Monday, June 30, 2014
Something To "Mitch" About
What a day!! I have been going to football games at Mosaic Stadium for years, but I don't think I have ever walked into the park on as bad a day as what Sunday was. Roads were flooded, it was pouring and it was just a day where you really wanted to just stay inside and do nothing. Unfortunately, some couldn't do that as they were bailing out basements while our friends in the southeast part of the province along with Yorkton and Melville could do nothing but look at the sky and ask why as they got it wayyyyyy worse than what it was in Regina. There's going to be a lot of cleaning up to do and that made what happened at Mosaic far less important.
Here are my thoughts on what I saw though
--I did see a football game. I have to admit I kept waiting for a call from Rod Pedersen or to hear from Michael Ball on the pre-game show that the game might be delayed or cancelled altogether. I know the CFL will play through wind, snow and rain, but when the stadium is flooding, I don't know. I do now.
--With all apologies to the Ti-Cats and their fans, the Riders curbstomped them from the first whistle to the final gun. I compared Hamilton to Stampede Wrestling jobber Goldie Rogers at the half because while they had a couple of flurries in them , they were no match for the Riders on this day. It was embarrassing for the defending Eastern champs.
--Corey Chamblin has a lot of swagger to him, but he isn't cocky. I asked him ( as you will hear on the tape below) if his team sent a message to the CFL and he says not really. With all apologies to the coach, I don't believe that for one second. Here is a team who lost many players and had many people around the country including here saying there is no way they can duplicate the success of last year. Comments like that likely tick off the guys who are still here and that showed as the defense was lights out with 10 sacks--3 from Ricky Foley, while the offence just moved the ball down the field thanks to an offensive line that made life easy for Anthony Allen. If that o-line stays healthy, look out!
--Were the Riders that good or was Hamilton that bad? Zach Collaros looked nothing like the QB he was in Toronto in his Hamilton debut. Craig Butler had a horrible game--especially in the first quarter when he took three penalties with two of those being 15 yarders and Hamilton in total just didn't look in sync. As for the Riders, they looked in mid-season form.
--Sam Hurl looked fine in the middle to me. He had a sack, should have had another one and seemed to be quite comfy serving as the middle linebacker. He was pretty happy at the end of the game as was the rest of the defence. Why wouldn't they be?
--Darian Durant seems to be a lot more confident under center. I guess having a championship pedigree will do that to a guy. He might not admit it, but he seems to have a different demeanour to him this season. That desire to win another championship is just as strong as it was last year, but having a championship under his belt seems to have given him a little added something. He has been great when in command of the offence so far.
Without further adieu, here are some sounds from the Riders dressing room starting with a very happy John Chick....
Back to the rain for one second, someone needs to explain to me the mentality of those who gets their car stuck at the Albert Street underpass. It happens every time there is a serious storm. What is going through the mind of the driver when he sees the water on the road. I think there is ample time to put on the brake or turn around or do something, but nope! What makes these people do this? Its baffling if you ask me.
The Rider game was the only CFL game I saw this weekend. I saw the first half of the Edmonton-BC game but that was it. I maintain the Eskimos will surprise people this season.
Goodbye Sam Gagner! I will always wonder if you would have been a bigger offensive threat had the Oilers kept you in junior for one more season. I like that trade although I'm not crazy with Tampa sending him back to a Western Conference foe. I think Gagner can be a 60 point man if not more with the Coyotes especially after they bought out Mike Ribeiro.
The Netherlands-Mexico game was just pure theatre at its best. That soccer game had everything and is one of the reasons I love the World Cup. The drama that played itself out on the pitch was tremendous.
There is a picture I never thought would get taken. Its Sports Illustrated's Peter King. The author of the highly successful Monday Morning Quarterback that is read by over 8 million people and a member of the Sunday Night NFL package on NBC. I knew he was going to be coming to the 620 CKRM booth and I had told Phil Andrews before the game he had to let me know when he arrived. At half time, I said to Phil that the only thing left was for a photo op. In the 3rd quarter, I got a text that read "He's here" and I was off like a shot to the booth. You never ever know what you're going to encounter when you meet these people, but he was more than accommodating and very friendly. His bit with Michael Ball on the pre-game show and the Brett Favre-lucky coin story he told was just fabulous. Mr. King has a genuine fondness for the CFL and he likes the style of game. He finds the rouge to be bizarre and he is all for coaches challenging pass interference. He adds Americans should really give the CFL a chance because A) you find out where some players you watched in college ended up like Montreal quarterback Troy Smith and B) the game is a lot faster and better than you think it is. He also referred to Rider fans as "nutty", but in a very positive way. What a great endorsement! I told Mr. King that while I'm sure he found out what Rider Nation was all about (which he did), that he should come back when there are 30-thousand screaming fans and its plus 25. He said he'd love to and that had been the prevailing message. I somehow think he might take us up on that offer.
You can find King's offering on his weekend in Calgary and Regina and the trip between the two right here.....
To accommodate for a Pride Parade in Chicago that would go near Wrigley Field, the Cubs played a doubleheader against Washington on Saturday so that there would be no traffic problems. It was the first Sunday the Cubs have had off in the baseball season since 1932!!!
That's all I got. Wherever you are, may you stay dry! Thanks for checkin in!!!