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Thursday, October 25, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

1 - 11-6: The most-asked question in the Wheat Province this week is how the Roughriders could lose 31-0 in Winnipeg and then, 7 days later, waltz into Calgary and knock off the mighty Stampeders 29-24? No one seems to be able to put a finger on that other than to say the real Roughriders were the ones who showed up at McMahon Stadium. Maybe we'll look back on a championship season and say that Winnipeg loss was rock bottom, and turned everything around.

2 - ON TO BC: The Green & White won a playoff-type showdown in Week 19 and now turn around and host another one in Week 20. Saskatchewan is home to the BC Lions Saturday at 5:00 pm (TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network) in a huge game for both. The Riders need a win to keep their shot at finishing in first-place alive, and a win would also clinch a home playoff game for the first time since 2013. The Lions, meanwhile, are the hottest team in the CFL by going 6-1 in the second half and could still finish 2nd. Amazing.

3 - WALLLLY: CFL icon Wally Buono makes his final regular season visit to Saskatchewan in this one. If the Lions don't come here in the playoffs, this Saturday's game will be Wally's last-ever visit. Has there ever been a bigger villain in Riderville - or target of Rider fans - than Wally, besides Henry Burris? He's been coming here since 1973 and been taunted on the visitors sidelines ever since. Will Wally, in his curtain call, turn around and acknowledge the crowd on Saturday with a bow?

4 - ED HERVEY: The first year Lions GM may go down as the most key acquisition in the CFL this past off-season. His nifty mid-season pick-ups of RB Tyrell Sutton, WR Devier Posey and DL Shawn Lemon are a big reason why BC's caught fire, and note that the team hasn't lost since he called out QB Jonathan Jennings in the media. I've got a lot of time for Ed Hervey.

5 - ZACH ATTACK: In a preseason poll of CFL media, Rider QB Zach Collaros was voted the most-important off-season acquisition across the league. At 11-6 and thisclose to locking down homefield in the playoffs, Zach is delivering. The next month is going to decide it all, and determine Zach's off-season worth. More on that in a moment.

6 - CALGARY: Driving around Calgary last weekend reminded me of that city's sheer size and beauty. I went to college there. Calgary is definitely world class so it's mind-boggling that they don't have the sports facilities they deserve. Two things on that: 1) My guilty pleasure is football games at McMahon Stadium because the atmosphere is electric and 2) People complain that the concourses at the Saddledome are too narrow but they weren't too narrow 30 years ago. My vote is to tell Gary Bettman to "Sit on it", but there's no way Calgary can be without an NHL team. None.

7 - REGINA: Popular Roughriders DB Ed Gainey caused a stir when he Tweeted this week, "Regina is so boring". 3 days later, the Tweet is still alive and has elicited 130 responses. My response? HE'S RIGHT! Sometimes the truth hurts. The best response came from Regina Pats captain Jake Leschyshyn who offered Ed a swap of Pats tickets for Rider tickets. So far, no response from Ed.

8 - QB CAROUSEL: We are primed for the most volatile off-season in CFL history and that is not an exaggeration. CBA stuff aside, pretty much every big name QB is due to become a free agent and with Calgary's Bo Levi Mitchell expected to sign in the NFL (his youth and success are impossible to ignore), that will touch off an avalanche of dominos. One player agent told me reigning league MVP Mike Reilly could get interest from Edmonton, BC, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, and will likely be the first $600,000+ QB of the salary cap era. Other QB FA's include Zach Collaros, Brandon Bridge, Jonathan Jennings, Trevor Harris and Kevin Glenn.

9 - THIS IS OIL COUNTRY: Ending my 30-year grudge over the Gretzky Trade and returning as an Oiler fan is one of the best things I've ever done. As a fan of a Canadian NHL team, you feel part of something. Cheering for the Stars, Coyotes and Golden Knights over the years was fun, but you had nobody to talk about the games with. This is different, since most of my friends are Oil fans. Now all I need is an orange McDavid jersey. It's nice to see there's a spark back in Edmonton for their team, and they're competitive in games. But a playoff team? Not until they get a top-tier goaltender.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: I went to the Pats-Everett game on Sunday and was glad I did. The Pats can be a playoff team, but they have to work their cans off every night and make no mistakes. However it can be done. ... I'd like to see a lot more love put into the hotdogs at the Brandt Centre. The bun needs to be tightly wound around the wiener, not slapped together like two pieces of bread. This, from a frankfurter connoisseur. ... We need a lot more hockey on national television, particularly the AHL. I'm talking about live games, and coverage of the teams. Why there's so much soccer coverage on the networks still astounds me. The need for more hockey on TV struck me while walking past Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg a few weeks ago, during the Manitoba Moose home-opener. ... Arrests of NFL players are down 38% since 2014. The Packers and Jets have had the most arrests at 15 players each. Drunk driving makes up for 25% of all NFL arrests. You'd be amazed at the statistics I get sent, by working in both the pro sports and substance abuse industries. ... Don't forget to bring extra cash and support the Cameco Touchdowns For Dreams effort at this Saturday's Rider game, and be sure to come early.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen

12 comments:

Rudyman said...

When protected, out of the list of possible available QB's Reilly and Harris really seem to dice apart defenses. Zac is getting back to his pre-injury form and is close behind them.
Bridge has a great long ball, but he appears to be a half second slow on the quick reads. I was hoping to see him be quicker this year.
I can't seen any team with $600,000 invested in a QB being a real contender unless the rest of teams quality talent is willing to take less. For that matter, I can't see any cap based team in any sport paying more then 10% of their cap for their top player being a real contender anymore.

curtis said...

Christion Jones? Will he be back for playoffs?

John Knight said...

Random replies
Zach has had "ONE" good game! Needs to be more effective to rate another $400,000 plus season.
Regina in a small city that is very safe to raise a family. What did he expect? NYC?
BO Levi may tryout for NFL but will be back after preseason as he is not good enough for NFL
Rielly will be a very high paid acquisition for one team and you are right, it will be hard to staff a contender when you pay what he will demand. He may have to accept a little less to go to a Grey cup contender.

dave spad said...

If that's the way Gainey feels, maybe Chris Jones could of worked out a trade with Montreal, Toronto, or Edmonton, Bigger cities than Regina, more to do, so maybe he wouldn't be as "bored". The only thing he wouldn't be doing is playing in a Football Game in mid November! Wonder how "bored" he'd be then??

Try showing a little more gratitude Ed! Very Disappointed in you!

Unknown said...

I remember the iconic late Bob Hughes signing off his columns with “Y’re welcome”. Is your signature sign off a tribute to Mr Hughes?
There is no patent on the phrase but I’m just curious. Maybe it’s a standard phrase in journalism

Russell Cone said...

Calgary Flames will move to Houston. Unless the Mayor and Ken King get together, I'd say them moving would happen within 3 years.

I'm still astonished that the WHL has no TV carrier. I realize the Pats games are shown, but no one is broadcasting Kelowna vs Kamloops, etc.

If BLM leaves the CFL does he leave as one of the best ever? with only one cup? Hard to argue with his stats but do cups equate greatness?

Have a great game Roddie. We're in town for the Rams game. Stop by the truck if you have time.


Russ from Saskatoon

Pat Strain said...

Bang on about the Oilers needing a top tier goalie. Talbot always seems to let in 1 soft goal each game and that's all it takes to finish out of the playoffs

Justin Case U-win said...

People said Warren Moon, JeffGarcia, Vince Ferragamo would all be back. Someeven felt Joe Thiesman would be back. Everybody has an opinion on CFL to NFL players. As much as I’m not a fan of Little Bo Peep Levi Mitchell. However he has accomplished a lot more than some of the QBs I mentioned above. The dude is from Texas. Until he try’s out and gets cut or makes the NFL Team. The fact is no one really knows.
For me... I would be AOK for Bo Peep making an NFL team. Then we wouldn’t have to listen to his self appointed protected of the league BS anymore. Plus Calgary would have to find someone else to run their offence.

Football Fan said...

1. Everyone picked us to get beaten by Winnipeg in that game, for a bunch of reasons. It set up very badly for us. It wasn't a big game for us, but it was huge for them. It was our third game with them and we'd already beaten them twice. It was a very short week for us going in. We had some key injuries going in as well, and then during the game we had a number of additional key injuries, so things went from bad to worse. It was just one of those games. Everyone who watches football knows that these games happen from time to time.

5. Zach has had a very solid year. At 9-3 in games where he's played more than half the game he's certainly done his job. And now he's ramping it up heading into the playoffs, probably by design.

8. Reilly and Collaros were both making $520k last year, so Reilly is likely making a bit more than that this year. $600k is not at all unreasonable for him next year. Collaros is making a very reasonable $430k this year, right in line with the other mid range QBs in the league, but Bridge is making more than an entry level QB. If we went with a cheaper QB as a backup next year we'd have to find maybe about another $100k ish to be able to afford Reilly. MOB was likely a higher dollar FA signing, and he's probably done now, and we could perhaps replace Coleman with Vaughn, and we'd probably be there just with those two. Also remember that the salary cap will likely be going up next year, but so will the minimum salaries, so that may turn out to be a wash.

It's always hard to say how well a player, especially a QB, will do in the NFL. So much depends on the opportunity the player is given. After Flutie and Garcia when down and almost immediately became Pro Bowlers it became clear that the top CFL QBs can do very well down there. Mitchell could easily become another Pro Bowl QB if he finds the right team and is given a chance, or if he isn't given a real chance he may be back in a year like Ricky Ray was.

SWC said...

For me it's a little early to jump on the Zachwagon. Last game it appeared that he and Stephen McAdoo were finally on the same page but prior to that Zach hasn't even resembled a $430,000 QB.

Mike said...

People need to relax on Gaineys comment about Regina being a boring city. He never said he hated it here.

I've lived here my whole life and we can all admit that Regina can be a boring city. It doesn't mean we hate it here.

Regina just isnt big enough yet to have all the entertainment options of bigger cities.

I'm thinking they can only go bowling or play lazer quest so many times for example.

I'm just thinking they are running out of activities to do as a teammates and friends in their spare time.

Frank Sorensen said...

Just remember the next CFL contract with TSN will be smaller than the one we have now.