I don't know about you, but I was left disappointed with Monday's CFL doubleheader as the home teams owned both games. I thought we would get closer games, but it didn't happen as both games lacked excitement. I didn't think Calgary and Edmonton could duplicate what they gave us a couple of weeks ago, but I thought the Eskimos would put up more of a fight than what they did.
The result at MacMahon means there is a three way tie for first in the West with Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Calgary all sitting at 5-4 with B-C at 4-5. Can you really separate top from bottom in the West. There is no way in wondering who will finish where and its going to stay that way likely until the last snap of the season. As a football fan, you have to enjoy it. You really have to enjoy it if you're a football fan as well knowing the NFL season is just a couple of sleeps away.
September is usually a time to watch baseball's pennant races, but not this year. Its going to be a boring stretch run. The tightest division is the National League West where the Dodgers are 3 1/2 up on Colorado and 5 1/2 up on the Giants. After that, its pretty much already given that the Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Phillies and Cardinals are in. Thank goodness for the wild card races, but they are even a little boring this year with really only Colorado or San Francisco having a shot in the National League with Boston and Texas duking it out in the American League. Perhaps the playoffs will make up for it.
Two events to go on the PGA calendar and Tiger Woods isn't a lock to win the FedEx Cup. Steve Stricker is the guy to beat right now...really? If Stricker could have won last week, he might have a real good shot at taking the Cup. You have to still like Tiger's chances, but these last two weeks will be interesting especially if Tiger doesn't win next week in Chicago. How does Mike Weir make it to the 2nd last event of the year. He's done nothing of note all year yet he's in the final 70?! He's had 5 Top 10 finishes this year. Really?
Say what you will about Jim Balsillie, but the man will not say no. He is now willing to pay 242 and a half million to buy the Coyotes and move them north of the border. In a story from the Canadian Press, it says the increased offer is intended to address concerns raised in court by unsecured creditors and could see the city of Glendale -- where the Coyotes play their home games -- receive an additional $50 million. That money is intended to release the team from its 30-year lease for Jobing.com Arena.
In court filings, Balsillie's lawyers acknowledge that Glendale would suffer "significant damages" if the team is allowed to moved, but argue that the city would be better off with his offer than the one put forward by the NHL.
Balsillie's amended purchase agreement guarantees that Glendale would receive $40 million as part of the purchase, provided it is willing to allow the team to continue using the arena "briefly while relocation is implemented" -- perhaps hinting that he might be considering a mid-season move for the Coyotes.
Your move Gary!!
By the way, why is it I'm seeing no excitement from Saskatoon about the Coyotes possibly coming there if Ice Edge wins the right to own the Coyotes. After all it would mean 5 games would come to Credit Union Centre. Is it the fact that the fine people of Saskatoon realize this just isn't going to happen or is it something else? Maybe Saskatoon is now an Islanders town seeing they are holding their training camp there. OK maybe not!
Rod Pedersen had an interesting statement in his award-winning blog Monday. Rod says the fact there was a poor crowd at the U of R Rams game on Friday night proves Regina is not a football town---just a Rider town. I wholeheartedly agree. When the Huskies are getting 6-thousand for their game Friday and the Rams get just over two grand, it is proof positive that RP is absolutely right with his assessment. Come to think of it, I can't think of the last time there was a good crowd for a Rams game and when I say a good crowd, I'm talking one of six thousand or more. Its been a while.
The Rams do not get the kind of attendance the huskies do because the atmosphere for the games is terrible. The huskies have a better set up for CIS games, with a smaller stadium, closer location to the campus, and better alumni support. Lots of fans consisted of toga wearing freshmen who are beginning their first year at school, and who walked over from nearby dorms.
Both Pedersen and you have your head up your ass on this one. Saskatoon people support the Huskies because its them, the Blades and nothing else. The price of a Rider season ticket is enough and then add the $$$ at the game.
Add to that that the Rams have this "aura" about them that you should support them because of their past history. What a pile of crap! All these years in University and they have won what--one conference title. McCrystal boasted they would be as good in university as they were in junior. Sorry Frank!
As for the Thunder and high school, this isn't Texas, you will never get six thousand for one of their games.
C'mon Mitch. They're even smart enough up in Saskatoon to know that group wanting the Coyotes won't get it. If they do get it though, watch the excitement build then because they will start a movement to get the team there full time much to Bettman's disgust.
I expected Hamilton to dominate Toronto, but I was disappointed with Edmonton's performance. How about Burris' comments about getting no respect. This guy is so stuck on himself its unbelievable. He must be starting an early sympathy lobby for MOP.
Bettman should just give up and let Balsillie have the team. Its in the best interest of everyone.
The Eskimos were horrible yesterday. I can't see them coming out like that on Friday at home.
If Saskatoon had a pro team, they wouldn't support the Huskies or Blades. Oh wait, they don't support the Blades now. I'm guessing if there was a Canwest final at Taylor Field, there would be close to 10-grand there because the city would rally around them.
Regina has over 1600 kids playing minor football. What does Saskatoon have, half that?
The Rams would probably draw better if their stadium was on campus. Still, it's a younger and smaller university - so alumni and current student numbers are smaller. Therefore, there's less of a fan base to draw from. People with no connection to the school don't attend university football games anywhere.
So a team with the best record in the NFL last year doesn't get a spot on your poll?
When was the last time anybody can recall the Rams putting together a credible marketing plan that would tell people why they should be there. It's a one person Marketing Department with no resources or imagination. There is no business plan to combine with the on field product. They do not know who their target audience is or do anything to develop different revenue streams. Hey the Riders had this problem before Hopson came on board to implement all that stuff.
Sammy...the Titans are a team that is taking a huge fall in 09. New England and San Diego are the class of the conference and Pittsburgh is right behind. I don't even see Tennessee getting a playoff spot this year.
Regina is a Rider town but that's because the Riders are the only pro team. Like it or not, the Rams are number 3 on the sports calendar behind the Riders and the Pats. I don't think marketing has anything to do with it. If Saskatoon had a pro team, they would automatically become number 1. They treat the Huskies as their team and they support it.
I think part of the Rams problem was leaving CJME to go back to CKRM. I don't know why they would have done that. Mitch, can you provide an answer on that? You did the p x p if I'm not mistaken. At least they weren't taking a back seat to the other teams and their games got on the air.
I think it is sad that only 2100 showed up because they are missing a great product. University football is a jewel in the rough and its something that should be watched.
University Sports in general is a great product. I've said for years that CIS athletics is a sleeping giant on the sports scene. Great product, but nobody to develop the business side. I love to watch the hockey as basically it's all ex WHL and Tier 2 players. They've matured and become bigger and faster. Again nobody advertises it or does the business development. People have short term memories. Think of the CFL 10 years ago. Hamilton, Toronto, maybe B.C could have folded. We averaged 22000 a game, and Winnipeg was in a horrendous situation.
Fast forward 10 years. There is stable ownership with every team. Each team has an established CEO who runs the organization like a business. They put every game on TV and have extensive corporate partnerships. The rag tag CFL is a major business in Canada now with credibility. The days of the ex jock ascending to the GM chair and being responsible for both Business and Football is over. Now there are clear lines for both business areas, and both sides are held accountable to the other.
U of R with it's marketing program I'm shocked does nothing to promote it's athletic programs. They do not do community involvement or anything that would engage them to the public. I go to the hockey and it's basically walk in and grab a seat. There is no "event" to partake in. For me it's good because I just like hockey, but they are not developing a fan base.
Just to clear up a misconception, the Rams did not pull out of their contract to go back to CKRM. CJME had a year left on their contract and asked to get out of it. It was at that time that the sports show was starting and they felt it hurt their "provincial" programming agenda. It was a move that was not popular and was one I certainly didn't endorse even though there are some I believe on the Rams board at that time that thought I had.
I know Dean Picton and yes that is correct. The Rams did not break the contract, CJME did forcing the team to go back to CKRM. It is also correct that Dean Picton has no love for either you or CJME because of what happened.
Thanks for the background Mitch. It answers some questions and validates some thoughts.
Dean Picton should simply concentrate on improving the quality of his two-cent Dairy Queen in the East end. We used to frequent that place often, but it became very bad on a variety of reasons last spring. When my son became ill from food poisoning because of some uncooked chicken fingers, I said that was it. I sent a letter of complaint to Mr. Picton, but received no reply. That perhaps tells you the type of individual he is.
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