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.
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)