the other end of the line has a certain appeal...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for June 26 - season finale!

Here's the lineup for this week's show, which is also the last new episode until after Labour Day. The show airs tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. Who knows, maybe we've saved the best for last?

Co-host:  Mitchell Blair
 1.   An update on the exploits of the Regina Red Sox baseball club, as they try to repeat as Western Major Baseball League champs. Guests: Justin Eiswirth (Red Sox Manager), Daniel Jones & Ryne Drummonds (Pitchers). Reporter: Pete Paczko
2.   A look ahead to summer events at King’s Park Speedway. Guest: Noel McAvena  (King’s Park Speedway Board).

3.   A look at the 2012 Swervin’ Mini Indy race at the Orr Centre in Regina. Guest: Merv Armstrong (Organizing Committee). Reporter: Mitch Blair.

4.   Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month.

5.   Locker Talk viewers get a chance to find out more about our dynamic correspondents. We’ll introduce you to them, find out their stories, and discuss major sports stories from the first half of 2012. Panelists: Arielle Wood & Carlo Palazzo (Locker Talk Correspondents).

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

7.   The crazies from High Impact Wrestling invade the set to promote the upcoming Pile O’ Bones Rumble, and possibly to settle some old scores. Guests: Billie Bones & El Asesino (HIW Wrestlers)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday musings

A collection of thoughts in the aftermath of cut-down weekend in the CFL:

  • It was disappointing to see the Riders send Lance Frazier packing, but I prefer that to keeping players well past their "best before" date.
  • For an exhibition game, the entertainment value on Friday night's contest was pretty darn high!
  • I think we can safely say that the new seats in the north end zone are somewhat less than an overwhelming success. While we're at it (complaining), that new SGI drinking and driving ad is creepy. That's the most effeminate Joker I've ever seen!
  • On the bright side, the new scoreboards look great. And the south end zone seats apparently stayed in place, so that's a plus!
  • Kory Sheets looks poised for a huge year at running back. And Drew Willy has a certain "it" factor at quarterback.  I'm not suggesting he should supplant Darian Durant as the starter, but he's a definite upgrade over last year's #2 quarterback.
  • I'm sorry, but I think the Riders have serious issues at linebacker. Shomari Williams is not ready for prime time. The smart play would be to start Mike McCullough in the middle, at least for now. 
  • It's too bad the J-man and I couldn't have taken off on our southern Ontario holiday a day earlier.  I would have loved to take him to the Rider season opener in Hamilton Friday night!
  • Things are coming together very nicely for the RMF pee wee Unicorns. 'Twas a beautiful night for a coaches meeting on the deck at Chez Paczko last night.
  • For the first time in the five year history of our program, we may go into the season with high expectations on our shoulders.  I'll take it!
  • If you ever find yourself at the Stone's Throw coffee shop on Kramer Boulevard, I humbly suggest you don't order the iced mocha. Blech!
  • Why is it a person's "to do" list seems to grow exponentially the closer you get to your holidays? If I eliminate sleep this week, I may be able to get everything done! Maybe.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday thoughts

It's been a while since I posted anything other than a lineup for Locker Talk. Let's see if I remember how!

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders host the Calgary Stampeders tonight in the preseason finale for both clubs.
  • The Riders go into this one with lots of question marks on both sides of the ball.
  • I'll be looking to see how the offensive and defensive lines perform.  If the boys in the trenches win their one-on-one battles, that's a good sign.
  • I'll also be looking for someone to step up in the competition for the starting position at tailback and middle linebacker.
  • And, it'll be interesting to see how the temporary facelift for Mosaic Stadium is coming along. I assume some of the new additions (scoreboard, end zone seats) can be transferred to the new stadium, if and when such a facility is built.
  • It was fun talking football (and stuff) last night on CKRM's Sports Cage with Rod Pedersen and Chris Hodges.  Hopefully the listeners weren't scarred too badly by the experience!
  • I cringed when Rod described me as the "star" of Locker Talk on Access 7.  I think the guests are the stars, and I look at Mitch and I more like facilitators. But I appreciate the sentiment!
  • An interesting point was raised on the show last night.  If you sit on the bench seats at the stadium, and you arrive at the game to find some 250 + lb behemoth spilling over into half of your seat - what do you do? Tell them to move? Squish in?
  • It's official - I'll be the head coach of the RMF pee wee Unicorns again this season.  We're hoping to improve on last year's 5-4 record, and we might just have the crew to do it!
  •  Eight days and counting until the J-man and I make our annual southern Ontario pilgrimage. We're cutting our trip down to eight days because the boy refuses to miss the Riders' home opener on July 8th.  There's a diehard for ya!
  • Looks like it'll be a nice weekend to go for a run. Not saying I will, of course. Stupid plantar fasciitis. However a bike ride might be an option...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for June 19

Here's the lineup for this week's show - the second last of our broadcast season! It airs tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. on Access channel 7 in Regina. How freakin' awesome is that?

Co-host:  Mitchell Blair
 1.   A look ahead to the 2012 season for the Regina Thunder junior football club. Guests: Brett Wade, Boyd Richardson & Drew Barss (Thunder d-linemen).
2.   The Regina Riot gets set to host a Western Women’s Canadian Football League conference semi-final. Guests: Carmen Agar (Riot RB) & Erin Banbury (Riot FB).

3.   A preview of the 2012 Sepak Takraw (kick volleyball) Canadian Open and Canada Day Challenge. Guest:  Rick Engel (Sepak Takraw Association of Canada President).

4.   A couple of former Regina Pats stars return home to take part in a charity fundraiser, and look ahead to the 2012/13 NHL season. Guests: Josh Harding (Minnesota Wild goaltender) & Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers forward). Reporter: Mitch Blair.

5.   A preview of the Super Pull 2012 truck and tractor pulling show at Regina’s King’s Park Speedway. Guest: Stacey Getz (Event Organizer)

6.   High school and university athletes are hitting the gym in droves, in preparation for next season.  And, our guest has also been busy training Saskatchewan Roughrider hopefuls over the winter and spring months. Guest: Dan Farthing (Level 10 Fitness/Saskatchewan Roughrider Strength & Conditioning Coordinator).  

7.   A review of the 2012 Saskatchewan Roughrider training camp, and look ahead to the home exhibition game on the 22nd. Guest: Murray McCormick (Leader-Post Rider Correspondent).

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for June 12

Here's the lineup for this week's show, hitting the airwaves tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m., and Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. But alas, it's only on Access 7 in Regina. Not a subscriber? That'll learn ya!

Locker Talk Guests for June 12/12
Co-host:  Mitchell Blair
 1.   The Campbell Tartans celebrate a 5th straight city high school track and field championship. Guests: Darren Peters (Head Coach), Juliana Mayne & Alexander Eiswerth (Campbell track athletes).

2.   A preview of the summer football camps put on by the University of Regina Rams, and a look ahead to the 2012 CIS season. Guests:  Marc Mueller (Rams Quarterback/Camp Instructor) & Brett Jones (Rams O-Lineman/Camp Instructor).

3.   A report on the annual Stix on Rose charity street hockey tournament, bringing hockey stars and other sports celebrities from near and far to Regina. Reporter: Mitch Blair.

4.   The Regina Rebels select a new head coach to lead the female midget AAA hockey club in 2012/13. Guest: Kim Perepeluk (Rebels Head Coach).

5.   Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo reviews the cinematic classic Goon.

6.   It’s still not too late in get in shape for the summer. Would the chance to win $10,000 be enough of an enticement? Better hurry, time’s running out to enter! Guest: Trevor Folgering (Owner, Body Revolution Fitness)

7.   A preview of the annual Hoop Factory summer basketball camps. Guest: Craig Perreault (Camp Director).

8.   TheBlair Necessities.  Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Back by popular demand, our weekly look at folks who deserve praise, and others who deserve...not so much.

  • Los Angeles Kings. Poised to win the first Stanley Cup in team history, perhaps Drew Doughty and/or Jeff Carter will bring the mug to London, Ontario while the J-man and I are there this summer. That'd be cool.
  • Regina Red Sox. The defending Western Major Baseball League champs have burst out of the gate, opening the season with six straight wins.
  • The 80 or so Saskatchewan Roughrider hopefuls going through two-a-day practices at training camp. Anyone who wants to criticize their efforts should try duplicating them sometime. Good luck with that.
  • Poulin's Pest Control. They seem to have solved the moth infestation in our sun room. It was starting to look like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie when we turned the outdoor light on at night!
  • Anyone who labelled ertswhile (and now retired) NFL receiver Dwayne Jarrett as the "next big thing" for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He joins a long list of players who travelled north to revive their careers, only to end them shortly after.
  • The comedy of errors that my spring landscaping project has become. Trust me, there's enough blame to go around - no point singling anyone out!
  • Me, for not paying closer attention to the NBA playoffs.  Apparently I've missed some of the best basketball seen in years! I'll have to address that once the finals start.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for June 5

Behold, the magnificent lineup for this week's show. According to the schedule on the Access Communications website, the show airs tonight at 9 p.m., Friday at 8:30 pm and Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. on Access channel 7 in Regina. Enjoy!  

Locker Talk Guests for June 5/12 
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A Regina athlete celebrates his second Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation championship in the sport of heavy events. Guest: Jason Johnston (2012 Heavy Events Canadian Champ).

2. A preview of the 2012 Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Guests: Sheila Kelly (SSHFM Executive Director) & Linda Burnham (Event Co-chair, two-time inductee).

3. Hockey Regina plots a course for the 2012/13 season, with the same crew steering the ship. Guests: Blair Watson (HRI Executive Director) & Geoff Thachuk (HRI President).

4. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month.

5. Regina’s Lonsdale Boxing Club gets set to host the 2012 provincial championships. Guest: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale Club President). 

6. A former WWE star highlights this month’s If You Want Blood show, put on by High Impact Wrestling. Guests: Cannonball Kelly & Mike McSugar (The Bromantics). 

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for May 29

Here's the lineup for this week's show, which will air tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7 in Regina. Four times? Incroyable!

Locker Talk Guests for May 29/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. Time is running (ha!) out to sign up for the 2012 Queen City Marathon. Guest: Doug Russell (QCM Race Director).

2. The Regina Red Sox get set to open the 2012 Western Major Baseball League season as defending champs. Guest: Justin Eiswirth (Manager).

3. A review of the recent world mixed curling championships. Guests: Dean Hicke & Chantelle Eberle (Team Canada curlers).

4. Two young men from Toronto are cycling across Canada to raise awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign – an initiative that hopes to end violence against women. Reporter: Arielle Wood.

5. A local boxing coach has plans to promote/raise awareness of and participation in the sport of amateur boxing. Guest: Moses Alli (New Line Boxing Academy).

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday musings

So this is what 47 feels like huh? Meh. Meh, indeed!

  • As far as birthday celebrations go, yesterday's was pretty darn low key - but that's okay, I think.
  • Once you get to a certain age, you probably don't want to draw too much attention to the fact you're aging!
  • Last night's Memorial Cup final probably took a few years off my life. It was heartbreaking to see my London Knights lose, but the game itself was a dandy - especially the overtime period!
  • Thanks to Rod and Cindy and Carlo and Rhea for joining me at the Press Box for the festivities. A good time was had by all.
  • This time next week I'll be in a new office, starting a 9 month secondment. This was in the works well before last week's provincial government re-organization, and will land me at one of the few ministries that wasn't significantly impacted. That's definitely a plus.
  • Congrats to the Leader-Post's Rob Vanstone, who has dropped almost 60 pounds on his running/eating healthy regimen. Now go out and buy some new clothes, Rob!
  • Should I sign up for one more three month session with Satan the trainer? The last stint got me in much better shape, and cut my body fat % pretty significantly, but I didn't lose a single pound!
  • Saskatchewan Roughrider rookies hit the field on Wednesday, with veterans reporting on the weekend. Let the games begin! 
  • The competitions at running back, back-up quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and defensive end will be the most hotly contested (and scrutinized) at Rider camp. Let's hope an off-season of beating the bushes paid off!
  • The offensive line appears set, although someone still needs to step up and stake a claim to the left tackle position. That will be an interesting competition as well.
  • Don't forget to register your kids for the University of Regina Rams summer football camps. The kids on the offensive line will be receiving coaching from the likes of Rams coach Sheldon Neald, Rams star lineman Brett Jones, and...me. Well, two out of three ain't bad!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday thoughts

This one goes out to Chuck and Cammy - thanks for stopping by this week!

  • This week's royal visit fell squarely in the "meh" category for me. I'm sure Charles and Camilla are lovely people, but I just couldn't bring myself to give a damn.
  • Just a few days until football season begins around here, with Saskatchewan Roughrider rookies hitting the field on Wednesday.
  • Let's hope some of the glittering football resumes translate into performance, rather than the less than stellar efforts put forth by the likes of highly-touted prospects like Terrence Nunn and Darryl Hobbs in recent years.
  • Past performances in the NCAA or even the NFL mean squat unless the player can get it done against CFL competition.
  • That's why I refuse to get too worked up about training camp reports. Or even exhibition games. Alert me when each pass, kick, block and tackle has an impact on the standings!
  • I know where I'll be Sunday at 5 p.m. I'll be in front of a tv watching the London Knights battle either Saint John or Shawinigan in the Memorial Cup final. Go Knights, Go!
  • I also look forward (beats the alternative!) to turning a year older on Sunday. Accordingly, I note that the stores are all open tomorrow for your shopping pleasure.
  • I ran into Regina Pats general manager Chad Lang at the Lumsden Arena the other evening. He looks a lot more relaxed than he did at this time last year!
  • Here's (selfishly) hoping an NHL team doesn't make Pats coach Pat Conacher an offer he can't refuse this summer. I really like the direction Lang and Conacher have their team headed in.
  • It's been quite a wild day in many provincial government offices, thanks to Premier Brad Wall's cabinet shuffle and government re-organization. It would appear the fallout is going to keep folks busy for months to come.
  • Will the changes result in better service for the people of Saskatchewan? I'll let you judge for yourselves!
  • Plantar fasciitis is a far too convenient excuse for skipping the cardio portion of workouts. Convenient, and...awesome! Well, except for the pain in my foot.  
  • But, you know what they say; short term pain for long term...lazy?