Friday, June 17, 2016
This and That
Welcome to Friday! Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!
--The Edmonton Eskimos are coming off as very short-sighted and petty as they prepare to take on the Riders in the last pre-season game of the year. As you know, the game is not televised as was the case last year when the Calgary Stampeders came into Mosaic Stadium for pre-season play. The Riders, being the visionary that they are, had Dan Plaster and Luc Mullinder call the game on Riderville.com and the response was fantastic. The Ti-Cats announced on Thursday they will stream their game on Facebook, but the Eskimos say to hell with modern technology. If you want to watch this game, pay for it. It is bad enough teams ask fans to pay first class dollars for second rate games, but they do and that isn't stopping. However, to suggest fans come and pay their $$ instead of having an opportunity to watch it online is just wrong on so many levels. At the end of the day, the Eskimos can do what they want, but its a very misguided plan and opinion as far as I am concerned. It's not the great way to build up a fanbase, but whatever. The bottom line is Rider Nation will have to listen to Rod and Carm to find out what is happening and there's nothing wrong with that, but still.
--A lot is being said about how much of a positive it is the Riders have the bye in Week 1 so that Chris Jones and crew get an extra week to get ready. It's a two-sided sword. On one hand, I would think the team would want to get out there and start playing games for real, but on the other hand, Jones gets a chance to mold his young crew and gives them a chance to watch some games because I'm sure there are some guys who are still wondering what the CFL game is all about.
--As is the case every year around here, there is debate about who the backup quarterback will be. Brett Smith and BJ Coleman will decide that on Saturday afternoon and many feel it will be Smith's last appearance in Rider green. Does Jones really want to go into 2016 with no experience at the backup position. We all hope nothing happens to Darian Durant, but if something should happen, is Coleman the guy you want under center when you have a guy with CFL experience under your roof. I think for that reason Smith is #2, Coleman is #3 and Phillip Sims sits on the PR.
--There is a call for the coverboy of NHL 17 to be Gordie Howe. I am all for that. That would be a tremendous tribute to Mr. Hockey. There has also been a call for the NHL to do with Gordie's #9, what the league did with #99 when Wayne Gretzky retired saying no one else in the league will ever wear the number. It was Wayne who came up with the idea. I will admit I am a little torn on this one. If this was going to be done, it should have been done a long time ago. I also wonder what happens when Bobby Orr passes on....do we retire the number 4 permanently, do you do it with other players. This one is a slippery slope for the NHL. In the end, I don't think it happens. The NHL needs to find some way to pay tribute to Howe though. Do you now rename divisions and call one "The Howe Division", do you rename or add a trophy with his name on it and if so, what the trophy symbolize. I don't think the NHL wants to give out a trophy for the most Gordie Howe hat-tricks since they don't want fighting anymore. Something needs to be done, but what?
--Is there parity in the NHL? While Pittsburgh, Chicago and L-A have each won two Cups since the lockout, but there have been 11 different runners-up.
--I'm interested to see how the independent review of athletics at the University of Regina will turn out. I am sure there will be talk of having the Rams change their names to Cougars so every team at the U of R is under the same banner, but could the 17 Cougar teams be reduced. I am a huge supporter of university sport, and I know a lot of suggestions are being thrown around. I just hope its a tweak here and a tweak there and that some programs aren't discontinued. I'm not sure that wish will become reality.
--Congrats to Craig Smith. The former Riders director of player personnel landed on his feet by joining his hometown Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a scouting position. This guy knows what he is doing, and he has a genuine passion for it. Even when he knew his days were up in Riderville, he still gave the team a review on Josiah St. John who ended up being the first overall pick. Many would have kept that report to themselves, but Craig is too classy for that. The Bombers got better with his acquisition.
--Major League Baseball's attempt to say Ichiro Suzuki is the hit king is a joke and is just a dig at Pete Rose. Suzuki is a great player, but many of his hits were in the Japanese league. It isn't the same. Just like the CFL is different than the NFL. If it weren't Doug Flutie might be the best quarterback the game has ever seen. We didn't add Gordie Howe's WHA totals to his NHL totals. No one is adding Jaromir Jagr's KHL stats to his NHL ones and we shouldn't be adding Ichiro's Japanese hits total to what he has done in the major leagues. I think its terrible the way baseball is trying to stick it to Rose. Let it go already!
--Two thumbs up to Jon Ryan. The Regina native basically shut down his social media accounts after getting into it on Instagram with a "fan" over the Orlando shootings. Jon basically told the "fan" where to go by saying he was a terrible human being and to stop following him. I hope Jon brings back his accounts at some time because he is one of the best athletes out there, but I don't think anyone can really disagree with what he did and said.
--That's all I got. Have a great week!