Monday, November 27, 2017

Something To "Mitch" About

What a night!! Once again, the CFL saved its best for last!

For the second straight week, we saw Ricky Ray march down the field with the game on the line and get it done---which wasn't as maddening for Rider Nation this week, and we saw fans going "What are you doing?" in a game involving the Calgary Stampeders.

The Toronto Argonauts are Grey Cup champions on what was classic Canadiana. In a game played in our Nation's Capital, the snow fell,  and Shania Twain came into TD Place on a dog-sled being escorted by a Mountie.  All that was missing were Bob and Doug and the cheerleaders handing out Tim Horton's hot chocolate to everyone.  It was spectacular! 

While the Argos win, all everyone will be asking today is "What were you thinking Bo Levi?"


Like him or not, the Calgary quarterback became a victim of his own greed.  Why he threw the ball into double coverage from the Argos 24 needing just a field goal to send the game into overtime is something only BLM can answer.  At the end of the day, it was the wrong decision as the Argos go from worst to first. 

Where do you start with this one?

  • While the game will be remembered for BLM's ill-advised throw at the end and the Ricky Ray drive to get into FG range, it should also be remembered for the Kamar Jorden fumble which at the end of the day was the biggest play of the night.. The Stamps could have lit the celebratory cigars and broken open the championship T-Shirt box, but Cleyon Laing made the play punching it out of Jorden's hands with Cassius Vaughn taking it the rest of the way. It was the ultimate 14 point swing. 
  • The conditions weren't optimal, but I didn't think the play was affected.  Both teams were able to run their offences.  It wasn't like wind or rain was playing havoc with the game-plan.  The presence of the snow was overblown in my opinion. 
  • Is this it for Ricky Ray? Will he do what Henry Burris did last year and call it a career? Would you blame him? What more does he have to do? 
  • Shania was spectacular. End of story!
  • TSN once again did a fantastic job in bringing the game to CFL fans across the country.  Chris Cuthbert showed why he is the gold medallist when it comes to p x p in Canada.  It was a first-class effort all week from the three-letter. 
  • Should I be surprised at the post-game comments from Marquay McDaniel or should I just attribute it to Calgary's arrogance? Perhaps a little of both.  Why did McDaniel choose to throw Jorden under the bus yet stay silent on what Bo Levi did? Why did McDaniel give up chasing Vaughn at the 20 yard line. I think we have learned a lot about the "teammate: Marquay McDaniel is.
It now starts what should be one of the most memorable off-seasons in CFL history.  I don't think there will be a lot of silence from the league as has been the case in the past.  Randy Ambrosie is going to try and keep the CFL on the radar of Canadians from coast-to-coast.  Expect a crazy ride between now and training camp with a lot of news coming from the league office and the teams expected to make some news as well.  The "gone fishing" sign that has usually been put up on the office door from mid-December until mid-February has hopefully been thrown into the trash bin.

By the way, how about this picture of Ambrosie from the Spirit of Edmonton Friday night courtesy of TSN 1260 (Edmonton) Jason Gregor.


You would never, ever see guys like Goodell, Bettman or Silver in this pose.  Jeffrey Orridge probably wonders what the Spirit of Edmonton is. This is the pic of the week as far as I'm concerned.

What will the win do for the Argos? Does it move the needle? Does Toronto even know what happened last night?  If I had walked down Yonge Street or Front Street and visited the many sports bars, would the game have been on.  I would like to say yes, but would I be right? I don't know.  This has to help somehow doesn't it? The Leafs need to have Ray and the Argos and the Cup at Air Canada Centre for some kind of ceremony. They have to do whatever it takes to put the Cup front and center in the country's biggest city and start selling this team to the GTA. It won't be easy, but in the end this could be a huge shot in the arm for the CFL. Time will tell.

--Regina, you may not know it, but a nice little story is happening over at the University.  Steve Burrows has the mens basketball program at a level of prominence for the first time in a long time. I've been a huge supporter of Cougar basketball for a long time as you know.  Year after year after year, Dave Taylor's women's team has gotten a majority of the ink and for good reason as they have been one of Canada's best programs with many national appearances.   The men's team is now just as good and are taking some of that ink saved for the ladies which I'm sure Taylor and crew don't mind one bit.

It was a sign of how good this team was this weekend as undefeated Lethbridge came to town and promptly took the bus back to southern Alberta with not one, but two losses as the Cougs made it 7 straight wins  which is something they haven't done since the 05-06 season.  No one player is the star either.  Brian Ofori might be the face of this team because of his dunks, but it is a balanced squad with Alex Igual, Brandon Tull and new faces Shaq Harris and Shawn Lathan getting it done.  There was optimism when Burrows took over the program five years ago from James Hillis. James now sits in the crowd and beams with pride as his sons Ben and Sam keep the Hillis name going.  It is great to see.  The first half of the season ends next weekend in Vancouver for both, but it is safe to say there will be some tremendous basketball from both the men and women at the CKHS in 2018.  Get out and watch if you can.

--The Pats are home after a US road trip which was not a banner one---especially the finish. After getting spanked 6-0 by Tri-Cities, Regina found themselves down 4-0 to Spokane before finally losing 7-3  Yes, at one point they allowed 10 straight goals.  That is not good.  The team is one game above 500, but everyone knows the Cale Fleury acquisition was not the end of what will be done as this team gets ready to defend its Eastern Conference crown and host the Memorial Cup.  What does John Paddock have up his sleeve and when does he start showing his cards?  I think you've got just over a month to wait.  While it doesn't look that way now, this team will be more than ready come playoff time and in May when you need one good week to win it all.

--The Swift Current Broncos showed everyone how serious they are at being in Regina in May. You have to know both the Pats and Warriors took notice of the big nine-player swap Swift Current made with Calgary to make what is already a good team a whole lot better.  They just got some secondary scoring to go along with the Steenbergen, Gawdin, Heponiemi line.   Meanwhile, those in Moose Jaw are starting to talk about this being the best ever team in franchise history.  I remember that talk being had last year and how did that end up.  Records don't mean a lot if you don't win it all at the end of the year.  The Pats will be the first to tell you that after last season.  

--Two Saskies continue to have the St. Louis Blues as one of the top teams in the league. You have to love what Jaden Schwartz is doing as he continues to be one of the best players in the NHL at the one quarter pole while Brayden Schenn may be the steal of the year coming over in a trade with Philly.  Meanwhile, one continues to shake their head at the inability of the Edmonton Oilers to win and the ugliness they trot out.  The effort in Buffalo was putrid, and while a win in Boston did happen Sunday, it is obvious something is not right with this squad that just may go from being a Stanley Cup finalist as many predicted to having another top 5 draft pick.  Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets seem to be finally living up to expectations.  If I were a Jets fan (ewwww!!), I'd be awfully excited at what this team has.  Laine, Schiefele, Wheeler, Connor, Hellebuyck, Byfuglien, Trouba and others are putting it together.

--That's all I got. For some reason, I think Rider Nation will be walking around with an ear-to-ear grin after the events of Sunday night. I can't really blame them.


Anonymous said...

Stamps choke again. Kudos to the Argos who played for all 60 minutes. Trestman does it once again. I think Ricky will keep playing. He's healthy and having fun

Anonymous said...

Seeing Calgary choke it away is oh so good!

Anonymous said...

Hope Jordan and McDaniel aren't sitting together on the plane ride home. That's the type of guy you want as a teammate. Good question too as to why he didn't rail on BLM. The fumble was bad, but Calgary still had a chance and BLM squandered it with a terrible decision.


Anonymous said...

The only thing that would have Grey Cup more Canadian is if a Timbits game would have been played while they were shovelling off the field and if Shania left the stage on a moose!

Anonymous said...

The Pats are not in the same position as MJ or SC. Those teams are already good and their moves will make them elite. The Pats are fighting for a Wildcard spot so they are poor this season. The trades they will make will be simply to get them to the level the other teams are now. To think you can simply get everything you want at Jan 10th and all will be well, is just an uninformed simplistic response. Red Deer tried that a couple years back and how did it work out for them. Paddock is scrambling with this Jost thing that won't happen. Now there is talk Wagner may not be returned. That will make things even more difficult for the GM. He should have been out in front of this instead of trying to get something last minute.

Anonymous said...

Shania Twain was tragically bad, and probably has no clue that people were laughing at her. Sound familiar?

75flyersbestteamever said...

Stamps better think long and hard if they continual scape-goating Jorden, it wasn't all his problem
...someone forgot the snap sailing over the punter and Calgary having to give up 2 points
...BLM must have forgot his receivers are professionals and not 9 year old kids as he floated his screen passes giving Argo defenders (already 2-3 deep) chances to close in...was he hurt at all? he sure throws without much zip the past few games (IMHO) business throwing that last and take chances in OT..Still don't understand Pass Interference..Calgary got a few breaks with one PI not called and the benefit of some later that play seemed to be what was called PI earlier..
...many Stamps didn't show much heart...plain and simple...or maybe needed warmer clothing as cold weather (re: Winnipeg game and other recents) makes them act more 8-ply tissue than 200 grit sandpaper. Need to draft more northern climate skilled players. Gazelles are great but you also need the Buffalos when the thermometer drops..Ok I'm to chase kids off my lawn.

Anonymous said...

Good football game, but the Sunday nighter from Pittsburgh was far better!

Anonymous said...


Hope you and that other windbag you associate yourself with realize Trestman is the gold standard when it comes to rebuilds and not the yokel we have here. Trestman got it done in a half year. Meanwhile, we still wait to get to a Western final or a 3rd place finish. Nice plan!


Anonymous said...

Seeing Calgary choke it away was priceless!

Anonymous said...

Shania tragically bad? HAHAHA! The moron factor is out and about today!

Anonymous said...

I didn't have a problem with going for the win, but you might want to make a better play call. Throwing into double coverage in the endzone? How about a slant pattern or a crossing pattern.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, 9 out of 10 people talking about the halftime show say Shania crushed out, but I'll go with the moron who said it was tragically bad. He/She probably thought the national anthem was the best part of the game.


Anonymous said...

I've got coach envy. Why oh why wasn't Marc Trestman available two years ago?


Anonymous said...

I've got 'coach envy'. Why, oh why wasn't Marc Trestman available two years ago?