Monday, January 5, 2015
Something To "Mitch" About
The first full week of the New Year is upon us and 2015 for the most part gets underway today as the holidays are over. Safe to say the first five days of 2015 and the last couple of days of 2014 were busier than usual around here on the sporting calendar.
The big news was the trade of Morgan Klimchuk. I could swallow Klimchuk being traded to Calgary, Medicine Hat or a team out West, but I wasn't thrilled to see him go to Brandon. At what point will WHL execs just start hanging up the phone when Kelly McCrimmon is on the other line. I'm not going to say Kelly fleeced the Pats on this one, but the fact he got away in getting a talent like Klimchuk for Jesse Gabrielle and nothing else shocks me. Are you trying to tell me Regina couldn't have gotten a 3rd or 4th round pick in the bantam draft or a prospect? Yes, Gabrielle is a good player and he will help the Pats not only in the future, but in the present, but there is no doubt in my mind Brandon wins this trade because of what they didn't give up. I also question why the trade was made with a week to go until the trade deadline, but perhaps John Paddock didn't think he would get a better offer. I think he would have. That being said, the Pats are still a competitive hockey team and should be able to win a first round series for once if all goes well. There is a long ways to go before that happens though.
Not a lot of news has been coming out of Riderville and that's no surprise considering the time of year we have been through. Sportsnet's/620 CKRM insider Arash Madani got tongues wagging suggesting Mike Benavides will be the new DC. I really think Corey Chamblin wants the job and if Benavides is the guy, will he be able to run his defence or what Corey wants. I won't be surprised if Benavides turns down the opportunity.
Lions coach Jim Caldwell must be wishing the NFL could challenge pass interference calls like they do in the CFL. How the hell do you call a penalty on a team and then pick up the flag? If you have any doubt, don't throw it. That made the NFL look very bad. That being said, the Lions should have gambled on 4th and 1 from the 46. Getting a first down there and we might not be talking about that. Its a game that will definitely be debated, but in the end it was a game-changing call that you can't say didn't happen once the flag is thrown.
If you are a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Saskatchewan Roughriders, you got it twice this year didn't you. That was painful to watch. Oh well. it just means Cam Newton and the Panthers come to C-Link to get smoked next weekend instead of the Lions.
Andy Dalton loses another playoff game, but don't hang this on him when he doesn't have AJ Green or Jermaine Gresham to throw the ball to. Bengals fans still have to ask a lot of questions about their team once the playoffs hit though. That's five straight years they've been one and done is it not?
All credit to the Baltimore Ravens for their win, but one wonders if Pittsburgh is moving on if it weren't for the Leveon Bell injury. It just shows you how everything has to go right in order for you to be successful and win the big one.
Why were the powers behind Division 1 US College Football so blind to see that a four team playoff would be perfect when it comes to declaring a national champion. This is something that should have been done years ago. The two games on New Year's Day were absolutely fabulous and when you consider the BCS computer would have had Florida State and Alabama--the two teams that lost the semis in a national final, you see how flawed that system was. Some think 6 or 8 teams should be involved, but how long is your season if you do that. I can see 6---but 8 is too long.
TSN has five channels and yet they couldn't show us every US bowl game? The fact the Outback Bowl between Auburn and Wisconsin was not available on Canadian TV when there are 5 channels is inexcusable. While Sportsnet has rights to some US College Football, they did not have rights to bowl games so this one falls on TSN's shoulders. If you wanted to give us different programming then do it and don't put a hockey game on four channels. There are some out there who would rather watch a football game than a hockey game between Finland and Sweden.
Vancouver broadcaster Jim Mullin and Saskatoon businessman David Dube are hoping to have a CIS interlock schedule and some TV coverage. I don't know if the idea will fly, but I am pulling for it. I think CIS Football is under-appreciated and that CFL fans should know who the up and comers are much like Americans know who this player and that player is when it comes to the NFL draft because of the TV exposure. I think it would also be tremendous to see the Rams have opposition from schools other than Canada West ones. There would be some excitement and renewed interest if Western came to Mosaic or the Rams went to play the defending Vanier Cup champs from Montreal. Same for the Huskies. I think in the end there may be too many hurdles for Jim and David to jump, but I'm hoping they can pull it off. It will be a win-win for everyone if it comes through.
One person connected to the Rams has told me there are many angry alumni over the fact Mike Gibson was hired meaning there could be no link between the past and the present and that no former Rams were given an opportunity to interview. I have had another person connected with the football team tell me Gibson's arrival is great as it will take the team to the next level. Lets just see where this team goes in the next couple of years. Gibson said all the right things when on the Sportscage with me this week and in the end, if he can get the Rams program to where the U of C is now, then no one is complaining....at least they shouldn't be. If he can't get it there in the next 3-4 years then start the Marc Mueller for HC talk again. I'm excited at what the Rams might be able to do next year if they tighten themselves up defensively and experience can do that.
Jaromir Jagr had a hat-trick Saturday night at the age of 42. Amazing! Can we just put him in the Hall of Fame now?
Why isn't more attention paid to the play of Jets forward Bryan Little. He might be the most under-rated player in the NHL.
The Winter Classic has lost its lustre as far as I am concerned. All its turned into is just another hockey game played in unusual circumstances. How about making the all-star game an outdoors affair?
The Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier fight was everything I thought it would be. It even had the obligatory Jones eye-poke.
If you didn't see the Raptors play Portland or Golden State this week, you missed some great basketball. You better get ready Saskatchewan because you are going to get more and more Raptors stuffed into your face by TSN, Sportsnet and whoever in the coming months.
Finally, ESPN announcer Stuart Scott lost a battle with cancer at the age of 48 yesterday and seeing guys like Chris Berman, Rich Eisen, Keyshawn Johnson and Dan Patrick eulogize him along with seeing the tweets of many shows the impact of what type of individual Scott was. I remember him getting an award at the 2014 ESPY's where he talked about his battle. It left me a little misty-eyed then and watching it again it still does. I don't think Canadians realize how good this guy was and how he changed the broadcast landscape with his style. This is a very powerful message. but its a long one so give yourself some time.
That's pretty much all I have to say. Have a great week. Stay warm!