The whole purpose behind the quota guaranteeing 7 Canadians on each roster start every week (it used to be 10), was to foster development and growth of Canadian players and homegrown stars. It was never intended to push Canadian athletes to fatten up over 300 pounds so they could block for somebody else. It was also never intended to create an inferior product on special teams either.
The solution: A new formula to reward teams who have Canadians at quarterback, running back, receiver and defensive back. Not only a reduction in Canadians required to start if you fill these roles, but more Americans who can back up at other positions and play special teams too.
This is all do-able and if I could figure it out while sitting on my couch distracted by my phone and pigging out on mini-wheats, then what does that tell us about the geniuses supposed to come up with ideas when making these decisions?
What a glorious opportunity to finally take action on the Canadian quarterbacking crisis (yes, a 50-year drought without a meaningful star is a crisis)! But instead, what do we get from this commissioner and the union that is supposed to care about assisting Canadian player development?
Just more Americans and less Canadians.
I wonder how CFLPA Executive Director Brian Ramsay would have felt about the leaders of his players union reducing his chance to play before he won a Grey Cup with Edmonton in 2015.
2. JON RYAN: Should the Riders sign him? If he’s the best guy for the job, go for it! If it’s a publicity stunt or because he’s from Regina, keep moving. Josh Bartel earned that job fair and square.
3. WESTON DRESSLER: Spent my Saturday night in Kipling where Jeff Odgers and Weston Dressler knocked it outta the park at the 3rd annual Kipling-Windthorst Oil Kings Celebrity Sportsmen’s Dinner. In the Q and A session,interviewer Mike Stackhouse pressed Weston about his thoughts on Chris Jones, who infamously released both Dressler and John Chick after taking over the Roughriders, prior to the 2016 season.
“What the hell is wrong with that guy?” asked Mike to roars of laughter. Weston wouldn’t nibble at the cheese but mentioned he didn’t think Jones was “up front” with him about his plans when the coach first came to Regina that offseason.
Weston and his family still spend their winters in Regina and one thing nobody can argue is that he’s at least 100 times more popular in this town than Chris Jones will ever be.
4. RAY ELGAARD: Whined on CJME’s Green Zone last week about the Riders letting Geroy Simon wear his famed #81 in the Grey Cup winning year of 2013. Cry me a river. Some retired athletes are so insecure.
5. NEW YORK JET NEW UNIS: Pretty sure the New York Jets had those uniforms in the 1980s and early 90s before the Roughriders did. It wasn’t until the Jets went old school in 1998 and the CFL had Reebok re-do all the jerseys in 2005 when the Rider sweaters added all that piping. Great to see the Jets go back to it. Will be even greater to see the Roughriders get rid of it. Whenever that happens.
6. AAF FOLDING NOT A GOOD THING: This league was never a threat to the CFL. Not even a little bit. It’s too bad for the terrific, enthusiastic blue-collar fans like Rider prider Ron Montgomery of Birmingham, Alabama and the folks I got to visit with at the Orlando Apollos-Arizona Hotshots game just last month down in Florida. It’s doubly sad for the players and coaches having their dreams put on hold or snuffed out all-together. At first, I wanted this league to fail. I admit it.
But these fans, players and coaches didn’t deserve this. Not right before the playoffs. They all deserve so much better.
7. XFL WILL FAIL TOO: If the Alliance lost more than $100 million in less than a full season of play, than expect the XFL to lose about double that much. The WWE stuff will give it a fighting chance but that business model has even more flaws than the AAF did, such as trying to compete for fans in NFL cities. Vince McMahon can be trusted to keep his word long enough to at least finish a season (unlike the yahoos who went back on their word in this latest venture like Reggie Fowler and Tom Dundon) but the XFL will have a short shelf-life too. I give it 2 seasons at the absolute max.
8. HUMBOLDT ANNIVERSARY: Didn’t watch any coverage of it. Couldn’t think about it. Didn’t want to think about it. I can’t even imagine how hard Saturday was for those who actually lived it.
9. SJHL FINALS: Somebody asked me who I’ve got between the Melfort Mustangs and Battlefords North Stars. My answer: Who cares? My Estevan Bruins are out.
10. STILL PICKING THE BLADES: Prince Albert Raiders GM Curtis Hunt and Head Coach Marc Habscheid did a great job building that juggernaut to where it is but Hunt had the chance to add an insurance policy in net at the trade deadline and never did. I still have a hunch that’ll bite them eventually and the Saskatoon Blades put up a great fight on the road in game 2 over the weekend.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)