The Riders are back and so is John Chick. Congrats to Riders GM Brendan Taman. BT doesn't get the credit he deserves from a lot of fans, but he just keeps improving the roster and he doesn't break the bank to do it either.
I thought it would be about 135-145 thousand dollars to get the services of Chick, but he signed on the dotted line for what Arash Madani is saying 120 thousand per year. If Chick can perform the way he did when he left, that is a steal and Taman should be recognized for that. I think most fans were agreeing with him when he stated last week that he wasn't going to get into a bidding war or break the bank to get Chick, but he knew what John was worth and it sounds like John was more than amenable to a hometown discount too.
Speaking of Madani, apologies to WOLF 104.9 morning man and Rider Radio's Michael Ball. Arash sent me an e-mail about 805 Saturday morning saying the deal was done so I tweeted that Arash should get all the credit for the big scoop. For whatever reason, I did not get the original tweet that Ballsy had sent out saying he had gotten the text from Chick that he was on his way that was sent about 730. Whether it was Ballsy or Madani or Roddy or whoever, I knew we would get it before the rest of the universe. Those things just don't escape us. Its why we're number one (or number two as some would suggest).
I'm sure many offensive linemen around the league shuddered just a little when they found out number 97 was back in the CFL. He says he's a better player than he was when he left. If that's true, look out.
With my Riderville duties, I was asked to be at Luther College Saturday morning when all the players reported to do some interviews for profile stories that will run during the course of camp. Slowly the players would trickle in and when they did, you could see the excitement and happiness on their faces as they reunited with teammates or had that look of "I don't know what I'm doing" as the fresh-faced rookie came in and tried to make himself at home. It was an interesting watch as the guys reunited with one another.
Still with Riderville, I know Murray McCormick of the Leader-Post is in Saskatoon doing write-ups on camp, but you should check out the team's website every day for the latest news. Dangerous Dan Plaster is once again doing a tremendous job as he did at the Florida mini-camp of giving you the information you need to have and it doesn't take long for the comments of coaches and players to get up on the website.
I don't know if he was serious or not, but former Rider d-lineman Marcus Adams wrote a tweet this week that got me a little perturbed. Marcus obviously got a picture of Toronto's Grey Cup ring and tweeted why is everyone else's ring nicer than mine. Hey Marcus, you got a ring, don't bitch about what it looks like, just be glad you have one because a lot of guys would gladly trade places with you. I hope he wasn't serious.
Limas Sweed = Dwayne Jarrett
It may be unfair to put this on Darian Durant, but I can't imagine the numbers he should be able to put up if he stays healthy this year. The weapons he has at his disposal and the addition of George Cortez as his offensive co-ordinator is just a recipe for success. He should be able to make life miserable for opposition defenses this year. I had a good chat with Darian for a Riderville.com article that will come out at sometime during camp. I'm a big fan of Durant's and again I don't understand some of the criticism that comes his way. Truthfully, I don't know if he does either, but he knows its part of the territory.
You know I've been critical of the fact that goaltending has let our country down at the World Juniors in recent years and it is our Achilles heel going into the Sochi Olympics. Don Cherry brought up a very good point on Saturday night and its one that I hadn't even considered when it comes to goaltending, Why are junior teams drafting European goalies to come over here and play thus learning our style better and leaving Canadian kids that are more than capable of playing goal sitting on the bench. Saskatoon, Red Deer and Swift Current all had Euros between the pipes this year and I believe Andrey Makarov and Patrik Bartosak started for their countries at the World Juniors. Perhaps Hockey Canada needs to ask the CHL to stop bringing over goaltenders so that they can develop more.
I laugh when Sidney Crosby tries to be tough. His antics in Game 1 against Boston were comical---especially trying to get into the face of Zdeno Chara. Cmon Sid!
Am I the only one that can't turn the channel quick enough when that guy comes on to start hawking "Mio"? What a pud!
You had to feel for Jays pitcher Ramon Ortiz if you saw him Sunday night. The 40 year old became very emotional at the back of the pitching mound after throwing a pitch in which he did something to his elbow. Ortiz knew he had done something serious and at 40, the game he loves ended for him just like that. I don't know what he did, but I'm guessing he knows that he had just thrown his last major league pitch.
The city should let us know when its "douchebag behind the wheel of his pickup" day in Regina because it certainly was like that Saturday. Then again as someone said to me on Saturday, every day could be called that in Regina. I don't disagree.
I saw the Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels interview that they did with WWE's Jim Ross about a year ago chronicling their careers and that infamous night in Montreal when Bret got screwed by Vince MacMahon. It was fascinating. I don't know if I believed all of it, considering what I've heard and read before, but it was fascinating to see the two guys talk on the matter and what was going on behind the curtain.
My 18 year old daughter has a Netflix account meaning I can watch the new "Arrested Development" episodes but I haven't yet....I will and will soon.
From all accounts, Sam Steel impressed a lot of people at the Pats spring camp. Another player that seemed to impress was Brady Reagan. Steel can't play for the Pats next year until his season is done, but Reagan can. I was told he has the potential to be someone special.
I've been hearing a lot of uncomplimentary things about Target. I hope some of the things I have heard aren't true as they get set to open their doors sometime soon at the Northgate Mall.
There's less than 100 days until the NFL season starts, but one of my fantasy football leagues has been activated for the year. Ummmmmm....isn''t it a little early!
Antonio Noguiera is out of UFC 161 in Winnipeg. He was to fight Shogun Rua, but Noguiera was hurt in training, No word now as to who will fight Rua, but the main event is now Rashad Evans vs Dan Henderson. Will Arianny and Brittney still be there? I know I will be.
I love it when Graham DeLaet beats Tiger Woods in a golf tournament like he did this weekend at the Memorial.
You had better start talking Matt Kuchar when you start talking potential US Open champ and golfer of the year. He is putting together a very nice season.
I would not be disappointed to see the Indiana Pacers advance to the NBA final.
"Trust me, you can dance." -Vodka
Have an outstanding Monday!