Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rockets Ready to Name Coach

The Kelowna Rockets have called a 10:30am PT news conference to announce their new head coach.
It's widely speculated that Rockets General Manager Bruce Hamiltion has settled for Ryan Huska. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, it's just that Hamilton has no doubt scoured the landscape looking for the best possible coach... at the right price. If that wasn't the case, Huska would have been named over a month ago.
Through it all, he will promote Huska from assistant to head coach later this morning.

Swift Current's heatwave continues today... make it 12 straight days with temps in the 30's. It's now the 3rd longest heatwave on record for the city... yesterday's 39C was a tad much to say the least.

Our stations will be "live on location" tomorrow in Stewart Valley when Travis Moen brings the Stanley Cup to town. Festivities begin around noon... we'll see you out there. At some point I'd love to corner the two NHL appointed handlers of the cup. They travel with it year round and must have a thousand stories about some of the great Stanley Cup bashes. If there's one thing about NHL players, they know how to party like no one else... rock stars have nothing on these guys.

Finally, here's an interesting read from Sportsnet's Jaime Campbell. It's from his blog off http://www.sportsnet.ca/ . A term I often use is "big leaguing", here's an example of how one incident has stuck with a fan turn broadcaster for years and years. Campbell is now the play-by-play broadcaster for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Here it is....

First impressions

Out on Yawkey Way, mere steps from the entrance to Fenway Park, sits an outdoor studio constructed by the New England Sports Network. As part of their game-day coverage of almost every Red Sox game, NESN employs Jim Rice. The former Boston slugger appears easily accessible, so if you happen to have tickets, feel free to cozy up to quasi-greatness.
Personally, I’ll take a pass.

I tried to get an autograph from Jim Rice once. I don’t recall the year exactly, though I suspect it was 1982, which would have made me fifteen. In those days, I used to sit in the lobby of the Hotel Toronto, and wait for visiting ball-players to descend from the rooms. I was polite and well-mannered, and made a habit of offering a handshake and introduction before asking for a signature or free tickets. The odd time, a player would politely refuse, and I accepted the decision graciously.

Almost every player I ever met – from no-names like Jack O’Connor to future Hall-of-Famers like Cal Ripken Junior - were friendly and receptive. Almost every player.
Jim Rice wasn’t one of them.

The memory is as fresh as my first legal purchase at the beer store: “Mr. Rice. Would you mind signing a card for me?” His reply?

"F--- off."

For all I know, Rice could have been having a bad day. Perhaps he’d just learned of the death of a friend. We never know when we’ve interrupted a person in the throws of sorrow or frustration.

But f--- off? I was fifteen.

I’ll never forget Jim Rice. No professional athlete had ever said anything like that to me before, and no one has since. In my role as a Blue Jays’ broadcaster, I see Rice when the team visits Boston. Though I wish him no ill-will, I’m glad he’s never been elected to the Hall of Fame and hope that day never arrives. I’m grateful to Bucky Dent. I’m happy the Red Sox never won the World Series while Rice played for them. And I have no interest in ever meeting him again.
Joe DiMaggio once said he played all-out every day - in spring games and meaningless late season blowouts - because you never knew who was watching for the first time. Nothing lasts quite like a first impression.

I wonder if Jim Rice knows that.

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