Thursday, May 30, 2013


I’ve been following along on Twitter and through other various forms of media and have noticed there is a considerable amount of criticism being handed out at the City of Saskatoon for not supporting the Memorial Cup.  Well, to me, I wouldn’t support that event either simply because the Blades are a perfect example of a Western Hockey League franchise that doesn’t deserve fan support.  I don’t think they have ever won a league title and I don’t know if they have ever been close (at least not in the time I have been in Manitoba/Saskatchewan following hockey).  The most successful franchises in sports are ones that have the most demanding fan bases.  Sports teams and fans are under a common misconception that you should support your flagship sports franchise regardless of their ability to contend.  But watching your local team is a lot like going to the movies.  If Water World is a bad movie, why should you fill up the theatre?  If the theatre brings in a dozen type Water Worlds then they will be out of business because the place will be empty.  Sports teams are similar.  They provide fans with entertainment and if the entertainment isn’t good, fans shouldn’t be expected to just automatically open their wallet and go to the games.  I am a believer that your local teams should promise to be competent.  They can’t promise to be a winner.  The Blades (and Regina Pats for that matter) have had many a season over the last ten or fifteen years where competent hasn’t been in the dictionary.

Don’t misunderstand what I am saying.  The Memorial Cup is a very entertaining event.  However, the main reason for fans to go is to watch the Blades and they don’t belong in this tournament.  They bowed out of the first round of the playoffs by rolling over as easy as any team and they weren’t competitive at the Memorial Cup.  Tough to get fans to come out and support teams from the United States, Ontario, and Quebec  because they, simply, don’t relate to them.  Now, it’s time to see what Blade ownership is made of.  Do they throw their hands up and quit trying to put a winner on the ice or do they work harder at it?  You know ownership wouldn’t hesitate to pressure coaches and players to try harder, but it’s time for ownership to put the appropriate people in place and give them the resources to be competitive year after year after year. 

The Blades did get hot at midseason after they made sweeping player changes, but why did they have to make so many moves?  They knew, well in advance, they were hosting this event.  Better on-ice planning was needed.  I can also tell you as an outsider, that if the Brandon Wheat Kings (Michael Ferland, Brenden Walker) are getting rid of players, you shouldn’t want them.  Kelly McCrimmon seldom gets beat on a trade.

One of the reasons the Saskatchewan Roughriders have had a pretty good run of competitive seasons is because the fan base has gotten more demanding.  The run of sellouts ended right around the time fans got fed up with Ken Miller’s incompetent management and ownership responded with mass changes.  The fans, quickly, returned.   The Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, and Ottawa Senators are also good examples of this.  When they are icing bad teams, the fans don’t go.  Meanwhile, teams like Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto don’t need to be good because the fans go regardless of the on-ice quality.  In the US, NHL teams like Boston and Chicago struggle to fill the building if they are not contending.  And, I think that is perfectly fine.  Fans need to hold their sports teams accountable.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and his bride-to-be have registered at Bed Bath and Beyond and fans have been buying them wedding presents!  Griffin has been criticized in the media for accepting these gifts.  He is, after all, a millionaire.  But, I don’t think he needs to apologize at all.  He’s a citizen who has every right to register at a store for friends and family to purchase gifts.  If idiot fans want to do it too, that’s their prerogative. 

My only political comment this week comes from a friend of mine on Facebook, who applauds his NDP for wanting to abolish the Senate.  Well, it’s easy for the NDP to make that boast when they have zero members in the Senate!  If they had a few, they’d be a little more quiet about it.  Having said that, yes, the Senate needs to be abolished.  I can’t find a single person who can provide me with an answer as to what the Senate actually does.  Conservatives should want to abolish it too.  Because people like Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin are really putting a stain on their government and they just might end up paying for it by watching Justin Trudeau become the next Prime Minister.

I only have space this week for one person in the nice person mentions and that is for Cyndy Mundt.  I, seldom, run across people who are as nice to me as she is.  She also agrees with just about everything I write about and that is worth quite a few brownie points as well.  Now...if I could only get a hefty discount the other way...

Saturday, May 25, 2013


As I figured, the decision by Hockey Canada to ban body checking at the Peewee level as generated an incredible amount of opinion on both sides of the fence.

As usual, I am not going to take either side in this debate but I do have a strong opinion on it.

I do not favor the move to ban bodychecking; but I also don't think that makes me a neanderthal.

I will, simply, reiterate that if decision makers were serious about reducing injury they would reduce the size of the equipment worn by players.  I think the gear being worn is being used more as a weapon than as a form of protection.  Injuries seem to be occurring more often now than opposed to twenty years ago because players are bigger and faster.  And, I think that's because they have less fear by wearing as much as they do.  Less equipment makes kids smaller and will, consciously, have them moving slower.  They will also hit a little lighter and, hopefully, without the intent to hurt.

Which brings me to another topic, which I think is related.  And, that is coaching method.  I think there is far too much emphasis on body checking and trying to turn players into power forwards or physical defensemen.  Let's go back to 1990 and a look at the top ten scorers in the NHL:  Gretzky, Messier, Yzerman, Lemieux, Hull, Nicholls, Turgeon, LaFontaine, Coffey, Oates, and Sakic.  Of those ten, only Messier could be considered a power forward and I think a lot of people associated with hockey today would call players like Nicholls and Turgeon 'soft' or 'pansies'.  And, that's a problem as far as I'm concerned.  And, respect wasn't given to other naturally gifted playmakers in that era (Bellows, Richer, Gartner, Francis).

I think we need to get back to 1990 type of hockey.  The way to do this isn't by banning hitting; but rather by making hitting a little more difficult to achieve and taking some of the emphasis away from it all the while recognizing it's part of the game; but secondary.

I don't have an answer because I'm no expert.  But if there was a way to make the trap a little more difficult to execute or some way to eliminate the incredible amount of shot blocking we see (less equipment will also achieve that as guys won't be willing to get in front of shots) then the game would be a lot better.  I want to see Crosby, Ovechkin, Tavares, etc. making plays.  I don't want them hitting.

All I know is that hockey has become a sport of 'prevent'.  Prevent goals, prevent scoring chances, make the safe pass, don't get caught out of position.  When was the last time you saw a hockey team play in a way that is the opposite of these theories?  Of course, you would likely lose and the coach wouldn't be coaching very long so that's why the game is played the way it is.

I'm just glad Peyton Manning's coach doesn't discourage a 70 yard pass or that Cam Newton has been told to stop running, or that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin can't perform an alley-oop.  I'm glad Jose Bautista is allowed to swing for the fence every time he's up and that Aroldis Chapman can rear back and throw the ball as hard as he can every time he enters a game.

Just my way of saying let's leave hitting in the game, but let's not get carried away and make it the focal point of hockey.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy both resigned from the Conservative caucus this week amidst the expense scandals plaguing the senators over the last few months.  Both are sitting as Independents, which is hilarious in itself because senators are ‘appointed’ rather than ‘elected’.  So if you are are resigning or expelled, shouldn’t that mean you are out of the senate entirely?  Wallin gets a free pass in these parts, seeing as she’s from Wadena, but this is a black and white issue to me.  She’s talking about ‘the audit process’.  What it comes down to is that she’s an intelligent woman.  She knows if she was abusing taxpayer dollars.  She doesn’t need an audit to tell her so.

Duffy is a real piece of work.  This guy made a living hammering on dishonest politicians and now he, maybe, takes the cake at being the biggest crook of them all.  In addition to screwing the taxpayers out of $90 000, comes word the Prime Minister’s top aide cut Duffy a personal cheque to pay the money back.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any friends in my life that are willing to bail me out of a $90 000 jam such as the one Duffy was in.  We are also hearing stories that Duffy and this aide aren’t even close.  The aide has since resigned his post as well.  And, I wonder if Duffy knows this ‘gift’ is tax deductable?

There are also reports that certain damning findings were actually removed on Duffy’s audit report.  If there was ever a case for a politician to be sent to jail, this is it.  There is evidence he knew exactly what he was doing even though Duffy claimed, “the rules are not clear.”  Again, Duffy is a smart man.  He knows where he lives.  He’s splitting hairs talking about ‘rules’.  It would be like me calling my seasonal campsite at Canora Beach my primary place of residence.  The guy has played us for fools and it appears as though there is nothing that can be done about it.  Try stealing money from your employer and then offer to give it back after they catch you.  Will that keep you out of the clink?

The Liberals, Conservatives, and NDP can argue about politics all they want; but the one thing they all agree on is trying to keep expenses private so they can abuse the heck out of the taxpayer.  I refer back to my inquiry with my own local MP, which went unanswered even to this day.  Here’s something else to chew on  with regards to politicians abusing our money:   Wallin (who has a lot more going on with regards to duties than Garry Breitkreuz) spent just over $142 000 from March 1, 2011-February 29, 2012.  Breitkreuz spent over $157 000 during the same time frame.  (Figures obtained from a Vancouver Sun story on February 13, 2013).   Either Wallin’s innocent or more politicians should be looked at closer. 

When considering how much a person (or politician) spends on a cross country trip, I don’t mind telling you I spent about $1500 on a recent jaunt from Saskatchewan to New Brunswick.  This includes all meals, lodging, as well as a vehicle rental for three days while I was there and gifts for the family.  You would have to make about 100 of those trips a year to get to the kind of numbers claimed in the above paragraph.  Seeing as how my trip was for six days, a hundred trips would equal 600 days and there are only 365 days in a year.  I didn’t skimp either.  I rented an SUV and ate at the Keg. 

I have nothing but shame for the Toronto Star for releasing reports about that city’s mayor, Rob Ford, being seen on video smoking crack.  The only evidence they have is that two of their reporters claim to have seen the video.  Well, unless that video is authenticated, you can’t report on it.  It’s tabloid journalism, at best, and I think Ford should sue the Star for libel and slander.  The fact that he hasn’t does make me suspicious.  Still, unless you have proof for the whole world to see, you can’t claim this ‘story’ as ‘news’.  It’s a rumor, perpetuated by a media outlet.  And, to think we used to rely on the media to give us the facts to confirm or deny rumors. 
Some days you shouldn’t get out of bed.  Over the weekend, I had one of those days.  I went over a bump on Circlebrooke Drive while towing our camper and busted all the dishes.  I got out to the campsite and trying to back the camper up was an epic fail.  By the time I was done I had blown out the power steering in my truck. 

The Brooks Bandits won the RBC Cup over the weekend.  That’s the same Brooks Bandits that defeated the Yorkton Terriers 1-0 for the final spot in the RBC Cup at the finals of the Western Canada Cup.  Yes, I think Yorkton was very, very close to being a national champion.
Nice person mentions this week to Sharleen Nagy, Dana Prystupa, Melissa Christianson, Naomi Paley, and Sandy Zielinski.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


ESPN laid off close to 400 workers today in a measure they say “implements changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs.  While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative, and productive.”

This type of measure is one of the reasons why I got out of broadcasting.  For years I would make personal sacrifices at the expense of my job.  What for?  The loyalty from these corporations does not  come back the same way.  I can recall sweating numerous extra hours at CKX-TV in Brandon, only to have a bunch of suits show up one day and announce they were laying off most of the staff and the only ones they were keeping were ones with seniority.  What you have done for the company didn’t matter other than your service time.  So, if you were a grumpy twenty-five year veteran you got to keep your job over the three year guy who was working seven days (60 plus hours) a week to prove himself. 

ESPN is not a sinking ship.  In the last few years they have spent the following amounts of money on broadcast rights:

$1.8 billion/year for Monday Night Football
$700 million/year for Major League Baseball
$500 million/year for College Football Playoffs
$70 million/year for US Open Tennis
$20 million/year  for Big East
$15 million/year for Longhorn Network

Not included in these figures are rights to SEC, NBA, NASCAR, numerous other college sports, soccer, etc. 

If ESPN didn’t have the money, they wouldn’t spent it on the programming.  Where they miss the boat is that without top notch on-air (and off-air) talent, your viewing audience isn’t as large and, therefore, you can’t justify the expensive commercial/advertising rates that go along with airing live block programming.

The typical response from someone that has never had to deal with a job loss will say that’s the cost of doing business.  Sometimes you have to lose your job.  And, that’s fine to say that.  But, if you are in broadcasting and you get asked to do the odd extra chore from your superior, I don’t think the employee should feel bad to put his hand out and say ‘my time is worth money’.  Remember, you can always make more money, but you can never make more time. 

I was guilty myself of being too shy to ask my boss for more money to MC a banquet.  Radio/TV station employees don’t make very much money as it is.  Factor in your salary on an hourly wage based on what good employees give to their employers, and it’s well below minimum standards.  Meanwhile, companies like ESPN (fill in the blank with your own corporate company name) are overflowing their bank accounts at the expenses of good workers who are worth their weight in gold, but settle for pennies.  So, next time you are asked to make a public appearance, maybe consider asking for some green in return.  Because there may come a day the company will cut you loose and your dedication will have NOTHING to do with their decision.

Professional athletes managed to make more money, as a collective group, by publicizing their salaries.  I think broadcasters should do the same.  You may be surprised to learn what the guy across from you is getting.  All it takes is to see a few ‘bad’ workers getting more than they are worth and your own wage would come up in a real big hurry.

Reference article:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I lost just about all faith in the human race a long time ago, but that doesn't diminish the amount of disgust I feel when I see this unspeakable crime in Cleveland where a man, allegedly, kept three girls hostage for over ten years in order to satisfy his sick ways of getting pleasure. To me, there is no need for a trial here. It's a waste of money (likely taxpayers' money because he'll use a public defender). It's also additional unnecessary hardship for the victims to have to relive their ordeals in front of a judge, lawyers, and nosy members of the public. I think they should turn this sadistic animal over to the victims' families and let them decide this guy's fate. I know what I'd be doing to him. Not even I will print it, though!

A Mother's Day explosion in New Orleans, the missing man from Hamilton who was trying to sell his truck on Kijiji, the 12-year-old boy who stabbed his 8-year-old sister to death in the US, it's all too much for me to digest. What's wrong with us?

Thankfully, there are some good natured people stories out there; but the feel good stories don't motivate people to subscribe to CNN the way tragedies do. I'm pleased to say I was part of a good-person story over the weekend while I was in New Brunswick. I spent Sunday morning in the Village of Gagetown, a tiny community of less than 700, because I used to live there as a 9-year-old and I wanted to see what had changed over the years. I parked my rental and went for a walk and just took my time digesting the sights. As I was headed back to my vehicle, two men approached me and made the immediate observation that I wasn't 'local'. After about five minutes, one of them said he was going to put on some coffee and wanted to know if I would stay and chat with them for awhile. It was like a scene out of the movies. After about an hour, I was on my way to the next destination. It was a visit I won't ever forget. Very cool. What made it even better was that I lived there about 30 years ago and they moved to Gagetown about 20 years ago. So as much as they taught me, I was able to share a bit with them on some of the community's history that pre-dated their arrival.

When I left the Maritimes for prairie life in 1995, I can recall a hot button issue was privatizing highways; which meant allowing a private company to construct and upkeep the roads. The sticking point was that travellers were charged a toll (or a fee) every time they used the highway. Well, after spending a number of days roaming the Maritimes, I can say I am in favor of this measure and I think Saskatchewan should take a long, hard look at doing this along the Yellowhead Highway from Saskatoon to Yorkton as well as Highway 10 from Yorkton to Balgonie. I realize people won't like to pay, but I would much rather pay and enjoy the comfort of a four lane highway as opposed to what we have now, which can be dangerous at peak travel times.

I really liked the laid back personalities of the flight attendants during my trip east. Not only is WestJet a less expensive option than the other guys, but their employees on the front line are more likeable. When talking over the sound system, one flight attendant (while we were at 39-thousand feet) made it a point to remind passengers not to smoke or else they'll be asked to leave the airplane immediately. During one of the landings, another attendant asked passengers to take all of our baggage into the terminal, including emotional. And, I'm not sure if this is legit or not, but two of the flight attendants on the Saskatoon-to-Toronto leg were champions in the Synchronized Seat Belt Demonstration event at the Flight Attendant Olympics.

We are quick to criticize and point out bad customer service whenever we get it, but never usually as loud when we get workers who go over and above the call of duty. So, I feel it's important to mention the staff at the Yorkton ER last Monday were awesome. Mallory (regular readers may remember she broke both wrists last summer) had a scare with her right wrist and they didn't take it lightly. She was hustled into care and looked after in very short order. Thank you! I thought, 'here we go again'. Instead, she suffered a sprain and bruise. Crisis averted.

My Twitter quotes this week: "If you lower your expectations, you limit your disappointment." And, "The real happy endings come after a story with lots of ups and downs. If you can make it, if you can last, you will get what you want."

Nice person mentions this week to Dana Rathgeber, Dave Joy, Scott Stackhouse, Lloyd Seymour, and Emma-Jayne Owen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Longtime Yorkton resident Murray George was kind enough to drop off some old Yorkton newspapers he found last week and there was one newspaper from 1972 that I skimmed through and I was shocked to learn there wasn’t a single article in there written by Calvin Daniels.
Some of the stories and classified ads are fascinating.  For instance, there is some poor soul (he likely won’t ever come forward and admit to this) out there who traded in his 1968 Ford Shelby GT500 Cobra for a Datsun.  I think the Shelby, today, is worth $100 000.  I don’t need to tell you what a Datsun goes for.
There are some advertisements in there from companies that still exist today.  Although, I’m not sure if Marlo Shore would appreciate a phone call from me asking if my hard water problem can still be solved for $4.50.
And, we’ve come full circle in the restaurant industry as Mr. Mike’s (one of Yorkton’s newest restaurants), actually had an ad for charboiled steaks for $1.89.  This particular Mr. Mike’s was located at Broadway Park Plaza and, no, I didn’t own that Mr. Mike’s either.
I also found an article about how the government of the day bungled the potash industry.  Opposition MLA Allan Blakeney charged that ‘hundreds of men are out of jobs, towns are suffering because of unemployment and lack of business, families are being forced to sell their newly bought homes and losing their savings.  It is a record of unbelievable bungling’.  Times have changed.
Last Monday I was depressed as I got out of bed and saw upwards of 20cm of snow on the ground.  This Monday, I see everything is pretty much gone and there is hope of a camping season starting on May Long Weekend after all.  Of course, our economy depends on things drying up quick too because the agriculture industry is sure to take a beating from the winter that wouldn’t end.  Let’s cross our fingers that it stays warm with minimal rain for the time being.
I fell off my chair last week to see how little amount of attention a CBC job posting got from mainstream media when it was advertised they were seeking a host from applicants were were ‘any race but caucasian’.  Imagine if the word ‘caucasian’ was replaced with any other ethnic group under the sun.  The casting agency said the job posting was an accident (crock of dandelions) and that they were looking for a cast of diversity.  I’ve never understood that either.  If you ended up with a cast of, predominantly, African Americans because they were the best qualified, then I don’t have a problem with it.  As soon as you advertise ‘equal opportunity employer’, I feel it’s a form of racism.  Just hire the best qualified regardless of skin color or ethnic background.
Many years ago I was turned down for a CTV sports job in Regina because the news director said they needed to hire a minority female to maintain ‘equal opportunity employer’ standards.  I was told, point blank, I was better qualified.  Sounds real fair doesn’t it?  It was then and there I knew I needed to get back into radio where nobody can see you!
I wrote an article on my blog last week and stand by my remarks that NHL players are using their equipment as weapons more than to protect from injury.  I think there should be less equipment and that would change things enough that you wouldn’t have to be, constantly, studying how to make the game better.  Smaller gear would mean less cheap shots (you would probably break your arm sticking up an elbow like Andrew Ference did last week).  It would also mean less blocked shots so more pucks get through to the net, and less equipment on goalies means more net to shoot at.  It almost sounds too easy doesn’t it?  The irony of it all is that the word ‘safety’ will be used to defend the armour worn today.  But, I think you would be safer with less. 

Dave Hodge said it best.  He says it should be okay to hit but not okay to hurt.  I couldn’t agree more.
I can’t thank the NHL lockout enough for helping me go into being a fan of the NBA with such an open mind.  I haven’t found a team to be passionate about yet, but I can tell you watching the likes of Stephen Curry in the first round Golden State victory over Denver was very entertaining.  On Sunday, I tuned in to Kevin Durant putting the Oklahoma City Thunder on his back and leading them from ten points back in the second half to defeat Memphis 93-91 in game one of their West Conference semi-final.  I’ve heard it said you can’t beat NHL playoff emotion, well NBA playoff emotion is up there too.
Nice person mentions this week (and this is a shot in the dark because these are names of people I found in the old newspapers) to Merv Martinuk (auto sales), Verne Clemence (newspaper writer), Glen Swanson (soccer player), Norm Roebuck (U of S Alumni Association), and Eliza Doolittle (‘My Fair Lady’).

Friday, May 3, 2013


If you are one of these people who don’t like critics of the National Hockey League, stop reading.
I’ve tuned out this league for a full year now, but it’s almost unavoidable to know what’s going on because the coverage is everywhere (at least, in Canada). 

Last night as I’m watching the Blue Jays-Red Sox, they go to a break to the Sportsnet Connected desk and they provide an ‘update’ on the Ottawa-Montreal game; but the score was NEVER mentioned.  Just the fact that Lars Eller had been badly injured on a controversial hit and the Hockey Central panel would break it down for us during the show.  There was, absolutely, no focus on the actual game as far as the two people on the Connected desk were concerned.

I watched the hit on  YouTube and here’s my only thought:  if blindside hits are illegal, then so is this hit.  Whether or not Gryba hit him in the head before he made any contact anywhere else on Eller’s body is irrelevant to me.  The play happens at break neck speed so to say Gryba had intent to take Eller’s head off is impossible to say.  Did Gryba anticipate knocking an unsuspecting player to the ice with a punishing blow?  Absolutely.  Should that be illegal?  That’s not for me to decide. 

Here is what I do know:  in a league that takes player safety fairly lightly, it makes the most sense to leave all the rules as they are but reduce the equipment size worn by everybody.  In this day and age you should be able to make protective gear that is smaller and doesn’t increase the risk of injury.  What’s happened in recent years is that equipment has become a weapon rather than a deterrent to getting hurt. 

Smaller gear means players will be more careful out on the ice and won’t be launching themselves at other players like they do now.  I don’t think Andrew Ference sticks his elbow up at the Toronto player like he did the other night if his elbow isn’t triple enforced with what’s currently called an elbow pad.  Otherwise, he runs the risk of breaking his arm.  Smaller gear also means less bravery when it comes to blocking shots.  To me, shot blocking doesn’t sell entertainment.  It’s one of the worst things about hockey.  It’s great to dedicate yourself like that to prevent a goal, but as a fan I want to see goals, big saves, and exciting scoring chances.  Shot blocking takes all of that away.  Coaches can still coach shot blocking, but let’s be honest.  Less players will do it.  Smaller gear on a goalie means more net to shoot at too.  And, I’ve written, at length, about how I feel on goalie equipment.  I don’t know why an NHL team hasn’t gone to Japan, recruited a sumo wrestler and taught him how to skate and then armed him with goalie gear and ordered him to stand perfectly still in the crease.  It’s funny and stupid to think  this way, but if you really considered it; it’s perfectly legal and I think you would win a lot of games. 

All I know is that I watched the Blue Jays and Red Sox last night and then tuned in to Golden State-Denver (NBA playoffs) and was very much entertained with the finish of that game despite the Warriors’ incredibly sloppy play at the end of the 4th.  To me, sports is about entertainment as much as it is winning.  Those that make the rules in the NHL have to come up with ways (and I think a reduction in equipment solves it all) to bring the thrill back.  Stephen Curry took over the NBA game last night in the 3rd.  Other than Sidney Crosby (and even he doesn’t always have that ability), is there a single player in the NHL that can, similarly, do that? I think of Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic, Pavel Bure, Brett Hull & Adam Oates, Doug Gilmour, Al MacInnis, Paul Coffey, etc.

  I think the players today are every bit as good or better.  Don’t get me wrong.  But, I long for the days where we’d see a guy close to 100 points on almost every team.  Those days are over and, probably, won’t ever return.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I’m sure Yorkton This Week reporter Thom Barker is a nice guy, but if there is a person in Yorkton (other than Calvin Daniels) who isn’t more polar opposite than I am; I would be shocked.  Thom wrote an editorial about the sentence Melvin Koroluk received for abducting a little girl from the Yorkton Exhibition in 2011.  While I am on the side of the fence that says, ‘lock him up and throw away the key’, Thom is on the side of favoring our Criminal Code and the Charter.  Thom says judges are obligated to determine whether there are less restrictive sanctions than imprisonment that could accomplish the objectives of sentencing.  Okay, let’s go with that statement and then answer me this:  where was that statement during Kim Walker’s trial? 

If you want to cut through the crock of dandelions, here is how it works:  the book was thrown at Walker because the justice system is petrified as to what would happen if people started to take the law into their own hands.  Can you imagine a world where everyone decided to take an eye for an eye?  I suspect 10 years in jail is enough to prevent most of us from considering murder to even up the score.  I wonder if 2 years in jail would be a big enough deterrent to stop future child abductions?  I am going to suggest it isn’t.  If you don’t want these predators on the street, throw the book at them.  It’s that simple.  I don’t care what your upbringing was, I don’t care if you have a past criminal record, I don’t care if you were the nicest man on earth to the little girl after you have stolen her from the fair grounds.  Kidnapping is kidnapping and for that you should go away for a very long time so that future children won’t have to suffer the life long trauma that the little girl in this case will have to endure.  Let’s pretend that before Koroluk was ever caught, that this child’s father found him and decided to take Koroluk for a little drive out into the middle of nowhere to have a conversation with him.  Then when that conversation was done, Koroluk was left to fend for himself and there was never ever any mention that he may be out there trying to get back into town.  I can tell you, I’d risk two years in jail to get even.  I’d also risk some lengthy counseling as a punishment too so that I could better understand the gravity of my actions.  What nonsense.

Don Cherry is on the hot seat again after he proclaimed during Saturday night’s Hockey Night In Canada broadcast that the male locker room is no place for female reporters.   In this day and age of equal rights, Cherry has drawn major criticism for his opinions; however I have to side with Cherry ONLY if male reporters are not allowed in female locker rooms.  And, I don’t know if this is still the case or not.  I just remember when I was covering university sports; I was not allowed within sight of the Brandon Lady Bobcat (basketball) dressing room.  Usually I bring this up with people and I get some grins regarding the thought of a male pervert hanging around a dozen or more scantily clad women.  Well, women have similar thoughts that men do.  You don’t think some of these women feel as though they’ve hit the jackpot walking into a room where you not only see naked men, but gorgeous naked men?  Of course, you have people of both genders that would be professional enough to conduct their jobs without being animals and you have people of both genders that would be too immature to handle it.  My thought on this subject has always been that dressing rooms and locker rooms are an athletes ONLY domain and reporters (gender doesn’t matter) are, simply, not welcome to be there.  There should be a designated interview area outside and club personnel can arrange for interview subjects to make themselves available in that particular area. (Note that isn't in my newspaper column:  from listening to various reporters over the last few days, it sounds like most professional dressing rooms now are set up in a fashion where a locker room has a separate area for athletes to, comfortably, get changed and collect their thoughts without having a throng of media hovering over them like mosquitoes).

Another Yorkton case that rolls my eyes is the release of custody of Thomas Stephenson.  He is charged in connection with cocaine trafficking.  He’s been on remand since March 13 because he was already on a conditional release due to other charges.  He also has a history of breaching court orders and has prior failure to appears (in court).  The crown feels (imagine the nerve of them) that because of his legal history, he poses a threat to re-offend and/or not show up for his court date.    The judge admitted the strength of the crown’s case is excellent.  Yet, Stephenson gets out because he has good community support.  Bleeding hearts.
I had a chance to take my kids to Free My Muse’s 16th Youth Play Production Adaptation called Rapunzel.  It was, as always, very well done.  There are some incredibly talented youth in our community and some of them are flying under the radar.  There are more events coming up, so if you see their famous posters kicking around on the windows of local businesses, make yourself a note to try and attend one of the shows.  You won’t be disappointed.  And, it’s something different than simply going out for supper or drinks all the time. 

Nice person mentions this week to Lloyd Seymour, Evan Johnson, Stephanie Sliva, Tricia Korczak, Susan Cochrane, and Greg Litvanyi.


There have been a few political hot potatoes that I have stepped in recently, so why not tackle another one?

NBA player Jason Collins, this week, became the first active professional male sports athlete to, publicly, announce he's gay.  I'm having a hard time figuring out the relevance for the media here.  I mean does Derek Jeter have to come out and announce he's no longer going to be a playboy and is getting married?  Or, does Jeter have to make a proclamation of bedding every female he comes in contact with?  Of course not.  It's nobody's business.  The same applies here.  What Collins does away from the basketball court has no bearing on sports.  I also have a surprise for these meddling people:  most professional athletes already know who is and isn't gay within their own circle of teammates and competitors.  It's a non-issue for them, should be a non-issue for the media and fans too.  There is no need for one to 'announce' a sexual preference.  I don't get it.

With this announcement, there are some out there who believe Collins will not be offered a contract for next season.  This is a ridiculous assertion.  However, it is possible the 34-year-old bit player will not get a contract next year simply because he no longer warrants one based on his declining skills and advancing age.  He was, lucky, to be in the NBA in the first place.

Professional sports teams don't care what you do when you are not competing.  If you want an example of that, football wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins got drafted in the second round by the Houston Texans despite huge evidence against him as far as being a civilized human being.  Trashed Hotel Room Belonged To Hopkins .

I've been in various discussions with liberal people who say we need to practice tolerance of everyone's beliefs and lifestyles.  I'm okay with that, but let's also be tolerant of someone like Tim Tebow, who is a devout Christian and puts his faith on display on a daily basis (credit former Roughrider Matt Dominguez for making that point).