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Friday, October 23, 2015

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

It's Friday meaning its time for the weekly set of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they are in no particular order.

-- The stark reality of what the Toronto Blue Jays have done to the CFL has hit home, and it is something the league must be worried about. The latest ratings show how Blue Jays fever has struck across Canada leaving everything in its wake including the CFL.

Yahoo.ca's Chris Zelkovich tracks what we are watching and it is great news for Sportsnet and the Blue Jays, but terrible news for everyone else including TSN and its football package.

How about these numbers: For Monday's Game 3 of the ALCS, 3.64 million Canadians tuned in while at the same time, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles drew 134-thousand for Monday Night Football on TSN.

It goes much further than that according to Zelkovich.  CFL games this year have averaged 575-thousand, but this past weekend saw just 350-thousand which is a 37 percent drop from that weekend one year ago.   Only 256-thousand watched the Stamps-Argos game which was the marquee game of the weekend, but was also on at the same time as Game 2 of the Jays-Royals which drew 3.86 million.

TSN and the CFL are hoping the ratings will come back once Toronto is gone from the playoffs which could be as early as tonight if they don't win in Kansas City. Will they though? When I put this info up on my Twitter feed, many responded saying the game has killed itself because it has become boring, there are too many penalties and the game has not been good this year. I can't argue that.

The putrid play of the Saskatchewan Roughriders could be a reason for many, but I have not been as invested in the CFL this season as I normally am and the reasons stated above are part of the reason.  The constant penalties at the start of the season really weaned my desire to watch the games and it has been tough to go back. Yes, the playoff appearance by the Blue Jays and the Cubs along with the CFL's desire to go up against the NFL has played a lot into it as well.

The sad thing for the CFL is I don't think the Blue Jays are going away anytime soon. They may come back to beat Kansas City and they could beat the Mets for the World Series or they could lose tonight or to the Mets, but they will be back.  As mentioned in an earlier column, the Blue Jays will have their position players back as Martin, Encarnacion, Goins, Travis, Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Pillar and Bautista will all be back.

David Price could be back, but admittedly that would surprise me. I think the team can keep Marco Estrada and Marcus Stroman isn't going anywhere. This team will be good again in 2016 and it is something the CFL will have to be very cognizant of especially if the Blue Jays are showing us by the start of the football season they are contenders again.  Jeffrey Orridge, you and your member teams have some work to do.

-- The 2nd to last year of Saskatchewan Roughrider football at Mosaic Stadium will come to an end Saturday night at around 8 o'clock. Sadly, I will be some place in Calgary watching the home finale as I will have the Regina Rams-Calgary Dinos game on CKRM2 (Sportscage.ca) for you in a game which starts at 1 o'clock.  I am glad this isn't the last game at the old girl seeing I won't be there and while I am guessing the University and CFL schedule may not match up next year and the possibility of missing the last ever regular season game at Mosaic is there, I keep my fingers crossed hoping I can be there to witness what will be a very emotional game on a variety of levels for everyone.

What do I expect from the Riders this weekend? Not a lot to be honest. They are putting out the best roster possible, but this is a chance for many young guys to show the organization if they have what it takes to be a part of this team in 2016 and beyond. It is an audition for them. Some will succeed, some will fail. Yes, they can beat the Eskimos on their home turf, but everything will have to go right for them and I mean everything. I just ask that this passionate fan base realize what is going on and accept the growing pains you are going to see over the next three weeks. It may not be pretty, but it will hopefully pay off in the long run. The Eskimos did it a couple of years ago and look at them now. A lot of work needs to be done between now and 2016 training camp, but there is no way this team will allow for a repeat of this year. Those days are over!

-- Back to baseball.  The performance of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series disappointed me greatly. The New York Mets basically shoved it right down Chicago's throat from the first inning of Game 1 until the final out in Game 4. They deserved it.  While I am not happy over a four game sweep, I am realistic enough to see what happened this year at Wrigley Field.

Most baseball experts saw the Cubs being a team on the upswing on Opening Day, but very few had them making the playoffs much less being the 3rd best team in baseball record-wise. They thought 2016 would be the year they start contending. The plan became accelerated. Watching the Cubs play baseball until October 21 was something I never ever thought would happen back on April 1 and I can't wait to see what is done in the off-season as this team competes again to hopefully get eight more wins come playoff time and end the 100 plus year drought. Thank you Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein for bringing winning baseball back to Wrigleyville. How many days is it until Opening Day 2016!

-- Is it safe to say it took Connor MacDavid a few games to get comfortable in the NHL? He is starting to show why so many have spoken so highly of him. In watching him, what impresses me is what he is doing away from the puck. He has that awareness that so few seem to have.  Let's just hope though Mark Messier stops bothering him and that Messier doesn't start showing him places in Edmonton where he used to go if you know what I mean! Is it just me or those ads extremely dumb!

-- Heading to work on Wednesday, three women in their mid 20's to early 30's were walking past me with Tim's in hand talking away when one said.  I would love to (rhymes with puck) Justin Trudeau! There were pictures of him shirtless from women on Twitter and others were seemingly swept off their feet by our new Prime Minister. I hope women did not vote for Justin because of his looks. If they did, that's simply not sound.  Canadians said they wanted change Monday night and they wanted Stephen Harper out. Harper's demeanour and his approach to this election was something that didn't resonate with many.

What was funny was that Harper came out and actually showed he had a personality in his concession speech. If we had seen that Harper during the 11 week campaign, I don't think we would have had a change at the top.  I don't agree with all of Justin's thoughts, but I didn't agree with everything Harper was doing and saying either. Let's see where we are in a year's time and let's go back to not attacking one another over their political affiliation. At the end of the day, we are still Canadian aren't we? By the way, if the women are swooning over Justin. does this mean the Conservatives will try and recruit Kate Upton to be their leader?

-- Week 7 NFL Lock of the Week  Rams over Browns
    Week 7 NFL Upset of the Week  Saints over Colts

--  I was shocked Thursday afternoon to see a story from TSN saying Canadians no longer are the majority in the NHL as only 49 percent of opening day roster players are from the Great White North. It is great to see the game globally expand with players from several countries dotting NHL rosters, but does this mean hockey isn't our game anymore? I've never been a big fan of the CHL import draft because I think "internationals" are taking the spot of Canadian kids and I wonder when this stat sinks in if the CHL will look at perhaps doing something. Yes, you want the best players possible and I am sure NHL teams like the fact that Euros and Russians can be seen playing in the Ontario, Quebec or Western league, but let them learn their game at home. By the way, according to Hockey Canada, there were just under 635-thousand registered hockey players in Canada in 2014.

-- There might not be a better stand-up guy in this city than Thunder coach Scott McAuley. As Rod Pedersen so eloquently stated on Wednesday during his weekly Sportscage Thunder segment, whenever the Thunder lost, he was on with us the next week to face the music, but whenever they won, an assistant coach would come on. Not only did Scott come on the Sportscage Wednesday, but he did double duty by coming on Locker Talk with Pete Paczko and myself Tuesday to talk about his team's tough end to the season. Many coaches in many different sports could learn a lesson or two from Scott.

I hope the Thunder realize how lucky they are having this guy in charge, but I do wonder how much longer he will be because he has bigger fish to fry. It would not surprise me to see him end up with a CIS program and someday be a CFL assistant coach or work with a CFL team. It's in his DNA. I know many in the Regina football community would agree with that assessment.

-- Are we all waiting for John Tortorella's first explosion as head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

-- Is a hot-dog a sandwich?

-- That's all I got. Have a great week everyone. GO RIDERS!!

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a "ZOMBIE" quote you put on here this week. (I would love to (rhymes with puck) Justin Trudeau).
Do you possibly think this will not go world wide and do you think for one minute that there are no younger people reading these columns. Let's stick with sports and drop the garbage that appears here every so often.

Parkside said...

I am a die hard football fan all around. CFL, NFL, NCAA. I find the CFL has been way too quiet this season. They need a voice in your ear type of marketing. Not just tell you when games are and hope you show up.
I am am also a die hard baseball fan. I was a teenager the last time the Jays won. (today in 1993). And have long waited for these type of games late in Oct. The ratings are where they should be. People were starved for this.
Football fans will tune into football. But for now, everyone is swept up in the Jays run. Go Jays.

Anonymous said...

hockey is becoming an exclusive upperclass sport its simply TOO EXSPENSIVE for everday working class families to afford ,sadly registration numbers are going to continue to decline.

Anonymous said...

You are 100% correct about far, far too many penalties in the CFL. The rules committee must look at the last changes they made about " touching " after 5 yards and look at why there are so many penalties! A lot of penalties that are no where near the play or not causing a problem should be eliminated to speed up the game

Anonymous said...

I was never an avid CFL fan to start off with. I would classify myself as a casual fan. The game is boring. The league tried to tell me the game was going to open up offensively. Has it? Too many penalties, the refs think they are the stars, etc. etc. etc. The league wants to get away from its second-rate image, but they deliver a third rate product.


Anonymous said...

Anon 1.

Have you had your kid at a sporting event lately? I think he has heard the word before. Get a grip on life pal, it moves fast sometimes.

Anonymous said...

As much as Oilers fans hated it, the GretZky trade to LA made hockey a game for everyone. Look at what has happened in the US. We always knew the Euros could play, but when Wayne went to California, it opened up a whole new market and look at what you have now.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if Anon 1 takes his kid out of the bubble every now and then. Hell, you can watch free porn on the internet and you can hear four letter words everywhere you go. It has become common now which is a little sad, but it isn't going to change anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

I'd vote for Kate Upton!

Anonymous said...

If Scott McAulay was coaching the Rams, they wouldn't be 0-6 and about to go to 0-7. Have fun calling another 65 point blowout this weekend Scruffy!

Anonymous said...

I am getting tired of so-called Rider fans blaming the CFL change of rules, number of penalties and boring games for them not being as interested in the CFL this year. Admit it .... if the Riders were winning then you would all be fans .... oh sorry I forgot ..... the 'best fans' in the CFL.

However, what you have demonstrated this year is that the mojority of so-called Rider fans are nothing but a bunch of band wagon jumpers. Go watch your Blue Jays and joing those band wagon jumpers who now say they are the best fans cheering on Canada's team.

Anonymous said...

I think that the drop in viewership of CFL games is also related to the manner in which TSN is televising the games. I have a basic cable package and this weekend I will not be able to watch half of the games as they are not being televised in this area doe to TSN's regionally based programming. Instead we get the Jets????

Anonymous said...

I wouldn`t be overly concerned with comparing the Blue Jays current run up against the CFL. This is a once every quarter century type thing and next summer the Jays will fall back into oblivion.

We are comparing the World Series semi-final series versus a regular season CFL game. The MLB better draw higher numbers or they should fold the Toronto franchise.

People get behind the Riders because they are the only team in the province then we are shocked that the only baseball option in the Country finally becomes relevant and people are watching?

Anonymous said...

Penalties?

Are you guessing or have you actually looked that penalties are on the same pace as the previous few years.

Meanwhile the all mighty NFL is on an all time high pace!

Anonymous said...

The idea that the majority of women are brainless and would vote based on looks is just as idiotic and chauvinistic as assuming women who are sports fan watch for the tight uniforms...it is outdated and offensive. Please do not lump all women into one category based on one passing conversation - do you even know if those women voted?

Anonymous said...

Hockey isn't TOO EXPENSIVE, people (parents) choose to make it expensive.

My kid is 9. When i walk into the store I can buy him a $200 hockey but he gets the $40 dollar one because he is 9.

When i get to the rink most of his teammates come strolling in with two of the high end sticks and they can't even skate the length of the ice with the puck.

Lots of other options besides NHL hockey to get your kid excited about the game.

Anonymous said...

Hockey IS too expensive.

Pee Wee AA you are looking at $2000 in registration and team fees to start the year ...... plus travel and tournaments (usually 4 away).

Half way through the season, you usually have 250-400 in additional team fees.

All of the above before buying one piece of equipment. Hopefully your kid didn't grow over the summer! :)

Bantam AA, i know a family who spent $8000 last year on their kid.

The Woz said...

The Liberal win had little to do with how Justin looks or Harpers personality. It is sad that you would think so superficially. But alas there are people that label someone because of looks - many did not like Shivers because of dreadlocks and leather jackets but still love Tillman for his white skin, short hair and business suits. Yet Roy has been successful in finding talent wherever he has gone. Similarly people did not like the way Taman looked and said anyone would looked that way could not be competent yet he orchestrated the 2013 team.

It is sad when some people have boiled election results down to looks instead of weighing party policies. If it were just based on looks and personalities then the Liberals should have been leading the polls from beginning to end but they did not. The Liberals won because of the overwhelming need for change and people being tired of Harper and his tired government. At one point the bearded papa smurf Mulcair was in the lead although he would not be someone the ladies wanted to puck. It was only when Canadians realized that in order to beat Harper they needed to unite non conservative voters that blocks moved from the NDP to the liberals. They chose to move to the liberals because of policy and the best chance to win not because of Justins hair. Lets get real.

Anonymous said...

Do some of you idiots realize these aren't Saskatchewan #'s but Canadian #'s. NO ONE IS WATCHING THE CFL!! They aren't watching in Calgary or Edmonton either and look at their teams. The stupidity is once again amazing. You obviously just have a kindergarten education to comment.

Anonymous said...

To the Feminist annon above : Scruffy did not once lump all women together in a chauvinistic way. You are obviously one of those feminist idiots who has a terribly boring life so you feel the need to try make sh&t up to start some drama. Not everything you read is about you personally either FYI. Get a grip on reality. Yes, hockey is expensive, you need to make decent money to make it work. Some idiot saying that they only buy their kid 40$ sticks does not say anything about summer hockey, travel, tournaments, the rest of the gear, parental time spent away from work for some. Hockey IS expensive, but thats not to say you cant make it work, thats what places like "Play It Again Sports" is for. Great column again Scruffy. There will always be morons who try cause/start drama, we call those people "MooseJawinians" lol. BOOM Have a great winter...

Ram Lemastein

Anonymous said...

Rams being 0-6 onto 0-7 just shows how bad the previous regime’s really recruiting was.

Why are the Rams the only ones who have good and bad cycles? Everyone else can recruit consistently or can’t, and the one’s who couldn’t now can (Alberta and UBC)

Anonymous said...

Stephen Harper defeated Stephen Harper, because mainstream Canadians woke up and realized he is and was truly an awful human being.

I have long taken the approach with politics it's not about style over substance. The end of the day Stephen Harper, and those core people within his party are extremely myopic, misanthropic, xenophobic, and dare I say borderline racist.

I did not have the opportunity to vote for Ralph Goodale as I do not live in the riding. I moved to a new riding and voted for Erin Weir NDP. Not because of their platform, but because a vote for Liberal is a vote for PC and we could not afford to send another won to Ottawa.

Proportional representation may change things, but Saskatchewan embarrassed itself once again by electing as many PCs as it did. There are good people in this Province, but come election time we split our votes and that vocal "Git 'er Done" crowd turns out the vote for the PCs. We should all be thankful Ralph is going back into cabinet.

I met Justin Trudeau in 2008 when Ralph brought him out here. I have very rarely met a young man that was as idealistic, positive, and genuine in his approach and care for people. That is very counter to what we usually elect around here.

It was a great day for democracy, and a great day for this country when we changed the federal government.

Here's all you need to know when it comes to people. You'll know them by their actions. Stephen Harper and his buddies love to perpetuate war, and so called protecting us from them dern Terrorists. To do this he shorted the Department of National Defense $700M to balance the budget and give the soccer moms a tax break.

That was the measure of the man. He also made if fashionable for us to even if we disagree to do so absolutely hating each other for our opinions.

Y'er Welcome
- that handle is long gone, but you know who I am.

Anonymous said...

just another scruffy blog where there is more comments posted than people who actually read the post.

Anonymous said...

The issue with hockey is bunk. Yes there is a cost, but there is a cost to everything. There are many options to the type and cost of equipment you spend. There are also choices.

It is very affordable to play hockey in a small town, but the trade off is fuel costs. To play high end hockey a decision has to be made. To what good purpose?

This will be our first year in Hockey Regina. I've compared. Yes the registration and team fee will be higher than a small town. However it is 10 minutes to the rink for games and practices. People make the choice as to whether to play AA. If you are going that route then you take what comes with it.

I have watched Bantam AA, Midget AA, and Midget AAA. I've heard stories of Atom AAA and Pee Wee AA travel teams. If you go to those games and watch your kid sit on a bench and get no playing time, then you are completely at fault for it.

Kids should play hockey. Go play in a league or division which meets your economic and lifestyle abilities. Let them play and have fun because they are ALL going to wind up playing the late games in the Adult Safe League in a few years anyway.

Mike Blaisdell moved to B.C so his kid could have more opportunity. That's a complete dumb move, and he's probably got his kid on a destination to a psychiatrist chair.

Anonymous said...

To say that "no one" is watching the CFL is bullshit! There are a lot who are watching but yes the attendance has dropped a lot and it hurts the CFLght now.. but this glorious league will bounce back and things will turn around all the naysayers and CFL haters can go F#×& themselves cause this league will survive, The Argos attendance woes WILL bounce back next year in the new stadium, and get out of the that shit hole called the Rogers Centre and those A holes Rogers and the Blew Jays!! Screw the Jays and may they get eliminated tonight!! LONG LIVE THE CFL! GO eat shit Rogers!

Anonymous said...

If the Jays win tonight, there won't be 15-thousand inside Mosaic for that game.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Fraser because he has a nice ass!

Anonymous said...

What an idiot you are above annon.
I mean Obama................. 100% ;)

Anonymous said...

id puck mulclair!!!

THE hot blonde at the gym

Rod Pedersen said...

Must be Friday.

Anonymous said...

To Ram Lemastein above - actually Scruffy did lump all women together when he said "I hope women did not vote for Justin because of his looks. If they did, that's simply not sound." Making that leap from 3 women talking on the street about Justin Trudeau's looks seem like blatant 'lumping together' to me. I know he wasn't talking about me, since I am a man; however I do feel it is important to call out - sexism, racism, homophobia etc when I see it.

Anonymous said...

If you think lumping three women together is lumping all women together than you have some issues. I'm guessing they aren't the only three women in Canada who had these thoughts either.

Keep up the good fight though

Anonymous said...

Michelle Rempel could be the Sarah Palin of Canadian politics. Without the stupidity and lame one-liners of course. She's definitely give Justin a run for his money. If Rod was single they'd be dating for sure!


Gundsrson's Yorkton
What red square?

@mrt_man said...

Check out curling... Waaay cheaper than hockey!

Anonymous said...

Woz, How is Shivers doing finding talent for BC? Your comment on Shivers is BS. He found a few good players and so did Taman. Shivers also basically chased Burris out of SK. I wish people like you would just give up on trying to promote the toothpick chewing idiot!

Anonymous said...

Who was the GM that let the great Adarius Bowman go to Edmonton?

Anonymous said...

Curling is a game for nerds, you know, the guys that would wear the "kick me" signs on their backs.

The Woz said...

Burris left Sask because his wife didnt want to live here and they offered more money and perks in Calgary. Period. At the time Roy asked the coaching staff who they would rather keep Burris or Nealon and the said Nealon was just as good. It is the job of Shivers and all gms to find talent and up to the coaches to decide who plays. If you want a scapegoat for Burris then blame Barrett but the reality is that Burris wanted to go to Calgary. He blew smoke up our butts about this being the only place he wanted to play then signed there. That is why many of us hate him.

All I know is that in 1999 we were almost broke, had no talent at all and were simply a terrible team. Within a couple of years Roy had us making the playoffs consistently, we had good talent and we started making profits. They were competitive teams and it was fun to go to Rider games again. Roy may still be here but his fatal decision was to stubbornly refuse to fire Danny.

Roy brought Dickenson, garcia, burris, jennings, elemimian, lulay, bighill, arceneaux, andrew harris, kevin glenn, allen pitts, alondra johnson, travis moore, dave sapunjis, and on and on into this league. He is a football geniu and saved this franchise.

You saying that he was a toothpick chewing idiot just proveswhat I wrote above - people just dont like him because of the way he looks. But the facts of his legacy in the league are obvious

The Woz said...

I think that anyone who sits back and talks about mistakes that a gm makes in cutting or trading guys that eventually become stars should really give fantasy leagues a try. You will find that even when you pretend to be a gm you end up doing the same thing as reall gms . You win some you lose some. The only difference is you dont have whiney fans in your ears criticizing everything you do and you cant fire yourself. Tillman missed on Adarius but so did the Bombers.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy you are bang on with the problems with the CFL.

1. Too many penalties...makes for a tough game to watch

2. The Riders are losing..when the viewer numbers are up its because of the Riders and them winning games. Now yard work is more appealing on the weekend.

3. NFL Sundays..no way I am watching any CFL game not involving the Riders. My priorties on Sunday = Riders - NFL - Jays - Other CFL games.

Anonymous said...

"really weaned my desire to watch the games"?????
Grab a dictionary Scruffy