Welcome to Friday! Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!
--LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!
Let my body endure having to climb the ramps, and let me growl at the mere sight of Worksafe Bob as yes it is pre-season, but Riders football is back and for those of us who have had to depend on Rod Pedersen, Luc Mullinder, Murray McCormick and Lee Jones to tell me what is going on, it is now my chance to see the Saskatchewan Roughriders up close. There are several guys I want to get a look at, but Darian Durant won't be one of them as Chris Jones says he will dress, but not play. I understand Jones wants to look at who the number 2 will be, but I also think Darian needs a couple of series just to get back into it after a year and a half on the sidelines. At the end of the day, it is the first pre-season game and many won't be around after this game so I'm not going to get that excited, but I do want to see the new look defence, I do want to see what the receiving corps looks like and I do want to see the size of this team. I am already thinking about leaving a stool in the area where the coaches news conference is after the game so I can take it into the dressing room and see eye-to-eye with some of these behemoths.
--Is it somewhat concerning that Justin Capiccotti and Jeff Knox Junior have not really practiced with the team this year after suffering injuries early on in camp. You need those two to be successful!
--In an earlier column, I said I don't like bashing the CFL, but they make it too easy. The latest chapter in the book comes from Wednesday's pre-season opener in Winnipeg where the league website was about as effective as a trapdoor on a lifeboat. In the words of Edmonton Sun columnist, Terry Jones, "New CFL website totally useless". Yes, I realize it is opening night and there are going to be bugs. but do you test this stuff out beforehand or just roll it out and cross your fingers. I think its the latter. This doesn't happen in other leagues. There again lies the credibility argument.
--I am assuming TSN will be doing their top 50 CFL players special before the season starts. I don't know about you, but for me the conversation starts and stops at Bo Levi Mitchell.
--It is no secret I am not a fan of the NHL on Sportsnet. One of the reasons are the personalities. Yes, there are some good ones like Elliotte Friedman, Kelly Hrudey, Rich Sutter and Daren Millard, but there are some real meatballs as well like Healy, Kypreos and John Shannon. How about this beauty from Shannon this week when asked about the future of Regina native Tyler Bozak. Shannon surmised it will be tough for the Leafs to trade Bozak or any other player because “I’m not sure that anybody that comes out of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization is somebody you want.” Really John?? Have you looked at the rosters of the two Stanley Cup teams. Where did Phil Kessel, Roman Polak and James Reimer come from? #idiot
--Congratulations to the new interim director of athletics at the University of Regina. I don't know how long Tanya Reynoldson will have the job, but I love the hire. Tanya knows what is going on in Cougarland having not only been a Cougar athlete, but now working as the marketing and promotions co-ordinator. She has a huge task in trying to attract people to Cougar games and despite the fact she has a real schmuck serving as the P-A announcer at basketball games, she does a great job.
--While handing out congratulations, congratulations goes out to Pats assistant coach Dave Struch. Struch was named an assistant coach for one of the Canada teams that will compete at the World Under 17 challenge. I have said it before and I will say it again....I don't know if the Pats are as successful as they have been the last two years without Struch. Take nothing away from the job John Paddock has done, but Struch deserves just as much credit.
--Did San Jose just delay the inevitable or is the Stanley Cup Final going to go 7? What a wild first period in Game 6. Martin Jones won the head-to-head battle against Matt Murray. Jones has been through this before albeit as a backup with L-A. Murray has not. I can't see Mike Sullivan going to Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 6, but if the Sharks win that one and Murray struggles like he did in Game 6, I might be tempted to throw Fleury in there. What an enormous letdown for the Penguins and their fans.
--San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner wants to compete in the Home-Run Derby at Baseball's all-star game. I say why not? I think that would be a lot of fun for the Giants pitcher and for baseball fans.
--The Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays don't like one another. The Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles don't like one another and we know the Blue Jays and Texas Rangers aren't going to exchange Xmas cards anytime soon. I would love if the American League's final four were the Rangers, Jays, Royals and Orioles.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!