Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--Is there a better football weekend than this? Turkey day in the U-S meant the usual diet of NFL football, Today there are college games galore including the Apple Cup between Washington State and Washington. On Saturday, you will have Calgary and Laval playing for the Vanier Cup in Hamilton with some great games in the U-S as well including Ohio State vs Michigan which leads to the usual Sunday buffet of NFL games and then the Grey Cup to cap it off as the Calgary Stampeders will look to complete one of the best seasons in the history of the CFL as they play the Ottawa REDBLACKS who are in their 2nd Grey Cup in just their 3rd year of existence.
Say what you will about Toronto hosting the game and seats having to be basically given away, and say what you will about the league, but there is nothing like Grey Cup week. I have been to several and they are a great show because the fans make it that way. Yes, there are many flaws in the game, but fans keep coming to the annual November party no matter where it is and they have a great time. Toronto may not know the game is on, but CFL fans do and they aren't going to let the fact that the game is in a place that seemingly doesn't embrace the league stop them from doing what they do every year and that is have some fun, renew some relationships, make some memories and watch a football game.
--Last year at this time, all the talk in Winnipeg was Chris Jones was coming to Regina after the Grey Cup. That rumour became fact as we know. This year, the Riders have been front and center with a couple of rumours, but nothing as explosive as last year. There is talk Duron Carter may be interested in resuming his football career with the green-and-white. Thanks, but no thanks. Carter has all the talent in the world, but his lack of maturity has shown. He isn't a guy conducive to winning in this blogger's opinion. Besides the money that would likely be needed for his services could go to some guy named Durant. Who's kidding who, if you sign Carter, who is going to throw the ball to him?
The other rumour comes from Scott Milanovich. It has been suggested he could reunite with Chris Jones if he is cut adrift in Toronto as is expected. Milanovich knows his stuff. I'd be OK with this.
--Can the Ottawa REDBLACKS beat Calgary? Yup! If they played 10 times, Calgary would likely win 8 of them, but I think Ottawa can make this a good game and if they get a break or two, they could win. I don't think there are many Rider fans who would be heartbroken if Henry Burris had his mitts on the Grey Cup Sunday night. I know I wouldn't be.
---Was this really three years ago?
Considering what has happened to the Riders since that magical Sunday night, it is hard to fathom what has happened to the football team. It's still a night I don't think anyone in the Rider Nation would trade. Will a scene like this happen in the new Mosaic? One can only hope!
--I know many Vikings fans. I am guessing they are all ready to jump into traffic after what happened yesterday and how this season has gone from great to right down the toilet.
--What was longer? Aretha Franklin performing the Star-Spangled Banner before the Vikes-Lions game or the Ben Cahoon retirement ceremony. Its close!
--Say what you will about the CFL, but I don't think they could ever do as a big a screw-up as what happened in the MLS game between Toronto and Montreal this week. How do you paint the lines wrong? How? YOU HAD ONE JOB! What's worse is that both teams practiced there the day before and no one noticed. ?????? One can only imagine the hue and cry if the CFL did something like this.
--Regina's other quarterback that wears #4 was rightfully selected as the Hec Crighton Trophy winner Thursday night in Hamilton as Noah Picton was named USports Football player of the year. It's the first time that has happened for a Rams player which is amazing considering the many great players that have gone through the program. It also comes 30 years to the day after his dad Dean won the Canadian Junior title. I couldn't be happier for Noah. He deserves this after the season he had. It was amazing to see the way he dissected Canada West defences for a majority of the season with his game in Winnipeg to end the season against the Bisons being one of beauty. I can only hope by the time he graduates something is done to get Canadian quarterbacks in the CFL because like many others past and present, the kid has what it takes to get to the next level.
I was somewhat shocked not to see Steve Bryce be the USports Coach of the Year. You just don't do what Bryce did in one year very often. The head coach at Laurier must have had one helluva season if it was enough to beat out the first year Rams head coach.
--As we know, the Regina Pats are a finalist for the 2018 Memorial Cup. Is there any reason to think the 100th anniversary of Canada's junior hockey championship won't be contested at the Brandt Centre. It seems like a perfect mix with the Pats relationship with the military, the fact it is their 100th anniversary along with other things like the fact the host team has a damn good shot at winning it all. Yes, that is a long ways from happening and some already believe a trip to Windsor for this year's MC should be booked already, but all Regina will lose next year is Adam Brooks as far as the core guys go.
People seem to forget Tyson Jost is Regina's property and if the Colorado first round draft pick can somehow find his way to Regina for a season that will end with a Memorial Cup appearance after a year at North Dakota, it makes Regina a powerful team again next season. If Regina gets the MC, it will mean the Brier and the Memorial Cup in a three month period. Safe to say Regina will have the Canadian sports spotlight shining brightly on it.
WEEK 12 NFL LOCK OF THE WEEK --- Dolphins over Niners
WEEK 12 NFL UPSET OF THE WEEK -- Chargers over Texans
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!!