The Argos are favoured by 1.5-points and the temperature calls for sunshine and 22 degrees Celsius (71 Fahrenheit, for our American friends). Frankly I'm shocked the Argos aren't favoured by more. They have little roster turnover and the Riders didn't look good in the 0-2 preseason.
2 - THE EXHIBITION: Question: WHY do we always get sucked into preseason results so much every year (good OR bad)? Answer: It's all we fans have to evaluate and it's better than practice or the mock scrimmage. Still, nothing should be read into preseason games nor their scores.
3 - TURNOVER: The Argonauts have the least amount of roster turnover from 2017 with 48 returning players from last year's Grey Cup-winning squad under Marc Trestman. That 9-month rebuild by Trestman and GM Jim Popp will forever be pointed to by CFL fans who upset with their own team. Meanwhile the Roughriders have the second-least amount of returnees with 31. Only B.C. has less (24). Meanwhile Montreal has the most rookies (18) of any CFL team.
4 - HISTORY: The Roughriders have lost their last three straight season-opening games including a 17-16 overtime heart-breaker in Montreal last year ... Saskatchewan is 6-4 in its past 10 regular season openers ... 2018 is the 105th season of Canadian football and officially the 61st for the Canadian Football League ... The West Division was 29-10 versus the East Division in 2017 however, again, an Eastern team won the Grey Cup.
5 - MAKING HISTORY: Thursday's 2018 CFL lid-lifter between the Eskimos and Blue Bombers in Winnipeg is the earliest regular season game in CFL history at June 14. Incidentally, the exhibition game in Edmonton on May 27 this year between the Roughriders and Eskimos was the earliest CFL game EVER. It was cool to be a part of that.
6 - MILESTONES: Roughriders defensive end Charleston Hughes has 99 career sacks so here's hoping he hits the century mark on the ageless Ricky Ray (39) on Friday night ... Meanwhile Rider poster boy Duron Carter is 80 yards away from 4,000 career and he should easily be able to surpass that this week ... Why oh why can't the Riders be facing Calgary in Week 1? Charleston Hughes and teammate Jerome Messam say they have an extra amount of payback ready for the Stamps. For that, we'll have to wait until July 28.
7 - SPEAKING OF WAITING: Rider coach Chris Jones wasn't fuming this week over the attention paid to his starting QB but he still can't figure out why it's such a big story. Perhaps he still isn't used to how things go in Riderville. What Chris Jones WEARS is a story, let alone his starting QB. There is still some doubt over who it will be on Friday but as TSN Radio's Troy Westwood said on the SportsCage, "I'd be shocked if it's not Zach Collaros". I think we all would be. Although Brandon Bridge is getting his share of reps so it wouldn't shock me to see him on the field from time-to-time in special situations.
8 - THE NEXT DIETER BROCK: That's what Winnipeg's hoping rookie Chris Streveler will be when he starts at QB for the Bombers against Edmonton Thursday night. FYI Streveler is the first QB to go directly from the NCAA to his first CFL start since Anthony Calvillo in 1994. Before that, it was Jeff Bentrim in Saskatchewan in 1987. The next Dieter Brock!
9 - FEEL THE RUSH: Shoutout to the Saskatchewan Rush for capturing their 3rd NLL championship in 4 years. I was so happy to be there in Saskatoon to see their clinching victory over Rochester live on Saturday. The Urbans - Bruce and son Brandon - are proving to be some of Canada's top sports owners. As the announcers said on the national broadcast, "This ... is a dynasty". The Urbans invited me onto the floor to celebrate with the trophy! But I declined. It's their trophy, and they earned the right to celebrate as a team. *They did, however, bring the Cup into Famoso on Wednesday. ;)
10 - OTTAWA: These are the ONLY two weeks the NHL takes off on the calendar so it's a really bad time for the Senators to be in the news with one player's wife seeking a protection order against another's girlfriend for harrassment and cyberbullying. This tabloid news is front-and-centre but if it came during Draft week or free agency, people might not have otherwise noticed. Note to Mike Hoffman's fiance and to ex-76ers boss Brian Colangelo: no matter how anonymous you think you are, the authorities can ALWAYS find your identity online. The identity of trolls can always be found.
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