Friday, May 10, 2019
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK
2 - DOUG: However the conversation for the best player in CFL history begins and ends with the name "Doug Flutie". Flutie's a 6-time CFL MVP and 3-time Grey Cup champion. No one who saw Flutie grace CFL stadiums in the 1990s can dispute this. Ray or Calvillo was a fun debate for the talk shows on Wednesday but even A.C. will admit he didn't hit his potential until Marc Trestman showed up in Montreal. Ricky Ray was a Hall of Famer the instant he set foot on the field for the first time. However there's only one Doug.
3 - ON ROUGHRIDERS: I exchanged hello's with Roughriders Head Coach Craig Dickenson in Regina's North Keg on Wednesday. He was his usual smiling, upbeat self. As I wrote on January 30, Dickenson's rookie season in charge of the Green & White will be an uphill battle given the fact the team didn't land the marquee QB they were after in free agency, but he was still the top man for the job. Dickenson and first-year GM Jeremy O'Day are the types of guys who make it easy to cheer for the Riders. Top-notch fellows and bonafide football men. Go Riders.
4 - TOO QUIET?: CFLPA bosses Brian Ramsay and Jeff Keeping emerged from labour meetings on Wednesday admitting that they are discouraged with the lack of progress at this point. Ramsay told reporters they aren't "necessarily where we need to be right now". Let's just say it; a players strike would be catastrophic for the CFL. We don't know what the issues are, and kudos to both sides for keeping them private, but one has to wonder which side has the most to lose in the event of a strike? I'd suggest right now it's the owners.
5 - CFL 2.0: One interesting observation from a CFL-type regarding the influx of European players and a potential TV ratings boon across the pond: Is Australia hysterical over the CFL because of Aussie-born punter Josh Bartel? Please discuss.
6 - SCHOONERS SOONER: Another notion tossed forward by those close to the Atlantic Schooners situation in Halifax: what if they played out of 4,000-seat Huskie Stadium, home of St. Mary's, and added 15,000 temporary bleachers similar to 30,000-seat Empire (Tempire) Stadium in Vancouver in 2010? This might illustrate to the region how great CFL expansion would be, and increase the thirst for a new facility. All options are being considered.
7 - PLAYER SAFETY: What precisely does that phrase mean anyway? Pundits were crowing about the need for greater player safety in the wake of Charlie McAvoy's elbow in Game 7 of the Boston-Columbus series but it really got me wondering. At what point are the players responsible for each other's safety? The same goes for the CFL (we're looking at you Odell Willis and Jackson Jeffcoat). Until the players are responsible - and held seriously accountable - for headshots, why should anyone else be?
8 - MARCHAND: I like Brad Marchand and you can bet any Boston Bruins fan does too. So he hands out cheapshots and slewfoots and is truculent in interviews. That's what makes him him. Does anyone recall Ken Linseman? They're the same type of player but Marchand offers up far more offense. You'd take him on your team. The media needs to lay off.
9 - OILERS: The Edmonton Oilers seem to be taking it one day a time with regards to their Hockey Operations department. First they hired Ken Holland, then they said good-bye to head coach Ken Hitchcock. Will Dave Tippett be the next head coach in Edmonton? I'd say right now it's a 50/50 proposition. He has a good situation with Seattle but the Oilers are an attractive option. For any head coach.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: The P.A. Raiders are one win away from being crowned WHL champions. Last year it was the Swift Current Broncos. Amazing! It says here small market success is the best thing for the Dub, because that's where the teams are loved the most. ... The NLL Division Finals are over. Calgary won the West this weekend, and Buffalo the East. ... John Daley will be allowed to use a cart in the PGA Championship and is the first golfer to be afforded that luxury in a major tournament since Casey Martin in 1996. Daley is 53 years old with an arthritic knee. Forget about Tiger Woods! This is the comeback I wanna see. ... The Raptors playoff run is fun to watch but methinks they'll never capture the nation's heart similar to what the Blue Jays have done in years past. ... Can you believe Willie Jefferson is a Winnipeg Blue Bomber in 2019? ... I dislike that Sportsnet 360 replays Stanley Cup Playoff games each morning. Highlights are preferrable. ... The movie Breakthrough gets two thumbs up from the MMG. I'm a sucker for true stories. ... Southland Cinemas still serves up Regina's best hotdogs. I'll take two.