Sunday, June 3, 2012

Weekend Thoughts

Football is back bay-bee! The 2012 CFL season has started as training camps are now underway across the league. I would say around 5 to 6 hundred people showed up at the University of Regina for the first day of Riders camp.

After waiting to see him at rookie camp and starting to wonder if he would be a no-show, former Carolina Panther and USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett finally made his way to Regina. The man is huge and has NFL wide-out written all over him. If he can learn the Canadian game, the Riders have themselves a player.

These are the shoes being worn by running back Demetrious Crawford. You gotta love those babies....

Something else I think you are going to love if you are a Rider fan is the energy that new head coach Corey Chamblin brings to the table. It didn't take long for it to be realized that there is a different vibe in Riderville these days and a lot of it can be attributed to the first year head coach. He isn't flashy or demonstrative in what he does, but he gets his message across and the players are well aware of it. Here is what Chamblin had to say after day 1 of camp was over....

I thought the New Jersey Devils might have a shot at capturing the Stanley Cup, but the Devils are finding out what Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix found out and that is the Kings are just a level above everyone else. Yes, L-A has been one shot better in the first two games and could find themselves down 2-zip, but they just seem to have it altogether and even though I think as a whole New Jersey outplayed L-A overall in the first two games, the Kings go home looking for the sweep and it wouldn't surprise me if they get it. One reason why New Jersey doesn't have a win is the play of Jonathan Quick who has been outstanding, but the Devils are helping him out a lot. SHOOT THE PUCK!!! New Jersey is guilty of wanting to make the pretty passing play. They need to just start firing it on Quick and start crashing the net waiting for a rebound.

Ilya Kovalchuk is hurt. There is no doubt about that, but I don't think Zach Parise and Travis Zajac are. When your best player is Ryan Carter and he is on the 4th line, that spells a problem.

How many Norris Trophies will Drew Doughty win before his career is over?

I find it to be no coincidence that the L-A Kings got better when Mike Richards was re-united with Jeff Carter.

How classy is Nick Lidstrom? He took out a full page ad in both of Detroit's Sunday papers to thank the fans for his 20 years as a Wing. Not many athletes do that today.

The Hawks are concerned about Patrick Kane's party lifestyle and Corey Crawford isn't exactly a number one goalie. Kane for Tim Thomas?

I didn't have a problem with Thomas not going to the White House as he has his political beliefs, but he has become a grade A wingnut. The Bruins need to deal him and the sooner the better, but what can they realistically get.

A tweet from CTV's Chris Hodges. "Day 1 of Rider camp and I miss Aaron Fairooz". Classic!

Speaking of tweets, how about Jays 3rd baseman Brett Lawrie on Saturday afternoon. I don't know what the heck he was doing at the Eatons Centre after a loss against the Red Sox, but he was one of the first ones if not the first one to report on the shootings at the downtown Toronto shopping mall. I only had two questions when I heard about Lawrie being at the scene of the shooting. One was what the heck was he doing sitting in a food court where I'm guessing he is easily recognizable and the second was could have it been worse if a group of people, kids in particular, had gathered around the popular Blue Jay to get an autograph or something when the bullets started flying. By no means am I being critical of Lawrie, but what is a tragic story could have been much, much worse if some innocent kid looking for an autograph had been hit by a stray bullet.

The Regina Red Sox are 5-0 to start the WMBL season. I guess the transition from Rob Cherepuschak to Justin Eiswirth hasn't been a difficult one. I didn't think it would be, but I'm sure there are some wondering if Justin would have the same success that Rob had. Hey, if Justin can win his next two, he will beat Ken Miller's 6-0 start as the best career start for a Regina-based team's head coach.

The Mets Johan Santana pitches a no-hitter the other night, but no one seems to be bothered by the fact that the 3rd base ump called what was a fair ball a foul thus preserving the no-no. The ball mark on the foul line proved the ball was fair. You know that had Santana been jobbed of the no-hitter by an umps call that everyone would be on it. Lets call a spade a spade here folks. Santana should not have gotten the no-hitter.

The Eskimos finally got receiver Shamawd Chambers to sign a contract. Now if they can just find a quarterback to get him and the other talented Edmonton receivers the football.

Eskimos PR guy Dave Jamieson suddenly announced late last week that he was stepping down and that his last game would be when Edmonton comes here in Week 2. Jamieson was the standard that other CFL media people should set themselves by. He is a consummate professional. His departure now means Riders PR guy Ryan Whippler, who does a pretty good job himself, is now the senior member of CFL PR people. Not bad for a guy who used to be a weekend reporter and anchor at CJME when I was there. With Eric Tillman's fondness for him and the fact that he once held the media relations gig with the Riders, I can only wonder if Tillman has phoned Tony Playter to take over for Jamieson. I don't think Tony would go.

The banners that hang on the side of Mosaic Stadium have changed. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, but I think the Riders should go one step further and hang a bunch of banners inside the stadium of Rider greats like Ronnie, George, Ridgway, Narco, Atchison, etc. etc. etc. I think the Leafs do this at Air Canada Centre and I know the Habs do it at Bell Centre. Do it here and end any debate as to who is and who isn't being honoured.

Former Pats play-by-play guy Dan Plaster now works for the Riders. I saw Dan for the first time since he left the hockey team on Sunday afternoon. I don't know if its a reduced work schedule with no travel or what, but the guy looks 10 years younger and stress-free.

I like the fact "The Score" brings us some live programming with Renee Paquette, Greg Sansone and Cam Stewart (even though I'm not a Stewart fan) Mondays-Fridays, but the network still does some dumb things like the Gerry Dee vignettes. I don't know what Dee's schtick is, but I don't find him funny.

When Tiger wins a major, let me know. I still think he is in the top tier of PGA golfers, but he isn't on a level all by himself anymore and I don't think he ever will be again.

That's all I got. Later!


Anonymous said...

Great idea on the banners Mitch. There certainly is enough $$$$ in the bank account to make a bunch that could hang all over the inside of the stadium and remember not just two Rider greats, but many.


Anonymous said...

Like your banners idea. Lets start remembering more than just two great Riders. I can just imagine walking through the stadium telling my 6 year old son about these guys being the players daddy watched when grandpa took him to games.

Anonymous said...

I got to practice late yesterday, but the first guy I noticed was Jarrett. He is huge! If he makes this team, he will make life extremely rough for opposition corners.

Anonymous said...

Is Fairooz playing arena league?

Anonymous said...

The Kings have been the best team in these playoffs at home or on the road. I can't see them losing again this season.

Anonymous said...

Put me down as liking the multiple banners idea inside the stadium Scruffy.


Anonymous said...

Shoes do not equal a roster spot.