Saturday, March 30, 2019
10 WEEKEND THINGS FOR TEXTURED TERRAIN
2 - KNUCKLES: The Tweet of the Week goes to Blue Bombers broadcaster Bob "Knuckles" Irving who wrote, "Any CFL team that offers to host an NFL preseason game should have their franchise revoked". Knuckles was widely flamed for his stance but you can't blame him. Broadcasters don't know business and while shunning the NFL might have saved the Riders some bucks in the short term, pulling the plug is a big financial letdown for the Queen City. Plus, is it wise to get in a pissing match with the NFL? If this game gets played in Winnipeg remains to be seen. For now, the organizers are picking up the pieces.
3 - TOUCHDOWN ATLANTIC: Friday's other big news is that Touchdown Atlantic 2019 will be played on Sunday, August 25 in Moncton, NB between the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes. The fledgling Atlantic Schooners are a backer of the event and that's a good sign that the CFL's 10th team is on its way. I've been invited to attend and will have a role in the festivities. This is going to be fun! I can finally experience Touchdown Atlantic and hope you join us.
4 - DT ON SC: TSN's Derek Taylor was introduced as the new Voice of the Roughriders on Friday and while that's still weird for me to say, it's a great hire. DT and I talked on Friday and he's a wonderful guy. He's right - it's a big job - and it comes with a tremendous amount of pressure. But I'm eager to help in anyway to make it a success. I'm happy, they're happy, everybody's happy.
6 - MOCK DRAFT: Having said that, John Hodge at 3DownNation has done a nice job with a 2019 Mock Draft and predicts the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will take Regina product WR Brayden Lenius-Dickey with the #2 pick this spring. At #1 he's got Toronto taking Northern Colorado OL Zach Wilkinson. At #6, John has the Saskatchewan Roughriders selecting Arkansas State WR Justin McInnis. For the diehards, it's time to start paying attention to this stuff. I still hope Lenius-Dickey is available for the Green & White.
7 - DUB HUB: We went 25 years between Saskatchewan champions of the WHL: Swift Current in both 1993 and 2018. Do the P.A. Raiders have a shot to be the next ones? They sure do. Curtis Hunt's and Marc Habscheid's Raiders set 18 franchise records in 2018-19 and finished the regular season rated #2 in the CHL. P.A. swept Red Deer in Round 1 of the playoffs while the Saskatoon Blades got out the brooms against Moose Jaw and now the archrival Raiders and Blades meet in Round 2. You simply could not have drawn this up any better.
8 - TEEPEE TALK: Moose Jaw Warriors coach Tim Hunter caught heat this week for skipping the handshake line against the Blades after being swept in Game 4 on Wednesday. He later told reporters it's because he was checking the video to see if the game-winner was offside. (Unfortunately that's not reviewable in the WHL). Was it unsportsmanlike? Of course, and it looks bad. But it's also misguided. The Warriors had bigger problems in that series than whether the game-winner in Game 4 of a sweep was offside. But that's hockey.
9 - S-JAY: The SJHL semifinals opened Friday night with Melfort downing Estevan 6-2 and the Battlefords dumping Yorkton 6-2. Game 2's are on Saturday at Northern Lights Palace and the Civic Centre. Kudos to all four head coaches for joining us live on our debut show of SJHL Central on Facebook Live! We had viewers from all over the world. There aren't too many leagues where the coaches would do a live interview like that an hour before a playoff game. The CFL? Forget it. This is one of the big reasons why I love junior hockey so much.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Nothing's changed. I'm still part of a really big project that's taking months to put together and the timeline isn't up to me. I’m sorry I can’t provide more of an update. In the meantime I'm doing this work with the SJHL and in Recovery. It makes me feel really good. For the first time in my life I'm following how I feel rather than what I'm told to feel. It's sooooo nice! I hadn’t come up for air for 25 years. ... Shame on the lady who wrote the online piece this week trashing chain restaurants in Saskatchewan. Our Famoso Pizzeria is 100% locally owned. ... Don't wait for the City of Regina to pick up the garbage in the ditches now that the snow is gone. Get out there yourself! This is a beautiful city but until the trash is gone, it's unsightly. ... Why are the Carolina Hurricanes getting roasted for their postgame celebrations while the Vegas Golden Knights were the toast of the NHL for their pregame celebrations one year ago? ... Beyond Meat? No thanks. ... We gave up on Better Call Saul on Netflix but persevered and stuck with Ozark. That was a great decision! ... Time to hit the road. I've got speaking events this weekend in Zenon Park and Kipling and they're a lonnnnnng ways apart.