Friday, September 20, 2019
This And That
Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind. As always, these come in no particular order
--The third and final bye week of the season is upon us. There is no Saskatchewan Roughriders football to watch this weekend, but the team is once again in the spotlight.
Before a recent game, A&W filmed a commercial outside Mosaic Stadium using Rider fans to promote their "Beyond Beef" burger. A&W is a corporate sponsor and used that opportunity for a commercial---one that angered the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association. So much so, a meeting was held with the Riders having to issue a statement and an apology. Why?
Before we go any further, I just want to categorically state that I have not had an A&W hamburger in quite some time and will not be eating one of these plant-based burgers. It simply isn't my cup of tea. Give me a good old hamburger or steak any day of the week. Like many of you, I am a beef-eater.
The commercial used Rider fans in Rider garb outside Mosaic Stadium. The commercial did not use Cody Fajardo, Charleston Hughes, Craig Dickenson or any other member of the organization. If they had done that. the tone of this conversation would change. Some have said there was a commercial featuring players that was quickly yanked. I think one airing of said ad would have generated the wrong publicity so until I see it, its fake news.
If A&W had gone to Wascana Park and found people wearing Rider jerseys, would this change? Would it change if they did it downtown? I have no problem with the fast-food company using Rider fans in a commercial---some who might actually like the Beyond Beef Burger. Vegans are people too ya know. For the Riders to issue a statement on the matter and apologize was as ludicrous as the statement that they felt had to be made in the wake of Gainer acting inappropriately during the BC game. It was something that didn't have to be done but they had to because of the fear of negative publicity. Perhaps in today's society, the team should just have a form letter and fill in the blanks. Who's next?
Tim Hortons is a corporate sponsor of the football team and they were selling something that wasn't meat until earlier this week so why aren't they included in this.
As mentioned, I will take good old Canadian beef ahead of whatever is in these plant burgers any day of the week and I understand the positioning of the Stock Growers Association in requesting a meeting, but for the team to have to issue a statement is wrong. Once again, we as a society just need to pull back the reins a little.
--With six games to go, the Riders are 8-4. What do you think happens in the final six games. I see wins over Toronto, Winnipeg, BC and Edmonton and losses in Calgary and Edmonton. At 12-6 and a win over Winnipeg, that should get Saskatchewan a home playoff game and maybe a WSF rematch against the Bombers. Can we take Winnipeggers coming here four times this year? YEESH!! Of course if it happens, you'll take it.
--Andrew Harris will play for the Bombers this weekend after his two-game suspension. The talk has started as to whether or not he should be the MOP this season after what happened. NO!!! Barry Bonds wasn't baseball's MVP when he hit 73 steroid-assisted homers. Andrew Harris did the crime so you can't have him benefit. What message would that send?
The question now is "Who would you vote for". Is Trevor Harris a candidate even though the Eskimos at this point of the season are in 4th. Is it Brandon Banks? Would a defensive player get consideration and if so, would Willie Jefferson or Charleston Hughes fit into that spot. I'm still not convinced Hughes will get the nod as top defensive player ahead of Derrick Moncrief this season so would he get consideration for MOP? Do you still think Harris should be despite what has happened?
--Week 3 NFL Lock of the Week --- Dallas over Miami (DUHHH)
Week 3 NFL Upset of the Week --- Texans over Chargers
--When the Riders won the 2013 Grey Cup, there were many guys I was happy for. However seeing Rob Bagg hoist the Grey Cup as he had reached the pinnacle of his career was the one that made me smile the most. I don't have to tell you the Bagg story because if you are a Rider fan you know it. I remember being on the sidelines when it looked like he had suffered a third major knee injury. You could see the pain on his face and the tears in his eyes as he walked off the field thinking it was over. Thankfully for him it wasn't.
I don't know in all my years covering the football club if I have ever met someone as strong-willed, as perserverant and as tough as Rob Bagg. When he wasn't in the lineup, he was working his ass off to get back in it. Watching him do his thing was more of a spectacle than the practice going on around him. To say Bagg was driven would be an understatement.
Rob won't go down as one of this team's best-ever receivers, but he has to go down as one of the toughest players to wear the uniform. May retirement be good to you and may Regina hold a special place in your heart Mr. Bagg. Rider Nation can't wait to salute you when you go into the Plaza of Honour and that day will come. How can it not?
--The Rams are in Calgary tonight and it won't be easy to come out of MacMahon with a win. The Rams, who go into the game riding a two game losing streak having lost to Alberta and the Huskies, face the 3-0 Dinos. The Rams will need a lot to go right for them to pull this one out and one of the things that needs to be right is their mindset. There have been some stupid penalties taken by this team over the past couple of weeks to extend drives. That simply can't happen against a team like Calgary. I'll be on a flight to Cowtown later today and will have the call for you on 620 CKRM starting at 7.
--If I wasn't going to be at MacMahon Stadium, I would be at the Brandt Centre to get a look at the Pats and Warriors as the WHL season begins. This Regina team will be a better team and I expect them to be in contention for a wild-card spot at the trade deadline. At that time, deals will be made and the team will either sink or swim when it comes to the playoffs.
As far as the division goes, I think a lot of that depends on Kirby Dach and the Chicago Blackhawks. If the 3rd overall pick in this year's draft stays in Chicago, its advantage Prince Albert. If he comes back to Saskatoon, its advantage Blades. I see it at this moment being PA, Saskatoon, Brandon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Winnipeg. I just about put Swift Current there before realizing they are now in the Central. I still don't like that, but whatever.
--Back in the early 80's, I got my first taste of WGN TV in Chicago. Having some afternoon spares, I got to watch a lot of daytime baseball from Wrigley Field. I fell in love with the place and the team. Those who know me know that is a marriage that continues today. On Saturday afternoon, the Cubs will play their final home game with WGN broadcasting it as the contract is up and the Cubs move on as they establish their own network "Marquee Sports Network" which will be Cubs-dominated. It is something the Yankees and Dodgers have done with more likely to do it over the years.
I don't tape many sporting events when I know what the final will be, but seeing I will be coming home from Calgary and missing the broadcast, I will tape it knowing it will be full of memories of Cubs baseball. Thanks WGN for making this Canadian kid a Cubs fan. A Cubs fan who is coming to the realization that there will be no playoff baseball this year because of a god-awful bullpen that has blown many games after the 7th inning. Nothing like scoring three in the 9th and then giving up a homer in the top of 10 like they did Thursday night. Who's kidding who, I don't need that stress of playoff baseball. Yeah right!
--High Impact Wrestling is shutting it down. That news didn't really come as a big surprise when it was announced. While I have not visited "Gronkville" for a while, there were stories about how the product was diminishing. Those associated with HIW and the local independent wrestling community are good people. They put their bodies on the line and do things they really shouldn't just to entertain the fans and entertain them they do. They do it because they love it and they love performing for the fans.
It was a lot of fun doing the Access broadcasts of their events. Its something I never, ever thought I would do. . Danny Warren will be bringing CWE to Regina and I applaud him for doing so. I have been to CWE events and the fun will continue. Neither can compare to Stampede Wrestling back in the 80's at the old Exhibition Auditorium, but then again I don't know if any independent wrestling promotion could rival Stampede.
--If the Winnipeg Jets start the NHL season with no Patrik Laine and no Kyle Connor, their season will be over before it starts. How the team hasn't at least re-signed one is a huge error if you ask me. The Jets window is not as wide as it was. They are probably in the NHL's toughest division with St. Louis, Nashville, Dallas. what will be a very good Colorado team and a better Chicago team. Its time to do something that should have been done a while ago Mr. Cheveldayoff.
That's all I got. Have yourselves a great weekend!