Realty One

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


1 – ROOSEVELT DESERVES MORE RESPECT: I hear and read so much about the Roughriders new players that it seems to me the best Rider of )hem all flies under the radar far too often. All Namaan Roosevelt does is draw double-coverage, catch balls in heavy traffic and keeps his mouth shut to allow other guys (Duron Carter) have all the glory. I think the diehards get it. I see a tonne of number 82 jerseys at the park every week. Not sure the national media has figured it out yet though.

2 –DURON IS CANADA’S DEION SANDERS: I feel so lucky to have grown up a sports fan in the era of the multi-sport athlete. First Bo Jackson and then Deion Sanders showed us playing pro baseball and football was possible. The game has changed so much since then with specialization that it is now virtually impossible. But Duron gives us a glimpse with his offense, defense, and special teams. His off-field slipups aside, Duron leaves us with the impression that although he is imperfect (like the rest of us), he is far from malicious either. The world would be a better place if we all enjoyed going to work most days as much as Duron does.

3 – COLLAROS NEEDS REPS: My biggest hope for Friday night when the Roughriders host the Calgary Stampeders is to see quarterback Zach show us what he’s got. The NFL customarily uses Game 3 of the preseason as a dress rehearsal for the real deal. Zach hasn’t played yet and we’re cutting it close to the June 15th season opener. Zach is in need of practice with the bullets flying and only a series or two won’t suffice for the workload he needs to put in on Friday night. We will see.

4 – CFL SEASON TOO EARLY: They haven’t completely screwed it up by pitting the regular season with the Stanley Cup Finals yet but it seems a bit ridiculous the league would put TSN in a position to apologize for not airing preseason games while forcing the network to compete in a crowded field with the NBA Finals too. Just imagine how much of a disaster this would be if the Blue Jays were any good or if/when the Expos return. The guys who decided to start the season around Canada Day decades ago were pretty smart and knew what they were doing. Randy Ambrosie is doing some great things but messing with the schedule isn’t one of them.

5 – NOT DRINKING MANZIEL KOOL-AID YET: A handful of completed passes and big TV ratings does not a starting CFL quarterback make. Johnny Football exceeded my very low expectations for his debut over the weekend but I have yet to see his most important test: Can he follow the script? Doug Flutie called his own plays and improvised all the time but he also made his full set of reads and went through his full progression. David Watford, and not Marquise Williams, will be the Riders 3rd-strong quarterback for that very reason. It’s the same reason Brandon Bridge is still the backup and not the starter. Manziel still has lots to prove to this cowboy.

6 –STUBLER IS ALOUETTES ONLY HOPE: I have nothing but respect and admiration for Montreal Alouettes GM Kavis Reed. But his mishandling of veterans Bear Woods and Jovan Olafioye coupled with his failure to solve his quarterback situation has me running out of excuses for him and all the heat he’s taking from 3-down junkies. His pal Rich Stubler has had a close relationship with him forever and Kavis needs his pal now more than he’s ever needed him before. Rich is capable of pulling a rabbit out of his hat and at this point, it’s really the only card that team has left to play.

7 – ESKS WON’T WIN CHAMPIONSHIP WITH MAAS: The league needs more passionate personalities like Jason Maas. However, I do believe ex-CFL quarterbacks carry their identity as a player to the rest of their team when they become head coaches. We saw it with Ron Lancaster and Kent Austin in a good way and then later with Danny Barrett in a not-so-good way. I fear Maas is headed down that same path as Danny. He always did a lot of great things but never could win it all as THE GUY. I’m hearing the Eskimo fan base has yet to really forgive him for last November’s gaffe in the Western Final when he kicked a field goal instead of going for the tie or win in the dying moments. What did Maas learn from that costly episode of overthinking? We should find out this season.

8 – REAL REASON SPORTSNET BOUGHT INTO ARGOS: I was so full of hope when MLSE bought the Toronto Argonauts that Rogers Sportsnet would start paying attention to the CFL. I was wrong. Aside from a collection of Johnny Manziel stories, I’m not seeing any real change in the network’s coverage. It’s becoming clear to me the motive for Rogers to buy in had less to do with wanting a piece of the Argos and more to do with just taking everything from Bell Media and TSN completely. Kind of like McDonald’s flogging their coffee and bagels while still giving us the other stuff. It’s all about squeezing the competition.

9 – CURRIE FIELD AMONG MOST SCENIC OF BALLPARKS: Couldn’t have had a more perfect afternoon for opening day of the Regina Red Sox season on Sunday. The best baseball stadiums have the most variety of outfield scenes. Currie Field has lots of trees, a football field, a hill, the screen monster, the odd train and the City of Regina in its outfield backdrop. Early returns suggest to me that Red Sox centrefielder Riley Hickerson could be worth the price of admission after seeing him drive the bus with 4 RBI’s on his first day.

10 – DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: Robokicker: An Odyssey through the CFL, is an oldie but still a goodie. The hero of the greatest Grey Cup game ever played from 1989, Dave Ridgway, details his storied career and includes some obscure stories of playing with the 1987 Montreal Alouettes who folded less than 48 hours before the season opener. A fitting read to close out the preseason.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BrendanHowardMC)


Anonymous said...

# 4 makes no sense. They have 5 channels to broadcast, plus the Jays and hockey are on sportsnet

Anonymous said...

As with any prediction, time will tell. I just hope the one on Maas is on the money.

Anonymous said...

#4 - Umm.... it's preseason. They haven't shown all the preseason games in a long time, if ever. Do you even realize that? What do the Jays have to do with this? They're on a completely different network.

Can I get a column on this blog? Apparently the qualifications are quite low.

Anonymous said...

Moving the schedule up is one of the best things they did and look forward to them moving it up even further! Just because you don't like it doesn't mean other people have to agree with you.

Anonymous said...

The expos returning LOL...
And eventually rogers will buy out TSN

Rudyman said...

Rogers is still pissy that their NFL aspirations were the laughing stock of sports and ended up worse. They want to make the CFL pay for that still, and it shows how pitiful they are as an organization.
Sportsnets NHL coverage, if they didn't rely on CBC, isn't good enough for Junior hockey. NBC's hockey coverage team is better, more knowledgeable, and can actually do play by play. How many more years of this crap do we have to watch. oh wait yea, I don't have to watch. NHwhat? thanks Bettman.

MLSE appears to be investing in the Argos in making them a better team. I can't see Rogers investing anything into anyone like that. Look at the Jays, no farm, no recruiting of youth, no development, just trade and pay. Shows all there is to know about Rogers and their sports plans.

Anonymous said...

Yes, TSN has 5 channels but you do know they can only show a limited amount of hours of unique LIVE events each week right!?! I thought all you "fans" knew this already.

Anonymous said...

Really how many times would a Stanley cup final game and the cfl game conflict? maybe 1 or 2 times at most if at all

Larry said...

Agreed, I haven't watched hockey for years and it shouldn't even be played in June! I'm ready for the CFL regular season to start on June 1st

Anonymous said...

Right on Larry

Anonymous said...

Jason Maas WILL win the Grey Cup at home with the Eskimos in 2018 !BOOK IT !!!

Anonymous said...

Why is that Larry? Because it suits you right? You're just like all the other buffoons out there. It's not about you. Get it, got it, good!


Anonymous said...

#1 Much to like about Roosevelt. Riders best receiver. #2 Playing receiver, DB & returner has no relation to being a multi-sport athlete like Bo or Deion. Fake news. How desperate are you in Regina to have people adore Duron? #3 Collaros absolutely needs reps. Should have played some in 1st game. OL starters were there. Watford was throwing to Duron, Roosevelt & Grant. Wasn't Holley there catching/trapping a ball? #6 Have to agree. #7 Have to disagree. How badly do Rider fans want Esks to fail? After hiring Jones away effectively ruining the Esks team LOL as all the coaches & presumably a lot of the Eskimo team would follow him, turns out they are doing just fine without CJ. Truth is a lot of players saw him as a traitor. As for Maas, you only need to look at the roster of a dozen or more Redblacks who followed Maas to Edmonton & the players who keep coming back even with Hervey gone. Stars like Walker & Grymes didn't sign with Jones this year. Bowman turned down cash to go elsewhere. Franklin publcly stated he wasn't interested in going to Regina & made his reasons clear why. Farhan Lalji in a Dec 3 tweet stated Franklin wouldn't go to the Riders as he & Jones weren't best buddies. There is no ill feeling towards Maas. He's well respected by the team. Don't worry about the other Western teams. Worry about the Riders & their desperate attempt to win now by bringing in a pile of 30 somethings & abandoning Jones' plan of giving the fans a fast, young, athletic club. Argos showed you it could be done in 1 year with a young club. Jones boasted he had a Grey Cup contender in 2016. What happened?

Anonymous said...

"In Jones We Trust"

Jack Upshall said...

The CFL'S 'small league weakness becomes a strength when packaged in and through MLB, NHL and NBA games in the spring. Two leagues are winding down with pre-set schedules known well in advance. MLB is just starting and everyday. After 100 at bats at the end of April the order of finish is predictable in most divisions. And most importantly football is so different from the many-game-leagues it is refreshingly welcomed. Starved of football sports fans will turn on and welcome back the once-a-week routine.

The bonus is at the end of the season. The road to the Grey Cup will dominate by out-drawing a WS and early season NBA and NHL games. The latter two do not get going until after Christmas and unless the Jays are in the WS it is a narrow Canadian demographic that watches the WS.

Having made the case for a October GC let it be said one of the oldest contested professional trophies will no longer be at risk to foul weather which diminishes the great talent and sometimes leads to an undeserving winner. This is a serious fault of the CFL. It must be corrected. The CFL did so when it went indoors in Vancouver and Toronto. Great games and great champions were crowned. To bolster the fan base it had to go to other cities. A fall GC is the best of both worlds I suggest.

Sports writers like you need to take a more serious view of this suggestion. Explore its pros and cons. Your leadership is required. My view is that the best interest of the CFL in the long run is an October GC.