Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday thoughts

An assortment of things from the back of the shelf. Still fresh, though!

  • The Regina Pats gave it a hell of a fight, but their first-round WHL playoff series is going to be won by the Moose Jaw Warriors. Possibly as early as tonight, when game five goes down in the Jaw.
  • There was some crazy stuff in game four at the Brandt Centre. A five minute major in the last ten minutes of regulation time? Double overtime? Wow.
  • In the aftermath, the Pats were hit with a suspension (Dyson Stevenson) and a $2500 fine (Brent Parker). Well, it's certainly made for interesting listening on Rod Pedersen's SportsCage show this week.
  • I, for one, think good talk radio should be confrontational and/or controversial on occasion. Otherwise, why bother?
  • So, with the Leafs eliminated yet again, any thoughts on who I should cheer for in the NHL playoffs? It likely won't be a Canadian team, as I don't care for the Canucks or the Senators.
  • The J-man cheers for the Penguins. That might be one possibility. I have a fondness for the Blackhawks, but I don't see them going anywhere.
  • By all accounts, Riders quarterback Darian Durant is working out like a madman in preparation for the 2012 CFL season. Good to hear.
  • Durant, like the rest of the organization, needs to prove last year's dismal performance was a one-year aberration, and not the start of a downward slide.
  • The NCAA men's basketball Final Four should be some pretty darn good viewing. Personally, I'm hoping for a Kentucky-Ohio State matchup in the final. I've been an OSU fan in football and basketball since the early 80's.
  • At one time my favourite NCAA men's hoops team was the DePaul Blue Demons. What the hell has happened to that program? They were a late 70s/early 80s powerhouse. Now, nothing.
  • As the calendar flips to April this weekend, I think it's time to bring the little roadster out of winter storage. That very act alone probably guarantees snow and frigid temperatures next week - sorry!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

Not much to get excited about so far this week. But when has that ever stopped us?

  • The Jakester. So far, so good as we're into day #4 of teenager-hood. Maybe it won't be so bad after all! (famous last words?)
  • Galaxy Cinemas. Frankly, I expected pandemonium when I took Jake's "posse" to the Hunger Games last weekend. I have to say they handled the crush of humanity pretty well!
  • West Side Pizza. We deliberately ordered too much, in order to enjoy some leftovers the following day. Once again, it/they didn't disappoint!


  • Jeremy Bresciani. He does some amazing artwork - much of it is Roughrider themed - but he really dropped the ball this time. When your website advertises delivery within four business days and it takes 14, that's not so good. Especially when the item is a birthday present. And then not to acknowledge the goof-up? Not so good x2. Hopefully it was just a one-time thing.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs. I am hereby refusing to give a crap about that team until Brian Burke is removed as general manager. Seven straight years (four under Burke) without a playoff berth? Brutal.
  • RIM. I still really like my Blackberry. But it's a little frustrating when all the new apps are for iPhones or Android only. C'mon Research in Motion, pick up your game! Give developers a reason to care about you again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for March 27

We've got our own version of March Madness on this week's edition of Locker Talk, with plenty of basketball content. And we just might sneak in a little discussion about the Pats and Warriors playoff series! Tune in tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m., or Saturday at noon and/or 4 p.m on Access channel 7. And, unlike the Hunger Games, we won't make you stand in line!

Locker Talk Guests for March 27/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A post-mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Guest: Dave Taylor (Head Coach).

2. A preview of the Canada Cup curling event coming to Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw this fall. Guests: Leslie Glova (Mosaic Place Manager - Programming) & Danielle Sicinski (Event chair).

3. Access 7 Sports Highlights of the Month.

4. The Riffel Royals celebrate a provincial championship in high school boys (5A) basketball. Guests: Wade Hackl (Head Coach), Travis Sylvestre & Julan Lynch (Royals Players).

5. The top basketball prospect in Saskatchewan has played his final high school game, and now needs to pick a post-secondary destination for next year. Guest: Joe DeCiman (LeBoldus Golden Suns star).

6. A preview of the 2012 Kids of Steel Icebreaker triathlon. Guest: Terry Hooper (Race Director).

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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday musings

Okay, I'll acknowledge the start of another work week. But that doesn't mean I have to like it!

  • First things first - A very happy 13th birthday to my pride and joy, the Jakester!
  • The J-man was born at 5:31 pm on a Friday. So I got three whole days off of work!
  • It's no joke, when I called work on Thursday afternoon ( I was doing the early morning news run in those days) to say they were going to induce Jake's mom the following morning, my genius news director said " could probably do the afternoon run tomorrow huh?" Gosh, I miss the radio industry. Oozing with class.
  • The Moose Jaw Warriors flexed their collective muscles Saturday night, and handed the Pats an 8-1 beating - literally and figuratively.
  • On the bright side, the Regina boys got what they wanted - a split of the first two games of the opening round series. Now they return home for games three and four Tuesday and Wednesday. Should be good!
  • Odell Willis in Rider green? Could work, I suppose.
  • So now the Riders go into training camp with a ton of prospects at defensive end. What a difference a year makes!
  • Apparently that Tiger Woods guy still has a little golf left in him. Does yesterday's win make him the favourite heading into the Masters? Somewhere network tv execs are chortling in glee.
  • I took the boy and his crew out for pizza and birthday cake Saturday night, followed by the Hunger Games. Not a bad movie! But definitely get there early, the lineups are monstrous.
  • As I near the end of a more than 13 month long process, I have some advice for parents out there. Talk to your financial planner soon, to make the estate admin process as simple as possible for your family. Trust me, they'll appreciate it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

A little late in the day, but it still counts as Thursday! A largely uneventful week, but let's see what we can come up with:

  • Slow Food Pub - the decor is a little meh, but the food was good and the service was decent.
  • Safeway (Southland Mall) - Brent Kaminski's staff never let me down. I'm sure the J-man's birthday cake will be a gastronomic delight!
  • Regina Northwest Wrestling Club - the boy's season was cut short by his ankle injury, but thumbs up to Kyle Dumont and Tenille Ulmer for running a fine club.


  • Toronto Maple Leafs - are they actually getting worse towards the end of the season? Somewhere Ron Wilson is laughing his butt off.
  • The nervous Nellies that are beside themselves over a little harmless trash talk between fans of the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors. It's only been three years - have people really forgotten what happens when their WHL team makes the playoffs?
  • New Orleans Saints. Hey, they're probably not the only NFL team to offer up bounties, but so far they're the only ones dumb enough to get caught!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for March 20

Another busy show this week. You can catch all the action tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 4 p.m. C'mon! You know you want to...

Locker Talk Guests for March 20/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Regina Riot women’s football team prepares for the 2012 season, while also dealing with the impending arrival of the rival Lingerie Football League. Guest: Melissa Park (Riot General Manager).

2. The Regina Pats are back in the WHL playoffs for the first time since the 2007/08 season. Guests: Josh Dixon (Assistant Coach) & Nils Moser (Pats forward).

3. A preview of the annual Battle of the Prairies boxing card put on by the Lonsdale Boxing Club. Guests: Frank Fiacco (Lonsdale President) & Spencher Deschene (boxer).

4. Organizers of the Kiwanis National Little League are getting ready for the 2012 season, and an ambitious fundraising campaign. Guests: Gerry Krismer & Jim Cozman (KNLL Executive).

5. Elite Boxing News. Host Moses Alli takes a look at local boxing news and upcoming events.

6. Registrations are now being accepted for the 2012 Regina Minor Football season. Guest: Kelly Hamilton (RMF President) .

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

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday musings

It seems a shame to spoil such a productive and relaxing weekend by going back to work on a Monday!

  • Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco. Somewhere Tim Tebow is wondering if he picked the wrong side in the whole good vs evil debate.
  • Has anyone checked on Rob Vanstone this morning? Regina's most vocal Broncos fan may have gone into shock!
  • Speaking of shockers, what happened to the U of R Cougars at the CIS women's basketball championships? The top seeded Cougars dropped their opening game to the 8th ranked Calgary Dinos (home team), and will play the U of S today in the fifth place game. Bummer.
  • The Regina Pats dropped both ends of a home-and-away set with Brandon, to finish in 7th spot in the WHL's eastern conference. That's the bad news.
  • The good news - local hockey fans get a dream matchup in the first round, as the Pats take on the Moose Jaw Warriors. Start the car Mabel, this place is about to get crazy!
  • Speaking of getting crazy - what the hell happened Saturday night in my hometown of London, Ontario?
  • Londoners everywhere are embarrassed by the antics of a rioting mob that went beserk near Fanshawe College, where I studied Broadcast Journalism in the late 80's.
  • Riots were the last thing on our minds in those days. Who had time, with school work, chasing girls, drinking beer and watching sports occupying our thoughts? You know, the kinds of things upstanding college students are supposed to be into!
  • With Matt Flynn signing with the Seattle Seahawks, Graham Harrell moves up to 2nd on the quarterback depth chart in Green Bay.
  • The only guy ahead of him is Aaron Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP.
  • And yet Harrell couldn't crack the active roster while he was in Saskatchewan? Go figure.
  • One week and counting before the J-man becomes a teenager. Pray for me. Pray for us all.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday thoughts

Grumpy mood, and fingers on the keyboard. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Good luck to the U of R women's basketball squad and the Regina Pats this weekend.
  • The Pats close out the WHL regular season with a home and away set with Brandon. Pat Conacher's crew likely won't know who they meet in the first round of the playoffs until Saturday night or Sunday.
  • Dave Taylor's women's hoopsters are in pursuit of their second CIS championship - the first since 2001, when Taylor was an assistant to Christine Stapleton.
  • With temperatures forecast for the mid to high teens over the next few days, is it time to take the plunge and put the summer tires on the SUV?
  • It's gonna feel weird not taking the J-man to baseball games and practices this season, but I can learn to enjoy the lacrosse experience, I'm sure.
  • And let's face it, after last baseball season (trust me, it wasn't fun), we're both ready for a change!
  • Registration has opened for the 2012 Regina Minor Football season. Any potential pee wee aged all-star running backs in NE Regina are encouraged to sign up! Please?
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders are looking for a Manager of Communications. I suspect they'll be getting a few applications for that one!
  • So the Hamilton Tiger-Cats released former all-star defensive end Stevie Baggs yesterday, and the Riders immediately said they're not interested. Okay, tell us how you really feel!
  • Maybe it's because it happened so close to my home town, but I can't help reading the Michael Rafferty trial coverage. He's the pond scum accused of killing 8 year old Tori Stafford of Woodstock, Ontario in 2009.
  • The prosecution's star witness is Rafferty's former girlfriend, who is already serving a life sentence for her role in Tori's death. She's a real prize as well.
  • I'm not normally a big capital punishment proponent, but I'd be willing to make an exception for those two.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

A weekly (when I feel like/get around to it!) listing of praise and scorn-worthy accomplishments. And it goes something like this...

  • Regina Pats. Our local WHL club is back in the playoffs after a three year absence. Don't bet against them winning a series (or two) either!
  • U of R Cougars. Dave Taylor's women's basketball squad heads into nationals this weekend as the top seed. Good luck ladies!
  • Mother Nature. Granted, weird things can happen between now and then, but it looks like an early spring is...springing...around here. Bring it on!


  • Toronto Maple Leafs. Ho hum, another spring without a team to cheer for in the NHL playoffs. It's time for GM Brian Burke to go. In the time Burke has been with the Leafs, Doug Armstrong took St. Louis from sad sack status to top spot in the standings.
  • Regina radio. I was listening to some sports talk radio on the drive home from Access Communications the other night. Seriously, I've heard campus radio stations that sounded better. This town had some great talent on the air when I moved here. Now? Not so much.
  • Regina drivers. I could probably repeat this one every week. But honestly, when did stopping at stop signs and red lights become optional? And don't we also have a law against driving while talking or texting on a cell phone? Brutal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for March 13

Here's the skinny on this week's show. We're pre-empted by WHL action tonight, but the show will still air Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon and 4 p.m. They say that watching reverses the aging process.

Locker Talk Guests for March 13/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina track and field team. Guests: Tait Nystuen (CIS Bronze Medalist – 300 metres) & Shalane Haselhan (Long jumper/high jumper).

2. A Regina synchronized swimming coach is presented the 2011 Saskatchewan Female Coach Dedication Award by SaskSport. Guest: Natalie Good (Synchro Regina Coach).

3. A post-mortem on the 2011/12 season for the Regina Rebels female midget AAA hockey club. Guests: Doug Folk (Head Coach) & Teah Anderson (Rebels forward).

4. A preview of the provincial karate championships, coming up this weekend in Regina. Guest: Todd Parker (MidWest Karate Regina).

5. A post mortem on the 2011/12 season for the Regina Capitals junior B hockey club. Guests: Sandor Jerkovits (Head Coach) & Mac Turlock (Capitals forward).

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

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday musings

The sun is up earlier, the temperature is climbing and the snow is melting. What's not to love?

  • Congrats to the Regina Pats on clinching a playoff berth with a 5-4 home ice win over Moose Jaw Friday night. The boy and I were well entertained in our ritzy corporate seats.
  • Warriors blueliner Dylan McIlrath could easily become public enemy number one in this town if the Pats and Warriors meet in the playoffs.
  • We exchanged greetings with (soon to be) former Mayor Pat Fiacco at the Pats game. Is it just me, or does it look like Pat has gotten younger since announcing he won't be running for re-election?
  • Congrats also to the U of R women's basketball team, which earned a trip to nationals in Calgary with a victory in a regional qualifier in Saskatoon.
  • Dave Taylor's ladies go into the CIS championship as the top seed, and with the accompanying bulls-eye squarely on their backs. I'm guessing that's exactly the way they want it.
  • Oh look, the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to finish out of the playoffs again! It's time for Brian Burke to move on, I'm afraid.
  • Just think, the Leafs could have picked up Doug Armstrong instead of giving the GM's job to Burke.
  • Armstrong has his St. Louis Blues among the elite teams in the league this year, while the Leafs are poised to extend their playoff drought to eight years. Nice.
  • For some reason, I thoroughly enjoyed dropping the J-man off at school this morning. That's a Monday morning tradition I could get behind!
  • Sadly, the boy's first wrestling season is over - despite getting his cast off last week. He's been relegated to observer status while his ankle finishes healing.
  • So, now it's on to the school badminton team and lacrosse starts up next month. Never a dull moment!
  • I'm starting to understand the psychology of working out with a personal trainer. If you tell them you hate a particular exercise, you'll get plenty of it.
  • So in that case - I love squats! Love 'em! And cardio! Love that cardio! Bring it on!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Locker Talk lineup for March 6

Here's this week's star-studded lineup. The show airs tonight at 9 p.m., Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at noon on Access channel 7.

Locker Talk Guests for March 6/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair

1. The Balfour Redmen celebrate a city championship in boys high school wrestling. Guest: Sean Belisle (Gold Medalist).

2. A preview of the annual Regina Thunder fundraising dinner, and a look ahead to the 2012 PFC season. Guests: Erwin Klempner (Thunder Head Coach) & Brin Werrett (Thunder President).

3. Our Man Carlo. Locker Talk sports movie reviewer Carlo Palazzo returns with his thoughts on another sports movie from days gone by. This time: The Blind Side.

4. The Regina Minor Softball league is gearing up for another season of action on the diamonds. Guest: Lisa Allen (League V-P).

5. A post-mortem on the 2011/12 season for the University of Regina wrestling team. Guests: Steven Schneider (CIS Gold Medalist), Gaelen Malloy (CIS Silver Medalist) & Lisa McKibben (CIS Silver Medalist).

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

Monday, March 05, 2012

Monday musings

It's best to start the week with a clean slate. It looks like some people have a head start!

  • How about those Regina Pats? I wasn't feeling well Saturday night, and took a pass on the Pats game against Brandon. So of course they (Pats) rallied from a 4-0 3rd period deficit to win!
  • And, for good measure they followed that up with another comeback win last night over Prince Albert.
  • The U of R women's basketball team is now 0-5 in Can West finals under head coach Dave Taylor. Can somebody please find a witch doctor, or someone else qualified to break that curse?
  • In the meantime, the Cougars travel to Saskatoon this weekend to attempt to earn a berth at nationals at one of two regional qualifiers.
  • For fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, does watching your team beat Montreal ever get old? Hell no!
  • The Leafs won their first game under new head coach Randy Carlyle on Saturday night, to keep their playoff hopes alive, even if just barely.
  • So I signed up for Twitter (@ppaczko) at long last. Now I just have to figure out what all the fuss is about. I'm sure there's a point to it all, I just haven't determined what it is.
  • Three weeks until my boy becomes a teenager. It's going to be an interesting few years. (Somewhere in the great beyond, my parents are saying "payback is coming!". They might be right.)
  • I saw a guy wearing bright neon green Nike shoes at Gold's Gym yesterday. I think I want a pair. As opposed to a pear, which is the body shape I'm trying to avoid by visiting Gold's! (Too late, you say? Damn)
  • I see the kids have to spend a whopping three days at school this week. Life is hard.
  • I just realized the convertible should be coming out of storage in another 4-6 weeks. Finally, a reason to live! C'mon spring, hurry. Hurry hard!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday thoughts

Not the deepest thoughts perhaps, but 100% original. Surely that must count for something!

  • There will be some top-notch basketball played at the University of Regina this weekend, as the Cougar women host the Can West Final Four. Four top-ten teams battle it out for one guaranteed spot at nationals. Should be good!
  • The Regina Pats play two at home this weekend - tomorrow night against Brandon and Sunday night against P.A. They probably need to win both to hold off the red-hot Wheaties for 7th place in the eastern conference.
  • Ban fighting in junior hockey? While I wouldn't necessarily miss it, I don't think it's an idea whose time has come. That sort of paradigm shift has to be driven from the top (NHL) down. Otherwise, it just doesn't make sense.
  • I'd love to see an NHL team in Saskatoon, but I just don't think it makes any economic sense. Dare to dream, though.
  • My offspring is putting away his baseball gear for at least one year, and is going to give lacrosse a try. Should be interesting.
  • Maybe it'll give me a chance to recruit some players for the RMF Unicorns! I think we are one running back and one linebacker away from taking a serious run at the pee wee title this year. Dare to dream, anyway!
  • It was great to hear Ron Rimer on the air last night (CKRM's Sportscage). Rimbo was one of my favourites when this (at the time!) young broadcaster arrived on the scene in Regina in the early 90's.
  • He was actually my predecessor for my short-lived run as pre-game host on the Rider radio broadcasts. Man, that was a lifetime ago!
  • Speaking of short-lived, who can forget the "one and done" run of Steve Brown as Rider play-by-play guy? Epic. Fail.
  • Granted, I'm sure there are lots of people who thought I'd be lucky to last a year as a host of a tv show! Hosting SportZone (now Locker Talk) really is the best part-time gig ever.
  • Maybe it's early spring fever, but I feel like I could really, really use a change of scenery. So fire away with those lucrative job offers! (Again, dare to dream)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Thursday Cheers and Jeers

A weekly assortment of things and people that either impressed or depressed me! As always, feel free to contribute your own cheers or jeers.

  • Legends Sports Memorabilia. Trent did an awesome job restoring and framing an old sports poster of mine. If you have a sports (or non-sports) item you'd live to preserve, give him a call!
  • Java Express (south Albert). I'm not usually a tea drinker, but their chai tea latte (yeah, I know I should have to temporarily surrender my man card for drinking that) is awesome.
  • Access Communications. I had a little problem this week with customer service/billing, and it was resolved quickly and painlessly.


  • Toronto Maple Leafs. Brian Burke and Ron Wilson did it to me (and the rest of Leaf Nation) again - teasing me with the prospect of a playoff berth, only to soil the sheets in the last quarter of the season. You'd think I would have learned by now.
  • Indianapolis Colts. I'm told the Colts didn't send a representative to the funeral of CFL legend (and Colts scout) Cal Murphy. If that's true, it's pretty low.
  • The furor over the pending arrival of a Lingerie Football League franchise in Regina. I'm not planning to attend. If you don't like the idea, I suggest you do the same. In the battle for media/public attention, indifference is far more damaging than outrage. Ask Howard Stern about that sometime.