The usual weekly assortment of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.
-- The annual trek to Mosaic Stadium begins anew tonight as the Riders play the Stampeders in what is the second and last pre-season game for both meaning we should see a much better contest from both sides than last week. How nostalgic are you as you walk into the old stadium knowing the new one will be ready soon. Visits to this place are starting to dwindle and I can't even envision what it will be like when the green and white play their last game here and what emotions will run through what you know will be a sold out crowd. Let the walk up the ramps commence!
--As the Riders take the field tonight, they will have Darian Durant, Kevin Glenn and Brett Smith as their quarterbacks. Last year when they walked off the field in the Western semi-final loss to the Eskimos, their QB's were Kerry Joseph, Tino Sunseri and Seth Doege.
--There's been a lot of talk about the CFL season moving up two weeks. I'm really on the fence on this one as I can see the positives and I can see the negatives. It is an issue that divides many people and there are many good reasons for and against it. If the CFL decides to do such a thing, they have to look at it very carefully as they will be going head to head against the Stanley Cup playoffs. There is a way to get around it though. If the season starts the first weekend of June, you go at the same time as the Stanley Cup final starts. This year, two games between the Hawks and Lightning went on a Saturday night with another on a Thursday. Could the CFL schedule opening week to have a Friday night doubleheader, a Saturday afternoon game and a Sunday afternoon or night game so you are not going head-to-head against the Cup final. It certainly could be done.
--CFL.ca's Justin Dunk is picking the Riders 4th in the West. 4th?! He's taking the Riders behind Winnipeg? Yeah OK. You keep thinkin that Justin! #ridiculous
--You can't argue the fact the Chicago Blackhawks are a dynasty. It's not the Habs of the 70's, the Islanders of the 80's or the Oilers of the 90's, but in this day of sports and free agency, its as close to one as you are going to get when you make it 3 Stanley Cup championships in 6 years with an appearance in the NHL's final four in two of the three years they didn't make it. It is safe to say they know what they are doing in Chicago and they aren't going away anytime soon. I wonder what type of Cup celebration stories Patrick Kane has and will have. Who's kidding who, the guy owns Chicago!
--The Toronto Blue Jays have made noise all year with their bats, but I always maintain pitching wins and that was sooooooooo evident this week when Toronto had their winning streak snapped. Toronto could be four or five games clear of the rest of the division had the team gone out and found an established closer in the off-season, but they chose not to improve that area and it has bitten them in the backside several times including Monday in New York. This team can't win games with their bats all the time and they don't have the pitching, especially in the bullpen to succeed. That could change and hopefully Alex Anthopoulos is working the phones looking for that closer and maybe an 8th inning guy as well.
--The US Open is underway just outside of Seattle as the 2nd of golf's 4 majors is underway. One wonders what type of celebratory smooch Rickie Fowler's girlfriend will place on him if he wins this event because it is a little bigger than the Players Championship and we saw what he got after winning that tournament. NOTE: Fowler shot an 81 in his first round so it looks like he and his girlfriend can enjoy the sights of Seattle this weekend because he will have it off.
--I think Saskatoon will do a great job in hosting UFC Fight Night in August. There are many in our fine province who have been clamouring for an event here and many of those will descend on SaskTel Centre August 23. Many from North Dakota, Montana, Alberta and Manitoba will also make the trek to Toontown for the event and make the initial indentation into Saskatchewan a successful one. Yes, if you don't know a lot about the UFC, there are no "name performers" headlining the card---at least not yet, but those who do know a lot about the UFC know it will be a great night and they will be there. BTW: The Riders need to get jerseys for Arianny Celeste and Brittany Palmer and if they need someone to hand deliver those unis for the girls, I am more than willing to volunteer.
--Congrats to former Pat Jordan Weal as his Manchester Monarchs won the AHL Calder Cup championship. Weal finished tied for first in playoff scoring with 22 points and was named playoff MVP.. Does he get a shot next year and if so, is it with the Kings? There has to be interest in him if L-A doesn't want him to take the jump to the next level.
--McLobster tastes more like McChicken Salad. Don't waste your money on it. Its a one and done for this blogger.
--The Boston Red Sox suspend Pablo Sandoval because was in the clubhouse bathroom saying he liked a picture on Instagram. Do I really want to know?
--You don't forget Mom on Mother's Day so don't forget about Dad on Father's Day
-Let's just finish it this week with this....
--Have a great weekend everyone!!!! GO RIDERS!!!