Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cold

Most conversationalists will tell you to avoid weather discussion. It can't be helped today.

I'm guessing tonight's game vs. Saskatoon will have one of the emptiest Credit Union Centres in Blades history. Sadly, I can't make the trip tonite. Someone tell "Pepper Carrot" I haven't forgotten about him though;)

Inside Joke

Hope you enjoyed your APPLE JUICE! Well played. Can I have your autograph?


You Can Pick Your Friends and You can Pick Your Nose, But can You Pick Three Stars?

The Broncos are playing their best hockey of the season. The trades look great. We've ended streaks and are threatening to start one of our own. The three star picking hasn't been up to snuff though. Next thing you know there will be a petition going around to have Jon and I removed from the selection process.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Monday, January 28, 2008




We're All Saskatchewan

For as serious as Rod Pedersen wants us all to take his blog with the press releases and the advertising, I'm surprised he lets his comments section turn into the $#!t show that it is. Once again the Broncos vs. Pats debate has heated up and once again Regina residents are playing the 'Inferior Swift Current' card calling us, among other things, "Toothless Cousin Bangers".

I will preface my next few paragraphs by saying that I have been guilty of participating in the whole "My town vs. Your town" battle and publishing comments of the like on my blog.

I just feel the whole thing has been done to death. Regina is big and full of crime and Swift Current is small and we need to procreate with our cousins...whatever.

Debating sports is one thing, debating culture is pointless. We all live where we want to live.

To the people in Regina who slam Swifty for our size, "spend a month here one week" and make hillbilly jokes, I have one question: How do you think the outside world views you?

You think because live in a bigger city with a Best Buy and a football stadium you are obviously better than us hicks in the sticks. Guess what? To anyone outside our easy to draw borders, the only difference between Regina and Swift Current is Regina is home to about 180,000 more 'banjo picking inbreds'.

Let's bicker about hockey, but lets not trash each other's town. We're all in the same canoe.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Saturday, January 26, 2008



GUGGENBERGER!!!

Should've been first star. One game suspension for Switzer.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com
Streak Breakers

Earlier this week the Broncos beat Moose Jaw in Moose Jaw marking the 1st time since mid November the Warriors have lost in regulation the crushed can. As I type this the Broncos are coming off a 4-0 win over Kelowna. Kelowna had won 10 of their last 11 and boasted some impresseive numbers over that time (from reganbartel.blogspot.com):

Red Hot Rockets: Colin Long is riding an eight game point streak (3+15=18), and has points in 15 of his last 16 games (7+27=34). Jamie Benn is riding a ten game point streak (10+15=25). Benn leads the team in power play goals with 13. Cody Almond set a new career high in goals with his 16th of the season in Wednesday’s win. Almond has a nine game point streak (5+11=16). Almond has been held off the score-sheet just once in 13 games since the Christmas break. Brady Leavold is riding a 13 game point streak. Leavold has 14+16=30 over that period.

It looks like the Broncos are making a habit of breaking streaks. Anyone else think Regina is due for a loss? That game is tonite at 7;30. I can't make it. I have an MC gig. Someone say Hi to Rod for me.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Take Your Hat off Hippie!!!

First...A message that my comments section wouldn't post for whatever reason:

Hey Ryan!
I like your style on the radio and your blog is very well written. If people would only take the time to digest what you are saying,they would then understand what you are getting at.
I have experience at all levels of hockey and from all sides and I couldn't agree with you more.
Keep sticking to your guns. You are being noticed and respected.
Gb


I'm not sure I'm ready for the responsibility of credibility. Right now I can say almost anything and it's get chalked up to "that idiot in Swift Current mouthing off". I don't mind not being taken seriously.

What Do You Believe in?

I enjoyed the discussion on the "White Board" (network54.com/forum/40684) about the well known Seattle fan "Zamboni John" and his refusal to remove his hat during national anthems. Without getting at specifics the jist of it seems to be "ZJ" feels the custom is outdated and people should be free to do as they please during an anthem. There are the arguments that it is law and should be respected. Respect for veterans and fallen soldiers are being brought into the debate too.

I agree with ZJ that the custom of removing your hat for the purpose of showing mandatory respect is passe. In a free country we should be able to stay sitting during the anthem if we choose without fear of being ostracized or reprimanded in any way by anybody. This is 2008, and the notion of respecting something for the sake of respecting it is obsolete. Yes, fallen soldiers from wars of yesterday deserve eternal respect, but how do make a youngster in 2008 feel any emotion for a war that happened before their grandparents where born?

Having said that, I will continue to rise and remove my hat for the National Anthem. You should too...but for your own reasons and not for an old school custom. Here's the reasons I stand and remove my hat:

-The soldiers at Vimy Ridge that give Canada perhaps it's greatest story of national pride.

-The soldiers that continue to battle in Afghanistan. I met one last year. He leaves Feb. 9th. If you have ever met one of these brave young men, you would respect them too.

-Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky for the Canada Cup winning goal in 1987. Very happy and patriotic moment for a ten year old.

-Haley Wickenheiser's post game interview after beating the US in the 2002 Olympics. The "signing the flag" quote.

-Every Canadian in other countries who still says "I am Canadian" and has a Maple Leaf on their backpack.

-Canadians who put their life on the line to make other countries a better place.

-The Tragically Hip concert I rocked the **** out at, as the Hip played with Canadian Maple Leaf attire.

-The fact that I live in Canada and am happy more often than not.

Any person would have their own reasons and beliefs to respect their country. If someone wants to keep their hat on because they have no reason to respect their country and any of the people who believe in that country...frankly I feel sorry for those who only believe in showing their non believing.

So Believe That!

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Colorful Comments and CURSES!!!

I enjoyed the beaking between Regina Pat and Swift Current Bronco fans on Rod Pedersen’s blog. One of the reason’s I was happy to have Swift Current back in the same division as Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and PA is the rivalries. While the feud with The Hat was healthy and fun, the tension between the Broncos and Lethbridge, Calgary or Red Deer doesn’t seem to match what we have now for divisional rivals.

I felt like commenting on Rod’s blog several times about phantom spearing and the “greatness” of the Pats vs. the Broncos “just concentrating on making the playoffs”.

After reading this, I'm sure Regina fans will be quick to remind us of some dark moments in Bronco history. Whatever. Nothing that hasn't been beaten to death already. I am going to make a prediction on the outcome of the mighty Pat's 08 run. The Regina Pats will make it to the conference final at best.

How does one arrive at what I’ll call a safe prediction like this? The best way to predict the future is to study the past…and Regina’s sports history reeks of potential not met and early playoff exits.

One can speculate why. I think it may be the uber watchful eye of the Regina media that gets in the heads of players and coaches. The Leader Post is not afraid to state an opinion and doesn’t do puff pieces. If the home team stinks, it’s on the front page without sugar coating.

Be it the media, the critical and sometimes rude Regina fans, the often fabled Regina drinking water or some other X factor, let’s look at the history of the Regina Sports Curse.

Exhibits A and B I copy and paste from Rod’s Blog (rodperdersen.blogspot.com):

But hold the parade. While the Pats are quickly coming together as the dominant team in the Eastern Conference, there's still plenty of work left to do. It reminds me of the 1996-97 season when the Pats had a lineup boasting four NHL 1st-round picks (Josh Holden, Derek Morris, Dmitri Nabokov and Dan Focht). After one particularly lopsided Pats win in January, Dmitri said to me in a heavy Russian accent, "We no lose one more game."

I chuckled at the time, and the team did go on to set a franchise-record 28-game home unbeaten streak, but they toe-picked it in the playoffs losing in five games to Red Deer.

And who can forget the 2001 Memorial Cup season where the Pats assembled a WHL AllStar team with the likes of Blake Evans, Paul Elliott, Garnet Exelby, Barret Jackman, Brett Lysak, Matt Hubbauer and co.? They ate up the competition in the second-half going something like 20-10 down the stretch but did another first-round faceplant losing in six to Pavel Brendl and the Calgary Hitmen. Both teams were superbly coached (by Rich Preston and Lorne Molleken) just like this one.


The next part of this entry is very Rider oriented. I’m not much of a Rider historian, so feel free to correct me on any errors. I realize the Riders are Saskatchewan's team, but they are based out of Regina and the players and coaches do live there.

Exhibit C: Don Matthews. CFL coaching legend and all time league leader in wins (231) Grey Cup appearances (9) and Grey Cup wins (5). Some of those 231 wins came in Saskatchewan, but that’s it. The best the most dominant CFL coach could do in Regina was some 11-7 seasons.

Exhibit D and E: John Gregory and Kent Austin. Like an annual flu shot that protects you for a while but then wears off, some coaches have an immunity to the curse for a season or two before it grabs hold and pulls you down. John Gregory took over the Riders coaching reigns in 1987 and led the Rider to an 11-7 record in 88 and a home playoff game. Gregory followed that up with a 9-9 record but a Grey Cup in 89. In 1990, the curse caught up to Gregory as he went 1-6 and was canned. The aforementioned Don Matthews took over.

Kent Austin, like Gregory led the Riders to success early in his tenure. A home playoff game AND a Grey Cup. The curse seems to be catching up to Kent though as fans are fuming over Kent having the AUDACITY to go for a JOB INTERVIEW IN HIS HOMETOWN!!!

Long story short, the Pats fans are harassing Bronco fans in the parking lot of the Brandt Center and online too. "It'll be a long year in Swift they say". Now the Broncos do have issues that they have to work out (and I'm sure they know what they are). The Pats have something intangible that one can’t pinpoint working against them. What’s worse?

To the Regina fan reading this, I say that there is hope. The most important job in Regina is now occupied by a guy from Swift Current, so hopefully that will help you out.

Keep Your Colorful Comments To Yourself

You may work in the media. You may be asked to do color commentary for a WHL game. The motivation for this post came from some fanboard action on Lethbridge color guy Dick Gibson (http://www.whlfans.ca/showthread.php?t=15583 ). I don’t know Dick (that’s just funny to say). I don't know the history behind the posts about him and I don't listen to him enough to form a description or critique about what he does on air. Dick spoke to me when Lethbridge was in Swift Current. He didn’t introduce himself, his first words to me were “13 million dollars worth of renovations and they can’t improve the broadcast view!” (in reference to the terrible sightlines from the iPlex press boxes). Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not a fan of broadcasters coming to the iPlex and whining about it. Go do a AAA Home Hardware Legionnaires game at the Fairview 11 years into your radio career, then talk to me about the view at the iPlex. Anyway, my point and I do have one is that I am not an expert on the subject of color commentating, but after five years I can offer this advice. I’ve seen more and people with no real commentating or hockey background trying to use WHL color to launch themselves to something better. People using someone else's airtime to try to become a star. Enjoy this dose of reality.

My first season of WHL color was 2003-04. Jon Keen was named the new Bronco play by play guy and I had indicated to the radio station I would be interested in doing color. Based on my on air track record at the radio station and not so much on my hockey knowledge I got the gig. I approached color duties the same way I approached my other on air duties. I was going to be unique, edgy and deliver something the hockey fans and people who listen to WHL radio hadn’t seen.

And after a few weeks it was safe to say I sucked!

I went into it thinking I would be a star. The hockey sporting community would be dazzled by my wit and be electrified by my one liners and I would be respected for my opinions and irresistable personality. Someone from Sportsnet or TSN would by chance hear me and it would be my ticket to greatness (not that I wanted to leave Swift, but at least I could say the big leagues wanted me).

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was three weeks into the season when Bronco GM Brad McEwan had a closed door meeting with me and in a kind, diplomatic yet to the point way basically said “Ryan, who the hell are you to talk like this?” I was talking crap about other WHL GM’s and taking shots at coaches. In retrospect my approach to hockey was bush league.

Cuesy was right. I had to learn the role of the color guy is to support the play by play guy. The play by play guy is the star of the show. He travels with the team, has a rapport with coaches and GMs, knows the inner working of the league and has more insight to the players. In Swift Current, Keener is Batman and I'm Robin when it comes to Bronco hockey broadcasts. I was trying to be Superman.

Let’s face it, unless you are a retired and well spoken noteworthy NHL vet or a retired and well spoken noteworthy NHL coach or GM, junior hockey is as good as it will get for a color gig. If you want to make it in pro hockey broadcasting and don’t have the credentials I just mentioned, then move to the other side of the booth and take up play by play. Unless you have credibility, just help your play by play guy paint a picture for the listeners as to what is happening on the ice.

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

R$

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Deadlined Out

The WHL trade deadline is over. You already know who is coming and going. All I can say is...SHOCKING...David Michaud to Kamloops.

I like the Broncos. To steal a thought from Herb Brooks; there is going out and getting the best players, and there is getting the right players. The Broncos deals certainly don't sound as sexy as acquiring Ty Wishart and the deals weren't as plentiful as in Regina, but I like our team going into the playoffs. There is all kind of insight out there, I can't add much other than I don't feel bad about the deals today at all.

Kill Your TV

My brother in law got me a T-shirt for Christmas that says "Kill Your TV". That's all, no explanation. Despite what my new shirt tells you there is no need to kill your TV. It is already dieing.

The TV writers of America are on strike, and while all we see of this are jokes on Letterman and Jon Stewart, this may very well be the end of television as we know it for a while. Why are they striking? Why are they going to be holding TV hostage?

Secondary programming revenue.

Writers for your favorite shows are VERY well compensated. This is a battle of the rich vs. the richer.

Behind the scenes of your favorite shows there are the writers, the producers and the studio. All three parts equal in the success of a show. The writers create the characters and the show, the producers make the show and the studios pick up the tab as I understand it. In the old days everyone was respected equally for their efforts in the process and were not quite equally compensated, but all were content never the less. the problem arises with being able to download a TV show on the net. The studio and producers still get their cake, but the writers don't see a dime.

When you buy a DVD of a season of your favorite TV show...a fifty dollar DVD that costs around 10 cents to make...producers and studios still get financial love, the writers get $0.

So what does this mean? For Canadian shows, nothing, it's the writers guild of America that is on strike. Corner Gas and North of 60 will be okay.

Late night talk shows and The Daily Show and Colbert Report are flying blind right now. No writers. Colbert is managing. Jon Stewart...not so much. Letterman has hired his own writers, non guild members, but is still supporting the guild on air. Leno writes most of his own stuff anyway so he is not affected as much. Conan is really stretching his improv skills.

Basically, the biggest TV talk show hosts and Stewart and Colbert are having to "prep" like us radio folk.

Soap operas, 24, Heroes, CSIs and Lost are soon going to be out of episodes. Give it a few weeks and without this issue resolved...Reality TV. Game shows, the biggest loser, COPS and all the Survivor type stuff you can handle

All is not lost couch potatoes...WWE and TNA wrestling are safe. Their writers aren't guild members.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Deadline Deano

I am your true love and soul mate and am to be treated as such all the time, regardless of how bad your day went


Finally an update!

Thoughts on the trade deadline whether you like it or not later this post. I really should be updating at a time like this. Fans of the WHL are hitting blogs up like crazy looking for inside info. As far as late breaking trade deadline news if you want that you'll find NONE OF IT here!!! Keen and that fellow from Regina do a good enough job of that (yes, I'm calling Mr. Vaseline "that fellow from Regina", I've given him TONNES of plugs over the years, talked about how he is one of the best in the biz and he doesn't even recognize my online existence on his blog! Eff you RP!)

A Movie to see if you haven't yet

I'm going to stick thoughts on a movie here. I want to throw Scout a curveball when he just copies and pastes the hockey content of this blog to whlfans.ca. ;)

Blade Runner. A 1982 sci-fi movie starring Harrison Ford. The term classic is so over used but truly applies to this film. I had never seen the movie until three weeks ago. Rolling Stone went on a tear about how this was the best DVD of 2007. They're on to something. Set in Los Angeles the year 2019, it is a world of androids, flying cars, lots of rain and 500 story buildings. Androids are slave labour, but have become emotional and pissed off and have started to kill people. Harrison Ford is a special kind of policeman called a Blade Runner. His job is to hunt down and kill androids which are now banned because of their erratic behavior. Distinguishing humans from "replicants" is tough, but Ford's character "Deckert" is the authority. His Nemesis is a replicant named Roy Batty, played by the awesome Rutger Hauer. That's all your getting, other than to say this is a great film because it leaves so much open to interrpretation! That's right, nothing is tied up in a neat little package and the good guy vs. bad guy line is blurred. Sci-fi is all about special effects and explosions these days, Blade Runner is pure story. Don't put this movie on thinking you're going to get Terminator. You will have to THINK to enjoy this. Watch it with a couple people and get set for a debate as the end credits roll on a number of things that happen in the movie.


Prices at the Deadline Going up like Real Estatel

And Dean Chynowth knows his real estate.

The WHL trade deadline is tomorrow (or maybe today or yesterday depending on when you read this). The Broncos did not get Ty Wishart although I bet Dean asked. Dean will never give up too much at the trade deadline, and I'm sure to get Wishart, Cody Eakin, Matt Tassone and more would've had to go to PG. Not a deal I'd make.

Dean has already got a steady D-man in Bretton Stammler. He may make another deal close to the deadline. Trade prices are high and Dean learned from the Tyler Redenbach deal that offers drop the closer you get to the deadline. Moose Jaw, Regina and Lethbridge have already payed some pretty high prices for rentals(oh yes they have)...Dean won't do that.

If we went to the playoffs with the team we have this second (9:37pm On January 9th) I'd be happy. Our top 9 forwards match up as good as any in the league, Ryan Molle will be back soon enough giving our D a good combination of grit and speed. We forget Travis Yonkman once upon a time backstopped a team to a NATIONAL title. Plus, we just got the captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Being captain on a team with five 20 year olds is an accomplishment in this league. Stammler will be a good presence.

And yes, he can fight.

The Broncos certainly didn't make a big splash at the deadline like some other teams in the east. I've learned hockey in 2008 is about doing the little things right... Dean has with this deal.

It does suck to see RJ Larochelle finish his junior career somewhere else. The kid has wrecked himself for our team. Hockey can be a harsh business...but a business never the less.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Saturday, January 05, 2008

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Nothing like a little Bay City Roller reference to get the blog rolling. Because the Bay City Rollers are Scottish and I'm MCing Robbie Burns night in a couple weeks, it works.

Deano, NOT GUILTY!

Bronco coach Dean Chynoweth got two games and a fine for his water bottle throwing hijinx which to me is a NOT Guilty verdict. Dean's 2nd offence of this nature and the fact that he actually connected in hitting the linesmen would warrant more. The fact is the league knew that the officials where being meatheads all game. Did you see the way the four of them where yucking it up all game? It reminded me of the movie Super Troopers. Devon Klien, the ring leader, Balaberda the veteran doing as he pleased, Sheldon Dean, the rookie who was probably the brunt of pranks and jokes and Darren Hoelha, the only one who took his job seriously all game.

Dean getting two games is the league's way of admitting the officiating (the behavior of one liney in particular) from earlier this week is a joke.

TIMMMAYYY

I'm curious to see how the Broncos will play for Tim Kehler tonite. Kehler approaches the game like no coach I've ever worked with in my five years of Bronco color. His is very laid back, and really a polar opposite to the Dave Hunchaks and Bryan Glynns of the world.

There are two types of coaches: The Taskmaster and the Players Coach. I have not seen Tim to be a Taskmaster by any means.

See you at the rink tonite.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com

Thursday, January 03, 2008



A photo re-enactment of Kelly Balaberda taking a stray puck in the face


A Hockey Post

This blog is linked to so many WHL related sites, I figured I was due for a hockey post. More on that on the way.

I've been lazy. Guitar Hero is an addiction that I'll have to battle in 2008.

2008 is here! For me, it won't be as good as 2007, but better than 2006. Make of that what you will.

Watt's the Deal?

The Regina Pat's sound like they're ready to hang a banner in the Brandt Center after getting JD Watt and Scott Doucet. I get the impression from listening to Pat's Radio that they're telling anyone who will listen they aren't done yet in the trade department either.

JD Watt was very undiscipined in Swift Current when the Rebels visted last. The Pat's want Watt to be a presence on ice and off...the kind of guy to motivate other players. Watt was a liability in Swift. If Red Deer coach and GM Brian Sutter (a former NHL coach of the year) couldn't get Watt to play with his head on straight, can Curtis Hunt and Brent Parker? We'll see. Players with morale issues don't seem to do well in Regina. Troy Ofukany comes to mind. Maybe it's just the very watchful eye of the Regina media that makes it seem that way too.

NOT MY FACE!!!

Kelly Balaberda gets to hear his name on the radio and see it on the forums again for the wrong reasons. The Enrique Iglesias-esque liney was the center of controversy when Bronco David Stieler flipped the puck up for the linesmen to catch and it hit him the face (not unlike the time Fabio took a stray goose in the kisser pictured above). Balaberda got buddy Devon Klein to call the Broncos for unsportsmanlike which prompted a Dean Chynoweth two water bottle toss. Deano will get fined and miss two games and Kelly Balaberda will get a big wrist slap. The WHL brass does NOT like officials making headlines. It's a headache they don't want. Has anyone else noticed that Chris Savage has kept his name off the forums for the most part this year? Balaberda's wingman Devon Klein may be in the hot seat too, to a lesser extent.

Mind you...the referee who once caused a Swift Current coach to take his clothes off is now the director of officiating...

Did Sheldon Dean make a call lastnight? The two man system really seems to just add extra bodies to a game that is already plugged up. Why do some games have two refs and some have one? At the end of the day are games any more enjoyable with two refs? This is entertainment after all? The only thing entertainling last night was Deans water bottle two seam fastball to the officials.

Last night's game was pretty bad, officiating not withstanding. Dean has made some VERY interesting deals at the deadline. I feel this year will be his most active.

I could be wrong.

R$

ryanswitzer@hotmail.com