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Thursday, December 28, 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:

- It's the last Friday column of 2017.  As we look back at what was a solid year in sports, the question is what would go down as the number one Canadian sports story of the year?  Is it safe to say that story would be the CFL hiring Randy Ambrosie as commissioner?  It was a move which was roundly applauded and it was also a move that has paid off handsomely for the league and its fans in the one season he has been in charge.

Tweaking the challenge rule, extinguishing the Art Briles controversy, wheeling out the "Diversity is Strength" campaign, etc. etc. etc.  Ambrosie is the fresh air the CFL needed. Not all moves he will make will be popular with all, but his hiring and subsequent moves have to be the Canadian story of the year does it not?

- One thing Ambrosie will decide on soon is whether or not the schedule will be moved up. It is an issue he wants to consult on with everyone from TSN, to the teams, to the fans.  Those who know me, and have read this blog, know I am one to keep the schedule the way it is now.  Others agree with me and others don't.  The main reason being people don't want to sit in the cold to watch a football game. That was evident here in the last couple of games of the regular season when the temperature dipped below zero.

Why is it 80-thousand fans packed into Lambeau Field on December 23rd to watch their Packers play the Vikings on a night where it was minus-12 degrees Celsius at kickoff? The Packers weren't going to the playoffs so it was a nothing game to them.  Fast forward to Sunday and the Browns and Bears---two of the worst in the NFL played in Chicago and Soldier Field was sold out on a day where the temperature was about minus 6 at kickoff.   Why was the snow game between the Bills and Jets sold out with everyone cheering away?   It is because they do what they have to do when the weather gets cold and cheer their favourite football team because it only happens so many times a year.  If they can do it south of the border in December, we can do it here in November.  As stated, some agree, some don't. It says a lot about the love and passion they have for their team(s) though.

- Week 17 NFL Lock Of The Week -- 49ers over Rams  (Rams not dressing Gurley, Goff or Donald)
  Week 17 NFL Upset of the Week --  Chiefs over Broncos (how is Denver favoured by 3.5 pts?)

 - I know he can now come to the CFL, but I just don't see Johnny Manziel ever playing a down of Canadian football.  I think the chances of him being the marquee player for Vince MacMahon's XFL 2.0 are a lot greater because Manziel won't have to answer to anyone and can be the Johnny Football that we know today.  He will also be playing a game he is more familiar with.  If he does come, I just don't see him lasting.  Time will tell!  I also don't see him being a Rider especially after the Brandon Bridge signing.  The Riders are headed upwards and Manziel would not keep the team on that path.  Maybe a year ago, they could have partnered up, but not now. 

- Enjoying the World Juniors? Do the people in Buffalo even know it's on? The US played Denmark the other night and while it was Denmark, the rink was half empty.  It isn't like that when Canada is playing a Latvia, Belarus or Denmark when the tournament is played here.  As I have said before, TSN (which does a first-rate job with the event) has made the World Juniors bigger than it actually is.  The hype for this tournament seemingly comes from one country and that's it.

As Canada goes for the gold, I feel bad for Pats d-man Josh Mahura.  To be one of the final cuts was tough enough, but to be cut again with that second cut coming just hours before the first game of the event had to be crushing for Mahura.  He did know what could happen when the call came for him to come back and yes, he could have said thanks, but no thanks knowing this could happen, but he didn't.  For that, he should be saluted. It is still a crappy way for his Christmas to be spent though.  I think a decision on the health of Dante Fabbro should have been made earlier than it was, but the argument is there you want to field the best team so you wait until the last possible minute to do so.  The kid should be commended for handling it as well as he did.

- If the NHL could give us more games like the game Wednesday between the Jets and Oilers that would be fantastic. You couldn't ask for a better hockey game.  It was a prime example as to how the game should be played, and how great it is when it is played like that. 

- That's all I got. Have a great weekend! Stay warm and Happy New Year's. Oh yeah, GO SEAHAWKS!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Question of the day Mr. Scroofy,

Reed or Taman?
Answer, Reed all day long. He played the game. He's a competent football guru who worked his way up the ladder through hard yeoman work habits.

Anonymous said...

Jesus man, the whole column is bitching about attendance in sports! Find another bell to ring or, better yet, buy the stadium and give the tickets away. Others obviously have better things to spend their cash on than blind loyalty.

Anonymous said...

I guess when it's -20 or worse for a grey cup I want to see scruffy lead by example and be outside in the stands cheering the whole game then since he talks pretty easy.

Anonymous said...


Manziel in the XFL you say? Hmmmm!

Anonymous said...


What's the difference Scruffy? It is simple. People in Green Bay, Chicago, etc. etc. etc are real fans and not bandwagon fans like 75 percent of the people here.

Those people make excuses. Those people can afford the price of a ticket, but they can't afford to go to Mark's and get a jacket or some mitts.

People in cold-weather NFL cities could sit at home and watch the game on TV, but they don't. They love their team and it shows. That happens here too, when its convenient and they are winning. Even then that is a maybe.

Justin

Anonymous said...


To the guy talking about it being minus 20 for a GC. Here is some advice for you --DON"T GO!

Rocket Ismail's GC in Winnipeg was a brutally cold day, but that game was sold out. Why? People were tougher back then. It is as simple as that.

If you want to be there bad enough, you won't make excuses, you will go.

Anonymous said...

Americans are just better at supporting sports than Canadians, that is just fact. The only sport we come close to showing the same support is hockey, since it is a religion in this country and we take much more pride in doing so. Canadians are soft, sitting outside to watch sports in the cold unless it is an outdoor NHL game. College sports is where we see this difference big time. Saturday they have filled stadiums in many places of over 50,000 to 100,000 with many games on TV, and look at basketball with the NCAA tournament. The CIS barely gets mentioned nationally until the championships and they don't draw crowds either.

Anonymous said...

Fans can do what they want. If you'd rather be at home than sitting in the stands so be it. None of your business. As for media types who sit up in the warm media lounge, especially none of your business. The TV networks pay the big bucks to the teams. If the team cared more for the fans, maybe put in some basic stuff like more water fountains for families, so they don't have to get ripped off by buying your water bottles at the stadium. Nice stadium but no common sense. People don't like to pay for parking, tickets, concessions & then have to buy water on top of it. THAT's why the complaints.

Anonymous said...


^^^^^^^
This guy is right!

Evan Wiome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Americans are real football fans, they attend high school and college games. High school games have better attendance than Canadian University football. Canadians are hockey fans when it's considered elite and the team is winning.

Anonymous said...

LOL! That's the funniest comment ever, but you are correct. It is always your option to attend or not attend a sporting event. If you don't like ticket prices, parking, concessions then don't attend. The Riders or any sports team don't have any responsibility to accommodate you as an individual. They have done just fine running their business over the last ten plus years.

And your comment about water fountains shows you are projecting from negative emotions rather than an educated opinion. Water fountains were an apparent issue on a record breaking weather day. BUT if you were smart enough to walk around the stadium to the other water fountains you would have found no lineup. How many other games were water fountains an issue?

Lastly, i'll beat you to the punch. If you come back with a community owned or shareholder response then it shows how clueless you are.

Anonymous said...

The NFL's biggest game, the Super Bowl, is played in a warm neutral site or when in a cold place it is usually indoors on a covered field so weather is not a factor (except when it was held in NY - which it never will be again)

Places that will never host a future Super Bowl game: Seattle, NY, Chicago, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New England, Buffalo, Washington, Philadelphia, Denver, Kansas City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore.

Why? Weather!

Anonymous said...


NFL games in cold weather locales this weekend too and playoff games too. Stadiums will be packed.

Game at Mosaic when its just a couple of degrees below zero----ITS TOO COLD!!

Simple as that. Do they whine like this in Winnipeg? Calgary? Edmonton?

Anonymous said...

To anon 6, I never said I wouldn't go but if your going to yap about attendance then set an example and do as you speak...gawd some people need brains these days to understand what is being said.

Anonymous said...

Yes- I notice by all the blue empty seats (when team USA is playing) in Buffalo for the WJHC, USA fans are the best fans in the world.

Anonymous said...

Still whining about Rider attendance In cold weather? Comparing it to large us/ markets? That’s the big difference cities like Chicago and markets like Regina, one has millions in their market and Regina has a couple hundred thousand to draw from for events such as a football game. The cfl as a whole has issues and looking at ways to increase fan interest, what is wrong with that if it includes moving the schedule up?

I also wonder if scruffy had to buy himself and his family tickets to every sporting event he/they went to, how many would they actually attend?

Regina is not a big market on its own, late in the cfl season when weather is tough and travel is a challenge. Not filling those seats with fans from outside of Regina like you do in the summer.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy likes to point out the whiners, when it is him that partly leads the charge.

Anonymous said...


I love it when people throw out the "You don't have to pay it" line. This just in....YOU DON'T HAVE TO EITHER!! LOL!

It comes down to choices. My choice is to be at every Rider home game no matter if its hot or cold. It's because I am a fan. I have been that way since the early 70's. i have missed three home games since getting season tickets in 1988 and one of those was because my mother died.

Those that whined when it was just a couple of degrees below zero make me laugh. It shows you're not a real fan. Yes, you buy the shirt, you go to a game when its convenient and comfortable, but you are the first to bitch when conditions aren't ideal.

The days of Saskatchewan Tough are gone with many and will never return.

Happy New Year Rod, Happy New Year Scruffy!

Anonymous said...

Only an idiot would rather watch a game when -12 when they could watch it at +5. Scruffy watches it in a heated press room. Get with the times and move the season up

Anonymous said...


Green Bay has a million people to draw from? Guess my geography books are wrong! I'm guessing many come in from outside Green Bay to go to games too.

Anonymous said...


I guess there a lot of idiots in Green Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, New York etc. etc. etc then.

Give your head a shake! You would probably be the first one to complain about the Labour Day Classic losing its lustre when it is played in Week 13 and would find some way to blame the Riders.

Anonymous said...

You have a million people within Moose Jaw driving distance of Green Bay. (Milwaukee is 120 miles away with 1.5M) You have 9.5 million within similar distance of Chicago. Combine that with 24/7 marketing and you will fill a big stadium. We play a night game in the winter (with some blowing snow forecast)and wonder why people don't come down from 155 miles away.

College football. In November on tsn.ca they still had coverage of the 'previous years' Vanier Cup. But we can get tons of U.S. College games on Access.





Anonymous said...


Justin is 100 percent correct with his statement. I laugh at all those railing on Scruffy when all he is doing is stating fact.

It is fact that people at NFL games sell games out in cold weather. It is fact that Rider fans complain when it is a few degrees below zero.

It is fact Rider fans are S-A-W-F-T!



Anonymous said...


A trainwreck like Manziel in the XFL? He would be perfect for Vince McMahon. I had never even thought of that. Oh please let it be!



Tyler

Anonymous said...

i am sure your geography books will show you that the state of Wisconsin has a population of about 6 million people in a smaller geographical area then southern sask, I figure A significant amount of the Green Bay Packers fans that attend the games live outside of Green Bay in other locations in Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...


Do Packer fans and Wisconsin people cry about the season moving up? No, they don't and save that whining for the so-called tough Saskatchewan people!

Anonymous said...

US College football is much more entertaining than CDN University. Players are much better, one of the many reasons you don't get large crowds out to CIS games, don't even get decent crowds for CIS hockey, which is pretty decent hockey. Baffles me though that with 4 million plus in Vancouver and Toronto they can't draw 35,000 plus for football. Even if they had good teams the fans don't show up. Lions would be better off moving to the old Empire Stadium permanently.

Anonymous said...

Don't base your CIS crowd analysis on Ram home games. Get outta the basement and attend some Huskie home games. Also when the hockey Huskies move out of Rutherford and into the new arena expect more atmosphere and fans there. They will outdraw the Blades and Pats in time. Baffles me how some people can be so ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Let me put it this way. I sat in frigid conditions in Regina for the 1995 Grey Cup game. I froze my a$$ off and will never ever attend a game with those terrible conditions. If you want more fans to come to a game start the season earlier. Jeez wonder who wants to sit in a ice stadium with wind howling. NOT ME !!Scruffy needs to get out of the heated press box and sit with the fans.
Who cares what they do in Green Bay? Amazing what powerful marketing can do !!!

Anonymous said...

Its just the Saskatoon fans that dont show up when it gets cold , they would freeze in their skirts.

Anonymous said...

Hear ! Hear !
I was at that game, brutal weather. Not safe for anyone in all aspects. Wind conditions a whisker away from cancelling out my south end zone seat. Mickey Mouse setup.

Anonymous said...

Awwwwww. Poor baby got cold!

Anonymous said...


Poor baby should take his business to a CFL sponsor like Marks and get himself from winter wear so he isn't so cold.

Anonymous said...

Difference between nfl and cfl is that nfl fans are tough......don’t bitch and whine when the weather gets cold.....and actually attend the games no matter what. Over in Saskatchewan you got a bunch of pussies who are more comfortable on their couch when the weather gets a couple degrees below zero........so that’s what they do rather than support the team.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scruffy,
Just a reminder for next week, you are the HOST of The Sports Cage, you are not THE Sports Cage. You never shut up long enough to let your guests get in a word. On Friday Luc should have just gone home as you and your verbal diarrhea ruined the show completely. No one wants to hear your nails on the chalkboard voice anymore than we have to. Let the guests do their job!

Anonymous said...

Scruffy logic. Jones has already proven just this past year he's more than happy to take in washed up NFL'ers. In 2017 Jones made overtures to Vick, ended ip settling for Young & has Richardson on his roster, another guy who bombed in the NFL. Manziel is a lot younger than Young or Vick & you can't see him taking a chance on Manziel, a Heisman winner as a junior????? Opinions are fine, Scruffy, but you should have a sense of recent Rider history at least. There's an extremely good chance Jones would go after Manziel. He' may not pan out but anyone who thinks he is less of a prospect than the QB's you got now should give your heads a shake. Bridge is not a star & Jones himself isn't convinced he can be a starter. He's had less starts under Jones than Franklin had & Bridge only played because as the season went on Glenn didn't cut it, the "normal" for Glenn the past few years. Remember he was sent packing in 2015 by the Riders, 2016 by the Als & switched with Bridge later in the season last year. - in other words faded down the stretch. As for Adams & Williams, coming out of college you already know who the NFL would take - Manziel, & don't tell me it would have been different in the CFL.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure all you hardy types thoroughly enjoyed getting your frozen behinds handed to you the past few years by visitors. Still lost 4 of your 9 games at new Mosaic including getting thumped in the final game when, by the way, the stands weren't full. Geez what would happen when it really gets cold. Already unable to get 9 sellouts on a brand new stadium. It would be nice if you could come up with a new name for the stadium so your sportscasters can stop talking about "new Mosaic". Do Saskies not know the difference? Here's a hint - "old Mosaic" is the one you tore down. There is no old Mosaic. Clear? You're welcome.

Anonymous said...


I love the Scruffy hate! What makes it funnier is I know RP and the Scruffdog just laugh at these anonymous nut-tuggers who think they are somebody. How do I know? They've both told me. HA HA HA HA HA!

RP and the Scruffdog would make great heels in wrestling. LOVE IT BOYS!! Make Mullinder your manager!

As for the debate of the day, there is no doubt NFL fans are more passionate about their team than Rider fans are. NFL fans support their team no matter the weather. All Saskatchewan fans care about is where they can get their next beer from and how they can get home even though they're pissed to the gills thinking they are Mr. Important when really they are Mr. Irrelevant.

Keep being you Rider Nation.



Anonymous said...


Putting on this on both this post and the one on Scruffy's blog.

This would be the definition of hypocrisy.

My brother-in-law would not go to the final game against Edmonton because it was "too cold" so he wanted to stay home, get some pizza and watch it from the couch. This is the same gentleman who at 10:30 this morning hopped into his truck to go ice fishing on Last Mountain Lake.

Ummmmmm....


Dave in Moose Jaw

Anonymous said...

Laughing amongst yourselves is pretty funny. Who is the joke on? Think about it.

Anonymous said...

So Dave, ice fishing is more entertaining to him than watching the Riders. How is that hypocrisy?

Anonymous said...

If Ambrosie wasn't the Canadian sports story of the year, I don't know what is.

He is like Giancarlo Stanton. Just keeps hitting homer after homer after homer!


Anonymous said...

THIS IS ACCURATE RIDER FANS!


Difference between nfl and cfl is that nfl fans are tough......don’t bitch and whine when the weather gets cold.....and actually attend the games no matter what. Over in Saskatchewan you got a bunch of pussies who are more comfortable on their couch when the weather gets a couple degrees below zero........so that’s what they do rather than support the team.

Anonymous said...

I would rather watch the Rider game at home on tv then travel in from out of town with my family and exposing them to bad weather, bad roads, and it is significantly cheaper and I can have some buddies over as well. I spend more then enough time outside through out the winter I don’t need to pay big money to watch a night game in nov. i support the riders enough thank you very much. I guess that makes me a pussy, s a w f t or not Saskatchewan tough. How pathetic must some people be to call other people those terms cause they are not going to a rider game in Nov, I just shake my head, cause I got my doubts most of them wouldn’t say it to someone’s face.



Anonymous said...

Okay man, I can see your point if one has a long distance to travel to get to a game and I know those Skatchywan winters can be brutal in late October or early November......but if you’re a local Regina yokel.....you’ve got NO excuse......if you’re gonna wuss out and not go to a game because its a couple degrees below zero, then give your ticket to someone else who’s not a pussy and will attend the game. Support of a team does not stop once you purchase a ticket you know. Support the team by attending games or don’t even buy a ticket