So, most everyone should now know I got a new cellphone, my first in quite a while. Tonight was a hockey game in Outlook, and I cover them for the paper, but I also announce at them as well. But tonight I did something else. I live tweeted the entire thing.
I could have gone further and added who scored, but damn that Blackberry keyboard is tiny. Take some getting used to.
However, this isn’t a bad idea, and I think it should be something suggested on the Sask Valley Hockey League forums. Live tweet the games, using the hashtag #svhl. If you’ve got a camera phone, upload a picture with the tweet. It worked out okay tonight. I think I’ll do that for other games as well, it’s a quick way to check on scores via twitter.
After all, I’ve never seen this in the SVHL before. Good way to intermingle the league and social networking.
With apologies to Simon and Garfunkle (and the Bangles), it is rather hazy. Even though it’s not officially winter yet. There’s been a good amount of snow we’ve received, temperatures are very cool out (though, Environment Canada says we should get warmer weather next week), and to top it all off there’s an NHL Lockout and the possibility that the entire season will be scrapped.
There’s a good side to that. The latter point, that is. No NHL means no hockey broadcasts which means diehard hockey fans (does not include me) will have to go somewhere else for their fix. This means that leagues like the WHL, the SJHL and even down to senior leagues like the Sask Valley Hockey League should benefit. As an example, the Outlook Ice Hawks begin their season tonight with a tilt against the Conquest Merchants. It’s an exhibition game, so it really shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t count to the rest of the season. But it’ll be interesting to see the crowd support.
On the one hand, anytime Conquest is in town to play Outlook, there’s a good crowd. Granted, most of those people are from Conquest (seriously, we aren’t talking thousands of people in the rink, I don’t think it can hold over 500). So if there’s a good crowd tonight, it’ll be a so so indication, but we won’t know until the next home game against Lucky Lake on November 4. If there’s a good crowd on that night as well, then it might be a better indication of things to come.
Granted, the Ice Hawks haven’t been a powerhouse in the league over the years. That mark goes to the Rosetown Redwings. Who haven’t lost a game in two years. Still, there will be those NHL die hards who will show up for a lowly SVHL game just to get a fix.
The only real distraction that will come, might be if the Saskatchewan Roughriders make it to the Western Final or the Grey Cup, and a game is scheduled for that day. Then no one, even those at the arena, will be paying attention to hockey as our sights will squarely be on football.
I don’t wear stripes at all.
I don’t even wear polka dots.
I’m pretty much a solid colour kind of guy. And by that, I usually mean black, red, green or white. Sometimes, I get a little crazy and I do a colour combo of two of those. Sometimes, three. Though never combining red or green.
Some colour combos include green, black and white. This combination happens to be the commonly used colours in the Saskatchewan Roughriders team paraphernalia.
Others include red, black, white and a splash of gold, which so happens to be the colours of the Ottawa Senators, the NHL team I happen to cheer for.
There’s also red and black, which happens to be the colours of the Outlook Ice Hawks Senior Hockey Team that I happen to do the Public Service Address announcements for during their home games.
Often, I wear white and red, which will contain a maple leaf somewhere in the design scheme. This, naturally, shows the devotion I have to the country I was born in. Yes, we Canadians can be proud of our home and native land, and I just so happen to be one that will show it more than just on July 1st or during the Olympic Hockey tournament.
So there you have it, in a nutshell, just a few of my fashion tastes.
What we hold as important is amazing. How people in Europe differ from people in North America differ from people in Asia and so on and so on. Even within each of those continents and regions, there are geographical differences of what is important. As an example, in many States they hold the firm belief that they have the God given right to own a gun. Whereas in Canada, we consider it more a privilege. We don’t need guns, and we certainly don’t have a right to own them. That philosophy is not always viewed the same across the Great North Land.
Recently the world has taken notice as something dubbed the Arab Spring has flown across the middle east, into parts of Eastern Europe, and into areas of Northern Africa. Common citizens doing uncommon things, at least as we in the west would see it. Rising up against their own oppressive governments, toppling them, or forming a rag tag resistance, in the case of Libya. It is truly inspiring.
Riots have taken place in Canada, too. But there was no outcry from the majority of the citizens who did not vote for Stephen Harper‘s Conservatives. It was not a reaction to the same old same old budget that came down in the early days of June. It wasn’t even at a provincial level, as angry citizens got together to show their anger to the British Columbia government.
No, it wasn’t any of those things. Sadly, for some (not all) outside of Canada, the reaction to the recent riots in Vancouver will be “well, they are Canadians, and they are passionate about their hockey”. That’s right. The riots in Vancouver had everything to do with the Canucks loss to the Boston Bruins in game 7.
In Egypt, the people stood strong as they showed their dissatisfaction with a corrupt and oppressive regime. In Vancouver, the fans were pissed because Roberto Luongo wasn’t pulled after the second Bruins goal. In Tunisia, the people wanted their own say and equal representation in their own government. In Vancouver, they were mad because the Canucks came so close yet so far.
Here’s the differences between these two very different yet similar scenarios.
In the Middle East, people rioted, clashed with police, defied the government, because they want their lives and they want democracy and an end to corrupt government (ya know, the things we in the West SHOULD be doing). People are dying in the Middle East because they are opposing the government. In Vancouver, people are rioting because the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in 7 games. Sure, I was saddened when the Canucks lost. While I’m a Sens fan, I still hold a place in my heart for Vancouver. Being from Saskatchewan, I also know a lot about losing. I’m a Roughrider fan after all. But in the arena of sports, I’ve learned something very important. We may have lost the Grey Cup, or had a losing season (and by we, I mean the players who actually play, not me and the other armchair quarterbacks), but there’s always next year. The same holds true for the Canucks. Next year, just push it over the top. Look at the Pittsburgh Penguins a few years ago. They lost to Detroit one year and came back to win it all the next year.
For people in the Middle East, in the nations that their own citizens are standing up against their government, their police, their military and in some cases hired guns, there may not be a tomorrow let alone a next year.
Sadly, I don’t think it really would have mattered in Vancouver had the Canucks won or lost. It’s a feeling, and there’s no hard evidence, but I think that a small group of people were ready to stir up the pot no matter what went down. It still is a sad example of where our priorities will often lie.
- Analysis: Vancouver riots send league into dark off-season (reuters.com)
- Couple kissing in midst of Vancouver riot identified (ctv.ca)
- Vancouver Canucks fans riot after team loses NHL Cup against Boston Bruins (birminghamurbannews.wordpress.com)
- You: Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Memories of Vancouver Riots Will Not Fade Easily (bleacherreport.com)
- Of course the rioters were hockey fans (sports.nationalpost.com)
- You: Vancouver Riots 2011 Video: Watch Canucks Fans Rebel After Stanley Cup Loss (bleacherreport.com)
- Canucks Riot Kiss Photo Sparks Debate (patspapers.com)
- Vancouver Erupts in Riots After Canucks Loss (thebiglead.com)
- Vancouver- the Wild, Wild West (iomnibus.wordpress.com)
- Photos: Riots In Vancouver After Bruins Defeat The Canucks (wzlx.radio.com)
- Riots Overshadow Canucks Fans’ Game 7 Heartbreak (abcnews.go.com)
- Bruins Win, Vancouver Riots, Rest of Canada Vomits (aquantumofknowledge.wordpress.com)
- Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Memories of Vancouver Riots Will Not Fade Easily (football.rawsignal.com)
- Vancouver cleans up after riot (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- About That Vancouver Hockey Riot… (tammybruce.com)
- Georgialee Lang: Vancouver’s Shame (huffingtonpost.ca)
- Vancouver Riots Spoof Cements Vancouver’s Shame On YouTube…Forever (socialtimes.com)
- Vancouver top cop blames Stanley Cup riot on ‘anarchists’ (canada.com)
- Vancouver police deployment wasnt adequate to act as riot deterrent (theglobeandmail.com)
- The Arab Spring revolutions need time – and money (theglobeandmail.com)
- Arab-jewish Dialogue: Why? (desertpeace.wordpress.com)
- Where the Arab spring will end is anyone’s guess (guardian.co.uk)
Over the last two weeks, I’ve refrained from discussing the winter games very much, if at all. But that’s not to say I didn’t observe. Just how well did Canada’s Own The Podium go over? Not too bad, actually.
At the end of everything, Canada’s Olympic team did not capture top spot in medals, that honour went to the United States, as the Americans took home 37 medals. An Olympic record. Vancouver 2010 was an event that saw a number of records fall. But not in races so much. Granted, the Canadian Women’s hockey team set an Olympic record by scoring 18 goals against Slovakia. But this year’s Olympics saw the host nation top the gold medal standings. Canada set a record for number of gold medals, both overall and by the host nation with 14. Sunday’s gold medal hockey game win by Team Canada was the jewel set into a crowning achievement.
Looking back on it all, there was disappointment to begin with. Athletes were not fairing as we had hoped they would. Sure, a couple picked up silver and bronze, but that elusive gold wasn’t coming. It did start to trickle in, and there was an excitement that surrounding the games. The talk was how much better this was than Turino. I checked the medal counts, and at the time I did, Canada only had 17 medals. In Turino, Canada captured 24. My reaction; hold on, we did better in Turino. But the number of gold medals was a key factor in these games. Never before has Canada picked up that many gold medals. Never before has the Canadian National Anthem been heard that many times at an event like the Winter Games.
The final achievement came when Sidney Crosby scored on American goalie Ryan Miller in overtime, allowing the Canadian men to capture the gold medal in a hard fought game that many are saying will be remembered with the likes of events such as the ’72 Summit Series and 1987 when Mario Lemieux scored to lift Canada past the Russians. This gold was even sweeter than the gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. At that tme, Canada was cruising to a 5 to 2 victory over the Americans. This game was so much closer.
Sidney Crosby has solidified himself in the hearts and minds of Canadian hockey fans, and at such a young age as well. He can now join the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Lemieux and Paul Henderson in the greatest moments in hockey for Canada.
The question now is, had Canada not won the gold medal in hockey, would the games had been just as successful? It would have, yes, but Canada would have tied the record for number of gold medals at 13. This win put them on top of the world. Canada did Own The Podium at this event, that is no question.
Canadian athletes came from all across this nation. From Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, to Alma, Quebec, to London, Ontario, to Russell, Manitoba, to Carlyle, Saskatchewan, to Edmonton, Alberta, and to Whistler, British Columbia. Canada had already picked up a few medals early in the games, but the party started when Jon Montgomery picked up the gold medal in Men’s Skeleton. His now famous walk through the streets of Whistler, where each and every Canadian wanted to share in that pitcher of beer.
With Vancouver’s celebrations coming to a close, there is no time to become complacent. Canada now has to look to Sochi, Russia in 2014. Can they Own The Podium and improve on what they did in Vancouver?
A lot of people know that I do the public address announcing at local hockey games. But not many have seen, or heard me describe the tiny little both that I sit in. Or what’s done after the hockey game comes to an end.
Games usually take place on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday evenings or on a Sunday afternoon. There’s the rare occasion where a rescheduled game is played on a Monday. Such as what happened this past season. If the game is on a weeknight, I head down to the arena at 7:00 p.m., and get ready for an 8:00 p.m. start. I’ve got a large amount of gear I take with me, just in case. My camera, so I can have pictures for the paper. My laptop, to keep track of goal scorers, assists, penalties, shots on goal and so on. I also use the laptop to play music, which gets plugged into the arena sound system. You have to be careful when choosing the appropriate music for a hockey game. Ministry is not a good band for hockey music, while GnR, Metallica and Ozzy Osborn are just fine. Especially if you use Crazy Train when the home team comes onto the ice to start the game. Other good options for music are the classic standards. Gary Glitter – Rock ‘n Roll Part II (also known as the Dr. Who theme), anything by Tom Cochrane (especially Big League and Victory Day), anything by Rush (especially Tom Sawyer), anything by the Tragically Hip (especially 50 Mission Cap and My Music @ Work), and Stompin’ Tom Connors the Hockey Song. That last one is almost a necessity. If you don’t have it, something is horribly, horribly wrong with you. A few other staples include Theory of a Nickle Fault (Theory of a Deadman, Nickelback and Default), Blink 182 and any high energy dance mix. ABBA and Queen are definitely out.
The booth itself is small, while the location is fine. The entire length of the ice gets a decent showing, and everything is seen clearly. There’s even a decent sound system in the booth, but no one really knows the best settings unless you go through trial and error. Sometimes, during the game. There’s a small phone mounted on the wall, which is connected directly to the time keeper’s bench (it’s beige, I wanted it to be red, then I could always answer “The Bat Line” but NOOO! couldn’t have that). Along with the phone and sound system is a small bench to set writing materials and such onto, and a few stools. From time to time I’ll get help with the music, so instead of using my laptop, an iPod gets used. The last piece of equipment is the horn. Just an air horn that sounds out loudly, and gets used for when the players hit the ice or when the home team scores a goal.
Taking photos through the plexiglass of the booth is a tad challenging, as you have to find the perfect spot so as not to get a scuff mark from a puck in the middle of the photos. Believe it or not, sometimes a wayward puck will smack the glass outside the booth, and it leaves a nasty rubber mark on the glass. And on rare occasions the shot is by accident. Needless to say, it can often be a challenge to take a photo without some grey blob in the middle of it, usually obscuring a goal or a decent shot. It’s Murphy’s Law as subjected to photography.
Once the game is over, I take all the statistical information I’ve gathered and actually attempt to write a sports report on the game. Lately, it’s usually involved the losing side of things for the home team Ice Hawks. I will admit there have been some times when I’ve found some good things to write, especially from the efforts of individual players. Always when I’m writing the stories and organizing the photos, my desk looks like a complete mess, as I not only have to deal with my desktop iMac but my Acer Aspire laptop as well. On top of that, I have to transfer photos from my camera to my desktop and also from my laptop to my desktop (the laptop makes a handy storage device in a pinch). You’d think that really I’d only have maybe three or four photos to worry about, but anyone worth their salt in photography knows that if you want a decent shot, one decent photo from a sporting event, you will have to sort through at least 250 to 300 photos (more if your only job is to take photos).
That, in a nutshell (a really big nutshell, mind you) is what goes on behind the scenes at a hockey game.
…keep ‘em flyin’.
Here in my car…
I opened my paper this morning to find the usual advertising inserts, but this morning the Toyota insert for Best Wrapup Ever caught my attention. Not because I’m looking for a new car, I’m quite happy with my little Hyundi Accent, really. No, I flipped through it because Pearce, who has the Paper Hat Pirate blog, bought himself…
…hang on, I need to get this right…
done in a very game show host voice
A BRAND NEW CAR!
That’s right, he bought himself a new (to him) Toyota. Now, before all the domestic vehicle owners start hunting me and Pearce down for owning Japanese imports, let me clarify something here. A couple of somethings. Both Hyundi and Toyota have very good track records for reliability, dependability and service. Both companies create vehicles that are fuel efficient, and have the consumer in mind for what they need to have for a vehicle. Oh, and most importantly…
HYUNDI AND TOYOTA DIDN’T NEED A BAILOUT FROM THE GOVERNMENT.
I feel a tad justified in owning a car like this because I know for a fact it’ll be easier to get service done. “Oh, but Tim. It’s a Japanese import. It’ll be expensive, more expensive than a Ford!” No, no it won’t. I just recently had a new timing belt installed, and was a bit worried when I heard that it would be costly. But to my surprise, with an added oil and filter change, the total cost for all of that came to $446 Cdn. That’s not bad!
So, what’s all this have to do with Toyota (aside from having a snazy line of vehicles). Well, in the previously mentioned advertising insert I saw under the listings of each vehicle Job Loss insurance. What’s that? I asked myself. The obvious answer is Toyota making certain that even though you just bought a car, you won’t get screwed over a few months down the road should you lose your job. The following is direct from Toyota.
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is pleased to introduce complimentary Job Loss Credit Protection on selected new Toyota vehicles (Yaris Hatchback, Yaris Sedan, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, Sienna and RAV4) that are leased or financed with TFS over the period of December 1, 2009 – January 4, 2010. This coverage is offered free of charge and provides up to $10,000 of credit protection should an eligible customer suffer involuntary unemployment during the term of their TFS lease or loan. For full details please contact your Dealer.
So that’s kinda cool. But what happens after January 4, 2010? Have to wait and see, because, as with everything the disclaimer states that details are subject to change without notice.
It’s the best game you can name…
So, the wait is on for the World Junior Hockey Championships. Normally, many would be talking about just Christmas plans, but Saskatchewan is hosting the IIHF WJHC this year, and tournament play begins on Saturday. That’s right! Boxing Day (there’s a hockey related joke in there). So not only will we have to get in on the deals, but we have hockey to think about. It’s become a tradition in Canada; giving gifts to loved ones, having a wonderful meal, dreaming of sugar plums, and getting ready to ROCK AT THE RINK AS CANADA GOES FOR SIX STRAIGHT GOLD MEDALS!
Sorry ’bout that. I got a little excited there.
This year, team Canada has done something kinda cool in commemoration for coming to Saskatchewan for the tournament. They’ll be wearing one jersey that is in dedication to a long and storied sports team in this province. There’s just one problem.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a football team, not a hockey team.
I can forgive a little gaff such as that, however the god awful jerseys that Team Canada will be wearing, I don’t know if I can. Fortunately, it’s around Christmas, so having green and red on them at the same time might be explained as celebrating the season. Canada’s colours are Red and White (and sometimes black for the condition we leave opponents in, which means we should add blue in the near future). Green wasn’t in the equation.
The beloved Riders (and don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE Rider fan) are Green and White (and sometimes black and silver).
Red and Green…. just seems weird.
Granted, it was still cool of Team Canada to recognize the Riders, especially in a year when they went to the Grey Cup. Maybe next time, just a little shoulder crest is enough.
Last night, the Outlook Ice Hawks played a close game to long time SVHL rivals the Conquest Merchants. Some good skating in a real back and forth tight game. The only slow down came in the second period. A Conquest player did his job and finished a check on his man while going for the puck. For the Ice Hawks player, Travis Erlandson, he lay on the ice as trainers, team mates and the crowd watched. Travis took a pretty hard hit, and he took a ride in the ambulance as a result.
Was the hit malicious? No, far from it. The hit was exactly what the Merchants player was supposed to do. Finishing his check. Travis was even doing what he was supposed to do. It’s just something zigged when it should have zagged. These things happen. Fortunately there were two nurses in the stands and they came out to assist as ambulance was called.
Hockey is a fast paced and very rough sport. There’s a reason why players wear equipment. Over the years, more and more safety features to protect players have been developed. From the goalie mask that began with Jacques Plant, right down to the skates, neck guard, shoulder and shin pads. Hockey isn’t the only sport that is that fast paced and violent. Football is as well, but it’s in short bursts. As TSN’s Chris Schultz said, it’s controlled chaos. Hockey is fast and continuous.
The good news about Travis, he’s wearing a neck brace and is up and walking around. He’s probably very sore and very stiff, but for the most part he’s alright. I make mention of this not to give argument to those who find hockey to be such a violent game that it needs to be banned (because more than likely someone has had that thought). But I mention this because these things happen. Hockey is a sport, and the players know the risks of playing. It’s a lot like the rest of us knowing the risks of living. There was no malicious intent in the hit that Travis took, it’s just a part of the game.
The good thing is, that Travis is alright.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’.
|Sask Valley Hockey League Standings : 2009/2010|
|Kyle Elks||8||14||7||1||0||0||72||20||5-0-0||7 W|
|Elrose Aces||8||14||7||1||0||0||50||23||4-1-0||1 L|
|Delisle Bruins||8||14||7||1||0||0||45||32||5-0-0||5 W|
|Rosetown Redwings||8||12||5||1||0||2||63||40||3-1-1||1 W|
|Lucky Lake Lakers||6||8||4||2||0||0||30||28||4-1-0||2 W|
|Loreburn 19ers||7||6||3||4||0||0||39||40||1-4-0||1 L|
|Conquest Merchants||8||6||3||5||0||0||34||35||3-2-0||2 W|
|Central Butte Flyers||9||6||3||6||0||0||26||48||1-4-0||4 L|
|Kenaston Blizzard||8||4||2||6||0||0||36||55||1-4-0||1 L|
|Biggar Nationals||9||2||1||8||0||0||32||77||1-4-0||2 L|
|Outlook Ice Hawks||7||2||1||6||0||0||28||57||1-4-0||1 L|
|GP – Games Played, OTL – Overtime Loss, GF – Goals For, GA – Goals Against|
Canadian Football League
History was made today.
You can use any cliche in the book you want, but the end result is still the same. Darian Durant and the Saskatchewan Roughriders now get a two week rest before the West Division Final on the road to the Grey Cup. They got there with a solid 30-14 victory over the Calgary Stampeders. The Riders proved they were the best in the west after producing a solid win at home. The best part, they don’t have to make travel arrangements, because now they stay home as the road to the cup goes through Regina.
Durant was picture perfect through the game, as he came through with clutch plays when they were needed. When he couldn’t read the blitz, he played Houdini and managed to escape the pressure to find a receiver downfield. And when he did read the blitz, he’d find someone for a score.
It wasn’t just Durant. The Rider receiving corp has put up some impressive numbers over the course of the year. All are dependable, and all have shown they can come through in the clutch. Chris Getzlaf, Andy Fantuz, Rob Bagg, Weston Dressler, Jason Clermont, Jason Armstead. Even out of the backfield, there’s Wes Cates and Chris Szarka (now also a member of Regina City Council, it should be added).
The Rider D also made some massive plays, holding Calgary to only one touchdown in the game, no touchdowns in the second half. John Chick came up with a clutch play, sacking Stamps’ Quarterback Henry Burris on the one yard line. Omarr Morgan broke up a pass between Burris and Jermaine Copland forcing the Stamps into a punting situation, which they wisely gave up two points instead of getting the ball into the hands of return specialist Jason Armstead.
The last time the Riders took first in the West was in 1976. Back then the names were Lancaster, Reed, Aldag. That’s 33 years without having to have that all important week off. We’ll see just who is the opponent after the West Semi final of the Battle of Alberta as Calgary hosts the Edmonton Eskimos who ended their season with a win.
Sask Valley Hockey League
Nonetheless, hockey began in West Central Saskatchewan, as the Outlook Ice Hawks played two preseason games at home. On Wednesday night, the Hawks hosted the Loreburn-Dinsmore team (combined this year from last year’s 19ers and Dynamos), and on Friday, they played host to the Lucky Lake Lakers.
I’m going to start by saying it’s only preseason. Having said that, yes the Hawks did lose both games, but there were some high points to each. Both goal tenders managed to get some ice time in the first game, which was a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Loreburn-Dinsmore. The second game was a little closer, but still a loss to Lucky Lake, 7-5.
The first regular season game in Friday, November 13 at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in Outlook, as the Hawks play host to the Central Butte Flyers. After the game is wing night, sponsored by Rain Maker Irrigation.
That was last year. The Pittsburgh Penguins lose in game 6 to Detroit, and watch in their own rink, as the Red Wings hoist the Stanley Cup in celebration. Crosby said he never wanted to be in that picture again.
Ignore everything that was controversial this year in the NHL playoffs. Ignore how the NHL seemed to toss the rule book out the window when the playoffs opened up. Ignore the debate over headshots. Ignore the scoring race between Ovechkin and Crosby. The final seven games of the Stanley Cup playoffs should overshadow everything.
In a series that saw the home team win each time, almost everyone (even me) had written off the Pittsburgh Penguins as Stanley Cup runners up again for the second straight year. Detroit would have/should have/could have gone on to repeat in a generation where back to back championship seems like something out of myth and legend. Where winning the big one means mediocrity for next season. Everything was there for Detroit to win.
Pittsburgh just wanted it more.
Sure, Sid the Kid only had one goal in the series. But the Pens, like the Wings, are more than just Sidney Crosby. Malkin, Fleury, Talbot just to name a few. Makes you wonder just how Marion Hossa feels now, as he felt the Wings were his best chance to win the Stanley Cup. He came close, but as Talbot said, he chose the wrong team.
The question now has to be asked, is this the beginning of a dynasty for Pittsburgh? Let’s leave that for now. Wait until next season. Wait until the Penguins can hoist the Cup again versus the Hamilton Tigers in Copps Collesium.
Sunday mornings is a time for me to update the week in sports. I don’t scoure the papers and internet for information, because there’s just one place I need to go. I go to TSN, watch The Reporters, watch Off The Record, and watch the sports wrap. Here’s the take on stuff I’ve seen.
We’re into the Stanley Cup final, a repeat of last year as Detroit and Pittsburgh go head to head. The big difference is Pittsburgh is a much better team this year than last year. They have more experience, more skill and more grit. But their going up against Detroit. Detroit won the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL. They handily dealt with Annaheim and Chicago. And there’s four guys with four Cup rings (all with Detroit). That’s more than all the guys who’ve won a Cup that in Pittsburgh’s line up. Game One has come and gone, and while the action was different than last year’s game one, the result was the same. Detroit 3-1. My pick, Detroit in five.
A while ago, the city of Toronto went through retro week. The Maple Leafs brought in Cliff Fletcher in an interim position as GM, the Argos hired The Don Don Matthews as head coach, and the Blue Jays brought back Cito Gaston who helped the Jays win back to back World Series championships. Much, much later, Matthews is back in retirement (again), Cliff Fletcher is gone replaced by Brian Burke. But Cito is still there. And the Jays are doing well. They went through a bit of a slump recently, but they’ve won two games and look to do pretty good as the season progresses. With guys like Doc Halladay in the bull pen, their pitching looks good, but still can be improved. Unlike the early 90′s, my belief is that the Jays won’t blow the doors off. They might make the ALCS, but they won’t make the World Series.
Class move by Marcus Crandell. He got the shaft last season in Riderville, as on again off again quarterback Michael Bishop was brought in from Toronto, and Crandell was let go. Now, the Riders have announced that the starting job in Darian Durant’s to lose. To help these young quarterbacks, Marcus is coming in as a guest coach to help these guys during training camp and during the preseason. Crandell wasn’t a quarterback the level of Henry Burris, Doug Flutie, Tracy Ham or the like, but I’d take Crandell who is a stand up guy, over a guy like Bishop who did nothing but whine and complain when Kerry Joseph showed up in the center of the Universe known as Toronto. The Riders should still be good this year, and I predict they will host a play off game, possibly even first in the west.
Still with football, Michael Vick is free. And Brett Fauve is also. But here’s the thing, you’re the GM of an NFL team that desperately needs a QB. Do you go with a clean cut guy with no priors who may or may not last until the end of the first game, or do you go with a guy who’s spent time in prison, but may have a long career ahead of him? I’d go the latter. No offense, Fauve, but your days as the starter with Green Bay are over. Word is he wants to go to Minnesota. Maybe he should go to Detroit. Anything would be better than what happened to the Lions last year. On the other hand, while teams may not be bashing down Michael Vick’s door, there’s still a better chance that he’ll come back to the NFL. Maybe not this year, but most certainly next year. But in order for Vick to do that, he’s really gotta humble himself.
I see some people thinking “Tennis? What the hell?” Yeah, tennis. I don’t really watch the game, but I read an article recently about the number of female tennis players coming out of retirement and going back to competing. That’s great, because other sports have guys come out of retirement to continue on with the game they love. Gordie Howe, Brett Fauve (okay, sorta) just to name a couple. But the big difference with these coming out parties isn’t necessarily the names, but the ages. Howe played hockey into his 50′s. These women that are making these announcements are 19, 20 and 21. I think the oldest is 22. Retirement? At 19? Most normal people are already thinking about the rest of their lives, and retirement is the furthest thing. Well, maybe retirement from the sport is okay, that way, these female tennis stars can get on with the rest of their lives and do something else that they might really love.
It’s been said that it’s not so much the teams that count, but the one key name that can go above the marquis. Kobe, Shaq, LeBron. These are names that are synonymous with basketball. People know the team they play for, but it’s that one key figure that people go to see. These NBA playoffs have been exciting, to the point I’m even keeping up with them. To some extent, I’d say that the NBA playoffs have been more exciting than the NHL Stanley Cup final.
That’s it, that’s all. Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
There’s a current court battle going on right now. No, I do not speak of the Blackberry genius, Jim Balsillie, and the battle over the Phoenix Coyotes. This battle has been going on for a lot longer than that. And it’s a battle that a certain organization has been winning, but one has to ask for how much longer.
The battle I speak of is between First Nations groups (Native American people in the United States) and the National Football League Club The Washington Redskins. These battle have come and gone for a couple of decades now. Everything from the Tomahawk chop in Florida and Atlanta to the names of teams basing themselves off of First Nation people. From the Florida Seminoles to the Cleveland Indians.
To be perfectly honest, the Florida Seminoles did it right. From wikipedia…
The university negotiated to gain agreement for use with the 3,100-member Seminole Tribe of Florida and the 15,567-member Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, which officially approved the relationship and details of the images and costumes.
The Seminole Indians have a long standing history in the state of Florida. They were the only Nation (or at least one of few) that American military never defeated on the field of battle, thus they call themselves the Unconquored People. The university in Florida did the right thing. They had called themselves Seminoles, and asked the people to have the right to use that name as their sports teams’ nicknames. Thus, FSU was exempt from an NCAA directive to rid sports teams at the university and college level of the nicknames which could be considered offensive to those of aboriginal decent. Because they already had worked out a deal with the Seminole Nation that was not considered offensive.
This is the same thing that North Dakota should have done with the Fighting Sioux. The Sioux and Dakota Nations have a long standing history in the midwestern United States and in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. When American military was on a campaign to rid the midwest of hostile Indians (I say that tongue firmly planted in cheek, because if there was an invading force coming to take your land, wouldn’t you be a bit hostile, if not mildly ticked off) many Dakota and Sioux tribes went north. All was not accepted in the Great White Northern Plains of Canada, but at least the government and the North West Mounted Police that came later said “sure, no problem. Here’s some reserved land.” Not to say there weren’t some problems, but there were also examples of First Nation people being, this may shock you, helpful with white settlers that came from Ontario to Saskatchewan to settle. The biggest example was in 1882 when settlers came to found what would become the city of Saskatoon. Chief Whitecap helped them, and his people showed them the best land to farm and the techniques they had learned in the harsh climate. Whitecap himself guaranteed that the Saskatoon settlers would not be harmed when 1885 rolled around and the Metis lead by Louis Reil began an uprising near Batoche.
The Saskatchewan examples are not some of the educational aspects that can be used for those in North Dakota, but there has to be some history, some way to use the name as a way to educate. North Dakota should have done what FSU did, and worked out a deal to have the permission to use the name. At present, UND has until the end of 2010 to either make a name change, or come to a settlement with the Sioux Nations that are opposing the logo and name usage. I find it odd that in a battle that involves educators they are not considering the education that can be gleaned from such a partnership.
Those two are examples of a good possible solution to a very sticky situation. But some names can be considered downright offensive. As Damien Cox on TSN’s The Reporters said “do you think that if you walked up to someone and called them a redskin that they wouldn’t be a little bit offended?” I can understand that the Washington Redskins have a huge amount of history as an institution, but their name is based off of bad history in both Canada and the United States. We (I say we, because I am predominantly of European decent) treated Native American and First Nation people like absolute crap. Redskin was never a term of endearment. It was like using the N word. But what can you do in a situation like this? What has to happen? The debate can go on and on, but as Dave Hodge of TSN’s The Reporters said “if the term is offensive, then it’s time to change it.”
However, both Sports Illustrated and theAnnenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania both found that 75% and 91% respectively of Native Americans did not find the nickname offensive. The fight over the nickname began in 1992. From wikipedia…
…a group of Native Americans led by Suzan Harjo filed to have the United States trademarks associated with the Redskins name cancelled under statutes which prevent registration of disparaging terms. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 1999 ruled in favor of the petition and cancelled the trademarks. Following appeals, in 2005 the D.C. Court of Appeals in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Harjo reversed the cancellation, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to support the finding of disparagement and holding that the majority of the petitioners were barred by laches from maintaining the suit. Had the cancellation of the trademark been successful, the team could have still used the name, and it still would have had enforceable trademark rights under state and local law. It would thus have been able to prevent others from using its marks on promotional goods, such jackets and caps. It would, however, have lost various benefits of federal trademark registration, such as the ability to enlist the aid of the U.S. Customs Service to seize infringing imports at the border. On May 15, 2009 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an earlier ruling that the Native Americans had waited too long to challenge the trademark. The trademark was registered in 1967. Native Americans successfully got the court to reconsider based on the fact the one of the plantiff’s Mateo Romero was only one in 1967 and turned 18 in 1984. The court decision affirmed that even accepting the 1984 date, that the Native Americans had still waited too long for the 1992 challenge.
The only real thing I can say is something has to be done. Because many people may have differing opinions if ever the Edmonton Eskimos have to deal with the same thing.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
The NHL playoffs first round is almost done. My Ottawa Senators watched from a golf course while Boston swept the Habs, Vancouver swept… who’d they play again? Oh yeah, that’s right, St. Louis. There’s still some first round games left to go, but I’m going out on a limb and announcing my All Star Team. These guys aren’t necessarily the best snipers, the best goal scorers… Oh wait, there’s Ovechkin. Anyway, without further rambling, here they are!
Alexander Ovechkin. Yeah, he’s the top goal scorer in the NHL, yeah, he’s one of the best since Gretzky and Lemieux. But I love him because he LOVES the game. Some called his antics after the 50th goal as show boating, I saw it as a guy having fun playing the game he loves. Every high-light reel of Ovechkin on the ice shows a guy who is having a blast. Yes, there’s serious moments, and we’ll see how the Capitals do in game seven, but I predict that the Caps are on their way to a win. And a good part of that is the up tempo play from Alexander. But, I hear some saying “Wait! Tim! What about Sid the Kid? He’s Canadian born and touted as the Next One!” Sid’s an excellent player and I’m not gonna take anything away from him, but I find him way too serious. Ovechkin gets it for his attitude.
Zdeno Chara. Wait, what? Why Chara? Why not? From his days in Ottawa (damn, Chara miss ya there) to his days with the Bruins now, Chara has the experience and the skills to be a top leader. And lead he has. When is the last time you heard the Boston Bruins being contenders for the Stanley Cup? Okay, they haven’t gotten there yet, but they’ve got a damn good chance. The only team in the east to stop them is probably Ovechkin and the Capitals. And Chara is a big factor in helping the team get to that next level.
Marty Brodeur. No matter the situation, Marty has the cool needed for the goaltending position. If not, he wouldn’t currently be holding so many NHL records and on the brink of breaking another. It was tough this year with so many good netminders. Luongo in Vancouver, Lundqvist in New York. Even Carey Price to a point. But Brodeur gets the nod because he’s the journeyman. Plus, he is a character, he knows when things need to get light. Even if he’s got Sean Avery in his face. And if that does ever happen…
Georges Laraque will bust his chops, because that’s the kinda guy Laraque is. Sure he’s a fighter. But he’s the kinda guy you need on the ice. Remember when the Leafs played the Kings in the Conference Final years ago? The last time the Montreal Canadiens went to the Stanley Cup? When a member of the Leafs got harassed by the Kings, who was there to lay the boots to him? Wendel Clark. Laraque has that grit. But off the ice, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy who smiles so much. Plus, he’s a genius when it comes to hockey, and his community minded presence is awe inspiring. If you don’t believe me, cruise to his web site and find out.
Joe Thornton. Thornton is like Brodeur. The journeyman. He’s been there before, but his only difference with Brodeur is never having had the Cup before. Can he do it with San Jose? The Ducks are making it hard right now, but with Game 7 on the line, who knows. Too bad Thornton wasn’t still with the Bruins, maybe he could have a better chance at the Stanley Cup, because it’s gonna be a long haul with both Vancouver and Detroit being so damn tough.
Jarome Iginla. Iginla is yet another journeyman who has that personable attitude. He’s approachable and has been a team leader with the Calgary Flames for so long. Part of me hopes that this year he’ll have a good shot at getting to the Cup, but like San Jose, the rest of the field in the West is tough, plus, they still have Game 7 to take out the Chicago Black Hawks.
So there you go. Agree or disagree if you want, it’s no matter to me. If you want, post up your own picks. I know I’m gonna hear some groans why I didn’t pick Roberto out of Vancouver or Tim Thomas in Boston but these are mine. Show me yours.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Finally, the temperatures are starting to get back to something that resembles normal this year. A few days ago, you could look around and see snow all over the place. Today, the only snow is the piles located in more shady locales as people tried to clear the streets and sidewalks during our late winter. I guess that stupid ground hog was right.
Stupid ground hog.
Outlook, Saskatchewan has a new business. Okay, not a new business, but a new location for an existing business. Riverbend Co-operative has hunkered down in their new digs, and the place is quite impressive. Bigger than the previous store, with more selection, and grocery and pharmacy in the same building. And to that, it’s right next door to the Home and Agro centre for building supplies and farming supplies. I was talking to one friend when the new Co-op store opened up on Wednesday, and he retold a story of comments made by a child. The child said it looked just like Wally World (the nickname for WalMart in these here parts). Maybe not, but the new store is impressive.
That reminds me, I should make my grocery list and pick some items up tonight on the way home.
Congratulations have to go out to a couple of hockey teams. The Outlook Novice Ice Hawks ended their season on a high note as they captured the Fertile Valley league championship.
It should also be noted the Outlook-Hanley-Loreburn Hooters women’s hockey team captured the Busch League title. Congrats to them as well.
Now that all the important hockey is done, we can go about looking at that other league that plays into June. You know, the NHL.
The Saskatchewan government plans on holding information meetings around the province in the near future. Uranium in Saskatchewan, part of the government’s flag waving for nuclear energy in the province. I’ll have a blog (rant) about that in the near future.
With hockey and basketball looking toward their respective playoffs, many people are beginning to get their cleats and gloves ready for baseball, softball, fastball and slow pitch seasons. It’s been years since I was at a Red Eye, and the last competitive game of baseball I played was in Melfort in 1991. Before that, I played baseball for the Conquest Midgets when I was in high school. I wasn’t very good. But I am a good bowler. And neither of those two sports have anything in common. Perhaps the ball in each is round, and bowling pins can be argued to have the same shape as a baseball bat.
As sports go, I’m looking forward to the CFL season. The Ottawa Senators were knocked out of the NHL playoffs officially by the Florida Panthers a couple of nights ago. Now my interest in the NHL is even less than passive. Speaking of CFL, the Saskatchewan Roughriders were fined for going over the salary cap. The most unbelievable thing was that the Riders, even with a huge amount of injuries last season, didn’t complain. They did say that they would like to see how the cap is treated in the future, however, in the event that a large rash of injuries does hit a team as deep as it hit the Riders. Hopefully that trend does not continue this year.
That’s it that’s all for now. I may have other news later.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
So, a few days ago The Washington Capitals played the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Lightning’s house. It was a big affair, because everyone was talking about Alexander Ovechkin. Would he score his 50th goal in that game? Technically, he already did in a shoot out previously, but the NHL doesn’t keep track of such things as a part of the scoring race. Goals have to be scored in regulation or in overtime, not in shoot outs, to count.
Back on track, Ovechkin scores his 50th. And he celebrates. His stick is hot, he’s fanning the flames when he lays it on the ice. People, and the media, got enraged. I side with some of the guys on TSN’s The Reporters, however. Let Ovechkin celebrate. For far too long the NHL has been seen as a league filled with stuffed shirts that do nothing but fight in a dangerous game. Ovechkin’s 50th showed that he is one player that loves the game, loves to play and is willing to show everyone that he loves this sport. Other players should show as much exuberance to be playing in a professional league, and living the dream that they had since they were kids.
But why do so many people call Ovechkin a show boater? Is it the little spats that have gone back and forth between Alex and Pittsburg Penguin forward Sidney Crosby? The NHL did bill Sid the Kid as the biggest star in the league after being drafted. Maybe this is Ovechkin’s response. Maybe this is Ovechkin saying “Hey! Look, Sid’s not the only one.” Let Ovechkin have fun. I guarantee that more people would enjoy seeing someone having a blast playing the game they trained so hard to play. Ovechkin is a role model for all up and coming kids that hockey is bottom line, just a game, and you should enjoy it as much as you can. I said it earlier, hockey is a very dangerous sport. At any given time, one slip up, and a player could have a career ending injury, or worse.
When Ovechkin scored his 50th goal, it was a hard fought goal. He had every right to celebrate. Let’s change things up, shall we, and pretend that Ovechkin didn’t score until that empty netter in the repeat match against Tampa in Washington. Would he have celebrated his 50th with as much exuberance? Probably not, because it was an empty netter, wouldn’t have meant as much. The media, and the fans, would also have had a different spin on the 50th. “Oh, it was just an empty netter.” As though the other 49 goals didn’t matter because of the 50th being an empty net goal.
Perhaps if there were more players like Ovechkin, there’d be less fighting. I don’t know, I just know that people should shut up, and let the players play. And I know that somewhere, Don Cherry is probably pissed at me because I’m heralding the actions of a Russian as opposed to a Canadian. Well, Ovechkin is the king, baby. Let him do what he does best. The only thing that would make Alexander Ovechkin better in my mind, is if he was playing for the team based in another nation’s capitol, the Ottawa Senators.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Just like in the promo ads that were on TSN, the song I’ve Been Everywhere came to mind as the trading deadline in the National Hockey League kept creeping forward. A few moves were made, but as the user poll suggested, the Calgary Flames posted the biggest gains, picking up a few players and some future draft picks for the upcoming draft. Edmonton wasn’t too far behind the Flames, and same with Toronto.
Big surprise, the Montreal Canadiens made no moves as the trade deadline loomed. The Habs must be satisfied with their group, and decided to stick with what works (at least for them).
In Sensnation, just one move. That’s it. Captured at TSN.ca website, here’s “The Move.”
A well known player, mind you, as they send Antoine Vermette to Columbus for Pascal Leclaire and a second round pick.
For all the news and the trade schedule, check out TSN.ca trade center report. Feel like gabbin’ here about the trades that were made? Go for it. Like to hear what went down, or didn’t go down, as it were the case.
Georges Laraque is a big guy. The enforcer for the Montreal Canadiens stands at 6’3″, weighs in at 253 pounds. Born in Montreal, he’s played in the NHL for 12 years. He’s seen a lot during his tenure with the Edmonton Oilers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins and now the Habs. He’s wracked up a lot of penalty minutes, and he’s been in a lot of scraps on the ice. He’s a power foward known for his strength and his tenacity.
And he’s speaking out against fighting in the NHL.
Laraque just recently called the NHLPA and threw his support behind the association’s initiatives for safety regulations in the NHL and to minimize fighting. The recent death of Don Sanderson due to a head injury while he was in a fight has been cause to rethink safety issues in the NHL. Sanderson’s head hit the ice during the fight.
”The whole world is watching because someone in our sport has died. The Ontario Hockey League made changes, so what examples are we providing? If we don’t adjust, we’re a bush league!” says Laraque.
He knows less fighting will eliminate jobs, partiularily his own. And he’s bracing for the backlash. But Laraque has a reason, and it’s an honourable one. ”I want to protect and help the young players of the future.”
I find Laraque’s stand quite admirable. I always remember when people would talk about the NHL and hockey as a joke, that fights were always waiting to happen in a game. One joke stated “I went to a hockey game and a boxing match broke out.” Since that joke has made the rounds, finesse hockey players have become more of the norm for the NHL. But fights still happen. Some say it’s part of the game. Other’s say it allows the players to release their aggression. That aggression turned ugly a few years ago, when an on ice incident with then Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi ended up standing trial for his actions.
In light of Sanderson’s death, Laraque wants the league to implement new helmet regulations. ”if you wear a visor you can’t fight… period.” He states the wearing of helmets during a fight has to be mandatory.
”Every fight a guy ends up on the ground and risks hitting his head on the ice. It’s simple. If the helmet comes off, or a player purposely takes it off, the ref should come in and stop the fight..It should be automatic…when the helmet comes off, the fight is over and if a guy throws a punch at a player without a helmet, he should get an extra penalty for that, too.”
As I sit here with my morning coffee, I read over the different news sites I have bookmarked. This includes TSN.ca. Amidst the scores and highlights is a recap of last night’s win by the Ottawa Senators over the Carolina Hurricanes. It’s titled Happy New Year. It’s the first victory for 2009 after a five game slump. The Sens have gone from champs to chumps in less than a year. So the question is, what happened?
As James Duthie stated in his blog post on the subject, there is no real answer. Everyone, from other NHL players to coaches to scouts have their own theories. A year ago a game between the Sens and the Detroit Red Wings was billed as a Stanley Cup preview. Turned out it wasn’t, but the Sens were that good a year ago. Former Lightning coach John Tortorella put it best, probably. They no longer have that look that they are going to win. You know, that look in their eyes that no matter who they faced, they were going to come out on top. Victory. It’s gone now.
Maybe I should try what my friend Pearce does with the Vancouver Canucks. I’ll stop checking highlights and scores for a few day, and maybe the Sens will win. Which reminds me, considering the Canucks recent run, Pearce have you been checking the Canucks highlights and scores? Because they’re on a losing skid.
For now, at least, the Sens managed to snap their five game drought with a five to one win last night. Here’s hoping that they can become playoff hopefuls this year, instead of Draft Lottery hopefuls.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
They sang the Canadian National Antheme as they have done since 2005 in Grand Forks. It wasn’t pretty, but they sang with their hearts, smiles on their faces as they displayed the gold medals after cruising to a win in Ottawa. Team Canada won their fifth straight World Junior Hockey Championship.
The 5-1 win over the Sweds was easier in the gold medal game than their previous two games against Russia and the USA. Against the Americans, Canada had to come back from a 3-0 deficit before posting a 7-4 victory. Against Russia, Canada had to claw back and tie the game in the dying seconds of regulation, winning it in an overtime shootout. Even with the trash talking the Sweds did before the game, Canada went in knowing they only had one goal. Only one thing would be satisfactory.
In the gold medal game, there was no need for last minute heroics. No need for on the edge drives. No pressure. Just clear sailing to the gold. Now they’ve won five, so now what.
That’s the only answer.
Canada has won 15 gold medals in the World Juniors, tying Russia/Soviet Union for the most gold medals won at that level of international play. A 16th win would break the record. A sixth straight gold would be hard to top. They had all the pressure in the world, as they played at home.
It won’t get any easier in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan next year.
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Each year rolls around and every new year that comes along means one thing for a lot of Canadians. A renewed patriotism. That might sound a tad odd. But in Canada, we don’t celebrate patriotism in grand fashion. We have our silent patriotism and we often shun outbursts. I believe that to be an injustice to Canadians that like to shout it from the rafters, so to speak. After all, I am one of those Canadians that likes to shout it from the rafters.
But there is one thing that happens around Christmas time that makes 95% of Canadians shout it from the rafters. The World Junior Hockey Championships. Canadians don’t celebrate wars or heroism in the field of battle. We celebrate it at the rink. We wave the flag and sing the national atheme with pride and often times loudly, as the Canadian junior team has done the past four years, winning the gold medal at each tournament.
This year, the world juniors are held in Ottawa, Ontario. There’s a bit more pressure for the Canadians being on home ice. And as TSN stated, the players come from Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, and all parts of the country. But for two weeks, while they are in Ottawa, they are all home town boys.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
The Outlook Ice Hawks received a big boost of support from the local Kinsmen. The Kinsmen Club of Outlook presented the Outlook Ice Hawks with brand new uniforms just before the puck dropped at the home opener, November 7th. Ice Hawks captain Derek Derdall and assistant captain Blake Taylor accepted the new jerseys from Kinsmen members Keith Bowey and Jeff Gowan. The new uniforms sport the logos of the Kinsmen Club on the left sleeve, who support many projects throughout the community, and are always found at Ice Hawks games helping out, and AG Foods on the right sleeve. Royce Taylor and AG Foods have supported the Ice Hawks for several years.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
2007 is now officially in the bag, and now we’re onto 2008. A lot has happened. Some good, some bad. There are recaps to be had, but other news agencies do this better than I do.
Still a bit shaken up that the kid who cried over Britney Spears was one of the most watched YouTube videos. I mean, seriously, Dramatic Gopher (yes, gopher, not prairie dog) was so much better than the guy who put out that video. In that same area, however, I liked the contest put on by Sony to find the best Viral Video. Using some of the webs top celebrities, and getting them to produce a short film was fun to watch.
It was with great mourning that by June of 2007, the Ottawa Senators fell to the Mighty Ducks, losing in five games. I’m hoping this year they can climb over that hump and win the Stanley Cup. November made up for it, however, when the Saskatchewan Roughriders won the Grey Cup, beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-19. Now they just need to repeat and all will be well.
New England Patriots ended the year with a perfect 16-0 record in the regular season. Sorry, don’t go handing out the Super Bowl just yet. They still have three playoff games to play, and has been said, the playoffs are a completely different season. But don’t be surprised if they do win, the NFL seems very predictable.
Baseball was rocked when allegations began floating around about steroid use. Now, big names are getting finger pointed, including slugger king Barry Bonds, and ace pitcher Roger Clements.
It was out with the old and in with the new this year, as Brad Wall, leader of the Saskatchewan Party became Saskatchewan’s new premier. Just in time for the Grey Cup, too. Things have not been easy for the new premier, but then, it never is for a newly elected government in Saskatchewan. At least he managed to win his bet with Manitoba Premier Gary Doer for the Grey Cup, er, Banjo Bowl. No, Grey Cup was right.
2007 wasn’t the kindest of years, especially to the Canadian military, and especially to those men and women who served overseas in Afghanistan. The death toll in the war torn country continued to rise. And hoping that we could escape another year without another police shooting, an RCMP office was gunned down in the Territories.
2007 marked the beginning of this blog, and also marked the beginning of some more serious prose work that I’ve done. Canyons of Steel has been coming along slowly, but I intend to add to it as 2008 unfolds. I’ve also been concentrating on artwork in my spare time as well, and have posted a great deal (including photos) at deviantART (to the right and to the left are pieces that I’ve done). This just means that a lot of my own writing will come out more slowly, as I concentrate on artwork, and a new project I’m toying with that’s coming in the works. I’m setting a deadline for myself of July first to have the first drafts done and ready. Hopefully by July 1st, 2009 I’ll begin seriously posting some of it. Along the lines of Canyons of Steel, except this is a comic book story. I’ve always had an interest in Richard Comely’s Captain Canuck series and I created my own patriotic super hero, called Canadiens.
2008 should be an interesting year.
Until next time…
Keep ‘em flyin’.
I’ve really taken to snapping photos a lot lately. Not only is it a part of my job, but it truly is a wonderful hobby. And to think, my experience with digital cameras did not start that long ago.
My first digital camera was the Samsung Digimax D53. A pretty decent camera for simple point and click portrait pictures. I found that scenic shots came out great with this camera. It’s easy to use, and easy to transfer photos onto your computer for editing purposes, whether you have a simple photo manipulation program or are an expert Photoshop user. Light weight and easy to hold, this camera has the basic features needed to capture some very good shots.
With a high resolution image that it produces and a 2.4 inch LCD screen, that was just the beginning of what originally sold it for me. The 5 megapixel quality also was a selling point. But the camera had it’s share of problems for me.
I always found I had to remove the batteries, or even when turned off, it would drain the energy from them. It went through a pair of AA batteries like nothing. And the Energizer Rechargable batteries weren’t much of a help. There was one last problem. I take a lot of photos at the local hockey arena. And this camera just wasn’t up to the task. The photos would come out extremely blurry, and in some cases, motion blur filled the image.
After a long talk with a friend, she suggested I look at the Kodak line of digital cameras. So I did. I found the Kodak EasyShare Z812 IS. Compact, just like the Samsung, but it has so much more.
A 12X zoom, plus 8.2 megapixel resolution, this camera could also take the photos my Samsung was lacking in. Action shots. This camera also comes with a rechargable Li-Ion battery, and replaceable batteries are cheap. As well, it can handle a pair of AA batteries in a pinch.
As you can see, there is a slight difference in quality in the images taken. The top photo is of the Samsung Digimax D53, taken with the Kodak. While below, is the Kodak EasyShare Z812 IS, taken with the Samsung. Even before I began cropping down the images, I noticed a slight difference. The mug shot, that was taken with the Z812.
The nice thing about both cameras is they take the SD flash card. I already had one for the Samsung, so switching it over to the Kodak was no problem at all. I haven’t field tested the Kodak as much as I have the Digimax, but I hope that I’ll see an improvement. The Ice Hawks play at home to the Elrose Aces tonight, so I might just get a chance to see the camera in action.
Point. Click. Photo.
Until next time…
Keep ‘em flyin’.
The Outlook Ice Hawks are offering up tryouts again to start the new season. Information is in today’s edition of The Outlook for contacting Royce Taylor. First practice is set for October 17th, so looking forward to a new season of hockey in Outlook.
Until that first game…
Keep ‘em flyin’.