January 1, 2018

QotD: Edmonton in winter

Filed under: Cancon, Humour, Quotations — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

Winter [in Edmonton] appeals to the (decidedly narrow) ascetic side of my temperament, but right now this place is pretty Dantean — empty, forlorn, and still, all sound half-absorbed by the snow. On the days when there’s no cloud, the sunlight hits the street with a blinding chemical whiteness that makes you wonder if God is screwing around with Photoshop filters. Most days, the sun is obscured by a gray-pink gauze that leaves you uncertain what planet you’re on. Heroin has never been a popular drug here: we all already know what it’s like to be dead.

Colby Cosh, “White City”, ColbyCosh.com, 2004-10-26.

May 1, 2015

Does anyone really know what’s happening in Alberta?

Filed under: Cancon, Politics — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

The last provincial election in Alberta exposed the polling organizations’ flaws for all to see, and the self-destruction of the Wildrose party, followed almost immediately by the PC budget fiasco mean that nobody seems to have a clue what the voters will end up doing next week. Colby Cosh is right there with his finger on the political pulse, and even he’s not sure what to expect when the votes are counted:

Nobody trusts the polls. They are mostly being conducted by unfamiliar firms with no record of Alberta tea-leaf reading. But the signal that the New Democratic Party is close to a sweep in Edmonton is so strong that it cannot be ignored. Three different firms who polled the city on or about April 23 have the NDP at 56 per cent, 61 per cent and 54 per cent among decided voters.

There are many undecideds, and they may scooch toward the PCs. But … 54 per cent? 61 per cent? That is a lot of mileage to make up, even if the polls are badly out of whack. NDP Leader Rachel Notley was widely seen — right across the partisan spectrum — to have won the April 23 TV debate. Thomas Lukaszuk’s northwest Edmonton PC seat ought to be one of the safest in the city. When he endorsed the NDP’s corporate tax hike on April 21, contradicting his own party’s platform, it was a hint that internal Tory polls must look almost as bad as the published ones.


Notley will be the emerging star of the campaign even if she takes third place. During the TV debate she benefited from a tart exchange in which Premier Jim Prentice, trying to emphasize that Notley would raise provincial corporate tax rates by 20 per cent, quipped: “I know math is difficult.” He was trying to crack wise about the NDP making accounting mistakes in the original release of its budget plan. But the joke came off as “mansplaining,” which, for future readers, was a borderline capital crime in 2015.

Notley was also ready with a counter to Prentice’s actual debating point, insisting that the NDP’s fast correction of its error was an example of transparency and accountability. She also got off the best joke of the night: after Prentice mixed it up a little with Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, she told the premier: “That’s not the way to talk to a donor!” This was a cheeky reminder that Jean’s Fort McMurray-based company had donated $10,000 to Prentice’s 2014 leadership campaign.

June 28, 2013

Edmonton and Calgary – united by mutual dislike

Filed under: Cancon, Media — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 13:51

When the flooding hit Calgary, some of the first responders to the scene from outside the city were soldiers from Edmonton. There were several jokes on Twitter about the war of words between the two cities, and a few “invasion” hints, but for those of us outside Alberta local politics, we just didn’t know:

Calgary and Edmonton mutual dislike

I think we have a new meme.

May 2, 2013

Warren Moon says Tim Tebow couldn’t hack it in the CFL

Filed under: Cancon, Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 13:50

And if there’s anyone in the NFL’s Hall of Fame who also knows what it takes to be a great quarterback in the CFL, it’s Warren Moon:

Hall of Famer Warren Moon said in a radio interview Wednesday that the Canadian Football League is not a viable option for Tim Tebow to prove he can play quarterback, as the former Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t throw the ball well enough to play in the league.

“You have to be able to throw the ball up there, if anything. They throw the ball a lot. It’s only three downs, so the passing game is much more important up there, and there’s a lot more field to cover,” Moon said in an interview with KILT-AM in Houston.

“If you can’t throw the football, it doesn’t matter where you play quarterback,” he said. “You have to be able to throw it. That’s his biggest problem, just being able to complete passes, be an accurate passer. I think he’s a really good athlete playing the position, but I don’t think that’s enough sometimes.”

Tebow cleared waivers on Tuesday after being released by the New York Jets. The Montreal Alouettes, who own his CFL rights, have said they would welcome Tebow to the league — provided he’s willing to compete for a job as a backup quarterback.

[. . .]

Moon played six seasons in the CFL after going undrafted out of Washington in 1978, leading his Edmonton Eskimos to five consecutive Grey Cup titles, throwing for 21,228 yards with 144 touchdowns and 77 interceptions. In 17 NFL seasons, he threw for 49,325 yards, 291 touchdowns and 233 interceptions. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Moon said he thinks that if Tebow wants to continue playing in the NFL, he’ll have to switch to another position. Moon told ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Monday, “I don’t think it’s going to happen at the quarterback position for him, at least not in the National Football League. You have to be able to throw the football before everything else happens.

November 22, 2012

Tim Tebow … future CFL star?

Filed under: Cancon, Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:54

Edmonton is crying out for a quality quarterback to take the Eskimos back to glory (or something that might pass for glory in poor light). Colby Cosh explains:

Tim Tebow. Say what you want about the man, and you will, but he is good copy. I got into a Tebow discussion the other day on Twitter after I started wishing aloud that he would come to Edmonton and save our CFL Eskimos from the wretched, dare I say almost Rider-like, state into which they have fallen. I was not really being serious. Well, OK: maybe ten percent serious.

About a year ago our genius general manager Eric Tillman decided to risk all on one turn of pitch-and-toss and trade our longtime quarterback, Ricky Ray, for magic beans from a passing pedlar. This decision was second-, third-, and nth-guessed at the time, and it was, we now know, rabidly opposed by head coach Kavis Reed. Ray does not throw the ball very far, or in an especially conventional way, but he has supreme accuracy statistics and had won two Grey Cups in Edmonton with pretty underwhelming teams. (The once-proud Eskies have not had a 12-win season yet in this century.)

Ray was divisive, though, Lordy, not Tebow divisive. But the trade united the city in agreement that the return was disappointing, and the unfolding of the Esks’ 7-11 season emphasized this in an especially brutal way. Peaceable Canada has never approved of the American practices of tarring and feathering or hastening the unwelcome out of town on a rail, but Tillman came within about a micron of it.

As with any healthy, anatomically intact young football fan, my thoughts sometimes turn to the curiously saintly, annihilatingly gifted Tebow. Last year’s Denver Broncos hero has entered the metaphorical wilderness of the New York Jets roster, where he spells off starting QB Mark Sanchez for a few snaps a game, plays on special teams, and for all I know mops the locker room. He is paid well for this, but it is not doing much for what you would call his human capital. In practices, Sanchez gets the vast majority of the “reps” — i.e., the work of simulating real plays. Tebow’s experience as a “punt protector” has been unhappy. There is already tremendous prejudice against him in the league, because he throws a football in a faintly silly way, and the longer he goes without running an offence as a quarterback, the less likely he is to ever be asked to do it again. Catch-22.

October 8, 2009

A solid reason I wouldn’t want to move to Edmonton

Filed under: Cancon, Environment — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:28

Colby Cosh does the spreadsheet thing to prove that I, un-winterized Canadian that I am, would fare poorly in extra-early permanent snowfall Edmonton.

Toronto may not really be the centre of the universe, but at least it’s not like most of Canada, snow-and-winter-cold-wise.

Powered by WordPress