Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for February 28

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 Saturday at noon on Access channel 7. If you manage to miss it, it's also available on demand for Access customers.

Locker Talk Guests for February 28/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina men’s basketball team. Guests: Connor Burns & Darius Mole (Cougars players).

2. Registration is open, and Baseball Regina is gearing up for another exciting year on the diamonds. Guests: Kevin Meacher (Executive Director), Colette Davies-Eltom (Pee Wee Division Director) & Zach Eltom (Bantam player).

3. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month.

4. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina men’s hockey team, and the pending retirement of the program’s head coach. Guest: Adam McPherson (Graduating player).

5. Hockey Regina unveils a new program designed to make the rink a safer and more respectful place. Guests: Blair Watson (HRI Executive Director) & Geoff Thachuk (HRI President).

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

7. It’s been a tumultuous CFL offseason for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and there’s still almost four months to go before training camp! Guest: John Lynch (Rider broadcaster).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday musings

Hey, who invited winter back? Mind you, we're still waaaay ahead of the game this year!

  • Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has virtually guaranteed his team the Stanley Cup by dealing Rouleau-born blueliner Keith Aulie to Tampa Bay for former Regina Pat forward Carter Ashton. Let the celebration begin.
  • Uh...Mr. Burke...you still don't have a goaltender. Or a second line. Or a shut-down defenceman. Just sayin'.
  • Dear Research in Motion: Your operating system upgrade for the Blackberry Playbook isn't good enough. Why is it you can figure out how to sync Outlook contacts and calendars with your phones, but not your tablet? Fail.
  • My 12 year old has decided that anyone who boos Andy Fantuz when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats come to town in July is a stupid dummy-head. Or something to that effect.
  • CKRM's Rod Pedersen is married, and the world didn't end. Go figure! Congrats to Rod and Cindy on their nuptials, and making it home from Mexico without getting robbed!
  • There seems to be a little less chirping coming out of Moose Jaw since Friday night's beat-down at the hands of the Regina Pats. Imagine that.
  • Is there anyone in this neck of the woods who wouldn't love to the see the Pats and Warriors go head-to-head in the WHL playoffs? Guaranteed sellouts in both barns!
  • So the Academy Awards were on tv last night. Good for them. The failure to acknowledge the cinematic excellence of Hugh Jackman's Real Steel has tarnished the Oscars forever in my mind.
  • After hearing the reviews of friends who've been in Florida, or Mexico, or Arizona, or California recently, I may have to seriously rethink my stance on winter vacations!
  • Granted, it hasn't exactly been a harsh winter around here, but still.
  • My child becomes a teenager in less that a month. This frightens me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for February 21

Here's the lineup for this week's show. You'll be delighted to know that it airs tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m., Saturday at noon, and is also available on demand. Incredible!

Locker Talk Guests for February 21/12
Co-Host: Carlo Palazzo

1. Want to take part in the latest fitness craze and support a great cause? Then sign up for the first annual Zumbathon for the Chris Knox Foundation! Guest: Tracy Hagan (Event Organizer).

2. Elite Boxing News. Locker Talk boxing correspondent Moses Alli provides his monthly update on events and news in the local boxing community.

3. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina women’s hockey team. Guests: Lisa Urban & Stefanie Banilevic (Graduating players).

4. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina men’s volleyball team. Guest: Greg Barthel (Head Coach).

5. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina women’s volleyball team. Guests: Solveig Nilson & Meagan Onstad (Graduating players).

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

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fantuz Watch Ends

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed free agent receiver Andy Fantuz to a four-year contract. And thus ends the Fantuz Watch for members of Rider Nation.

Friday thoughts

Always good to start the long weekend with a fresh slate!

  • The Riders will hold a news conference this morning, and most people believe offensive lineman Gene Makowsky will announce his retirement. If so, Geno will leave as one of the all-time greats in team, and league, history.
  • Name me the last offensive lineman who could play as many different positions, and at such a high level. If you think there's no difference in playing guard and tackle, you obviously have never tried it.
  • Will the Andy Fantuz watch finally come to an end early next week? It's believed the bidding war for the free agent receiver's services is between the Riders and Hamilton.
  • I chuckle a little when people say "Well, with (insert veteran player's name here) gone, they'll have lots of money to pay (insert free agent's name here)." Uh, you do realize (veteran player's) roster spot will have to be filled by somebody, and that somebody will have to be paid, right? In other words, the Riders don't save the full amount of Wes Cates' salary by not re-signing Wes Cates, for example.
  • We knew it was coming, but it was still a kick to the gut to learn of the passing of baseball Hall of Famer Gary Carter. The Kid was my all-time favourite Montreal Expo.
  • Favourite Gary Carter moment? His two home run performance in the 1981 All-Star game, earning him game MVP honours.
  • Was there a Canadian kid who didn't love the Expos in those days?
  • If Jordan Weal isn't the WHL MVP this season, who the hell is?
  • Would the Regina Pats be in a position to win 35+ games this season without him? Not even close.
  • Rick Nash in a Toronto Maple Leaf uniform? Dare to dream. Actually, the Leafs need a dominant center more than another winger.
  • Does any NHL captain get less respect from his team's fan base than Toronto's Dion Phaneuf?
  • No Vince, I do not care to watch you play with your Schticky. Thanks, though.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Another week has gone by already? Damn! Well, here's a list of highlights and lesser lights from the past seven days. As always, feel free to contribute your own.

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders. Rider GM Brendan Taman made a big splash on the first day of free agency by signing coveted offensive linemen Brendon Labatte (the pride of Weyburn) and Domenic Picard, and defensive back (and Regina native) Paul Woldu. Those signings should improve the o-line and special teams.
  • Regina Pats. After a horrid ten game stretch, the Pats are riding a three game winning streak behind terrific performances from goaltender Matt Hewitt. If they keep this up, these guys just might steal a series or two in the playoffs.
  • Jeremy Lin. How can you not like the story of the New York Knicks guard who has gone from 5th stringer to star almost overnight?
  • Regina General Hospital. Granted, the service wasn't the speediest, but they took good care of the J-man and his injured ankle. That's all a parent can ask for, really.


  • The cold or flu bug from hell. Seriously, I'm still coughing three weeks later? That just isn't right.
  • People who ask for coverage on our little sports talk show (Locker Talk), and then bail out the day of the taping. Thankfully it doesn't happen often, but when it does it's damn annoying.
  • The segment of the fan base who believe Cary Koch's departure from the Riders (via free agency) signals a pending football Armageddon. Koch's a nice guy, a hard worker, but in the end - eminently replaceable.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for February 14

Here's the lineup for the Valentine's Day edition of the show, airing tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7. Suitable viewing fare for romantic evenings? Sure, why not!

Locker Talk Guests for February 14/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. Regina’s resident NFL star reflects on the 2011/12 season, and looks ahead to next year. Guest: Jon Ryan (Seattle Seahawks punter).

2. Fresh off their victory in the Luther Invitational Tournament, the Riffel Royals have established themselves as the team to beat in Regina senior boys high school basketball. Guests: Wade Hackl (Head Coach), Travis Sylvestre & Jeff Propp (Royals players).

3. An update on the exploits of the unbeaten University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guests: Lindsay Ledingham (Cougars forward) & Dani Schmidt (Cougars guard).

4. Eng segment. Locker Talk correspondent Arielle Wood reports on the Regina Riot football team’s rookie camp.

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

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

I may not have much to offer this week (even less than usual!). It's tough to offer much of an assessment when so much of the past week was spent sick in bed! But, let's see where this goes...

  • New York Giants. I may not like their team, but they won the Super Bowl fair and square. Obviously they're doing something right to win two titles in four years.
  • Rice pudding. When you're hanging by a thread, and cooking isn't an option, rice pudding makes a darn fine comfort food.
  • A quick plug for Steve Ryan - brother of NFL punter Jon, and a darn fine football player in his own right. Steve has started a new career as a mortgage broker for the Mortgage Group. Give him a shout at 501-9085.


  • The creepy obsession some fans (fanatics?) have with the pending free agent status of Rider receiver Andy Fantuz. He'll sign where he signs, and the Riders will either be glad, or respond accordingly. Try to relax.
  • The Chicken Little segment of the Regina Pats fan base. Yes, the Pats haven't played well recently, but they're still a virtual lock to make the playoffs. If they don't, then let the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth begin.
  • There. Their. They're. Three different words. Three different meanings. Seriously, is it that damn hard to figure out?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for February 7

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 in Regina. Research shows watching Locker Talk can increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex by up to 14%!

Locker Talk Guests for February 7/12
Co-Host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the annual Luther Invitational high school basketball tournament. Guests: Dave Hall (LIT Coordinator) & Matt Wincherauk (Luther Lions player).

2. The LeBoldus Golden Suns senior girls basketball team is having another outstanding season. Guests: Kyle Ottenbreit (Coach), Charlotte Kot & Sydnee Picton (Players).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk’s sports cinema aficionado Carlo Palazzo offers his thoughts on another film from days gone by. This time: Poolhall Junkies.

4. Regina’s Michelle Englot captures a record 7th provincial women’s curling championship. Guest: Michelle Englot (Team Saskatchewan skip).

5. Looking for gift ideas for the hard-to-buy-for sports fanatic in your life? Legends Sports Memorabilia has it, or can get it for you! Guest: Trent Herda (Owner, Legends Sports Memorabilia).

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

Monday, February 06, 2012

Monday musings

Hazy Monday thoughts and such:

  • The Super Bowl wasn't really all that super. An exciting finish made up for an otherwise meh contest.
  • (swallows hard) Eli Manning is an elite NFL quarterback, who now has more championship rings than his brother Peyton. Go figure.
  • I suppose there's some solace for the Packers in knowing they lost to the eventual champs. Yeah, right!
  • Thoughts on the half-time show? I'm not a Madonna fan by any means, but she did put on a pretty entertaining show. Quite a spectacle, actually.
  • Best Super Bowl commercial: my vote goes to the vampire party ad from Audi, although the Doritos (missing cat) ad was pretty darn funny too!
  • Most of the weekend plans were scuttled, due to the virus/infection from hell. When your back hurts from coughing so often/so violently, you know it's a good one!
  • My only comfort was in having my trainer cancel our Saturday session because he was too ill. Take that, vegan boy!
  • And thank you to my good friend Shari for bringing over a much-appreciated care package Saturday. Literally a life-saver!
  • What's going on with the Regina Pats? Pat Conacher's crew better turn things around soon, or a WHL playoff spot will be in jeopardy.
  • Watch the fans howl over the decision not to trade Jordan Weal if that happens!
  • Can Sam Gagner continue his torrid scoring streak, or will James Reimer notch his third straight shutout? We'll find out when the Leafs take on the Oilers tonight.
  • Congrats to Locker Talk correspondent Carlo Palazzo for finally popping the question this weekend. And more importantly, for somehow convincing Rhea to say yes!
  • Damn, future meetings of the Regina chapter of the He-man Woman Haters Club (credit: Our Gang, 1937) are gonna be lonely!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday thoughts

Idle thoughts on the cusp of Super Bowl weekend:

  • There sure is a lot of angst over the eventual whereabouts of pending CFL free agent Andy Fantuz. Everyone's questions will be answered in two weeks, so no point getting bent out of shape until then!
  • So the Rider offensive line will have at least one new player at tackle with the release of Alex Gauthier. Dan Goodspeed has survived the purge? Go figure.
  • I suppose I'll cheer for the Patriots Sunday. I really, really, really dislike the New York Giants. And that was even before they knocked the Packers out of the playoffs!
  • A healthy Rob Gronkowski could run roughshod over the Giants secondary. But he can't be at full speed after suffering a high ankle sprain only two weeks ago.
  • Lots of people are wondering who the new radio voice of the Regina Pats will be, once Dan Plaster moves into a community relations role with the Riders later this month. Those in the know seem to think CKRM's Phil Andrews is the front-runner.
  • Nothing against Phil, but why not give Mitch "Scruffy" Blair a shot? He's done both hockey play-by-play and communications before, and he's available.
  • Not that I'd want to lose Mitch as my Locker Talk co-host, mind you! The world ain't ready for a steady diet of Our Man Carlo!
  • Speaking of diets, I estimate I've been sick for about a week, and have lost 5-6 pounds. If I can stretch this thing out for a couple of months, we could really have something!
  • Tentative plans have been made to attend Saturday night's roller derby debauchery at the Agribition Building. I am all about culture and refinement.
  • I'm also looking forward to getting together with Rider o-lineman Marc Parenteau this weekend and picking his brain about coaching young hoggies. Methinks there's lots of good info/ideas rattling around in that old Boston College noggin!
  • Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the darkest day in my recent personal history. Miss you mom!
  • On a brighter note, July holiday plans with the J-man have been confirmed. Now I await the (hopefully) inevitable seat sales!
  • On second thought, I was wrong. It's not me - it's you!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

I suppose a football flavour would be appropriate for this post, seeing as it's Super Bowl week and all!

  • Pee Wee Unicorns coaches. When we started out coaching in Regina Minor Football five years ago, I had to almost beg people to help out. Now we have a waiting list!
  • I'm especially grateful for the help of the two gentlemen (Coaches Makie and Hofmeister) who don't have a kid on our team, yet still offer their services each year.
  • Cathedral Acupuncture Clinic. I have no idea what Sonya is saying most of the time, but she seems to know what she's doing!


  • Anyone who thinks Saskatchewan is ready to support a second CFL franchise. Just stop.
  • The NFL Pro Bowl (and all-star games in general). These games have virtually zero entertainment value. Each pro sport should just name end-of-season all stars and let's be done with it.
  • This cold or flu bug that I've picked up. This is a nasty one!