TOP TEN RANDOM THOUGHTS ON A LATE SUMMER'S NIGHT
Time is short, hence the late night blog posting, but here are some quick hit thoughts from a variety of subjects, covering a variety of sports.
1. Finally...Ice Dog training camp opens tomorrow. The team is only playing three exhibition games because Marty Williamson has been frank about his ability to field a quality squad considering that there are nine players who will be at NHL camps. Should all nine return, and there is a very good chance that will happen, call the Ice Dogs one of the early favourites this year.
2. Not a huge CFL fan, though I do love my Tiger Cats. While I was rooting hard for the Cats vs. Winnipeg on Friday, a small part of me was happy that the newly dubbed "Swaggerville" got the W. Love the fact that this team has success and personality! Also, love the fact that Montreal and Calgary spent a good portion of the week yapping at each other and then backed it up with a great game narrowly won by Calgary. Its been a fun year in the CFL, unless of course you are an Argo fan or a Roughrider fan. Sad thing is that one of those teams could very well make the playoffs!
3. No secret that I am a huge Miami Dolphin fan and no secret that this team causes no end of frustration for all of its fans. Its bad enough having to root for a team that has dreadful aqua marine uniforms, but the mediocre football is too much. Last year ended with my Dolphin hat getting thrown in the recycling bin in disgust! Here's hoping Reggie Bush can revitalize a stagnant offense led by the redoubtable Chad Henne who somehow managed to find one of the best receivers in the NHL in Brandon Marshall for only 3 TD passes last year. No problem with the D, but the O better step up the game, else a "Seahawk-esque" 7-9 is very likely. My goal for the year is to be the special guest of Jennifer Lopez, who now has a spot open in her suite after she dropped the vampire like Marc Anthony.
4. Spent the latter part of summer digging into some Fantasy Hockey magazines, which might seem strange as I don't play Fantasy Hockey, but I love the stats. Predicted the Leafs, by the way, another one of my teams that causes me premature aging, to make the playoffs the last two years. We know how that went. No predictions this year, but I've been with my wife for over five years now and she has yet to see me watch a Leaf playoff game, while I have dutifully and reluctantly, I might add, have celebrated her Red Wings winning one cup and making the playoffs every year.
5. NBA update? Nothing, unless you count Gilbert Arenas co-hort/foil Javaris Crittendon getting accused of murder. Methinks some of these fellows need some hoops to keep them out of trouble. At least Ron Artest is rumoured to be doing Dancing With The Stars. Wearing sparkly tuxes should keep him away from trouble.
6. With the NBA, this will give the fledgling NBL of Canada a running start in terms of focus and gaining a following. Here's hoping hoop fans discover that there is great ball in their back yards with the new pro loop and university and college basketball.
7. Congrats go out to John Bartlett, who goes from the Marlies to the Canadiens. While I did apply for the Habs gig, I'm happy to see a guy like John go from the OHL to the AHL to the show.
8. Congrats also to Dennis Beyak who leaves his part-time radio gig with the Leafs and returns home to Winnipeg to call games for TSN regionally and also on the radio at 1290. He will be supported by ex-Manitoba Moose voice Brian Munz.
9. The Blues Jays are officially in "play out the string" or "garbage time" mode. I hope that that they don't mail in the last part of the season. Three straight dismal losses to T-Bay were on the heels of losing 2/3 to the sad-sack Royals. The only games the Jays have won the last two series, were the ones started by Ricky Romero who has been rock solid.
10. Personally, I know that I will be back as the voice of the Niagara Ice Dogs on TV Cogeco next year along with fine broadcasters and good friends Ed Burkholder and Al Galloway. There might be more to announce in the next couple of weeks, or nothing at all. Ed, Al and I are in our 5th OHL season together and other 150 telecasts. Where has the time gone? Home opener is September 29th vs the dastardly Mississauga Majors!
Finally, can't believe I have to mention another sad passing for the second consecutive blog. Longtime McMaster Marauder basketball fan, Hamilton Tiger Cat season ticket holder and all around good guy John Millar passed away suddenly late Sunday evening at the age of 62. There was no bigger dedicated supporter than John. He rarely missed a Marauder basketball game, often travelling great distances on the road to support the Maroon and Grey. He will be sadly missed.