Friday, September 25, 2015
This and That
It's Friday and that means another set of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.
--I will make my last visit of the year to the grand old girl known as Mosaic Stadium for Saskatchewan Roughriders football on Sunday. It is the 2nd to last home game of the season and due to commitments I have with the University of Regina Rams in Calgary, I won't be at the home finale against the Eskimos. One year left! I've thought about what it will be like being at Mosaic for the last Riders home game and before you know it that time will be here. Throw the record out the window because that last game will be an extremely emotional affair for many who have been a part of the Rider Nation for years.
--It is Plaza of Honor weekend and a big congratulations goes out to the Old 96er Scott Schultz. It is a definite achievement when you are remembered as one of the all-time greats and when it comes to players who have worn the /=S=/, he certainly is. The fact he is all-Saskatchewan makes it that much better. Many will say their best Scott Schultz moment is the 2007 Grey Cup and the picture of him holding the trophy while smoking what might have been the biggest cigar in Toronto that night, but for me, my favourite Scott Schultz memory will be him absolutely destroying Spurgeon Wynn on the last play of the half thus completely screwing up the half-time show as the little cheerleaders performance had to be altered while an ambulance came on the field to take Wynn away. Schultzie just about killed a man on national television. Congrats again Schultzie! Congrats to Tim McCray also. Enjoy every moment of the weekend gents!
--I wonder if the Riders have ever thought about moving Plaza weekend up. Its alright where it is now, but could you generate some more excitement about the event if you had it in mid-July and perhaps make it bigger than what it is.
--I was asked this week who I would pick to be the Riders nominee for Most Outstanding Player this season. That's a great question. Who is the top defensive player? Who would your nominees be? I think the only slam dunks are Jerome Messam for top Canadian and Jeff Knox Junior for top rookie. Is Messam the M-O-P candidate as well. He just might!
--If my calculations are correct, seven of the nine teams in the CFL have now seen their starting quarterback go down to injury. Ricky Ray hasn't seen the field in Toronto, Darian Durant, Jonathan Crompton and Mike Reilly got hurt in Week 1 and it has gone downwards from there with Travis Lulay, Drew Willy, Kevin Glenn and now Zach Collaros going down. You have to wonder if Henry Burris and Bo Levi Mitchell think they are living on borrowed time. It has been a bad year for the league for many reasons and this is one of them. The league needs its marquee players in its marquee position and they haven't had that in 2015.
--Week 3 NFL Lock of the Week (2-0) --Seahawks over Bears
Week 3 NFL Upset of the Week (0-2) --Raiders over Browns
--Connor MacDavid had two assists in his first pre-season game against Calgary on Monday night and TSN devoted 10 minutes to his performance analyzing shift after shift after shift. Love the kid for obvious reasons, but I am going to get sick of this real quick if it continues in the regular season and you know it will. Let the kid breathe. This is just another reason why I am so glad MacDavid did not end up a Toronto Maple Leaf. The Oilers are in Saskatoon this weekend and I hope for those who bought tickets to the game that he plays. Edmonton says Jordan Eberle will be in the lineup which is nice, but MacDavid is the drawing card. It would be nice to see former Pat Braden Christoffer play as well. He has impressed Todd McLellan and company at training camp.
--The Jaromir Jagr story is just outstanding on so many levels. Sorry sweetie, you ain't gettin nothin except a whole boatload of embarassment. You don't even get a gold star!Go try blackmailing someone else! That's a great big Wisers Clap for JJ.
--While the Jagr story is outstanding, the Patrick Kane story is just getting weird. The events of this week where the evidence bag was dropped off anonymously at the door of the accuser's mother is just bizarre and now the accuser's lawyer is quitting the case.. Something happened in Kane's house that night, but we may not know for a long, long time exactly what went down if indeed we ever find out. The question now is should the Hawks have Kane in the lineup while this plays out. If he hasn't been charged, I don't know you can't play him, but once a charge is issued if one is ever issued, he has to be taken off the ice. Charge or no charge, this will stay with Kane for the rest of his life and he has no one to blame but himself. He's not the first and he won't be the last.
--The number 1 Canadian university football team is in town Saturday afternoon as the University of Calgary Dinos take on the Regina Rams. After seeing what Calgary did to Alberta last week, I shudder to think what could happen Saturday. The Rams will need every bounce to go their way and then some. A couple of years ago the Dinos walked in here feeling quite good about themselves and the Rams came through with a huge upset thanks to a Joey Dwyer pick six. Could it happen again? Game time is 4 o'clock at Mosaic. It will also be on Access and SHAW. If you are going to the game, it should end around 7, so make your way over to the Brandt Centre for the Pats home opener! More on them in a moment!
--I think it is safe to say Josh Donaldson will be named the American League MVP, but is David Price the Cy Young award winner? He has certainly put himself into the discussion with his play in Toronto with Houston's Dallas Keuchel and Seattle's Felix Hernandez.
--I will admit I am not the biggest Buck Martinez fan ( I still want Jamie Campbell back as the Jays p x p man), but he just seems to be morphing into the ever-annoying Hawk Harrelson with each passing game. This makes me hope we get the American calls from FOX, TBS, ESPN or the MLB Network come playoff time and that Buck is replaced by someone. Actually, they can have a Buck on the broadcast as long as his first name is Joe.
--As much as I wanted to be at Mosaic Place for Thursday's WHL opener between the Pats and Warriors, I could not get there in time so it was great to be able to watch the game on Access. There is no doubt Brandon will once again be the class of the Eastern Division. I am not sure where the Pats will finish and I am not sure where Moose Jaw will finish, but it would appear Warriors GM Alan Millar is going all out to finish 2nd with the deals he made to get former Pat Dryden Hunt and Tanner Faith. There is some talk Millar doesn't want to trade Brayden Point which has some around the league wondering if another Jordan Eberle situation is about to materialize. Time will tell, but I think Point would be a sweet addition to a club looking to play at the Memorial Cup in Red Deer and with all due respect to the Warriors, I don't think they are in that equation. If there is a change of heart and Point does get traded, I think I speak for many in these parts when I say--DON'T SEND HIM TO BRANDON!!!
--Still with the WHL, the league's top 125 that they released this week is a great flashback. The top 10 players this league has seen over the last 50 years will bring tremendous debate. If Joe Sakic, Theoren Fleury and Wendel Clark aren't in the top 5, I'll be shocked. I don't know when the first goalie on the list will pop up, but the first one on my list would be Mike Vernon. The former Calgary Wrangler was the best junior tender I have ever seen and Ken Wregget and Grant Fuhr wouldn't be far behind. 10 Pats made the list and I can't argue with any of the names on there as all of them are great, but I would have taken Derek Morris ahead of Brad Stuart. I was disappointed not to see Josh Harding's name up there as he was the best goalie I have seen in a Pats uniform, I guess I did see Ed Staniowski play along with Clark Gillies, Greg Joly and Dennis Sobchuk, but I was only 7!!!!
--While on the topic of Fleury, I found it a little surprising he wasn't a part of the opening night game with the Warriors choosing instead to be represented by Ryan Smyth. Theo is the greatest player in the history of the Warriors is he not? Smyth would certainly be number two on that list, but I thought it would be a given that Fleury would be a part of the WHL's big night.
--A movie is being made in our fair city right now called "Chokeslam", It is a movie that has a wrestling motif to it, but it isn't a wrestling movie. Apparently, some of the filming is happening at Exhibition Auditorium which is where I was a fixture during the 80's when Stampede Wrestling was on as I would watch the likes of Bret Hart, the Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, the Honky Tonk Man and others, That was wrestling at its best and I so wish High Impact Wrestling could get to that level. The fact they are in the auditorium made me want to go out to be an extra, but my schedule wouldn't allow it. I think it would be so cool to see the stars of High Impact go back to the Auditorium for one more night. We might be in amongst the rats and god knows what else, but it would be a night to remember.
--I've gone on long enough. Have a great weekend! GO RIDERS!! GO SEAHAWKS!!