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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1 –CFL NEEDS MORE DISCLOSURE: The Canadian Football League’s decision to reveal 10 players on each team’s 45-man negotiation list is a start but not nearly enough. The league could do itself a favor and generate more buzz for its prospects by making the whole list public year-round.

In fact, why doesn’t the CFL Players Association publish all salaries over 100 thousand on their website?

This isn’t 1996 anymore and the league would help itself to generate year-round discussion about philosophies such as managing salary caps and determining which players have been a bust and which have been a bargain. Instead, we are all required to rely on insiders through websites like this one, TSN, and 3DownNation.

2 –TOO MANY STARS PLAYING MUSICAL CHAIRS?: Former Ottawa Renegade team president/villain Lonie Glieberman opines that one of the problems plaguing our great league is the fact that so many star players bounce around from team to team, preventing them from really connecting with their fans and community. Some of this is true but I for one, quite enjoy monitoring the movement of quarterbacks.

If the Henoc Muamba’s of the world want to stay in one place, perhaps they could be more open-minded about their salary instead of just pushing for the highest bidder all the time. Not only is this the second time Muamba has been released over salary cap issues, but it’s taken a full week before anyone has snapped him up. That’s a sign his asking price is probably too high.

3 – DON’T MISS NHL PLAYERS AT OLYMPICS: The greatest winter Olympics I ever saw before this one was in Nagano, Japan way back in 1998. They were 15 hours ahead of us just like they are in Pyeongchang and it seems perfect. Their day begins at 6 pm our time, ideal for live coverage. The IOC even agreed to move some of the events into the morning just so that North American viewers wouldn’t have to stay up all night to see them live.

I had goosebumps waiting to see what an NHL dream team would look like in Nagano trying to snap a 50-year drought for Canadian men to win gold. But since we’ve seen it happen 5 times since then, including 3 Canadian gold medal triumphs, the act has gotten old. This tournament is far more interesting because there is far less predictability and this really feels like the top of the mountain for most of the players involved.

4 – TIME TO DUMP MIXED CURLING FROM OLYMPICS: The fascination with seeing curlers throw their stone and then chase it to sweep was cute for a few days but calls are growing louder to leave it out of the next winter games. It’s something we could all do without.

5 – ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO HAVE MLSE OWN THE ARGOS: Another take from Lonie Glieberman: What if Vince McMahon puts an XFL team in Toronto? I confidently predict it would fail there just like the Arena Football League and NFL did too (I was at one of those BILLS IN TORONTO SERIES games and it was a joke). But with Rogers on board with the Canadian Football League now for the first time in a decade, I find it unlikely the XFL would find a venue to play at. The Skydome—yes I still call it that—and BMO Field are controlled by either MLSE or Rogers directly and that could be enough to keep Vince and his over-hyped shenanigans out of the big smoke. And that’s good news for the CFL.

6 – HOMETOWN HOCKEY DESERVES KUDOS: Speaking of Rogers, I like to dump all over them for poor cell coverage in rural Saskatchewan as much as anyone, but they do deserve some credit for the Hometown Hockey tour they bring through Regina every few years. Any event where kids can play hockey, meet famous people and drink free hot chocolate/coffee earns a star in my books.

7 – OUTDOOR GAME SHOULDN’T BE RULED OUT: Just because the Regina Pats tried to do an extravagant outdoor game and it fell flat on its face doesn’t mean Mosaic Stadium can’t be tried for another hockey game.

What about the NHL?

I wouldn’t pony up for overpriced tickets to sit in the cold and watch hockey but surely a lot of the locals would. It would be easy! Find a cash-strapped NHL team (and there are plenty), have them finish their western Canadian road trip in Regina with a “home game” against one of the western teams. Put it on Hockey Night in Canada and people would flock into Regina in droves from all over the 306.

Y’er welcome.

8 – BLUE JAYS INSPIRING NO-ONE: I haven’t yet completely pinpointed why, but the Toronto Blue Jays are losing my attention at an alarming rate. I love baseball and I love Canada. But yet deep down I feel like I want the Mark Shapiro regime to fail. They haven’t made any particularly egregious errors in their management of the club or really done anything to offend the fan base.

Maybe it’s what they haven’t done that has me tuning out. Or maybe, just maybe I still haven’t forgiven Shapiro for lowballing Alex Anthopoulos out the General Manager’s chair after building the best Blue Jay team in a generation. I struggled to root for the Blue Jays when they were run by the arrogant J.P. Ricciardi and I’m struggling to root for them now.

Time to bring back the Montreal Expos I guess.

9 – NHL WILL WORK IN SEATTLE: The Minneapolis area market has proven it can support 4 major professional sports franchises and is still smaller than the metro Seattle area. Based on that, the NHL to Seattle is a fait accompli. The league will get its 650 million-dollar expansion fee and still have Houston, Quebec City, and Kansas City all lined up as backup plans should anything go wrong in any of the existing markets. Quite frankly, it’s hard to figure out how a big American city which has even supported junior hockey since the 80’s for crying out loud didn’t get an NHL team before Phoenix, Carolina, Miami or Columbus.

10 – THIS WEEK'S BOOK/DOCUMENTARY: My obsession with the Bill Belichick/Bill Parcells dynamic that has shaped NFL staffs for decades continues in my finishing of the book “PARCELLS: A Football Life”. I started following the NFL right around the time Parcells converted the ‘Patsies’ into the culture of the New England Patriots you see today. Hard to believe the Patriots were dangerously close to moving west in the mid-90’s and renamed the “St. Louis Stallions”.

Parcells was a brilliant motivator while Belichick was/is a genius tactician. The reality is neither one of them would have made it to where they did without the other. And both of their marriages crumbled under the weight of rising to NFL stardom so it all came at a price.

It got me thinking of a great comparison to legendary CFL coaches. Don Matthews was our Bill Parcells for moving around a lot and the more stable Wally Buono was/still is our Bill Belichick.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

In no way shape or form is Olympic hockey better or more interesting without NFL players. I don't give a crap about the players feeling like they're "at the top of their mountain." I want a best-on-best tournament. NHLer's at the Olympics got old?? Pfft. Stop being such a try-hard contrarian edgelord, McGuire.

Anonymous said...

Bill Belichek/Bill Parcells/Chris Jones/John Murphy dynamic!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting Henoc Muamba hasn't been snapped up yet and it's been a week. I hope he considers coming back to the Riders. He's a good fit here and there's tons of opportunities in Saskatchewan for Rider players. But I understand that it is unlikely.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for wasting 2 minutes of my life!

Anonymous said...

While Muamba looks for a team willing to pay him what he's worth, he will NEVER come back to the Riders after his experience with Chris Jones......How would you like it if you were due a $35,000 bonus payment and your workplace dumped you just days before the payment was due?? Would you come back if even they offered you a lower salary?? I think not!!~

Russell Cone said...

Great idea Brennan. Have the Jets play the Oilers or Flames and attract those fans as well. I like it.


Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

I find this guy fascinating in terms of what he doesn't know could fill a book and yet he doesn't seek to understand anything.

First of all Bill Belichik didn't move around a lot? Go look at his coaching resume he bounced all over the NFL as an Assistant Coach. It was when he got to Parcells he had a chance to develop and if anyone thinks Belichik did more for Parcells than vice versa think again. Nobody from Belichik's staff has done diddly. Parcells on the other hand had Belichik, Coughlin, Payton all go onto win Super Bowls after working with him.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with everything you say. But, I do respect the fact that you still haven't told us that we're supposed to like Chris Jones.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Quick Brendan, tell me what 'league' published player salaries.

send me the link on nhl.com, mlb.com or nba.com.

Anonymous said...

another fan that doesn't understand how pro football works and comparing it to "your work." muamba knew what he signed up for and players add the bonus in for that exact reason. commit to me by paying an extravagant bonus or cut me. now they know where they stand in february not waiting until the day before training camp.

be smarter.

Anonymous said...

I feel like this writer is a contrarian just for the sake of being a contrarian.

Anonymous said...

just caught word box offices across the cfl are lined up after the league released negotiation list names.

Anonymous said...

He Said ::: I wouldn’t pony up for overpriced tickets to sit in the cold and watch hockey but surely a lot of the locals would. It would be easy! Find a cash-strapped NHL team (and there are plenty), have them finish their western Canadian road trip in Regina with a “home game” against one of the western teams. Put it on Hockey Night in Canada and people would flock into Regina in droves from all over the 306.
Where are they going to land their plane in a Corn Field close to Regina.
Give your head a shake Buddy. It ain't gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I wouldn't pay inflated ticket prices to see non NHL players play an exhibition game called an NHL preseason game under any conditions!
Second of all I sure as hell would not pay to see a game outside just so they could raise prices even higher and try to get a larger crowd.
That is one of the dumbest things that could be conceived!
This was just a dream because your rink is too small to bring an NHL preseason joke to Regina

Anonymous said...


So Steve Simmons gets a tremendous amount of flak for putting down mixed curling so this buffoon figures hey why not piggyback on that to get a reaction. Nice try pal!

Anonymous said...

You're acting like that is an inappropriate practice or something which shows how ignorant you are. There's a salary cap. This happens every year on every team.

Vets getting cut right before a bonus is due is part of the business.

Anonymous said...

Mixed curling has been the talk of the Olympics and is the future of the sport with the growth being tremendous in Canada. You say it should be scrapped. What should be scrapped are future postings from you. Start your own blog and see how many read it!

Brian/Weyburn

Unknown said...

Wow! Mixed doubles has been the highlight of the Olympics for me. I almost fell asleep in the third end of the ladies' first match. Since then I have faded in and out of many of the regular mens and ladies matches. Couldn't disagree more with your view on this.

Anonymous said...

Mixed curling is here to stay. Fun to watch, exciting , lots of rocks in the house, very limited time to Chat. Great game, Great Gold by Canada.

Anonymous said...

Why read it then you moron

Anonymous said...

Some serious hate on here today . What's wrong with you guys??

Anonymous said...

Belichek and Parcells are Dynamic...how are Jones and Murphy?They haven't accomplished anything together...i mean absolutley ZERO.

Anonymous said...

Let's set record straight here you BUFFOONS, CURLING IS NOT A SPORT!

Anonymous said...

Curling - a contest base designed on luck.

Anonymous said...

hey McGuire loser!!! Mixed curling is awesome, while you are not. Its fast paces and exciting. Again, unlike you. Keep your moronic opinions to yourself .......idiot. No one cares what you think, in fact Rod, cut this guy from your site, he is irritating.

Anonymous said...

Yeah because the Flames, Oilers or Jets are going to give up a home game with their fan bases at home to come here and play a game. Is Duron Carter sharing his weed with you?

Anonymous said...

Can't say I've seen much of mixed curling doubles, but my wife and I had to laugh about a photo with a caption about a woman sweeping in the house while a man shouted instructions. Coulda gone vice versa and still been funny.
LF

Anonymous said...

I haven't watched one second of olympics and I used to watch quite a bit. The whole NHL not going seems to have lost my interest in the entire event. Well the extreme time zone difference probably too.

Anonymous said...

Two Lonie Glieberman references are two references too many.

Anonymous said...

I'd like the people that think curling isn't a sport to have that chat with Ben Hebert when he is at the Brier next week. They would be sucking air big-time if Bennie took them on the ice to sweep some rocks.