Thursday, 29 September 2011

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's 2011

Illegal procedure. Winnipeg Sports Scene, five yard penalty, repeat first down.

(Sorry in advance for the off-topic blog)

I checked out the documentary Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times the other day. It's a movie about the New York Times and the decline of print media. It was showing itself at the Cinematheque for some reason, probably because it was too trendy for the regular movie theatres. Regardless of the reason, I bought some Junior Mints before the movie started, which turned out to be a good choice, unlike milk on a hot afternoon.

Now, being 2011, I was hoping it would be in 3D, or 4D or some kind of D. It ended up being in “normal” D which I have to say, was rather 2006.

Speaking of 2006, reading paper newspapers is fairly 2006, or 1956, or something else equally old, insert your own metaphor here. I suppose paper news might have been effective at one time. For instance, a guy named Pheidippides once ran from Marathon to Athens, Greece without stopping in order to deliver the news. Yes, that really happened. Now, had a newspaper existed at the time, the people of Athens could have simply read about it, and no one would have had to run; that coulda' saved poor Pheidippides. You know what else could have saved Pheidippides? An Ipad. Jus' sayin'.

Look, In all seriousness no one is saying that newspapers are kind of lame. Some people enjoy reading yesterday's news today. Also, it should be pointed out that feeling like you can predict the news is kinda cool. For example, in tomorrow's newspaper there is going to be an article about Buck Pierce missing this friday's Bomber game. Go ahead, check, see if i'm wrong. I guess this is how Nostradamus felt. What a gift I have. Thanks Blackberry.

Honestly though, I know what you're thinking. You're all, YA MIKE Whatever! There's something to be said about actually holding the paper, or a know feeling the pages between your fingers. Its more intimate, MORE personal somehow. Of course, I have to agree with you. I love the idea of getting black ink on my fingers as I read the “freep” while eating my breakfast. Even better is transferring the ink from your hand to your food, or clothes. Bonus points if you come to work with a black smudge on your nose; what a far better experience than the silky smooth to the touch piano black finish of Apple's Ipad.

The universe is a changin', New York Times. Page One is from whatever genre I have favourite-ed in my news app. My 2011 devices remember what kind of news I like and puts that on my own Page One, no boring round table discussions required. The Free Press on the other hand, just stares at my blankly. How awkward.

OOOH. And I almost forgot. When I wake up in the morning, my smart devices are so smart, they are already in my house. The paper, by contrast is all the way on out on my front step. Nuts to that.   

Thursday, 22 September 2011

5623 Days

Impossible (im-pos-uh-buh) - not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc.

They said it couldn't be done. It would never happen. They said it was too big, too expensive. They said we might as well give up. They was impossible.

I never was one of “them”.

I remember running down a back alley as a boy. My legs pumped as fast as I could make them move. The school bell had just rung and I knew my mom was home making me lunch. I wasn't running home to eat though - for as good a cook as my mom was - my little stomach had no appetite for food. I tore through the back lane, turned the corner and ran down the street. There was a small wooded area with a winding, narrow trail that I cut through. It was perfectly safe and it shaved about a minute off my full-out sprint so I took it. My mind raced. Across a street, and crosswalk – which my Mother had lobbied the city for – and over a small hill. I was home. I threw the door open, out of breath, and looked at my Mom who was expectantly waiting in the living room. I looked at her with nervous anticipation with childlike, eternal enthusiasm radiating from my eyes.

No word yet,” she said. “The decision was delayed.”

We didn't lose the Jets that day, though they did end up leaving at the end of that season. I think I cried, although I can't remember for certain, but I do recall being heartbroken. Barely a year had passed since my dad took me to the game that Teemu Selanne broke the rookie scoring record against the Quebec Nordiques. He scored a hat trick that game - in the old arena – when he beat the goalie on a breakaway. White streamers fell from the ceiling, Selanne threw up his glove at centre ice and shot it down with his stick. Today it's on all the highlight reels. You've probably seen it, or if you were lucky enough to actually be there, you'll never forget it. At any rate, the loss of the Jets was devastating.

Over time, the loss became less noticeable. I never fully embraced another hockey team again, ever. I cheered for the other Canadian teams (minus the Nordiques). They folded too, completely erasing the legacy of Selanne's memorable goal. The Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Sens, all had their run at the cup and I hopped on the bandwagon, only to be disappointed each time. The NHL had not been kind to us in Winnipeg.

Knowing this, you can imagine my excitement when the Jets announced they were coming back - for good. The only hockey team that I had ever really loved was back. I had to grow up without them, but I felt relieved that I wouldn’t be forced to grow old missing them too. A deep sense of wrong in my life was corrected.

Sitting there on Tuesday, a lot had changed. I have facial hair now, for one. I'm quite a bit taller than I was when I ran down the back alley years ago, and probably a little bit smarter too. Much however, hasn't changed. My dad still took me to the game, ending a 5623 day gap between father-son Jets games. My mom still made dinner in the kitchen and is still as good a cook as ever. My favourite hockey team was still the Winnipeg Jets, my only true hockey love. Oh yeah, and in case your wondering, I think I may have cried a little as I watched the 2011 Winnipeg Jets skate out on to the ice for the first time. I wish I could remember it but vindication overwhelmed me. After all, I was watching the “impossible” with my own two eyes.


Friday, 16 September 2011

Chillin' with celebs on Twitter.

Offside. My blog. Its a five yard penalty, repeat first down.

Twitter is terrific.

I have been on Twitter for about two weeks now. Not only is it a great social networking site that can be used to get advice, stay in touch, and learn, it is also a Twitter-ific place to have a laugh.

I never would have known about the latest creepy burger pitchman. Thanks Jay Onrait.
(ps. you can find his face here:

Or I never would have known Snooki spray-tans. Ok, maybe I would have deduced that, but its still reassuring to know for sure.

How about the fact that Phoskitos seem delicious, or that Phoskitos even exist at all? That tidbit is curitosy of Conan O'Brien. (check it out here:

Of course, I have never met Jay Onrait. Snookie, or even Mr. O'Brien (shocker I know). I have however followed them on Twitter for a couple of weeks. That has enabled me, in a small way anyway, to be able to be part of their lives. Interact with them, feel like were know...we hang, on twitter.

Who do you chill with on Twitter? Ten points if its the Phoskitos PR team.

Occasionally I will be writing about non-sports related things for academic purposes. Ya, I know, apparently those kinds of things exist. Sorry in advance!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Blue and Cold Sweat

Exercise number 1

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Slowly. Actually do it. Close your eyes and count to five. Have your hands stopped shaking? If not, repeat exercise one, otherwise continue on.

Exercise number 2

Wiggle your toes. Hold your hand out at arms length, spread your fingers apart. Count them. Slap your cheek with an open palm. Can you feel your extremities? Are your faculties in check? If so your probably ready.

Say with me slowly: The Blue Bombers lost the Banjo Bowl 45 to 23. It's ooooh kay.

I am ready to internalize Sunday afternoon too. As a lifelong Bomber fan, I have developed a coping mechanism for disappointment. Block all thoughts of the game from your head. I remember driving to the game, I remember parking. The lady that scanned my ticket at the east side entrance said “go bombers go.” I walked to my seat and sat down. That's it, that's all I remember. My next memory is at home, laying in the fetal position on my bed, sweating, in my royal blue Bomber jersey. I know what you're thinking, and no, I hadn't been drinking, thank you very much. I was surviving.

Next I remind myself about past failures, then I internally measure up the most current failure with past gut-wrenching ineptitudes. I relive the 2001 Grey Cup, where Troy Westwood missed 63 field goals and the Bombers lost to Calgary by one point. That was bad. I play back the 2007 Eastern Final when Kevin Glenn inexplicably forgot how to preform a hand-off, on THREE separate occasions before the final flub caused his puny arm to snap, which caused my dream of finally witnessing the Bombers hoisting the Grey Cup to snap right along with it. Finally, rounding out my insta-pain trifecta I remember the 2008 Banjo Bowl, where the Bombers were outscored 376 to 10 and then head coach Mike Kelly smirked on from the sideline, relishing in his brilliance. If the current failure is not as bad as any of those three, well then I can be sure the sun will come up tomorrow.

It just so happens, that that's exactly where the current Banjo Bowl defeat fits in: near the bottom of a long line of disappointment. No one said being a Bomber fan was going to be easy, but if you follow the block out and then rationalize strategy detailed above you should manage to keep yourself sane.

Speaking of above, one thing that might keep you going is the knowledge that we are still first in the CFL. That's right, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are still Canada's best team. Record-wise anyway.

Buck Pierce is loved because he is tough and Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans can see themselves in him. We have been knocked down, embarrassed, injured, doubted, laughed at, and told to give up. We have been sneered at, looked down upon, crushed, and been labeled no good. But just like Buck Pierce, us Bomber fans have endured. We are stronger now than ever. We will get up off the canvas like we have done so many times before: we will prevail, not to prove the doubters wrong, but to prove us right.

SWAG ON Winnipeg.

PS - The Winnipeg Jets are still undefeated. Jus' sayin'.  

Friday, 9 September 2011

Have you ever driven to Regina dressed in Bomber gear, face painted blue with a flag out your sunroof?

What about start a GO JETS GO chant while walking through the mall.........three years ago?

Claimed the Goldeyes are the greatest team on earth despite the fact that they played Fargo for the tenth time in twelve days?

If so, the Winnipeg Sports Scene is for you.

I will provide a unique perspective of all things sports in Winnipeg. A totally biased, Winnipeg based perspective on our professional and amateur teams.

Ever wondered how the loud the crowd was? What they were chanting, or the funniest sign of the game? Check back here.

Need to get something off your chest? Say perhaps, the fact that you drove five hours to Regina taunting every “green-loving banjo picker” within about a 500 meter radius of you screaming how great the Bombers are this year...Only to lose 27-7 in disastrous fashion? Sound off in the comment section!

If your looking for balanced, traditional, fair sports reporting, unfortunately you wont find it here.

The Winnipeg Jets are currently undefeated, The Bombers are 7-2 and on top of the CFL world, The Goldeyes are coming off of a record breaking season, there is no better time to be a sports fan in Winnipeg!!