Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It Has Started!

As many of you know, I have had the privilege for the past two seasons to write stories for Prior to the start of the season, I was given the opportunity for a one on one with coach Ken Miller in his office. Before turning on the tape recorder, we talked about a variety of things and one thing that had to be discussed was his thoughts about the way last year's Grey Cup ended and how he wanted to approach that. He said he wanted to just erase the memories from his mind and related it to the death of a close friend and how you never really forget even though you want to. I asked him if he knows that Canada won't let him forget because every road trip that is made, someone will ask and that when he sits down for the coaches news conference at the Grey Cup (I knew back then they were going) that what happened last year will be more important for some than what this year was and was he ready. His response was "Hopefully I get a chance". He has it, but the questions are already being asked.

If you have read Rod's blog, (and I know many of you have) you see what the Riders had to face upon landing at Edmonton International Airport. Even though its a year later, the identity of the 13th man at last year's Cup that cost the Riders the title remains a mystery. The team has said they won't reveal who that player was. However, the first questions that came out of the mouths of the national media wasn't about the big Western final win or having another shot at the Alouettes or how to get Andy Fantuz involved in the offence again or will Barrin Simpson play. Questions that are much more relevant. No, those first questions were "Who was the 13th man." Omarr Morgan stood up and said it was me. I hope every player---even guys like Shomari Williams and Cary Koch who weren't here last year says it was me to every one who asks that question. Is it that important that we know? Have we tossed and turned for almost 365 days wondering just what player was on the field that shouldn't have been. Will the world be a better place if the culprit is identified?

There are many more things to discuss about the 10 Riders than the end of 09. Bring up the way last year ended if you have to (and that is a story leading into the game), but does it really matter who the 13th man was a year later. The bottom line is the team lost in the most cruellest of fashions possible. Re-opening that scar does no one connected with the /=S=? any good. That being said, I wonder how many 13th man questions Miller will be forced to field tomorrow. I would hope Kenny would put everyone in their place right off the bat by saying he wants to concentrate on the now and not the past.
Eddie Johnson is turning writer for five days as he writes a column for the Leader-Post. Here is the first installment from the "coolest Rider ever".
The Vince Young saga is an interesting one to watch. Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams is a Young fan and basically told coach Jeff Fisher last year that he wanted Young as his starting quarterback. Young threw a temper tantrum at the end of last week's overtime loss to Washington and walked out on his team. He said later that he didn't walk out on his team, he walked out on his coach. If Young comes back, Fisher can't. Its one or the other now. The thing is Fisher is probably hoping that Adams sides with Young. If he does, Fisher will leave and with marquee jobs like the Cowboys and Vikings out there, it wouldn't take him long to find work with a team that has arguably more talent than what his current team has.
We haven't even hit December 1 yet and I've had enough snow for this winter.
I know I have to, but I have no desire to go Christmas shopping. Are you with me on that one?
"The Big Bang Theory" episode where Penny falls in the shower dislocating her shoulder causing Sheldon to take her to the hospital is side-splitting. Penny making Sheldon sing "Soft Kitty" to her is outstanding. This episode might be one of the best ones in the brief history of the show.
TSN's Dave Hodge is asking you what is your favourite arena--past or present--in a column. That's a great question. I don't know if I can answer that question. I never had a chance to enter the Montreal Forum, but I did get to go to Maple Leaf Gardens. The old Winnipeg Arena had character. Closer to home, I still remember going to Pats games at Exhibition Stadium. In fact, I wish the Pats would play one more game there before the wrecking ball is taken to that facility. As ugly and antiquated as it is, I want to see at least one if not more games at the Civic Centre in Moose Jaw this year before the team finally moves into a new facility. If I had to say I have a favourite, I would have to say the Brandt Centre just because its home to me. That may not be a great reason, but there are many memories I have from that building. What about you?
Speaking of memories, I can't help but think back to 1984 whenever I see a a game between the Regina Pats and Kamloops. It was in 1984 that Kamloops beat the Pats in the WHL final when it looked like the Pats were going to be champions. I can still remember being absolutely devastated when Ryan Stewart scored late in regulation after Dean Evason had been stopped on a penalty shot by Jamie Reeve just moments before. Stewart then scored in overtime to force a Game 7. That loss lingered with me for a long time. It was one of the more painful losses this sports fan has had to endure.
FACT: All you need is 2 1/2 inches to please a woman. After all, that is the size of your credit card isn't it?????? :)


Guy D said...

I love this team and I love the "I am Sparticus" way of looking at the 13thman question. Brilliant

Anonymous said...

If you were ever in the old Chicago Stadium, you would fall in love with the place. It was hockey!


Anonymous said...

Nice fact today you idiot!!! Where do you find some of this stuff! I e-mailed that to my wife.

Dave said...

I watched the rerun of that "Big Bang Theory" episode last night on CTV and thought the same thing! I have never really LOL that hard in a long time, even the second time around.

Anonymous said...

As much it will make for a better hockey environment, I will also miss the Crushed Can. There is something about that rink and the atmosphere it creates.

hmmm said...

I actually remember that playoff game. One of the few I listened to on radio. We were TTThhhaat close.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of LOL, last night I also watched a re-run of the Big Bang where a rival of Sheldon pumps Helium gas into his office when he has an interview on national radio. As he is explaining his theory his voice gets higher and higher. I haven't laughed so hard for months!!!

Regarding 2009 Grey Cup 13th man,it wasn't that play that cost us the cup. It was the total collapse of the defense and the offence with 9 minutes left up by 16 points. A no pressure prevent defence that allowed Cavillo to march into position to win and the vanilla offence (prevent offence?)that was unable to get a first down in the last few minutes of the game.
Robert in Riderville