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Friday, December 4, 2015

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

It is time for the usual set of weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind and as always, they come in no particular order.

-- The Grey Cup is over and the Edmonton Eskimos are celebrating. While it is time to move forward, I do have to go back and talk about the coach's challenge which basically turned the game in Edmonton's favour. This made the league look bad.

Yes, the call by Chris Jones to challenge the pass interference call was the right one to make, but why did this challenge even have to happen?  It was clear as day that the receiver had been interfered with yet the call wasn't made by the officials on the field---officials that were deemed to be the best in the CFL this year. This wasn't a "Was his knee down" or "Did he have control of the ball before he went of bounds" call which can be difficult. This was a pass interference call that was blatant and should have been called without the need for a challenge.

A championship game should not be decided on a coach's challenge and it wouldn't have been had the referees made the right call. The hue and cry about officiating on both sides of the border is getting stronger and stronger and in this day and age where we get to see every play replayed over and over and over again, it perhaps isn't fair to the guys in the stripes, but if the coverage of the game is going to be improved and enhanced then shouldn't the quality of the officiating.

Commissioner Orridge, that is one of many balls in your court and you must decide over the coming months what ball is primary when it comes to improving the game. I will be interested in seeing just what moves are made to make the CFL better.  Please don't let one of them be expanded replay that will allow coaches to determine if a hold was there or if a block in the back was there because that will just slow the game down and make it ridiculous. It also would be a huge injustice on officials who are trying to do the best job they can.

-- The Chris Jones to Saskatchewan rumour is no longer a rumour. It is fact. I don't have a problem with Jones, but I do have a question. The question I have is what kind of stability do you have if you hire Jones. His track record shows he has no desire to set up roots anywhere as a job in Saskatchewan would be his 5th.  If Jones were to take over this team and get them back to being a Grey Cup champion, he could very well and may perhaps do what Kent Austin did after he took the Riders to the Grey Cup in 2007....he could bail and move on.

His history seems to indicate that doesn't it? Is that what the Rider Nation wants?  Nothing against Jones, who has shown that on the field he is a great coach and all power to him for wanting to move up the ladder, but if he were to go in 2-3 years time, you would be back at square one. For that matter, we don't know how he would do as a GM. John Hufnagel has been where he is for how many years and how many years has Wally Buono been in BC. The Riders need someone who will provide stability for them for years to come as far as I am concerned, but they do have themselves a proven winner if they attach their anchor to Jones.

-- Then again has Craig Reynolds basically attached his anchor to Jones. How can he let him get away now? If the John Hufnagel stories are true, the Riders offered him a boatload of money to take over here and I am guessing an offer of similar stature will be made to Jones. I don't really see how Reynolds can let Jones get away and if he does, it won't be good for Jeremy O'Day, Brock Sunderland or John Murphy if things start to go awry because of the "You could have had Jones" faction that will sprout up. It won't be good for Reynolds either.  The pressure to succeed immediately will be immense, but the pressure in Saskatchewan to succeed here any time is immense.

-- If Jones is the guy here, the CFL schedule maker must make the first game of the year Saskatchewan at Edmonton. July 1 falls on a Friday so what better way to celebrate Canada's birthday then by watching the defending Grey Cup champs against Canada's team led by Edmonton's former coach. It's a natural is it not?

-- Is Jones the next Don Matthews? He has the personality and the resume that states he could be.

-- It is sad to see Jon Cornish have to leave the game at the age of 31 due to concussions. Say what you will about the Calgary running back, but he was one of the CFL's top players and he does not deserve to go out like this. Some have suggested he is the best Canadian to have played this game since Russ Jackson. I don't disagree with that one bit.

-- Wally Buono is back as coach of the Lions. Really? David Braley and Dennis Skulsky somehow convinced Wally to patrol the sidelines again. I am guessing this move is only until Braley sells the team and is a one year thing. Why would Wally want to come back?

-- When will Regina have a chance to showcase the new Mosaic with a Grey Cup? I would think the game will go back to Montreal and Vancouver and it has go to Hamilton before it comes to Regina. That means it will be at least 2020. That's a long time to wait Rider Nation. Perhaps the Rider brass can find a way to move Regina up in the pecking order, but I can't see the CFL giving the game to the Riders before Hamilton has a chance to do its thing at Tim Hortons Field.

-- I love the Riders campaign for the final year at Mosaic. The logo is a great one (unlike the CFL's new one) as it features the iconic stadium. Craig Reynolds asked for fans to share Mosaic memories and at some point in 2016, I will do that because there are so many. On Wednesday's Sportscage, I asked what it will be like at Mosaic for the last game in the shrine whether it be a regular season contest or a playoff game. I don't think anyone knows the answer to that question, but it will be a very emotional affair.

-- Week 13 NFL Lock of the Week --- Redskins over Cowboys
    Week 13 NFL Upset of the Week  --- Seahawks over Vikings

-- Oh NFL, why do you hate the Browns and Lions so? Two amazing finishes at Monday Night and Thursday Night Football. What a great pass by Aaron Rodgers to end the Thursday night affair much I am guessing to the delight of many Packer fans I know.

-- A story which generated very little or no buzz was one that appeared in the Leader-Post last week suggesting Regina is ready to take a run at another Brier. I am all for that.  It isn't a week-long football party, but a Brier is a good time and EVRAZ Place is a perfect place to hold such an event.

-- I like the Blue Jays, but they aren't my favourite team as it is for many---especially those after July 1 who have now likely wandered back into baseball oblivion.  However, as a fan I would be awfully choked in not retaining David Price. It was obvious Price liked his time in Toronto and he had indicated he would like to stay. With that being the case, it would have been nice had the team made him an offer.It sounds like Alex Anthopoulos was ready to give him one, but didn't because of the Mark Shapiro hiring.

At the end of the day, there isn't any chance Price would turn down what Boston offered, but at least give him an opportunity to see what his future might have held in Toronto. The Shapiro era is not starting well in Toronto as they seem to have gone that bargain basement route when they are close to being where they want to. At the end of the day, this is a team that opted to keep R-A Dickey and failed to make an offer to David Price. There is something wrong with that philosophy!

By the way, with Mark Shapiro hiring Ross Atkins to be the new GM and the two men having a history in Cleveland, it would not surprise me to see one of Cleveland's young pitchers -- Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar -- end up coming north of the border. What would it cost Toronto? I don't know, but I am thinking it could be an outfielder and I'm thinking that could be Kevin Pillar. The Indians have said they are looking to improve their outfield and they could do that with Pillar which would pave the way for Canadian Dalton Pompey to once again patrol center field at Rogers Centre.

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

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great Blog Scruffy.

As for the officials being the "best" that the CFL has to offer.....the CFL owes it to the game and the fans to put the "best" officials in the game but I have talked to some current officials and this is not how it operates. If you graded out the best at your position but are in your second year and there is another official that has tenure and never been to a Grey Cup. The vet gets the nod.

It is classic CFL begging for officials because they are not full-time and have to leave their day jobs and family to work a second road job. Don't give some guys their due, like a Grey Cup and they will quit. Why wouldn't they? I BLAME THE LEAGUE NOT THE REFS.

The CFL needs to go to full-time officials (at least a handful), and the same crews week in week out. Let the officials have a training camp too. Then disperse them to training camps and let them work with the teams. The CFL suffered this year and not acknowledging the struggles is going to be Jeffrey Orridge's downfall and the league will take a few steps back. It is an investment that they need to make 5 years ago, let alone now.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy why is it you and Pederson want oday. They could hire him and he could do nothing and get fired. Who cares if Jones comes here and wins then leaves. It's pretty pathetic that you have to follow pedersons lead. Think outside the box for once.

Anonymous said...

Another "No Brainer" on here regarding David Price . Why would Toronto even think of Price, when Boston had already announced that they would pay 20 to 30 Million over anyone else's bid?

Anonymous said...

That Jays bandwagon is emptying quickly!

Anonymous said...

Orridge acknowledged in Winnipeg that improvements do need to be made at officiating. He didn't try and shirk the question at all. What's funny is that the football snobs in this country say that the CFL officiating is bush leauge, yet the NFL's has been just as bad if not worse. It's a work in progress and I'm sure they're working towards making it a better product.

Old Tank

Anonymous said...

The reason why Reynolds may be in a bad position over whether he hires Jones, as stated by you, is the fact that the Media has "leaked" all kinds of information about potential candidates, ranking them and giving us their opinion on who is the best. Too bad the Media doesn't wait to see who gets hired and report that. Say isn't that the way the news used to be reported? You remember facts not speculation.

You are right about the ref's. There needs to be full time ref's paid a decent salary and the rules changed a bit to make a lot less flags.For starters get rid of the after 5 yard contact rule. Insure that if a player is interfered with it is a penalty but just contact is ridiculous and I am not alone in this position.

John Moore said...

We had a CFL ref talk at our club last night. Referees do not make enough in the 20 games they do a year to make it a full time job. I believe they are the only ones involved with the on field game who don't make enough to do it full time. Like I heard many times if the pay isn't good enough for a career a pension you are not going to get the best to do it for the love of the game. The training conditioning refs need to keep up with the play in todays game and the rules need a salary that can support the best. Come on CFL become professional by having professional level salary for refs so we can attract professional level talent not the truest fans who will ref for the love of the game & the small token pay. Based on the salary level really have to commend the families of the league refs for the lost family time without the financial compensation. Shame on you CFL. Then compare that to what the Riders are thinking of paying their next GM/C...Shame on the league & its teams who allow this situation to continue.

Anonymous said...

As much as I loved Price, you can't justify paying a 30-year old that much for 7 years. The Jays made the right move walking away from him.

Dickey is only on a one-year contract and would have made more in free agency, of course the Jays would keep him.

Anonymous said...

Chris Jones has moved on where the opportunity exists, while remaining committed to his current employers, and most importantly getting results. You go when the iron is hot - case in point. You think anyone is beating down Jim Popp's door? - he should have went to a role in NFL Operations, but he wanted to run the show. When Montreal fires him, he'll be an area scout. Jeff Tedford was an NCAA star, not he grasps year to year for Coordinator jobs.

The problem is small thinking - you can ask. Do I want to hire the next Chris Cuthbert and worry if he leaves, or do I go with a Michael Ball or Mitchell Blair and worry if they'll stay?

Organizations that are serious set the bar of looking for the best. If the best move on which they usually do, find the replacement that is the best.

Kent Austin achieved his result and there was only one place to go and that was down. He piggy backed opportunities and is now running the show in Hamilton for a tidy sum of bank. He'll eventually get fired, but he made his bank.

The key to development is to move on and move up.

Mr. H

Anonymous said...

You're correct when you say that both Reynolds and O'Day have been placed in a bad position because of the leaks. Setting aside qualifications most fans are going to want the "superstar" candidate. In this case the GC winner and historically best builder of defences. O'Day has some skills that are very appealing as well. I mean what possible reasoning could Reynolds give Rider Nation to suggest Jones wasn't the best candidate to take on the Rider job. He must want it as he is coming for an interview. Money can't be an issue since they have been paying out contracts for years and still are. These people are providing nothing to the Riders. A GM and recycled HC is still going to cost the same money at any rate.

In the past 5 years the Riders have played .411 football (37W - 53L). Missed the playoffs twice and eliminated twice in the West semi's. Won the GC once. Three of the season have been below .500 football. The best was a 2nd place finish (11-7) and fortuitous GC win. In that time we have had four HC's and two GM's. All of the managers and most coaches have left for one reason r another. We have had NO sustained success. Based on that I don't think the length of someone's contract or the length of time they are here is anything to be concerned about. If Jones were to come and spend three years here, win a grey cup etc, and then bolt for the NFL who cares. The turnaround would have happened. Players upgraded, systems in place good to go. We wouldn't have to pay him a payout like we do others. O'Day would have further honed his skills, learned more of recruiting, and been associated with someone who has done nothing but win since coming to this league. That would make O'Day a dynamite GM commodity. It's all about winning and quickly. You can't worry about what will happen in three years.

Anonymous said...

Two different meanings for one word.

Scruffy, it sounds like you would 'settle' for O'Day because he would 'settle' in Regina.

Not very good logic.

Anonymous said...

John Murphy just landed at Regina airport on wesjet flight from Calgary. I have been waiting an hour to get this to you.

Rod Pedersen said...

Well thank you!

Jeff B said...

I get the whole argument about hiring officials full time, but do you think that will really improve the pool? I actually think that these guys who currently do it on the side and for low pay are doing it because they love it and less so for any other reason. There certainly isn't any glory attached to the role. I have a friend who is a CIS official and is on the field many nights per week in order to officiate high school, junior, and CIS, often booking vacation or trading shifts just to do it. He takes it very seriously despite the small amount of financial reward. He loves it. I have no reason to believe that a FT official would do a better job except for maybe only because if he doesn't, he's fired.

Anonymous said...

“His track record shows he has no desire to set up roots anywhere as a job in Saskatchewan would be his 5th."

And he got a promotion with every one of those moves! Most coaches work on 1 year contracts, so you would have to be out of your mind not to go where the promotions and money are.

Anonymous said...

Video replay and now coaches challenges is killing sports (hockey, football etc.) and the more they bring it in the worse it's going to get. If I'm an official why in heck would I want to make a potential controversial call when replay will make it for me.

Anonymous said...

Great post Anon 1.

Good read today Scruffdog!

Anonymous said...

Riders/Eskimos on Canada Day? I'm down with that! If the CFL isn't, then put the Riders at home July 1 and then have a massive fireworks display after to get the final year at the grand old lady going.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if the first game of the season does or doesn’t have the Riders playing at home.

If the final game of the CFL season in 2016 isn’t at Mosaic Stadium, there is something wrong

Anonymous said...

As someone who Rawlco was unsuccessful at in drinking the koolaid, I give you this scenario.

Jamie Nye is in the parking lot at Mosaic with his binoculars focussed on the Rider office doors while Joel Gasson sits in the McDonalds Dewdney parking lot scarfing down Big Macs, fitting in with the locals, and peering into the corporate offices on Albert.

Wray Morrison is in Saskatoon on the phone with Gary Lawless who is waiting for some kind of word while the rest of their news team waits for some kind of event in the world to break out so they can run to CNN and pretend to look important to all 88 listeners who stay with them once Gormley signs off. Word has it reporters are stationed throughout the city at the airport on the highways and even at the bus depot should Chris Jones make an appearance and they have signed a deal with Robins Donuts to make sure everyone has coffee because it will be a long wait.

Anonymous said...

You can see not only the team accepts mediocrity over the years but the 43 people want Oday as GM accept mediocrity also! It is an absoulutly sickening thought of a 3-15 asst gm taking over my Riders in 2016 after what we had to endure in 2015. Please have an announcement today with a new Rider GM with anyone but Oday

Anonymous said...

The media hype and leaks surrounding the GM hiring process is always going to be a fact of life for the most followed team in the CFL. Reynolds is smart enough not to worry about it. He's not going to make a choice because it's the popular one supported by the most fans. He's going to choose the guy with the best plan and best ability to create sustained success on the field. My vote is Jones but I trust in Reynolds and if he picks O'Day or another candidate I'm 100% behind it.

I'm also not worried about the question mark around Jones on will get stay for the long run. His moves have always been rapid career building choices to move up in the food chain. At least in the CFL it doesn't get any bigger than top job in the league's flagship franchise. The other worry is bolting to the NFL or NCAA - Trestman and Austin had limited success in their jumps which may soften the market for CFL coaches down south. The only real way to never have to worry about coaches and GMs not moving on is for them to have just enough success not to get fired but not too much success to be attractive elsewhere. How fun is that?

Anonymous said...

Craig Reynolds hiring Jeremy O'Day would be akin to Peter Chiarelli cleaning house in Edmonton but stopping short of sweeping Craig McTavish and Kevin Lowe out the door.

How's that working out?

Anonymous said...

Of course they all want their buddy Oday hired to make there everyday reporting jobs that much easier. Only in Regina folks is the worst of the 4 available, the top choice lmfao

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA. I just spit out my coke reading the above post. OMG that is so funny and likely true.

Anonymous said...

Everyone associated with the Roughriders shak'in in their boots wondering who new gm/head coach Mr.Jones sends packing in his first duties to clean up the disastrous franchise mess. It's a terrible terrible mess, geeze! and some want status quo to continue under a minion with zero experience, how pathetic. House cleaning imminent under Mr.Jones to get the on field product back to respectability and winning.

Anonymous said...

Whether he is in Edmonton, Regina or wherever, Chris Jones won't be in the CFL for long. He will head to the NCAA like Austin and maybe come back to Canada with his tail tucked between his legs a few years down the road, but he will be working with someone south of the border. Hell if Danny Barrett can do it, Jones should. I agree with what Scruffy is saying about stability, but I also like that winning feeling instead of the crap I felt this year. I am torn, but being a true Rider fan unlike some of the other nutbags who come on here, I will support the decision and cheer the green and white on. GO RIDERS!


Anonymous said...

Got a look at your report card today RP. Looks like you are overwhelmingly SK's #1 sports show again. Congrats! I wonder if the other guys will ever make a serious dent into what you do. Doesn't seem like it. CBC would give you better competition from looking at what I saw today.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope with a Chris Jones hiring that there will also be sweeping personnel changes to Rider Radio too!!!

Anonymous said...

Yawn... wake me when Chris Jones signs.

nutbag.

Anonymous said...

Screw this Chris Jones is in Regina today talk. The Indiana Pacers cheerleaders are in town for some NBA thing in Regina this weekend. #eyecandy #helloladies

Anonymous said...

Its laughable to think that O'Day is even in the discussion when it comes to who is more talented him or Chris Jones. Jones has been a winner everywhere he's been. He was the assistant GM with the Argos for 2 years where he brought in GREAT talent like Pat Watkins, NFLer Marcus Ball, and NFLer Armond Armstead

Anonymous said...

Rod & Scruffy:

I just saw a Brinks truck pull up outside the TD Bank in the Victoria Square Mall. Should I go inside to see if Chris Jones is there?

Anonymous said...

Someone explain to me why the CFL would want to schedule the Grey Cup winner against the last place team as their feature season opening Canada Day game. Have some of you lost it or do you actually believe that anyone outside of Saskatchewan cares about the Riders. Game 1 should be a Grey Cup rematch. Give your heads a shake.

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan , let's NEVER go back

Steve D said...

o day is a nice guy..just no track record of success.Where do nice guys finish?
Jones seems to fit the bill for what the Riders desperately need.As for Jones possibly bolting? That is up to the Rider brass to have a plan in place,much like Edmonton does now.Also,the fact that by hiring Jones you weaken a rival team.Go as well.I hope the best guy gets the position.

Anonymous said...

When negotiating a tv deal, effort must be made to fund full time well paid refs. This business forward pay lowest price possible to the people at the front lines making Decisions needs to change. This reminds me of a major high end retailer with a shoplifting issue. They did not have any full time sales associates and paid minimum wage. Management could not figure out the problem.

Anonymous said...

Some refuse to understand snd others are too stupid to see the truth it eould seem

Anonymous said...

It's laughable to see the vote stuffing for O'day…….you can't fix stupid. This survey has been up before and he can't get enough votes to get his deposit back..LOL. It was so bad it was taken down. Now he has all this new found support. Do ya think there is a credibility issue with this survey….????

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan, let's NEVER go back - which is why Brad is running a $260M deficit - I mean why would we ever want 15 straight balanced budgets.

Mr H

Anonymous said...

Great reporting Scruffy, this is the hard part of the season where your professionalism is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at buyer's remorse over in Alberta. One and done disastrous government there. Completely ruined them.

Anonymous said...

Brad Wall = Grant Devine with money.

Don’t which is worse, the guy who spent money that wasn’t there in a recession or the guy who can’t spend every penny fast enough in a economic boom with nothing saved.