Realty One

FAMOSO MONDAY NIGHTS

Access

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1. RIDERS WOULD’VE PUT UP A BETTER FIGHT: The Calgary Stampeders didn’t win the Grey Cup in Edmonton over the weekend. They won it two weeks earlier in Regina.

No-one heaved a bigger sigh of relief then Dave Dickenson or Bo Levi Mitchell when the Roughriders came up short against the Blue Bombers in the Western Semi-Final. The Stamps didn’t take anything for granted in beating Winnipeg or Ottawa but only because of how each of their last two playoff runs have ended.

They didn’t want to play Saskatchewan. No sir. Not after losing 2 of 3 head to head matchups this season including their last two meetings.

Take nothing away from what the Stampeders accomplished in the 106th Grey Cup win and they clearly were the league’s best team in 2018 overall. But with a healthy Zach Collaros, the Riders would’ve put up a far better fight than what we saw from the Redblacks.

2. PLAN ‘B’ IF RIDERS DON’T GET REILLY: I spent all weekend in Edmonton arguing with a bunch of drunken Eskimo and Lion fans that Mike Reilly would love to live in Regina. Housing is more affordable here than anywhere else and he wouldn’t have to go through customs every day like he would if he lived south of the border like some B.C. Lion players do.

But then it hit me. What if Mike doesn’t see it the same way I do? Then what do the Riders do?

The reality is that Personnel Maven, John Murphy, has to identify someone we have never heard of to come in and become the ‘next one’. Russell Wilson did it in the NFL, Kent Austin did it here once and it’s time we open the door for a new superstar.

No more of this gimmicky Vince Young or so-so Kevin Glenn stuff. It’s time to mold us a quarterback. Our first home-grown pivot since Darian Durant.

Go all in on Mike Reilly first. But if you can’t seal the deal there, don’t waste our time with more retreads. I’m just sayin.

3. BO LEVI IS NFL READY: Jeff Garcia was 28 when he claimed his last Grey Cup as a Stampeder quarterback. Bo Levi Mitchell is 28 right now.

Garcia started one Grey Cup and got his only ring. Mitchell started 4 Grey Cups and won 2 of them.
Jeff Garcia went to 4 pro bowls, all in his 30’s. Bo Levi Mitchell doesn’t need to win any pro bowls.

He just needs a chance to prove he can play in the NFL.

He’s earned that shot and then some. I fully expect him to get it and make it down there.

4. JOHN HUFNAGEL IS HUGH CAMPBELL: I’ve always been a fan of “Huff” but have also felt uneasy about his tight control over the entire Calgary Stampeder franchise. Seeing him march into the assistant coaches booths in the middle of Grey Cups or down on the sidelines giving orders has struck me as micro-managing and part of their problem in finishing Championship games.

The Stamps have always been a little too uptight.

But then it struck me. Hugh Campbell used to do the same things in Edmonton before he retired 12 years ago. And when you think about it, the Eskimos really haven’t been the same since he left.
Like Campbell, Hufnagel is a CFL genius with NFL experience.

5. WHY THIS GREY CUP FESTIVAL ROCKED AND TORONTO’S SUCKED: Grey Cup week 2016 in Toronto was a non-event. The fan fest and radio row was set up down a bunch of escalators in the middle of a downtown convention centre and it was quiet all week.

That’s not how you connect with blue-collar fans.

In Edmonton, they had free ziplining(I even tried it), bungee-jumping(chickened out of that one) and a downhill ski-track all set up on the shore of the riverbank. And it was all right next to a tented beer gardens that was booming with traffic the whole weekend.

That’s what they need to do the next time they try to do this in Toronto. Set it up on the lakefront.

Make it a spectacle.

6. CFL’S ONE BIG PROBLEM: The Big 3: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The failure to connect with Canada’s immigrant population continues to hold the CFL back in the worst way. Canadian football is the greatest game on earth. So why aren’t we showcasing the games in Punjab and Chinese the way TSN is bragging about showing it on ESPN Deportes to the Mexican audience?

Hockey Night in Canada is shown in Punjabi and it’s a big hit. So why isn’t the CFL doing the same for its own brand?

The CFL has a lot of issues this offseason like the CBA, expansion to Halifax and the Alliance of American Football/XFL popping up but those issues will all sort themselves out.The league’s main focus needs to be on expanding it’s “Diversity Is Strength” campaign to create a more diverse audience. I’m approaching 40 and still one of the youngest people at these Grey Cup festivals. That’s a problem they need to address yesterday.

7. TWIN BROTHER LOOKALIKES: Rider Radio 620 CKRM football analyst Luc Mullinder and NBC football analyst Rodney Harrison. Google the two images and tell me I’m wrong.

8. OFFSEASON QUESTION TO CHRIS JONES: Will you continue to wear Neal Hughes’ jersey t-shirt in 2019?

9. MICK McGEOUGH: Didn’t know the NHL referee from Regina at all expect for the time he dialed the wrong number to my cellphone when I was in the grocery store. But from the stories I’ve heard, he was a real hoot. My favorite memory of Mick is still on youtube from 20 years ago when he broke up a Darcy Tucker-Darius Kasparaitis fight in the middle of a line-brawl by literally tossing Tucker into the penalty box.

Tucker kept yapping non-stop and Mick stood his ground, having none of it.

McGeough could’ve chosen a lot of other places with warmer weather to spend his golden years but in his final days, he chose Regina. The good die young and at 62, Mick is gone far too soon.

10. ON THE TV THIS WEEK: Over the moon to do my first Regina Pats TV play-by-play assignment in 11 years Saturday night when the league-leading Prince Albert Raiders come to town. You can watch Jared Dumba and I do the broadcast on Access 7 or in HD channel 70 at 7 pm.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

11 comments:

Football Fan said...

2. Absolutely Reilly is priority one, and I also agree that you always have to have a plan B. Given that we may have three new QBs in the 1, 2 and 3 spots next year having a good young prospect in the #3 spot would be a good thing to have, but it's also #3 on our priority list. We finished second in the league this year, and we beat the first place team 2 out of 3 times, and the time we lost was with Bridge. Collaros was 2-0 against the Stamps. So we're right there, knocking on the door, and our priority #1 this off season has to be a QB who can take us that last step, a championship QB. And priority #1 for the team is to get Chris Jones signed to a long term contract, so we show that to Reilly and he knows who he would be playing for for the rest of his career.

3. Mitchell could easily do very well in the NFL, and after the Stamps win I think it's even more likely he'll go. That'll be good for him and for the league. The Stamps will be in rebuilding mode and their fans should be OK with that since they just won a cup. Assuming we can lock Jones up the Riders look like the next team who will get to the top and stay there a while.

6. I think those three each have their own problems. Montreal was a very strong market, but Jr. has run that team into the ground. In BC Brailey seems to have dropped the ball on promoting the team while he's been waiting to sell it. The team has been in limbo and the fans have drifted away. And at the same time teh Seahawks have been one of the top teams in the NFL, so that was a magnet drawing football fans away as well.

Geo said...

1. Of course the Riders would have put up a bigger fight against the Stamps. The Riders have been undefeated against the Stamps in the playoffs since 2013.

2. Reilly is not coming to Regina. Full stop. There is nothing Regina can offer that Edmonton and Vancouver can't in terms of salary, and Edmonton has the advantage of Reilly's teammates and stability, while Vancouver offers Reilly a closer drive to his American family. Both offer better amenities. As for the "Chris Jones" factor, I don't know what it is about Chris Jones you think would attract Reilly, other than he happened to coach Reilly's team when they won a Grey Cup (a team that was built by Ed Hervey - also in BC). Chris Jones cast an ugly pall on Reilly's only championship win by abandoning his team and skipping town within a week of that game. Even when it came time to take the Grey Cup to his hometown in the off season, Jones wore the colours of his new team, not the team that earned that championship - that was an absolute slap in the face to Reilly and his teammates. Reilly might have respect for Jones as a coach, but he knows from experience that Jones does not reciprocate loyalty, and that he would be a fool to expect loyalty from Jones if he were to sign in Saskatchewan.

3. We'll see what happens with BLM. He's already stated that he will only sign in the NFL if he has a legitimate chance at a #1 or #2 spot. That means signing bonus and up-front money. Short of that, he stays in Calgary. There are definitely going to be off season changes for the Stamps and they could very well end up in rebuild mode starting next season, especially if Mitchell and Singleton head south.

Football Fan said...

It’s always amusing to see people bend over backwards to try to rationalize a nonsensical position.

“Reilly is not coming to Regina. Full stop. There is nothing Regina can offer that Edmonton and Vancouver can't in terms of salary”
-Like most football players Reilly is a competitor who wants to win. Like Jones he is a football junkie and admits to thinking football all the time. I assume you’re an Eskimos fan Geo so you may not know that lots of FAs have signed with us during the Jones era in order to play for him and what they knew would become a winning organization. Willie Jefferson is one who you might be familiar with, and he said even just in the last couple weeks that if he tries the NFL again and doesn't make it he’ll come back to play for Jones. Another plus is the facilities. If you’re a football junkie you want a top notch faculty to work out in and watch film etc. Another factor is the fans. 30,000 screaming fans sure beats whatever BC is bringing in these days.

“Edmonton has the advantage of Reilly's teammates and stability, while Vancouver offers Reilly a closer drive to his American family.”
-I don’t seem much stability in Edmonton these days. The talent level is dropping rapidly, and I’m sure Williams will be another one to leave this off season. The team is losing in spite of Reilly’s efforts and they just decided to bring Maas and Sunderland back for another year. Reilly took a beating all year behind a terrible OL, and they were never able to fix that problem, and the same guys in charge are back next year. Reilly has his career to think about as well. He’s durable but he’s no spring chicken and he can’t keep taking those kinds of hits without it adding up. And, btw, he’s from Kalispell Montana.

“As for the "Chris Jones" factor, I don't know what it is about Chris Jones you think would attract Reilly, other than he happened to coach Reilly's team when they won a Grey Cup (a team that was built by Ed Hervey - also in BC).”
- lol! Yeah, Jones just happened to be his HC and McAdoo just happened to be his OC. Why would he care about that? I mean, why would the coaches he works with every day be important to him? And who cares that they all won a GC together, right? Lol.

“Chris Jones cast an ugly pall on Reilly's only championship win by abandoning his team and skipping town within a week of that game. Even when it came time to take the Grey Cup to his hometown in the off season, Jones wore the colours of his new team, not the team that earned that championship - that was an absolute slap in the face to Reilly and his teammates. Reilly might have respect for Jones as a coach, but he knows from experience that Jones does not reciprocate loyalty, and that he would be a fool to expect loyalty from Jones if he were to sign in Saskatchewan.”
-Spoken like a true Eskimos fan. I can see how this would have been a slap in the face to Eskimos fans, but not to the players. They won a cup together. He was loyal and did his job extremely well and they became GC champions. After the season is over then this becomes a business, and Jones took the opportunity to advance his career and become a HC and GM. Happens all the time, but it just happened quicker this time. And Hervey was fired just a year later so I would say that maybe not all was right with the upper management in Edmonton as well. And look at where the team has headed since then, so maybe that’s where your wrath should be focused.

Pat Strain said...

I would not put a lot of faith in Reilly coming to Regina . Totally true that we need to find the next undiscovered QB like they did with Durant years ago. I have a feeling about Drew Powell - a guy they signed from the arena leagues last season .... just an instinct he could be good . Also why not give nick Marshall a try at QB .

dave spad said...

Couldn't of said it better myself Fball Fan. I'm sick and tired of Fans from across the country, namely arrogant Albertans, turning up their noses at both Regina, and Saskatchewan, thinking that we have nothing to offer.

How about losing the Provincial attitude? And you think we are the Hicks.

Old Rider Fan said...

So why does everyone write off Bridge. Look at Harris in the GC. Looked about like Bridge did in the semi. Actually think he played to not make a mistake ... just like Bridge the semi. In '17 Bridge was our savior more than once ... tells me there is something there warranting at least a #3. Check his stats for '17. Not bad at all. May nrever be any more than a backup but ... check iconic Flutie stats in his first year. In year two coach decided he can't expect NFL style and let Flutie play to his strengths. Ended up called 'best ever' in the CFL.

Geo said...

No, I'm not an Eskimos fan, actually. Perhaps a little more self-awareness on your part and you'd realize how silly it is for you to accuse someone of "bending over backwards to rationalize a nonsensical position" when you're doing just that.

"Like most football players Reilly is a competitor who wants to win."

If indeed BLM decides to head South, I would think the team that gives Reilly the best shot at winning would be Calgary, wouldn't it? Calgary just signed a whole group of talented receivers to go along with the other group of talented receivers that had hit the IR in mid-season. Even in rebuild mode, you know that there is going to be a stable of receivers ready and able to catch any ball Reilly could throw. Reilly also knows that he wouldn't have to put his body and career in jeopardy playing for Calgary, because he wouldn't be expected to run like he has in years past.

And Kalispell is closer to Calgary than any other CFL city, though I could swear I heard it at some point during the season that Reilly's family moved to Washington State - either way, though, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver all are closer to Kalispell than Regina, and all three have US pre-clearance in their airports.

"Hervey was fired just a year later so I would say that maybe not all was right with the upper management in Edmonton as well."

You do have a point here. It was pretty headshake-worthy when Hervey was let go in Edmonton (especially given that the reason expressed was that he wasn't "fan friendly enough", even though Maas is still there, and we all know how "friendly" he can be).

I honestly think that the most likely candidates for the Riders quarterbacking next season will be Jonathan Jennings, James Franklin, or Antonio Pipkin. If Jones plays his cards right, he might be able to get Streveler or McBeth, but if I was a betting man, I would put the money on Jennings signing with the Riders in the off-season.

Football Fan said...

The priority this off season, after signing Jones, is to find a championship QB. We’re right there now. We’ve built steadily over the last three years, and now we need a guy to take us that last step. It wouldn’t hurt to have a good young developmental guy too, but priority one is to land a championship QB, and target #1 is Mike Reilly. Plan Bs and Cs would include Ricky Ray and maybe Harris and Jennings.

SWC said...


@Football Fan;

I've got to agree with Geo on this one, it's you that's in denial.

Football Fan said...

@Geo
You're not an Eskimos fan? You could have fooled me. In that post you sound exactly like an Eskimos fan.

If BLM goes south I think the strongest team between us and Calgary will be whoever signs Reilly. If we get him it'll be us, and if they sign him it'll probably still be them, but remember that we beat them 2 out of 3 times this year with them having BLM, so if they get Reilly and we get Ricky Ray, for example, we may still be the better team.

If we don't get Reilly I think my second best option would be Ray as our starter and Jennings as our #2. Franklin would be good as a #2 as well but I think he's going to be the starter in TO. I wouldn't object to having Collaros back as our starter if we had Jennings as our #2 either, but I think he's going to retire.

Geo said...

"In that post you sound exactly like an Eskimos fan."

Exactly why? Because I disagreed with you and BM about the probability of Reilly coming to Regina? Gee. Edmonton probably has a lot of fans, then.

"If BLM goes south I think the strongest team between us and Calgary will be whoever signs Reilly."

On that hypothetical, you are probably correct, but I think Calgary isn't likely to go after Reilly, either, as he would command too much money and remove any chance of re-signing Mitchell should he not make it in the NFL. I think Reilly's most likely landing spots will be Edmonton, BC, or Toronto, in that order.

"remember that we beat them 2 out of 3 times this year with them having BLM"

True enough. It would behoove you to remember that BLM didn't have a playbook or anyone to throw to in those games, though. There are a lot of blemishes that can be covered up by the poor play of your opponent.

"If we don't get Reilly I think my second best option would be Ray as our starter and Jennings as our #2."

I don't think Ray as a starter would be a good idea for anyone - the injury he suffered this season has probably ended his career all but officially, and I'd be surprised (and quite worried for Ray's sake) to see him take the field for any team again. Even at 100% health, he's not a long-term solution, so that would be counter to Chris Jones' whole mission, anyhow. Any QB that the Riders sign has to have at least three good seasons left in him, or it will be another case of mortgaging the future for the sake of the present.