James Reimer came up to the Shaw TV booth on Friday night during our telecast of the Goldeyes and Sioux Falls.
The Toronto Maple Leafs netminder is one of those terrific young men you just cheer for. Even if you hate the damn Leafs, you can’t help but want the best for a happy, respectful, intelligent Christian young man like Reimer.
He’s one of the people, places and things that made me smile this week. In fact, without getting too gushy, it’s really been a great week here in Winnipeg and a week that reminded me that life in the summer in this town is pretty darn nice.
Here’s a list of the things that made me smile this week. Visit me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001559147071) and tell me the things that made you smile:
1) The Winnipeg Goldeyes were outstanding this week. It all started with a complete-game, two-hour-and-24-minute, eight-hit grinder by Ace Walker and finished with a complete-game, two-hour-and 39 minute, six-hit grinder by Ace Walker.
The Goldeyes won 7-2 in Fargo this past Sunday as Walker was terrific, and then they went into St. Paul and emerged as the No. 1 team in the American Association’s North Division. They won a doubleheader, 5-4 and 3-2 on Monday, won 6-1 on Tuesday and 10-4 on Wednesday to take a three-game lead in the race for first.
After losing 17-7 in their return to Winnipeg on Thursday, the Goldeyes rode Walker’s right arm — and the bats of Jon Weber and Brian Myrow — to an 18-1 shlellacking of a good hitting team from Sioux Falls. The Fish almost scored as many runs on Friday as the Bombers scored points on Thursday.
Sunday afternoon, Chris Salamida (7-1, 2.71 ERA) will face former Goldeyes starter Ben Moore (8-2, 2.40 ERA) of Sioux Falls in what should be one of the best pitching match-ups of the year. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
2) The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defense. They’re fast, aggressive, angry, swarming and opportunistic. The best in the CFL. This group reminds me of the late 80s-early 90s Bomber defenses with James West, Tyrone Jones, Paul Randolph, Mike Gray, Rod Hill, and the great Greg Battle.
Too bad the offense has to come out on the field, I could watch that defense all night.
3) Anthony Calvillo makes me smile. It’s amazing, but the guy had cancer last fall. He might be a better quarterback now than he was before the cancer was removed.
Friday night, he completed 29-of-43 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns as he became the career leader in touchdown passes in the CFL with 395.
Meanwhile, he led the Alouettes to a 40-17 drubbing of the Toronto Argonauts as Montreal improved to 3-0. We’re three games into the 2011 season and a guy who has come back from cancer surgery is already on pace to be the CFL’s player of the year.
4) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 in IMAX 3D at Silver City Polo Park made me happy.
5) The end of the NFL lockout.
The news just gets better every day for NFL fans. My insiders tell me that an agreement between the owners and players is done and will be ratified this week. Free agency will start the Week of the 25th and training camps should open in early August. The Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is preparing for its Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7 as if there is no glitch in the schedule. The NFL itself has confirmed that no games — pre-season or otherwise have been cancelled.
I can’t wait. In the meantime, the more I learn about the deal, the wider my smile.