Friday, July 30, 2004

Tangentially sports related... 

A partial listing of Ottawa area wing nights. Obviously not comprehensive, but feel free to add your own favourite. Haven't been there in quite a while, but I recall that the Duke of Somerset used to have pretty good ones.

I'm more of a nacho guy myself, but wings (and beer) and sports go together like Alfie and helmet-hair.

And when it comes to beer, would it kill Renegades' management to bring in some different beers to Frank Clair Stadium. I know there's a deal with Molson and all, but can't they even bring in Molson partner brands like Corona or Heineken (or in a perfect world Murphy's Irish Stout)? Just a thought. I'm about ready to start wearing a pair of M.C.Hammer-style pants to smuggle in a 6-pack of Guinness, Newcastle, or Keith's.

Yogi was right... 

I don't know where to start.

It was like a horrible nightmare that turned into a wet dream. Goats became heroes. Cats lived in harmony with dogs.

After bumbling through the first 3.5 quarters of the game, the Renegades overcame a 15 point deficit in the last 8 minutes (and 9 points in the last 2) to down the Stampeders 31-30. The 'Gades were given a generous hand by coach Dunigan and the Stamps when, inexplicably, with less than a minute left, QB Tommy Jones rolled out of the pocket, giving Kelly Wiltshire the opportunity to make a great play to strip him of the ball. The Renegades then moved down the field (thanks in large part to a 41-yard completion to Ranek) where Sandro Sciortino split the uprights from 31 yards out, allowing the small, but suddenly vocal remaining crowd to release its collectively held breath.

Sciortino's fellow past whipping boy, Demitrius Bendross, was also instrumental in the comeback, making 2 TD catches, including one on 3rd and 27 that made the score 29-21 at the time (the story of the single that made it 30-21 is a whole other bizarre subplot and is covered pretty well in the Sun this morning). My heart skipped a beat while I scanned the surrounding turf for signs of the ball, I was able to breath a sigh of relief, if only for a night.

For your performance last night, gentlemen Bendross and Sciortino, all your past follies are forgiven. For penance of my past doubt, I offer you this not-quite-"5-7-5"-regulation quasi-haiku. Like a CFL field it is wider and longer:

hands once slippery
ball once wide, and/or short
now hands of glue and leg of gold

Lest it be forgotten in the euphoria of an unexpected comeback, the Renegades' offence was otherwise brutally bad last night. The O didn't pick up a first down until halfway through the second quarter. Almost as many plays lost yardage, as gained it in the first half. The defence was passable, and did an admirable job of holding the Stampeders to FGs in the first half, but this was a game that the Renegades deserved to lose. Hopefully they don't lose sight of that just because they won.

However, I prefer to dwell on the positive. I think coach Paopao summed it up well with these wise words after the game:

"Wow. Wow. Wow."

That about says it all. Too bad half the fans missed it, or heard it on the radio on the way home. Maybe that'll make 'em think twice about leaving before it's over, because Yogi Berra is a wise man. It really ain't over 'till it's over. Especially in the CFL. Especially when Matt Dunigan is the coach.

My season ticket mates left just after the Renegades failed to recover the onside kick with a minute left. They came running back seconds later when Wiltshire forced the fumble. You never know. Only in the CFL.

It was a first half that I never want to think about again, but it's a finish I won't forget for a long time.

(Next up are the Lions, who smoked the Alouettes last night, but I'm trying not to think about them too much just yet.)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lookin' ta put a lickin' on the Stamps 

While tonight's matchup against the Stampeders isn't literally the must-win game that the Team 1200 pundits have labelled it, it is a definitely-should-win-if-they-play-up-to-their-potential game.

I'm optimistic. Darnell Kennedy played reasonably well last week. He seemed to get more comfortable, and more confident, as the game wore on. I expect that he'll build on that momentum tonight. Although it's probably not even needed, he'll be facing the team that passed him over for the owner's incompetent, since released, QB son last year.

On the other hand, thre'll be some ex-Renegades looking to impress against their former team. Kennedy will have to watch for ol' #7 John Grace comin' 'round the corner. To a lesser extent, the D will have to watch out for the man who was 'drops before there was a Bendrops, Denis Montana. Ol Stonehands shouldn't be too worrisome as he's nursing a hand injury.


Anyone got the odds on hearing a Tom Jones song when Stamps surprise starter Tommy Jones hits the field? While I think "It's Not Unusual" would be the popular pick, "What's Up Pussycat" could be the sleeper pick. You heard it here first.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Just a foot short (or wide) 

.. is all we were last Thursday. In "honour" of the Renegades' recent kicking game, I offer the world's worst poem, which stole at least 2 minutes of my time for its writing.

6 for 6 to start the year,
made us 3 and 0 - way to start a career!

Since then though Shortino has us pinin',
For the mighty leg of Mr. Tynes'n'

Although this poem is truly pitiful,
For one true kick, cash: I'd give a kitty full.

Monday, July 19, 2004

ACME Bombers 

I don't have much to say about Friday night's Renegades game. If you wanted a live definition of the expression "It was one of those nights", Friday would have been it. Three excellent runs to start the game and then the bottom fell out like Wile E. Coyote following the Road Runner over the cliff (murky post-game media reports have Charles Roberts and Keith Stokes quoted as saying "Beep! Beep!).

After the promising start to the opening drive:

- fumble in the red zone
- rib-bruisin' hit over the middle on said fumbler (to add insult to injury)
- botched FG snap
- missed FGs (off uprights and wide)
- multiple dropped passes in the end zone (ah, so that's why the Saskatchewanites call him Bendrops!)
- injured star QB
- inability to score in three tries from inside the 5 on 1st and goal.

I think I may have gotten a small taste of what it must have been like to be a Riders fan.

At least it didn't rain.

It doesn't get any easier this week in facing a division rival, with the best D in the league, on short rest, with a backup QB who was mostly ineffective on Friday.

However, on the bright side, I remember prior to the season that the collective punditry were concerned about the difficult 6-game stretch to start the season. At the time, the CP thought that 2-4 might be a reasonably good start to the season. That the Renegades will be 3-3, at worst, speaks volumes about how the team has raised expectations (for the better) so far this year.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Who knew? 

I just came across a pleasant surpise - Jays games on the radio here in Ottawa. Oldies 1310 apparently carries them on the weekends.

Now, I'm not a Jays fan, but I am a big fan of listening to whatever baseball I can get, Jays, Expos, or whoever, on the radio. I've often pined for a radio feed to drown out Rob "worst HR call ever" Faulds and John Cerutti (or Rod Black for the few games on TSN) in the same way that I use Dean Brown-Gord Wilson to drown out Bob Cole-Harry Neale. It's also the prefect way to fill time in the car or to listen to out on the deck while reading a good book.

We get the occasional Lynx game on the Team 1200, but no MLB. Assuming Oldies 1300 is using the FAN 590 feed, I'm looking forward to hearing Tom (who I think I heard has returned from his surgery) and Jerry on the Ottawa airwaves.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

non-sports miscellany.... 

Bear with me...

- I spent the weekend at Bluesfest, enjoying every minute, especially The Hip. I may have been the last Canadian, at least among those who are big fans, to finally see The Hip in concert. I sure wasn't disappointed. I didn't see any band that I didn't like, but Los Mocosos was an especially impressive surprise. Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater was pretty good too.

- Real Gelato, on Elgin, rocks.

- From my referrer logs, I see that I rank very highly (3rd) in a Google search for "Ottawa and blog". Take that Mr. Broadbent. I'm comin' to get ya Ottawa Citizen. (follow up note: when I search on just ottawa blog, I don't show up a soon on the results even though Google says it excludes "and" from the original query. Odd.

- I'm also getting lots (relativelty speaking, of course) of hits for searches on the 10-cent beer night and disco demolition night promotions. I'm looking forward to reading more about those when I get to Bill Veeck's biography, Veeck as in Wreck, which arrived from Amazon recently.

- For all my occasional complaints about the Team 1200, they've been much more listenable lately. The afternoon show has been especially improved since the Dandyman era. Then again, dead air would be an improvement over Dandy.

Saturday, July 10, 2004


It's fitting that I missed the game (and forgot to tape it) last night. The Renegades may have known that Thorogood and the Destroyers were playing the main stage last night since by all accounts they played Bad to the Bone.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Zen Lynx 

How could I forget...

Oh, and of course, probably too late, but the Lynx are on a good roll. They've moved out of the cellar and are knocking on 4th place's door.

If the Lynx go on a streak when the Sens sign a HOFer and the Renegades are 3-0 do they make a sound? Not in the Ottawa media.

The Hasek signing in 39 words (+ those summer Ottawa sports) 

Since it's early July and I have a hard time getting excited about hockey this time of year, yet I feel obligated to comment on the biggest signing in Senators' history, I offer the following precis:

High risk. High reward. Good contract structure. Pay for performance. What a concept. Spezza to make 19 a positive number again. Dom sounds motivated. Working out hard. Looking forward to seeing how it works...if there's eventually a season.

And with that I'll move on to our nouveau-dynasty, the Renegades who, for the second week in a row featured the league's offensive player of the week - this time Kerry Joseph (on the heels of Josh Ranek last week). And, proving all good things must come to an end, for the first time this year, Jerome Haywood wasn't named top lineman. He had taken the honor the first two weeks.

The Renegade alliance takes on the Alouette empire this Friday (ugh, damn that comes off like something out of a Jackie Harvey (of The Onion fame, I tried to link but alas the archives have gone subscriber only) column. More on that in the days to come.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Renegades on the radio... 

Just back from the cottage after the long weekend. In the name of making the long weekend work, I sacrificed my 'Gades ticket for Friday's game and followed via the Team 1200 broadcast. Before the signal finally gave up the ghost early in the 4th quarter, we were able to catch most of the carnage (nice to finally be on the right end of that carnage). It's a great way to take in the game but for one caveat:

- for the love of god would somebody please buy Dave Schreiber a new pair of glasses?! For all the velvety goodness of his voice, he makes at least one mistake per series. He seems to be confused about who and what is happening far too often.

That is all. Thank you.

I'm off to catch up on my newspapers. So did the Sens sign Hasek yet?