Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pregame Thoughts

Here are comments made by Rey Williams, Weston Dressler and Corey Chamblin before tomorrow's Labour Day Classic. Enjoy!


The Saskatchewan Roughriders are pleased to announce that tomorrow’s Labour Day Classic has sold out.

The sell-out mark of 44,910 was reached this morning making this weekend’s game the second highest regular season home game in Roughrider history and largest Labour Day Classic.

Kick-off for the sell-out game is scheduled for 2:00 pm Sunday at Mosaic Stadium.

Top eight regular season home crowds at Mosaic Stadium/Taylor Field

1. 55,438 October 14, 1995 Saskatchewan vs Calgary

2. 44,910 September 1, 2013 Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg

3. 43,613 October 13, 2003 Saskatchewan vs Calgary

4. 40,637 August 17, 2013 Saskatchewan vs Montreal

5. 40,320 August 31, 2003 Saskatchewan vs Winnipeg

6. 37,372 July 21, 2013 Saskatchewan vs. Hamilton

7. 35,296 July 5, 2013 Saskatchewan vs Calgary

8. 33,032 August 27, 1993 Saskatchewan vs Sacramento

Friday, August 30, 2013

Is Teemu Coming Back???

This And That

I'm not going to lie to you, I do not feel the buzz for the Labour Day Classic that I normally feel. The LDC is the best game of the year as you see Bomber fans mixed in with Riders fans, but it would appear as if the greasefire that is the Bombers has resulted in many from our neighbouring province deciding not to make the trek. Its my understanding that not many from Winnipeg are coming and that they won't even put up their merchandise stand like they have in the past. Yes, the Bombers ineptitude may have killed the LDC for at least this year.  I guess I can't really blame them. That being said, I'm sure there will still be a lot of energy coming from around the stadium as we get close to kickoff on Sunday.

I am snickering at those who are trying to poke holes in the Riders even though they are a league best 7-1. Yes as a fan, you can wonder why Geroy Simon isn't getting the ball more or what the team is doing about Diamond Ferri because of his constant 15 yard penalties, but at the end of the day the football team is likely to be in a spot they have never been in before after Sunday and that is 8-1. Enjoy the ride!! Now if for some reason the Riders should lose to Winnipeg on Sunday then go nutz because the team will have played like crap and will deserve some criticism. The stuff they are getting now is just ridiculous.

Tough break for the Argos in losing Ricky Ray for six weeks. The East is wide open now except for Winnipeg. Perhaps those that wanted the Hamilton-Saskatchewan Grey Cup will get their wish because Hamilton could be the best team between the Argos, Ti-Cats and Alouettes right now just for the fact that Hamilton still has Henry Burris while Toronto is without Ray and Montreal is without Calvillo.

Why does it take the CFL so long to fine a guy? Weldon Brown's "helmet to helmet" hit on Mike Reilly happens Saturday yet the league waits till Thursday to announce it. That decision should come 48 hours after a game is over.

Hockey Canada's orientation camp was ridiculed by many and yes the coverage of it by TSN and Sportsnet was wayyyyyyyy over the top, but just remember Mike Babcock is the coach of this team and Mike Babcock is a winner. His "ball hockey" like run through had some meaning to it. If it didn't. he wouldn't have done it.

The Regina Pats started training camp on a day where it was 34 degrees outside.. That just didn't seem right.

I mentioned that there is seemingly no buzz for the Labour Day Classic. I think I can categorically say there is no buzz for the upcoming Pats season which is sad. If people are talking about it, I don't know where they are gathering.

Someone needs to please rationalize to me how Regina police could not charge the parent of the two young children that were left inside a hot car at the Golden Mile this week. I was in shock when police said they received a stern talking to. Why were charges not laid? Is this not negligence of some fashion? What message is it sending? Will I get a "stern talking to" if I am caught texting on my phone or if I don't come to a complete stop?  That one just didn't make sense.

I have once again gotten into too many NFL fantasy football pools. I'm in 4.  How many are you in?

Graham DeLaet will tee off right after a threesome that involves Adam Scott, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson at the Deutsche Bank Championship today. I am guessing Graham won't be yelling up the fairway for those three to get a move on.

It will not look right tomorrow to see Ryne Sandberg at Wrigley Field managing the Philadelphia Phillies. For those that don't know, Sandberg tops the list of my favourite all-time athletes. With all apologies to Robbie Alomar fans, he is the best 2nd baseman baseball has ever seen and yes I am biased.

Madden 25 is a great way to kill a night. What a fantastic game!

It means squat, but a Seahawks 4-0 pre-season is nice to see. asked its writers across the country to make their all-star teams. That list can be found right here.

FWIW, here's my midseason all star team

QB Durant, RB Sheets, Cornish  WR, Green, Stamps, Owens Dressler OL: Labatte, Heenan, Jones, Tsoumpas, Archibald

DL--Hall,  Hughes, Sewell, Shologan  LB: Williams, Hebert, Cox DB: Anderson, Marsh, Banks, Watkins and Brackenridge

K- Milo ( I can't believe everyone went with Paredes)

Agree or disagree?

How can you not love UFC ring girl  Brittney Palmer??

If that's not a good spot to end it, I don't know what is. Have a great weekend. Keep it between the lines. GO RIDERS!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ontario Court Says Chris Williams is an FA

The CFL Players' Association says disgruntled receiver Chris Williams is now a free agent following an Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling.
On Thursday, the court issued a ruling quashing an arbitrator's decision in June that Williams's contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was binding even though the club violated the CFL's collective bargaining agreement with the CFLPA.
"It is the position of the CFLPA that Chris Williams is now a free agent and able to sign a contract in the NFL or another CFL club," the union said in a statement.
Dan Vertlieb, Williams' agent, didn't immediately respond to an email request for comment from The Canadian Press.
Williams, 25, the CFL's top special-teams player last season, went to arbitration asking to be released from the final year of his contract with Hamilton to reportedly pursue NFL offers.
In June, arbitrator E.E. Palmer found the Ticats violated the CBA by negotiating with an unregistered agent but said the penalty was a fine and not the termination of the contract.
However, the Ticats weren't fined because the CFLPA did not request one be imposed.
Palmer also found Hamilton had picked up the option on Williams's contract last October in accordance to the CBA but didn't use the exact language surrounding the renewal as laid out in the agreement.
But he also ruled that wasn't enough to null the agreement.
Both the Ticats and CFL said they'll appeal Thursday's ruling.
(Hamilton Spectator)

Ricky Ray To Miss Significant Time

It appears Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray's Most Outstanding Player-like season will be derailed for as long as the next six weeks.
The CFL reported the All-Star Argos quarterback will be out for at least the next six weeks with a shoulder injury. Ray injured his shoulder in the Double Blue's 35-14 loss to the Calgary Stampeders last Friday. Specifically, Ray has a tear to the Teres Major, which is behind the shoulder. Head coach Scott Milanovich did not get specific regarding Ray's rehab.
Ray had been outstanding for the Argos this season, throwing for 1,824 yards and 15 touchdowns to zero interceptions in seven games.
Zach Collaros, who has filled in for Ray earlier in the season, will get the start for Toronto Tuesday against the Montreal Alouettes.


Riders Team Up With Wall Government

Economy Minister Bill Boyd and Saskatchewan Roughriders President Jim Hopson today announced a new look for the team for the remaining 2013 regular season.  Starting September 1 at the Labour Day Classic, the Riders will sport a new logo on their chests –
“Saskatchewan is enjoying unprecedented growth – and although it’s tempting to let that speak for itself, we can’t take that success for granted,” Boyd said.  “We need to continue to promote the province to build on our success. The Riders are an integral part of Saskatchewan with fans from coast to coast, and we are extremely pleased they have agreed to partner with us on this project.”
This partnership between the Government of Saskatchewan and the Roughriders will help spread the word about the excellent quality of life, as well as the wealth of job, education and investment opportunities in the province through the games leading up to the 101st Grey Cup Festival to be hosted in Regina.
“This is a tremendous partnership, and we are very appreciative to team up with the initiative,” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “Our entire organization wears the ‘S’ for Saskatchewan proudly and look forward to promoting the success of the province across the nation.”  
The provincial government launched in November 2010 as part of the Real Growth. Real Opportunity campaign encouraging people across Canada to live, work and do business in Saskatchewan.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Riders Re-Sign Jackson

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the addition of import returner Tristan Jackson to the team’s roster. 


Jackson (5’8 – 185) rejoins the Green and White after spending the last two seasons with the Riders. Last season, the 27-year-old played 13 regular season games registering 30 kickoff returns for 794 yards, 32 punt returns for 303 yards and added four missed field goal returns for 267 yards including a 129-yard return for a touchdown. He also spent time at defensive back finishing with 20 defensive tackles, five pass knockdowns and one interception.


The Central Arkansas product has played 69 career regular season games after entering the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2008.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blades Sale Just Needs WHL Approval

The WHL announced today a special meeting of the WHL Board of Governors has been scheduled for Wednesday September 4 to review an application to transfer the ownership of the Saskatoon Blades WHL franchise. The meeting will take place at the Delta Airport Hotel in Calgary.

The co-owners of the Saskatoon Blades, Jack Brodsky, together with his brother Bob and sister Debbie, have entered into an agreement with Mr. Mike Priestner to purchase the franchise. Mr. Priestner is the owner of Go Auto, an Edmonton based automotive company, which owns over 30 dealerships throughout Western Canada.

The sale of the franchise and the transfer of ownership from the Brodsky family to Mr. Priestner requires the approval of the WHL Board of Governors. A special resolution vote of two-thirds majority from the Board of Governors is required in order to grant approval for the sale. If approval is granted at the September 4 meeting, Mr. Priestner will assume control of the Saskatoon Blades franchise prior to the start of the 2013-14 WHL season.

The WHL, the Brodsky family and Mr. Priestner will not be making any further comments on this matter until following the WHL Board of Governors Meeting on September 4.

Sheets Recognized by CFL

Kory Sheets, Dee Webb, Tyron Carrier and Eric Deslauriers were named the Gibson’s Finest Players of the Week for Week 9 of the 2013 Canadian Football League season.

The four players were chosen by a panel of judges including: former Canadian Football League players Matt Dunigan and Duane Forde of TSN, and Pierre Vercheval of RDS.

Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Kory Sheets was named the Offensive Player of the Week for Week 9. Sheets rushed for 139 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns in Saskatchewan’s win over Edmonton, 30-27.

The Purdue product also had four receptions for 45 yards. His 139 rushing yards marked the seventh time this season that he has rushed for 130 or more yards in a game.

Currently, Sheets is the CFL rushing leader with 1,058 and has his sights set on the CFL single-season rushing record of 2,065 yards, set by Mike Pringle during the 1998 season.

This is his second CFL Offensive Player of the Week award, his first coming in Week 3. He was also named CFL Offensive Player of the Month for July.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back Dee Webb was named the Defensive Player of the Week for Week 9. Webb helped the Tiger-Cats get back to the .500 mark on the season by returning an interception 38 yards for a touchdown, while adding a tackle in Hamilton’s 37-14 win over Winnipeg.

Webb, a former AP first All-SEC player and two-sport athlete (Football and Track) at Florida, has six tackles and an interception on the season for the Tiger-Cats.
Montreal Alouettes kick returner Tyron Carrier was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 9. Carrier returned a fourth quarter kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to put Montreal in striking distance of BC. In the end, Montreal won on a last second field-goal, 39-38.

The all-time leader in kickoff-return touchdowns, all-purpose yards and receptions at Houston University, returned five kickoffs for 196 yards and also returned seven punts for 78 yards in the game.

Carrier currently sits sixth in the CFL with 581 combined return yards this season.

Alouettes receiver Eric Deslauriers was named the Canadian Player of the Week for Week 9. Deslauriers caught four passes for 101 yards, none more important than his last reception for 57 yards that set up the game clinching field goal with a second left in the game.

Deslauriers, the all-time touchdown and receiving yards leader at Eastern Michigan, is fifth on the Alouettes with 150 receiving yards on 10 receptions this season.

He is a native of Gatineau, QC and has played his entire seven seasons with the Montreal Alouettes.

Monday, August 26, 2013

CKRM Continues To Be Your Home For Pats Hockey

Regina Pats Senior VP and General Manager Chad Lang and Harvard Broadcasting-Regina General Manager Jason Huschi announced today a new multi-year agreement between Harvard Broadcasting and the Regina Pats for 620 CKRM to carry the play-by-play of Regina Pats hockey.  620 CKRM broadcasted Pats games the past 18 seasons, since the 1995-96 campaign.
“We are very excited to continue our partnership with Harvard Broadcasting and 620 CKRM,” said Chad Lang.  The tradition of the two organizations’ partnership speaks volumes.  With this agreement, our fans will continue to enjoy high quality broadcasts of Pats games in the years ahead.”
The broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Phil Andrews and colour commentator Daniel Fink will be back for their second full season bringing the Blue and White to the airwaves.  All 72 Regular Season games of Home Depot Pats Hockey can be heard on the radio or online beginning 25 minutes before puck-drop with the Press-Box Sports Bar Pre-Game Show.
“620 CKRM is very proud to have extended the play-by-play agreement with the Regina Pats,” commented Jason Huschi.  “The Pats are part of a long and proud history for the City of Regina, The WHL, and 620 CKRM.  We look forward to being part of that tradition for many years to come!”
The first Pats radio broadcast of the Regular Season goes September 19th when the Blue and White take on the Swift Current Broncos to lead off the WHL Season. 

Pats Broadcasts can be heard at 620 on the AM dial or online at

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Something To "Mitch" About

I gotta admit I had forgotten about this. Trevor Secundiak at the Ramada put this up on his Facebook page and yes he is right. Karma is a bitch isn't it! God, would I love for the Riders to re-enact this billboard and put it up in Winnipeg. Those that crowed about it just a few short years ago would be howling in disgust now. It does make you wonder though how that team could be at that point then an be where they are now. If I am correct, one could say the downslide started for "Swaggerville" and the Bombers after the two games against the Riders as they were beaten in Ken Miller's return to the sideline at both the Labour Day Classic and the Banjo Bowl.. At least that part of the scenario will likely repeat itself this time around, but as we have seen in the CFL anything can happen.

Riders head coach Corey Chamblin and the players said all week that Edmonton was a better football team than what their record indicated and he was right. That team didn't look like a 1-6 team and they gave the green and white everything they could handle Saturday afternoon in what turned out to be a pretty good football game that went back and forth until the 4th quarter when the defense clamped down when it counted.  Weldon Brown doesn't get a lot of attention, but he has made one of the big plays two weeks in a row. His hellacious hit on Mike Reilly ended any hopes of an Eskimo comeback while Dwight Anderson came up with a key interception for the 2nd week in a row.

Give Reilly a lot of credit for hanging in there. He took some big shots, but he kept bouncing up off the canvas.. It was hard not to cheer for the guy and truth be told, if he was playing any other team except for the Riders I would have been. Its going to be tough over the next couple of years because I don't see the talent level in the West declining, but the Eskimos are getting better and they should be in the mix somewhere next year. Lets just say they are in a LOT better shape than the Bombers.

Something has to be done with Diamond Ferri. Six...count em SIX 15 yard penalties in the last two weeks is simply unacceptable. He is hurting the team with his play, I realize the guy has a high motor, but Corey Chamblin has to settle him down. Sitting him for both Winnipeg games might accomplish that. Chamblin knows he can't accept what Ferri has done and that he must be held accountable. I don't think he gets released, but a message of some kind needs to be sent.

Like I said about Jerrell Freeman when he was playing at an extremely high level a couple of years ago, enjoy him now because he will be playing on Sundays soon. The same can be said for Kory Sheets. I will be shocked if he is here for the start of the CFL season next year because he will get an NFL shot and he likely will be an NFL running back next year. Sorry to say it, but its true. Just a couple of teams that come to mind right now that aren't strong at running back are the Jets and the Packers. Imagine Kory in an offence led by Aaron Rodgers doing what he is doing now. YIKES! There is no doubt in my mind that at this point, he should be the odds-on favourite for the CFL's Most Outstanding Player and this comes on a team where a guy has thrown 17 TD's and zero interceptions.

While we are talking about year-end awards, and yes I realize we are a LONNNNNNNGGGGG ways away from starting that talk in earnest. How about Chris Milo for special teams player of the year. He's 21 for 21 and that is a legit 21 for 21 as he hasn't had any attempts blocked like Rene Parades has.  Remember when there was talk that he could be replaced by Brody McKnight at the start of the season.

If I'm Khari Jones I'm not answering the phone this week. It could be Kyle Walters asking him to come back. What a mess the Bombers have made for themselves at quarterback!

Just some other odds and ends
   --Did you hear Rod Pedersen's interview with Rider GM Brendan Taman on Saturday afternoon. If not, go to and check it out. Brendan and crew are very superstitious. Rod told me last year that Corey Chamblin liked the fact I did the pre-game interview with him before home games because they won. They didn't win every game at home last year, but I'm still doing those interviews. Who am I to question Chamblin if he wants me doing the pre-game interview with him. If it means I get to do one with him on Grey Cup Sunday, I'm OK with it.

  --Graham DeLaet is once again showing he is right up there with the big boys. In fact, his 2nd place performance at the Barclays has him sitting 7th in the FedEx Cup standings. Who is ahead of him you may ask? Only Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose and Brandt Snedeker. One can truly say he has burst on the scene this year. Despite him having his best ever finish, TSN still had to give us 15-20 minutes of meaningless Olympic hockey orientation camp talk.

  --Morgan Campbell does a great job at reading sports at CTV.

  --The pic of Weston Dressler catching his touchdown against Montreal last week that was on the front page of the Leader-Post sports section Friday had a Sports Illustrated look to it. That's one of the best pics I've seen in a long time.

  --I will never ever understand the thought process of some, but I will chuckle at their decision-making. Yes, yes I will. I'm guessing many of you do the same thing.

   --I'm starting to become convinced that summer has moved from July-August to August-September.

    --It was great having Sunday night football to watch albeit exhibition as the Vikings played the Niners. US College Football begins this weekend. I think we made it as football on all levels is back.

    --With the Green Bay Packers releasing quarterback Graham Harrell, could the former Rider QB end up back in the CFL. I am thinking Winnipeg, Montreal and even the expansion Ottawa Redblacks might be interested, 

     --OD'ing on shrimp would not be a tough thing to do for this cowboy.
      --The combination of Lance Frazier and Luc Mullinder makes doing Rider talk on the Sportscage very easy. It was a lot of fun talking football with those two guys last week. CKRM scored a touchdown in getting those two guys to join the likes of Dominguez, Schultz and Szarka.
      --I applaud all who are trying to do what they can to bend the government's ear on twinning the highway between Regina and Estevan. There have been simply too many deaths and that stretch of highway has too much truck traffic. The sooner that stretch of road is twinned, the better it is and the safer it is for everyone. There are wayyyyyy too many people who have been tragically killed or injured on that stretch of road.

      --It seems to me as if there is very little advertising for the two NHL games in Saskatoon next month. It would seem as if the Bridge City is trying to keep it their little secret. That being said, I'm not hearing a lot of buzz for the Islanders-Flames games that is happening at the Brandt Center either.

     --Ben Affleck is going to be the next Batman? Did anyone ask Weston Dressler?

      --I have to get to Pats camp before the team sends first round bantam pick Sam Steel back to Alberta. I have heard nothing but great things about the kid. I need to see him in person and see what all the hype is. I'm guessing I won't be disappointed.

     --If you are texting two people at the same time, does that make you a "bitextual"???

Have a good week!!!!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

This And That!

All hail Luc Mullinder. I think yours truly may be dining on some crow when the Sportscage hits the mighty 620 CKRM airwaves at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon. The former Riders defensive end was the only person in the CKRM picks pool who had the Montreal Alouettes to beat the BC Lions. I mocked Mullinder big-time on Thursday only to see the Alouettes pull out a 39-38 win over the Lions. All hail Luc Mullinder ladies and gentlemen. All hail Luc Mullinder. I should add Mullinder has also taken the Eskimos saying he needs for some upsets to happen so he can get back in the race.
How did BC squander that game? They seemingly had it in the bag when I was watching.
If the Riders beat Edmonton and Toronto beats Calgary, the Riders now have a two game lead in the West. That's huge!!!!
Rob Bagg has absolutely nothing to be embarassed of. He says he over-reacted a little when he left the field Saturday afternoon after suffering what turned out to be just a "sprained knee". Considering what he has gone through and what he thought has happened, he has nothing to be embarassed or apologize about. I think just about everyone was happy to hear that Bagg's injury wasn't serious and he can keep playing football instead of sitting out another season which may have turned into a career-ender.
Major league baseball umpires are making it easier and easier and easier for fans to like the instant replay process that they will go through. Did you see the Jays get jobbed on Thursday? For that matter, did you see ARod get jobbed at first base. These guys are getting worse!
The ARod situation continues to be the talk of baseball. Why? Why can't people start focussing on the play of Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, the fact that the Pittsburgh Pirates could be a playoff team, the fact that Ichiro has become the 3rd man in the game to have four thousand career hits, the fact that there are some great races happening as we hit September. Baseball always seems to want to dwell on the negatives. That has to stop.
I don't understand why so many in the U-S are picking the Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC. The Bengals? They are a playoff team, but the best in the AFC? Uh no!
How would Jack Tripper have fared in life if it wasn't for Larry Dallas?
Target didn't get a good ranking from Canadians when it comes to retail shopping experience. In fact, they were at the bottom and Costco ranked first. How did Costco come in first? Are there Costcos out there where the lineups aren't immense about an hour or two after walking in. Costco is OK, but really is it that much better than other places. What are your thoughts about Target? I haven't been in there yet, but I've  heard from some people its not the be all end all they thought it would be and more than one person has told me that sale items haven't come up as sale items when they go through the scanner. That''s not a good way to endear yourself to the public in your first month of operation.
How is it Toronto mayor Rob Ford gets to arm-wrestle Hulk Hogan and the offer is never made for Hogan to do the same thing with Michael Fougere? Perhaps Mayor Fougere can arm-wrestle Rex Roberts or Robbie Gamble tonight when the stars of High Impact Wrestling return to the Hungarian Club. Vanstone and I will be there, but I must tell you that Vanstone will once again not be signing autographs like the rude cur that he is.
Is Darian Durant or Ricky Ray the best quarterback in the CFL right now?
Potato chips will be the death of me!
How nice would it be to see Graham DeLaet finish in the top 10 of the Barclays. I would think doing that would almost ensure himself a trip to the Tour Championship. Can he win the FedEx Cup? I would doubt it even if he won the Tour Championship, but I still don't really know how that all works.
Ben Affleck is Batman?
Just another week till the kids go back to school. How does that make you feel Mom and Dad?
The first day of school will be my daughter's 10th birthday. Where the hell does the time go? I couldn't tell you what I did two weeks ago, but I can remember every moment of my daughter's first day on earth and I mean every moment.
Pete Paczko and I taped the opening segment for another season of "Locker Talk" this past week. This may get the two of us a Gemini! It also may get an invite from the fine people at Access to try out SaskTel Max. All I can say is please blame what you will see next month on producer Graham Condo. It was his idea and not at all what Pete and I wanted. Not at all!  SIGHHHHHHHH!!!
 Don't confuse my personality with my attitude. My personality is who I am. My attitude depends on who you are..
Have a great weekend! GO RIDERS!!

Rob Bagg Speaks

As you will hear, Rob Bagg is feeling a little sheepish for the way he acted after getting hurt on Saturday against Montreal. Sheepish or not, Bagg is excited at knowing his football season and perhaps career hasn't ended because of another severe injury. He had these comments about the last couple of days after Riders practice today.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Baggs Injury Not As Bad As Feared

Its great news for Rob Bagg. Head coach Corey Chamblin said after practice today that Bagg suffered what is being diagnosed as a sprained knee and that there are no ACL or MCL tears as what had been thought.

Bagg left the field in tears Saturday after suffering the injury. He has gone through multiple knee injuries throughout his CFL career and it was thought this might be another one and perhaps the last one.

Bagg did not speak to reporters after today's practice.

Clean Bill of Health For Brandon Davidson

Former Regina Pats captain Brandon Davidson had to battle testicular cancer last year. As you will see though by clicking here, Davidson has beaten the disease.

Raiders Retiring Modano's #9

The Prince Albert Raiders are pleased to announce that they will be retiring the first jersey in the 43-year history of the club on Friday November 1st, as Mike Modano’s number 9 will be raised to the rafters of the Art Hauser Centre prior to the Raiders game against the Regina Pats at 7:00 PM.

Modano spent three seasons with the Raiders, scoring 118 goals and 176 assists for 295 points 176 games. The Livonia, Michigan native was the first Raider player to be selected first overall in the NHL Entry Draft, when he was the top player selected in the 1988 draft by the Minnesota North Stars. Modano had a stellar NHL career, recording 1375 points in 1499 games with the Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings before retiring at the conclusion of the 2010-2011 season. The 8-time NHL All-Star is all-time goal scoring and points leader by an American born player in the NHL and represented his country three times in the Olympics. The 1999 Stanley Cup Champion was inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame last fall, and will have his number retired by the Dallas Stars this season as well.

“I am extremely honoured by this gesture from the Raiders organization,” said a thrilled Modano via phone.

A sub-committee of the Raiders Board of Directors extensively researched and deliberated the honour of retiring jerseys by junior hockey franchises, and created a very strict criteria from their findings for the Prince Albert Raiders Hockey Club. Following an evaluation of the criteria, the Board of Directors approved the retirement of Mike Modano’s number 9.

(Prince Albert Raiders hockey club)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Rider News

Tyron Brackenridge was named the CFL defensive player of the week for Week 8 for his efforts against the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday. The third year Rider played a key role in keeping the opposing offence out of the end zone, registering two defensive tackles, two forced fumbles, a pass knockdown and an interception.
Through seven games this season, the 29-year-old Washington State product has totaled 22 defensive tackles, three pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles and an interception.

Meanwhile, Riders coach Corey Chamblin could not give an update on Rob Bagg. The Rider receiver suffered what is believed to be yet another knee injury in Saturday's win. Even though he was seen on a video running the stairs at Mosaic Stadium on Monday and was running again Tuesday, Chamblin said the receiver would be re-evaluated later Tuesday with a statement on his condition hopefully coming Wednesday.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jay and Dan Talk About Some Early Reviews

LOVE IT!!  Why can't we get this network in Canada. Damn you CRTC!!

Something To "Mitch" About

There are so many places I could start when it comes to Saturday's Riders game, but where? I guess I'll start with the overall game itself, and I had to laugh outloud when I saw the video of the game-winning Chris Milo field goal. Please listen to Rod Black at the start of this clip.

Rod, with all due respect, if that was the most exciting game in the CFL this year than there must be fans with rusty razor blades looking to kill themselves. That game was gawd-awful terrible for 58 minutes. It was one punt after another, it was two offences stumbling and bumbling and while the respective defences did step up, they weren't smothering in any manner.

Give all credit to the Riders though. Good teams have to win ugly and that is what the Riders did. They found a way. They bounced back off the canvas after the Jerald Brown fumble and they found a way to tie the football game. Why did they do that? The answer is their leader---Darian Durant.

I just will never understand the hatred for the man that was dubbed "The Carolina General" in the 620 CKRM post-game call in show. People around here expect Durant to be brilliant every week and this just in. he isn't-- much like great quarterbacks like Brady, Manning, Moon and Flutie. By the way. in no manner am I putting Durant in the same category as the aforementioned four.  Former Riders receiver Matt Dominguez simply put it the best when it comes to Durant and the team not wanting to pull him. Good teams don't pull their starting quarterbacks for a series or two, they go with the guy that gives them the best chance to win and Darian is that guy. Has Brady ever been pulled when he's struggling, has Manning? Travis Lulay threw 3 interceptions in BC's win over Calgary yet I'm thinking no smart-thinking Lions fan was calling for Thomas Demarco to come in and Mike Benavides continued to play him. Perhaps you would like this team to have the misfortunes of the Bombers. Hell, as Dominguez said,. when you play Madden you don't bring your backup in if the starter is struggling do you? This football team is 6-1 and Durant has thrown 16 TD's and zero interceptions. The guy even admitted he played his worst game of the year yesterday. What do you want when it comes to your starting quarterback? I would ask that question to Rider "fans", but there are some out there that prove week after week after week that they are not and simply Rider "moaners and complainers". The love affair that this province has had with the back-up quarterback for years is just stupid. Durant is the best quarterback this team has likely had since 1989 and that includes a young Henry Burris. He also won us a Grey Cup that was so heartlessly ripped away from us because of something that wasn't his fault. Cut the guy some slack already! He is the guy that is going to lead this team for years so deal with it. If that is too much for you to take, then go hand in your fan card because someone else will gladly take it.

OK, that rant is over.

One more thing....Happy Birthday Darian. He's 31 today.

Like many of you, it was tough to see Rob Bagg walk off the field for what sadly I think might be the last time after he suffered yet another knee injury. This guy simply can't catch a break. He has worked his ass off to get back into playing shape after numerous knee injuries and he gets another raw hand dealt to him. While the Rider Nation may be split on their affections for Durant, I am sure they are all united when it comes to Bagg when I say we hope for the best, but if that is it, we salute you for everything you did and everything you could have done.

Jock Sanders isn't doing himself any favours. With Matt Brown in town, I am thinking Sanders could be sitting for the Edmonton game to see what Brown can do. The last couple of weeks have not been good for Sanders.

Two plays that are overlooked in Saturday's  win.. 1) Anthony Calvillo overthrowing a wide open SJ Green in the endzone in the first quarter. The Alouettes had to settle for three points after the drive where Green caught a long one from Calvillo to give Montreal a spark 2) Weldon Brown coming off the edge to stop Jerome Messam on 2nd and goal from the 3 after Sanders had fumbled the punt. If those three's are TD's, the Riders don't win and the boobirds are definitely out.

One caller to the post-game show asked why Weston Dressler wasn't being shown more love after his game on Saturday. The truth is we expect that from Weston Dressler each and every game so it doesn't surprise us. Am I wrong in saying that?The guy's toughness certainly can't be questioned. He isn't 100 percent as he is bothered by a bad wing, but he just keeps going out there and doing his thing. I know there is a rumour about Dressler joining Marc Trestman and the Chicago Bears when his contract comes out. I would give this guy the world if the opportunity was there because if the day comes where he leaves, the Riders will NEVER fill what he brings to the team on a day-to-day basis.

How is SJ Green not in the NFL?

Why don't the Riders use Geroy Simon more?

I know Nik Lewis isn't the most popular player in the Rider nation, but that's a tough loss for the Stampeders and the CFL in general.

Put me down as someone who liked those black unis that the Lions trotted out on Saturday night. That being said, they could be a broadcasters nightmare.

Sometimes I like Matt Dunigan in the booth, others times I don't. I don't know if the TSN guys really know where to put him. Whatever happened to his barbecue show?

How much longer can the Eskimos go with Kavis Reed?

Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun asks if the Bombers will have more firings than wins this year? That's a great question and right now it would seem as the firings will take the battle in the wake of offensive co-ordinator Gary Crowton being given his walking papers. At this point, I have to wonder if the Bomber mascots will be around for the Banjo Bowl.  Speaking of mascots, I am not a big fan of Worksafe Bob. The guy simply creeps me out. Trust CTV's Lee Jones who has never let an opportunity to create trouble to walk up to WS Bob and tell him to come see me. Lee then snapped this pic for posterity sake as I believe WS issues some kind of challenge,.

I should have dropped him right then and there. Alas, its a decision I may regret for a long time. 
The Seahawks destroyed Denver 40-10 in NFL pre-season play. Too bad that wasn't a regular season game right Rob Vanstone!!!
I hate it when I know what's going to happen at a WWE PPV. I had it in my mind a couple of weeks ago that Daniel Bryan would beat John Cena and then get flattened by Triple H allowing Randy Orton to cash in the Money in the Bank contract. While that was disappointing, what wasn't disappointing was the Punk vs Lesnar match. That could be a match of the year candidate. By the way, if you watched Summerslam, notice how just before Alberto Del Rio wins his match over Christian how Christian has pinned him but the ref doesn't even notice. How Andre Proulxish. Then again put the blame on Del Rio because the script says he should win so he shouldn't be in that position.
I missed the opening event of the newest wrestling promotion in town. I'm hoping for them that it went well. I don't know if Regina can support two independent promotions and there obviously was some kind of friction between some of the wrestlers in Central Canadian Wrestling and High Impact, but hopefully it works out for both. Speaking of which, I believe High Impact is back at it this Friday. I can only hope the Outlaw Adam Knight is there to remind the cowboy who is boss.
It was nice for summer to finally get here. That being said, its no fun coming into a house that is not air conditioned and finding it to be 31 degrees INSIDE

While I'm not sure expanding instant replay in baseball will help the game, I am becoming more and more convinced that the stupidity of some umpires is the reason for this. I have seen some atrocious calls in the majors over the last couple of weeks. They have to be better....a lot better!
Saskatchewan athletes came home with over 50 medals from the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke. Congrats to all medal winners and to all those who represented Saskatchewan. Just doing that is an accomplishment in itself.
Congrats to the Thunder for opening up the season with a victory over Calgary.
PGA golfer Dustin Johnson announced his engagement to Paulina Gretzky over the weekend. This will have many guys upset because Paulina--who did get Mom's looks---is as we have seen an attractive looking woman. We have also seen that Paulina is a party girl so I think I speak for a lot of guys when I say we can't wait to see pictures from the stagette.
Have a good Monday and Chive on!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sounds From The Rider Room

Here is what was being said by some Riders after yesterday's win. Thoughts on the game will be coming in "Something To "Mitch" About.

Bombers Fire O-C

Head Coach Tim Burke has announced that Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Gary Crowton has been relieved of his duties effective immediately. Marcel Bellefeuille will take over coordinator duties for the remainder of the year.

“No one in our organization is happy with the way we have performed so far this season,” said Burke. “Our offence has not played up to their standards and we need to make this change in order to give us a chance at remaining in the hunt for the post season. I wish Gary all the best in his future endeavours.”

Bellefeuille was added to Winnipeg's coaching staff on August 12th after spending last season with the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League. He was the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Head Coach from 2009-2011 and has an extensive background in the CFL, working as a position coach and offensive coordinator with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Montreal Alouettes and Tiger-Cats.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Minutes With Tom Wright

UFC Canada president Tom Wright is pretty happy knowing that they can soon come into Saskatchewan since the province is forming a commission to legalize MMA bouts. I spoke with him on Thursday...

Can Fox Sports 1 Topple ESPN?

On Saturday at 6 a.m. Eastern, Fox Sports 1 will spring into existence, propelled by a portfolio of major events purchased over the past few years, a gaggle of studio shows and plenty of hype about being the “fun” alternative to ESPN.

Fox Sports 1 appears to be the stiffest competition for ESPN because of the resources of its parent, 21st Century Fox, and the ambitions of its chairman, Rupert Murdoch, whose failed challenge to ESPN in the 1990s inexorably led to the newest one.

But even as it takes aim at ESPN, Fox Sports 1 has a long way to go to match an empire that is nearly 35 years in the making. Fox Sports 1 does not have nearly as many events, nor does it have an empire as large or revenue as immense as ESPN’s. But Fox executives are looking, for now, less at the impossible task of knocking out ESPN than at establishing a competitive niche.

For this, they look for inspiration within its own history of industry-altering startups: Fox News Channel in 1997, which has upended cable news, and the Fox broadcast network’s acquisition of NFL rights 20 years ago.

“The question now is the same you would have asked Roger Ailes when he started Fox News: How do you deal with the 800-pound CNN elephant in the room, and with MSNBC?” said David Hill, the founding chairman of Fox Sports and a consultant to Fox Sports 1. “You don’t worry about anybody else apart from yourself or whether you’re going to fail.”

Fox News’s success was, of course, built on strong personalities and conservative politics, not acquiring events, as Fox Sports 1’s will be based upon. It has Pacific-12 and Big 12 Conference football and basketball; Big East basketball; NASCAR; the UFC; the UEFA Champions League; Major League Baseball (starting in 2014); and World Cup soccer coverage (starting with the women’s tournament in 2015). And last week Fox added the U.S. Open golf championship, paying $1.2-billion over 12 years to outbid NBC and ESPN to broadcast a sport it has never carried.
That’s a pretty good start compared with how NBC Sports Network and the CBS Sports Network began - and how they are now.

Another rival, CNN/SI, did not survive. Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner started CNN/SI as a news and highlights channel in 1996, but it had no sports events. ESPN countered by creating ESPNews. Death came to CNN/SI in 2002. “It was difficult competing with an organization that is dedicated to gobbling up rights,” said Steve Robinson, who was the executive vice-president of CNN/SI.

Fox Sports 1 is designed as the spiritual offspring to the freewheeling Fox NFL Sunday pregame show on the Fox broadcast network, where “sugarcoating the information pill” became the mantra. That has led to Fox Sports 1 now being the avatar of fun.
About that positioning, Will Leitch wrote on Sports on Earth: “Because nothing is more intellectually serious than ESPN!”
Eric Shanks, the co-president of Fox Sports, said: “We’re going to spend a lot of time in marketing on fun. It’s not Saturday night laughs at the Chuckle Hut. But being tough is fun. Buzzer beaters are fun. Tailgating is fun. Slam dunks are fun. We feel there’s a place in the sports landscape for a positive, fun, enthusiastic fan perspective on sports.”

That philosophy led Fox Sports 1 to hire Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, known for their jokey approach as sports anchors in Canada, to play the same roles on its marquee nightly news show, Fox Sports Live.
It also led to placing Regis Philbin and a comedian, Michael Kosta, on the weekday afternoon talk show Crowd Goes Wild.
Still, Fox Sports 1 cannot divert too far from doing what is necessary to be a successful network: producing games and studio shows intelligently, and hiring people for the studio shows and game broadcasts who are enlightening, good company and maybe a lot of fun.
Shanks acknowledges that Fox Sports 1 will be compared, especially, to ESPN.

How well will Crowd Goes Wild, with Philbin and five of his cohorts, compete from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern against Around the Horn and Pardon The Interruption? Will Onrait and O’Toole make fans flee ESPN’s venerable SportsCenter at 11 p.m.? Will Fox Sports 1 provide an alternative to Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith’s infernal debating on First Take?
Watching Fox Sports 1 begin its journey is Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group, whose properties include the NBC Sports Network.

“There’s a role for everybody,” he said. “The sports pie is growing.” He added, “I think Fox Sports 1 will find, as we have, you get your report card every morning and you’ll have good mornings and bad mornings.”

John Skipper, the president of ESPN, said: “Having seen their offerings to date, we feel in a very good position to compete. We relish that competition. It will sharpen us.” He has taken some high-profile steps to counter Fox Sports 1, bringing back Keith Olbermann, swiping Jason Whitlock from Fox and hiring the political and sports statistician Nate Silver from The New York Times.
Fans now must find Fox Sports 1. It is replacing Speed, the motor sports network, on cable, satellite and telephone company channel menus. Its various locations around the country can be found on the Fox Sports 1 website. Fox has spent more than a year converting Speed to Fox Sports 1 in order to charge more for it. The company said it expected to have about 90 million subscribers.
David Bank, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets, said the Fox negotiators’ goal was to push Speed’s subscriber fee of about 23 cents a month to $1 in four years or so. “I don’t think anybody expected Fox Sports 1 to get 80 cents immediately,” he said, referring to a report published Thursday. “There will be a predictable ramp-up to profitability. This is a phenomenal business.”

A $1 subscriber fee can fuel a billion-dollar network, but that lacks the same octane that ESPN receives from its monthly subscriber fee of $5.54, according to the research company SNL Kagan. That fee translates to revenue of around $6.6-billion.
The difference in ESPN and Fox Sports 1’s finances may not play a role when the rights to the Big Ten Conference and the NBA come up for bidding. Those are the next major battlegrounds where Fox Sports 1 may or may not alter industry history.

(New York Times)

This And That

Just the weekly collection of thoughts running around my mind in no particular order....
 --A week after the Riders lost to Calgary and I still think Jon Cornish is a "Grade A" idiot....however thoughts that he has replaced Henry Burris as public enemy number 1 are just stupid. Henry will have that title for a long, long time.
 --Sounds like I missed a pretty good concert on Wednesday night. I talked to many people that went to see Sir Paul at Mosaic and all came away saying they were blown away.
 --I wonder how many people were standing in those long lines waiting to get in were thinking to themselves----"We don't need a new stadium".  This just in----I can't see those lines materializing at the new place.
 --It does sound as if Regina Transit was lacking when it came to getting everyone home. Its my understanding Regina Transit had every possible bus they could have in operation Wednesday night. Does that mean they were lacking or they just didn't have the resources? Its perhaps a combination of both and I'm sure its something that will be fixed by Grey Cup Sunday.
 --Andrew Albers just seems like a down to earth Saskatchewan kid that is grateful for the opportunity he has been given by the Minnesota Twins. Hopefully, his major league career isn't detoured by a trip back to Triple A.
--I have said the Saskatchewan imports on the world sporting scene are doing this province proud---names like McMorris, DeLaet and Albers. You definitely have to add Brianne Thiesen-Eaton to that list. The Humboldt native winning silver at the world track championships. Nice job!
 --I have it from a very reliable source that former Rider and current MLA Gene Makowsky took out two of his fellow Saskparty members at the caucus football game which went up at P-A National Park last weekend. Not only has mean Gene trimmed down, but he is apparently wanting to play defence now. Hey Richie, if McCullough doesn't come back or Hurl gets hurt, give Geno a call.  My source also says that while shaken up both Dustin Duncan and Paul Merriman will be back in action soon.
--Baseball is long enough and now you have managers having an opportunity to make a challenge not once but twice in the final 3 innings. That could be a real buzzkill.
  --Former CTV Regina sports girl Julie Stewart-Binks is part of the new Fox Sports 1 network that launches this Friday. Julie has her own daily soccer show which I'm hoping will get picked up by Sportsnet or Sportsnet 360 as well as some other FS1 programming.
  --So Montreal is struggling and they make a move by firing Dan Hawkins and bringing Jim Popp into the coaches chair. Winnipeg cans Joe Mack and Garth Buchko and brings in some former blood in Kyle Walters and Wade Miller. The question just begs to be asked about Edmonton and how much longer will it be. I can't think the mucky-mucks that make the decisions in Edmonton are happy with what Ed Hervey and Kavis Reed are doing.
  --In my business, you hear a lot of different rumours about a lot of different people and a lot of different teams. I've heard a few great ones this week. I'd share some, but they are rumours and I don't want to get anyone in any perceived trouble whether it be rumour or not.
  --I've said it before and he keeps coming back, but I think I can truly say this time will be the last time that Anthony Calvillo sets foot in Mosaic Stadium as a CFL quarterback. I just can't see him going on for another year after the way this year has gone.
   --Two thumbs up to Cliff Mapes over at the Pats office for coming up with this beauty for season ticket holders, Love it!!!

Hard to believe that training camp is just a couple of weeks away. The team hasn't done a lot as far as player personnel goes over the off-season, but there seems to be an aura of freshness over there. 
  --I would love to see Justin Morneau wearing a Blue Jays uniform,
  --I think Sunday's WWE Summerslam will be outstanding. I usually only watch two PPV's and that's WrestleMania and the Royal Rumble, but I will be checking out this one as well.
   --I thought it was supposed to get colder once the exhibition ended. Not this  year!!!!
    --I say the UFC will be in Saskatchewan for its first ever card early in 2015 and it will go in Saskatoon. If Dana White was impressed with what he saw in Winnipeg for their first ever card, wait till he sees how its embraced in Saskatchewan. 
      --If you are reading this, congratulations you know how to read.
Have a great weekend!!!  GO RIDERS!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

5 Minutes With Geroy Simon

It could be and should be a big weekend for Riders receiver Geroy Simon as he is two catches short of 1000 for his career. You may have seen my story on or Rob Vanstone's article on Geroy today as he was standing by listening in to my conversation with Simon (You're welcome for that RV). Here is how he is feeling going into Saturday and getting to a place where very few in the game have gotten to.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 Minutes With Andrew Albers

Andrew Albers is the talk of Major League Baseball right now. The left-hander from North Battleford has started his major league career by throwing 17 and 1/3 innings of shutout baseball in getting back to back wins for the Minnesota Twins. I spoke to Albers on Tuesday for an interview that ran on Sportscage Thursday.....

Good News For Sask MMA Fans

The Government of Saskatchewan has approved the establishment of a provincial athletics commission and is taking the necessary steps to have the commission running by the summer of 2014. This commission will hold the authority to sanction professional combative sports, including mixed martial arts and boxing events.
Bill S-209, a bill to amend section 83 of the Criminal Code to legalize the sport of mixed martial arts across Canada was passed in June 2013. This amendment makes professional boxing and mixed martial arts contests legal in Canada when they have the authorization of an athletics commission created by provincial legislation.
The legislation will provide protocols for license applications, event permits and the terms and conditions of an event. It will ensure that competitors participate in appropriate pre-fight medical testing, such as concussion screening, blood tests and eye exams. It will ensure that qualified medical staff and event officials are hired, that promoters and competitors have the proper licenses, and that promoters have suitable liability insurance. The commission will be responsible for tracking competitors’ fighting history and will ensure safety protocols are enforced.
If the government is involved, a consistent standard of qualifications, rules, regulations and safety protocols for all participants and officials across the province, through a uniform licensing framework, will occur. This will ensure the safety of the athletes.
“Our government is dedicated to protecting our athletes,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Kevin Doherty said. “A provincial athletics commission will help ensure the safety of everyone involved in professional combative sport competitions. After the amended changes to the Criminal Code were made in June, our government received the clarification we needed to move forward on this.”
“I want to thank the province for being proactive on this,” Tourism Saskatoon’s Director of Industry Development and Sport Randy Fernets said. “A provincial commission will attract large-scale MMA events to Saskatchewan. Such events are good for tourism and our growing province. Competitions such as the Ultimate Fighting Competition (UFC) will attract fans from across the province who will spend money on event tickets, hotel rooms and meals in restaurants.”
After thorough research and consultations, the Government of Saskatchewan determined that a provincial commission will be the most effective, efficient option for sanctioning mixed martial arts and boxing events in Saskatchewan. It is also in line with what the majority of provinces have done to sanction professional MMA events.
The amendments to the Criminal Code also impact amateur combative sports. The province is entering into an agreement with the Saskatchewan Martial Arts Association (SMAA). The SMAA will sanction and oversee amateur combative sports including mixed martial arts, kickboxing, modified muay thai and full-contact karate.
The SMAA is a provincial sport governing body representing amateur athletes. When sanctioning amateur events, the association will be responsible for co-ordinating approval of officials, tracking competitors’ fighting histories, and co-ordinating appropriate medical testing. To qualify for sanctioning, events must be hosted by a member of the SMAA. Competitors cannot be paid and they must be 18 or older.
“We are so pleased to oversee the sanctioning of amateur combative sport competitions in this province,” SMAA President Tim Oehler said. “By regulating amateur competitions, we help eliminate unsanctioned fights that put athletes at risk. We are passionate about sport development and look forward to continuing this role in partnership with the province.”
The SMAA will start sanctioning amateur combative sporting events immediately.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pat Conacher Has A New Job

Canucks Sports & Entertainment announced today the hiring of Pat Conacher to the role of Director, Hockey Operations and Paul Jerrard and Nolan Baumgartner as Assistant Coaches on the Utica Comets staff.
Conacher has coached and played over three decades of professional hockey including 521 career NHL games with a record of 139 points (63-76-139) and 235 penalty minutes. Most recently, Conacher was Head Coach of the Regina Pats of the WHL for two seasons from 2011.12 to 2012.13. His coaching career began in 2001.02 with the Phoenix Coyotes, where he spent three seasons as an Assistant Coach before Head Coaching appointments with the Utah Grizzlies and San Antonio Rampage.
Conacher was a member of the Utica Devils over the course of three seasons playing a combined 108 games and recording 97 points (27-70-97) and 91 penalty minutes. The Edmonton, AB native was drafted by the New York Rangers 76th overall in the 1979 Entry Draft and played for six NHL teams: the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders. Conacher’s career includes two trips to the Stanley Cup finals, a championship with the Oilers in 1984 and a 24-game Cup run with Los Angeles in 1993.
Jerrard joins the Comets after spending eight seasons with the Dallas Stars organization as an Assistant Coach; during the 2011.12 and 2012.13 seasons he served on Glen Gulutzan’s coaching staff in Dallas following six previous seasons with the Stars’ primary development affiliates. Jerrard’s coaching career began in 1997-98 with his alma mater, Lake Superior State University. Over a 16-year career he has also held Assistant Coaching roles with the Colorado Avalanche, Hershey Bears and Lowell Lock Monsters.
Jerrard played a decade of professional hockey and was drafted by the New York Rangers 173rd overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. A member of the Calder Cup Champion Hershey Bears in 1997, Jerrard played for eight professional teams between the IHL and AHL including five games in 1988-89 with the Minnesota North Stars.
Baumgartner enjoyed a 17-year professional playing career before joining the Canucks organization as an Assistant Coach with their AHL affiliate in 2012.13. In 143 career regular season NHL games Baumgartner recorded 47 points (7-40-47) and 69 penalty minutes with six teams including Washington, Chicago, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Dallas. The Calgary native played 887 regular season AHL games earning 390 points (83-307-390) and 815 penalty minutes and another 86 playoff games where he recorded 29 points and 75 penalty minutes. Selected 10th overall by the Washington Capitals in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Baumgartner was a member of the Memorial Cup championship Kamloops Blazers in 1994 and 1995.

(Vancouver Canucks)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Something To "Mitch" About

For the first time this year, the Riders are coming off a loss. Yeah, it didn't look pretty on Friday night and some said the loss was predictable seeing they were coming off a bye week, but the Riders had a chance until the Jock Sanders braincramp which led to a Calgary safety which led to them gaining the momentum back.

The Rider defence didn't look good as Jon Cornish punished them for four touchdowns while Nik Lewis seemingly caught the ball whenever it was thrown to him, but the offence continued to move the football and that's a good sign because you know the defense is a lot better than they showed. The question now is who is the best team in the CFL? I would say its Calgary. How can you not say that?

Can you say Kory Sheets is like a baby's bottom. They are both smooth and explosive at times!!!

One thing that did upset me Friday night was the officiating. There are times in the CFL when the officiating is gawd-awful and it was that way at McMahon. How can you give John Chick a roughing the passer call in the first half when Kevin Glenn had just barely thrown the ball away. There were also times when Chick and other members of the Rider D-line were being held yet no linen flew. That is what makes the game so frustrating and if its that way in the stands, the pressbox or watching on TV, imagine what it must be like on the field.

Other tidbits from the weekend

 --The changes may have been  made in Winnipeg, but the gongshow continues. You would think Buck Pierce would get his job back, but nope ---3rd stringer Max Hall will start this week. What is going on there? One has to think Jeremy O'Day will get an interview for the GM's job.

 --How is it Rene Paredes can be charged with an attempt for a PAT that was blocked, yet the CFL says the blocked field goal which should have prevented his record for consecutive FG's made does not count as an attempt. This makes absolutely no sense. C'mon CFL, you are making yourself look bad.

 --The NFL pre-season is one week in and there may be no worse team out there than the New York Jets. They looked horrible in their game against Detroit. I love the fact the NFL Network shows all pre-season games. You get to take a look at all the teams. Its a football fans heaven!

 --LA Dodger Juan Uribe was thrown out at 3rd base Saturday when he fell victim to the hidden ball trick. Really? In this day and age, no one on one team realizes that the hidden ball trick is on. The Dodgers were definitely guilty of sleeping on that one. However, the Dodgers are one of the best teams in baseball since the all-star break so I'm guessing not many are complaining.

 --Jason Dufner had one of the more methodical and more boring rounds in the last round of a major to win. There wasn't much drama on the final 18 at Oak Hill. Oh well, at least Tiger wasn''t there.  Give a lot of credit to Jim Furyk who would not go away making big shot after big shot until the end. He was waiting to pounce on Dufner if he made a mistake, but that wasn't going to happen. By the way, did I just see things or did Jason grab his wife's ass after she came onto the course to celebrate with him? It sure looked like it to me. Is that what Dufnering is?

  --Went for a walk through Wascana Park with the family on Saturday night. It would have been perfect it weren't for the damn mosquitoes.

 --Sunday nights won't be boring for much longer. Thank god for Sunday Night Football!

 --If you're on Twitter and you want to see who is following you and who has dropped you...go to What a great site!!  By the way, thanks to the over 21-hundred who are following me.

 --Alex Rodriguez sickens me. When he loses his appeal, I hope that is it for him. It bothers me that all the other major leaguers suspended took their punishment like a man, but A-Rod won't. He may have actually won some people over if he had just said OK and accepted his penalty.

 --The Seattle Mariners put Ken Griffey Junior in their Hall of Fame on Saturday night. I can't help but wonder what type of numbers Griffey would have put up had he stayed healthy. I still can't believe his Seattle Mariners teams that included the likes of Randy Johnson and yes, I believe Alex Rodriguez did not win a World Series.

 --Why weren't there any interviews with Wayne Gretzky on his 25th anniversary trade to L-A. I found that strange.

 --Matt Sekeres --formerly of the Globe and Mail--now hosts a sports talk show in Vancouver. He asked listeners the other day who the second best Canadian athlete all time was giving Wayne the honor of number 1. I always thought "Iron Mike Sharpe" was Canada's greatest athlete.

 --Just another month until another season of "Locker Talk" begins on Access 7. I'm sure the promotional campaign will be kicking off very soon.

 That's all I got. The summer is winding down and it looks like it will be nice this weekend so enjoy it!!!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bombers Blow It Up

After an extensive evaluation of the current state of the Winnipeg Football Club (WFC), the Board of Directors today announced that, by mutual agreement, Garth Buchko will no longer serve as President and Chief Executive Officer.

In making the announcement, Board Chair Brock Bulbuck also indicated that, effective immediately, successful Winnipeg business executive, former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Hall of Famer, and community leader, Wade Miller, will assume the role as acting CEO.

“We are empowering Wade to do what he does best and that’s to roll up his sleeves, motivate people and effect positive change that will move the WFC in a new direction,” said Bulbuck. “With his record of success in business, football and the community, the Board is confident that Miller has the right combination of experience to lead the Club positively forward into the future.”

In his first move as acting CEO, Miller announced that he has relieved General Manager, Joe Mack of his duties, effective immediately. Moving forward, one of his most immediate tasks will be to hold discussions with both Assistant GM, Kyle Walters and Head Coach, Tim Burke to determine the critical next steps in football operations.

“Job one for me is football and all the hard work that will be required to strengthen our reputation and turn this organization into a competitive force whose traditions have long been such a critical part of the fabric of our community.”

Bulbuck thanked both individuals for their contributions to the Club with special appreciation to Buchko for his tireless efforts leading to the opening of Investors Group Field.

(Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This And That

Its only week 6, but you would think its the Western Final. There is no doubt the game of this young CFL season will go in Calgary tonight when the Stampeders take on the Riders. In talking about the game this week with Rod Pedersen on "Sportscage", he said the way things are going its imperative the Riders finish first in the West if they are going to play at home in the Grey Cup because it will be a lot easier just getting past either the Stamps or Lions then having to beat both of them as would be the case if they finished 2nd or 3rd. I can't disagree, but while RP thinks its the Stampeders that are the team to beat, I still think if any team is going to throw a monkeywrench into the Riders plans of winning the 2013 Grey Cup that it will be the Lions. That being said, it doesn't diminish the importance of tonight's game as the green-and-white can win the season series if they take the two points out of what should be a feverish McMahon Stadium. Hey, the Riders can't win them all and it wouldn't surprise me to see Calgary win this one, but how can you bet against a team that has looked so good at home and on the road in July. It will be a dandy.
I didn't have a problem with the Stampeders giving out horns to the first four thousand fans wearing red, but I do laugh at the fact they are ONLY giving away four thousand. Why not give 15 or 20 thousand away? You are alienating Rider fans and I understand that, but you are also alienating your own fans! That's some smoooooooth marketing there Calgary. What I do find insulting though is this that I take off the Stamps website.

Every Stampeder fan knows that when the Riders come to town, they are in for a night of one of the most intense rivalries in the CFL.
Friday night, as the Stampeders take on the Roughriders at McMahon Stadium in the Wild West Showdown, Stamps fans will be prepared to do whatever it takes to cheer on the Red & White in our house.
In fact, Stamps fans are already on their A-game and have voiced their opinion on what makes Rider fans so annoying. These are the top 10 reasons they came up with:
#10 – Whiners
It seems as though every time the Riders are in the wrong and take a penalty, it’s the referee’s fault for making an outrageous call. 
#9 – Watermelon prices
When the Riders come to town, the cost of watermelons increases in our grocery stores. Watermelons are for eating, not wearing!
#8 – Green = ugly

Green is a terrible colour for a football team. It’s also annoying that they leave green face paint on everything; door handles, bathroom faucets and all over the stands.
#7 – Poor tailgating etiquette
When the Riders come to town, their green John Deere combines take up two spots in the Stampeder tailgating parking lots. It’s really painful to watch them parallel park.
#6 – It’s a football game, not a drinking contest
The Calgary Stampeder Football Club has to hire more security and police when Saskatchewan is in town because Rider fans have proven they do not know their own limits when it comes to alcohol. This is reiterated again in point number one: everyone knows the Riders have a hard time counting.
#5 – Jersey fouls
They wear Rider jerseys to games when the Roughriders aren't even playing, including hockey games. Their fans are like those annoying grasshoppers in Saskatchewan, there are TONS of them and they are EVERYWHERE.
#4 – Their leader is a giant gopher
It’s common knowledge that gophers ruin crops, so it’s quite ironic that the Riders chose a gopher to represent their province’s football team. What do most people do with gophers? Run them over.
#3 – Why are you here?
They shamelessly promote the province they all moved away from. If you love Saskatchewan so much, why do so many of you live in Calgary and why did so many of you leave?
#2 – Like nails on a chalkboard
Rider fans love to hear themselves talk. They have a complete lack of situational awareness. If we wanted to watch trained seals clap and yelp loudly, we would make a trip to Marine Land!
#1 – Terrible at counting
They are more interested in showing everyone they are from Saskatchewan than what is actually happening on the field. Rather than compliment a great play by an opposing player, they’ll say it was "lucky" or a "fluke.” Not to mention, their team can’t count to 12.
Go home Riders.

Can we show some class?? WOW!!! I think its safe to say that if for some reason Calgary is the team representing the West at the Grey Cup that the Eastern rep will be the crowd favourite. That's taking it just a little too far in my mind. If you wish to respond and give a top 10 reason as to why you find the Stampeders and their team annoying, you know where the comments button is.

Is it safe to say that the Montreal Alouettes have slipped into a state of disarray? That performance against Toronto was ugly. You almost have to wonder if Anthony Calvillo is considering retirement before the season is over and if he is re-thinking the decision to keep going this year.

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is under the microscope for some off-season activities----some of those that may jeopardize his eligibility. This just proves again to me how the NCAA are such hypocrites. I remember watching the ESPN 30 for 30 on Michigan's Fab Five when Chris Webber was looking inside a store at a Wolverines basketball jersey with his number on it that he couldn't afford. Michigan and the NCAA are making bucketloads of money off his jersey and others on that team and he can't afford to buy one and if someone gives him one it could be against the law.  Fast forward to now....I wonder how many Texas A and M jerseys were sold in the last year, I wonder how many shirts advertising Manziel and the Heisman were made and sold. The NCAA profits from that so if they can, why can't the player? Yes, you may want to set some limits for a collegiate player but hypocrisy is well and alive in this case.

25 years ago today, sports changed. At least it did for me. I saw the business side of the game and so did many others as the Edmonton Oilers traded Wayne Gretzky to the L-A Kings. I didn't think the game's greatest player could ever get traded. I was in absolute shock. It was a nightmare. Seeing Wayne in another team's jersey wasn't right and it was all because of economics. It nauseated me. In a way it still does, but the business side nauseates me for so many different reasons now. Money had won out in the battle over talent and building of a winner. It  just got worse as the years went on and there is no sign of it getting any better. 25 years later, I wonder what the NHL would look like if Wayne had not gone to Southern California. Would the Sharks and Ducks be around? Would the Kings still be around? Would the NHL had gone into cities like Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Nashville and Columbus? Would Winnipeg have ever left? These are questions you can't answer, but I sure would love to know how many Cups the Oilers could have won and what the profile of the league would be today.

I get the feeling the last two months of the baseball season will be outstanding. There are so many good teams out there and its impossible to make a World Series pairing right now.

Its great watching NFL football again! Soon, college ball will be happening on both sides of the border and then football will truly be back.

One last thing. Andrew Albers became the latest Saskatchewan athlete to make an impact on the sporting scene Tuesday night when he pitched 8 and a third innings of shutout baseball in his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins. He joins a list of high profile athletes like Graham DeLaet, Mark McMorris and Jon Ryan that call Saskatchewan home. Take it a little further and you have guys like Eberle, Getzlaf, Holtby, Kunitz, Labatte, Pouliot and others that I know I'm missing that are reppin this province like its never been repped before. I love it!!!

What I would also love is another Rider win. Here's hopin!!!  Have a great weekend!!!