Friday, December 7, 2018
This And That
--Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they are in no particular order.
--Seattle is the newest home of an NHL team. It automatically becomes a team I like more than the Flames and the Leafs. I can't wait to make a trip to the Emerald City to see the hockey team play on a Saturday night followed by a Seahawks game on a Sunday. It will happen, and it may happen more than once. If you have been to Seattle, you know where Key Arena is. It is safe to say Seattle Center will be hopping on game nights. It will be a lot of fun. It might be a lot more fun if I was 20 years younger, but hey.
The question I have now is what will this do to the WHL in Washington State? The Thunderbirds and Silvertips will surely be affected. Yes, Seattle (actually Kent) and Everett are a ways away from downtown Seattle, but I would have to think some fans will decide to spend their money on the NHL team than the WHL ones. I hope this isn't the beginning of the end for these two teams as both have been great. Junior hockey continues to work in other markets where there are pro teams like Calgary and Edmonton so let's hope the same holds true here.
--The Bo Levi Mitchell tour is underway. The Calgary QB is looking for work in the NFL. He had his first workout with the Vikings and he has several other teams he will visit. Looking at the group of quarterbacks that are NFL backups, you can't tell me he can't be a #2 anywhere. I am guessing the Washington Redskins would like to have him go for the remainder of this season as they are down to Mark Sanchez.
The drop-off between starter and back-up in the NFL is huge. Money has a large role to play in that, but there are many teams where Mitchell could step right in. I would certainly take him in Seattle behind Russell Wilson instead of Brett Hundley who invokes no confidence for this blogger and Seahawks fan.
I will be very interested to see where he goes, and yes, he will be going somewhere.
--Legendary Stampede Wrestling manager John Foley was famous for his "Money Talks Mr. Whelan" phrase when getting interviewed by the iconic Ed Whelan on Friday nights from the Stampede Pavilion. When it comes to getting Mike Reilly, could Chris Jones look at the free-agent quarterback and say "Money Talks"? As Luc Mullinder eloquently pointed out on the Sportscage Monday, you won't see Jones get into a bidding war with other teams for Reilly's services, but you will tell him what he has at his disposal and how it could end up. He has an offensive line which will be back as you don't have to worry about free agency with that group. You have a young stable of receivers that should be better in year 2 to work with and a defense that is championship-calibre if you can get a majority of them back. Jones will make the offer, but will it be good enough? At the end of the day, I still think the answer is no, but they do need to step into the batter's cage and take a hack at it.
--Back to football in a moment, but while on the topic of Stampede Wrestling, RIP to Tom Billington otherwise known as "The Dynamite Kid". The world got to know what he and Davey Boy Smith were all about once they went to the World Wrestling Federation, but those of us who watched them perform at the old Exhibition Auditorium already knew they were great. There weren't many better than the Kid whether he was a good guy or a bad guy. It was Stampede Wrestling that got me hooked on wrestling and I am still am today. There was nothing better than heading to the Auditorium on a Tuesday night in the mid-80's to see the Harts, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, Bad News Allen, Makhan Singh, Gama Singh and of course the Cuban Assassin!
--What do the Argos want to do at quarterback? With all the talk around here centring on Reilly and Jonathan Jennings, is James Franklin out of the equation? I guess it will depend on who the new head coach in Toronto is. Franklin knows the Steve McAdoo offence and we know Jones would likely love a reunion with Franklin. My spidey senses are tingling.
--Where are we on the John Murphy parting. Some are blaming Randy Ambrosie and the CFL for introducing this salary cap for coaches and football operations staff while others are saying Murphy didn't want to see his pay get cut so the team did to him what he did to players. If we didn't have the cap, Murphy wouldn't have had to take a pay cut. Chris Jones said hard decisions would have to be made and this was obviously one of them. More will be coming across the league. Some happened in Montreal Thursday. Tell me again how this is good for the CFL. I simply do not see the rationale behind this move.
--Week 14 NFL Lock Of The Week -- Chiefs over Ravens
--Week 14 NFL Upset Of The Week --Eagles over Cowboys
--Its not the Brier and its not the Scotties, but one has to think Estevan's Affinity Place is one of the places to be in Saskatchewan this weekend as the Canada Cup of Curling is in town. Names like Homan, Jones, Gushue, Jacobs and the Saskatchewan rink skipped by Matt Dunstone will have Saskatchewan curling fans making the trip to see what's going on. Saskatchewan has no problems in coming out to big-time events as we have seen over the past few years. Why would this one be any different?
--While Saskatchewan has had many big-name events through Curling Canada and the Grand Slam of Curling, I have to wonder why the World Curling Tour isn't stopping in these parts. You can't tell me you couldn't have a solid WCT event at the Callie, the Highland or at the Ford Curling Centre in Moose Jaw with some of the best in the game in attendance. Is it because we have had the bigger events like the Brier and the Grand Slam or is it no one is willing to sponsor an event here. I'd love to see one roll through.
-- I don't know about you, but I love the fact we are seeing goals again in the NHL. We will probably see a few 50 goal scorers this year and I'm OK with that. Many teams are fun to watch again and that is good for the game. Whether it be the goalies equipment getting smaller or something else, the game has gotten the shot in the arm it so desperately needed.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend.