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Friday, October 6, 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.

- The Trent Richardson era begins in Saskatchewan Saturday afternoon. Safe to say there is a lot of interest.  Richardson got tongues wagging this week when he said he is in this for "me".  He has made no secret he is hoping to use his journey to the CFL as a way to get back to the NFL. He wants just one team to give him the opportunity he has not had since the end of the 2014 season.  To get that chance, he will have to be amazing.

While Richardson has experience and is 27, he is still someone who failed in the NFL the first time around. There is a lot of football left in his tank, but there are also many players who are younger, and many teams in need of a running back will be able to find one in the 2018 draft or grab someone after the draft is over as a free agent.

If Richardson doesn't get his shot, will he want to come back to the Riders in 2018? Will he say 'that's it' if that offer doesn't come? If he doesn't play well, he may not get the opportunity.

The bottom line is Richardson can write his own ticket with his performance.  While there was some "me" in what we heard this week, you still need to have help to be successful.  One can't succeed in a team sport by himself.  It's not 1 against 12.  Like you, I am intrigued to see how he does, and how much he plays.

- There seems to be a mindset amongst the fan base this game could be an easy one for the green-and-white because they are playing another "inferior" Eastern opponent.  Let's just pull back on that philosophy for one second.

Both teams have won 7 games and the Argos are 5-2 at home. The Riders have had problems stopping the run and they go up against a guy in James Wilder Junior who averaged over 10 yards a carry in September.  This will be far from a cakewalk. I think the Riders claw and scratch their way to a win with the defence having to come up big against Ricky Ray, but I do not think it will be easy.  The Argos are favoured by 1.5-points.  It should be a great game.

- The question now is what do they get for a crowd? The 4:00 start means they will not go head-to-head with the Leafs opener, but Toronto has that opener at 8:00 pm ET and I am guessing if you want to be there for the start of that game, you may not want to be at the Argos game.

- The CFL came out this week and admitted the command centre screwed one up in last week's Toronto-Hamilton game. It came as NO surprise to those who saw the "pass interference" call on Ti-Cats DB Demond Washington.  Glen Johnson has been silent on the issue.   3Down Nation.com had a column penned by a fan this week saying overall change is needed in that area. While fan columns are one-sided, this column is one that I think would be met with approval by most who follow the league.

New blood is needed in the command centre. This has is painfully obvious and has been that way for quite some time.  The calls we sometimes see originating from there are somewhat baffling for the CFL fan--whether they be fanatic, armchair or casual.  The column goes on to say pass interference and illegal contact penalties should not be subject to review. That would be fine with me, but it would just open up another can of worms.  Instant replay is good when done correctly. It hasn't been done correctly in the CFL.  I have confidence that when the 2018 season begins Commissioner Randy Ambrosie will have fixed a problem that has become "egregious" in nature.

- The Eskimos can't lose in Montreal can they?

- The WHL is shortening its season from 72 games to 68.  Would the CFL follow suit and go from an 18 game schedule to 16?  The talk from many is they would like to see the season moved up because of the climate. This would allow you to do that and keep training camp at the same time.  It would also allow you to play each team twice and perhaps dispose of the East-West format that is so one-sided now.  I'd be for it, but I might be in the moral minority in this one.

- I am all in favour of the WHL reducing its regular season putting them at the same amount of games as the Quebec and Ontario Leagues. While education is part of it, I would have to think the fact the WHL is the last team to have its rep for the Memorial Cup decided most years.  This will allow whatever team is competing to have some extra time and not get rushed from the league championship to the Memorial Cup.

- Connor McDavid told reporters in Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon that he just wants to try and have a season like last year. He said there are many good players in the NHL so saying he is the overwhelming favourite as the league's Most Valuable Player again this season would be a stretch.  If night 1 is any indication, yeah OK thanks Connor.

 Yes, it is only one game of 82 and no one in Edmonton is getting their spot reserved on Jasper Avenue for the parade, but McDavid showed he is more than ready to improve on last season with his hat-trick in a season-opening win over the Flames.

Watching the game, I kept asking to myself.  Is he quicker this year? Is that possible? If he is, and it sounds like that is the case, he is going to be a nightmare for opposition blueliners and goalies.

- Week 5 NFL Lock of the Week --- Pittsburgh over Jacksonville
  Week 5 NFL Upset of the Week --- Packers over Dallas

- The baseball playoffs are here.  Pitching wins! Isn't that right Trevor Bauer? Isn't that right Justin Verlander? Whoever gets the best performance from their arms will win the World Series.  I think we see another Cubs-Indians WS and it goes 7 with the team that lost last year winning this year. If I have the right two teams and the wrong Game 7 verdict, I'm OK with that.

- Have a great Thanksgiving weekend. Eat lots of turkey and get to and from safely!


11 comments:

Anonymous said...


TSN had a clip of McDavid's goal saying he was going almost as fast as Bolt at the Olympics. How is a defenceman supposed to compete with that without taking a penalty? The kid is amazing.

Doug Mc said...

I hope the Riders do an audit of how successful it is to hold 25 free agent camps over the winter. How many players do we really identify CFL worthy and how many we get to camp or to our roster. Seems we are recycling a lot of players who havent played in a year or two, and also signing players identified by other teams.
Many feel we have tons of money to throw around, but we lost 4 million 2 years ago, and just more than broke even last year. Having a successful team with help with merchandise sales, but things like 25 camps, sending a private jet for one player, who is now injured, dont make sense.
I have been a Rider fan for 50 years, and we have gone thru the good and bad times, but hopefully we have learned from the bad times.

Anonymous said...

I would support a 16 game schedule with each team playing the others twice -- home and home. BUT what happens if another team is added to the mix via expansion -- Halifax??-- do they go back to 18 games to keep the "play each other twice, home and home"????

Anonymous said...

The Riders didn't have 25 camps. It was about half that. Also, they don't cost as much as you think. Don't the players have to pay around $100 to show their stuff?
Maybe we should just go back to the same old Riders? No camps and a 6-12 season?

I don't get why fans keep bringing up things like "players identified by other teams". Really, so no other teams knew who this guy was? This player was in hiding? I can assure you the Riders know every single NFL cut and graduating College player in North America.

Look at every team in the CFL. Everyone recycles other teams cuts. Everyone! Almost every team has had an ex-Rider starting for them let alone a back-up or practise roster player. It happens. Get over it.
Winnipeg has had as many as 7 former Riders dressed, over half of them starting and most were deemed expendable here. Montreal has 4 ex-Riders starting who couldn't make our team. Buddy Jackson starting in BC ... can't they find a young american DB?
Fulton, Capiccotti, Chambers .... none of them could make our team.

Scott Thompson said...

Bingo.

Anonymous said...


Sorry Rod. I'm with Scruffy on ditching East-West. Having a 16 game sked would work. If Halifax comes into the league to make it a perfect 10 team--5 East and West, we can go back to what it is now. That isn't happening for years though.


Jerry

Doug Mc said...

I felt when we hired Chris Jones that one of the things that definitely needed improving was our scouting, so I am not against free agent tryout camps, but the number they had was a lot. I heard 25 and you say 12, so it still is a lot and probably somewhere in the middle. And no, I dont begrudge a big budget for scouting, but just want to ensure that we see results. I just get the feeling the Riders are doing more camps than required and they should spend more time Scouting canadian universities. Also I would like to know what the cost of these camps is. ( I would love to know how many CIS games he sees a year. After hearing him talk about game in Ottawa last weekend, it sounded like maybe not many )

As for recycled CFL players, we definitely should be doing this, but my point is this is a huge part of getting quality players that doesnt cost a lot. So by pointing out every ex-rider or player on different teams is not the point. We need to find players wherever we can, but we also have to ensure that we have a positive bottom line. Sending a private jet to pick up Otha Foster is going a bit far and flaunting our financial strength is not a good thing.

I was happy we hired Chris Jones, and still am reasonably happy, but I hope that he has learned that as General Manager, he is more than the DC. GO RIDERS

Anonymous said...

Halifax is never getting a team. They had better hope they don't LOSE a team or 2 in Toronto,Montreal, or Vancouver

Anonymous said...

To Doug Mc

I share your concern. I watch other games and they describe players as "21 year old rookie". It seems to me that other teams have a lot more of that kind of player than we do.
When Jones was hired I doubt if anyone felt he had contacts Stateside. Why would he? He'd been a coach his whole life. That's why Murphy was included, he supposedly had the contacts.
That's where I feel the Riders are really weak. It's obvious Murphy doesn't have anywhere near the contacts his old boss(Huffer) has. That's why all the free-agent camps and like you I think they have not been very productive.

Dave SW



Anonymous said...

"In Jones We Trust"

Anonymous said...

Another stellar pick for lock of the week Scruffy. Definitely dont know football very well.