Friday, March 29, 2019
SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT
--The chance is still there, but I wouldn't count on an NFL game coming to Regina this year despite the fact negotiations are reportedly continuing. The logistics to have an NFL game on a Friday night and a CFL game at the same venue less than 24 hours just weren't there. There is too much to do to appease all involved. The Raiders, who apparently weren't amenable to changing the date are now considering it, but there is no time-frame as to how long it would take to get Mosaic Stadium back to being CFL ready which is the main obstacle. The others include pre-game walk-throughs, the Ottawa locker room and making sure all field signage is back for advertisers who pay a pretty penny.
If you look back at Week 3 of the NFL pre-season from this past year, there was a game on a Thursday night followed by a bunch of games on Friday and Saturday with a pair on Sunday. Could the NFL game go Thursday night? Could it go Sunday? If it went Sunday, could the Riders-Ottawa game be moved from a 5 o'clock start to a 1 o'clock one? If you do that, how many out-of-towners do you tick off? What is needed here is for someone to come out and say how long it would take to convert the field from being CFL to NFL and back.
For those placing blame on the Riders for their "supposed" lack of co-operation on this manner, then your blame would be misguided. They did what they could, but they also were smart enough to see that playing a game less than 24 hours after the NFL game ended would not be in the best interest of the league or their fans. Despite what some have said, the Riders aren't to blame here.
--Speaking of the Riders, is it just me or has it gotten deathly quiet over there in the past couple of weeks? I guess none of the other teams are really doing anything either, but it has been very silent --too silent.
--By the way, if the NFL wants to visit Mosaic Stadium, don't be surprised to see it happen in the summer of 2020 when the schedule maker can look at things and get it done much like they did this year with the Heritage Classic.
If this game goes to Winnipeg as has been suggested now that it won't happen in Regina, it is simply because the same issues that would have plagued the Riders are not a concern in Winnipeg due to their schedule.
It would also just help out for many if this supposed concert that is coming to the stadium in August would be announced as well. What's the hold-up with what is the worst kept secret in town?
--My good buddy Dalby from the WOLF 104.9 asked an interesting question the other day. In the wake of the city putting in one million dollars to Grey Cup 2020 festivities, Dalby asked aside from the Grey Cup, what would you spend one million on the City of Regina, how would you spend it. There were some good answers and some not so much. How would you spend it?
--Whether or not I call U of R Rams games this year is not known, but I do know I will be at their last home game of the season. With Mosaic unavailable due to the Heritage Classic, the Rams will play Manitoba at Leibel Field. I will say it once and I will say it again, this is where the Rams and Thunder should be playing their home games. I know that won't happen for various reasons (many of them that I am sure you are aware of), but Leibel is the perfect spot for both Regina's University and junior teams. Leibel may not have the amenities Mosaic has, but it can be done.
--Regina is getting an Olive Garden! HOORAY!! Can we now get a Buffalo Wild Wings? What else don't we have here that we should? Some say we are making too big a deal of this because all the local restaurants are being ignored. I can understand that. Like it is in sports, marketing plays a big role. There are many good local restaurants in this city, but word-of-mouth only goes so far. These businesses have to get their word out somehow. Some know how to do that, others don't. The ones that don't need to learn how to.
--TSN's Chris Cuthbert won an award this week for being the best play-by-play guy in Canada. How many of those does he have? There simply is no better at his craft than Chris. The CFL is lucky to have him. Tell me he isn't better than some of the schlubs we see doing NFL games on CBS and FOX.
--It was very cool having the chance to talk baseball with Dan Shulman on the Sportscage Wednesday. Shulman is to baseball and basketball what Cuthbert is to football and hockey. There are not many better.
--MLB almost set a record for most homeruns in a season last year with 5585 being hit. On opening day this year, there were 47 with the Dodgers hitting eight of them in a win over Arizona. You also had Max Scherzer and Jacob De Grom both strike out 10 plus in a 2-0 Mets win over the Nationals. It may be feast or famine again this year at the plate.
--The Regina Pats won just as many playoff games as the Moose Jaw Warriors did this year. Didn't think that would happen. I am stunned to see Saskatoon win that series in 4. I thought the Blades would win the series, but I didn't think it would be in 4. How good will Saskatoon/Prince Albert be in Round 2?
--The Calgary Flames have had a great season, but Flames fans might want to get ready for a hard fall. I think they are a prime candidate to be a first-round upset victim. The way the Winnipeg Jets are gassing late third period leads might have them as an upset victim as well. Neither team is playing well down the stretch.
-- The Carolina Hurricanes put an end to their "Storm Surge" post-game celebrations last night. I don't even know if they had a finale as they lost on home ice to Washington. The story of what the Canes were doing became one of the biggest ones in the game with the team taking advantage of what Don Cherry said by marketing "a bunch of jerks" t-shirts. If it weren't for Grapes, the Hurricanes would have never gotten this attention. The Canes should thank Cherry for helping make them relevant not only in their home market, but elsewhere.
--The Humboldt Broncos season came to an end in Estevan this week. It was a season that had the magnifying glass on them right from the time the team said they would be back after what happened April 6, 2018. We will remember that dark day on April 6, 2019, but after that can we just let that community and that organization be? The memories of those on that bus will never be forgotten, but let's stop bringing it up with every little thing they do. The season is over. When they hit the ice in 2019-20, can they just be the Humboldt Broncos again without everyone watching to see what they are doing.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!
(Follow Mitchell Blair on Twitter at @scruffyregina)