Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Introducing The Great One

On this date in 1978 the Great One, Wayne Gretzky signed a contract with the Indianapolis Racers.  He was just 17.  Gretzky played eight games with Indianapolis scoring three goals and three assists before being traded to the Edmonton Oilers.  The rest, as they say, is history.  The greatest hockey player ever to play in the National Hockey League.

Monday, 15 September 2014

A Smile A Day - September 16th

Hey Lighten Up On Tino - Today In The Canadian Football League

"It wasn't up to my standard, the coaches (standard) or the locker-room," "I hold myself to a higher standard whenever I go out and play."  Tino Sunseri on his play Sunday in a 28 - 3 loss to the Hamilton TigerCats.

I'm not sure why everyone finds it such a great surprise that the Saskatchewan RoughRiders lost to Hamilton with a rookie quarterback.  Ever since Drew Willy left for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the question has been asked.  What happens if Darian gets hurt ?  Well Darian got hurt and now we know.  And it wasn't pretty.
But before you throw Tino under the bus consider this.
Colin Kaepernick is considered one of the better quarterbacks in the National Football League.  On Sunday he threw three inceptions and fumbled once as the 49er's lost 28 - 20 to the Chicago Bears.   So far I haven't heard 49er fans calling for Colin's head or for the team to bring in Henry Burris.     So how far do you go with Tino Sunseri before you decide it isn't working.  Well I think you give him another game.  A chance to shine against the Ottawa RedBlacks.  Why ?  Well for one thing you can't hang the loss entirely on Tino Sunseri.
The O line under performed.  Ditto for the defence, the special teams, the kicking game.  
Fans should also keep in mind the great Anthony Cavillo struggled and was actually let go by the Hamilton Tigercats before becoming one of the best ever in the CFL.

Elsewhere in the CFL

"When you've been winning so long, eventually you have to come down," Chamblin said. "It's part of football. There have been lots of games we won but we could have lost. This one, there was a chance when we were down by just 10 points (at the end of the half), but we lost. It's not stunning. It's a part of football."

And the quarterback injury situation goes from bad to worse.  Bo Levi Mitchell left the field early.
Reports indicate the Calgary quarterback may only miss one game.  Drew Tate is the more than capable backup.
And in Winnipeg, it looks like the Bombers will have to do without Drew Willy for their next game.
Bombers aren/t saying much but it looks like a shoulder injury that will keep Willy out of the lineup for the next game.   What a tough year for CFL quarterbacks.

“It is football and it is strategy and it isn’t pleasant to look at sometimes,”  “But I think there’s nothing more that can be done in terms of litigation and rule placement for protecting the quarterback. This is pro football and a position that gets contact and traffic.”
Mike Benevides Lions coach when asked if the league needs to do more to protect quarterbacks

And speaking of protection it seems south of the border in the National Football League, it's not only the players that need to
be protected.  Sad isn't it?

I'm Tired

I'm tired of hollow sounding words.
I'm tired of empty promise.
Won't someone sing a simple song of Jesus' love?

Tell me,
Tell me the story of Jesus.
Tell me, tell me,
Tell me once again about His love.     

Tell me the old, old story,
It's my only hope and glory,
Tell me the story of Jesus.
Tell me that old, old story,
it shall be my theme in glory,
Sing to me again about His love.

Like eagle wings, it lifts me up
Above the earth around me.
Like cool, refreshing summer rain,
It leaves me clean.

Tell me (Tell me that old, old story)
Tell me (It's my only hope and glory)
The story of Jesus (Tell me the story of Jesus)
Tell me (Tell me that old, old story)
Tell me (It shall be my theme in glory)
Tell me once again about His love (Sing to me again about His love) 

Tell me once again about His love 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Smile A Day - September 15th

The ice bucket challenge……..everyone is taking part in it

Would The DDD Club Just Shut Up - Today In The Canadian Football League

The Darian Durant Distractors Club.  You hear from them every game.  If the Saskatchewan RoughRiders win, as they have a habit of doing the last few years, it has nothing to do with Darian Durant.  It's every part of the team but not the Quarterback.  If they lose, well the DDD Club blames DD for that and rather quickly.
So how does the DDD club explain a Grey Cup Championship in 2013, several trips to the Grey Cup with Darian at QB, and seven game win streak, one shy of establishing a new team record.  And if you go back to the playoffs of last year, the Rider QB has a sparkling record of 11 wins and 2 losses.
But according to the DDD club, it the run game, or the special team, or the defence or the kicking that has got the Riders to where they are.  Anything but give credit to Darian Durant.
So how to you explain this weekends drubbing of 28 - 3 at the hands of the Hamilton TigerCats.  You can't blame Darian.  He's on the sideline with a season ending injury.  The ball was handed to backup quarterback Tino Sunseri and he dropped it…big time.   Now you can't put all the blame on the rookie quarterback.    The stellar running game, thought to be the best in the league, or at worst second to only Calgary, did a no show.  The receivers thought to be the best around dropped balls they should of caught.  The defence played well enough but when you only put three points on the board and you're defence is on the field constantly, well let's just say the defence did as well as the could.
The kicking game was horrible and the special teams were worse.
But wait a minute aren't these guys the same ones that are on the field when Darian leads them.  So what happened ?   Well allow me a little comparison.  Let's say you are a soldier.  Your leader is the great General Patton.  You will go through walls to go into battle with this outstanding fighter.  You know he will lead you.  Nothing can go wrong.   But suddenly he's not there.  Your leader is a fuzzy cheeked recently graduate of West Point and he is going to lead you into battle.  Suddenly you're not so confident.  You have doubts.  You wonder if you will get out alive.
Darian Durant is a leader.  He leads on and off the field.  His players trust him.  The know what he is going to do and they are ready to follow him into battle on the gridiron.
It's highly probable that Tino Sunseri is capable of building that kind of respect.  The problem is it takes time.  And for the quarterback devouring fans of the Saskatchewan RoughRiders, what they did last year is not good enough.   And for Tino Sunseri the ever demanding RoughRider fans may not afford him that kind of time.
Even the members of the DDD club don't have an answer for what happened against Hamilton.  The best they could muster was…well it would have happened to Durant to.  Would it.  I have my doubts on that one.  A healthy Darian Durant and I'm betting the Riders have an new record eight game winning streak.
So what happens now.   Do you give Tino Sunseri another shot against Ottawa.  Do you try Seth Doege.   Of do you give up someone of high calibre to in effect buy a rental quarterback for another run at the Grey Cup ?    One of the problems with that is the high number of injuries happening to CFL quarterbacks this year.  Bo Levi Mitchell of the Calgary Stampeders and Drew Willy of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were the latest to go down.   Mitchell apparently will miss only one game.    CFL teams are reluctant to trade away a QB the way it is going
Drew Willy we haven't heard about yet.  The
usually friendly Mike O'Shea Bomber head coach could only snarl "I'm not a doctor" when asked about his number one quarterback's injury.  The Bombers were once 5 & 1,   Now they have turned that around into a 1 & 5 streak to fall all the way down to last place in their division.
Will the Riders join them ?  Well one thing is for sure.  The quarterbacking issue has to be solved and quickly.  If it isn't that the Darian Durant Distractors Club may be out of business.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Doc: Still family has brought out our best

The whole country has Devon and Leah in its arms. A national bear hug holds them and keeps them. Every parent who has ever known the helpless feeling of dealing with a child's terrible sickness is offering a bowed head and a bended knee. Everyone else has a reason to feel compassionate, and fortunate.
Leah Still has become Our Child.  
She belongs to Devon. She lives in our prayers.
The Still story started several weeks ago when Devon, the Bengals third-year defensive tackle, spoke publicly about his daughter's illness. She has Stage 4 pediatric cancer. The Bengals cut Still in mid-August, then re-signed him to their practice squad a day later. One, because he deserved it, and two, because it kept him on the team's health insurance. The Bengals promoted him to the active roster this week.
In the meantime, the Bengals did something equally wonderful: They allowed the rest of us a chance to share in Devon and Leah's hope. Spend $100. Buy a No. 75 jersey with STILL across the back. Every dime will go to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, and toward pediatric cancer research.
As of Friday morning, nearly 4,000 jerseys had been ordered. Nike was making them as fast as it could.
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton ordered 100. A college president in Michigan ordered six, including one for the school's football coach, himself undergoing cancer treatments this season. Former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn is ordering several jerseys. ESPN radio host Scott Van Pelt bought at least 20, and asked they be given to kids in treatment at Children's.
Let's keep this going. Let's show the country what we already know: We take of our own around here. We take our sports seriously and our sports heroes personally. Our heart is big.
Four thousand jerseys? Let's triple that. Let's order so many STILLs, the Nike people run out of cotton. Charity is the most profound form of thanks. Let's give thanks.
Bengals executive Jeff Berding says the jerseys will be delivered by early October. The Bengals play the Carolina Panthers at home on the 12th. Can we get 10,000 fans at Paul Brown Stadium that day, wearing STILL jerseys?
Is that a dream? Of course it is. Isn't dreaming part of what we're doing here?
We could call it the Still Bowl. The Bengals could project pictures of Leah on the big board. They could have Devon describe in a video his daughter's courageous journey. They could show it just before kickoff.
The Bengals could order 60,000 orange and black towels, bearing Leah's name, one for every fan at the game. If the Bengals win, guess who gets a game ball?
This is a time to ask Why Not? There is no better time.
Buy a piece of hope. If you can't afford the $100, spread the word to others who can afford it. Re-Tweet this column. Re-tweet every story dealing with Leah, Devon and the jerseys.
The Bengals will never lead the league in self promotion. Mike Brown wouldn't allow it. But this is a good and decent thing, done at a time when the NFL is seen as anything but. The league itself should be buying Still jerseys by the gross.
Help the team help Leah. Get social.
The Bengals have gotten e-mails from everywhere. I got just one, late last week. A reader praised the jersey initiative, thankful for the money and awareness it raised. He also sent along a picture of his 4-year-old grandson. Elijah has Stage 4 neuroblastoma, another predominantly pediatric cancer.
I talked Friday with Elijah's mom. She was ecstatic about the Devon and Leah story. Funding for childhood cancer research is lacking, she said. "I feel like a lot of times people don't want to be aware of it, because it's such a nightmare,'' Abby Zinser said. "And without awareness, there's no funding.''
Cincinnati Children's Hospital is a miracle place. I know this. When my daughter Jillian was six weeks old, she contracted bronchiolitis. Mucous filled her underdeveloped lungs. She spent 12 days at Children's, a six-pound child in a crib, wrapped in a nest of tubes, her life monitored by machines beeping on a wall.
There was talk of putting her on a machine to keep her breathing. There was mention of possible brain damage, from the lack of oxygen. We thought she could die.
Doctors and nurses were with Jillian around the clock. Their vigilance was remarkable, but no more impressive than the care they gave her. Jillian survived, none the worse for wear.
On Sunday, Elijah Zinser will return to Children's, to fight for his life. He and Leah Still are kindred spirits, in search of a miracle. "If more people knew, they would give,'' Abby Zinser said. "And maybe we'd find a cure.''
Buy a jersey. Spread the word. Let's keep this going. Miracles deserve nothing less.