Friday, July 12, 2019
This and That
--Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order
--The Edmonton Eskimos appear to get it. As mentioned in Monday's column, like it or not attendance has been a major problem through the first few weeks of the CFL season. It was even evident here seeing all the empty seats during Saturday night's game against the Riders biggest rival.
The Eskimos are attempting to make football more accessible by introducing two new ticket options for general admission and kids under 17.
They have introduced the Empire North Pass — a $22 general admission pass that will allow fans to stand in the area behind the north end zone, under the scoreboard on the benches that were previously covered by sponsorship banners.
The Eskimos are lowering ticket prices to get fans into the stadium. This isn't the first ticket promotion aimed at getting people in, but Edmonton realizes their attendance is down for whatever reason and they are doing something about it. Will other teams follow suit?
--The Riders-Stampeders game was TSN's highest this year at 722,000. People across the country were ready for the two Western rivals to go at it. It just begs the question as to why there were so many empty seats at Mosaic for the game. You can't tell me there wasn't interest.
--As you know it is a bye week in Rider Nation. A 1-3 start has the fan-base angered. Surprise, surprise! A win over Calgary or a somewhat decent performance would have had people feeling better about the football team, but the good feelings fans had leaving Mosaic on Canada Day after the one-sided win over Toronto were eliminated with the one-sided loss to Calgary. Some saying the only reason they beat the Argos is because they are the worst team in the league. Is this team better than its 1-3 record---yes they are. Do they deserve the record they have. Yes they do! It will be interesting to see what changes if any this team makes when they get back to work. Some are needed. We also need to know what role Zach Collaros will be in. That decision would have been a lot tougher had Cody Fajardo played well against the Stamps. For what its worth, I think Collaros if given the green light to go starts against BC on the 20th, but I also think the job should still be Fajardo's. Would it be Zach's last chance? You can answer that for yourself.
--I thought the CFL had a limit on coaching staffs. We were told teams could have no more than 11 coaches on staff. This just in---the Alouettes have 12 with the naming of Luc Brodeur-Jourdain as an assistant this week What gives? Do the Alouettes get a break because they are owned by the CFL? The coaches salary cap is a joke, but when it is not enforced by the league it becomes a bigger one.
--Much was made over the fact the CFL didn't play a game one night after the MLB All-Star game because they would have had the stage all to themselves. Why not? If BC Place was available, the Eskimos and Lions could have played on a Wednesday night instead of Thursday. Do these things even get discussed around the table?
--The BC Lions are a bad football team! How much longer till pouty Duron Carter shows up there. I think we already started to see signs of it in the second half last night.
--Manny Viveiros is back in the WHL as the man who took the Swift Current Broncos to a league title in 2018 is now the head coach in Spokane. I have to think his time with the Chiefs will be short as Viveiros deserves another NHL shot after what turned out to be just one year in Edmonton.
--One has to think Vladimir Guerrero would have won the home-run derby Monday night in Cleveland if he didn't have to go through two "overtimes" before advancing to the final. To say he was mashing the ball around Progressive Field would be an understatement. That was quite the show the Blue Jays 3rd baseman put on. Toronto baseball fans are hoping its a glimpse into the future. While the game on Tuesday was entertaining, the derby was the bigger show. I think more baseball fans are excited for that event than they are for the game.
--Great question from Rod Pedersen. If the economy’s that hard-up on the prairies, and fans can’t afford CFL tickets, why do the Rush, Roughnecks, Jets, Oilers and Flames sellout all the time? It's a valid statement.
--How much longer until the Canada West football season starts? How much longer until Canada West basketball starts?
--There are many teams that I just don't like. The US National Womens Soccer Team is right up there. No conceit among that group. None whatsoever!
--Regina really needs a miniature golf course or two.
--Have fun if you're going to Country Thunder.
--Have a great weekend!