Monday, November 16, 2015
Something to "Mitch" About
As the news filtered across our social media accounts and our televisions late Friday afternoon about the senseless carnage which occurred in Paris, the stark realities of life hit us. Yes, we can bitch about what happened to the Riders and who is to blame and what is the best route when moving forward along with many other happenings in the sports world, but at the end of the day it does not compare to what happened on Friday. So many went out to enjoy a night of music, a soccer game or a nice meal not knowing what was going to happen and over 100 who went out to enjoy themselves never returned home. Those who were fortunate enough to survive what happened will be scarred for life. It is days like Friday that you never want to see repeated, but sadly from time to time it is. Now the debates begin on many other topics and what the future will hold. Some ridiculous statements have been made and there have been some outlandish ones made as well. As a society, we just need to stay strong and continue to do what we do on a day-to-day basis.
The CFL is down to four teams. Ottawa and Edmonton have been joined by Hamilton and Calgary in the divisional finals. The East semi went right down to the last play before it was decided with the weather conditions playing a huge factor in the football game, but the Argos made Hamilton work for it, while the West semi went the way I thought it would as Calgary played a BC team that was the best of a bad lot. Next weekend, I will take the home teams as well,At but the fact Edmonton has had two weeks off will play a huge factor.
At the start of the CIS season, I don't think many people had the final four that we've got. Certainly not in the Uteck Bowl where UBC will play St FX. I knew the top ranked Dinos would not be able to get it done in the Hardy Cup for the second year in a row as they looked nothing like the team that destroyed the opposition week after week after week in the regular season. The fact they almost got beat by the Huskies the week before should have served as a warning, but it didn't...at least it appeared that way. With the Canada West championship trophy resting at Thunderbird Stadium, the UBC football program might want to make sure the Hardy Cup is front and center in the trophy case because I don't see it leaving anytime soon and it will likely be joined by a Vanier Cup or two perhaps as early as this year. Blake Nill has accomplished what UBC wanted him too when he took over the program after successful years in Calgary----he has brought the T-Birds back to prominence and he only took one year to do so. I wonder if Nill has ever thought about moving up to the CFL.
I don't know about you, but I love the fact the games are on later now with the time change. As far as I'm concerned, we can stay one hour behind Ontario all year long. There are some nights when I leave the 620 CKRM studios with a game already having started at 5 o'clock meaning by the time I get to sit down and watch it, its half over or worse. Having games start at 6 or NFL games starting at high noon is a much better alternative for this blogger.
Mid November in Saskatchewan and we had temperatures well into double digits. I have no problem with that. Yes, 40 below is coming, but lets enjoy this mild streak for as long as we can.
On Friday, I asked about CFL TV numbers and who is to blame. I had two people ask me if I had seen Sportscenter after the game to which I hadn't and then Rob Vanstone brought it up in his Saturday "Robservations" column. TSN, the league's broadcaster, showed no Saskatchewan highlights in a Saskatchewan win and had the gall to lead with Major League Soccer over the CFL. Huh??? I can understand Sportsnet somewhat ignoring the CFL even though they have the best league insider in Arash Madani, but how can TSN do this. It isn't the first time they have been guilty of this and it won't be the last. I am sure the network will do its usual tremendous job at the Grey Cup with many hands on deck, but when that is your property, shouldn't you promote it right through from the opening weekend of training camp right through the handing out of the CFL's championship trophy. Network execs have some explaining to do.
Speaking of having some explaining to do, those who developed a game plan for Ronda Rousey might want to re-think their strategy. The unbeatable got beat at UFC 193. Correction, she got her ass handed to her. Who thought it was a good idea for Rousey to stand in there with a boxer? Then her manager after the first round where Ronda got dominated with one left hand after another and he says to her "You're doing great!" Excuse me? There is no doubt there will be a rematch. Can you say UFC 200? It was literally amazing to wake up Sunday and see all the criticism being launched at the face of UFC. Ronda will be back, but she may never be the same.
The Patrick Marleau situation is one of the many things I hate about sports. Marleau says he is open to a trade, but only if it is the Rangers, Ducks or Kings. Why would the Sharks want to trade the Saskatchewan native to one of their rivals and can they really get what they would think is fair value from the Rangers when they could get something more to their liking from perhaps the Leafs, Flyers, Jets or Wild. GM's are hamstrung when trying to make player moves today and I think that is wrong. Do players have the right to say where they want to play?
Greg Harder's article in Saturday's Leader-Post on Josh Harding was a tremendous one. The former Pats goalie seems to be at peace after having his NHL career derailed thanks to a battle with MS and he is doing what he can to bring awareness to the disease. Its also good to know he is helping coach a high school team in Minnesota where high school hockey is a big deal. I wonder if that could lead to him someday perhaps returning to Regina as a member of the Pats organization. That would be outstanding although the current John Paddock-Dave Struch combo is just fine and by no way needs to be changed.
Will Colby Williams change the way the Regina Pats have played? If the 20 year old captain's return to the lineup is any indication, I would say yes. The defenceman was a huge force in an 8-5 win over Memorial Cup hosts Red Deer on Friday night with his highlight reel play being a thunderous hit near the penalty box that got the Rebels dander up. An off-season arm injury cost Colby a chance to go to Washington's training camp and took almost a quarter of his last season of junior hockey away from him, but he is ready to make his last season a great one if Friday was any indication. They followed that up yesterday with a big win over another good team from Lethbridge. Perhaps the blue and white have turned the corner.
It warms my heart to see Greg Hardy walk off the field a loser. How Jerry Jones still has this guy on the team when he got rid of Joseph Randle just baffles me. The topic of Jason Garrett's future came up on the FOX pregame show with Terry Bradshaw saying the Cowboys need to get a marquee coach to which the others said a marquee coach doesn't want to come to Dallas because of Jones and the way he meddles. I couldn't agree more.
After Carolina, who is the next best team in the NFC? Is it really Minnesota? It isn't Green Bay and it isn't Seattle. I'm not sold on Arizona yet, but they will win the NFC West after walking into Seattle and beating the once invincible Seahawks at home. The window has certainly closed on the Seahawks for this year methinks.
One has to think Peyton Manning will be retiring when the season is over. He looks awful!!!
That's all I got. Have a great week everyone!