Monday, April 25, 2016

Something to "Mitch" About

The Rider nation are a passionate bunch. Sometimes, a fraction of them are a little over the top, but there is no denying the genuine love many have for the green-and-white. However, while the passion is there, I don't know about the realism. I was somewhat surprised to see this on on the weekend

Are there still people out there who don't believe changes had to be mad? If you are one of them, please explain.  Hey, I don't agree with every move that has been made by Chris Jones either, but that is going to happen. Changes were needed to improve a 3-15 football team and changes have been made. Changes which will make this football team substantially better than the nightmarish 3-15 campaign. Success won't come overnight, but the talent being assembled will hopefully pay off for Jones and crew the way it did in Edmonton.  If you hate everything Chris Jones has done this off-season, please hand in your pledge pin, membership card and don't dial the number to Ballsy for your post-game comments once the new season has started. 

While some apparently still aren't crazy about what is happening here, there are many in Edmonton who didn't like the fact Jones took the Grey Cup home to Tennessee wearing Rider colours. Several Eskimo supporter took to Twitter saying it showed a lack of class and several others said he should have worn a CFL logo or no logo at all. Get over it Edmonton! There were some that even suggested he should have been wearing Eskimo colours. Yeah, like that will happen. I am guessing Jones has gotten rid of everything he had with the EE on it, much like I don't have anything with the CJME moniker on it in my current collection--albeit I never really had much anyhoo.  Although I am guessing if the shoe was on the other foot, the Rider Nation would be out with torches and pitchforks. Did I say guessing?

If you are not watching the Stanley Cup playoffs because there are no Canadian teams, that is up to you, but you are missing some entertaining hockey. There were several outstanding games, and  when you add Game 1 and 2  of the WHL East final between Brandon and Red Deer to that mix, it was an outstanding weekend of hockey and proof again that the only "real" reality TV is found on the ice, diamond, field or court of choice.  

The weekend was capped off by the double OT thriller in Brooklyn as the Islanders eliminated Florida. 

I have no horse in that race, but I think the Panthers got jobbed in the last minute of regulation not once, but twice. With the net empty and the puck in the New York end, the Islanders were guilty of one trip for sure and perhaps another one before Nick Leddy corralled the puck and got it down the ice setting it up for John Tavares' end of regulation heroics. I realize the whistle gets put in the pockets in the last couple of minutes, but one of those calls had to be made. That shouldn't take away from the performance of the New York captain though, Number 91 is perhaps the most under-rated player in the NHL and he is one of the most dangerous. He was the best player on the ice in Game 6 and Tampa will have to find a way to shut him down if they are to be successful in Round 2.

Game 7 between Chicago and St. Louis? Yes please! Crosby vs Ovechkin in Round 2? Yes please! A playoff appearance by the Oilers? Yeah, OK, I sometimes ask for too much. 

The first round isn't over and already 22 goalies have been used. Is that a sign of desperation or teams with 1A and 1B in net?

Is it just me or is the top-to-bottom presentation of the playoffs on NBC exponentially better than what CBC/Sportsnet is giving us. One person told me on the weekend what he misses about the CBC games are the musical features leading into games that Hockey Night in Canada used to have Saturday night. I agree!

 I can't see it being very long until Jamie Fiesel has another head coaching gig in the world of hockey. The guy is just too good. It's a head-scratcher to see Melville get rid of Feez, but there are reasons behind every move.  Still with the SJHL, it is too bad the league felt they weren't getting "value" from Access with league broadcasts thus the decision to sever what had been a positive promotion tool for the league was made. It would be great for hockey fans across Saskatchewan to see Melfort battling Flin Flon for the Canalta Cup along with other Junior A action this winter, but it appears that SJ fans won't be getting more of their product and the league won't be getting beamed into living rooms across the province anymore. Again, there are reasons behind every move.

Are we all agreed that the best trade the Jays made under Alex Anthopoulos was getting Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie? Are we all agreed the worst trade made under AA was Noah Syndergaard for RA Dickey? By the way, Chris Colabello, what the hell are you thinkin?! 

I would have loved to have been at the Red Sox dinner Saturday night, and by all accounts another first class show was put on by the organization. Robbie Alomar wowed them all, and that shouldn't be a surprise. The guy is a class act. Some will say he is the greatest 2nd baseman ever. He certainly has the resume for it, but being the Cubs fan I am, I will defer to Ryne Sandberg on that one.  Alomar is a very close two though. 

Why do some in our fair city believe it is a good idea to drive well under the speed limit on the Ring Road. I was trying to head south off the Victoria Avenue turnoff on Saturday when a woman ahead of us decided it would be prudent to go about 70 as she looked to get on with her speed not going up much as she got going. This is not a good idea as people are trying to get on the Ring Road and others are on it and have to switch into the passing lane to get past said woman.  At least she was using her turn signal.  

While complaining about the time it takes to get the Stanley Cup playoffs done, it doesn't even compare to the NBA. It is taking wayyyyyyy too long to get the first round done. Can leagues not do a better job of scheduling. I know arena availabilities play a big role in this, but shouldn't teams be booking dates well in advance and then freeing them up when the time comes. Word comes from the NBA on Sunday that with Cleveland beating Detroit, the Raptors game on Tuesday will start at 6 Eastern time, 4 Saskatchewan time. The TV people just hate Toronto sports teams it would seem. At least MLB put their schedule out well in advance of last year's playoffs and we knew the Jays would be slotted where they are, but the NBA has no desire to put Toronto in a prime-time spot or help grow the game in Canada. Will you be watching at 4. Will they be watching in BC at 3. An 8 o'clock start in Toronto (6 here) would be perfect.  BTW: If Steph Curry's sprained knee is serious, 73-8 may mean diddly squat if you don't win 16 in the playoffs and that may not happen if he is done. 

That's all I got. Enjoy the week and enjoy Game 7 between the Hawks and Blues tonight. It should be in the words of the great Ed Whelan..."a ring a ding dong dandy!"


Anonymous said...

If you're not on board with what Jones is doing, your tune will change as soon as the "W"s that didn't come under Chamblin/Taman return.

Anonymous said...

The Saskatoonies are rather loonie with their assessment of Mr. Jones it would seem.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Islander fan, and I thought there should have been a penalty. Not apologizing though.

Anonymous said...

There are many Rider fans who would flip out uncontrollably if Sask won GC, Jones took off and re-appeared wearing another teams colours. Imagine if it was Winnipeg. Maybe we will find out in a couple of years time.


Anonymous said...

Be better Saskatoon! CMON! I am guessing there are some angry Brackenridge was let go even though it was obvious no other team wanted him thus his retirement.

Anonymous said...

I really don't care when they schedule a Toronto Ruptures game or any NBA game for that matter. I just change channels when I see a basketball.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to the resurgence of the Pats and Warriors, the SJHL has fallen so far off my radar. That league isn't even close to being what it was 10-15 years ago. There is so much dysfunction from league executives to teams that it has become somewhat secondary. It hasn't changed from your 2 year stint with them that's for sure.

Jim C

Anonymous said...

Chicago and St. Louis could play a best of 11 and it would be great.

Anonymous said...

Alomar is completely down to earth and a great guy to talk to. You missed a great night Scruffy!

Anonymous said...

Getting your product out from one corner of the province to the other as a promotional tool for how good the play in your league is doesn't give you value? Who is the idiot in charge of this league?