--There are many adjectives one can use to describe the performance of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night in BC and none of them are positive in nature. You can't sugar-coat that effort in any way or shape possible, After putting in what I thought was their best overall effort of the year against Montreal, the green and white put in what was their worst overall effort in Vancouver losing 46-20 while making Jonothon Jennings look like the 2nd coming of Roy Dewalt in just his 2nd professional start. I had a bad feeling right off the start when Kevin Glenn fumbled that it could be perhaps one of those days and it was as the offence was horrible, and the defence was horrible. Just some thoughts
--Technically, the Riders can still make the playoffs, but even though that window was very small going into last week, it is now over. The time for next year has arrived. While I am sure Bob Dyce will put the best lineup he can on the field Friday in Hamilton, it is time to see more of Brett Smith. We know what Kevin Glenn can do, but it is time to get Smith some more reps. As I have stated before, I believe Glenn should be retained in the off-season because of Darian Durant's achilles injury, but we need to see more of Smith and get Keith Price warmed up in the bullpen because he needs to see some reps as well.
--It is not a condemnation of Tristan Jackson, but small defensive backs just can't play the game they want in the CFL because of the big receivers and the new rules. Jackson just looked lost on the field Saturday night and his size didn't help the situation any. Jackson was not the reason this team lost this one as the rest of the guys on the field can take just as much blame, but the spotlight was certainly on him.
--The Brett Jones/Ben Heenan talk is increasing and it should be after watching the o-line play like they were on roller skates. I think Heenan will be back here next season as I can't see him playing anywhere else but Saskatchewan. It may be tougher to get Jones and if they do, it will likely mean a big salary goes, but there are a lot of big salaries out there that can be taken off the board.
--I am all for the adage of stopping the other team no matter what the situation is, but I thought the touchdown pass Jennings caught was an extreme "douche-like" move on the Lions part. You can run that play in the first half if you want and you can run passing plays and running plays the way you normally would, but I thought reaching deep into the bag of tricks in a game that at the time is 33-5 was something that wasn't needed. Some said after the game perhaps that was George Cortez sending a message to the Riders and if it was, message sent.
--It was asked going into the game if a victory could help Bob Dyce in his quest to have the interim scratched off the head coaches door. If that was the case, how much does that performance hurt that quest. While he still hasn't come out and said that he wants to be the guy moving forward as far as I know, I have to think he does.
--Now that that is out of the way, lets talk about some other football-related matters and there is no doubt that Lirim Hajrullahu is on thin ice in Winnipeg. In fact, he may not be the Bombers kicker by the time you read this. He had perhaps the most nightmarish game I have seen from a kicker since ----well since Josh Scobee in the Pittsburgh-Baltimore game Thursday. Hajrullahu has not been Mr. Automatic during his time in Winnipeg and her certainly wasn't on Saturday as his misses were a big reason in Edmonton winning that football game. While Hajrullahu hung his team out to dry during the game, he also did it after as he was not offered to Winnipeg reporters looking for a comment. Sorry, you can't play like that and then have your teammates and coach talk about your performance, you have to. Glen Suitor did it in 1989 and many others have as well. That's very-----well yes, it's very Winnipegish!
Henry Burris is 40 years old and he is throwing for 500 yards to lead his 2nd year team to a victory. This my friends has Smilin Hank sittin atop the Most Outstanding Player ladder as far as I am concerned and he will likely beat Bo Levi Mitchell in the final balloting. Is it any coincidence these two are the only quarterbacks who have not been hurt this year. Knock on wood!
Once again, the Calgary Stampeders won a football game by 5 or less points on Friday night in Hamilton. The good teams find a way to win, but this Stampeders team isn't even close to being as good as the team that won the Grey Cup last year, however they may be more fortunate. One of these times they won't make the play or get the bounce they need, and I think they could be bounced by Edmonton in the Western final.
--Speaking of the Eskimos, they are putting getting a little ahead of themselves and a little full of themselves it would seem. The Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones had an article in Saturday's paper where he says not only are the Eskimos talking about being the champs this year, but being multiple champs. Mike Reilly said this team is not built to be a "one year wonder". The Eskimos are a good football team, but let's not go overboard here guys. You're not Calgary Dinos football good and there are a lot of other teams out there who can say they have just as solid a chance as you going into 2016 and beyond.
--Week 4 NFL thoughts
1) The Atlanta Falcons deserve to be 4-0. They are playing great football!
2) The Cincinnati Bengals are 4-0 and I can't figure that one out.
3) The talk of the Arizona Cardinals being a Super Bowl team can cool off at any time
4) Joe Philbin will be the first head coach fired in the NFL
5) Chip Kelly might be the second one
6) It was a bad week for kickers south of the border too
7) Can we just call them the Dallas Owboys. How many guys have they lost in the first
--Let me get this straight, the Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame announces its first ever class on Friday and while the names of Scott Schultz, Mike Mintenko, Clark Gillies and Lisa Franks are deservedly in that inaugural class, the name Kelly Remple isn't. It is my guess there is not a degenerate wing and it is my guess, the campaigning has already started to get him in the year 2 class.
--With the Blue Jays in the playoffs, are you ready for hockey season Canada? With the season starting Wednesday night, I will be interested how the sports bars treat Game 1 of the ALDS compared to night 2 of the NHL season when many teams will see their first action of the season including the Jets and Oilers. If you are a sports fan. places like the Great Canadian Brewhouse, the 4 Seasons and the Press Box are the place to be right now. It is the best time of year to be a sports fan.
--With the Blue Jays in the playoffs, do the Raptors have any momentum going into this season after what happened last. A good regular season was diminished by a piss-poor playoff outing making me wonder if Toronto fans even remember that the Raptors are getting another season underway. Something tells me come playoff time they will be packing the square outside Air Canada Centre like they have for the past two seasons and something tells me that square will be packed for all Blue Jays playoff games as well.
--Good on the Blue Jays for trying to get Mark Buehrle 200 innings, but starting him? It turned out to be disastrous as he didn't even get out of the first inning. Why didn't John Gibbons start Marcus Stroman and hope the game (a game Toronto needed to have a chance at having homefield advantage throughout the playoffs) was in their control after 6 and then bring Buehrle on to pitch the 7th and 8th. That would have made a lot more sense to me. It seemed to me as if Toronto once they clinched the division really took their foot off the gas and seemingly didn't care about having homefield. I would rather be at Rogers Centre for a Game 6 and Game 7 of the ALCS than in Kansas City, but some suggest it won't be those two teams in that series and not to worry about that. Regardless, they have to get by Texas first and both teams have been red hot since August 1 so it should be a good best of 5 matchup. By the way, is there anything Kevin Pillar doesn't catch when it is hit to center field. His play this year has been overshadowed by that of Bautista, Encarnacion and Donaldson, but it has been just as valuable as far as I am concerned.
--A story out of Winnipeg on the weekend says police are now patrolling rinks this winter because of problems with out-of-control parents. Please, please, please tell me that isn't happening here or anywhere in Saskatchewan.
--Have a great week!