Tuesday, June 19, 2018
THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE
2-JUDGE IS BETTER THAN HURL: Platooning Canadians Sam Hurl and Cameron Judge at linebacker was a brilliant move by the aforementioned Chris Jones. Using that duo instead of Henoc Muamba effectively allowed them to sign Jerome Messam and ultimately fill 2 Canadian starting spots for the price one. Sitting in the east-side stands Friday Night, I couldn’t help but focus on who was in on each play the end result of each down. Didn’t take notes or anything but noticed a much higher success rate for the Argos moving the ball with Hurl in than when Judge was on the field. They’re different players as Hurl looks more like a smart veteran/run-stopper and Judge is more of a speedy cover-guy. It’s a great rotation for now but for what it’s worth, I think Judge will eventually take that job for himself on a full-time basis either this year or next.
3-MASOLI IN NO-WIN SITUATION: It's hard to imagine working in a more toxic environment than one in which your boss is waiting for you to fail. I’m trying to think of a scenario in which Jeremiah Masoli can shut the Johnny Manziel talk down in Steeltown. A 3- or 4-game win streak might do it but I’m really not even sure how much that would even help. He stepped up to the plate and performed when he had to last fall and he’ll need to do it over a full season this time just to keep his job. If Jeremiah comes out of this still as the trigger-puller in Hamilton by next season, then he will be living proof that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Aaron Rodgers had to fend off Brett Favre early on in Green Bay and now Masoli has to do the same with Johnny Manziel. The difference is Rodgers’ coach had his back while Masoli’s doesn’t. I still can’t believe the Alouettes haven’t managed to snag one of these guys to replace Drew Willy!
4-SHERMAN DISAPPOINTS IN ALS DEBUT: Khari Jones is running the offense in Montreal but it’s still Mike Sherman’s show. The Alouette bird wings on their helmets were fantastic but sadly that was the highlight of Montreal’s season opener. Punting and then dinking and dunking the ball down the field with short passes when they needed 2 scores in the final 3 minutes just won’t do it in this league. Sherman looks old, tired, and disinterested in this experiment. It's a long year ahead for those guys.
5-GOOD RIDDANCE TO ADIDAS CFL JERSEYS: Ever since Nike revamped the CFL jerseys in 2005, all teams have looked like one big corporation. Too much piping on the uniforms has destroyed some of the finest looking uni's in all of sport. Time for a makeover back to the 80’s and 90’s when uniforms had only 1 or 2 colours and looked sharper than most NHL or NFL jerseys. Want to know why CFL merchandise isn’t selling in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver? Get the crappy trim off them all and they’ll be trendy again.
6-KELLY GRUBER A DISGRACE: Former Toronto Blue Jay (and son of former Saskatchewan Roughrider Claude King) Kelly Gruber is having a rough time. First, he got a DUI in Texas back in April. Then he baled on the Melville Millionaires baseball team supper in May. And then just to top it all off, he showed up at a Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction event loaded and is rude to the female host as well as fellow panelist and Jays analyst Kevin Barker. Having been raised by a dad whose been a recovering alcoholic for 31 years and counting, I’m not one to pile on anyone struggling with alcohol issues. Hell, I’ve had my own battles with the sauce. But it’s time for Kelly Gruber to either get help or at least quit making life miserable for himself and those around him.
7-REGINA RED SOX LEAP ABOVE .500: A great weekend for the Regina Red Sox included a stellar pitching effort from Evan Rogers Saturday night. Still early but hard to argue with calling him the ace after a complete-game shutout win over Melville. That game lasted barely more than 2 and a half hours. The Red Sox are finding their groove at a time the Moose Jaw Miller Express are falling back down to earth. I’ve been covering the Sox for 3 years now and feel like despite a slow start, this year’s team has the best shot of them all at winning a title.
8-TIME TO BAN HOCKEY FIGHTS: I’ve finally come around to the point where I don’t feel like we need fighting in hockey anymore. Ex-NHLers Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton are the latest to tell their stories to “The Players Tribune” and it struck me that the only one’s still clamouring to keep fighting in the game are dinosaurs like Don Cherry who fought back in the 50’s when players were about half the size and punched about half as hard as they do today. Wanna get cheap shots and hooking out of the game? That’s what suspensions are for.
9-WORLD CUP, FIFA STILL A DISGRACE: Not excited at all about Canada hosting some games in the 2026 World Cup of Soccer. Montreal is going to do a half-billion-dollar renovation of Olympic Stadium for this. Again, just imagine what money could do to bring my beloved Expos back! Again, what a disgrace!
10-DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: Find “The Players Tribune” online and watch both Daniel Carcillo and Nick Boynton tell their stories. It’s eerily similar to tragedy of Derek Boogaard living a miserable existence while the rest of us thought he was the envy of what we all wanted.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)