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Thursday, December 10, 2015



1. After some furious activity early in the week across the CFL, things seem to have calmed down somewhat since the GM/President meetings got underway in Las Vegas.  The Saskatchewan Roughriders are represented by Craig Reynolds, Chris Jones and Jeremy O'Day.

2. Have you realized how insane the events of the past week are yet?  Consider this: I was chatting with a shuttle bus driver Wednesday night (who bore a remarkable resemblance to former NHLer and Regina Pat Jamie Heward) and tried to explain what had just gone on with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.

"We finished 3-15 and pretty much blew out all of the management and coaching staff," I recapped.  "Then, from the team that won the championship, we stole their entire coaching staff and plan to raid half of their players."

His jaw hit the floor.  In fact, it's kind of Mickey Mouse when you think about it because it's so unprecedented and hard to believe it's legal.

The Riders are the winners of the off-season hands down.  The big, swinging hammers.  People are going nuts. Get your tickets and merchandise!

Who knew Craig Reynolds had this kind of cojones?!

4. A TSN reporter said to me on Wednesday, "What does it say about Ed Hervey that nobody was willing to stick around and work with him?"  I countered with, "I think it says more about Chris Jones that all his staff wanted to stay with him, and John Murphy from Calgary jumped too."  Included in the wave of coaches migrating to Saskatchewan is defensive line coach Ed Philion who's looking for a place to rent from June to November.

Saskatchewan is the place to be again folks.  How nice!

All this coverage and these discussions have racked up my data and minutes. Sorry Harvard Broadcasting!  But that's how you stay on top of the pile.

5. Things are in a state of flux for several Roughriders staff.  The therapy staff was due to meet with Jones earlier this week but time evaporated and the new boss had to get on a plane to Nevada.  No meeting.  However therapy, equipment and video staff general survive regime changes and that's how Ivan Gutfriend and Norm Fong stayed with the franchise for so long.  It's believed this will be Ivan's 40th year with the Green & White.

6. That's not to say there isn't movement across the CFL this week however.  Curious news out of Hamilton where it's been reported that Ticats Coach/GM Kent Austin denied the Edmonton Eskimos permission to speak with Defensive Coordinator Orlando Steinhauer about their Head Coach position.  How sad and unfortunate if that story is true, considering the Roughriders allowed Kent Austin out of his contract in 2008 to join Ole Miss.

7. TSN's Farhan Lalji reports Khari Jones is the leading candidate to replace George Cortez as Offensive Coordinator of the B.C. Lions.  One wonders where Rider O.C. Jacques Chapdelaine will end up, however my guess is he has one year left on his deal and will be looked after in that regard.

8. Before joining the Roughriders as QB/Passing Game Coordinator, Jarious Jackson was offered the Offensive Coordinator position with the Calgary Stampeders, according to Farhan.  Perhaps the job will fall to Marc Mueller soon, although head coach Dave Dickenson is expected to call plays.  Perfect situation for Marc.

9. How was the Pats game last night?  Can't wait to get back and watch them.  Well, I can, but you know what I mean.  Unfortunately NO ONE on this trip has asked me about the Pats, and they're all hockey fans. Something needs to be done to get the Pats back into the public conscience in Regina and area.  These SportsCagers went nuts over Tuesday's NHL game in Sunrise, FL.  They didn't care if there were 200 people there or 20,000.  They loved the calibre of hockey and noticed it!

10. On our SportsCage/Marlin Travel Ultimate Sports Trip, today is Day 7 and for most of us, we'll be spending it on the beach enjoying the sun before heading to the Florida Panthers-Washington Capitals game tonight at BT&T Center.  There was an announced attendance of 11,000 for Tuesday's 4-2 Ottawa win over the Panthers but there will be many more tonight with the Great 8 in town.  Hockey fans were celebrating Tuesday night as Broward County Council voted 5-3 in favour of making financial concessions to keep the Panthers here.  One has to wonder now if that will accelerate the expansion process of Quebec City and Las Vegas as they were considered to be "landing spots" for the Panthers and Coyotes however those teams aren't going anywhere.