Friday, September 30, 2016

This and That

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

--Are you ready Regina? The time has come!!

It's time to open the new Mosaic Stadium. 10 years ago, I don't think anyone dreamed that section of land on the exhibition grounds would become the place to be for football in this city.  The 278 million dollar stadium will open its doors for the first event---a "test event" and while a few months ago, it looked like the stadium opening would be the attraction, I think one could say the event on the field has arguably  become the big attraction as the University of Regina Rams will take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in what is a huge Canada West battle. 

The 3-1 Rams sit in first place in the conference, but a win by the  2-2 Huskies would really tighten things up in the conference. This teams met in the opening week of the season, and it was a ring-a-ding-dong dandy that went to the Huskies in overtime. I don't know if we'll see overtime again, but I am expecting another close Canada West football game that will go right to the wire with 16 and a half thousand fans cheering.  16 and a half thousand fans who can say they were the first ones to be at a football game at the new Mosaic. I am honoured to be a part of it as I will be on the sidelines for the SHAW/Access game bringing it to Western Canada. It should be an afternoon to remember.

I am told there will be several buses coming down from Saskatoon for both the game at New Mosaic, and the Thunder-Hilltops game at old Mosaic meaning the football rivalry between the two cities should be at a fevered pitch for the first "Football Day in Saskatchewan". The weather looks like it will co-operate, as it should be a great day (night) for Regina vs Saskatoon football. You gotta love it! 

--How many people will take in the nightcap? The Rams-Huskies game will be played in front of 16 and a half thousand people. That will be one of the biggest crowds, if not the biggest crowd for a regular season CIS game. I think it is safe to assume that not everyone will wander over to old Mosaic for the Thunder-Hilltops game, but could we see 6-8 thousand?  The Saskatoon contingent will be there, and I am guessing many will want to take in the back half of the doubleheader. Having that many people in the stands for a junior football game in this town would be great. I hope it happens. 

--This is the first "Football Day in Saskatchewan". I hope its not the last.  There is no reason why one Saturday each year can't see the province's 4 teams playing in the same place on the same day. Can they do this in Saskatoon next year? Why not? I don't know if the Hilltops would want to leave Gordie Howe Bowl to play at the U of S, but a Hilltops-Thunder game in the afternoon followed by a Rams-Huskies game that night ( or vice-versa) would be tremendous. Flip-flop the venues between Regina and Saskatoon every year. When its in Regina, have the university and junior games on the Saturday and a CFL game on the Sunday.  Make the tickets affordable so you could go to all 3 games. It can happen! 

--Kent Austin gets fined and.....and,.....and.......I don't really know what word you use.  He can't be on the sidelines after his actions at Mosaic Stadium last week, but he can still do his thing from the spotters booth. HUH?? You either suspend him or you don't. Try and try as they might, the league just continues to botch things up.  Fine him and either suspend him or not. This you can't do this, but you can do that B-S makes the league look laughable again, They just don't understand. I'm not even sure anymore if they want to.  The league responded to Jason Gregor's accurate column on CFL marketing or lack of it in the Edmonton Journal this week by writing a letter to the editor saying ratings are up. That comes as the weekly ratings come out showing the most viewed CFL game this week was the Ti-Cats/Riders game at 513,000. You know with the 930 Eastern start, a lot of those people weren't Ontario or those east. The least-viewed game was the Argos-REDBLACKS matchup with 275,000 people tuning in. 275-thousand??!! That is beyond pathetic! I am guessing the suits at TSN are making some calls and letting the league know they had better fix their game. Yes, the World Cup of Hockey and the Jays run aren't helping, but if the Jays tank or when they are beaten, are Canadians going to flock back to a CFL game they know is broken. I don't think they will in this neck of the woods, but the win-loss record of the green-and-white plays a major factor into that as well. 

--Back to Austin for a second, what would the "punishment" had been if it were Chris Jones doing the deed? Hmmmmm!!!

--At what point do Blue Jays players look at John Gibbons when he picks up the phone to the bullpen and say "HANG UP". The Jays are going to get in the playoffs, but by the hair on their chinny chin chin. Two late inning failures by the pen this week could end up costing them home field advantage in a wild-card game. If Toronto plays Baltimore in that wild-card game, I think they're OK no matter where they play, If they are playing Detroit or Seattle, I don't like Toronto's chances. Then again, if the Jays don't win a couple in Boston this weekend, it won't really matter because they will be on the outside looking in.

--Week 4 NFL Lock of the Week --  Cowboys over Niners 
  Week 4 NFL Upset of the Week ---Saints over Chargers

--The Toronto hockey fan must be so confused. On Air Canada Centre ice, a group of men with Maple Leafs on their chest who were coached by Mike Babcock were skating around with a  trophy as they celebrated a championship. Many of them had to wonder just what exactly they were watching. 

--Brad Marchand 2016 WCOH winner will not go down with Eberle's 2009 WJ goal, Henderson's goal in 72, Mario's in 87 or Sid's in 2010. Sorry!  

--If you haven't seen it, check out the heckler at the Ryder Cup and what happened to him on the course Thursday.  Amazing!!  He couldn't do that again if he had 1000 opportunities. The clock has started ticking on this guy's 15 minutes of fame. 

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

It is going to be so great knowing the first game at Regina's new stadium was won by the Huskies!!

Anonymous said...

Do people really have an appetite for junior football in Regina? We have the Rams and Riders, but outside of friends and family, are there a lot of people at Thunder games? The Leibel Field thing was a one-off and was a great night. There isn't any pizzazz to their game with the exception of it being the last game at Mosaic between them and the Hilltops.

I will be surprised if there is a crowd of 3000 for their game.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to get inside new Mosaic and watch some football!


Anonymous said...

I think we all know what the boys in "Mayberry" would have done if it had been Jones instead of Austin. There would have been at least a two game suspension with a fine similar to what Austin got. I don't know how you can actually suspend someone from the sidelines, yet have him available to still coach. The sooner the CFL gets rid of Orridge and finds someone who knows a little bit about this league, the better off it gets.

The ratings argument can be had because CFL has gone up against Blue Jays and WCOH, but while last year might have surprised them, this year didn't. The CFL does a poor job of marketing itself and it shows. The host broadcaster can take some blame for that as well.


Anonymous said...

A lot of people are going to see how good Canada West football is tomorrow. GOing to be a great afternoon.


75flyersbestteamever said...

I love your scenario with the Jays relievers and the phone...can't stop chuckling thinking of that, or even imagining players try to change the # to the pen...players call forwarding the phone to a pizza joint, or the Red Sox pen or simply taking a bat to the phone themselves..., anything but give the pen gasoline to put out the fire.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 is delusional. Then again, he is from Saskatoon where delusional is the norm.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2 brings up a valid point, but there is an appetite for junior football in this province as well. I think a crowd of 6000 can be expected for what should be a pretty good game between two good teams.