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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

1 - T.O.: The Chris Jones regime in Saskatchewan continues to be a thrill-a-minute. The latest revelation is that Jones worked out Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Sunday. From all accounts, the workout with the 44-year old went well.  (Owens that is, not Jones).

Now, we sit and wait for what's next. With the Riders on a bye, we won't see them again until next week. From what I'm told, a signing is not imminent (Ergo, no plane ticket to Regina has been purchased for T.O.).

2 - DRAMA?: TSN's Farhan Lalji asked if the addition of Owens would bring a dark cloud the Riders can ill-afford. But I don't see why. T.O. is as flamboyant of a receiver that the NFL has ever seen, but he's never run afoul of the law. The worst anyone's ever said about him is that he's a narcissist but that's hardly rare in pro football. We heard bad things about Vince Young and Trent Richardson too, but they turned out to be nice guys who weren't distractions in the locker room. If Chris Jones could convince those two to sign in Saskatchewan, why would we assume he can't entice Terrell as well?

I would also submit he’s displayed considerable humility by trying out for a CFL team after 14 years in the NFL.

3 - JOHNNY FOOTBALL: Did anyone expect Johnny Manziel to perform a miracle in his CFL debut on Friday? He threw four interceptions as his Alouettes were embarrassed 50-11 by Hamilton in Montreal. Just like in Cleveland, Manziel has been handed the reins to a bad team and expected to lead them to greatness. But it won't happen overnight, and he handled Friday's outing like a pro. John put his head down and vowed to be better. So far, I've been nothing but impressed by Manziel's CFL tenure.

4 - SETTLE IN: It says here Johnny Manziel should take a long view rather than a short one as far as his CFL career goes. Doug Flutie spent 8 seasons in the CFL - being named league MVP in 6 consecutive seasons - and truly embraced his time in Canada. Then, the NFL came calling again. Manziel should expect to spend at least 3, 4 or 5 seasons in the CFL before looking southward. And here's hoping he can avoid the trappings of St. Catherines Street, which is a daunting task.

5 - CFL NIGHT IN AMERICA: When I first saw that Manziel's CFL debut drew 406,000 viewers on ESPN2, I thought to myself "Great. A half-a-million Americans saw some really crappy football". Will they be tuning in again? Time will tell. But no one should ever expect a financial windfall from CFL games being aired in America. The only upside I can see is young American football players watching these games and becoming acclimated with the Canadian game and its rules. Perhaps if they receive a CFL offer one day, they'll know what they're walking into.

6 - #TNF: I see fans bemoaning Thursday night CFL games for a variety of reasons but I hope the CFL sticks with the experiment. The suits want to avoid the NFL on Sundays and are trying to build a brand. I like it a lot. However from what I've heard, Saturday games are still drawing the highest TV ratings. It'll take a few seasons for Canadians to make Thursdays appointment-viewing, but I believe the CFL has a hit on its hands. The marketing people should be commended for trying so valiantly to make something new like this work.

7 - CANADA'S TEAM: When the Roughriders return from this bye week, they'll have a 2-game losing streak against divisional opponents in tow. Despite last week's 26-19 loss in Edmonton, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have plenty to be optimistic about. Their roster has stabilized and Zach Collaros looked no worse for wear. In fact, he looked very sharp. The next step in this team's progression is to start winning games in the CFL West. Their next chance is Sunday, August 19 when they host the Calgary Stampeders at 5:00 pm. (Did I mention Sunday 5:00 kickoffs are my least favourite start time?)

8 - LIFE OF REILLY: I hate Mike Reilly! But it's nothing personal against the Edmonton Eskimos QB. It's the same amount of dislike I had for other Roughrider-killers like Anthony Calvillo, Dave Dickenson and Geroy Simon. It's strictly professional, because Reilly seems like an all-world human being. However as long as he's in Edmonton, the Eskimos will be very hard for Saskatchewan to get past. One long-time Eskimo staffer told me last week Reilly has "the skills of Warren Moon and the leadership abilities of Tom Wilkinson". Okay so "hate" is a strong word. How about "mad props"?

He’s the best player in the league and that includes my beloved Duron Carter. Last week's win over Saskatchewan was Reilly's 21st career game-winning drive. Meanwhile they're starting to panic in Edmonton over the fact Reilly is set to become a free agent after this season. He's already the CFL's highest-paid player. Where would he go? And for how much more?

9 - CFL GAME NOTES: CFL headquarters tells us last week's 24-point comeback win for Toronto over Ottawa was the 8th-biggest comeback in CFL history (3 points off the CFL record) ... McLeod Bethel-Thompson's four TDs in that game were the 2nd-most for a CFL debut, matching him with Ricky Ray, Matt Dunigan, Conredge Holloway and Ron Reeves. Joe Zuger remarkably threw 8 TDs in his CFL debut for Hamilton in 1962 ... This week the B.C. Lions will try to avoid their first 2-5 start since 2011. So far the Year of Wally has been unremarkable ... Over the past two seasons the Lions are 4-3 with Travis Lulay starting at QB and 5-12 with Jonathan Jennings. Lulay will start this week.

10 - NOTES: A huge thank you to CKRM Radio for allowing me this time to deal with an urgent family matter. Thanks also to Scruffy, Dupont and McGuire for covering. I’ll be back after the bye week, ready to roll .... 2018 marked the first year in my life - that I can remember - that I didn't take in the Buffalo Days exhibition in Regina. I missed it. ... Famed hockey coach Lorne Molleken always said, "Hockey season starts as soon as Buffalo Days are over". Bring on the hockey! ... If you haven't noticed, the NLL's Saskatchewan Rush are cleaning up at the year-end awards. Last week Coach Derek Keenan was named NLL Coach of the Year and on Tuesday, forward Mark Mathews was named league MVP ... The Regina Red Sox are tied 1-1 with Weyburn in the WMBL's East Final. Is the city catching Red Sox Fever? The recent attendance at Currie Field suggests it is. Game 3 of the Best of 5 is Wednesday at 7:05 pm in the Queen City ... PizzaPalooza is on at all Saskatchewan Famoso locations for the entire month of August. Two 12" pizzas for only $18.99! You won't find a better deal than that.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen


7 comments:

Russell Cone said...

I guess instead of saying "I hate Mike Reilly" you could say "I hate #13 for Edmonton". Then you're not referring to his person, your referring to him as a player who regularly beats your favorite team.

When life happens, as Lou would say "good people" rise to the occasion.

I hope things settle for you and the family soon. But I'm guessing it'll take a while.

Take care Roddy,


Russ from Saskatoon

Bill Salloum said...

I don't mind the Thursday night games for TV viewing, but please no more Thursday double headers. I think Friday is probably still a work day for most of us. That Rider/EE game went until something like 11:30pm SK time. The only reason I stayed up was because it's the Riders. And who would be watching until 1:30am in the East?

Ed Driver said...

Hey Rod .
After a few days of thinking about the Terrel Owens / Chris Jones happening ....

It now appears that Chris Jones Terel Owens news was / is indeed ... a tempest in a teapot.

As a courtesy to Owns agent Jones gave Owens a sorta'look'see with no promises . By extending this courtesy , Owens agent will do some/a lot of player searching for CJ and the Riders .

Only the myopic can not see the gains that stand to be made here .

Ed Germain Spruce Grove AB

NikoK said...

Johnny Manziel is an easy target (and he hasn’t helped himself much) to pile-on. I agree with your assessment on him. Give him time. You’re also alot-on about Thursday nights. The CFL needs to establish its own schedule framework like the NFL has. You know when you turn on the TV on MondayThursday and Sunday, NFL is on. CFL can do the same with Thursday Friday Saturday. No more of Tuesday Wednesday games like they did in the past, especially in T.O., working around the Jays.

Old Rider Fan said...

A recent Thursday night game in Regina resulted in many empty seats. Of course. We get fans from 2-5 hours away. Some have jobs. Otherwise I like the Thursday games ... even the song.

@mrt_man said...

THE DEPRESSING THING ABOUT #3 IS THAT WE MANAGED TO LOSE TO THE MUCH MALIGNED SQUAD FROM MONTREAL :(

Unknown said...

What the hell? Here I thought you were actually talk about the band Rush on either their awesomeness or not! Ah well great Rider foottball points you laid out -I disagree w T.O. added to the roster...mote distractions to a A.D.D. team already. ..