Wednesday, October 18, 2017
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR UNIVERSAL COLLISION CENTRE
2 - MORE ON CARTER: If you go by the adage, "Judge people by the way they treat you", then I have nothing but great things to say about Duron Carter. It's clear by watching him play that he's just out there having a blast. He's never been in trouble away from the field - in fact he's sensational in the community - so there's a lot here that simply doesn't add up. To this point he's been a tremendous addition to the football club.
3 - STILL MORE: TSN and Sportsnet have both reported that Monday's fight was either "encouraged" or "orchestrated" by the Rider coaching staff. I find that hard to believe and saw no evidence of it And, frankly, if that were the case, then why not wait until Tuesday's closed practice where the tussle could've been staged behind locked gates? Again, a lot is not adding up but if this team needed a shake-up, they got it.
4 - "TEACHABLE MOMENTS": I love this new buzz word in sports for "mistakes". There were a lot of teachable moments in last week's 33-32 home loss to Ottawa but I saw a silver lining in it all. This team will NOT take its eye off the ball the rest of the way, and in the CFL Playoffs. Chris Jones seemed to see a letdown like this coming by telling his players, "Don't read your press clippings". But they did and just like we learned in 4H, you have to learn to do by doing. The best part about a mistake is the opportunity to try it again.
5 - BETTER SAFE: Rider fans were alarmed when they saw security personnel armed with assault rifles at Friday's game. That was a first for little ol' Saskatchewan. But rather than being afraid, that should make you feel SAFER! However it sucks that terrorism is now on our doorstep.
6 - WELCOME BACK GETZ: Having Chris Getzlaf back in the proper Green & White just feels right. Who knows how much gas he has left in the tank but he's appeared lightning fast in practice this week. His wisdom and talents may just be what the doctor ordered for the Riders during the stretch drive and playoffs. See: Jason Clermont and Geroy Simon.
7 - BRRRRRR: It was a chilly one at Friday's Rider game and Captain Obvious says it's going to get a whole lot colder. However it was pointed out that if the CFL is going to make the wise decision to avoid NFL Sundays in the fall then, late Friday and Saturday night games are going to be the consequence. So bundle up, and then enjoy the couch on Sundays. Clearly we can't have it both ways.
8 - VIVA LAS VEGAS: A guy named "Wolfy" asked me this week if I was surprised at the record-setting start by the Vegas Golden Knights out of the gate. Of course I had to say no, and you've read why over the past several weeks in this space. They look as fast as any team. An NHL scout told me recently that the VGK braintrust of McPhee, Gallant, et al have earned the right not to be questioned and now here they stand atop the Western Conference with 10 points. Now about those Oilers...
9 - GO PATS GO: The Regina Pats are 5-4-1 and host the Brandon Wheat Kings on Wednesday. (I'll have the TV call with Martin Smith and Darren Dupont on Access at 7 pm). The club is finding its way but, at this point, clearly isn't the special team that won 52 games last year. But they turn it on when they need to, and will be fine. As a side note, fans sure seem to love the 4:00 pm starts on Sunday because the arena was jammed for Sunday's 3-2 OT win over Edmonton. Whomever came up with that idea should take a bow.
10 - LOCALLY: The Regina Thunder visit the Saskatoon Hilltops in the PFC Final on Sunday in another chapter in their storied rivalry. The two clubs split the season series and there will be a huge contingent of Regina football fans headed to SMF Field for the clash ... Meanwhile the U of R Rams (4-2) host the Calgary Dinos on Saturday at 2:00 at Mosaic Stadium. With a playoff berth already clinched, Steve Bryce's club will be looking to fine tune against the top team in the conference.