Monday, August 3, 2015

Something To "Mitch" About

Happy Saskatchewan Day!!!

It was yet another unhappy Saskatchewan night on Friday as the Riders lost to the Eskimos.

I didn't think the Riders would win in Edmonton and the scoreboard showed that, but I didn't mind what I saw from the football team.

Before we get to that though, let's get to Winnipeg Free Press reporter and CFL insider Gary Lawless who for the 2nd time claims Corey Chamblin is about to be fired as head coach. If you missed it on TSN Saturday night, Lawless claimed from a "senior Riders executive" Brendan Taman would be meeting with Craig Reynolds perhaps as early as Sunday and recommending Chamblin be fired after the Toronto game next week. If this does not happen, Lawless goes on to say the executive will clean house at the end of the season meaning Taman will also be gone. If Lawless is right (and I say if), who is this senior Riders executive and why he is leaking out something which shouldn't be? I would be very concerned if I were the organization about this happening if it has happened because that isn't the way to conduct business. If it is right, don't wait for the Toronto game now, just do it. You can find an interim guy for the Toronto game and then get your guys in place after the bye week. Lawless does a good job of covering his butt with his phrasing should it not happen, but I'm not buying it.

Has Chamblin done a good job this year? The record would indicate he hasn't, but he also hasn't had the services of the lineup he wanted on the field for one quarter this year.  While it has been said many times, this team has lost Durant, Emry, Brown, McDougall, Legree, Steinhauer, McHenry and Moore for multiple games. Each of those guys plays a significant role to this football team. Chamblin and the Riders have had the deck stacked against them from the first quarter of the first game. If he gets canned before or after the Toronto game, so be it. However, one can't deny Chamblin has not had the personnel needed to be successful and while Brendan Taman has brought in guys like Jake Doughty, Brett Smith, Jeff Knox Junior, Derek Walker, Jerome Messam and Tyree Hollins (who also may miss a good deal of time) amongst others.  There is a lot of Chamblin and Taman hate out there and I understand that, but some of that anger is misguided. There is no way this football team is 0-6 if this team has Durant and Emry playing for them. No way whatsoever! Chamblin has not had a good year making decisions and yes, he needs to relinquish the defensive play-calling to Greg Quick but that isn't going to change the way this team tackles is it?

Getting to the game, and yeah it was ugly again. However, I was pleasantly surprised because it wasn't as bad as many of us thought it was going to be. The defence still had too many missed tackles and second and long conversions allowed, but I thought that was their best game of the season which admittedly isn't saying much considering how they played in the first 5.

I also thought Brett Smith looked pretty good in there for his first pro start.  Like a lot of you, I was baffled as to why he was replaced by Tino Sunseri as he needs all the reps he can get, but I think if the team sticks with Smith moving forward they won't be as bad as what many think they will be. The Sunseri experiment may be close to an end though.

As this losing streak continues, the calls on the 620 CKRM post game show get more comical. While there are many fans out there who have legitimate gripes and concerns about the football team, there are some out there who just make me shake my head and wonder what exactly is in their water bottle.  Last week, a woman phoned up saying Gainer has to take responsibility because he hasn't brought his "A"game to the table and then Friday night, a woman phones up and says the Riders are more than a football team, they are our province and management is letting the province down by what is going on. She then goes to inform Michael Ball and Luc Mullinder that she knew this was going to happen and that is why she did not renew her season tickets.  Hey Toots, if you gave up your season tickets before the season started because you knew this was going to happen than you should have bought a lottery ticket because I'm sure you would have won and could be sitting on some tropical island somewhere. If you were so upset with the football team after last year and cancelled your season tickets than why are you bemoaning the fate of the club now. Seems a little hypocritical to me to say how important they are on one hand and then how they aren't important to you anymore.

How bad is it getting for the Riders when it comes to injuries. Its now hit the media! The Leader-Post's gruff but lovable Murray McCormick was seemingly absent during the game on his Twitter feed. It was revealed Saturday morning that while the Riders were doing their thing on the Commonwealth Stadium turf that Murray was not doing his thing because he was at an Edmonton hospital after falling on the way inside to Commonwealth.  He is apparently fine, but there is no word at this time if he will be the latest to go on the 6 game injury list.  GET BETTER MURRAY!!! The wasps are waiting for you.


NFL training camps are underway. Thank god!!! We are inching closer and closer to weekend television being filled with football again!  There is obviously a lot of interest with how Ben Heenan will do in Indianapolis and how Brett Jones will fare with the New York Giants. Don't forget about Brian Peters and the Vikings. I don't know how much the various teams will report on the progress of those three, but I am guessing many of us will be looking the same way we were when Weston Dressler was in Kansas City last year. ESPN looked at all teams and came up with a 53 man roster projection for all which doesn't mean a lot at this time of year, but the four-letter has Heenan making the Colts with Jones and Peters seeing their dream of being an NFL'er get dashed. Time will tell.

I was devastated late Friday afternoon when word came down the legendary "Rowdy Roddy Piper" had died at the age of 61.  I'm not going to lie. I LOVED THIS GUY!!! There was no better heel in wrestling and his Pipers Pit segments were pure gold.  He is one of the reasons I still love wrestling to this day. In fact, one wonders where wrestling would be today were it not for his antics in the ring with Cyndi Lauper back in the 80's as that was the catalyst for the first ever Wrestlemania which made the business what it is today. He was one of the best entertainers ever and he entertained many during his day. RIP Hot Rod and thank you for the memories!


What can you say about Ronda Rousey that hasn't been said before? Just another incredible display by Rousey at UFC 190 as she took down her opponent in just over 30 seconds. Her last three fights have lasted 64 seconds.

Let's be honest Rider fans, are you now more interested in the fate of your favourite CFL team or the fate of the Blue Jays or how your favourite NFL team is about to do. Be honest! I think many in these parts will be trading in their football watching habits for baseball over the month of August and into September as well as the Jays look to end their lengthy playoff drought.  I noticed Friday night TSN has hopped on the bandwagon by having post-game comments live from Josh Donaldson after their win over Kansas City. Get ready for all Blue Jays all the time and it may even impact the day to day doings of the Leafs. I know that seems hard to believe, but it will.  With the Jays getting Mark Lowe and Latroy Hawkins, one has to wonder how much we will see of Aaron Loup the rest of the way. I'm guessing the answer is not much! How bout their game on Sunday? Umpire Tim Wolf botched that from the get-go and I am guessing every fan at Rogers Centre and those on TV were hoping Donaldson would crank one out in the 9th. If those two teams should meet in the playoffs, there will be a lot of fireworks.  That game on Sunday was unbelievable and Wolf poured gas on it right from the moment Donaldson had one go high and tight on him after a warning had been issued. You just knew the benches were ready to empty and when Aaron Sanchez hit Alcides Escobar it was game on!!


Another year of the Queen City Ex has come and gone. Once again, what a fantastic display when it comes to people-watching. It takes all kinds to make our society tick and all kinds is certainly what you find as you walk up and down the midway checking everything out.  One of the things the family checked out was the RCMP Musical Ride. It was outstanding.


There is a hockey game on TSN tonight as Canada plays Russia at the Summer Showcase. ITS AUGUST 3!! WE DON'T NEED HOCKEY!!!!

Instead of watching a hockey game, head to Currie Field and check out the Regina Red Sox as they battle Yorkton in playoff action. Regina won Game 1 in the best of 5 series Sunday night.


Enjoy your holiday Monday!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Chris Milo Re-Surfaces

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker Chris Milo has a new home.

Milo has signed a contract with the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

He was let go by the Riders after the Week 1 loss to Winnipeg.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Depth Chart for Friday's Game in Edmonton

This and That

The weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.

--It doesn't matter if Matt Nichols, James Franklin, Jordan Lynch or Tom Wilkinson is quarterbacking the Eskimos tonight. If the Riders defence doesn't start playing to their capabilities, Edmonton wins. They may have done so already with Brett Smith calling the signals as Chris Jones may be bringing blitzes from the seats. You may want to cover your eyes by half-time of this one, It may not be pretty. That being said, Smith has known he will be the starter since Kevin Glenn went down and he did make the Eskimos defence look silly as Chris Jones said in Fort McMurray. I think Jones is once again being melodramatic and is trying to sell some tickets, but who knows.  It is at times like this when the Riders pull together and pull one out. Get out there and play the game and let's see what happens.

--The Riders are what the record says they are and that is how they will be defined, but there is not one person out there who could have seen what has happened in the last five games coming. If you did, go buy a lottery ticket and find some warm weather place to retire in.

--Say what you will about Corey Chamblin, but this bad start is nothing compared to what the mood was like when Greg Marshall was calling the shots. There is still a positive vibe flowing through that dressing room. When Marshall was here, that vibe wasn't there and you could tell. These players want to play for Chamblin and they have a respect for their head coach. Injuries can't be used as an excuse, but once again you have to ask where this team would be if Darian Durant, Shea Emry, Weldon Brown, Tristan Jackson, Mark Legree and Keenan McDougall and others were all healthy. There is no way they would be 0-6.  Does that exonerate the squad from their performance and Coach C from what has happened. No it does not, but the Riders have not gotten any luck this year. NONE!

--Hall of Fame columnist Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun has a great column this week asking if the 0-5 performance of the Riders with 0-6 staring them right in the face will have a negative affect on the Eskimos when it comes to attendance. Will the Edmonton and Northern Alberta chapter of the Rider Nation decide to sit this one out because of the horrible start? Eskimos president Len Rhodes says the absence of Rider Nation may be offset by those in Edmonton who are jumping on the bandwagon, but Jones asks a great question. If Rider fans don't show up en masse in Edmonton the way they have in the past, will they head to Winnipeg for the Banjo Bowl and will they lessen the green tinge at MacMahon Stadium.  The Riders drive the CFL in many ways and attendance is one of those ways. The Riders have only played one road game this year and only 23-thousand showed up in BC.  Attendance is down in the CFL and if Rider fans start to stay away from road games, it may go down even more.

--I was asked if I had seen the movie "Trainwreck" the other night to which I responded, yes I have been to all four Rider home games this year. It hasn't been a PG13 effort either.

--Alouettes coach and GM Tom Higgins says Michael Sam will play in August. Good! Then we will see if this guy can play the game or if he can't and if it is the latter, the excuse of his sexuality won't be brought into question. I don't know how serious Sam is taking the Canadian style of game as he seems to be more concerned with other things in his life right now, but lets see him get on the field and do his thing.

--Deflategate won't end and listening to American sports talk radio is fascinating because each host has his own take to it. I have heard pro-Brady arguments, I have heard anti-Brady arguments, I have heard Goodell must go arguments. I've heard it all. In the end, I just think Tom should come clean and accept his punishment.  I think America would be more forgiving if that were to happen and his legacy wouldn't be tarnished at all.  Brady didn't help himself by not turning over his cellphone and then instructing his assistant to destroy it just hours before he was to meet with Ted Wells. He knew exactly what he was doing, but he also didn't think the "Golden Boy" of the NFL would be treated this way by Goodell.   If Goodell had reduced Brady's sentence, he would have, in essence, ruled against himself. He also would have undermined Ted Wells, the man he paid millions to investigate the controversy, which is exactly why he should not have been the arbiter in this appeal. The NFL Players Association has said Brady will go to court to amend this issue, so the madness continues.  As I said, accept your punishment, acknowledge your role, sit the four games and move on. Letting this drag out potentially hurts Brady and the Patriots more.

--Less than a month until UFC Fight Night in Saskatoon. Can't wait!

--I was told once many years ago that the weather cycle is 6 months and if you get rain in July or August, you will get snow in January and February. If that is true, we are in for a helluva snowstorm in late January after what we saw this week. I hope that's an Old Wives tale! By the way, I would much rather take what he had Monday and Tuesday then a winter storm like that.

--It is a year too late in my mind, but Alex Anthopoulos is rolling the dice. He finally realized this team had to trade some solid prospects to get an established player. Yes, David Price may be only be a Blue Jay for two months, but so was David Cone in 1993 and the Blue Jays won a World Series. No one will care if Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd are constant 16-17 game winners if Toronto doesn't win. I don't think they catch the Yankees, but the wild-card is there for the taking and if they get there, we know Price starts Game 1. I just hope for Toronto fans that whoever they play in that wildcard game doesn't get to the Toronto bullpen because they still scare the hell out of me. If you have confidence in Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil, Liam Hendriks and Latroy Hawkins, you should be commended or committed.

--If you would have walked up to a sports fan in Toronto on Thursday and said "Congrats, you got Price", I wonder how many would have thought they had landed the Canadiens goalie. The number may be higher than you think.

 --Jose Bautista was not a happy Blue Jay last year when Anthopoulos did nothing to improve the team going into the stretch drive. This year after Tulowitzki was acquired and Bautista was asked for his thoughts, the quote was "I think there's upgrades in different areas, maybe not necessarily what we need, but it is an upgrade if you want to look at it that way. That really isn't an endorsement coming from a "team leader". Bautista is a piece the Blue Jays need as they move forward, but he is also a piece that can be expendable for the right price. Don't be surprised if he gets moved in the off-season.

--Would Toronto be a good host for a future Summer Olympics? I think it would be great, but the overexposure leading up to the games would be nauseating. At least Cathal Kelly would be happy after being upset that the FIFA Womens World Cup never called Toronto home.

--Congratulations to the Regina senior little league team that went to the Canadians and won for the 2nd straight year. The team is off to Bangor, Maine for the Little League Senior World Series. This squad did better than many other Canadian teams last year and a lot of the kids are back so lets see what they can do this year.

--That's all I got. GO RIDERS. Have a great weekend. Have a great long weekend that is!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

David Price is a member of the Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired ace left-hander David Price from the Detroit Tigers,

In exchange, the Tigers will receive left-handers Daniel Norris, Jairo Labourt, and Matt Boyd. The Blue Jays will take on the entirety of Price's remaining salary.
In 21 starts for Detroit this season, Price is 9-4 with a 2.53 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 146 innings.
The 29-year-old Price, acquired by the Tigers from the Tampa Bay Rays prior to last year's deadline, will be a free agent after this season.

Price is the second major acquisition for the Blue Jays this week. In a stunning pickup early Tuesday, they acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies.
While another bat was nice, the Blue Jays certainly need the rotation help --€“ their starters rank 23rd in the majors with a 4.34 ERA. At 51-51, Toronto is seven games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East but just two games back in the AL wild-card race.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants reportedly were among the other serious suitors for Price.
Price is the third ace to be moved in recent days, joining Cole Hamels (from the Philadelphia Phillies to Texas Rangers) and Johnny Cueto (from the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Riders QB Shuffle Continues

Riders head coach Corey Chamblin announced Wednesday afternoon Kevin Glenn has been put on the six game injured list. Glenn suffered a torn pectoral injury that Chamblin says will not require surgery.

It means Brett Smith will become the 6th Rider quarterback to start a game since last year's Banjo Bowl as he joins Darian Durant, Glenn, Tino Sunseri, Kerry Joseph and Seth Doege.

Chamblin said another quarterback would be brought in and it appears that quarterback could be Blake Sims. Those who follow US College Football closely would know Sims was the quarterback of the Alabama Crimson Tide who were the number one ranked team in college football until getting knocked off by the eventual national champion Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl.

Sims spent one year as QB of the Tide and in that one year, he completed 64 and a half percent of his passes, threw 28 TD's, 10 INTS and had just under 3500 yards passing.

Willy to Start for Bombers Against Lions

Drew Willy's brief time on the sideline with a lower body injury is over, as the Blue Bombers announced Wednesday that their franchise quarterback will return to start in Thursday's game vs. BC. 
Willy was sidelined in the third quarter of last weekend's 32-3 loss in Edmonton to the Eskimos with what the team called a lower body injury. He didn't return to that game, however the team said Monday that Willy's injury was not considered serious, making him probably for Thursday's home game against the Lions.
The 28-year-old has played an integral role in the Bombers' resurgence starting last season, while currently he sits second among starting CFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of 109.2. Willy has not missed a start this season and will look to lead the Bombers to win number three of 2015 against a tough Lions club.
Willy has completed 71.2 per cent of his passes this season and thrown five touchdown passes to just two interceptions.