Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hopson Continues To Work His Magic

Rider president and CEO Jim Hopson said Thursday the bar has been raised when it comes to the football team that he looks over on a day to day basis. Being competitive isn't good enough anymore. Being a threat to win the Grey Cup each year should now be considered the norm. Hopson knew the football team had a hole to fill with the departure of Eric Tillman. He knew had a guy in place in Brendan Taman. He saw that in the six months Taman was here that he worked well with Ken Miller. He also knew Miller would not be around as coach forever, yet he wanted to somehow find a way to keep Miller involved in the organization. He has done both. Hopson is shuffling the deck. In making Miller the vice president of football operations and Taman the general manager, he has strengthened what was already a very strong organization. Joe Womack is not to be forgotten. He is also an integral part of the organization and if what we heard yesterday is correct, he will be offered a position with the club very soon. I would expect Womack to take that position and the team can carry on the way it did in 2009 when it came one play from winning its 2nd Grey Cup in three years. Yes, Brendan Taman has big shoes to fill, but with the help of Ken Miller, it can be done.

The only problem I see is what this football team does at the end of the 2010 season. Hopson has indicated he will step down. Replacing him might be the toughest task of all. I have said it once and I will say it a thousand more times if I have to. This football club would not be where it is today were it not for the vision of Hopson. What he has done to change the culture of this organization has been tremendous. One can't argue this team's fortunes have changed since the day he was hired. Those who criticize him truly in my mind don't have a clue.


I hope Jon Ryan wasn't watching the NFL Network yesterday morning. The 2007 NFC championship between the Packers (his team at the time) and the Giants was on. It was the contest the Giants won at a very cold Lambeau to go on to the Super Bowl where they would beat the Patriots. It was a game some thought might have been Brett Favre's last---as it was it did turn out to be his last game as a Packer. I remember speaking to Jon after that tough loss and he said it was one that would take a while to get over. He was one step away from being in the Super Bowl. While I hope he gets that chance to play in the big game with the Seahawks, I can't see it happening anytime soon. That's a tough statement to write considering Seattle is my team, but I'm just being realistic. I hope I'm proven wrong.

I love those classic games on the NFL Network, but I wish we could see more of them. I would love to see what I think was the best NFL game I have ever seen which was the Dolphins/Chargers playoff game that San Diego won in overtime. I think that was 1981. I would love to see the Monday Night game where the Dolphins put an end to the Bears unbeaten streak. I would love to see the Music City Miracle game. There are so many great NFL games that I would love to watch again---or just watch. Super Bowl 3(Jets-Colts) is on Saturday night. I will watch that one.


Speaking of Favre, it would seem as if many want to see him in the Super Bowl against Peyton Manning and the Colts. My thoughts on Favre are well documented. I (and many others) have become sick and tired of his retiring, no I'm not stance that he has now performed for the past umpteen years. Make no doubt about it, the Green Bay Packers did not do themselves any favours by getting rid of Favre in the way he did, but Brett didn't help himself either by taking the woe is me approach. The guy can still play and he has proven that. Do I think his Vikings can win the Super Bowl? No I don't, but if Sunday is his team's last game this season, I would just ask him to shut up and come back to camp next July to give it another shot. He has proven to everyone he still has what it takes. Don't put the Vikings on the emotional roller coaster that you got away with for way too long in Green Bay. If you don't want to play, then call it quits, but don't come back again because you will just further tarnish your legacy---one that you have rebuilt this year.

By the way, if you are a Packers fan(and I know many of them), I just ask you this. Do you hope Favre wins the Super Bowl or do you want to see him fall flat on his ass. If you want him to win the Super Bowl, ask yourself this......are you a Packers fan or a Favre fan?


The Pats have a busy weekend with three games in three nights. Two of them against Swift Current. Even though it happened on Saturday, I'm sure the Pats are still bitter when it comes to the 4-3 shootout loss in a game they led 3-0 at one point. Regina needs to take both ends of the home and home, but they simply can't afford to lose both ends. If they do, it might be lights out.


Watch Sportscentre if you get a chance. Ranger coach John Tortorella got into it again with New York sports writer Larry Brooks. Its not the first time the two have yipped at one another. Its very entertaining!


TNA wrestling is hoping to challenge the WWE by bringing Hulk Hogan back. Since Hogan has come back, several old relics have also returned...Ric Flair, Scott Hall, the Nasty Boys, Eric Bischoff. In the main event of their weekly show last night, Kurt Angle was fighting champion AJ Styles. Styles turned what was an ankle lock on him into an ankle lock. It was at that moment that referee Earl Hebner called for the bell to be rung sending Angle into an explosive rage. It forced Hogan to come down and resulted in Hulk getting spit on by Angle. Wait a minute, I've seen this before. It was 13 years ago in Montreal with Bret Hart and Vince McMahon. Is this the best TNA can do? Obviously, there is no originality here! Seriously, the guys at High Impact Wrestling have better script-writers than what TNA has. That's a joke!
Congratulations to a former co-worker. Andrew Rathwell was officially sworn in as the president of the Regina Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night. Andrew is a good man who has succeeded at every level of life. This will be no different.
As you go into your Friday, ask yourself this.....

Why does toilet bowl cleaner only come in the colour blue?


Anonymous said...

Did Hopson get the record the Riders have attained the last three years? NO! Credit that to Austin, Tillman and Miller. Its those three that should get the credit, not Hopson. All he has done is find ways to siphon more money from us.
Taman is a terrible choice for GM. When we go 7-11 this year, I hope you own up and tell Hopson what a mistake he made. I'm guessing you won't have the guts for that though seeing you think the man walks on water!

Anonymous said...

I am a Packers fan. It is my hope that Favre throws several INT's including one near the end of the game that prevents him from going to the SB. That game against the Giants two years ago still bothers me, maybe even moreso than this year's GC.

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous poster on this thread:

Are you that delusional to think Jim Hopson isn't a major reason for the Riders turnaround. If you truly are, I would hate to think what your thoughts are on some other matters. You sir or madam are a complete and total moron!


PS: Mitch, do you think the NFL Network should show Super Bowl 40 as one of its classic games!

Anonymous said...

It's funny that the first poster predicted a record of 7-11, since that's probably where he works.


Anonymous said...

As a Packers Fan, I hope Farve chokes, and chokes hard. I hope he throws 3 INT's in the first quarter, all resulting in Saint's TD's. An added bonus would be that he'd be laid out on his ass on many occasions. Go Saints!

Little Johnny

Clark Stork said...

I hope Brett Favre wins the SB and that way he can give the Packers and his doubters a big fat you know what. They screwed him and that is that. Would GB be in the game this weekend with Brett? We will never know, but one thing is true he is the greatest athlete to set foot on this earth and nothing would make me happier than him beating Manning in the big game. Does that make me a Favre fan? I guess it does, am I ok with that? Absof*&^inglutely!