The weekend started off Friday night at the Delta Regina with the 2013 Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction. The celebrities were lined up on stage and auctioned off. Here they are from left to right: STARS Air Ambulance paramedic John Antal, Red Sox great Rob Cherepuschak, Rider FB Neal Hughes, Rider QB coach Khari Jones, Team Canada soccer olympian Kaylin Kyle, Rider kicker Chris Milo, Rider RB Kory Sheets, Dave "The Hammer" Schultz and Darryl Sittler...
Here's our auctioneer Rob "Sharky" Jamont auctioning off Kaylin Kyle...
Khari Jones brought with him a brand new Geroy Simon jersey to help entice bidders. He also did a tap dance on stage....
CKRM morning co-host Gloria Evans poses with The Hammer...
One of Schultz's two Flyers Stanley Cup rings....
Leafs great Darryl Sittler signs autographs. What's better: being a Stanley Cup champion (like Dave Schultz) or being in the Hockey Hall of Fame (like Sittler)? Chances are neither one would trade but if I had to pick, it would to be a champion...
Rider kicker Chris Milo poses for pics with Kaylin Kyle...
Now some Monday observations:
- Happy birthday today to former Blue Bomber coach Mike Kelly!
- Roughrider Assistant GM Jeremy O'Day spent an hour in studio with us in the Sports Cage for Four Seasons Football Friday. He has sensed that the Rider Nation is impatient with the team's delay in announcing its coaching staff.
"They are," O'Day admitted. "And that's understandable. I think that's a better question to ask Corey (Chamblin) but I can tell you Corey is very thorough and there's a reason why he's waiting to announce his coaching staff. But I can tell you this; Mosaic Stadium is rockin' right now and there's a lot of football being talked so we like like we're in good hands there and Corey's done a good job of putting his staff together."
An announcement should be coming shortly.
- Regina's Greek community can be very persuasive, if not downright intimidating. John Athanasopulous of John's Place pulled me aside at Friday's sports dinner and said in my ear "You married a Greek girl so you are now part of the Greek community. We need you to sell tables for an Evening In Greece on February 23 at $1400. Thank you and good luck."
That's it. So, if you can please help me out, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be a great time and I'll see you there!
- Oh, and I've also been asked to sell VIP sponsorships for the 2013 CIS Womens National Basketball Championships in Regina. They range from $1000 to $4000 in price. Again, if either of these events interest you, please, please drop me a line! I hate asking for favours.
- Friday night's Kinsmen sports dinner was a classic example of how you can't please everybody and people go to these functions with very different expectations. For instance, I thought Dave "The Hammer" Schultz's speech was far more entertaining than Darryl Sittler's address. Schultz's talk was twice as long and basically was hockey story after hockey story whereas Sittler's speech was far more motivational. I can't even really describe it. One big focus was on how we should volunteer for a colonoscopy, if that gives you an idea.
However a gentleman about my age came up to me after the dinner and had tears in his eyes. He told me about his severely disabled daughter, who's the same age as my little girl. It was a very emotional conversation. He said Sittler's message hit home with him, and gave him hope. It's safe to say everyone went home from the event having been entertained.
Notes & quotes from Schultz's speech:
* Sometimes when you're feeling important about yourself and your ego is in full bloom, think about what Flyers coach Fred Shero did before the 1974 Stanley Cup playoffs. He placed a bucket of water in the middle of the Flyers' dressing room and told his players to stick their hand in past their wrist, then pull it out. He said that's how indispensable you are. Your spot will be filled immediately.
* Just before the Flyers' Game 6 Cup-clinching victory against Boston, Shero told the Flyers "We win today and we will walk together forever". The Flyers went out and won the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup that night.
* That team was the first NHL expansion franchise to win a Stanley Cup and was also the last team to win the Cup with a roster made up entirely of Canadians. 12 of them were from western Canada.
* Schultz's career ended because of medical reasons. The NHL got sick of him!
* Schultz didn't play in last year's alumni outdoor game in Philadephia on Winter Classic weekend. He didn't want to be charged with elderly abuse. However Schultz went into the dressing room before the game and it looked like a nursing home. Goalie Bernie Parent didn't know what to put on first: his pads or his Depends!
* Schultz is working now in sales in the energy industry and doing lots of public speaking.
Notes from Sittler's speech:
* He grew up in Kitchener, Ontario but was a fan of the Montreal Canadiens. That changed when he was drafted in the first round of the 1970 draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
* Due to a storm in Toronto, Sittler sat on an airplane for seven hours waiting to takeoff from Toronto to Regina. He said it's like being a Leafs fan and hoping to make the playoffs; you have to be patient.
* Before Game 7 of a 1976 playoff series against Philadelphia, the Leafs sat under a pyramid in the dressing room for an hour each. It was part of the Leafs' infamous "Pyramid Power" psychology. Meanwhile the Flyers were riding the wave of success they had when Kate Smith sang God Bless America before games in the Spectrum. Toronto's Tiger Williams quipped, "I'm glad we're not the Flyers! Can you imagine sitting under Kate Smith for an hour!"
* Sittler told the story of his friendship with Terry Fox, who started the road for $500-million to be raised for cancer research. He said as far as he's concerned, Fox is the greatest Canadian who ever lived. He also said he has a large picture of Fox in his house and every time he thinks a challenge is too difficult to undertake, he looks at Fox's photo and says "If he can do what he did, I can do anything."
Random Monday Musings:
- It's hard to believe Alouettes GM Jim Popp has only 359 followers on Twitter. He puts some very insightful things on Twitter. You can follow him at @JimPoppGM.
- TSN's Farhan Lalji reports Lions lineman Jovan Olafioye has interest from a handful of NFL teams however he can't work out for any of them until Feb 15. That's this Friday when the CFL free agent deadline hits.
- Rider DE Odell Willis has worked out for three NFL teams and seems excited to hit free agency and see what he can get on the open market. Same goes for linebacker Tyron Brackenridge, minus the NFL tryouts.
- Correction to a note in Friday's column; I wrote that longtime Senators/Rough Riders/Renegades/67's voice Dave Schreiber retired in the summer. Turns out he retired only from the junior hockey broadcasts, as I heard him calling the Senators/Jets game on Team 1200 on Saturday. He may still be in the running for the play-by-play job of the new Ottawa CFL franchise.
- The Baltimore Ravens have begun the unenviable task of sorting out who should get a Super Bowl ring. Coach John Harbaugh says he plans to give a ring to Cam Cameron, who was fired as Ravens' offensive coordinator in December which sparked their turnaround.
- We'll be in Winnipeg next weekend to catch the Jets and Boston Bruins so you can expect the Monday Morning Goalie to come from the Manitoba capital next week.
- Would far rather have watched the Oilers on Saturday rather than the Winnipeg Jets. Is that because we're in the Jets' region, or because the game was in Ottawa on Scotiabank's Hockey Day In Canada? Likely both.
- CBC's coverage all day on Saturday was splendid, culminating with Don Cherry being escorted by motorcade into the arena in Peterborough for a ceremonial faceoff before an OHL game. However, were those pyjamas he was wearing? It was also humorous to see him fighting with Cory Stillman over the puck for the faceoff.
- Next year's Hockey Day In Canada will be in Lloydminster, SK which is tremendously exciting.
- These aren't your dad's Toronto Maple Leafs. They're your grandpa's Maple Leafs! They looked unbelievably strong in their rout of Montreal, which sent Habs fans scurrying to the Bell Centre exits long before the game was over.
- Congratulations to the Saskatoon Blades for drawing a franchise record 12,588 fans to Saturday's home game against Lethbridge at the Credit Union Centre. It was the 25th anniversary of the arena, which was originally named Saskatchewan Place. I miss that name but also understand the importance of advertising dollars. The Blades, by the way, have won eight in a row.
- Former Swift Current Bronco Dale Weise won the fastest-skater competition in the Vancouver Canucks skills competition on Sunday. I wouldn't have thought the Winnipeg product was the fastest skater on the Broncos, let alone an NHL team. Good for him!
- Over the weekend we snuck in a visit to Rainbow Theatre to watch Parental Guidance starring Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei. Two thumbs-up from the MMG! It was good clean family fun and had us laughing the whole way through. It was also great to see RMP sales manager Bob Ramsey at the theatre, a Sports Cage sponsor.
- Don't forget Monday's Press Box Sports Bar lunch special: All-You-Can-Eat Soup & Salad for just $7.99!
- And don't miss another Rider Monday in the Sports Cage at 5 pm on 620 CKRM. We'll have the regular Monday roundtable will be joined by Rider Hall of Famer Dan Rashovich and the voice of the Saskatoon Blades, Les Lazurak.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!