Thursday, September 21, 2017
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR CAPITAL CADILLAC
2 - COMPLIMENTARY FOOTBALL: The Riders opened some eyes last week when back-up QB Brandon Bridge led the club to a 27-19 victory over the desperate Ticats in Hamilton. Sure, the Rider offense only managed one first down in the second half but the defense continued to force turnovers and the special teams were strong. At last, the Green are playing as a team and it's been that way for awhile seeing as the club has won four of its last five games.
3 - CAPITAL GAINS: Defensive MVP Ed Gainey recorded two more interceptions against the Ticats to add to his league-leading total of eight. Friday's performance had Ed's coaches scrambling to find out what the franchise record is, and the name James Patrick came up (he led the league with 9 in 2010). However the unforgettable Terry Irvin set the Rider record in 1984 with 11 interceptions. That's well within striking distance for Mr. Gainey this season.
4 - ABOUT THIS WEEK: The 10-1-1 Calgary Stampeders will make their first visit to New Mosaic Stadium on Sunday (2:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network) and the match-up is something of a head-scratcher. The Riders are rolling but so too are the Stamps, who are far and away the #1 team in the CFL. The odds for the contest still haven't been posted which tells me the oddsmakers are struggling mightily with setting the line. If league-leading rusher Jerome Messam isn't at Calgary's disposal, the smell of an upset could be in the air.
5 - LET 'EM PLAY: Kudos to the CFL's officiating department for NOT flagging touchdown celebrations, and assessing Taunting infractions. The Riders have brought the endzone cellies back, and their Conga line, swim meets and head bobs have been shown endlessly on Sportscentre the past number of weeks. This, after all, is the entertainment biz.
6 - IN A HUF: Had a long chat with Stampeders President John Hufnagel at last week's Hall of Fame festivities in Hamilton and I was richer for the experience. Huf figures if the CFL is looking for a new home for the CFHOF, they should look no further than Saskatoon. Please discuss. Meanwhile on the topic of a new football stadium in Calgary, John isn't getting his hopes up any time soon. These aren't great times on the Calgary sports facilities scene.
7 - SACRE BLEU: CFL Presidents, Governors and Chairmen held meetings in Southern Ontario last week to coincide with the Hall of Fame induction. The word coming out of the proceedings? The Toronto Argonauts are no longer the #1 trouble spot. The Boatmen have solid ownership and a strong Coach/GM combo. No, the weak sister right now is the Montreal Alouettes who are struggling on the field, at the gate and possibly in the boardroom. I would've suggested immediately selling the club to Molson and calling it a day but lately these huge sports comglomerates aren't proving to be the answer.
8 - WHAT'S WITH DOUBLES?: The struggles of Darian Durant and his Alouettes are a hot topic around here. The Rider franchise great was yanked in the first half on Sunday and everyone seems to have an opinion on the root of his frustration. "It's his mechanics" some pundits say, while others suggest, "It's all mental". Could it be he's just on a bad team? At least Darian's bank account is healthy but if money equaled happiness, Bill Gates would be the happiest man in the world. And he's not.
If Durant had accepted a massive paycut offer would he be quarterbacking Saskatchewan right now? Likely not, so the situation is what it is.
9 - GOOD MORNING RIDERS: Everyone was happy to see Ken Miller back in the CFL, hired by the Alouettes on the weekend to help out with their offense. At 75, Kenny still has a ton to offer and as his wife Maureen once said, "He'll die on the sidelines". Ironically just last week Miller was described by a CFL coordinator as a "Transformational Coach". I asked for a definition and he said, "A coach who transforms players into more than they ever thought they could be and in the end, thought they did it all on their own. Kenny never takes the credit".
10 - THE FOOTBALL GODS: A first quarter ankle injury knocked Duron Carter out of Friday's game and denied him a chance to set a Rider record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch at seven. The football gods intervened and said, "No Duron, you will not surpass Hugh Campbell and Weston Dressler". Asked about it on Wednesday, Carter said "No big deal. I'll just start another streak." That's confidence, not arrogance.
You ask for proof that football gods exist? I ask you for proof that they don't.