Welcome to Friday! Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order!
--The CFL just makes it too easy at times to get bashed! You don't want to do it, but you can't help it when you see what they do. Take in point Tuesday's CFL Draft---a disaster! Where do you start? Yes, it was great to have TSN doing the first round of the draft, but how bad is it when someone from Sportsnet is tweeting out what is happening several minutes before what TSN is giving us. Justin Dunk, who has appeared on the Cage many times, simply owned the night. He was tweeting what was happening well before the info was being disseminated on TSN. How can the league allow that? How can the league allow that when he works for Sportsnet? .I can only imagine the hubbub if that was happening at the NFL draft or the NHL draft.
Perhaps one way of solving this would be get all the teams together under one roof and make it an event. Imagine the Casino Regina show lounge with nine tables on the floor featuring all of the teams with fans welcome to show up and voice their approval with a select group of players being backstage ready to be trotted out for their first interview in front of the cameras as a professional. It would be great!! You can invite 15-20 players and if they show up to get their moment in the sun, its great.
The CFL doesn't think so. They are content with having the draft done by conference call and the players not being shown. If you are becoming to a legitimate league like you strive to, you have to do what the other leagues are doing. Other sports make a big deal of their draft, but the CFL doesn't. That has to change. It's at times like this when I wonder if the league gets it. It's a shame the WHL draft is run better than the CFL draft. It shouldn't be that way.
--While the CFL doesn't get it, the Riders do and they show it again. It was just a brilliant idea to have a "Draft Party" at the Canadian Brewhouse? I wonder if the Regina Pats will take notice? I'm guessing had the Riders not had this party at the Brewhouse, there would have been very few TV's on the CFL draft, but everyone there came to see one thing and it wasn't the Capitals-Penguins game nor was it the Blue Jays or the NBA playoffs. Chris Jones coming down was just the icing on the cake. Having some brews with the coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on hand to mix and mingle. As my good friend Drew Dalby from the WOLF 104.9 said when talking about this..."It's a Saskatchewan Christmas!"
--As far as the draft went, I loved it for the Riders, but we will see in about 3 years just how good it was. Josiah St. John played at a major division one school in Oklahoma. His team was in the national semi-final. The Sooners have put out some quality offensive linemen in the NFL in guys like Washington's Trent Williams, Minnesota's Phil Loadholt and Philly's Lane Johnson. They know what they are doing in Norman. The team rolled the dice on Manitoba's David Onyemata as he may never play here after being drafted by the New Orleans Saints. If he shows up, the green and white get the guy who was perceived to be the best player on the board. They also got one of the best defensive backs in Canada in Calgary's Elie Bouka and without a doubt, the best kicker in the country in UBC's Quinn Van Gylswyk. It was a very solid showing.
--Many asked me Thursday my thoughts on the new jersey. Its green and white which it should be and they didn't make any radical changes. I'm fine with that. I thought the white looked better than the green, but then I saw a jersey given to Rod from the Riders and I liked the look of it. It looks sharp.
--Twitter icon "Fake Gainer" asks if the Raptors can have a celebrity spokeperson like Drake, who would be a good fit for the Riders. Great question!
--This is simply a great picture of old and new Mosaic. I can't begin to say how much I love it. Another one needs to be snapped when Mosaic 2.0 is ready to go. It isn't much longer!!!
--Is it just me or has TSN given more attention to Auston Matthews than Team Canada at the Worlds? I am guessing the happiest NHL player to see Matthews go to Toronto is Connor McDavid. He knows his game won't even come close to being scrutinized the way Matthews will.
--I had zero problem in having Chris Cuthbert deliver the play-by-play for Game 7 of the Sharks-Predators series as Sportsnet picked up the NBC feed, but what does that tell you about the way they are cheaping out. I am guessing Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson will do the opener of the Pittsburgh-Tampa series tonight, but where was Paul Romanuk, Dave Randorf and yes even Bob Cole. Have they been given the rest of the year off? When will Rogers come clean and admit what a disaster this deal has been. Meanwhile, the suits at TSN have an ear-to-ear grin....and why not?
--As much as I don't like Toronto, I can only imagine seeing what it is like for Raptors playoff games outside Air Canada Centre what it would be like when the Maple Leafs finally get back into the Stanley Cup dance. That will be insane.
--Credit to Islanders GM Garth Snow for realizing he had an asset in Travis Hamonic and not dealing him away without getting fair market value. Hamonic wanted a trade to Western Canada for some reason, but Snow obviously wasn't getting the offers he wanted and didn't make a deal in hasty manner. The same could be said with Patrick Marleau in San Jose and Jonathan Drouin in Tampa Bay. I still wonder if the Oilers or Jets will try to get Hamonic on draft day. I don't think Calgary needs him with Giordano, Brodie and Hamilton on the roster, but who knows.
--The NHL playoffs have once again shown winning your division is not the be all-end all. Isn't that right Washington, Florida, Dallas and Anaheim?
--Did Patrick Lalime invade the body of Kari Lehtonen for Game 7 vs St. Louis. What a putrid effort!
--Goaltending is key in the playoffs (right Dallas?) so I ask you as we go into the final 4. Who have ya got? Bishop, Murray, Jones or Elliott.
--Sportsnet's Jeff Marek suggested this week the NHL should abandon the post-series handshake. I didn't know Marek was suffering from some kind of head trauma. In the words of John Lynch "How dumb can ya be??". The post-series handshake in the NHL is one of the best things going in sports today. You battle one another in a hard-fought series, but when its over, respect is shown by shaking the hand of your foes. Why would you want to abandon that?
--With Mike Tirico no longer the voice of Monday Night Football, the honor goes to Sean McDonough. Did Brent Musberger get any consideration? I am guessing the answer is no, but he still calls a good game as far as I'm concerned.
--Steph Curry was named the NBA MVP this week. Shocking! He won unanimously which leads me to believe Rod Pedersen did not cast a vote. #cornish. There are still some raw nerves over that stunt in Cowtown. A beaut of a stunt it was.
--I didn't see Max Scherzer's 20 strikeout game, but I did see Roger Clemens strike out 20 Mariners and I did see Kerry Wood strike out 20 Houston Astros. Scherzer's game wasn't even close to what the other two did. Wood's performance on a cold afternoon at Wrigley Field might have been the best pitched game I have ever seen closely followed by Roy Halladay's playoff no-hitter.
--The Cubs get the honor of being on the Sports Illustrated cover this week.
And they are swept at home in a doubleheader by the lowly San Diego Padres. Cover jinx, what cover jinx. SIGHHH!!!
--A lot of people are getting twisted in knots over the performance of the Blue Jays bullpen. Last year showed us you just need to stay close and make a move when the time is right to get into the playoffs. However, the Jays just continously fail to provide a top-notch bullpen and it is killing them. It is games like we have seen in the first six weeks that can determine where you finish in the end and I don't know if the team can give up much to land a David Price type player if they have an opportunity to do so again. This team could be a playoff team, but not with that pen. We haven't even had a chance to see Aaron Loup yet which is too bad because in a crappy pitchers pool that I am in, I protected Loup knowing full well he will soil the linen. Cmon Aaron, get back on the rubber!
--Boxing at its best will be on display tonight at the Ken Goff Boxing Classic as Team Canada takes on Team Germany while Gronkville re-assembles at the Hungarian Club for another solid evening of High Impact Wrestling. You know where I will be.
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!