Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Okay! Okay!

I'm taking flack for not updating...And I'm going to take more...

I'm doing the morning show on Magic 97 this week. The change of schedule and transition in lifestyle to accomodate those hours have not gone smoothly (my half hour long afternoon naps end up being three hours, thus making me stay awake til 1am for a 4am alarm clock).

Not looking for anyone to feel sorry for me...Morning radio ain't the rigs after all.

I'll give you something new on this blog this weekend...It will inspire...It will move you...IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!

For now...Bedtime.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Catch Up Blog

After checking back day in and day out and seeing no blog update here, FINALLY THE INTERNET HAS MEANING AGAIN!!!

As I type this, the Broncos are 23 hours away from another meeting with the Brandon Wheat Kings, this time at the Credit Union i-Plex.

I'm sure Kelly McCrimmon's 6 hour bus ride from Brandon will be spent thinking up more zingers for Jon Keen in the Eagle Pre-game show. the Bradnon coach and GM and Jonny have a fun history.

Hey Kelly Mac, ask Keen why he hasn't updated his blog lately? I haven't seen Jonny much...

A Family Affair

A few posts ago on this blog there was an entry about the four Hunter brothers suiting up for the Shaunavon Badgers. Rumour has it the Hunter clan is taking it one step further by having the PATRIARCH OF THE FAMILY, Lorne practice with the team too. 5 Hunters on the ice at the same time??? Can the Whitemud handle it? The speed...the skill...the grit in the faceoff circle...THE HOCKEY HAIR!!!

Take that for what it's worth.

Too Much

1989. Best year ever. Bronco mem cup, Rider Grey Cup, Flames Stanley Cup.

2007. Riders winning, Broncos winning, Brad Wall winning the election. There is so much to be pumped for, it's hard to fathom everything. I'm not really pumped about anything, yet happy for everyone. My brain can't process this all.

Why I Love my Job

the first night the Credit Union i-Plex opened up the new seats we had fun on the broadcast. I took our cordless mic and did half a period of color from the new seats. WHAT A BLAST! I'm never sure how stuff like that will go over. Hanging with the fans, interacting with the ushers, BSing with the beer vendors and just randomly putting the drunkest guy I could find on the radio to start a 'Go Riders Go' chant. WHL broadcasts have ZERO fan interaction. Sure Regina has their guy at ice level between the boards doing some great work, but that's all. Don't tell me reading a name for your powerplay contest is fan interaction either.

I'm not just tooting my own horn, but also the horn of my Bronco hockey broadcast predecessors: Going back to Regan Bartel and including Joey Kenward and now Jonny Keener, some of the most innovative things in WHL broadcasts have happened on The Eagle. Smallest market radio station in the dub, and we hang with the big boys just fine. Not mentioning any names (cause I don't want to black ball Keener) but some broadcasts haven't changed a thing in more than ten years!!!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Being Premier...Just Another Brick in the Wall

To the surprise of few...Brad Wall is the new Premier of the 306. People around Swift Current have seen this coming for a long time now.

I remember working with radio legend Art Wallman who prophesized back in 1997 that 'some day Brad Wall will be Premier'. Brad was getting his act together to run for the Sask Party at the time.

You can go back even further than that. Teachers will recall a grade five student running for class council who delivered his election speech while tossing candy to the students as they listened.

Brad has ALWAYS known how to reach his audience.

Brad Wall wanted to run for provincial Conservatives back in th early 90's. I was in grade eight at Irwin School when my Mom took me to the Conservative nomination meeting. Much like John Wall got Brad into politics at a young age, my mother did her best to introduce me to the ways of politics.

I was really into it too until the PC's folded. They were down and out federally and provincially and pulled the plug both times. You don't just give up a party, an ideal or a REBUILD IT! My opinion...whatever. Not the jist of the story.

Anyway, back to the story...early 90's, PC nomination meeting...Brad Wall, Stan Horner and Lawrence Bergreen were all trying to run for the Tories in Swift Current.

Brad, at age 24 owned the room.

His speech was bang on...Even as a grade 8 kid I was awestruck! People knew Brad was destined for great things...but Lawrence Bergreen brought all his friends from the church and got the conservative nod that night.

Bergreen got PASTED in the election by the NDP candidate, John Penner. PC members kicked themselves for not betting behind Brad. Brad went on to contribute to the community in other ways. He had time on his side...He was only 24.

You take a look at Brad, you study his history and you realize he was bred for politics. Many politicians start out in different fields with different careers. They get attached to a cause and run for office. Not Brad. Politics was his thing from childhood.

John Wall, the local alderman, is the smartest politician on council. He may not have the flare and look of a Jerrod Schaefer, but if you recall the way he conducted himself at all candidate forums, you realize he's got politics down to a tee. Alderman John Wall has been preparing Brad for this his whole life.

Now the grade 5 student who tossed out candy to his class mates to get elected has grown up.

At 41 Brad is still a kid by political standards. Being a Premier at 41 is like scoring 50 goals as a 16 year old in major junior hockey. At 41 Brad Wall has not peaked by any means. Sure he's one day into being the Premier and priority one is the Province of Saskatchewan. Brad Wall still has a loooooong career in politics ahead of him.

Don't think for a second that last night will be the last Brad Wall party in Swift Current.


Monday, November 05, 2007

The Hunter Brothers: Dusty, Luke, Brock (no actual pics available) and J.J.

Four of a Kind Could Lead to a Full House in Shaunavon

Not sure if this is 100% true, but I heard a juicy rumour today in regards to the Shaunavon Badgers Senior Hockey team. Word on Center Street in Shaunavon says ALL FOUR Hunter brothers will suit up for the Badgers this year. That includes former Bronco captain and heart and soul Luke, former Kelowna Rocket, PA Raider and journeyman AHL vet JJ, former Melville Millionaire (and Canadian Idol contestant) Dusty, and the rough and tumble baby of the family Brock who suited up for the Home Hardware Legionnaires and had stints in the SJHL and AJHL. Luke, Dusty and JJ are all forwards while Brock plays the back end with a bit of an edge.

A Saturday night trip to Shaunavon to see all four Hunters! Follow that up with fun and fellowship at the King's hotel.

Happy New Year for MMA Fans

There is a couple of young promoters hoping to bring an MMA (mixed martial arts) event to Swift Current this January. It's legit, if you want more info you can go to

Basically a UFC type event complete with caged octagon and the best fighters Western Canada has to offer.

They hope to have an octagon in the stockade surrounded by 1000 fans this January. First event of it's kind in Swift Current. With the popularity of the UFC and mixed martial arts becoming a more mainstream sports event, stuff like this could be semi regular.

I talked to the promoters. They have their act together and this will be well organized. They will be looking for local women to be "ring girls".



Sunday, November 04, 2007

Broncos Bucked in Shootout

Shootouts are great when the team you cheer for wins. After last night's game it seems like it's time to dust off my favorite Bob Ridley quote:

"You don't decide a football game with a field goal kicking contest, or a baseball game with a homerun contest, why would you decide a hockey game with a shootout!"

Maybe someone else invented that quote, but the first time I heard it was Rids...and boy did he deliver it as only a grizzled 35 year bus driving/play by play vet could!

It was a good game at the Credit Union i-Plex. I do get a sour taste when people throw junk on the ice after a loss. I understand the "bottle kids" that are throwing junk on the ice after Bronco losses are a group of 10 year olds.

Probably kids who come from "time out" families. Let me guess; Mom and Dad told them in a calm voice "no video games tonite if you keep throwing stuff at the rink".

They probably caved later. I'm not saying that I'm Howard Cunningham when it comes to parenting, but STEP UP MON AND DAD! Your brats are embarrassing the community.

Alex Archibald stole another game for Edmonton. He was solid in goal. Watching Alex Archibard and d-man Cameron Cepak was like watching Kyle Moir and Myles Rumsey...except Cepak scored a goal.

Dale Weise summed it up best post game: "You don't learn anything from a 10-1 win, these are good games to be in".

Exactly. Our team played well, their team capitalized. The only kids that need any discipline are the bottle kids.

More on Smokin' Joe...

I hope this doesn't read like a post about how great I am...Cause I have a lot to learn in my work and in life in general. I've achieved some goals in my career and have acquired a level of happiness. The desire to better myself is still there, and I still have goals to achieve.

I wouldn't be who I am (and again, I'm not saying I'm great) had it not been for the summer of 2004. I was asked by the radio station general manager if I was interested in doing play by play for the Swift Current Indians baseball team. I took the gig...For no other reason than the extra cash it would bring me over the summer...Them schooners get expensive!

What I learned that summer would change my life.

I met Joe Carnahan. An import baseball player from Ashland, Wisconsin. He was an established player in the WMBL who was the league MVP towo years earlier. I had never heard of him before I shook his hand on a June morning before a road trip through Alberta. I was making my baseball play by debut that trip. Joe was the first player to introduce himself.

Joe and I couldn't have been more opposite. He had his t-shirt. shorts and ball cap with a look like he hadn't shaved or showered in days. I was style over substance with gel in my hair, dress shirt, khaki pants and dress shoes.

I spent the summer calling baseball games and watching Joe hit .447 that year.

I also watched him destroy his arm one afternoon on the mound.

Doctors told Joe he would be unable to pitch the rest of the year. His arm was all kinds of messed up. Swift got through the year without him on the mound, and his bat helped them through the tough times.

The playoffs rolled around...imports left, injuries caught up with the tribe. They needed a win against Melville or the season was done. No pitchers available. Joe took to the mound that night. I'll never forget what he told me on the drive to Melville. I asked him if the arm was okay...With no tape rolling he gave me an honest answer not intended for showmanship or a headlines.

"It'll have to be"

With no heat on his fastball and nothing but experience, guts and saavy he gave the tribe 7 full innings. They won. No contract bonuses or endorsement deals pending. He had a job to do and he did it.

Joe won the league MVP award for a second time that year too. By the end of summer we had become good friends. He left his MVP plaque in my car for a week. I had to remind him to take it back to the states with him. He didn't care. He was all about the team.

Ever since that day in Melville, when I've been asked to do something out of the ordinary, I've never said "I can't do that" or "that's impossible". I've never asked "what's in it for me?" I like to think I'm a better person for it.

Joe Carnahan is the new coach of the Swift Current Indians. He will lead by example. He will make his players better athletes and better human beings...and chances are he won't even realize some of the ways he's doing it.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

We Want a Ref....AGAIN!!!!

Once again the subject of WHL officiating is making the rounds. This time on Kelowna Rockets play by play guy Regan Bartel's blog (

Referee Ryan Agar did everything in his power, but failed to succeed he handing the Chilliwack Bruins a victory Friday night in Kelowna. In what was one of the worst officiated games I have ever witnessed, Agar called a lopsided game which saw the home team forced to kill off three five-on-three's, including a major and game misconduct issued to Rockets forward Evan Bloodoff for boarding. In total, the Rockets served 31 minutes in penalties compared to the Bruins 8. That's nine penalties for the home team compared to just 4 minors for the Bruins.

I wasn't at the game, I haven't watched it on the WHL feed. Maybe he did appear to be hard on the Rockets and look away when it came to nefarious play from Chilliwack.

Is there are rule that one team has to have the same number of penalties at the end of the game as the other? No there isn't. In fact, last year when I asked WHL head of officiating Kevin Muench that question, his words where :"I don't believe that there has to be an even number of marbles in one pocket as there are in the other in regards to number of penalties called for each team".

Agar is doing what he's told.

These officials are young guys. Have you ever seen one without his bucket on? They look like players. They will make mistakes, but as a broadcaster I still find it irresponsible to call them out on things like "our team had four powerplays and the other team had nine".

If it's Chris Savage losing control of another game...that's a different story. If the call factors into the outcome...then it's relevant. Kirk Fraser and I have been over this.

The Rockets won anyway. Sing the praises of the penalty kill instead of taking a run at Ryan Agar.

Saturday Night

Best night of the week. The Bay City Rollers, Elton John and Whigfield have all done songs on the subject!

The Broncos lost last night in Brandon 5-3. I get the sense that Swift knows they can beat Brandon, some players just didn't want to get their hands dirty.

Edmonton is back tonite. 10-1 for Swift last time they were here.

Random Quote

Compliments silence you every time. It's almost magical Watch.. Hey Ryan you rule at all things! .... wait... wait...and....nuffin.

Not from a movie, but the most memorable quote I heard all week. Kelly McCrimmon's pre-game interview with Keen a close second.

Yes, I can't take a compliment...I appreciate them, but just don't know how to respond. I suppose 'thank you' would work.

51 reasons to be pumped about baseball

Local sports fans will be HAPPY to know that Joe Carnahan is the new coach of the tribe. The best guy for the job got the job end of story. In talking to 51 he said he'll still play now and then but is concentrating his efforts on the team.

The Big Bugger is already recruiting for next year too. This is better than Kent Austin taking over the Riders (just on a much smaller scale).

And for ball fans, I don't know if Kelly Horaska will be back. The last time I heard from him, he was at a Tragically Hip concert in Bakersfield. It's easier to get Hip tickets in California than it is in Canada. Keep in touch Horse, I know you read this.

Almost All Candidate Forum

I love the political process. Someday I will run for something. For Halloween I was Alderman Jerrod Schaefer, and instead of trick or treating I went campaigning and even telemarketed.

My apologies to Jerrod. If anyone received calls from someone claiming to be Jerrod Schaefer looking for support in the next Civic was me. What can I say? I'm awestruck.

My point though and I do have one...

I took in the "All Candidate Forum" this past Wednesday. Of couse Brad Wall was unable to be there.


It's important for you to know that when it comes to politics my family has a LOOOOOONG history with the Progressive Conservative Party (not necessarily the Sask Party per se). While I haven't followed in my mother's political foot steps of door knocking for the PC's, my opinion does tend to fall on the right side of things.

I hope we can still be friends.

Brad Wall wasn't there. The candidate for the Green Party read the party's platform... and slammed her fist on the desk to punctuate at point. Bob Hale is a well spoken lawyer who clearly realizes he won't win but did a good job presenting the NDP platform. Bob is not the most charasmatic speaker. At times I was wishing Jeff Potts was still in the picture to add to the entertainment portion of the evening. Justin Orthner from the Liberals is only in his late 20's and has been a member of the Liberals since he was in his teens. It is nice to see young people involved. Justin was nervous, you could tell. Nice guy though. Needs to trim that beard.

Do hutterites vote? Ern?

The only fireworks came from the crowd. John Wall (not Brad's dad, but the former NDP MLA..confusing? Yes) used the time to make a passionate speech about how our roads are just fine and our healthcare facilities are still excellent. The jist of his rant is roads don't matter, and healthcare is fine becasue of the great nurses and doctors. The decrepit nature of the hospitals, highways and care homes in this province shouldn't matter. Firey speech. Well presented...

If John Wall had that kind of passion when he was our MLA, maybe he'd still be in Regina.

That's how I took his speech. If I'm wrong, e-mail me.

There was also a guy who smelled like he hadn't bathed in awhile wondering why it rains so much up north and doesn't in our area...


All in all the evening came across as a chance to attack Brad Wall without Brad Wall there to defend himself...

There's politics for ya. I love it.