Realty One

Titan Auto

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


1. It was fantastic to have Regina billionaire Gary Drummond on the SportsCage to shed some light on his Halifax CFL expansion dream. With CFL kingpins Randy Ambrosie, Wayne Morsky and John Ruddy in Drummond's group's corner, football fans in Halifax can start saving for season tickets. The only question is, "When will this team begin play?"

2. They could probably start play in 2020 - if they had a stadium - and that's going to be the biggest hurdle after being awarded a team. While it's virtually a slam dunk to count on money from the City of Halifax and Province of Nova Scotia, it says here that Ottawa should chip in a fair chunk as well (even though they didn't contribute a nickel to the palace known as Mosaic Stadium). With the millions to be earned in GST from ticket sales, food & beverage and merchandise over the next decades - not to mention the pride the franchise will instill in the region - it's about time the Federal Government does their part in building sporting venues in Canada. The same goes for Calgary.

3. It would be grand for Halifax to erect a temporary 30,000 seat stadium (like Vancouver did during the B.C. Place renos) so the team could begin play almost immediately but Nova Scotians tell me there is nowhere in the area for it to fit. We'll have to defer to their expertise. Meanwhile when you eventually head to the Maritimes to enjoy CFL football in the coming years, I suggest you strike Peggy's Cove from your Bucket List. To me it's the most overrated tourist attraction in Canada. Just MHO.

4. Riderville Arizona last week was fantastic and - dare I say - the most successful party yet. A big part of that was QB Brandon Bridge who spent hours chatting with fans, posing for photos and signing autographs. What he had to report on his off-season training was very encouraging. He's working out with Bengals QB A.J. McCarron in Alabama (one of the top 7 NFL free agents this winter) and says their skillset is very even. Brandon said the big difference between the two is the playing time A.J.'s had over his career. Remember: Bridge only signed a 1-year deal with the Riders so the 2018 season is pivotal for him. Can't wait to see how this all turns out.

5. Star Saskatchewan receiver Duron Carter created a buzz on Twitter when he said the CFL was boring before he arrived in 2013. Sorry Duron, but you're wrong there. The CFL has NEVER been boring. Although I'll agree, you've definately spiced it up a lot. Rider fans love him and fans of every other team hate him. But no one can get enough of Duron.
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6. Will James Wilder Jr.'s pouting get him what he wants? Reports suggest the embattled running back - who threatened to sit out 2018 unless the Argonauts allow him to sign in the NFL - has been offered a new deal by Toronto which would make him one of the CFL's richest running backs. The catch? He'd have to sign for 2019 too, which is likely unpalatable for him. Wilder Jr. seems so typical of Generation Z; thinking rules don't apply to them. This is another story which will be fascinating to watch play out.

7. As far as CFL labour unrest goes, it seems the players are getting little sympathy from the fans. At least that's the indication we've received from the informal polls we've run on the SportsCage. The average salary for Canadians is $51,000 per year and that's for a 40-hour work week, 12 months out of the year! So a lot of ordinary folks seem to think CFL players have it pretty good, working for 6 months and for only 20 hours per week at a minium of $56,000. My only point is if players are looking for support from the public in the event of a strike, they'd better think twice.

And don't get me started on the Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman whining on Twitter that he lost arbitration and will only make $6.5-million this year!

8. Move Review Time: The Post starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep was so dry that I almost walked out of the theatre. And I'm a media guy! I wouldn't suggest it, and offer one thumb down. However Game Night starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams gets a rollicking two thumbs up! It's worthy of all the positive press it's getting, and might even go again. And now with leather recliners and perhaps the best hotdogs in town (depending on the night), movie-going is making a huge comeback. I like industries that evolve!

9. The feud brewing between the Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors is popcorn-worthy. After the Warriors' 3-2 win over the Pats in Moose Jaw on Saturday (which I was lucky enough to call on Access), Moose Jaw coach Tim Hunter basically patted the Pats on the head and said they'd been getting too big for their britches. He might as well have said, “They are who we thought they were.”

That seemed to catch everyone in the Pats organization off-guard, and to a man they said they have no idea where Hunter's comments are coming from.

I'm trying to keep my opinion on the Pats to myself but everyone keeps asking so here goes: The 2018 Regina Pats is a collection of 20 good or great players. But they're not a team and that was evidenced in Moose Jaw. Rarely do they make 2 or 3 passes in succession. They panic a lot. HOWEVER - I wouldn't want to play them in the playoffs because they're good enough to knock the Warriors or Broncos off and you can take that to the bank. Don't ever bet against John Paddock.

10. Shootouts in the NHL need to be changed and I've got just the idea how. This came to mind after watching Connor McDavid undress Ryan Miller in the shootout on Sunday in Anaheim. The NHL needs to put a "chaser" or a "trailer" after the shooter just like we did in hockey school way back in the day. This way, the shooter doesn't have all day to dilly-dally, wind in and out, and almost stop before deking the goalie. Actually I've gotta give credit for the idea to long-time Indian Head coach Doug McKell, and it should be passed on to Gary Bettman. They can call it the "McKell Rule".

Y'er so welcome,