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Friday, November 4, 2016

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order:

-- You know I am starting with what happened in Cleveland Wednesday night. That slow chopper to Kris Bryant that ended Game 7 of the World Series sending myself and every other Cubs fan that had been  through an emotional wringer into a state of delirium. It simply left me numb.  If you have seen your team win, you know what I'm talking about.

What a stomach-churning contest Game 7 was. I thought Game 7 of the 1991 World Series between the Braves and Twins was maybe the best game I had ever seen, and I had no horse in that race. I did in this one. It simply had it all.

-- What a roller-coaster of emotions Game 7 provided. It was reality television at its best. It was drama at its highest level.  I talked to many a person on Thursday who had no horse in the race and were compelled to see how this would end.  It was incredible.  The 20 minute rain delay made it so surreal.  It was if the baseball gods had to have a meeting to decide what team's fanbase they were going to rip the soul from.  It made me think if Bud Selig had still been the commissioner of the game, he would have called it a tie.

Many also wondered aloud on social media if I was alright. The answer was barely! When Rajai Davis hit his 8th inning homerun, I had a feeling I hadn't felt since the 2009 Grey Cup. Luckily, the game wasn't over like it was in that game that still devours Rider Nation.

The curse is over! While the Cubs may win a 2nd World Series and maybe more over the next few years, there is nothing like that first one and yes, dammit I will soak it all in and savour the moments. I can't wait for Opening Day next year.  I need to schedule that day off pronto.

-- The Riders finish things off on Saturday in Vancouver. At the end of the day, they will have a 5 or 6 win season. They could very well be the worst team in the CFL when everything wraps up this week. I think it is safe to say this has not been the way Chris Jones thought it would be, but that is what happens when you basically discard the entire roster from a year ago.  The jury is, and likely, will always be out over what was done in the off-season. At the end of the day, while John Chick, Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf meant a lot to Rider Nation, would they have turned this team into a playoff contender. We know the answer to that. Those guys meant a lot to this franchise and the fan-base, and you love them as much now as you did when they were wearing green, but guys have come in who are younger and cheaper and will lead this team moving forward.

-- I am surprised to see Darian Durant get the start Saturday night. Why? The season is over so why play your franchise quarterback. Is there a contractual reason behind that? If there is fine, but as soon as you can, pull him and don't risk an injury.  After the lockers get cleaned out next week, get Darian into a room, negotiate a 2 or 3 year deal with him and end the constant chatter about his future. I'm sure he must be getting tired of it everytime he speaks. He wants to be here, the team wants him here. Get it done!

For what it's worth, the signing of Naaman Roosevelt to a contract extension on Thursday is huge. We knew he would have a breakthrough season, and he didn't disappoint. If he could have stayed healthy for all 18 games, there is no telling what his season numbers would look like.

-- The Argos and Eskimos will play Sunday in Edmonton and even though they don't like it, Jason Maas and Mike Reilly will be mic'ed up.  I have just two words for the Edmonton coach....GROW UP! Hey, I think the whole mic'ed up idea for a live game is dumb too, but what makes you think you are immune to this when the other eight coaches had to do it.  As I said on the Cage Thursday night, Maas is acting like the petulant little child sitting at the dinner table who doesn't want to eat his vegetables even though everyone else has to. He hopes if he whines, cries and bitches enough, that he won't have to. It doesn't work that way. Whether the idea is a dumb one or not, when everyone has to take part, you follow suit. Yeah, you can sit there and hold an entertaining scrum with some quote-worthy answers, but at the end of the day, you aren't above any head coach in this league----especially in your first year so just zip it, strap on the mic and do what you have to do. Quit acting as if you are above your counterparts because you're not.

-- Is Ricky Ray playing his last CFL game this weekend?

-- The Regina Pats are the number one junior hockey team in Canada. They deserve to be. The record indicates that. The calendar also shows its early November. There is a long ways to go before we start crowning anyone with anything. I think John Paddock and many others in that organization will say its great to be number one right now, but being number one in May is what matters and not November. That being said, you have to like what you are seeing from the Queen City Kids and they don't show any sign of slowing down anytime soon.

-- Speaking of number 1 ranked teams, the U of R womens basketball team starts the conference portion of their schedule at home Friday against Victoria with the mens game to follow. A trip to nationals should be in the cards for Dave Taylor's squad again this year and the mens team under Steve Burrows should be much improved and ready to contend for a playoff spot.  I'll have the best seat in the house again this year for Cougar basketball doing the in-house P-A.  Looking forward to it!

-- The weather will be fantastic on Saturday afternoon, and I hope that translates into a good crowd for the Rams-UBC game. The Rams want to try and delay the official closing of Mosaic Stadium for a while yet. The T-Birds will be no pushover. Canada West has had a lot of great games this season, and I don't expect this to be any different.  Game time is 3:30 on Saturday afternoon. Is it too much to ask for a crowd of 5-grand. I'll have the p x p of the game on CKRM's online channel Sportscage dot c-a.

-- The situation in Saskatoon involving three Hilltops players and an incident in their clubhouse a little disturbing, Someone has to fall on the sword. If the team wants to wait until after the Canadian Bowl that is fine, but a "We're sorry" letter from the board of directors doesn't suffice here.  Someone has to pay the piper for what happened especially if staff were aware of what happened when police were called.  If this is swept under the carpet, I'll be shocked because the Toppers are way to classy for that to happen. I think there are a lot of people interested to see what happens on this one. If this had happened in a WHL, SJHL, Midget or Junior B environment, there would be you know what to pay. The same applies here if you ask me.

-- March 2018 should be fun as the Tim Hortons Brier comes to  town,  The Brier is a party and if you're a fan of curling, it makes it even better,

--Week 9 NFL Lock of the Week --- Dallas over Cleveland (really going out on a limb there)
   Week 9 NFL Upset of the Week --- Rams over Carolina


-- That's all I got. Remember Leafs fans, if the Cubs can do it, your team can too. If it means 108 years from the last one though, I'm OK with it.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good blog as always Mitchell. Not at all a baseball follower but with the Jays playing so much better I have paid more attention. That game was as a final game should be, glad I watched it and happy for the Cubs. As for Jason Maas, I have watched him all year as he has coached the Eskimos. For some reason he has been allowed to throw tantrums on the sidelines, screaming in the refs ear every chance he gets. Maybe it's his competitive nature but in my opinion he disrespects the system that has given him a job.

Anonymous said...

That Cubs win was beautiful for Scruffy and his family, they deserved that so much.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scruffy, I would love to see you yap off face to face with Maas instead of acting like it's a text message...keyboard warrior you are I guess but I have two words for you...ZIP IT. Esks for the grey cup repeat, won't be rude though to the riders and really do hope they are able to battle better then this year, way better to watch and every team needs to lose once in a while to keep playing hard.

Anonymous said...

As someone from Saskatoon, I am quite concerned over the developments of the Hilltops. Someone has to be held accountable here over what happened. Was Sarge in the room? Was he at the facility?

If it happened after a practice he had to be. He is responsible for those young men. There is no denying what Sarge means to the Hilltops, but you are right when you say someone needs to fall on the sword. A simple statement from the Board and a quote in the SP from Sarge isn't enough.


Ken

Anonymous said...

Dunk is reporting DD won't play Saturday and Kinne is starting. Didn't Jones say DD was starting?

Anonymous said...

Scruffie, just wondering how long you've been a Cubs fan? Hope it's longer than most of the so called Jays fans have been "fans".

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Cubs and their long suffering fans like yourself Scruffy. Well done.
From a long time Cardinals fan.
Dave

Arnold said...

I was a kid in pre-school with Sruffy and am here to tell you that even then he was a big Cubs fan, indeed a couple of years before he became a Seahawks fan. And yes, back in those days he did not shave and he was the go-to boy in the class for news and sports.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy there was a nucleus that could have given the Riders a better base from which to start from. First of all if you ever watched Chick play this year you would have seen how frequently he is double if not triple teamed. Dressler would have added stability to the receiving core (I do like a number of receivers that are with the team now). Brackenridge still had something left in the tank, and would still excel if he had some support. Marshay Green is head and shoulders above some of the defensive backs we played this year. Tristian Jackson would have provided a special team threat every time on the field and was/is still a decent defensive player if needed. Anthony Allan had potential if provided a supportive coach, although McKnight may be a decent replacement

Some of the moves made this year were very questionable: AC Leonard applied very little pressure after his two sack outing and is out of the play frequently; one other converted offensive players was a failure (Francis)except for special teams; the latter, Campbell and Capricotti were played far too long before it was realized they weren't producing. Then there were the trades of Xavier Fulton and Shawn Lemon, for which we got nothing of value.

What can we say about the players that followed Jones. Lawrence and Chambers were a big disappointment.

We also have to question (coaching) the defensive and offensive strategies. Rushing only three for most of the first half of the season, and offensively, what plans were in place to take the pressure off the quarterback. When Durant ran the ball we were affective, but how often did we have him roll out on an option play? What about a hurry up offence?

Does anyone else think that Jones is a lot like Chamberlain in that it appeared he thought it was totally his coaching that won a Grey Cup and that anything he did would result in a winner (just watch him). Well we did with great expense, and where did it get us.

It will be interesting to see how much money was spent this year relative to other years or are we going to do some creative accounting and carry some of the expenditures over to 2017 - like they did with the Grey Cup year expenditures.

Yes, we do a nucleus, heading into 2017. The question is how it is managed and coached. Clearly our team was out coached, and that was to be our strength.

Anonymous said...

Dear lil Arnold;
Is that a true story Arnold? Scruffy was a little boy at one time? A little boy who did not shave? Any school photos of this little pre-school boy who would not shave? Sounds like a cartoon character from the Archie comics. Are you little Arnold the paper boy from the Flintstones?

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that Durant is not traveling to BC with his team. This after being announced as the starter. Should we read anything into this??

Anonymous said...

WRONG^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

We were not outcoached we were out experienced and out aged. Our D was chilren. Leader was needed. But if the plan is to throw these young guys to the fire the it was accomplished and the guys were forced to learn on the fly. Add some vets on D now and a good receiver or two and we will be top of the league. Don't forget how many games we lost in the last few mins. That's unconfident inexeperienced play by players that now have experience because they weren't sitting and watching vets do it. They were learning on the fly.

This is all coming together, don't focus on the last two games alone. Jones has his team right where he wants them. AND teams are gonna be a lil too cocky in the first quarter of the season and we will get a few quick wins against overconfident teams to start the season and get on a roll. WATCH

Freddy Foozball

Anonymous said...

Durant not on the team roster final season game. He done gone packed his locker room effects into the garbage bag and done gone home to Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Re: The Hilltops

Sargeant should be axed. If he was in that room, he should be gone. No questions asked.

If this was a hockey team, the hue and cry over this would happen all winter.

Anonymous said...

What makes Maas think he is above every other coach in this league? Same for Reilly! I'm with you Scruff!

Anonymous said...

Hilltops Football Saskatoon Sk.

Police investigation warranted asap! Youu dont brush these kind of serious incidents under rug. This sport culture not acceptable 2016 anywhere, anytime. Victim not seemingly able to comprehend the seriousness of such offense, serious - did he suffer brain damage or other?

Bruno K.

Anonymous said...


Anyone believing Marshay Green was good obviously knows nothing about football!

Anonymous said...

I believe the Esks/Mic thing is from the top. Rhodes or Hervey. Remember when it took Jones three fines before he figured out that the Esks were supposed to be on the field for O'Canada.

It's the Eskimo organization giving the league the middle finger because of salary cap.

Anonymous said...

Durant cleaned out his locker. Packing for return to Atlanta home. Contract negotiations broke down beyond repair. Will not open with new Stadium nor finish career in Green&White.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy, only in your world is the Esk/Argos game on Sunday!! In mine, everyone else's and in the cfL schedule is it at 2 PM local Regina time on SATURDAY!!

Anonymous said...

Ricky Ray will be a Roughrider next season. He will be starter/mentor for who-ever management decides on as their next developed qb.

Anonymous said...

For those wanting to lynch Sargent get over it, do you actually think this stuff doesn't happen in the Thunder or Rams clubhouse's??
Was it right? No.
The police showed up, the kid is ok, and he doesn't want to press charges, end of story.

Anonymous said...

Newsflash to the person that thinks we had a nucleus left over from 2015:

You can't paying over half a million to a defensive end and a slotback.
You can't paying over half a million to a defensive end and a slotback.
You can't paying over half a million to a defensive end and a slotback.
You can't paying over half a million to a defensive end and a slotback.

Did it sink in this time???

You're just one of those people that can't handle change. Brackenridge? Marshay Green?? Tristan Jackson???

LMAO stop sniffing glue!

Anonymous said...

Sha nah nah, sha nah nah, hey hey hey goodbye. Adios machachos sargent. Times up!

13th Man said...

Half a million. Think you got that one wrong. It was Jones that got that kind of money. I got an idea, Jones should donate half to keep Durant (lol). I really do hope Jones can learn from his mistakes this year - there were plenty to learn from. First there was Marshall, then Chamberlain. We can't afford another especially with a new home. IT was a long year for fans, they will not accept another one like it.

Heck even Rod Pedersen appeared to see the light for the first time this year on In The Huddle. Rod was not his sugar coating self.

Go Riders Go!

Anonymous said...

Chick, Dressler, Smith and Getzlaf are probably very happy right now. They are all on teams going to the playoffs while the Riders will be packing up their things and heading home. Worked out pretty well for them. Not so well for us!

Anonymous said...

You're clueless. Chick and Dresser were due to make over $250K each in 2016.

Get over your old favorites already. Jones did what had to be done.

You just can't handle change.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I don't think I have ever heard of police ever going to the Thunder or Rams clubhouse to deal with an incident where a player comes close to dying because of "hijinx". That's OK buddy, you stick your head in the sand and hope everything is alright.

Wake up and look at the whole story!

If Sargeant was in that building, he should coach the team at the Canadian Bowl and then step down immediately. There are members of the board who should do the same thing.

I'll be the first to admit being from Regina that I am not a Hilltops supporter, but if something like this happened in Regina, yeah, I would be calling for McAuley or McCrystal, Bryce or Gibson to step down immediately. You might have been able to get away with that kind of stupidity years ago, but not today.

This will get swept under the carpet, but should it?


Aaron

Anonymous said...

Not sure where you get your facts from in terms of $250,000 each for Chick and Dressler. In addition, is not true that both Chick and Dressler were both willing to accept less, but they only had one offer of take it or leave it? Reports in the media was that they both were disappointed by the poor negotiation process.

In terms of the young team, as the year progressed or digressed, did we not start bringing in some older players?

Unfortunately the team is stuck with Jones at what $500,000 plus for another two years. I wonder if all those assistants got a significant raise to pick up and leave Edmonton. Ouch, I guess we all had better buy more lottery tickets or we will have to have another telethon (lol). Some people sure get surely on this board, don't they (lol).

Anonymous said...

I guess Regina can cancel the vanier cup parade, lol.