Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Links

Well because I'm not working tomorrow, I thought I should do some posting today (because it seems I only have time to post at work, how sad is that. so I guess it works out that I am almost getting paid to write this page). So here are your links for this week:

...I'm going to tell you straight away that some of this video is extremely disturbing. If you have a weak stomach or delicate sensibilities, you probably shouldn't watch it. But if you really enjoy people that aren't you or your friends getting hurt, then this video is for you. Curious?

...if anyone asks you to define the Canadian sense of humour, show them this video.

...reports of this man's size vary wildly, from 6'6" 320 to 6'0" 270 (which is what he's listed at on the Miami Dolphins official website, so that's what we'll go with). However, stupidity is pretty funny regardless of a man's size.

...I would watch what you say about this clip. If you are in the company of horse people do not, under any circumstances, laugh or even comment on the potential ridiculousness of this sport. I was almost punched in the mouth at work for making that mistake. It's called Dressage and apparently it's been an Olympic sport since the 30's. (I have about 75 jokes I could be making right now but for my workplace safety I'm keeping my mouth shut.)

...Want to cool way to cheat in baseball? Slip the ball into an outfielder's glove when he's unconscious. Check this out.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Riderville...and so it begins...

It's often said (actually it's not) that the CFL season doesn't officially begin until the Saskatchewan Roughrider front office makes a baffling personnel decision. I say that the season doesn't start until the Riders make TWO baffling personnel decisions...

So let the season begin!!

It was reported just an hour or so ago that the Riders traded their all-purpose yardage leader from last season, Dominique Dorsey (1,649 yards in 14 games), along with defensive lineman Dwan Epps to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for offensive tackle Eric Wilson (News of this trade isn't even up on the Riders official website yet, so I have no information for you on Eric Wilson - as and the Blue Bombers website apparently had nothing to say about him - probably not a good sign). Dorsey was the player we all thought would be the starting tail-back for the team this year. However, management obviously had other ideas.

(By the by, in case you were wondering, the first baffling personnel decision was months ago when management traded the best QB on our roster, Rockey Butler, to Hamilton for an offensive guard and yet another wide receiver.)

So with no Dorsey on the roster, that leaves the team with 3, that's right 3, running backs heading in to training camp on Sunday. The apparently traded for another RB last week from Montreal, Henri Childs, but he is not listed on the roster on So as far as I'm concerned there are only 3 running backs on the roster right now, and here they are:

Shermar Bracey: I'm not even going to pretend that I don't like this guy. He was one of my favorite Riders last year when he provided a great change of pace to the water bug-like running of Kenton Keith. At 6'2" 235 lbs. he was a guy that could go out and smash some people right in the mouth. However, he's simply too big to be the feature back in the CFL - I think that Ricky Williams proved last year that big backs don't work real well in the CFL. Bracey is still going to be a great change of pace for the Riders, but he can't be the every down back.

Josh Martyr: A rookie out of York University, where last year he rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries (4.62 yards per carry). He's a decent size at 6'0" 210 lbs but excuse me if I'm not rushing down to the Store to get Martyr put on the back of a jersey. Can you say special teams???

Fred Russell: Another CFL rookie, although Russell has played professional football before, but at 5'8" 190 lbs I can see why nobody really noticed. Apparently he led the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe in rushing last year with 522 yards on 150 carries (3.48 yards per carry). Obviously as Kenton Keith proved a small guy can flourish in the CFL and I think the Riders better be hoping Russell follows suit. By the looks of the guys on the roster I think Russell might be the best chance for the team to have a dynamic running back this year. But did I mention he's 5'8"?
* all stats from

So how does that look to you? Feeling optimistic? Apathetic? Terrified? Hopefully the team knows something that the public doesn't about Kenton Keith returning to the team. I mean he's going to have to come back up here anyway for his trial, so why not put a uniform on him and get some use out of him?

From all the noise coming from the organization, new head coach Kent Austin wants to install a pass-happy offense, with 5 and 6 receiver sets. Besides the fact that this won't work due to the team having the least accurate QB in the league (do we think Akili Smith would be an upgrade in this department? how terrifying is that thought), a running game, like it or not, is still an essential part of football, be it 3 or 4 down. A passing attack is only effective because of a running game. Without a running game that demands respect the passing game cannot succeed.

I really hope this turns out better than I think it's going to.

Look on the bright side, the team is mathematically still in contention for the playoffs as well as a home playoff game.

Are we having fun yet?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Headlines


For a guy who doesn't have much to do at work, I basically live on and - especially on Monday mornings when I want to catch up on the weekend. However, because today is a holiday in the U.S of A these two websites have not been updated and won't be for the rest of the day. Yikes, I think I'm in withdrawl. It could prove to be a long, long day.


Seriously, there was not much happening this weekend - so don't hold that against me.

There hasn't been a hockey game since last Tuesday. Just a stroke of brilliance by the NHL, I'd say that many Americans who were watching hockey last week have forgotten about it now - or at least that's a possibility.

Although the Memorial Cup did wrap up this weekend, with the Vancouver Giants beating the Medicine Hat Tigers. You know as hard as I try I just can't get into junior hockey.

The Blue Jays lost 2 of 3 in their weekend series and are now 12 games behind Boston in the A.L East - and I'd say being down a dozen games at the end of May means your season is over. This season could potentially become a fire sale, as the Jays might try to sell high on some of their assets.

The NBA playoffs continue their plodding pace, with Game 3 in both series being played on the weekend. Utah and Cleveland both won and are both now down 2 games to 1. Could you imagine anyone being interested in a Utah/Cleveland final, even if Lebron James was involved?

Only a week until Rider training camp opens (actually rookies report this week), can't you just feel the excitement?


This is something new that I'm going to try - passing along the name of a new/unknown band that deserves some exposure. And I thought this was the perfect day to try it on, as there is not much else going on.

This week's band is Lotus Child from Vancouver, B.C. They recently put out the freshest sounding album I've heard in a long, long time called Gossip Diet. I'm trying to get them to Regina sometime this summer, but they tell me it's apparently difficult to book a club here - go figure. But check them out at:


It looks like sometime today or possibly tomorrow we will have our 500th visitor to Sports As Life. I almost can't believe that, when I started I thought I'd be lucky to get 100 people to read this. So I think I speak for everybody here at Sports As Life when I say thank you to everyone who has supported us. As I've said all along, if you keep reading we'll keep writing. Here's to another 500.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Reader Mail

Because I have been fighting cold-like symptoms (call it an upper-body injury) and just crushing boredom since I've been back from holiday, I am not really in much of a creative mood. But I feel like I should put something up today, so I'm going to meet you halfway and respond to some Reader Mail. Not that I have much of a response, but since people take the time to add comments, I will take the time to write back.

Letter #1, from someone who obviously wishes to remain anonymous, so let's just call him Chris H:

"You would still be watching if it was the Leafs and not the Sens. The Sens have been a much better and more exciting team for many years. It's about time Hockey Night in Toronto starts showing some other teams play the early half of the double header (besides when they're playing the buds). I'm still behind them. Despite the fact that the buffalo/ottawa series was 5 games, it was still good hockey, and from what i recall all one goal games, except for game 1 which had plenty of great goals.

Three short years ago, while being stuck in Ottawa during the Flames run, all of Ottawa was behind our team. There were people in the streets after the games and the bars were full. I'll give them the same courtesy and have more than a passing interest in the cup final. Much more interest than in that oiler series last year.

Beyond being a fan of the sens, i still can't believe you're not picking them to win. They have been dominant. Detroit outplayed Anaheim for at least 4 of their 6 games. Sens are due. They'll win it in 6."

First of all, I need to set the record straight - there is no way I would be watching this series if it was Toronto instead of Ottawa - I'm just not going to watch on general principle and general disinterest, not because it's Ottawa. I stopped being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan on May 2, 2004 - yes I still remember the day- when Toronto lost 7-2 to Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Eastern Semi-Final and Bryan Mcabe somehow managed to be about -18 for the game. I sat there and watched every single goal that Philly scored that night and swore I'd never go through that again - we broke up for good that night.

I totally agree with the 'Hockey Night in Toronto' comments. Toronto gets much more exposure than any other team in this country for no other reason than they're in the biggest market. They basically do nothing to warrant the coverage they get - they haven't even made the playoffs the last two seasons! Every other team in Canada has made the playoffs at least once in the last two years - except Toronto. Yet every Saturday you know for a fact who one of the two teams is going to be on Hockey Night in Canada. I totally agree that Ottawa has been a much better team than Toronto for many seasons and deserves some national exposure.

On a related note, I wonder who Bob Cole and every other Maple Leaf fanatic at the CBC will be cheering for? Will Bob actively cheer for Anaheim (or will they bring Andy Murray back to do that just like he did last year, in possibly one of the worst colour-commentating jobs in television history) - or will Bob just root against Ottawa? That right there might actually be a reason to watch this series.

I still don't really buy that people across the country are going to get behind Ottawa, like what happened with Calgary and Edmonton. But if they do here in Regina, you can bet that Rob Vanstone will have a complaint about the sudden appearance of Senator car flags (I couldn't resist).

I only said that Anaheim will win in 7 because of the last two finals: Tampa Bay in 7 and Carolina in 7 - both struggling American cities against Canadian teams. I'm just saying that it's a little fishy when you look at it - I'm not prepared to bet against the commissioner's office just at the moment. In all honesty, I hope that the Sens do win this series. I don't think I can take another American expansion city winning a cup. Tampa Bay, Carolina, Anaheim as the last three Cup, I think I'll go wander in traffic now. Plus there is no one, I repeat, no one that deserves to lift the Stanley Cup LESS than Chris Pronger. I'm generally not a vindictive person (oh wait) but he doesn't even deserve to be on the same ice as the Cup for the way he weaseled his way out of Edmonton last year. It troubles me how he was given a total pass on that one.

Wow, after writing all of that I feel a powerful need to watch the games and root very, very strongly against Anaheim.

Letter #2, from Trebor:

"I was never really a hockey fan to begin with and though I watched most of the games during the 1st and 2nd rounds not much interest anymore. Maybe it's the season finales that have been on lately, but I'm not even tuning in anymore, i go to the net to get updates on the game rather than flip to CBC. I've also noticed that the NBA has gotten really boring as well. I too watched the lottery and wow, why even put that on TV. As for the actual games, phoenix is gone, GS gone... no stories left except for how the suns got screwed. San Antonio in the finals again... how exciting. Then the east never really was exciting.. Detroit in the finals again.... guess shouldn't count out the jazz and cavs but...

If only there were some other sport to watch during the summer, something outdoors, in a park perhaps ??? Nope can't think of anything guess I'll just have to wait for football to start."

I agree with the losing interest after the 1st and 2nd rounds of the hockey playoffs. The season obviously need to be shorter. I equate hockey with the winter and as soon as the weather gets nicer outside the last thing I want to be doing is watching hockey. There doesn't really seem to be any reason for the Stanley Cup Finals to be just starting in the last week of May. I guess we're not allowed to have any days without professional sports in Canada - so the NHL and CFL seasons have to overlap with one another. I'd say the NHL playoffs should end about mid-May at the latest.

Basketball has gotten boring too I agree. It looks like we're on pace for yet another San Antonio-Detroit final. Oh joy. They have got to be the two least entertaining teams to watch in the league. Don't get me wrong, they both have tons of talent and are great teams - but the defensive style they play just puts people to sleep. Not exactly good for ratings. Unlike exciting teams like, say Phoenix - who got railroaded out of the playoffs by bogus suspensions from the commissioner's office. Just a shame all around.

And yes the draft lottery - wow, can I have my half an hour back? Why was that even a half hour T.V program. They could have just saved 10 minutes on the NBA pregame show and announced the results live on there. Given the magnitude of this draft I thought there would be some drama and suspense - but nope, there was none. Just some nerd opening envelopes and announcing the draft order. Oh well, at least the draft itself should be good - June 28th - circle the calenders.

Football season can't come soon enough - I'll even settle for the CFL.

Well that's all for now, thanks very much to those who wrote in. As always if you have questions or something to say, don't hesitate to leave a comment or send an email to the Sports As Life crew.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

untitled (Formerly Coooper's Corner)

I apologize to you the reader about there not being a “________________” the past two weeks. Your cards, letters and e-mails of anger and hatred were well received. We have yet to come up with a new name so I have left the title blank. Feel free to make up your own title for my weekly rant.

In this week's “____________________”, I will shine a beacon on a northern sport and introduce you to a sport and a world that many of you may not be familiar with. This week’s topic is the realm of bear baiting and bear hunting. Finally I have a bear story for you Hutton.

I was recently introduced to the world of bear bating and hunting by some co-workers here in what we call “The Nip”. On a side-note the nickname “The Nip” is not just a shortened form of “Nipawin” like many of you may think. It is actually an ancient Cree term derived from the fact that many of the women in town have quite erect nipples in the fall, winter and spring, due to the fact that it is so bloody cold here. In fact on the way into Nipawin from the south there is a statue of a giant nipple wrestling a bear greeting visitors. It bears a motto in Cree, which roughly translates into “Welcome to the land of erect nipples, disgruntled bears and tax free cigarettes”. It is quite a marvel to behold, it truly is.

I digress. The sport of bear baiting is not as hard as one may think, yet also not as easy as one may think. You do not simply go out into the woods like olden times, placing many large steel claw like traps, and then go back once a week to see how many bears you have trapped or killed. Provided is a step by step guide which may or may not be accurate, the locals who I interviewed on this subject are shady folk, and also were quite inebriated, as was I.

Step 1: In a large barrel, either wood, steel or plastic, insert a multitude of rancid, expired meat. Not deli meat but wild game. Deer carcases that you picked up during the winter hunt or scraps from the local abattoir will do just fine.

Step 2: Find and shoot yourself a beaver to put into your barrel with the rancid meat. Apparently bears have an insatiable beaver fever like most men do, and some women. The combo of rancid meat and dead beaver is a terrible stench. Very nauseating.

Step 3: Cut out some holes in your barrel large enough that a bear can get its snout into so it can feast.

Step 4: Find a spot in the woods to place your barrel. I cannot stress the importance of placing it in the woods, as opposed to say a playground or shopping centre. Once your barrel is placed wait a few days to check on your barrel to see if it in fact is being used by a bear. If so come back the next day and wait. Be prepared to wait a long, long time.

Step 5: When said bear comes to dine, kill it. Simple as that. Your method of execution is entirely up to you. Most people use a firearm but don’t be afraid to employ other methods like bow and arrow, spear, or pick axe – a favourite tactic of the Colorado School of Mines hunting club. I myself find the pick axe awkward and heavy to use however.

Step 6: After bagging your bear I was surprised to find that you do not eat any of the bear. Apparently all that rancid disgusting meat gives a bear a gritty, garbage like taste, similar to hobos of yore. The only use for the bear is it’s fur which is used to make a kick ass rug on which you can lay your lady down in front of the fire and make sweet, sweet love too. Can’t wait to get mine back from the taxidermist.

The Links

This is the first of what I'm hoping is going to be a weekly - or at least a fairly regular feature. It's just going to be links to things that are not on this site. It will probably be short videos or pictures or articles. So if you have anything you'd like to see up here, just let us know. It doesn't even necessarily have to be sports-related (as you will see today). So here they are...

.....Have you seen this? Apparently it's how they make a bank deposit in Winnipeg now.

.....In all honesty this is the most entertaining hockey or hockey-related material I've seen in many months.

.....I couldn't possibly put up a Steve Carrell clip without putting a Will Ferrell one as well, here it is. This girl is possibly the most talented person in Hollywood right now. And because you know you want to see it, here are the outtakes.

.....This was sent to me at work, clearly we don't have enough to do here. Three things to watch for - the poor blond kid never even sees it coming, the hammock one looks just devastating, and the trampoline would have been 100% funnier there had been some rolling down the hill.

.....I thought I should put something up that is actually about sports, so here you go. I literally cannot get enough of watching the vault - although I think the cycling one might have been rigged, still hilarious though.

And that's all for this week, but if you come across anything you think we should put up in The Links, feel free to send it along.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Are You Still a Hockey Fan?

Well it turns out my Stanley Cup Final prediction was absolutely, positively 100% correct - at least in principle. The details were just a little bit off.

About a month ago, I said that Vancouver and Pittsburgh would meet in the Final based on the recent history of one Canadian team and one American team from a struggling, non-traditional hockey market meeting in the Final. And as of about 9 pm last night my theory proved to be correct...

...this years Stanley Cup Final will be...

...drum roll please...

...Anaheim vs. Ottawa...I know, I know, try to contain your excitement please.

Ottawa, being a city in Canada, meets the criteria of half of my theory. And Anaheim, being in Orange Country, California definitely meets the criteria for the other half of my theory - that of a struggling, non-traditional hockey market.

Are you going to watch this? Is anyone going to watch this? I know I'm sure not. I don't think anyone outside of those two cities is going to watch it with anything other than a passing interest, if that. I can't see people in Canada getting behind Ottawa like they've gotten behind Edmonton and Calgary in recent years. It's just not going to happen. Based on the results of the last two Stanley Cups, we already know how this is going to end anyway.

Because I am tired of how much the NHL frustrates me and how little I actually care about hockey right now - I'm through with it for the time being. Unless something major happens in the Finals, I'm not going to think about hockey and I'm definitely not going to write about hockey until July 1st, when free agency starts.

Based on the last two Cup results - I think I'm going to have to go with Anaheim in 7.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Sports Desk Re-Opens

...and there was much rejoicing.

Yes I'm back, but unfortunately I'm still trying to catch up on what was happening in the world of sports while I was away, so there's not going to be much of a column today - just some quick, random thoughts...

...apparently they're still playing hockey, only nobody is paying attention anymore. Everyone I've talked to since I've been back has said that they have basically stopped watching hockey. I know I was in a foreign country for a week with no hockey broadcasts (and no, it wasn't the U.S) and there wasn't a single moment where I missed hockey. I think that says something, but more on that this week.

...Barry Bonds is still 10 home runs shy of Hank Aaron's record, so I'm thankful to him for holding off until I got back.

...the Blue Jays are still no good. And they're best, and only reasonably consistent pitcher had an appendectomy two weeks ago, and will probably miss at least another week. Things look very, very bleak.

...Saskatchewan Roughrider training camp opens in two weeks and you know what that means - 5 months of misery and failed expectations. More on this later in the week too.

...the NBA Draft Lottery is tonight and I'll be glued to my TV. It's not bad enough that I watch professional sports drafts but now I'm watching the lottery that will determine the draft order. Although this year's NBA draft will be different because it has two of the highest profile college players in recent history and maybe ever - Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. So expect to read something about all this tomorrow here.

...and after a 2 week hiatus Cooper will return this week as well. So stay tuned, we're back in business here at Sports as Life.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Some Thoughts on Baseball Before I Leave You

First of all, the Sports Desk is going to be closed for about ten days as of today. Have no fear we will re-open for business upon my return from holiday. In the meantime I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts about baseball to mull over in my absence.

Firstly, Barry Bonds is now 10 home runs shy of baseball's most hallowed record, Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. It's now 755 for Aaron and 745 for Bonds. I'm really hoping that Bonds does not break the record in the next 10 days but it is definite possibility that he will. It is pretty sad that baseball's biggest cheater is going to break baseball's biggest record.

Now there has never been any proof that Bonds cheated and took performance-enhancing substances (steroids) but I think the circumstantial evidence speaks for itself. Look at the picture to the left. On the left of the split is Barry Bonds, circa the early 90's, when he was approximately 30 years old. On the right of the split is Barry as he appears today, nearing age 44. As medical science can probably confirm it is nearly impossible for an increase of this magnitude to occur naturally in a man of middle age. The difference in the 'two' Bonds is just staggering when you look at them side by side like this.

In other baseball news, the Toronto Blue Jays are entrenched in last place in the A.L East and have the potential to be historically bad. They have lost 8 games in a row and if they lose tonight to the Red Sox they will fall 10.5 games behind first place. And I'll tell you right now, if they lose tonight, they are finished - done like dinner. I know there's still like 130 games left in the season but they way they look, they're out of the playoff picture already. I suppose that's what you get when you have a lineup build for power that isn't hitting or scoring runs and a pitching staff (beyond Roy Halladay) that is just laughable. I guess not picking up a marquee pitcher in the off season was not the best career move for Jays GM J.P Riccardi. If this losing lasts much longer, I don't expect Manager John Gibbons will be around by the time I get back.

The last baseball item is Pinch Hitter-related. The bar has now been set a little higher. My new high-score is 46,263 and change, so top that (when I posted that score I had it up over 71,000 but a crushing strikeout ruined everything - I was waiting for an off-speed pitch and he blew the fastball right by me).

Oh and the 70 second solitaire win is an impossibility. I can't even get through the deck once in 70 seconds.

See you in 10 days.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Things to do at Work...

...besides work of course.

As someone who generally doesn't have much work to do at work, I'm constantly looking for ways to pass the time. Generally this means playing games on the Internet. And last Friday I came across perhaps the greatest and most addicting Internet game of all time.

Here is the link to it:

I'm including it here because it is technically sports related and I also want to throw down the gauntlet. The challenge is to reach the 40,000 point plateau. My personal best is about 38,000.

So if you're like me and need a way to pass the time, this game will change your life.

I will give you one piece of advice, beware the high change-up.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday Headlines


The Toronto Raptors' storybook season came to a dramatic end on Friday night when they lost 98-97 to the New Jersey Nets, in New Jersey. The fact that the game was so close is a moral victory in and of itself. The Raps had been blown out in the previous 2 games in Jersey. However, the Raps had a good chance to win the game, down by 1 point with 8 seconds left but Jose Calderon threw the ball away, committing his only turnover of the game, and sinking the Raptors chances of forcing a Game 7.

Moral victories and learning experiences aside, there were some serious negatives for the Raptors. Coach of the year Sam Mitchell showed why he was voted by some players last year as the Worst Coach in the NBA. I don't think he got out-coached in the series but there were more than a few moments when the Raptors looked totally bewildered and lost out on the court. There were games when the Raptors were not ready to compete (good lord, I'm turning into Pierre Mcguire). To me, both of these things are the responsibility of the head coach.

Even though this season was a dramatic improvement over last season, the expectations that this improvement brought with it mean this first round exit will leave a bitter taste in most people's mouths.

Oh well, there's always next year.


After the mention of $30 Rider tickets last week and how they are a thing of the past, I decided to take a closer look at CFL ticket prices. And I won't lie, I was absolutely astounded by what I found. I could not believe what the average ticket price is for a game now. When you factor in the quality of the games and the facilities and such, all of this seems a little high to me.

These are the average prices of a single-game ticket, including tax, for all 8 teams in the CFL. All the data is from each teams website and was calculated by me, so there may be a margin of error.

1. Calgary Stampeders - $52.00
2. Montreal Alouettes - $48.50
3. Saskatchewan Roughriders - $47.25
4. Hamilton Tiger Cats - $46.33
5. Edmonton Eskimos - $46.00
6. B.C Lions - $45.57
7. Toronto Argonauts - $43.33
8. Winnipeg Bluebombers - $42.50

Now I'll let you draw your own conclusions about these prices. But take a look at which team is number 3 on that list.

Apparently mediocrity isn't as cheap as it used to be.


In a year where the NHL playoffs can at best be described as boring and at worst be described as unwatchable, this series between two teams who actually believe having an offense is an important part of the game might generate some much-needed excitement. I really can't remember at year with so many low scoring games. How many games have been 0-0 heading into the third period during these playoffs? More than I care to count. I know I've said that low-scoring games can be exciting, but not these ones this year. There is not really anything exciting about two teams sitting back and just waiting for the other one to make a mistake. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Trap is killing hockey.

Now compare the Ottawa-Buffalo series to the Western Conference Final between Anaheim and Detroit (which will surely be the match up after Detroit closes out San Jose). Anaheim-Detroit could potentially be the worst series in the history of sport. Goal scoring would be a total after-thought, keeping the other team from scoring would be the only thing that matters.

At the very best an Anaheim-Detroit series would be a powerful cure for insomnia.


Hey if Rob Vanstone can give out plugs in his column and get away with it, then so can I.

If you missed today's Leader-Post, follow this link and check out the story on the youngest mayor in Saskatchewan. He's a great guy with big plans for a small town and today's front page article (below the fold, but we won't hold that against him) was much desereved.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The CFL Draft Spectacular?

As I'm sure many of you weren't aware, the annual CFL Canadian draft was held this week. I say this not to question your sports knowledge but more as an indictment of how lame the CFL draft really is. What percentage of people drafted actually make a name for themselves in the league...2%, 3% - it's definitely less than 5%.

So it's understandable then why there is almost zero excitement and fanfare around this draft - compare this to say, oh I don't know, the NFL draft (not fair, I know, I know). However, in an attempt to actually create some buzz about the draft this year the CFL decided to broadcast it live on the Internet. I think in previous years it was just done by way of a conference call.

As far as I'm concerned they should have kept this out of the public eye. For as little interest as there is in the draft, why not just save the league the embarrassment of putting out an extremely low-budget broadcast. But if the CFL is going to put the draft out for public consumption, they're also putting it out for public critique. Guess which avenue I went with.

So my intention here was to have a running commentary of the entire first round - that's right, the entire first round - these are the kind of sacrifices I make for you the public (who am I kidding the first round of the CFL draft is only 8 picks and lasts about 35 minutes).

However, due to the fact that it is the CFL draft, I totally forgot about it, and was 35 minutes late tuning in to it. And after watching it for 15 minutes I'd seen and heard enough. It's maybe a good thing I tuned in late because there was just nothing happening.

From the 15 minutes I watched the best thing I can say about the 2007 CFL Draft broadcast is that I'm glad I only watched it for 15 minutes. It looked like an extremely low-budget cable access show that would air at 2:30 in the morning. Let's just say it was not good and call it a day. But then again look at the subject matter - it's the CFL draft! There's no way this thing should have ever been the light of day. It should have been kept in the backrooms and on the phones, where it was for so many years. Does a draft where most teams don't even use their latter-round picks because of lack of talent really need to be broadcast.

I don't know if the league got caught up in all the NFL draft hype and tried to create a little of their own or what. But one thing is for certain, you know your league probably isn't top shelf and shouldn't be broadcasting its draft when a kicker, a KICKER, is taken 2nd overall.

It's a long road to respectability.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Your Tax Dollars Hard at Work

So if you haven't heard the Federal Government has decided to question the selection of Shane Doan as the captain of Canada's World Championship hockey team because he allegedly uttered an anti-French slur a couple years ago...

...sigh, where do I begin?

First of all, there has never, ever been any proof that Doan said anything negative about the French referee, who claims Doan insulted his French-ness. The NHL and everyone else concerned investigated the matter and found there was no proof of any wrong doing. How can a man's character be held in question when there has never been any proof?

Secondly, does the federal government of a G8 country seriously have nothing better to do than debate this nothingness. Everyone in the House of Commons should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. Climate change? Poverty? Afghanistan? Election? Nope, we'll discuss whether someone who's never had any charges against him proven should wear a small letter 'C' on his jersey. This is a disgrace. Don't forget who pays MP's salaries - you do. If you're fine with this course of action, fine. But if you think the highest ranking government officials in our country could probably doing something better with your time, maybe you should let them know. Follow this link and you can get in contact with your MP.

I don't know whether Shane Doan insulted a French referee or not, quite frankly I don't care. I don't think that has any bearing on what kind of hockey player he is. Why don't we ask Doan's French-Canadian teammate at the World's, Matthew Lombardi, what he thinks? Of course no one does, because the politicians are all too busy trying to out-outrage each other over this issue.

Jack Layton thinks this is going to, "cast a shadow," over Canada's participation at the tournament. You serious Jacky-boy? Do you think the other countries are laughing at us because of who our captain is? Or do you think they're laughing at us because this ridiculousness is getting WORLDWIDE attention? There's definitely a shadow over this tournament now but it has nothing to do with Shane Doan and everything to do with Ottawa.

Maybe if the entire House of Commons was this unified about say, affordable education or helping low-income families, we could allow them an indulgence like this every now and again. But isn't it just a little embarrassing when it's an issue like this that brings about total agreement across party lines? Hmmm, with a potential election not too far away, I wonder if anyone is trying to win votes in Quebec. To the politicians who are so filled with self-righteous fury about this that they must shout it from the mountaintops - there are those of us who see through every last one of you.

And thirdly and finally, we all need to seriously lighten up and get over ourselves - because in reality, who hasn't uttered disparaging remarks about the French.

Here are some related links:

untitled (Formerly Coooper's Corner)

“That’s the kind of sports print journalism that I find utterly and totally obnoxious!”
- Howard Cossell

Welcome all and happy May Day. For those of you unfamiliar with the origins of May Day please refer to the following link.

The arrival of May Day brings us ever so closer to Saskatchewan’s only professional sporting season that is if you want to consider the CFL “professional”. I am sure to strike a chord with many of you in this piece, as I do believe that the majority of the readers of this column are in fact like myself, Rider Priders. And when I say “strike a chord” I mean that I will most likely offend and anger the majority of you with what I have to say.

It seems to me that the majority of Roughrider fans have the self-righteous attitude that we are the best fans in the CFL, if not the best team supporters on the planet. This belief is complete horse(hockey) in my humble opinion. Ok the label of “best fans in the CFL” may not be that far a stretch. In an 8-team league that title is not too hard to obtain. But we as a collective group are still far from being great fans. Yes it is true that we have had to endure year after year of sub-par performances and constantly have our hearts ripped out of our chests and deficated on. But we are not alone. For examples see: fans of the Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Clippers, Cardinals, Browns, etc. However fans of these crappy teams still come out game after game, season after season to support their team. The Riders lose 2 in a row, everyone is phoning in to CKRM saying the sky is falling and we are lucky to get 19,000 fans out to a home game. Pathetic!

All too often I have found myself at a home game only to find myself as only one of a few people cheering loudly for the Riders in my section. With the exception of the University Section the majority of fans just sit on their hands and bitch and moan, granted the majority of fans at a home game are aged 60 +.

Yes I know I am rambling and have no “facts” or “statistics” to back any of my claims up. However after watching Liverpool at home to Chelsea today I was witness to see what REAL fans are like. And then I caught a glimpse of the Riders General meeting on CTV and some dirt farmer and pig farmer were interviewed saying how it sucks that the greatest fans in the world have to put up with such poor performances. That all just angried up the blood, so now I vent.

Not only do we need better support for our team, we also need to stand up as a group and demand better from the Rider organization. I know there is a cash crunch but if we want a first rate team and organization we need to demand as a whole that we house that team in a first rate facility. What was once known as “Taylor Field” is a disgrace. I have yet to be in Ivor Wynne or McGill stadium but I am willing to bet that we have the most decreped stadium in the CFL, if not professional football.

When I shell out $30 for a ticket I for one expect to be able to properly use the facilities, not have to take a leak in a sink or god forbid a porta-john. (Editor's Note: There are no longer any $30 tickets available to Rider games. If you are an adult, the cheapest ticket you will find is $48. FORTY-EIGHT DOLLARS!!! FOR A RIDER GAME!!! You can find the full ticket price list here.)

Just recently the Bombers accepted a plan to build a brand new multi-million dollar facility with get this, a retractable roof. I don’t expect a facility like Winnipeg is planning to build but something with say, the capacity to hold 40,000 plus for say Grey Cup or even the Labour Day Classic. A new stadium that has an adequate amount of restrooms, without the need for porta-johns. A facility that allows me to still watch the game on a tv when I go to get a drink or food.

And for god-sake get rid of that piece of garbage Percieval pick-up and bring back Gainers car. Whoever came up with that idea should be taken downtown, tarred and feathered and strung up from a tree.

That is all.