Tuesday, August 21, 2018
THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE
As Rob Vanstone put it, take a bow Chris Jones. If your staffer hadn’t screwed up in Edmonton (Elam couldn’t play due to a clerical error), your Riders might be 5-3!
2-THOSE SUMMER SUNDAY NIGHTS: Last August, the Riders entered a Sunday 5pm home game against the B.C. Lions at 2-4, staring at another lost season. They emerged with an unforgettable defensive gem led by Ed Gainey’s 5 turnovers and turned their season around while B.C. belly-flopped the rest of the way. Too early to tell where the Riders and Stamps will go from here but it’s all enough to make me think they should go ahead and request more of those Sunday night games next summer.
3-JEFF FAIRHOLM STILL JABBING DURON: This is hardly news. Jeff is active on twitter and called Duron an unflattering name last fall when Carter laid a late cheap-shot on an Ottawa defender near the end of the regular season. Jeff Tweeted Sunday night: “Great win by the Riders today. They played as a team and won as a team. Enough said”. He didn’t name Duron specifically but it’s not hard to read between the lines about what he meant. It’s one thing for us talking heads to rip Duron but completely another when someone with the credibility of Jeff Fairholm does it. It's looking more and more like Duron has played his final down in this league and I’m not even sure that’s such a bad thing.
Still haven’t figured out if he ever liked football in the first place anyway.
4-BEST MOSAIC STADIUM SNACK: Piffles Float Shop conveniently located by section 120. I had the root beer and it was a delight.
5-#REGINA RED SOX PROUD: Sad to see the Red Sox awesome August end with a thud in Medicine Hat last Thursday. Not because they lost the championship game. It’s not like we could be any more proud of this bunch even if they had won. But rather because we have to wait another 9 and a half months to do it all over again. This summer has rewarded Regina and southern Saskatchewan baseball fans with a taste of what could be. It took 5 tries for both the Weyburn Beavers and Medicine Hat Mavericks to finally knock this juggernaut out. That 4-1 record when facing elimination is nothing short of remarkable.
I was coy with Regina Manager Mitch MacDonald prior to game 4 at Currie Field on one of those nights the Sox stared death in the eye when I asked, “There isn’t championship celebration to prepare for tonight, is there?” He gave me an icy stare and replied with “Not that I know of.”
And it does count that the Sox pushed it to a game 5 and didn’t let those Mavericks celebrate on our own turf.
6-MITCH MacDONALD IS KENT AUSTIN: Kent is the greatest quarterback the Riders have had in 40 years, while Mitch is the greatest player the Red Sox have ever had. Kent came back to coach the Riders to a Grey Cup championship while Manager Mitch masterfully pieced together a depleted roster to get to the final game of the playoffs a la Cinderella like Kent Austin’s ’89 Riders.
Think about it.
Kent tried out for the St. Louis football Cardinals. Mitch tried out for the St. Louis baseball Cardinals. Neither one of them are real chatty but they’ll both tell you more in one sentence than Danny Barrett ever will in an afternoon.
If my jury or anyone else’s was out on Mitch as manager before the playoffs, it shouldn’t be now.
7-LOCAL MEDIA STILL DOESN’T GET IT: Coverage of the Sox improbable run was piss poor at best. Some outlets like Access Communications and CKRM did a good job but others who have full-time sports people barely even noticed it. A Sports Director at another radio station once told me, ‘we don’t cover the Red Sox because no-one ever calls me to ask me about them’. This is probably true but it really is a chicken-and-egg thing. If you cover it properly, people become interested and give you content to produce. If you don’t, then nobody wins and you end up regurgitating the same stuff TSN and Sportsnet have.
And you’re not going to do it better than TSN or Sportsnet are.
How about instead of laying people off and complaining about the internet and what it’s done to local sports outlets, actually go out and produce some original content, maybe? Not everyone can cover the Riders. People I talk to tell me they love the Red Sox and wish there was more coverage to teach them more about the team and its players. Me too!
8-FIRST FAMILIES OF REGINA SPORT: Well nobody is going to outdo the Getzlaf crew overall but for baseball we’ll go with Leo, Mitch and Geoff MacDonald. For hockey it’s Barry, Doug, Bear and Sheri Trapp. In football, Ron Lancaster’s son-in-law/longtime CFL on CBC-TSN spotter Larry Mueller and Larry’s son/Stamps assistant coach Marc Mueller.
9-WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…: ...The buzz about Fuddruckers returning to Regina? Just don’t feel it anymore.
10-BOOK/DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: Just watch the U or R Rams and Regina Thunder either at Leibel Field (Rams Wednesday, Thunder Saturday) or on Access Communications (Thunder) next weekend. A quick shift from the boys of summer to the boys of autumn but hey it’s something to get excited about if you don’t have Rider tickets or want a better seat than you have at Mosaic Stadium.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)