It has been a long time since the end of the Super Bowl, but the first football game of meaning is upon us as another CFL season has started with the focus in this neck of the woods clearly on Mosaic Stadium Saturday night when the Saskatchewan Roughriders tangle with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Each day as I have gotten out of my car to go into the 620 CKRM headquarters, this has been one of the first vehicles I have seen.
I'm guessing he isn't a supporter of the green-and-white. Poor guy!!
There's a lot of talk about the Riders being over-confident in this one. I can certainly understand that, but I don't see Corey Chamblin and company allowing his team to have big heads going in. The Riders should beat the Bombers and beat them by more than a touchdown, but without Dressler and Brackenridge, Winnipeg could surprise. Always expect the unexpected in the CFL.
The big question is where will the 2015 Saskatchewan Roughriders finish. We know the 2014 season wouldn't have seen this team finish where they did had Darian Durant been able to complete the year. Fingers are crossed Durant spends very little or no time on the injured list in 2015 because if he does, this football team should be in the equation again to be in the Grey Cup. I don't know if there is a lot separating the Riders, Stamps and Eskimos, but I will give Calgary the edge in the West followed by the Riders and the Eskimos with Winnipeg and B-C well back. Let's go with the Riders finishing 12-6. In the East, Hamilton is the class of the division and will perhaps have the best record in the league because of their weak sisters. I'll take Montreal, Ottawa (yes Ottawa) and then Toronto to round it up. On Grey Cup Sunday, Investors Group Field will have a matchup of the Ti-Cats versus the Riders. I'll just let you take it from there.
Speaking of Durant, he says he can throw for 6000 yards this year. That means he has to average 333 yards a game this season. With the new rules, I think QB's numbers will be inflated somewhat, but that goal may be a little too lofty. I could see Darian and others getting to 5, but 6 might be a little unrealistic.
Did the CFL schedule maker make a mistake? Call me crazy, but I would have liked the season opener to be a rematch of the Grey Cup game with the Stampeders home to Hamilton. It would give the Stamps the chance to celebrate the GC championship one final time with a ceremony like they do in the NFL. Put your best foot forward to start things off is usually the right way to go. There really wasn't a lot of marquee value to Ottawa and Montreal. That being said, BREAK UP THE REDBLACKS. Those crazy quarterback killing, trick-play REDBLACKS upset the Alouettes on night one to get the season going with the Als having to go to their 3rd string quarterback. Could a call to Tino Sunseri be placed by Jim Popp? I'm already 0-1 in the Sportscage picks pool and I am behind Lynch for gods sake.
Jon Ryan loves his hometown and his hometown loves him. Wednesday Night Live---a fundraiser for his Gear Up program to help raise funds for Regina Minor Football to get equipment for its mighty mites (8 and 9 year old) division was a huge success at the Saskatchewan Soundstage Wednesday night with Gord Bamford (a Scruffy favourite) and the Trews performing. Regina is awfully lucky to have guys like Jon along with Jordan Eberle, Mike Sillinger and Jamie Heward, who raised 70 grand at "Sticks On Rose" as these guys who are all stellar individuals have no problem in giving back to the community that raised them. We should be awfully proud of these guys in the #YQR and I think we have shown them that they are. The best thing about all four is they remain just as humble as they have ever been and that is great.
Josh Donaldson's play Wednesday in Tampa where he went into the stands to catch a foul ball and preserve a perfect game was one of the best plays I have ever seen. That was insane! It may have propelled him to be the starting 3rd baseman at the All-Star game. Still with the Jays, who hypnotized Marco Estrada into thinking he is Dave Stieb. I think you might have to go back to Stieb to find a Jay who has had two better consecutive starts than what Estrada has put forth the last two trips out.
Congratulations to Weldon Brown and his wife on the arrival of their third child! Get a pick for Paisley on Saturday Dad!
We know the NHL draft will see Connor McDavid go to the Oilers with the first pick (YESSSS!!) and Jack Eichel go to Buffalo, but after that it is wide open. There are numerous rumours about Arizona trading the 3rd pick to get more assets which might be the right thing to do. What do the Leafs do? Who gets traded? Who will the first member of the Pats be to hear his name called and by what team. The NHL draft is always a great weekend and it will technically get started when Arizona or whoever picks at #3 as there is no intrigue in numbers 1 and 2,
I hope Jarret Stoll gets picked up by an NHL team as a free agent after having his drug charges dropped, but at 32 will anyone want him after what happened? He can still play a role and he can still contribute, but he had best come cheap because he doesn't have a lot of bargaining power.
Hey Mother Nature, here's a deal for you. Make it sunny and 30 on Saturday, but about 90 minutes after the football game, why don't you open up and let it rain until Tuesday. A lot of people would be very, very happy with you if you did that. Come on!!
RIP to John Steed! The star of the original "Avengers" Patrick Macnee died on Thursday. The Avengers was one of the first shows I watched. John Steed was a mean man with a bowler and Emma Peel looked great in leather pants.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!! GO RIDERS!!