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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1 –SUPER BOWL IS THE BEST: The Eagles' first ever Super Bowl win sits just fine with me. How can you not be happy for former high school coach/nice guy/Head Coach Doug Pederson? Eagle fans are annoying but Patriot fans are even worse.

Often I turn these championship games off afterwards, bleeding inside for the guys who blew it. But I don’t feel sorry for New England after all the celebrations they’ve enjoyed over the years.

How did Eagles Defensive End Chris Long not make finalist for NFL Walter Payton Man-of-the-year? The dude donated all of his game-cheques this season to charity. J.J. Watt is a great choice but I would’ve made him and Long co-winners just like they did for Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald last year.

2 –FRANKLIN WOULD’VE FIT BETTER WITH RIDERS: The news of Ricky Ray’s contract extension for another year with the Argos reinforces my belief that James Franklin should have waited until free agency and signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Am I the only one perplexed that Franklin left Edmonton (or at least he would have on his own if the Eskimos hadn’t traded him) because he doesn’t want to be a back-up, only to join another team where he will most certainly be a back-up?! The Argos could have saved the salary cap space to lock up James Wilder Jr. long-term and spared themselves a quarterback controversy. The Riders could have avoided overpaying for a QB who went 0-8 just a few months ago, and Franklin could have commanded a better salary himself as the clear-cut number one guy heading to training camp.

3 – ROUGHRIDERS HAVE MORE PRESSING NEEDS THAN PASS RUSH: Charleston Hughes is a nice pickup for the Riders, especially given the fact they didn’t give up anything more than some salary cap space and a glorified career 3rd-string quarterback (Vernon Adams Jr) to get him. However, I’ve heard two personnel guys from around the league say despite the impressive 11 sacks he piled up last year, it is clear that his explosiveness is on the decline. My advice to the Roughriders heading into free agency and the draft? Fix what was a very disappointing and inconsistent offensive line a year ago. Zach Collaros’s happy feet in the pocket isn’t going to improve without a better year from the hogs up front.

4 – CFL-CBA BARGAINING NOT BUSINESS-AS-USUAL: I don’t feel sorry for CFL players crying foul over some teams' refusal to let players out of their contracts early to try the NFL. A deal is a deal is a deal is a deal. I do feel sorry for CFL players that their union buckled under the pressure during the last round of collective bargaining which enabled the teams to start over-paying coaches while short-changing players. Listening to CFLPA president Jeff Keeping speak in the last few days leads me to believe the next round of collective bargaining won’t be the same as all the  others. Players are mad and the union won’t be rubber-stamping any deal before 2019 without a significant increase to the salary cap. The players are the product and they are due for a raise.

5 – BETTMAN GETS TOO MUCH CREDIT: The kudos have been pouring in for Gary Bettman’s 25th anniversary as NHL Commissioner. His supporters point to the fact NHL revenues are roughly 11 times greater than what they were in February of 1993 (when he was hired). This would be impressive if the other 3 major North American professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB and NBA) hadn’t enjoyed revenue growth between 11 and 14 times what they were worth 25 years ago. That’s not to say Bettman isn’t a good commissioner or a smart guy. He is both. But can we finally acknowledge the growth of these sports leagues has had far more to do with the tech bubble of the 90’s, broadcast monetization of the 2000’s, low interest rates of the 2010’s and plain old inflation than from any of these commissioners?

 6 –SENS OWNER HIGH MAINTENANCE: Speaking of the NHL, not a fan of Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. To be fair, he did save the franchise from extinction when he bought them out of bankruptcy in 2003. His behavior over the past few years however, has been nothing short of appalling. Stories and a lawsuit about him mistreating his staff, wanting a downtown arena, then not wanting a downtown arena a month ago, followed by wanting a downtown arena again last week are enough to make hockey fans in the nation’s capital bleary-eyed. Are all billionaire owners this confusing? Sheesh! Here’s hoping the Sens get their new downtown palace and more importantly a new owner. Maybe one who actually lives in Ottawa and doesn’t live in another country to avoid paying his taxes like the rest of us.

7 –ENGLOT DESERVES LEGENDARY STATUS: Michelle Englot’s competitive curling career is over and while the absence of a Scotties tournament of Hearts crown denies her the same fame the late great Sandra Schmirler will always command, she is an all-star athlete in her own right. 10 Scotties appearances sprinkled over 4 decades is nothing short of remarkable. Englot is plenty worthy of induction into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Hame. And it doesn’t bother me that she finished her career with a rink from Manitoba either.

8 –SASKATCHEWAN BLUES STORY NEEDS TO BE TOLD: The crowning achievement of my broadcast career was the 2007 radio documentary about Bill Hunter’s pursuit of the St. Louis Blues for Saskatoon. It’s a fascinating story that so many of us who didn’t grow up until later know almost nothing about. A Saskatchewan media company started a film project about the idea before stalling due to a shortfall in funding. I, for one, hope this thing gets done. It might be the most interesting sports story in Saskatchewan history. Most seem to think the team would have failed eventually. I’m not so sure about that.

 9 – 30 FOR 30 HITS IT OUT OF THE PARK AGAIN: I love documentaries and the newest ESPN dandy on the relationship between Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick might be their best one yet. “The Two Bills” really examines how the two men worked together from the ground up to build some of the greatest teams in NFL history. I grew up thinking Belichick was riding Parcells’ coattails all the time. Now I wonder how far Parcells would have made it without Belichick designing all of those great defenses for him.

10–BEST/WORST PART OF THE SUPER BOWL: The best part was MVP Nick Foles going from zero to hero in 18 months. The worst part was Cris Collinsworth and his whining about the Eagles touchdown catches not being wiped out when they were clearly caught. Couple that with his #almichaelsshakeyourbooty obsession and Collinsworth gets a zero from this scribe for that broadcast performance.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

43 comments:

@mrt_man said...

THE CFL HAS HAD THEIR SHARE OF INCONSISTENT CHALLENGE RESULTS OVER THE YEARS, BUT I WAS PRETTY SURPRISED ABOUT THE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE TOUCHDOWNS TOO. I DON'T REALLY WATCH MUCH NFL, BUT NEITHER OF THEM REALLY SEEMED TOO BORDERLINE TO ME, ESPECIALLY THE SECOND ONE WHERE THE GUY CAUGHT IT AT THE FIVE AND THEN RAN IT IN THAT HE WANTED TO CALL INCOMPLETE. THOSE COMMENTS, ALOMG WITH THE YOU HAD TO KNOW THAT SOME DUMB CALL/RULING WOULD ARISE DURING THE GAME MADE IT SEEM LIKE IT MUST HAVE BEEN A ROUGH YEAR FOR OFFICIATING... EVEN IF IT'S TRUE, YOU DON'T WANT TOUR ANNOUNCERS GIVING THAT IMPRESSION DO YOU?


I KINDA FOUND MYSELF THINKING THAT THE CFL PROBLY WOUKD HAVE HAD A B.S. TOUCHING THE QB A LITTLE CALL ON THE LAST HAIL MARY PLAY.

IT WAS DEFINITELY AN INTERESTING GAME... ALMOST MAKES ME WANT TO WATCH A FEW MORE NEXT YEAR.

HOPEFULLY THEY CAN PUT ALL THE KNEELING B.S. BEHIND THEM. DID IT ACTUALLY HURT RATINGS AND ATTENDANCE OR IS THAT JUST THE SPIN FROM THE PPL WHO THINK THAT THE LEAGUE SHOULDN'T SPIT ON VETERANS' GRAVES?

Anonymous said...

Very good comentary

Anonymous said...

There would not be a new Mosaic had Saskatoon got the Blues. Hockey is too strong and expensive that the Riders would have to survive on Regina alone. It would have been interesting to watch the sport dynamic change the provinces culture and demographic.

Anonymous said...

This guy is from another planet...Franklin being traded only gave Toronto his rights until free agency so if he really wanted to be a rider he would be so get over it...he had other plans away from the riders

@mrt_man said...

THE CFL HAS HAD THEIR SHARE OF INCONSISTENT CHALLENGE RESULTS OVER THE YEARS, BUT I WAS PRETTY SURPRISED ABOUT THE COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE TOUCHDOWNS TOO. I DON'T REALLY WATCH MUCH NFL, BUT NEITHER OF THEM REALLY SEEMED TOO BORDERLINE TO ME, ESPECIALLY THE SECOND ONE WHERE THE GUY CAUGHT IT AT THE FIVE AND THEN RAN IT IN THAT HE WANTED TO CALL INCOMPLETE. THOSE COMMENTS, ALOMG WITH THE YOU HAD TO KNOW THAT SOME DUMB CALL/RULING WOULD ARISE DURING THE GAME MADE IT SEEM LIKE IT MUST HAVE BEEN A ROUGH YEAR FOR OFFICIATING... EVEN IF IT'S TRUE, YOU DON'T WANT TOUR ANNOUNCERS GIVING THAT IMPRESSION DO YOU?


I KINDA FOUND MYSELF THINKING THAT THE CFL PROBLY WOUKD HAVE HAD A B.S. TOUCHING THE QB A LITTLE CALL ON THE LAST HAIL MARY PLAY.

IT WAS DEFINITELY AN INTERESTING GAME... ALMOST MAKES ME WANT TO WATCH A FEW MORE NEXT YEAR.

HOPEFULLY THEY CAN PUT ALL THE KNEELING B.S. BEHIND THEM. DID IT ACTUALLY HURT RATINGS AND ATTENDANCE OR IS THAT JUST THE SPIN FROM THE PPL WHO THINK THAT THE LEAGUE SHOULDN'T SPIT ON VETERANS' GRAVES?

Anonymous said...

Great column. I agree with you 1000% on the Collingsworth commentary. He is my least favourite colour man in any sport.. I can't stand the guy. I "mute" any games that he is associated with and just watch the picture...

Anonymous said...


Who is this idiot?

JJ Watt raised 39 million dollars in 17 days for Houston after Hurricane Harvey, but this guy thinks he should SHARE the award?

He also obviously like Henry Burris thinks Collaros will do nothing this year, but puts his faith in a guy who has had very limited game action over the past few years in Franklin.

Anonymous said...

Great commentary! Love to see more columns like this please

Anonymous said...

Hey bud...you always have your caps lock button on when typing or just feel what you say is just that important.

JPR said...

What don't you get. Bith Franklin and Bridge jumped the gun in signing contracts probably thinking they will be starters at the beginning if the season.
If Franklin would have waited he would have had a better chance of starting here or at the very least splitting reps, his only hope is Ray stinks it up not likely or Ray gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

The Riders survive on virtually Regina alone as it is. What, you don't buy in to the absurd notion that a huge percentage of the tickets are sold to out of town fans, do you?? Because while out of town attendance has grown splendidly since the early 2000's the reality is that Regina and immediate area is where the vast majority of the tickets are sold.

And the expense of the NHL (or what it has become) is exactly why the NFL would fail in Saskatchewan, leaving the Riders as the only game in town.

Anonymous said...

To that above poster I agree he is a little quirky but interesting opinions.

If there was a fanbase that genuinely has suffered more than Philadelphia I haven't seen it. A guy mentioned Cleveland and some other franchise, but those are garbage organizations so you just know they are lost in space. Philly has always gone about it the right way back to getting Dick Vermeil and then Buddy Ryan, but history and bad luck in that NFC East. They had Reggie White he leaves to Green Bay so now it's Red Skins dynasty, Cowboys dynasty, Giants dynasty - Philly had no wiggle room then you get Andy Reid who could never get them over that hump. It's good for the NFL the Eagles won.

Word of advice. When you get to a stage of life stop wearing sports jerseys as a wardrobe choice.

Anonymous said...

@mrt_man : OK, OK we heard you the first time......and how about giving your "caps lock" button a rest?

Anonymous said...

Good column Brendon.
Like you I'm not impressed with the Charleton Hughes trade. It's sure nice to see a journalist on the Saskatchewan sports scene that sees the Riders with 20/20 vision.

Anonymous said...

Is @mart_man Obama? Where is that guy?

Anonymous said...

The only other team where Bridge could have had a shot at being the starter would be Montreal, but would he want to return to that train wreck of a team and perhaps end up like Durant?

Anonymous said...

You have some serious size issues bud. Making up for something? It’s not working.
Try accepting your real self.

Psychology major

Anonymous said...

Good to see a real opinion on the riders not just rah rah rah cheerleading / drink the green pool aid.

Anonymous said...


I hope Brendon comes on here and publicly thanks his parents for the positive comments on here.

Three columns in and it makes me wait for Scruffy's column----AND THATS SAYING SOMETHING!

Anonymous said...

Get over James Franklin. I know it seems impossible to some but not everyone wants to play in Saskatchewan under Chris Jones. Franklin was in Edmonton with Jones so he knows very well whether he wanted him for a coach again or not. Obviously, he chose not to play under Jones and McAdoo. And let's face it, at this point with the Riders there are fifteen or more quarterbacks that would agree that Franklin made a wise decision. That is the approximate number of quarterbacks that have gone through the Riders roster since Jones came. Many of them would not pump up Jones's tires.

Anonymous said...

Jones seems to have handled Glenn professionally. Glenn won starter at training camp and Jones consistently said Glenn would start every game he was healthy enough to play in. At the end of the season, he thanked Glenn releasing him to find other employment. He could have waited till Mid Feb or during training camp. Glenn always knew where he stood.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, this Dude is not a Pats fan with not a word being said about the Memorial Cup , playoffs or anything about the Pats. I Like This Guy !

Anonymous said...


Can't wait for Rod to pick someone like Joel Gasson off the scrap heap next. Are you that desperate for content Rod?

Tim said...

We won't see Franklin in any type of starting role until Ray is injured or falters, which could be a couple years down the road for the latter.
I like Collaros, he has been in a starting role and excelled at times, Franklin is still largely unproven. My vote is for Rider nation to strongly get behind the Collaros,Bridge et al combination.
I think the Riders should stay away from Bowman, save the money to improve the O-line. We have plenty of high end receivers already.

Anonymous said...

To the uninformed poster who says "The Riders survive on virtually Regina alone as it is" you clearly have never used any highway surrounding Regina right after a game.

Also, almost 50% of 50/50 winners are from outside Regina. If the crowd was More than 50% Regina and 50% other, would the 50/50 numbers not reflect that?

The Riders are Saskatchewan's team, and couldn't do it without ALL of Saskatchewan.

http://www.reginarams.com/sports/2011/11/23/FB_1123112107.aspx

Anonymous said...

He’s dead.

Anonymous said...


The answer is yes he is!

OldBaldGuy said...

Good comments. Roddy...you need him on your show more. Re Adams...it was a move to free up space for Marquise Williams...who is the real dark horse here. If we get a year or two out of Hughes...great. Salary cap will claim someone soon here. Might be Bagg, Dyakowsky, St. John, Cameron Judge.

As for the little dictator, Bettman...he is a bobble head when Ron McLean starts chewing on him.

Keep up the frenzied comments people. Makes a cold ass winter more interesting!

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that person typed in all CAPS, I don't read any posts in all CAPS sorry.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that Franklin would be a great fit with the Riders, however I think Chris Jones pulled the trigger to get Collaros the day before Franklin signed in Toronto.

Anonymous said...

Without bettman and his hard stance to usher in a salary cap there would probably be only 1 or 2 Canadian teams left in the Nhl. People fail to realize he has done a great deal more positive for the league than negative.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Knox jr signs with Tampa Bay Bucs

Anonymous said...

What was his real name and when did he pass away?

Anonymous said...

Franklin has said Riders weren't on his radar & it 's been documented by CFL insiders they weren't buddies. Ray, Trestman & Franklin have the same demeanour. None of them swear, Trestman is a QB guru, Ray has more Cups than any other starter so who better than Argos to go to? Plus Franklin still mentions how he was berated by the Rider staff when they coached the Eskimos - look up what he said on cfl.ca after signing in TO. Franklin going to the Riders was never going to happen. Sunderland publicly stated he was trading him to the East & had Franklin been traded there he would have THEN waited for free agency to sign with someone else. As has been said here before, not everyone wants to play for the Riders. Listen to Kevin Glenn on the TSN radio interview on being asked about coming to Edm & playing for the volatile Maas. His response - I played for a volatile head coach on my last team. Time to get over your love affair with Franklin. On another note, absolutely right. For such a veteran OL last year, they weren't great. Spend some money there AND the DL. Hughes is unlikely to solve the problem.

Anonymous said...

Re: Rick Ray

In this era, football QB age 40 has become the new 30. Ray has many years left in the tank if he can avoid serious injury.

Anonymous said...

No - 40 was never the new 30. They guys who make it that long are the special ones who not only have it figured out mentally they still have the hunger, drive, and passion to get it done and football is first and foremost #1 as it has to be. They all get injured it's guys like Ricky Ray that do excruciating rehab to get back on the field to keep going. Ricky Ray is one of the greats.

Tom Brady wants to keep going his wife wants him to quit. He'll make the right choice and the wife will being going the way of the dodo as she should. He can always get another airhead super model wife, but winning Super Bowls that's a small window. Also Brady is smart because he knows 90% of these women leave after the career ends anyway.

You want to be great then pay the price. You don't then go sit with your old lady and see how far that goes.

CM said...

Good read interesting keep writing this blog!

Anonymous said...

Agreed> looking forward to the 30 for 30 documentary on The Two Bills. They don't like each other but respect each other but in order to get where they needed to go the wives got dumped. My favorite football life documentary was on Jimmy Johnson. The guy waits 30 years to get that NFL Head Coaching job. Takes a job around the block walks in and dumps his wife telling her he can't coach the cowboys and be married at the same time. I agree about Tom Brady she's also getting old and I've never understood how he can be with her knowing DiCaprio was there first. Has to be done.

Anonymous said...

Wow you got some issues.

Anonymous said...

If you think the out of town numbers are anything close to 50% of the crowd then you are BEYOND delusional. Regina was putting 23-24K in the stadium every game on average in the 90's when the team stunk and the highways were empty because virtually nobody from out of town supported the team. That's already well over the 50% threshold for current capacity. In order for the 50% number to be anywhere near accurate, interest from Regina would have to have SHRUNK after the team saw it's popularity boom in 2007. No, interest and ticket sales grew in Regina just like everywhere else in the province, even more so than elsewhere for ticket sales due to favorable proximity, so the idea that Regina only buys half the tickets is a supreme joke. Where 50/50 winners come from is meaningless. Easily explained by the differing spending habits between fans who maybe can only get to two or three games a year vs that of a fan that can make it to all 10 games a year.

Anonymous said...

Misogynistic whacko. You'll be alone forever

Anonymous said...

Yes but there is a big time difference between being alone vs. lonely and regarding lonely that I am not cuz. I ain't co-dependent never have been never will be.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat worried about how close to the salary cap we are getting..Hughes is a great addition, but im starting to see a lot of big names getting "big" contracts from the Riders. Collaros IMO should have signed for a lot less money. I was excited by the potential of Franklin in Sask, but hes in toronto..oh well. The neat thing about the CFL is that we may still indeed see him in a sask uniform in a few years. Let him learn from the best then we can snag him up! We definitely need a few more pieces for the O-Line. All in all super excited for this upcoming season. Sign Coach Jones long term and lets build a dynasty!