Saturday, August 11, 2018
10 WEEKEND THINGS
2 - IT'S HAMMER TIME: The current bye week for the Saskatchewan Roughriders has caused some in the Rider Nation to be distracted and switch their focus to the current heat wave in the Wheat Province (40 degrees today!). But when the Riders get back to work and people check the standings in the CFL West, they're going to be sum pissed. The Riders are listed at the bottom of the five teams at 3-4!
3 - IT'S NOT THAT BAD: At least I don't think it is. Saskatchewan is actually tied with B.C. for 4th-place with identical 3-4 records and they have yet to face the Lions this year. That comes August 25 and October 27. Meanwhile the Riders have yet to face the 5-3 Winnipeg Blue Bombers but the prairie rivals will meet three times in September and October! The most important games have yet to be played so to panic now would be a waste of emotion.
4 - STILL...: The B.C. Lions' shocking 31-23 comeback victory over the Edmonton Eskimos Thursday in Vancouver was a bitter pill for Roughriders followers to swallow. The Lions did what Saskatchewan could not do just one week earlier: snuff out Mike Reilly and make Edmonton pay for their mistakes. I'll say it again ... kudos to the Lions for showing huge stones, and I'm really going to miss those Wally Buono postgame speeches. Wally is the CFL.
5 - #TNF: I've been forwarded data that shows the CFL's most-watched telecasts this season have come on Thursday nights. That's contrary to what I guessed in this space just a few days ago. I'm telling you -- Thursday Night Football is catching on in Canada. Now when the NFL season starts - for real - this is going to be a helluva battle to watch. I love the CFL's chutzpah by attempting to go head-to-head with the NFL in these midweek games.
6 - STOP IT: I've seen Canadians saying on social media this week, "So glad football is back" whatwith the NFL preseason games being televised. Anyone who says that should be forced to hand in their Canadian passport. Comments like that aren't a slap-in-the-face to the CFL. It's ignorance on behalf of the people who make them.
7 - MORE MANZIEL: It's Montreal at Ottawa Saturday night to close out Week 9 in the CFL and it's a delicious match-up. The RedBlacks Twitter account taunted Johnny Manziel this week about his interceptions and it makes one wonder if their words will come back and bite them in this one. Twitter is so much fun! But it gets people in soooo much trouble. (See: Roseanne Barr).
8 - HOGWASH: The agent for Johnny Manziel said the Alouettes rushed his client onto the field for this CFL debut and they are the ones to blame for his 4-pick outing. That's craziness! The Blue Bombers acquired Matt Nichols on the week of the 2015 Labour Day Classic and started him with relative success. New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold held out of training camp before dazzling in his exhibition debut Friday night. All players want is a chance and Johnny got his! Unfortunately, he didn't make the most of it. Perhaps tonight will be Redemption Night.
9 - BACK TO THE RIDERS: Canada's Team has not yet posted their practice schedule for the week so it's not known when they'll return to the field from the bye week. We do know they'll host the Calgary Stampeders next Sunday at 5:00 pm in what's starting to look like a must-win game. Will Terrell Owens be on the field? We'll know soon. This is going to be a fun week!
10 - PLAZA WEEK: Just to remind you, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have moved their Plaza of Honour celebration up a month and it's THIS FRIDAY as the team inducts Jim Hopson and John Terry into its Hall of Fame. Tickets for the induction are still available at Riderville.com, 1-888-4-RIDERS or the Mosaic Stadium box office. The event has been affordably priced so that you can attend so please plan for it! See you there.