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 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)