Thursday, September 27, 2018
10 THINGS FOR CAPITAL GMC
2 - ONTO MONTREAL: On paper, this week's game looks like a mismatch. It's the 8-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders at the 3-10 Montreal Alouettes this Sunday at 11:00 AM Sask Time on TSN and the CKRM Rider Radio Network. The Riders are favoured by 6.5-points and, perhaps surprisingly, many Rider players say they haven't forgotten their embarrassing 23-17 loss to Montreal in Week 3. Normally they'd say "That's in the past". Sunday's forecast calls for sunshine and 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) at Percival Molson Stadium.
3 - HOUSE OF HORRORS: The Riders have only won once in their past 6 visits to La Belle Province and that victory came in 2015 when Saskatchewan prevailed 30-24 in OT. Brandon Bridge started for Montreal while Keith Price (remember him?) started for Saskatchewan. However it was Brett Smith (remember him?) who came off the bench to rally the Riders to victory in Week 20, capping their record at 3-15 that season.
4 - COMING HOME: The Riders flew home from Toronto immediately after Saturday's game, rather than stay in Eastern Canada for back-to-back games like they've done - with success - the past two seasons. The reason? 8 days between games seemed like too many for the Rider braintrust and, truthfully, packing for a long trip like that is a logistical nightmare. Here's hoping this strategy pays the same dividends as staying out East has in the past.
6 - JOHNNY FOOTBALL: The allure of the Riders facing Johnny Manziel for the first time doesn't have the same chutzpah as it might've in the past. Manziel's tenure in Montreal has been unremarkable and there still seems to be some sort of internal power struggle with the Alouettes over who should be starting at QB. However we're all still waiting for Johnny's "Coming Out Party". Will it be this week? And what exactly is a Coming Out Party in the first place?
7 - MANZIEL VS FLUTIE: Since Manziel signed in the CFL on May 19 there's been some odd comparison between he and CFL great Doug Flutie. But why? When comparing the careers of the two players, I'm reminded of Lou Holtz's famed commencement speech at Trine University in 2011. "I often wonder," Holtz said. "Why some people born with so much end up accomplishing so little? And why some people born with so little, end up accomplishing so much."
8 - TORONTO, A CITY LOST: 3 days spent in Toronto last week were a lot of fun but it left me with more questions than answers. It seems they feel like they're better than the CFL, yet they know they're not good enough for the NFL. They feel they're a world class city (which they are), yet they can't understand why big name players don't want to sign there? It feels like a city still struggling to find its identity.
9 - TOP 10: The CHL released its first national Top 10 rankings on Wednesday and #1 are the Memorial Cup host Halifax Mooseheads. WHL teams in the Top 10 are Lethbridge (#3), Spokane (#7), Vancouver (#8) and Saskatoon (#10). An honourable mention went to the P.A. Raiders. ... Meanwhile I read that the Regina Pats are beginning a "difficult rebuild". Umm ... shouldn't it be up to the Pats to say that rather than a local reporter? I've never heard them say that.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Is John Gibbons worthy of the Blue Jays’ Ring of Honour? Please convince me why or not. ... If you're not supposed to stick Q-Tips in your ears, then WTH are you supposed to use them for? ... The best sitcom on TV right now: Mom ... At the movies: 2 thumbs up from the Monday Morning Goalie for Peppermint starring Jennifer Garner. It's a tad farfetched and makes you uncomfortable, but perhaps that's the idea. ... The 2-2 UofR Rams football team got thumped at the Saskatchewan Huskies last weekend and visits the 2-2 Manitoba Bisons on Saturday. ... The PFC's 2-3 Regina Thunder got thumped at the Saskatoon Hilltops last weekend and hosts the 2-3 Edmonton Wildcats Sunday at 1:00 pm at Mosaic Stadium.