Welcome to Saturday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order
--All it took was three plays. Three plays! Zach Collaros suffered what looked to be another concussion and the Rider fortunes in 2019 took a serious hit. Yes, head coach Craig Dickenson said Zach appears to be fine, but one has to wonder and one has to say again that if he has been concussed, it is time to do what he should have done in the off-season and call it a career. Enough of the scrambled brains Zach. You have a life after football you should start enjoying.
As for Simoni Lawrence, what a gutless play by someone who has a resume of those. The CFL sat there and told us player safety is being taken more seriously and a 25 yard penalty will deter this behaviour. Yeah, OK! It took three plays for that theory to be blown out the window. The debate was even on as to whether or not Cody Fajardo took a helmet-to-helmet in shortly after entering the game.
Do I have any faith that the league will hand Lawrence a multi-game suspension for what he did? Nope! If Odell Willis and Jackson Jeffcoat didn't get one for what they did in the last two Rider games last year, why should Lawrence get one? It's the CFL way isn't it?
As for the game itself, it reminded me a lot of last year. The defence sparkled while the offence struggled although they had their moments under rookie Isaac Harker. I am sure if Collaros can't go in Ottawa next week, the call will be made for Harker to start. I don't know if Harker is ready to start yet, and it certainly isn't time to push the panic button yet. Some are calling for Kevin Glenn to make his retirement a short one and come back. No one is asking for Brandon Bridge to return though.
Harker didn't look as if the moment was too big for him. His interceptions came late in the game on a 3rd down scramble where he had to get rid of the ball and on a last-play hail mary. Those aren't rookie mistakes.
Would the Riders have won with Collaros playing the full game? I would say they would have. I could say the same thing about Golden State in Game 6 if Klay Thompson had not gotten hurt. More on that in a bit.
What did you think of Dickenson's debut? With the exception of what I thought was a terrible call on 3rd and 2, I was OK with it. That call was too predictable and too vanilla. Didn't like that one at all.
--Of the nine teams in the CFL, only three have the same starter in 2019 that they had in 2018. The three are Saskatchewan (Collaros), Hamilton (Masoli) and Calgary (Mitchell). Winnipeg would have been a 4th, but remember Chris Streveler started on opening week in place of the injured Matt Nichols. With that being said, how would you rate the overall QB play in this league.
--It will be a Saskatchewan Summer with Stanley as Tyler Bozak, Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn will be bringing hockey's holy grail with them to the 306.
--Having the chance to speak with both Mitch Bozak (Tyler's dad) and Rick Schwartz (Jaden's dad) before the final, I asked both what it would be like to see their son's name on the Stanley Cup. They didn't know, but they will find out. What a moment that would be!
There is nothing like seeing the Cup get presented and the look of players when they get it whether it be the first time or the last. I don't know if it was the fact they won in Boston or not, but it seemed to me as if the Blues rushed it. Remember when a guy would get the Cup and he would skate a lap around the ice with it before handing it off. It seemed this year as if one player would get it, skate for a few feet and then circle back to hand it off. NO!! Experience the moment. Take that thing around and soak up every moment of it because it may never happen again. Obviously, each player and person connected with the organization will get their time with the Cup, but in the moment, take as long as you want. That moment is for you and its what you have dreamed of.
--The NHL off-season is here after nine months of play. Basically for fans and organizations, the season is like a pregnancy. You have fatigue, nausea, vomiting, crying, morning sickness, mood swings and headaches.
--How is it in a city Regina's size, there are no outdoor miniature golf courses or no miniature golf courses period. If there is one, where is it?
--Now to the Raptors. First off, how cool was it Monday night to be at Mosaic Stadium watching Toronto try to close things out. There was no way I thought 14,000 people would pack the place to watch a basketball game. It was amazing!
As one gentlemen said to me as I was leaving. I am used to cheering for three-pointers in this place, but not that type. No kidding! One thing that wasn't cool though was the fact MLSE apparently would not let teams like the U of R Cougars do anything to market their programs. I don't understand that one, but to those who asked there's your answer.
With the Riders game Thursday, I knew the crowd would not be as great and certainly not what EVRAZ Place was looking for, but if a Game 7 had been played on Sunday, I think you would have had 25-30 thousand. Not joking!
Like the rest of the series, Game 6 was tremendous. Yes, it was too bad Klay Thompson could not finish things off, but a country was on pins and needles. That being said, I just enjoyed the game for what it was. There was no stress level for me. A non-sports fan I know put up on Twitter that this was so stressful. If you want a stress level for me, go back to Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. That night that the Cubs won in extra innings just about killed me. The basketball was great, but while the accomplishment is tremendous, I will say it again---the big winner in this is basketball in this country as a sport which is already producing many players will now produce a lot more
What was with the subdued celebration? I thought that team would go crazy, but really they didn't. Not when you compare it to other cellys including St. Louis' one night earlier.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!