Wednesday, February 20, 2019
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK
2 - WHAT'S LEFT: It may be quiet now, but there's still some cannonballs left for the pool. For instance, why has it gone so quiet with Brandon Bridge, Kevin Glenn, Travis Lulay and the other QBs left on the market? And does Drew Willy fit into Wave 2 or has he slipped to Wave 3? (The players signed just before - or during - training camp and the early parts of the season).
3 - OTHER POSITIONS: The list of remaining players on the CFL's official Free Agent Tracker reads like a Who's Who. A potential Hall of Fame ballot! Rob Bagg, Ricky Ray, Chip Cox, Weston Dressler, Adarius Bowman, Marquay McDaniel, Chris Williams and Eddie Steele are still available. It also reads like a used car lot. There are a ton of miles on these models. When a team needs someone dependable, that's when these players' phones will ring.
4 - TRUTH & RUMOURS: Interesting that Duron Carter is a Category 1 free agent after being signed by the BC Lions just days into Free Agency. It took 2 weeks for Toronto to sign him last August after the Riders had had enough of him. As the story went, Wally Buono and his staff had meetings on Duron at the time, and elected to pass. Clearly new Lions boss DeVone Claybrooks feels the juice is worth the squeeze.
5 - MORE T & R: In Jovon Johnson's farewell letter to fans last week, he mentioned dysfunction in the Roughriders locker room in 2018. Meh, it's likely no more than any other pro football team. However players did grumble to me that Chris Jones had too many duties on his plate, and was spending too much time on managerial tasks rather than game-planning and 1-on-1 coaching. They felt that hurt the team, particularly in the playoffs. I suppose it doesn't matter now but fortunately that organizational structure has been scrapped for a more traditional one.
6 - THE AAF: It's too bad the Alliance of American Football is in the news this week for falling on hard financial times just two weeks into their inaugural season. Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon reportedly had to fork over $250-million to keep the league afloat, and a lot of it was payroll. If this is true, it’s the league’s own fault for paying too much and offering 3-year contracts. It's a shame because the football has been great and we're seeing what a national TV contract can do for a league's exposure. Their only slip so far is having two teams wear basically the same colour uniforms in the game Sunday evening in San Diego.
7 - DROP ANCHOR: Like everyone else, I'm optimistic about the CFL adding a 10th team in Halifax. Didn't they actually NAME the team at last year's Grey Cup? However influential media is now questioning whether this ship will ever leave the harbour and doubts are growing. Remember it was this ownership group's inability to get a new arena deal done in Phoenix which led to them selling off the Arizona Coyotes. At what point do they cut bait in Halifax, and stop beating their head against the wall with local, small-minded politicians?
8 - PAYLESS NO MORE: We hear daily in the news that Payless Shoe Source is closing its 2,500 stores by the end of April, and going bankrupt. Of course they are! You haven't been able to "pay less" there for at least a decade. I remember in Spokane, WA in 1993 I bought a pair of dress shoes for $12. Then-Raiders coach Donn Clark quipped, "A buck an inch" for my Size 12's. Payless was perfect for a starving radio guy like me back then, but they got too expensive long ago. You may as well go to Walmart.
9 - ICE, ICE BABY: The Kootenay Ice will make their last-ever visit to the Brandt Centre Wednesday evening as beginning next year, they'll be the Winnipeg Ice. I'll be going tonight to pay my respects to the franchise, but will also remember their previous life as the Edmonton Ice. They played out of the 4,000-seat AgriCom from 1996-98, across the street from Northlands Coliseum. I remember one time Glen Sather came onto the bench to watch the Pats' morning skate and we all almost fainted. Good times. It’s Wiener Wednesday.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: You know you live in Saskatchewan when you see -14 in the forecast and are thankful for a reprieve. ... What a soap opera the Edmonton Oilers have become. ... Kudos to the NLL's Saskatchewan Rush who are hosting the Colorado Mammoth Friday on Agriculture Appreciation Night. Has any other Saskatchewan team or league ever done this? Comemmorative jerseys have been produced with a tractor on them. I suppose every Rider game is Ag Apprecation Day. ... Kudos to P.A.'s Marc Habscheid for collecting WHL win #500 last week. He's a great coach and that's rare company. ... If you've ever had a steak in Mexico, you'll appreciate Canadian Beef EVEN MORE. We produce the best beef in the world right here. We're headed back to Mexico on Tuesday thanks to CTV/Bell Media. ... What's grosser than a Band-Aid floating in the pool? ... We are wrapping up Breaking Bad on Netflix and will be looking for a new series by week's end. Any suggestions? ...