--Nailed it! As so many including myself had predicted, Randy Ambrosie made fans in Saskatchewan and Hamilton happy yesterday as the CFL decided to "go for two" and announce the 2020 and 2021 Grey Cup hosts. It was just a matter of who gets what game and almost right up until the announcement was made, it wasn't really clear. It became a little murkier when a text from someone in Hamilton said it was us in 21 and them in 20 about 15 minutes before the actual announcement. That was quickly followed by a "I guess not".
It doesn't matter when the game is coming, but that the game is coming and football fans now can't wait for November 22, 2020 when the 108th Grey Cup will be the first Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium. What a show it will be. With everyone gathering at Evraz Place for what should be an outstanding festival leading up to the game, it will show everyone again what Regina can do when the big events come to town. We did it for the Brier and we did it for Memorial Cup. When Regina is called to shine, we do. Its the way we roll! It is going to be a great few months in YQR getting ready for the game. It will also be up for Jeremy O'Day and Craig Dickenson to have a team that can be in that game. What do they have up their sleeve moving forward. Yes, the talk goes right back to the quarterback.
Perhaps it is time for O'Day to make a splash and get a quarterback that is here for this year and beyond. It is time to get that guy. It won't be Reilly and Mitchell. Forget about Nichols and forget about Harris too. Streveler isn't your guy and let's not even bring up Manziel. See what the asking price is for James Franklin and give Hamilton a call and see what they would give up for Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli just might be the guy the Riders need. What's it worth? A call needs to be made
--Randy Ambrosie will be at Mosaic Stadium for Randy's Road Trip 2.0 on Sunday afternoon. I will be interested in seeing where Rider Nation goes with the questions he is asked and what is front and center on their minds. Is it the schedule? Is it CFL 2.0? Is it officiating? Is it the CBA? What will be main topic of discussion be?. Ambrosie will be ready for all of it so for those who are going bring it on!
I would think the CBA is the most pressing issue, but fans don't want to know about what goes on behind the scenes, they want to talk about the product they see with their own two eyes. I am guessing we will get more people interested in things like officiating, player safety and possible rule changes ahead of whether or not we will play on time. I guess we'll know on Sunday.
--Has anyone noticed we haven't been inundated with the Ford HotShots commercials during the Scotties? It took me a couple of days to realize that. Going back, I see Ford is no longer a major sponsor so that would explain it. The question I have is why? I am also hearing rumblings TSN may be wanting to get out of the curling game altogether and that Sportsnet is ready to jump in. I don't know if I would be OK with that considering how much of a staple Vic Rauter has become to the game. As I have said many times, if it weren't for Vic Rauter, Ray Turnbull and Linda Moore, the sport in this country would not have the exposure it does. Russ Howard and Cheryl Bernard have taken the torch left them and they've run with it. Sportsnet does a great job and I like their personalities, but its not what TSN gives me.
--Jennifer Jones ahead of Sandra Schmirler when it comes to the all-time skip in Canadian women's curling. Puh-leeze! The fact a member of the Jones rink took three of the four spots makes me wonder how many of the 31 who voted come from Manitoba. Most of us in Saskatchewan know Sandra is the best all-time skip and we don't need verification of that. I would love to see a best of seven between Sandra's squad and Jennifer's squad. I think those of us in the 306 know who would take that and it wouldn't go seven!
--If the Canadian curling fraternity didn't know who Robyn Silvernagle was before, they do now. She goes into the last day tied for first. I think a lot of us knew she had a playoff-capable team,but I don't know if we thought her and her team would be as good as what they have been in their first Scotties. She was understandably nervous in her first game and it showed against Jones. She's not nervous now, but she is making other teams feel that way. She should have a spot in the Page Playoffs. If she wins, she will be Team Canada for the 2020 event in Moose Jaw.
--Regina will host the 2020 Grey Cup and an NHL game later this year and Moose Jaw is hosting the 2020 Scotties. What is it about southern Saskatchewan that brings all these great events? No, I haven't forgotten about the World Under 17's in Swift Current either. While its not Southern Saskatchewan, look for Saskatoon to get the 2021 Olympic curling trials with that announcement coming this weekend. It doesn't matter the sport, they want to be in Saskatchewan. There is nothing wrong with that!
--Yes, when I saw the Montreal Canadiens beat Philadelphia 5-0, I automatically thought Cam Talbot had made his debut in Philly orange. While I didn't address the topic in Monday's column, I couldn't have been happier to see Talbot leave Edmonton. Many praised him for his community work and that he was a nice guy. Nice guys work for the Kinsmen Club!! Cam Talbot needed to make some saves and he didn't make them. He had to be sent packing and he was. While goaltending wasn't the number one issue plaguing the Oilers, there were games they could have won but didn't because he just didn't make the save. Some might miss him, I won't.
--Dave Taylor's Cougar women's basketball team went into Calgary Thursday night and punched the Dinos right in the mouth. So much for Calgary's 17-game win streak. There is still a long ways to go in this best of three matchup, but one has to like Regina's chances after what happened Thursday with Regina's top player--Kyanna Giles, not having a big impact. Michaela Kleisinger more than made up with that with four three-pointers which this blogger has no complaints about.
--On paper, it will go down as a 5-4 shootout win, but that win might have been the biggest of the year for the Regina Pats because of how it was achieved. They were down 4-0 until the final couple of minutes in the second before storming back to tie it and win it in the shootout. It is victories like that that can be huge moving forward for this team as they prepare for next season. While the win-loss record isn't pretty this year, one has to see what this team is developing and think better times are ready to return. I don't know if Regina is a playoff team next year, but they will be a lot closer to that than this year.
--Jets fans should not worry about Patrik Laine. Once he gets his next goal, he will start lighting it up the way he usually does.
--The city of Regina has installed red-light cameras at Albert and Sask Drive, the Lewvan and Dewdney and Albert and Parliament. May I request them to put one up at Fleet and Victoria? The amount of people that run the red on Vic going both east and westbound at that intersection is amazing. Is that intersection still one of the most dangerous in the city?
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!
(Follow Mitchell Blair on Twitter at @ScruffyRegina)