Want to make the draft matter? Combine it with CFL Week and put it on in front of a jam-packed large studio audience. Wouldn’t know who’s going to be taken by the NFL yet but who cares? Would just add to the intrigue of the selections and very few of those guys spend much time in NFL camps, anyways.
2. ROUGHRIDER DRAFT WAS RELEVANT: One of the turnoffs about this draft thing is the heavy saturation of linemen who make up the lion’s share of players who will actually have a meaningful impact. But seeing a stud receiver come our way is a totally different ballgame. Like Jeff Fairholm in ’88, Dan Farthing in ’91 and Andy Fantuz in 2006, Justin McInnis is a first-round pick who could be an offensive weapon for the Riders to build around for a half-decade or so. If nothing else, the Roughriders drafting of receivers in each of the top 2 rounds should limit the excuses for the Rider offense to under-perform again in 2019.
3. STILL HOPE FOR CANADIAN QB CHANGE: Jim Popp’s obsession with Canadian quarterbacks is the best thing to happen all offseason. The Argo GM is clearly holding out hope that he’ll be able to take advantage of using a Canadian QB to help his ratio situation. 2005 Grey Cup champion head coach Danny Maciocia and others have been banging this drum for a while and it would appear that Jim Popp has jumped on board. The solution here is simple: Drop to 6 Canadian starters and mandate that each team gets to dress 3 quarterbacks each week, one of whom has to be Canadian. This isn’t rocket science you guys.
4. STRIKE VOTE: 5 of the 9 teams might be in an illegal strike position. So, does Randy Ambrosie somehow think the season can go ahead without 4 teams? LOL
5. ADAM DE LA CRUZ: Greatest news of the Queen City last week was word that not only will Regina Red Sox star 2nd baseman/closer Adam De La Cruz be coming back for 2019 but so is his little brother, Sam. A couple of New Yorkers who grew up near Yankee Stadium want to spend their summers in Regina. That’s pretty cool! #itsfinallymay!
6. PITTS A GREAT CALL TO THE HALL: Some are questioning the Canadian Football Hall of Fame’s induction of Ernie Pitts into the class of 2019 due to the suspicious nature of his death nearly 50 years ago. His wife killed him but was ruled to have acted in self-defense. The Hall handled this perfectly. It doesn’t sound like he was a saint off the field but he was still a person who deserves to be remembered with dignity like we all do. Ernie Pitts paid his debt to society with his early demise and his family had to wait a half-century to have some kind of a happy ending to his story. Thank you to the selection committee for making your own choice, controversial or not.
7. ARGOS STILL NEED RICKY RAY: Marc Trestman had an 11-9 record and Grey Cup ring to show for a season with a healthy, productive Ricky Ray. A 4-14 last-place finish with a pink slip at the end without Frito Ray.
Corey Chamblin started his Roughrider time with 27 wins, 19 losses and a Grey Cup ring with a healthy, productive Darian Durant as his quarterback. He went 2-15 without Darian on his way out the door.
You get the picture: The Argos, whoever their head coach is, and Cory Chamblin are just like any other CFL team: No established quarterback means no glory. Ricky Ray can take all the time he wants to decide about playing this season or not. Even if he wants to skip training camp, the Argos will be waiting with open arms to welcome him back. As they should.
8. WHL FINALS: The Prince Albert Raiders grabbed a split at home in the first 2 games and I can’t see them losing 3 in a row on the west coast, either. I’m going to have to take the Raiders in 6. It will be nice watching the Memorial Cup on Sportsnet and have one team for all of Saskatchewan to cheer for.
9. ALL YOU RAPTOR DOUBTERS: Just Kawhiet the bleep up. Masai Ujiri is a genius. #inmasaiwetrust
10. WEEKLY WISDOM: Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always got.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)