Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Geno Goes Down

The Riders are going to be without one of their on-field leaders for the first few games of 2009. Gene Makowsky suffered what is being called a torn MCL in his right knee when it was rolled up on during Tuesday's 27-19 pre-season loss to the Stampeders.
It means the team is now missing two of the hoggies that ended the season last year as Wayne Smith is done for the year after rupturing his achilles tendon before the season started. The Riders have tremendous depth on the 0-line, but they will be tested.
Make no doubt about it, the loss of Makowsky was the biggest loss of the evening. If you want more on the game and what was being said after, here's the story I wrote for

When both teams had their regulars in, I thought the Riders were right there with the defending Grey Cup champs. John Chick, Stevie Baggs, Keith Shologan, Hugh Charles and Darian Durant stood out in my mind. Chick put tremendous pressure on Henry Burris many times and ended any speculation that he might not have his starting job as one of the defensive ends. Baggs had two forced fumbles, a recovered fumble and a sack. Shologan was a force inside making one wonder if he could get the start ahead of Marcus Adams. Charles showed there won't be a tremendous drop-off when Wes Cates isn't in the lineup and Durant ended any talk of a quarterbacking controversy with a fine performance.

So the Riders finish the pre-season with a record of 0-2. For some, I'm sure there is a lot of concern, but I don't think there should be any. This team showed me last night that they will be fine. Are they the best team in the West??? No, I don't think they are. Are they the worst team in the West??? No, they are not. As was the case last year, the team that does the best against their Western opponents will likely finish first in the West and there isn't a lot to differentiate from top to bottom. What should be concerning to the Rider Nation is the season hasn't even started yet and Smith, Makowsky and Wes Cates are already out for the opener. That is not good.

Cuts will be made Thursday and then its time to start getting ready for the first game of 2009 which is a week from Friday against the Lions.
What was the bigger shocker on Tuesday. The fact Mike Babcock will coach the Canadian mens hockey team at the Vancouver Olympics or the fact Brent Sutter is the new coach of the Calgary Flames. Both were not a surprise. As a fan of the Oilers, the fact Sutter is coaching the Flames is a tough pill to swallow. There is a long ways to go before they drop the puck to start next season, but one has to think Calgary is the favourite to win the Northwest Division as it stands right now and be able to take a serious run at Lord Stanley's mug.
Ryne Sandberg is my favourite all-time ball player. The former Cubs 2nd baseman basically stating what many have already said in the wake of the Sammy Sosa testing positive for a performance enhancer story broke last week. Sandberg saying his former teammate does not deserve a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of the integrity issues associated with the steroids era. I agree wholeheartedly. It will be interesting over the next few years just what players who did play in the steroid era will get in. I would have to think Ken Griffey Junior won't have a problem getting in and either will Frank Thomas, but after that, I don't know. I still don't think "The Shaker" Lloyd Moseby will get in and I can't see Junior Felix or Ellis Valentine getting enough votes either. Who will get enough votes and what role if any did he have to play in the steroid era will dominate conversations on this topic for a number of years.
Yzerman, Leetch, Hull and Robitaille. Those four players and Lou Lamoriello are making up the class of 2009 for the Hockey Hall of Fame and one has to think this is the most talented group to ever go in together. The argument can be made that this group is better than the 2007 class that saw Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Al McInnis and Ron Francis get enshrined. How about a 4 on 4 game with those guys when they were all in their prime. That would be a great contest!!
Gee, Brett Favre is coming back. What a surprise!!!! Word is he will be at Vikings training camp. Sorry Brett, you are now officially making a mockery of what has been a great career. I hope for your sake that your game against your old team at Lambeau goes the way you want it to. If you suck in that game, there will be no doubt in anyone's mind about your legacy being tarnished. Actually the way this story has nauseating kept going, I do hope the Packers deliver a good old fashioned schoolyard beating to the Vikings on that night.


Anonymous said...

Brett Farve's legacy will not be anymore tarnished than other QB's who finished their careers in different uniforms. Joe Nameth is a Jet, Joe Montana is a 49, Johnny Unitis is a Colt, Warren Moon is a Houston Oiler. When it comes to hockey Brett Hull was shown in his Blues jersey, and not as a fat out of shape dredge playing for the Coyotes, and taking advantage of his friendship with Wayne Gretzky. Steve Carlton in baseball is also a Phillie, and the list goes on.

There is a great story about Bernie Kosar's recent bankruptcy filing. It states how much these guys struggle when the sporting career ends. Once it is over it is over, and nobody cares one iota about them. If he wants to play then he should play. My thought is society as a whole has a collective memory of about 100 days. Once his career does finally end then by the time he is enshrined in the HOF nobody is going to remember this. Quick, do you remember Jerry Rice as a 49'r or getting cut as the 5th Receiver in the Broncos training camp? My point exactly.


Anonymous said...

What about the fact that a former Rider....Drew Tate led Calgary on a 104 yard touchdown drive. He could have been a great player here if given a chance. Yet once again we let a great qb go elsewhere to be a star

Anonymous said...

To steal a phrase from Pierre McGuire, John Chick was a MONSTER out there. I was also very impresssed with Charles

To Mr. Anonymous. How will Drew Tate become a star in Calgary sitting behind Henry Burris?


Anonymous said...

The difference between Brett Favre and Joe Montana, Warren Moon, Jerry Rice Etc. is that the rest of them were not flip-flopping attention whores who's motivation to return was based a great deal on revenge against the team that made them superstarss.

Ask around Wisconsin and see if Brett's behavior will be forgotten by the time the day comes he gets enshrined. I guarantee this behavior has tarnished his legacy, and and discussion of him in future years is likely to include some reference to his ridiculous behaviour in the past three off-seasons. He'll NEVER escape it.

When Brett leaves the field for the last time, I hope karma sees to it that he leaves on a stretcher.


Anonymous said...


You take the remainder of the day to do this. You find me a person on planet Earth that will tell you, he/she does not want to see their former organization in any industry completely fail. This is especially true if the person does not leave on their terms.

Legacy? Gordie Howe was screwed over by the Detroit Red Wings for years, and finished up in a Hartford Whalers jersey. He did every publicity stunt there was by playing in the WHA, making comebacks with the Detroit Vipers so he could state he played in 6 decades. 30 years later he's dropping the ceremonial puck in the Stanley Cup finals for Detroit and all is forgiven. Ted Lindsay left Detroit on bad terms, and got back at them by starting the union. He regularly works out in their weight room.

Where Brett Farve is concerned is eventually down the road bye gones will be bye gones. Heck we now celebrate Kent Austin here. If you thought Henry Burris left here on bad terms that was nothing compared to Kent Austin. That guy took a signing bonus from Al Ford so he could start a business in in Tennessee. Not long after Ford agreed and gave him the money he asked for a trade. People forget, and get past things.