Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Musings and Broadcasting Bobbles

First up . . . Who's In Trouble in Sports Today??

The Regina Pats, Brandon Wheat Kings and Saskatoon Blades, ouch!

The three teams featured from the East division (everyone's favorite punching bag), have now lost a combined 18 games in a row! Saskatoon has lost nine in a row, Regina four straight and Brandon five. Granted three of the five Brandon losses have either been in a shootout or overtime, still when you lose in ot, it still feels like a loss no doubt about it.

The Broncos had a fun ride home from Brandon after that big 2-1 overtime win. Jeremy Schenderling made good after missing a wide open net in the dying seconds. He later tipped home a Dane Crowley centering feed with six seconds left to force overtime before Crowley leaned into one and blasted it through Tyler Plante for the game winner. Safe to say the boys were excited and for good reason.

The Broncos (17-16-1) host the red hot Lethbridge Hurricanes Wednesday night at the Civic Center. The 'Canes have won five straight including weekend wins over Medicine Hat and Regina. It's the third last game before the Christmas break.

There is no reason why the Broncos shouldn't compete for a division title in the 2nd half. Every team in the East division is flawed - some severely. Even though a division crown wasn't thought possible at the start of the season, (most pundits had the Broncos finishing 4th or 5th in the East), after the first half it appears like it's very possible. The Broncos have a chance to close off the first half with 4 to 6 more points in their final three games. It's a chance to really turn the heat up once the schedule resumes at the end of the month. The only thing I worry about is the inevitable injuries that might hurt this club down the stretch.

To close off, for fans around the WHL, don't believe everything you hear. I'm not saying I'm a hockey guru or anything but some of the WHL broadcasters around the WHL (mostly color commentators) struggle at the best of times with the details of the game and what is actually happening at ice level. I've often heard the term that WHL color commentators are no less than "common fans" who get into games for free and chow down on complimentary media room pizza.

I've had the chance recently to watch some WHL webcasts from around the league and actually see and hear some color commentators describe the action . . . let's just say they've been interesting interpretations.

In Lethbridge Friday night, a few fights broke out at the end of the game between the Hurricanes and the Medicine Hat Tigers. The 'Canes had just held on for a 4-3 win when Derek Dorsett and Michael Wuchterl scrapped and then Chris Stevens and Yashar Farmanara went at it. According to this unknown colorman and play-by-play host (Marlon Martens), the Tigers were "absolutely disgraceful", "it was not called for", "Will Desjardins (Tigers Coach) should be absolutely embarrassed about their team's actions". Talk about a one-sided view!

Here's what happened from watching the video replay. Wuchterl (Leth) went at Dorsett (MH) just as the horn sounded and actually started the scrap. When it became one-sided with Dorsett getting the upperhand, Farmanara (Leth), made a break for them and actually came close to intervening. This is a big no-no in hockey. Stevens (MH), then jumped in to make sure Farmanara would not be the third man in. So, as I see it (from a totally unbias view), Lethbridge was responsible for both fights at the end of the game.

That makes me even more upset for a WHL "common fan" colorman to get on the airwaves and call Medicine Hat's Will Desjardins "embarrassing". Who is this guy to call one of the best junior coaches in hockey "embarrassing"? Mr. Colorman either never saw Farmanara try to intervene or he did see it and is oblivious to the severity of Farmanara's actions.

The night that Jeff Glass blew is lid at the Civic Center attacking David Murray, my colleague from Kootenay Ice radio, didn't see any of it because "there was a giant beam in his way" making it impossible for him to see what happened. I find that view suspect at best.

Sadly, these types of unfounded comments are common places on WHL radio. Maybe myself and colorman Ryan Switzer are guilty of this from time to time but I'd like to think we have a better grasp of the situation than most. Even if I miss something behind the play, I trust Ryan's viewpoint of what exactly happened. Almost always, he's bang on.

There are some fantastic broadcasters in this league . . . Cam Moon in Red Deer, Brad Curle in Lethbridge, and Regan Bartel in Kelowna just to name three of many. I would trust these guys judgment, maybe even over mine!

So to wrap-up, don't necessarily "take our word for it" when it comes to home broadcasters around the league . . . err on the side of caution.

A game preview between the Broncos and Hurricanes is on the way later,



ernie said...

Hey Keener,
Nicely put about that commentator in Lethbridge...on the radio probably once in his freakin' life, and puts down a guy like Willie in Med. Hat. Who is he to say something like this? I think he has "his foam finger purely planted in the Hurricanes rear side." LOL LOL You'll know where I got this one, Jon. LOL LOL
Despite the big rivalry between Swift and the Hat, I actually like Will Desjardins just because he's from Saskatchewan...just like Derek Dorsett....and both Dallas Stars coaches...and Dave Hunchak....and Marc Habscheid...the list goes on. Saskatchewan born coaches do exceptionally well for some reason...all over.
The East division is definitely in trouble in sports, however Jon, when you bring this up on the Eagle morning show, name the specific teams. Never say "the East division is in trouble." Don't forget, our Broncos are now in that division! And I like to think they're not in trouble right now...heck they're gaining confidence, and competing hard for first place! Who would'a thought, eh? Should be worth all the money, seeing the battle on Wednesday night. Looking forward to it! 'Till then I say, "LET'S GO SWIFTY!!!!!"

Anonymous said...

Well put Jon. From listening and watching games for elsewhere, I would put you and Ryan as the best one two punch in the league right now hands down. Keep up the great work. Its all about passion.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I enjoy Rod Pedersen and Al Dumba. Number 1 in my books!

ernie said...

Of course my favourite colour man would be Ryan Switzer, but definitely, after him comes Ken Thrower, the colour man in Calgary with the Hitmen. He commentates alongside announcer Brad Curle in Calgary, and he is abseloutely one of the funniest guys on air! Starting with his voice! You never ever know what's going to come out of his mouth next!

Joel said...

Jon, gotta love you and switzer. He has got some great one liners. You 2 have great passion and it shows in the broadcast. Could never listen to a road gaem in the Hat. So keep up the great work. Love this corner.

Anonymous said...

how about vancouvers play by play man he is awesome !!!!!!!! i once heard a broadcast of the Brocos and the blades and your colour man was terrible who was that guy did you just get him of the street or on the west side of saskatoon. as for switzer he is probably the kind of guy that comes to someones home and doesn't bring any beer and end up smashed,and hit on the owners wife.

ernie said...

Sorry, I had to post again after this one! The good guy you hear in Vancouver, would be Joey Kenward. He learned the trade here in Swifty, but I'm not sure anyone likes him very much here anymore, for some reason...I don't know why. The terrible guy with Jon in Saskatoon, his name is Chris...SOMETHING...I'm not sure of his last name. I agree there. He is a big Blades' fan, who "doesn't really click well" on the Broncos' broadcast. As for Switzer, you sized him up pretty good! Exactly what you said, is what he does at BP's after every Broncos' game. LOL LOL LOL LOL SORRY SWITZ!! I'm just kidding! Hahahahahaha!

Anonymous said...

I think the Chris guy is a friend of Jons from Lanigan. I heard them talking about growing up together. Bigern I think the first post was a sarcastic one. I think so anyways.

Anonymous said...

Bigern, I think you should quit kissing Jon's and Switzers butt all the time.

ernie said...

There's nothing I'd like to do more than KICK SWITZER'S BUTT sometimes!! Hahahahahaha!

pat from regina said...

The reason all the Broncos fans do't like the guy in Saskatoon is because he calls it the way it is. Something most Broncos fans have no concept of. They hate to hear the truth. As for the Pats, yeah their in a funk but the only teams carrying a trophy around in December are over in Europe at one of the tourneys over there. we will see how the cookie crumbles come April.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit, do you think the Pats even have a hope in hell of carrying any sort of pennant this year, never mind a freakin' TROPHY??!!!!????!!

Anonymous said...

That comment about Switzer is funny. You pretty much have him pegged except he usually brings his own beer.