Friday, August 11, 2017
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK
1 - It's another pivotal match-up for the Roughriders this Sunday as they host the BC Lions (6:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Network). As lineman Brendon Labatte said this week, they're "running out of time" at 2-4. The Lions are favoured by 2-points and the forecast calls for sunshine and 27 degrees. Bring water if you're too cheap to buy it at the stadium!
It's also the Purolator Tackles Hunger game so please bring a non-perishable food item and/or a donation for the Regina Food Bank.
2 - Labatte is saying they're running out of time to save this season, not to save anyone's job. As was brought up on the SportsCage this week, Roy Shivers and Danny Barrett got 7 years to turn this franchise around in the 2000s. And now people want to tie a can to Chris Jones after only 1 1/3 seasons? Nonsense.
3 - The difference in the two situations comes down to one thing: expectations. Shivers and Barrett took over a 3-15 team after the Decade of Decay which was the 1990s. Meanwhile Jones took over a 3-15 team on the heels of the Decade of Decadence (2005-2015). Just because Jones' rebuild doesn't meet YOUR expectations, isn't his or the Riders' fault. And FYI, Shivers and Barrett missed the playoffs their first two seasons. Maybe this is why Rider President Craig Reynolds is being so patient.
4 - "Ya but Rod - Jones cut our favourite players" many of you are saying. True, but Shivers also showed Don Narcisse, Dan Farthing and Curtis Mayfield the door. The similarities between the two eras truly are striking.
5 - But a TON hinges on Sunday's game. If they don't earn a split of this 2-game series with the Lions, I expect changes in some fashion. This club seems to be in the doldrums (as evidenced by the Labatte interview) and a shake-up may be required. What shake-up might that be? I don't know. That's not up to me to decide. But it's a talented team with good coaches that can't win consistently.
6 - My heart's still singing with the news that Shania Twain will be this year's Grey Cup halftime act. I love Shania Twain! She checks all the boxes and there aren't many: She's Canadian and she's a world-class talent. Why the CFL would EVER go with an American act for Grey Cup is beyond me.
7 - Thank you Brad Wall. To me, the outgoing Saskatchewan Premier will go down in history as the guy who turned us from a "Have-not" province into a "Have" province. Bravo and thank you for your service to Canada's GREATEST province.
8 - Our SportsCage/Marlin Travel Ultimate Sports Trip VII went on sale this week and within 24 hours, we sold 48 of 56 spots. This year we're going to LA from Dec. 5-11 to watch the NFL's Eagles/Rams as well as the NHL's Wild/Ducks and Sens/Ducks. You can add-on Disneyland, Universal Studios and some LA Kings games too. A special treat is two SportsCage broadcasts on 620 CKRM before a live audience. Call Terry at Marlin Travel at 306-585-0055 to book your seats!
9 - Meanwhile the 2017 Plaza of Honour induction ceremony is selling out fast! On September 22 we'll induct Rider greats Wes Cates and Roger Brandvold ON THE FIELD at New Mosaic Stadium! There are ticket prices ranging from $30, $150 and $250. You can purchase yours at Riderville.com or the Mosaic Stadium box office.
10 - Two questions answered by the Riders: 1) The inflatable helmet the team enters the field through is on its way to Regina. There was a hold-up getting it built in Edmonton, and 2) the 13th Man banner is being dealt with. There are some safety issues around that magnificent addition (mostly wind related), and the team is investigating where exactly the best and safest place is to put it.
Oh, and the Solar Eclipse really isn't that interesting!