Friday, October 11, 2013
* It's a home game weekend and the Rider Nation is pumped for Saturday's clash with the Edmonton Eskimos at Mosaic Stadium (2:30 pm, TSN, CKRM Rider Radio Network). A Roughrider victory will eliminate the Eskimos' chance at a crossover playoff berth so ideally it's an "elimination game" for Saskatchewan. That will make for a good test for the green guys.
* Not too many should feel sorry for the Edmonton Eskimos and their current plight. Saturday's game is the 200th between these two West Division rivals and Edmonton has an all-time record of 113-84-2 against the Riders in regular season play.
* A trap game? Not likely. But it should be noted that road teams are 9-3 over the past three weeks in the CFL. On the flipside, the Eskimos are 0-6 against the West Division this season. The Riders have also won seven of the past 10 games against Edmonton in Regina since 2007.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
1 - First, and the best, comes from Rider tailback Kory Sheets who is 113 yards behind Calgary's Jon Cornish for the CFL rushing lead entering Week 16. He had this to say about Cornish during a charity appearance in Saskatoon this week:
"I sat out three games, (Cornish) hasn't and that's pretty much all that matters. Everybody knows that I'm a better back than he is and I'm pretty much not thinking about what he does anymore. Somebody told me about what he was talking about but he knows what's going on over here. He knows that I'm a better running back than he is. You wanna talk about it? We'll see what the numbers do at the end of the season."
It's funny 'cause it's true.
Kory is trying to become the first Roughrider to lead the CFL in rushing since the great Robert Mimbs in 1996.
2 - From former Rider and BC Lion Jason Clermont at Thursday night's Regina Sports Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at Queensbury Centre, at which Jason was honoured as part of the 2013 induction class:
"I was supposed to be the next edition of Roughrider potato chips from Coop," Clermont dead-panned. "But by the time they got here after seven or eight years in BC, they were so stale and old that they left them on the sidelines!"
3 - From Rider Hall of Famer Nate Davis, an avid hunter, who appeared on 620 CKRM's SportsCage this week:
"One of the best things about Saskatchewan," Davis said. "Is that you can hunt any of North America's big game animals within a three hour drive of Regina."
It caught us all off-guard. I don't recall seeing that on the Tourism Saskatchewan TV commercials, but what the hey?
* Back to Saturday's game. The forecast calls for sunshine, clear skies and 10 degrees Celsius for the 2:30 pm kickoff. You can't ask for much better in October.
* Saskatchewan is a 10-point favourite for the game.
* A Rider win on Saturday would give them 10 wins after 15 games for the first time since 1970. Incidentally, the Riders never won the Grey Cup that year. Nor did they appear in the CFL championship game. Montreal won the 1970 Grey Cup, beating Calgary 23-10 in Toronto.
* Edmonton needs to run the table to have a chance at the playoffs, and also needs some help within the East Division. Usually when teams say they still have a "mathematical chance" at making the playoffs, they actually do not have a chance. And when teams say they "control their own destiny", they generally don't.
* Saturday is Rider offensive lineman Brendon Labatte's 100th career CFL game. Former Rider Mike Abou-Mechrek says Labatte should be named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in 2013 because he is the best player.
* Abou-Mechrek mentioned that he hated the media during his 10-year career. The ironic thing is that since Mike currently writes a newspaper column, an online column and appears weekly on TV and CKRM radio, he now IS the media. Does he hate himself?
* The Riders are poised to have three 1,000-yard receivers this year (Weston Dressler, Chris Getzlaf and Taj Smith) for the first time since 1993. Back then it was Elgaard, Fairholm and Narcisse. All legends.
* Rider quarterback Darian Durant needs 323 passing yards to surpass Joe Paopao and move into 25th all-time in CFL passing. Darian's joining elite company. Meanwhile Calgary pivot Kevin Glenn needs just 348 yards to pass Tom Clements for #10 all-time.
* Rider safety Tyron Brackenridge leads the league in forced fumbles with four. When I mentioned it to him Thursday, he didn't even know that stat. The great ones never do. What's his secret? "Attack that ball," Brackenridge said. "And believe that it's yours."
* With lineman Patrick Neufeld dealt to Winnipeg this week, the number of Saskatchewan products on the Roughrider roster has dropped to 12. At the Regina Sports Hall of Fame dinner last night, that trade was still regarded as a massive steal by Rider GM Brendan Taman.
* On that topic, it's widely-believed Kyle Walters will have the "acting" portion of his Acting-GM title dropped this off-season in Winnipeg.
* Argo quarterback Ricky Ray drives a 2007 Chevy Tahoe which he estimates has a current value of $20,000. That tidbit was dropped in a Toronto newspaper this week, illustrating Ricky's less-than-extravagant lifestyle.
* The Regina Pats play just their third home game of the season Friday night when they host the Vancouver Giants at 7:00 pm in the Brandt Centre on 620 CKRM. The game was originally supposed to be televised live on Access 7, with yours truly calling the play-by-play, but it has been dropped from the broadcast schedule. Yes, I'm a hockey play-by-play man again and thank you to the Regina Pats for that. I couldn't be more thrilled or thankful.
* The Pats were rated 19th in the WHL by the WHL Writers Association this week. The teams behind them are Saskatoon (20th), Lethbridge (21st) and Vancouver (22nd).
* Love how hockey coaches have no regard for overtime or shootout losses anymore. When it was pointed out the Calgary Flames are 2-0-2, SportsCage analyst Curtis Hunt piped up, "They're unbeaten!" Perhaps it's time to do away with loser points. But it's NOT time to do a way with the rouge in Canadian football. Perhaps on missed field goals, but not on long punts.
* The Oilers lost again, 4-1 to visiting Montreal on Thursday night. Sportsnet's John Shannon said this week "observers in Edmonton say it'll take 30 games for the Oilers to adjust to new coach Dallas Eakins' systems". Panelist Doug McLean countered "30 games! They'll be rioting in the streets of Edmonton if it takes 30 games. It should take a week to learn how to compete!"
* What's with Winnipeg fans giving standing ovations to players from opposing teams? First it was Buck Pierce and on Sunday it was for Teemu Selanne.
* It was a treat to watch the Leafs and Senators on Hockey Night In Canada in the Warriors luxury suite during the Moose Jaw-Vancouver game Saturday night in Mosaic Place. Is it too much to ask to get the TVs to work in the Brandt Centre suites during games and concerts??
* Note to Major League Baseball: shorten spring training and the preseason and lengthen the wild card playoffs to best-of-threes and the division series to best-of-sevens.
* Said Regina's Marc Mueller Thursday night, a fan of the Oakland A's, "Moneyball doesn't work in the playoffs". Oakland succumbed to Detroit in the deciding fifth game of their ALDS Thursday evening.
THAT'S ALL! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!