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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1 – DARIAN DURANT’S SIGNING BONUS: As someone who considers himself among the most loyal of Darian Durant supporters (I even wore an Alouette Durant number 4 t-shirt when he came back to play the Riders), it’s very difficult for me to throw stones on a week we should be celebrating his retirement.

But Darian’s refusal to repay a $70-thousand signing bonus he got for agreeing to a contract with the Blue Bombers for the 2018 season and subsequent belittling of questioners via social media gives me no choice. That’s shady, deceptive, and just plain wrong.

As for Darian’s commenting on the Sportscage, “I’m not going to address the bonus situation”, that’s usually a good explanation for someone who has no explanation.

And it’s not the same thing as a team cutting a player before a roster bonus is due either. Those roster bonuses are normally paid before the season for services the player is about to produce as money up front. Darian got paid up front for a job he didn’t do.

Never thought it was possible Darian, but ya lost me on this one pal.

2 –PLAZA CAMPAIGN FOR KJ: Okay lineup for the Plaza of Honour, I guess. I had a front row seat to both Jim Hopson and John Terry’s contributions but once again, no star players. That’s what we as fans want to see and if the organizing committee really wanted to spark fan interest in this event again, their first step would be to put Kerry Joseph in. Richie Hall and Roy Shivers should also be in and it’s a joke they still aren’t.

3 – KAVIS WANTED STUBLER ALL ALONG: My eyes and ears in Montreal tell me there shouldn’t be a lot of surprise with Khalil Carter’s sudden “resignation” as Alouettes defensive coordinator. Given Head Coach Mike Sherman’s lack of familiarity with the CFL or even his own coaching staff, it makes sense that GM Kavis Reed would have had input. And Kavis has been joined at the hip with Rich Stubler since the 90’s through stops together with Edmonton, Toronto, Edmonton again, and now Montreal.

Carter says it was all his idea. He might be okay with it but I’m suspicious Kavis wanted Stubler in there from the get go.

4 – SWIFT CURRENT INSPIRATION FOR SMALL MARKETS EVERYWHERE: Bronco radio broadcaster Shawn Mullins did a masterful job of capturing the essence of Saskatchewan’s first WHL championship win in 25 years Sunday night for those of us who weren't able to watch it. As recently as 10 years ago, I recall hearing WHL people suggest places like Swift were about to be pushed out of the league by bigger, more powerful markets like Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Well since then, the Vancouver Giants have had to relocate out to the suburbs while both the Calgary Hitmen and Edmonton Oil Kings play in front of largely empty arenas. Swift Current, on the other hand, sells out just about every night, has an amazing atmosphere in that tiny rink where every seat is close to the action, and a community-owned team where the fans actually feel like they own it. And now another championship to boot.

If that isn’t hockey’s version of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, then I don’t know what is.

The Western Hockey League is really important to Speedy Creek but not nearly as important as Swift Current is to the WHL.

5 – MEMORIAL CUP MATCHUPS FINALLY KNOWN: Got tickets for my brother-in-law from Swift Current and me to see his Broncos play the Pats in the final round-robin game on the Wednesday of Memorial Cup next week in Regina.

It's so nice to actually put a team name to these tickets now that we know the Hamilton Bulldogs and Acadie-Bathurst Titans will be joining the Broncos and Pats.

I plan to remain neutral as I have no dog in this race (grew up a Moose Jaw Warrior fan somehow), but I must point out that with all 4 teams coming from within Canada and 2 from within Saskatchewan for the first time in 29 years, that’s about as good as it gets.

And should be a good omen for Swift who won it all that year at the 1989 tournament in Saskatoon.

6 – FIGHT OVER #HUMBOLDTSTRONG MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: My SJHL goons tell me league president Bill Chow is a “no-nonsense shirt and tie guy who means business”.

Great! Just what the SJ needs. Except with this trademarking of #humboldtstrong business.

The Humboldt Broncos president, Kevin Garinger, has told him and the league to back off of their trademark application, saying it belongs to the team and the people of Humboldt.

The reality is, most of the money raised through that initiative has already been raised and will have been raised before this trademark application is dealt with about a year from now. The spitting contest makes for some interesting theatre but probably won’t help raise money for the cause and the actual impact of this trademarking will be somewhere close to zero anyway.

Not productive, guys.

7 – WINNIPEG JETS WILL WIN STANLEY CUP: My prediction for the SJHL champion Nipawin Hawks to steamroll Manitoba’s Steinbach Pistons blew up in my face so my NHL picks have had to make up for it. I predicted at the end of the first round, we would see the winners of the Jets-Nashville and Washington-Pittsburgh series get to the finals and I’m sticking with it. But this week I go a step further in boldly predicting a Winnipeg Jets Stanley Cup championship. Portage and Main will be worth the price of admission without even getting into the Arena. Road-trip anyone?

8 –TWO WORDS FOR TORONTO RAPTOR COACH SEARCH: Phil Jackson.

9 – DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos. Leesa Culp, Greg Drinnan, and Bob Wilkie take us through the events and firsthand accounts of the team’s exciting return to Swift Current, the bus crash of ’86, national championship of ’89 and eventual downfall of the team’s coach, convicted pedophile Graham James. A fascinating read that tugs at the heartstrings and I think a fitting one for all that has gone on this spring.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Phil Jackson's best before date has long since passed as a coach

Anonymous said...

Bill Chow is a former cop and a hard headed one that that. He is trying to show who is boss. - well money talks. When the funerals end it's now about people getting their grubs on every nickel. Chow had a pile of teams in financial trouble and he is politicking to get dollars to the teams. Humboldt on the other hand is going to find out exactly who their friends are. In this case they are better off getting a dog.

DAKAZ said...

MacGuire got it wrong. Winnipeg benefited from the $60k that Dressler was due as a bonus, but was cut. Contrary to MacGuire's opinion, Dressler's bonus was for PAST services. Taman had to match Ottawa's offer, but had no cap space, so he "borrowed" from next year. It was a handshake deal that should have been paid. If Dressler would have wanted to pursue this in court, he would have won, as long as Taman would have testified to the handshake deal.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where you got your attendance numbers from but claiming Calgary Edmonton and Vancouver play in front of empty buildings . According to regular season for 17-18 Edmonton leads league at 8,100 Calgary 7,500 Vancouver 3,400 so not quiet empty buildings. Swift has small rink yes but third lowest 2,500 and PA AT BOTTOM 2,000 . Good on Swift for keeping their franchise but don't think those big centres are lacking fans

@mrt_man said...

7 - WELL AT LEAST NOW THE JETS HAVE SOMEONE TO BLAME IF THINGS GO SOUTH. LUCK MIGHT BE ON VEGAS'S SIDE NOW... IF A GAME 7 WOULD BE LIKE A ROLL OF THE DICE, HOW COULD YOU BET AGAINST VEGAS ON THAT?

1 - I HEAR YOU. LOVE DD! WAS LEAPING RIGHT ALONG WITH HIM, AS THERE WAS A LOT OF EMOTION GOING ON WITH HIS BIG GREEN SHAFTING. STILL BOGGLES THE MIND THAT WE WOULDN'T WANT TO HAVE A QB WITH SOME DRIVE AND SOME HEART AT THE HELM. ENJOYED OUR HOME GREY CUP TO THE FULLEST. THANKS MAN!.. SADLY SOME MINOR FLOODING KILLED MY DARIOS.

IT IS KINDA TOUGH TO BE A RAH RAH DARIAN GUY AND GET BEHIND HIM ON THOS BONUS THING... WOULD I OR WOULD ANYONE GIVE IT BACK... PROBLY NOT... BUT MOST PROBLY WOULDN'T INK A DEAL IF THEY WERE GOING TO RETIRE EITHER... STUFF HAPPENS YADA YADA... THIS ONE DOESN'T SMELL REAL GREAT THOUGH. IF ONLY WE COULD ALL RIGHT OUT ON TOP IN A FLURRY OF LINGERIE LIKE HANK. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Give it up on Shivers. Toothpick chewing idiot

Anonymous said...

A signing bonus is just that. Money for signing. There are no performance issues attached. Why is it okay for management to continue to cut players before bonuses are paid but shady for players to get a signing bonus and then decide to quit. Realistically, a good manager should know before he agrees to a huge performance bonus that he will have trouble fitting that bonus into the salary cap. I believe that some of those GMs know when they sign them, that they will probably have to cut the player rather then cough up the bonus. Whereas, I believe Durant had every intention of playing with Winnipeg when he signed. It was later that he realized his heart was not in it and other opportunities arose. Which one of those is sleazy and deceptive?

Anonymous said...

I don't know any other sport where everyone gets on a players case about a taking their signing bonus, players get released weeks/days before their bonuses kick in ALL THE TIME so teams don't have to pay them! If Winnipeg was stupid enough to offer him that much then that's their problem. DD is retiring and is walking away with a nice paycheque, and good for him for doing so. All this finger pointing at DD is souring his moment. Oh poor Winnipeg boo hoo, this whole situation is ridiculous, all of you are what's wrong with the world today!!! Give your heads a shake! These players get screwed by teams in any other situation and that's okay?? But the one time a player gets the upper hand and he's the bad guy?!?

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think Chow had/has good intentions. Someone has to stop those who are cashing in on the Humboldt tragedy and it is within SJHL jurisdiction to do so. Like him or not, Chow is not the enemy. But he should have received the Broncos' blessing first.
LF

Anonymous said...

#2 PLAZA

Kerry Joseph, check.
Richie Hall, him and his hairbrained 'prevent defense' blew more 4th than anyone in history.
Roy Shivers, NO!

Anonymous said...

what's strange is i haven't seen a fan or media person acknowledge how chris jones was spot on in his foresight of durant's future. his decision to drop him, while not popular, was 100% correct.

in a roundabout way the riders essentially traded durant for zach collaros.

Anonymous said...

It was a signing bonus not a playing bonus!

Anonymous said...

The use of Brendan's terms "shady" and "deceptive" in regards to the signing bonus is unfair to Durant since there is no proof provided that at the time Durant signed the contract he did so knowing that he had already made up his mind to retire. Just because any player should decide to pull the pin at a later date will always call into question a decision not to return the money, but it is not shady or deceptive if a player decides to exercise their right under their CBA to retain the bonus when they discover they are not up to the task at hand.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps DD has put other opportunities on hold and he equates the $70k to lost income from not pursuing those options.

I'm being generous but thats about the only way I dont feel like he did something legal but wrong.

If he feels he deserves it because he thinks he's been mistreated by the league over the last few years, that is definitely not the case after cashing cheques from Montreal and Saskatchewan for over $400k/year while hardly playing. He was basically injured in Sask for two years. I dont have any problems paying an injured player but they should have gratitude for their good fortune to get paid while recovering.

Anyway, its his business but it is interesting.

Anonymous said...

Kerry Joseph in the Plaza but Roy and Danny no? - let me tell you something. Roy and Danny made the deal to get Kerry Joseph here - it was that deal and some trimming by Eric Tillman that resulted in the 2007 Grey Cup.

This franchise was done prior to Roy coming here. They got through the Al Ford era (who by the way is in the Plaza)- he had the same no money budget Al Ford had and made this franchise respectable. He waited to long to fire Danny and hindsight is 20/20 but Kerry, Danny, Roy - those 3 belong in the Plaza.

Bye gones be bye gones and move on.

Anonymous said...

CFL managers are notorious for screwing players out of bonuses. Nice to see it play out the other way for once. Good job Doubles!

Lyle Pederson said...

Brendan, Rod, anyone ... please explain a signing bonus for all to see. My understanding is that I offer to sign you but you want to leave it as late as possible in case there are better opportunities ... right or wrong? I then offer you a bonus to sign right now. You agree to be locked in. I put no riders on the deal, like 'what ifs'. You decide to retire, may have missed other opportunities, which is 'really' what you bought. And, I still own you. Right or wrong?

Anonymous said...

Brendan Taman must be inducted before Roy Shivers! And Chamblin before Barret!

Anonymous said...

Just to add,
Mr. Roy Shivers also responsible for bringing in Darian Durant a riderville hickfan favorite. Mr. Shivers also responsible for bringing back the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club Inc. from the brink of the dead. Mr. Roy Shivers also resonsible for reviving the whole damn organization from A to Z. Mr. Roy Shivers also deserved of recognition. Mr. Roy Shivers don't need no hick plaza of honour, anyone with a brain knows he was responsible to the Roughriders existence to this day.

Anonymous said...

Very well put about Durant. You had the guts to say what so many people are thinking. Keep writing!

Anonymous said...

EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT,

saskatchewan roughrider fans celebrate Winnipeg Blue Bomber Darian Durant retirement because they no longer have to see him come back to Mosaic Stadium Regina to kick rider a** in his shiney new Blue & Gold #4 jersey while throwing at least 7 touchdowns to Weston Dressler. What a relief they saying in riderville. In their usual misguided hillbilly hick way they think its right he took 70k in the process of said retirement.

CFL Fan said...

Good call on Durant. This guy gets too much completely unfounded admiration from my fellow Rider fans for an average Rider quarterback who could occasionally run his way out of passing deficiencies earlier in his career. His air balls and worm-burners were tough to catch and some receivers paid a price when they attempted to snag some of his errant passes.

His rationale for the 70k is weak in my opinion and is yet another example of his Durant-first philosophy. I'm glad the writer is finally able to view Durant in a realistic light.