Tag Archives: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Black History Month – George Reed

For today’s history lesson, we turn our attention to another football player, but this time an American who came north and played in the CFL.  George Reed is known in Saskatchewan as a record breaking running back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the 1960s and 1970s.  He appeared in four Grey Cups, helping the Riders win their first in 1966.  Reed is one of three running backs always mentioned as the best in the history of the CFL (the others being Mike Pringle and Johnny Bright), and is one of only 8 former Roughriders to have his number retired.

Like yesterday’s entry, Rueben Mayes, Reed was a Pac 8 college player for the Washington State University Cougars, where he was teamed along with future Rider teammate and fellow Canadian Football Hall of Famer, Hugh Campbell.

Reed’s play during his 13 years with the Roughriders is not the main point of this article.  He is also a naturalized Canadian citizen, and was made a Member of the Order of Canada for his work with children with disabilities.  His contributions to help the handicapped and his work and creation of the George Reed Foundation, saw the Province of Saskatchewan recognize his work in 1973.

Since then, Reed still works with the foundation, and lives in Regina.  He is often seen in the stands with thousands of other Rider faithful during game days.

Reed’s message as founder and chair of the George Reed Foundation is very clear;

We need heroes. They believe in us, and teach us to believe in others and ourselves. They inspire us to become more than who we are. A true hero touches the lives of many people, and does so selflessly and without thanks. True heroes walk among us, silently giving their time, their energy and their passion.

Of the many organizations that the foundation helps, is the Saskatchewan Special Olympics and those athletes who compete at provincial and national levels.  But the foundation’s work speaks for itself.

The George Reed Foundation was founded by #34 himself, with a strong focus on helping the disabled and disadvantaged who are physically and intellectually challenged. We support programs and projects that focus on education, continuous learning and inspiring healthy and active living.

George has personally been a long time supporter of Saskatchewan Special Olympics, and lends his name to them in creating a future legacy fund. As well, over the years George has provided his support to pictogram development-a method of symbolic communication. The George Reed Foundation and the University of Regina are working to create a centre of study for pictogram research and development. We envision the centre further exploring other means of visual communication, and the creation of scholarships to support students who want to help people with physical or intellectual disabilities.

George Reed, born in Mississippi, has become a Saskatchewan icon not only for his abilities on the gridiron, but also for his contributions to making Saskatchewan residents who are physically and mentally challenged get the assistance they deserve.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Fun, randomness


Tags: , , , , ,

2013 Grey Cup; talked about for decades to come


There was a lot of stories leading up to the Grey Cup.  How Kent Austin, current head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, was the quarterback for Saskatchewan when he lead the team to the 1989 Grey Cup Championship over that year’s Hamilton squad.  How he returned in 2007 as head coach for the Riders, and helped lead them again to victory against Winnipeg.

Andy Fantuz, former receiver with Saskatchewan, now playing for Hamilton.  Henri Burris, a former Rider quarterback, now under center with Hamilton.  Luca Congi, former kicker for Saskatchewan, now using his leg for the Tiger-cats.

Those stories were talked about, but there are others now that the game is done, and the Riders are the 2013 Grey Cup Champs.

Rider quarterback Darian Durant is the ultimate professional.  He works hard and takes a very serious leadership role for his team.  Many have said it’s hard playing in Saskatchewan because the province and the team are so connected.  A small market means you’re under the microscope every day.  But Darian took his criticism in stride and didn’t let it overwhelm him.  He was a third string quarterback in 2007.  In 2009 and 2010, he lead the Riders to the Grey Cup only to lose each to the Montreal Alouettes.  But he now shares something close to Rider great Ron Lancaster.  No other quarterback since Lancaster has lead the Riders to more than one Grey Cup.  Lancaster was the Little General in 1966, 1967, 1969, 1972 and 1976, winning it in 1966.  Durant’s been there four times, starting three of those games.  Durant deserves as much respect as Lancaster has received in this province.

There’s even more stories.  The local players, born and raised in Saskatchewan who dreamed of playing for the hometown Riders.  Guys like Chris Getzlaf, Neil Hughs, Brendan Labatte, and Ben Hennan.  To win it all is one thing, but to win it in front of their home fans is a completely different feeling.

And there’s the story of Kory Sheets, who was brought down to earth by his teammates, to set ego aside and do what he does for the team.  Not only did he win the MVP for the Grey Cup, but he set a Grey Cup record for yards rushed with 197.

There’s Geroy Simon, the veteran, who had been in the Grey Cup three times before with the B.C. Lions, but never had caught a touchdown pass.  This year, he caught two.

And there’s the Riders head coach, Corey Chamberlain.  Corey is most likely the youngest head coach ever to win a Grey Cup.  He’s also only the third black head coach to win a championship in football at the professional level.  Mike Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts became the first black head coach to win a Grey Cup in 2004.  Four years later, in 2008, Tony Dungy was the field boss for the Indianapolis Colts as they defeated the Chicago Bears for the Super Bowl Championship.  Now, in 2013, Corey Chamberlain becomes only the third black head coach to win a professional football Championship.

In Saskatchewan, this Grey Cup will be talked about for decades to come.  There’s still people who talk about 1966 when Ron Lancaster and George Reed won with the Riders as they helped beat Russ Jackson and the Ottawa Rough Riders.  People still talk about 1989 when Dave Ridgeway booted the winning field goal with two seconds left to defeat Hamilton in a shoot out.  And they still talk about 2007 when Kerry Joseph used his arm and his legs to lead the Riders to victory.

Now, we can talk about Durant, Sheets, Getzlaf, Dressler, Simon, Bagg and all the others who stepped up and won the 2013 Grey Cup.  We’ll talk about it for a very long time.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 24, 2013 in Sports


Tags: , , , , , ,

Wednesday Morning Random Times


It’s time… at some point

There comes a time when you’re waiting to do something that you’re not really that fond of.  It doesn’t matter what it is, but it’s something you have to do.  Work at a job you don’t like, go to a place where you don’t feel safe, be with people you feel uncomfortable with.  These aren’t decisions you want to make because you feel you’d be better off not doing them, they’re things you have to do because of the social contract that is pushed on everyone that we all be productive members of society.  Having a job is one of those things, going out and socializing seems to be another.  I can understand the former because you need money in order to live, but the latter really isn’t that important to some people.

However, the wait before is kind of a killer.  You think about the fact you have to get ready, whether you want to or not.  And at some point you just decide “it’s time, let’s go”.  It’s that aspect where you steel yourself as though preparing to do something you’re not overly fond of doing.

For some of those things, you can decide not to do them.  For others however, such as a job, a doctor’s appointment, getting groceries, those things you need to do.  Just take a deep breath, relax and take the first step.

The week that comes

This week is one that I’m really wanting to go by slowly.  Granted, it’s a busy week at work, so slow is a rather subjective term.  It’s been anything but slow.  The past two day zipped by rather quickly.

One of the reasons, if not the only reason, is that this Sunday is Grey Cup Sunday.  And the Saskatchewan Roughriders are in the big game.  In Regina.  It’s historic because it’s a rare thing when the venue hosting the Grey Cup can also claim to have the home team play in the Grey Cup.  It’s been fortunate that in the past three years the home team has been in the big game.  B.C. Lions won in Vancouver two years ago.  Toronto Argonauts won in Toronto last year.  The last time the Riders won the Grey Cup, it was 2007 in Toronto and they played the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

When the game takes place, it’ll be Sunday, so it’ll be the end of the weekend.  I’m really wanting the week to pass slowly, take in the stories surrounding the Grey Cup, and enjoy the moment.

The Riders have only won three championships, which isn’t a lot in their 100+ year history.  And this is the 101st Grey Cup.  But I enjoy any time when the Green and White get to the big game.  Lately, in the past six years, that’s happened four times.  2007, 2009, 2010 and now in 2013.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Life, randomness


Tags: , , , , ,

Tell Harper: Don’t Sell Out Canada’s Last Prairies!

Interrupting 31 Days of Ghosts to announce something important which has zero to do with me other than it came in from a subscription I receive on social and political news.

From the Care2 team:

The Harper government has turned its back on decades of conserving much of Canada’s remaining great prairie grasslands, leaving many at-risk species like the burrowing owl and the swift fox hovering close to the brink.

Given Harper’s record this will come as no surprise, but the good news is we definitely can help to protect these iconic lands, if we act quickly!

Harper’s move means provincial governments will now own AND manage this fragile prairie ecosystem. A frightening prospect, as we know the government of Saskatchewan hopes to sell this land at market rates if they can move quickly and quietly enough.

To protect almost 2 million acres of native prairie grasslands, we’ve got to make noise and in a hurry.

We are very concerned for the future of this natural jewel because more than 80% has already been lost to development. But Premier Wall has shown himself to be flexible in the face of political push back.

Please send a message to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall right now!

For decades this beautiful, big sky land has been held in public trust as crown property carefully conserved for future generations and environmentally protected under the management of the federal government. All that changed when Harper walked away.

Now it’s up to us. Please tell Brad Wall he must guarantee that the conservation and environmental protections that have been in place for generations continue in the future.

Your message will make a huge difference. Once you send it, please share this campaign.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Life, randomness


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hazy Shade of Winter

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.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Life, randomness


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Canada Day: Opening of the CFL

Week one of the Canadian Football League starts up around the Canada Day long weekend.  While we had thunder storms a lightning here today, it didn’t put a damper on festivities nor did it stop the opening of the CFL season, which began Friday night.  The winners in week one were B.C., Edmonton, Calgary and the team I’ve been rooting for since I was a kid, Saskatchewan Roughriders.

This is the 100th Grey Cup, and as always it seems to hold a greater connection for Canadians than even hockey.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Fun, randomness


Tags: , , , , , ,

Do you wear stripes a lot?

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.

Ask me anything

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Fun, photos, randomness


Tags: , , , , ,

Cover designs!

Trust me, I am working on today’s episode of Rocket Fox.

In the meantime, here’s a couple of cover designs I made for the first and the third book in the series.  First up, Rocket Fox: Flight of the Nighthawk.

And, second, the third book in the series which will see some heavy changes coming to it.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 18, 2012 in The Barrow's Revenge, Writing


Tags: , , , , ,

The long wait

Oooo!  Look at me, two posts in one day!

You ever have one of those times when you’ve worked hard to get something, and the end is in sight but the waiting begins?  That’s what I’m going through right now.  Let me try to describe it without giving too much away.

Boys and their toys

Totally not me, but this is similar to what I used to do with my race set. Image by JW Ogden via Flickr

When I was a kid, those few last days before Christmas was an agonizing time.  It felt like years had passed before I could wake up early Christmas morning, rush downstairs… eat breakfast… and open presents.  One Christmas in particular comes to mind.  That Christmas was great, because I had asked to get a Tyco Nite Glo race set.  Two remote control Firebirds (one silver, one black) and a huge length of track.  It was great setting up the race set in these intricate designs with different obstacles and jumps.  At one point, I even considered getting a train set to have a train go around it’s track constantly while me and my dad or one of my friends raced like bats outta hell (not my dad, though, he’d never race like that).

Another item was the book Rider Pride, written to capture the history of the Saskatchewan Roughriders football club.  Published in 1983, it contained a great deal of information about the team, and while I followed them sparsely before reading the book, this made me a die hard fan.

Fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders at the 20...

This is what would have equalled my excitement of getting Rider Pride. Being at the 2007 Grey Cup. Image via Wikipedia

I’m going through that right now.  I have ordered something, which is a final proof, and the wait is unbearable.  I normally don’t go to the post office save for once or twice a week.  But this week I’ve been there every single day.  I only hope that said delivery is coming through the mail, and not via courier.  Which then, there would be a message taped to my apartment door (the outside, not the inside).

I’ll give it another go this afternoon, and if there still is nothing, then hope that tomorrow will prove more fruitful.

Until next time…

…keep ’em flyin’!

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 16, 2010 in Life, randomness


Tags: , ,

To dome or not to dome

The talk early this year in Riderville has been about a few things.  Would the Riders defense be as potent without the likes of John Chick and Stevie Baggs who took contracts with Indianapolis and San Diego respectively, and the retirement of Eddie Davis?  It’s now five games in, and aside from an embarrassment against Calgary in week four, it’s not too bad.  Although, the Riders have given up the largest number of points per game.  Fortunately, the offense has been putting up numbers.

The other talk has been about a new stadium in Regina.  Moasic Stadium at Taylor Field is old, let’s face it.  It’s been there for years.  The same location has been the site of football in Regina for at least half a century.  There is a lot of history there, but there’s also some problems.  The stadium will have to under go several renovations to bring it up to snuff.  So the question is, is it time to build a new stadium in Regina?  And is it time to make that a domed stadium?

Football in Canada, especially on the Prairies, is not kind.  Saskatchewan, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary all boast outdoor venues, none of which has the option of a roof to cover up during bad weather.  The Riders, Eskimos, Stamps and Bombers have all played home dates in rain, snow, sleet, had games paused during a blackout, and in Edmonton’s case, mud.  Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton is one of the last football venues in North America still played on grass.

You might think that any one of these four cities would warrant a new domed stadium to make things much more inviting for the fans.  Well, there are some arguments for such a move.  The BC Lions have BC Place Stadium, which currently is undergoing renovations, so the team has to play home games at the smaller Empire Stadium.  And people have loved it.  The weather has been great, and you get a view of the mountains in the background while attending a football game.  In Toronto, there is Rogers Centre.  Home of the Agronauts and the Blue Jays.  Back in the day, when it was called Skydome, the retractable roof was great.  It’s still an impressive site, and with football and baseball always happening, Rogers is a stadium fit for a large metropolitan center like Toronto.

Then there’s the Big O.  Olympic Stadium was to be the crown jewel of stadiums in Canada.  But financial problems, and an Olympic games that put the city of Montreal in so much debt that they are still paying for it, became an eye soar.  At one time home to the Montreal Alouettes and the Montreal Expos, it was often stated that they wondered when the roof would get finished.  The stadium was built for the 1976 Olympics, and people still wondered in the 1980’s when the roof would finally be put in place.  When the Als folded, only the Expos remained, and it was embarrassing to see only 5 to 10 thousand people show up for a ball game in a 60,000 seat stadium.

Fast foward, the Als returned to the CFL, and decided to move into Molson Stadium, a smaller outdoor venue.  It’s been a perfect fit.  The last two games and playoff games are always played in the Big O, and they’re always close to or at sell out.

Now lets return to Regina, where the winters can be harsh and summers can be blistering, combine both seasons with a wicked wind.  You’d think that a dome in Regina would be a no brainer.  But there’s money to consider.  Who pays for it?  There has been agreement that the city of Regina, the Riders and maybe even the province could kick in some funding.  Now to get the federal government on board.  But for a project like this, the tax payer, because that’s who’s paying for it in the end, needs to see a quick turn around.  Sure, the Riders will play there.  But that’s nine games.  What else?  The University of Regina Rams, and the Regina Prairie Thunder of the Prairie Junior Football Conference would have a new place to play.  And, of course, there’s the high school teams in Regina that could benefit.

A new stadium in Regina could also attract some major events.  Remember the Rolling Stones playing at Taylor Field?  It was one of the most sought after ticket events of the last few years, because the Stones never played anywhere in Saskatchewan during their entire musical career.  For the longest time, after Saskatoon built Saskatchewan Place (now called the Credit Union Centre), big name talent was flocking to the city.  AC/DC, Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi and more.  Those names still come to Saskatoon, and very few go to Regina.  Sure, Regina hosted Bon Jovi recently, but other acts are few and far between.

A dome in Regina would make sense economically.  Plus, there’s already several groups that have come forward to help with the project.  One of those has been several Tribal Councils in Saskatchewan.  First Nations bands in Saskatchewan are some of the most keen business people around.  Many reserves have gone from sparse and run down, to much more affluent.  There are, of course, always exceptions to every rule.

So with so many interested people looking at a new stadium, I guess the only questions left are when would we see an official announcement either way, where would it be build, and would the Riders end up becoming like the Minnesota Vikings once they got a dome and dwindled into NFL obscurity.

Until next time…

…keep ’em flyin’!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 1, 2010 in photos, Sports


Tags: , ,

%d bloggers like this: