It's Friday and that means another set of thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they are in no particular order.
--I don't know about you, but I think we are in for three outstanding football games this weekend in the CFL. The Argos are going to be a lot better at home against Hamilton and they may be wanting to shut the Ti-Cats up after they started getting a little mouthy on Monday at home. Meanwhile, I think the Calgary-Edmonton matchup at Commonwealth could be a good old-fashioned slobberknocker. If Devon Bailey hangs on to Mike Reilly's pass at the two yard line on Monday, the Eskimos might have had a chance. That game had a playoff feel to it and both defences came to play. I see the same thing this time around.
--There is some talk around the league about Eskimo linebacker Deion Lacey being classless for trying to stare down Bo Levi Mitchell and refusing to shake his hand during the coin toss. PUUUHHHHHHH-LEEEZ!!! Any thing you can do to try and intimidate the opposition which is in the rules is fine with me. There is no rule in the rulebook that says you have to shake hands with one another after the coin toss.
--Calgary radio personality Jock Wilson let the CFL have it this week when their power rankings came out as it had Hamilton ahead of Calgary. Mr. Wilson maybe needs to take a look at what is happening in the Steel City. Mr. Wilson also needs to realize no one really cares about the power rankings and we will truly find out in late November who is #1 in the power rankings. Meanwhile, the Riders moved up to 8 from 9. Despite this, the Green Mile was silent.
--Matt Nichols or no Matt Nichols, the Bombers need to play much better to beat the Riders than what they did last week. Being at home will help, but I see the Riders playing a good enough game to get the job done. They are now a more confident group after winning their first game last weekend and to a man they realize a loss to the Bombers would be a big step backwards.
--Nichols will be the 8th Bomber quarterback in the last 8 years to start the Banjo Bowl. Who are the others? Think about it and then scroll down.
--Sportscage analyst and former Riders o-lineman Mike Abou-Mechrek thinks Nic Demski was out of line with his touchdown celebration on Sunday. NOPE!! It was the rookie's first touchdown, it came against his hometown team and it lit a charge into the Riders. I would like Demski to make sure you are 100 percent into the endzone, but I had no problem with the celebration. Does he need to do it this week or in the future? The answer is probably not, but when it is your first, there is excitement and adrenalin pumping through your veins so go nuts kid.
--Week 1 of the NFL season gets underway in earnest after tonight's season opener with many Sunday matchups and a Monday night (late afternoon) doubleheader. If you want a surprise team this year, go with the Vikings and if you want a team that made the playoffs last year that won't this year, I am taking Cincinnati.
--The Patriots are now being accused of stealing play sheets. MEMO to teams playing the Patriots--you don't have to steal their play sheets, but you might want to cover Rob Gronkowski. He is as close as you can get to unstoppable. I thought Tom Brady might send a message to Roger Goodell and the NFL with his opening night performance. I think a 4 touchdown night means message delivered.
--Week 1 Lock of the Week --- Miami over Washington
Week 1 Upset Pick of the Week ---Jacksonville over Carolina
--I am returning to the House of Horrors for yours truly!
This is Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver---the home of the UBC Thunderbirds. I will be calling the Regina Rams-TBirds game which will be online at sportscage,ca Saturday night. Many, many years ago when I worked at CJME, I called what was perhaps the best football game I had ever seen when Simon Fraser defeated Regina in a playoff game by a score of 53-46 in what was Jon Ryan's last game as a Ram.
On that afternoon, my colour man --former Rams president Sheldon Stener and I--were shuffled to three different locations to do the game and it was a complete schmozzle until kickoff. Fast forward to last year when Marco Ricci and I went in to do the game. We had been told we couldn't be in the actual pressbox, but they had a spot for us and it would be fine. WRONG!!!
No broadcast line had been put in so despite the tremendous efforts of many at UBC to get us on the air through our broadcast equipment, I had the misfortune of having to call the entire game via my cellphone and it may have been the worst play-by-play ever of a football game in the history of CKRM and perhaps radio altogether, and that doesn't even include the actual call of the game.
Marco can attest as to what a frustrated, embarrassed and angry individual I was on that afternoon. I will walk back into that place this weekend hoping the third time is a charm and to bring you the broadcast on sportscage.ca without a problem as U of R Sports Information officer Braden Konschuh makes his debut beside me in the booth.
--The 8 different quarterbacks to start the Banjo Bowl for Winnipeg in the last eight years are Nichols, Drew Willy, Justin Goltz, Joe Elliott, Buck Pierce, Steven Jyles, Michael Bishop and Kevin Glenn.
--Can the CFL somehow find a way to partner themselves with FanDuel or DraftKings for daily fantasy football? The one week games which are offered are a tremendous success and we all know CFL fantasy football is so much different from NFL fantasy football for so many reasons. Having one week games would be a huge plus for the league and perhaps draw some fan interest. I'd be playing!
--With the Rams and Riders on the road, your only chance to see a Regina team live in action will be the Thunder as they have a rematch against Saskatoon. The Hilltops gave one to the Thunder last week in Saskatoon so we will see if the Thunder can hold serve. It should be a dandy!
--The stars of High Impact Wrestling are back at the Hungarian Club. Alas, I won't be visiting Gronkville for this one because of the Vancouver trip, but I am sure the Crown Corporation and champ Robbie Gamble will be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. Can those at ringside spell respect and dignity? Do they even know what it is?
--It is a somber anniversary today as it is September 11th. I don't think we will ever forget where we were on the day the towers came down in New York. The world changed forever that day!
--That's all I got! Have a great weekend! GO RIDERS and for the first time this year, GO SEAHAWKS!!