Thursday, November 8, 2018
This and That
--Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they are in no particular order.
--The playoffs are here! The Bombers and Riders will meet in what should be a very good football game between two teams where there is very little separation. This game will come down to one or two plays and those plays will likely happen in the 4th quarter. The narrative for much of the week has been the play of the quarterbacks. I don't think there is any doubt that whatever QB plays better will move on, but my spidey-senses got tingling this week when former Bombers kicker used "upper-echelon and Matt Nichols in the same sentence. You can't do that and you can't put Zach Collaros into that stratosphere either. There are two upper-echelon quarterbacks in the CFL. They both reside in Alberta. Ricky Ray is no longer part of the equation so I can't include him. The question is this blog readers. If Mitchell and Reilly are 1-2, who are 3-4-5-6 in your mind. Do you have Collaros ahead of Nichols? I would. Would I have him ahead of Jeremiah Masoli? I don't think so. That might change in a couple of weeks, but not right now.
That isn't a criticism of Collaros either. It may be a criticism of what is a bigger problem and that is the lack of "upper-echelon" quarterbacks in the CFL. If Bo Levi Mitchell heads south of the border as has been rumoured, that will leave Reilly. The game needs marquee quarterbacks and there aren't many of them right now. That doesn't spell good news for the league as a whole.
--Will Mosaic Stadium be sold-out on Sunday? I wish I could say yes, but I truly don't know. There is no doubt we are softer as a society today and are not as hearty a bunch as we used to be. Many will brave the elements and will be there. Others will choose to for whatever reason. There is nothing like the atmosphere of a professional sporting event (unless it is the NHL in Miami) especially when its a playoff game. I guess we will see who braves the elements and how loud they will be.
--For the 3rd time in his 5 years as a CFL head coach, Chris Jones is the CFL Western Division coach of the year. Sorry Jones haters, but the guy knows what he is doing. Yes, you can question any and every move he makes if you want, but at the end of the day, he doesn't make many mistakes.
--Kavis Reed stays in Montreal and Marc Trestman is told his time is up. ????? The way in which Trestman was removed as head coach is about as cold and callous as one can be. It is also highly unprofessional. Is that the message MLSE wanted to send? MLSE should be ashamed of themselves for their actions. If you want to fire Trestman that's fine, but doing it at 2 AM and not having the guts to do it face-to-face is about as unprofessional as can be.
--I am guessing each and every person who has a vote for CFL league awards in Saskatchewan voted for Brett Lauther as the top special teams player in the West. It would appear others didn't, How is BC's Ty Long voted the West's best ahead of a guy who kicked 54 of 60 field goals this year including two games where he was six for six on three-pointers? I don't understand it. I have no problem with Willie Jefferson getting beat out by Adam Bighill for top defensive player but I would like to know what gave voters the reasoning to pick him ahead of Big Willie. I wonder how much that cost Jefferson in bonus money?
--Week 10 NFL Lock of The Week -- Chargers over Raiders
--Week 10 NFL Upset of The Week -- Jags over Colts
--The Ottawa Senators can't escape it even if they try. I am sure you know the story by now. Several players including Matt Duchene were caught on tape criticizing the coaching staff while in a vehicle in Arizona. The players were unaware their Uber driver were filming them and then he put the exchange on YouTube for the world to see.
I don't know about you, but that is a definite invasion of privacy and one would think lawyers might be getting involved. I have no problem in cab drivers or Uber drivers filming what goes on their vehicle in case something happens. You want to have something to take to police if you need it. You do not tape conversations that are had and publicly post them. I am guessing no waiver was signed by these players before they got into the vehicle. I am also guessing there are many sports teams whose players criticize moves that are made whether it be by coaches or teammates. Are you going to tell me some Riders weren't likely talking about things the night after they got beat by Montreal?
What did put a comedic spin on this story was many made note of the fact the Senators were advertising Uber at their home game against New Jersey on Tuesday. Ummmmmm!
--The more I watch the Edmonton Oilers, the more I say they are a playoff team IF they get a number-one goalie. The one they have now is just killing them. Finding said goalie is easier said than done though and what do you give up to get? I am thinking Jesse Puljujarvi is on his last legs and you could probably get something if you threw Ryan Strome into the deal. Man, did Peter Chiarelli get fleeced on that deal!
--How long will Joel Quenneville be out of work for? That may depend on him. I am somewhat shocked at that move by the Hawks and even moreso for hiring a 33 year old as his replacement. There are players on that team older than the former PA Raider.
--Finally, a tip of the hat to my co-workers at Harvard Broadcasting. Over $400,000 was raised in the annual Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation Radiothon. This is one of the reasons why I love working for the company that I do. Many people behind the scenes did a lot of work to get this event rolling. You can't do something like that in a couple of weeks. Great job by everyone!