Friday, November 6, 2015
This and That
It's Friday and that means that once again its time for some thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they are in no particular order.
The first week of November was certainly a great one with many topics to discuss. Where does one start? In this neck of the woods, that is a pretty easy decision as Corey Chamblin finally broke his silence. Many have wondered what his thoughts about what transpired this season were and the fact he rejected many media requests from people here said a lot, but he finally came out in a pair of interviews this week and once again the story was the same and that is no blame whatsoever being placed on himself for what went down.
I am of the firm belief Chamblin and Brendan Taman would still be in their positions right now if it had not been for the season-ending injury suffered by Darian Durant in Week 1. I am also of the belief this football team would have made it back to the Grey Cup and perhaps repeated as champions had Durant not been hurt in 2013. That is how much the quarterback means to this team, but at the end of the day, Chamblin didn't have a plan and he refuses to take blame for it while leaving many things open for discussion. Chamblin told Yahoo Sports' Andrew Bucholtz winning the Grey Cup probably wasn't in the cards this year when he looked at the talent on the team, but yet he told people in Saskatoon this year the squad had all the makings of being a Grey Cup team. He told Bucholtz there was a philosophy to go younger and give those guys experience, yet on opening day he had Jamel Richardson and Taj Smith as receivers while highly talented Naaman Roosevelt sat on the bench while he went with veterans Alex Suber and Geoff Tisdale in the secondary instead of putting in younger guys like Tyree Hollins. It just doesn't make sense. Through all of this, he puts no blame on himself which is the most surprising thing of all. 620 CKRM's Michael Ball will become the first Regina reporter to speak to Chamblin when the two converse on the pre-game show Sunday morning before the Montreal game. I don't know what Ballsy has up his sleeve for a line of questioning, but here is hoping Chamblin takes some responsibility for what went down in 2015 and for that matter, the last half of the 2014 season. His future could very well be decided on it, as I am guessing teams whether they be pro or college on both sides of the border want someone who is willing to absorb some self-blame for what happens between the lines.
One other thought regarding Chamblin. Where do you put him when it comes to the Plaza of Honor? Like it or not, his name is attached to the greatest night in Saskatchewan Roughrider history. He was only the 4th coach in the history of this franchise to coach the team to a Grey Cup and the other three men are already in there. I think once the sting of this year ends, you would say yeah, he deserves a spot, but there are still those who would be offended if Roy Shivers was inducted. Would you induct Chamblin when all is said and done. I don't know how you could say no considering what happened in 2013, but stranger things have happened. I will say this. If it happens, I think it will be at least 2020 if not longer and there may be players from that team who will be in there before Chamblin.
That takes us to the finish line and the Riders will limp across it on Sunday afternoon in Montreal. Is Montreal really the place for a 2-15 football team to be finishing off the season? Are they chartering in the morning of the game? There are players who want this season to be over and can you blame them, but you will see who is there for the paycheque and who is there for the love of the game on Sunday. Guys like Dressler, Chick, Ryan Smith and others will be out to make their last game of 2015 a good one and hopefully a victorious one, but realistically you have to think a 16th loss is coming. I am excited to see how Keith Price will be in his first pro start. I have been pumping his tires for quite a while and so far, I've liked what I've seen.
Win or lose, it will be your last chance to see the Riders in 2015. Let's just hope some decisions are made very quickly so we can get a good headstart on 2016 because I think its safe to say we would like to see some good football played at Mosaic Stadium in what will be the last, and I'm guessing a very special and emotional year.
When getting a headstart in 2016, would it be too much to get a quarterbacks coach in here?
Congrats to Jeff Knox Junior for cleaning up in the Rider player awards. Is it too much to think he has a legitimate shot at being the rookie of the year? Congrats also to Rob Bagg for being named the team's top Canadian. Those that have read this blog in the past know I have nothing but a huge amount of respect for Bagg and what he has done in his Rider career. If this team had more Rob Baggs on it, they wouldn't be in the situation they are today.
This past weekend, the University of Miami beat Duke on a last second many lateral kick return touchdown. Even after the play was sent upstairs to be reviewed, the touchdown counted, but the Atlantic Coast Conference later ruled several mistakes were made resulting in not only the on-field officials, but the replay official being suspended for two games. CFL head of officiating Glen Johnson came out Wednesday and said a Hamilton interception return against Ottawa that went for a touchdown and was called back should not have been and that officials made a mistake. We all know CFL officiating isn't up to snuff so should Johnson get tough with his guys and suspend them. Would it make the game better? Would the stripes be more accountable and would it get to the point we wouldn't have four crews to do a game. I love the move by the ACC. I wish more would adopt their line of thinking.
Fallout Boy will perform the halftime show at the Grey Cup and there is outrage!! I will be the first to admit I would like to see another act. In fact, I would like to see the Grey Cup go country and get someone like George Canyon, Gord Bamford, Paul Brandt or Langenburg's Jess Moskaluke do their thing at half-time at Investors Group Field. The reality for me is once the half time show hits, I will be switching over to the NFL game for a few moments or I will be running out to get some supplies for the second half. Has there ever been a halftime act that has met the approval of all? At the end of the day, the CFL wants to promote their product to the younger crowd and if the younger crowd watches the game just to get a glimpse of Fallout Boy, the league wins. Let's just all be glad its not Drake!
Week 9 NFL Lock of the Week --- Falcons over Niners
Week 9 NFL Upset of the Week ---Jaguars over Jets
Connor McDavid's injury is a tough one to absorb for not only the Edmonton Oilers, but the entire NHL. The kid has had people talking over his first month of play as he adapts to the NHL game, and while this is a setback, it should not be a major one. The buzz around tonight's game between the Penguins and Oilers has certainly been quieted as the hockey world was waiting for that first meeting between Crosby and Connor. It will happen, but sadly the McDavid talk is on hold for the next couple of months. I am just hoping the kid can be back when I take my last trip to Rexall Place in January. I don't think I'll be that lucky and I'll either have to see him at MTS Centre or wait until Rogers Arena opens next year. With Connor on the shelf, will Rogers now just please scrap the Messier/McDavid ads. Those are a little too creepy for me.
I think the Blue Jays would have been better off allowing 41 year old R.A Dickey to become a free agent instead of picking up his option. Use that money to sign Marco Estrada. By the way, is it just me or does new Jays boss Mark Shapiro look like former Wheat Pool/Viterra boss Mayo Schmidt.
The 2018 Mens World Curling Championships will be in Las Vegas. Did you ever think you would see elite-level curling in the city that never sleeps. The world is a-changing my friends.
If you want to see some future football stars on display, head to Mosaic tonight for the Regina 4A Football final between Leboldus and Campbell. These are two of the top high school programs in Canada. It should be a dandy at 515.
Nice job Regina and nice job southern Saskatchewan. 517-thousand dollars was raised in Harvard Broadcasting's 13th annual radiothon for the Childrens Hospital of Saskatchewan Foundation, People and companies came through for a great cause.
Rod is off to Montreal so I have the Cage today. Talk to you at 4.