Monday, June 22, 2015

Something to "Mitch" About

It was the exhibition game we won't forget for a long time and as one fan said to me as I was heading down the ramps after Friday's 37-29 loss to the Stampeders, was it the last time we will have a storm at the old Mosaic Stadium? WOW!!That was intense!

I have seen it hail at a Riders game before, but not for that long and I certainly haven't seen the field get covered like it did!  You knew something nasty was blowing in and it certainly was. Thank goodness it was short lived. I was somewhat surprised to come out to my car and see no visible marks in it from the hail and I was pleasantly surprised to go out Saturday morning and see that it came through unscathed. Here's hoping that was the case for many and that farmers looking for rain got it and didn't see their crop get hammered.

To the game and yes, the Riders lost, but for the 2nd week in a row, they lost the game when the regulars weren't in. I thought the green and white battled toe-to-toe with the Stampeders when the number ones were in there and I am not worried one bit that this team went 0-2 in the pre-season and like Corey Chamblin, I saw a lot of improvement from week 1 to week 2 of the pre-season with the hope we see more growth and improvement against Winnipeg next week.

Guys I noticed---Jeff Knox Junior, Rory Connop and Nic Demski.  I think all three of these guys could be the next wave of Riders that the Rider Nation will adore. I had heard Knox had dazzled at camp and I didn't see a lot of him in the game against Edmonton, but he was noticable against Calgary making some plays,  Connop reminds me of a young Keith Shologan and Demski is a guy who is going to give special teams coaches nightmares. If there are plays for him in Jacques Chapdelaine's playbook, he has the potential to be a game-changer.

620 CKRM Sportscage analyst Luc Mullinder has started a blog called Pro Perspectives. I have told you about it before and there is a link to it on the right hand side of this blog. If you've ever wanted to know what it is like on cut-down day for those guys who don't know and are hoping their dream of playing pro football will continue, read this.

When it came to the cuts, yes, I was just as surprised as most of you to see Alex Pierzchalski get set adrift. It looked like he had a future in green, but there was something there that didn't see him continue his football career in Regina. That's not Taman's fault because he isn't the one who says who stays and who goes. That's Corey Chamblin's call and I'm sure it wasn't easy deciding this guy will go and this guy will stay.  Alex will hook on somewhere else and he may be an impact player for that team and get a chance to see more playing time than he would here. Time will tell.  As for Paul Woldu, I feel bad for him too because he is a great guy and is someone who does many good things off the field for the community, but as Brendan Taman said on Sunday, Matt Webster beat him out and fills a role they felt Paul couldn't. If Paul wants to continue his CFL career, there is a job for him somewhere in this league. Let's see who ends up on the practice roster because as is the case every year, what you see today and what you see take the field in Week 1 will look extremely different.


CFL teams are happy if two or three members of their draft class can stick around and make the roster. That has once again happened in Saskatchewan as three members of the draft class made the final 46. It shows Craig Smith and his scouts are doing the right thing. It looks like a lot of players around the league who were drafted made their respective teams as well with I think all of Edmonton's draft class cracking the Eskimo roster. That says a lot for the talent we are seeing come out of CIS schools.


When the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed Regina native and former University of Manitoba quarterback Jordan Yantz, this was the quote by Bombers GM Kyle Walters in a Winnipeg Sun story.

“He’s a legitimate quarterback prospect,” the Blue Bomber GM said. “This isn’t a charity case.”

Low and behold Yantz gets cut and he didn't even get a series with the Bombers during the pre-season. This is what's wrong with the CFL right here. Yantz can play the game, but its obvious he wasn't given a fair shot in Winnipeg much like others haven't in the past and will in the future. I would love to see the Riders pick Yantz up to give them a 4th QB and have him learn under Durant and Glenn and maybe battle Brett Smith for 3rd string but I doubt that will happen. The CFL has this training camp program that sees guys like Noah Picton, Asher Hastings and Andrew Buckley go to camps, but that's mandated by the league. Buckley at least got a chance to play in a game which is something many Canadian QB's don't get. Sorry Kyle, this was just a publicity stunt and a charity case. If it wasn't, Yantz would have gotten time on the field. Sorry Kyle, you failed Yantz and the future of Canadian QB's.

Yes, Dustin Johnson got to go home to Paulina Gretzky and yes, he took home a whack of cash for finishing in a 2nd place tie at the U-S Open, but the way he lost the Open, and yes he lost it will haunt him for a long time.

 From winning a major to being recognized for all the wrong reasons in about a minute and a half. I think many of us were looking forward to being by our TV's Monday to see Johnson and Jordan Spieth play 18 more holes at Chambers Bay, but Johnson came up with an epic choke to hand the tournament to Spieth who looked like he had it in the bag with two holes to play only to come up with a horrific drive on 17. Who's kidding who, Johnson looked like me on that 18th green three putting from 11 feet away. The guy is truly jinxed when it comes to the last round of a major. As is usually the case in a major, the last 90 minutes was absolutely compelling theatre.

For their first kick at the can, I thought FOX Sports did a great job with the Open. I could have done without Curt Menefee and I thought the FOX robot was going to come out and either decimate a golfer or hit one 400 yards down the fairway, but they took that out of the equation and brought the tournament to us in their own little way. Joe Buck proved why he is right up there with Al Michaels and Bob Costas as the go to guys as his first foray into the world of golf was a successful one. Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf didn't disappoint either.  I actually thought did a better job than NBC with everything and this was FOX's initial broadcast. It will get better!

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata ruined perfection on Saturday!

Tabata leaned into that pitch! What a cowardly act when you're down 6-0 and you are the 27th out. Why didn't he just try to bunt? Tabata had best hope he doesn't face Scherzer again for a while or he might get hit again if you know what I mean.

Did anyone even notice or celebrate the fact Alex Rodriguez hit the 3000 hit plateau? Compare A-Rod's 3000 hits to the pomp and pageantry we saw as his once teammate Derek Jeter approached and achieved the 3000 hit mark. If A-Rod had any doubts about his popularity with baseball fans who have grown tired of his act, this was it. Talk about the proverbial tree falling in the forest!
Why is the Canadian judicial system giving Graham James another two years for sexually abusing one of his former players in Swift Current? Two years?? Two frickin years??? James ruined this guy's life much like the way he ruined Sheldon Kennedy, Todd Holt and to an extent Theoren Fleury and you give him two years! OH BOY!!! Throw the sonofabitch away for life is what I say! We don't need him or anyone else like him in our society and sadly there are many other scumbags out there like James.
Congrats to our national women's soccer team for advancing to the quarter-finals. The Canadian games at the Womens World Cup have not had the flair of other games at the event, but our girls found a way to get it done and will now take on England or Norway for a chance at a semi-final. Who is kidding who, I think after what we saw at the London Olympics, we want another Canada-USA battle although if Colombia wants to beat the U-S tonight, I'd be OK with that.

That's all I got. Have a good week!


Anonymous said...

Great read today Scruff. Let's break it down

1) Riders need some depth--Calgary has it and we don't. It is why I think SK is battling Edm for 2nd.

2) Pierschalski tweets he is disappointed to leave Rider Nation but he had an offer to stay. Guess he couldn't be TOO disappointed. Carroll obviously beat him out.

3) Woldu is just a special teams guy and nothing more. You need to be more in today's CFL.

4)Dustin Johnson. Feel so bad for the guy. 1 chance to win and 1 chance to tie and he clunks it. Guy won't sleep for a week.

5) Well said on Graham James and Jordan Yantz


Anonymous said...

That hailstorm was intense! I was shocked the game was only delayed 15 minutes. I liked what I saw from the guys in green in the first half. Anyone counting out the Riders like the jackhole who picked them for 4th on Sportscage last week is in for a rude shock.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Walters should be ashamed of himself. The days of using a Canadian QB as a publicity stunt are over. Like you, I would love Riders or someone else to pick him up and put him on a PR, but we all know Jordan will likely come back to Regina and start his post-football career in whatever.


Anonymous said...

The crying is on in Rider Nation over two guys who weren't even going to start. It truly is laughable. I thought Rider fans were supposed to be intelligent.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mitch, I'm a transplanted Bombers fan in Regina and like you I'm pissed at the way Walters AND O'Shea handled the Yantz situation. They promised the kid a chance to compete and that never happened. All they did was use the kid to get some headlines at a time when the Jets were making some noise.

On another matter, if the Riders don't keep Roosevelt, he will end up in Winnipeg and he will be great as he and Willy were a great combo together in college.

Anonymous said...

Really liked Knox. Think he could be a player.

Fans should relax a little on Pierchalzki cut. I don't understand the outrage as he hasn't done anything outstanding in his time here.

Anonymous said...

The best thing for Graham James is a concrete anchor around his neck and then push him into the nearest lake. End of story!

Anonymous said...

Everyone was mad when Cary Koch got released and where is he now? Pierchalski might get on the field more, but he won't be a game-breaker.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the answer to the Graham James thing is castration.

Anonymous said...

Dustin Johnson had one of the biggest chokes in the history of sport. Three putting from 11 feet for a chance to win or have 18 more holes in front of you and not cashing in is a choke, nothing more, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

You're dreamin !!! Tabata did not lean into that pitch. He sure as hell didn't get out of the way but he is entitled to hold his ground in the batter's box. So a guy can pitch inside and Tabata is supposed swing at a crappy pitch so he can get his Perfect game. Come on !! you wouldn't be Boo-Hooing if it was the Cubs.

Obviously you don't know baseball.