There's no doubt what today's column will center on and that's the return of the Riders. The building is archaic and has many flaws and walking up those damn ramps are a pain in the ass, but the days of going to Mosaic Stadium for football are starting to wane and very shortly the Rider Nation will no longer have to deal with what Mosaic brings as Mosaic 2.0 will be ready for action.
Just some thoughts on the Riders victory over the REDBLACKS
--The crowd count was disappointing and there were a lot of factors that played into that which I understand. However, the Rider Nation should relish any home game and be there to show their support and pride. I think that will return Friday when Edmonton is in town
--I loved the interaction between REDBLACKS mascot "Big Joe" and Gainer at the start of the game, but I think it would have been great had Gainer pulled off a WWE or High Impact Wrestling move and took him out with a chair. The place would have gone nuts. Some suggested Gainer shouldn't be getting into someone's face when that someone is carrying an axe as we know what happens to gophers in this province courtesy of people with axes. Others (namely CKRM cohorts Matt Dominguez and Luc Mullinder) believe Gainer has to go on some big workout to look meaner and tougher. Need I remind these two highly respected individuals that there are not many 6 foot gophers roaming around the Prairies and that he must be doing something right. Speaking of which when I look at Big Joe, did he pass a CFL drug test??
--We all assumed Tino Sunseri would be the number two quarterback when Drew Willy was sent to Winnipeg. I am guessing he still will be when all is said and done, but he struggled and put Seth Doege and Adam Weber back into the mix. It will be interesting to see what kind of time Corey Chamblin gives that trio on Friday night
--Its just one game, but Keith Toston gets my vote for starting tailback. The guy looks to be a bruiser who doesn't have that Kory Sheets speed that can break a game open and change field position at the snap of a finger, but he knows what to do when he has the rock and he has a nice physical style to his game as well. It also looks like he is a good blocker which will be key for Darian as the season wears on.
--The Leader Post's Murray McCormick referred to Ryan Smith in the pressbox as "Baby Dressler". I like it!
--Its just one game, but my vote for middle linebacker goes to Chad Kilgore. He might be another one of those finds that Brendan Taman puts on the resume as CFL all-stars in future years. I really liked what I saw from him.
--Worksafe Bob was missing from the 4th quarter stretch. I applaud that! Perhaps Big Joe and Gainer combined to take him out before the start of the game. Sadly, "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" remains the song of choice for the 4th quarter stretch. I hope that song stays in the old girl and doesn't make the move. That being said, at least the Mosaic music man did not play "Happy"
--Corey Chamblin's son Karter should get the game-ball. His performance in the post-game news conference was tremendous. Check the video out on Riderville.com.
--The LA Kings are the Stanley Cup champs again. Yorkton can put the RBC Cup and the Stanley Cup together as Jarret Stoll will most certainly bring Hockey's Holy Grail back to the city for the second time in three years. I am guessing the Terriers organization would also like to thank Jarret for his hospitality during the RBC in which he bought the pre-game meals for the teams in what was an extremely classy move. Will Jarrett bring his girlfriend? If you don't know who that is, it would be FOX's Erin Andrews.
--Has Alec Martinez's stick come down yet? I was expecting that stick to conk one of his celebrating teammates right between the eyes. What a moment! I love seeing the Cup get presented (unless of course its to Calgary or Toronto) just to see grown men acting like kids living out their childhood dream. Hockey Night does it right by getting everyone for a comment or two that can be highlighted forever. Its something I hope continues when the NHL gets under the Rogers umbrella.
--I had earlier mused about the thoughts of Vancouver Canucks fans seeing their team looking at the playoffs from outside this year while long-time coach Alain Vigneault was taking the Rangers to the final dance. It was brought up to me during the final that the Columbus Blue Jackets must be wondering what could have been considering Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik and Jeff Carter were all on that team at one point.
--Speaking of the Canucks, there is talk they could make Portland Winterhawks coach Mike Johnston their new head man. I would be OK with that, but I would be more OK if the Canucks or any team for that matter took Saskatchewan product Willie Desjardins. The former Medicine Hat Tigers bench boss is a proven winner and he has guided the Texas Stars of the AHL to a possible Calder Cup title as they are in the final. Willie deserves an NHL call.
--Word is the NHL will announce the New Years Day winter classic will go at Nationals Park in Washington with the Capitals playing either Pittsburgh or Philly.
--It would appear as if Tyler Seguin's summer is going well.
Eat your heart out Patrick Kane!!!
--How can MuchMusic have a video awards ceremony when they no longer play videos. If they do play videos, when? Remember the "Power Hour" with JD Roberts, the spotlights and anything with Amanda Walsh?
--The first week of play from the World Cup has been surprising. Surprising for the fact we are seeing goals and a lot of them----at least a lot more than what we're used to. I have no problem with that.
--Did the Calgary Stampeders remember they were playing their opening pre-season game? They acted like they had won the Grey Cup after a last-play field goal to beat Winnipeg. Oh Calgary...celebrate while you can I guess.
--UFC 174 might have been one of the worst PPV's I've seen. The only thing saving it were the yuks had by my fellow Neanderthals that gather monthly and Tyron Woodley's sponsor ---"Dude Wipes". WTF are Dude Wipes?? Its apparently one level above toilet paper ladies and gentlemen. Where is this ad campaign? Will I be seeing it during CFL telecasts? Who is their corporate sponsor? Yes, I am thinking Jon Cornish too. At least the fine people at "Dude Products" favourited my WTF are Dude Wipes tweet from Saturday night. Are these things even sold in Canada? Are they at Shoppers, London Drugs or Walmart? How about Target?
--Martin Kaymer made a mockery of the US Open. There was no drama in the last round and it meant very little viewing. A lot is being made about the look of the course. There is no doubt the layout was one of the tougher ones out there, but the amount of brown on the layout made it look very unappealing.
--The NBA Finals were embarrassing for the Miami Heat. They didn't even look to have the right to be on the same court as San Antonio in this matchup. With the Spurs winning another title, when do we put Gregg Popovich in that elite coach list in any sport because it doesn't seem like he is there yet. Popovich is tremendous if you ask me and while he takes heat for the interviews or lack of them he gives, I have no problem with him. You can also put Tim Duncan up there alongside Michael Jordan when it comes to the greatest the NBA has ever seen. Here's a debate for you---who has had the better career---Duncan or Kobe Bryant?
--RIP Casey Kasem. Keep reaching for the sky!