Call it the big three if you will for our traditional country station in Swift Current CKSW 570.
Mess up one of the three and you'll hear about.
Yesterday I referred to Ontario's skip Glenn Howard as Russ Howard.... people go nuts for this stuff. Not sure why, it's like they're waiting for a reason to call you.
Messages like "Not sure what Brier you're watching Mr. Keen" or "Dear sirs, could you please inform your curling on-air reporter that Russ Howard is not at this year's Brier in Winnipeg"
I'm sure other sports guys at radio stations can relate a similar story.
With a distinguishably older audience, CKSW 570 is your community station complete with funeral announcements every day at 9:05am and the long time staple The Trading Post with your host Ken Audette.
An older gentleman, made his way into the station this week and got our afternoon jock to look up some information he heard on the radio.
After getting what he was looking for he left a comment to the effect of "now if you could only get your hockey broadcaster to call the games evenly without bias or favorites like they did back in the 50's life would be a better place."
These aren't his words... it was just what I gathered hearing the information 2nd hand. The man wasn't from Swift Current and had just recently moved here from B.C.
This way of thinking has gone out with the times. You work for the home team, you want them to be successful and you want the fanbase to be proud of the local team and celebrate the victories while sheltering the losses.
The game has changed, and so have the people who cover their team. Either you're in or your in the way.
Monday night is the Broncos annual awards banquet. I'll be m.c.'ing for a fifth year at the fun event. The yearly awards will all be handed out. While I don't know this year's winners, (or want to for that matter), I thought I would at least present the potential nominees in my opinion.
MVP: Zack Smith, Dale Wiese, Travis Yonkman
Top Defenseman: Eric Doyle, Michael Wilson
Players most Popular: Zack Smith, Derek Claffey
Desire and Sportsmanship: Bretton Stamler, Cody Eakin, David Stieler
Leadership and Maturity: Bretton Stamler, Dale Wiese, Zack Smith
Humanitarian of the Year: Travis Yonkman, Levi Nelson, Geordie Wudrick, Matt Tassone
Top Rookie: Cody Eakin, Justin Dowling
Scholastic Player: ?
Top Scorer: Zack Smith
King of the Road: Dale Wiese, Zack Smith, Michael Wilson
Fans most Popular: Cody Eakin, Levi Nelson, Dale Wiese
Three Star Award: ?
Chairman of the Boards: Dale Wiese, Levi Nelson
Most Improved: Matt Tassone, Travis Yonkman, David Stieler
Most Sportsmankike: David Stieler, Justin Dowling, Geordie Wudrick
Coaches Award: Spencer McAvoy, Bretton Stamler, Zack Smith, Mike Brown, Derek Claffey
I haven't really narrowed it down too much. What do you think?
Broncos and the Warriors tomorrow night at the Crushed Can. Not sure what to expect in this one. There is still plenty to be decided but honestly what is everyone fighting for here? 6th? or 7th?
Maybe it's a chance to get some of the younger players out there for the final weekend. Kevin Smith, Ty Ariss, Bryan Sommers and Quinton Howden for Warriors. Joel Rogers, Mike Brown, Brad Hoban, and Taylor Vause for the Broncos.
Then again who knows. Maybe there's some unfinished business here. The Broncos have won every which way possible in Moose Jaw this season: overtime, shootout and regulation. The Broncos are 5-0-0-1 vs the Warriors while conversely the Warriors could argue they are 1-1-2-2 vs the Broncos. The games have had an edge and this will in no way be a "mail it in" final two games for either hockey club.
It is my opinion that the Warriors may want to avoid an all out war with Regina in the 1st round and take their chances with a Calgary or Lethbridge. It's also my belief the Broncos want the Pats in round one. They wouldn't say it publicly though.
The match-up just makes sense. Division rivals, travel distance, a 4-2 record in the regular season and a feeling of wanting to be "that team" to knock off the Pats.
Regina has a target of them from the rest of the Conference for one reason or another. It's something they probably have no apologies for and why would they? They are the East division champs. But in my dealings with other coaches and GM's around the east. They all want to be "that team".
You could make a case either way good or bad to match-up in the first round with your Eastern Conference opponent.
Calgary - Scary depth, hard working and skilled / goaltending? Recent slump to close off the season has to be concerning.
Regina - Gritty, veteran laden, solid top six defense / only one pure goal scorer. Sometimes prone to self-destruction
Lethbridge - Scary group of speedy, shifty forwards, solid blueline and goaltending / Still a year away from being a powerhouse. Grit will be tested in the post-season
Kootenay - Nearly unmatchable top six forwards / back-end lacks depth
Medicine Hat - Well coached, hard working. Tough place to win on the road / Younger team. Lacking secondary scoring
Brandon - Great group of forwards, well coached team / injury problems on the back-end. Goaltending ?
Swift Current - maybe the fastest team in the Conference, Puck-moving mobile defense, solid 1-2 punch in goal / Grit and toughness will be questioned. Lacking playoff experience
Moose Jaw - big physical, wear you down team. Four balanced lines / Most penalized team, goaltending has struggled lately
My point here is that you can always find a team's strengths and their weaknesses if you look hard enough for it.
Whatever happens, it should be a great 1st round.