(photo courtesy Canadian Press)
I think its so nice to see Winnipeggers make the trek to Regina every year. They stay in our hotels, they visit our restaurants, they check out our bars and then they put on their jerseys, go to Mosaic Stadium and watch their team lose. That was the case for the 10th straight year as the Riders pulled out a hard-fought 35-30 win in front of a sold out crowd. Just some thoughts...
--While I mock the fan base of our closest team to the East, I do acknowledge that they make this game what it is. Driving to the game Sunday, I got to the post office when I started seeing them in their Bomber jerseys whether it be a Stegall, a Willy, a Pierce, a Roberts, a Wild or a Feoli-Gudino (yes someone had that one), the Winnipeggers make this game fun. You don't see a lot of red when Calgary comes to town or orange when BC is here. The Bombers always bring people here for this game and it makes for a great atmosphere inside and outside the stadium. Well done Winnipeg....one of these years you will go home happy, but not this year.
--It can be said of Darian Durant by this blogger many, many times, but the guy is just a winner. He didn't have flashy stats on Sunday, but when he was needed, he came through on that final drive with a couple of big runs. The guy doesn't get the job done all the time, but he does more oft than not. Despite that, he still has his detractors. In the end, all the good ones have had their detractors in Riderville so it shouldn't surprise me, but it does.
--Jerome Messam is a beast! How did he not stick with other CFL teams? Please credit his arrival here to one Mr. Brendan Taman!
--While it worked once, put me down as someone not in favour of Josh Bartel running before kicking. I don't care who you are or what team you play for...catch the ball and kick it unless doing a fake!
--Drew Willy is one tough SOB. I didn't think he was coming back after getting hurt. That looked ugly and felt painful.
--What a novel concept seeing both teams score 30 points in a CFL game. Lets hope that trend continues in the second half of the season!
--The crowd was amazing. I haven't heard it that loud in there in a couple of years for a non Grey Cup game.
--Do I even want to start with Andre Proulx and company?
--The CFL must eradicate the challenging pass interference rule. Either that or penalize teams 10 yards if they challenge a pass interference rule and it isn't overturned. What a waste of time!
--After the game, head coach Corey Chamblin said he's enjoying this season. How could be not enjoy it when they are 7-2??? He also admitted he didn't think they'd be 7-2 at the halfway point of the season and its been great seeing the guys develop into the players they are.
--The Macho Harris kid correspondent interview was great. Speaking of great, did you see the TSN feature on John Chick. It was outstanding! If you missed it, you can watch it right here
Other items to weigh in on....
--It was great to get up Saturday morning, turn on the TV and watch ESPN's College Gameday. Let's just put it this way. FOOTBALL SEASON IS TRULY HERE!!!
--The SGI family fun day was another roaring success. It looked like rain might throw a monkeywrench into the day's activity, but fans got a chance to meet their favourite Rider and get their autograph. If Darian, Dressler, Brackenridge or Chick come down with carpal tunnel syndrome, you can blame yourselves Rider Nation!! For those who were there, I ask you this.....more people at SGI Day or an Argos home game. It had to be close!
--While waiting for SGI Fun Day activities to get going, I was speaking with WOLF 104.9 personality Michael Ball and the Riders outstanding VP of Marketing and Business Development Gregg Sauter and last year's Grey Cup came up. Ballsy asked Sauter in the wake of Chris Jones and the Eskimos being fined for pre-game shenanigans if the Riders ever get fined by the CFL for coming out as one at GC 101. No one knows! I know the league and TSN weren't happy with the move, but did they ever get fined? Realistically, they should have but if they did, no one knows and no one knows how much.
--The story of the woman trying to make headlines at the expense of the Ragged Ass Barber because they won't give her a haircut because its a mens only place is ridiculous. Hey lady, FIND A SALON!!! Someone has an axe to grind for whatever reason. I don't know anyone at the said shop, but I applaud them for sticking to their guns. I also know where I will be getting my next haircut.
--Congrats to the University of Regina Rams for their 12 point win over Alberta Friday night. They will open the season at Mosaic this coming Friday night at Mosaic against UBC. It will be BMIB---BIG MEN IN BOOTH as Gary "Chop" Bresch and myself will call the game live for you on Access Communications. Eat your heart out Buck and Aikman!!!
--For those interested, a new season of Locker Talk on Access begins September 9. I know you've missed seeing the lovable mugs of myself and Pete Paczko this summer. Don't lie! OK, lie just a little so as not to leave a huge bruise on my ego.
--Why do I keep thinking the Oilers are going to make a major trade before training camp starts.
--If you are sitting on the fence humming and hawwing about Regina Pats games this year and whether or not you should plunk some money down, I have just two words for you....SAM STEEL! This kid is unreal. He will be worth the price of admission.
--I hope there is a special spot in hell for those who know full well they have too many items in their grocery cart yet go through the express lane. A very special spot! JACKWAGONS!
--Speaking of Jackwagons, I had a chance to speak with the man who coined that term after the game as Premier Wall was in attendance. Moments after our conversation started, we were interrupted by Tom Shepherd who let myself and the Premier know he had a dream about Wall winning in the Friends of the Riders Lottery. I have no idea if the MLA for Swift Current walked out of the Harvard green and white lounge 100 dollars poorer with ticket in hand, but I'm thinking he is. Tom never says he has a dream about me winning, but I know I have nightmares about dropping 100 and never seeing anything come back. I haven't even won a Riders prize pack in the last decade. SIGHHHH!!!
--Class act by the Jays giving Derek Jeter a trip to Banff. Other teams have given Jeter many things during his farewell tour, but Toronto gave him a chance to see a part of the world he has likely never seen. He'll love it!
--Should I be surprised Michael Sam got cut by the St. Louis Rams after a pre-season that saw him register 11 tackles and 3 sacks. The NFL is a long ways from adopting someone with Sam's lifestyle into their fraternity. This has been proven by what has happened. Its only exasperated when no other team picks him up. His 15 minutes of fame could very well be over.
--A bunch of kids were playing street hockey in Montreal this past week when the police came along and told them to pack up because its apparently against the law to do that there. ??????? Are you kidding me? Street hockey is seemingly a lost thing these days as kids would rather stay inside and play video games or do something else. If they are out there, they are staying fit and they aren't doing anything they shouldn't be by playing a little hockey. Perhaps they should just perform from vandalism or something. What a ridiculous bylaw. Someone should be ashamed!
--Enjoy your Labour Day and do something with your kid if you get the chance today. After all, it is the last day of their summer holiday!