Thursday, December 13, 2018
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK
2 - THE ANSWER: Of course Saskatchewanians can't take a break from it because there's nothing else to talk about so here's who I'm going with as the next Riders QB: Jonathan Jennings. That's a completely uneducated guess because the team isn't saying anything, but I'm getting tired of shrugging my shoulders and saying "I don't know". We're told landing Mike Reilly is a long shot (although I'm not totally convinced of that) so, to me, Jennings is the next best available. And that includes trade scenarios for James Franklin or Johnny Manziel. Please discuss.
3 - SAMMY: Free agent Rider linebacker Sam Eguavoen is on an America-wide tour working out for a dozen or so NFL teams. Most recently, the Rams and Bears. Wherever he signs, they're going to get a helluva story. The Garland, TX product completed Police Academy and was working at a Foot Locker when he saw an online ad for a Roughriders free agent camp in Dallas in 2016. He showed up, paid $100, and made the team. I remember not knowing how to pronounce his name as a rookie but his play forced me to get it down pat. The next stop for Sam is the NFL!
4 - PERSPECTIVE: Eventually I'll come to accept the CFL football operations salary cap but it's difficult right now when you look into the eyes of someone who's lost their job. And the out-of-work football people know there's nowhere else to go in the CFL because of the limit on staffs. In Calgary they call this the "Rider Rule" while someone from Winnipeg called this an "Anti-Saskatchewan" move. Why wouldn't we take offense to that? However on the flipside, I understand controlling costs and not allowing spending to get out of control. It all depends on which side of the cookie you're on.
6 - KOCH HEAD: Receiver Cary Koch (pronounced Coke) spent little time with the Roughriders (2010/2011), but it was memorable. This week Cary was announced as one of Baton Rouge, LA's Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 for the Baton Rouge Business Report. #84 is the Executive Director of Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild among other things. You always knew he'd be a success.
7 - KICKING MISHAPS: TSN's Top 10 Kicking Mishaps this week failed to remember Paul McCallum's 18-yard field goal miss in overtime of the 2004 CFL West Division Final. How do you miss that?! That "miss" still comes up on a weekly basis around here, and across the CFL! It's another heartbreaking chapter in Roughriders lore.
8 - OIL COUNTRY: The Edmonton Oilers are a whopping 8-2-1 under Ken Hitchcock since he took over from Todd McLellan last month. Is this the customary spike in performance after a coaching change? Or is it a sign of things to come? No one wants to wager a guess on that. Hitch doesn't seem to have changed much, but who knows what he's saying in the room? We all love Todd McLellan and it seems his only downfall was failing to bust the Country Club and negative culture the Oilers have become known for. However Hitch has come in and split it with an axe.
9 - HEART & SOUL: Less than a week after launching Heart & Soul of the SJHL - A 50-Year History, we've had worldwide reaction. People are calling it a "work of art" and for that, I thank Regina publisher Printwest. Now's a good time to thank the team of writers I hired to bring the project together: John Cairns, Corey Atkinson, Rob Hart, Dave Leaderhouse, Kelly Provost, Mike Stackhouse, Jamie Neugebauer, Greg Nikkel, Clark Stork, Greg Buchanan, Marc Smith, Kevin Shaw and George Bowditch plus an army of photographers including Marla Possberg in Humboldt. When Kevin Garinger - the former President of the Humboldt Broncos - gave this book the thumbs-up, that was the only approval I wanted to hear. His note provided a huge sense of relief.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Forget about expansion to Regina. The NLL has bigger plans. They announced an expansion franchise in New York City this week. ... Lacrosse is the fasting growing sport on the continent. Society may have changed but human nature has not. Kids still need a place to take out their agression. ... Letterkenny performed another soldout show on Tuesday in the Queen City. Hey - it's Regina. How can so many people not make it on time for a 7:00 show? ... It's not yet Christmas, yet people are writing off the Regina Pats in terms of a playoff spot. So what? It's the penance we pay for the last two historic seasons. The Pats and Warriors collide in a home-and-home this weekend and I can't wait to go! ... People say they aren't excited about the World Juniors in Vancouver and Victoria this year but because of Moose Jaw's Tim Hunter, I am. Eh Oh Canada Go! ... Is there room enough in Winnipeg for the NHL, AHL and WHL? If any city can do it, it's Winnipeg. ... Further to last week's 10 Things column on how the NHL in Seattle will affect the Silvertips and Thunderbirds, upon further reflection, it says here the more hockey in one market the better. An NHL expansion team in the Emerald City will be a boon for the WHL as well.