Friday, August 26, 2016

Depth Charts For Riders-Eskimos Game

620 CKRM's game-day coverage starts at 5 with the kickoff at 8 

CFL Changing Rules on Coaches Challenges Effective Immediately

The Canadian Football League has approved a rule change on coaches’ challenges.

Effective immediately, if a team makes its first coach’s challenge of the game and does not win that challenge, the team will now lose a timeout. If the team wins its challenge, it will keep its timeout.

In other words, the first coach’s challenge is no longer a “free” one. With this change in place, teams now put a timeout at risk with their first challenge, in the same way they already do for their second challenge of the game. And teams must be in possession of a timeout to make a challenge. Teams are allowed two timeouts per game and can only use one timeout in the last three minutes of the game.

“We are listening to our fans,” said Jeffrey L. Orridge, commissioner of the CFL. “And while it’s unusual to have a rule change during the season, the league and our teams wanted to respond to fans’ concerns about the frequency of challenges.

“We are proud of the innovation we have brought to our game, including innovation in the use of replay, and the fact that these advances are being followed by other leagues. But innovation in any pursuit is often followed by adjustments and alterations. Fan enjoyment is vitally important.”

The league reviews its rules and procedures each off season, and intends to take a further look then at the issue of replay and challenges, said Glen Johnson, senior vice-president, football.

“Our leadership believes this change is a step in the right direction, as our game continues to evolve in an era of technology,” he said.

This rule change was unanimously approved Thursday by the league’s governors following a recommendation from its rules committee.

(CFL Communications) 

Regina Rams Lose Pre-Season Game To Calgary

Image result for university of regina rams

The University of Regina Rams had their first game action of the 2016 season on Thursday night, but lost 37-13 to Calgary in a neutral-site exhibition game at the Methanex Bowl.

The Rams went into halftime trailing by just 10, but the Dinos scored 20 of the first 23 points following the break to take a commanding 33-6 lead four minutes into the fourth.

The offensive highlight of the game for the Rams came immediately following Calgary taking that 27-point lead, as rookie quarterback Seb Britton engineered an eight-play, 104-yard drive for the U of R's lone touchdown of the game. The drive featured three receptions by Brady Eurich and two by Michael Scraper, and it was capped off by a nice 35-yard connection from Britton to Kyle Moortgat for the major.

"I'm not displeased at all - we made a lot of mistakes but have to remember we were playing one of the more physical teams in the CIS tonight," Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. "We went toe-to-toe with them for most of the first half, and you eliminate a couple of those major mistakes and we're even closer at the break. We know we can play with anyone now, and now we go back to 0-0 and get ready for next week."

Noah Picton got the start under centre for the Rams and completed 14 of his 21 passes for 141 yards. Britton completed five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, while Tyler Vieira was 4-for-9 and had 71 passing yards - most of which came on a 51-yard deep ball to Khalid Kornegay.

Kornegay finished with three receptions for a team-leading 94 yards, while Eurich led the Rams with four catches. Moortgat and Riley Wilson joined Kornegay with three receptions. Third-year running back Atlee Simon had 10 carries for 44 yards.

Defensively, Zack McEachern led the way for the Rams in tackles (five solo, two assisted) and had the team's lone sack. Alex Rorke added five solo tackles, while Kaiden Jones and Medicine Hat product Travis Semenok both had pass breakups.

For Calgary, Jimmy Underdahl started at quarterback and completed 15 of his 20 passes for 235 yards. Austen Hartley (five catches for 88 yards), Dallas Boath (four for 117), and Whitman Tomusiak (three for 83) were the top receivers for the Dinos.

The Rams will now prepare for their Canada West season opener, set for next Friday against the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

(Braden Konschuh/University of Regina)

This and That

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

--I could talk about the Saskatchewan Roughriders and their game in Edmonton tonight to lead off this week's column, but let's go with another team in Regina who starts off what should be a great season and that is the Regina Pats.

  Is there any reason to think this year won't be the best season the Pats have had since before the Brent Parker era? That was  when just getting to the 2nd round was an accomplishment and you didn't have to gut a hockey club and pay for it years down the road to have a chance at a Memorial Cup. The work John Paddock has done since his time year started to show off at the end of last year, and it should show off this year. Despite the fact there was very little promotion in the summer months thus derailing some of the excitement of a long playoff run, it shouldn't take long to get the excitement back. Sam Steel, Connor Hobbs, Austin Wagner, Tyler Brown, Adam Brooks and others are ready to get going on what could be a year to remember around here. There are actually some whispering Pats and championship team in the same breath.  While it will be a long time before we will see if those whispers become reality, it is nice to talk about the Pats in that fashion.  Real nice!  I get the feeling the Brandt Centre will be a very popular place this winter. Why shouldn't it?

--Here's some free advice for the Pats, Warriors and other teams out there. The Minnesota Wild just asked their season ticket holders and fans what song should be their "goal song". I wouldn't think it would be that hard to do that around here by giving fans a choice of 5 songs, sending season ticket holders an e-mail advising them of this and giving them a chance to voice their input. That e-mail could be a link to the teams website where the vote could be made. Engage your fans in some decision-making. Marketing 101 folks. It's a lot easier than ya think! (BLOGGER NOTE: If this results in the Pats having "Last Saskatchewan Pirate" as their goal song, I will have no one to blame but myself)

--OK, let's talk about the Riders and yes, they are in Edmonton tonight. I don't think many are expecting the green and white to come out of the Alberta capital with a "W" and that is understandable considering what has gone on.  I think it is safe to say "We just want to see a game!!". What we saw in Montreal and Hamilton this year was beyond atrocious. The last game at Commonwealth was one the Riders should have had and if they use the same game plan, they might get a win---a much needed win! I'm not confident, but I'm optimistic. What else can you be?  If you think another 30 point blowout is on the way, save yourself the aggravation and go out Friday night to a place where a radio or TV is nowhere in sight.

--Is it safe to say the Riders free agent signings this year weren't exactly the greatest. Just to recap--Shawn Lemon (traded), John Chiles (released), Justin Capicotti (back-up) have not done what was expected and then there are Shawmaud Chambers and Kendial Lawrence.

--Could not help, but laugh and laugh hard at the extremely weak story down on by Drew Edwards of the Hamilton Spectator.  Drew does some good stuff, but this wasn't. He wrote a story on the Riders taking down their billboard outside Tim Hortons Field after the shellacking they took last week.  WELL DUHHHHHHH!!!!  Someone should inform Mr. Edwards that poppies don't sell very well after Remembrance Day, back to school sales end once classes begin, and Hallowe'en costumes don't sell very well on November 1. In the words of Lynch "How Dumb Can Ya Be!!". This just in, there's a sign outside of Commonwealth Stadium this week. I am guessing that sign will disappear win or lose by mid-week.

--The Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones wrote a fantastic article on the Rider Nation this week.  They just can't figure out in Edmonton why Rider fans keep coming and coming and coming to the games when their team isn't good. Once again, a big crowd is expected in Edmonton when the teams hit the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. When do the Eskimos get their biggest crowd of the year? When do the Stampeders? What team did Dennis Skulsky guarantee a win against?  Teams know what the Saskatchewan Roughriders mean to the CFL. I wonder when "Jeff" will clue in on that.

--Speaking of "Jeff", Rod Pedersen asked a great question this week. Has the Commish been spotted at games? If he has been, we haven't seen it. FWIW: I surmised he was on the CNE grounds Saturday while the Argos were playing, but he was at the exhibition stuffin down a corndog and riding the Roller Coaster. Marc Cohon was visible during his time in charge, and Tom Wright was visible too Orridge----well you know. CMON JEFF!!  Actually "Jeff" is having to defend himself from statements about Johnny Manziel and the CFL attributed to him as he says he was misquoted. Let's face the facts, Johnny Manziel is not coming to the CFL anytime soon so let's put that story to bed right now. That being said, just imagine Johnny Boy in Montreal! Hamilton owns his rights and have supposedly had them for quite a while.

--Jay Bouwmeester was named to Canada's team at the World Cup of Hockey replacing the injured Dustin Keith. Why not PK Subban? The braintrust behind Canada's team is smart enough to realize Subban is not a guy they want on their team. I've said it and it has been proven again. Like I said when he was traded, Montreal came a lot closer to a Stanley Cup and Nashville got a lot further away. Speaking of the World Cup of Hockey, I just can't get excited for that event. Perhaps I will as it nears closer, but it is doing nothing for me right now. I still want to know what happens if "The Young Guns" win the whole thing. Does that mean they will own hockey?

--The Colorado Avalanche have a new head coach. 44 year old Jared Bednar is the new bench boss in Denver. My first take when I read this was WHO? I asked Phil Andrews and he said WHO? Not only is Bednar the coach of the Calder Cup champion Lake Erie Monsters, but he is a Yorkton boy. That means in the 30 team NHL, one-fifth of its head coaches are from the wheat province as he joins Todd McLellan, Glen Gulutzan, Willie Desjardins, Mike Babcock and Dave Tippett. That is a pretty impressive feat and is one Saskatchewan hockey should toot its own horn over. 

--The race in the American League East could very well go right down to the last day with a possible tiebreaker needed. Toronto finishes the season with three games at home against Baltimore and three in Boston. The Red Sox and Orioles also have three games against New York. It is going to be a very tense time for Blue Jays fans coming down the stretch. Meanwhile, this Cubs fan just waits to see when the team clinches a playoff spot before going into full panic mode once Game 1 of the NLDS starts. I wonder where Steve Bartman is these days anyhoo? Would the Cubs actually have him come to a game? If they were to win, I am guessing he throws out the first pitch of a game next year and it could very well be the season opener.

--If you're a Cowboys fan, and you aren't excited about Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott, there's something wrong with you.

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend! GO RIDERS!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Format and Qualification for 2017 Provincial Scotties is Changing

CURLSASK is pleased to announce a new format and qualification for the Viterra Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Melville will play host to the 2017 Viterra Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The championship will feature a 9-team round robin. At the completion of the round robin the top four teams will advance to the page playoff system.

Each year, CURLSASK conducts a player survey; an overwhelming majority of player responses indicated a strong desire to eliminate pool play and move to a longer round robin format for the provincial championship.

The CURLSASK competition committee reviewed a number of proposals before making the recommendation to the CURLSASK board to adopt the new format. After many hours of research and debate the CURLSASK competition committee determined this format would declare the best representative for Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts to be played in St. Catharines, ON.

The competition committee strongly felt this format will best prepare Team Saskatchewan for the National Scotties, as they will be required to play all of the best teams in the province in order to become the provincial champion.

A longer round robin has a number of benefits, including the preparation of our championship team, equality when it comes to qualifying records for playoffs and adequate time for tiebreaking games.

The nine teams will be determined as follows:

Pre Qualifiers:

3 – Top Ranked CTRS as of December 5th, 2016

1 – Saskatchewan Women’s Curling Tour Champion

1 – Saskatchewan Women’s Curling Tour Runner Up *(Conditional as this team must be in the top 65 team on CTRS to be awarded the berth)

Berth Spiels

2- Viterra Challenge – December 9 – 11 Kindersley SK

2 or 3* – Viterra Last Chance January 13 – 15, Regina Highland

The provincial championships will be held in Melville, SK January 24-29, 2017. For more information contact the CURLSASK office.

(Ashley Howard/CURLSASK)

Draftkings CFL Picks For Week 10

Much like the Riders game last week, my Draftkings effort last week was an utter disaster. That decision of taking the REDBLACKS defence instead of Edmonton was uhhhhh---yeah.  Let's be better this week (or at least try to) 


With the Riders defence playing the way it has been, this really should be a no-brainer. You have to think the Edmonton quarterback is poised for a big game. Kevin Glenn is a good (and cheaper) option as well. 


Lions running back Anthony Allen said this week the Lions need to start running the football more, and he believes that will be happening against Ottawa.  In a CFL where running the football seems to be an after-thought these days, I am hoping Allen's words are correct and Johnson gets to touch the rock quite a bit. As I have said numerous times, you can't go wrong with Jerome Messam either. 


If Reilly is going to have a big game, you have to think either Adarius Bowman or Derel Walker will have a big night. Walker is the cheaper of the two so I'll go with him. I also like Duron Carter against the Bombers, and Marquay McDaniel against the Ti-Cats as he is becoming more and more of a weapon for the Stamps having caught 26 balls over the last three games. 


That Alouettes defense has been a stingy group. Matt Nichols has turned Winnipeg's season around, but I get the feeling Montreal may make it tough for the Bombers.  I would stay away from both the Ti-Cats and Stamps as that could be an offensive explosion.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

John Chiles Released By Riders

The Saskatchewan Roughriders keep changing their roster with the latest casualty being receiver John Chiles as he was released by the club on Wednesday evening.

Chiles joined the Riders as a free agent, but only saw action in three of the Riders’ eight games this season, collecting 135 yards and 3 touchdowns on 10 receptions.

The 27 year old had returned to the CFL after a failed stint with the NFL's Chicago Bears. His only other CFL stop was in Toronto.