Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--I can't really give a lot of thought on the Saskatchewan Roughriders mini-camp. All I know from listening to Saskatchewan's #1 sports show besides Rod and Luc hitting a grand slam at Dodgertown with the three days of coverage was that the Vince Young comeback tour will most likely take him to Riders training camp as he did not disappoint. As one Rider fan said to me on Wednesday after hearing VY on the Cage, "Is this really going to happen". I think the answer is yes! There is still a long ways for Young to go before he can be considered the starting QB, but he will be Saskatoon bound in about a month's time.
While Chris Jones gave him as many reps as he could, Young still hasn't played a game in the CFL and it has been a long time since he was under center in a game situation. I don't know if that or the nuances of the Canadian game will be his biggest obstacle moving forward.
From all accounts, he has come in with the right attitude. He seems to have matured from his NFL days which is something he has acknowleged, and he is having fun. Let the debate continue.
One of the most interesting comments came from assistant GM John Murphy while on the Cage. Rod asked Murph "Will Vince Young be content if he's not the starting quarterback?". Murphy said "I hope not". That's a valid question. With the resume Young has. he may feel putting his name to paper and signing a contract guaranteed him the starting spot. We all know that isn't the way it works. Yes, he has said all the right things, and he has shown he is ready to resume his football career north of the border, but how will he react if he is told he is behind Kevin Glenn on the depth chart. I think it's a valid question to ask. What I did like from Young was him giving himself a C+ on his work over the 3 day affair.
It was refreshing to see some humility. I will take it as genuine humility as Young realizes he has a lot of work to do if he is going to become a CFL QB. The job isn't over by a long shot. Let's see how he progresses over the next month as he gets set to spend some time in Saskatoon at Riders camp. He will soon see he is the main attraction.
--Lets go from the Riders to the Pats. I think it is safe to say what type of atmosphere it will be at the Brandt Centre tonight. It will be insane as it should be. I said earlier this series is going 7 and I stand by that. I think the Pats win in Game 4 was the last time in this series a road team will win a game. It has been the type of series I thought it would be. There are still some concerns on this Pats team, and I have to wonder about the health of everyone, but I think we are back at the Brandt for a Game 7 on Tuesday. Out west, it's a battle there too. I think a lot of people thought Seattle would win going away, but the Kelowna Rockets have said not so fast. It's been great hockey!
--Zach Sawchenko has said thanks, but no thanks to coming back to Moose Jaw for his 20 year old season as he is opting to go to the University of Alberta. I am not the only hockey person scratching my head on that one. I have heard some stories that have not yet been verified, so I won't throw them out there, but there appears to be a lot of discord in Moose Jaw. As I was told this week, "There has been a lot of hostility there since the Pats swept a home-and-home from them in March. Things went downhill from there. It will be an interesting summer in Moose Jaw as a contender for the Ed Chynoweth Cup next season now has a huge hole to fill.
--I walked into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, and one of the first people I saw was the legendary Dave "Tiger' Williams.
As Dave looked at some of the hockey players already enshrined in the Hall, I thought to myself that the former Leaf and Canuck had to have already been inducted. He hadn't! How? The selection is long overdue.
One of the great things about the day the SSHOF announces their hall of fame class is that you are reminded about how diverse the Saskatchewan sports community. Including this year's inductees, there are 51 sports represented amongst the 512 including this year's class in the Hall. We are so much more than football and hockey. A trip to the Hall one day would show you that. Congratulations to all those going in this year. Thank you for your efforts.
Moments after seeing Tiger, I went back to the 620 CKRM studios where there was plenty of excitement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came in to talk agriculture with "The Ayatollah of Canola"--the legendary Jim Smalley during his noon-hour show. Regardless of your political affiliation, a chance to meet the Prime Minister is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. No, I did not get a selfie with the PM, but I did get an introduction and a hearty handshake. That's good enough for me. From Tiger to Trudeau in a 90 minute span.....not many could say that.
UFC 216 will come to Edmonton in September. The first ever appearance of the UFC in the Alberta capital will come on the same night as the Eskimos are hosting the Stampeders. Was this not considered when the booking was made? The UFC and CFL appeal to the same demographic. This will hurt both. The Eskimos should move their game to the afternoon so people can attend both, but why should they re-arrange their schedule just because the UFC is bullying in. It's obviously too late for Dana White and crew to change the dates. It is a head-scratcher though as to why they would book an event at the same time as the Eskimos game. Someone had to have realized that.
If you didn't get a ticket for the Pats game, head over to the Highland Club for High Impact Wrestling's "Spring Meltdown". It is their version of Wrestlemania, and it's a good time. Sorry Gronkville, I'll be at the Brandt Centre.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!! GO PATS!!
The blame for the UFC/Esks thing probably goes to Daryl Katz and company, otherwise known as Oilers Entertainment Group.
It was probably intentional. OEG also booked a PBR bull riding for the same weekend as the Canadian Finals Rodeo is held at Northlands. The CFR has been in Edmonton on that weekend since it started in 1974.
Somehow Katz gained control of the new rink paid for by taxpayer money. It makes it awful hard to be an Oiler fan.
The trouble in Moose Jaw started long before the weekend sweep. You're right. It's going to be an interesting summer in Warriors-land.
Tiger should be upset that you seeing him is comparable to meeting Trudeau. Personally, I think you went downhill in 90 minutes.
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