Wednesday, September 13, 2017
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR CAPITAL LINCOLN
2 - BOOO BOMBERS: The much-debated "loudest stadium" contest between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, sponsored by TSN, ended in a tie. At least, that's the way I read it after the peak decibel levels hit 104 in each facility. My question: how loud did it get when Bomber fans were BOOING their team after Duron Carter's 88-yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter? Tsk, tsk. That's something we don't do in Saskatchewan.
3 - WELCOME BACK CARTER: Don't look now, but Duron Carter's six-game touchdown streak has tied the Rider record held by franchise legends Hugh Campbell and Weston Dressler! A TD score this Friday at Hamilton puts #89 ahead of them all. Who saw that coming? Incidentally the CFL record is 10 games with a TD held by Terry Evanshen.
4 - SECOND HALF: The Roughriders are 5-5 with eight games to go. That means they need to go 5-3 to achieve my preseason prediction of 10 wins and it's extremely do-able. However it's quite conceivable they could finish 10-8 and still miss the playoffs. I'm prepared for that to happen, but don't expect it with Edmonton trending down and BC now down to one quarterback. Incidentally Calgary can clinch a playoff spot with a home win over BC this weekend.
5 - BURNING BRIDGES: Oddly, I haven't been able to find the odds anywhere for Friday's Roughriders-Ticats game. Perhaps the oddsmakers are waiting for Saskatchewan to name its starting QB but they may have to wait right up until kickoff (5:00 pm Sask Time). Kevin Glenn's right hand isn't bandaged nor swollen so I'm guessing there's a good chance he'll play but the team can win with Brandon Bridge. He's got enough experience in this league and is ready to put on his Big Boy Pants.
6 - "UPBEAT": That's the word that kept coming up during June Jones' news conference this week at Tim Hortons Field. The tabbies are 2-0 since Jones took over from Kent Austin and should they beat the Riders in Week 13, June will be the first CFL Head Coach to takeover a team mid-season and win his first three games since Larry Donovan in BC in 1987 (he actually started 4-0). Methinks the Ticats are merely riding the usual bump of a coaching change and it'll burst this week. It has to! This is almost a must-win game for the Riders.
7 - YOU'RE FIRED!: Hamilton's Kent Austin was the first coach firing of 2017 (he actually fired himself) while Montreal's Jacques Chapdelaine is now the second as he was shown the door early Wednesday morning. It looked like it had to happen in Hamilton while the Montreal situation was a bit of surprise even though they are 3-8 and the losers of, what, seven in a row? The Als are three points out of first-place! What a thrilling end to the season this is going to be. Over to you Darian.
8 - WATCH PARTY: If you haven't heard, 620 CKRM is throwing its first-ever Watch Party this Friday at Studio 620 in New Mosaic Stadium. You can watch the Riders at Ticats with fellow Rider fans and the concessions will be open! It's FREE but space is limited so get there early. Also, you have to be 19 & over to attend.
9 - LOCALLY: The U of R Rams are 1-1 after a 48-28 loss at Calgary and now host the Alberta Golden Bears Saturday at 2:00 at Mosaic Stadium. All of Canada West is tight. This should be a gooder ... Meanwhile the Regina Thunder is 3-1 coming off that stunning comeback win at Saskatoon and now lines up at home this Saturday against Winnipeg at 7 pm at NMS. One request: Can these teams PLEASE situate the fans on the east side so TV cameras don't depict an empty stadium? It can't be that hard. (Why would anyone want to go to games when it looks on TV like no one else does?)
10 - GO PATS GO: Had a chat with Regina Pats boss John Paddock at Tuesday's U of R President's Breakfast. He's comfortable with the way things are going for his Memorial Cup-host team but he didn't offer too much. From what I've seen of this club (3 preseason games), they'll win 40 games which is a significant drop-off from last year's 52. However they may be built more ruggedly and will learn some tough lessons during the regular season which will pay off in the spring. Just my $0.02.