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Friday, November 20, 2015

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

It's Friday and that means that once again it's time for some thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they are in no particular order:

-- It has started. As we start to hear what players are going to CFL free agency, the armchair GM's are having a field day saying the Riders should go after this guy or go after that guy as the "retooling" begins.  That's fine as everyone is entitled to have thoughts on players and whether he would look good as a Rider or not, but I am surprised to see so many people suggest the football team should pursue Ricky Ray or Travis Lulay.

Why?  I completely understood the need to have a veteran quarterback brought in last year for insurance because the 2014 season went right off the tracks when Darian Durant went down. The team didn't get want to stuck like that again when they thought they had the horses to repeat in 2014 and had to depend on the likes of Tino Sunseri, Seth Doege and Kerry Joseph.  As the Riders approach 2016, there is absolutely no need for a veteran quarterback of Lulay or Ray's ilk. Having one of those two on the roster would have a negative impact on the development of Brett Smith and Keith Price.

-- I have had many a conversation with Riders director of player personnel and scouting Craig Smith over the year, but I haven't had a chance to talk with him about this year's draft and how deep it is. There are many different ways the team can go when it comes to the first pick overall and perhaps this is a year where maybe they trade the pick to get some good veteran Canadian assets. That is always a risk though. I wonder how much interest there is in a guy like U of C running back Mercer Timmis or Manitoba d-lineman David Onmeyata. I am guessing the Bombers would cringe if another Bison came to Regina on draft day as they are still somewhat sour over the fact Nic Demski got away from them. At the end of the day, the team could just decide to stock up with another offensive lineman as they are valued, but I would think the team wants and needs someone who perhaps can step in and be a starter on opening day. In the CFL though, that is sometimes a tall order to ask for the number one pick to be a starter as it is much different than someone who is taken number one in the NFL, NHL or NBA.

-- It's hard to bet against a Kent Austin team in a division final and if they had Zach Collaros and Eric Norwood in the lineup, I probably wouldn't, but I just don't see Hamilton beating Ottawa in the CFL East final.  This game just means too much to Ottawa and its passionate fan-base that is coming close to matching what we have here. I also want to see Keith Shologan and Zack Evans get another shot at hoisting the Grey Cup. I am sure both guys never ever thought they would get an opportunity to perhaps do so again when they were taken in the expansion draft.  As far as the Western final goes, I have pegged the Eskimos as the best team in the CFL for quite a few weeks and I think having homefield against Calgary will work in their favour. However, if Calgary gets off to a quick start and takes advantage of an Edmonton team that hasn't played in a long time, it could spell trouble for the green and gold. The first 10  minutes will be huge.

-- Neither semi-final drew a million viewers.  This matter must be brought up at Grey Cup week with Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge who certainly isn't as visible as the man he succeeded Marc Cohon, I was a big Cohon for a variety of reasons and I have had only one opportunity to meet the new boss, but it seems to me as if he is just sitting back and not being proactive. His address during Grey Cup week when he gives a State of the League speech should be very revealing. Is he still doing a Q and A with fans like what Cohon did. That was the best part of GC 2013 as it was something done in a more relaxed setting and something that let the fans of this league have a say on their game. While the fan support is dwindling, there are still hardcores out there who want answers and deserve them.

-- It was great talking to Bob Ellard about the 1995 Grey Cup on Thursday. Ellard, who was the chair of the event, talked about how his committee just kept overcoming all the negatives thrown in front of them as the week drew closer and how the wind on that day just about caused the game to be played Monday. Ellard felt the Grey Cup may never have come back to Regina had that game been pushed to Monday because of all the people who said Regina couldn't pull it off.

I remember walking to the stadium from the exhibition grounds that afternoon and how windy it was. I had just returned to Regina after working in Peace River, Alberta and I couldn't believe I was sitting in the press box with Canada's best sports reporters in what was Canada's marquee sporting event. It was a week I won't soon forget, and I am guessing many of you who experienced it feel the same way. Growing up, I never thought Regina could host a Grey Cup game and while we have grown as a city, it amazes me how well the three Grey Cups Regina have hosted have gone. Then again, many good people have gone above and beyond to make sure a Regina Grey Cup is a special Grey Cup. It will be that way when Regina hosts its 4th one and its first in the new Mosaic.

-- The news of the Flutie boys losing both their parents to heart attacks within a one hour span this week was certainly one that tugged at the heart-strings. No one deserves that. Don't tell me you can't die from a broken heart, because that is what appears to have happened here as Doug alluded to when discussing what had happened. The CFL community mourns with the Flutie brothers at what is a terrible time for them.

-- Why must the NHL keep screwing around with the game? The latest decision to have the all-star game be a showcase of 3 on 3 hockey is dumb. I think the NHL all-star game is a joke anyway, but its more of one this year because now the league isn't giving us any semblance of the game that is played night after night after night. It is just another reason why leagues should just scrap all-star games altogether.  Do we really need them especially when they don't play the game the way it is normally played?

-- Is it safe to say the Regina Pats have hit perhaps the most important part of their schedule. A team that is 10-8-1 and certainly in the mix in the Eastern Conference at the one quarter pole hits the road for nine straight as Agribition moves in to the Brandt Centre (YEEHAW!!). A 4 or 5 win trip would keep them there.  A 6 or 7 win trip would turn some heads while a 1 or 2 win trip might accelerate the plan as it moves forward.  Still with the East Division, I think it is safe to say the Prince Albert Raiders are a force to contend with. I don't think anyone saw them sitting atop the Eastern Conference as we hit mid-November.  Curtis Hunt is doing something right up there.

-- With all apologies to Mike Trout, Josh Donaldson should have been a unanimous selection for the American League MVP. It was clear going into September who the league's best player was. With Donaldson and Bryce Harper winning the respective MVP's, you could say this was a year where a Blue Jay and an Expo were given baseball's biggest honour.

-- Many people were complaining as that first blast of winter hit Wednesday. We ain't seen nothin yet!! Have we forgotten that!

-- Have we seen the last of Peyton Manning? The hall of fame quarterback simply isn't getting it done anymore and will miss a game this week because of plantar fascitis (which hurts like a son-of-a-you know what). The Broncos signal-caller has had a terrible season and there is talk he perhaps might have thrown his last pass. If Brock Osweiler succeeds against the Bears on Sunday, that talk will escalate. It would be nice to see one last Brady vs Manning battle though---albeit that game will be on at the same time as the Grey Cup.

-- Week 11 NFL Lock of the Week -- Panthers over Redskins
    Week 11 NFL Upset of the Week -- Chargers over Chiefs

-- How dominant were the Leboldus Golden Suns football team this year as they won another Saskatchewan 4A high school championship--their 4th in a row. They scored almost 500 points and gave up less than 100. That is impressive! The Rams and Thunder should be doing whatever they can to get these kids on their squads as they already have a winning pedigree which for the Thunder isn't a problem, but is for the Rams as they look to get off the canvas after their 0-8 season. I know the University squad has already secured one of Leboldus' o-lineman for next year, but there are many others who can move on to the next level as well.

-- The best value for your sports dollar in my opinion is on display at the University tonight and tomorrow as the Cougar basketball teams begin the home portion of their Canada West schedule against Lethbridge. Dave Taylor and his girls will once again be a strong team while Steve Burrows has a team that could be a playoff squad. I am excited to get another year going and once again, I am fortunate enough to have the best seat in the house as I will serve as the p-a announcer. Here's hoping the CKHS is full!

-- TSN gets rid of "Off the Record" and Michael Landsberg, but keeps Cabbie Richards and his show? I'm not the biggest Landsberg fan, but I would much rather watch "Off the Record" than anything that Cabbie does. I don't find the guy funny at all. Others agree with me and others think he is the real deal. I don't get it.

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

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Send "Dum"ski back to Manitoba!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love how the Ol' Scruff Dog deals writes about the Peyton Manning situation, neatly avoiding any mention of how poor his Seahawks are doing this season. LOL

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing RP is crushed over Landsberg being axed!

Anonymous said...

Hank and the REAL Rough Riders are going to the Grey Cup!!

Anonymous said...


Old Hank needs to read Scruffy's Monday column. I think he basically said they were done.

Anonymous said...

Scruff you have to remember that it was Cohon's lack of being proactive that has the CFL in a downward trend. The NFL has been gaining in popularity in the last ten years and the CFL did absolutely nothing to counteract that. All you heard from Cohon was hot air like our PM, that things were awesome and that there was nothing to worry about. Well, as we've seen this year, there's plenty to worry about. Gonna be interesting to see during Grey Cup week that new marketing initiative that Reynolds talked about on the SC last week. I really believe that most people that watch NFL in this country are football fans and not football snobs as that one guy put it. They'd watch the CFL more but right now the NFL hype machine is way too much to overcome.


Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Who cares about any of this other sports news. I thought the only thing anyone cared about is who will be the next Riders GM. Just ask Rod.

Anonymous said...

Regina media ...

"Neither semi-final drew a million viewers. This matter must be brought up at Grey Cup week with Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge who certainly isn't as visible as the man he succeeded Marc Cohon, I was a big Cohon for a variety of reasons and I have had only one opportunity to meet the new boss, but it seems to me as if he is just sitting back and not being proactive"

One giant run on sentence. This Mitch guy is embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the media should stop talking about how bad the CFL is and start doing their part to promote it positively.

FACT: Mitchell Blair doesn't have a job if the CFL disappeared. The Sportscage doesn't exist without the Riders (neither does another regina radio show). And the Leader Post probably melts away as well.

Anonymous said...

Not to be heartless, but the story of the Fluties passing within an hour of each other is not the broken heart story you'd want to believe.

You don't die of a broken heart. What you die of is codependency and lack of identity brought on my massive anxiety due to no ability to cope. It's a cautionary tale that whether you are in a relationship on not, one must have acceptable boundaries.

When I read that story I guarantee you it was a, "if he's happy I'm happy" scenario. We should feel sorry for them, but not for the reasons you'd have us believe.

Mr H

Anonymous said...

LOL, ya Hunt's doing something right, anyone with half a brain knows this is still the last gm's team along with Derkatch's Hunt has made one minor deal so far and is learning the GM role. Great reporting as always Scruffy

Speaker Boughner

Anonymous said...

GUNDERSONS!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Careful Mitch. The comments you made about Landsberg and Cabbie will get the area Liberals calling you racist.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scruff go to the Ottawa TSN 1200 site under Audio and listen to the 2 part interview they did with Jefferey Orridge, it was very good. I agree with the comment above that Cohon was more worried about his suits then getting business done.

Anonymous said...

As the Riders go, so does the CFL. There is no denying it.

Anonymous said...

Speaker Boughner:

Under your "wisdom", I guess the Pats are still Brent Parker's team since players performing now and last year were players he brought in. John Paddock has meant diddly-squat then under your argument.

Wear a toque when you go outside moron or have all your brain cells frozen.

Anonymous said...

Scruff, you forgot to mention each player on the winning all-star team will get 90-grand cuz multi-million dollar players need another 90 grand in their pocket. Count me in as one who won't be watching.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous nailed it. So many jobs in the media are dependant on the leagues they cover and they piss on them. Like Rod's buddy Drinnan who runs down the WHL every chance he gets, yet has made a living off it.

Most media people hate themselves deep down. They manifest that in the hatred of their life's work.

Frazier Crane

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was Flutie himself that used the phrase his mom died of a broken heart, not Mitch. As is the case today, and many other days, Mitch's column is filled with other peoples suggestion. And we he can't find it - he just assumes. Like the Bombers "are still somewhat sour over the fact Nic Demski got away from them." He may be right, but its just a guess. Also, the spot Winnipeg was positioned they knew all along they weren't getting Demski.

This year, since they don't have a first round pick they will also resign to the fact they wont get a top tier player from Manitoba, if one exists.

Anonymous said...

I am guessing every Friday afternoon, RP and MB grab themselves a coffee at the mighty RM superstructure in downtown Regina, look at the complete and total idiocy that is left for comments by many and have themselves a good chuckle. Would I be right?

Anonymous said...

Yesterday on Sportscage you have Kelly and Phil yammering on how bad the NHL is. Routinely you have that group talking about NFL vs CFL and leaning towards the NFL. I'd fire them. Honest to God you're paying how much for radio rights and these guys are denigrating the product or creating an environment where it's okay to denigrate the product.

There is nothing wrong with hockey and the CFL is a better game than the NFL. Any idiot that sits there and says the Thursday night game is better than the Ham/Tor game they're morons.

Mr H

Anonymous said...

Mr. H

YOU'RE FIRED!!!!

Anonymous said...

NHL hockey sucks. Every play is smothered and there is no good individual play like when Gordie, Bobby Hull Guy Lafluer, Bobby Orr etc played. Any time there is a good player trying to make plays, the opposing coach sends out a rat to take him out or injure him. Ever since the instigator rule was brought in, hockey has suffered and I for very, very seldom watch it! Bring back open play allow players to police the rats get, rid of the Armour so if a player runs another it will hurt him as well. All the protective equipment is "causing" most of the problems

Anonymous said...

yeah the cfl is the better game thousands of youth football players in the u.s. grow up dreaming of coming to canada to play the "better" game, maybe aaron rogers should ask to be let out of his contract so he can come play the better game.

Anonymous said...

The best football players in the world play in which league?


Anonymous said...

Rugby Uniion

All Black Jacl

Anonymous said...

They play in the CFL. Go ask Doug Flutie or Warren Moon what they thought of the CFL and the calibre.

Anonymous said...

Who would you rather watch this weekend

Henry Burris or Aaron Rodgers
Mike Reilly or Russell Wilson
Jerome Messam or Adrian Peterson
Luke Tasker or Dez Bryant

Give your heads a shake people! The CFL is for players who aren't good enough for the NFL which is why they come up here. Players who think they can crack an NFL roster (Dressler, Fantuz, Dickenson, Ray) are at the top of their game here and they can't make it down there. What don't you people get?

The truth is you people who religiously root for the Riders would have nothing to hang your hat on if the beloved CFL went tits-up because that is all you have in this province. It is why Saskatoon wants soooooooo desperately to have an NHL team so they can throw their support behind that team and stop throwing it behind a Riders team that is based in Regina.

DUHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Brian

Anonymous said...

This was incredibly sad to read. I feel sorry for you. It's crushing that human emotion can be something of the past just chalked up to some 'scientific'ish explanation.

Danny said...

Mr. H with some good insight re: the Fluties and 'broken hearts'.

Though, perhaps instead of negating the notion, you've just partly explained what a broken heart actually is. I say partly because you left out Oxytocin. We're all drug addicts and our bodies are drug labs/factories.

Where's Obama? I want to hear his take on the Liberal refugee plan. People are estimating that P.A. and MJ will receive 200+ refugees. That should make the housing situation in those two cities...interesting. And by 'interesting', I mean awful. It's nearly impossible NOW for a significant chunk of the population to find affordable housing.

I voted Liberal, and support a lot of what they stand for, but this refugee thing is insane. It's the perfect example of social justice/leftist/liberalism craziness.

Anonymous said...

You assume CKRM pays Rods co hosts. They don't. That's why they suck. Except for Remple. He's solid

Anonymous said...

I am guessing every Friday afternoon, RP and MB grab themselves a coffee at the mighty RM superstructure in downtown Regina, look at the valid points that is left for comments by many and feel like maybe they aren't the beloved geniuses they think they are. Would I be right?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Remple is once again writing into this blog under "anonymous". He is the only guy who pumps his tires. Weak!

Anonymous said...

So Brian, by that stupid logic nobody should watch the Grey Cup at all. Cause at the same time two of the best of all time Brady and Manning will go head to head. No, can't watch the prestigious national championship with talented players willing to spill their guts and ask for seconds. No, can't support that because there might be better players playing in a league somewhere else.

Brian = Football Snob


Not Brian

Anonymous said...

Temple is a fool.

Anonymous said...


Brady vs Manning against the Grey Cup that could feature Calgary and Hamilton which are two teams I give diddly squat about. Cue up Scruffy's theme music!

Brian is on to something.


Anonymous said...

I will be watching both CFL east and west finals and the gray cup even if the Riders aren't in it. It is much better to watch 3 down football than 4 down where they try to run the ball so much.

Anonymous said...

The NDP ads are desperate

Anonymous said...

I've been a CFL fan for over half a century and that's what I'll be watching.

To me the NFL is no different than FIFA or NBA. If that comes on my TV I just surf until I find Seinfeld or something else entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Don't you dare criticize the NDP you horde!!

Tom L

Anonymous said...

PC = Sask.Party. Just another continuance under a different leader living in deceit then and now. Desperate television ads show a party leader in fear of a new emerging Saskatchewan NDP.

Anonymous said...

Brian for the win!

Anonymous said...

Are you for real? The Alberta people were hood winked and NDP are polling just awful right now. One and done term for the cupe labour union's wife.