Monday, August 12, 2019

Something To Mitch About

--I could not agree more with Canada's best p x p man on this one.  I understand player safety and fan safety, but what we saw Friday night in Montreal was not good and leaves the CFL once again defending its credibility.

I don't anyone wants to sit through a three-hour rain delay like last year in Winnipeg, but this protocol needs to be tweaked somewhat.  While some Riders fans are taking the win very sheepishly, there are others who are rather joyful that the team didn't have to earn the "W" over 60 minutes.   One can only imagine the firestorm in Rider Nation if the Alouettes had been up 7 with a quarter to play and had gotten the win instead of the /=S=/.  You would never hear the end of it.   Again, you can't have it both ways.

People in Montreal have told me they could have played 30-45 minutes after the game was called as the lightning had moved out.  It makes me wonder why the league would put such a short time-frame on making their decision.  Would it be detrimental if the delay was 90 minutes or two hours long before making the final call?   At the end of the day, the teams and the players agreed on this so there isn't much you can do, but it leaves everyone with a rather hollow feeling and one wonders now what this could do when it comes to playoffs and what implications the end result will have.   I get the feeling this might be discussed around the table come the off-season.

--Perhaps the best thing from the game being called early is we didn't have to experience 18 more minutes of that.  Head Coach Craig Dickenson had said it would be an ugly game and he was right.  It was one ugly contest.  The highlight was obviously the two big defensive touchdowns scored thanks to hellacious hits by Derrick Moncrief and Cam Judge.  The Moncrief hit had me and I'm guessing many others yelling OHHHHH! when he nailed Antonio Pipkin and the first hit didn't have you doing that, the hit by Cam Judge on Matthew Shiltz did.  How did Shiltz manage to get up and chase Charleston Hughes anyhoo?  Those were two shots defensive players just dream about.

--As I put out on Twitter Friday night, enjoy Moncrief now because he will be NFL bound when the season was over.  As I have said before, I am surprised he isn't there already.  I would love to see him wearing Seahawks blue and if you are an NFL fan, you can't tell me you wouldn't love to see him in the colours of your favourite team.

--Why are we seeing so many return touchdowns this year?  These guys are good, but they're not THAT good.  Imagine what Gizmo Williams would do today!  Special teams coaches around the league are pulling their hair out trying to contain these guys.  At some point, you have to think punters will be told to just kick the ball out of bounds.  I think its the fact the rules have changed when it comes to players coming downfield and the fact the padded practices have been reduced.  Kick return touchdowns are outstanding, but they are becoming ordinary now it would seem.

--If the CFL didn't have this stupid salary cap for coaches would Devone Claybrooks have a job? If anyone needs a game to go just 42 minutes, its the Lions! Its more than the D-line folks.

--This will be an unpopular take, but Bianca Andrescu's win at the Rogers Cup Sunday is great, but are we really going to triumph the fact she won because of an injury to Serena Williams.  At 3-1 in the first set, there was a lot of tennis to be played. If Serena is healthy. she may have won.  I guess we will never know the answer to that.   Win it the way you're supposed to and we'll talk.  BTW, I am seeing a theme to this column.

--How many people were involved in the Vezina Trophy snafu with Robin Lehner.   How many people besides the engraver missed the fact Lehner played for the Islanders and not the Rangers.  In the words of the great Fred Flinstone,  OHHHH Boy!!!

--Who didn't go to Garth this weekend?  That might be the better question.  I wasn't there Friday night,  but could you have asked for a better night to watch a concert than what we had Saturday.

Everyone I know who has been to see Garth Brooks play say they have come away amazed with his performances.  They weren't lying.  I don't know if I have been to a better concert than what Brooks treated a sold-out Mosaic Stadium to on Saturday night.  Where does he find the energy?  From the time he stepped on the stage until the time he stepped off it was go-go-go and the fans loved it!  A huge tip of the stetson to REAL's Tim Reid and his staff for pulling of what I'm sure was a challenging weekend---especially on Friday!

As someone who doesn't get a chance to watch events from the Mosaic seats since I am usually up in the press box, it was great to sit there amongst the masses and look around at what is Canada's best outdoor venue. What a building it is.  We are lucky to have it. 

--It was strange to watch the Regina Rams go through a practice on Sunday and not see Noah Picton chucking the ball around.  I guess we have to get used to it seeing his U days are done.  It would appear as if Josh Donnelly is the new QB seeing Seb Britton is not 100 percent.  I don't know how the Leboldus grad will do in his first year under center, but the kid showed me last year in a game versus Calgary that he can get it done.  By year 3, he could be turning a lot of heads.

--I didn't know what I would get out of Summerslam, but I enjoyed the 2nd biggest show on the WWE calendar.  There were some matches that were bad, but there were some surprises too. I didn't think Brock Lesnar would drop the strap to Seth Rollins so soon after taking it from him. Does this mean Lesnar is taking tine off to start harvesting the crop near Maryfield?  Do those in that area of the province ever see him around there?

--RIP Hugh McKay.  I stared at my phone in disbelief on Friday afternoon when I got word the long-time Rider staffer had unexpectedly passed away.  If Hugh was ever having a bad day, you would never know it.  He was as cheery a guy you could meet and he was always there with a good-natured jab or on the receiving end of one.  He was also quick with a "Hi Scruffy" greeting whenever I saw him with that last time being the night the Riders beat Hamilton.  He was one of those behind-the-scenes guys that made things go a lot easier.  He leaves a huge hole. 

That's all I got for now.  Have a great week!


Green In Calgary said...

Mitch, I am tired of you and others continuing to whine about the way the game in Montreal ended. The new protocol was put in place and agreed upon by all those with a vested interest in the safety of the players and fans. Yes, it is not the ideal way to end a game, but it applies in the same way to both teams. As a Rider fan, I would have accepted the result if Montreal had been in the lead, given that this was the protocol that had been agreed upon by the owners and players. Your comments about the tennis final were even more inane, what would you have liked to see happen, delay the match until Serena was healthy?

Anonymous said...

I am a CFL fan and a Riders fan. What a joke Friday was! 60 minutes is all you are going to give? That is ridiculous!

These Rider fans crowing about the win would be the first out with torches and pitchforks if this went the other way and you know it.

AMbrosie is quickly going from being a solid commissioner to one letting a lot of things go by without acting (ie: attendance, officiating, Maritimes). The CFL and its fans deserve better.


Anonymous said...

If Serina knew she was having back spasms why even go out on the court. Just award the match to the kid. I'm with you, that's a very hollow victory.

As far as the Riders game goes, if this is something mandated by the league and the PA and was agreed upon, there isn't a lot you can do. Now that we have seen the protocol in effect though, it is time to sit-down anddiscuss the matter in the off-season.

Anonymous said...

Didn't anyone else see the interview with Montreal's John Bowman?
He was on the player's negotiating committee.
He said that the PA wasn't in favour of the 60 minute rule but in the give and take world of negotiations the league got it through.
Face it; the players are all competitors while some of the owners hate competition.

Anonymous said...

The Lions are not all Devone's fault. Ed Hervey signed a bunch of 'me' players in free agency. Want an example? Duron Carter, has he blocked anyone yet, to spring someone else?

Anonymous said...

The Lions are not all Devone's fault. Ed Hervey signed a bunch of 'me' players in free agency. Want an example? Duron Carter, has he blocked anyone yet, to spring someone else?

Anonymous said...

As you called it the 'stupid salary cap for coaches' rule is the only reason we still have our OC. But we found out last year wasn't all Steven McAdoo's fault and it's worked out okay.

Anonymous said...

Can't argue with Cuthbert!

Anonymous said...

Green in Calgary seems a little grumpy!

Anonymous said...

Why does the CFL do so many things that make themselves look bad? Why?

Anonymous said...

Realize that games are not won or lost on one bad non call but I'm surprised there hasn't been more of an outcry on that punt return Hamilton got which put them in almost automatic field goal position near the end of the BC game. Often they aren't obvious, but there was an illegal block that occurred in plain view on that return that I'm surprised none of the officials caught it. With all of the ticky tacky calls that seem to dominate the CFL lately, to miss seeing that one was a huge fail. Even the commentators caught it. Hamilton may still have marched down the field and got the field goal to win the game anyway, but it is unfortunate for BC that call was missed.
Speaking of illegal blocking calls on returns, would be nice if they could make an effort to show more of them. More often than not, we are not shown the illegal block on the replay. I realize they may be tough to find, but they are part of the game and have a huge impact on a team's field position. As a fan, it would be nice to see who committed them and whether they actually impacted the return. I'm willing to suggest that probably many of them don't. Perhaps that's another thing the league could look at.

Anonymous said...

If Garth had a weather protocol, there would have been no show Friday.