|Photo by Josh Lambert|
CAMP WINDS DOWN
1 - IT'S OFFICIAL: Rain here in Saskatoon has cancelled Thursday's Day 19 of Saskatchewan Roughriders 2016 Training Camp presented by Coors Light. It was to be the final on-field session of camp however they'll likely spend it indoors in meetings. But rain or shine, we'll be on the air at 4:00 pm with the SportsCage live from the U of S on 620 CKRM.
2 - Many Saskatoon Rider fans have asked if they'll have another chance to see their Rider heroes again this week and the answer is YES. A day-before walk-thru is planned for Friday at 9:00 am at Griffiths Stadium before the Riders travel to Edmonton for Saturday's preseason game with the Eskimos. (2:00 pm, 620 CKRM Roughrider Radio Network).
Saskatoon broadcaster Darren Dupont feels Saskatoon Rider fans are more "into" the team than anywhere else - including Regina - because they've had the opportunity to see this club be built over the past three weeks. I would not disagree with him.
3 - Many Rider fans across the country are griping that Saturday's game isn't on TV or available via a livestream. Cripes, even my wife is upset about it. However the fact is TSN elected not to carry the broadcast while the Eskimos nixed the idea of broadcasting it live over the internet. (The idea being it would hurt ticket sales). That's not exactly New Millenium thinking but it serves 620 CKRM and our network of rightsholder radio stations just fine. This will be our biggest broadcast of the year.
4 - Wouldn't you know it -- the year TSN elects to trim its number of preseason broadcasts, the ratings go through the roof. Two of the first telecasts of the CFL preseason (Montreal at Winnipeg and BC at Saskatchewan) attracted nearly 500,000 viewers which is astounding for this time of year. There are a variety of reasons, I'm told, for why TSN reduced its preseason broadcast schedule and low ratings over the past few years is just one of them.
5 - The most-popular question I've been posed this week from Rider fans far and wide is, "Who's going to be the back-up?" That's a great question and for most of the last decade it didn't really matter because Darian Durant started 93 of 100 games. However now with people questioning his durability, it's become a hot topic.
At this very moment, I don't think the Riders even know who their top back-up will be but judging by what's been going on in practice and by their comments coming out Saturday's preseason loss to B.C., B.J. Coleman is primed to be "the guy". Philip Sims is rapidly moving up the depth chart as well (see Wednesday's practice report), so I still maintain Brett Smith might end up being the odd man out. However if the club elects to keep four quarterbacks, he'll still have a job.
We do all forget how young Smith and Sims both are - born two months apart in 1992. There's still plenty of room for both to grow and it would be a shame for 2015 to have stunted Smith's growth or ruined his career.
6 - A CFL referee popped by practice the other day and threw flags during the workout. At the outset of the session, he dropped to the ground to join the Riders in their pre-practice stretching period and reeled off 40 push-ups like it was a walk in the park. The CFL personality I was standing beside turned to me and said, "Are we checking the refs for steroids?"
7 - Over the past few seasons the Roughriders secondary has labelled themselves as "The Wolf Pack" however with almost all of those coyotes being sent home (save for Tyree Hollins), this new group of defensive backs call themselves "Savage Life". Rider newcomer Ed Gainey came up with it. We'll see how long that lasts.
8 - As I write this column, Sportscentre is publicizing Ichiro Suzuki "surpassing" Pete Rose as baseball's all-time hits king on Wednesday if you include his Japanese pro league stats. What an absolute sham this whole idea is. If you're going to include Japanese players' hits, then you'd better transfer Hideo Nomo's Japanese strikeouts, no-hitters, and all of the like. Charlie Hustle has gone on record as saying this Suzuki thing is a farce and I couldn't agree more. What's next -- the NFL adding Cam Wake's sacks with the B.C. Lions or the NHL adding Jaromir Jagr's KHL statistics?
As CKRM's Luc Mullinder pointed out, this is just another way for Major League Baseball to sully the reputation of Pete Rose. Incidentally Luc thinks Rose is being "petty" and agrees with what MLB is doing.
9 - Another fabulous debate is 'Who is the best hockey player of all-time?': Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky? Of course that's like choosing between a Lamborghini, a Ferarri and a Rolls Royce but if I was starting a hockey team and could have any one of those players in their prime, I'd still take Wayne Gretzky. 2857 points.
Not one person has said the tributes for Gordie Howe over the past week have been over-the-top and that tells you how much he was respected. It's been amazing and a lot of it has been lump-in-the-throat stuff.
And as far as television coverage goes, TSN won out over Sportsnet quite handily on Wednesday.
10 - Sportsnet's Rich Sutter has been a fantastic guest on the SportsCage all hockey season and he proposed on Wednesday that the NHL retire the number 9 league-wide in honour of Gordie Howe, just as it did for Wayne Gretzky. That notion has been met with mixed reviews when I put it on Twitter.
My good friend and host of Access Communications Talk of The Town, Lisa Peters has been nominated for the CCSA Best On Camera Community personality Award. Lisa and I have worked together on numerous events and she is a huge supporter of many community endeavours . We need your Facebook vote. You can vote every 24 hours. Also ask your friends to vote for Lisa. Thanks! Go to the bottom of this page and vote: http://www.tunedincanada.com/vote/
|Lisa with Damon Allen|
The winner gets the opportunity to donate $1000 to a charity of her choice on behalf of CCSA. She has chosen the Regina Humane Society, which is currently overstocked with cats. Lets bring this award to Saskatchewan!
THAT'S IT FOR TODAY! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO AT 4:00 PM