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FAMOSO MONDAY NIGHTS

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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1 – CFL PLAYERS CAN’T JUST “GET A JOB”:  My recent visit with CFL Hall of Famer Eddie Davis has made me do a 180 on Commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s suggestion that players complaining about low salaries should get an offseason job. Sometimes we forget (since pretty well none of us have ever been star football players) that in order to become an elite athlete you have to train year-round.

Some players not only don’t have time to work in the winter months because of their training schedule, but many spend their own hard-earned money just to have the services of a high-level trainer. Eddie has seen some guys spend as much as $25,000 dollars on their offseason conditioning costs alone. That might seem excessive to some but most of us have never had to get in shape good enough to fight for - and keep - a pro football career. It’s not a simple process.

And most star players aren’t protected by the non-import ratio like Jason Clermont was when he built his real estate career in the offseasons during his run with the B.C. Lions. Not only do players need and deserve a raise but teams need to be ensuring their strength/conditioning departments are sufficient to give players what they need to properly train in the winter months so the athletes aren’t doing it on their own dime.

2 – ARGOS PROVE SYSTEM WORKS FOR PLAYERS TOO: James Wilder Jr.’s 2-year contract extension with the Toronto Argonauts proves there is value in requiring players entering the league to sign an entry-level contract of at least 2 years. He cried that he could get more money to sign in the NFL and threatened to take his ball and go home. If the numbers reported are correct, Wilder nearly doubled his salary with this extension and the Argonauts have locked up a stud running back through his 27th birthday, all but assuring CFL fans he will be a 3-down lifer.

But just imagine if he was a free agent. Would the NFL have really been all that interested in a running back entering his late 20’s who was already passed over in 3 NFL training camps before? Even the Bengals and the Bills didn’t see anything there. Had he been passed over again, his market value surely would have taken a hit.

Wilder can cash his cheque because he’s earned it. But he can also thank the very same CBA clause he complained about so strongly just a short time ago.

3 – BRIER MIGHT TOP A CRAZY 2018: If the early returns are any indication, the Tim Horton’s Brier in Regina just might be the biggest sports story of the year. The parking lot has been packed even during the blizzards and the atmosphere has been off the hook. I made my first ever visit to the Brier Patch Saturday and couldn’t believe how packed it was and how many young people were there. It’s been a mini-Grey Cup which the Memorial Cup host committee will have a nearly impossible task trying to duplicate.

4 – KOE EMBRACING FAILURE: Kevin Koe seems to have gotten over his wounds from missing the podium at the Olympics. There he was Saturday in the patch taking questions from fans, sharing a few laughs and probably a few drinks too. It occurred to me that his loss had to be a massive weight lifted off the shoulders of Canadian women’s skip Rachel Homan who was getting roasted for her disappointing finish in Pyeongchang. Since Koe lost too, he’s been able to step in and shoulder much of the disappointment. And with his long track record of experience and success, his shoulders appear a little more broad to take this on than hers would’ve been.

5 –McEWEN MY DARK HORSE TO WIN BRIER: Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen rink needed not one but 2 serious boo-boos from opposing skip Jason Gunnlaugson in the extra end of the wild card game just to play in this tournament. But a hard-fought battle with defending champ Brad Gushue Monday night has his rink right in the thick of it. We’ve seen the wild card teams have great playoff success in baseball. I suspect we’re about to see it in curling at this brier too.

6 – NHL FINALLY CATCHES ON TO OUTDOOR GAME FOR REGINA: I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the National Hockey League head office to figure out what I’ve known all along and even suggested in this space just a short time ago: Mosaic Stadium would be a perfect cash cow for an outdoor NHL game. This is a Rider province but is still not a football province. Hockey has always been king here and that won’t change anytime soon.

Not since January of 1994 when my Canucks beat the Oilers at Sask Place have we seen a regular season NHL game in the 306. We are due and if the NHL is having doubts they should take deposits for tickets just like they are in Seattle. Mark my words, this game WILL happen.

7 – ARGOS WILL BE GOOD FOR CALVILLO: Sometimes change for the sake of change is a good thing for everybody. The addition of Anthony Calvillo to the Argos coaching staff to work with the quarterbacks will give Ricky Ray and James Franklin some benefit but I really think the change away from Montreal will do more good for A.C. He’s been a fixture there for 20 years and I can’t help but draw parallels to Ron Lancaster’s exit from Saskatchewan after so many seasons with the Green & White.

From the quotes I’ve heard and comments I’ve read, sounds like the Little General felt like things had just gotten a little stale for him here. He went on to a great broadcasting career and won 2 Grey Cups as a coach after that. The change seemed to work out for him and should be good for Calvillo too.

9 – RAPTORS NEED TO QUIT CHIRPING THE REFS: If the Toronto Raptors ever win a championship with the core group they have, it will probably happen this season. But it’s become apparent to me that Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka whine at the officials a little too much and the others around them are taking their lead all too often. Time for DemarDerozan to be the leader of this team and reel them in if they’re to have any shot at pulling this thing off.

10 – DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: The sensational “Icarus” won an Oscar for its behind-the-scenes footage on Netflix of how Russian anti-doping head GrigoryRodchenkov exposed that country’s state-sponsored doping scandal. It gives perspective on how brave Mr. Rodchenkov has been to risk his life over this and just how evil the Russian government really does operate. I came away wishing the I.O.C. and international community in general would take a harder stance on Russia and I think you will too.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

What Eddie Davis speaks is the truth and I'll tell you why. Guys like Jason Clermont or Randy Ambrosie can talk about off season jobs and that's great if you have a Canadian ratio backing you up. Go and confirm this with American players the Canadians on a roster play their way off of it and the Americans play their way onto it. All players get cut but Canadians get the leeway because you better have one coming up before you pull the trigger. I have long stated you could reduce the ration or eliminate it all together and fans would careless.

Anonymous said...

Oh this Brenda McGuire bozo! Chirping out one side of the hole and blowing it out the otherside.

Anonymous said...

You are a complete idiot to say Sask is not a football province and is a hockey province. Where on earth where would you get this ridiculous idea. Look around, there are Rider gear worn even in winter and do you see hockey paraphernalia? Only at home games and few at them. As far as an outdoor hockey game in Regina, LOL, it will not work. Too expensive and very, very few people are going to sit outside in unknown weather to try to see a game where you can't see the puck and hardly see the players. Give up on this idiotic idea

Anonymous said...

If you think an outdoor game is coming to Regina you are insane. None of the Canadian teams is going to give away home game, let alone a cash cow outdoor game (except maybe the senators and they just had an outdoor game) Struggling American teams might consider it except that they will not give away their chance to host an outdoor game in their city (it may be the only game in the next 5 years that there is serious demand for tickets for these teams) Plus they would be selling CAD tickets & losing 20% off the top. Would a game do big money in Regina, yes. Would it do big money in Arizona or Carolina, yup biggest game of the year plus the hope of selling extra tickets next Tuesday too.

Anonymous said...

There will be an outdoor game in Beijing years before there is one in Regina

Cappin said...

These guys know what they're getting into. If they don't want to play in the CFL they don't have to sign the contract. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...


To the first anonymous;

Do you want to go with just 11 men too?

Anonymous said...

Canadian boys who play football in Canadian universities have dreams too. And that is, for most of them, to play in the CFL. The Canadian content is fine. The Canadian game is fine without increasing the imports. It's a bit rich for fans of the sef-proclaimed "Canada's team" wanting less Canadians. It's bad enough the team name comes from an American band of misfits that rode with Teddy Roosevelt. As I've said before, Rider Nation doesn't get irony.

Anonymous said...

Nope. Outdoor hockey games have lost the “unique “ factor

I’m 62 and have no interest. No one I’ve talked to does either.

Anonymous said...

If you think there is no more interest in outdoor hockey games, you have no idea how the business of hockey works. 40,000 people showed up to watch teenagers play in a blizzard in Buffalo. Outdoor hockey in a big stadium is a drunken orgy of sponsorship, $10 beers and merchandise sales.

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan is a hockey Province only it's spent in the rinks with our kids and all that comes with that. Pats games have always been a luxury when there is time, but as for an outdoor game not a chance is that happening. When the NHL brings exhibition games here people go because whatever we get past we're getting screwed out of hard earned money to watch the AHL players or maybe one or three guys skate a lap and done. I still remember St Louis played games here in early 80s and we're all jazzed thinking Gretzky and company were going to be here. It didn't happen.

CFL rules are the best because it's a skilled game. I'd be completely fine with 4 or 5 Canadians blocking or kicking whatever it is they do out there, but toss in more skilled guys that's what I'm paying to see. I am a season ticket holder I can assure you not once did I pay my money to see Gene Makowsky play football or Robb Bagg.

Anonymous said...

Not interested in outdoor hockey - forget about it!

Anonymous said...

WTF ? Not a Football Province? Where the hell do you think all the fans come from for Rider games ? Give your head a shake if you think it is Regina fans only, because Saskatchewan Fans travel from all over this Province and some for hundreds of miles. Man you should be writing a column on Lawn Bowling , maybe you could keep up with that at least.

Anonymous said...

18,000-22,00+ fans average rider game attendance. Province has 1 million plus residents. Doesnt add up, so "Not a football Province". Rider games only for a few privlaged. End of subject.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. I work out regularly and have for years. To spend $25,000 on training is a complete waste of $$$. Other than hiring a professional sprint coach there should be no way you would spend that kind of money with all the free resources out there. No one needs a dietician or a strength & conditioning coach

Cappin said...

18,000 - 22,000 average attendance for Rider games? Maybe in 1985. Try 30,000 plus. Check your stats. And Rider game attendance does not equal "football province". It's the thousands of children and adults, men and women that play flag football, minor football, high school, collegiate and junior. The parents, family members and fans that support their athletes by watching on TV or attending their games. That's what makes us a football province. Quebec is another amazing football province that traditionally punches out amazing athletes and they average less than 20,000 people per game at Alouette games. Does that make them a non-football province? I don't think so. Anon you need to give your head a shake.

Anonymous said...

Where the hell are you getting your Riders attendance record numbers from? The 1930 to 1945? Your not even close bird brain.
The attendance is for everyone to see at .... http://cfl-scrapbook.no-ip.org/CFL-Attendance.php
The average attendance is closer to 28,000 That’s a great number as it represents a full stadium.
Man with your numbers and thoughts about our Country. I can tell already you are an unemployed Albertan NDP loser. You pull numbers that you see from some small Eastern team and try and apply it to the strongest fan support in the CFL.

Anonymous said...

to the guy that works our regularly uh huh I was that the gym today too. 30 minutes on a treadmill and weights now let's go play pro sports.

It's guys who have no clue it's why Spike TV had a show called Pros vs Joes and you my friend are a Joe. There are NHL players who come back to Regina and they are dropping $100K easily on off season training.

Anonymous said...

No ratio and you will have very few Canadians. Can't have this both ways.

Anonymous said...

You're 62 and it's safe to assume the ones you talked to were as well.

It's a given fact older people don't like or resist change. Just because you won't go doesn't mean all the youth and under 40 won't go.

Anonymous said...

Canadian players need their hands held when it comes to the CFL. Thats ok though.

Anonymous said...

End of subject? Why because you put down some of the most self serving inaccurate information that’s been on here in a long time.
All anyone has to do is look around at the Rider clothing in this Province. Combined with how many successful football leagues are going Province wide.
Your comment is ludicrous and really just down right stupid.

Anonymous said...

I'd go.

Anonymous said...

Huh - how many outdoor games do you think they're thinking of holding in Phoenix? Florida? Carolina? Vegas?

I'll be there for the Mosaic NHL game when it happens.

Anonymous said...

Read the article. He said its a RIDER province. People will talk RIDERS year round. But outside of the RIDERS, do they follow hockey or football more closely and passionately? Its usually hockey.

Anonymous said...

Do you play pro football for a living?

Anonymous said...

CFL players_ re; get a job. Hmmmm ... Many American men who come to Canada to play football restricted by work visas on foreign soil, not as easy as it seems. Back home in America, how easy is it to get a "continuous job" 4-5 months of the year while keeping up with a personal pro football training regiment?

Cappin said...

Ummm.....how many American players stay in Canada after the season? I'd suggest most don't so who cares about the visa restrictions. Go home and work. There's work but do they choose to take it? As I said before.....these guys know what they're getting into. Tough if they don't like the wage. Don't sign then. There's a lineup of guys behind you that would kill for the opportunity to play pro football. Sorry. No sympathy here.

Anonymous said...

Cappin a flappin big lips in the wind again. No substance to his post.