-Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind. As always, these come in no particular order.
--While on my home Thursday night, I stopped by the grocery store to get some supplies when a Rider fan stopped me saying he was disgusted to hear about all these CFL teams releasing players so they can get NFL opportunities. Politely I asked why he felt that way to which his response was the league is letting its best players go. Yup!
The bottom line is players on this side of the border and the other want to play in the NFL if the opportunity is there. This may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the CFL is not the desired location for many professional football players. It is the NFL. It is why so many have tried and why so many more will.
I don't blame guys at all for wanting to take a shot at the marquee league. They want to know if they belong. How can you begrudge them for that? The $$$$ are also wayyyyyy different. Some make it like Cam Wake, Diontae Spencer and Jerrell Freeman while others don't, but they are at least giving it a shot. Remember that Weston Dressler even wanted to try his luck in the NFL.
If guys like Stanback, Begelton and Addison are leaving, it creates opportunities for other players. CFL fans need to understand the league is like Triple A baseball or the American Hockey League. It is one step below the league they want to be in. It is still good football and there are still good players, but it isn't the NFL. End of story!
--Sportsnet Ottawa correspondent sent out a tweet on Thursday night saying Ottawa had acquired Mike Reilly. He was right. Mike Reilly---the NHL defenceman. Mendes quickly had to send out another tweet saying he understands why REDBLACKS fans might have thought the Lions quarterback was moving east. HAHA!
--It was great to see former Pat Adam Brooks get his first NHL point in his hometown in Thursday's Leafs-Jets game. Now its time for Brooksie to get that first NHL goal! With Sheldon Keefe now calling the shots, I think Brooks' days in the AHL may be nearing an end.
--Speaking of Brooks, is he the best Pats player of the last decade? If it isn't him, than its Sam Steel. Who's number 3? I still think if Brooks doesn't get smoked by Tanner Ottenbreit in Game 1 of the WHL final that the Pats win that series and go on to the Memorial Cup. I don't think they would have won it all that year, but they would have won the league title.
--The NFL playoffs begin this weekend. Many are counting out the Patriots after last week's loss at home to Miami that cost them a first-round bye. Don't do that. New England, Houston, New Orleans and Seattle will win this weekend says this blogger. Yes, I am taking the Seahawks and yes, teams with a worse record that have hosted a home game in the playoffs have come out on top, but I don't know if Philly has the horses to stay with the Seahawks and I will take Russell Wilson over Carson Wentz any day of the week. Who's kidding who, I would have taken San Fran over Philly as well if Jacob Hollister could have gotten 3 more inches on that catch at the end of last Sunday's game that determined the NFC West winner and the NFC's top seed.
--How did Drew Brees not get named as one of the NFL's top ten quarterbacks? I would have had him ahead of both Brett Favre and Dan Marino!
--Was the Saskatchewan sports story of the year the Tim Horton's Heritage Classic? It was to me. The Jets-Flames game at Mosaic Stadium on what was a great night for hockey was a huge success. I thought Mosaic looked better on that Saturday night in October than what the Cotton Bowl looked like for the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. The question continues to get asked as to why people would pay so much to attend an event where they can't really see what's going on. 95,000 people were in the Cotton Bowl and they were having fun. Enough said!
--It warmed my aging heart to see some kids out playing street hockey over the holidays. With Madden, NHL, Fortnite and everything else kids have at their disposal these days, you don't see that much anymore.
--There aren't many better sites in sports than the sun setting over the mountains in Pasadena, California on January 1. The Rose Bowl is an event I want to go at some point. I remember when CTV used to play the Rose Bowl with Dick Enberg followed by the Orange Bowl with Charlie Jones and CBC would have the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. #tradition
--On Jan 2, I had to date something 2020 and did not write 2019. Its the small victories that count.
--The Canadian juniors looked god-awful in getting beat 6-0 by Russia. They took a lot of heat for that performance and rightly so. The snowflakes said "don't criticize them, they're just kids". Those same people are now celebrating as they are going to have a chance to play for gold. You can't have it both ways folks. TSN and Hockey Canada have made this event a thousand times bigger than what it should be, but that doesn't take away from the fact that as hockey fans Canadians get invested in this team and they don't like it when they don't play well, but they love it when they do. It is as simple as that. If TSN and Hockey Canada didn't blow this thing up, we wouldn't give two hoots about it as it wouldn't be on our radar. It is thus criticism when it is deserved is justified.
--Its probably too little too late, but its nice to see the Pats getting some wins. That was a team that just couldn't get the bounce it needed most nights in the first 20 games of the season. They are a competitive bunch which is what John Paddock and Dave Struch wanted this year. Next year, its time to get back in the playoffs.
--That's all I got. Enjoy the football this weekend and have a great one!