Coach's mission touching

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

Danny Maciocia's schedule is wicked during the football season.

Into the office by 6:30 a.m. and often still poring over game plan details until hours past supper, it's a gruelling pace.

But the personable Eskimos head coach has gladly added another assignment to his plate.

As of yesterday, Maciocia will visit the Stollery Children's Hospital the day before every home game this year.

"It is extremely important to me," said Maciocia, who is a father of two little girls.

"I love kids."

But more importantly for the coach, it's a chance to make a sick child's day a little brighter.

"One of the highlights for me after winning the Grey Cup was bringing the Grey Cup to the Stollery with Ronald McLendon," recalled Maciocia.

"And clearly, of all the places that we visited with the Grey Cup (in the off-season), that was by far the most satisfactory.

"For that period of time, I believe that the last thing the kids are thinking about is why they are there (in the hospital)."

And after seeing the children's eyes light up with the Grey Cup in sight, Maciocia decided he had to visit throughout this year.

He spent about 90 minutes yesterday, visiting 20 children and letting the youngsters wear his Grey Cup ring.

WORLD WIDE WEB: The Edmonton Eskimos' regular-season home opener can be watched live in the comfort of your own home tonight. But - no - it won't be on your TV screen, as the game will be blacked out on TSN.

Instead, for the first time ever, the game will be available live through Webcast on the CFL's website. (www.cfl.ca )

The only hitch for fans is the cost.

Although the Webcast is essentially a simulcast of the TSN or CBC broadcast, the CFL will charge $9.95 per game.

"If you look at most sports, they have gone in with a pay service," said Brent Scrimshaw, the CFL's chief marketing officer, while defending the decision to charge money.

Every regular season game will be live on the Internet for the rest of the year.

If the Webcasts become rather popular, the CFL may drop the pay-per view fee. Scrimshaw also admits the league might begin to black out the games in the home market if the Webcasts hurt ticket sales.


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