Friday, August 29, 2014

This And That

--The usual weekly assortment of thoughts running through my brain in no particular order

   --I will tell you the truth. This picture does sadden me somewhat because as much as a fan as I am of Weston Dressler, I was looking forward to watching him on Sundays and doing his thing with the Kansas City Chiefs. However that didn't happen which just tells you how hard it is to crack an NFL roster and it shows me again that players going down south--at least most of them---don't get the shot I think they are deserved. Weston certainly showed he can play the NFL game at mini-camps and training camp so why didn't Andy Reid give him a chance to show his stuff in the first pre-season game. I think Reid doesn't even realize how good of a player he let get away. From the time he left until the announcement by Sportscage Insider Arash Madani on Thursday morning, I wasn't in a panic. I KNEW Weston was coming back and I knew he would come back if it didn't work out the day he left. When Weston talked about wearing #13 in KC as a tribute to the Rider Nation. He meant that! He was sincere with that. Yes, he might like a little more privacy (as would many players I'm guessing), but he knew where he wanted to be if it didn't work out and I had full confidence there would be money in the bank account for him. Yeah, its only a one year deal, but I think Rider fans can rest easy knowing #7 will be here for the rest of his pro football career. Welcome home Weston!!

     --Upon finding out Weston had signed, I wanted to find Rod Pedersen's call of Weston's touchdown in the 4th quarter of GC 101. It could have been the last pass he caught as a Rider. Seeing the play just gave me goosebumps. Those are memories you just don't forget.

    --If Tad Kornegay is retiring as a Rider (which I have no problem with), its time for Lance Frazier to do the same thing.
   --What's your favourite LDC memory? Its gotta be Kerry Joseph's TD run for the win late in the 07 game. I think that play was the one that had people this team could win it all this year. They did!

    --The Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Tim Hortons Field situation has just become an embarrassment.  You would think Hamilton would have learned from the Winnipeg situation but they didn't. I am confident the Riders will do it the right way when it comes time to make the move from Mosaic 1 to Mosaic 2.

   --Until a couple of weeks ago, I thought the ice bucket challenge was the adventure you took at the hotel in first A) finding the bucket in your room and B) finding the ice machine!  

   --School starts next Tuesday! How do ya feel about that Mom and Dad!

 --My 11 year old recently took part in the Cougar womens basketball day camp. This could have easily resulted in the resignation of head coach Dave Taylor as I'm sure my daughter tried to set the sport back years, but it didn't which must mean something. Hopefully it trends well when she gets on the court to play and play she will unlike what was basically a wasted year of softball since RCBA knows what they are doing when it comes to equal playing time.

   --ESPN's Colin Cowherd asked a great question this week. The question was "What is the biggest athlete that is pushed onto fans as a star, but isn't."  I answered Michael Sam, Tim Tebow, Tony Romo and Johnny Manziel and that was just the NFL!

   --He's a little busy with his other job that I don't think he's giving up anytime soon, but Brad Wall would make a great replacement for Mark Cohon.

  --If the NHL puts a team in Vegas as rumoured, what would you call it?

  --As the major league baseball season starts to end, I am starting to wonder if thoughts of the Cubs competing for a pennant in 2016 should be moved up somewhat. A couple of big free agent signings may sway me. Javier Baez and Jorge Soler have fit into the lineup nicely and I can't wait to see what 3B Kris Bryant will do when he is called up. Add him to the likes of Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro and Theo Epstein's magic is starting to rub off.

  --Derek Jeter's last ever game in Toronto will be played Sunday and I hope Jays fans come out to salute the Yankees shortstop this weekend. Many teams have given Jeter interesting gifts on his farewell tour this season. I wonder what Toronto has planned.

--Is it true that all jazz musicians do is think about sax?

--Have a great Labour Day weekend. GO RIDERS!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


From Sportsnet's Arash Madani...

One of the decade’s most sought-after CFL free agents is remaining in Regina, Sportsnet has learned.
Receiver Weston Dressler, whose services set off a sweepstakes-style bidding war after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs, turned down a higher offer from Ottawa and is returning to Saskatchewan.

The one-year, pro-rated deal is worth approximately $200,000, including a small signing bonus.
The 29-year-old had previously played six seasons with the Roughriders, including the 2013 Grey Cup title run. Because Dressler knows coordinator George Cortez’s offence, and has terrific chemistry with quarterback Darian Durant, it’s believed he will play in Sunday afternoon’s Labour Day Classic against Winnipeg.

Dressler made the decision early Thursday morning, weighing not only the richer opportunity from the expansion Redblacks, but as Sportsnet first reported Wednesday evening, a sizeable offer from the Stampeders. According to sources, Calgary quietly entered the fray after Dressler became a free agent.

Ottawa had the most money and the longest term to offer Dressler, while Saskatchewan presented a one-year contract to the five-time, 1,000-yard receiver. Because the option-year clause was removed from the latest collective bargaining agreement between the players association and the league, the Riders deal still gives Dressler flexibility to explore the open market this winter, giving him another chance to cash in. It is believed the Roughriders will want to begin talks on an extension sometime this fall to avoid the two-time league all-star getting to free agency.

The Riders offence has been stagnant this season, and the organization’s hope is that adding Dressler can ignite Durant and the passing game.

Dressler signed with the Chiefs last winter, and had made a favourable impression with the NFL club during OTA’s and mini-camps. But he did not survive the first round of cuts this week when rosters had to be pared to 75 players.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let the Dre$$ler $weep$take$ Begin!

 The CFL announced Tuesday that Dressler had cleared NFL waivers and therefore was an unrestricted free agent. The former Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback was released Monday by the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Riders released Dressler, 29, in January - roughly two weeks before he was scheduled to become a free agent - so he could explore his options south of the border. Shortly after working out for the Chiefs, Dressler signed with the NFL club but donned No. 13 in honour of Saskatchewan's rabid football fans, affectionately dubbed the 13th Man.

The five-foot-eight, 179-pound native of Bismarck, N.D., spent his entire six-year CFL career with Saskatchewan, registering 442 catches for 6,531 yards and 43 TDs. He surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving plateau five times, including the last four years.

Dressler had five catches for a game-high 81 yards and a TD in Saskatchewan's 45-23 Grey Cup victory over Hamilton last November at Regina's Mosaic Stadium. A two-time all-star, Dressler was the CFL's top rookie in 2008.

Dressler appeared in three exhibition games with Kansas City, recording a 19-yard kickoff return.

Retiring As A Rider

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that international defensive back Tad Kornegay has signed a one-day contract with the team and will subsequently retire as a Roughrider.


An eight year CFL veteran, Kornegay played five consecutive seasons (2007-2011) with the Roughriders after being acquired by the team in June, 2007 after spending two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He also played for the B.C. Lions in 2011 and Calgary Stampeders in 2012.  


In his time with the Green and White, Kornegay tallied 174 defensive tackles, 20 special teams tackles, four interceptions and two quarterback sacks in 61 regular season games. He was a member of the 2007 Grey Cup Championship team and played in the 2009 and 2010 games.


For his career, Kornegay played 116 regular season games, six playoff games and four Grey Cup games.



Ticats And Alouettes Unveil Their New Unis

Monday, August 25, 2014

Trying To Get Under Bombers Skin

Saskatchewan’s marketing department has been putting up billboards near Winnipeg’s stadium for the last several years in advance of the Labour Day-Banjo Bowl clashes, all in an effort to add even more spice to the CFL’s hottest rivalry.
This year, however, it looks like the closest they could find ad space was on Plessis Road in Transcona, which is miles from Investors Group Field.
It’s the same billboard that caused the B.C. Lions to guarantee a win against the Riders on Sunday night. It features an attractive woman (obviously not from Saskatchewan) wearing a Roughriders camisole with the message “Green is the new Blue” and the team’s website address.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea, who will be new to this kind of rivalry fun since he played in the CFL dead zones of Toronto and Hamilton, shrugged his shoulders when asked about the Riders treading in Bomber waters.
“I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know,” O’Shea said Monday. “I’m sure those sign companies are international companies that don’t look at who’s paying the bill. They just accept the job, so I don’t know. It’s fine. I tend not to think a lot about that stuff.”
Asked if the billboard would prompt him to guarantee a win against the Riders like the Lions, who failed miserably, O’Shea chose his words carefully.
“I’m not touching that one,” he said.

(Winnipeg Sun)

Something To "Mitch" About

That ladies and gentlemen is the look of a man whose team couldn't cash the cheque. Guarantee---shmarantee! With the backup quarterback in the game, the Riders used another solid effort from the defence as they win their 5th straight 20-16 over the BC Lions.  Thoughts

--There couldn't be a happier Rider at night's end than Rob Bagg. I can't remember Rob dropping a pass as easy as that since he got here. What could have been a gamechanger just ends up being a blip on the overall screen.

--Dan Clark 2014 = Tony Champion 1989. What a catch!

--Tino Sunseri did not start a quarterback controversy, but he should have fans feeling more comfortable should Darian be out for a while.

--John Chick didn't get a sack, but he was close. That being said, the d-line still put good pressure on Kevin Glenn and Travis Lulay.

 --Don't tell me Lulay's shoulder is 100 percent after that lame duck he threw on the last play of the game.

--Ricky Foley said on Friday they were motivated not only by Skulsky's comments, but the 186 yards rushing BC had in the first game. They showed that by allowing BC just 50 yards rushing.

--The cover teams need some work. Tim Brown and Stefan Logan just about stole that one.

--I hated the rule when it was first established and I still hate it. The CFL has to get rid of challenging a pass interference call. Its dumb and its going to cost someone a game at some point.

Other odds and ends:

   ---Weston Dressler has been cut by the KC Chiefs which is too bad because Andy Reid never let the guy show his stuff in 3 pre-season games. It would appear as if he will be back in green very soon which while good for the Riders is bad for Weston as he wanted that opportunity.

   --After this weekend's play in the CFL, the Eskimos and Stampeders are 7-1....those seven wins are more than all 4 Eastern teams. In East vs West games, its 23-3 for the West. Tell me again why we shouldn't have one nine team loop in the CFL and scrap the East-West format. For those who say, we need an East-West Grey Cup, the CFL took that suggestion and threw it away when they started the crossover so don't give me that one.

  --I feel bad for Thomas Dimarco. The kid was just about to get his shot and maybe would have gotten a start next week and he suffers a serious injury on his 2nd snap. The football gods are not smiling on him.

  --Welcome to Rustie Dean. The personable former host of the Global Morning News alongside Heather Anderson is now a part of the Harvard family in Regina as she is joining My92.1. I'm looking forward to having her on the team.

  --With Rustie and Kent Morrison leaving at Global and Molly Thomas and Chris Hodges leaving the CTV Morning show (although Chris will be back at some point), it means a different look for the two Regina TV morning shows. It will be interesting to see how the new casts make out and if there will be a different look for one or both.

 --I wouldn't be disappointed to see S.J Green wearing a green and white uniform, but I can't see it happening. However, my thought process will change if Weston Dressler is not wearing a green and white uniform.

 --Some whispers say the career of Kory Sheets is over after his Achilles injury on Friday in Green Bay. I hope not! However, I think his shot at playing in the NFL may have come to an end.

 --The NFL fines Saints tight end Jimmy Graham 30-thousand dollars for dunking the football over the goalposts, yet Johnny Manziel only gets 12-thousand for giving the middle finger to the Redskins.?????? Is the NFL trying to tell me Graham's act is worse than Manziel's. What's wrong with Graham's post-touchdown celebration anyhow? Roger Goodell needs to lighten up a lot.

 --Who will the next head coach of the Montreal Alouettes be and when will that announcement be made. Tom Higgins just seems to be in wayyyyy over his head.

  --There is no one in the industry that has a better smile than TSN's Sara Orlesky. No one!

 --The rant delivered by Paul Heyman on RAW last Monday night might have been one of the best I have ever seen in the wrestling ring. It was absolute gold!

 --A psychic told Sportsnet's Gregg Zaun this year's World Series will be between the Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves. I'm not buyin it although I wouldn't discount the Mariners chances of being there.

 --Have Blue Jays fans realized its over this year? One can only imagine what might have happened had a David Price or a Jeff Samardzija come to Toronto. We will never know. 

 --If you could only keep one of them---would it be Bautista or Encarnacion?

--The long Saturdays of not having US College Football to watch is over.  The only person who might be  happier about this than me is Mark Rathwell. Where is the man affectionately known as "Smithers" anyhoo?

--That's all I got. Have a great week, but don't place any guarantees on it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Peyton Manning Makes One Great Ad After Another

Tell me this guy doesn't have Hollywood written all over him once his playing days come to an end,....

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sheets' Season Comes To An End

Kory Sheets will not play in the NFL this year and he won't play in the CFL either.

The 2013 Grey Cup MVP saw his NFL dreams go up in smoke for this season in Green Bay on Friday night when he suffered a hard hit on a run suffering an Achilles injury. Sheets using his Twitter account after the game said "a dream deferred...out for the year".

Thursday, August 21, 2014

This And That

What a week! A lot of thoughts are running through this muddled brain so in no particular order here we go....

  • CFL commissioner Marc Cohon is stepping down at the end of the season. Why? What's he got up his sleeve? Could he be running MLSE? The dots would certainly connect seeing what has happened with the group that owns the Leafs and Raptors. Cohon is the coolest commissioner in pro sports. What other commish goes to a sports bar and says he is buying the first round as Cohon did here before Grey Cup 101. The CFL will have to go a long way to find someone as fan-friendly and as charismatic as Cohon and I don't know if they will. I think he leaves with the league in a lot stronger position than it was when he took over. He successfully got a team into Ottawa and he has set the seeds for a team to come to the Maritimes which I think will occur in the next couple of years. He presided over a controversial TV deal, but it was a deal that was a huge financial boost to all teams which I thinks means a better product. Cohon doesn't have control over the stadium fiascos in Hamilton and Winnipeg. he doesn't really have a lot of control over the officiating situation and I don't know who can make the CFL relevant again in southern Ontario. He certainly will be missed.

  • I've never seen so much negativity over a 5-2 football team. The Riders go into BC looking to make it 5 straight wins and I think the way the defence is playing they can. The Lions aren't as invincible at BC Place anymore and while the Leos are stingy on defence as well, I see the Riders winning another low scoring game. Take the under if its anything around 40.5.

  • Oh Dennis Skulsky, your disgust with the Riders buying a billboard and promoting themselves outside BC Place is amusing and will be rather costly for you should your team not win on Sunday as you have guaranteed. I'm guessing Mike Benavides is ecstatic with what you've done. Have those tickets ready Dennis. Have those tickets ready!

  • A tweet from Ricky Foley on Friday night.....So in summary...John Chick has never played well vs them, our defence is overrated & Their President is Guaranteeing a win?...hmm ok . EXACTLY!

  • If you think the Bombers signature jersey and Ottawa's are better than the Riders, I feel sorry for you. Both of them are not good in my mind.

  • Is it too late for Canada West to draw up another football schedule. The Frank McCrystal farewell tour needs one more stop in Saskatoon!

  • Say what you want about the Rams coach, but what he has done for football in this province is outstanding. He has seen a lot of players go on to the CFL and NFL, he has seen a lot of players go on to become community leaders throughout this city, province and country and he helped make the Saskatoon-Regina rivalry. I think even those connected with the Hilltops and Huskies could agree with that statement. There won't be another one like Frank anytime soon.

  • I hope the expectations of Regina Pats fans are realistic as a new chapter in the team's history begins. I can't see year one of the new regime being successful immediately, but the future looks bright with guys like Daniel Wapple, Brady Reagan and Sam Steel. You can add Morgan Klimchuk  to that mix, but I'd be shocked if Klimchuk was around by the time the trade deadline hits. The big question with the Pats remains........will there be a center ice score-clock this season? I certainly hope so!

  • Its bad enough when one can't get coffee at home because he's out, but when he goes past two Tim Hortons on his way to work and the lineup at both are simply outrageous both in and outside the store, it makes for a cranky Scruffy! Meanwhile, I am guessing there's never a line at Robins.

  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great thing as far as I'm concerned-----unless of course its January.

  • Now that Premier Brad Wall has used it, will the word "jackwagons" become commonplace in Saskatchewan. God I hope so!

  • Just two more weeks until NFL season starts begging the question, how many Fantasy leagues will I be in this year. So far its three! SIGHHHH!

  • Have a great weekend!!

Lions Guaranteeing a Win Sunday

BC Lions Football Club president and CEO Dennis Skulsky made a historic announcement this afternoon by guaranteeing a win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday afternoon when the teams meet at BC Place presented by Save-On-Foods. It’s the first time in the club’s 61 seasons that it has publicly announced a guaranteed win.

“The Saskatchewan Roughriders have challenged this community,” said Skulsky. “They have purchased billboards promoting their team and they’re hosting a ‘Rider fan party and rally in our backyard. We’re a very good football team and we’re here to proudly represent this city and this province. The best way to do that is to win on Sunday and we guarantee that will happen.”

If the Lions fall short of their goal, all fans in attendance can redeem their game ticket from Sunday’s tilt for a ticket of equal value to one of the club’s four remaining regular season home games.

The guarantee comes almost one month after the club announced that additional seats in the upper bowl of BC Place were being made available to accommodate the demand for tickets to Sunday’s game.

“I know our fans will bring the Roar Factor on Sunday and when you combine that with the hard work and determination of our coaching staff and players, it gives everyone in our organization the confidence that together we can achieve great things,” added Skulsky.

The BC Lions (5-3) take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-2) at BC Place on Sunday,August 24th at 4:00 pm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cohon Says His Time Is Up

Today I informed our Board of Governors that I will not seek a third term as Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.
This is a very personal decision. I knew in my gut when I came here that the CFL was the right place for me and I have never regretted that decision. Today, those same instincts are telling me it is time to move on to tackle new challenges and opportunities.
I won't be going anywhere for a while. I have indicated my willingness to complete my current term as Commissioner. It doesn't expire until April 2015 but I wanted to give our Governors ample time to find the right person for this important position. Their search will begin immediately. And I will continue to work as Commissioner for the rest of this season and for months to come.
Still, I can't help but reflect. It's incredible how quickly time flies. This is my eighth season as Commissioner, and I have loved every minute of working on behalf of our iconic franchises, with our elite and unselfish athletes, and for you, our wonderful fans.
Thank you so much.
Our league has come a long way over these years. You have made every advance possible.
  • When we debuted the REDBLACKS this season, you packed the place.
  • When we celebrated the 100th Grey Cup, you came to every event, and when we took our historic trophy from coast to coast to coast by plane, train and automobile, you were on board, often literally.
  • When we visited Atlantic Canada, you came with us, or were already there for us.
  • When we declared This is Our League, you cheered.
  • When we sat down to negotiate a transformative deal with TSN and RDS, you armed us with great ratings.
  • When we said we needed new stadiums, you showed your support to help make them happen.
  • When we launched the Fan State of the League, you filled the room with energy, emotion and tough questions.
  • When we launched the SunLife Grey Cup Fan March, you filled the streets with fun and emotion and, as I knew would happen, not one of you dropped the Grey Cup, and all of you cherished the moment.
  • When I asked for your rule changes, you had the most innovative ones.
  • When I asked for your input, you took the time to write or call or email or tweet, and each and every time, your passion for our league shone through.
  • And when I wandered into the stands, into a Sea of Green or Box J or any one of the special places that has made this league what it is, you welcomed me and my family with open arms, good humour, and the occasional priceless one-liner.
Commissioners come and go. So do coaches and quarterbacks. Our league and game are much bigger than any one person. The CFL will continue to grow and succeed in the future because of you, our fans.
Still, I hope the CFL is better for the time I have spent here. I know I am and always will be.

David Lee Gets His Ball Back!!

A potential interprovincial football incident between Manitoba and Saskatchewan has been nipped in the bud.
It all started on Monday night when Saskatchewan's premier, Mr. Brad Wall himself, Tweeted that the ball Riders defensive end David Lee used to score his first career touchdown was still in Winnipeg.
"So the football that @davidlee_91 used to score his TD vs. @WPG_bluebombers is still there. Will they bring to Labour Day? #freeDavidsBall," Wall wrote on his timeline.
The premier has more than 28,000 followers and is a big Rider fan, so it didn't take long for the #freeDavidsBall hash tag to catch fire. Wall's next eight Tweets were all related to Lee's touchdown and the fact he didn't have the football, which he scooped up and took to the house when Drew Willy fumbled deep in Winnipeg's zone on Aug. 7.
There is a bit of confusion this season when it comes to who gets to keep which footballs, however. Each team gets to supply its own footballs, so when the defence intercepts one or recovers a fumble, they can't just take it back to their bench. They have to return it to the opposing team or take a penalty if they fire the pigskin into the crowd.
If a defensive player wants to keep the ball after scoring a touchdown, for instance, he or his team has to pay the opponent the value of the pigskin. Apparently no arrangements between the teams' equipment personnel were made in this case, so the ball just would have gone back into Winnipeg's bag of balls.
"He never, that I saw, kept the ball," Bombers equipment manager Brad Fotty said Tuesday. "We never once asked for it back. At half-time I never heard from their equipment guys or anybody.
"I've worked with Corey (Chamblin), Brendan (Taman), Bobby Dyce "¦ not a single person has asked me about this mysterious ball. If the kid wants one, we'll send him one. Absolutely. I'll bring it when we come out there."
Late Tuesday night, Riders GM Brendan Taman said a deal has been worked out between Fotty and Riders equipment manager Gordon Gilroy to get Lee his ball.

(Winnipeg Sun)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

McCrystal To Step Down as U of R Rams Coach At End Of Season

Frank McCrystal announced Tuesday night he will retire from his position as head coach of the University of Regina Rams football club effective Dec. 31, 2014.
McCrystal assumed the reins of the Rams program in 1984 and coached the team during its final 15 seasons at the junior level. The team won seven national junior championships under McCrystal, who was twice voted the Canadian Junior Football Coach of the Year.
In 1999, McCrystal oversaw the transition of the team to collegiate play, as the Rams joined the University of Regina and began competition in the Canada West Conference of the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (later renamed Canadian Interuniversity Sport).  In only the team’s second year at the collegiate level, McCrystal guided the Rams to a Hardy Cup championship, a victory in the Atlantic Bowl, and a Vanier Cup appearance.
In 2007, after leading the Rams to a 6–2 regular season record and an appearance in the Hardy Cup, McCrystal received the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS Coach of the Year. He was also named 2007 Canada West Coach of the Year.
“It has been a pleasure to work with so many great young kids during my tenure as head coach of the Rams,” McCrystal said. “I will look back at my time with this organization with great pride for what we accomplished and fond memories of the people I worked so closely with over the last three decades.”
McCrystal has coached a number of players during his time that have moved up to the professional ranks, including four players now playing in the National Football League. Akiem Hicks, who starred for the Rams under McCrystal in 2010 and 2011, became just the second Canada West player to be drafted directly into the NFL after being selected by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Jon Ryan, drafted in 2004 by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, later moved to the NFL and won a Super Bowl as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.  Stefan Charles is currently a member of the Buffalo Bills, while long snapper Jorgen Hus is with the St. Louis Rams.
McCrystal has also helped produce a number of standout football players for the CFL, including current Saskatchewan Roughriders Chris Getzlaf, Brendon LaBatte, and Neal Hughes and Calgary Stampeders starting centre Brett Jones. The list of former Rams that played in the CFL also includes Jason Clermont, who was a standout receiver for the BC Lions and the Roughriders.
“The University of Regina has been fortunate to have such a talented football coach in Frank McCrystal,” said Dick White, athletics director for the University of Regina. “Frank’s dedication to his players and commitment to football is evident in the winning tradition that he helped build with this team over the last three decades.
(Courtesy Braden Konschuh U of R Athletics)

Bombers Signature Unis

Say what you want about the Riders signature jersey, but it beats this one and beats it soundly.

Chick and Bagg Get CFL POW Honours

Saskatchewan Roughrider defensive end John Chick and wide receiver Rob Bagg have each been named a CFL Player of the Week.

For the second consecutive week and third time this season, Chick was named Defensive Player of the Week. The 31-year-old Wyoming native registered four defensive tackles, three quarterback sacks and a forced fumble in Saturday’s 16-11 win versus the vising Montreal Alouettes. It was the fourth game this season in which Chick has registered multiple quarterback sacks.

Through seven games Chick has 22 defensive tackles, six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and a league leading 12 quarterback sacks. It is the fifth time in five CFL seasons that Chick has picked up Defensive Player of the Week.

Bagg was named Canadian Player of the Week after his own impressive week eight performance. The 29-year-old Kingston, ON native caught six passes for 90 yards including a pivotal 30 yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter.

The seven year CFL veteran has one touchdown on the season while currently leading the Riders with 25 catches and 359 yards after seven games. It is the fourth time in his career Bagg has picked up Player of the Week honours.

This is the seventh and eighth time this season that a Rider has earned Player of the Week honours after John Chick (three), Ricky Foley (twice), Sam Hurl, Rob Bagg and Jerome Messam have all been recognized.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Something To "Mitch" About

"Would you rather us throw for 500 yards and lose?" That is the question Rob Bagg posed to everyone who was grumbling about the performance of the offence on Saturday night as the Riders won an ugly one 16-11 over Montreal. Bagg is absolutely right. Whether you win a football game 1-0 or 5-4 as was the case at one point Saturday night or 54-53, the bottom line is winning the football game and getting the two points. The Riders won, they got the two points. It was as ugly as could be, but there are no style points given out.

Here are some of my thoughts as I walked out of Mosaic Saturday night

--The Darian Durant haters just won't accept the guy for whatever reason. Listening to the CKRM post-game show on the way home, callers were quick to throw blame on the Riders QB for the offensive performance. ???? I just don't get it. I don't know what the haters want. This guy stays in the pocket on the Rob Bagg touchdown knowing he is going to get clobbered yet he absorbs that hit to make the play. He runs a quarterback draw not once, but twice to get a first down late in the game to keep a drive alive and kill the clock. He didn't turn the ball over. He was sixty percent on completion percentage. Was every throw great? No. Does Darian deserve the criticism he still gets? NO! There's no use banging your head against the wall trying to figure it out. Some people just won't give credit where credit is due. Its the same with Brendan Taman. As Luc Mullinder so aptly put it on the 620 CKRM post-game show, you won't realize what you had until he is gone. If he wins another Grey Cup during his time here, he will arguably be the greatest Rider to ever have worn the uniform having taken this team to the promised land twice if not more. Perhaps these Durant haters would rather have the likes of Kevin Mason, Reggie Slack or Marvin Graves quarterbacking the team. It's frustrating, but its amusing as well. It also makes me laugh when people say its the media creating the criticism. Yeah. its the media phoning in to the post-game shows, yeah, its the media who write anonymously for the most part into the blogs, yeah, its the media's fault. People that throw that at me just make me chuckle.

--John Chick is John Chick. What more can you say about him that hasn't been said.

--Tom Higgins can rationalize it anyway he wants, but he screwed up by not going for two after the Duron Carter touchdown late in the 4th. Higgins said there was enough time to get the ball back. He's right, but going for two at least means you get the ball back and you are tied instead of behind. If there was lots of time left, why gamble on 3rd and 4 from midfield with 1:45 left when they could have punted and maybe won some field position. Higgins arguably blew it for the Alouettes on this night.

--Al Bradbury and his crew did nothing to heighten the image of CFL officials. The offside call on John Chick in the first half was perhaps the worst call I have seen this year. If that isn't, then his explanation on the no pass interference on Chris Getzlaf because the two were running side-by-side is. ???????? I asked people on Twitter what they would grade old Al's crew for their performance Saturday night. I gave them a C Minus and many who answered said I was being generous.

--It was a very classy move by many Rider fans to give Taj Smith a nice ovation when he caught his first pass. I'm sure that meant a lot to #88 who you know is going through some battles. The Riders are giving this kid every opportunity to stick around, but they've told him the time to grow up is now. Rider fans let Taj know they are on his side and it was encouraging to see.

--Why doesn't the kisscam ever venture up to the pressbox and focus in on Carm and Rod? Tell me the place wouldn't go ballistic as Carm planted one on RP or vice-versa!

--I like Chris Milo, but I think he needs to be pushed a little. Bringing a body in wouldn't be the worst thing for the Riders kicker. Competition is always good.

Other thoughts

--The CFL has to start becoming concerned over the bad football games we are seeing. I was told by some that if I thought the game at Mosaic was bad it was nothing compared to the Edmonton-Ottawa game. These games are starting to become commonplace and its not fan-friendly. I'm not sure how you fix it, but somewhere somehow the CFL must find a way to create some excitement and perhaps it will come, but right now the product isn't appealing to the fan and that is not a good sign.

--I hate to say it, but it looks like Weston Dressler's dream of playing in the NFL is over. I was excited to see Weston get a chance even if it was a small one to do his thing with a national audience on FOX watching but sadly all we saw of Dressler was him sitting on the bench before the game started. He stayed on the bench too as far as I could see as he didn't catch any passes or return any kicks. My guess is Weston will be back in the CFL by Labour Day and he will be wearing green despite talk of him landing in Ottawa or Toronto. Brendan Taman will not let #7 get away.

--John Cena will be awfully sore this morning after the "pummelling" he took at the hands of Brock Lesnar. A man should not get thrown on his head and neck 16 times the way Cena did. Yes its scripted, but you still have to sell it to make it look good.

--Did Triple H reach into the wardrobe of his ex-woman Chyna when giving an outfit for current wife Stephanie McMahon to wear. The boss' daughter looked like she was wearing garb from the 90's diva in the ring for her match against Brie Bella which surprised very few methinks.

--The Blue Jays are done. At this rate, I can't help but wonder if they will be a 500 team the way they are plummeting in the standings. I still say opportunity blown at the deadline. Some disagree and that's fine. All I know is while others strengthened their team, the Jays did not for whatever reason.

--Where was all the rain we were supposed to get this weekend? Saturday was calling for 10-20 millimeters in Regina. Where was it? Environment Canada---10 percent accurate 90 percent of the time.

--Sounds like the event of the year was held at the Turvey Centre Friday night with the Frank McCrystal roast. I've heard many a story from many a person. I shoulda went!

--Congrats to the Regina Thunder as they beat the Hilltops 19-16 in overtime. Its never a bad thing when you beat the Hilltops is it Regina.

--Congrats also to the Regina kids representing Canada at the Little League Junior and Senior World Series. The junior team barely lost out on qualifying for a semi-final. It was said they were the best Canadian reps perhaps ever sent to Taylor Michigan at the Juniors. That's a good thing.

--Have a great week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Over to You Rod, Over To You Phil, Over to You Pete

This And That

Are you ready for some football?  The forecast is calling for weather that may be a little wet, but the rain that is being called for should be out of the way for a 5 o'clock kickoff at the best place to be in Canada on game day. On paper, one would think the Montreal Alouettes would be hard-pressed to get the ball in the endzone against that fierce Riders defence, but they don't play the game on paper and anything can happen. I expect the Riders to win and cover the 13 1/2 point spread, but who knows in the CFL.
As is usual to end the week, here are some thoughts running through my muddled brain in no particular order...
  • Is a loss on Saturday night the end for Tom Higgins? It hasn't gone well for the Alouettes coach and the team seems to be in big sense of disarray. They fired Dan Hawkins last year when the team was 2-3 and that team was considerably better than what I've seen. If the Riders win, we'll find out soon.
  • Did anyone see Glen Johnson's interview on TSN the other night? He suggested penalties are up because of all the new players in the league especially those in  Ottawa still trying to learn the game. Yeah Glen, Henry Burris, Keith Shologan and Jovon Johnson are all wet behind the ears rookies. The game has been significantly hampered by the work of the stripes this year and they need to start doing a better job. Johnson needed to come out and say something to appease the fan, but that wasn't it.
  • Its been running back roulette in Saskatchewan this year with Anthony Allen, Will Ford, Hugh Charles and Jerome Messam all carrying the rock, but its been worse in Calgary. Jon Cornish, Anthony Walter, Martell Mallett have all had a turn running the ball and now Charles is supposed to start this week. The similarities end there though as John Hufnagel has had to rotate different guys in because of injury while you know the situation here.
  • Ricky Ray had no receivers and he threw for almost 300 yards in a victory over Winnipeg. He isn't washed up and may be proving why he was the #1 pick in the TSN top 50.
  • How are Rider fans on the east side going to treat Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson? How will he treat them? (BLOGGER NOTE: We won't find out, I have just found out the Alouettes aren't bringing him on the trip as he is hurt. DAMN!)
  • It was too hot for me on Thursday, but I'd rather have that than 50 below with the windchill. Then again, I can sleep in an un air conditioned home when its 50 below. SIGHHHH!!!

  • Thursday was Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queens across Canada. The heat had a lot to do with it, but I think every Reginan decided to get a Blizzard. I stopped at one and saw a lineup outside the door so I went to another one and once again there was a wait outside the door with the wait on the street for the drive-thru making me think I was at Tim Hortons. It was for a great cause though so good job Regina!
  • I am a fan of potato chips, but all four of the flavours Lays has in their contest are somewhat stomach-turning. A cinnamon bun flavoured potato chip. Uhhhhhhhhh no!
  • Is the summer truly over when Pats training camp gets set to start. Hockey season is here.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the fact that the Pats are getting back at it, but can we wait until after Labour Day?
  • NISSAN Canada's "Back in the Game" program is helping 21 high schools across Canada with their football program by doing something whether it be renovating facilities to donating equipment. Regina's Johnson High School is the only Saskatchewan school involved. NISSAN is giving Johnson new helmets. I spoke with their head coach Jason Janssen about this and he is over the moon. Helmets are a costly thing and not a lot of kids are playing football at Johnson so its tough to get the $$$$. He is hoping this might draw some more kids out to play and I hope he's right. TSN will follow the exploits of some of the schools NISSAN is helping this year so I hope Johnson gets some air time on a CFL broadcast.
  • NHL number one draft pick overall Aaron Ekblad was talking about a concussion he received recently on TSN Thursday night. He looked like Vanilla Ice!!!! That look has to change and change soon!
  • OK Coke, I'm more of a Pepsi guy anyways, but if you had a can with my name on it, I might change my mind and get some. I guess you don't think "Mitchell" is a good enough name so I will just keep getting Pepsi. Thanks though
  • John Cena will beat Brock Lesnar at Summerslam
  • The HIW gang is back in Regina tonight as they have a show happening at the Exchange. The Access crews start rolling again on HIW in September. They have been touring the province and from all accounts they have had great shows. The guys behind the curtain are working hard to make a success of this and slowly, but surely they are succeeding. If you were at some of the shows across the province, you might have seen a young lady named Jaida in the ring. Jaida wasn't at shows after last weekend, but she had a good reason. She was in Portland, Oregon standing in the ring with Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella as they got WWE fans ready for their match at Summerslam. Jaida was playing the role of Daniel Bryan's (Brie's real life husband) massage therapist and told the crowd she was having an affair with Daniel. From a crowd of 500 one night in La Ronge to that of 16-thousand a couple of nights later in Portland. That's the life of a wrestler boys and girls.  
  •  A Seattle NHL team might drop the Oilers to my number 2 team. Might I said.  I wonder where their rink would be and if it would be close to CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field which are side by side. There is certainly room in that area of the city for a hockey arena. Time will tell.
  • Have a great weekend!  GO RIDERS!!!  GO SEAHAWKS!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chick and Messam Get CFL Player Awards

Saskatchewan Roughrider defensive end John Chick and running back Jerome Messam have each been named a CFL Player of the Week.

Chick was named Defensive Player of the Week after another impressive performance in Thursday’s 23-17 victory over the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. The 31-year-old Wyoming native wreaked havoc while registering five defensive tackles and three quarterback sacks.

For the season, Chick has 18 defensive tackles, six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and a league leading nine quarterback sacks. This is the fourth time in five CFL seasons that Chick has picked up Defensive Player of the Week and second time this season.

Messam was named Canadian Player of the Week after an equally impressive week seven performance. The 29-year-old Toronto native powered his way to 126 yards on 19 carries as the Rider offence stuck to the ground attack.

The five year CFL veteran boosted his season totals 140 yards on 26 carries in four games since joining the Riders. It is the seventh time in his career Messam has picked up Player of the Week honours.

It is the fifth and sixth time this season that a Rider has earned Player of the Week honours after Ricky Foley (twice), John Chick (twice), Sam Hurl and Jerome Messam have all been recognized.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams on Golf ***R RATED****

Robin Williams is dead at the age of 66 having committed suicide. The man's humor was second to none. I fully realize this video has four letter words all over the place and for that I do apologize in advance, but this might be one of the funniest skits I've ever seen and had me in tears when I first saw it.

Something To "Mitch" About

I've preached about this  for a couple of years, and now TSN's Duane Forde is getting onboard by saying its time the CFL scrapped the East-West format and went to one nine-team conference. Once again this weekend, three of four interdivisional matchups were won overwhelmingly by the Western Conference team.

In fact, in East vs West games this year, the West is 15-2. The Riders lost one of those games in Toronto, but who is the other team to lose to an Eastern opponent this year. Think about it!!!!  Montreal beat BC at Molson Stadium 24-9 in Week 2.

I have thought for a number of years the CFL should be one big conference. The top two teams get byes to what would be the semi-finals with 3 playing 6 and 4 playing 5. This would eliminate the cross-over and would mean the best teams are getting into the playoffs. Are we that stuck on East-West that we need it. Would you not like to see a Calgary-Saskatchewan Grey Cup? I'm sure those in Eastern Canada would hate it, but those in Eastern Canada don't seem to fond of our game right now with the exception of those in Ottawa.

Its an idea the league should seriously look at.


Many people have asked what I think of the Taj Smith situation and what I think will happen to him. The answer is I really don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if he has played his last down for the green and white. Boys are boys and when boys are on the road, they will go out. However, when you are told to be at a meeting at a certain time, you had better be there ready to go and Taj wasn't. In fact, they couldn't find him until Monday afternoon. That sends a message and its not a good one. The other question a lot of people have asked is "Who ratted on Taj?" I don't know. I wasn't on the trip so how would I know and no, Rod Pedersen doesn't fill me in on every road story or every detail surrounding the club. I would hope it wasn't someone in the organization and I would hope it wasn't some fan. If it was the latter, I hope the guy realizes he may have changed someone's life forever.

Do ya like the Riders new jersey or do you hate it? It seems as if its 50-50. Put me down in the I like it category. I want to see what the other teams are going to roll out.

I came across a very interesting story this week. A poll was taken (secretively of course) amongst NHL players, coaches and executives about who they would rather have on their team---Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews. The answer was Toews. That really doesn't surprise me as I think the Chicago captain is the best all-around player in the NHL, but it did surprise me that players, executives and coaches think that way. Would they rather have Patrick Kane than Sid? I can't see them wanting Ovechkin or Crosby. I'll ask you, who would you rather have...Sid or Toews?


Did everyone survive the storm Friday? That came in quick and it was nasty. I was doing public address at the Red Sox game and you could see the lightning coming our way from the West. It started to rain lightly around the 7th inning and when the game ended, it was still just spitting. It was doing more than spit about 20 minutes later. That game ended just in time. Some of the pictures in places like White City were unreal.  The storm made me wonder just when it was that we had that massive hailstorm in Regina in the summer of 2013...was that also not mid-August? I was right in the middle of that and it was some kind of nasty. I thought a tornado was getting ready to roll down my street, but not as bad as one of my neighbours who hit the basement immediately.

It was disappointing to see Weston Dressler get very little action in the KC Chiefs pre-season opener. As  much as I hate to say it because I want to see Weston succeed, I think he will back in Riderville perhaps as early as the Labour Day Classic. He has to win over some coaches in playing time and that first game was the opportunity to do so. I don't know if he will get much of an opportunity the rest of the way. I hope I'm wromg because I'd rather see him wearing Chiefs red than Riders green. As for Kory Sheets, he didn't see much time either, but there is talk he could do no worse than the practice roster in Oakland. That's a win for Kory if it happens. If he comes back this way too, it not only creates another chapter in the running back story here, but it loads up the Wheat Warriors for the 2nd half of the season.


Regina's baseball community should be beaming. The Red Sox finished another positive season on the weekend and even though they were eliminated by Swift Current on the weekend, it was still a pretty good year. If the performance of the Red Sox isn't good enough, how about what is up and coming. Not only is a Regina team competing at the Little League Junior World Series in Michigan, but I found out Saturday a Regina team is also competing at the Little League Senior World Series in Maine after winning the Canadians last Thursday. This is outstanding!  Those connected with Kiwanis Baseball and the North Regina Little League should be pretty proud of what likely is the greatest season we've had. With the kids on these teams ranging from 14-17, the future looks bright for b-ball in the Queen City.


Tiger who? The PGA championship proved golf does not need Tiger Woods anymore as there are many ready to assume his spot. Sunday's final round was maybe the most collective and most dramatic round of golf I have seen.  Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickleson. Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson fought it out with Ernie Els making a late charge as did several others. Graham DeLaet might have been in the mix if his putter was working Sunday, but he wasn't that far back. At one time, golf revolved around the doings of Tiger. No more! There are enough established vets and young guns to keep this sport entertaining for years to come.


The Blue Jays can forget about being AL East champions and now have to concern themselves with getting the 2nd and final wildcard spot. I don't know if they will do it, but while fading, they aren't dead in the water yet. Three games against the Mariners in Seattle with the first one being against Felix Hernandez won't be easy. Going into the week, they are tied with Seattle a game and a half back of Kansas City. If the Mariners should sweep this set, its bye-bye Jays and will leave one to wonder again just why Alex Anthopoulos chose not to add any significant pieces prior to the trade deadline. CKRM co-worker Chris Harris asked a great question during the 19 inning marathon against the Tigers. That question being----do they start selling beer again at some point. I think beer sales end after the 7th so that would be a long time for a big crowd to go suds-less. Two other Jays points---would they have a playoff spot basically cinched if 2nd half Mark Buehrle was like first half Mark Buehrle? What happened there? The second thing is how much longer is John Gibbons going to employ Juan Francisco. The guy seemingly does nothing but strike out or pop up.

The future is starting to arrive in Wrigleyville. Javier Baez is going to be a star and his major league career started off with a bang as he homered three times in two games. I still think the Cubs compete for a pennant in 2016.
What did Heather Anderson do at Global? Both of her compadres are leaving her! How can you leave Heather Anderson I ask??? Well, if you're Kent Morrison, you get an opportunity at Global Edmonton and if you're Rustie Dean, you go back into the world of radio.  Heather, if Rustie comes to work for the Harvard chain, you are more than welcome to come visit anytime and if you want to read a newscast or two, I'm OK with that.
I don't think John Cena is losing the belt to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam next week, but I am interested to see what goes down at the PPV. The Stephanie McMahon-Brie Bella match won't be of the quality Undertaker-Triple H was, but it will be as entertaining as hell I'm guessing. It was that way when Vince got in the ring. I'm thinking we see a sister turn before this match is done, but we'll see. When is the WWE coming back here anyhoo?

I still want to find a way to legislate the afternoon nap into the workday. Just a quick 45 minute nap will do! Hey if people can go and waste their time smoking, I can waste it napping can I not?

And finally, lets let the Manning brothers take you out this week with this...

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Remembering The Past

 The first Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup team will come together again for a few days in October–almost surely tied around a home game. It would make the most sense to have it around the opener Thursday Oct. 9 when the rival Calgary Flames are at Rexall Place to kick off the 2014-2015 season in a big way but the Oilers also have home games against Vancouver and Montreal in October so it could be one of those .

There will probably be a series of activities over several days (dinners and such, maybe for charity) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1984 championship squad that knocked off the four-time winning New York Islanders in five games in the final.

A fair number of the ’84 team players took part in the Heritage Classic outdoor alumni game against the Montreal Canadiens on that achingly cold day in November, 2003, but this would be the first time the entire squad and coaches, training and front office staff and maybe even owner Peter Pocklington, who boldly predicted a Cup party within the first five years in the NHL, would hopefully all be here for a reunion.

Looking back to the ’84 team, here’s the roster, by position:
Goal–Grant Fuhr, Andy Moog.
Defence–Paul Coffey, Lee Fogolin, Kevin Lowe, Charlie Huddy, Randy Gregg, Don Jackson.
Forwards–Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Dave Hunter, Pat Hughes, Kevin McClelland, Dave Semenko, Dave Lumley, Ken Linseman, Willy Lindstrom, Jaroslav Pouzar, Pat Conacher.
Coaches–Glen Sather, John Muckler, Ted Green.
Chief Scout–Barry Fraser.
Training staff–Barrie Stafford, Peter Millar, Lyle Kulchisky.
They all got their name on the Stanley Cup, the first of five for the Oilers.

Smaller rosters back in 1984, obviously. Just 21 players’ names on the Cup. Winger Raimo Summanen and defenceman Rick Chartraw also got into some playoff action that spring but didn’t get their names engraved.
It’s expected that Oilers current owner Darryl Katz, who keeps a low profile except on draft day when he’s up on the stage with the team’s first pick, will be involved in the reunion, too. He hung around many of the Oiler players from those glory days.

Several of the Oiler players live here–Fogolin, Lowe, Gregg, Hunter, Lumley, Fuhr. Green lives here, as well. So does Stafford and Kulchisky. Several will have to come in from Europe. Kurri from Finland, Lindstrom from Sweden, Pouzar from the Czech Republic. Jackson is coaching in Munich. Huddy is an assistant coach for the Winnipeg Jets these days; he’ll have to take time out from his duties there. They have a home game Oct. 9 against Phoenix Coyotes. Sather will have to leave his duties as Rangers’ GM for a few days, too and fly in. Fraser, who was the architect through the draft, has lived in Mexico for years.

If it’s Oct. 9 and the Flames are here that would be fitting. The Oilers beat their greatest rival in seven games in the second round of the playoff run in 1984 with Linseman getting the winner in the last game.

(Edmonton Journal)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Riders Unveil New Jersey

Riders Release CFL Signature Uniform



The Saskatchewan Roughriders today unveiled a special edition jersey which will debut at Mosaic Stadium on August 16th against the Montreal Alouettes.  The special addition jersey will be worn up to two times a year and is part of the new CFL Signature Uniform program from Reebok.  Player video’s and images of the new jersey can be viewed at


Fast, bold and exciting, this new jersey was designed to capture the spirit and energy of Rider Nation.  The new design uses traditional Rider green as its core but highlights that iconic colour with a new blitz green.  A modern addition to the classic look, blitz green takes the design to a whole new level.


Special sublimated twill numbers show off the unique “wheat to sky” pattern inspired by the current logo.  Combined with the new carbon coloured pants a modern new sock design and topped by a wheat pattern wrapped helmet, the new signature uniform is unlike anything in the 104 year history of the Roughriders. 


“Our new special addition Jersey brings a new Green to the Roughrider Colour palette.   The new “Blitz Green” is a vibrant colour that complements the traditional Rider green   and delivers a new energy to game day”, said president and CEO Jim Hopson. 


Assistant GM Jeremy O’Day commented, “This is a very unique, bold jersey.  It’s definitely a statement jersey that our players are really excited to suite up and play in on Aug 16th.”


In addition to jerseys, the Rider Store will stock an assortment of hats, tee shirts and a sideline polo.  Mark Habicht, Director of Retail Operations added, “We wanted to allow coaches and fans to get in on the new green and be part of this exciting new look.”


Starting immediately, the new jerseys and the clothing collection are exclusively available from all four Rider Store locations – Mosaic Stadium, Northgate Mall, Grasslands in Harbour Landing and The Centre in Saskatoon, as well as online at  



This And That

I could give you the assortment of thoughts running through my muddled mind on a variety of topics, but who's kidding who, the Rider game takes center stage. Here are some thoughts on what went down at Investors Group Field.

 --Oh Drew Willy, didn't you learn when you were here that you don't try and beat Terrell Maze. This guy is so under-rated its not even funny. Opposition quarterbacks don't throw Maze's direction very often and when they do, they don't succeed. In this case, it turned a win into a loss for the Bombers.

--What more can you say about John Chick that you haven't said already when it comes to his play. Rumour is he sacked Drew Willy on the way to the team bus. Chick is definitely the top defensive player in the league at this stage of the season. Is he the best player period?

--Say what you will about Darian Durant, but he didn't throw three picks and one fumble with two of those plays turning into touchdowns.

--I have no idea who starts at running back against the Alouettes on August 16.

--Is a defender not allowed to hit a receiver within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. If they are, there were some terrible calls against the Riders especially on the long TD drive. Both Rod Williams and Ricky Foley were victims of brutal calls---especially Foley.

--Macho Harris and Weldon Brown had tough nights, but its not as bad when you win. The same might be said for Chris Milo. All three can and will bounce back.

--The Riders to a man deserve credit for getting this win. Two road wins in five days is nothing to sneeze about. Where are all the haters now? This team has proven its resiliency and they are over their Grey Cup hangover which is something they don't want to admit, but its something I think they had after three weeks of the season.

--Corey Chamblin sounded like a proud father at the end of the game. I would have loved to have heard his game-end address to the team. Whatever it was, I think this team took a big step to being where they want to be at the end of the year. That trip was not easy and they come home after spending nine days on the road with a pair of victories. Coach C said the players will get a day off when they get home----cmon Coach, give em two!!

Your thoughts are more than welcome!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Riders #3 In Canada

Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL) have the strongest brand among professional sports teams in the country, concludes an opinion survey with Canadian sports fans released today by Insightrix Research Inc.

Toronto Maple Leafs, also of the NHL, ranked second, Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) was third and Toronto Blue Jays, Canada’s lone team in Major League Baseball (MLB) was fourth.

Insightrix, an internationally-recognized research firm based in Saskatoon, conducted the survey in collaboration with the Phoenix Group, a Regina-based advertising agency.

“A total of 2,676 randomly-selected sports fans were polled online May 8-26 in nine Canadian metro areas that are home to professional sports franchises,” explained Mario Caceres, senior research executive with Insightrix.

“Results were weighted to accurately represent the population in each metro area as a percentage of the national population and by the proportion of followers of each sports league in those areas.”

Metro areas surveyed were: Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.  Because the research was conducted online, he said it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable.

Sports fans from the nine metro areas that are home to professional sports franchises were asked a series of questions to better understand their perception of NHL, CFL and MLB as well as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Soccer team brands in Canada.

Five key brand metrics were measured including first brand that comes to mind, their level of respect for team brands as well as their perception of the most loyal fans, team popularity and stadium atmosphere, Caceres said.

“The top four brand rankings were developed using a statistically-valid combination of the team’s rankings in each of the categories surveyed,” he said. 
The most respected team is the Canadiens, followed by the Roughriders, Blue Jays and Alouettes.  When it comes to popularity, fans perceive the Montreal Canadiens to be the most popular, followed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Alouettes.
The Canadiens edge out the Roughriders as the team perceived to have the most loyal fans.
Across all leagues the Montreal Canadiens have the strongest brand nationally followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The top ten brands across all sports include three NHL teams, four CFL teams, one team each from the NBA, MLB and MLS.
The research reveals that individual NHL brands are very strong, but mostly in their local or regional markets. CFL brands also consistently show strength in local markets, however CFL teams enjoy greater out of market brand affinity.  Toronto and Montreal-based team rankings across all sports benefitted from the larger population base in their local areas.

Pats Make Paddock Signing Official


The Regina Pats Hockey Club is proud to announce the hiring of John Paddock as Head Coach and Senior Vice-President of Hockey Operations. The Pats are also happy to confirm Chad Lang continues in his role as Senior Vice-President involved in the hockey and business sides of the organization.

Paddock comes to the Queen City after five seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers as Assistant General Manager. Last season, he served as one of the Flyers’ assistant coaches as the team compiled a 42-30-10 record en route to a berth in the playoffs.

“I am very happy to be joining the Regina Pats,” commented John Paddock. “It’s an exciting time for the ownership group and myself as we join forces to build a model WHL franchise the people of Regina can get behind. It will be great to get started!”

Before his time with the Flyers, Paddock spent 21 seasons building extensive coaching experience with both NHL and AHL teams. The Oak River, MB native is a member of the AHL Hall of Fame (2010) and the third winningest coach in league history with a record of 589-438-98. He was named the AHL Coach of the Year for the 1987-88 season and is the only coach to lead three different franchises to Calder Cup Championships (Maine–1984, Hershey–1988, Hartford–2000). Paddock’s tenure includes head coaching in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets (1991-94) and Ottawa Senators (2007-08).

“We are very excited to welcome John to the Pats family!” said Regina Pats Governor Anthony Marquart. “His extensive hockey experience in coaching and management is an asset as we work to build a solid foundation and develop our hockey club for future success. We went through an exhaustive search to find the right fit for our hockey club and in John we found exactly what we need.”

Prior to stepping behind the bench, Paddock played nine seasons of professional hockey in the AHL and NHL, winning two Calder Cups (Maine–1978, 1979). John played his junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings from 1972-1974.

Paddock will be introduced at a media conference prior to the Pats’ 2014 Training Camp opening August 21st at the Cooperators Centre. The Blue and White play their first pre-season game August 28th at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors.

“Overall, this revised structure ensures a focus on sustained hockey development and commitment to winning while having in place a business operating model focused on an enhanced fan experience,” continued Marquart. “We are committed to bringing a Memorial Cup to Regina and the proper structure is the first step.”

“Under the ownership group we had the opportunity to discuss our organization's structure,” explained Chad Lang. “Recommendations were brought forward on both sides of the operation that will aid in the organization's short and long term goals. The organizational restructure allows me to focus my efforts to work alongside Todd Lumbard and the ownership group while remaining committed to assisting all staff on both sides of the organization.”

“Chad has been instrumental during this entire process. His knowledge of our league, recommendations and tireless efforts allowed us to bring on John Paddock and positioned our organization for future success. We are very pleased Chad continues in his role of Senior Vice-President as we move forward,” Marquart concluded

Monday, August 4, 2014

Riders News/Pats News

The Saskatchewan Roughriders allowed late Monday night receiver Taj Smith has been charged with violating a condition of his release on a charge of aggravated assault. It is not known what Smith is alleged to have done. The team says he will not play Thursday in Winnipeg.


The Leader-Post's Greg Harder is reporting former Senators and Jets head coach John Paddock is the new head coach of the Regina Pats. Paddock has apparently also assumed control of hockey operations. Its not known what this means for current GM Chad Lang who is also the team's senior vice-president. It is expected a formal announcement will be made later this week.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Something To "Mitch" About

After watching the Riders completely demoralize the REDBLACKS Saturday night, I just had to ask one thing. That was "Who the hell was that with the "S" on their helmets in Toronto and at home against B.C. Through 5 games, this team has either been very good or very bad and really they weren't all that bad against the Lions. Once again, it was over early Saturday thanks to the defense who has come back from the bye week with an attitude. Just some thoughts on what transpired on the TD Place turf.

  --Tearrius George!!! His play this year hasn't been noticed because of what John Chick is doing, but the guy is playing his best football in a Rider uniform. You could see that thunderous hit coming on the Ottawa player on the Tristan Jackson punt return and it was a thing of beauty. I texted Luc Mullinder saying that must be a d-lineman's dream.

  --Chris Getzlaf showed us how much the Rider offence has missed him. There just seemed to be a different confidence with 89 back on the field.

 --I never have a problem seeing Rob Bagg have a good game. Like many of you, (and I'm sure Rob will hate this), I cringe whenever he catches a ball and just want him to get up and run back to the huddle after his previous knee injuries. Bagg may never suffer another knee problem during his career, but I and I think of lot of you still want the guy to compete the way he always has and not get hurt.

--If Tristan Jackson isn't either defensive or special teams player of the week, something is wrong. Barring injury, I think Marshay Green's time returning kicks on this team are over,

--Should I be worried about Brendon Labatte's injury? It didn't seem that bad as TSN showed him working on the sidelines, but he didn't get back in. He didn't need to the way the game was progressing, but with a  short week, I have to wonder if he will suit up in Winnipeg.

--This is being real nitpicky and chintzy and its not a knock on Coach Chamblin whatsoever, however, it would seem to me as if Anthony Allen is a better runner/pass receiver than Will Ford. I'm a guy who likes that guy who can catch out of the backfield. I'd give Allen another shot.

--I think everyone knows what I think of the work of the stripes in the CFL and that was evident again Saturday---especially early. What I don't understand is why does Darian take so many late shots that aren't penalized. There were at least two and maybe three where Ottawa defenders should have been flagged for roughing the QB under the way the rule is interpreted. If that were Hank or Mike Reilly or Ricky Ray, I'm sure a flag would have been thrown. Do I need to just stop bitching about these mistakes and take it for what it is or should I continue to be frustrated as a fan?

--Is Henry starting to slow down or is it the surrounding cast around him. He didn't look good at all.

--Was I the only one thinking disaster will come of this when the Ottawa guys were trying to get that chainsaw going after their TD. Perhaps Worksafe Bob needs to check out these guys!


--While being critical of the refs, two thumbs up though to the ref that got kicked in the face accidentally by Kyries Hebert Friday night and came back after getting bandaged up. Yes, that left a mark and yes. that's Canadian tough. Take that Ed Hochuli!!

--Do you think the producers at TSN cringe every time Matt Dunigan does colour. I don't think anyone knows what is going to come from the mouth of the former CFL quarterback and I don't know if Matt does either. Someone also needs to tell me my Gord Miller and Matt kept calling Martell Mallett---Martell on Friday night. They don't call Jon Cornish Jon and they don't call Darian Durant Darian so why did they keep saying Martell. Was no one around to correct them? It didn't sound good.

--The NFL Hall of Fame ceremony was magical on Saturday night. Michael Strahan brought the house down with his induction speech while Bills receiver Andre Reed was also very passionate in his speech. Canton, Ohio and a trip to the HOF is a must. Its on the bucketlist. I just don't know how long I would be in there.

--I think the frustration has started in Jays-land. Losing three of four to one of the worst teams in baseball is not a good way to start the final two months of the season. These three games coming up against Baltimore are beyond huge! By the way, I love the debate on whether or not Toronto should have made a trade or two at the deadline. A lot of you feel like I do and lot of you don't. I just think the time to win is now and the time to add players and payroll if necessary was now and not to shy away as the team has done. I just don't think they have the horses to make the playoffs, but they would have had they added an arm or two. Time will tell and that time starts Tuesday.

Another year of the QCX has come to an end and while my wallet isn't feeling the sting of a day at the exhibition, my feet are! The oldest Scruffette and I went to go see "Down With Webster" and she was thrilled to meet the band. Me....MEHHH!!! Although I will admit, they were pretty good.  I would have rather met Bret Michaels Friday night, but she had the opportunity and that is what counts. As for me, I was in good company.....

Before the show, I had about 90 minutes to just sit and people watch. It is an interesting dichotomy of people that walk the Evraz Place facility and I mean interesting. I don't really think I have to explain.

As mentioned, I would have loved to have seen Bret Michaels Friday night, but no one did because of that storm that rolled through. I am thinking my good friend Kelly Remple must have been near suicidal. The opening band Bleeker Ridge ended up coming to the WOLF 104.9 trailer and did a song in front of everyone unplugged. Word is it was awesome and one of the highlights of the entire fair. Those guys are good!

A belated thanks to the guys at the Regina Motor Products collision centre. They took the Scruffmobile in for repairs while I was in the states after some douchebag sideswiped it in the Northgate Mall parking lot in June. It looks brand new so thanks kindly.

There's a suggestion out there to name the August long holiday after Terry Fox. Sign me up on that one. I can't think of a better Canadian to honor than that of Fox.

Tweet of the week and perhaps a candidate for Tweet of the  year goes to country singer Brad Paisley.

Uh oh, saw some breast feeding tonight in the crowd at Sacramento. Thankfully, no infants were involved.

PK Subban got how much???? Man, if he is hauling in that type of coin, I can't wait to see what Drew Doughty ends up with, That deal is beyond ridiculous if you ask me. I''m not a Subban fan though.

Classy of the Ducks to retire Teemu Selanne's jersey before a game against the Jets. I can only wonder if Jets might decide to retire his number as well at some point. Why not?

Peyton Manning can throw a football and can involve himself in some entertaining commercials, but he can't dance as was evidenced this week when he was shuckin and jiving to Rocky Top  at camp this week. That would have made Simon Cowell run for the exit.

That's all I got. Have a great holiday Monday.