Friday, December 11, 2015
This And That
It's Friday and that means it is time for the weekly set of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.
--Holy crap on a cracker!! What a week! This has arguably been the wildest week in the history of the 100 plus year franchise of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Chris Jones has come in and he has started the rebuild. Has he ever! Before the ink was dry on his contract, word was Jarious Jackson was coming in to serve as quarterbacks coach and before that could truly sink in, Sportscage insider Arash Madani showed why he is considered one of the best of what he does by spilling the beans on the fact Bob Dyce and Craig Smith were out and Craig Dickenson was coming back AND John Murphy was coming in to serve in the front office meaning three of the four men Craig Reynolds interviewed for the GM are here anyway with Jeremy O'Day said to be safe in the organizational structure. It makes you wonder what Brock Sunderland is thinking doesn't it. The reaction is positive in the Rider Nation as the football team has now pillaged its Alberta rivals. I can only wonder how red hot the reaction would be on the other side if this was a team grabbing everyone from Saskatchewan. It would be pure hell, fire and brimstone methinks. Someone would be asking the RCMP to investigate. Online petitions would be formed. It would be absolute chaos with the "You can't do that to us" mentality.
--What has happened in Riderville this week makes me wonder if somewhere in Regina, Craig Reynolds has looked in a mirror and done the old Ric Flair by giving it a "WOOOOOOO" or doing his version of the Jose Bautista bat flip. No one can say Reynolds played status quo on this one. He sent a message to everyone in the CFL and what a message it was. Did anyone see that coming?
--While it is sad to see Bob Dyce go, one can't be surprised. I think it was clear that whoever was going to be the general manager of the Riders was not going to keep Dyce around and deep down, I think Bob knew that as well. He was asked to immerse himself in a very tough spot and while he did lead the team to a 3-6 record down the stretch, it wasn't enough. Dyce is a very good football man, and he will succeed at his next position. I always thought Dyce would make a great CIS head coach, but there aren't any jobs at this time in Canada West and truthfully, I don't know if there are any openings in Eastern Canada. All I know is Dyce is a guy who can teach this game to players and he should be thanked by Rider Nation for taking one for the team and inheriting a position where he had to know there was more bad than good. Don't be surprised to see him end up back in Winnipeg.
--As for Craig Smith, he is also a guy who knows talent as he has seen a lot of it. Craig and I have had several very good chats and I will miss seeing him around Mosaic Stadium, but when change comes, you have to expect good people will be shuffled off the deck and that has happened as Jones brings in who he wants. That isn't the wrong approach to take. Like Dyce, Smith will find another job in this league and he will improve that team.
--Should the Riders pay compensation to the Eskimos for hiring Chris Jones? Where did this argument start? Coaches have moved from team to team for years and as long as that coach was advancing, there was never ever any talk of compensation. Did Edmonton pay compensation to Toronto when Jones went there? It is my understanding Jones was still under contract to the Argos when he left for the Eskimos. If Jason Maas signs on as the Eskimos head coach as some believe he will, they won't give the REDBLACKS any compensation. If the Eskimos didn't want the Riders to have Chris Jones than they would have said no when the request to speak with him was made. Compensation, shmopensation! Good on Eskimos GM Ed Hervey for telling the Edmonton media no compensation was needed because Jones did what Edmonton brought him there to do.
--All these moves and Worksafe Bob is seemingly still safe. SIGHHHHH!!!!
--I can't be the only one thinking Paul Lapolice is the head coach in Winnipeg by the time next year ends.
--Not every Tim Hortons needs a drive-thru because the location calls for one that isn't drive-thru friendly. Yes, I am talking about the ones on north Albert and south Albert. Those are places where if you want the product bad enough then go in and get one or find another place for your daily Timmies fix.
--It can't be two weeks to Christmas can it? I was in a Regina shopping mall on Thursday night and you wouldn't know it by the lack of traffic in there.
--I don't care what anyone says. There was no better TV show than Married with Children and no better character than Al Bundy. Watching reruns of that show on "Dejaview" are outstanding.
--Week 14 NFL Lock of the Week -- Packers over Cowboys
Week 14 NFL Upset of the Week -- Steelers over Bengals
--One too many Norv Turner brain-cramps cost the Vikings on Thursday. You had a game tying field goal ready to go, but you got greedy and why the hell are you trying to run a reverse when the ball should just stay in the hands of Adrian Peterson. Basically, the Vikings came down with a case of Cleveland-itis. It happens to the best of them sometimes says the blogger who still doesn't know why Marshawn Lynch didn't get the ball at the one in the closing moments of last year's Super Bowl.
--Have the Thursday night games been better than the Monday night ones this year? There's been some prime-time dogs this year, but I think the Thursday games have been better.
--Rogers Sportsnet Edmonton Oilers host Gene Principe was with me in the Sportscage Wednesday to talk about the Oilers. The discussion got around to former Pat Brandon Davidson. It is great to see Davidson blossom into an NHL player right in front of us. As Principe mentioned and as many know, Davidson's path to the NHL has not been an easy one and he has managed a way to meet every hurdle thrown in front of him. Davidson will never be considered a Norris Trophy candidate, but he is one of those dependable d-men you can count on to give you solid minutes every night. It's great to see.
--The question keeps getting asked, what the h-e double hockeysticks is wrong with Sidney Crosby. The guy everyone thought was a lock to be a top 3 in scoring only has 6 goals on a Pittsburgh team averaging 2.3 goals a game. How can a team with Malkin, Crosby, Kessel and others only be averaging 2.3 goals a game. Players like Mike Hoffman, Kyle Palmieri, Boone Jenner and Leo Komarov have double digit goals this year and Sid is a few away from getting there. Leo Komarov?
--How does the SJHL not get one player on the Canada West team for the World Junior A Challenge. There is no way the other three Junior A leagues in Western Canada should have all the spots and not one player in the SJ can make it. The talent level may not be as great as it is in Alberta and BC, but there are players who should be representing the SJ at that tournament aren't there?
--The Blue Jays managed to get Josh Donaldson by sending Brett Lawrie and others to Oakland and one year later, Lawrie is sent to the White Sox. That deal looks uglier and uglier for the Athletics at this time.
--Its Teddy Bear Toss night at the Brandt Centre in one of the best promotions of the year as the Regina Pats take on the Kelowna Rockets. Take a stuffed animal to the game with you and throw it on the ice when the Pats get that first goal of the game. The Rockets are the best team in the WHL and could very well find themselves in Red Deer come Memorial Cup time. It is also the only time they will skate on Brandt Center ice this year.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!