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Friday, December 15, 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:

- There are things that you really don't expect and news of the CFL schedule being released so early made me wonder if, instead of getting Christmas gifts for Mrs. Scruffy, did I have to get a Valentines Day gift for her? Was it actually mid-February? 

Who saw that one coming? 

The release of the CFL schedule days before Christmas keeps the league in the minds of CFL fans.  The days of hanging the "Gone Fishing" sign on the door of the league office is over and you can thank Commissioner Randy Ambrosie for that.  I had a great chat with Ambrosie on Thursday's Sportscage as we talked about the release and other issues.

- Ambrosie wants the CFL to have a bigger piece of the pie and he is willing to engage with the fans that are the lifeblood of the league when it comes to key issues.  He wants to take the 'moving up the schedule' issue with fans from one side of the country to the other, he wants to talk about the playoff format with fans from all over. He wants what he thinks will be spirited debate on the issue. Why not?

- How can you not like the Rider schedule? No, it isn't perfect and a bye in the last week of the season could be very dramatic considering where the Riders could be sitting at that time. Some have quickly noticed that if they were to be first in the West that they would have a long break. If the Riders finished first in the West, I don't think anyone would care one bit about the break they would have because it would mean they would have finished first!

- People are complaining already about the Thursday game in July. Shocking! Look at the schedule and either work around it and take a long weekend or don't go. It's as simple as that! You have been given plenty of notice.  The decision is now up to you! It's not a Riders thing, its a you thing and the same thing goes for the Thanksgiving Monday game against Edmonton. I personally think that will be outstanding. Is it safe to say we know what the halftime spread in the pressbox will be that day. Yeah, it will probably be smokies!

- The news Wednesday of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment buying the Toronto Argonauts fits into that category of things you don't expect as well.  It is great news for the Argos and the CFL though.  How can it not be?  This will have to move the needle somewhat.   Those going to Leafs and Raptors game will get a dose of the Argonauts with in-game advertisements.  There is also perhaps a way to work together with those two teams when it comes to ticket sales.

- The same can be said with Toronto FC.  BMO Field is now a "stadium of champions". How do you and can you capitalize on that? What is done now will be key for a franchise that is trying to claw its way back to relevance, but it is still a long way from doing so.

- There are things you do expect, and I did expect the Saskatchewan Roughriders to sign Chris Jones to a contract extension.  Say what you will, but the plan is on track.  Yes, it would have been through the East, but Jones had this team just seconds from competing in the Grey Cup. Would they have beaten Calgary on that snowy track in Ottawa? It's a question we will never know the true answer to, but one would have had to like their chances.

The team is on an upswing. It would be unrealistic to see the team take another 5 win progression in 2018 and go to 15 wins, but don't tell that to Jones. He has said it many times before Monday and he said it again during his news conference. My goal every year is to win the Grey Cup and if we don't, the season is a failure.  That is a logic shared by many.   His expectations are high, but Craig Reynolds has said getting a home playoff game is satisfactory to him for 2018.  That home playoff game means you finish first or second and your path to the Grey Cup is easier. I don't disagree.

- Week 15 NFL Lock of the Week -- Falcons over Bucs
   Week 15 NFL Upset of the Week -- Raiders over Cowboys

- Congratulations to Balcarres for being named the Hockey Day in Saskatchewan host venue. It will be a fun time in the home of the Broncs on the January 19-20-21 weekend as the town becomes the center of activity with the game we all love. Once again, there will be many different leagues showcasing their teams and the game during that weekend.  I fully understand why it doesn't happen, but I would love to see a WHL game played at this event as well.

- As you walk through Safeway and you see Pic-A-Pop, tell me you don't think back to your childhood if you are in my age bracket. Unlike me, you probably leave it on the shelf.

- The Regina Pats are not making it easy on themselves.  The comparisons being made to the Saskatoon Blades of 2013 that hosted the Memorial Cup are accurate.  The question being asked now is will John Paddock give up too much or will he completely dismantle the team the way Brent Parker did back in 2001 so that they are competitive come May. It won't be much longer now as the trade deadline is January 10th.  A frustrated fan-base awaits.

- Something about subtraction doesn't add up.

Have a great weekend.  If going out into the chaos that is Christmas shopping, godspeed to you. Chances are I could see you.  SIGHHHHH!!!

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paddock has to push all the chips in and go all in or this team will get embarrassed in May.

Anonymous said...


Thursday night game against an Eastern division opponent. No thanks!

Anonymous said...

Every team has quirks in the schedule...get over it folks...if you want to make the games bad enough you will go. Thursday games in July and August actually make sense. That way you don't have to come in from the lake in the middle of your weekend. Might not be good for those who travel hundreds of kilometres for games, but overall for the league it must work. With the bye week on the last weekend, I can only guess that each team will be taking turns over the years. So once every 9 years isn't a big deal. I wish it was a bit more balanced in that we play 5 games vs East then 6 vs West, then 3 East and end with 4 West. But it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Don't think it is an accurate comparison for the current Pats to the 2013 Blades. The Blades finished first in the east that year, had won 18 games in a row in from late January until early March and then did our usual choke in the playoffs and out the first round. At least we won one game in Memorial Cup and weren't blown out in it. :)

I am not really a Pats fan but I think they are a much better team than their record and they just need to make a couple trades and start playing as a team more.

I hope they are not thinking they can sit back and think they can just make the playoffs, lose in the first round and still be ok for the Cup. That seldom works if you got to sit out for six weeks (although it worked last year I think)

MS

Anonymous said...

For any of you who have not yet run out and bought a present to put under Scruffy's Christmas tree, I suggest the excellent new book "Dr. Z: The Lost Memoir of an Irreverent Football Writer" by Paul Zimmerman.

Anonymous said...


Its been a pretty productive off-season for the CFL and we are less than a month into it. Ambrosie promised change, and he is delivering.

PS: I buy Pic-a-Pop every time I'm at Safeway. Loved that stuff as a kid.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy - you are totally off base on wanting the schedule to stay the same. Conditions are changing in sports and it is much easier to stay home when it gets cold and watch the games on high def TV. You seem to forget that a high percentage of Rider season ticket holders are over 50 and have sat through enough cold weather games to last a life time. The playoff game in 2013 was so cold that I could not feel my toes and I was dressed as warm as possible with felt liners in my boots.
You media types sit out of the cold and don't seem to care if the Riders lose money on attendance when it is cold.
I don't think the games need to be moved up a month but what is wrong with the first playoff game played in October when it might not be -10 c? Play the Grey Cup the first week of NOvember, not the 3rd week.

Bill Salloum said...

I'm one of those who don't like the Thursday night game. Scruffy if you're saying "the same thing goes for the Thanksgiving Monday game" then maybe you're not quite getting the point. Thanksgiving Monday is a 2pm game, which makes it like a Sunday 2pm game - it's a day off for most people, lots of time to travel 2-3-4 hours each way and be ready for work the next day. The problem with this year's Thursday night game is that the next day is a work day. Those of us who have to travel now have to decide whether to use up a vacation day in order to attend the game. Sure, it's my choice and yes there's lots of notice, but I still don't have to like it.

That being said, the rest of the schedule looks great. I especially like the earlier starts in October this year which should be more comfortable weather-wise.

Anonymous said...


To the person thinking Scruffy is off-base, you would be wrong. If you want to be a part-time fan (which you likely are) and sit on your couch and want games go at it hoss! It just shows you are not passionate about CFL football and the Riders.

I am 58 years old, I have been a season ticket holder since the mid-70's. I have enjoyed warm weather games and cold weather games. Go out and buy some winter weather gear and quit making excuses.

Why should the CFL cater to your whims and desires? It isn't about you or Rider Nation. It is about the CFL as a whole.

Have fun sitting on your couch and make sure to tip the pizza man well.

Anonymous said...

If anyone isn't happy with the Eagles - Nelly is playing at Casino Regina. The system crashed today that's how fast tickets are going.

Anonymous said...

I love lime green Pic-a-Pop, no... upon further review, I actually like all their flavour products. Good to the last drop!

Anonymous said...

I still can't believe the concept of Pic-a-Pop. The cream soda was good and they had a flavor called moonshine. If I recall you would go there get the pop then return the empties to them? It really was a wonderful time to grow up in that era. I feel bad for kids today. They have what they have but we just had more fun.

Anonymous said...


Bill:

Do you really think there are people out there who will want to travel 3-4 hours on Thanksgiving Monday to go to a game and sacrifice eating a big meal with their family who likely doesn't want to do it on Sunday?

I like the schedule too, but a holiday Monday game is stupid. Have it on the Sunday and I'm good, but Monday? Nope!


Russ

Anonymous said...

Everyone has to realize that the rider organization no longer gives a damn about the fans that have to drive 2 - 4 hours to a game. They feel they can survive just fine with Regina fans and those within a hour or so. Their attitude when you deal with the organization over the last few years has changed so much, it is a great dissappointment. Obviously you can never make everyone happy with the schedule but where fans have to travel from is no longer a consideration

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, pop was "mix" for my parents drinks. We seldom ever had a drink f pop.

Then pic a pop right (across from the SaskTel warehouse) sprang up and suddenly, pic a pop was for us kids!

Meanwhile, I dont think there will be any big changes with the Pats. They dont have big name trade bait among younger players and only a contender would trade for one of the pats 20s.

Soooo Could it be that Paddock is playing a style that showcases some of his younger talent to up their trade value? Young Paddock being an example

Paddock is the name I'm thinking will be our prime trade bait. Thats why he's playing lots lately.

Anonymous said...


Bill:

Thanksgiving Day is a day for family and not travelling back and forth 3-4 hrs for a football game. Wake up!


Anonymous said...


I hate this schedule, four of the last six on the road and the last week of the season off? Is this to appease the whiny fans who can't be bothered to sit in conditions that aren't optimal? It would certainly appear to be.


Mike S

Anonymous said...

For this Rider fan, the best thing about the 2018 schedule in the holiday Monday game! Its about time! Live Football on Thanksgiving is a blessing not to be taken for granted. To the whiners out there - suck it up, get with the program or Shut. Your. Mouth.

Anonymous said...

In a league where Thursday games are a thing, just how much of a special snowflake do you have to be to think that the Riders are exempt from playing ANY home Thursday games?? Get real. Every team has to play give and take. Well, a Thursday home game is an example of us giving. It isn't all going to go our way, and the idea that we should be exempted from ever having to play a Thursday game because SOME fans travel a long distance is pretty entitled. To live 3, 4, 5 hours away from the city where the home games are played and actually expect that the schedule should work out absolutely perfect for someone that has a 6-10 hour round trip and that anything less than that is unacceptable is wishful thinking and an unfair expectation to have.

One Thursday home game is not being unfair to out of town Rider fans.

Nor is the number of night weekend games vs day weekend games. Night games have the best atmosphere and the vast majority of night games outside of late season night games when it's cold and the game is meaningless sell out and seem to be packed. I go to every game and I have seen no evidence of significant numbers of seats being empty on these night games when it's supposedly super hard on out of town fans so it can't be that big of an issue for the majority. And that's what this is about: majority, and a significant majority at that. Night summer games are the best. It's after the heat of the day, beautiful Saskatchewan summer evening. The weekend day games came come later in the year when the weather turns colder.

This home schedule is the proper balance of Thursday home games/day game/night games.

Anonymous said...

Don't go sell the tickets...problem solved.

Anonymous said...


Why should the Riders worry about fans from 3-4 hours away? They won't come in if the weather is cold. They will blame it on the Riders. etc. etc. etc These people just basically stay on their couch and say they are fans while watching it from their living room.

You have very few opportunities to watch your favourite football team live and in person so look at the 10 days out of 365 that will happen and make your plans.

If you don't like it, that is a you thing and not a Riders not caring thing.

Andrew

Anonymous said...

No wonder fans in other cities despise Rider fans. Heck Rider fans can't even get along amongst themselves. The locals have taken to cussing on the out of towners. Real classy Regina.

Anonymous said...

So we built a 280 million dollar stadium for Ten games a year? Just saying...

Meanwhile, it is harder for out-of-Towners to make some games. They might complain a bit but they make it work.

Riders are privileged to have their support!!

Anonymous said...

The once unified Ridernation is crumbling on two fronts.
Now it's the Jones camp vs the Jones haters and the locals alienating the out-of-towners.
It's sad to see when one thinks of what we had just a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

More jealousy from other fans.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy always nails it right on the head

Anonymous said...

Rider nation aka whiner nation.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
More jealousy from other fans"

WRONG Lifelong Saskatchewan resident.