Author Archives: Michael Ball

Growing The Game

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this weekly feature I’ll talk to some of the  young and talented amateur football players in this province. And what better way to kick it off then a chat with Hec Crighton Trophy winner,  U of R Rams QB Noah Picton.

 

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Me: So Noah have your accomplishments and being  named the top player in Canada sunk in yet?

Noah: Yes I enjoyed it for awhile but now I’ve put it in the past as I prepare for 2017. I don’t want to have any distractions. I’m sure when my playing days are done I’ll look back on 2016 with great pride but not now I have too much work to get done. But I’ll admit it was a magical ride going from 0-8 the season before and having lots of team success that culminated in that honour. It’s  definitely something the club can celebrate.

Me: When you got the award who were you thinking of?

Noah: Well first off I thought of all the great names that have won that trophy and what an honour it is to be mentioned with them. Then I thought about my dad Dean who helped me develop into the man and football player I am. He’s really been the biggest influence in my life.

 

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Me: Who’s the better QB Dean or Noah?

Noah : (chuckles) Well I’ve talked to a number of people who watched both of us play and I’d have to say my dad is. Besides he’s still helping me pay the bills so I better say him!

Me: Where does Noah Picton’s game go from here?

Noah: I want to win the Vanier Cup! Personally I’m not looking to smash any records. I just want to play sound football, cut down on turnovers and lead the offence up and down the field.

Me: How does a small QB get the ball where it needs to be?

Noah: My anticipation of where my receivers are and when to throw the ball have always been my strong suit. I’m a student of game and I take pride in that and knowing what the defence wants to do against my offence.

Me: Last question. Does it bug you that because you’re a Canadian you most likely will not get a chance to continue your career in the CFL?

Noah: It’s a real tough pill to swallow but it’s a reality. Andrew Buckley in Calgary is trying to break that stigma and I’m cheering for him because he’s a really good quarterback. The biggest problem for us Canadian guys is the lack of training elite training. In the US they throw year round and have top level coaching. I think slowly but surely it’s getting better as the coaching is improving and so is the commitment to training. It might not be me but I do think we will see more Canadian guys get a crack in years to come.

(Thanks to Noah for the visit. Folks if you’re a football fan you’ll want to check in here regularly as  I’m launching my own football podcast very soon. It will feature Riders guests but also have a local flavour. I’ll hope you’ll give it a listen)

National Wine Day!

In honour of today being National Wine Day, here are The Top Surprising Facts About Wine.

 

 

5. They drank a ton of it in the Bible, which is probably why they saw stuff like talking bushes and parting seas.

 

4. “Chardonnay” is French for “booze your mom will like.”

 

3. The redder the wine, the more it is attracted to white carpet.

 

2. Red wine goes with beef . . . white wine goes with fish . . . and wine coolers go with whatever you order at 2:00 A.M. at Taco Bell.

 

1. Drinking it boosts your cognitive ability . . . with the exception of Kathie Lee.

May The 4th Be With You!

Today’s “Star Wars” Day, because it’s “May the 4th” . . . as in May the Fourth Be With You.  Make it great with “The Top Tips for Celebrating ‘Star Wars’ Day.”

 

 

5. Give your favorite action figure a good polish, if you know what I mean.

 

4. Infuriate “Star Wars” nerds by telling them your favorite character is Spock.

 

3. Go to Walmart and try to spot someone smaller than Jabba the Hutt.

 

2. If your lightsaber lasts longer than four hours, seek immediate medical attention.

 

1. Just accept that you’ll be celebrating it alone.

To The Moon And Back!

astronauts

 

NASA is looking for astronauts, but before you apply, take a minute to check out this list of “The Top Questions to Ask Yourself Before Becoming an Astronaut.”

5. If I get stranded on Mars, do I have to eat Matt Damon’s poo potatoes?

4. Can I trust mankind not to lose everything to the apes while I’m gone?

3. Is it cheating if I hook up with one of those hot blue alien chicks from “Avatar”?

2. Is going into space really the best way to avoid a visit from my mother-in-law?

1. If the launch is oversold, will I be forcefully removed from the space shuttle?

Tomorrow is Earth Day!

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Tomorrow‘s Earth Day, so let’s learn a little bit more about it . . . with The Top Fun Facts About Earth Day.

It was started in 1970 . . . probably by some lady who wasn’t wearing a bra.

It’s a great time to shop at Whole Foods, since all the annoying white people will be gathered in some park to talk about bees.

It’s our way of thanking the Earth for that special gift it’s given us: weed.

Planting a tree in your backyard is not only good for the environment . . . it’s a great way to cover up those shallow graves.

A lot more people would celebrate it if they turned it into one of those holidays where you get presents.

It’s 420 Day! (that means nothing to me)

420 day

 

 

Millennials and Baby Boomers aren’t the only ones celebrating 4/20.  Studies show that more seniors are enjoying the giggle weed.  So here are The Top Signs Your Grandparents are Smoking Pot.

They don’t let a shattered hip stop them from playing hacky-sack.

Your grandma knits decorative koozies for her bong.

Your grandpa’s convinced “Matlock” synchs up with “Dark Side of the Moon”.

They keep asking Meals On Wheels to bring them Funyuns and Doritos.

The  only “joints” they complain about are the ones people are Bogarting.

Mitch Picton Enjoying The Combine

U of R Rams slot back Mitch Picton and OL Jeremy Zver are taking part in the CFL combine in Regina. Below are some of Picton thoughts:

MP–I really think it’s an advantage to do this in my hometown. I have my family here to cheer me on and I get to sleep in my own bed. And believe it or not I’m not as nervous doing this on my home turf.

ME: Any strange any interview questions?

MP: Not really..just some questions about the family business and why I play football  but nothing out of the ordinary.

 

ME: How did you like your testing?

MP: Really pleased with my 40 time and somewhat disappointed with others. But I’m a football player and one on one’s is my thing.

ME: Did you lean on anybody for advice prior to the combine?

MP: Yes Levi Steinhauer, Addison Richards and my brother Aaron. They just told me that I’m a football player first and not to get too wrapped up in testing number.

MB: Do you have to pinch yourself that this is happening?

MP: Ya I was standing outside the BC Lions door in suit thinking to myself I’m going inside soon to talk with Wally Buono!

 

 

Darian Durant Returns To Regina

Montreal Alouettes grabbed most of the attention during day 2 of the Mark’s CFL Week in Regina. Below are of some his thougbts:

ON RETURNING TO REGINA.

It’s bitter sweet, it’s a good day meeting my new teammates and putting on that Alouettes jersey but it’s tough putting away the Riders gear and saying good bye to the community.  I didn’t like how the Riders handled my release with taking the personal shots. I was never a Chris Jones guy. That’s why I only signed a 1 year deal.  But I’ve closed the door on that chapter. Today was the first day I put on the Als jersey and it feels good. It’s a fresh start and I’m excited..I’ve leaned on my good friends like Chick and Dressler because they went through this before me. So they definitely helped me through this process.

ON THE NEW STADIUM AND CFL WEEK

I’m sad I won’t be here to open the stadium but I’m happy for the community and the players that they have a state of the art facility. And I’m proud I played a part in getting it built. Im really happy to see some old friends and touch base with people again here in Regina for CFL week I’m enjoying myself so far. And I can’t wait to go against Rider Nation in week 1.

 

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A total of 37 University of Regina Rams players will be participating in various segments of the first annual CFL Week to be held this Tuesday through Sunday at Evraz Place in Regina.

The list of participating Rams includes slotback Mitchell Picton and offensive lineman Jeremy Zver, who have both been invited to the CFL Combine to be held on Friday and Saturday. Picton was named a first-team All-Canadian this past season, while Zver started all nine games at left tackle for the Rams in his final season of U SPORTS eligibility.

“I’m very excited that the Rams are heavily ingrained in the first ever CFL Week happening in Regina,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “We are involved in many of the facets of the week, including coaching, players participating in the combine, and volunteers. We’ve reached out to assist in any way possible to help make this week a tremendous success.”

The Rams also have six players in Thursday’s CFL Western Regional Combine, each hoping to gain an invitation to join Picton and Zver in the national combine. Wide receiver Andrew Bennett, offensive lineman Matt Degelman, linebacker Zack McEachern, defensive lineman Bryce McKinnon, defensive back Jeff Propp, and linebacker Michael Stefanovic will all participate on Thursday, while the Rams coaching staff will also get involved – they’ll run the position-specific drills at the regional combine.

Three Rams quarterbacks will also serve as throwers in the combines. Seb Britton, Noah Picton, and Tyler Vieira will all throw at the regional combine on Thursday, while Picton will also throw at the national combine.

CFL Week will also feature the Canada West Passing Showcase, a 7-on-8 non-contact tournament for players completing their first or second seasons of U SPORTS eligibility. On the offensive side of the ball, the Rams will showcase quarterback Seb Britton, running backs Scott Jones, Sam Varao, and Brayden Wagg, and receivers Colton Friesen, Kyle Moortgat, Adam Rask, Ryan Schienbein, Daniel Scraper, Michael Scraper, Josh Tipton, and Tanner Zaharia. The defensive roster features linebackers Aidan Anderson, Brody Dirk, Kaiden Jones, Marcus Kuling, and Alex Rorke along with defensive backs Cord Delinte, Dilan Elgert, Royce Hanna, Polis Koko, Liam Lerat, Braedy Will, and Luke Wilson.

The Rams will play three games on Saturday, taking on Saskatchewan at 4:30 before meeting Manitoba (5:25) and Alberta (7:15). The playoff round for the four-team Canada West Passing Showcase will take place on Saturday morning.

A total of five Rams will also volunteer as guest coaches for CFL Flag Football. Kuling, Rask, Blake Anaka, Eric Eads, and Jack Loisdort will all coach at the clinic, which will be held on Thursday night.

(Courtesy Braden Konschuh/UofR Athletics)