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Friday, June 29, 2018

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order.

--The keys have been handed to Brandon Bridge. What is he going to do wit them?  Bridge has the opportunity this week and likely next to show if he has what it takes to be a starting quarterback in this league. I truthfully don't know if Bridge has what it takes. I said going into the off-season that he needed to mature somewhat because while the talent is there, he had to mature a little bit. I don't think Bridge and the Riders should have much of a problem beating Montreal on Saturday, but there will be a short turn-around before Hamilton comes to town on July 5. That will be a little tougher for Bridge. Many are pulling for him.  If he does show he has what it takes, he puts Chris Jones into a difficult situation. But it is one I think he won't mind being in.

--When did Zach Collaros get hurt? At what point was it determined he had to go through the concussion protocol?  Isn't the CFL supposed to have someone watching for this? Someone on the Riders bench obviously made the right call to get him out of the game as they saw something wasn't right when he came off the field but why - or how - didn't anyone notice he wasn't right and allowed him to play a few more plays is wrong.

--Rider Nation has been a little salty this week after the defeat in Ottawa. While it is safe to say some might be ready to jump off the SGI building if the Alouettes should pull off what would be a major upset on Saturday night, there will be others who will say a 10 point or 14 point or 20 point win isn't enough.  Whether it be by one or 41, two points will go on the board which is what you want.

--Remember how Diontae Spencer beaked off after last week's win?  He said the Riders came to Ottawa and acted like tourists while visiting Parliament Hill along with other things. Well, fast forward one week and Spencer had two drops including a bad one in the endzone in the 4th quarter and he also couldn't get into the endzone on what was a game-changing play as Ciante Evans stuffed him at the goal-line. I guess Spencer went to Calgary to visit the Calgary Tower and get some Stampede souvenirs. Karma's a real bitch Diontae!

--The announcement that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will be going to the Hockey Hall of Fame has some hockey fans very upset. I'm not Bettman's biggest fan, but there is no denying that he has done what the owners wanted him to do. He has grown the game and he has made them money.  He has also done his best to keep franchises right where they are. You don't know how close the Edmonton Oilers were to moving lock, stock and barrel to Houston. I don't even know if the fine people of Edmonton know how close it was to the team leaving. Bettman got what needed to be done in Edmonton done and now there is no worry of them leaving. Calgary fans should remember this. So should Winnipeg fans. The question I have is couldn't they have waited until his time as commish was up.  Does this mean we can put Sidney Crosby and Ovie in right away while they are still playing?

I think it would be great though if he was booed as he walked on stage for his induction speech. It would make him feel at home.

--If you could watch one NHL game over and over and over again, what one would it be?  Put me down for the 1984 cup-clinching win by the Oilers. That was their first! What a night it was!

--Congratulations to Dave Struch!  I don't think there are many who follow the Pats or the WHL that knew Thursday was coming sooner or later.  It takes nothing away from the announcement that Struch will take over from John Paddock as head coach of the Regina Pats.  There is absolutely no reason to think Struch won't succeed.  He has seen what's been going on for the last four years and he is more than ready to build on that.   In a way, Dave starts where John starts four years ago.  I don't think he has a marquee player on his hands like Sam Steel was, but there is no reason to think this team will be in a downward spiral under Dave.  I like the move and so should Pats fans.

-- I just want to make sure I have this straight: Giants kicker Josh Brown was suspended one game by the NFL for terrorizing his wife. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston is handed a three game suspension for sexually assaulting an Uber driver and Tom Brady is given four games for deflating footballs which really technically was never proven. Ohhhhhhhh K!

--It's getting down to the real stuff at the World Cup.  Lose and you are out now. With England, France, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and the mighty Swiss still involved, it gets fun now.  There won't be any dog games like we saw to end the group stages.  It is games like that which give those who hate the game all the ammunition they need.   Much like hockey games that end up 1-0 or 2-1 because both teams are employing the trap with the shots on goal being 25-22.

--The CFL is bringing back live mic games.  Microphones will be on the head coach and the quarterback so we can hear what they are saying.  I know what the league is trying to do, but does the average fan understand coachspeak?  They certainly aren't going to dumb it down for you and Jason Maas will make sure the person with his finger on the swear button has a busy night.  CFL Wired brings you the sights and sounds of the game.  That's all you need isn't it?  It's a sharply edited piece that brings you on the sidelines.  That's good enough for me.

--Are you going to sit in front of your TV and watch Free Agent frenzy on either TSN or Sportsnet July 1.  Yeah, me neither.  Then again, if the mosquitoes are bad who knows!

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!

(Follow Scruffy on Twitter at @scruffyregina)

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