The 2008 Canadian Football Season is underway, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are large and in charge. There were a lot of questions about this team in the offseason. Trading Fred Perry, the teams leader on defense, to Edmonton. Trading Kerry Joseph, the CFL MVP and the number one quarterback to the Toronto Argonauts. The release of versitile player Corey Holmes. And, of course, the departure of Kent Austin, winner of a Grey Cup in his rookie season as head coach.
All of that was answered last night with the Riders’ home opener against division rivals the Edmonton Eskimos. All eyes were on Marcus Crandell. Could he be the pivot to lead the Riders? Would he be able to step up and answer the critics? Well, it’s only one game, but he did enough last night to at least silence the critics for a while.
The game started close, with the Riders and Eskimos exchanging the lead until the last quarter. Crandell tossed some excellent passes to Rider veteran DJ Flick, and Grey Cup MVP James Johnson picked up right where he left off in 2007, picking off Edmonton pivot Ricky Ray once.
At the half, the score was a close 9 to 7 affair with the edge going to the Riders. Second half, the Riders blew open the doors. With strikes to Wes Cates, who had 85 yards rushing, Andy Fantuz and a touchdown strike to Rider rookie Adarius Bowman, the final ended up much more convincing than the game showed. The Riders won 34-13.
Here’s hoping that the other 17 games go just as well for the Riders as they are one step on the road to defending the 2007 Grey Cup.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
For those of you who live in Bloomington, it was hard not to know what the Taste of Bloomington is. It’s announced on the Radio, through fliers, newspaper ads and the best way, word of mouth.
For those of you that don’t know what the taste of Bloomington is, I’m going to tell you. It’s a celebration of food and drink from around the Bloomington community. Local restaurants, wineries, beer distributors, and markets gather here once a year to give you a taste of what they serve every single day in their place of business.
The entry fee was six dollars to get in, and well worth it. The music was spectacular and had only made me wish I would have left sooner to get in more of the bands that I didn’t get to see. Zach and I wandered right past the Starbucks frap station and got a free sample of the new seasonal drink, A mint chocolate mocha frappuccino. It was heavenly and not as minty as say mint choco-chip ice cream.
The music was loud and from a band I never heard of. In fact all the bands that played there I never heard of. My main reason for going was to get food. Zach wanted to see “Here Come the Mummies,” who started at 7:30 pm. We stood by the sound stage a good while and listened to the amusing music of “Polka Boy:” I never heard polka in my life and here I was dancing in place on the sidewalk.
It was great to see people out in the streets ballroom dancing like pros, and making me feel like I couldn’t to the Hokey Poky. But that isn’t what mattered. People were having fun. There were hundreds of people, some working, some drunk, some sitting and eating the great the food of Bloomington.
Polka Boy combined traditional polka with popular songs well known around the world. Songs like “I Want to be Just Like You” from the jungle book, “She Blinded me with Science” and “Can’t Take my Eyes Off of You” were some of the songs in the mix of this brilliant display of cheery music.
After listening to Polka Boy, and watching the local morning DJ Alex, put sunscreen on in the B-Mobile’s window, Zach and I walked around and checked out the food stands. They had everything from Greek to Mexican. I currently have an obsession with Barbecued pork and there was none that looked better (or cheaper) than Fatman’s BBQ. One dollar bought me a mini BBQ pork sandwich, which I ate in short order. It was by far the best BBQ pork I’ve had since I started my obsession.
Once we had finished our BBQ sandwiches, Zach and I each bought a corn on the cob and dunked it in a huge vase (literally) of butter and covered them with salt and pepper. It was a little bit of heaven, done just right on the grill. After had finished that, I fished out my ID card and we moved over to the alcohol tent. I was branded with a bracelet as being officially over the legal drinking age and made my way in, where I paid five dollars for a beer token. Having only one token, I knew my choice had to be the best.
This brings me to the drinking portion of my babble here. Those of you who know me, know that I don’t drink but twice a year. New years and my birthday, which are approximately six months apart. New years being in January, and my birthday in July. My reasoning for not drinking, did it when I was teen it’s lost it’s fun now that I am able to buy it not have to depend on my parents to supply it. Anyway.
One beer token and I don’t like beer. Zach and I weaved our way through the crowds of stupidity that was growing rapidly and found ourselves at the wine table for Oliver Winery. A local winery that is maybe 45 minutes drive from my house. I stared at the bottles not knowing one wine from another but knowing I wanted wine. I asked the woman. “What do you suggest?” and she replied with “Well do you like dry or sweet?” A question with a choice question, easy to answer. “Sweet” I doubt that I could tell the difference between a non-dry wine and dry wine. I just wanted something that taste good. Dry wine has a tendency to make me think that it will make me crave water. Once I told the woman sweet wine would be preferred, she motioned to a row of five bottles all with the logo and label of the company and what flavor it was.
That’s when I heard “pick me” from the bottle of strawberry wine. No, not literally, but it was enough to make me trust in the strawberry flavor once more. Because nothing I’ve had that had strawberry in it was ever disgusting. I pointed to the strawberry wine and was promptly asked “Would you like to sample it first?” I nodded eager to fill my mouth with the delicious flavor of strawberry wine. Taking a sip from the small cup she cave me, I held it in my mouth. Oh my god. The burst of flavor all over my tongue was enough to make me want more. Zach tasted it, but he knew I was sold on it. I had found my true calling with Oliver Winery’s Red Strawberry wine.
We headed out of the tent and weaved back to the stage where Polka boy was wrapping up and I was feeling the effects of my wine even after three sips. Zach and I finished our wine and danced a bit to the Polka on stage. Finally, they were over and Alex, from the morning show Alex’s playhouse, along with Brandon and Adam from the afternoons were on stage.
Now I love Alex. He’s the funniest DJ I’ve ever listened to and I love listening to him in the mornings on my way to work. So I was excited that he was there. He announced that “Here Come the Mummies” were up next which pleased me because I was now eager to see this band. As the stage crew was setting everything for the band, I weaved my way along with Zach, over to Alex. Patiently I waited my turn and finally he turned and we chatted for a bit. I told him that he made my mornings worth it because I drive to work listening to him and Marzie and how much I despised my boss. He asked what my name was and where I worked and hugged me. This was the highlight of my night. My thirty seconds with a DJ who is known around Bloomington.
It was now 8 pm and I was ready for the music to start again. People were chatting and talking about the mummies. Then there was a loud banging coming from the other end of the street, people were moving out of the way to clear a path for the ten men dressed as mummies, banging on drums. One of them posed for pictures and made goofy faces. I would later learn his name is Java.
The crowd got larger and moved closer to the stage as the band started with their song “Believe.” The tunes were catchy, and soon I started bouncing in the street and doing the dances the guys on stage were doing. When they got to “Fenk Shui,” Java taught us how to do the moves and wow. “Fenk it to right, fenk it to left, fenk it to east, fenk it to the west. Fenk it up above, fenk it down below, fenk it on the couch, fenk it on the flo’” with hand motions and other actions to go along with it were fun as well as entertaining. I’d make a video, but I’d rather keep my couch Fenkin’ my own. *Wink*
An hour and half passed and my mind was musically satisfied enough for me to purchase two of the three CDs they had available. Needless to say. My hesitation about going to the Taste of Bloomington faded almost five minutes past the Starbucks stand. Everything was simple, fun and well planned. I throughly enjoyed my night out with my boyfriend.
That’s all for now. Keep it real and rockin’