What did I learn this weekend. Here ya go!
1. The football gods giveth, and the football gods taketh away.
As I was preparing for Friday's Rams-Huskies game in Saskatoon, I had the call of the Riders-Ottawa game on my headsets, and it wasn't sounding good. Luc Mullinder and Rod Pedersen were not being kind to the visitors nor should they have been as it sounded disastrous. That word may be kind! For a while I was wondering if Ottawa was even going to throw a pass because every play was going to William Powell and he was gaining big chunks of yardage on seemingly every play. When it came time to start doing the Rams game, the REDBLACKS looked like they were on their way to a victory.
Imagine my shock when my producer during a break in our game said the Riders have tied it, and then won it on the rouge!! Yes, I still hate the single point as you shouldn't be rewarded for failure and I would love to see the CFL get rid of the rouge, but on this night it was what separated the two teams.
Should the Riders have won? From all accounts, the answer is no! However, let's go back to Week 1 when the green-and-white lost a game they should have won in Montreal. It seemingly all balances out in the end.
Yes, the football gods giveth, and the football gods taketh away. No one cares how you win the game, just as long as you do, and that is a big two points for the Riders. They could not afford to cough those points away. A road win on a short week travelling across the country is big.
2. At what point do you start to wonder if what is happening to Ottawa is payback in some fashion for upsetting Calgary in last year's Grey Cup. They have lost seven games this year by a total of 17 points. The frustration that team must be feeling knowing they have been so close so many times this year and unable to seal the deal has to be immense. It also makes me think if they ever figure that out, they could still cause some trouble before all is said and done, but time is running out.
3. Did the final in Calgary surprise anyone? The fact Montreal actually got into double digits is somewhat surprising, but still. You can't blow up that thing quick enough. Then again, the Alouettes are getting what they asked for by having Kavis Reed in a position he has no right in having. By the way, isn't it "nice" to see Calgary with another running back that slices and dices his way through opposition defences. Yes, it was Montreal, but still!
4. Is this call worse than the phantom PI call on Kacey Rodgers in the Banjo Bowl? Someone has to explain to me how this is pass interference.
5. When Noah Picton is on his game, you simply won't beat the Regina Rams. The U of S Huskies found that out Friday night in what was a great contest in Saskatoon. Picton was just his average self in throwing for 5 TD's and running for another in Regina's 50-40 win. The poise he has in the pocket and the confidence he shows when he is in his comfort zone is second to none and it showed at Griffiths Stadium as several receivers including Ryan Schienbein had big nights. Atlee Simon also got of an early season funk by maybe having his best game since 2015.
While those guys were good, the real stars of the game may have been the patchwork offensive line that took the field. This isn't the unit Steve Bryce wanted out on the field, but due to injury he has had to do some work to get some guys in the right spot. The o-line play was fantastic.
6. I think many Pats fans were expecting to see Josh Mahura back early in the season, but they had to be doing a happy dance upon learning Sam Steel was being returned by the Ducks as well. So much for playing some games in the NHL before coming back to junior. It means the Pats are basically at full strength now as they get set to defend their WHL Eastern Conference championship, Game on!! If what we saw Friday in Moose Jaw is any indication of what games between the two teams will be like this year, it's going to be a lot of fun around here all winter.
7. Did anyone see the Paul Kariya feature on TSN this week? If not, here's a link. It is not only compelling, but is frightening. Kariya, who will go into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year, has seemingly distanced himself from the sport that made him famous. It just opens up the window on concussions a little more. The NHL would be wise to bring him onboard in some capacity.
8. Going to bed Saturday night, I heard of what happened after the Eskimos game. While I am a little wary of calling what happened a "terrorist attack" at this time, and perhaps calling it the actions of someone who was a lone wolf and is obviously disturbed. It is downright scary to know this is happening close to home. You always see these things and go that can't happen here. It can! You can't tell me that couldn't happen after a Riders game because it could. There were shots fired in downtown Saskatoon this week. It's not all man climbs into tree to avoid getting arrested stories. As someone who has spent a lot of time in downtown Edmonton, I can tell you that intersection where the U-Haul was flipped on its side after hitting people is one I have been on several times including my last visit. That one hits a little close to home.
9. There is just a genuine hate for the New England Patriots. I guess considering the success they have had, it shouldn't be surprising. When they lose, there is a lot of happiness amongst those in NFL circles. What a bizarre Sunday. The Patriots lose at home, the Cowboys lose at home, the Falcons lose at home. At least the Browns brought some normalcy to everyone by getting pumped 31-0 at home by Cincinnati.
Has Deshaun Watson-mania started yet? It should!
The calendar hits October, and the Seahawks find their stride. Yes, I realize it was just the Colts.
The Los Angeles Rams may be a team to contend with.
The Buffalo Bills have a better record than the Patriots 4 weeks into the season, and the Jets have the identical record. I somehow don't think it will be this way come the end of the year.
Why doesn't anyone talk about Drew Brees being 38 years of age when he plays. No one asks when this will be it or how much longer he has. Wouldn't it be nice if Kevin Glenn got the same respect from everyone?
10. After the Rams game Friday night, I visited a Boston Pizza in Saskatoon before making the drive home. The Australian Rules Football final was just starting. I couldn't tell you one thing about the rules in that game. Are there any? All I know is the place was packed, and those in attendance were having the time of their lives. The Aussie brand of football is a unique one. I wonder how North American players---both CFL and NFL would fare if they tried it.