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Friday, January 6, 2017

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:

- The World Juniors are over and it ends in the worst way possible. What was a great hockey game between Canada and the U-S was spoiled by the fact it went to a shootout. THAT CAN"T HAPPEN!!!

Sadly, it did.

It was a joke that the US-Russia game went to a semi-final and it was complete lunacy to see a championship decided in the same fashion.  Canada was on the edge of its seat, and I'm guessing many in the U-S were biting their fingernails too. It all came to a big giant thud when the horn sounded to end overtime.  You can't do that, and you don't do that, but you did do that IIHF and you deserve every bit of abuse that comes your way as a result.  Change the format for next year please. Ditch the shootout.  I can only imagine the uproar if that happened in Game 7 of a Stanley Cup final or any Stanley Cup playoff game.

-- As the WJ's end, what stands out about this year's event for this blogger is the empty seats. What happened to this tournament being held in Canada meant automatic sellouts? Did Hockey Canada screw up? The answer boys and girls is a resounding yes.

Why did Hockey Canada give this event back to Toronto and Montreal after it was there two years ago? Why did they charge such an exorbitant fee for tickets? Someone needs to answer for this and someone needs to fall on the sword.

Two years ago, Connor McDavid was playing in Ontario and there was interest as could the hometown boy lead his country to junior gold.  This year, there is no Connor McDavid playing for Canada in this event. Who is their marquee player? Dylan Strome? Puh-leez!  He is on the verge of being a tremendous first round bust for the Coyotes.

Junior hockey may have been a fad two years ago, but people in Toronto and Montreal are not clamouring for junior hockey. Its too small for them.

If the World Juniors are going to succeed in this country, it has to stay out of the big cities. Yes, the next time the event comes to Canada it comes to Vancouver/Victoria. Vancouver has shown it can support junior hockey and they held a tremendous event there years ago, I anticipate that to be the same,  Don't take it to Montreal/Toronto again. Take it to Alberta, take it to Saskatchewan and take it to Winnipeg.  Go to Halifax or Quebec City, but don't take it to Toronto and Montreal again.

If you don't think this event is about money, you are wrong as far as I'm concerned.  Hockey Canada didn't try to showcase the best juniors in the game, they looked for a place to host the tournament where they could make money. It backfired!

-- Kory Sheets needs to realize the time has come. At some point, he has to see his football career is over. His tweet this week suggesting he has unfinished business north of the border and should make a comeback is ludicrous.  Sheets hasn't played a down in the CFL since leaving after the 2013 Grey Cup. Yes, he likely would have made the Raiders in 2014 had it not been for a devasting Achilles injury. He hasn't played since. The game is over for him. He needs to realize this and get on with his life. Take nothing away from what he did, and had he stayed he could have been one of the best Rider RB's ever. He took a second shot at the NFL though and no one can blame him for that. The NFL doesn't want him anymore, and no one in the CFL is interested either. If they were, he would have been at a training camp last year.  Kory needs to move on with his life and begin the after-football portion of it.  

-- A new offer has been made to Darian Durant. The question now is "Is it too late?" The 300-thousand dollar base salary with the potential for another 100 thousand in bonuses is a good contract, but there are thoughts Darian can get 400 thousand on the open market. Durant has said he wants to be here and there is a good offer there. Does he want to come back here and take a shot at another Grey Cup or does he want to go elsewhere. I think he has a better shot here at hoisting that Cup than he does in Montreal. This ain't over yet folks!

-- Is it safe to say Saskatchewan is cheering for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL playoffs.  After all, former Riders coach Danny Barrett is the Dolphins RB coach. Just imagine, if Mike Tomlin invites Corey Chamblin to be on the sidelines as he did last year, you could have one former Rider head coach on one sideline this weekend and another on the other side.  Let's let that sink in for a moment.

-- Let this sink in as well.  As you read this Patrick Maroon has more goals than Patrick Kane!

-- NFL winners this weekend will be the home teams. I don't think the Raiders can win with Connor Cook at the controls. The same can be said for the Dolphins with Matt Moore.  Home field will be huge for Seattle and Green Bay----that being said, the Giants and Eli Manning did find a way to beat Green Bay at a frigid Lambeau Field en route to a Super Bowl years ago. If they can knock off the Packers, they may be able to upset the Cowboys as well. Oh yeah, I think Weyburn will be cheering for the Giants

-- Tweet of the week comes from the Vegas Golden Knights. They are asking if they will be the next team to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Washington ended that quite decislvely on Thursday night. QUICK QUIZ:  Name 8 members of the Blue Jackets and White City's Ryan Murray doesn't count.  GO!!

-- Bill and Hillary Clinton are going to attend Donald Trump's inauguration. This boys and girls redefines the term awkward!

-- Monday's Rose Bowl featuring Penn State against USC was once again compelling theatre and proof again that sports is the ultimate in reality TV and not this Bachelor and Survivor crap that comes on.  You just can't write up that stuff.  They just should have had a field goal kicking contest to end it. That would have satisfied everyone right?

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

10 comments:

willie said...

What a DISGRACEFUL way to win a Gold Medal and become a World Champion. And I would say the exact same thing if Canada would have won. Brilliant hard working end to end hockey with these young kids working their asses off and ending it like that.
If they would have stuck to their guns and played 3 on 3 until it ended it would have been fine , but Oh No once again this year they had to change the rules and it ends in a Pitiful Shootout.
Hats off to Both teams for a wonderful evening of nail biting entertainment. But they can stick their shootout you know where.

MC Matt said...

DD negotiations not over but hopefully warming. A vastly improved offer that honors Darian's value and contribution should improve the frosty relations. I'm feeling much better.

As for Bill and Hillary at the inauguration, I think they have to go. I'm sure even Trump didn't actually believe half the ridiculous things he said about her but it has to be awkward for him given his ego that she beat him by 3 million votes and will always have that over him. And how can she not be furious, she had the Russians against her, all of conservative media spinning crazy things about her, the FBI against her. Awkward!

Back to sports. Chris Jones is an unbelievable football man. I think he will learn and evolve continually. As a GM, he has never before been responsible for actually constructing the team. I have a theory:

So Chris Jones is a very successful coach and I believe he is tactically solid and gets brilliant performances from players. So like most CFL coaches, he began his development in the US in 4 down ball. In 4 down ball measurables are everything. They want size to execute precise assignments exactly the same way every time (this was how Ricky Williams once spoke about CFL / NFL differences).

So Jones comes to Canada and is very successful as a coach, an elite talent. But now that he is running the show, perhaps he goes back to the principles that were established as learned from the 4 down game. Perhaps once he is GM his thought was "I am going to be different than these CFL GMs signing all these small guys, I am going to bring my familiar type of football player in here and dominate."

The CFL game has too many variables and demands skills and abilities that don't show up in vertical jump testing or height. Of course athletic skill is critical but you have to be quick not just fast. CFL players have to improvise to be successful (not as much as they used to but that's another story).

Jones was looking for NFL type football players to play the CFL game. It didn't work. Great athletes on paper but many a fish out of water on a massive field that demanded things of them that weren't there. 5 wins, 15 losses.

Doing a little research, only 3 of the CFLs all time receiving leaders are over 6' tall. Narco is one of the all-time leaders. And I think it is safe to say that a 22 year old Don Narcisse would not even get a camp invite with Jone's criteria.

The point is that there is a history that tells us that talent is not dependent on size and in the CFL where time, space and variables are exponentially increased vs 4 down ball, the indicators of a great player are not something you can measure with your Craftsman tape measure.

So, was Jones obsessed with an idea of going with all 4 down formula players as a recipe for CFL success? If so, after a year in which a hundred plus such players were tried and few succeeded, will he alter his strategy and consider talent more important than size? Is he someone who thinks if he pushes hard enough the square peg will eventually go into the round hole or is he someone who says, "next year I need some round pegs."?

Don Mitchell said...

Maybe the sports world has reached the nadir of prices people are willing to pay?

The tall foreheads in sports marketing have to really know their audience, which the Grey Cup organizers in Toronto greatly screwed up. What is better, full stadiums with a price point that allows middle class people (with all the demands on their shrinking paycheque) to attend or half empty stadiums with a few well off fans who will mortgage everything to attend a sporting event.

I also watched the last two Winnipeg Jets games in Florida. Talk about empty seats! Was it just a Jets issue or are the rinks that empty for all the games?

Anonymous said...

Most people don't care about hockey.

Anonymous said...

Don:

Hockey in Florida would be about as successful as soccer in December in Saskatchewan.


Al

Anonymous said...

MC Matt,

You sound very familiar (Obama ) with your long winded drivaling wind bag opinions although some have merit. I'm currently in sleep mode but can awake as you are testing my patience with hypothesized comment.

From the engine that drives In the 306, V8.

Anonymous said...

Kory Sheets still wants to give it a shot so what is the problem with that...he can still do his normal life deal if or if it doesn't work out but hey who's to say except a mouth piece of yourself scruffy.

Anonymous said...

Why is there such a fascination with Kory Sheets? He was here for one year. He's done!

Maybe the "mouthpiece" above would like to discuss that, but he is one of the many "sackless" wonders who think they are a somebody on this blog.


Don

Anonymous said...


Scruffy, you and I both know the ticket prices were outrageous and that's not the junior hockey players fault. The blame for the whole mess goes right to the brass of Hockey Canada.
The truth is the players were playing for nothing, nada, zero, zilch. The brass are making half a million bucks a year plus expenses and they're the ones that screwed up and you ain't got the guts to say so because someday you may get to interview one of them.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy clogging up the can