The CFL’s regular season has ended and its playoff time. Thank goodness! The Saskatchewan Roughriders have played like they have wanted this day to come for a while. With the Eskimos losing on Friday, it was fait accompli as to where the Riders would finish as they knew they’d be in Calgary in a week to play Calgary. It showed. The season finale in Vancouver was one in which TSN should burn tapes and highlights if there were any because it was a bad football game. I was hard-pressed not to watch the Alabama-LSU game that was happening at the same time.
Here were some thoughts:
--Drew Willy looked like a rookie. Facing that ferocious Lions defense, Willy was guilty of having happy feet on several occasions.
--The Riders got through the game virtually unscathed. Tristan Jackson suffered some sort of upper body injury, but I don’t think its that bad.
--Offensively, most guys that Corey Chamblin were looking to step up didn’t. Brooks Foster had a couple of drops and Aaron Hargreaves had a fumble. Brandon West had a good game though in my mind as did Abraham Kromah and Macho Harris on the defensive side of the ball.
--They might tell you Travis Lulay is OK, but I don’t think that shoulder is close to 100 percent.
The Ismael Bamba story is a great one. That is what makes the CFL unique!
The Riders and Stampeders will square off next Sunday and as I said on the Rider Roundtable Saturday night, I don’t think Calgary is as good as their record indicates. They had three games against Edmonton in which they won on the last play thanks to Edmonton mistakes. Two games had Grant Shaw miss game-winning field goals and Friday saw Kavis Reed get burned by trying to ice the kicker with a time out just before the ball was snapped that backfired as the original kick was wide, but the 2nd one wasn’t. The Riders can beat Calgary and I would expect they will do what they can to try and get Jon Cornish off his game. It worked last time and he has the type of personality where it could again.
The big story of the weekend was obviously the removal of Eric Tillman in Edmonton as general manager. It sounds like it was chaos central at Commonwealth and the brass had had enough. It baffled me though when president Len Rhodes said he was let go for “no reason”. Shouldn’t there be a reason? Rhodes says he approved the Ricky Ray trade so it can’t be that. Eric did do some questionable things and releasing his list of neg list quarterbacks to an Edmonton media outlet may have been the final straw. I wonder when and if he will make a statement of some kind. Is he off to Toronto? If so, why and what happens to Jim Barker?
Is it just me or are some teams just turning into a big mess this year…the Eskimos, the Bombers, the Ti-Cats. The Riders may not have finished the regular season strong, but at least their house is in order and Brendan Taman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. At least I don’t think he is.
Even when he doesn’t play he gets roasted. The first person to call in to the “Rider Roundtable” said the Riders should trade for Mike Reilly so they can get rid of Darian Durant. Amazing!
Speaking of amazing, George Yannitsos at the Four Seasons had me down on Friday to tape a piece with him for “Four Seasons Football Friday” seeing he was heading to Vancouver and Seattle for the weekend. The Four Seasons is trotting out a new menu and there are new hamburgers on that menu. George gave me a sneak preview and now I don’t know if I will have a burger or the dry ribs when I’m there.
The Chicago Cubs were oh so close to trading away Carlos Marmol this weekend and then it didn’t happen. DAMN!!!
From the man known as “Big Red” Chris Harris. There’s a new drink out there called the “Hurricane Sandy”. Its just a watered down Manhattan. Too soon??
I had to venture out Sunday morning after freezing rain coated Regina streets. There weren't many drivers on the road. Thank goodness! I don't know if I've ever seen it that bad. City trucks got out there and sanded the main roads, but I kept thinking I was going to look down some sidestreet and see Amber Holland throwing a draw to the eight foot.
While on my early morning outing, I stopped for coffee getting some for myself and the Mrs who wanted two cups. As I pay, the guy at the window seeing I'm all by myself in the car asks if I would like a tray. ???????? Yeah, I'll just carry the three cups bud. Cmon!!!!
The Bears defence is some kind of scary, but I still don’t think they are going to the Super Bowl. I just don’t see Jay Cutler leading his team to the championship game.
Are the Atlanta Falcons or the Houston Texans the best team in the NFL? Is it either of them?
Interesting to note that Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck have both thrown for the same amount of yardage after eight games. Of course, Luck is the heir apparent to Manning in Indy and he has shown early on that he can do what Peyton can. Still with the Colts, what a great story and what a great speech from coach Chuck Pagano as he addressed his team publicly for the first time since undergoing cancer treatment after Indy's win over Miami.
Congratulations to the Regina Rams. Playing under adverse conditions, they were the better team as they beat the Huskies thanks to 393 yards passing from Marc Mueller. Tell me again why this kid can’t be in the CFL? The Rams and Dinos will meet Saturday in Calgary for the Hardy Cup. How many Reginans going to Cowtown for the West semi-final will go to the Rams-Dinos game. It would be awesome to turn McMahon into a Rams-friendly stadium on Saturday. With TSN doing the game, it would be an incredible sight to see Rider fans doing their thing at a Rams game. Think about it.
The early forecast for Calgary is sunny and minus 6 next Saturday, sunny and plus 1 on Sunday.
Someone should invent an alarm clock that automatically reports you sick when you've pressed snooze 3 times.
Have a great Monday!