Sunday, August 26, 2012

Something To Mitch About

(picture courtesy JC-Fotos)

I will admit I am at a loss for words after what I saw on the Taylor Field turf Saturday afternoon. Darian Durant may not be right when he says the team in the room right now is better collectively than the Grey Cup teams of 2009 and 2010, but he is right when he says the team is better than what they are showing. The talent level is there---not there in all areas, but its there. This team should not be 3-5, but the stark reality is they are and the hotseat is just getting hotter and hotter as the temperatures get cooler and cooler. Here are some thoughts from yours truly in no particular order over what I saw.

--I might not agree with what Durant had to say after the game, but I did like what I saw from him. As soon as we walked into that room, he turned around and asked very nicely if we could just give him a couple of minutes. No one was going to turn away from what he was doing and he was very gracious in answering the questions he didn’t want to answer. What impressed me the most though was two things. 1) He showed some leadership by calling that meeting. I’m not saying he wasn’t a leader before, but he showed us how concerned he is over what is going on. 2) He was pissed off and for good reason. He knows he is better than that and he knows the offence is better than that. He had a look to him after a loss that I haven’t seen before. There should be a lot of guys in that room pissed off over what happened Saturday. The time for play has come to an end. As Coach Chamblin said after the game, "If I have to chew you out to get you going, then that means you’re not self-motivated. They have to get going. They know what our purpose is, and that’s to win football games. Other than that, we’ve just got some guys, and they have to rethink, ‘Is this what they want to do for a living?’ It’s professional football, and you have to be the toughest guy on the block each and every play.’’ Did Chamblin do the right thing in chewing out his defence on the sidelines. YUP!!! It perhaps should have happened before it did.

--The pass rush was again not there. Calgary’s o-line simply dominated. If you PVR’ed the game, watch it again and you will see.

--Why would I watch that again? Why would any member of the Rider Nation if they didn't have to?

--While I thought the Shomari Williams experiment was working a few weeks ago, it’s becoming more and more clear that the experiment is now failing. I heard Sunday afternoon that Joe Lobendahn was on his way and tweeted it only to hear just after I had that perhaps I had been given the wrong information. I apologized for said tweet and then heard a few hours later from some other people that Sportsnet was reporting it as well. Have they been fooled too? I don’t know and I guess we will find out when the team comes out for practice Monday.

--Why does the team use Kory Sheets at the start of the game, yet seemingly not use him in the 2nd half. Keep giving this guy the football!!!!

--Don’t get on Darian’s back over the interception. That was a helluva play by Charleston Hughes. That being said, Darian takes responsibility for the fumble. When it comes to his overall play, I didn’t think his receivers helped him any. Getzlaf, Smith and Hill all had drops that just can’t be had. It was good to see Durant run the football as he needs to do that to keep defences on their toes.

--For the 2nd straight week, I thought the Riders were victimized by a bad “roughing the passér” call. It didn’t look to me like the hit Odell Willis delivered to Kevin Glenn was bad although some have said he hit him with the crown of the helmet. I have seen d-lineman plow a quarterback in the chest with his head down before and the play has gone on. Once again, its discretionary, but once again, it’s a bad call---at least to me it is.

--I laugh when I hear Chamblin is another version of Danny Barrett. If you truly think that, I feel sorry for you. Chamblin is 10 times the coach that Barrett is. Sorry Corey, I may have slighted you in that comparison somewhat.

--Will this team ever find a guy that will be Matt Dominguez like? Brendan Taman has tried and tried with guys like Nunn, Wheelwright, Jarrett, Harper, etc. etc, but its not happening. That being said, I’m not seeing any other team find an outstanding big American receiver that plays outside over the last two years.

--Is it just a coincidence that this team has struggled on offence since Rob Bagg went down?

--It’s a bold statement to make, but I think the o-line really missed Ben Heenan and Patrick Neufeld.

--After not selling out the first couple of games, the fanbase has come through and sold out the last two. To sell out a game under weather conditions that were supposed to be worse remind us once again how much we love our professional football here.

Riders aside….here are some other thoughts

--In the words of Montreal Gazette writer Herb Zurkowsky (arguably the best beat writer in all the CFL), Joe Mack is a moron. How can the Winnipeg GM justify firing Paul Lapolice when it was him that lost Labatte to free agency, him who wouldn’t go out and get a quarterback to replace the constantly injured Buck Pierce, trading Odell Willis and not getting a player in return. The list goes on and on. What is going on in Winnipeg is on Mack and not Lapolice. It’s a shame that he gets thrown under the bus. I still think he is Ottawa’s first head coach and no, he isn’t coming back here---at least not this year. He isn’t giving up those $$$$ so stop dreaming Rider fans.

--The Bombers are now onto their 6th head coach in the last 10 years.

--Former Regina Ram Akiem Hicks is a beast. Did you see him manhandle the o-line of the Houston Texans in the 2nd half of the Texans-New Orleans game Saturday night? He even got a lot of love from CBS announcers Ian Eagle and Phil Simms. Its great to see the Rams have two grads in the NFL in Hicks and Jon Ryan. I hope someone connected with the Rams gets a print of those two when New Orleans plays Seattle whenever that is. What a great marketing tool they can be as can the other Rams who have gone on to play in the CFL and there are many.

--The Regina Rage were beaten 41-18 in the Lingerie Football League Canada season-opener. I am guessing somewhere on a website called or something there is A) general disdain over the season being over B) a call to replace the starting quarterback C) the defensive co-ordinator is way in over his head and D) the girls equipment wasn’t tight enough. I keed, I keed!!!!

--Speaking of the LFL, apparently their TV play by play guy is former WDIV and CNN Headline Sports anchor Van Earl Wright. Do you remember him? He certainly had a schtick in his hey-day.

--I miss WDIV on the Access cable package. For that matter, I miss WCCO out of Minneapolis too. Why do we get the Boston stations anyhoo?

--The Regina Thunder evened their record beating Winnipeg 39-16. Congrats to Erwin Klempner and crew. The Rams lost an exhibition game to Manitoba. Who cares....its just exhibition!

--Its only pre-season, but damn are the Seahawks looking good. I’m confident that team can get to the playoffs with Matt Flynn or Russell Wilson under center. By the sounds of it, its going to be Wilson.

--Thumbs up to Weyburn’s Graham DeLaet. He had the round of the day in the final round at the Barclays shooting a 6 under 65 to give him a 72 hole total of 5 under 279 good for a 5th place tie and a payday of 281 thousand dollars. That vaults him way up the FedEx cup leaderboard as he will go into next weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship sitting in 44th place. It would be outstanding if DeLaet could somehow find his way into the top 30 and play in the Tour Championship.

--It would sure be nice if “The Golf Channel” and “CBS” would perhaps recognize the accomplishments of DeLaet. Sunday morning as TGC was exiting its 4th round coverage, they gave their shot of the day to Tiger for an approach on 2 that came within a couple feet of the cup. This even though moments earlier DeLaet had holed out from 155 yards for eagle on 15. When CBS came on, they blew right over his 65 to tell us how others were doing. I guess if he were American it would be a different story, but still.

--What has happened to Tiger Woods’ game on the weekends? Is conditioning a factor? He just fades on the weekend now and that certainly didn’t use to be the case.

--One last week of summer holidays for the kids. How do you feel about that Mom and Dad? Are the school supplies bought?

--Its great to hear that I will be able to hear the great Vin Scully for another year. The ageless Scully announced Sunday he would be back for 2013. He is the best and there is no one close to him. You can just sit back, close your eyes and listen to him describe the game and he describes it in a way no one else can. As a baseball fan, I try to hear or watch him whenever possible.

--It won’t bother me if the Washington Nationals make the playoffs, but will it bother or please fans of the Montreal Expos? If the Nationals don’t make the playoffs, I hope its because the organization decided to shut down Stephen Strasburg. It is ludicrous to suggest you are going to shut down the team’s best player to protect him for the future when the future is now.

--If Roger Clemens comes back to pitch for the Houston Astros this year, he is only making a mockery of himself and the game. Then again, the Astros have made a mockery of the game this year so why not!

--Speaking of mockery, its so easy do that to High Impact Wrestler Rex Roberts. First, he can’t beat someone and has to wear a dress and then he can’t beat a guy who could hardly see. What a travesty he is! If you haven’t seen HIW, you really need to for a culture shock. It is something to behold. September 28 is the next one.

--The only thing worse than having a song stuck in your head is not knowing the name of the damn song!


Anonymous said...

Call a spade a spade! Sheets not seeing the ball in the second half is on Dyce and all of the media are scared to say it. And Shomari getting beat on every play and yet staying out there is on Richie, same deal, say it. Until Chamblin realizes that Hall and Dyce both suck, we're in deep doo-doo.

Anonymous said...

How about the performance of DeLaet! It would be nice if the American networks would start noticing this guy, but he's not American so they won't. They even for the most part ignored David Hearn yesterday and he was golfing with Tiger. At least Hearn had a good round. Its only 18 holes, but when you beat the best of the world by posting the best score, it says something.


Anonymous said...

This football team is better than the team Marshall had, but not by much. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. I hope Taman has some good NFL cuts coming up here.

Anonymous said...

Nice work on the Lobendahn scoop! You can still break a story or two when you aren't a full-fledged media guy.

Anonymous said...

We were asking the same question about Sheets in our section on Saturday. The game starts with him busting off some big runs and then they went to pass, pass, pass and we saw how that worked. Do what Calgary does with Cornish and keep giving him the ball. He won't get 5 or 6 yards everytime, but you keep putting it in the hands of a playmaker.


Anonymous said...

Herb Zurkowsky is right.

You are right when you say Lapolice isn't going anywhere because of the money owed to him by the Bombers so Rider fans can stop dreaming about that.

If he hadn't showed it before, DeLaet showed he belongs with the big boys this weekend. Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Why do the Riders stop giving Sheets the ball? Great question!

Anonymous said...

Lobendahn is here according to Rod Mitch.

Anonymous said...

Great line on the Rage. So funny and true!


Anonymous said...

Delaet was the story of the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Well said Ron!