May 25th and we could see snow. I wonder what those who are getting their first taste of Regina, Saskatchewan and Canada as they come here to start playing for the Regina Red Sox think of this. The same can be said for those coming into town for the beginning of Rider rookie camp. Yes, if that isn't a sure sign that summer is right around the corner I don't know what is and I am excited for both the start of the WMBL season and the CFL season.
The Regina Red Sox will open up defence of their WMBL crown on Wednesday night at Currie Field when they take on the Moose Jaw Miller Express. It would be nice to see a great crowd show up at Currie for the game and celebrate the league title. Bernie Eiswirth and Gary Brotzel have done a lot for this city and for baseball in it with the tireless work they have done and it was great to see their efforts get rewarded with a championship last year. What would be great now is for the people of this fine city to show their support of this club and the young men that represent it. Crowds were good last year, but it would be nice to see a solid gathering at Currie Field on what hopefully will be a nice night for ball.
Meanwhile, Rider fans are getting ready for rookie camp. Like you, I am interested in seeing some of the talent that Brendan Taman has recruited and whether or not some of the high profile American signings can adapt to the Canadian game. I'll post something next week about the rookies I am looking forward to see along with what players I think are under the spotlight when main camp begins. I do know that this team will be better than last year's abominable 5-13 record and I do think they can compete for a home playoff game. There seems to be a different vibe emanating from Riderville this year from last. There seems to be a quiet confidence. Time will tell if we are right. Some players will definitely shine at rookie camp and go on to shine at main camp as well, but as we found out from the Terrence Nunn situation last year, all that glitters is not gold.
The Leader-Post is reporting that this week's visit by Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles cost us under 150-thousand dollars. Like many people it would seem, there wasn't a lot of interest in this royal visit. Was it because this generation is tied of Charles and would rather see the younger royals like William and Kate? I was one that wouldn't go across the street to see the royals and while many were excited to see them, I have to ask where those who are protesting the cuts to the film industry or those protesting the stadium development were. Why weren't they out saying the money spent by the government could be used to help their causes? Both of those groups lost some credibility in my mind with their seeming permission of this.
CTV's Chris Hodges was with Rod and I on "The Sportscage" Thursday afternoon. Nothing against Julie Stewart-Binks, but I miss seeing Chris on the tube every night giving sports. He has a great reason for not working weekends and evenings anymore and I would be doing the exact same thing as he is if I were in his position.
Will it be the Rangers or Devils facing the Kings in the Stanley Cup final? Will it matter? If its New York, they will have gone the limit in all 3 of their series and will have to contend with a Los Angeles team that has been the best team in these playoffs. If its the Devils, I think its a better series because both teams can generate some offence if need be.
If New Jersey were to win the Stanley Cup, would Martin Brodeur retire. I would. What else would the goalie have to do? Would Brodeur be considered for the Conn Smythe. I would think that would have to go to teammate Zach Parise.
Airchecker--a source of Canadian radio news--released the latest Regina radio ratings on Thursday. These are the numbers for everyone and not the male 18-34 or female 25-54 demographic.
CIZL-FM: 19.8 CKRM-AM: 11.9 CFWF-FM: 11.7 CHBD-FM: 11.1 CKCK-FM: 9.1 CHMX-FM: 7.4 CJME-AM: 7.0
I can't say I'm surprised by this.
The CBC partnering with a womens group that wants to talk about the look of players and if a coach needs a makeover is a complete and total insult to female hockey fans and female members of the media that work hard to gain credibility. The Mother Corp deserves every bit of criticism they are getting for this exercise. One has suggested it could cost them NHL rights down the road.
The stupidity of the NHL presenting the conference championship trophy was shown again when the Kings beat Phoenix. Dustin Brown wanted nothing to do with the Campbell bowl when it was presented to him by NHL deputy commish Bill Daly. The same thing will happen with the Prince of Wales trophy when it is presented to either Ryan Callahan or Zach Parise once the Devils-Rangers series is over. The winning team doesn't want to touch that trophy, they want the holy grail. With that being the case, why stage a trophy presentation. If this is to continue, the PA in whatever rink should belt out MC Hammer "Can't Touch This". That would be apropo.
The Edmonton Oil Kings went out of the Memorial Cup with a dull thud as they were throttled by Shawnigan in a tie-breaker game. Its been too long since a WHL team that wasn't the host won the trophy. That has to change. Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino said last week prior to the tournament that the time zone change would hurt the WHL champs, it would appear he was right.
Lebron James has been in the NBA for 10 years? It doesn't seem that long and makes his bid for his first championship that much more important. For what its worth, I don't think he will get it this year as the two best teams in the NBA right now are the Spurs and Thunder.
Consider this. If the Simpsons aged as the years of the show went on, Maggie Simpson would be 24. Out of all the Simpsons episodes, what is the best sports-related one?
I don't know if Stephen Larose at the Prairie Dog is trying to pick a fight with me or not, but it would seem as if he is taking a couple of shots here and there. He used a recent column to take a potshot at me over my Seattle Seahawks saying I was the only Seahawks fan in town that he knows and that more attention should be paid to the Seattle Sounders Major League soccer team. I kindly informed him I wasn't the only Seahawks fan in town and then reminded him that Regina's own Jon Ryan kicks for the team so there are likely many others out there that I don't know. He then goes on to wonder why Seattle fans embrace the sport so much and if I have any interest in the game. For the record, I have never watched a Major League Soccer game. In fact, the only soccer that interests me is international soccer like the World Cup or the upcoming European championships. I don't watch the Premier League or any of the other stuff. If that makes me a bad man, sorry!
If you watch ESPN's SportsNation with Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle on TSN2 weekday afternoons, get ready to say goodbye to Beadle. She is leaving the network to join NBC and will supposedly be prominent in their Olympic coverage. Word is Charissa Thompson will replace her. I have no problem with that.
Congrats to former Rider d-coordinator Gary Etcheverry on his appointment as head coach of the University of Ottawa football program. Etch made it no secret he wanted to be a head coach in the CIS and now he has a shot.
Paulina Gretzky made MAXIM magazine's hot 100 women of 2012 this year. I think she came in at 84. Wouldn't it have been great if she had come in at 99. Put yourself in these shoes for a second---imagine what it would be like for some young Canadian kid to be going out with Ms. Gretzky when the time came to meet the parents. I don't know about you, but I think I would be more excited at that than dating his daughter. Imagine what the kids parents would think when he said he was going out with Wayne's daughter. By the way if interested, model Bar Refaeli was number one. Still with Wayne, where would the NHL be today had he not been traded to Los Angeles?
We are just over a third of the way through the baseball season and the division leaders in the American League are Baltimore, Cleveland and Texas while the National League leaders are Washington, Cincinnati and the Dodgers. That's a refreshing change from seeing the usual teams in there. Yes I know, there is a long ways to go yet. I would have to see Cleveland has been the biggest surprise with the biggest disappointment being the Angels.
I was going to finish this off with a couple of jokes about unemployment, but they need some work.
Have a good Friday!