Where does one start? What a weekend it was on a variety of levels For this blogger, it's pretty simple!
FLY THE W: This is tailor-made, but it just might be the sweetest 6-4-3 double play I've ever seen.
Did Fox's Joe Buck really just say the Cubs have won the pennant? YES HE DID!!
I had started to wonder if I would ever see the Cubs in the World Series. I will! What a night at Wrigley and what a World Series it will be as the two teams with the longest drought in baseball go head to head in the Fall Classic. The Indians haven't won since 1948, the Cubs haven't been won since 1908 and have never been in the World Series when it has been televised. Imagine that! To steal a line from John Lynch "It's just gonna be fantastic".
What a scene it was inside and outside Wrigley Field as the Cubs wrapped it up. I thought FOX did a tremendous job in capturing it all. From that look of nervous anticipation, to that look of cautious optimism as out after out after out was registered to the overwhelming release of emotion. It was compelling, and it reminded me so much of the 2013 Grey Cup at Mosaic because we went through the same thing. The only thing that was different was Rider fans weren't gathered outside the stadium during and after the game. Can you imagine what those pictures would have looked like from high above that night?
Game 1 will go in Cleveland Tuesday night and the story has been Major League Baseball saying thanks, but no thanks to Charlie Sheen's request to throw out the first pitch. Sheen, as you know played Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn in what is one of the best sports movies ever---"Major League". MLB and the Indians say they want to recognize former great Cleveland players and I understand that completely. However, Progressive Field would be shaken to its core if "WILD THING" blared over the speakers and Sheen came out of the bullpen to throw that pitch. It would be a moment you would never ever forget.
FROM WORST TO FIRST? - One year ago at this time, many were bemoaning the fate of the Regina Rams. They were not a good football club and a lot of question were being asked. When Steve Bryce came in to clean up the mess left behind by the former coach, some wondered how long it would take. Did anyone see this coming? With one week to go in the season, the Rams are in a position to finish first in Canada West. A victory in Winnipeg Saturday night over the Bisons and that will happen.
Like any good coach, Bryce is quick to share the credit, but there is no way this team is 5-2 and playing for homefield advantage in the playoffs if someone hadn't done that team a tremendous favour and got out of town. There is still a lot of work to do for this team, and beating the Bisons on their home turf will not be easy. We know the Rams will play the last ever game at Mosaic Stadium. It could be November 5 in a semi-final, it could be November 12 in the Hardy Cup final or it could be November 19 in a national semi-final. Don't let Mosaic go out with a whimper, let it go out with a bang and stuff some bodies in there for some entertaining University football.
A RAINY FAREWELL - Saturday was my last Riders game at Mosaic Stadium as I'll be in Winnipeg with the Rams for that final game against the Bisons. Let's just say the final game was nothing to write home about. That was a terrible football game, but the constant downpour of rain played a huge factor in the game being that way. Vernon Adams Junior won his pro debut, but the Oregon product was far from spectacular. He was very Nealon Greene-like if you ask me. While the Rider D did manage to sack him several times, they should have double-digit sacks against the slippery Adams who did make some plays when he had to.
Chris Jones wasn't using the weather as an excuse, and he was spitting nails after the game because he was not happy with the performance of his team. He had every right to feel that way. Too many two and outs, too many costly penalties. It just seemed as if the Riders weren't into this one right from the get-go. They looked guilty of not filling up the emotional gas tank. Just some other thoughts on what transpired
- The last play was a blatant headshot on Joe McKnight from Winston Venable, You would think a flag would fly on that, but this is the CFL. It's just become so tedious know so why bother complaining about it. Maybe that is what the league is hoping for. That was as big a joke as their release this week that ratings are up. If they are, that means the ratings last year were worse than I thought. -
- What happened to the running game? After chalking up 150 yards in Toronto, I thought Joe McKnight would be more of a factor in the game especially with the conditions. That didn't happen.
- Say what you will about Nik Lewis, but the guy could play forever
- The game was 6-5 at the half. The final score of the Jets-Oilers alumni game (more on that later) was 6-5. For a while, I was thinking those in Winnipeg would get more than those in Regina
MAN ADVANTAGE? PFFFFT - The Regina Pats scored three shorthanded goals on Friday night against Spokane giving them nine on the season. They have played 12 games with 60 to go. There are many teams in junior and pro hockey who won't get nine in an entire season.
WHO'S NEXT? - Cleveland Browns fans were some kind of po-ed when the team left for Baltimore. They were ecstatic when they returned! I'm guessing now, the Cleveland sports fan is firmly entrenched in the Cavaliers, Indians and Ohio State. What a garbage fire! What is the record for most quarterbacks used in a season and what is the record for most starting quarterbacks in a season? Cleveland used their 6th quarterback in 7 games this year as Kevin Hogan came in for a concussed Cody Kessler in a loss to Cincinnati. To recap, the Browns have used Hogan, Kessler. Josh McCown, Terrelle Pryor, Charlie Whitehurst and Robert Griffin III. It's no wonder they are winless. When a quarterback needs to go somewhere to die or be irrevelant, they go to Cleveland. Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Dak Prescott must be so happy! What a tire fire!
KICKERS!!! - There are games played where both teams don't deserve to lose, there are also games where both teams don't deserve to win. That is what happened Sunday night in Glendale as the Seahawks and Cardinals played to a 6-6 tie. I like defensive football, but that game was just horrible. It was capped off by both Chandler Catanzaro and Steve Hauschka missing chip shot field goals that would have given their teams the win. Its perhaps only fitting this one ended in a tie.
THE THUNDER ARE SILENCED - For the 3rd straight year, the Regina Thunder season ends in the semi-final. In what was a season where there were many close losses by Scott McAuley's crew, the game against the Saskatoon Hilltops had the same script as they were beaten 25-24 missing a late field goal that would have given them the win. The team won't use injuries as an excuse, but they certainly didn't field the lineup they wanted to for the most of the year.
THE HERITAGE CLASSIC - While I watched most of the Oilers shutout win over Winnipeg on Sunday, I have yet to watch the alumni game from Saturday featuring the likes of Gretzky, Hawerchuk, Kurri, Lukowich, Boschman and Ranford. I know the score and how it ended. Verrrryyyy Winnipegish! Did Vince McMahon write that script? In the end, just seeing the guys that I grew up watching the game to back on the ice again is what will make watching this game worthwhile. I will just ask this. With the new Mosaic Stadium ready to open, can I call for a revival of the Trans-Canada Clash and get a Pats-Warriors alumni game with a regular WHL game going at the park in November of 2018? That would be epic!
SASKATCHEWAN LOVES THEIR BASEBALL - Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of being MC for the Baseball Saskatchewan 2016 awards. Its no secret there are many in this province who are playing the game, but I was astonished to hear there were 2300 new kids playing the game this year. What was also great was seeing different division champions in the various age divisions from all over our great province. As I told the gathering at the Doubletree, we have had many Saskatchewan players in the majors, we have others who will hopefully make it as they are in the minors now and we have an MLB umpire from our province. In the next decade, I am guessing we will have more. It is great to see!
That's all I got. Have a great week!