Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--The CFL has scored a touchdown! The lead-up to CFL Week may not have been the best, but the CFL has done a tremendous job this week with everything that has been going on over at EVRAZ Place. It has been fantastic, and as one fan said to me on Thursday while I was touring through Fanfest, they should have this here every year. I don't know if that would happen, but I wouldn't complain, Good job CFL!
I don't know if the fans are enjoying this more or if the players are, They have conducted many informal interviews with members of the media from across the country who have come. They have had a chance to socialize with one another in an environment where they can relax and not prepare for a game and have some fun they might not otherwise have when visiting Regina. As for the fans, they are loving it and why wouldn't they.
Gainer is having fun, but does he realize whose neck he is squeezing. Riders chair Wayne Morsky could have him digging holes in Grand Coulee if he doesn't smarten up! Somehow, I don't think Wayne minds. Like everyone else, he's loving what has been happening at Evraz Place.
While the players are enjoying it, Darian Durant may be enduring it. It doesn't look right seeing him in the colours of the Alouettes and I am sure it is uncomfortable for Durant to be in Regina not wearing green-and-white. You can tell by listening to him that his heart is still in Regina. It will probably be that way until he heads to training camp, and it may never ever leave. I think the same can be said for Weston Dressler. He's had his year away from it, but Darian hasn't. You have to wonder if at some time those two have spoken about what could have been here, They arguably could have ended up as the greatest passer-receiver combo in Riders history,
--Congrats to former U of S Huskies football coach Brian Towriss for getting named to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. That didn't take long!
--Congrats to former Rider Tyron Brackenridge who has joined Marc Trestman's coaching staff in Toronto. I get the feeling Brackenridge could join the likes of guys like Orlando Steinhauer, Barron Miles and Mark Washington as former CFL players who are going to go a long way in this league as a coach.
--The CFL love gets put on hold tonight as the Regina Pats start what will be hopefully a long playoff road as they take on the Calgary Hitmen to start the WHL playoffs. Playoffs are a different animal, and things can change from shift to shift. There's no reason to think Regina won't skate to 4 or a 5 game win, but in the playoffs anything, and I mean anything can happen and we all know that!
--The Portland Winterhawks won 40 games this year and it was only good enough for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. There is going to be some great hockey played across the mountain during these playoffs.
--The player who delivered a blind side elbow to former Edmonton Oiler Ryan Smyth during an Alberta senior league game leaving him with a concussion was handed a 16 game suspension this week. I am guessing if this similar incident had occurred in the NHL, the guilty party would have had about 2 or 3 games. Would I be right NHL player safety?
--Would NHL player safety even consider calling Sidney Crosby? The Penguins captain left Ottawa's Marc Methot with a dangling finger after a two handed slash on Thursday. It was dirty. The slash shattered Methot's finger and he will be out for weeks. Should the NHL suspend Sid? Would the NHL suspend Sid? If it was Chris Neil doing that to Evgeni Malkin or Milan Lucic doing it to Nathan McKinnon, there would be a suspension. Your move NHL! Do you want to open this can of worms or not?
--Some in Edmonton believe Oilers goalie Cam Talbot is making a late run at being a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. Is he? He has had a solid year, but he isn't one of the top 3 tenders in the league as far as I am concerned. That would go to the trio of Bobrovsky, Dubnyk and Holtby.
--A massive investigation led to the discovery of Tom Brady's Super Bowl winning jersey in Mexico. The FBI were involved in this. The FBI? Local law enforcement is left to deal with missing persons and other more serious matters, but damn it when a Super Bowl winning jersey goes missing, the FBI is brought in. I can't be the only one shaking my head on that one! By the way, does this enhance Trump's argument to build a wall?
--The University of Regina's athletic review is out. That's about all you can really say on it. Let's just say I weeded through 21 pages expecting more. Did I miss a page or two? The one thing that did stand out besides a new AD needs to be hired to replace Dick White is Cougar Athletics needs a re-brand. Yes, it does. I hope the U of R even after losing some money in the provincial budget can find the right amount of cash to do a proper job of marketing. I think a limited budget in that area hurts them a lot. There are good people, and good athletes at the U of R who deserve more than they get. I am also guessing there are many businesses in our fair city who would like to throw some dollars the U of R's way, but they don't get a call for whatever reason.
--That's all I got. Enjoy your weekend. Get down to Evraz Place and take in some of CFL Week while catching the Pats in a sports weekend we haven't seen like this around here in a long time. Maybe even go check out "Hoopla" if you can!