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Friday, December 28, 2018

SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT

Welcome to Saturday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they are in no particular order:

--Are you like me at this time of year and have no real clue as to what day it is? Why is this posting on a Saturday instead of a Friday? It's because I lost track of what day it was. For what it's worth, if you worked on the 27th and 28th, I think you'll agree with this two-day work week stuff.

--Call me when the games mean something. I love junior hockey, but the World Juniors are not getting me excited. That is elevated somewhat when the host nation absolutely demolishes Denmark 14-0 much to the joy of everyone associated at TSN. Why would anyone watch that? How could anyone enjoy that? The US-Slovakia game which was also being played at the same time was much more entertaining hockey.

It begs the question as to why are teams put into the tournament when they are just going to get bombed? Some say its good for the game as they develop.  Really? How is it good for the game when you are getting your tail handed to you 14-0?  Some say they are just glad to be there?  Do you think the Danes were doing high-fives in the dressing room for not allowing Canada to score 15.  They were embarrassed. Former WHL, NHL and Olympic goalie Corey Hirsch said a score like that proved nothing and that a World team should be created.  I don't know if I would go far, but something needs to be done.

Switzerland used to get their behinds handed to them, but Swiss Hockey made a committment when it came to funding and programs to make the country competitive now. That isn't happening in Denmark. To their credit, they finished in 2017, but take a look at their history and they are between 8th and 22nd and that goes back to 1979.  Is that progress?  If Danish hockey isn't going to put the resources into the game to makes it grow and get better, then why subject your kids to being on the wrong side of one-sided victories.  In the meantime, those watching on TV and paying top dollar don't get a solid viewing experience.

I don't know why you can't make this tournament an eight-team affair with the final being a best of three. That would be a bigger draw and make the games a little more palatable.  Imagine a Game 3 of a World Junior final between Canada and the U-S or Canada and Russia. That being said, over the first two days of the tournament, the only game that was really one-sided was the 14-0 beatdown.  There has to be a better way though.    By the way, I'll start getting invested when we hit the quarter-finals because when you have to have a winner and a loser, it gets a lot better.

--If the WHL can shorten its season down to 68 games, do we have to play on December 27? Did we have to stop on December 16?  A Christmas break that comes three or four days before Christmas and ends four or five days after Christmas is much more palatable is it not?

--No, I do not have any information as to who the Riders starting quarterback will be in 2019. You can ask me for my opinion if you want, but I have no inside information to share. I will know when you know.

--It's not a good sign when the baseball team I cheer for (the Chicago Cubs for those who don't know) could arguably say the signing of their play-by-play guy, the great Pat Hughes, is the biggest off-season signing. SIGHHHH!!

--Thumbs up to the NBA for a Christmas Day five-pack. It won't be happening anytime soon, but wouldn't you have loved to cap off December 25th activities with a Calgary-Edmonton game or a Leafs-Habs game? That would have been fine. At the end of the day, the NHL plays January 1, but not on Christmas Day while the Association plays on Christmas, but not on January 1 and that probably isn't changing anytime soon.

--Watching him play a few games this year, how fortunate were the Vancouver Canucks to get Elias Pettersson at number 5 in the 2017 NHL draft?   Oilers play-by-play man Jack Michaels wondered the other night how Petterson didn't go number 1.  When you look back and see the names Nico Hischier, Nolan Patrick, Miro Heiskanen and Cole Makar, I might wonder the same thing.  You can already give the kid the Calder Trophy.

--As much as I love US College Football, there are just too many bowls.  The First Responder Bowl, the Cheez-It Bowl, the Quick Lane Bowl.  Enough!  Teams that are barely above 500 shouldn't be rewarded by playing a bowl game.  The NCAA keeps debating a way to properly determine its champion (which is fine now I say), but they can't even bother to look at controlling the amount of bowl games we see.  There are 40 of them now.  Oh yeah, those bowls generate money so expect more instead of less.

--Week 17 NFL Lock Of The Week --- Colts over Titans with or without Marcus Mariota
   Week 17 NFL Upset Of The Week -- Miami over Buffalo.

--That's all I got.  Have a great weekend!

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