Friday, August 18, 2017
This And That
Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--Jaws started flapping Tuesday morning when word came down the Riders had traded for Vernon Adams Junior. Make no doubt about it, this trade is for next year as barring an injury to Kevin Glenn, he won't see much time. If he does get hurt, do you go with Brandon Bridge or Adams? I am guessing short term it would be Bridge, but long-term it would be Adams. He seems to have a better grasp on the game, and I think he has more game experience.
There is also talk this could either A) mean the Riders send Adams to Edmonton in a deal for James Franklin or B) the dream Chris Jones has had in getting Franklin has gone up in smoke. I'm not convinced its "B", but if he is traded before the season is over, I will feel that way. No team is getting a young quarterback for a couple of months and then losing him before free agency. Any deal will be a sign and trade. That would be the smart way to go. As for "A", I don't see that happening.
--The new commissioner of the CFL has made quite the impact in his first month on the job, and he isn't stopping in his quest to get the league back on solid footing. Randy Ambrosie hit the ground running with his almost immediate tweak to the challenges, to the solid decision to release the "Diversity is Strength" t-shirts campaign in Regina in the days after the extreme stupidity we saw in Virginia to now saying he is considering making a change to the playoff format.
Sorry, but East vs West doesn't do it for me. Yes, an Eastern team won the Grey Cup last year, but it was a team that was under 500 who got hot at the right time and capitalized. For years, I have favoured having 1 and 2 get a first round bye with 3 playing 6 and 4 playing 5 in the first round of the playoffs. You then have your CFL semi-finals the week after that followed by the Grey Cup. Yes, there are advantages and disadvantages, but isn't it that way with just about everything. At the end of the day, I want to see the two best teams competing. If that were to mean a Stampeders-Eskimos Grey Cup this year than so be it. If it meant somewhere down the road, the REDBLACKS played the Argos than so be it.
The argument was made "The Nashville Predators were the number 16 seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs" and they just about won! This is true. However, the Predators didn't play one game series to get there, If Ottawa and Calgary had a best of 7 to decide the Grey Cup, is anyone going to tell me Calgary wouldn't have won?
--When do we start to stand up and say Winnipeg is for real? We've seen this act before, and we've seen how it ends. #swaggerville. Have fun while it lasts.
--When news came out Tuesday that Regina and Mosaic Stadium had been put on a list for potential venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, I raised my eyebrows. Many questions went racing through my mind. Is the stadium big enough? Is there enough room for the teams, fans, dignitaries, etc. etc that would be needed? Why would FIFA look at Regina when there are much bigger venues like BC Place, Commonwealth Stadium and yes, even the archaic Olympic Stadium in Montreal? However, after processing all that, I went why not. Yes, I will admit the chances of Regina having a small part to play in the world's biggest sporting event would be remote, but there are a lot of good people in this city and this province that could make it happen. Would I expect a world powerhouse like Brazil, Italy or Portugal to play here? The answer to that is no, but could you put a game involving Canada here? Why not? When Canada played in its only World Cup in Mexico in 1986, they played Russia. Canada/Russia on grass instead of ice, that would be outstanding!
--Two sure signs that hockey is right around the corner came this week. 1) My Hockey News yearbook arrived in the mailbox and 2) The Pats held their annual Wickenheiser Golf Classic which from what I have heard was once again a first-run show. Why wouldn't it be that way when you have top-notch people running it? Rookie camp starts right away and then main camp which will lead into what should be a tremendous winter at the Brandt Centre! Some don't like the new Pats 100 logo that was unveiled. It doesn't do anything for me, but I'm not in it for the logo. I'm in it for the performance. If the iconic logo we have known for years was going to be front and center on the jersey, I might have been a little upset, but its not.
I don't know if the Pats are as good coming into this season as they were last, but I know they will do everything they can to get back to the WHL Championship and hopefully provide Regina hockey fans with a moment in May that the Riders gave their fans in November of 2013 at Mosaic. That my friends would be something special, and I won't lie. For this Regina boy, it would be a little emotional as well.
--The Oilers have now locked up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and there is talk of a second dynasty about to erupt in the Alberta capital. Let's put the brakes on that talk a little. Connor and Leon are not Crosby and Malkin, they are not Kane and Toews, they are not Yzerman and Fedorov. The blocks are there, but the onus is on Draisaitl. He is making an awful lot of money and has been rewarded for one good season, and one good playoffs. He needs to do more moving forward. A lot more seeing that paycheque is north of 8 million dollars. It will be fun to watch though, there is no doubt about that.
--With Draisaitl signing for what he did, what does it mean for guys like Mitch Marner, Max Domi, Dylan Larkin and Matthew Tkachuk? What about Patrik Laine? I think its a given Auston Matthews will make McDavid money as he deservedly should.
--What are the best sports podcasts out there? (besides Sportscage!!) When I go for an evening walk, I usually listen to the Cubs game if they are playing or will find something to listen to for the 20-25 minutes that I am out and about. I can't sit at a computer and listen to podcasts while doing things so what are the best ones out there?
--Congratulations to the Swift Current 57's. They made it back-to-back WMBL championships Thursday night at home. The defending champs were close to seeing their run end a few times in the playoffs, but they found a way.
--The Regina Thunder are back on home soil after losing the season opener to Saskatoon last weekend. I am guessing Scott McAulay and company will be looking for a much better effort than the one given against the Hilltops when the Edmonton Wildcats come a callin. Game time is 7 o'clock. If you can't make it, it will be on Access.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!!