Friday, September 15, 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.
--Hamilton, if I what I heard was true Thursday night, you are being verrrrrrryyyy Winnipegish. I was stunned when Rod Pedersen told me on the Sportscage that he was at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame ceremonies and was one of the few media there. What else could be going on a Thursday night in Hamilton? Don't blame the media on this solely because a lot of blame has to go around. TSN did stream the show on TSN GO, but shouldn't the host broadcaster have made a bigger deal of not only the ceremony, but the people being recognized. If there was something on to commemorate those who are going in, I missed it. Are they saving it for Grey Cup Saturday programming? I think with 4 channels of the NFL Thursday niter and one of an NCAA game between Boise State and New Mexico, they could have found a way
It's a slap in the face to Anthony Calvillo, Brian Towriss, Geroy Simon and others being inducted. They are part of what has made Canadian football great and no one seemingly cared. Where was the CFL in all of this as well? What a poor job of marketing. You just have to be better! Word is the Hamilton media weren't happy because the event was taken around the league as it should be to honour the game's best and this was their way of protesting that move. How shallow! How petty!
--Is there worry in Rider Nation for tonight's game? Some believe there is because the Ti-Cats have gotten better since June Jones took over for Kent Austin. Certainly no game in the CFL is a free spot on the bingo card, and I do expect the Riders to be challenged, but regardless of whether or not it is Kevin Glenn or Brandon Bridge behind center, I think the improving Riders bounce back after getting slapped in the mouth last week and do the slapping this week. This will be the best "D" Jeremiah Masoli will have played against since inheriting the starting job. The Riders are 5 point favourites and I will take them and take them to cover the spread.
--How good is the linebacking corps with Otha Foster and Jeff Knox Junior now sitting with Henoc Muamba. Add Sam Eguavoen to that mix as well. They could be scary! We will see starting tonight.
--How good is Duron Carter? Pats head coach and GM John Paddock has noticed him and he admits to knowing very little about football. While he knows very little about the game that happens right next door to him, he knows of the excitement Carter creates, I wonder if Duron knows anything about hockey. Perhaps he should be a guest of the Pats for their home opener September 23 to see what the game is all about if he doesn't know.
--Jason Maas didn't like the fact the CFL changed the padded practice rules. Seemingly, he was the only one. Should I be shocked at this? Nope! The nickname some have for him around the CFL incuding the city where he resides is seemingly justified.
--Does anyone really think the Calgary Flames are leaving for Seattle/Quebec City/Kansas City? Remember the panic in Edmonton that ensued years ago when Daryl Katz and some members of the Oilers brass took a trip to Seattle? How did that end up? Ken King's latest comments that the Flames are giving up on a new arena are just statements made to gain public support. It's an attempt to make current mayor Naheed Nenshi look bad. At the end of the day, the two sides will come together, but if not, look no further than Ken King and Murray Edwards. King has been downright terrible since this whole affair started. He has put his foot in his mouth several times. As for Edwards, Canadian Business Magazine says he is the 28th wealthiest person in Canada. If Murray wants an arena in Calgary, Murray will get an arena in Calgary. If Katz could make it work in Edmonton, so can Edwards.
--The NHL has made a rule change for the upcoming season saying a failed offside challenge will result in a 2 minute penalty. HUZZAH!!! This will increase the pressure on head coaches and video coaches to make sure they are 100 percent certain that a goal should not count because the play was offside. Teams also won't be able to call a time-out after icing the puck in an attempt to rest those on the ice. Again, another solid move by the NHL.
However, there is also a move afoot to try and move the draft age back to 19. Why? There is nothing wrong with the draft now. Players like Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Nico Hischier and others shouldn't have to wait another year when they are dominating their leagues. Would Sam Steel have gone higher in the draft if he was taken this year instead of in 2016? The argument could be said that he would, but he signs the same entry level deal. Most 18 year olds are going to come back and develop in major junior hockey before taking that jump to the pros. Just leave it the way it is. Those who think it should be changed.
--A couple of big football games go at Mosaic Stadium (can we take the new off now?) on Saturday. The Rams will start it off against Alberta at 2 followed by the Thunder vs Winnipeg at 7. Hopefully the weather co-operates and the rain that has been forecast stays away although it will be a cool night. The Rams alumni is holding a Casino night in the AGT Lounge after the game. Tickets are 100 dollars. It's a big fundraiser for the team so hopefully many show up, and hopefully the Rams don't bust like they did the last time they played the Bears last season in Edmonton. Go to Ramsalumni.com for more information.
--If Johnny Manziel doesn't lead Texas A & M to a big win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa in front of a national TV audience, would anyone remember him today? That victory catapulted him to stardom much the way Doug Flutie did when he threw the hail mary to give Boston College a win over Miami. Flutie ended up showing everyone he could play, but has Manziel? He was a bust in Cleveland, and I don't think he would do any better in the CFL. He has told the Ti-Cats to make a decision on him, but even if they do, I don't think Johnny Football will be Johnny Successful north of the border.
--Are the Cleveland Indians ever going to lose again? They had not had a walkoff victory in this incredible 22 game win streak until Thursday night when they were down to their last strike in the 9th before tying it and then winning it in extras. For a team to win 22 straight in any sport is incredible especially in baseball when the variants change every night. They almost have to win the World Series now right?
--Week 2 NFL Lock of the Week --- Chiefs over Eagles
Week 2 NFL Upset of the Week --- Jaguars over Titans
--It's been a tough week for kids in our province with the tragic stories coming out of Saskatoon and Riceton. Remember to give your kids a hug tonight.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!!