Randy Turner

  • The not-so-wonderful life

    It wasn't until I was in my early 30s that I first became aware of the classic Frank Capra fairy tale It's a Wonderful Life. A friend lent me the VHS tape (kids, ask your parents) of the movie, which I never returned. My buddy was shocked someone could live so long in North America, own a television set and still be oblivious to a film that is shown, by rough estimate, a thousand times every Christmas season.
  • A beautiful game... and a spoiled sport

    One story is about a collection of men making a combined $1.8 billion in salary, toiling in luxury and adulation, involved in a bitter and confounding labour dispute with their billionaire employers. The other story is about a collection of women on amateur per diems, grabbing the attention of a nation for all the right reasons, even if only to prove not every sports fairy tale ends happily ever after.
  • City's kitty crisis

    There are two syringes sitting on top of a hard plastic box containing Kitten A and Kitten B. The five-week-old adorable balls of fur — grey and black — weren’t given names by staff at the Winnipeg Humane Society because they arrived with respiratory infections.
  • The conscience of the core

    There is a tiny home on Austin Street, trimmed the colour of pink, where Elaine Bishop tends to her prairie roses and cherry bushes in a place where dreams are rarely weeded or watered, if at all. It's a tough neighbourhood, North Point Douglas, where you might reasonably think a grey-haired, 63-year-old woman who lives alone would tread lightly.
  • Prescription for disaster

    The absolute worst thing, Jerry admitted, was stealing painkillers from the terminally ill.

  • Scheifele growing his game

    EDMONTON -- Throughout Mark Scheifeles fledgling junior hockey career, Dale Hawerchuk has served not just as his head coach but a wealth of information and guidance. After all, when it came to Scheifele, Hawerchuk had been there, done that.
  • Slot machine hits every time

    EDMONTON — One day they’re calling out 177 names before yours at the NHL entry draft. Less than two years later, the names they are calling out before yours — at least for the sake of comparison — are former stars like Tim Kerr, Dave Andreychuk and Phil Esposito.
  • Hockey is carved in Stone

    For Mark Stone, it was a journey that started with baby steps. Check that. Before baby steps.
  • Mission impossible?

    The scene could be staged, but it isn't: Winnipeg Blue Bombers massive defensive tackle Doug Brown standing at centre field in the cavernous and domed BC Place, on the eve of his final game, cracking wise when asked about the impressive stage of his final curtain call. "I'd like to see this thing get opened up," Brown says, casting his gaze straight up at the stadium's newly constructed retractable roof.
  • Cinderella story

    VANCOUVER -- If football had fairy tales, Buck Pierce would be wearing glass cleats. Pinch him. On the eve of the biggest game of his life, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback finds himself back where it all began, in the place that let him go, playing in Sunday's 99th Grey Cup for the city that gave him a new home. And new hope.
  • War is over, battles rage on

    The former soldier is pacing in circles in a small office in the bowels of a nondescript, tan brick building at 17 Wing. He can't stand still. His mind is racing, too.
  • Out of the haze? Hockey rite of passage declining, but still a reality

    Kim Davis was 22 years old, in his third year as a professional hockey player, when a group of veteran teammates jumped him, tied him down and shaved him from neck to toe. Everywhere.  
  • Go, Winnipeg Go!

    T was the mid-1970s, and John Vrooman and his college buddies were sitting around watching television deep in the heart of Texas, when something strange and “mystical” appeared on the screen. It was a Winnipeg Blue Bombers football game. Vrooman and his football-mad cohorts were entranced.
  • A big heart, a troubled mind: Rick Rypien

    He was going to wear No. 11 because he was coming home. That was the number Rick Rypien wore in junior as captain of the Regina Pats. And it's the number Rypien wore when the baby-faced kid from Coleman, Alta., first arrived in Winnipeg in March 2005, wearing a bad suit and an impish grin.
  • Fergie's Way: exclusive excerpt from new Jets book

    IT could be this simple -- that hockey hated Tom McVie.

    Perhaps, somehow in the past, or in another life, the diminutive scamp who escaped the mining smelters in Trail, B.C. and served for a time as coach of the Winnipeg Jets, had wronged the game’s gods.

    Maybe it was somewhere along his 17-year minor-league odyssey that included stints with such wild west outfits as the Toledo Mercurys, Seattle Totems and Portland Buckaroos.

    How else could one explain the utter lack of fortune for a head coach who managed to survive the travails of the 1975-76 Washington Capitals, a collection of post-expansion misfits coming off a soul-crushing 8-67-5 debut season? It was McVie’s sorry predecessor with the Capitals, Jim Anderson, who once sighed, “I’d rather find out my wife was cheating on me than keep losing like this. At least I could tell my wife to cut it out.” The Caps lost 67 games. Then Anderson got canned.

  • What have we here?

    Here's a question for the Manitoba Moose: Where the heck did that come from? After all, this was a team trailing the best-of-seven North division final 2-0 to the Hamilton Bulldogs, who'd beaten them eight straight. Late in the second period in Game 3, they were trailing the crucial match 2-1.
  • Shtick save

    Not long ago, amiable Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel was in the middle of a media scrum, chatting away, when up walks his goaltender, Eddie Lack, who hands him a pink cap emblazoned with the letters, "LVP". Noel looks at the hat, quizzically, and ventures: "Least Valuable Player?" "Yeah," Lack confirms, and scoots away back to the Moose den.
  • Moose take it on snout

    The plan was to let the Manitoba Moose sleep in Wednesday morning. But dozing off in the third period? Not so much.
  • Burtnyk having seniors moment

    If this was a movie, Kerry Burtnyk would turn to his BTF (best third forever) Jeff Ryan and during a climactic scene would utter, "Did you hear? We're getting the band back together." Well, not the band exactly, but the rink. Don't look now, but after a hall of fame career highlighted by one world championship, two Briers and five provincial titles, Burtnyk is officially a senior curling citizen.
  • Looking for a career challenge? Coyotes have a gig for you

    The listing on Salesheads.com is job No. 22972719. The location is Glendale, A.Z. The description is "sales and management."
  • 'We were thinking about partying'

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It was the mourning after, and a Team Canada player sat alone in the Buffalo airport terminal, looking like his dog had been hit by a bus. Check that. It looked like his dog had eaten his cat, then gotten hit buy a bus.
  • Canada crushed

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Just call them the Khomeback Khids. In defiance of 18,000 rabid "hometown" fans, Russia staged one of the most dramatic comebacks in world junior championship history -- scoring five unanswered third-period goals -- to stun Team Canada 5-3 and claim gold in Buffalo on Wednesday night.
  • Russians have luck, we have birthright

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Forgive the Russians if they're feeling a little divine intervention these days. In the quarter-finals, they trailed the Finns 3-1 with under four minutes left, popped a pair in two minutes, and won in overtime.
  • Showdown in the U.S.-of-eh

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The away team will be playing at home, at least if the crowd counts. One of the Canadians will be playing in the American city where he was born. The American goaltender is a teammate of the Canadian captain.
  • Schwartz not feeling sorry for himself

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Team Canada's Jaden Schwartz was on crutches, his left leg in a cast. Done for the world junior hockey tournament with a broken ankle suffered in the Canadians' 7-2 rout over the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.

About Randy Turner

While attending Boissevain High School in the late 1970’s, Randy Turner one day read an account of a Winnipeg Jets game in the Free Press when it dawned on him: "Really, you can get paid to watch sports?"

Turner later graduated with a spectacularly mediocre 2.3 GPA from Red River Community College’s Creative Communications program. 

After jobs at the Stonewall Argus and Selkirk Journal, he began working on the Rural page for the Free Press in 1987. Several years later, he realized his dream of watching sports for a living covering the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Bombers.

In 2001, Turner became a general sports columnist, where he watched Canada win its first Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey in 50 years at Salt Lake, then watched them win again in Vancouver in 2010.

He also watched everything from high school hockey and volleyball championship to several Grey Cups, NHL finals and World Junior hockey tournaments.

In the fall of 2011, Turner became a general features writer for the paper. But he still watches way too much sports.

Turner has been nominated for three National Newspaper Awards in sports writing.


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