Boo hoo. Cry me a river.
Chris Jones has been here for 3 years and has shown steady improvement with the Roughriders despite still not having an elite quarterback. Football is the ultimate thinking man’s (or woman’s) game and it was never meant to be all about one position. The Riders could be awesome if they ever get that elite quarterback but Chris Jones’s crew is still pretty good without one.
2. GREY CUP SHOULD GIVE JONES NFL INTEREST: If the Saskatchewan Roughriders hoist the Grey Cup in Chris Jones’s old stomping grounds of Commonwealth Stadium later this month, then he deserves consideration from the NFL for at least a defensive assistant job or at most a head coaching job.
Think about it.
A strong 5-year run and a pair of Grey Cup championships landed Marc Trestman the Chicago Bears head coaching job. Jones would have all of that if the Riders win it all this year. It will be interesting to see if a contract extension is negotiated in the offseason and it includes any kind of ‘out clause’ to explore NFL opportunities.
3. ROUGHRIDERS WHO SHOULD WIN AWARDS HANDS DOWN: Chris Jones for coach-of-the-year and Willie Jefferson for both Defensive-player-of-the-year and Most Outstanding Player overall. If any of these DON’T come true, consider it a travesty. The voters couldn’t possibly vote Jefferson as MOP but not Defensive Player winner, could they?
4. DREW TATE: Brilliant move. Journeymen quarterbacks never get the credit they deserve in having the intelligence and experience to step in to situations like this. I recall covering the Rider beat on a daily basis in a previous life when Tate started his career in Saskatchewan and was billed as ‘THE NEXT ONE’, even bumping Darian Durant to the practice roster a few times. It would be a great ending to Tate’s disappointing career derailed by injuries to bring this story full circle with his own moment of glory wearing the green and white.
5. BEST OF WALLY BUONO: The tributes to the CFL’s all-time winningest coach have been nice but my favorite memory is one more of vintage Wally a la day before the 2007 west final at B.C. Place. Wally stepped up to the pre-game podium and blasted Rider Radio analyst CarmCarteri for having the nerve to suggest Buono’s player (Jason Jimenez) was dirty and deserved to be suspended for crushing Anthony Gargiulo’s ankle a few weeks earlier, ending Gargiulo’s career.
Wally figured Carm would take his tongue-lashing and the press conference would go on as usual.
Boy, was he wrong.
Carm stood up to Wally and Buono started swearing and really became unhinged as he was being challenged in a way he wasn’t used to being challenged. Wally could dish it out with the best of them but couldn’t really take it very well. Buono and the Lions were rattled and blew it the next day, paving the way for the Roughriders to win the 2007 Grey Cup. I still give Carm an assist for that one.
6. THE ROCK: He’s brought up the story of how Wally cut him from his CFL dream way back when but didn’t respond to Buono’s invitation to his final game over the weekend. All of which leads me to believe Dwayne Johnson still holds a grudge over Wally. He’s not the only one.
7. ARGOS PRESIDENT STILL A JOKE: Let’s see, fired Marc Trestman at 2 AM and then bragged about pushing Argo attendance up by less then 200 fans/game. Brilliant. More proof that Bill Manning has no vision for selling football to Canada’s biggest city or connecting the Argos with its immigrant population.Manning promises to create a winner, apparently forgetting the Argos have won 6 Grey Cups since they were last relevant in the big smoke. Where’s Pinball when you need him?
8. HUMBOLDT FINANCIALS: I appreciate John Gormley’s willingness to dig into the corners to debate issues nobody else seems willing to debate. But his attack on Tammy Robert and her PR firm getting paid by the Humboldt Broncos in the aftermath of the bus crash is downright disgusting.
It’s clear that Gormley has a petty, vindictive axe to grind with Tammy, maybe from her quitting as his producer back in 2011.
No-one works for free (especially Gormley) and he profited from the Humboldt crash as much as anybody by having guests on and driving ratings which is how he makes money.
Power makes anyone drunk and I suspect the same might be happening with John Gormley who appears to be morphing into the Rush Limbaugh of the prairies. Barf.
9. WCBL PLAYOFFS: The Western Canadian Baseball League has rubber-stamped the expanded schedule up to 56 games and shortened it’s playoff schedule from three best-of-5 rounds down to three best-of-3 rounds. I get what they’re trying to do and support the expanded regular season but hate the playoff changes.
My solution: Have the 2nd and 3rd place teams in each division do a play-in game against each other than do a couple of best-of-5 rounds. That would bring back pennant races and there is nothing more perfect in sports than a best-of-five.
10. MAKING A MURDERER: Starting watching the second season on Netflix and I am now 100% convinced Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are innocent and will be getting out. That prosecutor, Ken Kratz, has to be shaking in his boots.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)