SOON - We are now less than a week from enjoying Saskatchewan Roughriders football in their fabulous new home. It is only pre-season, but there are many who can't wait to put on their green and start cheering on the 2017 Riders albeit in a pre-season game.
Truthfully, I can't wait either. I was in the stadium for two events over the past week, and just looking at that field and being inside gave me a level of excitement wondering what the atmosphere will be like inside the new digs. Yes, it won't be what it will be like for the season opener on Canada Day, and yes I am sure some will find a reason or two to be negative about the place because that is who they are, but it will mark a new era for the club, the city and the province. To quote John Frenzy "It's just gonna be fantastic".
I am guessing those who file into Mosaic next week will be looking to see what Bryan Bennett can do. He is the quarterback seemingly earning the most ink after Week 1 of Training Camp. I just have to go with what Rod and Luc have been saying along with others like Murray McCormick and Lee Jones, but it would seem as if he was the star of Week 1. Will this translate into the season, or is Bennett this year's Alex Pierzchalski? I guess we will find out soon.
I wasn't at Saturday's scrimmage, but a few who were told me Vince Young may be starting to see he is in over his head. Word is the quarterback did not perform well at the scrimmage Saturday much to the disappointment of many who went to SMF Field to catch the game and him in particular. Young told reporters Friday he is not concerned with being the starting quarterback when the season starts, he is just concerned about being a Rider/ Could Bennett prevent that from happening? I don't think the Riders want to keep Young around as a clipboard holder, and I don't think Vince wants that either. Time will tell. As mentioned before, I am hoping the team can somehow find a way to keep Marquise Williams on board as well/ He only had two series in the scrimmage with one ending in an interception. He just got here so you have to cut him some slack.
REALLY? - If you tuned into Friday's Sportscage (as most of you do seeing the ratings have once again shown it is Saskatchewan's #1 sports show) , the voice of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Bob Irving joined me. "Knuckles" informed the masses in Saskatchewan the Bombers had crowd noise pumped in for their practice to get ready for the game next weekend at Mosaic. Really? For a pre-season game! I'm not the biggest Mike O'Shea fan in the world, but that is a great move considering the Bombers will be coming back here July 1. Those who are playing will get to experience the noise first hand and those who return will have experienced it. I think O'Shea is showing the Bombers mean business.
For what it's worth, I know the Bombers had a great season and lost by one point in the Western semi-final, but I'm still not sold on them at this point. For me, Matt Nichols has to show last year wasn't a fluke. He definitely has the talent around him though. That can't be argued.
Still with the Bombers, it was tough to hear former Rams receiver Addison Richards had suffered another injury---one that is going to keep him out of the lineup for a while. The kid can catch the football, but he can't catch a break. Word is he was playing well at camp too until the latest misfortune hit him. His development has been stalled due to injury, but if he can get healthy, he can help the Bombers. Keep grinding Addy!
A CUP AT COMMONWEALTH - This just in. The 2018 Grey Cup in Edmonton is already better than the 2016 event in Toronto. The Alberta capital will do a fantastic job in hosting the CFL championship next year. The reason for that is a downtown which is much more vibrant than the last time it was there. The reason for that is obviously Rogers Place as it has brought some life to downtown Edmonton. I'm thinking football fans will have a great time in November of 2018. Imagine what it would be like if Chris Jones were to get the Grey Cup in the place where he once called home.
A CUP IN THE COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL - It's safe to say the Stanley Cup isn't creating a lot of headlines when the big story between Game 3 and 4 is did Sidney Crosby really chirp PK Subban about his breath. Is that the best we've got? YAWWWNNNN!! It could be argued Nashville has been the better team through the first three games even though the Penguins have the series lead. I wouldn't be surprised to see the two teams heading back to Pittsburgh tied at 2. As for the atmosphere in Nashville, it is off the charts, Several are commenting about how they have been to many Cup finals, and they have never seen it like it is in Nashville. That's good for the NHL! The key now is sustaining the momentum,
TIM AND FAITH - No chance of those two singing the national anthem before Game 3 Saturday night and I'm guessing no chance of Game 4 either seeing they did their thing in Saskatoon. Yeah, I should have thought about making the trip up the highway for that one. If the concert had been Saturday night, that would have been a nice daily double with the Rider scrimmage being held before hand.
BAKING AT CURRIE FIELD - The weather certainly co-operated with the Regina Red Sox as they staged their home opener Sunday afternoon. The crowd baked as the temperature hit 31 degrees, and while the heat was great, the game was just as good as the Red Sox came back to win after blowing a big lead as they knocked off Yorkton. If the weather can be like that for games this year, the Red Sox will A) have good crowds and B) need more cold beverages. They are back at it tonight against Weyburn at 7 at Currie Field.
That's all I got. Have a great week. Stay cool!