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Saturday, August 19, 2017

THUNDER HOST WILDCATS SATURDAY NIGHT


The Regina Thunder are looking to bounce back from their season-opening home loss to the Saskatoon Hilltops as they face the Edmonton Wildcats Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 pm at Mosaic Stadium.

Last weekend’s loss to the Hilltops was an eye opener but the according to Head Coach McAulay the team has refocused and have their sights set on the Edmonton Wildcats.

“It was a tough loss but we have quickly turned our focus to improving this week. We need to practice aggressively; this is how we will grow as a team. We are looking forward to the challenge this week against Edmonton,” McAulay told ReginaThunder.ca.

Tickets are available at Gate 1 at Mosaic Stadium. Visit http://reginathunder.ca/game-tickets/ for prices.

The game can be seen live on Access 7.

In other Thunder news, the team is heading to Ontario at the end of August to face the Hamilton Hurricanes. The trip is expected to cost the Regina Thunder approximately $35,000. To help cover some of the expenses there is an exciting fundraiser underway; Sack the Jack.

SACK THE JACK is a “Chase the Ace” style 20/30/50 lottery. Tickets are sold at the price of 1 for $5, 3 for $10 and 7 for $20. A winning ticket is drawn and that winning ticket holder wins 20% of the week’s total ticket sales, plus the chance to pull a Jack of Spades from a deck of cards to win the progressive jackpot. The progressive jackpot is equal to $1,000 plus 30% of all ticket sales since the beginning of the lottery, or the last progressive jackpot win.

The jackpot is currently over $7,000 and there are only 28 cards left.

Tickets can be purchased at Bonzini’s or by visiting www.reginathunder.ca Draws take place every Monday night at Bonzini’s until there is a winner. The money must be paid out by December 18.

(Courtesy Roshelle Montgomery)

STAMPEDERS 21 LIONS 17


VANCOUVER - Calgary Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson hounded his team all week about their sloppy practices after enjoying some time off to heal bumps and bruises.

The club grinded out the win on Friday night, but no one was overly thrilled with the performance.

Jerome Messam rushed for Calgary's only touchdown and Rene Parades was perfect on five field goals in a sloppy 21-17 victory over the B.C. Lions.

"We played exactly like we practised,'' said Dickenson. "Guys just lost their focus a little bit.''

Despite the negatives, Calgary (6-1-1) regained second place in the CFL's ultra-competitive West Division, a point back of the Edmonton Eskimos and a point up on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"It was disappointing to see the execution and the mental errors and the penalties and just stuff we're not used to seeing,'' added Dickenson, who improved to 21-3-2 as a head coach. "At the end of the day it will still count as two points.''

B.C. (5-4), meanwhile, remains fourth in the West, four points ahead of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who have two games in hand.

The well-rested Stampeders, who improved to 15-0 in the game following a regular-season bye dating back to 2004, hadn't played since Aug. 3, but entered B.C. Place Stadium having outscored opponents 128-35 in their three previous outings.

There was none of that on this night, with Bo Levi Mitchell going just 15-of-31 passing for 237 yards and one interception, marking the first time in 18 games the Calgary quarterback failed to throw a touchdown.

"The game's not about numbers,'' said Mitchell. "We're 1-0 this week. That's all that matters.''

Mitchell improved his career record to 49-8-2 as a starter, but suggested some type of injury to his throwing shoulder was part of the reason for a somewhat pedestrian performance.

"We all play through things,'' he said cryptically. "Unfortunately I rely on a big part of my body and that's hindering a little bit right now.''

Jonathon Jennings threw a TD to Chris Rainey and ran in another score for the Lions, finishing 26-for-38 for 240 yards with two interceptions. Ty Long kicked a field goal for B.C., but also missed a crucial convert.

The Lions were looking to make amends following Sunday's ugly 41-8 loss in Regina to the Riders where head coach and general manager Wally Buono questioned their readiness in his pre-game team talk.

"We're a football team that needs to execute better,'' Buono said Friday. "We're a football team that needs to play better, and we're a football team that needs to take care of opportunities.''

Calgary led 9-0 after the first quarter, but the damage could have been a lot more after Marken Michel dropped what looked like a sure touchdown on the game's first play from scrimmage.

B.C. struggled mightily on offence through most of the first half minus injured receivers Bryan Burnham and Nick Moore.

The Lions' offence had almost nothing going on - four punts, one blocked punt and an interception on their first six drives - until they got the ball with less than five minutes to go in the second quarter. Jennings lead a methodical 11-play, 69-yard drive that culminated in his own one-yard plunge and a two-point conversion.

Notes: The Lions visit the Ottawa Redblacks next Saturday, while the Stampeders host the Toronto Argonauts. ... Calgary and B.C. play again on Sept. 16 at McMahon Stadium. ... Attendance was 20,622.

(Canadian Press)

Friday, August 18, 2017

REDBLACKS 37 TICATS 18


HAMILTON - Ottawa kicker Brett Maher kicked six field goals as the Redblacks defeated the winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats 37-18 on Friday night.

Ottawa improves to 2-6-1 with its first road win of the season. Hamilton falls to 0-8 heading into a bye week.

Maher hit five-straight field goals in the first half, from 10, 15, 42, 52, and 48 yards out. He added a 30-yarder to start the second. However, he had one convert blocked and missed another, both against the wind.

Hamilton kicker Sergio Castillo hit his lone field-goal attempt from 43 yards.

Greg Ellingson, Avery Ellis, and Jake Harty scored touchdowns for Ottawa. Luke Tasker and Brandon Banks scored for Hamilton.

Redblacks QB Trevor Harris completed 36 of 48 pass attempts for 394 yards and two touchdown passes.

(The Canadian Press)

RAY RETURNS TO START FOR ARGOS ON SATURDAY

Arthur Ward/CFL.ca
TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts have their offensive leader back.

Veteran quarterback Ricky Ray will start Saturday afternoon when Toronto (3-5) hosts the Montreal Alouettes (3-4). The game will complete a home-and-home series between the East Division rivals.

Montreal earned a 21-9 win last Friday and can capture the season series with another victory.

Ray didn't play last week after suffering a shoulder injury in a 41-24 home loss to Calgary on Aug. 3. Jeff Mathews, who started in Ray's spot, and Cody Fajardo were a combined 18-of-28 passing for 142 yards.

Ray's return should provide a major boost to Toronto's pass-happy offence. Prior to being injured, Ray opened the season with 300 or more yards passing in the Argos' first six games.

"He's just an outstanding leader and player and has been an outstanding player on a consistent basis for a very long time,'' Argos head coach Marc Trestman said. "He's certainly a decorated player . . . and arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to play in this league based on what he's accomplished.''

Ray isn't worrying about possibly re-injuring the joint and losing more playing time.

"There's always a chance for that but you go into every game just worried about the game and you deal with whatever comes your way,'' he said. "I think when you start worrying about stuff like that it's probably time to stop playing.

"It's a physical game, guys are getting dinged all the time. You just put that out of your mind and try to go out and play hard and see what happens.''

The Argos face a stingy Montreal defence that's allowing just 22.7 offensive points per game, second only to Calgary (19.0). Ray said the Als force opponents to work for everything they get.

(Canadian Press)

RIDERS DEAL COLLINS TO TICATS


Ricky Collins
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired international defensive lineman Mike McAdoo and a sixth-round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  

In exchange, the Riders sent international wide receiver Ricky Collins and a seventh-round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft to the Ti-Cats.  

McAdoo (6’7 – 250) has spent the last two weeks on the Tiger-Cats practice roster after signing with the team August 7th.

The University of North Carolina product has had previous stints with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys since turning pro in 2011.

A 27-year-old Tennessee native, McAdoo also played two games for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2013, registering one tackle and one quarterback sack.

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to Friday!  Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order:

- Jaws started flapping Tuesday morning when word came down that the Riders traded for Vernon Adams Junior from Montreal. Make no doubt about it, this trade is for next year because he won't see much playing time ahead of Kevin Glenn.

There is also talk this could either be A) the Riders send Adams to Edmonton in a deal for James Franklin or B) the dream Chris Jones has had in getting Franklin has gone up in smoke. I'm not convinced it's "B", but if he is traded before the season is over, I will feel that way.  No team is getting a young quarterback for a couple of months and then losing him before free agency. Any deal will be a sign and trade. That would be the smart way to go. As for "A", I don't see that happening.

- The new Commissioner of the CFL has made quite the impact in his first month on the job, and he isn't stopping in his quest to get the league back on solid footing.  Randy Ambrosie hit the ground running with his immediate tweak to the challenges, to the solid decision to release the "Diversity is Strength" t-shirts early.  And now he is considering making a change to the playoff format.

Sorry, but East vs West doesn't do it for me. Yes, an Eastern team won the Grey Cup last year, but it was a team that was under .500 who got hot at the right time and capitalized.  For years, I have favoured having the top two seeds get a first round bye with 3 playing 6 and 4 playing 5 in the first round of the playoffs.  You then have your CFL semi-finals the week after that followed by the Grey Cup. At the end of the day, I want to see the two best teams competing.

- When do we start to stand up and say Winnipeg is for real? We've seen this act before, and we've seen how it ends. #swaggerville. Have fun while it lasts.

- When news came out Tuesday that Regina and Mosaic Stadium had been put on a list for potential venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, I raised my eyebrows.  Many questions went racing through my mind.  Is the stadium big enough?  Is there enough room for the teams, fans, dignitaries, etc. etc that would be needed? Why would FIFA look at Regina when there are much bigger venues like BC Place, Commonwealth Stadium and yes, even the archaic Olympic Stadium in Montreal?

However, after processing all that, I though 'why not?'  Yes, I will admit the chances of Regina having a small part to play in the world's biggest sporting event would be remote, but there are a lot of good people in this city and this province that could make it happen.

- Two sure signs that hockey is right around the corner: 1) My Hockey News yearbook arrived in the mailbox and 2) The Pats held their annual Wickenheiser Golf Classic. Rookie camp starts right away and then main camp which will lead into what should be a tremendous winter at the Brandt Centre!

Some don't like the new Pats 100 logo that was unveiled.  It doesn't do anything for me, but I'm not in it for the logo. I'm in it for the performance. If the iconic logo we have known for years was going to be front and center on the jersey, I might have been a little upset, but its not.

- The Oilers have now locked up Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and there is talk of a second dynasty about to erupt in the Alberta capital. Let's put the brakes on that talk a little. Connor and Leon are not Crosby and Malkin. They also are not Kane and Toews or even Yzerman and Fedorov.  The blocks are there, but the onus is on Draisaitl.  He is making an awful lot of money and has been rewarded for one good season, and one good playoffs.

- With Draisaitl signing for what he did, what does it mean for guys like Mitch Marner, Max Domi, Dylan Larkin  and Matthew Tkachuk? What about Patrik Laine?  I think its a given Auston Matthews will make McDavid money as he deservedly should.

- What are the best  sports podcasts out there? (besides Sportscage!!) When I go for an evening walk, I usually listen to the Cubs game if they are playing or will find something to listen to for the 20-25 minutes that I am out and about.  I can't sit at a computer and listen to podcasts while doing things  so what are the best ones out there?

- Congratulations to the Swift Current 57's. They made it back-to-back WMBL championships Thursday night at home. The defending champs were close to seeing their run end a few times in the playoffs, but they found a way.

- The Regina Thunder are back on home soil after losing the season opener to Saskatoon last weekend. I am guessing Scott McAulay and company will be looking for a much better effort than the one given against the Hilltops when the Edmonton Wildcats come a callin. Game time is 7 o'clock. If you can't make it, it will be on Access.

- That's all I got. Have a great weekend!

BLUE BOMBERS HAND ESKIMOS FIRST LOSS


WINNIPEG - Andrew Harris accomplished something he had never done before in his professional career on Thursday.

The Blue Bombers running back chalked up more than 100 yards in both rushing and receiving as Winnipeg won its fourth straight game and handed the Edmonton Eskimos their first loss of the season with a 33-26 victory.

"Probably not since junior. Probably not even junior,'' the 30-year-old Winnipeg native said of the double century marks.

"Some games, (yards) just come to you naturally. Matt (Nichols) was finding me in the pass game and I was able to make some into big chunks so that helps for sure.''

Harris rushed 11 times for 105 yards and had eight receptions for 120 yards in front of 30,554 fans at Investors Group Field that gave their team a standing ovation as time wound down.

Nichols matched a career-high by throwing for 390 yards as he completed 32-of-40 pass attempts with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also ran in a one-yard TD.

"Guys were out there making plays ... breaking tackles and ripping off 15 yards,'' Nichols said.

"The offensive line played great. That defensive line harasses everyone and I was relatively clean out there.''

He also praised Harris.

"It seemed like every time I'm standing back there I'm watching Andrew running down the field, breaking tackles,'' Nichols said.

"He's a difference-maker for us. One of the best, if not the best, in the league for the last number of years. I can't say enough about him.''

It was Winnipeg's second win against a CFL West Division opponent. It gave the team 12 points and second place in the division, but Calgary (11 points) plays B.C. Friday.

Quarterback Mike Reilly was 20-of-33 for 356 yards with two TDs and one interception.

"When you're playing against an opponent like that, you need to play four quarters of good football and we played two quarters of pretty good football,'' Reilly said.

Winnipeg (6-2) led 3-0 after the first quarter and 17-3 at halftime, the fewest points Edmonton (7-1) has scored in the first half this season.

It was 27-17 for the Bombers after the third quarter, but the Eskimos started to squeeze the score.

Bombers kicker Justin Medlock missed a 51-yard field-goal attempt early in the fourth quarter that Edmonton ran out.

A 72-yard catch-and-run by Cory Watson then helped set up a one-yard TD plunge by Reilly at 8:48. After Hugh O'Neill went wide on a convert attempt, the Bombers were only up 30-23.

Medlock got another chance and booted a 32-yarder with 1:22 left.

Bombers lineback Maurice Leggett then intercepted Reilly, but Winnipeg was called for illegal contact and it was wiped out. A challenge was unsuccessful.

The Eskimos pushed deep into Winnipeg territory, but the drive ended with O'Neill's 16-yard field goal with 14 seconds left and the score 33-26.

Bombers receiver Darvin Adams sealed the win when he grabbed Edmonton's onside kick two seconds later.

Eskimos head coach Jason Maas had at least four more players go down with injuries to add to the 20 already on the injured list.

Maas said Harris is hard to stop.

"We just didn't make enough plays tonight, and it didn't matter what (Harris) did, there was still opportunities for us...,'' he said.

"You've got to be able to make those plays to win games. We had been doing that through seven games and the eighth game we didn't and they did so that's why they won the game.''

Winnipeg also got TDs off a quarterback sneak by backup Dan LeFevour, while Adams caught a 25-yarder just inside the goal line after an Edmonton turnover.

Medlock added field goals from 21, 24 and 15 yards and was good on three converts.

Kenny Stafford hauled in a 40-yard TD catch for the Eskimos and Duke Williams hung on to a 33-yard pass while falling backwards in the end zone.

O'Neill missed a 40-yard field-goal attempt, but connected on one from 31 and made a pair of converts.

(The Canadian Press)

PATS TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE

The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce the schedule for 2017 Training Camp presented by Bennett Dunlop Ford.

Rookies will report for camp on Monday, August 21 with their first on ice session taking place on Tuesday night at the Co-operators Centre.

Veterans will arrive in Regina on Friday for fitness testing and main camp will begin on Saturday morning, also at the Co-operators Centre.

Training camp will conclude with the annual Bennett Dunlop Ford, Blue and White Game on Monday, August 28 at 7 p.m. Admission will be $2.00 or the donation of a non-perishable food item.

Training Camp Schedule:
(All on-ice sessions at Co-operators Centre)

Monday, August 21
- 4:00pm – 6:00pm – Rookie Camp Registration (Co-Operators Centre Lobby)

Tuesday, August 22
- 6:00pm-7:00pm – Team Eberle Practice
- 7:15pm – 8:15pm – Team Harding Practice

Wednesday, August 23
- 9:00am – 10:00am – Defenseman Skill Session
- 10:15am – 11:15am – Team Eberle Forwards Skill Session
- 11:30pm – 12:30pm – Team Harding Forwards Skill Session
- 7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Eberle vs Team Harding Scrimmage

Thursday, August 24
- 9:00am – 10:00am – Team Harding Forwards Skill Session
- 10:15am – 11:15am – Team Eberle Forwards Skill Session
-11:30pm – 12:30pm – Defenseman Skill Session
- 7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Eberle vs Team Harding Scrimmage

Friday, August 25
- 9:00am – 11:00am – Team Eberle vs Team Harding Scrimmage
- 11:00am – Main Camp Registration and Medicals (Regina Pats Dressing Room)

Saturday, August 26
- 7:00pm – 9:00pm –Team Staniowski vs Team Gillies Scrimmage

Sunday, August 27
- 9:00am – 9:45am – Team Staniowski Practice
- 10:00am – 10:45am – Team Gillies Practice
- 2:00pm – 4:00pm –Team Staniowski vs Team Gillies Scrimmage

Monday, August 28
- 9:30am – 10:30am – Team White Practice
- 10:45am – 11:45am – Team Blue Practice
- 7:00pm – 9:00pm – Blue vs White Game

The Pats will open the pre-season at the Brandt Centre on August 31 against the Saskatoon Blades at 7 p.m. Pre-season ticket pricing and on-sale dates will be available in the coming days.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

V.A. CAME TO PLAY


New Roughriders quarterback Vernon Adams (acquired from Montreal on Tuesday) and Head Coach & GM Chris Jones met with the media on Wednesday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium. Here are some notes from the session:

- Adams was quick to thank Saskatchewan for the fresh start and said he's happy to be with a team that wants him.

- The former Oregon Ducks star was quick to backtrack, saying that it wasn't meant as a slight towards the Alouettes. He thanked Montreal for giving him his first pro opportunity, but he's glad to be a Roughrider now.

- The 24-year old from Pasadena, CA product said he knew a future with the Alouettes wasn't in the cards when the team signed CFL veteran Drew Willy to back-up Darian Durant.

- Upon leaving Montreal, Durant told Adams he'll "love it out there" in Saskatchewan.

- At 5'11", Adams said he's aware of his physical limitations height-wise but he's countered that with an uncanny ability to get outside the pocket and use his legs.

- Chris Jones said Adams is possibly the most-elusive quarterback he's ever tried to defend in football. Adams led the Alouettes to a 19-14 win at Saskatchewan in Week 18 last season (177 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT, 24 yards rushing).

- Jones said Adams will immediately begin operating the Roughriders' short yardage package.

- Jones said the addition of Adams may light a fire under incumbent back-ups Brandon Bridge and Marquise Williams, but they should be self-motivated enough regardless. They will be keeping all four quarterbacks for the foreseeable future.

- It's interesting to note that the combined salary of all four Rider quarterbacks is less than what Darian Durant is earning in Montreal in 2017!

- Regarding Bridge's time count violation late in Sunday's 41-8 home win over BC, Jones admitted that he was very upset with the penalty but he said it's a reflection on the coaches, not Bridge.

- The Riders are currently in a bye week and don't play again until Friday, August 25 at Edmonton.

RP
@rodpedersen

WEEK 9 CFL PICKS 2017


EDMONTON at WINNIPEG, THURSDAY
*CANADA'S GAME*
(Eskimos favoured by 1.o)

The Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers have made a habit of winning close games this season.

The unbeaten Eskimos (7-0) have won four games by four points or less and another by just five points. Winnipeg (5-2) is 3-1 in contests decided by four points or less.

Edmonton visits Winnipeg on Thursday night in the first of two head-to-head meetings between the West Division rivals.

Both teams come in on win streaks. Edmonton is the CFL's only unbeaten squad while Winnipeg had captured its last three games, all against East Division competition.

The Eskimos continue winning despite having an injured list filled with proven performers. Starting centre Justin Sorensen and leading receiver Brandon Zylstra both missed Edmonton's 27-20 win over Ottawa last week, as did slotback Adarius Bowman - the CFL's top receiver last year - running backs Travon Van, John White and Kendial Lawrence, offensive lineman Simeon Rottier, linebacker J.C. Sherritt and kicker Sean Whyte.

Quarterback Matt Nichols leads a potent Winnipeg offence that's first in offensive points scored (31.6 per game) and second in touchdowns (24) despite being ranked seventh in net yards (361.8 per game) and passing yards (294.6) and eighth in time of possession (29:02).

Defensively, Winnipeg is ranked a distant eighth in offensive points allowed (29.9 per game) and seventh in net offence (380.4) and passing yards (324.3). But the unit has forced 14 turnovers (one behind league leaders B.C. and Calgary) and stands second in sacks (20) while defensive back Justin Heath is tied for the league lead with four interceptions.

Prediction: Edmonton
______________________________________________

OTTAWA at HAMILTON, FRIDAY
(RedBlacks favoured by 3.5)

Ottawa (1-6-1) is 0-5-1 in games decided by four points or less and has lost three straight. Quarterback Trevor Harris leads the CFL in passing (2,468 yards) and TDs (16) while Greg Ellingson remains the league's leading receiver (48 catches, 749 yards, five touchdowns). It's been a miserable existence for Hamilton (0-7), which is scoring a league-low 15.4 offensive points per game while allowing a CFL-high 39 points.

Prediction: Ottawa
_______________________________________________

CALGARY at B.C., FRIDAY
(Stampeders favoured by 4.5)

Fatigue shouldn't be a factor for Calgary (5-1-1), which last played Aug. 3 in a 41-24 road win over Toronto. The Stampeders have scored a CFL-high 29 TDs while allowing a league-low 19 offensive points per game. And returner Roy Finch is a big-play threat on special teams. B.C. (5-3) never got on track in its 41-8 loss to Saskatchewan on Sunday as starter Jonathon Jennings threw three interceptions in his return under centre before being replaced by veteran Travis Lulay.

Prediction: Calgary
________________________________________________

MONTREAL at TORONTO, SUNDAY
(No line set)

Montreal (3-4) can clinch the season series with a sweep of this home-and-home set after last week's 21-9 home victory. That makes the Alouettes the only East Division team not on a losing streak. Toronto (3-5) has dropped three straight but starter Ricky Ray is expected back after missing last week's game with a shoulder injury. Ray is crucial to coach Marc Trestman's pass-first offence and having him back under centre would be huge for an Argos team that needs a win to keep pace the conference.

Prediction: Toronto

Last week: 2-2

Overall: 24-8-1

(Canadian Press/Dan Ralph)

REGINA SPORTS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 2017 CLASS

For the 15th straight year the Regina Sports Hall of Fame is honouring people who have contributed to sports within the city by inducting them into the Hall.

This year’s inductees into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame are: Jackie Moore (Athlete; basketball); Brian Desjarlais (Athlete; weightlifting); Kim Bergey Kaip (Athlete; judo, wrestling); Jerry Zbytnuik (Builder; football); Don McDougall (Builder; multi-sport); and Kim Walker (Athlete; golf).

The 15th annual induction ceremony is slated for Thursday, October 5 at Evraz Place. Reception starts at 7:30 p.m. with the ceremony slated for 8:15 p.m. Snacks and a cash bar are available. Tickets cost $35 each and $20 for children (12 & under). Tickets are available from RSHF directors, Ceremonies chair Cathy Glasser (306-584-7230) and Security Key & Lock (306-525-5651), 2512 Dewdney Ave.

There are now 90 inductees in the RSHF — 38 athletes, 35 builders, 13 teams and four patrons. There are also 150 honourary members with Regina connections who had previously been inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

The Regina Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that was formed to honour athletes, builders, teams and patrons who have contributed to sports in  Regina. Our display site is in the Co-Operators Centre inside Evraz Place.

Information and the list of past inductees are on our website:
 www.reginasportshalloffame.com.

Nominations must be submitted by June 1 annually.

(Darrell Davis)

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

10 Things I Think I Think

1 - Capital Gains: Roughriders DB Ed Gainey was named a CFL Player of the Week and is the toast of the town for the week after his four interception, pick six, and fumble recovery performance in Sunday's 41-8 blowout win over BC.

And after mugging for the TSN cameras with multiple shoutouts to Capital GMC during the telecast, Gainey drove off the Capital lot with a Cadillac XT5 on Tuesday.

As Capital salesman Don Narcisse winked, "Ed put me on the map!" with his personal plugs to a national TV audience.

2 - It begs the question: "Does every Roughrider get a free car if he mentions Capital Auto Mall on TSN?"

However Gainey's antics got the thumbs-down from In The Huddle co-host Marshall Hamilton who said on Tuesday's TV show that it was shameless self-promotion by Ed.

Marshall added though, "If you get four interceptions, sure you can get a car. It's only happened once in 100 years!"

3 - Will the real Roughriders please stand up? This is a mind-bogglingly unpredictable bunch. Their blowout win over the Lions didn't surprise me at all, because I've been waiting for it all season. However if they'd lost by 33 points, I wouldn't have been surprised by that either. We've been teased by this group a lot this season but if they upset the Eskimos in Edmonton on August 25, I'll be convinced that they've arrived.

4 - The trade for Montreal quarterback Vernon Adams on Tuesday wasn't a shock either, as the trade had been in the works for months. One rumour making the rounds was that the Alouettes badly wanted to acquire WR Rob Bagg but the Riders refused to part with the coveted vet.

What does the trade mean? Plenty of things, but we were assured by the Riders John Murphy on Tuesday's SportsCage that none of the current Rider QBs need to worry about their job.

5 - The beauty for the Roughriders is that they now have plenty of options for the future at the QB position and that includes all of Kevin Glenn, Brandon Bridge, Marquise Williams and now Adams. Of course Edmonton QB James Franklin is expected to be dangling in free agency and the popular rumour is that Saskatchewan will make a hard play for him this winter.

Don't forget Chris Jones brought Franklin into the CFL in 2015. Who knows who will lead the Riders in 2018? But that's way too far away to imagine. Things are just getting interesting now!

Incidentally all four quarterbacks on the Rider roster make a combined wage less than Darian Durant's salary in Montreal!

6 - Much has been made of Wally Buono's pregame speech to the disinterested Lions prior to Sunday's game. The CFL's all-time winningest coach just knew that his team wasn't going to show up to compete and he was right.

Now the hot rumour making the rounds is who will take over the Lions once the 67-year old Buono retires (expected after this season)? The usual suspects - Brendan Taman and Jim Barker - have had their names surface but perhaps the Lions will go completely off the board.

Some say the GM job will be given to Geroy Simon, while others say he's not ready. I'd hire him if I was the owner. I'm a big fan of throwing someone into the deep end and seeing if they sink or swim.

One thing seems clear: There will be a major changing-of-the-guard in BC in 2018.

7 - CFL Commissioner Randy G Ambrosie reminds me of Giancarlo Stanton at the MLB All-Star Game: just crushing one pitch after another out-of-the-park. His decision to unveil the CFL's Diversity Is Strength campaign early due to the recent racial unrest in the USA has garnered international headlines.

My American friends are filling my inbox wanting to get their hands on one of those T-Shirts. I'm not sure what it means for our league, but Americans are tuning into CFL games on ESPN in droves this year. Perhaps the league's popularity in the USA will finally make the CFL "cool" in Toronto.

How warped is that?

8 - What was greater than seeing Commissioner Ambrosie go for a spin on a combine during last weekend's visit to Regina? The Riders searched for a farm with Case machinery due to their Founding Partnership with Young's Equipment, and quickly found a farm just south of Regina. It was magnificent to see.

9 - Word came out this week that Ambrosie said he's "open" to discussions of CFL playoff realignment whereby the East-West format is scrapped in favour of a "Top 6" tournament. Personally I hope the Commissioner leaves it the way it is because this country is split into an East and a West and its football league should be too.

It seems to me that people around here are just trying to find a creative way to get the Roughriders into the playoffs.

10 - The Regina Pats unveiled their 100th Season logo on Monday and it gets two thumbs-up from me. At first I was underwhelmed but upon further inspection, I feel it's clean, classy and iconic. Just like the franchise itself.

Meanwhile I'd heard a rumour the Pats planned to overhaul 50% of their roster as they prepare to host the 2018 Memorial Cup but boss John Paddock told me at the Royal Regina Golf Club that he only figures to add "3 or 4" new players.

Hockey is in the air! And they've sold a club record 5,000 season tickets.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen