Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Meggie May

Today would have been the 11th birthday of my beloved Miniature Schnauzer, Meggie May Meissner. She came to live with me in November 1997 and ended up affecting my life in a profoundly positive way.

I met a good friend, Terry Ley, at a Pet Loss Support Group meeting in June 1997. I had recently lost my Willis and Terry had recently lost his Bob. We connected because of our interest in sports(Terry pitched in six games at the end of the 1971 season for the New York Yankees). He then introduced me to a friend of his, Judy Schwartzkopf, who had a pregnant Schnauzer. Turns out, Meggie was the only puppy her Momma ever had and was so tiny at birth, that she wasn't expected to survive. As a result, her ears weren't cropped and her tail wasn't docked. Well, Meggie and I soon met and after initially being ignored, we soon fell in love. She came home with me about a month later.

Meggie was a sweet little girl and loved everyone she met. She especially loved little kids and her big brother Freckles, who came to live with us several months later. We went lots of places and did lots of things together. Because of Meggie, I joined an MSN Schnauzer group. It was on that group that I met Kim, who had a Miniature Schnauzer of her own, Snoopy Boo. Kim and I soon fell in love and were engaged before even meeting face-to-face. Kim came out west to meet me in February 2005 and bonded with Meggie instantly. And Meggie definately loved her new Momma. However, a lifetime of love with me, Kim, Meggie, Snoopy and Freckles wasn't to be. Meggie developed pancreatitus and crossed the Rainbow Bridge on April 7th, 2005.

Meggie has been missed every day she's been gone. But the happy memories of our precious little girl will last a lifetime. Without her, I wouldn't have Kim, Snoopy, Smoke and our extra-precious baby boy Jimmy. I love you my little sweet-sweets. Thanks for being Daddy's little girl. Run fast and play sweet with Willis, Freckles, Molly and Katie. The new Momma and I will always love you!

Montreal tops Saskatchewan 37-12

Anthony Cavillo passed for three touchdowns Sunday, offsetting a four fieldgoal effort from Luca Congi, leading the Montreal Alouettes to a 37-12 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Canadian Football League action at Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal, in front of 20,202 fans.

Montreal opened the scoring as a missed 32 yard fieldgoal by Damon Duval went through the end zone, resulting in the single. Luca Congi gave the Riders their only lead of the game with an 8 yard fieldgoal late in the opening quarter, but the Alouettes took over with three scores in the second period. Aaron McPherson scored on a 1 yard run, then Anthony Cavillo hit Kerry Carter from 21 yards out and Jamel Richardson from 16 yards. Duval added the convert both times. Congi kicked a 40 yard fieldgoal in the final minute of the second for Saskatchewan, leaving the Riders trailing 22-6 at the half.

Congi's 21 yard fieldgoal opened the 2nd half scoring, then Montreal scored again, as Cavillo passed to Brian Bratton for 10 yards and a score. Duval again added the convert. Congi ended third quarter scoring with his fourth fieldgoal of the afternoon, this one from 22 yards out, making it 29-12 after three, in favor of the Alouettes.

Montreal would deny Saskatchewan an opportunity for a fourth quarter comeback, by putting 8 more point on the board. Avon Cobourne capped a 5 play, 41 yard drive with a 2 yard run, with 4:50 remaining. Duval added the convert, then booted the ensuing kickoff 78 yards for a single to wrap up the scoring, as the Alouettes rolled to the 37-12 victory.

The Riders, who started the season with 6 straight wins, dropped their third straight and slipped into a second place tie with B.C. at 8-5 for 16 points, 2 points behind West leading Calgary. Montreal, winners of 7 of their last 8 games, improved to 9-5 for 18 points and first place in the East, 8 points ahead of second place Winnipeg. The Alouettes also clinched home field in the CFL semifinals with the win.

Things don't get any easier for the injury depleted Roughriders, who must face first place Calgary in their next two contests. The Stampeders invade Taylor Field at Mosaic Stadium on October 3rd at 7:00p.m. Central time, then host Saskatchewan on October 13th at 1:30p.m. Central time. Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri describe all the action of the defending Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders on

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jimmy is four months old today!

Again, my lovely bride writes this month's Jimmy update, because she does them so much better than I do! Take it away dear....

Can you believe it? Our Jimmy is 4 months old today. He continues to be a delight. He has discovered his hands and now grabs everything. In the past few days he's started grabbing and hanging onto his feet. He is eating like a little barracuda and growing like a weed. His 4 month checkup is this coming Wednesday so he'll get his immunizations and we'll find out how much he weighs and how tall he is. I look back at pictures of him when he was a newborn and I can't believe how much he's changed.

It looks like his eyes are going to stay the same bright crystal blue...just like his daddy. In fact, he is a carbon copy of John. The only part of me I see in him is the nose and chin. He's even built like his father with broad shoulders, narrow hips, long legs, and big feet. He's in size 1 shoes already. His 0-3 month shirts fit just fine for now but he still has trouble keeping his britches up (thanks to the narrow hips). He does great in his overalls though and looks just adorable.

He is "talking" to us more and more. He loves to smile and laugh. The only times he cries are when he's hungry, overtired (and doesn't want to go to sleep), or when his teething is bothering him. I think he's going to get his first tooth in back; at least that's where it feels like it's ready to come through the gum. I know it may still be another couple of months before his first tooth comes in but he is showing all the signs of teething: excessive drooling, chewing on his hands, his toys, his clothes, and me! He's doing very well sitting up with support. He's been able to roll over since he was 2 months old. He also likes to try to pull himself up when I have him in the tub. That's a bit scary with a slippery baby! He is strong and really starting to explore his world. He doesn't crawl yet but when he's on his tummy he will kick his legs and scoot himself forward. He likes to sit in his bouncer chair and play with the hanging toys. He also loves to be in one of his play gyms and he grabs and bats at the toys. I still think his favorite toy is Daddy. The dogs are just wonderful with him.

He is once again sleeping in his crib instead of the car seat. We are continuing to do the gentle neck stretches and massage with him every day to help the wry neck and he has shown some improvement. It will take time. I think sleeping in the car seat caused the problem and now that he's back in the crib that will help his progress.

Please keep all of us in your prayers as James Harper Meissner is baptized into the household of God on November 2nd. He will be baptized at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. We have been attending services there since we got here and we feel very comfortable and welcomed there. It's a small congregation and they are just crazy about Jimmy. He seems to love it there and spends most of the time looking around at everyone and everything. He likes the lights, the statues, the colors in the windows, and all the different sounds. His morning feeding tends to conincide with service times so he takes his bottle during the service. There is a wonderful rocking chair in the back of the nave and one of us will take him back there if he starts fussing. We've been asked/told not to take him out of church when he does start making noise, they love hearing him. I told them that was no problem, I didn't want to miss out on any of the service either. It's great to be in a place where we are all welcomed, wanted, and loved.

John has posted new pictures to Jimmy's photobucket account. Here's the link so you can see the latest photos and videos of the world's cutest baby: Of course we're not prejudiced or anything (much!).

It's getting late and that early morning feeding comes all too early. We'll keep you updated as to how things are going with Jimmy and with us. And we'd love to hear from you too! Stay tuned for the latest updates from the Meissner family!

Kim, John, Jimmy, Snoopy, and Smoke

Roughriders at Montreal on Sunday

The Saskatchewan Roughriders, losers of 4 of their last 6 games, including two to the BC Lions, travel to Montreal Sunday for a matchup with the East Division leading Montreal Alouettes.

The Riders dropped two in a row to the Leos, 28-23 on September 13th at Vancouver and 27-21 at Regina on September 20th. Saskatchewan, the defending Grey Cup champions are 8-4 for 16 points, 2 points behind division leader Calgary, who took over first place with a 44-16 win at Toronto on Saturday. Montreal, 8-4 for 16 points, 6 points ahead of 2nd place Winnipeg in the East, have won 6 of their last 7, including a 40-4 pounding of Edmonton last Sunday.

Kickoff Sunday is set for 12:00p.m. Central time. The play-by-play broadcast with Rod Pedersen ( can be heard online at

Wear some green and show your Rider pride!

Skip Prince named USHL Commissioner


The United States Hockey League has announced that Ellis T. (Skip) Prince will become the USHL's new commissioner. Mr. Prince will assume his duties as head of America's top junior hockey league immediately.

"I'm privileged to have the opportunity to work with one of the most important developmental organizations - as well as a source of some of the most exciting hockey - in the United States," said Prince. "In its short history, the USHL has already provided a training ground for thousands of the world's top players. The league has provided an extraordinary opportunity for the present and future stars of U.S. hockey to play at the NCAA level and professionally in the NHL, something that 118 of our alumni, including 69 last season, have already accomplished. It's a great league, and at the same time the cutting edge of the U.S. movement to create a training environment that protects our players' amateur status as they grow into the best they can be – on and off the ice."

Outgoing President Gino Gasparini will remain with the USHL in the role of executive vice president and senior advisor, and among his duties will oversee hockey operations for Commissioner Prince. "The USHL and Tier I hockey in the United States only exist because of Gino Gasparini's tireless work over the past 14 years with the NCAA, USA Hockey, and literally thousands of players, coaches and general managers," said Prince. "He's a critical part of our plans moving forward, and I'm looking forward to working with him as well as with the league's ownership."

Mr. Prince, a native of Virginia, comes to the USHL from The Prince Companies, a consulting firm he started in 2004. Prior to starting his practice,Mr. Prince was a senior advisor to the Canadian Football League, and from 2001-2003 served as president and chief executive officer of the Montreal Alouettes, where he oversaw the repositioning of the franchise (and, in 2002, the club's first Grey Cup in 25 years). While in Montreal, Mr. Prince was named to a list of the "Top Ten Most Influential People in Canadian Sport."

On the hockey side, his resume is similarly impressive; Prince spent nine years as vice president of the National Hockey League (1991-2000), where he was responsible for the league and team television and business operations, as well as many of its business development initiatives including NHL International. He has also been the vice president of Anschutz Properties, precursor to AEG and the parent company of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings as well as teams and venues worldwide.

"The USHL Board of Governors is pleased that we were able to find and hire a person with the experience and leadership qualities that Skip possesses," said USHL Chairman of the Board Jim Kronschnabel. "We are also thrilled that Gino Gasparini, who has taken this league so far during his tenure, will remain with the league, oversee the hockey operation and assist with this leadership transition."

Mr. Prince graduated from Yale University in 1974 with a double major in political science and anthropology. He was a member of the Bulldogs' varsity football and tennis teams, and earned honors as a National Merit Scholar, Yale Scholar, and a Rhodes Scholar Finalist. He is a 1977 graduate with honors of the University of Virginia School of Law. He has been a law professor at Whittier School of Law in Los Angeles, Calif., and from 1986 until his NHL appointment was a partner in the law firm of Gottlieb and Schwartz in Chicago where he helped found the Arena Football League and served as its first General Counsel. He is an active speaker and lecturer, and an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University.

"My sense is that the hockey fan base in the U.S. may not quite understand how special the USHL is – and how critical its success and growth is to the development of the sport of hockey in the United States," said Prince. "We're out to change that. This is going to be a great ride."

Mr. Prince and his wife, Ms. Sharon Berardi-Prince, an actress and drama educator, reside in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The USHL is America's only Tier I league and will begin its 30th season on October 3. The 2008 USHL Fall Classic is scheduled for September 25-27, 2008 in Sioux City. For more information go to or

Thursday, September 25, 2008

41 years later, Beavers beat #1 again!

Freshman running back Jaquizz Rodgers rushed for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns on 37 carries Thursday night and his brother James Rodgers caught two touchdown passes, to lead the Oregon State Beavers to a thrilling 27-21 victory over #1 ranked USC, in a Pac-10 conference game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.

The Beavers came out tough in the first half, opening numerous holes for Rodgers and buying time for Quarterback Lyle Moevoa to run the passing game.

Oregon State opened the scoring in the first quarter, as Moevoa hit James Rodgers for an 8 yard scoring pass. Sean Senham added the extra point and the Beavers led 7-0 after one. Oregon State would increase the lead with a pair of scores in the second quarter. Jacquizz Rodgers scored on a 2 yard run, then Moevao hit James Rodgers again, this time from 3 yards out. Senham added both extra points and the unranked Beavers led 21-0 at the half. The last time USC had trailed by as many as 21, was in their 33-31 loss in Corvallis against OSU in 2006.

The Trojans showed why they were the top ranked team, with a strong start to the second half. Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes, the first a 26 yarder to Ronald Johnson and the second, a 29 yarder to Damian Williams. David Buehler added the conversions, bringing USC to within 7, at 21-14 late in the third. But, instead of panicking, or wilting under the pressure of a comeback by the top ranked team in the nation, Oregon State kept their poise and responded. The Beavers once again took control of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, eating up yardage on the field and time off the clock. With a 7 point lead and time working against them, Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez tried to rally his squad. However, he overthrew a reciver and Oregon State safety Greg Layborn intercepted at the 30. Layborn's return set the Beavers up with a first and goal at the 2, from where Jacquizz Rodgers scored his second touchdown of the evening. Senham's PAT hit the upright, leaving the lead at 27-14, with less than three minutes remaining. USC responded quickly though, as Sanchez hit Patrick Turner with a 14 yard scoring strike with 1:19 remaining. However, Oregon State was able to recover the onside kick and run out the clock for the 27-21 victory, just their second over a #1 ranked team in the program's 115 year history. The other was the famous 3-0 victory over USC in 1967.

Besides Jacquizz Rodgers 186 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Beavers, James Rodgers caught 6 passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns as well. Moevao completed 18 of 28 passes for 166 yards and the 2 TD passes to James Rodgers. For the Trojans, Sanchez completed 18 of 29 passes for 227 yards, 3 touchdowns and threw the one key interception late in the game.

Oregon State had 344 yards total offense to USC's 314, 23 first downs to the Trojans 19, were 7 of 16 in third down conversions to USC's 2 of 10, and ran 72 totals plays to the Trojans 51. "I'm a little dude" said Jaquizz Rodgers in the postgame bedlam engulfing Reser Stadium. "They couldn't find me." Beavers Head Coach Mike Riley, nearly overcome with emotion over the magnitude of the victory, praised his team's play, saying "I'm very proud of the way our team played." OSU has won 3 of the last 4 games played between the two teams in Corvallis.

Oregon State, 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-10, face another tough opponent next week, traveling to Utah for a Thursday night contest against the Utes. Kickoff is set for 8:00p.m. Central time and will be shown live on Versus and heard on the Beavers Sports Network. USC, 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the Pac-10, hosts Oregon next Saturday.

OSU, our hats are off to you
Beavers, Beavers, fighters through and through
We'll root for every man, we'll cheer for every stand
That's made for old OSU.

(Fight! Fight! Fight!)
Watch our team go tearing down the field
Men of iron, their strength will never yield.
Hail, hail, hail, hail
Hail to old OSU.


Are you ready for some Beaver football?

The Oregon State Beavers host the #1 ranked USC Trojans tonight in a Pac-10 conference clash at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.

Both teams are coming off a bye week. The Beavers flattened Hawai'i 45-7 on September 13th, while USC manhandled Ohio State 35-3. Oregon State snapped USC's 27 game winning streak in 2006, beating the Trojans 33-31 at Reser. The Trojans won in L.A. last season 24-3.

It was back in 1967, when the Beavers beat USC 3-0, the only time in the school's 115-year football playing history, that they beat the #1 ranked team in the nation. Not many people give them the chance to do it this time though. However, if Oregon State can give Quarterback Lyke Moevao some time to throw (The Beavers rank #1 in the conference and #9 in the nation in passing offense) while mixing in the occasional run from Jacquizz Rodgers, plus play some defense, I believe an upset is entirely possible.

My prediction: Beavers 28, USC 24.

Kickoff is 8:00p.m. Central time on ESPN.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lions best Riders 27-21 in back end of home-and-home

Paul McCallum's six fieldgoals bested the two touchdown effort of Stu Foord Saturday night, leading the BC Lions to a 27-21 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a West Division matchup in Regina.

The Riders opened the scoring 3:45 into the game, as a 12 yard loss on a kicking situation for BC resulted in a safety touch. However, four Saskatchewan turnovers, two offensive and two on special teams, resulted in a pair of fieldgoals from 28 and 17 yards for the Lions' Paul McCallum, giving BC a 6-2 lead after one.

McCallum's third fieldgoal, this one from 50 yards out, pushed the Lions' lead to 9-2 not quite six minutes into the second quarter. The Riders were then presented with a golden opportunity about six minutes after that when BC sailed the ball over McCallum's head on a punt deep in their own territory. Stu Foord capitalized on the next play, scoring on an 18 yard run. Luca Congi converted to tie the game 9-9 with 2:45 remaining in the half. The Lions responded by driving the field for the go ahead score, as Buck Pierce hit Geroy Simon with a 12 yard scoring strike. McCallum's convert, with 1:14 remaining, gave BC a 16-9 lead heading into the halftime break.

BC opened scoring in the second half, as McCallum booted a 25 yard fieldgoal with 9:45 remaining in the third, increasing the lead to 19-9. The lead moved to 21-9 with 6:16 remaining, as an 11 yard loss on a Saskatchewan punt, resulted in a safety touch against the Riders. Foord, subbing for the injured Wes Cates, responded 3 minutes later by taking a pass fron Devin Durant and scoring on a 55 yard scamper, with Congi's convert drawing Saskatchewan to within 5 at 21-16. The Lions took the ensuing kick to near centrefield, then drove for another McCallum fieldgoal, his fifth of the game. The 16 yarder put the visitors up 24-16 at the end of the third quarter, leaving the Riders faced with the prospect of having to make another 4th quarter comeback.

The comeback attempt started 2:06 into the final quarter as Congi booted a 47 yard field goal, bringing Saskatchewan to with 5, at 24-19. Then, after a missed facemask call caused a Rider fumble and sent the 30,945 fans at Mosaic into a near riot, BC turned the ball over deep in their own territory. The Riders couldn't take advantage however, as the Lions defense stopped Saskatchewan on 3rd and goal at the 1, with about 7 minutes left in regular time. BC could only move the ball 3 yards, then took a safety touch with 5:44 left, which sliced their lead to 24-21. The Riders went 2 and out and the Lions took advantage, driving deep into Saskatchewan territory. McCallum kicked a 35 yard fieldgoal, his 6th of the game, putting BC up 27-21 with 1:59 left. A 24 yard kick return set Saskatchewan up at their 39 yard line, with a final chance to complete the comeback and win the game. The Riders couldn't move the ball and kicked the ball away with 1:17 left. The Lions made a gutsy move by keeping the offense on the field on 3rd and less than a yard, with just under a minute remaining. BC converted the first down and ran out the clock, winning the game 27-21.

The win moves BC's record to 7-5 for 14 points and into a third place tie in the West with Edmonton, who plays at Montreal Sunday afternoon. Saskatchewan, the defending Grey Cup champions, but losers of 4 of their last 6 games, drops to 8-4 for 16 points and into a first place tie in the West Division with Calgary, 34-4 winners at home over Toronto. Edmonton can knot the West into a three way tie at the top with a win Sunday.

The Riders look to rebound on Sunday, September 28th at Montreal, against the East Division leading Alouettes. Montreal is 7-4 for 14 points, heading into Sunday's contest with Edmonton. Next Sunday's game kicks off at 12:00p.m. Central time. Rod Pedersen calls the play-by-play online at

Football tonight

Since the Oregon State Beavers have the week off, (and who wouldn't need the rest after running over, under, through and around Hawai'i like they did last week?!?!) to feed our football fix this weekend, the eyes turn North of the border for a big West Division match-up between the division leading Saskatchewan Roughriders and the cellar-dwelling B.C. Lions.

The Lions won a see-saw battle over the Riders last week, pulling out a 28-23 win at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver. Saskatchewan battled back from a 21-9 4th quarter deficit in last week's game, closing to within 5 points on Wes Cates' 1 yard run with 1:46 remaining, but B.C. recovered the ensuing short kick and ran out the clock for the win.

Names to listen for tonight include Quarterback Michael Bishop, running back Wes Cates, (Who leads the CFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,426) linebacker Anton McKenzie (2nd in the CFL with 56 tackles) and kicker Luca Congi for the defending Grey Cup champion Roughriders. British Columbia is led by Quarterback Buck Pierce, running back Ian Smart(second in the lead in combined yards with 1,622), kicker Paul McCallum and linebacker Javier Glatt.

Saskatchewan enters the game with an 8-3 record for 16 points, (CFL teams get two standings points for a win) 2 points ahead of both Edmonton and Calgary. The Lions are 6-5 for 12 points, just 4 points out of first in what is proving to be the wild, wild West in the CFL this season. This is the third meeting of the regular season between the two teams, as the Riders won in Vancouver 26-16 on July 4th. Saskatchewan took 2 of 3 from the Lions in 2007.

Tonight's game in Regina's sold-out Mosaic Stadium kicks off at 8:30p.m. Central time. The Roughriders broadcast, with Rod Pedersen ( calling the play-by-play and Carm Carteri providing the commentary, can be heard online at If you've never listened to a CFL game, it's a thing of beauty. 12 players on the field, singles(A kick into the endzone not run out gives the kicking team 1 point), centerfield(CFL fields are 110 yards long, so you will hear something "strange" to fans of American football, like "The Riders have the ball at the B.C. 53 yard line."), multiple players in motion and 3 downs to make 1o yards. Oh, extra points aren't extra points in Canada...They're converts.

As the CFL so proudly says: "This is OUR league." I, in one American's viewpoint, love the CFL. It's uniqueness, the spectacle, the passion of it's fans, make it an enjoyable experience. The Bills can just keep their over-paid arses and over-inflated egos in Buffalo where they belong! Check this game out tonight. You'll enjoy it. Rider pride lives in the U.S., especially in Wisconsin!

Green is the color tonight. Go Riders!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

An ode to Fergus

A good friend of mine, Rod Pedersen, radio voice of the WHL's Regina Pats and CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders, and his family, tragically lost their Yorkshire Terrier Fergus this week. The following tribute is written by Rod and posted on his blog,

Please remember Rod's family and Fergus, during this very heartbreaking time in their lives. Thank you.

That third period implosion by the Pats tonight was about par for the course for the way the past 48 hours have gone.

If you don't want to hear about my dog Fergus, who was killed tragically Friday, then stop reading now. The following words are for our friends and family, for me, and most of all him.

It sounds trivial considering what a lot of my friends are going through now, plus the mourning of the Rider Nation these days. But I spent a lot more time with that pup than I did with Ron Lancaster. I suppose it's all relative.

She found him on the internet in the fall of 1997, a few months after we were married. We made a road trip to Edmonton to get him, and as a Yorkshire Terrier pup just a couple weeks old, you could hold him in the palm of your hand.

From that moment on, he lived the life of a king. You know me, I bought all the books on Yorkies and read that their heart had a greater capacity to expand than a horse's, and that they could run eight miles at a clip. We did it time after time on rollerblades. He loved it.

I took that dog absolutely everywhere -- the rink, the stadium, the radio station and everywhere in between. One time a lady stopped Shawna in the mall and said "you must be Rod's wife. I don't know you but I know the dog."

He had many friends. Former Rider Glenn Rogers Jr. loved him and bought one just like him. Cal Murphy had me bring Fergus in to perform his tricks in front of the whole Rider team. Barret Jackman held him in the press box when he was scratched from Pats games as a rookie. I was going to make a collage with all those photos and call it "FERGUS & FRIENDS". I never did and I'm now kicking myself for it.

After the divorce I was more concerned about our three-year old daughter than I was about him. But he made trips to our new place and I saw him regularly.

Amazingly, when I was scouring the streets and back alleys of Northwest Regina today looking for him, seniors on the street said they remembered him from us on our runs FIVE YEARS AGO. We were out pounding the pavement everyday, me and Ferg.

I knew, or I thought I knew, that I'd find him this morning. I envisioned him running out from under a tree down the street after I'd called his name for a one-thousandth time.

We got a call today at CKRM that someone had found a Yorkie on the highway near Pilot Butte. We got an email too though, that someone saw remains of what could've been him at Sherwood and Sampson.

They couldn't tell if it was a cat, a dog, or some other animal because he'd been run over so many times. He eventually was identified by his light brown paws. That doesn't concern me as I know his spirit left the moment he was hit.

Can't begin to tell you how devastated I was to hear the news, but I tried to hold it together on the busride to Brandon. I'm writing this on the ride home, so no one can see the feelings.

I talked to the lady who found the Yorkie near Pilot Butte. This dog's fur was matted and dirty. I knew it wasn't our's, because he'd just had a haircut this week. The lady said "this is one lucky dog because he crossed the highway three times without being hit. He's one lucky dog!"

Fergus was lucky too, but unfortunately today his luck ran out. It's six days shy of his twelfth birthday.

I've had texts and calls from all over, from people who knew what he meant to me. Chad Mercier in Bonnyville, AB said "that dog had a great life!"

He was perfect. Never shed. Never bit a person. Hated cats like I do. Was extremely protective of Alyia and HIS house. Truly a man's best friend.

Many have asked how our daughter's doing. I called her after school. She said she's so-so, and didn't want to talk about it. Tonight she's spending the first night of her life without her "Fergie Squirrel". She named him that 'cause the five-pounder has been confused for a squirrel on occasion.

I know for a fact I'll never own a dog again.

I had the best.

Good night Fergus.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beavers blast Hawai'i

Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, while Lyle Moevoa threw for three scores, as the Oregon State Beavers, playing their first home game in 300 days, pounded the Hawai'i Rainbows 45-7 Saturday.

Kealoha Pilare scored on a 16 yard run to put the Rainbows on top 7-0 in the first quarter. However, it wasn't long before Oregon State got untracked on both sides of the ball, turning the game into a rout.

The Beavers, after two missed fieldgoals, tied the game on Jacquizz Rodgers first touchdown run, from 3 yards out. Oregon State added a pair of 2nd quarter scores, as Moevao hit Shane Morales from 8 yards out and Sammie Stroughter for 15 yards, putting the Beavers up 21-7 at the half.

Jacquizz Rodgers bulled his way in from a yard out, Sean Sehnem, subbing for injured kicker Justin Kahut, booted a 32 yard fieldgoal, then James Rodgers took a Moevoa pass and ran 56 yards to the endzone, giving Oregon State a 38-7 lead after three. Moevoa wrapped up the scoring in the 4th with a 1 yard sneak, putting the finishing touches on the Beavers' first win of 2008.

Oregon State dominated on the stat sheet, as well as the scoreboard. The Beavers outgained Hawai'i 485 yards to 211, had the edge in plays 86-55 and first downs 28-14. Moevao completed 20 of 34 passes for 268 yards and three scores, while Justin Engstrom tossed two incompletions in a mop up appearance. Tyler Graunke completed 12 of 27 passes for the Rainbows for 118 yards plus two interceptions for Hawaii before leaving with an injured hand. Inoke Funaki, in relief of Graunke, completed 4 of 8 passes for 36 yards, with one interceptions. The Beavers also dominated the ground game, rushing 50 times for 217 yards, while holding the Rainbows to 57 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Jacquizz Rodgers got his 110 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries, while Ryan McCants carried the ball 14 times for 60 yards for Oregon State. Kealoha Pilares had 36 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries for Hawai'i.

One very bright and greatly improved part of the Beavers' effort was the kicking game. Kahut, who was banged up in the loss at Penn State, did kick three extra points, while backup kicker Sean Senhem added a fieldgoal and three extra points. Johnny Hekker, the Freshman punter who took a lot of heat after the Penn State game, punted twice for a 41 yard average and was loudly cheered by a Reser Stadium crowd of 45,059, the largest crowd for a non-conference game in stadium history.

"We needed to come out and play a good game" said Beaver Coach Mike Riley. "I thought the beautiful thing today was how our team responded after Hawai'i scored the first touchdown and we just kept going. I was proud of that and hopefully those are good lessons we built into the identity of this team, and they continue to do things like this." Oregon State Linebacker Bryant Cornell talked about the win, saying "This is exactly what we needed, and we did exactly what we needed to do. It’s a big boost of confidence. We knew we could do it, and we finally proved that today which is nice. We thought they would pass a lot, and they did, but in the first quarter they tried running the ball and got some yardage. But we rallied back and we adjusted to shut it down." Hawai'i Coach Greg McMackin gave the Beavers a lot of credit for shutting his team down, after the Rainbows had scored on their first possession. "First of all I would like to give Mike Riley, his staff, and his players full credit. I thought they played an excellent ballgame. I felt we were in the game through the first half, I thought we would come out with our kickers and our special teams. But our special teams got us in a hole; we had bad field position. We were down by 14 and I really thought we didn’t need to panic. In the first half we took it in and scored and held them. In the second half they controlled all three phases of the ballgame. We have to learn from this. As far as our future goes I still believe in my players and my staff. We are a little nicked up right now. We lost some running backs and offensive linemen. But we have a week to heal up and then we begin in the WAC. Our goals are still the same as they have been. We want to win the WAC and win the bowl game. We need to learn from this ballgame, because like I said, we got beat in all three phases of the game and I give Oregon State full credit for doing that." The Beavers lead the all-time series 5-3. It was the Rainbows' first-ever visit to Reser Stadium.

After a week off, Oregon State will have their new-found confidence tested in a big way, as they host #1 ranked USC on September 25th, before traveling to #22 Utah on October 2nd. The USC game can be seen on ESPN and the Utah game can be seen on Versus, with both games beginning at 8:00p.m. Central Time. Streaming audio of all Beavers games can be heard at

James Rodgers leaves defenders behind on the way to a 56 yard catch and run touchdown, during the second half of Oregon State's 45-7 victory over Hawai'i Saturday. Picture courtesy Associated Press.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beavers home against Hawaii

After road losses to Stanford and Penn State to open the season, Oregon State finally gets to taste the home cooking of Reser Stadium this afternoon, as the Beavers host Hawaii in a non-conference game.

Oregon State, 0-2 for the first time in four seasons, look to beat a 1-1 Hawaii team that has slipped further than most expected after the loss of Head Coach June Jones, now running the show at SMU. The Warriors lost at Florida in their opener, then had to mount a second-half rally to beat Weber State last week.

The Beavers have had more trouble than expected with the running game on both sides of the ball and were severely hampered by an absolutely atrocious effort by Freshman punter Johnny Hekker, who averaged just 27.2 yards on five first half punts, then watched from the sidelines as Oregon State didn't attempt a punt in the second half. Lyle Moevao has had some success throwing the ball in the first two games, but still isn't a threat with the deep pass. Jacquizz Rodgers was the lone bright spot offensively last week, rushing for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Hawaii may gain some momentum offensively this week, after finally choosing WAC Offensive Player of the Week Tyler Graunke as their starting quaterback.

For the Beavers to win, they must get a much better effort on specioal teams, ie: the punting game, give Moevao time to find some open receivers and take advantage of an at times over-aggressive Rainbow defense. If Oregon State can put their game together to the point where it somewhat resembles the 2007 team, they should have little trouble with a Rainbow team that isn't often seen on the mainland. Add in the fact that despite these two teams being in different conferences, not to mention an ocean apart, this is becoming a fierce and bitter rivalry, this should be a pretty entertaining game. And since Hawaii is one of my three least favorite teams, along with Oregon and Fresno State, I will calls it as I sees it: Oregon State 51, Hawaii 17.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00p.m. CDT. The telecast is on Fox Sports Northwest, with audio only available at


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lions thump Beavers

Evan Royster ran for a career-high 144 yards and three touchdowns, Quarterback Daryll Clark passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns and Wideout Jordan Norwood caught eight passes for 116 yards and a touchdown, as the 19th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions rolled over the Oregon State Beavers 45-14.

The Beaver Stadium crowd of 108,159 barely had time to settle into their seats before the home team jumped out to a 14 point first quarter lead. Royster scored his first touchdown on a 15 yard run just over 5 minutes into the game. Mickey Shuler scored on a 5 yard toss from Clark with just over five minutes left in the first quarter, then Penn State put the game away with three scores in the second quarter. Royster scored twice, on runs of 28 and 4 yards in the opening 3:49. Jacquizz Rogers scored on a 12 yard run with 5:55 remaining in the half to get Oregon State on the board, but any hopes of a Beaver comeback were dashed, as Clark hit Jordan Norward with a 22 yard scoring strike with 67 seconds left in the half, giving Penn State a 35-7 lead.

The Nittany Lions(Nittany comes from the nearby mountain range of the same name) scored twice in the third. Clark ran it in from 18 yards out, then Kevin Kelly, who barely missed a 60 yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half, kicked one through from 31 yards. Jacquizz Rogers completed the scoring in the 4th quarter for the Beavers, scoring his second touchdown of the day on a 4 yard run, as Penn State rolled to the 45-14 win.

Oregon State had a respectable 342 yards total offense, 250 on 25 of 41 passing from Lyle Moevao. Jacquizz Rogers rushed 22 times for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Royster carried 17 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns for Penn State, while Clark completed 14 of 23 passes for 215 yards and two scores. The Nittany Lions had 454 yards of total offense. The Beavers were hampered by poor tackling, the occasional soft touch in the defensive backfield and a poor day by Freshman punter Johnny Hekker, who kicked 5 times for a 27.2 yard average in the first half. A glaring sign of disapointment in the punting game, was that the Beavers elected to run plays from scrimmage on every 4th down situation in the second half instead of punting, despite the lopsided score.

Oregon State now hopes to rebound from it's 0-2 start, hosting Hawaii in the Beavers home opener at Reser Stadium on Saturday, September 13th. Kickoff is set for 1:00p.m. PDT. Fox Sports Northwest has the telecast of the game.

Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Andy Miller, Owner of the Battle Creek Revolution, visits before the game with former Miami Dolphins and Penn State star O. J. McDuffie.

Hello sports fans!

It's game time.

Here comes the band!

Joe Paterno, on the way to becoming the winningest coach in college football history.

Evan Royster scores the second of his three touchdowns.

Jacquizz Rogers puts the Beavers on the board.

The famed Penn State Blue Band in the midst of the student section at Beaver Stadium.

Jaquizz Rogers scores the second of his two touchdowns.

Sammie Stroughter runs back a kick.

Moevao looks downfield during 4th quarter action.

The scoreboard tells the sad story.

The teams meet after the game.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beaver football at Penn State

The Oregon State Beavers look to square their season mark at 1-1 this weekend, when they meet the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium in College Park, Pennsylvania. The Beavers lost at Stanford 36-28 last Thursday, while Penn State opened with a 66-10 win over Coastal Carolina.

Kickoff is set for 3:30p.m. EDT and the game can be seen on ABC.

I am bunking for the night in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The lady at the hotel desk told us we were brave for not booking a room ahead of time. Best of all though, is that, even with traffic, it should only take us 90 minutes to get there from here. That sure beats the 13 hour drive to get home afterwards! Hopefully, I can get some good pictures at the game that I can post here on the Johnny blog. When watching the game, look for me above the left corner of the North endzone(the "open" end), in the first row of the upper deck.

Enjoy the game. And, lest I forget: GO BEAVS!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stand up to Cancer special on T.V. Friday night

Top stars from the worlds of entertainment, sports, science, and industry will come together for a very special night in an unprecedented campaign to stop the scourge of cancer. The commercial-free, one-hour program will air simultaneously on NBC, CBS, and ABC with the goal of raising significant contributions for research, awareness, and patient advocacy. Stand Up To Cancer is a unique collaboration between the American Association for Cancer Research and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. It was founded on the belief that there is now sufficient knowledge of the basic science behind cancer-–and that technologies are available now that can translate this knowledge into real advances in treatment and prevention.

Cancer takes one person every minute. They are our brothers, our sisters, our fathers and mothers, our husbands and wives, our best friends, our children, ourselves. Stand Up To Cancer is launching a new movement to attack cancer once and for all by pushing promising scientific breakthroughs to the finish.

The one-hour special, Stand Up to Cancer airs Friday, September 5th on NBC, CBS and ABC, beginning at 7:00p.m. CDT. For more information, visit the show's website,

Oh Baby Vision

How to watch the videos on Oh Baby Vision

In the upper left hand corner, there's three horizontal lines. Click that once or twice and it'll bring up thumbnails of all the movies. Click on the one you want to watch and it'll start. It may play the next one automatically, or you may have to click the little box to bring the thumbnails back up.

Now with the addition of more videos, just use the scroll bar on the right to choose the one you want to watch.

I hope you like 'em