Friday, July 31, 2015
This and That
The weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.
--It doesn't matter if Matt Nichols, James Franklin, Jordan Lynch or Tom Wilkinson is quarterbacking the Eskimos tonight. If the Riders defence doesn't start playing to their capabilities, Edmonton wins. They may have done so already with Brett Smith calling the signals as Chris Jones may be bringing blitzes from the seats. You may want to cover your eyes by half-time of this one, It may not be pretty. That being said, Smith has known he will be the starter since Kevin Glenn went down and he did make the Eskimos defence look silly as Chris Jones said in Fort McMurray. I think Jones is once again being melodramatic and is trying to sell some tickets, but who knows. It is at times like this when the Riders pull together and pull one out. Get out there and play the game and let's see what happens.
--The Riders are what the record says they are and that is how they will be defined, but there is not one person out there who could have seen what has happened in the last five games coming. If you did, go buy a lottery ticket and find some warm weather place to retire in.
--Say what you will about Corey Chamblin, but this bad start is nothing compared to what the mood was like when Greg Marshall was calling the shots. There is still a positive vibe flowing through that dressing room. When Marshall was here, that vibe wasn't there and you could tell. These players want to play for Chamblin and they have a respect for their head coach. Injuries can't be used as an excuse, but once again you have to ask where this team would be if Darian Durant, Shea Emry, Weldon Brown, Tristan Jackson, Mark Legree and Keenan McDougall and others were all healthy. There is no way they would be 0-6. Does that exonerate the squad from their performance and Coach C from what has happened. No it does not, but the Riders have not gotten any luck this year. NONE!
--Hall of Fame columnist Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun has a great column this week asking if the 0-5 performance of the Riders with 0-6 staring them right in the face will have a negative affect on the Eskimos when it comes to attendance. Will the Edmonton and Northern Alberta chapter of the Rider Nation decide to sit this one out because of the horrible start? Eskimos president Len Rhodes says the absence of Rider Nation may be offset by those in Edmonton who are jumping on the bandwagon, but Jones asks a great question. If Rider fans don't show up en masse in Edmonton the way they have in the past, will they head to Winnipeg for the Banjo Bowl and will they lessen the green tinge at MacMahon Stadium. The Riders drive the CFL in many ways and attendance is one of those ways. The Riders have only played one road game this year and only 23-thousand showed up in BC. Attendance is down in the CFL and if Rider fans start to stay away from road games, it may go down even more.
--I was asked if I had seen the movie "Trainwreck" the other night to which I responded, yes I have been to all four Rider home games this year. It hasn't been a PG13 effort either.
--Alouettes coach and GM Tom Higgins says Michael Sam will play in August. Good! Then we will see if this guy can play the game or if he can't and if it is the latter, the excuse of his sexuality won't be brought into question. I don't know how serious Sam is taking the Canadian style of game as he seems to be more concerned with other things in his life right now, but lets see him get on the field and do his thing.
--Deflategate won't end and listening to American sports talk radio is fascinating because each host has his own take to it. I have heard pro-Brady arguments, I have heard anti-Brady arguments, I have heard Goodell must go arguments. I've heard it all. In the end, I just think Tom should come clean and accept his punishment. I think America would be more forgiving if that were to happen and his legacy wouldn't be tarnished at all. Brady didn't help himself by not turning over his cellphone and then instructing his assistant to destroy it just hours before he was to meet with Ted Wells. He knew exactly what he was doing, but he also didn't think the "Golden Boy" of the NFL would be treated this way by Goodell. If Goodell had reduced Brady's sentence, he would have, in essence, ruled against himself. He also would have undermined Ted Wells, the man he paid millions to investigate the controversy, which is exactly why he should not have been the arbiter in this appeal. The NFL Players Association has said Brady will go to court to amend this issue, so the madness continues. As I said, accept your punishment, acknowledge your role, sit the four games and move on. Letting this drag out potentially hurts Brady and the Patriots more.
--Less than a month until UFC Fight Night in Saskatoon. Can't wait!
--I was told once many years ago that the weather cycle is 6 months and if you get rain in July or August, you will get snow in January and February. If that is true, we are in for a helluva snowstorm in late January after what we saw this week. I hope that's an Old Wives tale! By the way, I would much rather take what he had Monday and Tuesday then a winter storm like that.
--It is a year too late in my mind, but Alex Anthopoulos is rolling the dice. He finally realized this team had to trade some solid prospects to get an established player. Yes, David Price may be only be a Blue Jay for two months, but so was David Cone in 1993 and the Blue Jays won a World Series. No one will care if Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd are constant 16-17 game winners if Toronto doesn't win. I don't think they catch the Yankees, but the wild-card is there for the taking and if they get there, we know Price starts Game 1. I just hope for Toronto fans that whoever they play in that wildcard game doesn't get to the Toronto bullpen because they still scare the hell out of me. If you have confidence in Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil, Liam Hendriks and Latroy Hawkins, you should be commended or committed.
--If you would have walked up to a sports fan in Toronto on Thursday and said "Congrats, you got Price", I wonder how many would have thought they had landed the Canadiens goalie. The number may be higher than you think.
--Jose Bautista was not a happy Blue Jay last year when Anthopoulos did nothing to improve the team going into the stretch drive. This year after Tulowitzki was acquired and Bautista was asked for his thoughts, the quote was "I think there's upgrades in different areas, maybe not necessarily what we need, but it is an upgrade if you want to look at it that way. That really isn't an endorsement coming from a "team leader". Bautista is a piece the Blue Jays need as they move forward, but he is also a piece that can be expendable for the right price. Don't be surprised if he gets moved in the off-season.
--Would Toronto be a good host for a future Summer Olympics? I think it would be great, but the overexposure leading up to the games would be nauseating. At least Cathal Kelly would be happy after being upset that the FIFA Womens World Cup never called Toronto home.
--Congratulations to the Regina senior little league team that went to the Canadians and won for the 2nd straight year. The team is off to Bangor, Maine for the Little League Senior World Series. This squad did better than many other Canadian teams last year and a lot of the kids are back so lets see what they can do this year.
--That's all I got. GO RIDERS. Have a great weekend. Have a great long weekend that is!