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...