Friday, July 24, 2015
SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT
--The Winnipeg Sun's Kirk Penton has tongues wagging in these parts after suggesting Paul Lapolice will be in here by Labour Day as the head coach of the Riders, The Winnipeg Free Press' Gary Lawless has also suggested change is imminent in Riderville with both Brendan Taman and Chamblin being gone with Jeremy O'Day becoming the new GM if things don't improve. Where are these guys getting their info? Penton is one of the best beat writers in the CFL if not the best (sorry Murray McCormick), but this would seem to be a little outlandish especially when Lapolice sends out a tweet saying Penton is on the wrong road. While it just gives the very loud "vocal minority" that wants change some more ammunition, it also gives the /=S=/ some more motivation to get out of this early season slide and beat the Ti-Cats Sunday night. Talk about winning one for the beleaguered coach
In the article where Penton suggests change could be coming in Riderville, he also has come up with some interesting tidbits and ones that can't be considered outlandish:
* Scoring is up by 5.1 points from last year, but if you only include points scored by the offence which is what the CFL wanted, the margin is 2.9 points. It has the pride of Moosomin asking if CFL fans are fired up for that extra field goal per game they are seeing.
* There are the same number of big plays (30 yard pass or 20 yard rush) as there were after four weeks last season.
* Rider fans are bemoaning the loss of Richie Hall, but Hall's new defence in Winnipeg is giving up more yards than what the much-ridiculed Rider defence is giving up
* The Rider offence has been successful on 52 percent of second and seven or above this year while the league average is 37 percent.
This just in -- while you don't play the game on paper, the Ti-Cats have in my mind the best team top to bottom in the CFL so it wouldn't surprise me if another down week is on the horizon. However, Kent Austin has not had much success from the visiting sidelines since returning to the CFL and judging by my picks this year picking Hamilton is a guaranteed win for the Riders.
Speaking of Austin, this is what he had to say to Drew Edwards of the Hamilton Spectator this week when asked what is happening in Riderville because if anyone knows it would be him. The answer “The thing that’s great about it is that you’d rather your fans be invested. You have to take the good with the bad and believe in yourself and the staff, which I know Corey does. They’ll get things turned around — hopefully not against us.
Once again, Kent Austin has summed it up in a nutshell. Can you debate this?
Back to Penton. The pride of Moosomin has a question which many around the CFL and myself are asking as well and that is why does TSN keep defending the refs? It looks bad for them to keep doing so. The American consortium of networks have no problem in criticizing the refs if the need is there. Perhaps TSN needs to take a page from the NFL book and hire a former ref to sit in studio to discuss controversial calls and do it while the command center is doing its thing. There has to be someone out there who would do it.
--When did Chris Getzlaf become the Rider whipping boy for 2015? Did I miss the memo? Did Brian Peters give him that crown before heading to the NFL? Getzlaf has been the target of critics right from the start of training camp. Chris Getzlaf is not the problem!
--CTV Regina's Lee Jones did a tremendous story on Weston Dressler and Ryan Smith Thursday. Jones asked if the two have come up with a name for themselves like "The Dynamic Duo". They haven't although Dressler threw out the name "Bash Brothers". Cmon Rider Nation, you've been challenged!! Come up with a name. AlI I have is Dakota and Dakota Junior and that's weak!
--Speaking of Dressler, in announcing their Week 4 players of the week, the CFL has a line at the bottom saying Weston Dressler was named the Week 3 performer of the week and gets 10 bonus points. Bonus points? Can Weston take 5 dollars off a cable package from SHAW, does he get an appearance on the Global Regina morning show. What exactly does this mean?
--Why was Matt Devlin doing Blue Jays games earlier this month and can he return to that position?
--Did anyone see the Brett Lawrie/Barry Davis interview Wednesday night? The Oakland 3rd baseman was emotionless as he "addressed" Blue Jays fans. Where was his cue card guy? Lawrie came off as the selfish, immature player he was in Toronto and it just makes the trade for Josh Donaldson look all that much better.
--The Sporting News ranked NFL quarterbacks from 1-32 and surprisingly Houston's Brian Hoyer was number 32. How could anyone but Jay Cutler be at 32. Some NFL insiders will tell you there are backups in the NFL better than Cutler. By the way, Cutler finished 20th ahead of others like 2nd year QB's Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles and rookies Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. However, Matt Cassel, RG 3 and Josh McCown might be insulted while the Bills, Redskins and Browns fan base can be less than enthused about the upcoming season.
--Huey Lewis and the News played in Saskatoon Tuesday night while Journey played in Regina as Saskatchewan went back into an 80's timewarp. Did Duran Duran play in Prince Albert? Was Loverboy in Moose Jaw? Did Alabama play a set somewhere? Where was Debbie Gibson????
--There is nothing like seeing a good old fashioned thunderstorm roll through.
--Former golfer Gary Player said Wednesday he is rooting for Tiger Woods to come back and be the player he used to be because golf needs a black champion and kids need to be inspired. Does it really matter what colour a golfer is to be inspired? Player isn't even being raked over the coals for this. If someone said a white golfer needs to be champion, he would be crucified. It has to go both ways doesn't it. Perhaps Player is being given a pass because he is in his late 70's, but I am surprised no one has called him on it.
--Will the Saskatchewan Rush try to work on their provincial name by doing something in Regina whether it be an exhibition game or a camp or something? It would benefit the team by having them do something here and connecting with an audience in the southern part of the province.
--With the Canadian dollar being at a level it hasn't been at since 2004 what does it mean for Canadian NHL teams who are on the upswing. I would think they can absorb the hit a little bit better than the last time, but who knows! Will it have an impact on whether or not the league returns to Quebec City?
--Colin Cowherd is leaving ESPN? This is terrible news which is made more terrible by the fact Sirius/XM Sports Zone has moved the time of the "Dan Patrick" show. Cowherd and Patrick are the gold standard in sports talk radio.
--Why does TSN continue to bring us "That's Hockey" especially in mid-July? LET IT GO!!! Are you going to beat your head against a wall and continue to do a show like this when you don't have the rights for another 14 years? It's over! Turn the page. Move on to something else. Here's an idea, how about a show called "The CFL Tonight" that is a half hour long and dedicates some programming to what is happening around the league. I would have greater interest than that than some of the sludge they are trotting out these days.
--What are the odds on Don Cherry and Lou Lamoriello getting into fisticuffs this year? This could be Kapp-Mosca 2 with two old men flailing about. Lou Lamoriello?? Really?? Saying this is a shocker is an understatement. How the h-e- double hockeysticks did the Leafs manage to keep this quiet is the question many are asking and I will say the same thing. What a covert operation! In this day and age of social media, it caught everyone off guard. I will say "Bravo to MLSE" on that one!
--No truth to the rumour one of the fights on the undercard at UFC Fight Night Saskatoon will be Pedersen-Penton. That would be a good scrap with two rural Saskatchewan kids going at it. Who ya got? Put Lapolice at ringside and see if he turns on anyone!!!
Have a good weekend. GO RIDERS!!!!