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Friday, July 28, 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.

- What a difference a week makes!  There was optimism in Rider Nation one week ago at this time as the Green & White were getting set to play the Stampeders.  The game was to be seen as a measuring stick for where this team was and after a horrid performance which resulted in a 27-10 loss, we found out there is a long ways to go.

The Riders can make amends for that performance in Calgary on Saturday night at home against the Toronto Argonauts.  On Tuesday, Sportscage insider Arash Madani was as blunt as possible while delivering a cold slap of reality.

When speaking about the return of former head coach Corey Chamblin - who is now the DC in Toronto - Madani had this to say:

"He (Chamblin) comes back after sitting out all of last year, and the last half of 2015 being paid by a Riders team that has accomplished 'what?' since he was fired. How has this football team progressed and gotten better since he was let go? The reason why he was let go is that the message was there has to be 'sustained success', and that has not happened. If Chamblin and the Argos walk off the field Saturday a winner, some major questions have to be asked and some explaining will have to be done.

How far has this organization progressed from where they were when Chamblin was let go? They have one win over Hamilton this year. If they are 2-6 or 3-5 best case scenario, what has been accomplished and at what cost?  How much have they spent to make this happen?   
It is a statement game for a lot of reasons. 

Craig Reynolds has seen the record sit at 9-31, I believe, since he became President. That's not all on him, but he has to take some of the blame.  The question has to be 'Where is this organization headed?' 'What are they?' So much has been hidden because of last year at the old Mosaic and this year at the new stadium. They have the oldest quarterback in the league, they have nothing in the pipeline to be the next franchise quarterback. they brought Vince Young to Canada, and their number one pick last year (Josiah St. John) has been a healthy scratch. There are many questions that need to be addressed and I think the alarm bells will really start ringing if their old coach comes in here on a short week where they haven't practiced and beats them."

Is he wrong? Chris Jones tore this team apart upon taking over. He had to! They were that bad! The job was not an easy one. However, results are needed. While some were willing to say last year was a year to get some new blood indoctrinated into the CFL, you can't say that now. Signs of progress have to come. While the team is better than at this point last year, the win-loss record remains the same. If that translates into another 5 win season, it won't be good enough.

I will say this: There is more progress under Jones at the new Mosaic than what we are seeing with the Capital Pointe project in downtown Regina. It is not as fast as he or the organization would like, but it is there.  There is talent there, but there are also weaknesses and it's those weaknesses which need to be addressed.  I hear all the complaints, and some of them are valid, but others are just ridiculous.  At the end of the day, Arash is right when he says a Toronto win means it is time to start asking some serious questions.  The season doesn't go off the cliff with a loss Saturday night, but a defeat should result in some conversations that aren't necessarily desired, but needed.

 - As Corey Chamblin returns to Riderville for the first time since August of 2015, have we determined what his legacy was to this franchise? Say what you will about him, but there is no denying the history books. He was the head coach of the 2013 Grey Cup champions on a night in Regina no one will ever forget. He did what only three others have done. Would it have been five if Darian Durant doesn't get hurt at Banjo Bowl 2014? We will never know the answer to that. As I have said before, it is my belief if Darian does not get hurt on that afternoon in Winnipeg starting this uncontrollable tailspin the team has been in, that Chamblin and Brendan Taman would still be here and that players like Weston Dressler, John Chick and Durant would still be here.  What would the record be? That is for you to decide.

- Is Kevin Glenn a Hall of Famer? The CFL veteran feels he should be, and I think many are in agreement.  No, KG does not have a Grey Cup ring on his finger meaning his resume is not like the other CFL QB's who have accomplished the feat, but you don't throw for 50-thousand yards in the CFL and not be considered as a shoo-in for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Hey, if Milt Stegall can be in the CFHOF without winning a ring. so can Glenn. He will be there when his CFL career eventually ends. We don't know when that will happen though. The way he is going this year, I think its safe to say he could play into his 40's.

- I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see the Lions and Eskimos kick it off at Commonwealth Friday night. What a matchup this should be! Can Travis Lulay throw for 400 yards again?  Some of the anti-Jones faction are wondering why Lulay was never recruited to come to Saskatchewan. This just in. He didn't want to! Lulay might have come here, but he let the Lions be known he had no desire to leave Vancouver and was content being a backup behind Jon Jennings. The Lions made it clear they still wanted Lulay around and a deal was struck. A rather fortuitous move by Wally if I do say so myself seeing what has transpired.  I still believe BC has the best team in the CFL as we approach the one-third pole, but an Eskimos win tonight will change that.

- While I can't wait for Friday night's game, what do you say about Winnipeg's last second miracle at home?  CFL fans aren't tuning in for whatever reason as numbers are down 20 percent. I am guessing the challenges have a large part to play in the turn-off so if it can ever be resolved to the liking of those fans, the CFL could have a real hit on its hands. How do you get back fans you've alienated though?  Randy Ambrosie will have his work cut out for him when he decides to tackle the issue. If he can get the cooperation of the board of governors, I have confidence he can.

 - The CFL based website 3DownNation.com is a valuable resource for CFL fans, but its Genie Bouchard at the Argos Game story this story was a huge head-scratcher.  An article openly asked why the Canadian tennis star/swimsuit model would be at an Argos game. Why not?  She spent time in Toronto to promote the upcoming Rogers Cup tennis tournament and whether or not she was supplied a ticket by the CFL or not, she was at the game and Tweeting pictures while at it.  She was helping promote the league which is something she doesn't have to do.  Would this have been a story had she been at an Alouettes game in her hometown? Would this have been a story if Milos Raonic was there? Would this have been a story if Genie was in Regina and snapped a pic at Mosaic Stadium? 3Down writes some good stories, but this is one they should have left in the bin.

- The fact Canadians now have to access "NFL Sunday Ticket" through someone that isn't their cable subscriber is interesting.  Do I want to sit down in front of my computer on a Sunday to watch games? No I don't. There are enough games on CTV, TSN and the American networks each Sunday and the fact I have the Seattle cable package means I will not miss the Seahawks. It really makes this stout NFL fan wonder if he will plunk down the coin for DAZN. Right now, I am leaning towards no, and I think others are too. Will it hurt the NFL in Canada? No it won't!

- Canada, are you ready to cheer on guys like Mason Raymond, Ben Scrivens, Daniel Paille and Cam Barker to go for gold in South Korea and try to bring us a 3rd Olympic gold medal.  Yes, we're spoiled, but is this what the Maple Leaf carries our hopes on.  Count me in as one who won't be excited about Olympic hockey next winter and will just get the scores when I get up.  Once you start this exercise, you can't go back, but Gary Bettman and the NHL are this time around much to the disgust of fans and players.  By the way, another player who could wear the Canadian colours is former Pat Craig Schira.

- 100 games into the season and the Chicago Cubs are back in first place in the National League Central. They haven't played well this season, but they seem to have their game back. They won't be an easy out.  Joe Maddon may have pulled off the ultimate sandbagging caper.  I'm OK with that.


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

@scruffyregina

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Final straw for me to cut my local cable forever. I'm an old geezer (over 50) and I will figure out my apple tv sooner than later now.

Anonymous said...

Chris Jones chose to part ways with his starting qb, GOING INTO YEAR 2 of the rebuild, with NO VIABLE REPLACEMENT in place. He wasnt able (or more likely, just didnt want to) to keep any of the high performers from the previous team. He CHOOSE to raze it to the ground.

He has to be accountable for that. From what I can see, he doesnt know how to tear down and rebuild.

Yes Glenn is serviceable, he's just not the guy you want leading the team over 18 games and the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Why couldn't you stream this DAZN through a smart tv?

Anonymous said...

3 Down nation is an absolutely garbage website with nothing but clickbait headlines and Stamps trolls on every Riders article.

CM said...

agree with Anon #2. Tearing a team apart does not meant getting rid of every player and have no continuity at all. Especially when your replacements are no better. Especially at the critical position of QB. Jones is a rookie GM and it shows in how he builds a team. Very ad hoc without a plan seemingly. Certainly no QB plan to speak of.

Anonymous said...

If Kevin Glenn is advocating his HOF credentials that right there tells you he isn't one. If he does get in then he's basically the Don Sutton of the CFL.

Call the HOF roll...Warren Moon, Ron Lancaster, Damon Allen, Anthony Calvillo, Ricky Ray........Kevin Glenn...uh huh. He's up there with Rick Worman with better stats.

Anonymous said...

"CFL fans aren't tuning in for whatever reason as numbers are down 20 percent. I am guessing the challenges have a large part to play in the turn-off so if it can ever be resolved to the liking of those fans" Bang on.

First step is to dump Glen Johnson. Second step is to dump all the nitwits who review the plays and can't seem to get it right even in slo-mo. (IE) Jeff Harbins decision not to reverse the obvious fumble by Bakari Grant before the goal line Riders vs MTL. By the way I am a Rider fan and strongly disagreed with the decision. It just wasn't right. They need to get it right if they review plays.

Harbin was the video official who the league acknowledged made an error on key roughing-the-passer call against Hamilton in the East Semi-Final last November and a mistake in an October game that cost the Ticats dearly in a loss to Ottawa.Why is he still reviewing plays?

3rd step is to change the rule about PI. It sucks and is destroying the enjoyment of the game. Now we have the stupid running into the DB on purpose as PI. The rules committee, the Video review and the bad decisions need to change or 20% drop is only the beginning.

I used to look forward to not only seeing the Riders play but tuned in to most other games when I could. Now I only watch when the Riders play and have turned the TV off occasionally as I am not entertained.I am mad and annoyed with all of the above and I have been watching and going to games since I was a kid (many years ago)

If the game loses people like me how can they expect to gain new fans?

Anonymous said...

This season has had some of the best games ever. I can't recall a better start to a CFL season. I agree all the challenges are playing a role in the decreased viewership. I also have faith the new commissioner will make it right this offseason.

Cord cutting is also a huge issue. TSN is not part of basic cable. You have to pay a lot extra for it. I only have cable for TSN to watch CFL. I am not a sports fan. I am a CFL fan. All other TV I watch through NetFlix. My cable bill is $70 per month. I don't know what it costs in Saskatchewwan, but here that's expensive just to watch CFL football. I have wondered myself if it is worth it and I'm a die hard. There are many who are willing to give up the CFL on TSN to save $840 per year cable bill.

Anonymous said...


I don't have a smart TV!

Anonymous said...

Madani is often not my favourite guy but he is spot on with his analysis. Winning or losing is all about your QB's.

The first year DD got hurt the QB issue was a nightmare and we had no cap room to get anyone . The second year DD got hurt we had Glenn but as he is often injured it didn't last long and we traded him to Montreal. Last year we had DD but he didn't play well and the team floundered. This year we have Glen once again, and that in itself is sheer lunacy. He seems to have a few scribes who support him but truth be told nobody in the CFL would give up their QB for Glenn. The 50K yards have nothing in connection to winning QB's or winning football.

There may be a couple Qb's with some proven ability next year but Jones plan can't be wait until the third year to get a QB, can it??? Winnipeg was floundering around until they go Nichols. Could we not have traded for Nichols as well?? DD wanted the money back he gave up but since he rather stunk last year I can see how Jones wasn't inclined to over pay. DD has been somewhat similar in Montreal so I can't say Jones was entirely wrong. The Vince Young thing was a joke and maybe a distraction to the fact that he didn't have a winning QB to trot out this season.

The fact we can't find a quality Canadian starter is concerning. The positional coaches are a big ??? in my mind. The overall talent seems to be veery pedestrian regardless of how athletic they may be. The team seems to lack the fire and identity that Rider teams have had in the past. Jones may be wearing too many hats i.e. why did it take him so long to figure out what Dickenson was doing in Calgary?? Isn't he supposed to be the DC??

Jones seems to think you can just plug anybody into the QB position and they will succeed if the O-line is great. Well sometimes you have to scramble to make plays, and our O-line isn't. Sometimes you need to use your feet on broken plays and Glenn can't. He is simply too old and too small, but we have nothing else.

Until the Riders secure a competent QB the team will go absolutely nowhere! Jones on the other hand is likely to go somewhere….

Anonymous said...

Scruffy said, "Chris Jones tore this team apart upon taking over. He had to!"

Evidently Jim Popp and Marc Trestman didn't get that memo.

Instead of 'blowing it up' Trestman chose to 'coach it up'.

Anonymous said...


Arash isn't wrong.

Anonymous said...



Milt Stegall is a HOF'er, but Kevin isn't. If you can't throw for 50 thousand yards in this league after 17 years, then what? That averages out to under 3 thousand a season. Most CFL QB's can do that in their sleep!


Jerry

Anonymous said...

The media has got to stop this BS about the riders being a better team this year than last year - JUST NOT TRUE !!

The riders are the worst that they have been since before they last won the GC - courtesy of jones and renolds.

Anonymous said...

Here we go back to "what if" in 2014. The Riders were not a GC team in 2014, with or w/o Durant. Gone from that GC team were Dressler, Sheets, Shologan, Evans, Butler, Schmitt, Sanders & Simon to name a few. When Durant was injured the Riders were 8-2, which included wins over Ottawa (2-16 for the season), 2 wins over BC & 3 wins over Wpg, each by 6 points or less. They also beat Argos twice & Hamilton & Mtl once. In other words 5 wins came over the East which had no team over .500 that year & 5 wins came over the 2 bottom West teams. The class of the league that year was Calgary & Edmonton, two teams the Riders hadn't played yet. The last 8 games featured 5 games with those clubs & the Riders only won 1 meaningless game 18 when most of their starters were rested for the playoffs.
My thoughts on Glenn. Stats are fine so, sure he should be in based upon 50,000+ yards if that's all you look at. Based upon that, Glenn is a better QB than Lancaster, soon to be passed by KG. Lancaster himself said a QB is judged by 1 thing only - wins & losses. I am okay with KG as a HOF BUT he will likely finish his career with more losses than wins. In his 17 years, how often can you say on any year Kevin Glenn was 1 of the 3 best QB's that year? I can think of 2, maybe 3. His stats are great because of his longevity. He is mostly a good backup QB who was often in a spot where the #1 guy went down. Even now, he is being paid as a #2 & likely here only for a year. So should he be in the HOF? Would we be saying the same if he had never worn a Rider uniform - we do tend to overvalue our own players.

rixxgym said...

I agree 100%! Ambrosie has his hands full, and I understand he has only been the new Commish for a few weeks but so far it seems like he has been sitting on his hands.

Anonymous said...

All that matters is wins and loses...and the loses keep piling up. Start winning Mr. Jones. The same old weekly excuses are getting old. Riders are turning into the Cleveland Browns of the CFL. (at least we have better uniforms)

Anonymous said...

Stop saying that the team is better this year then last year even though their record is the same. After all, it was Jones that said "numbers don't lie". Madani is absolutely right. Jones has done nothing. He has dreams of getting Franklin but wishing does not make it so. A team's QB is so important; without a franchise QB, a team has no direction, no long term plan for its offence. Kevin Glenn is a stop gap; no team has ever seen fit to make him their franchise QB. He has no place in the hall of fame. And Jones is destroying the Rider brand with this team of many characters but very few with character.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear! A person with a common sense of sensibility, point on comment.

Anonymous said...

JUST NOT TRUE !!

Here's a best kept secret in the cfl. Mr Jones and company are the envey of their counterparts across the league. Its true. Mr Jones and crew are smart articulate well respected football people on both sides of the border. Their team in rebuild mode will simply be the best when all is said and done within another year. No other teams will come close to the perenial powerhouse Mr Jones crafting.

Anonymous said...

Connor McDavid or Mason Raymond
Drew Doughty or Cam Barker
Carey Price or Ben Scrivens.

I guess we'll just go back to the "our best weren't there" excuse when all is said and done.

Anonymous said...

It certainly is a well kept secret. Even his counterparts and well respected football people on both sides of the border would be surprised to hear that. You can just see the respect he gets from Dickenson, Austin, Wally, to name a few. His team in rebuild might be great if he doesn't get fired first. Might be great if he can turn over the right stone and find a QB that he can make into a franchise quarterback. Some of his actions and words certainly show how smart and articulate he is. In the meantime, no other team has been such a grease fire. Are you sure you aren't actually talking about Mr Trestman? That would make a lot more sense and have a ring of truth to it.

Anonymous said...

The Riders would've had a fighting chance in the West Semi Final in Edmonton with Durant at QB. With Kerry Joseph it was over before it started.

Anonymous said...

Not bloody likely.

EasternFootballisajoke said...

Anybody who thinks this whole sustained success thing was gonna take less than 4 years need to stop chugging the ole moonlight shine.