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Friday, October 13, 2017


Welcome to Friday!  Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

- The stretch drive is here. 4 weeks to go in the CFL season and the Riders could clinch a playoff spot.  A win over the REDBLACKS tonight and a loss by BC and the /=S=/ are officially back in the playoffs with the division to be determined. 

Who thought that would be the case after the 30-15 loss in BC on August 5 when the Riders were god-awful? It has been a tremendous turn-around. Chris Jones had a plan and while it may have taken longer than what some wanted it to be, the turn-around has happened.  With three of the final four at home, there is a solid chance this team finishes the season at 11-7. If they run the table, they are 12-6.

- Before you start thinking about that though, one must remember the Ottawa REDBLACKS will be a different team than they were in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago.  Trevor Harris gives them a better chance to win.  Ottawa is trying to do what the Riders did in Eastern Canada by winning twice in back-to-back weeks out west. We all know Ottawa has been involved in many close games this year, and I expect them to be involved in another close one tonight. I also expect the end result to be like it has for them for most of the season---so close, but so far.

- Tough for Chad Owens to get on the roster. He's on the Riders' 46-man roster but will be a game time scratch. A Twitter follower asked me why the CFL does this because the two scratched players still get a cheque? The question is: Why don't you just play 46?  That is something that the CFL should clarify publicly.

- If a trade deadline comes and goes and no deals are made, was there really a trade deadline?  I find it somewhat shocking that there were no trades made Wednesday before the CFL trade deadline. In fact the deadline was like the CFL office from late December until early February: nothing happening.  Thank goodness TSN didn't do a trade deadline day special!  I really find it hard to believe that the contenders are all satisfied with what they have and that Montreal and Hamilton didn't try to peddle away some assets for something as they begin rebuilding efforts.

- The time is approaching for year end awards. Who do you have? I would have to think the odds-on favourite for Most Outstanding Player at this time would be Naaman Roosevelt.  The top defensive player remains a battle between Ed Gainey and Willie Jefferson. I flip-flop on this one all the time, but I'm leaning towards Willie.  Brendon Labatte would be lineman of the year, Tyler Crapigna would get special teams honours and the rookie of the year would would would be .... Christion Jones? Has there been another impact rookie? Would Dariusz Bladek count?  Can the stadium be nominated?

- The 2007 Grey Cup champs will be saluted this weekend. Would they have beaten the 2013 team? Would the 2013 team have beaten the 2009 team? Discuss!

- I had Cleveland going to the World Series and winning it. I forgot Cleveland can't put away a team. They had three chances to knock the Cubs out last year and three chances to knock the Yankees out this year.  Could this mean we are about to see yet another Yankees-Dodgers World Series. I'm not ready for that. 

- As I said in Monday's column, the 8th inning of Cubs playoff games are enough to make me reach for the heart pills. Game 4 on Wednesday was no different and either was Game 5 last night.  Playoff baseball is so much fun especially when your team is involved. Am I right Jays fans?

- Nail Yakupov has 3 goals in 4 games for the Avalanche. Clearly he is on his way to a Hart Trophy winning season.

- The Montreal Canadiens have 5 goals in 4 games. 4 players have at least 5 goals on their own. When will the Habs ever find a goal scorer?

- Those who hate the Leafs are going to have a long winter and long winters to come. That team is for real this year. I don't like it.

- Week 6 NFL Lock Of The Week --- Atlanta over Miami
  Week 6 NFL Upset Of The Week --- Rams over Jacksonville

- Big weekend for the Rams and Thunder in Edmonton--moreso the Thunder since their season is on the line against the Huskies in a PFC Semi-final. I was amazed to hear that even had the Huskies finished first ahead of Saskatoon that this would have been the semi-final matchup for the Thunder since the 4th place Winnipeg Rifles can't travel more than one province for a playoff game because of costs and travel.  It's the same for all teams. That's just dumb!  You can fly teams to Eastern Canada for games, but you won't allow them to go more than one province at playoff time.  DUMB! The Rams are in the Alberta capital to take on the Golden Bears.  A win puts them at 4-2 and if the Huskies can beat UBC,  Regina just might have a home playoff game in their cards for a second straight season.  You can hear that one on 620 CKRM with yours truly at 2 o'clock.

That's all I got.  I need to try and start breathing again after that Cubs game.  Have a great weekend!