Funny thing happened as 2012 wrapped up, missed blogging about the last 2 NFL weekends. Funny because last Sunday’s blog was done and written. Somehow got home Sunday morning and forgot to post it. Time I realized that was Sunday night so too late to post.
Last week of the season didn’t have much intrigue as usual. AFC playoff teams were all set in stone, just playing for seeding. Redskins/Cowboys was the marquee match, and that wasn’t till Sunday night. Thought about doing Week 17 and with me working over the holidays decided to take a break. I worked December 21st through 25th, so got done with work Boxing Day around 7am. Christmas flies by when that happens.
Happy to say my Redskins won, and a season I had written off in the pre-season as “this will be a season for Robert Griffin III to learn”. Playoffs weren’t on my mind. First NFC east title since 1999? A pleasant surprise over the holidays.
2012 was the year I returned to the east coast. Hit Moncton for ECMA 2012. I still didn’t write a blog post about it. Finally getting the pics together from the trip. Might just post the pictures as a blog post. Trying to write about a trip that involved me riding a train from Kingston to Moncton and back along with ECMA week would be a long story. Just pictures might work better.
Happy New Year to everyone. Lucky ’13.
Quiet on the blog lately, good reason for it with the trip to the ECMA’s coming up. Last time I was in New Brunswick was around 1995. So it’s been quite a while.
Getting things ironed out with the trip took up a lot of time. Didn’t realize till a couple of weeks ago I’m traveling on Easter Monday. I thought it be a quiet trip anyway but it could be even less busy. Take the train to Montreal, then switch to the Ocean. That is the overnight train that goes from Montreal to Halifax. Moncton is a stop along the way.
Might not get time to write a blog while I’m there, I’ll have time on the train back to write something. However I’ll update on Twitter during the week for those interested.
So as a result the next 2 radio shows are taped/reruns. Good Friday is this week and I’m working so that will be a rerun. Week after I’ll be in Moncton, therefore the next new episode will be mid-April after I get back.
Quickly we will get to May which is the 5 year mark of the show being on CFRC. I’ll have to do something during that month for the half-decade anniversary.
Stay tuned for an email interview I did with Stephanie Beaumont from SeaandBeScene.com, that will be up in a day or two.
The end of the NaBloPoMo with a blog post everday in November. I still don’t know how I wrote every day. Start off with the news involving a trip I should be making in April.
Things coming along as planned but with life you never know when something strange comes up. Just the last week in sports shows me that. The Houston Texans and their horrible luck. Never made the playoffs and on a roll this season. Starting QB goes down to injury. That is why you have a backup QB in Matt Leinart in case this happens. Who in his first game breaks his collarbone and is also out for the season. That’s almost comical bad luck. Going to the third string quarterback with playoffs a month away. I will cross my fingers that kind of luck doesn’t happen to me in the new year.
The trip would be going to ECMA Week in Moncton this coming April. Begins on Wednesday April 11th and wraps up with the East Coast Music Awards that Sunday night. How this came to be was an online survey of all things. After a couple of years of doing the show I joined the East Coast Music Association. Been able to vote on the awards and we got an email asking if we would partake in an online survey. I thought “of course”. There was something about a draw for a grand prize awarded to those of us who would fill it out. Honestly, I would have filled it out anyway. How often do you think you will really win a prize in a draw? If you are like me not often. So I filled it out and didn’t think about the prize aferwards.
Get an email a couple of months ago that I won it. Part of it was two compilation CD’s arrived at my door which I have played on the show. The other part of the prize is a Delegate Pass to ECMA Week in 2012. Which means I get into everything during ECMA Week. Should be a fun week. I’m thankful ECMA’s got moved from February to April last year. Makes it easier on people like me who will be traveling.
So in the New Year I should have a lot more updates as things get closer. Usual thing for today is NFL picks, just doing Thursday’s game in this post. Picking Seahawks over the Eagles, in a game most of you can skip.
Thus ends the month of blogging every single day. Can’t see many people checking in every single day but now you can go back and read the entire month’s worth of posts. Some long, some not so much.
Back in live on Friday night with the radio show, might be first live episode in almost a month. I will be in town over the holidays so expect new episodes the rest of the year. Which is only 5 episodes. 2012 is sneaking up on me. Lot of new music on Friday since I’m backed up with things I’ve gotten in November. Will make for some easy shows the next few weeks as I catch up.
Lots of news about the Kingston team. First was a funny thing from Saturday night. I work midnights and have Thursday/Fridays off. Which means I don’t read Saturday’s Whig Standard till Sunday usually.
I first thought I saw something that hadn’t made news yet. While downtown on Saturday night who do I see walk by of all people? Halifax Rainman owner and current president of the League, Andre Levingston. Since I had watched that CBC interview I linked to in a previous post I recognized him quickly.
If he’s in town things must be going well. Keep in mind I hadn’t read the Whig so in my head was ‘maybe no one else knows about this. If I had a scoop like that it would be ironic with my NBL blog posts’. Well, then I found out him being in town along with Sam Mitchell and Steven Conville [Kingston’s confirmed owner] was on the front page of the newspaper….. there goes my scoop. Oh well. Can’t win them all. However seeing him walk by is still quite funny considering everything. Odds of our paths crossing at the exact same time on a Saturday night in Kingston must be pretty low.
2 stories in the Whig last week. Steven Conville, who I mentioned before has been revealed as the Kingston owner. Quotes from last week’s story by Mike Koreen ‘Prospective basketball team owner comes this way’
“It’s a great bunch of people up in Kingston and I’ve really enjoyed talking to them. We’re making tremendous progress. The guys at the KRock Centre have been really good to us as far as coming to an understanding and the mayor has been exceptional.”
Conville originally planned to be an adviser for a potential ownership group, but now says he’ll be the main owner. He said he is working with several unpaid consultants.
“I wouldn’t say there are stumbling blocks,” Conville said. “Simply, the league is new, I am new, the mayor is new, the building is new, it’s just all of us coming together in a short period of time.”
“I think Kingston provides the best opportunity (for a new owner),” he said. “It’s a beautiful town and (the K-Rock Centre) is a beautiful facility. … It’s been a pleasure working with the people there.”
Then on Saturday on the front page was ‘Pro basketball talks become more serious’ by Jake Edmiston. Some excerpts from that.
On this particular visit, Conville had former Toronto Raptors coach Sam Mitchell in tow. “He’s helping me show that I’m serious about my commitment to Kingston,” Conville said.
League president Andre Levingston also accompanied Conville to meetings with Mayor Mark Gerretsen and K-Rock Centre general manager Ken Noakes.
“We need to work out a lease that reflects the amount of revenue of a start-up pro basketball team in Canada,” Conville said, adding that he expects attendances between 1,000 and 2,000 fans per game in the inaugural season that’s set to start in October.
If Conville’s proposal is approved by council in the coming weeks, he said he’ll spend the rest of the summer launching an awareness campaign. He’ll need to have all details finalized by June 30, when the league plans to announce the final roster of teams.
“If council and I can get this approval in a timely fashion, I really look forward to having a community contest to name the team,” he said.
As I mentioned in a previous post Conville is an investmen adviser in Toronto who works with pro athletes and entertainers. Also in the article he said that hopefully he can leverage some of those relationships to help with the team.
In my earlier research I found something you wouldn’t see with other owners in Kingston. A picture of him with Ron Artest at a party. Article was in the Wall Street Journal of all places. From March of 2010, “Why Pro Athletes Love Toronto”.
Trying to imagine other local owners being in a photo with Artest, nope. Since it’s the NBA Finals I have to have Ron-Ron’s speech after winning in Game 7 last year. I saw this live on TV. Who else thanks their psychiatrist and plugs a CD after winning?
Meanwhile out east, Fredericton is talking about joining in 2012. As I had surmised earlier that any second team in New Brunswick would not be until 2012. Moncton was another possibility for another franchise in NB. With a team in Saint John probably best for them to get all the ducks in a row for next season.
From Bill Hunt at the Daily Gleaner in Frederiction a story on the weekend ‘New league Gauging interest in Fredericton’. A paper we used to get when I lived in Oromocto/CFB Gagetown. Small world.
New league Gauging interest in Fredericton
Kelly Lamrock is “bullish” on the idea of a Fredericton franchise in the soon-to-be-launched National Basketball League of Canada. He’s looking for some investors who share his vision.
Lamrock, the former Liberal MLA and provincial cabinet minister, says there are a group of 10 investors on board now and “we’re looking to double the size of that group,” with the idea of bringing minor professional basketball to the provincial capital in time for the 2012 season.
Still some chatting about Moncton trying to get in for this season. A group of Japanese and American investors are looking whether to apply for a franchise. An investors meeting in Tokyo is looking at Kitchener or Moncton. Which at first does sound like out of left field. What connection would New Brunswick and Japan have? From the Telegraph Journal’s Randy O’Donnell ‘Moncton’s Japanese pro hoops connection’
Among those attending will be Masaki Hitosugi, the businessman instrumental in a Japanese all-star team playing an exhibition contest in Saint John April 24.
The game, featuring the Saint John Mill Rats and Japanese pro league players, raised money for tsunami relief in the Sendai region.
It was during that weekend that initial discussion occurred between Hitosugi, Miller and representatives of the NBL’s founding franchises.
Didn’t think I’d be talking about Tokyo and the NBL but there you have it. Now a local person in Moncton said he’s more optimistic for a 2012-13 start for them. I’d agree with that. Seeing as here in Kingston we just saw more tangible evidence with the owner and NBL president in town. If they are discussing it in Tokyo right now I’m not sure there is enough time to start before the 2011 season. Now, on their side of starting quickly is the established franchise in Saint John. Much easier when a successful team is less than 2 hours away.
From the NBL Canada twitter account they said the owner’s meeting is shortly after June 15th. Details will be finalized and the schedule made. That Moncton article speculated about a 30 game regular season starting in November with pre-season in October. With playoffs wrapping up in March. Again that could be true, or not.
Usually a blog entry doesn’t get out of date too quickly, unless it was the last one. Mostly for the AHL rumours that came out of nowhere. Manitoba Moose moving to St. John’s, Newfoundland? A puzzling choice if you read the last post and the problems that causes the Baby Leafs to leave the province. No AHL team east of Ontario right now. Then I heard who was interested in buying the team, Danny Williams.
Now most people just know Danny as the former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. His nickname before was ‘Danny Millions’ for good reason. Did quite well in business. Owned Cable Atlantic and sold that off in the early 2000s. Telecommunications part went for $76 Million and the Cable TV part for $152 Million. Add the law practice he also sold around the same time and reports I’ve read put his net worth north of $200 Million, give or take. He was also on the board of directors for the St. John’s Maple Leafs so he’s not new to hockey.
Still, with a team in St. John’s and no team nearby you are on an island in more ways than one. Which is why Danny was talking about a subsidy from the Newfoundland government. King Danny [as I used to call him on Twitter] might’ve wanted to be nicer to the government people after he left. Hasn’t gone smoothly. Basis of it I’m not sure about. A few months ago the provincial Conservatives had a dinner in his honour. One problem, Danny didn’t show up. Bit of a problem.
Here we are with him now asking for a subsidy. Now I didn’tt see governments giving that to professional teams at all. But they shot it down even more quickly than I thought. Quick with a captial Q. The subsidy speculation was over the weekend, government shot it down on the 25th. Not often does government move that quickly on anything.
…said in a statement to NTV News that he was “deeply disappointed” with the government’s decision. Williams said a subsidy was a “critical part” of bringing a team to St. John’s.
We will see how this goes. Could it work? Maybe. Although just look at what the NBL teams have done. Started an all Canadian league which will help reduce travel costs. Having a hockey team in St. John’s is going to be expensive. Closest team is Portland, Maine. Toronto is the nearest Canadian city in the AHL. That is a hard travel schedule. It is not something that is happening by October. Talk about 1 or 2 years down the road, if it were to happen at all.
With the wacky hockey update out of the way. Some updates with NBL Canada, fun one from Twitter of all things. Shomari Williams, a defensive end with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and I were discussing the NBL late Sunday night. He was interested in details on teams. You might be wondering how we know each other. Found him on Twitter the summer before he transferred to Queen’s. Found out we both were Redskins fans and kept in touch a bit on Twitter. Shomari won a Vanier Cup with them and then drafted 1st overall by the Roughriders. Played in the Grey Cup in his 1st season. On the business side, anyone who has a picture on his website with Warren Buffett knows more than I do.
“Shomari Williams the President received his BBA in Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston in 2009, he also has a minor in marketing and a Certificate in Professional Selling.”
So we were discussing how much the teams might be going for, the salary cap, that sort of thing. Things I’ve pieced together from articles. A story in Metro Halifax, quoted the same source I did.
“The Kingston Whig-Standard reports that NBL Canada’s franchise fee is “six figures,” while operating costs are pegged at $1 million per year.”
Now I will go to the exact quote from The Whig Standard from the previous week.
“The league’s interim chief operating officer, Ian McCarthy, said owners must be prepared to cover up to $1 million in annual operating costs and an expansion fee that includes stock in the league. McCarthy wouldn’t specify the fee, but said it’s six figures.”
After the 1st blog I might as well go deeper into it about the Kingston team. No limit for length here. The letter of intent, from the Whig Standard again.
“National Basketball League of Canada officials said Steven Conville, an investment adviser to professional athletes and entertainers, signed the letter. However, Conville said he’s only a spokesperson for three prospective owners who will not release their names until the application process is completed.”
Years ago research would have taken days or weeks. Now it’s so simple. Mr. Conville is the Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor at Macquarie Private Wealth in Toronto. Also found his Twitter page. Yes, another person on Twitter. I joined up in 2008 which seems like ancient times.
“Skillfully help individuals to preserve & grow their capital. Built & managed several top-performing brokerage offices. A specialist in sports & entertainment.”
So we are waiting to find out what the teams are, and who might be the people behind the Kingston one. Haven’t found anyone even hazard a guess on who it might be. Deposit cheques are due this week. Latest news is from Halifax and Moncton newspapers.
Saturday the Chronicle Herald had some more details. Full franchise fees due on June 15th and salary cap near or a bit higher to $150,000. Regular season length to be determined, sounding like 30 or a bit more. Rainment owner, Andre Levingston: “We’ll have a discussion. It could be a few more games but we don’t really see it in anything less than 30 games.” Teams announced on June 30th.
Right now Levingston and Ian McCarthy [Saint John Mill Rats] are in charge for the time being. Once teams are announced and things settle down a full-time commissioner and a director of league operations will be hired.
Metro pretty much summed up their story in the headline part.
Moncton has three weeks to get owners on board for NBL
Four Ontario teams expected to move forward
Ownership groups from Ottawa and Kitchener have also had talks with NBL Canada about the possibility of establishing a franchise.
From what I have gathered, being in Ontario and just reading things online, Moncton sounds more likely for a 2012-13 season at this point. League has spoken with the Moncton Coliseum about the details of a possible lease arrangement. Moncton wasn’t one of the teams with a letter of intent, and no formal ownership group from my researching a few stories. Which explains my 2012 reasoning.
The Ottawa/Kitchener sentence, isn’t given any more details in the article. So I’m betting that’s a discussion for a year or two down the road.
That’s all the news I’ve found lately. Here are a couple of links.
NBL founders await deposit cheques
Some East Coast football content today with Touchdown Atlantic in Moncton. Home game for Toronto vs Edmonton. And from all accounts this will be the Argos’ home game with the most revenue. Shows how much support there is in Atlantic Canada. I’ll write more after the fact.
7-9 last week, so I’m going backwards this season. Not as in depth as before, writing this very early on a Sunday. Maybe that will help since I left it later than usual.
San Francisco at Kansas City. CHIEFS.
Kansas City surprising this season in a good way, 49ers in the opposite direction.
Detroit at Minnesota. LIONS.
Brett Favre 0-3, could be after Sunday. He pushed his luck by one season too many.
Buffalo at New England. PATRIOTS.
Pats played one good half and one bad half last week in that lost to the Jets. Bills are the Bills.
Atlanta at New Orleans. SAINTS.
Saints scratched out a 2-0 record. Being at home I’ll give them the edge.
Tennessee at New York Giants. TITANS.
After Sunday night’s beatdown against Indy I will go with another AFC South team to beat New York.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay. STEELERS.
Pittsburgh defense pulling them through so far. Tampa Bay 2-0 as well. Haven’t really paid attention to those wins.
Cincinnati at Carolina. BENGALS.
Cincinnati coming off a victory against Baltimore. I think they have 8 division victories in a row. Which is just weird.
Cleveland at Baltimore. RAVENS.
Talking about AFC North, Ravens should rebound here.
Dallas at Houston. TEXANS.
If Cowboys lose to their cross state rivals it will be big for both sides.
Washington at St. Louis. REDSKINS.
Redskins scored a lot last week and still lost. As a Skins fan it’s been years since I’ve seen an offense.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville. EAGLES.
Vick in as QB which is the good move. Especially with a guy coming back from a concussion who is not a proven starter.
Indianapolis at Denver. COLTS.
Don’t recall these teams playing very often. After Peyton smacked NYG around I’m going with them.
Oakland at Arizona. RAIDERS.
Wow, some poor schmucks have to broadcast that game. Good luck.
San Diego at Seattle. CHARGERS.
Seahawks were great in Week 1 and horrible in Week 2. They’re probably somewhere in the middle.
New York Jets at Miami. DOLPHINS.
Lost in the Jets-mania during the offseason was they were beat twice by Miami last year.
Green Bay at Chicago. PACKERS.
Strange to think this might be a shootout. More sold on the Packers then the Bears.
A non-music post for today. CFRC online archive has been down for a few weeks. Which is how I would grab the older episodes. Now I have to go to the station computers and get them that way. More out of the way then doing it from home as you can imagine.
Good luck to Matthew Bisson who is now working in Edmonton, Alberta. If you’ve listened to CFRC Sports over the last 4 years you’ll recognize Matt. Play by play for the football team is what most listeners will remember. After doing a Vanier Cup victory that is as high as you can go. He also hosted GlobeTrotting which I worked on for 2 years. Weekly 30 minute soccer show that has now come to an end. Too bad since the World Cup was just around the corner in South Africa.
He was at CHUM in town and lately one of the morning guys at 98.9 FM The Drive. He will be at AM630 CHED in Edmonton. Home of the radio broadcasts of the Eskimos and Oilers. There is also another sister station but can’t remember that off the top of my head. Congratulations to Matt on the move. He just got to Edmonton on the weekend after driving from Kingston. Yes, drove about 4000 km. At least it wasn’t in the middle of winter.
Onto other football talk, since my NFL team is the Redskins. Which is why I follow the NFL in its entirety. Hasn’t been a great decade or so for Washington. This season the word isn’t hopeful as much as ‘interesting’. I have no clue what the 2010/11 season will be like. Could be bad, could be good. No idea.
Donovan McNabb the starting QB. Woke up at 2am early Monday morning and put on the TV. I had NFL Network on before I went to sleep. I see “Redskins acquire McNabb” on screen. What? A rare trade in which there was no speculation about Washington trying to grab him. Talk about Raiders for the most part. This fall a new GM, a new coach, a new QB and two new running backs. Might not have heard about the running backs. Skins grabbed Larry Johnson and Willie Parker in free agency. As of today they still have Clinton Portis too. All this adds up to a fun season. Could go horribly wrong however it will be entertaining.
CFL in Moncton is sold out. A regular season game is being held in that town this September. Eskimos against the Argos called ‘Touchdown Atlantic’. Few tickets are there for kids associations and bus trips. But other than that the tickets sold out in 32 hours. Keep in mind the first 24 hours only tickets were available to people who registered online ahead of time. For all the football fans in Atlantic Canada this isn’t a surprise. Now there is finally some talk about an expansion team out east. Although why they’re obsessed with trying Ottawa yet again I don’t know.
Went to high school in Pembroke near the end of the Ottawa RoughRiders. They were viewed as a joke and fans had jumped on the Senators bandwagon. Heck, I saw more Ottawa Lynx merchandise the first time I went to an Ottawa mall around 1993. AAA Baseball was more popular than the CFL in town. Ended up going to college in Ottawa after the RoughRiders were gone and before the Renegades came to town. 3 years and I don’t remember anyone complain about CFL not being there. I did 2 years of TV Broadcasting and no one did one thing about CFL in Ottawa. Was that far off the radar. You have the Senators, 67’s and even the Gee Gees. Wasn’t around during the Renegades years. A team that lasted only 4 seasons isn’t a good omen. I get to end a post with a quote from Albert Einstein to describe the CFL in Ottawa.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Let’s hope the games you watch on Sunday isn’t as bad as the Queen’s game was on Saturday. 8-7 win for the Golden Gaels over McMaster. That’s more like a baseball score than a football one.
Picked Steelers to win on Thursday so got one right. I did the Week 1 picks on the show, going by memory since I just brought up the schedule and picked them on the fly. It’s Week 1 though and it’s a hard week to get right no matter what. Which teams are good, bad or average? Don’t know yet.
Starting off with the 1pm games.
Miami at Atlanta [CBS]: Both teams had easier schedules last year so they’ll have a tougher time in 2009. Plus the Falcons have never had back to back winning seasons. But this week I’ll pick them to beat the Dolphins.
Kansas City at Baltimore [CBS]: Baltimore, this is a big mismatch.
Philadelphia at Carolina [FOX]: Philly. Do you remember how badly Carolina played against Arizona in the playoffs? And they rewarded the QB with a new 5 year contract. Mind boggling.
Denver at Cincinnati [CBS]: Yuck. Have to pick one of them so the Bengals.
Minnesota at Cleveland [FOX]: Vikings. Picked them before I knew who would be starting for the Browns this week. Like that will matter.
NY Jets at Houston [CBS]: Jets. The Texans have a great offense, but can’t stop anyone. That’s a slight problem.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis [CBS]: Colts. Think this is the year where Indy starts to slip a bit. But they’ll beat the Jags. Who have new uniforms…. a new coach would’ve made more sense.
Detroit at New Orleans [FOX]: Saints.
Dallas at Tampa Bay [FOX]: Dallas. Think I picked the Cowboys to win on the radio. Not sold on them but I have no confidence in Tampa. They fired the offensive co-ordinator in the preseason, which make them look they don’t know what they’re doing. Which is the case when you have Leftwich as your starting QB.
Now the 4:15pm kickoffs.
San Francisco at Arizona [FOX]: Cardinals. They’re not getting back to the Superbowl but they can handle the Niners.
Washington at NY Giants [FOX]: Redskins. My team, but picking them because I think the Giants have been overrated this year. Mainly because of the Giant receivers or lack of them. Burress is going to jail and Amani Toomer is with the Chiefs. I would have to search to name the ones they have this season.
St. Louis at Seattle [FOX]: Seahawks. Rams have been bad so an easy pick. Seattle was decimated with injuries last year. Think they can win that division, but that’s not saying much. Arizona needed a 9-7 record to win it in 2008.
Sunday Night, Chicago at Green Bay [NBC]. Packers with a victory since I don’t think the Bears and their new QB have gotten things going yet. Green Bay was scoring left and right in the preseason.
A pair of Monday Night Football games. One time of the year they air a game at a good start time. Other one is for the west coast or night owls like myself.
Buffalo at New England 7pm [TSN]: Patriots. Bills decided to copy Tampa and they also fired the Offensive Co-ordinator in the preseason. Dumb. I’m writing off their season. New England is getting someone named Tom back who might make a difference.
San Diego at Oakland 10:15pm [TSN]: Not many people going to see this one. Chargers with the victory. Raiders have become a joke.
When does the CFL playoffs start? I don’t pay attention till then. Not much point when so many teams make the playoffs. The ads touting it as
“Canada’s Game” are always annoying.
No shots of the East Coast, eh? Oh that’s right you don’t have teams across the country.
Finally there is a story recently that “Moncton finalizing deal for 5 CFL games”. One regular season game a year would be held in town. Small step considering the CFL awarded an expansion team for Halifax in 1984. That’s a story for another time.
They don’t want to expand to a new market but they’re fine with going back to Ottawa again from what it sounds like. Another reason for me to ignore the league till the playoffs.