Sunday, December 5, 2010

Monday morning water cooler

SASKATOON -- The column returns this week after a brief hiatus but we're back and ready to go this morning.

I'll be filing columns over at sporadically throughout the off-season starting with a column tomorrow morning that will touch on the inaugural SaskGridiron Awards Banquet held over the weekend in Martensville. We'll discuss the awards this morning and gather some reaction among other things.

I want to start by thanking everyone who took the time to attend the first ever SaskGridiron Awards Banquet on Saturday night. In a word the event was 'fantastic!' Thank you.

Ballsy, aka Michael Ball, from the Wolf 104.9 morning show in Regina was our MC for the evening and boy did he do a tremendous job. Ballsy had the crowd entertained from the moment he stepped on stage, even if there was the odd mistake.

I kid of course. I refer to his mention of the Saskatoon Blues ringette hockey team.


He corrected himself, of course, and everyone had a good laugh. As I type this column this morning I notice that spell check has alerted me that it doesn't recognize the word ringette. Really? It's 2010 and ringette isn't a recognized word with spell check? I smell a column for another day but just a comment for now.

(guest speaker Matt Dominguez)

Former Roughrider Matt Dominguez was the guest speaker and he didn't disappoint. Matt had the audience in stitches for thirty minutes straight. He was also very accommodating afterward with the array of pictures and autographs. What a true class act all the way.

A couple more thank you's to be handed out this morning and I know I thanked them personally but I wanted to thank Tom Sargeant, head coach of the Saskatoon Hilltops, for making an appearance and for the door prize that he donated. One of the greatest compliments that I could receive was not only his presence at the banquet but right after the program he came over and shook my hand and said what a great job I did. He truly seemed blown away. I couldn't believe it. Tom is a huge supporter of 9-man football and you can tell that by looking at all the former 9-man players on his roster each year.

Along with Stageant I want to thank Brian Towress, head coach of the U of S Huskies. Unfortunately Towress couldn't make it due to other commitments but he expressed his desire to be there and will make it work in the years ahead. He also was quick to donate some great door prizes including three pairs of gloves that went to players who attended the banquet.

(left to right: Tom Sargeant, Matt Dominguez, Michael Ball and myself)

I want to make sure I thank my family for all the help they put into the banquet and my girlfriend for her countless hours helping make the banquet what it was. Without their help this would not have been a success.

And finally, I want to thank Joe Gunnis at EMJ Marketing for all his help getting this event off the ground. I hope to work closely with Joe to make this event bigger and better year after year.

Now that the thank you's are out of the way, and I know there are people who I may not have mentioned this morning but I thank you for your help, we can move on to the rest of the banquet and some other items of interest.

The complete list of award winners are posted over at and in the coming days there will be all-stars announced in each conference. The fact is there were so many award categories that were very close after the votes were tallied that I want to make sure those players who were just on the outside of winning an award receive some recognition that they deserve. I will post nine offensive and nine defensive all-stars in each conference in the near future.

Here are some notes from the banquet:

- North East outstanding receiver Kjiel Bonli (Melfort Comets) was praised by Ballsy for his great hockey name. "Sounds finish," he commented. From then on during the evening he was known as the finish first round draft pick. He trumped it when Ballsy saw his sharp tie. Very nice.

- I've never had a standing ovation before. I was caught off guard and was taken aback. It was quite the honor to know how much the work I put in is appreciated. The ultimate compliment.

- I had some music playing softly in the background when the doors opened at 5:00pm and it wasn't until midway through the meal that I realized that the music wasn't playing anymore. I was too busy and everyone else was having too good a time to notice.

- One comment was posted on the message board late last night asking for the award winners to be posted on line and within minutes a reply was shot back saying that they should have been at the banquet. Truth is, there are plenty of reasons for some to not be able to attend but if you want to be in the know you have to be at the show. Those results are posted now and were forever going to be posted for Monday morning.

- I was able to meet and say hi to just about everyone on Saturday night and if I missed you I apologize and make sure I don't make the same mistake again.

I had a phone conversation with Yorkton's Trent Senger late last week and revealed to him that he had won coach of the year in the East Central conference and he was floored. He was so honored that he had been chosen and couldn't say enough good things about his counterparts in the conference and emphasized how honored he is.

Truth is he earned that award with the work and progress he has made with his program. The same goes for the other award winners presented Saturday which include Delisle's Ken Buyers and Humboldt's Shaun Gardiner. This has to be one of the greatest compliments you can get as a coach because the award is selected by your peers.

Some of the best times happen when everything is done and you can sit back and reflect. Myself and a few of the coaches had a chance to get together later that night and the ideas and suggestions were flowing. It's amazing how much you can do when the sky is the limit and it truly is in this situation. There are some people out there, and they know who they are, who are 110% behind SaskGridiron and want to do whatever they can to make it grow and with them and their help it will happen.

One final note on the banquet, for now, is that you can look for the banquet to be coming to a community near you down the road. The plan is to move the banquet around throughout the province to communities who are willing to step up and be host to the event. It's a very exciting time to be in 9-man football.

A few other notes and tid bits of information from the past week or two both relevant and irrelevant:

- I have a man crush on Mark Wahlberg. My new year's resolution is going to be to be Mark Wahlberg. He's just plain awesome. My new slogan is a Wahlberg quote. "I want to build something that can last forever."

- The Stanley Cup absolutely destroys other major championship trophy's when it comes to value. This from one of the latest stories on
  • Vince Lombardi Trophy - new trophy every year. Cost: $50,000.
  • World Series Trophy - again, new each year. Cost: $15,000.
  • NBA Championship Trophy - remade each year. Cost: $13,500
  • Stanley Cup - only one with individual names engraved. Cost: $650,000 plus travel costs.
- I was three frames away from bowling a perfect game Wednesday afternoon. I'm a pro at Wii bowling and if you don't believe me come over any time and I'll wipe the floor with you.

- Saw the movie The Next Three Days last week and I'll give it a 3.5 stars out of five. Pretty good movie with good pace at the end. I won't spoil it for you but definitely worth checking out.

I'm on a break from now until the 18th of the month. As a student, I won't write a final exam until then so I'll have my head in the books for the next two weeks. I'll still come back to update the blog every now and then but it's study and then holiday mode for this blogger.

I'll be posting my Christmas wish list on the blog again this year. For those that don't know I like to go shopping and as I go I will photo blog my list of must have items this holiday season. It's a great guide for any guy and sports fan on your Christmas list this season.

I'm sure there's more I could write this morning but I'll save it for another time. Until then, enjoy your week and stay warm!


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