Friday, June 2, 2017
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.
--While those in Saskatoon have gotten a look at the Riders this week, many of us have to wait one more week to see the team in Regina as the pre-season opener happens a week from tomorrow against the Bombers. While many are probably more excited to get into Mosaic Stadium for the first Rider game and second football game to be played in the facility, others are excited to see what the Riders have. Put me in the latter.
--If he gets through the next week, and there is no indication suggesting he won't, how much do you want to see Vince Young play against the Bombers? A quarter, a half? Chris Jones will want to evaluate all of his QB's so I am guessing a quarter, but I would fully expect VY to play substantially in BC in what is the second pre-season game of the year. TSN will televise that game. Is there a record for pre-season audience watching a pre-season game on TSN, if there is, I would think the Riders-Lions game could set a new mark because of VY's presence.
--I have to admit I was somewhat surprised when I did a Twitter poll this week asking if Justin Cox should be re-signed by the Riders in the wake of his acquittal and 63 percent of the almost 200 who responded said yes. There is no denying Cox is a good football player, and his presence would solidify the secondary, but the organization is showing they are more than what the final result on the scoreboard is.
There is no doubt Cox has some problems that I discussed when the incident happened that need to be resolved. This is the 3rd time something like this has happened and while the young lady involved seemingly had some bad intentions, there is no doubt Cox needs to hang around better people and get his life straightened out. While I applaud Chris Jones for saying the team is moving on, I do scratch my head over the CFL's continued stance to ban him. Now that his record in Canada is clean, he should be allowed to play for whoever. If this is the avenue the league is going to take, perhaps it needs to look at other rosters where players have a record in the U-S and ban them too.
After being at Wrigley Field, an idea came up from my travelling companion, former L-P sports writer, Sportscage baseball insider, baseball afficianado and all-around good schmuck Craig Slater. The Cubs like other major league teams sell ice cream from tiny plastic batting helmets. Remember when Dairy Queen used to sell ice cream in CFL plastic helmets. You would get the stickers with the ice cream and get a standings board. That was great! Slats suggested the CFL should bring that idea back. I agree! What a great way to get the younger crowd connected with the league in a non-video environment where your face isn't connected to your cellphone. Perhaps the DQ on Elphinstone right across the street from the new digs can do that with the Rider helmet and the helmet of the team they are playing on sale on game day. Someone said the other day that place will do some great business on game day. No kidding!
--When word surfaced Tuesday Darian Durant had suffered a knee injury, I couldn't help but wonder how serious it is and what it does to a good career that has been tarnished the last few years with injury. It would be a shame if DD doesn't get a chance to play his old team, and some had scoffed when the schedule came out he wouldn't be healthy enough to play when the Als visit late in the season, While the team is saying the injury isn't serious, they aren't saying when he will back. That sends up some red flags if you ask me. Get better Doubles!
--I was excited to see the Riders sign QB Marquise Williams Wednesday. I have watched him play at North Carolina, and as soon as I saw him I thought that kid has CFL written all over him. If he can adapt to the Canadian game, and that is a big if, the Riders may have found someone to work with once Kevin Glenn and Vince Young have departed. If he can do for the Riders what he did at UNC, he may break some more of Durant's records.
--Would the Pittsburgh Penguins be up 2-0 on the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final if Pekka Rinne was guarding the goal for the Penguins, and Matt Murray for the Predators? I would say no, and that the Preds would be two games away from the Cup. Rinne has been awful. Somewhere in Chicago, the Blackhawks are asking where that was in Round 1.
--Is Jake Guentzel the favourite for the Conn Smythe Trophy?
--If Pittsburgh wins, Regina's Chris Kunitz will have his name on the Stanley Cup four times (3 in Pittsburgh, 1 in Anaheim) and an Olympic gold medal. Not many can say that, and he's not done.
--The latest Hockey News says the top 3 in the NHL are now Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Erik Karlsson. I don't disagree with the first two, but Karlsson? He's a good player who had a great playoffs, but is he the 3rd best player in the league. I would give that honor to Patrick Kane. I might even put guys like Kucherov, Price, and Burns ahead of the Ottawa blueliner. Make no doubt about it he is good, but I don't think he is that good. By the way, would Ovie be in your top 10? How long till Auston Matthews cracks the top 5. Is he there already?
--The NBA finals started tonight. YAWWWNNNNN!!! The Cavs and Warriors might as well have just played a best of 99 because we all knew this was going to be the final. Those saying the NBA is a better product than the NHL right now are fooling themselves and will be until the association has 8 or 9 teams capable of winning the title once playoffs start. Right now, there are only 2 and they are playing one another.
--It will be great to get out to Currie Field on Sunday for the Red Sox home opener.. If the weather holds true, the high should be around 25 degrees. EXCELLENT!!! I'm hoping to get to a few more games this year than I have the past couple for various reasons. The WMBL is an entertaining product. I am sure those in Yorkton, Melville, Moose Jaw and Swift Current agree. I would still like to see a team based in Kindersley considering the facility they have, but the $$$ just aren't there or the interest in the west-central Saskatchewan community. I think the town and the area would really embrace the league.
--Has there been any bigger fall in sport than that of Tiger Woods?
--Oh Mr. Met, has it gotten so bad you are giving the finger to the fans? Apparently so! Does Worksafe Bob have fingers? Someone please tell me that creepy thing is not moving across to the new stadium! He and "Last Saskatchewan Pirate" can stay at the old place as far as this blogger is concerned.
--As we hit the two month mark in the majors, the Houston Astros have an 11 game lead in the American League West. Can we just pencil them into the playoffs now?
--Speaking of baseball, a pretty cool event is happening at the Kiwanis Diamonds on Regina and Montague this weekend. The top minor (9-10) and major (11-12) players in Kiwanis, North Regina Little League and Moose Jaw Little League are getting together for a hitting derby on Friday night and two all-star games on Saturday. It's going to be like the major-league show. Access 7 is even going to step in and do Saturday's games live. That will be cool for the kids taking part. A lot of hard work has been put in by organizers to make this happen for the first time. Those organizers are hoping its not a one-and-done. Looks like the weather will co-operate. The same could be said for Sunday when the Red Sox open up their WMBL home schedule versus Yorkton. I'll likely see you at Currie.
That's all I got. Have a great week!