--Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind. As always, these come in no particular order
--Bombers or TiCats. Who ya got? Do you even care?
The 107th Grey Cup has obviously lost a little bit of its shine due to the Riders loss in the Western Final, but once game time rolls around, we will do what we always do and watch the CFL's final two battle it out for the Cup.
I'll be supporting Hamilton. It's time for Bob Young to win a Grey Cup. He deserves it. My prediction is Hamilton 29 Winnipeg 18 with the Tabbies getting a late TD to secure the victory.
If the Bombers don't win it this year, they probably will next. After all, they won the Western Semi-Final at Mosaic in 2018 and the Western Final in 2019 so doesn't it make sense that they win it all at Mosaic in 2020. Yeah, I feel dirty writing that. Its true though!
--The Riders off-season will as always be interesting. Perhaps moreso this year because the team will be trying to assemble a lineup that can finish first again in the West and try to do what they did in 2013 when the Grey Cup was last played in Regina. That task might be somewhat tougher than it was in 2013 because of all the free agents the team have to re-sign. Key free agents. They also have to see who might head south of the border to try out their luck.
I think it is safe to say Shaq Evans and Derrick Moncrief will get a look from an NFL team. Nick Marshall probably gets one as well and so does Cam Judge. That's four big losses. If you want to go further, 19 of the starting 24 for the /=S=/ in the Western Final are free agents. YIKES!!
Salary and age will play a huge role again when it comes to who the team wants to bring back and who they will let go. One has to wonder if Emmanuel Arceneaux will be back as he didn't live up to the off-season hype. Solomon Elimimian showed Ed Hervey and everyone else in BC that believed he was done that he isn't, but did he do enough to warrant another deal. What about Naaman Roosevelt?
In a salary cap world, you can't give everyone the dollars they deserve and some will head elsewhere. Head Coach Craig Dickenson has said he will be sitting down with GM Jeremy O'Day after the Grey Cup to start planning for the off-season. I am guessing that meeting won't be a one or two hour one.
--Stephen McAdoo is taking heat for his play-calling in the Western Final loss. He deserves it. Hey, McAdoo wasn't as ridiculed much this year as he was last but there are still many that think his days as the O-C here should be over. As always, those calling for his head don't really come up with suitable names for replacements. I don't know what the plan for McAdoo is, but could former Regina Ram QB Marc Mueller be considered. He has been the running backs coach in Calgary for five years. He knows the game. Could he be given a chance or do you want to put the big role of O-C on someone who has never been an O-C before when its a Grey Cup year.
I don't know how happy Dickenson is with McAdoo, but the McAdoo of 2019 was a lot better than 2018. Right now, I would say the chances of him being back might be stronger than you think whether you like it or not.
--TSN and the CFL made it official on Thursday. The network has signed an extension with the league. How is that deal celebrated one asks? It is celebrated by having three of the five TSN channels showing you the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts instead of the CFL player awards. ????? Hey, I know you have a contract with the NFL and I know you have to show the Jets and the Leafs because you have rightsholder deals with them, but you can't put the awards ceremony on the main network? I hope the league asked for a little bit in this extension. Would putting the Grey Cup game on CTV be a bad thing for the league? TSN could have its usual Sunday diet of NFL games while letting CTV take the Grey Cup. I know TSN will do an outstanding job with what they will do on Sunday, but there are times they could treat one of their much-coveted properties better and putting the awards on is a fine example.
--Boy wonder has made a boy blunder in Toronto. The problem with the Maple Leafs lies right at the feet of GM Kyle Dubas. The Leafs rolled the dice on Dubas and they are losing. Mike Babcock was the fall guy for that. Dubas simply didn't provide Babcock with the grit you need to be successful. If Toronto doesn't get out of the first round of the playoffs this year and maybe the second, I have to wonder if Dubas will be shown the door too. When Toronto wants to start getting serious about winning, they will put the right people in place
--Week 12 NFL Lock Of The Week --- Patriots over Cowboys
Week 12 NFL Upset Of The Week -- Packers over 49ers
--The debate has started in Edmonton as to whether or not they are a playoff team. TSN 1260's Jason Gregor wrote a fantastic article saying they are. I'm not sold--not quite yet. There is no doubting the team is better than what we have seen, but stinkers like they had in L-A Thursday night doesn't help the argument. The adage is now is if you are in a playoff spot by American Thanksgiving which is in one week's time you are in pretty good shape. If the Oilers are in a playoff spot by Christmas, I'll be sold.
There is still a lot of hockey to play and a lot of teams in the West would have to start getting hot while the Oilers would have to cool off quite a bit as it stands right now, but if Edmonton can go another three weeks playing good hockey, this pessimistic fan will be thinking playoffs.
--Did Hockey Canada really need to get rid of peewee, atom, bantam, midget classifications and replace it with age? Is senior hockey now labelled 50 and under? Sorry to those of you playing senior hockey if you are over 50. As soft as we have become, what will it be like in the next 20 years? I shudder to think!
--Olive Garden opens in Regina on Monday. Are you one of those who has to be there within the first week or do ya even care? I am guessing I won't be making an appearance for at least the first two to three months because it will be that busy. Now that we have an Olive Garden, can we get a Buffalo Wild Wings? What other restaurant do we need here that we don't have?
--Good on the Saskatchewan government for making it even tougher for those who insist on talking or texting while driving. The message just wasn't getting through and that sense of entitlement remained so let's see if you do it now. It really isn't that hard to put the phone down ya know! I think many of us hope the message now gets through.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!