GREAT DEBUT -- Well done CFL! The first week of games were tremendous with the first three coming right down to the last play before we knew what the verdict was going to be. You can't really ask for anything better than that as a fan. Yes, those who bleed green-and-white wish the last play of their game would have been better, but Week 1 was full of excitement. While the Toronto-Hamilton game was a one-sided affair, you can see Ricky Ray could be re-juvenated under Marc Trestman the way Anthony Calvillo was, and SJ Green was SJ Green which is bad news for secondaries and defensive co-ordinators around the league.
Say what you will about him, but Corey Chamblin had the Argos defence looking good as well, Let us also remember it is also Week 1. I think it is safe to say though that if we can get games like what we saw this weekend it will be good for the CFL as a whole.
KICKERS - Rider Nation isn't the only one gnashing their teeth over the late game play of kickers. Safe to say, it wasn't a good week for those guys. Alphabet in Toronto had a kick blocked that went back for a touchdown, but that wasn't when the game was on the line. We know what Crapigna did, and he had company with the usually-dependable Rene Paredes and BC's Ty Long. Long's performance made me wonder if Wally was looking through his contacts to see if he still had Paul McCallum's number. Rider radio analyst Luc Mullinder sent out a tweet Saturday night saying Week 1 kicking in the CFL has been ____________! I'm guessing we know what some of the answers were.
CAN THAT STATEMENT BE REVIEWED? -- On Saturday night, TSN's Farhan Lalji came on saying he had spoken to Glen Johnson about two controversial calls that were not changed even though they probably should have been in the Riders-Montreal game and the Calgary-Ottawa game. The reason being they weren't "egregious" enough. Excuse me?!
Johnson told Lalji |They want replay to be just about egregious calls that have been missed, they don’t want grey area. So if it takes two-and-a-half to three minutes to make sure the call gets exactly right, that means that call was too close to overturn."
He goes on to say "Those were not egregious calls. In the minute, minute-and-a-half we want to take to make these decisions in an effort to speed up replay, not slow down the pace of the game, those calls did not meet the standard for obvious, egregious mistakes and we’re just not going to overturn those types of calls. That’s going to be something people around the league are going to have to get used to.'”
I'll just leave that there and let you react accordingly.
WHO IS NUMBER TWO? - Sportsnet is asking Blue Jays fans to rank the top 40 players to have worn the Toronto uniform. There is no doubt Robbie Alomar will be number one when all is said and done. Who is number two though? Roy Halladay would get my vote. If they're going to retire Mark Buehrle's # in Chicago, then perhaps it is Toronto's time to retire another number other than the 12 once worn by Alomar. In thinking about it, and by no means is this gospel---the top 5 Jays in my mind would be Alomar, Halladay, George Bell, Joe Carter and Dave Stieb.
WHO WON THE NHL DRAFT - I don't know if one team won the draft, but one country did. When did Finnish hockey become so popular? 12 Finns went in the first two rounds. Compare that to the entire Quebec Junior Hockey League who only saw 14 players get drafted in total. I like what Vegas did, I like what Columbus did in getting Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad and I liked St. Louis' draft. The kid they took at 20--Robert Thomas--was the guy I was hoping to see fall to Edmonton at 22. I also like Calgary's acquistion of Travis Hamonic although it was a little steep when it came to the price they paid for him. Is the Battle of Alberta coming back. You bet it is!
ONE PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS - When the U of R Rams lost to the UBC Thunderbirds in a Canada West semi-final last season, it was my last game at the venerable Taylor Field. As the clock wound down in what was an upset, I started to realize it was my last game. As I wandered from the 620 CKRM broadcast booth down to the press box, I knew what had to be done to say good-bye. I grabbed a Sharpie from U of R Sports Information Officer Braden Konschuh and went to the seat where I had watched so many games scrawling a simple message on the window where I had seen the highs and lows of Riders football...
The message simply said "Thanks for the Memories Mosaic". Imagine my surprise when I grabbed the "Field of Dreams" insert in Saturday's LP and found that scribbling inside the pages. Page 39 to be exact as Rob Vanstone had taken a picture of it to use in a story about the old girl. It is obviously the highlight of the booklet which needs to be looked at if you are a Rider fan. Thanks to Rob and whoever at the LP for immortalizing that tribute.
That's all I got. Have a great week!