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?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Wow, a week between posts. That's how guys get the title of "part-time blogger" I suppose. That's okay, sometimes real life gets a little busy. So, without any further ado...

  • London Knights. My hometown boys have advanced to the Memorial Cup final. I'd love to see them take on Edmonton in the final, but I suspect the opposition will be the defending champion Saint John Sea Dogs.
  • L.A. Kings. Carlo Palazzo's favourite team is back in the Stanley Cup final for only the second time in Our Man Carlo's life. Man, I know what that's like. However, unlike the Leafs (I was two years old the last time they played for the Cup), Carlo's Kings have a real shot at winning it all in 2012.
  • The Avengers. Wanton violence? Check. Cheesy comedy? Check. Scarlett Johannson in a skin-tight jumpsuit? Check! All in all, a good time at the theatre! 

  • Phoenix Coyotes. Yes, the Yotes were the victims of some questionable calls in their western conference final loss to L.A. But the parting shots at the refs and the Kings demonstrate why the desert dogs aren't a championship calibre team (yet). 
  • A wet and wild spring.  You know what all this rainfall in May means down the road, don't you? Yep, welcome to Mosquitoville, boys and girls!
  • What a boring week it's been on the municipal campaign trail! No restraining orders, no zany Twitter follies, no awkward "news" conferences, nothing! C'mon people, the electorate demands to be (unintentionally) entertained, damnit! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

I don't know if there's much to complain about this week. I'll have to really scan the memory banks, to see what I can find.

  • CFL training camps open in two weeks. Let the games begin!
  • London Knights. My hometown team will be in tough at the Memorial Cup, but at least they're there!
  • Saskatoon. An enjoyable weekend was spent in Saskatchewan's "other" city. Although the traffic situation certainly leaves a lot to be desired!
  • Fuddruckers. Every Reginan seems to be required to eat there when visiting Saskatoon. Not impressive this time though, as our burgers were dry. Blech!
  • Plantar fasciitis. Every time I try to get back into some semblance of shape I end up injuring myself. Getting old sucks!
  • "Drive By" by Train and "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction.  It's not possible to go two hours without hearing one - or both - of those songs played on the radio. Damn you, you infectious little ditties!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for May 15

Here's the star-studded lineup for this week's show.  It should air tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon.  It will also air next week as well, as we're taking a week off. I'm sure some folks wish we'd go away for longer!

Locker Talk Guests for May 15/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Regina Riot look to regroup, after dropping their first game of the Western Women’s Canadian Football League season. Guests: Darren Fisher (Defensive Coordinator) & Shelby Moran (Linebacker).

2. A preview of the 2012 season for the Regina Red Sox, the defending Western Major Baseball League champs. Guest: Rob Cherepuschak (Clubhouse Manager), Tyan and Kael Cherepuschak (young Red Sox fans).

3. A young Regina midget AAA baseball player secures a scholarship to a NCAA school. Guests: Paul Vogelsang (Regina Mets Catcher) & Nathan Costron (Regina Mets Head Coach). 

4. A review of the 2011/12 athletic season at the University of Regina, and a look ahead to next year. Guest: Dick White (U of R Athletic Director).

5. A preview of the 2012 season at the Regina Lawn Bowling Club. Guests: Keith and Jean Roney (RLBC Executive).

6. A preview of the 2012 season at King's Park Speedway. Guests: Jim "Sharky" Braden (Track Announcer) & Noel McEvena (Regina Auto Racing Club). 

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday musings

The work week kicks off...alert me when it's over.

  • Mo Lloyd just can't catch a break. First he gets dumped by the Edmonton Eskimos and spends a year out of football. Now, he gets released in his second go-around with the Riders before training camp even begins.
  • With the release of Lloyd and Kye Stewart, can we surmise the Riders plan to go with the Canadian duo of Shomari Williams and Mike McCullough at middle linebacker?
  • With apologies to local folks who will be supporting the WHL representatives from Edmonton, I'll be cheering hard for my hometown London Knights at the upcoming Memorial Cup tournament. 
  • The 2013 Mem Cup will be held in Saskatoon, the same city the offspring and I spent this past weekend in.
  • Man, there's a lot of construction and roadwork going on in Toontown! Remind me not to complain about traffic delays in Regina - our northern neighbours have it way worse!
  • The Fuddruckers experience was disappointing, as everyone at our table complained of dry tasting burgers. Gotta hate that!
  • However, our dining party did agree that a Fuddruckers in east Regina would probably do very, very well.
  • The only drawback of a weekend in Saskatoon was missing the cultural phenomenon of High Impact Wrestling at the Victoria Club. Rumour has it that Locker Talk combatants King Kash and Bull Bodnar brought the house down Saturday night.
  • Attention HIW head office:  book Chad Novak and Mark Rathwell in a steel cage match. It's what the people want. It's what they deserve.
  • This Novak fellow is making the race for the mayor's chair in Regina highly entertaining. The action on Twitter is worth the price of admission alone!
  • Getting back to Locker Talk, the summer of 2012 is shaping up to be a memorable one for Carlo Palazzo, star of our monthly Our Man Carlo segment. His L.A. Kings might win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history just a few short weeks before the Italian Stallion gets married. Not bad!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday thoughts

Hurry up weekend, hurry hard!

  • The J-man and I are headed up to Saskatoon this weekend for a lacrosse tournament. I'm proud to report the boy scored his first ever goal in league action last night. Season one is a success thus far.
  • Did you catch the carnage towards the end of this week's edition of Locker Talk on Access 7? Our two guests from High Impact Wrestling got into a physical confrontation at the end of the interview. Intense!
  • If you missed it, you can always check it out on Access' On Demand service. Not an Access customer? Then I guess you can't!
  • Who do you like in game seven of the NHL playoff series between the Rangers and Capitals?  I can't stand New York coach John Tortorella, so I'll be cheering for the Caps, I suppose.
  • Whatever happens, there will be at least one team from a non-traditional hockey market (L.A. or Phoenix) in the Stanley Cup final. Somewhere Gary Bettman is touching himself inappropriately in glee.
  • I understand why people are upset about Ron MacLean's ill-advised comments (comparing hockey players to 9/11 first responders) on Hockey Night in Canada this week. 
  • I think the idea was well-intentioned, but somewhere between Ron's brain and his mouth things went completely haywire. It happens. Apologize and move on.
  • Football players born in 1997 or 1998, or their parents, will want to check this out.  It looks like an exciting opportunity for some young players to showcase their skills.
  • Check out this story about the CBC news reader who built a flight simulator in his basement! Now you know one of the big differences between the CBC and private broadcasters. When I worked in private radio, I could barely afford a plane ticket, much less a freakin' flight simulator!
  • Do I wish I had a flight simulator in my basement? Well...yeah!
  • If I promise to do some cardio at the hotel gym in Saskatoon, can I enjoy some guilt-free Fuddruckers this weekend? Let's find out!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Okay, this week the emphasis will be on positivity...unless somebody really pisses us off!

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders. Maybe they didn't absolutely need another offensive lineman, but they made a hometown boy's dreams come true by selecting Ben Heenan first overall in the CFL draft. And I loved the decision to make the announcement in Saskatoon.
  • London Knights.  My hometown team is one win away from a trip to the Memorial Cup. Go Knights!
  • Dale Hunter. The co-owner/head coach of the Knights took over as bench boss of the dysfunctional Washington Capitals mid-way through the NHL season, and now has his team one win away from the east final. 
  • Regina Automotive Warehouse. I won this month's draw for $200 in free gas. Next month it could be you!
  • The latest proposal for a new stadium in Regina.  Sorry, but building a 33,000 seat open air stadium at Evraz Place feels like settling to me. We can do better. 
  • Narrowly escaping damage to life and limb when High Impact Wrestling hooligan Bull Bodnar attacked the legendary King Kash at this week's taping of Locker Talk on Access 7. Tune in tonight at 6:00 to view the carnage!
  • Redneck hillbilly losers. I heard/saw an inbred hick shout a racial slur at a young black man while I was stopped at a light yesterday.  It saddens me that crap like that still happens in this day and age. I hope Cletus drives his ridiculously jacked-up pickup off a cliff.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for May 8

Here's the lineup for this week's show.  Tragically, we're pre-empted by WHL playoff action tonight, and by the Royal Bank Cup on Saturday.  So, this week's show will only air Thursday at 6 p.m.  Set your pvr, you don't want to miss it - we have top quality guests this week, with the potential for on-air carnage when our friends from High Impact Wrestling invade (trash?) the set for the final interview segment!

Co-host:  Mitchell Blair

 1.   The Regina Riot prepares for the Western Women’s Canadian Football League season opener this weekend in Saskatoon. Guests:  Jon Baxter (Head Coach) & Pam Grzyb (OL).

2.   Regina’s Amber Holland recruits new teammates, and gets ready to take another run at a women’s curling championship next season. Guest: Amber Holland (Skip).  

3.   Regina’s Jason Clermont retires from professional football after a ten year CFL career.  Next stop, Hall of Fame? Guest: Jason Clermont (Retired CFL slotback).

4.   A preview of the annual Football Saskatchewan Senior Bowl for graduating high school players, plus an overview of the minor football scene across the province. Guest: Mike Thomas (Football Saskatchewan Technical Director). 

5.   A preview of the May 12th “Devil Inside” card put on by High Impact Wrestling in Regina.  Guests: King Kash & Bull Bodnar (HIW Wrestlers).

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

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

I better make this quick, so I don't miss the planning committee meeting for the Stanley Cup parade in downtown Toronto.  It's always good to be prepared!

  • Congrats to Regina product Ben Heenan. The U of S offensive lineman will be selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders with the 1st pick of today's CFL draft.
  • Regina Minor Football.  I couldn't sleep the other night, because I was excited about our (pee wee Unicorns) plans for the upcoming season.  Granted, that may indicate I need a life, but still!
  • London Knights. It's nice to have a hockey team to cheer for this late in the season! My hometown junior team is four wins away from an OHL championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup.
  • The (lunatic) fringe portion of the fan base that is up in arms over the design of the Saskatchewan Roughriders' new jerseys.  I don't mind them.  But even if I did...well, it's just clothes.
  • Has sunshine been outlawed for the spring of 2012? Is this the price we pay for a (relatively) short and mild winter? Enough already!
  • Having to write a cheque for many, many Canadian dollars to the Canada Revenue Agency. Interestingly, the cheque was mailed, processed and cashed in five days. And yet, income tax refunds seem to take a little longer. Imagine!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for May 1

Here's the lineup for this week's show.  This weekly cornucopia of local sports delights airs tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon. We thank you in advance for your patronage!

Locker Talk Guests for May 1/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A preview of the Regina Thunder football club’s annual spring camp. Guests: Erwin Klempner (Thunder Head Coach), Mark Ingram (DB) & Trevor King (OL).

2. A report on the two day spring minicamp held by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Reporter: Arielle Wood.

3. City Hall plans to do more with less when it comes to tennis facilities in Regina. Guest: Janine Daradich (City of Regina Infrastructure Strategy Coordinator).

4. Access 7 Sports Plays of the Month (Highlight package for April).

5. A preview of the 7th annual Oskana Cup hockey tournament. Guest: Shelley Lavallee (Oskana Minor Hockey Development Inc.).

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