- It's the Rider fan version of Pavlov's dog. Every year we get burned by getting excited about a training camp prospect, who inevitably soils the sheets (see: Terrence Nunn, 2011) when the bullets start flying in game action. And the following year, we once again ordain someone (see: Sinorice Moss, 2012) as the "next big thing" without knowing if they can/will get the job done in a meaningful game.
- Oh well, it livens up training camp I suppose. Why else would we sit through the eye-glazing boredom of CFL exhibition games?
- Mind you, every once in a while a "can't miss" prospect (see: Weston Dressler, 2008) comes along who actually lives up to the advance billing. Then again, Dressler didn't exactly set the world on fire in his rookie pre-season.
- But in his case, the Riders felt the diminutive slotback from North Dakota would be a "gamer". Which he most certainly is! And one of the hardest workers in practice, I might add.
- I think I'm cheering for the L.A. Kings to win the Stanley Cup, based almost entirely on the fact the Kings have two players (Jeff Carter & Drew Doughty) from my hometown in their lineup.
- I wonder if Carter and Mike Richards would like to stick it to their old team, the Flyers, in the Cup final? (Gee, ya think?)
- My hometown London Knights are four wins away from a trip to the Memorial Cup. First they'll have to get past the Niagara Ice Dogs in the OHL final.
- Are we getting the WHL final on Shaw/Access? Edmonton and Portland should put on a heck of a show!
- The Quebec league final features...ah, who cares!
- So far, so good for the J-man's first season of box lacrosse. His team sports a 1-0-1 record after two starts. Two tough opponents coming up this week, though.
- The pee wee Unicorns have started serious planning for the 2012 Regina Minor Football season. Barring the loss of a bunch of players to weight issues or other circumstances, we should have a pretty good squad at our disposal!
- Now, let's just hope the coaching staff doesn't screw it all up...
Monday, April 30, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
RIDERS INK DURANT & BEST TO CONTRACT EXTENSIONS
Saskatchewan Roughrider General Manager Brendan Taman announced today the team has agreed to terms with quarterback Darian Durant and offensive lineman Chris Best to contract extensions. The contracts will keep Durant and Best with the club through the 2014 season. Financial details were not released.
Durant (5’11 – 214) is entering his seventh season with the Green & White after joining the team in 2006. The 29-year-old South Carolina native earned the Riders starting quarterback job in the 2009 season and currently sits third on the club’s All-Time record list in passing attempts (1,824), completions (1,107) and passing yards (14,679). The University of North Carolina graduate also sits fourth on the All-Time record list with 74 career touchdown passes.
“We’re extremely happy to have come to an agreement on terms with Darian,” stated G.M Brendan Taman. “The CFL is a quarterback driven league, and Darian has proven he can lead this team. This extension allows us to move forward with Darian as our starting quarterback and achieve the ultimate goal of bringing another Grey Cup back to Saskatchewan.”
Best (6’4 – 315) originally joined the Riders after being selected by the club in the first round (4th overall) of the 2005 CFL Draft and is entering his sixth season with the Roughriders. The 29-year-old Calgary native has been the Riders starting right guard since the 2009 season, and was the Rider’s nominee for Most Outstanding offensive lineman during the 2011 season.
“Chris is one of the best up and coming offensive lineman in the league,” said Taman. “He had a great season last year and keeping him under contract for the future was big priority for us.”
Thursday, April 26, 2012
- Deja Vu Cafe (Moose Jaw) - Chicken wings, chicken strips and milkshakes may not be on the officially sanctioned diet plan, but I was willing to make an exception (burp!) for last night's lacrosse pre-game meal. Delicious!
- Mark's Mini Tune. They have my lawnmower roaring like it's new. Now, let's see if wecan get some decent weather to actually get the grass growing.
- Corey Albus. Corey and his crew did a fine job getting my front and back yards cleaned up and ready for summer.
- Jason Clermont. Congratulations on an outstanding CFL career to one of the classier individuals that I've had the privilege of interviewing.
- Canada Revenue Agency. We're down to the final stages of settling my mom's estate, and the tax bill is going to be big enough to buy a small island in the south Pacific. Good lord!
- Canada Post. During this process we discovered two tax forms there were mailed out from banks have gone missing. Both banks say the forms were sent, yet never arrived. WTH?
- The realization that I've been interviewing sports personalities in Regina long enough for Jason Clermont to go from high school prodigy to retired CFL player. I'm old. I need a nap.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
- So, will the Vancouver Canucks be a dramatically different team by the time training camp rolls around in the fall? A first-round playoff loss will tend to do that to some teams.
- It seems obvious the Canucks want to move ahead with Cory Schneider as their starting goalie. But who would be dumb enough to take on Robert Luongo's bloated salary in a trade? (Cue the Leafs)
- Have the Detroit Red Wings finally fallen from the ranks of perennial contenders? A great team got old. It happens.
- If Brent Sutter goes to Edmonton, the Oilers will be in the playoffs next year. Book it.
- The Moose Jaw Warriors are reeling, after taking back-to-back 6-1 shellackings in Edmonton to open the WHL eastern final. Game three goes tomorrow night in Moose Jaw. Suffice to say the Warriors are in must-win territory.
- My hometown London Knights lead Kitchener 2-0 in the OHL's west final. Not that you care, but I like having at least one hockey team to follow at this time of year!
- 26 degrees in Regina today, and the forecast is calling for snow in southern Ontario. Yeah, baby!
- The J-man and I rented the latest Mission Impossible movie on the weekend. It was...okay at best. The best movie we've rented recently remains We Bought a Zoo. It's a great family flick, if you're looking for viewing options.
- Sticking with the quality family entertainment theme, the boy and I were well entertained at the latest High Impact Wrestling spectacle on the weekend. I still think Mitch Blair and Rex Roberts (who was resplendent in a spring frock, I might add) need to settle their differences in the squared circle. That would be outstanding.
- Lacrosse season starts this week. As someone who never played the sport (other than in gym class), I don't have much helpful advice to offer the offspring. (Hey! Maybe that's why he wanted to try lacrosse. Clever little man.)
- Satan the trainer is back from Calgary, and the torture resumes tonight. Can't say that I've missed him!
- Football fans in these parts are anxiously awaiting the arrival of approximately 50 prospective Roughriders at a two day mini camp this week. Should be fun!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
- J.T. O'Sullivan? Why? Does the world of Riderville really need a 32 year old career NFL back-up?
- Macho Harris immediately becomes one of the top-ten all-time best football names in Roughrider history. Cue the music "Macho, macho man..."
RIDERS ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import defensive backs Macho Harris, Talmadge Jackson and T.J. Rushing. The Roughriders also announced they have signed import quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan to a contract. Financial details were not released.
Harris (6’0 – 200) was a fifth round pick (157th overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2009 NFL Draft. The 26-year-old Virginia native opened the 2009 regular season as the Eagles starting free safety appearing in 15 regular season games with one playoff appearance. The former Virginia Tech Hokie finished his rookie season with 43 combined tackles and two passes defended. A standout corner during his four years at Virginia Tech, Harris was twice named First-Team All-ACC (2007 & 2008) and finished his career with 128 combined tackles and 15 interceptions, four which he returned for touchdowns. Harris joins former collegiate teammates Justin Harper and Chris Ellis as new members of the Green & White heading into the 2012 season.
Jackson (5’10 – 188) played four years at Oregon. In his senior season Jackson tallied 70 tackles, six knockdowns, two interceptions and one forced fumble on his way to appearing in the Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State. The 23-year-old San Diego native finished his career at Oregon with an impressive 159 tackles, 15 pass knockdowns and 8 interceptions, one which he returned for a touchdown. Jackson spent time with the Baltimore Ravens and most recently on the practice squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.
Rushing (5’9 – 186) was a seventh round pick (238th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2006 NFL Draft. The 28-year-old return specialist made his NFL debut for the Colts in week 1 of the 2006 season and would wind up totaling 1,300 combined return yards during his career, including a 90 yard punt return for a touchdown vs. Oakland in 2007. The Oklahoma native was part of the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts as they claimed victory over the Chicago Bears in Superbowl 41. The former Stanford Cardinal finished his career as one of the top three return men in school history, totaling 1,409 yards.
O’Sullivan (6’2 – 232) was a sixth round pick (186th overall) by the New Orleans Saints in the 2002 NFL Draft. The 32-year-old NFL veteran saw his most game action in 2008 when he was named the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers heading into the regular season. The California native finished the 2008 season with nine game appearances, including eight starts on his way to tallying 128 completions on 220 attempts to go along with eight touchdowns. During his nine year NFL career, O’Sullivan has thrown for 1,866 yards and 13 touchdowns to go along with 39 rushing attempts for 145 yards.
The former University of California-Davis quarterback was twice named a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy (awarded to the top player in Division 2) and finished his collegiate career with 10,745 yards passing and 94 touchdowns.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders also announced they have released the following import players from their roster.
QB Matt Johnson, OL Clint Oldenburg, LB Alvin Bowen, DB Jamaal Fudge, DB Justin Wilson and DL Dario Romero.
- Harlem Globetrotters. I've been on this earth almost 47 years, and I finally attended a Globetrotters show this week. It was a lot of fun.
- Advanced Auto Cleaning. Chris and the guys had my six year old buggy looking brand new last week. Not cheap, but they definitely do a great job!
- O'Hanlon's. Their garlic cheese fries are artery-hardeners, but damn tasty! Get an order of those with a sandwich for lunch, and keep annoying co-workers at bay the rest of the day.
- Eight suspensions handed out in the first week of the NHL playoffs. Are players getting dumber, or have the league and its officials lost control? Sadly, some terrific hockey has been overshadowed by the extra-curricular stuff.
- Crappy April weather. The long-range forecast looks promising - bring on some sunshine and warm temperatures!
- Leg day at the gym. I'm thinking 99% of guys are with me on that one!
Friday, April 13, 2012
- Thanks for the apology letter, Toronto Maple Leafs. Interesting how you held back on sharing details of your plan to stop sucking. Perhaps because there isn't one?
- I wish I could cheer for the Vancouver Canucks. I really do. But I can't.
- I can, however, salute the Moose Jaw Warriors for sweeping Medicine Hat in their WHL eastern conference semi-final. Next up, the Edmonton Oil Kings.
- Thumbs up to Edmonton Oiler (and former Pats star) Jordan Eberle for lending his good name to a charity golf tournament in Regina. I suspect Ebs will bring a few of his NHL pals along for what should be a star-studded affair.
- Odell Willis, what the hell were you thinking? I'm beginning to think he possesses the rare combination of NFL skills, and touch football smarts, if you know what I mean.
- We used to have a saying in my radio days about some of our more vacuous colleagues: "He has a New York voice, and a Rosetown brain." You get the idea.
- Hey Bobby Petrino, you know that gnawing feeling in your gut? That's karma. Enjoy it.
- In hindsight, I'm guessing the Atlanta Falcons aren't too sad that Petrino bailed on them to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks. Sounds like the guy has been "stepping out" on people his whole life!
- Dwayne Wade wants to be ($$) compensated for playing in the Olympics. Just like that, LeBron James slips to third (behind Wade and Ozzie Guillen) on the south Florida douche meter!
- I have no urge to work out with Satan the trainer today. But, I also have no desire to be a big ball of goo. Something's gotta give in that scenario!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
- Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I finally broke down, took a little break from the diet, and tried one of their cheeseburgers. The thing was huge! But also pretty tasty. Definitely not somewhere I'd wanna dine on a regular basis, but I suppose once in a blue moon isn't so bad.
- Regina Automotive Warehouse (latest in a series!). Roy, Ken and the guys really give excellent automotive service, at a very fair price. What more do you want?
- Chapters. As a parent of a 13-year old voracious reader (yes, it's possible!), I appreciate having a big bookstore with plenty of selection in our part of town.
- Moose Jaw Warriors. If this keeps up, they might just be celebrating a WHL championship down the highway.
- Stanley Cup playoffs. Yes, I'm bitter because I don't have a team to cheer for. I suppose cheering against the Canucks will have to do!
- Odell Willis. The newly acquired Rider defensive end picked up a DUI charge in Hotlanta over the weekend. Is this guy going to be more trouble than he's worth?
- Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Loved the burger, hated the restaurant. Is it really such a good idea to have peanut shells all over the floor when every second kid these days has a peanut allergy? Plus it's just a sloppy mess.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Locker Talk Guests for April 10/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair
1. A preview of the annual Don Narcisse football camp and fundraising gala. Guest: Don Narcisse (Rider legend).
2. A preview of the annual Regina Red Sox sports dinner. Guests: Gary Brotzel (Red Sox President) & Sharon Clarke (Event chair).
3. A preview of the 2012 Credit Union Queen City Marathon. Guest: Doug Russell (Race Director).
4. Regina’s Harvest City Christian Academy celebrates a 6th straight provincial 1A high school boys basketball championship. Guests: Joel Wells (Head Coach), Atlee Simon & Bryson Ostepchuk (Reapers guards).
5. A preview of the 2012 Swervin’ Mini Indy race at the Orr Centre in Regina. Guest: Merv Armstrong (Organizing Committee).
6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.
Thursday, April 05, 2012
- Delai Llama. If you're stuck for a lunch idea in the downtown area, you've got to try this place. Just leave time for a nap afterwards (so filling...).
- Opening day in Major League Baseball. Summer can't be far behind, can it?
- Tuesday Night Tennis. Congrats to Peter Stepaniuk on another great indoor season of TNT at the Fieldhouse. Now bring on the outdoor season!
- The fact that two-thirds of the teams in MLB have no realistic chance at a post-season berth. Come on, bring in a damn salary cap! While you're at it, bring back the Expos!
- Snow for Easter? Come on, old man winter - you've had your chance. Now move on, you gnarled old codger!
- Lingerie Football League. Having a student intern send out an angry (Bible thumpers? Rapists?) news release full of spelling, grammatical and formatting errors probably isn't the best way to win people over in Regina. Just sayin'!
That's my list for this week. If you have anything to add, feel free!
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Locker Talk Guests for April 3/12
Co-host: Mitchell Blair
1. A post-mortem on the first round WHL playoff series between the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors. Guest: Malcolm Cameron (Pats Assistant Coach).
2. Golfers (and golf course operators) are celebrating the earliest start to the season in recent memory. Commerce ensues! Guest: Brian Raymond (Flowing Springs Golf Greens).
3. A preview of the 2012 season for Regina’s Lakeshore Tennis Club. Guest: Terry Tuharsky (Lakeshore Club President).
4. A review of Wrestlemania 28, and a preview of the April 20th Spring Meltdown event put on by High Impact Wrestling. Guests: Dixie Dragon and Brett Evans (HIW Tag team champs).
5. An update on the 2012 WCP Cup indoor soccer tournament. Guest: Andrew Banerjee (Team Jamaica).
6. The Blair Necessities. Mitch’s weekly sports commentary.
Monday, April 02, 2012
Media Alert: SCOREBOARD, CLOSE-MINDED REGINA RESIDENTS AND BIASED MEDIA 0, REGINA RAGE FOOTBALL 1
Lingerie Football League, LLC.
BUSINESSWEEK, Paul Wachter (NOV 2010) - 'The Lingerie Football League is a rarity in sports-a women's professional league that's actually growing.'
In comparison to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) or World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) through their first two seasons of operation, the LFL has achieved far more national television viewership, attendance, expansion and overall business prosperity through the same period of time.
LFL Canada Kickoff - Fall 2012
- As I watch the Penguins and Flyers take runs at each other in advance of a potential first-round NHL playoff match-up, I (life-long Leafs fan) can only wonder what it's like to be excited about hockey in April.
- No Brandon Davidson or Matt Hewitt? No way in hell were the Regina Pats going to beat the Warriors in Moose Jaw Friday night. Congrats to the W-men on a five game series victory.
- Did Pats coach Pat Conacher really refuse to shake hands with Warriors' bench boss Mike Stothers at the end of game five? I wonder what that's all about.
- Congrats to Pats players Jordan Weal, Colton Jobke and Martin Marincin, who will continue their seasons with AHL clubs. I suspect all three of those young men have played their final games in junior hockey.
- Ryan Leaf has been arrested twice in the past four days. And some people thought the Colts were crazy for picking Peyton Manning ahead of Leaf in the NFL draft?
- Why was I not surprised to learn Rams assistant coach Larry Mueller was front and centre at the weekend tryouts for Regina's Lingerie Football League team? Or that his good son (and Rams QB) Marc was also involved? The last of the great humanitarians, those Mueller boys!
- The NCAA men's basketball tournament features Kentucky and Kansas in tonight's final.
- Ohio State blew a huge lead to Kansas in Saturday night's semi-final. What is it about OSU teams (football and basketball) choking under the glare of the big game spotlight? It happens all the time.
- I bring the roadster out of winter storage and the forecast calls for snow by the weekend. Called that one, didn't I?
- Even at my advanced age, I still enjoy gathering with friends once a year to watch the professional wrestling spectacle known as Wrestlemania. Last night's show was...okay. The match between the Undertaker and HHH was pretty darn good, actually.
- Hey Access - what's with the choppy HD feed? $65 is a little much to be paying for periodically crappy video and/or audio. Or was that a problem with the originating broadcast?
- Despite Mitchell Blair's protestations, I found the five minutes of the broadcast devoted to the Funkasaurus, his momma and her bridge group to be culturally significant. My existence was enriched by watching it. Check it out on Youtube and prepare to be delighted.