Wednesday, June 30, 2010's First Power Rankings

I guess we can't argue with the fact that the defending champs are number one going into 2010. Here is what has for the first ranking of the year with opening kickoff just now over 24 hours way. Click here

Thoughts From Mosaic

The pre-game walkthrough. If that doesn't tell you that the CFL season is here, what does? As is usually the case on the day before a game, the Riders gathered for a light workout before being subject to the media for their last round of questioning before the game. Just some thoughts from the morning get-together

--It is always good to see Chris Cuthbert. He will call the game for TSN. There is no one better in this country (and maybe the US as well) in doing what he does. It always amazes me that he can go wherever and meet so many people, yet he sees me and its always "Hi Mitch, how ya doin!" I could literally sit and talk to that man for hours on end. The stories he must have.

--Watching the Western final on TSN2 Monday night made me ask "Where's Sara Orlesky?" I hadn't seen her on the network for a long, long time. I was going to ask where she was today, but I didn't have to. She was right there in front of me. She will patrol the sidelines tomorrow night. CTV Regina's Lee Jones did the pre-game interviews for TSN sparking the question "Where is Wray Morrison?"

--The pre-game pizza from Western was outstanding as usual (BURRRPPP!!). I think Vanstone had 5 pieces. Speaking of Rob, he came today sporting a wound on his neck. He was accused of having a hickey. He says he is 46 and gets no love. He said the wound was due to a shaving accident. I would have to tend to agree with him seeing he usually goes to bed about the time we are getting up. Him awakening to be at Mosaic by 1030 would be like us getting up around 330 after going to bed at midnight.

--This team wants to beat Montreal to get the season started right and to take something back from their last meeting. They won't say the latter publicly, but you know they are.

--RP will have an interview I did with Lance Frazier for a Riderville story this afternoon on the Sports Cage. Lance likes the fact that a lot of people believe the Eskimos are the top team in the West.

--Despite the fact his favourite player has been released by the Dallas Stars, Rider PR man extraordinaire Ryan Whippler is holding up well in the wake of the Mike Modano news.

--Global's Derek Meyers has an unhealthy fetish for the color purple. At least his shirt was dark purple and not the rather un-masculine magenta he sported earlier this week.

Guesses and Predictions

From Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press:

It's a big deal, a momentous occasion many in this country have had circled on their calendars for months.

It's a celebration of Canada that brings together thousands and thousands from sea to shining sea.

It's regal. It's steeped in history. And it's a can't-miss experience for those who can be there live and in person.

The Royal Visit? Think again. C'mon, this is a sports page...

It is, of course, the opening of the 2010 Canadian Football League season and for the loyal followers of the three-down game it's akin to Christmas in July.

And, as is custom at this time of year, we humbly submit our best guesses/predictions in our annual Five-Minute Guide to the CFL season. (Remember, please, no wagering):


1. Kevin Glenn, not Anthony Calvillo, will not only be the East all-star quarterback, he'll be the division finalist for Most Outstanding Player while throwing for more than 5,000 yards and over 30 touchdowns. Hey, we did say these would be 'bold predictions.'

2. Jesse Lumsden, the former Hamilton/Edmonton running back we pegged as the league's leading rusher and top Canadian a year ago -- oops -- will resurface in Toronto as a bit player before pushing for work in the backfield. And here's the juicy part: he WON'T get hurt.

3. Winnipeg Blue Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice will be a coach-of-the-year finalist. Hey, three of eight coaches earn that honour, so the math works in his favour. But there will be no mistaking his immediate impact on the offence and the franchise.

4. David Braley, the man who already owns the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts, will kick the tires on owning a third squad -- in Atlantic Canada.

5. New Argo starting Cleo Lemon won't be a bust, but he will be squeezed out of the starting job by Dalton Bell before August. Bell, who dressed for 18 games last year in Saskatchewan but did not throw a single pass, will emerge as a bona fide QB prospect.


1. Montreal at Saskatchewan, Thursday, July 1, 6 p.m.: A Grey Cup rematch in front of the sold-out crazies in Regina? Pure heaven.

2. Toronto at Hamilton, Monday, Sept. 6, 1:30 p.m.: Forget the records, the Battle of Ontario is always a little more intense than any other game on the Ticat or Argo schedule. We're also taking odds on how many penalties Argo defensive tackle Adriano Belli takes in this tilt (the over/under is three).

3. Calgary at Edmonton, Friday, Sept. 10, 8 p.m.: The Battle of Alberta, Part Deux. These storied rivals get after each other on Labour Day Monday and then do it all over again four days later in a classic old-school doubleheader. Leather helmets, anyone?

4. Saskatchewan at Winnipeg, Sunday, Sept. 12, noon: The Banjo Bowl. Say no more, right? But the 55-10 massacre by the Riders last year is one the surviving Bombers -- and their faithful -- won't soon forget.

5. Edmonton at Saskatchewan, Saturday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.: If the season unfolds as it should -- and we realize that rarely happens -- this could be a battle to determine first in the West. Even if it isn't, it's the final week of the regular season and undoubtedly the West standings will be affected somehow by the result.


1. Arland Bruce III, slotback, Hamilton: Makes more remarkable receptions and does more after the catch than any receiver in a long spell. Plus, he'll throw in the occasional wacky wrinkle in his post-TD celebrations that sometimes work and sometimes make him look like a dumb-ass, but are as entertaining as heck.

2. Jovon Johnson, corner back/kick-returner, Winnipeg: Solid, shut-down corner is also a dynamic return man. He'd line up at receiver if the coaching staff would let him.

3. Weston Dressler, receiver, Saskatchewan: He's listed at 5-8 -- maybe in really tall spikes -- but puts the oohs and aahs in the weekly highlight package.

4. Korey Banks, defensive back/linebacker, B.C.: Talks a great game and almost always backs it up on the field.

5. Avon Cobourne, running back, Montreal: If he can stay healthy, he could legitimately push to achieve this juicy standard: finishing the season as both a 1,000-yard rusher and receiver.


1. Andre Durie, running back/slotback, Toronto: New coach Jim Barker has big plans for the York University product as a skill player who'll get touches at receiver and running back.

2. Adarius Bowman, receiver., Winnipeg: Working through a case of dropitis in the pre-season but he's 6-foot-3, 223 pounds and has the potential to do huge damage after the catch. Had 925 yards and six TDs a year ago in a horrific offence. Those numbers should skyrocket.

3. Khari Long, defensive end, Hamilton: Had 10 sacks in 13 games for the Ticats last year and, coupled with Justin Hickman, gives Hamilton great pressure from the end.

4. Chris Getzlaf, slotback, Saskatchewan: Tough to get a lot of touches in a receiving corps that features Dressler, Andy Fantuz, Rob Bagg, Jason Clermont and now Prechae Rodriguez, but the brother of Anaheim Ducks/Team Canada star Ryan Getzlaf just continues to make plays. He had 41 catches for 531 yards and six TDs in spot duty last season and has a knack for making the huge play in critical moments.

5. Brandon Smith, defensive back, Calgary: Missed all of last year after suffering a knee injury in the pre-season but in '08 showed flashes that hinted at his ability to be a dominant force.


Most Outstanding Player

-- Ricky Ray, QB, Edmonton: His passing totals are always juicy and the Esks will challenge for first in the West.

Most Outstanding Canadian

-- Andy Fantuz, receiver, Saskatchewan: He'll stay injury-free and put up huge totals in the Rider offence.

Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman

-- Josh Bourke, OT, Montreal: He was our pick a year ago, but lost out to teammate Scott Flory. A dominant tackle who is just 27.

Most Outstanding Defensive Player

-- Jamall Johnson, LB, Hamilton: Led the CFL in tackles last season and will continue to play a pivotal role in Greg Marshall's defence.

Most Outstanding Special Teams Player

-- Dominique Dorsey, KR, Saskatchewan: Won this award in 2008 and parlayed that into an NFL tryout with the Redskins. Now he's back to haunt opposition special-teams coordinators.

Most Outstanding Rookie

-- SB Terence Jeffers-Harris, Winnipeg.: Very, very raw. But the athleticism is already evident. Some have already suggested he's the best find at receiver for the Bombers since Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce III.

Coach of the Year

-- Marc Trestman, Montreal: His attention to detail keeps the Alouettes at the top of the heap. He'll be the first repeat winner of the Annis Stukus Trophy as the top coach since Montreal's Charlie Taaffe in 1999-2000. Then the question will be whether he heads south to the NFL.

Grey Cup champs

-- Montreal edges Saskatchewan in another dandy -- minus the 13th-man debacle -- at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The End Of A Legend?

I've never been a big Mike Modano fan. I wasn't big on him when he played for the Prince Albert Raiders because of my loyalty to the Pats. I didn't like him as a Dallas Star because of those endless playoff series Dallas had with Edmonton. However, I will give credit where credit is due. Mike Modano is a helluva hockey player. With all apologies to Jeremy Roenick fans, Modano is the best ever American player to lace up the blades.
It was thought Modano would retire at the end of this season. His last game in Minnesota saw him don a vintage North Stars jersey and skate around the ice. The Stars said Tuesday they are not going to offer a contract to the 40 year old. It means he's a free agent.
I hope Modano does call it a career, because I don't want to see him playing for anyone else. I would like him to go out in the same way Joe Sakic went out. That being a guy who is a sure fire hall of famer playing his career with one team.
I don't know if any members of the organization have had their sweater retired since the team moved to Dallas, but Modano's 9 should hang from the rafters soon in Dallas.
Riders head coach Ken Miller tweeted Tuesday night that Wes Cates will be the starter at tailback Thursday night when the Alouettes visit. I'm OK with that, but as I said in a previous post, Cates needs to perform and not give the coaches a chance to think about putting Hugh Charles in. Do you think we are in for a shootout Thursday? I do. I wouldn't be surprised to see this game end up with both teams in the 30's. I get the feeling we are going to be in for an outstanding game.
TSN 2 had last year's Western final on Monday night. I watched the end of that game. TSN 2 had last year's Grey Cup game on Tuesday night. I watched NONE of that.
I've done a story on Riderville where the Riders say Thursday's game is just a game and they don't want to exact any measures of revenge against the Alouettes for what happened last year. I want to believe them, but I can't.
While taping Sport Zone with Pete Paczko Tuesday night, one of the Access boys was wearing a Las Vegas Posse t-shirt. He should wash that thing and head to the stadium tomorrow to get it signed by Anthony Calvillo. Do you think this is Calvillo's last appearance at Mosaic?
One of Pete Paczko's guests on Sport Zone was Seahawks punter Jon Ryan. He was on to promote his kicking and punting camp which comes up next month. Details on that camp can be found here. I'm thinking the Seahawks have a chance at rebounding and winning that division seeing Arizona is about to take a fall and the Rams have no hope of contending this year. He said one American publication has them finishing at 2-14. HA! I don't know if I could take a season of that team finishing 2-14. I really have to get to Seattle to see a game while he is still wearing Seahawk blue so he can take me on a tour of the facility. That would be extremely cool! I had a chance to visit the Broncos facility a few years ago and it was something else. The NFL lifestyle and CFL lifestyle are so different. You really have to see it to know what I'm talking about.
Pedersen asked people on his blog yesterday who was amongst their most hated sports personalities. Someone voted for me! YES! I didn't have as many votes as Wray Morrison, but I had one more than Derek Meyers. HA HA!! Thanks for the endorsement Mr. A Nonymous. You can't please them all.
Global ran a story on "Tradio" last night. Yes, Tradio. For those that don't know what that is, its a chance for you to sell your crap over the radio. When I worked in Peace River, "tradio" always came on from 130-2. Worst half hour of radio ever. Actually no it wasn't because if we were in a mischievous mood, we would play havoc with tradio or create fake ads attaching phone numbers of staff members. Who knew that our evening announcer was trying to sell his penis pump? We found out one time that workers at the jail would phone the show to tell whoever how many bag lunches they needed. They would do it by saying they had ____cans of green paint to sell. Once that call came in, I got my girlfriend to phone and say she had another amount of cans of green paint to sell. It confoozed the hell out of whoever. We didn't care! Small town radio. The stories I could tell. There are many! If Big Dog's Tia Daniels is reading, she knows exactly what I speak of since the two of us worked together in Peace River.
Megan Fox is married. Meh! I'm not as big on her as what others are. Maybe its the fact she tied the knot with the former David Silver on "90210". I can't imagine a worse role than having to deal with a princess like snooty thin ugly blonde who thought she was something she wasn't. Yes, I watched "90210". Brenda was such a bitch! I know, I'm sad!
What the h-e- double hockey sticks is Oilers owner Daryl Katz doing in Hamilton. Why is he scoping out Copps Coliseum. I don't have anything to be scared of do I? GULP!
If South Africa isn't using any of their soccer stadiums after the World Cup, we would take it here. Those venues are some kind of nice. If we can't have a Dome, I would take something like what we've seen over the last month.
So the Habs trade Jaro Halak making one think the goaltending controversy is over as Carey Price now assumes the number one job. The Habs then go out and get goalie Dan Ellis from Nashville. I really don't think Price starts the year in Montreal.
The Pats need some 20 year olds. The Raiders have six of them. HMMMMM????

Pats Grab Swedish Blueliner In Euro Draft

The Regina Pats had just one selection in the WHL European draft today. With that pick, they selected Swedish defenceman Ricard Blidstrand. He is property of the Flyers who took him in the 7th round of the draft. Blidstrand is 6 foot 2 and weighs 205 pounds. has this assessment of Blidstrand

A big and strong defenseman. Plays determined and is pretty physical in his own end. Moves the puck well and has a very good shot from the point. Passing game is a bit suspect as well as his decision making at times.

Details of New CFL/CFLPA Agreement

The two sides have come together on a new four year deal. To see what is in it, please click here

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Wes Cates Saga

Rider running back Wes Cates seemingly has a chip on his shoulder. The personable running back was shooting from the hip Monday afternoon. Cates seemingly isn't happy with the fact that some people are writing him off and that some want Hugh Charles to be starting in place of him Thursday when the Riders open up against the Alouettes.
We didn't really learn a lot about the Rider running game during the exhibition season, so Charles wasn't given a good shot at supplanting Cates. Thus, it shouldn't be a question as to who should start. Granted, Charles has shown that he is more than capable of being a starting running back in this league. In fact, I will admit I'm surprised Charles didn't get traded for someone when the final cuts were announced.

Good arguments were had on both "The Sportscage" and "The Jamie Nye Show" last night. While I didn't hear if Rod Pedersen or John Lynch used the word, Drew Remenda used the word and that word is loyal. Drew asked the question "How loyal can you be?" Its a great statement. Rider fans don't want to let the past go. Cates is a hero for playing well in the Grey Cup winning season. Fans don't want to see Cates leave because of his previous contributions. Its why a large majority of fans wanted Kerry Joseph back.

The thing about Wes Cates is that his play was not great last year. Yes, he was coming off a shoulder injury, but he was not even close to the Wes Cates of 2007 and 2008. He seemed tentative and hesitant to run through the holes last year. If that trend continues, I can't endorse his spot in the backfield, but if he can return to his old form, then he deserves to be the starting tailback. How long is Ken Miller's leash? The job is Cates' to lose, but Wes has to start performing the way we know he can. If he can't, its time for Hugh Charles to get his shot. Dancing into the line won't get it done anymore when a guy like Charles is breathing down your neck. Cates needs to become the power back he has been and start bursting through the holes created for him. If he doesn't, Cates could be one of those guys who is a veteran casualty by the midway point of the season. I like Wes Cates and I think when he is on top of his game, there is no one better, however, the coaches of this team aren't like coaches of old. Past performance means nothing. Its what have you done for me lately.
Did anyone really think there was going to be labour unrest in the CFL? The CFL and the players association will formally announce they have come to terms on a new four year deal tomorrow. We know a drug-testing policy is in there, but that's about it. I have heard the NFL window has closed for option year players, and I have heard the Canadian limit won't go down, but full details will come later today.
Good news for the league out of Ottawa as City Council votes in favour of redeveloping Lansdowne Park. This should pave the way for yet another return of Ottawa to the CFL. Can we now get a team in the Maritimes to make it a 10 team league?
Bob McCown suggested on "Prime Time Sports" last night that a better way for a home plate umpire to call balls and strikes is to stand behind the pitcher. Yeah, that won't create a problem or six. C'mon Bob, you are a much smarter man than that!
Looks like Chris Bosh's days as a Toronto Raptor are over. Is it safe to say the Raptors might be the worst team in the NBA next year. What can Toronto fans look forwrd to next year?
The Pats released their schedule the other day, but seemingly no one noticed. Click here to take a look at it. The Pats are also going to play a couple of exhibition games at the Co-Operators Centre. It makes me wonder when Regina will play host to a pre-season tournament. One team that will have a pre-season tourney is the Everett Silvertips. They will be joined by the other American teams and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario League. I would love to see the Pats welcome the Saskatchewan teams and a team from the Ontario or Quebec League, I think that would be a tremendous idea.
My spidey senses tell me a big NHL trade is coming down very, very soon.
Sweden didn't have a first round NHL pick this year. When was the last time that happened?
Great, great line from Rod Pedersen in his famous Monday morning goalie column. He talks about Elin Woods getting 750 million dollars in her divorce settlement with Tiger. Rod says Elin could singlehandedly finance the construction of a new stadium here and have money left over. LOVE IT!
Do Chinese people get English sayings tattooed on their bodies?

Alouette Coaches Get Big-Time Scare

From Canwest News Service

MONTREAL — Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman and several members of his staff received a scare on Monday morning as they drove to practice.

Trestman, defensive line coach Mike Sinclair, running backs and offensive line coach Andy Bischoff and athletic therapist Rodney Sassi, who was driving, were in a van that was hit by a tanker truck on a Montreal-area highway.

Luckily, nobody was injured, but the van suffered heavy damage to the driver’s side and police were called to the scene of the accident.

“Sassi did a good job of driving,” Trestman said. “We’re all good.”

Cates Gets The Nod

At least that is what Rob Vanstone is reporting after today's practice.

REGINA — Wes Cates will likely be the starting tailback when the Saskatchewan Roughriders play host to the Montreal Alouettes in Thursday's CFL regular-season opener.

Cates and Hugh Charles have been battling for the No. 1 job. Cates has been the Roughriders' featured tailback for the past three seasons.

After Monday's practice, head coach Ken Miller said that a final decision between Cates and Charles had not been made. However, Miller is leaning toward the incumbent.

"My gut instinct is that it will probably be Wes in this particular game because, in order to replace someone, somebody has to demonstrate that they're significantly better — not just the same or as good,'' Miller said.


Thursday's game against the Alouettes has been declared a sellout by the Riders. This means the blackout has been lifted so all of you who can't make it to the game can now watch on TSN.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

An Embarrasing Day For Soccer

FIFA—the World’s soccer federation lives by a mantra of “Play Fair”. The mantra should be “We Apologize”. This World Cup has been overshadowed by one bad call after another. Sunday’s two games were no different and shows why this sport is in the dark ages when it comes to the others.

While I doubt Germany would have beaten England, it would have been a different story if a goal by Frank Lampard which was clearly in would have been allowed thus tying the game at two. It wasn’t even close when you saw it on replay. England was robbed. As I said, England didn’t deserve to win as Emma Peel had a better back end than the British defence on this day, but you just never know.

Argentina was a better side than Mexico, but their first goal from Carlos Tevez was clearly offside. Again, there was no question about this. I understand human error is part of the game (see Jim Joyce and the perfect game that wasn’t), but in this day of modern technology, the call on the field or the ice or the hardwood has the ability to be changed by instant replay. Soccer has turned its head on instant replay in the past, but they can’t turn away any longer. The sport has been embarrassed at its biggest event---not once, but several times. One can only imagine the firestorm that will result if a controversial goal is allowed or disallowed in the final. The rule can’t be changed midway through the event, but FIFA needs to do something to correct these mistakes. If the buffoonery continues by the men in charge, one might have to start wondering if Tim Donaghy is involved.
I saw the last little bit of Sportsnet’s CFL preview on Sunday night as it aired on the East channel. When does it air on the West channel? At the end, the experts gave their picks and I believe all that were asked chose the Eskimos to be the Western rep. The Eskimos? Really! Am I so much in the box here that I am missing something? How the Riders can’t be the overwhelming favourite to win the West just astounds me. Is this yet another sign of disrespect being shown to the football team. They have a quarterback who is slowly rising to the elite level, the best receiving core and the best o-line in the game, they have a defence that while taking some huge hits is still very good. Then again, looking at my poll question, a lot of you think this team will win 10 or under games this year. I don’t even know if I have Edmonton 2nd in the West. Despite their woes on the o-line, I still think Calgary is the Riders top competitor in the West. I guess we’ll find out starting Thursday.
The ESPN 30 for 30 series is simply must watch TV if you are a sports fan. I missed the original showing of it, but I saw the repeat of how “rotisserie baseball” was invented and how the guys who invented it never imagined what it would evolve into thus they never got a dime out of fantasy sports as we know it today. It really was a great episode, and somewhat sad as well knowing the gentleman who dreamed the idea up has not benefitted in any way. Yeah, its his own fault, but still.
The Red Sox brought out the big bats again. They smoked Weyburn 16-5.
My wife loves Papa Roach. That being said, she was quite excited when she found out they were going to be performing at ‘The Drink’. We went to see them a couple of years ago and she loved it. She loved it again tonight, but I’m getting to be a little too old for places like “The Drink”. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Its true though! SIGHHHHH!!!! What has happened to me?
Good on Toronto police for not taking any crap yesterday. I heard one woman on Global trying to defend the actions of those who ran amok downtown yesterday by saying those who went around shattering store windows weren’t harming anyone. ?????. How can someone actually justify what took place yesterday? It really is beyond comprehension. By the way, do you think Toronto police are glad the Phillies-Jays series got moved to Philadelphia. I can’t imagine the chaos that could have been caused had that series gone on at the Rogers Centre. Baseball fans would have been right in the middle of that mess yesterday.
My good friend Tom “Mongo” Pura in Grande Prairie asked a good question yesterday. If you take away the four main sports(hockey, baseball, football and basketball), what is the one sport you would watch the most on TV?After thinking about it, I would have to answer curling.
Memo to the city of Regina. If you want to repair Fleet Street that is fine, however, maybe you should put up a sign for eastbound drivers on Dewdney telling them they can't turn right on Fleet. Many people go to do that and then try and swerve back into traffic just about causing an accident. I think I saw that happen about three times this weekend.
Does anyone watch “The Cleveland Show”?
Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as “4’s”

G-20 Madness

The pictures I saw on the news last night were disgusting and sickening, and it was happening on streets that many of us have walked down. What went on in Toronto yesterday and perhaps today was just sad. I don't care if you agree with this statement or not, but these "protesters" called the Black Bloc that went up and down Yonge Street and started destroying businesses should have been met with some well placed baton blows, water cannons, pepper spray, rubber bullets, whatever. It wouldn't have broken my heart one little bit to see one of these knuckle-draggers just get wailed on by Toronto police in riot gear. Yeah, it might have exasperated the situation, but it might have stopped things. These clowns should be sitting in a Toronto jail for a long time for their actions. Hopefully it won't be as bad today. I joked with a Rider fan yesterday that these morons would have been nothing had they encountered the Rider Nation that walked those same streets in 2007 in the days leading up to the Grey Cup. We'd have fixed their ass!
The Oilers got Taylor and Tyler along with a little Brandon. You know they got Taylor Hall with the first pick overall in Friday's NHL draft, but they opened Day 2 by getting a player that sounds as if he might be NHL ready in a year and a guy that talking to some in Edmonton who could really make an impact. Tyler Pitlick has been playing US college hockey, but he has signed with Medicine Hat and will play with the Tigers next year. You know it didn't break my heart to see Brandon Davidson get taken in the 6th round by the Oil. Both Davidson and Jordan Weal went in the area I thought they would. I didn't see Weal's selection, but I wonder if L-A fans stuck around long enough to give him a nice ovation. After being convinced to go to the draft only to sit there and not get called Friday night, I'm sure it was a sleepless night for Weal. Going early Saturday must have made the wait worth it. I think its a gamble you have to take though. I remember former Pat Nick Ross staying home and then missing Wayne Gretzky call his name in the first round of the draft a few years ago. OOPS! I remember talking to Nick a couple of days later and he said it shocked him when the phone rang at home because he didn't think he was going in Round 1. He admitted after he should have went. I'm guessing thats why his brother Brad was in L-A.
What a day of soccer it should be. Germany vs England and Argentina vs Mexico in 2nd round World Cup action. Four soccer powers going at it---only two will be left standing. Speaking of the World Cup, I had to laugh earlier this week when the US beat Algeria to advance to the 2nd round and many on ESPN and Fox Sports Radio were crowing about how good the American soccer program was and what a historic moment it was. Some were even saying this team could now go to the finals and perhaps win. Pull the reins back just a tad guys. The U-S is Ghana, Ghana gone after being beat by the African team. I don't think anyone south of the 49th gave the African nation any credit whatsoever. Lets face facts. If England's keeper doesn't muff that shot in the opening game, the US is already sitting at home. They aren't close to being in the neighborhood of countries like Holland, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Brazil, etc, etc.
I've given up on the Cubs. Its time to peddle Carlos Zambrano's ass out of there and others can follow.
The MMA world is abuzz this morning. Considered to be the toughest man in the sport, Fedor Emelianko was beaten last night in San Jose when he submitted in the first round to Fabricio Werdum. Fedor knocked Werdum down early, but then he made a major mistake and tapped to an armbar just over a minute in.
The Riders practice roster comes out yesterday and Scott McHenry's name is on it. That had everyone going HUH? His signing was kept very quiet. Global's Derek (just call me Duke) Meyers was very intuitive in asking Coach Miller if McHenry takes the Canadian receiver spot on the roster that might have been filled by Jordan Sisco. The guy might have a disturbing fetish of wearing a very unmanly magenta, but he comes up with gems like that every now and then.
I still believe that HIW heavyweight champ Jeff Tyler (How is that the case anyhow? Like Kash couldn't kick his sorry ass around the Victoria Club) and CTV Regina's Lee Jones are the same person. I think I have convinced Meyers to take in the next card July 16 so he can see for himself. I may have to tell Lee to make an appearance as well.
Did we actually have a Saturday without rain? Could that happen again today?
The Red Sox are home to Weyburn at 205. They were beaten 12-4 by Yorkton last night.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

WHL Is Represented Well At NHL Draft

I may be biased, but there is no better developmental league in the world than the WHL when it comes to producing NHL'ers. Need proof...

The Western Hockey League is proud to announce that 43 WHL players were selected in the 2010 NHL Draft, with seven being selected in the first round, marking the WHL’s best showing at the NHL Draft since 2005. Portland Winterhawks’ centerman Ryan Johansen became the first of 43 WHL players selected when the Columbus Blue Jackets used the 4th overall selection to pick the 17-year-old Port Moody, B.C. product yesterday in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. Portland led all WHL Clubs with an unprecedented eight Winterhawks being selected throughout the draft.

Full list of the 43 WHL players selected at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

2010 NHL Entry Draft, WHL Players

1st Round
#4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ryan Johansen; Port Moody, BC; Portland Winterhawks
#5. New York Islanders – Nino Niederreiter; Chur, SUI; Portland Winterhawks
#6. Tampa Bay Lightning – Brett Connolly; Prince George, BC; Prince George Cougars
#10. New York Rangers – Dylan McIlrath; Winnipeg, MB; Moose Jaw Warriors
#23. Buffalo Sabres – Mark Pysyk; Sherwood Park, AB; Edmonton Oil Kings
#25. Florida Panthers – Quinton Howden; Oak Bank, MB; Moose Jaw Warriors
#29. Anaheim Ducks – Emerson Etem; Long Beach, CA; Medicine Hat Tigers

2nd Round
#36. Florida Panthers – Alex Petrovic; Edmonton, AB; Red Deer Rebels
#39. Minnesota Wild – Brett Bulmer; Prince George, BC; Kelowna Rockets
#43. Toronto Maple Leafs – Brad Ross; Lethbridge, AB; Portland Winterhawks
#48. Edmonton Oilers – Curtis Hamilton; Kelowna, BC; Saskatoon Blades
#49. Colorado Avalanche – Calvin Pickard; Winnipeg, MB; Seattle Thunderbirds
#58. Chicago Blackhawks – Kent Simpson; Edmonton, AB; Everett Silvertips

3rd Round
#64. Calgary Flames – Max Reinhart; Vancouver, BC; Kootenay Ice
#66. Tampa Bay Lightning – Radko Gudas; Prague, CZE; Everett Silvertips
#70. Los Angeles Kings – Jordan Weal; Vancouver, BC; Regina Pats
#73. Calgary Flames – Joey Leach; Wadena, SK; Kootenay Ice
#75. Buffalo Sabres – Kevin Sundher; Surrey, BC; Chilliwack Bruins
#78. Nashville Predators – Taylor Aronson; Placentia, CA; Portland Winterhawks
#83. Buffalo Sabres – Matt MacKenzie; New Westminster, BC; Calgary Hitmen

4th Round
#97. Boston Bruins – Craig Cunningham; Trail, BC; Vancouver Giants
#109. Dallas Stars – Alex Theriau; Cowichan Valley, BC; Everett Silvertips

5th Round
#121. Edmonton Oilers – Tyler Bunz; St. Alberta, AB; Medicine Hat Tigers
#124. Columbus Blue Jackets – Austin Madaisky; Saskatoon, BC; Kamloops Blazers
#133. Calgary Flames – Michael Ferland; Brandon, MB; Brandon Wheat Kings
#134. St. Louis Blues – Cody Beach; Kelowna, BC; Calgary Hitmen
#137. Colorado Avalanche – Troy Rutkowski; Edmonton, AB; Portland Winterhawks
#139. Colorado Avalanche – Luke Walker; Castlegar, BC; Portland Winterhawks
#147. Montreal Canadiens – Brendan Gallagher; Delta, BC; Vancouver Giants

6th Round
#155. Atlanta Thrashers – Kendall McFaull; Rosetown, SK; Moose Jaw Warriors
#162. Edmonton Oilers – Brandon Davidson; Taber, AB; Regina Pats
#166. Edmonton Oilers – Drew Czerwonka; Glenavon, SK; Kootenay Ice
#167. Carolina Hurricanes – Tyler Stahl; Drumheller, AB; Chilliwack Bruins
#171. Detroit Red Wings – Brooks Macek; Winnipeg, MB; Tri-City Americans
#178. Ottawa Senators – Mark Stone; Winnipeg, MB; Brandon Wheat Kings

7th Round
#182. Toronto Maple Leafs – Josh Nicholls; Tsawwassen, BC; Saskatoon Blades
#186. Tampa Bay Lightning – Teigan Zahn; Bethune, SK; Saskatoon Blades
#189. Minnesota Wild – Dylan McKinlay; Langley, BC; Chilliwack Bruins
#190. New York Rangers – Randy McNaught; Nanaimo, BC; Saskatoon Blades
#191. Chicago Blackhawks – MacMillon Carruth; Shorwood, MN; Portland Winterhawks
#193. Calgary Flames – Patrick Holland; Lethbridge, AB; Tri-City Americans
#208. Buffalo Sabres – Riley Boychuk; Abbotsford, BC; Portland Winterhawks
#209. Philadelphia Flyers – Brendan Ranford; Edmonton, AB; Kamloops Blazers

Past WHL – NHL Draft Results
A total of 31 WHL players were selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, including five in the 1st round.
A total of 37 WHL players were selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, including nine in the 1st round.
A total of 37 WHL players were selected in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, including nine in the 1st round.
A total of 24 WHL players were selected in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft
A total of 43 WHL players were selected in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft

Weal To LA, Davidson To Edm

The Regina Pats have had two players taken in the NHL draft. Jordan Weal went to the LA Kings in the 3rd round with the 70th overall pick. Defenceman Brandon Davidson is an Oiler draft pick as he goes in the 6th round with the 162nd pick.

Riders Name Practice Roster

The following players have been added to the Saskatchewan Roughriders practice roster:

Import DB Willie Byrd
Non-Import LB Christian Houle
Import DL Ikenna Ike
Import DB Ladarius Key
Import WR Cary Koch
Non-Import DL Ryan Lucas
Non-Import WR Scott McHenry

BLOGGER NOTE: When did Scott McHenry show up?

Let The Taylor Hall Era Begin

Many Oiler fans including myself were pretty happy to hear GM Steve Tambellini select Taylor Hall with the first overall pick at the NHL draft. I was going to be alright with either selection, but there was thing I think Hall had going for him that Tyler Seguin didn't. He was battle-tested. Hall has won two Memorial Cups and been the MVP in both. He was on the World Junior team that won silver. Seguin's resume isn't as impressive as he hasn't been to a Mem Cup or the World Juniors. I don't know what the deciding factor was and I haven't read enough to see what Oiler brass said was the difference between the two men, but I think the fact Hall has tasted victory and knows what is needed to get the job done was a huge reason.
It was an interesting first round. The fall of defencemen Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley was curious. Both top 10 prospects falling out of the top 10. Warriors defenceman Dylan McIlrath did crack the top 10 as he went to the Rangers. I don't know about you, but I thought he was outright snubbed by Pierre McGuire who seemed to have a real hard-on for Fowler and Gormley. In fact, I was really disappointed with what I saw from Pierre last nite. For a guy that goes over the top, he went way over it as far as I'm concerned.
If the fall of Fowler and Gormley was a big story, so was the rise of Nino Niedderiter. The Swiss born forward who plays in Portland was the 5th overall pick. 5th? I thought he was a top 15 guy, but not a top 5 guy. He's a good player and the Islanders obviously saw something they wanted.

It was good to see Jaden Schwartz go 14 to St. Louis and it was good for the TSN panel to bring up the plight of his sister Mandi. It had to be tough for Schwartz and his family to sit in L-A waiting for his name to be called knowing what Mandi is going through in a Regina hospital. If you are unaware of Mandi's story, click here.

It wouldn't have broken my heart to see Warriors forward Quinton Howden not be taken in the first round. He did go 25 to Florida, but I would loved to see him go 32 to a team that resides in Northern Alberta. I think someone of Howden's size would be a tremendous asset to guys like Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi-Svensson.
We are now less than a week from the start of the CFL season. Its here! I had someone ask me Thursday what type of response he would get if he wore a Montreal Alouettes Grey Cup champions t-shirt into Mosaic Stadium on Thursday night. With a smile on his face, I asked him if he's ever had a death wish. Doing that would take some major league onions. Yes, wearing Alouette garb to the park is one thing, but taking that sharp, pokey stick and jabbing it at whoever sees him--that's another story.
Can someone please explain to me why Thursday's game is not sold out yet? Am I missing something here? What more do you need!
The stress-reliever that is High Impact Wrestling once again lived up to expectations. Access 7 Sportzone host Pete Paczko even got into the ring to deliver some barbs to yours truly and Rob Vanstone. Hey Pete...Yuk Yuks is at the Ramada and not the Victoria Club. Try your schtick there. I really think now that HIW is on Access 7 that they should utilize Pete in some fashion. The idiocy on display at those events(and yes, I am part of it because its so much fun to talk smack to these guys) is something to behold. They really should do their thing on the practice field before Rider games. By the way, was there an "Obama" sighting at last nite's card.
Marcus Thigpen has found another home. The running back, who was cut by the Riders, is now with Hamilton.
Another no-hitter in baseball? Maybe its not as tough as I thought it was.
Hey Toronto remember me....signed Roy Halladay. That had to be tough for Blue Jays fans to watch. I wonder if Doc realizes that his new team and his old team have the same amount of wins. Toronto fans can only wonder how many wins they might have if Doc was still pitching for them.
Can I break out the clubs this weekend?
Someone in Saskatchewan split the 50 million Lotto Max jackpot last night? Where are my tickets?
The Regina Red Sox lost in Weyburn last night. They are home to Yorkton tonight and to Weyburn tomorrow. After High Impact Wrestling, Vanstone and I discussed the Red Sox and why they don't get bigger crowds. We concluded that Currie Field seems to be somewhat out of the way for many because of its location. Its just off the Ring Road though so it shouldn't be that big a problem. I'd like to get your thoughts on that. The team does have a solid following, but there is room for many more people.
I hadn't seen the Ryan Getzlaf-Bobby Ryan skit that was played at the NHL awards until it was sent to me last night. If you haven't seen this, get ready for a laugh! Click here.

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 25, 2010

With The #1 Pick, the Oilers Take....

The suspense is over. Here's the release from the Oilers. Click here

No Truth To Rumours

Rumours are flying around the Staples Centre as the NHL draft gets nearer and nearer. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli says he did have a conversation with Oilers GM Steve Tambellini about Edmonton getting the number 1 and 2 selection, but Chiarelli says no. This would make it seem as if Jordan Eberle isn't going anywhere. As an Oilers fan, I hope this is it for potential trade talk involving Eberle. 5 o'clock can't get here soon enough!

Globe Says Oilers Are Dangling Ebs!

Say it ain't so Steve! The Globe's Matt Sekeres has many rumours from the NHL draft in L-A. One has the Oilers trying to get the number 2 pick overall so they can take both Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Sekeres says Steve Tambellini has thrown Jordan Eberle's name out there. Check that and other things from Matt right here

Zellers In The Southland

A very reliable source has told me the empty Wal-mart at the Southland Mall is soon to have a new tenant. Rumours of Canadian Tire or London Drugs appear to be just that as its said Zellers will be moving in giving them three stores in Regina. This one will join locations in the Vic Square and Northgate.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Will It Be Taylor or Tyler?

I'll get to the NHL draft in a second, but first, I love watching summer storms, but I think I've had enough of it for this year.
I was feeling a little nauseous all day, so I left Capital Ford Lincoln around 3 o'clock. While driving home, I noticed it was dark. I tried to get a nap, but any thought of that was erased when I could hear something pounding against the walls. I went upstairs and I could hardly see out my front window for the rain and hail that were coming down in sheets. It was intense and that's saying it lightly.
I chuckled a little when I looked out and saw some school kids running in the pelting rain wondering A)Why didn't they stay at school and B) Couldn't a parent have picked them up? Little did I know. It didn't take long for the east end to get obliterated by the rains as it was one huge puddle after another. It took the wife over an hour to get home from downtown and even then she had to navigate a path which thanks to road construction wasn't a normal one to get home.
If there was anything good about it, it was A)no water in the basement and B)its rain and not snow.
Safe to say I'll be in front of a television at 5 o'clock this afternoon when the NHL draft begins with the Oilers holding the first overall selection. The debate rages on between whether or not the first pick should be Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. Its about 50-50. I don't know if you saw it last night, but TSN ran an outstanding documentary on the Oilers and their thinking going into the draft. There is no doubt that Steve Tambellini, Kevin Lowe and company think they are on the right path with guys like Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and either Hall or Seguin. Yes, they could use a stud defenceman and a goalie, but they are on their way. I still lean towards Hall after what I saw from him at the World Juniors and the Memorial Cup. No matter who they take, it looks as if they will get a great player. I don't think this is one of those Peyton Manning-Ryan Leaf scenarios. As long as they don't trade the pick, I'll be happy in getting either guy, but again I'd rather have Hall.
I have to admit I was surprised to see Joe Sykes get released by the Riders. Then again, maybe I shouldn't. Sykes came in amidst a lot of hoopla last season. He inquired about the CFL sack record and he was humbled somewhat when he found out he couldn't crack the roster and had to spend the season on the practice roster. Sykes just didn't impress this year either when he had the chance so it was bye-bye on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if anyone else gives him a shot or if his CFL days are done.
One week from tonight I'll be writing about the season opener. Yes, the season is now here. Are you ready? I really wonder what type of reception the Alouettes will get. Games against Montreal don't usually get the Rider Nation into a lathered frenzy. It will this year though. I still don't understand how this game isn't sold out, but I am confident it will be by the time they kick it off.
The best thing about that marathon tennis match at Wimbledon this week was this. They ended the match the way they started it. After it hit a certain point, they didn't do anything to change the rules. Unlike another sport that we all love to watch in the winter time.
If you're not listening to the Sportscage, why not? Rod Pedersen just keeps lining up great show after great show after great show. His choice of a co-host on Wednesdays is a little confusing and the guy he has got doing the MMA report sounds terrible, but take away that and its OK. Rod had Darrell Davis on the show Thursday and the question was asked to Darrell about whether or not Roy Shivers and Danny Barrett belong in the Plaza of Honor. Darrell was adamant that Roy someday go in, but that Danny should not. I could not argue with Darrell's argument for this. If Roy wasn't so stubborn and so loyal to Danny, might he have been the GM of a Grey Cup winning team. I think he would have. Then again, if Kenton Keith doesn't fumble in the Western final deep in BC territory, Danny might have had a chance at being a Grey Cup winner. Yes, a lot of people blame Paul McCallum for the loss that afternoon, but if Keith doesn't fumble in what I think was early in the 4th quarter of that game, the Riders win.
Its just like everyone can talk about the 13th man costing them the Grey Cup, but if there isn't miscommunication between Darian Durant and Andy Fantuz in the 4th quarter allowing for the interception that sparked the Als comeback, the Riders win last year's championship game.
Its another night of High Impact Wrestling in Regina. I wonder what time the red carpet arrival is. I hope Vanstone shows up in a tux this time. I also hope Rex Roberts gets force-fed his cowboy hat. I really do hate that guy's schtick and I don't know why. What a stress-reliever that is. Its pure entertainment both inside and outside the squared circle.
Italy and France are BOTH out of the World Cup. Americans are now talking about their team getting all the way to the semi-finals. What will they do if Ghana beats them Saturday? Brazil and Portugal meet today in a game that will be PVR'ed. It should be soccer at its finest when these two countries go at it. I'm also looking forward to seeing 2nd round matches between Germany and England and Argentina versus Mexico.
Kate Gosselin is being considered for the Bachelorette? Someone please end reality TV! Please!
Remember to get your Lotto Max ticket today. One 50 million and 55 one million dollar prizes.
Did you watch the NBA draft?
Instead of the NBA draft, how about showing us some games from the College World Series.
Mrs. Tiger is apparently going to get 750 million dollars in her divorce settlement. I'm guessing she won't be buying a Lotto Max ticket. That's gotta leave a mark!
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.


Do I need to say more!

CFL Cuts

To see what players CFL teams have cut today. Click here

More Rider Cuts

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have released the following players:

Import DB Willie Byrd

Import WR Aaron Fairooz

Non-Import LB Christian Houle

Import DL Ikenna Ike

Import DB Ladarius Key

Import WR Cary Koch

Non-Import DL Ryan Lucas

Import DL Josh Miller

Import DL Joe Sykes

The following have been waived injured:

Non-Import WR Obed Cetoute

Import LB Kye Stewart

The following have been added to the 9-game injured list:

Non-Import OL Kelly Bates

· The Saskatchewan Roughrider practice roster will be announced on Saturday, June 26th.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

59-59 In The 5th Set

John Isner says nothing like this will ever happen again. He is likely right. Isner is going down in sports history for being part of a story that is really beyond description. Isner and Nicolas Mahut of France have been playing tennis for 10 hours and they still don't have a winner. The match has been suspended twice due to darkness. At last count, the two men were tied at 59 games all in the final set---a set you have to win by two games. It is beyond comprehension to wonder what these two men are going through and how they can even stand on their feet and hit the ball. At 10 hours, they have broken the record for the longest tennis match by an astounding 3 1/2 hours. To put it in some more perspective: The 2009 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick was the longest Grand Slam championship match in history, running 77 games in all.
I'm guessing whoever wins this battle that won't soon be forgotten won't have any gas left to continue. I wonder how they are finding the gas now.
Ron Atchison is being remembered as one of the toughest players to ever wear a Rider jersey. CJME's Jamie Nye asked Wednesday night if Atchison might be the best ever football player to come from this province. If he isn't, he'd be right up there. The story about Atch wearing Hush Puppies on a frozen Taylor Field in 1967 is something of legend. You know the Riders will honor Atchison with a moment of silence before the home opener against the Alouettes. I'd like to see them go a little further. You walk into the stadium that has banners of George and Ronnie draped proudly on the side. Before the game, many of you head over to the practice field to have a burger, drink a beer and share some yuks. Perhaps those doing that July 1 and from now on should do that on the Ron Atchison Memorial Field.
Henrik Sedin beat out both Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby for the NHL MVP award. Really? In an NHL where Ovechkin and Crosby are the faces of the league, I am honestly surprised to see Sedin win. Its not that he didn't deserve it, but I truly thought Ovechkin would be the guy.
Roberto Luongo must be loving the fact that he won't have to stare at Dustin Byfuglien's big butt during the playoffs. A key part in Chicago's Cup run is now an Atlanta Thrasher as Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and a prospect go to the Thrashers for Marty Reasoner and draft picks. I guess this will help clear up some much necessary cap space for the Hawks. I guess it also means guys like Sharp, Bolland and Brouwer won't be leaving Chicago. Speaking of Brouwer, the former Moose Jaw Warrior will join Rod on the Cage tomorrow.
Is it just me or were the NHL awards lame with a capital L!
Did Landon Donovan make soccer a spectator sport in the US with his last minute heroics against Algeria. I'm guessing many Americans will sit down Saturday afternoon to watch the US play Ghana in 2nd round action. I wonder if Canadians would ever embrace the game if they got to a World Cup. Hopefully we will find out in four years time, but I doubt it.
The Jays bullpen just continues to be a disaster. Ricky Romero deserved a better fate last night as he went pitch for pitch with ex-Jay Cris Carpenter. Once Kevin Gregg came in in the 9th, it was game over.
Interesting read from LP sports guy Craig Slater on Wednesday. Slater talked about a chance meeting with former Jays-current Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay in Times Square a couple of weeks ago. Halladay wasn't noticed by anyone except Slater who asked Roy if he could get a picture. Halladay said NO!, but did offer to sign something. He said getting a picture taken might result in him having to pose for a bunch of them. No one else in Times Square knew who Halladay was so would a picture really have created many being taken. I think Halladay snubbed Slater. Good for Roy for having a brief conversation and offering to sign something, but let the guy take a picture with you.
An earthquake in Central Canada? Really!
I miss not seeing Pardon the Interruption every day. Same with Around the Horn.
Finally a toast to bread. If there was no bread, there would be no toast. Later!

Have You Gotten A New Rider Jersey?

If you have and you have had the name and number of either Barrin Simpson, Dan Goodspeed or Prechae Rodriguez put on it, you will be pissed after hearing this. Those three have changed their #'s.

Simpson goes from #9 to #2
Rodriguez goes from #2 to #85
Goodspeed goes from #68 to #64

A Rider Legend Passes Away

I never saw him play, but I have been told by many that he was as great a player as he was a man.


The CFL, the Roughrider organization and the entire province of Saskatchewan is mourning the loss of Ron Atchison who has passed away at the age of 80.

“Without question Ron will go down as one our greatest defensive lineman ever,” commented Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “His loss will be deeply felt throughout the province.”

Atchison was born in Central Butte, Saskatchewan and raised in Saskatoon. He played for the Saskatoon Junior Hilltops from 1947 to 1949. In 1976, in recognition of his greatness as a player, the Hilltops named their practice field and permanent quarters after him.

Atchison joined the Roughriders in 1952 and played in 237 regular season games until his retirement in 1968. During his time with the Green and White, he was named a CFL West all-star six times.

Atchison was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1978. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 and was one of the inaugural members of the Roughriders Plaza of Honor in 1987.

More Cuts

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have released the following players:

Import WR Dwayne Eley

Import DE Willie Evans

Import DB Brandon Foster

Import WR Jeremy Gilchrist

Non-Import DB Joel Lipinski

Import DB Brandon Register

Non-Import DL Michael Stadnyk

Import RB Marcus Thigpen

Import DB Carlos Thomas

Imagine If This Happened Here

We all know in Saskatchewan what Mother Nature can do when it starts to storm. Many Saskatchewan communities have felt the effects of tornadoes. The people of Billings, Montana are cleaning up after a tornado---one that destroyed the city's arena. Here's a video of the storm tearing apart the roof.

Here's an aerial shot as you can see the damage first hand...

An interior shot.....

Can you imagine the chaos that would be caused if something like this ever happened to the Brandt Centre or Credit Union Centre. Lets hope we never find out.

For old fans of the WHL, I have a question. Is this the facility where the old Billings Bighorns used to play?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

HOF Class Doesn't Excite Me

Who makes the picks for the Hockey Hall of Fame? Dino Ciccarelli gets in, yet guys like Mike Richter, Pavel Bure(couldn't stand him by the way), and Joe Nieuwendyk don't get in. While those three don't get the nod, perhaps the biggest insult of all was not giving Pat Burns his rightful spot in the Hall and give him a chance to enjoy it instead of giving him the honour once he has passed on. He might not have even made it to this year's ceremony. Its good to see women get their due place in the Hall, but I would have rather seen Hayley Wickenheiser become the first woman to go in. I know she's still playing which hurts her cause, but it would have been fitting. She'll get in there soon.
Let the goaltending carousel begin. I am shocked that the Sharks are going to walk away from Evgeni Nabokov and let him become a free agent. Where does San Jose go now? Do they look to grab a top notch goalie in free agency like Marty Turco? Do they settle for a second tier free agent in Chris Mason or Jose Theodore or do they make a trade for a guy like Tim Thomas? Where does Nabokov end up? I'm going to throw Philly out there and even though he played well this year, I'm throwing Colorado into the mix. How much do you think a team is willing to pay a 35 year old puckstopper.
I don't think there were any surprises amongst the six Rider cuts. Some people had thought Steven Riddick might have an outside shot at being one of the interior defensive linemen, but he didn't make much of an impression with me in the B.C game. Do you think Jordan Rempel ends up in Calgary?
Chris Jericho is going to be a game show host? Say it ain't so Chris.
I love the NFL network and I keep hoping some day I will turn on my TV and see the MLB network.
If its Wednesday, it means I'm in the Cage this afternoon from 4-6 on 620 CKRM. Talk to you then.

I'm Not Dead Yet!!

This will be good news for Monty Python fans in Regina and southern Saskatchewan. I might even have to go check this out.

Rider Cuts

K Ryan Elaschuk
LB Taylor Wallace
OL Jordan (don't confuse me with Kelly) Rempel
OL-Patrick Neufeld
WR-Aaron Waldie
DL-Steve Riddick

Changes in Edmonton/Bruins-Panthers trade

Pat Quinn is out as coach of the Oilers. Tom Renney is in. Quinn will remain with the team in an advisory role. The official release can be seen right here

Nathan Horton is getting out of Florida. The Panthers have sent Horton to Boston along with forward Gregory Campbell for d-man Dennis Wideman, the 15th pick in Fridays draft and a 2011 3rd rounder.

BLOGGER NOTE: With Boston getting rid of a defenceman and their first round pick, they wouldn't think about taking Cam Fowler, Eric Gudbranson or Brandon Gormley ahead of either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall would they?

Two other hockey notes. Scott Niedermayer is expected to announce his retirement today and the 2010-2011 sked is out. Visit to take a look.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Should the CFL Season Start Earlier?

I read a very interesting article on regarding the start of the CFL season and whether it should be moved up to prevent a possible cold weather Grey Cup. You can read the article by clicking here.

I wouldn't mind seeing the start of the season get moved up, but not by too much. I wouldn't want the start of the CFL season being eclipsed by the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs. This country's attention is on the NHL final no matter the teams and with hockey season not ending until mid-June, it makes it tough to open the season up much earlier than it already does. Would you take the chance of having the first Friday Night Football against a possible Game 7 of the Cup final. I don't think Marc Cohon would. However, there would be nothing wrong with teams starting training camp at the end of May to get the season with games starting in the 3rd week of June. This would mean the Grey Cup would be played in late October or early November which would be fine when the game is played in a place where weather could be a factor like Regina, Winnipeg or Edmonton. What do you think?
I know what I was thinking when I heard this story. First off, I don't believe it. Secondly, there is no way this would be allowed. CFL fans would go absolutely bonkers if this idea even got off the ground.
I don't know about you, but those skies looked more threatening tonight than I've seen them look in quite a while. I loved good old fashioned summer storms. I could just sit on the front step and watch them roll through all night long.
France meets the host South Africans at the World Cup on Tuesday. With all the turmoil the French are going through, they wouldn't "give" one to the host country would they. After what I've seen this week, it wouldn't surprise me.
I love Tony Roma's ribs, but I think the ones at Chili's may have taken over the number 1 spot. Did I say may have?
The NHL draft can't get here soon enough. Just so I don't have to see Ben Mulroney doing ads for it on TSN. The only way that ad could get better is if Dion Phaneuf laid Ben out.
It really doesn't bother me when I see AJ Burnett have a miserable outing on the mound.
I'm not really sure why there is such a widespread panic amongst some factions of the Rider Nation tonight in the wake of an 0-2 pre-season. Yes, the green and white did not play well against Calgary on Sunday, but I think Ken Miller will have them ready to go on July 1. In fact, after what happened last year, I don't see Montreal coming within 10 of the green guys. Speaking of July 1, would it really surprise you if that was our "rain" game this year. The way the forecast has been, it wouldn't surprise me. Why isn't that game sold out?
If you bought a lot that neighbours a golf course, why on earth would you complain about errant balls coming into your yard once you start living there. Did you think that wasn't going to happen? Someone needs to explain that one to me.
Have a good Tuesday and remember "The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form."

NHL Free Agency

NHL free agency begins July 1. The Globe has a list of its top 100 free agents. This is not a banner class. Take a look by clicking here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thank God That Wasn't On TV

Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri were the eyes and ears for the Rider Nation on Sunday seeing the pre-season finale from Calgary was not televised. What they painted for us was not a flattering picture.
Carm said after the game there weren't many positives to take out of the 41-17 loss. There was no running game, there was seemingly no pressure on the QB from the defensive line, there were too many penalties, etc, etc.
Coach Miller said after the game he liked the way Darian Durant, the receivers and the o-line that started the game played, but after that the compliments were few and far between.
I know pre-season results don't mean anything, but after this game there might be more questions than answers. Some cuts are happening Tuesday with the rest occurring Thursday. It will be interesting to see who stays and who goes.
Imagine if Weston Dressler had words with Ken Miller and was promptly told to go home. That prompted the team to not practice. Its a scene that would create absolute chaos on so many levels. That is what is happening right now with the French soccer team. They have not played well at the World Cup and it prompted a heated exchange between star player Nicolas Anelka and his coach. It resulted in the coach telling Anelka to go home. The French team responded to that move by not practicing. Yes, the French have seemingly given up on the World's biggest stage. I can only imagine how this is playing out back home. I know how it would play out here. SACRE BLEU!
Sunday's final 18 at the US Open might have been the worst final round in a major I have ever seen. It was just one bad shot after another with 3rd round leader Dustin Johnson completely falling apart. If you watched, you knew early on it was not going to be Johnson's day. He finished with an 82. Tiger, Ernie, and Phil all had chances, but none of those three could capitalize meaning Graeme McDowell gets the win just because he had enough of a cushion to capture the trophy. It was good theatre, but it was not good golf.
I am hearing plenty of rumours leading up to the NHL draft. I'm hearing Boston wants to trade Tim Thomas somewhere to get an additional first round pick. I'm hearing the Oilers are about to part with Ales Hemsky, the Lightning will move Martin St. Louis, the Flyers will send Jeff Carter elsewhere, the Habs are ready to deal Scott Gomez and Chicago will move players like Kris Versteeg and Patrick Sharp. Who knows what will happen, but I'm guessing it will be an interesting week leading up to the draft on Friday night. Where is Jordan Weal going to go? An NHL mock draft that I saw had him going midway through the 3rd round to Carolina. I think Weal will be a late 2nd rounder, but the fact he didn't get an invite to the National Junior camp might hurt. That mock draft also had Moose Jaw's Quinton Howden going to the Oilers with the first pick of the 2nd round. I wouldn't mind that. I think Howden goes late first round, but it wouldn't bother me one bit to see him go with the first pick of Round 2.
The debate is on as to whether or not Eric Lindros will be named to the Hockey Hall of Fame when the class of 2010 is announced later this week. Why would Lindros be considered a hall-of-famer? He wouldn't get my vote. Would he get yours?
A "Gilligan's Island" movie is being made with Michael Cera of Arrested Development and Superbad said to be playing Gilligan. I ask you who should play Ginger and Mary Ann.
That Blue Jays bullpen showed why it is likely the team's Achilles heel this year. That group does not instill confidence. Still with the Jays, it had to be an emotional trip around the bases for shortstop John McDonald. The light-hitting McDonald hit his first homer of the year on Father's Day just days after laying his father to rest after he passed away from cancer. A sad story, but a touching story in a way.
What the hell is Lady Gaga trying to prove? Read this.
Another week is upon us. Hope its a good one. Remember this.....Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.

A Look At The Lions Temporary Digs

The BC Lions have gone back to the past this year. With renovations being done to BC Place, the Lions have gone back to where they used to play until they can go back home. Here are some pictures of Empire Field. Looks pretty good.
It almost makes you wonder if they could so something like this in the Maritimes and Quebec City to really get the CFL looking good. I can dream can't I?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What Did I Say?

Hallo or Guten Tag to everyone reading this sight in Germany. For those that don't know, I can see where and when visits to this blog come in. On the weekend, the readership goes down tremendously compared to Monday-Friday. I was a little surprised when I saw higher than usual numbers and that a lot of people from Germany were checking in.

While I like brats, beer and one of my fellow UFC neanderthals is German, I have no real ties to the country. Hell, they even pulled High Impact Wrestling from the German Club so why the sudden popularity overseas? I mentioned Germany's World Cup loss, but I was very civil in discussing that. Anyhoo, to all of those who may be checking in from Germany today, I say Danke für das Lesen (thanks for reading!)
Tiger starts the final round of the US Open five shots back. He was on his game yesterday. How bout that shot to 18? Can he make up five shots and win. I don't think he can, but this is the US Open and this is Tiger Woods. It should be a dramatic final round.
The Riders and Stamps go at it in Calgary. Its a 1 o'clock start with Rod and Carm being our eyes seeing the game is not televised. I wonder how it feels for the returnees to walk into MacMahon for the first time since that event last November that we don't like to talk about around here. Just get through this game without any major injuries so we can have our full roster ready to go on Canada Day. That is all I ask.
Are the Predators shedding salary? Its obvious they knew they weren't going to keep Dan Hamhuis and trading Jason Arnott away for prospects and picks is a salary dump. Who's next?
The WWE has announced Florence Henderson of Brady Bunch fame will be a guest host on RAW July 12. Florence Henderson? Was Betty White not available? Is Angela Lansbury busy? I'm starting to tire on the guest hosts. At one time I liked it, not so much anymore.
I didn't think Jesse Litsch looked ready last week when he came off elbow surgery after being away for a year as he got pummelled in Denver. Litsch looked more than ready yesterday. He was dominant in a 3-0 win over San Francisco. I still don't think Toronto makes the playoffs this year, but if they make some moves in the off-season, and their young pitchers continue to mature, next year could be the year.
Did you see the pictures of the waterfall where the Trans-Canada highway used to be at Maple Creek? WOW!!! That's leaving more than a mark boys and girls. It will be a while before the trip into Medicine Hat goes through the TC.
The Muchmusic Video Awards are tonight with Miley Cyrus serving as a co-host. Is it just me or is Miley going to make Britney look like a choir girl? I think I have told this story on the blog before, but if not. I was in Toronto in 2008 to see the Cubs take on the Jays. It was the same weekend as the MMVA's. I went out Saturday night and returned to the Royal York Hotel around 1230. There was a limo parked outside the hotel and a little commotion inside as I walked in. A bellhop asked me if I could show proof that I was staying at the hotel so I showed him my swipe card for the room and then asked what was going on. He asked me if I recognized a gentleman standing about 25 yards from me. As I looked, I laughed. Yes, getting to the hotel just before me was New Kids On The Block. They were closing the MMVA's later that night. OH BOY!! In fact, the whole show just about got cancelled that night because of a huge rainstorm that hit Toronto about an hour before the show started. There were tornado warnings and everything out. I was going to walk over to the awards just so I could phone my teenage daughter and bug her that I was there, but common sense took over. You knew when the show was over though because there were many wet teenagers looking to get to Union Station so they could take the subway wherever to get home.
Tough one for the Red Sox on Saturday. They allowed 3 in the top of 9 and lost 7-6 to Saskatoon to snap an 8 game winning streak. It was still an enjoyable night to have a couple of beer and chat with some friends. A good crowd was on hand as well which was nice to see. Perhaps people are starting to take notice of this team.
Make sure you phone Dad or do something with him today. I could get into memories of my Dad and my first ever NHL game, and baseball trips and other things, but it would take too long. Lets just say that some of my favourite memories include the big guy. I'm sure its that way for many of you too. I think my six year old daughter has it in her daybook that we are going to watch the Care Bears Movie "Oopsy does It" today. I could watch the Jays, the Cubs, the US Open, soccer, etc, etc, but you know what I'll be watching. Can't wait!

AGM Tidbits

Besides the release of numbers at the Riders AGM, many other tidbits came out as well. The Leader-Post's Ian Hamilton had the arduous task of attending the meeting and reports on some of the other goings-on today. Read it here.

Riders AGM In The Books

Today, the Saskatchewan Roughriders held their 2009-10 Annual General Meeting at the Queensbury Convention Centre.


During his financial report, Craig Reynolds, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Chief Financial Officer, revealed the Football Club reported a record-profit of $3.1 million. The club exceeded the $30 million plateau in total gross revenues.

Record overall attendance at Mosaic Stadium drove record revenue from ticket sales. Gate receipts totaled $10.2 million surpassing the prior year’s total of $9.3 million by 10%. The Club’s season ticket base increased by 10% over the prior year and the increased capacity through a full year of available temporary seating contributed to record gate receipts for the Club.

The Club sold $7.1 million in merchandise during 2009/10, an increase of 9% over the prior year’s sales of $6.5 million. During the year, the Club opened a Rider Store in Saskatoon – its third Rider Store location – and saw a tremendous response from that market achieving $1.5 million of sales at this location in only five months of operations.

The meeting marked the last official day for Rob Pletch as Riders Chairman after serving in that position for the past three years. The current Board of Directors has named Roger Brandvold as the Club’s new Chairman. Brandvold is a Senior Vice-President and Partner at Connor Clark & Lunn Private Capital Ltd. which is Canada’s second largest independent money manager. Brandvold has served on the Roughriders Board of Directors since 2005 and has spent the past two years as the Riders Vice-Chair. Roger, his wife Carie and their children Kristen and Derek reside in Emerald Park.

Under the governance guidelines, the Rider shareholders selected a new Board of Governors at the meeting. Returning to the board this year will be new Chairman Roger Brandvold, Vice Chair Rory Picklyk, Director’s Doug Emsley, Paul Hill, Dennis Mulvihill, Laurie Powers and Joel Teal. Shareholders also voted in four directors Twyla Meredith (re-elected), Rob Pletch (re-elected) Wayne Morsky and Jeff Stusek.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Is England Out?

This World Cup is certainly not going by the script. Serbia beat Germany on Friday and then England played Algeria to a draw. The chances of world powerhouse France not advancing to the 2nd round are strong and they could be joined by England who needs a big effort against a Slovenian team that gave the U-S everything they could handle and then some in tying them at 2--albeit the US really should have won, but didn't thanks to a bad call. We have seen Spain get beat, Brazil look less than tremendous, France and England are on the precipice of elimination and the Germans have tasted defeat. The round of 16 will be interesting. I really have to sit down and watch some of the WC this weekend. I've been watching games at night on CBC, but when you know what the final is, its tough to watch.
One team that isn't tough to watch these days are the Regina Red Sox. They took both ends of a doubleheader in Melville Friday night meaning they are 10-1 on the season. Saskatoon will visit Currie Field Saturday night with Weyburn coming to town Sunday afternoon. Regina baseball fans need to start taking note of this team and head out to the ballpark. I keep telling you that this team provides a solid night's entertainment and when they are 1o-1, you know they are good so head out to Currie this weekend and check them out. Maybe see if Dad wants to go!
The wife and I went to Sex and the City 2. Who was the nanny? Watching the first few minutes of that movie reminded me of a former co-worker!
My thoughts are with the people in Maple Creek and southwestern Saskatchewan who are feeling the effects of this rain. It does not look good there. It will be a long time before things get back to normal, but here's hoping that is sooner than later.
Mike Weir contends after one round and then blows up. In other news, the sky is blue!
He's just not the same Tiger Woods anymore is he? Is it the neck or is it the fact his world is no longer what it used to be?
Has anyone figured out the Halak trade yet? Is there any truth to the Halak to San Jose for Pavelski rumour. If there is, why didn't that trade happen?
Is Ryan Johnson going to play for the Riders on Sunday? I'll have to listen to Rod to find out.
When will I be able to watch wunderkid Stephen Strasburg pitch? I may have to head to the 4 Seasons or Press Box next week to watch this kid.
I think the next week will be very interesting as the NHL draft gets closer. I think there will be a lot of teams trying to make some moves and some big name players might have new homes. Can I start the Josh Harding to Edmonton campaign again? Whether it be Edmonton or not, I hope the former Pats goalie does get dealt so he can be a number one guy somewhere. His time is now!
Have a great weekend!

Attention Oiler Fans

Will it be Tyler or Taylor next Friday night when the Oilers pick first at the NHL draft? We'll get a glimpse into things by watching this show next Thursday night.

This Is More Like It

I was a little shocked and a little aghast a while back when MAXIM named Katy Perry as its hottest woman of the year. Esquire magazine is getting it right. Click here to see what I mean.

Day 13 In The Books

The following is the Day 13 report from the 2010 Roughrider Training Camp.



WR Obed Cetoute (achilles) day to day

WR Aaron Fairooz (foot) indefinitely

LS Jocelyn Frenette (hamstring) day to day

OL Dan Goodspeed (calf) day to day

DB Chris McKenzie (hamstring) day to day

DL Steven Riddick (thigh) day to day

LB Kye Stewart (knee) day to day

DL Shomari Williams (thigh) day to day


Quarterback Darian Durant was connecting with all his favourite targets including receiver Weston Dressler who made a great catch on a long ball in the end zone. Quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie also found the end zone when he connected with receiver Rob Bagg who made a sliding catch. Linebacker Jerrell Freeman had a picture perfect interception on the defensive side of the ball during today’s session.


Players will meet with coaches and continue preparing for their second pre-season game.


Players and coaches will travel to Calgary for their pre-season game against the Stampeders on Sunday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Ya Feelin Hab Fans?

We all know that many Montreal fans crawled out from under their rock to cheer hard for their team in the playoffs. There is no doubt the only reason why the Canadiens got as far as they did was the play of Jaroslav Halak. Without him, the Habs likely wouldn't have got past Washington. It had many wondering, including myself, just where Carey Price would end up. It looks as if he will end up being the starting goalie for the Habs.
When I heard that Halak had been traded to the St. Louis Blues, I went "huh!". When I saw that the Blues gave up no current roster players just prospects, I went "WTF?!". There has to be something more to this that hasn't come out yet, but what. Did Halak demand a trade? As a restricted free agent, did Montreal know someone was going to sign him to an offer sheet they would not match? Is this a case of clearing cap room to get a guy like Evgeni Nabokov? Whatever it is, Montreal hockey fans are some kind of pissed and I really can't blame them.
Burritos and Coronas all around. How about Mexico beating France at the World Cup? This World Cup is not going the way people thought it would. Argentina and Germany look to be the best teams, but we have a long ways to go.
After seeing this, its obvious we need more shots of the fans at the World Cup.

Rider fans are breathing a lot easier knowing Weston Dressler has signed a contract extension. It sounds like this deal is very similar to the one Andy Fantuz had. That being WD7 is more than welcome to seek employment in the NFL at the end of this season, but if it doesn't happen then he comes back. This just in. I like Dressler's chances of being in the NFL a lot more than that of Fantuz's. As I've stated before, Andy is a great talent, but he's not fast enough to be a wideout and he's not big enough to be a tight end in the NFL. Dressler is fast enough to be a Wes Welker type player in the NFL. Enjoy him this year because he might not be back.
The Lakers beat the Celtics to win the NBA title. Excuse me while I barf! At least it didn't come down to Mr. Petulance hitting a shot at the buzzer. I really thought that was going to happen.
Why was Magic Johnson allowed to perform verbal fellatio on the entire Lakers organization at the end of the game? HOLY CRAP! Was Larry Bird ready to do the same thing had the Celtics won. I think not!
If the Lakers are commemorated on a Wheaties box, should Ron Artest be commemmorated on a Fruit Loops box? Did you see his rather "bizarre" post-game interview. He thanked his psychiatrist. That might be a first!
Was Phil Mickleson that bad Thursday at the US Open. When does Mike Weir blow up? Where is Tiger anyhoo?
What's the latest on Brett Favre?
The rain held off long enough for the Red Sox to club Weyburn 14-9. David Fox and Mitch McDonald each homering for the winners. Those two have been lethal to start the season. Regina is 8-1 on the year. Its about time Regina started noticing this team and supporting this team.
Speaking of the rain, where is it? Has the forecast failed again? I know this rain sucks, but look at it this could be snow!
The ESPN 30 for 30 show on the OJ Simpson bronco chase might be one of the best hours of television I have ever seen. Watch this show if you get a chance!
As you go into your Friday, I give you this.

Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not.

2010 Plaza Of Honor Inductees

Today the Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor Committee announced the 1966, 1989 and 2007 Grey Cup championship Rider teams will be inducted into the Plaza of Honor.

Besides being Saskatchewan’s most prestigious sporting dinner, the Plaza of Honor Dinner has contributed over $5.7 million to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.

The Plaza of Honor Dinner presented by SaskTel has inducted 107 individuals and now three teams who have made major contributions to the proud tradition of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club. The cairn honouring the Plaza of Honor Inductees is situated outside the main gates on the west side of Mosaic Stadium.

This year’s dinner is set for Friday, October 15th at the Queensbury Centre at Evraz Place. For information on tickets or corporate tables, contact the Saskatchewan Roughrider Ticket Office at 1-888-474-3377 – option 3 or any committee member.

Habs Playoff Hero Feeling Blue

I don't really understand this one, but the Habs have traded goaltender Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis. Somewhere Carey Price is smiling. Here is the release from the Blues organization.

– St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced Thursday the club has acquired goaltender Jaroslav Halak from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forwards Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

“Jaroslav’s play in this year’s regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs was remarkable,” said Davidson. “He has had very impressive numbers in the NHL and we are thrilled that he will be wearing the Bluenote for us.”

Halak, 25, was 26-13-5 in 2009-10 for Montreal and ranked 4th in the NHL in save percentage (.940), 9th in goals against average (2.40) and was tied for 5th with five shutouts. In his 26 wins this season he had a GAA of 1.68 and a save % of .948. He was 4-2-0 vs. the Western Conference with a GAA of 2.19 and a .928 save %. The 2009-10 “Molson Cup” winner as team MVP was 44-27-6 over the last two seasons in Montreal with a save percentage of .924 and GAA of 2.59.

In the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he took the Canadiens to the Conference Finals by winning two Game Sevens and eliminating Washington and Pittsburgh. He was the talk of the playoffs at one point when he won three straight games and eliminated the Capitals in Round One by stopping 131 of 134 shots, which included his stellar 53 of 54 shots saved in Game Five.

The 5’11”, 182 lb. Bratislava, Slovakia native was originally drafted by Montreal in the 9th round (271st overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Eller, 21, played in seven games for the Blues in 2009-10, scoring two goals and played 70 games for Peoria and recorded 57 points (18g, 39a). He was the 13th overall in pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Schultz, 20, played the last four seasons for the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League. He recorded 55 points (24g, 31a) last season. He was the 87th overall pick (3rd round) by the Blues in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

A Bizarre World Cup Related Death

JOHANNESBURG -- Police say a South African man who wanted to watch a World Cup match instead of a religious program was beaten to death by his family in the northeastern part of the country.

David Makoeya, a 61-year-old man from the small village of Makweya, Limpopo province, fought with his wife and two children for the remote control on Sunday because he wanted to watch Germany play Australia in the World Cup. The others, however, wanted to watch a gospel show.

"He said, 'No, I want to watch soccer,'" police spokesman Mothemane Malefo said Thursday. "That is when the argument came about.

"In that argument, they started assaulting him."

Malefo said Makoeya got up to change the channel by hand after being refused the remote control and was attacked by his 68-year-old wife Francina and two children, 36-year-old son Collin and 23-year-old daughter Lebogang.

Malefo said he was not sure what the family used to kill Makoeya.

"It appears they banged his head against the wall," Malefo said. "They phoned the police only after he was badly injured, but by the time the police arrived the man was already dead."

All three were arrested Sunday night, but Lebogang was released on $200 bail Tuesday, Malefo said. The other two are still being held in custody.

Malefo said the mother and son will reappear in the local Seshego Magistrates Court on July 27.

"He was always a happy man, never violent," Makoeya's nieces, Miriam and Anna, told the Daily Sun newspaper. "On Saturday, we saw him the last time at a funeral."

The World Cup, being played in Africa for the first time, started Friday and runs through July 11. Although most the tickets for the 64-game tournament have been sold, many in South Africa are too poor to attend matches.

Dressler Signs Contract Extension

Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that import wide receiver Weston Dressler has signed an extension with the team. Financial details of the signing were not released.

Dressler is in his third season with the Riders after originally signing as a free agent in May, 2008. In 29 regular season games, he has tallied 118 receptions for 2,069 yards and ten touchdowns. In addition he’s added 30 kick returns for 617 yards and 50 punt returns for 496 yards.

In his rookie season with the team, the North Dakota product earned the title of the CFL Most Outstanding Rookie after making 56 receptions for 1,128 yards and six touchdowns.

Dressler was entering his option year with the Roughriders.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

This Won't Make Me Popular

There has been a lot of talk surrounding CFL quarterbacks. TSN’s Matt Dunigan certainly didn’t do himself any favours in Saskatchewan by placing Darian Durant 4th amongst Western Division teams. Are you kidding me? Matt has obviously been sniffing the kerosene too much when firing up the old BBQ!

That being said, I am going to rank the quarterbacks 1-10. Yes, a couple of backups will make this list. Leading the way is Anthony Calvillo. What can’t you say about the Montreal quarterback. He isn’t aging any. He just gets better and better and he goes into 2010 as the league’s MVP over the past two seasons. He is one of the best quarterbacks the CFL has ever seen.

2) Henry Burris. I told you I wouldn’t be popular with this blog posting. Say what you will about the Calgary quarterback, but he gets the job done more often than not. Rider fans still hate him for what he did many years ago, but many others respect him because they know what he can do. The Stampeders fortunes rest on Henry’s right arm.

3) Darian Durant. How can I put Durant behind Burris after the way both played last year. Its simple. Burris has proven himself in this league. Durant only has one season under his belt. I think Darian has all the tools to be the CFL’s best quarterback one day, but that time is not now. Perhaps it will be in late November. With the offence he has, Durant should be able to have a better 2010 than he did a 2009 and considering what he did last year, that will be something.

4) Kevin Glenn. The Hamilton quarterback isn’t flashy. The Hamilton quarterback isn’t dynamic. What the Hamilton quarterback is is efficient. Glenn knows what is needed to succeed. I think this might be the year that Montreal gets challenged for first in the East and Glenn will be a big reason why. Why did Winnipeg get rid of him again?

5) Casey Printers. The former CFL MVP showed forms of the quarterback that was the best player in the league a few years ago. After going to the NFL, it took some time for Casey to re-establish himself. He didn’t have the necessary weapons in Hamilton to succeed, but with Geroy Simon and Paris Jackson as targets, he is showing himself to be the Printers of old. Those discounting B.C this year might be in for a shock.

6) Jarious Jackson. Am I the only guy surprised that Jackson is not wearing double blue and playing in Toronto? I really thought it was a given that Jackson would be starting in Toronto and not backing up in B.C. While arm strength doesn’t mean everything in the CFL, Jackson may have the best arm amongst all the QB’s in the league.

7) Ricky Ray. The Edmonton quarterback is in the twilight of his career. While he still has the accuracy, I think he has lost some arm strength. He used to throw the best long ball in the league, but not anymore. Ray needs to have a strong 2010 or it may be time for the Jared Zabransky era to begin.

8) Buck Pierce. If this list was for toughest quarterbacks, Pierce would top the list. When he is on, he is on. Buck’s biggest problem is his health. He could end up like Dunigan and Dickenson. Concussions have gotten the best of him, but Pierce isn’t changing his style any. Winnipeg fans will cringe when he gets hit knowing that next hit could be his last one.

9) Quinton Porter. At one time it looked like the Boston College product was going to get the keys to the Tiger-Cats engine. However, Kevin Glenn came along meaning Porter has to sit and watch. While Glenn is efficient, there might be no better guy coming out of the pen than Porter.

10) Dalton Bell. He’s the best of a bad lot in Toronto and when you’re basically still a rookie, that’s not saying much,

Who are your top 10? Lemme know!
What an honour to be in the Sportscage Wednesday with a living legend and no I'm not talking about Pedersen. In the second hour of the show, we were treated to a visit by the great George Reed. Its not the first time I have spoken face-to-face with George, but when you get a chance to interact with Saskatchewan football royalty you cherish it. During the show, we had a few texts from people who said they never had the chance to see George play, but they knew what type of man he was. That's mom and dad doing their due diligence by telling their kids about the greatness #34 was and still is.
There are days you don't forget. June 17 is one of them. Do you remember where you were June 17, 1994. Chances are you don't until I tell you it was on that date that OJ Simpson was involved in the famous chase with the White Bronco. Was that really 16years ago?
I should have worn my Switzerland jersey to work yesterday. I may have to for their second game. Rod said during the Sportscage he can't stand the vuvuzuelas when he watches on TV. Others said the same thing. It doesn't bother me one bit.
Is there any chance that the forecast could be wrong? It is so many other times.
The US Open starts today. Is Tiger still the story? Only if he is contending please.
The Riders plaza of honor inductees are announced today. How about teams instead of players this year? I can think of three teams that would be great additions.

Paul Henderson says he shouldn't be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Sorry Paul, I disagree. You scored the biggest goal in Canadian hockey history and for that you should be enshrined in the Hall. How much different would hockey be in our country had Henderson not scored that dramatic goal in 1972. I was only six at the time, but I still remember being in a front of a TV for that series. I've seen all eight games in later years. It wasn't good hockey compared to what we see now, but back then it was great and its something that truly united our country over the span of that series.
TSN's Darren Dreger says the Oilers are listening to trade offers for the number one overall pick. If Steve Tambellini f's this up and doesn't take Taylor Hall, I will be some kind of pissed. Meanwhile, word is the Flyers may want to peddle Jeff Carter. He would look good in Oiler colours. Would the Flyers want Horcoff in return? How about Patrick O'Sullivan?
Did anyone hear "Scruffy" with Bill Toffan on the WOLF Wednesday afternoon. It would seem as if a lot of people did. If only someone else would have made an appearance. Ahhh maybe that's coming.
Stay dry!