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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

Photo: CFL.ca
1 - DON'T BUY IT: Anybody who loves the CFL is doing it a disservice by buying into the Canada-wide notion that Labour Day Weekend is the "unofficial kickoff to the season". Sure the stadiums are full now and the TV ratings are up (so maybe I'm the one that's wrong here), but what incentive is there for casual Canadian fans to follow the CFL in the summer if they're told the games in June, July and August don't matter? Perhaps we could get viewership up in the summer too.

2 - STANDINGS, SCHMANDINGS: Rider fans are giddy that their team sits in 2nd place in the CFL West in early September but it really doesn't matter. Playoff spots aren't being awarded yet and although the jockeying has begun, each game doesn't mean any more now than it did in June or will in November. So ignore the standings-watching if you can because all the Riders need to do is keep winning. The chips will fall into place properly when/if they do.

3 - BREAKING MY OWN RULE: As of Week 14, the crossover is in play and if the playoffs started today, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would cross over into the East Division and visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the ESF. That makes it all-the-more head-scratching that BC fans are ready to give up on their season with the Lions standing at 3-6. There's plenty of football left to be played; for everybody.

4 - THE TURNAROUND: A month ago the Roughriders were 3-4 and staring the Lions in the eye in last-place in the West Division. A month later Saskatchewan is on a 3-game winning streak to stand at 6-4 and is within sniffing difference of first. What changed? The release of Duron Carter, the return-to-form of Zach Collaros and, most importantly, Collaros saying after the Labour Day Game that the players believe in "our recipe for success". The Riders grew up before our eyes, eliminating turnovers and penalties. They've walked the walk.

5 - JONES' STATS: Apparently, according to CFL stats, back-up Rider QB David Watford got the "Win" in the LDC because he was on the field for the team's first series and Nick Marshall, who took the only snaps on that series, was listed as a cornerback so he's inelligible to get that stat. Confusing! No matter to Chris Jones. The Rider coach feels Zach Collaros is 4-1 as Saskatchewan's starter and a perfect 4-0 on Labour Day Weekend (the previous 3 coming while with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats).

6 - THE POINTS: Many fans wondered why Chris Jones wouldn't kick a field goal when Saskatchewan took over the ball at the Winnipeg 18-yard line with 55 seconds to go in the LDC and holding an 8-point lead. Presumably Jones knew that the season series is 3-games and the winner will come down to wins, not points. Still, had Jones elected to kick a "3" in that situation, it's doubtful Bomber coach Mike O'Shea would've been upset. That's just playing football.

7 - THE BANJO BOWL: Since this game's inception in 2004 when Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood referred to Saskatchewan people as "a bunch of banjo-pickin' inbreds", the Saskatchewan Roughriders have refused to acknowledge Winnipeg's nickname for this rematch of the Labour Day Classic. That stance predates Rider Presidents Craig Reynolds and Jim Hopson, yet remains in effect to this day. Presumably the Riders take it as an affront to their fans, which is commendable and honourable. Still, I take it for merely what Westwood meant it to be: a playful jab at their top rival. After all, Westwood's mom is from Saskatchewan. As far as I'm concerned, strum away!

8 - THE REMATCH: Winnipeg is 8-6 all-time in the Banjo Bowl including a 48-28 drubbing of the Riders last year. ... The Bombers are favoured by 3.5-points in Saturday's game (2:00 pm kickoff Sask Time). ... The forecast calls for sunshine and 25 degrees Celsius. ... The game is soldout.

9 - LOCALLY: The USports UofR Rams are 0-1 after falling 49-35 at home to the UofC Dinos on Friday. They'll shoot for their first win this Friday at the Alberta Golden Bears on 620 CKRM. ... The PFC's Regina Thunder are 2-1 after a 28-17 win at the Edmonton Huskies on the weekend. The Thunder host those same Huskies this Sunday at 1:00 pm. ... The WHL's Regina Pats are 1-1 in the preseason after last weekend's WHL exhibition tournament in Regina. The Pats play a preseason home-and-home with Brandon this weekend beginning Friday at the Wheat Kings. The Queen City Kids host Brandon on Saturday night on 620 CKRM. I think the Pats will be fun to watch this year.

10 - THINKING OUT LOUD: Colin Kaepernick, meet Pat Tillman. All gave some, some gave all. ... Is the path around Wascana Lake meant for speedsters on bicycles? I think not. .... Remember: Nobody cares about your NFL fantasy team but YOU! ... Overheard while travelling with a pro football team: "I need a burner account", and "I need to get my followers up!" ... Hats off to all the teachers out there. That's a thankless job that I wouldn't want. ... As a kid, I was excited about getting school supplies. I just wasn't excited about school. ... If you could only have one cable TV channel for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mine would be TSN. It used to be A&E until they got rid of American Justice and Dog The Bounty Hunter marathons. ... I have a love/hate relationship with bobbleheads. I love collecting them but hate displaying them anywhere in my house. .... Teams: Please don't send me a postgame scoresheet and expect it to be posted here. Put some work into your media relations!

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen

6 comments:

Football Fan said...

1. Agreed. It’s a very important weekend, and a landmark weekend. It’s the beginning of the second half, or perhaps the beginning of the stretch run. I’m sure there are a number of other names you could give it as well, but it’s NOT the beginning of the season in any way, for exactly the reasons you mention.

3. The Lions have struggled for a couple of years now and this is Wally’s last year, so it does seem like a bit of a throwaway year for them while they wait to see what next year’s team under a new coach will bring, but rebuilding can be interesting to watch as well. Sitting Chris Rainey might be part of that as well. Trying out a new player and dangling Rainey as trade bait might be what’s going on there.

4. I think the turnaround was all about Collaros coming back. I don’t know why Bridge struggled so much this year but clearly he did, and Collaros has made all the difference in the world, in spite of the fact that I think we’re still working out our offence with him as our starting QB. Confidence comes with winning so I agree that we’re more confident now, especially on offence, but I think that follows the winning and the much improved play of our offence. I don’t think Carter had anything to do with it. He was well behaved on defence and played well, and our defence played very well. It was only when he was switched back to offence and publically criticized McAdoo that I think the decision point on him came. I think when that happened Jones was faced with the prospect of going back to micro managing Carter again, and perhaps meeting with him every day again to keep him focused and not stirring up trouble, or deciding that he’d had enough and it was time to go in another direction.

7. And besides that calling it the Banjo Bowl implies that both teams represent the same kind of people, which by and large they do. I think the name also makes fun of the stereotype that some people in other parts of Canada think of when they think of prairie farmers, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Farming these days in a multi-million dollar business, not the Beverly Hillbillies.

9. How about the Huskies? They crushed the Golden Bears!

10. PBS. Inquiring minds want to know!

Winteris Coming said...

Enjoy the read but must say I completely disagree with the Kaepernick-Tillman comment. CK was willing to stick to his beliefs in protesting police brutality in the US and sacrifice his career if needed to do so. Tillman served his country and was killed in action (friendly fire). Both deserve immense respect and one should not be seen as lesser than. CK fights a different kind of war. I'm not even a fan of his, don't watch the NFL but do respect his dedication to his beliefs and his unwillingness to compromise them.

Unknown said...

I completely disagree with the Kaepernick/Tillman comment. Colin wasn't disrespecting the military, by any means.

Dan said...

It's ironic how Nike is notorious for paying unjust wages in poor countries. But I'm sure CK is a "big picture" sort of guy, and is only using Nike as a "platform" for his cause.

fannotacoach said...

Nike has apparently in recent times become very transparent regarding their factories and their locations and is making a corporate change in how they produce their product. This means better working conditions as well as ecologically improved production. No doubt they made good money on cheap labour prior to starting their overhaul but they have been working on this since the early 90's.

Regarding CK's stance, good for him. I do not see him disrespecting the flag or the military. Just the leadership of the country at so many levels that allows racism.

Morgan said...

I personally understand Kaepernick and what he's standing for when kneeling for the anthem. Good for him for doing what he feels is right and for trying to make a difference. But I can also understand why the owners of the NFL want to distance themselves from political protests. It's undoubtedly bad for business when you have a guy on your team that half of the country is guaranteed to hate. Also, they have a president who has spoken out against his actions as well. Just like in any other business, employers avoid political affiliation. Also, it's important to understand that just because Kaepernick isn't intending to offend people with his actions that people are still allowed to be offended. The anthem means something different to them. They might construe his message differently. Trying to muffle those that are opposed to Kaepernick's actions is anti-democratic and poisonous. It's what the liberals have done for the past decade and it cost them the last election. They are trying to assimilate all of society to their way of thinking and way of life and anyone who opposes them is perceived as an idiot, a moron, a racist, a biggot, etc. Everyone deserves to have their opinion and shouldn't be forced to hate their government, their police force, or anyone or anything else. Some people have a very high level of respect for the police as they realize how difficult and dangerous of a job it is. It's also a very underpaid job considering these men and women are putting their lives on the line. I believe Chris Rock said it best regarding the police in America... "you get what you pay for."