Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--The season is over in Riderville. Head Coach and General Manager Chris Jones faced the media on Monday and Jones said what I expected him to say except for one thing. To say I was shocked when he said he was giving himself an "F" for the 5-13 season that just transpired. An "F"?! Wow! Some will obviously agree with that, but whether or you are with Jones or against him, you have to agree the degree of accountability he is taking is immense and frankly, it is refreshing.
Corey Chamblin never took any accountability for what was happening when the Rider fortunes started going south in the 2nd half of 2013 and Greg Marshall's "It's not up to me to motivate the players" quote during his short-lived tenure showed you how much accountability he had.
Jones eats, drinks and breathes football. That is plain to see. He doesn't like the fact he isn't going to the playoffs for the first time in his 15 year CFL career. He doesn't like the fact his team won just 5 games this year, and that he had to bring in over 100 guys to try and get a roster he liked. There is no downtime for this guy. He says there are many free agent camps happening before Christmas. He continues to look for players who he thinks can help the Riders out moving forward. More importantly, the thought of losing like he did this season seemingly eats him up. He does not like being in the position he does, and I am 110 percent certain he will not have this football team in this predicament 365 years from now.
Yes, Jones did a lot of things wrong in year 1, but he is admitting to that. He did some things right too, and he should get some credit for that. A guy can be his own worst critic, and Jones certainly lives up to that. Suffice to say, he won't be taking much off-time in the off-season.
--Is Tim Hortons a sponsor of the CFL? The reason I ask is I would like to see the CFL piggyback off a great promotion that Tim's runs every year with the NHL. The hockey card promotion draws extra people to a place which is already busy enough. You can get physical cards or an on-line set. Could we not translate this to the CFL? Yes, you won't get a chance to win one of 87 Sidney Crosby autographed cards, but you could offer up some sweet prizes including some trips to the Grey Cup and other things. Kids love collecting cards, and this would be a great way to engage the younger demographic. There were many kids asking Mom and Dad to go to Tims to get coffee so they could get cards and there were many adults (yes I was one of them) making an extra trip for coffee so I could purchase some.
--Richard Sherman would make a great wrestling heel! The Seahawks DB is the best at getting under other players skin as evidenced Monday night. He also knows exactly what he is doing. He's the agitator you hate in the NHL. Yeah, if I wasn't a Seahawks fan, I would probably be right in there with the Sherman hate, but I'm not. Leafs fans loved Darcy Tucker and that was it! Keep doin what you do Richard!! One other thing, that was one of the worst acting jobs ever by Bills kicker Dan Carpenter. That was just embarassing even for a kicker. There are some soccer players who might have even found that display amusing.
--I love what Rock Creek Tap and Grill are doing with the University of Regina Cougars, and I hope more businesses get on board. The restaurant has come up with a "Cougar Burger". It is a burger brushed with sweetened chipotle beer sauce and topped with cheese, maple bacon, lettuce and tomato. One dollar from every burger consumed at their Quance and Normanview locations goes to the Cougars and Rams for costs associated with equipment, uniforms, coaching and travel. The promotion will run until May. It isn't easy for the U of R to get the $$$ needed for these things and any little bit of help like what Rock Creek is doing is tremendous. If more businesses do something like this, it is one less problem for the coaches and it helps make U of R athletics better. Maybe they need to bring some mobile kitchens to the CKHS and Co-Operators Centre?? Yes, I know that won;t be happening, but one can dream!
--When was the last time the NHL had a better crop of rookies? Patrick Laine leads the league in goals and has Winnipeg fans thinking thGreey are indeed seeing the next Teemu Selanne. The trio of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner are giving Leafs fans some serious optimism moving forward. Others like Jimmy Vesey, former Pats prospect Brady Skjei, and Zach Werenski have had great starts to the season and there is a thought Jesse Pulijarvi may be ready to break out soon in Edmonton. Just picking three finalists for the Calder Trophy won't be easy much less select a winner if this continues.
--Why did the NHL schedule the first ever game between Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby on election night? You can't tell me the league didn't know that was the case. What was also bad is the game was shown to just the local markets and wasn't a nationally televised game in either country. How is a McDavid-Crosby matchup not a Hockey Night in Canada game or a game on NBCSN or just NBC, If the league has no interest in showing McDavid play because he is on a Canadian team, will the same be said for Auston Matthews down the road. What about Laine? The NHL isn't helping themselves out.
--Week 10 NFL Lock Of The Week -- Packers over Titans
Week 10 NFL Upset Of The Week -- Steelers over Cowboys
--Did the Moose Jaw Warriors send the Regina Pats a message this week? The Warriors obviously feel they can challenge the Queen City Kids by getting the league's 3rd leading scorer last year--Brayden Burke out of Lethbridge. I think its safe to say the Moose Jaw-Regina rivalry could be coming back. I don't think I am alone when I say seeing the Warriors and Pats battle it out in a WHL East final would be an event like we have never seen before. With the likes of Steel, Brooks, Hobbs, Wagner and Leschyshyn on one side and Howden, Gregor, Burke, Sawchenko and Zaitsev on the other, it just might happen this year. I would have loved to have gone to the game at Mosaic Place last night, but rest assured I'll be checking the calendar to see when the two teams go head-to-head this year. It might be the best hockey you see this winter. All indications are the 5-4 Pats OT win was one to behold.
--R.A Dickey is an Atlanta Brave. It is safe to say the Blue Jays roster got a little better on Thursday. I don't care if the guy ate up innings, he was a disaster in Toronto as far as I'm concerned, and the fact the Jays gave up Noah Syndergaard to get him was an egregious mistake. Where would Toronto have ended up if Syndergaard was in that rotation?
--It is November 11 and that is a day to remember those who fought for our freedom. The veterans are leaving us slowly as they age. We can never give up the opportunity to thank them for their service to this country. Wear a poppy with pride today wherever you may be.