Realty One

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


1. CFL 2.0 IS STILL A JOKE: Once upon a time in my field of dreams, I hosted a Sports Cage with 2007 Grey Cup champion and Michigan State Spartan Alumni, Luc Mullinder. And it was on this occasion that Coolhand Luc explained to me the genius of this international CFL 2.0 thing and the big dollars it would bring the league’s way.

Well so far, I have yet to hear any factual numbers reported from the commissioner’s office (and believe-you me, if they had them, he--Randy Ambrosie--would be bragging all about them) of any profitable TV deal with any of these countries.

As we drift further and further into CBA negotiations, it’s sounding more and more likely that this whole international thing was and still is a waste of time. Securing a stadium deal for the Halifax franchise would have helped the league far more than his vacations to Mexico or Europe.

This Commissioner has done and continues to do a good job. But this is one where he just has no endgame in sight.

2. SHEPLEY IS RIDERS BIGGEST OFFSEASON SIGNING: Has perennial all-star written all over him at a position you’ve just got to have Canadians at. Micah Johnson and William Powell are nice pickups. But I would score Dakoda Shepley a much bigger coup for Jeremy O’Day any day of the week.

3. SOLUTION TO IMPORT RATIO: We don’t need less Canadians starting, but rather more Canadians starting at skilled positions. No offense to the hoggies (Who doesn’t need more Mike Abou-Mechrek on the TV?), but the Canadian player quota was never set up with the intention of being filled by one position for roughly 40% of the Canadian starters. We have too many offensive lineman and not enough quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, defensive backs, linebackers, pass rushers.

This has to change.

The solution: How bout not only allowing teams to use one of their 7 Canadian starters at quarterback whether it be the 1st, 2nd or 3rd string spots, but also put incentives to start Canadians at other skilled positions? If you start a Canadian at quarterback or even bring him into the game, you can drop down to just 4 other Canadians at starting positions. That’s an advantage that would foster growth of Canadian quarterbacks (which for the past 50 years has been an embarrassment) and might even make Brandon Bridge look good on the field.

Well, maybe I shouldn’t go THAT far.

4. LAPOINTE GOING ABOUT ALOUETTES SALE ALL WRONG: This Eric Lapointe fellow sounds like an ex-jock who craves the spotlight and needs to feel like a bigshot. That’s a not a bad thing but I do have a few concerns with him mouthing off about the Montreal Alouettes current ownership:

A) He says they shouldn’t worry about the uniforms. WRONG! Alouette merchandise has never been a big hit in Montreal and a rebrand was long overdue.

B) Says he’s not interested in getting into an investment that would only break even or lose money. Profitability for the Alouettes is a terrific goal but if this group that he brags about has any there-there and expects not to lose money while turning this thing around, then he’s clearly never run a sports franchise.

C) He’s being pretty disrespectful to Bob Wetenhall, who saved the Alouettes and, by extension, the CFL.

Be careful what you wish for as you just might get it. New ownership might not be a bad thing for the Alouettes who have clearly lost their way since Bob Wetenhall stepped aside but Eric Lapointe? I would keep looking.

5. PRO DAYS AND DRAFT COMBINES OVERRATED: We don’t play the game in our underwear so why do we don’t draft combines and pro day workouts in our underwear? If teams are basing their decisions on these events and not on actual game-film, medical reports or face-to-face interviews, then they probably won’t be working in pro sports for very long. Don’t get me wrong, the draft combine is a great idea to engage prospects. But all this hype on NFL Network and players being sent home from the CFL combine? Pllleeeaaase.

6. HERITAGE CLASSIC TICKETS: The average ticket price will end up around $250. Seems fair to me. If I don’t want to go or can’t afford to go, then I will watch it on TV. (Full disclosure: It’s on my birthday so I’m 100% going). But please let’s not get into the whining we had around the Memorial Cup ticket prices.

7. ATLANTIC SCHOONERS FEDERAL FUNDING: I just cannot justify how they would get it when Parliament Hill has said no to federal funding for the Riders new stadium and the Quebec City NHL arena. The population base of Halifax-metro is nearly double that of Regina and Nova Scotia isn’t much smaller than Saskatchewan that way either. The Maritimes gets enough handouts from Ottawa. They either want this team and this stadium or they don’t.   

8. MARQUISE WILLIAMS: Watched him come off the bench to lead a breathtaking game-winning scoring drive to propel the San Antonio Commanders to a late game victory over the Salt Lake Stallions Saturday night. Never could figure out how he dropped from being ‘the next one’ to Chris Jones’s doghouse in Riderville seemingly overnight but if/when this Alliance of American Football folds, I would love to see Marquise Williams give it another shot in the CFL. Especially if the Riders haven’t solved their quarterbacking issues by then.

9. NEW WOMEN’S HOCKEY LEAGUE: Pretty embarrassing how the NHL hasn’t made this happen yet the same way the NBA did when it created the WNBA. Just another reason why Gary Bettman is far overrated. Let’s just say, he ain’t no David Stern.

10. THE MONTREAL EXPOS WILL RETURN BY: 2028 at the latest, but perhaps sooner. The Tampa Bay Rays rock-solid lease runs out the year before but if the Montreal group gets a deal done by about 2023, then they can put shovels in the ground and the city of St. Petersburg, Florida might even allow the Rays to leave early. The Oakland A’s might even end up in Montreal before then. But make no mistake, the Montreal Expos 2.0 will be a reality. There’s just too much upside for this not to happen.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)


Anonymous said...


Just another example of the three wasted years.

Anonymous said...

How many O-linemen in the last 2 drafts 1st dozen picks have stepped in to play regularly - 3 of 13. Remember JSJ was a Rider 1st overall 3 years ago. Shepley is a good signing but a can't miss? Maybe. But not sure he makes the starting 5 this year. With losing Jefferson we had to sign someone like Johnson. He fills a big hole especially since we got a total of ONE sack out of Evans & Brooks COMBINED & I don't see Hughes at 35 getting 15 sacks w/o Willie drawing double coverage on the other side. Shepley isn't going to improve our sad sack offence as much as Johnson impacts the defence which will have to win some games for us. Let's not get too carried away about one lineman who was drafted high by the Riders. We've seen that show before.

Tony Kristjanson said...

Holy shit Brendan you finally wrote something I finished reading, good job!

Larry said...

Talk in Las Vegas is that they are trying to get the Oakland A's to relocate.
Rio All Suites will be imploded and a new baseball stadium constructed on the site. Approx. 5 - 7 year process.

Anonymous said...

Yes Brendan it's been 2 whole months of CFL 2.0 and no multi million dollar agreements in place, it's a huge failure! The only thing that will save it is moving all future grey cup games to Orlando! Allowing CFL teams to reduce the number of Canadian starters if they use a Canadian quarterback, who's going to monitor that? When it comes to CFL and a lot of other opinions you express, it's obvious you have one wheel spinning in the sand,unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

who said Marquise Williams was the next coming? the media!

Anonymous said...

Montreal Expos....

Would love to agree with you but it will never happen.

Agree with you on Shepley.

There is no risk in CFL 2.0. I don’t believe it will work but if it does....the risk (zero) is worth the potential reward (more revenue).

Anonymous said...

Who wants to sit and freeze their Ass Off ( QUITE POSSIBLE OF HAPPENING ) For #250.00 a hit.?? T.V. and Hot Chocolate for me and I have already got my seat reserved....Hmmmm Nice & Warm.

Anonymous said...

How did the Raiders backup goalie play over the weekend ? I didn’t get a chance to see any of the games.

Anonymous said...

re: Backup goalie

I watched the PA games and the backup goalie excelled. I would even say he was the key to victory. IF he keeps playing like this they have a very real shot to win it all.

Brandon is a sports wizard but he may have been wrong on this one.

Dan said...

The WNBA loses over 10 million dollars a year (and they don't pay their players very much either). They average 250,000 viewers a game in the US (professional bowling averages 650,000). If women's basketball can't make a go of it in the States, why on earth would women's hockey?


Anonymous said...


Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club block August 2019 NFL game Raiders, Packers set for Regina. Myriad of lame excuses given as to why they did this. Game now set for negotiations with city of Edmonton or Winnipeg who have indicated they are in favor of hosting such game. Fan fallout to follow.

Scoop A. Andrews.