Monday, August 22, 2016
Something to "Mitch" About
HAMILTON HORRORSHOW - One picture tells a thousand words. This pic of Chris Jones as the clock ticked down at Tim Hortons Field Saturday night definitely does that. I knew going into this season there would be some growing pains. I knew with Chris Jones in control of this football team that things were going to change---and change for the better. However, after what I witnessed on Saturday, I can only shake my head. I want to stay positive, and I still think there are things to work with, but this season is just going from bad to worse.
As an Oilers fan, and seeing what they have gone through the last decade, they say you have to hit rockbottom before you can start over. Leafs fans know what that is all about too. I think it is safe to say the Riders have found rockbottom. In all my years of watching this football team, and there have been some bad ones, I don't think I have ever seen an uglier performance from the guys with the /=S=/ on their helmet than that one. I would blame no-one if they turned over to the Hip Concert, the Blue Jays game or the Olympics or perhaps go to Costco or Walmart and get some Sunday shopping done early.
The defence was non-existent, and Darian Durant had perhaps his worst game as a professional. Add it all up, and you see what you got.
I really don't know what else to say. As Matt Dunigan stated repeatedly throughout the 2nd half, there are good players on that team, but they have to play as a unit and that isn't happening. Chris Jones didn't forget how to coach when he left Edmonton, but this team has done nothing us to show us what a Chris Jones-team is supposed to be like. Nothing! As we start to approach Labour Day, some are wondering if we are in any better of a position than last year. I really can't answer that question.
As the 2nd half of the season gets ready to begin, the CFL brass need to convene with its teams and make a rule change. This "fishing expedition" as TSN's Chris Cuthbert has started to call it has to come to an end. A coach is allowed to grasp at a straw by throwing a challenge flag for illegal contact and on Saturday night it happened twice. A Justin Cox interception was taken off the board because of a jersey tug on Brandon Banks well away from the play and the Riders had the same thing occur in the 2nd half. These challenges of interference are killing the game. Coaches are taking advantage of the rule which is what they are supposed to do as they look to win the game so you can't blame them. Challenges should be used for turnovers, possession and whether someone is in bounds, but that's it. Many people I know who are CFL fans are saying the game is becoming unwatchable and it is. With the NFL pre-season in full swing and NCAA about to start, I would suggest "Jeff" and crew sit down to discuss this rule and put in the recycling bin. It would be good for business.
I can't be the only one wondering why Jeremiah Masoli was throwing deep passes and trying to score in the game's waning seconds. Yes, you have to stop them as a defense, but one has to wonder if a message of some sort was being sent.
John Chick referred to what is happening inside the walls of Mosaic Stadium as a "circus" when talking to reporters leading up to the game. I can only wonder what he was thinking after that debacle. I think it is crystal clear that getting rid of Chick was a mistake. Yes, younger players are here, but that veteran leadership he could have provided would have been immense. If Chick was utilized the way the Ti-Cats are utilizing him, I think he would have shown he has more in the tank.
THANK YOU GORD - Unlike many I know, I am not a Tragically Hip fanatic, but I certainly realize the chord their music touches. Like many others across this great country of ours, I tuned in to the farewell concert. It was what I expected. Because of the Rider game, I had to switch back and forth (thank god for the PVR), but Gord Downey and company certainly gave us what we expected in their final performance and then some. Cancer will soon take away another great person way sooner than they should have. I do have to ask this though because I legitimately do not know the answer. Was there a reason why the farewell tour did not stop in Saskatchewan? You know SaskTel Centre or the Brandt Centre would have been sold out. In the end, it doesn't matter, but I would like to know if there was a reason.
THANK YOU OLYMPIANS - As I mentioned Friday, I don't think Canadians should be disappointed with the performance of our athletes in Rio. While coming home with 20 plus medals in 2016, I can only wonder what 2020 has in store. Penny Oleksiak, Andre De Grasse and others will certainly be medal contenders again, but how many 4th place finishers will be back looking to be on the podium. The womens soccer team isn't going anywhere, the mens volleyball and womens basketball both have Tokyo in their sights, mens basketball should qualify and baseball and softball are back. As good as Rio was, Tokyo may be two weeks to remember for Canadian athletes, but 2020 is a long ways away. As was the case in Sochi, it seemed as if all the horror stories we heard going into the games didn't happen. There were some "issues" and Ryan Lochte came off as the ultimate d-bag, but in the end, the focus was once again on the athletes which is where it should be.
UFC202 - The UFC hasn't had a lot of good luck lately when it comes to the main event living up to the hype. Not the case on Saturday. Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz had one for the ages. It went the distance with McGregor winning in the end. There was no doubt he was the better fighter, but had there been a 6th round, he might not have been as Diaz was coming on. UFC was definitely better than WWE's Summerslam. That's another horror story---albeit not as bad as Saturday in Hamilton.
That's all I got. Have a great week!