Monday, November 13, 2017
Something To "Mitch" About
--The Saskatchewan Roughriders still have one, and maybe two big football games to win this season. If they play like they did Sunday in Ottawa, they just might come back to Regina with the Grey Cup. What an effort by the green-and-white. They beat the REDBLACKS from pillar to post in the Eastern semi-final. Where do you start?
Kevin Glenn was magnificent. He threw for 252 yards with a touchdown while running for another. Glenn was in control from the first snap of the day.
Marcus Thigpen shocked the CFL universe. His 75 yard scamper in the 3rd quarter was a dagger. Many wondered why Chris Jones was bringing him off the scrap heap. Wonder no more!
Bakari Grant made up for his guffaw at home against Montreal by having a solid contest with some big catches.
The offensive line was masterful. They opened holes for Thigpen and kept Glenn clean for the most part. That group was the star of the game as far as this blogger is concerned.
While Christion Jones did have a big fumble, he also had a big return on some trickery by special teams coach Craig Dickenson. Jones once again became a field-flipper.
While Trevor Harris did throw for 457 yards, I thought the Riders D basically held him in check after a highly entertaining first quarter that looked like the two were ready to march it up and down the field all day until Sam Eguavoen picked him off deep in Saskatchewan territory. That was maybe the play of the game.
All around, this was the best collective effort of the year by the Riders. Can they keep it up? I don't think the Argos pose as big a challenge as what Ottawa did. I thought it would be a slobberknocker that came down to the end. In the end, there was no drama at all. Yes, Toronto has the likes of Ricky Ray, James Wilder Junior and SJ Green. They also have Marc Trestman, and we know what type of coach he is. That being said, I just don't think Toronto matches up well with the Riders. Are they going to become the first Western team to win the East? I wouldn't bet against them.
--The Chris Jones hate remains amongst certain factions of Rider fans, but it comes in spots. The Riders HC was chastised by many for yelling at a TSN cameraman to "get out of my face" while he was trying to deliver some defensive signals. If that is what you have to hang your head on, then go at it hoss! You might also want to look at how he took a team that wasn't very good when he took over and didn't improve much in year 1 has gotten to within a win of the Grey Cup in year 2. His plan is working. If you don't want to admit that, go ahead and keep hating.
--Can the Riders QB rotation be known as "Glennbridge Energy"?
-- The Western semi-final looked like it might be a playoff thriller, but Mike O'Shea who has changed games with trickery changed this one too albeit in a negative fashion for the Bombers. O'Shea called for a fake punt that failed giving Edmonton the ball at the Winnipeg 40. It was 10-10 at the time. There was no need for that at that point of the field. It is a call O'Shea will be second-guessed on all off-season as a promising Winnipeg year went up in smoke. While the momentum changed on that play, it did seem though as if Edmonton was the better team so in the end it may not have mattered. In the end, Edmonton beat Winnipeg and it wasn't the Oilers beating the Jets in a Smythe Division playoff game.
--Were the New England Patriots that good Sunday night or were the Denver Broncos that bad? What a performance by Brady and company?
--Do we look into what happened with Atlanta as a snapshot of the Cowboys without Ezekiel Elliott for the next five weeks?
--Talk that Auston Matthews should be a candidate for the Hart Trophy is laughable. That conversation starts and ends with either Steve Stamkos or Nikita Kucherov right now.
---The Warriors didn't have Brett Howden or Josh Brook this weekend and they took two from the Pats. I am guessing John Paddock took notice of that. One wonders how much longer it will be until a contender pries Jake Bean from the Calgary Hitmen. If the Warriors add him to Brook, Jett Woo and the gigantic Oleg Sosunov, they may be setting up a Memorial Cup matchup against the Pats. Wouldn't that be something. Of course, you wouldn't read about it in the local paper since the Times-Herald will no longer be in operation. Don't get me started on that.
--A 59 year old FG to win the Hardy Cup? If Calgary's Niko Difonte had done that against the Rams, I can think of one broadcaster who may have thrown a headset or uttered an f-bomb or 8. What a kick! It's a shame a game like that wasn't on more Canadian television sets. More University sports is needed on Canadian network TV. Once again the fact we have so many TSN's and so many Sportsnets and we don't get more USports games is terrible.
--What a black eye to USports Canada and university football the situation surrounding the Loney Bowl has become. It is shameful this issue had to go to the courts and now the Atlantic champion will play on Tuesday afternoon with the winner having to play again Saturday. That's completely embarrassing and a joke. If unaware of what I am talking about, click here and then shake your head.
--Really liked what I saw from Steve Burrows' Cougar mens basketball team this weekend as they beat Fraser Valley twice. Really looking forward to what the rest of the season holds. I am also really hoping that those going to games will learn how to cheer as well. The Cougs are dunking the basketball, hitting threes and providing an entertaining evening and those in attendance sit there and clap as if Dustin Johnson sank a 20 foot par putt. It's OK to cheer and get loud. Why is Regina so bad for that?
--Don't know how many places in Regina or across Saskatchewan do so, but I was impressed Saturday to hit the Victoria Square Shopping Centre around 1130 only to find the mall closed until noon to show respect for Remembrance Day. That was great to see!
--I'm hosting the Sportscage all week since Rod Pedersen is going to stay out East with the Riders. What should dominate the conversation? Hmmmmm!!!
--Have a great week! Enjoy the holiday Monday. The next long weekend is because of Christmas. Have you started shopping yet? SIGHHHH!