Friday, November 3, 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.
Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order:
- It's your last chance to see the Riders at home this weekend in person. Win or lose, it is the last home game of the year. Some, it would seem, have already had enough.
Can someone please tell me why it is so many blame the Riders for their own problems? "I blame the Riders because I can't park and have to take the bus". "I blame the Riders because it's too hot and there's not enough water fountains". "I blame the Riders because I have to have my bag searched before I walk in". Now, it's "I blame the Riders for having three night games after October 1 and it's too cold".
ENOUGH! Are we not supposed to be tough on the prairies and in this province? Never mind, I already know the answer to that and it certainly isn't the way it used to be. Then again, perhaps it's the vocal minority of complainers making the most noise. I know Rider Nation is passionate, and I know the faithful will be out to make the game day experience the best one in the CFL.
- Mosaic Stadium is the envy of this nation because it is ours. There is nothing else like it in the country. You are part of the reason for that. Now some of you are using excuse after excuse after excuse not to go and watch your favourite football team close things out against Edmonton in what is an important game for both.
Yes, if the weather is absolutely horrific and travel is a concern then stay at home. If you can give your tickets away to someone in Regina or someone else who may be less fortunate and would love to attend a Rider game in the shrine known as Mosaic Stadium, then do so. You can also go to Riderville.com for the ticket exchange feature. It's that easy.
- As the playoffs hit, it is a strange world in the CFL. The Stamps are struggling and Bo Levi Mitchell won't play as the starting quarterback role will go to Andrew Buckley Friday night against Winnipeg. This Just In: this blogger will be rooting for Buckley to have a huge night not only for himself and the Stamps, but the future of the Canadian QB. Yes, I just said I'll be rooting for Calgary. I do feel somewhat dirty having admitted that. Sorry!
- Are the Bombers done? The injury bug came at the wrong time for our friends to the East. I can't see them going far without Matt Nichols. Add the fact that Winnipeg has been hit by several other injuries to key personnel and it doesn't look good for them.
- Edmonton has gotten back on a roll, but are they back to being considered a Grey Cup contender?
- Then there are the Riders who have just gone about their business and won 10 - and maybe even 11 - games this season. As one loyal Rider Prider said to me this week, they should have this home playoff game if it weren't for the first two weeks. He's not wrong! Like Chris Jones or not, the plan is working for him.
- Sportscage insider Arash Madani was bold enough to say we should take the Argos to win the Grey Cup. He says in a one-game showdown why not? Is he wrong? A Marc Trestman-led Argonauts squad would be one very tough team to beat on Grey Cup Sunday. If Toronto finishes first in the East, I would not want to play them. Considering what Trestman has done with a team that he catapulted himself into without free agency or anything is somewhat amazing.
- By the way, good on the Riders for announcing this week they are not raising prices for season ticket holders. I applaud that measure. Who knows, season ticket holders might get one more game this year than last as well. I wouldn't bet against that right now.
- While the final week of the CFL season plays itself out, I will be in Vancouver with the Rams for the second straight weekend hoping they can exact revenge on a UBC team that spanked them last weekend to get the right to host a Canada West semi-final between the two. UBC won last week by 29. I don't see that scenario repeating itself this weekend much like I don't see Alberta beating Calgary by 50 like they did last weekend. If Alberta plays Regina for the Hardy Cup next weekend at Mosaic, it will send Canada West off the cliff. The game will be on CKRM2 (620 CKRM.com) at 4 o'clock Saskatchewan time. Addison Richards and I will have the call. As always, he will be the calm, collected one.
- The Deshaun Watson injury in the NFL is one that has sickened many. A non-contact play resulted in the Houston Texans rookie suffering a torn ACL. He is done for this year and likely the start of next. This guy was a shoo-in to be NFL Rookie of the Year. The Clemson grad is/was special and was providing a nice distraction to some of the other crap happening in the NFL. I was looking forward to seeing how far he could take the Texans, now I am just looking for him to come back and be as good as he has shown us he can be.
- Week 9 NFL Lock of the Week -- Eagles over Broncos (sorry Vanstone!)
Week 9 NFL Upset of the Week -- Bengals over Jaguars
- Perhaps the Edmonton Oilers need to ditch those god-awful orange jerseys and go back to the blues. That team is not even close to being good. What has happened? The goaltending is sub-standard, the secondary scoring is non-existent and without saying it was the wrong move, GM Peter Chiarelli has indicated the acquisitions of both Ryan Strome and Jussi Jokinen were transactions he wishes he could have back. After last year's run, Edmonton hockey fans aren't waiting anymore. Winning hockey appeared to be back, but was it just a mirage. We will know by the end of November.
- Was the Houston Astros' win over the LA Dodgers in the World Series the best Fall Classic ever? It is a question being asked after two nailbiting contests with one being the talk of the sporting world. I have to say no. I'm biased because of what happened in 2016, but the Cubs-Indians series was far more compelling and dramatic than the Astros-Dodgers. Game 4 might have been one of the best WS games ever played, but there were some games like Game 7 that turned out to be duds. Congrats to the Astros though. That is a young team that isn't going away. There will be many good teams taking the field for the 2018 season. The Blue Jays likely won't be one of them. I don't really see them getting rid of Josh Donaldson, but I also don't see them being a contender in the AL East. As far as I'm concerned, Mark Shapiro has wrecked that team so let's see what he does.
- High school football doesn't get a lot of ink these days, but if you are a football fan and you are looking for something to do in Regina Friday night, may I suggest the city high school football final between Campbell and Leboldus. Leboldus is looking to make it six straight city titles and provincial championships. That team is one of the best high school squads in the country. Campbell is right up there as well having played Leboldus to a tie earlier this year. Many of these players will end up on the Rams or Thunder and some could be CFL'ers some day. Game time at Mosaic Stadium is 6.
- Why is it some drivers slow down to a snail's pace when the snow comes down while others just continue to zip along as if it is mid-summer? And why do most no matter the conditions still refuse to use their signal light? Cmon people, let's be smart out there.
- Regina and Saskatchewan came through for the Harvard Childrens Hospital Radiothon. 450-thousand is what came in for the annual affair. Nice job! Helping kids is something I think we all realize and know is the right thing to do. Again well done Saskatchewan!
- That's all I got. Have a great weekend!