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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

VIGR Lifestyles Wednesday Thriller

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What a week, and it wasn't all good in the world of sports. 

The good: The Pats look solid to start the year. The Riders win the Banjo Bowl. The NFL season starts with some great games. 

The bad: Darian Durant out for the season and the Ray Rice fiasco.

I'm forever the optimist so lets start with the positives. 

The Regina Pats went 1 and 1 on the weekend in pre-season play and are now 4 and 1. Yes I know its only the pre-season but its hard not to get at least a little bit excited for this team. 

My biggest question coming into this season is where the goals were going to come from in the absence of Dyson Stevenson, Chandler Stephenson and Boston Leier. Well I can tell you this team hasn't struggled to score goals so far. The team has scored 30 goals in 5 games; they had just 16 goals in 5 pre-season games in 2013. I'm not saying that's automatically going to transfer into the regular year but there is promise in that area. That promise is led by Sam Steel, the 16 year old has 6 goals and 10 points in the three games he's played and leads the WHL in pre-season scoring. Connor Gay has 6 points while Adam Brooks, Chase Harrison and Max Kammerer have 5. Not to mention Morgan Klimchuk hasn't played a game and there are 7 other guys with at least two points. 

The defence has looked pretty good as well. Chase Harrison leads the WHL in plus/minus at 9. Sergey Zborovskiy is tied for 3rd and plus 7. Plus Daniel Wapple looked real solid on Saturday against the Wheat Kings. 

The Pats host the Prince Albert Raiders tonight at the Co-operators Arena at 7 o'clock on 620 CKRM. 

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The Riders picked up their 7th straight win on Sunday in the Banjo Bowl. The first time since 1970 and the first time ever it happened during the regular season for the Green and White. the special teams took a big step forward which was good to see. The defence made big plays which we have come to expect and the offense ran the ball at will. 

Heard a lot after the game that the media in Winnipeg are on the Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea about the inability to stop the run game. Yes it's something the Blue and Gold needs to address but from my standpoint every team in the league can't stop the Riders run game. They literally have been unstoppable.  

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What a great start to the NFL season this weekend. The New Orleans against Atlanta was just fantastic with the Falcons winning in overtime. I enjoyed the Denver, Indianapolis game on Sunday night and spent 6 hours on my couch Monday watching the Giants take on Detroit and then the Cardinals and Chargers. Helps that I went 2 and 1 in my three fantasy leagues.

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On to the bad. I feel terrible for Darian Durant for having to miss the rest of the season. He's one of the best we have ever had here in Saskatchewan. 

That being said I don't think the season is lost. This team hasn't relied on quarterback play to get them to 8 and 2. It's all about the run game and the defence. They will still make the post season in my opinion and there is a small possibility Durant could be back by then. 

Not cool to hear the Bomber fans were jeering Durant and happy he got hurt on Sunday. Not a classy move. That being said I won't let that determine my opinion on the entire Bomber nation. Just like it wasn't the entire Rider nation that threw beer cans at the B.C. Lions two years ago. 

Looking forward to seeing what Tino Sunseri can do. 

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Ray Rice is done in Baltimore and could very well never play in the NFL again. It astounds me that the league and the Ravens dropped the ball when it comes to dealing with the whole situation. I find it hard to believe that law enforcement or the NFL did not see that video depicting the knock out punch prior to Monday. The cops would have had that as soon as they started their investigation. Looks like a massive cover up attempt from where I sit. How it was ever thought to be OK that Rice would not see any legal repercussions and only a 2 game suspension is beyond me. As the Vancouver Suns Cam Cole wrote "What a world." He sums up the whole ordeal well here: 

http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/craven+Ravens+should+shamed+Rice+domestic+assault/10185763/story.html

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Now back to some good stuff. I had the pleasure of being at the Luther College High School on Tuesday morning for the unveiling of their brand new 17.3 million dollar facility. It includes the new Semple Gymnasium which is fantastic by the way. The gym was given its name for Gavin and Shawn Semple who donated part of the 10 million plus dollars raised for the project. The Semples are part owners in the Regina Pats. Here is a good picture at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Shawn and Gavin are 4th and 5th in from the left. 

That's it from me today, talk to you from the rink tonight. 

Phil
@PhilTheThrill18




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