The August long weekend is here. The Queen City Ex is about to start. Summer holidays are at the halfway point for kids, and this man must be fuming at a temperature hotter than the heat we experienced in southern Saskatchewan this weekend. I can't blame him.
SACRE BLEU - When you have a young football team basically starting from scratch, you have to expect every now and then you will get one handed to you, but I didn't think it would happen Friday in Montreal. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?? is the question everyone in these parts were asking Friday night and going into Saturday as well. There weren't many positives coming out of the Rider locker room after a 41-3 demolition at the hands of the Alouettes---an Alouettes team who had just played Monday. The Riders just weren't into it. You could see that on the first drive when Kevin Glenn methodically marched his team down the field into the endzone. That was basically the ball-game. On a night where everyone was concerned was about the offense, it was the defense who basically soiled themselves and did they ever. No pass rush, no turnovers, no intensity, no chance! For a guy who is known for defensive football, it must have Chris Jones feeling extremely frustrated.
People are saying the wrong move was made to hire this guy. Let's get real! Many knew it wasn't going to 15-3 under Jones, from 3-15 and many are patient with this rebuild, but a 38 point beatdown isn't sitting well with many despite the "patience" they are showing. With a short week, and a game in Calgary it is time for this team to man up and make some amends for what happened by going into McMahon and taking on a Calgary team on a high after their big win Friday.
LACKADAISACAL LAWRENCE - There is a new whipping boy in Rider Nation. I can't really blame the fanbase for their negativism towards Kendial Lawrence. I don't know what it is, but this guy has done zip in the first third of the season and shows no sign of being the electric player he was in Edmonton. One person took to Twitter Friday night to ask why Dominique Dorsey is wearing Lawrence's jersey. That's cold. Another said Jennifer Lawrence has had a bigger impact for the Riders than Kendial and Jennifer hasn't strapped the helmet on yet. I don't know what is happening with #32, but the thoughts from yours truly that he would have a role in the offense similar to what Corey Holmes had were a complete swing and a miss.
JON, JON, JON - I was oh so close to saying I was sold on the B-C Lions, but nope. Jonathan Jennings still has some maturing to do before I can say they are for real. Jennings and his B-C teammates had that game in Calgary in the bag, but he made some bad decisions late in the 4th quarter and in overtime to cost his team the two points. The INT's he made in the final few moments reeked of inexperience. The Lions and Jennings are going to be good, but there is still some work to be done with the 2nd year quarterback.
WELCOME BACK - The worst kept secret in the CFL was made official on Sunday night as the league announced the Grey Cup game in 2017 will be played in the Nation's Capital. It just makes me wonder if Ralph Goodale or Andrew Scheer will be hosting the celebratory party put on by the Rider Nation. In all seriousness, Ottawa will put on a great show. How much longer till the Grey Cup comes to the new Mosaic. Yes, I know it will be a while since it was just here in 2013. Could we fast-track it somehow to 2019?
WHO TAKES THE FALL - We are still a long ways away from the drop of the puck and a new NHL season, but the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes all feel they are playoff teams. All three are improved, and I'm sure Calgary thinks last year was a one year blip so if they get in who falls out. The eight teams that made the playoffs in the West don't look to be slipping out.
ROLLIN THE DICE - It looks like one of the WHL's heavy hitters is off to the pros. If multiple reports are correct, Kelly McCrimmon is leaving the Brandon Wheat Kings to join the Las Vegas franchise in the NHL as their assistant general manager. It is a great hire. As much as I don't like the Wheat Kings, I have a great deal of respect for McCrimmon and what he has done with that franchise and for the WHL. What happens to the Wheat Kings now is a question being asked across the WHL, and I would think this is good news for the entire Eastern Division.
HOOP DREAMS -
There was some good basketball played in the Queen City this week as the Canadian Under 15 and 17 womens championships were held. The game is in good hands if what I saw at the CKHS is any indication. The only question I had on the event was did anyone know it was going on? I saw very little promotion on the event, but there were decent crowds so the word was definitely out there. Team Saskatchewan won bronze in the U17's after losing a semi to Quebec in the dying seconds while Ontario won the gold. The U15's saw Quebec win the title. While its great being on the mike at the CKHS for Cougar games, it was nice to just sit back in the stands and watch a game without working it. I wonder if I can do that at Mosaic before the season ends. I think I know the answer to that question.
PURSUE THE PENNANT - August starts with many teams having a legitimate claim to a World Series title. The Blue Jays begin the 2nd to last month just a half game back of Baltimore in the East with many games against both the Orioles and Boston before all is said and done. It is going to be fun watching several teams jockey around in both leagues. GO CUBS!
START YOUR HOMEWORK - If you are an NFL Fantasy Football player, the time has come to start pouring through magazines and articles as the season is near. In fact, yesterday was the last Sunday without NFL football until the Super Bowl is awarded. Who is the number one pick this year? I have seen it range from Antonio Brown to Odell Beckham Junior to Cam Newton to Adrian Peterson.
Holidays have hit for this blogger. Who knows how much content will be on here over the next couple of weeks, but keep checkin in!
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!