Realty One

Titan Auto

Thursday, March 8, 2018


1 - IT'S HERE: Stop for a moment and realize what's going on in the Queen City right now. For almost two years local organizers have planned for the Tim Hortons Brier with Saskatchewan's entry advancing to the Championship Round, and Dave Taylor's U of R Cougars hosting the National Womens University Basketball Championships at the CKHS. As of Thursday, it's finally here! If it wasn't for the umpteen metres of snow that have fallen on Saskatchewan's capital this week, I'd say the city's on fire. But really, it is!

2 - TAKE A BOW: No matter who advances to Sunday's finals of the Brier and the USports Basketball Championships, TSN and Sportsnet will be broadcasting national championship games from coast-to-coast right out of our proud city. Should Saskatchewan's Steven Laycock team and the Regina Cougars be featured in those matches, Regina will be coming off of its hinges. It makes your heart race.

3 - CURLING: It's no secret that I feel like a fish out-of-water at the Brier, as we broadcast the SportsCage live daily from the Brandt Centre. I don't even know how to watch curling! Just when I focus on one game, an ovation breaks out as the crowd reacts from a shot from three sheets over. It's like playing six different cards in one bingo game! But that doesn't mean I don't have a healthy respect for the sport and its competitors. I curled in high school so I know the game, but this is next-level stuff. Trying to grasp it has been fun, and the curling people have been extra hospitable in bringing me up to speed. Great people!

But my top sports remain football and hockey, and I'm seriously falling for the National Lacrosse League and the Saskatchewan Rush.

Arash and me at Famoso this week
4 - A SPECIAL PLACE: Sportsnet's Arash Madani was dropped in the middle of the madness on Tuesday, as he's here to call the play-by-play of the womens national basketball event. Saskatchewan has seemed more foreign to him than Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he recently covered the Olympics. Curling is top dog here right now? You GET this much snow? There's a lacrosse team in Saskatoon that draws 15,000 fans per game? People push each other out of snowbanks and offer free rides if someone's stranded? This is alien-type stuff for someone who calls Toronto home, but he's lapping it up. Yes, this truly is a very special place but sometimes hard to explain to anyone who's not from here.

5 - OUTDOOR NHL GAME: People are still buzzing over Sportsnet's report that the NHL is considering playing an outdoor game at Mosaic Stadium. In a Twitter poll I ran this week, respondents were split 50/50 over whether or not the concept could work in the Queen City but after this week, I think we've earned our spot on the national stage. The NHL has certainly noticed. For the 50% who said they're in favour of the idea, I'd love to see how many of them actually buy tickets. They might come out if it's a Leafs-Jets match-up but a Coyotes-Panthers clash would draw flies and the players might actually die due to the temperature drop. I'm not a fan of outdoor hockey games in any way, so I'm just watching the whole scenario unfold with amusement. I simply don't like to be cold.

6 - REMEMBER THE RIDERS?: Downtown Regina has been buried in show all week but I noticed on Wednesday that the Rider Store at Mosaic Stadium has been perfectly manicured by snow plows and machinery. Heck, they might as well have had red carpet and velvet ropes leading up to the front door because after all, we're Canada's Team. But once inside the Rider Store, I noticed the discussion fizzled when it came to the Green & White. Has Henoc Muamba signed anywhere yet? Has Eddie Steele been signed? What's Duron saying on his Twitter today? Beyond that ... crickets. Note to CFL marketers: March 1 is a deadspot on the football calendar so if you want to make some news and get everyone's attention, now is the time. It's definitely a great time to be hosting the Adidas Regional Combines.

7 - MARK'S CFL WEEK: After discussions with the CFL and CKRM management, we've declared that the SportsCage will be broadcasting from Fan Fest in Winnipeg on March 22 and 23. How could the CFL's favourite talkshow not be a part of that? Now what I'd like to know is .... how many of YOU are going? I think it's going to be a blast.

8 - HOCKEY: With all the hubbub that's going on locally, all you have to do is flip on TSN and Sportsnet to quickly realize that hockey is what's king right now in the Great White North. As the playoff race shifts into overdrive, one thing has struck me and it has to do with the Calgary Flames. If you believe you're a playoff-contending team but have to rely SO heavily on goaltending to get you there, then you're not really a very good team in the first place. Oh, and go Golden Knights!

9 - OK BLUE JAYS: Every year at this time I promise to really follow the Blue Jays for the upcoming MLB season but once Roughriders season starts, that plan gets blown to smithereens. However with all the injuries being reported out of Dunedin, it seems the Jays don't have much of a chance right out of the gate. Is baseball any different from all the other sports? Haven't we come to realize that if you blame injuries for your team's woes, you've done a crappy job of scouting and building depth? However as Arash Madani has pointed out, no back-up can adequately replace an injured Josh Donaldson.

10 - GO PATS GO: We haven't seen the Regina Pats at home since February 18 when they beat Moose Jaw 4-2 and I'm seriously going through Pats withdrawal. I miss seeing my favourite hockey team and analyzing their every move. They're playing eight straight on the road and carry a 3-game win streak into Kootenay on Friday night. Please Baby Jesus, let this be a sign that the Queen City Kids have found their mojo heading into the playoffs. We won't see them at home again until March 14 when they host the P.A. Raiders.

ONE MORE: NHL great Owen Nolan will be the guest speaker at next Thursday's U of R Mens Hockey Alumni fundraising banquet at the Conexus Art Centre. I'll be the MC and the event will also raise funds for the Regina Pat Canadians hockey club. For tickets, call Sharky at 306-539-4089. This dinner has quickly become one of the top events on the Regina sporting calendar. Hope to see you there.

Y'er welcome,