Monday, July 16, 2018
Something To "Mitch" About
--Where has all the offence gone? The CFL is known for its fast-paced, high-scoring games. Where have they gone? While two of the three games had fans watching for the entire 60 minutes this week, the offensive flare that we are used to has disappeared.
--Is this a sign that defensive football has taken over or is it a sign that perhaps the league is in need of a talent infusion on the offensive side of the ball. I would say its a combination of both. We know the quarterback play is not what it has been even with injuries to some starters and we know defences are a lot better than what they used to be. Is it safe to say we are going to see a lot of low-scoring games this year? You can usually tell a month into the season what you have and we have seen a lot of low-scoring games. I can't see that changing anytime soon.
--The low-scoring games have been what sticks out over the first month of the season. Perhaps moreso because it was July 14,1994 that Matt Dunigan threw for 714 yards in a Winnipeg win over Edmonton. Is 714 yards passing in a pro football game (the NFL record is 554 BTW) one of those records that will never be broken? I would have to say it is. To put it into perspective, the Rider QB's have thrown for 821 yards as a group and Dunigan threw for 714 in four quarters.
--Rider fans were bemoaning the fact that while winning their last game against the Ti-Cats, they didn't deserve to win. Do you think anyone in BC is apologizing for beating the Bombers? They didn't deserve to win that game on Saturday, but it was handed to them thanks to some brain-cramps from the Bombers coaching staff. You have the best running back in the league, but you run two third and less than a yard plays with one of them being stretched outside. You have the best field goal kicker in the league, but you twice decide not to take what would have been a guaranteed three. Even if you do that once, you likely still win the game. While Rider fans wonder about the personnel moves Chris Jones is making, Bomber fans are just left wondering what the h-e-double hockeysticks Mike O'Shea is thinking. Whatever it is, it didn't work on Saturday as they gave the Lions some life. It just begs the question "Does Winnipeg have their own Sheldon?"
--CFL commish Randy Ambrosie celebrated his first year on the job last week. I think it is safe to say Ambrosie has been a real positive for the league with the moves he has made and the initiatives he has started. There are still issues, but for the most part I think the league is in a lot better shape. That being said, year 2 might be a little more rocky than year 1 as he works to get a new CBA done---one that has to be much better for the players in a variety of areas.
One of those areas is pay. On Friday's Sportscage, Luc Mullinder said the CFL has seen rival leagues sprout up before and then go away before ever starting or go away soon after starting like the XFL. He is absolutely correct on that. I have no doubt the XFL 2.0 won't last long, but in doing some homework on the American Alliance of Football, they may have a chance at being a competitor to the NFL and taking a lot of talent away from the CFL. It might be wise for the CFL to work together with this group----a group that has some names attached to it upstairs. Perhaps they already are since each team has been partnered with a CFL squad.
I knew Bill Polian was involved, but I wasn't aware former NFL'ers like Troy Polamulu, Hines Ward and Jared Allen were involved at an executive level. This league may have more of an impact on players than what we want to believe. If players don't get a lot more money in the next deal, we could see a talent drain. You have to be competitive and if American players can stay home and make the same money they could north of the border, you know what is going to happen.
--France are the kings of the soccer world. The final of the World Cup was a thrilling affair and one that might have been different had it not been for a controversial penalty kick. One that I think should have been called as there was no doubt the Croatian player was guilty of a handball in the box. This year's World Cup was one of the best and one of the most unpredictable I have seen, and I have been watching the event since 1982. The constant flopping is annoying and is something that needs to be rectified. As CTV's Lee Jones said on Twitter Sunday, it is no different than receivers getting up and demanding a flag be thrown because they've been interfered with when they haven't.
--The Blue Jays have to make some moves. One of them is to get rid of Marcus Stroman. Stroman, who is no favourite of this blogger, said his team is "f###ing terrible" after yesterday's loss in Boston. Stroman is no stranger to whining and complaining and while he went to Twitter about four hours after the rant to try and explain himself, it is clear he has had enough of Toronto and the current state they are in. If you believe what he's throwing down, you should wait eagerly for that e-mail from the Nigerian prince saying he needs your help His statement is just like those caught with a positive drug test saying they don't know where it came from. It's time for him to go. He can say what he wants well after the fact, but what remains is he told his teammates exactly what he thinks of them. A new start is needed.
--At the break, the best teams in each league are the Red Sox and Cubs. Does that translate to a Boston-Chicago World Series. While that would be awesome, I think many other teams will have a say in the matter. It's going to be a fun couple of months as several teams can be put in the equation of being baseball's best in November.
--Is it true former Leafs owner Harold Ballard told the team to take Luke Richardson with the number 6 pick in the NHL draft allowing Joe Sakic to go next to Quebec at number 7. Oops! That didn't work out very well did it now. That tidbit of information comes courtesy Steve Simmons by the way.
--Good on the Pro Football Hall of Fame telling Terrell Owens that he may have been elected to the Canton, Ohio shrine, but he will not be included in ceremonies if he fails to show as he says he will. Those who know football know Owens is a guy who is not a team player and is concerned only about himself. He wanted to be in the Hall, and now that he is finally there with football's greats, he doesn't want to show up and have the stage all to himself. Pound sand T-O. If you want to slap those who are going in and those already in with this stance, you go for it, but don't complain about what happens after. I can only wonder if those who voted for him would do so today if they knew what was up his sleeve.
--If you are a football fan and you want to feel old. Barry Sanders turned 50 yesterday. If you have to ask yourself who Barry Sanders is, then go get a history lesson.
--That's all I got. Have a great week!