Then suddenly, when the Roughriders had no better options at quarterback, Zach is not only healthy enough to play but even worthy of once again collecting a lucrative signing bonus.
We either take concussions more seriously than wins and losses or we don’t. Hard to not at least speculate that Zach, his agent and the Roughriders are putting the business first on this one.
2. BRIDGE DEPARTURE NO BIG DEAL: Air Canada was never going to be the long-term solution here. Great athlete who could never really trust his instincts enough to tuck it under and run from trouble. It seemed like he was always trying to become the traditional pocket passer his coaches wanted him to be, but that's someone he is not. A local kid from Toronto winning the starting job for the Argos, which he very well might end up doing this year, is one of the very few stories that could move the needle for the CFL in ‘The 6ix’.
Corey Chamblin’s finest hour yet could still be to come if he’s able to turn this guy into a winner.
3. CFL SHOULD DO DRAFT IN ARIZONA: Spent the weekend touring Cactus league spring training baseball in the desert. (See the pic above). After seeing the crowds of tourists view former Regina Cyclone and current Chicago White Sox 1st base coach Daryl Boston face the San Diego Padres and the Dodgers play the Cubs, it became clear to me that the CFL has a golden opportunity to put on their own party in the sun.
The draft has always been a non-event for the league and with good reason. Ratings have never been strong for a draft that produces very few stars. But a trip south during unrelenting cold would create a partnership with travel agencies and an enthusiastic crowd at the player selection event which would in turn make the CFL draft watchable.
The CFL should push its player draft back to late February-early March and hold it in a warm weather destination to become relevant.
4. GREY CUP 2020: This will be the shortest gap (7 years) between Regina Grey Cups. This will be a great boost if our economy is still in the tank. But nothing will ever top 2013.
5. GREY CUP 2021: Great idea to go back to the Hammer and give us an excuse to go see the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. But nothing will ever top downtown Eddie Brown’s shoestring catch in the snow bowl of ’96, the last Grey Cup in Steel Town.
6. AAF DISASTER: Ratings dropped 72% week over week to start the season. That’s an even bigger plummet than the XFL experienced in 2001 before going belly-up. It’s fantastic to see Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon waste 250 million dollars on this dog with fleas but even he can only shovel dirt on the fire for so long. The CFL has nothing to worry about from this or XFL 2.0 next year.
7. WHY SCHMIRLER STILL THE BEST: Too small of a sample size to get the full picture. We’ll always be wondering what really could have been.
8. THIS YEAR'S SCOTTIES REMINDED US: Women athletes from Saskatchewan are far superior to male athletes in this province. I’m thinking of curling and university basketball.We desperately need to win a Brier to make this sport resonate with millennials again.
9. SHANE DOAN WAS PADDOCK’S FINEST HOUR: Regina Pats senior VP of Hockey Operations, John Paddock, celebrated the Shane Doan jersey retirement in Phoenix over the weekend and it reminded me of the ’95 NHL draft in Edmonton when the crowd chanted for the Oilers to pick Doan and Edmonton GM Glen Sather stunned them all by choosing Prince Albert Raider forward Steve Kelly at number 6 overall. The Northlands Coliseum audience gasped. Paddock (GM of the Winnipeg Jets at the time) proceeded to take Doan and launched the Arizona Coyotes most iconic career.
No-one bats 1.000 and neither did John (Traded Teemu Selanne instead of Keith Tkachuk) but that was one day he managed to one-up Slats (Sather).
10. ON THE AIR THIS WEEK: More Pats Wednesday vs Red Deer on Access Communications and Sports Caging Thursday on 620 CKRM.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)