Thursday, March 24, 2011

Instant Replay is Alive!

We've got a few emails recently asking where we've been. Well, Instant Replay is now being housed on the Chatham-Kent Sports Network. Founded by Instant Replay author Ian Kennedy, the Chatham-Kent Sports Network, or CKSN for short, looks to offer sports news, scores, and of course opinions on sports in Chatham-Kent, as well as professional, college, and international sports.

Check it out. If you want to read the latest column by Ian Kennedy, just click here: Instant Replay Sports by Ian Kennedy.

Thanks and don't worry, we'll keep posting here from time to time as well.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Missing Instant Replay?

If you're missing Instant Replay, make sure you check out my weekly sports column at the Chatham-Kent Daily Post.

Cheers and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ole Espana - My World Cup experience in Spain

July 12, 2010 - Madrid, Spain - epa02246623 Spanish national soccer team players Alvaro Arbeloa (L), Victor Valdes (2L) and sergio Busquets (R) toss team mate Andres Iniesta (C) on a giant stage placed at the Puente del Rey promenade, next to the Manzanares river in Madrid, central Spain, after the arrival of the Spanish national soccer team on 12 July 2010. Spain won the FIFA 2010 World Cup final 1-0 against Netherlands.
I have never liked soccer. Not one bit. Too many dives and players splashing around on the ground like a fish out of water.
My recent trip to Spain however, during the World Cup, has changed my perspective on the "World's most popular sport." I don't know what it was exactly, I'd like to guess in fact that it wasn't the actual sport of soccer that won me over.

Rather, it was the people. Celebrating in the streets of Madrid after a quarterfinal victory over Paraguay, and then on the beach of Malaga after Spain beat Germany in the semifinals, I fell in love with soccer. Not for the skill of the players, which became more apparent with every game I watched, and definitely not for the yellow and red cards, for which, I still say the majority of fouls are faked, but for the people.

For the impact of the game on the people, and now, the impact of the game on me. If you'd like to read about my entire trip and World Cup experience, check out my sports column for the Chatham-Kent Daily Post: Ole Espana - My World Cup Experience

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The agony of defeat, NHL style

Detroit Red Wings v San Jose Sharks - Game Five

It's always a tough day. That is, the day after your favourite team is eliminated from the playoffs. For me, that day is today. Last night, my Detroit Red Wings met their demise against the San Jose Sharks.

It was a long season for the Wings, one in which no one expected them to succeed, at least until after the Olympic break. Now it's a summer of building and one filled with uncertainty. Especially with the potential retirement of Niclas Lidstrom. Even if the future Hall of Famer doesn't retire, this playoff season made it all too clear that he has lost a step.

So what is next? Well for me, I'll still be watching hockey, but with a little less vigor. And just like those NHL players, it's time for a little golf. Plus, the Wings can rid themselves of the traditional playoff beards.

I am cautiously optimistic about the Red Wings' future. They don't seem to have a hidden Datsyuk or Zetterberg on the horizon (with the possible exception of Tomas Tartar. But who knows, they wouldn't be hidden if we saw it coming.

In net, I think Jimmy Howard did a fine job and that he is capable of carrying the team again next season. I would like to see a young back up come in and replace Osgood. With multiple Stanley Cup rings in his cupboard, it's time for Ozzy to gracefully bow out.

For those of you who question why Detroit is still "Hockeytown," well, try four Stanley Cups since 1997 and the longest active playoff streak in professional sports. Sure, the Red Wings will go through struggles in the coming years, just as the city of Detroit has done, but everytime an octopus hits the ice, it will definitely bring chills to the spines of thousands of fans, including mine.

Let the games begin.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Our wedding invitation to Steve Yzerman

Columbus Blue Jackets v Detroit Red Wings

This letter is a little late as you can find it already posted on the CIK Marketing Blog and Chatham-Kent Daily Post, but I thought I would give it a whirl here too. What's cooler, is that within hours of this article surfacing, Steve Yzerman's people actually contacted my fiancee about her wedding invite to Stevie Y:

Dear Mr. Yzerman,

I know you’re a very busy man. In the past year you’ve been involved with the Canadian men’s Olympic hockey team, you’ve been spotted scouting at various Ontario Hockey League playoff games, and right now, your Detroit Red Wings are battling it out against the San Jose Sharks in Stanley Cup playoff action. But with that being said, I really need a minute or two of your time. I’m writing this letter because I need your help.

You see Mr. Yzerman, I’m engaged to be married on June the 26th, and I have a sinking suspicion that my soon-to-be husband loves you more than he will ever love me. And I don’t mean in a creepy way; his love for you is pure and genuine. I guess I really can’t blame him; he’s followed your career since he was a young boy and knows more about you than you probably know about yourself. You’ve been the most important figure in his life for more than a quarter century, and that is why I would like to invite you and your family to join us on June 26th as a guest of honour at our wedding.

Now, I know you probably get a lot of these sorts of invitations from so-called “die-hard” fans, but believe me; no one loves the Red Wings and Stevie Y quite like my fiancée. Ian knows everything about your career, from your birth city in B.C. and your days as a Peterborough Pete, right up to your final minute of play as a Red Wing. He knows every goal and every assist. He knows that you scored your milestone 500th goal on Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche on January 17th, 1996, and that you played a record 23 seasons with the Red Wings. He’s seen you play dozens of times at the Joe, and I’d hazard to say he’s never missed a single game on television. Heck, he proposed to me on the 19th of October, (and no, the date wasn’t just a coincidence). He’s walked in Stanley Cup parades and cried after playoff loses. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been forced to watched that overtime goal from 1996, when you beat Jon Casey with a slap shot from the blue line to win the Western Semifinals in double O.T. of game seven. And while he still loves the Red Wings more than anyone ever should, it’s just not quite the same as when you were wearing the “C”.

I know you’re schedule is probably pretty booked in the upcoming months, but not to worry – Ian made sure the wedding date didn’t conflict with the NHL playoff schedule. (I’d have been walking down the aisle by myself had the ceremony taken place on the same day as a Stanley Cup Final game). He’s also gone ahead and re-arranged the head table seating plan so you’ll have a prominent spot… in my chair. There would have been a Stanley Cup wedding cake too, but I had to draw the line somewhere. All of the arrangements have been made; all we need now is to hear back from you. You can reply by email to

So Stevie (can I call you Stevie?), what do you say? Nothing would make my fiancée happier than to have you as an honoured guest at our upcoming wedding. It would truly make the wedding the most memorable day of his life. Just be forewarned – I come from a family of die hard Maple Leafs fans, so expect to hear plenty of crazy talk about playoff hopes for next year.

Best of luck to you and the boys in game four tonight… you can rest assured that Ian and I will be watching.


Chantielle MacFarlane

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Should your sports team be using social media?

Facebook Hosts Conference On Future Of Social Technologies

We've all seen the horror stories of pro athletes misusing Twitter and Facebook. I've seen my fair share of NHL friends posting pictures on Facebook they wouldn't want to be public. I've seen NFL and NBA players bashing teammates or referees.

Beyond the negatives however, social media and networking has a world of benefits for professional and amateur sports teams. From promoting athletes, marketing your team to fans, and connecting with parents, players, and media, social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and even blogging can benefit your team.

I recently wrote a guest blog for a Chatham-Kent Marketing company, CIK Marketing, on this topic. Check it out, let me know what you think, and if you need help utilizing social media for your team, feel free to contact me or the good people at CIK Marketing: Should sports teams use social media?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The plague of Toronto sports

Blue Jays pitcher Marcum and catcher Buck sit on the bench during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

If you're a Canadian sports fan, or just a sports fan in general, you've likely seen a trend over the last few years. It has to do with professional sports teams from Toronto.

How are fans still putting up with the mis-management, frequent collapse, exodus of top players, and losing seasons? There is something to be said as a fan for dedication to your team, but there is a point where the fans move from dedicated to dumb. Just take a look at the six Toronto teams:

+ Toronto Raptors have never won an NBA championshop, haven't made the playoffs in two years, and haven't won a playoff series in the last decade.
+ Toronto Maple Leafs haven't won an NHL championship since 1967 and haven't made the playoffs since 2003-2004.
+ Toronto Blue Jays have not made the playoffs since they won the World Series title in 1993.
+ Toronto Rock lacrosse team have failed to make the playoffs the last two season and haven't won a series since they were league champions in 2005.
+ Toronto FC has yet to qualify for the playoffs since entering the MLS in 2007.
+ Toronto Argonauts, this may sound like a broken record, but no playoff appearances in the last two seasons.

The losing history of Toronto sports teams in the last two seasons is incredible. Due to this lack of success, top professional free agents have avoided Toronto like the plague. The ultimate goal for most professional athletes is to win a championship, and if recent history serves, that is not an option in Toronto.

If it were only one team struggling, the source would be easy to trace, but the widespread failure of Toronto teams is incredible. Why are they losing, collectively? I would tend to blame poor management.

The Leafs selling off draft picks for overrated players, the Raptors inability to keep star players happy or to surround them with legitimate support, and I won't even begin with the Blue Jays.

Kudos to the dedicated fans, even if you are disillusioned. With six professional teams in the city of Toronto, you would have to predict one will make the playoffs in the next year...or two. Maybe.