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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1-TIME TO END ROUGHRIDER QB ROTATION: During the first half of Rider Radio 620 CKRM’s broadcast of the Roughriders win at Hamilton Thursday night, cool-hand Luc Mullinder caught my attention when he blurted out “I am so done with this quarterback rotation!”, indicating he would like to see Brandon Bridge (or somebody) be given the torch to run this offense without looking over their shoulder.

I disagree with a lot of what Luc says but he’s spot on with this one. Bridge never truly has been given the green-light to do things HIS WAY for any extended period of time. If the Riders want Bridge to quit improvising on the fly, then the least they can do is afford him a full 60 minutes to settle in to his game-plan and sink or swim. We saw him take control of the huddle in the 2nd half of that win and in order for him to become the leader any successful CFL quarterback needs to be, then both hands on the steering wheel have to be his. And besides, if this squad has any chance of winning games with its defense and special teams like it’s been doing so far, we only need someone in there who doesn’t turn the ball over. And to date, Bridge has been pretty good that way.

2-ALOUETTES WIN MANZIEL TRADE: We’ve been discussing the Johnny Manziel-to-Montreal idea for months and Sunday it finally happened. Looks to me like Alouettes Head Coach Mike Sherman finally threw his hands in the air after watching both Drew Willy and Matthew Shiltz limp through Saturday night’s loss in Calgary and told GM Kavis Reed what they had already just wasn’t good enough. I see this deal as a win for Montreal for the simple reason that Canadian draft picks are a dime a dozen and completely overrated. It seemed like June Jones was in love with Manziel early on (maybe because of the name recognition). Now that June has been in Canada for a full year, he’s decided he can live without that sizzle and sees more steak with Jeremiah Masoli.

3-MY ANDY FANTUZ MEMORIES: My first year covering the CFL on a daily basis came way back in 2006 in the same week Andy reported to his first training camp with the Riders. We were told he was the “Jerry Rice of Canadian College Football” and he didn’t disappoint in the pros either. He did struggle early on with inconsistency in his rookie year and was even benched for a week early in 2007 under new no-nonsense Head Coach Kent Austin. Andy didn’t give up and stuck with it and buying into Kent Austin’s tough love approach was a turning point in his career. I hope Andy recognizes Kent when he gives his induction speech at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

4-TERRELL OWENS A NARCISSIST: Forgive me for stooping low enough into name-calling but T.O. makes it far too easy. Bill Parcells talks about coaching him in Dallas and recognizing Owens was a narcissist with an insatiable crave for attention. It’s always about him. So how did Parcells handle it? He ignored T.O. and his antics. The CFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame should do the same with this loser.

5-REGINA RED SOX WANT A PIECE OF THE ACTION: The Regina Red Sox bats woke up and pounded out a 9-4 win Monday night at Currie Field over their more-than-likely first round playoff opponent, the Swift Current 57’s. I sense both the 57’s and Weyburn Beavers are eyeing each other up for a potential East Division final showdown and the Red Sox are like that kid pounding on the door wanting their attention too. If Monday’s win can propel a run to finish the regular season strong next weekend and set up home field advantage in the first round, I can’t help but wonder if Regina Manager Mitch MacDonald and company can’t fight their way up the middle and catch both the 57’s and Beavers napping for an improbable postseason run. It’s been a fantastic summer of webcasting ball at the park. My only disappointment is that there aren’t many games left before it’s all over. Where did the summer go?!

6-CHUNKY MOVES SOUTH: I am heartbroken but also elated to report my good friend, podcast cohost, and Roughrider alumnus Marcus “Chunky” Adams is the new Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Co-ordinator/D-Line Coach for the North Canyon High School Rattlers in Phoenix, Arizona. Chunky packed his bags to head south Sunday where he will serve under Head Coach and fellow 2007 Saskatchewan Roughrider Grey Cup champion Airabin Justin. I rarely encounter Marcus without a smile on his face and he truly is one of the good guys in an industry packed full of sharks. I will miss our weekly sitdowns greatly but the good news is with 2018 technology, we are able to continue the program when we resume again in the coming weeks. The part I’m most excited about is to know I now have a place to stay when vacationing down in the desert!

7-REMEMBERING JIM PEDERSEN: Got the news Sunday night that Rod’s dad had passed away over the weekend. I was never close with old man Jim but for a very short period of time in the mid-2000s I did encounter the Dallas Stars scout quite frequently at many junior hockey arenas around Saskatchewan. I met him about 3 or 4 times before Doug Trapp informed me of his credentials one night after dropping him off at his home in Milestone. Jim was humble to a fault. Most people in the hockey or media business name drop. I name drop. Rod name drops. Jim didn’t name drop. At least around me he didn’t. He was respected by Bob Gainey enough to help build a Stanley Cup winner in Dallas. But other than his family (Jim talked about his boys a lot), the thing he was most proud of was being a farmer from Milestone. It doesn’t getting any more down to earth than that.

8-DESPICABLE TFC FANS: Never cared much for the snobby crowd at Toronto FC games who rallied to keep the Argos out of BMO Field and didn’t care one iota about the CFL’s future or potential demise. And now they’ve unimaginably sunk to a new low by setting fire to the stands at Ottawa’s TD Place. Disgusting! Still hope one day Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will come to their senses and realize that connecting the Argos to that awful crew will do nothing for their CFL franchise and finally hire someone who loves the Argos to run that team and revive CFL football in the big smoke once again. Where’s Pinball at?

9-QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "When you treat it big league, it becomes big league." – Bernie Eiswirth.

10-DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ details the star Major Leaguer’s early struggles with partying and substance abuse with the St. Louis Cardinals and then his pivotal role in helping the Mets win the ’86 world Series. A few details about his Seinfeld make out with Elaine is in there too in which he says he made sure they had to do a whole bunch of takes over and over again.A must read for all baseball or even Seinfeld fans.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

3 comments:

SWC said...

Sorry to hear about your dad, Rod. He was a first class guy.

CM said...

Condolences to you and your family Rod. Your way off McGuire on the Manziel trade. Luc is absolutely 100% correct. Look what Hamilton got for putting a name on a neg list! Tillman is a good GM, maybe Jones can learn some pointers on how to trade properly from him. TFC isn't a snobby crowd, its just a bunch of immigrants who didn't grow up and don't follow north American sports.

Football Fan said...

Sorry to hear about your loss Rod. My condolences.