Thursday, November 7, 2013

My 2013 High School Football Playoff Predictions

Since this is my ninth straight season of being a part of the broadcast team, and co-host of THE most listened to high school football wrap-up show in the state, I figure I would put together my prognostications for this year's playoffs.  So, feel free to rip away either now, or wait until after the state title games to do it then.  Either way, enjoy my thoughts. 

Let's start with Division 6, eight-man football.  They are in the semi's now, so we will start there.

One semifinal is a game I will be broadcasting on with my good friend Chris Martin, Bagdad vs. Gilbert Christian at 2 p.m. at Shadow Mountain High School.

Gilbert Christian has put up some impressive numbers this season, including scoring nearly 90 points in a game.  The Knights are led by quarterback Bailey Anderson, who threw ten touchdowns in that game alone.  However, the Sultans have a tough defense, but I'll go with scoring..Gilbert Christian wins and will play Pima for the title.  Mogollon isn't as strong as in year's past and Pima has been tough for the last couple of years now.  With that said, Pima wins the D6 state title, in a close game over Gilbert Christian.

Now to D5:  This one is tough.  Any one of about 6 teams could win.  I like ALA, NW Christian, St. Johns (in the upset) and Joy Christian.  Now, you are probably thinking I'm homering that pick with St. Johns.  A little, but I have reason.  Having talked to other coaches and watching some film, I am confident if SJ gets there, they can pull the upset.  The Redskins have a nice team that is well coached and won't give up.  The Shamrocks are a BIG team, but some there think they are already planning for the semifinals. If that's true, the Redskins can win..and I think will.  I like ALA beating NW Christian, but this could be opposite.  The Crusaders want revenge on the Coyotes from a loss earlier this year.  I think Joy Christian beats St. Johns.  I think JC is just too much for the upset minded Redskins. I have ALA winning the state title, beating Joy Christian's chance at winning two state straight state titles in two different divisions.  JC won the D6 title last year before moving up.  A team that could cause some headaches is Round Valley.  They are unknown to the valley teams and that plays into their hands.  Watch out for the Elks.  This division could go any way and won't be surprised if it does, but this is how I think right now. Winner: Arizona Lutheran Academy.

Now D4:  I have Show Low winning this division all the way, with very little trouble in my opinion.  Advancing to the semis are: Show Low, Blue Ridge, River Valley and Seton Catholic the defending D5 champs.  I took River Valley over Snowflake because I have heard some good things about the Dust Devils.  I saw the Lobos beat Seton earlier in the year and they are a tough, physical team.  Wouldn't be surprised if it's three mountain teams in the semis, I just like RV a little more.  Show Low beats Blue Ridge again, Seton over River Valley.  Show Low wins by 10-14 points.  I love Kyle Johnson the Seton QB.  He has a GREAT arm, but there isn't enough weapons for the Sentinals to the the Cougars.  Winner: Show Low.

Onto D3:  There are three teams that can win the state title.  Williams Field, Saguaro and Desert Edge.  All have speed and great offenses, but Williams Field impressed me on defense.  They have some kids who can hit and tackle.  Of course Saguaro have the 1-2 punch of Luke Rubenzer at QB and Christian Kirk at..well..everything.  He is to them now as D.J. Foster was for the Sabercats when he played there.  My semi picks: Williams Field, Queen Creek, Desert Edge and Saguaro.  I have QC beating Peoria. But, the Panthers could give QC a run, but the Cougars are healthy with a strong 1-2 punch in the backfield.  Desert Edge-Saguaro SHOULD be for the title game, but they still play in the semis.  Offensive records could be broken in this game.  A lot of speed, but I will take Saguaro slightly over Desert Edge.  The last time WF and QC played, the Black Hawks dominated.  Williams Field is without its starting QB for the rest of the year and he is a good one.  But, I believe in the rally effect when a teammate goes down, especially with a good coaching staff at Williams Field.  It will be a closer game but WF wins.  Saguaro beats Williams Field in the state title game with speed and play making, however Williams Field should keep it close.  Winner: Saguaro.

Now D2:  This is Salpointe's state title to lose.  They are a very good football team and some think they could give Mountain Pointe a run in D1.  But they won't play, so let's forget it.  Here are my semifinal picks: Salpointe, Centennial, Chaparral and Mesquite.  The first three are locks IMO, Campo Verde here.  They are well coached and have some nice wins.  But, defense wins championships and Mesquite has that so we will go with them.  Salpointe-Centennial will be VERY entertaining.  Both have speed, both play good defense and both hasn't really been challenged.  The Coyotes lost to Chandler in week one with a lot of mistakes.  Bad tackling and turnovers cost them against the Wolves.  Since then, they have been very good.  However, Salpointe has beaten two good teams from out of state, Liberty from Henderson, Nevada and Crespi from Encino, California, both blowouts and both on the road.  That's big.  Salpointe wins, but Centennial will make it interesting.  Chaparral is playing at a high level right now and should get QB Sean Paul Brophy back this week, which is huge.  If he stays healthy, they will get to the title game.  Mesquite is very good on defense, but not enough offense to keep up.  Chap wins.  The title game will be amazing and I'll be honest, Chap wins if they play the perfect game.  No turnovers or dumb penalties.  That's what it's going to take to beat the Lancers.  This game is at the UofA and it makes a difference.  Salpointe wins, but this could be a very close game.  Winner: Salpointe Catholic.

Now...D1:  Again..this is Mountain Pointe's title to lose.  They are very very good.  All three facets of the game are nearly flawless.  A good reason they are one of the top-ten teams in the nation, according to MaxPreps.  The way they beat down nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman in game one, at their home, was beyond impressive. The Pride have steamrolled since then.  They took apart Chandler quickly.  Beat down Hamilton.  Just dominated along the way.  The only question is, who are they going to play for the title.  Here's my final four:  Mountain Pointe, Desert Ridge, Hamilton and Chandler.  Pretty cut and dry for me here.  Hamilton could face a challenge from Pinnacle if they play, but that's about it.  What a semifinals.  I LOVE Desert Ridge and what Jeremy Hathcock has built there.  He finally has enough talent and depth where he doesn't have to play everyone both ways.  Not to mention the Morrison brothers who are deadly on offense.  However, they get the best team maybe in the last five years in Mountain Pointe.  Sorry my friend, the Pride advance.  Hamilton...Chandler.  Nothing more needs to be said really.  The Wolves FINALLY got their first win over Hamilton since Hamilton has been open, which is 18 years.  This time, Chandler is the better team.  IF they stay focused on the task at hand, they can beat Hamilton.  BUT..this is where coach Steve Belles shines.  I'll take the Huskies but by a field goal.  So...Mountain Pointe...Hamilton for the title.  The dominant team versus the program.  Like I said, Mountain Pointe will have to beat themselves to lose the title.  In my opinion, they don't.  The Pride win the state title over Hamilton.  Winner: Mountain Pointe.

I have to add, I talked to Mountain Pointe head coach Morris Vaughn for a good half-hour last Saturday at the selection show.  I want to play for him.  Old school coach and is incredibly smart.  He told me that Desert Ridge, Chandler and Hamilton are all better than his team.  It's all coach speak, but he had examples for why and I listened.  He told me Chandler has the best athletes and I think that's true.  I told him sometimes it takes coaching and belief.  That's Hamilton and Mountain Pointe. 

The best part of all of this we will get to see this all play out on the field.  This will be a great playoff season D1 through D6. 

All the best to the coaches and players that will take part in this great event.  I hope for no injuries and fair play among everyone. 

Before I end this, I want to give a clap to Marcos head coach Roy Lopez, who has been put on leave at the school and won't coach the Padres in the first round.  He has always had time for us and is a good man.  As of this writing, I don't know what happened at Marcos, but I hope it isn't serious and we will see him at another program soon.  All the best coach. 

Don't forget to catch myself, Curt Blakney, Ben Gabrielson and James Mello for the Friday Night Wrap-Up Show, this Friday night from 9:30-11:30 p.m. on AM 860 in Phoenix and on  Join us then.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Your Phoenix Suns?

Tonight is the beginning of another season of the Phoenix Suns.  Many media cohorts have said the Suns will win anywhere from 20 to 25 games.  I happen to agree with them, but it's a different era of Suns basketball.  I've lived in Arizona all my life and my fandom with the Suns goes back since birth.  I remember players I looked up to as a kid. Alvin Adams, Paul Westphal and others.  Then as I got older, the players changed.  In came new players, Kevin Johnson, now head coach Jeff Hornacek, Charles Barkley to name a few.  Then the recent run with Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and of course, Steve Nash.  Those teams were fun and those memories are pretty good.  I look around U.S. Airways Center, and see some of those names in the Ring of Honor, along with former trainer Joe Proski, the late Cotton Fitzsimmons and of course, my idol, broadcaster Al McCoy. 

Long gone are those names and teams, and the team is going through a massive rebuild.  Ever since Robert Sarver bought this team, the air of enthusiasm has emptied out of the arena.  Some have said it may be in his best interest to sell the team and get out of the business.  Who knows what the future holds.  Heck, maybe this rebuild will finally give this city, and Suns fans, what they have long wanted out of this organization, an NBA title.  Only the future holds the answer to that.

People have asked me for a couple of months, "Dave, why do you even want to bother with the Suns this year, they suck."  Well, that could be, but suck also pays the bills along with success.  As bad as this team may be, they are still a fixture in Phoenix.  All of the memories of success and failure, are all ingrained in the minds of longtime Suns fans.  I giggle at fans of other teams in town that bash and poo-poo the Suns, forgetting that their team has gone through equally as tough trials and tribulations like Suns fans are going through. 

Here's the simple fact as fans of the hometown teams.  We are all in this together.  Cardinals, Coyotes, Suns and Dbacks fans should wish each other well and hope for success, because that helps everyone out.  It helps the economy, it helps every team's ad rates, yes remember it's all still a business.  See, that why the new owners of the Phoenix Coyotes are at the season opener for the Suns.  They get it.  It's about a team atmosphere, with everyone working for one common goal: Victory. 

So, with that said, I wish all the success in the world to the Suns and everyone involved in the organization because even though this year could be very rough, in the future I feel it all will be worth it. 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bubba Fund Raising Efforts Update

Most of you who have read this blog, follow me on Twitter or are friends with me on Facebook, you know the last week or so my niece Nikki and I are getting stuff together for a fund raising drive for a special nine-year-old boy who is about to go through another round of treatments to try and shrink a softball sized tumor so doctors can remove it.  It's Stage 3 liver cancer, but the last treatment saw the tumor shrink slightly.  Bubba is his name, kinda it's what he goes by so that's fine by me. Nikki has put together a charity softball event for Sunday, October 27th.  I'll post the link to all of her information at the end of this blog.  The part that Nikki has trusted me in helping is an idea I had that is growing thanks to the help of a few others.  We have contacted quite a few sports entities in town for donations for a raffle and a silent auction.  We weren't turned down once with more coming.  We will start the raffle in the next day or so and have a great event planned leading into the softball event.  I'll have more information soon, but keep Saturday, October 26th open.  We are planning on getting together at a place for fun, karaoke and raising money for this wonderful boy and family.  But..more later..:)  I am getting help with the Saturday event from a couple of amazing people who I went to high school with in the sprawling metropolis of St. Johns, Arizona.  Thanks you so much to Kevin Burdick and Jodie Troutman Hedges. 

One thing we are doing is a raffle and a silent auction to participate in.  Or if you just want to swing by and make a donation that's fine too.  The raffle drawing will take place sometime on the 27th.  You do not need to be there to win.  You will leave contact information on your raffle ticket.  If you can't make it and want to make a donation, I will post information on how to donate at the end as well.  Here is a list of some of the raffle prizes.

Phoenix Coyotes - Autographed picture and puck from fan favorite forward Paul Bissonette.

Phoenix Suns - 11 x 13 autographed picture of guard Goran Dragic

Arizona Diamondbacks - autographed picture of pitcher Josh Collmenter

We will also have more in the raffle, which I will announce soon.

As for the Silent Auction we have two items.  The sheets for these will be at our event on the 26th or the softball event on the 27th.  Or if I know you..WELL...:) can communicate with me on where things are on the auction if you can't attend either event.  I want everyone to have a chance to win these great things and raise some money. Here are the items:

Arizona Cardinals - autographed football from defensive end Calais Campbell.

Arizona Diamondbacks - A voucher for 4 dugout box tickets to any game next season, except opening day or any possible playoff games.  These are the seats directly behind the home, or away, dugouts.  Any closer to the field and you would be playing.  If you win the auction, there is a sheet listing with what you need to do to get the actual tickets.

I'd like to thank everyone that has helped us out with the donations.  It doesn't surprise every one who has helped, or is helping, us to collect items to help raise money for this family.  I especially want to thank every media relations person who lead me in the right direction to make this happen.  You know who you are.  Everlasting thanks. 

So, remember..keep Saturday, October 26th open and I will send out information on what we are doing when I have everything good to go.  And don't forget the 27th for the softball event.  Here's the information for that.!/photo.php?fbid=1428645457361697&set=a.1424149777811265.1073741831.1423692474523662&type=1&theater
Here is the information on how to donate if you want to, and can't come to either event. 

Donations are being accepted at all Chase Bank locations. Just make a deposit to account # 2979862961 or online at 
Thanks everyone.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

And Then It Just Hit Me.....

I'll explain the title in a moment but I wanted to share something that I'm working on that has been rewarding in a few different ways.  However the subject matter of this task isn't a good thing at the moment.  Let me explain:

Last month, my beautiful niece Nikki started posting information about her 9-year-old cousin "Bubba" who was diagnosed with Stage 3 liver cancer. 9 Years Old and is being treated at the children's hospital at Banner Desert Medical Center off the US-60 and Dobson Road.  I admit, it didn't really hit me until later on what that actually meant to me.  I shared her information with my friends and honestly just let it be.  Then one day, everything was clear to me.  Good friends of mine were doing a radioathon for Phoenix Childrens Hospital, an awesome facility in central Phoenix.  I was listening to my friends tell stories on the air about the kids they have met and getting emotional about it.  At first I was jealous because in my 22 years of my career, I have never had a chance to do something that rewarding, that meaningful to someone I didn't even know.  Then it hit me on my way home from work..I can help.  By the time I got home I had a game plan in my head on what I could do to help Nikki and Bubba out.  With 9 years covering sports on the side, I'd like to think I have a pretty good working relationship with all four pro sports teams here in town and Arizona State.  So I told Nikki that I had an idea for a raffle or silent auction to help raise money for Bubba's family to help take care of bills, or whatever they need during his treatment.  I sent emails out to everyone in hopes we can collect some things to hold a raffle.  Here is a list of things I have to pick up this week:

First I have to thank the Phoenix Coyotes, and if you know me I hold these people in high regard anyway because of how they run things.  They have donated an autographed picture and puck from Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette.  That happened pretty much within a hour or two of sending them an email.  Next was the Arizona Diamondbacks.  We are still working to finalize something with them, but are confident that we will have something pretty cool to raffle off.  More later on that.  Same with Arizona State, they are reviewing everything and we hope to hear back from them soon and again, things look great from them.  Next was the Phoenix Suns, who have donated an autographed picture of guard Goran Dragic.  Next was the Arizona Cardinals, who have donated an autographed football from this years team.  All of this has come together in about a week.  What an awesome response from these guys in such short time.  Details on the raffle and how to buy tickets are coming soon. Stay tuned to my Facebook page or on Twitter for more information.  And if you have Twitter and aren't following me, what's the deal??  haha. Follow me at @davezorn72 if you want. 

I'm looking to add more raffle items, so if anyone has a business or can get us donated gift cards or stuff like that let me know.  

Nikki has done a tremendous job setting up a softball event in East Mesa on Sunday, October 27th.  If you are on Facebook, like Bubba's page do a search for: Team Bubba - Kicking Cancer's Butt.  All his updates and information on events are on the page.  If this works right, here's the info on the event.!/photo.php?fbid=1428645457361697&set=a.1424149777811265.1073741831.1423692474523662&type=1&theater

On the page itself is information on a garage sale they are having on October 12th as well.  Also on that page is his touching story and what he is going through right now.

If you can't go to the event or garage sale, or you don't want to buy raffle tickets, but you want to help.  You can.  Donations are being accepted at all Chase Bank locations.  Just make a deposit to account # 2979862961  or online at 

All proceeds raised go right to Bubba and his family.

Now, you may ask me why am I doing this.  My answer is simple and maybe a little lengthy so bare with me.  Most, if not all, of you know I have a 6-year-old son Ethan. Some of you have even spent time with him.  I thank God Ethan is in good shape and I don't even know how I would be if he was in Bubba's situation.  I know I would appreciate the help and I know they do, they have already expressed it.  Plus, after a long time not talking to each other, this has been incredible coordinating this with Nikki, which at least for me, has made us closer.  I love this girl so much you all have no idea.  Then again, I always have.  Plus, it feels good to make a difference, as small as it is.  If nothing else, I hope to teach Ethan the lesson I am learning as I go.  It feels really good and rewarding and I can see myself doing this again.  Thanks for reading this and if you help out, my dearest thanks from Nikki too. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Big Things Happening

Big things are on the horizon for yours truly.  If you've known me for a while, you know that football season is the busiest season of the year for me.  I've challenged myself to put myself out there more from now until the end of the year.  That's not an ego thing, that's a career goal thing.  This time of year reignites the fire I had 22 years ago when I started in radio.  It's a fire I wish I had year around, but on-air jobs are few and far between and that's why I take what I can get, when I can get it. With that said, here is what I am doing the next few months at least.

1. First and foremost is the biggest thing.  I am entering my ninth season as co-host of the Friday Night Wrap-Up Show.  We start next Friday, August 30th on AM 860, heard valleywide.  I'll have online info on Twitter and Facebook when I know for sure if you can listen online.  It will be myself and cohost Curt Blakeney for another season.  We always have fun, some surprises and you never know when an upset will happen, especially this season.  Our show will be on every Friday night from 9:30-11:30, once again on AM 860.

2,  This I am pretty excited about. This is the first year I will be a part of the Tackle The Trib high school football pick em contest as a VIP. Trust me, the whole VIP thing isn't going to my head and never will.  But, it's a group comprised of myself, East Valley Tribune writers, ABC 15's Craig Fouhey and a cast of characters from including PBP and Saturday radio show co-host Jim Grieshaber, who I plan to crush.  Just kidding Jimmy...sort of.  So look for my picks each week, Thursday, I think, in the East Valley Tribune or at 

3. This last one may be the most difficult.  I've decided to start a weekly podcast.  Of course it will be sports related, but putting all my thoughts on paper and how I want to go about it will take some time.  It's something I've always wanted to do, I just have to sit down and plan it out.  It will encompass all I do during the week, my thoughts and maybe occasional guests if the thing takes off.  The possibilities are endless in my mind, I just have to get it started.  Once I do, the rest is easy.

So, there's my immediate future.  Either find me on radio on Friday nights, my picks in the Trib on Thursday or coming soon to a website near you, the podcast.  Lots of stuff on the table, but it's time to give this thing a serious run.  Hope you enjoy all of my endeavors and I appreciate the love and support I've received along the way.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

No One Like Jim

Today (Sunday) we lost one of the best professionals I've come across in my 20-plus years in journalism.  Former Arizona Republic Phoenix Coyotes beat writer Jim Gintonio died of cancer.  I first remember Jim by reading his Media column in the Republic when I was in high school and college.  As a radio guy, I wouldn't miss it. It was good fun to see who he was going to criticize next.  During this run as a media critic, he got the name "Gin Tonic" by a valley personality who he wrote about on occasion.  I first met Jim when I started covering the Coyotes for then Metro Networks back in 2004.  He was always great to me, even though I gave him more crap then anyone in this business.  Mostly because he let me do it and give it right back to me.  It was never personal between he and I, it was more schoolyard picking on and I loved it.  I have a few stories about Jim I'd like to share. 

It's amazing the relationships Jim had with people and the players he covered.  Believe it or not, former Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov loved Jim.  Well, loved to pick and have fun with him. Bryz was just a different dude.  Another one that liked to have fun with him was former Coyotes forward Danny Carcillo.  He maybe was one of the most ruthless toward Jim. His last year with the Coyotes, he purposely stopped by the Blackhawks locker room to say hi to Danny.  Carcillo was working out post game in the hallway when they saw each other.  Danny tells him in mid-stretch "hey Jim..I heard you were's about time." Jim returned with "when was the last time you played man." Carcillo was a scratch for a few games that season.  I laughed after he said it and we walked back to the media center and I told him that may be the funniest thing I'd ever heard him say.  Jim says "He loves me."

One thing I admired about Jim is he never wanted any attention on him, right until the end.  The night the Coyotes presented him with a jersey with his name on it, signed by the team he never stopped smiling.  I guess he never knew he was thought of the way the team thought of him.

Of all of the memories of Jim, this one is my favorite.  If the Coyotes, or the opposing team, made him rewrite his story late in the third period this phrase came out of Jim's mouth. "Those no good rotten bastards!!" Now..that could be directed to someone on the opposing team, Bryz, the refs, or on occasion his computer.  He had a love hate relationship with his work computer, mostly hate.  It will be a while, if ever, until I walk into the media center at Arena and not hear "you no good rotten bastards" especially late in the game.  That killed me..every time. 

Jim was friends with everyone.  We all knew him, loved him and respected the hell out of him.  Not only that, travelling beat writers liked Jim too.  Jim would go out of his way to update them on Coyotes stuff if they needed it. 

Toward the end of is career, Jim discovered Twitter and Facebook.  You never know when you would hear from Jim, but I always knew I would.  Even if it was something simple like mentioning the attendance from a D'backs game, when he would chime in with "did you count them?" It was a cool avenue for Jim, one that I'm not sure he totally got a grasp of, but had fun with.  As I write this the word "gintonio" is trending on Twitter in Phoenix.  That's the first time Jim has been trendy. Had to take the final shot my friend.

Now for one more.  One year he got an intern from ASU to help him during games.  Some blonde-haired girl from Canada that lived hockey.  I mean this girl came in blazing the sport.  She was from Edmonton and knew what she wanted to do.  Jim took her under his wing and showed her the ropes.  From covering the team daily to game coverage.  After a while you just saw this girl was pretty good, really good actually.  So one day I asked Jim, "so, it's been a few weeks, what do you think of Sarah."  He looks down, smiles and says "she's good, definitely knows the game and probably will cost me my job..(laughing)."  Of course, smart ass me says "we can only hope so."  Jim knew as Sarah got the gist of things around the arena and the team that when he decided to retire, or the paper decided for him, that the job of beat writer for the Coyotes was in more than capable hands.  Sarah, if you are reading this, he thought the world of you and enjoyed the time with you very much. 

When I say he was humble, he was.  When he was diagnosed with cancer, he didn't talk about it much with a lot of us.  I'd be a pest and ask him how things were with treatment and everything.  He was very short with me but thanked me for asking.  Last season, the Coyotes gave him passes to come to a game with his girlfriend.  He told me then that he was going to stop chemo and just enjoy life.  An angel came to his side in the woman in his life.  I never saw him smile as much he did when he was with her.  She made his final days the best of his life, I can just tell. 

Finally, one thing I learned from Jim is this. He was never ego-driven, high and mighty and full of himself like some are in this profession.  Jim lead by his actions and his work.  He was a good writer and even better person and if I can live out my days as good as Jim did, I'm a lucky, lucky man.  Good bye my friend.  You were a good guy and games at Arena won't be the same without you around even if it was chiming in on social media.  Thanks for your friendship over the years. 


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Remembering Jessi

One year ago today was the longest and roughest day of my life.  Up until July, 20th 2012, I thankfully never knew anyone involved in a mass shooting or major catastrophe.  I guess I was naive in thinking it wouldn't happen to me and then it did.  I woke up that morning and do what I always do, check my Twitter feed for the latest news and information before heading into work.  What I saw I couldn't believe.  My friend Jessica Ghawi (Redfield) was gunned down in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.  I didn't know what to do or say at that moment.  My heart sank and I lost my breath a little trying to make sense of something so senseless.  All day she was the face of this shooting.  CNN, Fox News, etc all started to tell her story, which in a way was comforting but was also too much to take at the same time.  Let me tell you about my short time with Jessica.

Jess was just starting out, fresh out of college and so desperately wanted to be in the world of sports broadcasting.  She had that drive and determination to make it and wouldn't take no for an answer.  When I first was introduced to this beautiful, Texas redhead was via email.  She covered the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, that happened to be the affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes.  We exchanged emails and tweets often, mostly about players coming up to Phoenix and going back down.  We'd trade information on how the guys were doing, pretty much helping each other out.  I think she became a Coyotes fan because of the interaction not only with me but a host of others and would have our backs during the beginnings of the ownership mess.  Her and I talked a lot about that in the early stages of it.  She then moved to Denver and started doing everything.  Even if it was to tag along and hold a mic cord, she did it.  Jess made a lot of friends in the media there and touched so many people.  She is the definition of hard work pays off as she was starting to become what she always wanted to be professionally. 

One event I can't shake is the fact she escaped a shooting in Toronto just months prior to the events in Aurora.  I was watching it unfold in CNN when she started to tweet she was in that very same mall.  I, along with others, helped her get to safety as authorities there get things under control.  She was shaken, as most of us would be, by the situation and I was glad to help get her to a safe place.  She later blogged about the events of that day in Toronto.

Then, a year ago overnight.  She wanted to see the first showing of The Dark Night at a theater in Aurora.  Some of her last Tweets before the shooting, she basically taunted everyone, ok writer Jesse Spector, that she was seeing the movie and YOU weren't.  Again, fiery, lovable, funny Texas redhead that she was all the way until the end.  A short time later she was gone. 

Much has been made about how to avoid these terrorist-style events and there have been a couple since the Aurora tragedy.  The school shooting in Connecticut and the bombing at the Boston Marathon come to mind.  As with most cases, it's turned political.  Too many guns, not enough guns, guns in the hands of crazy people all just words coming out of mouths.  Is there a way to stop this kind of violence?  I don't know.  I think both sides of the issue have their points and their problems.  I am pretty sure on this though, these things will continue regardless.  I truly believe there is no way of stopping this, I'm sorry to say.  I just hope I don't ever have to go through the emotion of losing someone in events like this again.

Jess, I miss you and think about you often.  Even know I've been in this business for over 20 years now, you are still an inspiration to me and you fuel my drive to get better each and every day and I thank you for that gift. 

I leave you with a smile.  The video i'm posting is an interview she did while in San Antonio with Coyotes defenseman Chris Summers.  Okay, it isn't an interview more than it is a gag reel of her.  Heels on ice Jess, c'mon girl what did you think would happen..;)

Thanks and rest in peace my dear friend.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's Over!!!!!

I couldn't have picked a perfect time to do a new blog than the day after the Phoenix Coyotes have new owners.  Members of IceArizona Inc., consisting of very smart, shrewd businessmen, is in the final processes of finalizing a deal with the City of Glendale for a lease agreement for Arena. By the end of July, or 1st of August, they will get the keys to the Coyotes and Jobing.  So, how did we get here.  I'll try to be short. 

Over four years ago, the Coyotes were put into bankruptcy by local businessman Jerry Moyes, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was en route to Phoenix.  Bettman was trying to finish a deal so the team would be owned by Jerry Reinsdorf.  When Moyes got wind of it, he put it into bankruptcy so his Canadian buddy, then Blackberry CEO Jim Ballsilie could buy it out of bankruptcy.  Bettman was ticked off.  Ballsilie has tried to push his way into ownership for years, which upsets the NHL.  So, Bettman instructed the league to buy the team.  Four years later they still do. 

First prospective owner was Matthew Hulsizer.  He crafted a deal with the City of Glendale to buy the team and the city would sell bonds to provide 100-million dollars to Hulsizer.  The city agreed to do it, BUT..then in stepped Goldwater Institute, a political action group..kinda.  They threatened to sue, which changed the interest rate on the bonds.  They did enough damage to where the deal collapsed.  Out goes Hulsizer.  Next:

Up steps Greg Jamison, a guy who understands hockey and had success in San Jose with the Sharks.  This attempt at buying the team had so many changes it was amazing.  Investors in, investors out.  This story changed so much it almost was a different angle daily.  It even got me sucked into it.  How, you ask, well I'll tell you.  Somehow, someway I acquired a reliable source within the Jamison Group.  I also had a reliable source within the group that was going to manage the arena.  One night in Feb. 2012, both sources came together and I had a chance to break a story, but little did I know how far that would go.  To see the result, Google: "Dave Zorn Coyotes" and read the fun.  I flipped out.  Within an hour of sending a "tweet" out claiming the deal was about finished, I got 5 radio interview requests.  I was overwhelmed.  Thanks to many people I know in this business, talking me down from the ledge, I refocused and continued on.  Unfortunately for me, the deal fell through and I became a marked man in Winnipeg and Quebec City.  More on that later.  We fast forward to the end.  Jamison, like Hulsizer, got the votes on a lease agreement with the City of Glendale and Coyotes fans thought it was done.  No Goldwalter, no cheap attempt at a referendum.  Done, right?  Well, not so much. Jamison failed to come to an agreement with the NHL to buy the team and we are back to square one...again.  Next:

Reenter Ice Edge Holdings, Anthony LeBlanc, Darryl Jones and a few others as they created Renaissance Sports and Entertainment.  The Ice Edge boys tried unsuccessfully to buy the Coyotes back in round one, but stuck around.  In a short time, they reached an agreement with the NHL, and it was on to Glendale for a lease agreement.  This CoG council is new and claimed it will be tougher a third time around with any group.  After a load of politics and other BS, the council passed the agreement and now IceArizona wins. 

Where do we stand now? All of the work is done for IceArizona to take over the franchise in early August.  Glendale resident, and water bill enthusiast, Ken Jones has taken out a petition for a referendum on the lease agreement.  Mr. Jones is in bad health, in his 80s and failed miserably the last go around.  This won't go well for Mr. Jones.  The Goldwater Institute has been quoted as saying they are "watching the deal very closely" but not a peep from them.  IceArizona attorney, former Arizona attorney general Grant Woods has sent a message to GWI to basically, bring it.  My educated guess is Goldwater won't touch this.  The main concern to regular folk is a clause in the lease agreement to where IceArizona can get out of the agreement after five years of the 15-year lease.  However, the clause kicks into effect ONLY if the group loses 50-million dollars total in the five years.  LeBlanc took to valley airwaves to clear up that issue.  He told Fox Sports 910 this afternoon that it's very unlikely that will kick into play.  He said all of their income projections were low. He said they took the worst year moneywise for the Coyotes and made their calculations.  He then dropped the bomb.  LeBlanc said if they had taken 2011-12 season numbers, where the Coyotes reached the Western Conference Finals, the City of Glendale would have profited with the revenue streams that are coming back to them in this agreement.  Pretty cool right? 

Is there speculation they could move after five years? Sure.  But I have a feeling it won't matter in five years.  This group is highly-motivated to make this work.  However, it's on the fans now.  There are no more excuses to why hockey is perceived to not work here.  It's time to up the attendance and show the haters this market can thrive for the awesome sport of hockey. 

So here we are.  Fans of the Coyotes are more than thrilled this nightmare is over.   I will say this.  Coyotes fans are the most passionate fans of a team in the valley. That's no slight on the other fanbases, but no fanbase in north America has had to endure the badgering, insults, attacks and just childish behavior like Coyotes fans have.  I have endured them as well.  If you remember, I was a target of some people from Winnipeg and Quebec City.  Most of the insults I could take, but some found pictures of me and family and chose to make it personal.  I had Twitter investigate it and if the guy even breathes he is banned.  That has helped.  This is the lengths some people have gone to come after me.  But, I'm a big guy, I can handle it. I wrap this up, I want to thank many people who I have met and have developed friendships through this journey.  There are way too many to mention, but if we have talked a few times, shared stories and had a few beverages over the Coyotes I am talking about you.  Here is to the future of the soon-to-be Arizona Coyotes and that's good for everyone.


Friday, May 17, 2013

State Of Arizona Sports May 2013

I haven't written a blog in a while and since I had some time, I thought I would put together my "State of Arizona Sports - May Edition."

Let's start with the only team playing right now, the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Currently the "snakes" are five games above .500, 23-18 and one game out of the NL West lead at the quarter pole, or 41 games into the season.  With the bullpen blowing 11 saves, Aaron Hill sidelined and the starting pitching dicey to begin the season, I would say this is a pretty good start for Arizona's baseball team.  Some of the bright spots are their young players.  Pitcher Patrick Corbin has been outstanding and would be an All-Star right now.  He has been, by far, the best starting pitcher in the rotation at this point.  Ian Kennedy is starting to come around and Trevor Cahill has been solid.  If Wade Miley and Brandon McCarthy get their act together, the pitching staff should be solid down the stretch.  Shortstop Didi Gregorius has also been lights out since being recalled from Triple-A Reno.  There is no questioning his defense, one of the best in the league already.  The knock on him was his bat, which hasn't been a problem since coming up.  He's batting in the .340s and has hit safely in the majority of the games he's played in.  Then there's Paul Goldschmidt.  Just an awesome start.  Should be an All-Star candidate and maybe even an MVP thought.  There is a lot more games yet to be played, but fans have to be happy about the start to the season.

Let's move to the Phoenix Coyotes.  The words "two weeks" have never pinched a nerve in sports fans more than it has with the Coyotes fan base.  As of this writing, there is one group that has placed a bid to purchase the team and that is Renaissance Sports and Entertainment, made up partially of investors tied in with Ice Edge and Canadian millionaire George Gosbee.  Darin Pastor submitted a bid to buy the team, with his own money, and was quickly rejected by the NHL.  That group is trying to resubmit its bid, but for some reason the NHL hasn't returned their calls.  The names Greg Jamison, Matthew Hulziser and Jerry Reinsdorf are still popping up in regards to this situation, but none have submitted bids to my knowledge.  One this is certain, both the NHL, City of Glendale and fans want a conclusion to this four-year nightmare.  It looks like everyone in play should get an answer before July 1st.

Now to the Arizona Cardinals.  They are coming off a very nice draft, very surgical in nature.  I also like the signing of free-agent linebacker Karlos Dansby, who makes his return to the Red Birds.  This adds a very important piece to the defense, especially with Darrell Washington's four-game suspension and possibly more thanks to a current legal matter.  So far, so good with the new coaching staff and management.  Talk is cheap though.  Let's see what happens in the preseason and more importantly, the regular season.  So far, I love what I see out of Tempe.

The Suns: Well, their first move of the rebuilding effort is a good one.  Ryan McDonough is bringing hard work, dedication and a wealth of knowledge to him as he takes the reigns of the Suns GM job.  Now he has to find a coach.  I haven't been shy about who I want to see as the next head coach of the Suns.  Look no further than San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer.  Mike is a native-Arizonan who has learned the tricks of the trade from one of the best coaches in basketball in Gregg Popovich.  Mike grew up in basketball, watching his dad win a lot of games at the high school and college level.  Personally, I've known the guy since high school.  He grew up in Holbrook and I lived there for a year.  We have many of the same friends and know the same people.  It would make my job a lot easier.  But I also agree he would be the perfect fit for what the Suns want to do.  We will see what happens.

I don't want to leave out the Rattlers playing championship football right now and the Mercury, who maybe getting more buzz than ever with the drafting of Brittney Griner, which should put more butts in the seats at U.S. Airways Center, maybe even me. 

Football is right around the corner, which means a big season coming up for Arizona State and what will be the most talented high school class Arizona football has seen in a long, long time.  More on that on the next blog. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just My Update This Time

I sat here thinking I really haven't done a "me" update in quite some time.  So, here it goes.

I'm proud to say I have lost 50 pounds since starting my new regiment back in October. Thanks to the holidays getting in the way and knocking me off kilter, it could be more.  That happens to the best of us I suppose. 

Now the God-honest truth.  Over recklessness, not caring and a bunch of other things, I literally ballooned to 364 pounds just before my 40th birthday.  My plan then was to look into gastro surgery.  I had a bunch of tests done and found a couple of surprises.  I found that I have a blockage in a secondary artery on my heart, but my cardiologist says it's fine and if there was a place to have a blockage, that's it.  Otherwords, it's not going to do anything to me in the long run.  However, that was the scare I needed.  I decided pretty much right then that I would get back into the gym, get a personal trainer and give the gym another try before opting for surgery.  One of the best decisions I've ever made.  Thanks to the awesome people at Mountainside Fitness, especially my original trainer Jerry, who set my diet up, and my current trainer Josh who busts my ass every time I see him.  At last weigh-in I'm at 314.  Still big, but shrinking.  My plan is to get down, eventually, to 245-250 and see where I am then.  The best part of this is I learned about what I was doing in and out of the gym.  I've never been stronger and I haven't been this size in about 10 years at least.  My health issues are always going to be there, no thanks to my previous lifestyle.  But taking the steps I have, have put years back on my life.  Like I said, I still have a lot of work to go, but I also know it's a marathon and not a sprint.  I'm going to enjoy every step of the process.  Thanks to my family and friends who have supported me along the way. 

That's all I have for now.  When there is more news on this front, I'll be sure to let everyone know.  Thanks. :)


Sunday, February 3, 2013

State Of The Coyotes

(the following are the thoughts of the author and not those of anyone I am professionally connected with.  They are my thoughts and mine only and these thoughts are mine)

As of this writing it is Super Bowl Sunday, February 3rd and the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation is no better off than it was three years limbo.  People within the organization and fans are used to it.  Life without an owner has almost been a rallying cry for this team.  Three seasons without an owner, three playoff appearances and a Pacific Division Championship.  So, maybe having an owner would somehow get in the way of the playoffs.  Ok, maybe that's a stretch but this thing HAS to get done.  So what happened this past week, let's review.

Prospective owner Greg Jamison had until January 31st to purchase the Coyotes from the NHL in order to sign off on the lease agreement for Arena that he and the City of Glendale agreed upon.  As we know now, that didn't happen. There are rumors abound as to why this didn't happen.  I believe that Jamison had the $170-million to buy the team, but didn't have operating capital to run the team.  Meaning, he had a number he wanted to raise to buy the team plus having an operating budget, but he didn't meet that mark.  His ownership group, I believe, was never set in stone enough to exude confidence in Gary Bettman, the league's commissioner.  Jamison remains an interested party, for whatever reason, to buy the team.  Jamison is a fighter, there is no doubt about that, and I believe he is the perfect owner for this team moving forward. 

The one thing I want to mention about the last 48 hours before the deadline is the amount of stories that came out with "NHL sources" attached to them.  I truly believe there is someone, or some people, in NHL circles that doesn't want this team here and will do anything they can to squander any deal presented.  I don't blame the writers at all for writing the stories, it's their job and I would have done the same thing.  Oh wait...I did at one time:  I'm still proud that I got a pissed off response out of Vice Commissioner Bill Daly out of that, but I digress.  What I'm saying it's easy to rip the reporter or blame them, but you have to look at the story deeper than that and find a trail.  I did and I smell a rat inside the league.

So, where are we today?  We are back to square one with a few owners lining up to give it a run including Jamison.  One possible candidate was revealed by veteran Arizona reporter Craig Morgan this week.  There have also been reports of old friends resurfacing in Jerry Reinsdorf and Matthew Hulsizer, but I have been told Hulsizer is not interested in reentering the game.  One name that popped up is Boston Pizza's owner Jim Treliving.  Also told that as of now, he is also not involved in negotiations, but it wouldn't surprise me if he put is chips into the pot and plays a hand eventually.

As that game gets played out, lets turn to the City of Glendale.  The new council will get to take a spin on the lease agreement wheel and we all get to see what they come up with.  From what City of Glendale professional insider George Fallar reports, the new council scribbled their latest idea on a Denny's napkin and said "hmmm..looks good to us."  Allegedly the new lease agreement plan has the management being split into four divisions: hockey, entertainment, education and CLEANING!!!  My goodness what a mess.  If this truly is the plan, it's time to seriously think about moving the Coyotes out of Glendale.  Here are my thoughts on that.

Gary Bettman said again that the NHL wants to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix.  Dallas Stars forward Ray Whitney, a former Coyote, believes "as long as Bettman is commissioner, this team isn't going anywhere."  As much as Canadians, especially the French ones, don't want to believe it, Phoenix is a sports rich entity moneywise.  With four sports in the valley, it calls for premium advertising rates, among other riches.  It's something the NHL doesn't want to give up.  So with that said, I have come up with my own brilliant idea.  An ambitious owner could come up with a plan to build an arena in Phoenix or Scottsdale, preferably near Talking Stick.  While the arena is being built, play two seasons at Jobing, or enter a rental agreement with the City of Phoenix and play at U.S. Airways Center.  If the NHL is serious about keeping a team in the Phoenix area, it may be time to say goodbye to Glendale. 

If the ultimate decision is to pull up the sticks and move the franchise, my money is on Seattle or Portland.  Quebec City is not an option for the Coyotes because it would create too much of a headache for the NHL in realignment.  Plus they would rather get the expansion fee out of any prospective ownership group for QC than to just move a team there.  If something can't be worked out by season's end, look for Portland to be a frontrunner. The Rose Garden is NHL ready.  It's not like Portland hasn't been brought up before with this franchise.  In 2003, the Coyotes were moments away from moving to Portland, until Wayne Gretzky and friends stepped in and saved the franchise from being owned by Microsoft exec Paul Allen. Seattle becomes an option only after the arena there is built.  I've been told by many that Key Arena is not an option for the NHL.

Finally I want to give credit and props to people behind the scenes who are working hard to keep the Coyotes in Arizona.  Former Glendale city councilwoman Joyce Clark, George and Bea Fallar, Greg Dunaway, Ronda Pearson and a band of others who are working painlessly to keep the team here.  I also want to mention members of the media that love the game and also want this team to stay right where it is.  Craig Morgan of Fox Sports, Jerry Brown of, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, the boys at XTRA910, Kyndra de St. Aubin and Carter Nacke from ArizonaSports620 and .com and others.

Finally, to say that there isn't any hockey fans or interest in the sport in Arizona is a flat out lie.  There are many youth leagues spread out across the valley, including a few that compete on a national level.  Also the high school league, AHSHA, is growing and there is both ASU and UofA who field national-ranked hockey clubs, the Ice Devils are ranked second and own a 30-game winning streak over the Ice Cats.  Add countless numbers of Canadians who were smart enough to migrate to Arizona and hold their sport and teams dear to them. What this franchise needs is a committed owner and a marketing plan that will allow the sport and fan base to grow.  The question is, is there an owner that wants to commit himself and his ownership group to that possibility?  There was one: Greg Jamison and strangely enough, he's still around.  One thing is certain: something needs to happen relatively quickly.  The fans are tired of it, the players and organization is tired of it and hockey fans in general have become tired of it.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Misinformation Flows Like A River Through Quebec City

(the following are the thoughts of the author and not those of anyone I am professionally connected you know this may be good.)

Today a French Canadian translator, Fred Poulin, posted an article on on the current state of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Here is the link if you would like to read it before hearing the truth.

If you are a Coyotes fan and have been following the ownership process, you know the untruths that are posted in the article.  If you need a refresher, that's what I am here for.  :)

Let's begin shall we?  I'll give Fred some credit here, the first two paragraphs are actually factual and most fans would agree with him.  That's where the credit comes to a screeching halt.

The third paragraph is where the fun begins: 

"The problem is that two months later and only NINE DAYS BEFORE THE EXPIRY OF THE PROPOSED LEASE DEAL on January 31st, 2013, Greg Jamison has yet to buy the team and disclose his investment group and the reason why he does not want to name his investors."

Hey Fred, since when does an investor HAVE to reveal who his group is?  Is it one of these unwritten rules or something you've made up.  Had you been paying attention better, you would know one investor has already made itself public.  Ice Edge. Oh and by the way, if the deal isn't still in play, why name investors when some of them may want to keep private?  Hmmmmm?

But, hey, let's not facts get in the way of your story shall we? 

"Heck, Jamison did not even bother to attend the Coyotes’ home opener on Sunday, game which they lost 6-4 against the Chicago Blackhawks." 

And why not Fred?  Could he have been in New York maybe?  This we don't know, but for he not to show up to the home opener might just mean he had more important business to attend to.  But hey, I have no facts to where he was so I won't mention it like a good journalist does.  That's lesson number one to you Fred, you can pay me later.  Let's continue.

"The good news is that the home opener drew a nice crowd of 17,132 hockey fans, a vast majority of them being Blackhawks fans."

That sentence is so wrong I don't know where to begin.  First, were there?  I didn't see your name on the seating chart in the press box. weren't.  So how could you possibly know the difference in fans.  Let me refer to someone who was there and had a great look at the crowd, ME.  I, and other observers, say there was about 2K Chicago fans and actually less than last year's playoff series.  Well, the 17,363 (another missed fact) was an OVERFLOW crowd because SRO tickets were sold.  101.3% of the building. Sorry..using facts again.  Hope you can translate that Fred. 

"The real test will be Wednesday night when the Coyotes host the lowly and Nash-less Columbus Blue Jackets at the Job. The crowd will be a good indicator of what to expect for the rest of the season in Phoenix for week-night games."

Oh sure..a real test is an 8 pm game against a team that doesn't draw flies on the road on a Wednesday.  Obviously Fred is setting up his example for other claims he will make in the future. In discussing this game with other hockey fans, some from other cities in Canada, they agree that's it's a tough sell for most markets.  Oh by the way, I have a feeling that section is setting up for the always lame Stubhub argument.  

"Tickets for this game are still widely available and you can attend this game for a ridiculous $4.00 or you can watch the game on the low concourse for $16.00 if your budget is bigger."

I was right.  For whatever reason, people in Quebec City can't grasp this simple and true concept.  Stubhub is a ticket agency that allows fans to "resell already purchased tickets."  Let me say that again so Fred can translate. It's for fans, and brokers, who ALREADY BOUGHT TICKETS TO RESELL THEM THERE.  Are we finally clear on this fact?  I hope so, because it's a lame point.  Let's move on. 

"Even if Greg Jamison manages to purchase the team in the upcoming days/weeks/months, it will be hard for his management group to ever turn a profit in Glendale with such low after-market ticket prices."

Again using the Stubhub model..I guess.  He doesn't back up his misguided opinion with anything.  Not even a mention of the new CBA, which will help owners in non-traditional hockey markets.  I'm starting to think I know more than him.  Reading does have that effect on me, something Fred obviously hasn't done much of here. 

As for tickets sold at the team’s box office, (Wow..he's using team numbers here..WAY TO GO FRED!!) the club ranks 29th among NHL teams regarding the average ticket price at $36.15 only in ahead of the Dallas Stars. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Jets lead the league with an average of $123.77 and $98.27 respectively.

But no mention of other revenue streams such as naming rights, parking, suite sales and other corporate sponsorships that have been ignored since the team has been run by the NHL in this sentence as he tries to qualify the "hard to turn a profit" statement.  But, hey that's using logic and facts again.  Sorry. 

"What is even more puzzling is that the AMF paid to Greg Jamison is not even on the City Council Meeting’s agenda planned later Tuesday in Glendale, which proves that the newly-elected Mayor Jerry Weiers does not intend to address the situation before the lease expires on January 31st, 2013."

And you were expecting it would be? And what, risk possible legal action if they do something before a legal document they signed is expired.  Again, another misguided comment that he didn't research.

"What will happen next is still blurry as no one really knows what is going to happen to the NHL-owned team after the shortened NHL season."

Except we will all know something after January 31st.  Does he have editors?

"Probable scenarios for the Coyotes:
1) Current lease offering expires and the Coyotes are relocated at the end of the season.
2) Greg Jamison finally closes the deal after purchasing the team from the NHL.
3) Glendale’s City Council amends the current AMF and extends it to a later date, allowing Jamison to “gather the required funds”.
4) The NHL, Greg Jamison and Glendale keep quiet and we don’t have any updates on the situation until the end of the season while the league is paying the players and the staff month by month."

Again, nothing sourced and more brain dead theories by a wannabee "journalist" In George Carlin fashion, from his take on the "Ten Commandments."  Let's just scratch 4) off the list because it's just plain dumb.  I left the vulgarities out because I am trying to keep this clean.  It's a family blog.  1) and 2) are still in play as of today, but those closer to the situation than Fred is, are still very confident 2) will win.  3) isn't going to happen and the new mayor has said as much last week.  Another fact Fred forgot to source. 

"Finally, with the ongoing construction of a new arena in Quebec City (which at last check was a giant pile of dirt somewhere in QC) and the sale of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA to a Seattle-based group led by Chris Hansen, (still not final, but hey there are those facts again) the NHL now has at least two short-term options if it were to relocate the struggling franchise."

Time to blow Fred up even more here.  For argument sake, let's say the 31st goes by and nothing is done.  What's stopping Greg Jamison from buying the team and moving them at season's end? Answer: Nothing.  I'll give you a hint Fred, if that happens, the Coyotes aren't moving to Quebec City for MANY reasons.  Seattle would be a good bet, BUT Key Arena is not built for hockey and is so bad the WHL won't play there.  Notice he mentions the problems with playing in the old building in the QC too. 

So there it is.  Another failed attempt by someone not qualified to comment on the current situation involving the Phoenix Coyotes.  Sure, it's his right to do it, but when you do it lazily and with very little effort, I also have the right to correct and call you out on your BS.  Don't quit your day job Fred and go translate the Bible or something.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Time..With FEELING!!!

Well, I've been inspired to write my first blog in 2013. Hopefully this will be an ongoing thing. My motivation is the end of the NHL lockout and the impending completion of the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Greg Jamison. First, let's look at the lockout. The NHL and NHLPA met for over 14 hours yesterday and reached an agreement on a new CBA at 3 a.m. AZ time Sunday. The season will either start on the 15th or 19th, more than likely home games for the Coyotes. Either way, hockey is back and I couldn't be happier.

Now ownership news. Now that the lockout is off the NHL's plate, the league can focus on closing the deal with Greg Jamison. Jamison said today that he expects to meet with the league later this week or early next week and begin the legalities to close the deal. It would be great if he could get the keys to the team before the puck drops on the season, but we'll see. The big point is Coyotes fans can finally put to bed constant ownership crap, from Deal or No Deal news, to Glendale City Council goofiness, to misguided pot shots from the mental midgets in Winnipeg and Quebec City and trust me, there's quite a few of them. This fan base has been tested more than any other fan base in Phoenix. They deserve to celebrate a happy ending more than most fans here. Oh, by the way, the name will be changed to the Arizona Coyotes with a new on-ice look. Probably next year, but we will see on that.

Now we get to the impending season. The Coyotes are structured very well for a short season. In my opinion, if a team wants to make the playoffs they must have solid defense and goaltending from the start. The Coyotes have that. Not only is the defense strong, but they have their best shot blocker coming back after a stint in Pittsburgh in Zybenak Michalek.

Here are my thoughts on the strengths of the Pacific Division and where the Coyotes play into all of this:


1. Anaheim
2. San Jose
3. LA
4. Phoenix
5. Dallas

Anaheim has always had a strong offense, but has had horrendous defense, which leaves Jonas Hiller exposed a lot. If they can get just average defense, they will be a better team. Until then, light the lamp. San Jose is similar, but with a better blue line now. Their biggest problem in my opinion is in net. LA is another team, strong and big up front, but lack the fire power of Anaheim and SJ. Phoenix, it is what it is and it has worked. They will need guys like David Moss and Lauri Korpikoski to step up the production.


1. Phoenix
2. LA
3. San Jose
4. Dallas
5. Anaheim

Like I stated, the Coyotes have a very strong blueline and goaltending. This will carry them far this shortened season. LA is good on the back end, but I'm still not sold on John Quick in net. The Sharks are better, but not as deep as the top two.


1. Phoenix
2. LA
3. Dallas
4. Anaheim
5. San Jose

Again, Mike Smith is one of the best in the league and the Coyotes will need a big effort this season. Quick will have to equal his play in LA and if Dallas gets any kind of improvement on its blue line, they could be good.

Pacific Prediction:

1. Phoenix (by a game over LA
2. LA
3. San Jose
4. Anaheim
5. Dallas

There it is. Now, let's get back on the ice and in the arenas and lets play some hockey.

Now, for the other sports in the valley. We know about the Cardinals. Coming off a 5-11 season, the team cleaned house for the most part. President Michael Bidwill has to hire a new GM and head coach and is in the process of interviews. We'll see what happens with the Redbirds when the draft comes and training camp begins. As for the Suns,'s a transition year. This one is tough because the longest history I have as a fan is with the Suns. The roots are deep with this team, so it hurts to see this season play out. The sports cliché is you have to be bad before you can be good. Well, the Suns are bad. We will have to see if this franchise can get back to playoff basketball fans are accustomed to.

That's about it for now. I do want to make this one suggestion. If you are looking for a place to spend your sports dollar, try the Coyotes. Sure, I understand the point it's hard to watch on TV for Joe Q sports fan. Go to Arena and give the team a try. They are the best team in town right now and look to make their fourth straight playoff appearance. Give them a try.
Happy New Year to everyone reading this. I hope 2013 is the best year ever.