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FAMOSO MONDAY NIGHTS

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1. JEFFERSON FOR M.O.P.: This got kicked around after ‘Willie’s Wave’ rubbed the Bombers' noses in it at the Banjo Bowl. Justin Dunk, of 3downnation.com, didn’t exactly toss cold water on the idea but reminded us of the contributions from Charleston Hughes and Ed Gainey that have completed this epic defensive season from the Riders. But in Monday’s Thanksgiving Day win, when some were even headed for the exits, Willie’s latest pick six cemented it for me. When any game has been going so terribly wrong offensively, no one on either side of the ball for the Roughriders has done more than Willie Jefferson to turn the tide. He’s not just my choice for Riders’ Most Outstanding Player. He’s my choice for League MOP, running away.

Think about it.

Can you name one player in the entire CFL who has made a more valuable impact on where his team is in the standings? Didn’t think so. Me neither.

2. FANS LEAVING EARLY:The mini-exodus started after the Roughriders gave the ball back to the Eskies with under 3 minutes left and trailing by a field goal. It looked pretty dire at that point, given the fact our offense was showing no signs of life and most of the folks I saw leaving had small kids with them.

They’re not ‘part-time fans’ as some have suggested.

‘Part-time fans’ don’t give up their Thanksgiving Monday to sit in the cold and see their team score zero offensive touchdowns. I was at the last Grey Cup in Montreal in 2008 when Anthony Calvillo was marching the ball in the final 3 minutes trailing Calgary by a 2-point converted touchdown and people were leaving. Those are part-time fans.

3. RIDER IDENTITY COULD FOREVER CHANGE THE GAME: Every pro sports league is copy-cat and football is that way, probably more than all of the others. We’ve been told for generations, by some General Managers even, that you simply cannot win a Grey Cup without a stud quarterback.

The Roughriders are still a-ways away from proving that theory wrong but with the league’s 2nd best record with only 3 weeks to go, no-one can deny the legit possibility of this team winning a championship with the most lackluster offense of any Grey Cup winner since at least the early 1970’s.

The 2018 Roughriders not only have the potential to become the CFL’s answer to the NFL’s ’85 Chicago Bears, but also spur a lot of outside-the-box thinking among future General Managers constructing rosters without investing heavily at the quarterback position.

The Brendan Taman philosophy of going all in on your quarterback might be eroded by the Chris Jones philosophy of the other 23 starters and special-teams players mattering too.

4. REILLY TO BC LIONS GAINING STEAM: I’ve been hearing rumblings for a while now that Leos GM Ed Hervey would love to re-unite with the man he traded for to be his star QB in Edmonton, Mike Reilly who’ll be a free agent in February. Well the events of this weekend will add kerosene to that fire.

First Jonathan Jennings’ agent took a shot at Ed for questioning Jennings work ethic and then after Monday’s game, Edmonton coach Jason Mass whined to the media about Reilly tossing a pick-six at the end of a low-scoring game. Reilly reacted by saying the right things but looked like a man who had just been thrown under the bus by a head coach who Reilly beat in a Grey Cup when he (Reilly) had Chris Jones as his head coach and Ed Hervey as his General Manager.
Starting to envision Mike Reilly in orange once again and Jonathon Jennings out of work.

5. ROD BLACK AND TSN’S MANZIEL OBSESSION: I’ve finally figured out why Rider fans complain about Rod Black’s commentary so much. He calls the games objectively and in a non-partisan way, as he should. Problem is, Rider fans think he owes us something since most of the viewers are cheering for Saskatchewan.

And his excitement for Johnny Manziel making big plays doesn’t bother me either. I was glued to the Stampeder-Alouette game Thanksgiving Morning to see what Johnny could do. Johnny Manziel is a must-see curiosity for many of us. It’s about the only thing which made that game even watchable in the first place.

6. ARGO MANAGEMENT NEEDS A TIE-BREAKER FOR TRESTMAN-POPP: Signs of a power struggle over the Toronto Argonaut front office are emerging at a time no referee seems to be available. Toronto FC soccer team president Bill Manning was told to double as Argo president too before the season started. Seemed like a poor choice to me and it still does.

Not only is Argo attendance still in the dumpster, but Manning doesn’t sound interested in meddling with the football operations. Problem is, they need some-one to meddle and make some decisions.
His choices are: A) Keep Jim Popp, despite the fact that choice reportedly cost Montreal Alouettes team president Larry Smith his job after repeating as Grey Cup champs in 2010 and has sent that franchise into a tailspin ever since, or B) Keep Marc Trestman who wore out his welcome back to the NFL real fast and seems stubborn on sticking with a 30-yard quarterback on a 6-game losing skid.

It will be interesting to see if Bill Manning or anyone at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment cares enough to sort this mess out once the Argos miserable trot to the end mercifully arrives in the next month.

7. U-SPORT TO BLAME, NOT U OF R OVER RAMS SCREWUP: Somebody is probably going to lose their job over the University of Regina’s failure to properly remove an academically ineligible player from the U of R Rams football program, causing them to vacate all of their wins this season and probably any real shot at the playoffs. But to put that responsibility on the University seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t the U-Sport governing body have a uniform process in place to do their own clearance of student athletes to ensure eligibility? I mean really, if schools all across the country are approving their own athletes, surely that has to be a conflict of interest.
Somebody please have U-Sport re-instate those wins until they get this ridiculous enforcement system fixed. The other competing universities ought to step up and show such class in giving the Rams their rightful record and shot at a playoff spot.

8. WHL DRAFT AGE TOO EARLY: Quit drafting 14-year-old kids. Move the draft age up to at least when the players are eligible to actually play. It’s not fair to the scouts or kids to have all of these decisions made at that age. Ridiculous! Enough already.

9. SMALLER NHL GOALIE GEAR LOOKS GREAT: Kudos to Kay Whitmore and the NHL for really cracking down on the oversized goaltending pads. Too early to tell of the real impact but early returns suggest the bigger openings for shooters to see should lead to higher scoring games. If this doesn’t work, add an inch or two around the posts and crossbar to make the nets bigger. If that fails, bring back ringette lines and create ‘illegal defense’ for forwards in their own zone. Do something. Just see this through to make hockey great to watch again. MAKE THE NHL GREAT AGAIN.

10. ANGEL HERNANDEZ: Is a terrible Major League Baseball umpire. He just is.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

13 comments:

fannotacoach said...

What I dislike about Rod Black and his "coverage" is he will get onto a side topic and carry it on through a series to the point where the on field ref's explanation of a flag is not heard. They go to commercial and come back and the position on the field has changed but no reason given. he likes to hear himself talk to the point where he is missing some good games!

Bob said...

I don't like Rod Black because he's terrible. I don't like him if the Riders aren't playing. He's terrible!!!!

SWC said...

#3, I'd say Jones did invest heavily on a quarterback. He's not getting his money's worth but he's paying Collaros $430,000.

John Knight said...

People don't like him when talking about Manziel because almost every sentence he made contained Johnny football or Johnny Manziel.! We could all see the game and do not need his crowing about one player who may some day be a good QB but what has he done so far? ZERO wins! That should say it all

Tim said...

Agree 100% with the first three comments above by fannotacoach, Bob and SWC. Well done..

Dwayne Jeffery said...

Let's sign Reilly this off season!!!

Rudyman said...

Bigger ice please, then nothing else has to change in Hockey.

Old Rider Fan said...

Draft at 14 is nuts! And just as bad is the lack of local 'kids' playing for their home team with these drafts. As an old (yes ... out of date) guy I miss going to cheer on those kids I watched playing in the local rinks since age 7. Look at the Pats top 10 all time goal scorers ... 6 were SK boys. Imagine if we had today's system back when. Would we have cheered our tough guy to go after that damn Sillenger etc? From an old dinasuer.

Bradford Kruger said...

If Rod Black would call the game and quit using nicknames for the players on every second play, it would sound a lot better. When you hear "Johnny Football" 50 times in a game that he is pedestrian at best, it begins to annoy. Manziel has't earned the nickname in the CFL. Half of the nicknames of other players are generally used by teammates, and are not known by everyone, so it comes off as Black making up his own names for players.

Enigma said...

14 year old Bantam Draft is plain stupid. Just ask the OHL and they will tell you. It's high time the WHL follow suit with the OHL after all they've adopted their 68 game schedule. The OHL which uses the Midget priority draft is producing more and better players than the WHL. They win numerous Memorial Cups and produce usually the top NHL draftees, at least in the last decade or more. The WHL hasn't won a Memorial Cup in at least 10 years.

The scouts have to make a decision on a kid who is hardly more than a 13-14 year old young child. Making the draft a midget draft would give the scouts and teams at least one extra year or two to evaluate these kids. So many kids falter after second year bantam when they go into midget. Others flourish and prove they can play at the higher levels. Teams would have more time to do their homework and perhaps there would be fewer mistakes. The big upshoot would be that there would be more players ready to step up to major junior. It's high time the change was made to be in line with the OHL.

Bill Salloum said...

Agree with fannotacoach, Bob etc: I don't like Rod Black's game call not because of lack of objectivity but simply because too often he doesn't call the game! He too often gets onto some mindless blather about something, won't let it go, to the point of completely ignoring the game as it's unfolding.

Football Fan said...

Per 3DN Matt Nichols is making $420k this year and Trevor Harris is making $450k. This is the market value of a mid-tier QB in the CFL. The top guys are making over $500k. Collaros has been a top tier guy and was making that kind of money, but he took a big pay cut this year. Collaros is playing at least as well as the other mid-tier QBs. He hasn't had the big games the two mentioned above have had but he hasn't had the bad games either. He's been a steady performer, probably by design. Unlike the above two who have been with their teams for years Collaros is in his first year here with a new system and new receivers, and several receivers who are in their first year in the league, so lots of learning curves to deal with. And Collaros has been winning. What is he now, 8-2 in games where he's played more than half? And we're now 10-5 and in second place in the league ... and yet there are people complaining about how much money he's making??

Football Fan said...

1. Jefferson and Hughes are neck and neck for our MOP and after this game I’d edge Jefferson out in front. With all due respect to Davis in Calgary I think we have the best two DEs in the league.

3. Brendan Taman went all in on our QB? I’m no fan of Taman but part of that is because Durant was generally UNDERpaid when he was here. Taman screwed over Durant in order to MASSIVELY overpay players like Getzlaf, Dressler and Chick. Taman presided over the contract scandals era, remember, and he cheated certain players in order to give, for example, Chris Getzlaf his whopping $220k contract.

4. I’d be happy having Collaros back, but Reilly to Sask makes a lot more sense than BC, and I certainly wouldn’t object to him coming here either. Players generally don’t follow their GMs. It’s the coaches they deal with on a day to day basis, and Reilly won a GC with Jones in 2015. Players like to win and the Riders project to be a better team than BC for as long as we can lock Chris Jones up for.