Toronto to Regina hardly sounds like a fast track to media success but as I learned in my broadcasting glory days, being a big fish in a small pond is a helluva lot more fun than vice versa. If you’re a football fan and love radio, there’s no better place in Canada than the ‘306’.
I was leery of Harvard Communications hiring somebody out of Toronto instead of going locally because the city slickers tend to view Regina as a quick-stop on the way to something bigger and don’t really have a passion for the Riders, the CFL or Saskatchewan.
DT will be different. I expect his sunny demeanor and laid-back approach to win the locals over. And his name-dropping of Rocanville, Strasbourg and other small towns on Friday’s Sports Cage appearance didn’t hurt either.
Welcome to Regina, Derek Taylor. We hope you’ll stay awhile.
2. MICHAEL BALL: Spent a good part of my weekend fielding texts and gossiping about Michael Ball, considered the favorite by many to take over the big chair. I thought they would hire Ballsy from the very beginning as his name and Derek Taylor’s kept popping up.
This one didn’t pan out for Michael but sometimes it’s the things in life that don’t happen which make the journey great. I recall being rejected for the Moose Jaw Warrior broadcasts by one of my radio favorites, Rob Carnie, in 2004. I moped around my smelly little one-bedroom dump of an apartment in Estevan for a week. Then, I got over it. I ended up going to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires instead and had a blast.
Opportunity is always waiting around the corner where we least expect it. Job titles don’t define any of us. Michael knows that and he’ll be just fine. The Wolf needs Ballsy more than Ballsy needs The Wolf.
3. NO RAIDER NATION IN RIDER NATION: As a Saskatchewan Roughrider season ticket holder, I would have been floored if the Riders moved their home game to accommodate an NFL preseason game. The Oakland Raiders are a laughingstock and we don’t need to encourage them.
Having said that, nobody should be trampling John Gormley or anyone else for reporting the truth.
The Riders raised concerns about the dates and the whole thing got kyboshed. Big whoop. NFL preseason football is garbage to watch anyways.
4. BAILIFFS AT THE BIG O: Despite a witness account to the contrary, the Montreal Alouettes have denied anyone ever trying to foreclose on their inventory at Olympic Stadium. It would all make sense, given the absentee ownership of the Wetenhalls in recent years but a staffer tweeted out it was all bull.
Still, new signs keep popping up that a change at the top is due in Montreal.
5. ELIZONDO QUITS ON REDBLACKS: As TSN’s Dave Naylor pointed out, that wording in the headline of the Ottawa Redblacks release clearly had intent. "Elizondo Quits On RedBlacks". Losing their offensive co-ordinator within 60 days of training camp would be a royal piss-off for any organization. But to be fair, if the Redblacks wanted to keep Jaime Elizondo bad enough, they never would have let him get away this late into the offseason to begin with.
And don’t be alarmed with these coaches choosing the XFL over Canada. That happened last time in XFL Part 1 as well and they all ended up crawling back within a year. Expect that to happen again this time as well.
6. AAF FANS DESERVE BETTER THAN TOM DUNDON: Talk about a bush-league move by a bush-league owner. Promises his fan base they would be safe for 5 years at least, only to threaten shuttering the league later this week. Staffers were high-tailing it out of Carolina by the end of last season (including Calgary Flames head coach, Bill Peters) just to get as far away from this guy, who owns the Carolina Hurricanes too, as they could.
And now we know why.
7. GREY CUP IN THE STATES: I took a beating in the comments for daring to suggest the CFL should consider playing a Grey Cup in Orlando and upon review, justifiably so.
It should be played in Vegas. (Rod has been saying this for years). Sam Boyd Stadium has an open endzone, meaning a CFL-sized field could actually be built there.
8. DUKE RUNS FOR SASK PARTY: Sports Cage co-host and Stampede wrestling fan Derek Meyers wants to be your Sask Party MLA in Regina Northeast. Good luck Duke! I might even consider voting for you so long as your campaign team doesn’t flood my inbox with political propaganda.
9. SJHL CENTRAL FACEBOOK LIVE: Pretty sweet looking setup featuring Rod P. and Darren Dupont. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I urge you to go by the SJHL Facebook page. The future of local sports broadcasting is right there. They had several thousand views from all over the world. What do we need to do to make that happen for the Regina Red Sox? #isitmayyet?
10. THIS WEEK: In lieu of actual talent, they hired me to MC this year’s annual Kipling/Windthorst Oil Kings Sportsman’s Dinner with Weston Dressler and Jeff Odgers this coming Saturday night. If you have tickets, see you this weekend. If not, find me on social media and we’ll hook you up.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)