--Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind. As always, these come in no particular order.
--Are we ready for CFL free agency? We will find out who is going where starting Tuesday. I think one has to credit Riders GM Jeremy O'Day for getting some key names re-signed before free agency---names like Judge, Clark, Ryan, Marshall and Gainey.
Rider fans should be very happy to know that the starting secondary from last year will be back for next season which I think is huge.
One key name that hasn't re-signed is Shaq Evans. Word on the street is he is looking for a deal around 200K a season. Is he worth that in your mind Rider Nation? Does one good year translate into that big of a raise? As I said on the Sportscage Thursday, I would give him 180 or 185 with bonuses. What would you be giving him?
--If anyone is buying the U of R's rationale that Steve Bryce is resigning as head coach of the Rams for personal reasons than think again. If that were the case, the release signifying his departure would have had quotes from several. There was none of that. Bryce was fired and the U of R needs to explain why. I received two texts from people connected with football programs at other Canada West schools. Both basically saying the U of R continues to embarrass itself with the way it treats Cougar athletics.
Bryce had this team on the right path. He managed to find a way to turn the Mike Gibson disaster around and build a team that would have been a playoff team for three years had it not been for a major oops by the University with the academically ineligible player and it might have been four years straight had the team been able to get a break and turn some close losses into wins. Let's see who comes in, but let it be known as it stands right now this team has taken a big step back. The U of R really should do the right thing and let everyone know why this is happening and why they no longer support Bryce or at least let Bryce say why he isn't coming back.
--Super Bowl 54 may go down as one where more people talked about the halftime show than the game. Whether or not you like Shakira or Jennifer Lopez, you had to give it up for what they did. Those who tried to make the "It's too sexy" argument didn't have a problem with a shirtless Adam Levine last year so give it up. It still wasn't Lady Gaga jumping off the roof of the stadium though and the performers weren't brought in on a dogsled or had flying snowmobiles behind them. After going with Keith Urban last year, I am fascinated to see who the CFL gets for Mosaic Stadium and the halftime show at Grey Cup 2020.
--Chris Streveler could be in the NFL and Bo Levi Mitchell isn't. There's something not right with that. Yes, the two have different skill sets and yes, BLM reportedly turned down an offer (which I still don't believe) but you want your best to showcase themselves down south so people can see what type of players are up here. Instead, Americans may see Tim Tebow 2.0. I am guessing Streveler won't stick in Arizona, but who knows.
--Do the Argos go into the season with McLeod Bethel Thompson or Matt Nichols as their starter? With Nichols signing a three-year deal, one has to wonder if he gets the nod.
--Before the month is over, spring training will be underway. That being said after seeing the Mookie Betts to the Dodgers trade, I just wonder if we should have a Dodgers-Yankees World Series now.
--At this time next week Moose Jaw will be getting ready to host their 2nd Scotties Tournament of Hearts. If the first one is any indication, those going to Mosaic Place are in for a treat. Moose Jaw did it right a few years ago and they'll do it right again. Sportscage will be coming from Mosaic Place throughout the event. By the way, congrats to Matt Dunstone and his Regina rink for winning the Tankard last Sunday in Melville. Is this the year the Brier drought ends?
--What will teams in the Pacific Division do at the trade deadline? That division is so topsy-turvy, it will likely go to the last game to determine who finishes where.
--Would the Pats be in a position for a playoff spot had it not been for that brutal 10 game losing streak to start the season. Teams are finding out that Regina is a tough out and Donovan Buskey seems to be doing OK in net having assumed the number 1 spot after the Max Paddock trade.