Saturday, August 27, 2011

Swift Current Randoms


Greetings from the Snowstreaker/Alphavoice studios. Sit back and enjoy the randomness!



Saskatchewan's Most jacked man, Trevor Koot

As I type this, local He-man Trevor Koot is doing a final few bicep curls before flying to Cleveland for the IFBB North American Championships.

(shameless plug ahead) The Alphavoice studios are happy to have provided Trev with the production elements for his posing routine. Trev recently captured 1st place up at the Saskatchewan novice show and then at provincials a couple weeks later.


I'll keep you posted on how Saskatchewan's most musclebound real estate expert does on the North American stage. Koot heads to Cleveland Labour Day weekend.



Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer and myself...in happier times?

Whenever I introduce Swift Current mayor Jerrod Schafer at functions and fundraisers, there is always a comedic shot at him as part of the introduction. There's plenty of people without a sense of humour who think I use my MC gigs as a platform to attack the mayor.

I voted for him in the last election, and will probably vote for him again. I would miss the comedic fodder if he wasn't in the mayor chair.

Speaking of civic politics...I'm no expert on urban planning...but why on Earth would you want to build a giant recreational facility with two schools on the extreme outskirts of town? Isn't it important to build these things near your downtown?

I don't blog as much as I used to because the world has twitter. twitter.com/ryan_switzer. Visit the link on the left to follow me.



I'm sure everyone in attendance got their picture taken with Joe Sakic during his Bronco Hall of Fame induction. I somehow came into possession of his game worn Bronco jersey years ago (long story). It was nice to get it signed and get that pic taken.

Joe is a very nice and classy fellow. He signed everything that everyone put in front of him that night. Even numerous 8 x 10's and jerseys that were fresh out of the plastic package were autographed by Sakic. Some memorabilia sellers made a small fortune off Joe that night. Lots of young hockey fans also got memories and pics with Joe that will bring smiles for a lifetime.




My two favorite NHL players have always been Joe Sakic and Theo Fleury. It was a pleasure to work with both of them this summer. Breakfast with Theo, two months later supper with Joe. Whenever I feel bad about my radio pay cheque, I think of all the perks over the years.

What's that saying? "What would the boy you were think of the man you are?" I got to rub elbows with Sakic and Fleury as an adult... that would be really cool to a kid growing up in Swift Current in 1988.

Sorry for that PAINFULLY self serving last couple paragraphs.

If you missed out on the chance to visit the Clearwater Drive In this summer, make an effort to go there next year. Good recent movies and, quite possibly, the world's best theatre popcorn. Harry Potter 7 part 2 with the kids tonight.

Good luck with back to school shopping!


R$

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Swift Current Indians Wrap Up

Every August I find myself at my laptop preparing a new blog entry about the WMBL and Swift Current Indians Baseball.

Last year after a tribe win, I made light of the WMBL trophy being nowhere to be found. Lost in a broom closet in Okotoks somewhere after a Dawg 3-peat in years prior.

Two years ago was my "Co-Champs = no champs" post, where I touched on the greed of certain parties in the league stretching league resources thin to make a profit.

This year, I have been encouraged to share thoughts on the league's new player eligibility rules and the bizarre playoff seeding that saw Swift Current lose in round 1. They were seeded against one of the top teams in the league in a series that saw The Tribe without home field advantage.

Well...

I like the new eligibility rules.

"Members of the Canada-based Western Major Baseball League have voted to raise their game in the competitive world of summer collegiate baseball by adopting roster rules more in line with the premier leagues in the states. While not quite as strict, beginning in 2012, WMBL team rosters will be limited to players who have remaining college eligibility, college seniors who just completed their fourth and final college season, and a maximum of three Canadian players who are one year removed from college."

Long story short, players will not be able to play in the league into their 30's anymore. Yes, this removes Conrad Funk and past legends like Kelly Horaska from the equation...but honestly, Conrad has a baby on the way and probably wasn't going to play next year anyway. Conrad and Horse aren't the norm. We don't see those types every year.

Joe Carnahan will adjust his recruiting accordingly, and the Swift Current Indians will be fine. These new recruiting rules will give the league better credibility and attract better players to the prairies every summer.

The cost of importing players will go up. Hopefully the upgrades in skill will help fill seats around the league.

...and the playoff format? The Swift Current Indians have won three championships with that format. I agree they got screwed this year, but I'm not gonna call the league "bush league" and demand change. I'm sure things will be reviewed.

What people need to realize is the quality of baseball is going up every year. Since I've started calling games, there has been a steady rise in the talent level of the players. This year I enjoyed a few games with 2006 Indians alumni John deVisser. He marveled at how much the league has improved in just five years.

The WMBL is growing, and there will be growing pains...but if you love baseball and spend a good chunk of your summer nights at the nearest WMBL ballpark...you won't be disappointed.

Switz