Friday, January 5, 2018
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.
--You can't say the first week of 2018 wasn't boring around here. Is it going to be like that for the rest of the year? If it is, sign me up!
--While there was optimism amongst those those who cheer for the Rider green at the end of the season, that optimism seems to have increased with the acquisition of Zach Collaros. One that really shouldn't be surprising to anyone as just about everyone who wasn't calling for James Franklin was calling for Collaros including myself.
Collaros may have lost some or all of his confidence after the way things ended in Hamilton for him, but with the group he has to throw the ball to here and some good running backs, I can conceivably be him being the Collaros of old and his career being rejuvenated. Does Chris Jones have a quarterback that can take him to the Grey Cup? We'll find out soon.
What does it mean for the other QB's on the roster? I don't think it means anything.. I would fully expect Brandon Bridge to be the backup when the season starts with Vernon Adams Junior being number 3 and Marquise Williams continuing to learn. Adams might be trade-bait and would likely garner the most value seeing he has more CFL experience. As for Kevin Glenn, I don't think he was really surprised to see he no longer fits in the plans of the team. He probably knew that coming in because you knew the team wanted to get younger at QB. He came in and had a season that exceeded the expectations of many. He still has life in that 38 year old arm, and I would expect he has a home when the season starts. Many think it would be ironic if he became an Eskimo so he could say he has played with all nine teams. With Franklin gone, would it surprise anyone to see Glenn end up in northern Alberta.
--Goodbye and thank you to Chris Getzlaf. The popular Rider receiver called it a career Thursday with a very classy farewell address in which he addressed many including those who helped him along the way who are no longer with the organization. One can only wonder how many games he played at Taylor Field starting in RMF and moving up to the Riders and one can only imagine what it must have been like for him on that magical November night when he hoisted the Grey Cup on that carpet he had played on for so many years. During an appearance on 620 CKRM's Sportscage Thursday, I said to Getzlaf that there are kids playing minor football who want to be the next Chris Getzlaf. I asked him who he wanted to be when he started playing the game with his answer being Jason Clermont. I only wonder if Mitch Picton grew up watching Getz wanting to be just like him. He will likely get his chance.
--Speaking of class, how about Weston Dressler. I had to do a double-take on Thursday to make sure that was him standing in the room beside some former teammates as Getzlaf said goodbye to the game. I shouldn't have been surprised to see it, but the fact he plays for another team and was there did catch me off guard. However, once you remember the type of individual Dressler is, you shouldn't be surprised to see him do what he did.
--The NFL playoffs start this weekend. I see Kansas City and Jacksonville winning in the AFC and I see New Orleans and Atlanta taking the NFC games. The playoff experience and the hunger to get back for the Falcons will be enough to take out a very good Rams team, but a Rams team that could melt under the glare of the playoff heat. When it comes to the Super Bowl, I am taking a Saints-Patriots matchup. Sorry Vikings fans! Then again, maybe you should thank me.
--The Regina Pats are going to go back indoors. They scrapped the February outdoors game saying there were concerns about player safety and weather. Fans were not happy with ticket prices, but should that really come as a surprise in Regina where everything is seemingly too expensive for some no matter the event. While the Pats decide to make this move, I have to wonder how Hometown Hockey feels about it seeing they were coming here for the outdoor game, and I have to wonder what those on the Memorial Cup bid committee think knowing something the Pats said would happen in their bid package now isn't happening. At the end of the day, I am sure Regina still would have won the bid outdoor game or not, and at the end of the day homecoming weekend will still be a huge success as will the Memorial Cup.
--Canada will play for gold tonight at the World Juniors. They are getting better and better as the tournament goes on. They clobbered the Czechs in the semis. I don't know about you, but I am not disappointed to see them play Sweden. I'm not disappointed to see USA Hockey not get in the gold medal game at all. They botched this tournament right from the get-go by sacrificing the integrity of the tournament for $$$$ by holding an outdoor game against a team they never should have been playing. Karma!
--Congratulations to Curtis Atkinson. The former interim A-D at the U of R is now in charge of athletics at Thompson Rivers University. Speaking of the U of R, its time for the Cougars to get back to work. The basketball teams are home to Mount Royal tonight and tomorrow starting with the girls game at 6 each night. Go down and check it out.
--Nazem Kadri ripped out part of Joe Thornton's beard? Did Joe even feel it? If so, OUCH! Can you do that in the NHL? You can't pull hair, but is beard-pulling allowed?
--Have a great weekend!