Before I even start with this post, I want to send my sincere sympathies and prayers to the family and many friends that Dan Marce had. Like many others, I was deeply saddened to hear the news of what happened to Marce when the story surfaced. I just can't imagine going out like that. One minute you are celebrating a night out with friends and then in a moments notice it comes to an end because of a drunk driver. Life just isn't fair.
I didn't have the dealings with Dan that others had, but I did have several conversations with him and it wasn't hard to see the passion that he had for the Riders and for the Plaza of Honor dinner. It would behoove the Plaza members to induct Dan and sadly that induction must come posthumously meaning he can't soak in the adulation that he would have received. He will be missed and future games at Mosaic won't be the same without him around.
Valentines Day has come and gone for another year. Guys, I hope you treated the lady in your life right or you are going to this weekend. It sounds like a lot of people put off Thursday plans until tomorrow or Saturday. That's what Mrs. Scruffy and I are doing. I had to laugh Thursday night when on the way home I stopped off at the Safeway to grab a couple of things only to see a line of men at the floral counter. I told the story to Mrs. Scruffy and she says Safeway has nice flowers. I don't know about you, but I liken getting flowers at a grocery store to getting some jewellery at Walmart. It just doesn't work for me. I guess the thought (even if it is a last minute thing) is what counts.
CFL free agency is upon us. Can the Riders re-sign Tyron Brackenridge or is he heading somewhere else. The same can be said about Chris McKenzie, Shomari Williams, Jordan Sisco, Alex Krausnick-Groh and Odell Willis. Losing Brackenridge would be a big loss to this team, but after that, it wouldn't bother me if the other 5 did or didn't come back. I thought McKenzie's game took a step backwards this year, Sisco has just never blossomed into the receiver people thought he might be, Krausnick-Groh is replaceable and Odell is Odell. You can take him or leave him. He had his moments in Rider green, but he also hurt this team a lot. I really liked the statement Coach Chamblin had this week when he said if the guys haven't signed by now, they might as well wait for a couple of days. Chamblin is basically saying if the guys don't want to be back and re-sign before the deadline then maybe their heart just isn't in Saskatchewan. Its that or we don't want anything to do with you. I have to wonder what the thought process is when it comes to Williams. On the surface, it would seem Shomari has gone down as a bust after not being an impact player since being taken #1 overall. The Riders put him in many spots, but he just never seemed comfortable. I guess we'll find out if some team Riders or not can find a spot where he can flourish.
Out of the players that are out there, who is attractive. In no particular order, here's a list of guys that I'd be interested in.
1. Ricky Foley (DE) --an established pass rusher that was a key member of the Toronto team that won GC.
2. Solomon Elimimian (LB) --yes, I know he has a desire to play in the NFL, but the guy can play and would look great in Rider green
3. James Yurichuk (LB) -- I don't know if we've seen the best of this Canadian LB. If the Riders were to lose Williams and gain Yurichuk, the Riders would win out in that scenario. He could be a player ready to burst on the scene if given a chance
4. Evan McCullough (DB) -- If the team is going to lose McKenzie and perhaps Brackenridge, they need some people in the secondary that have CFL experience. You could add Winnipeg's Deon Beasley and Hamilton's Marcell Young and Montreal's Seth Williams in this group as well.
One player I am not putting on the list is Dwight Anderson. He is a free agent and he has played with Corey Chamblin when the two were in Calgary together. I put out a tweet this week asking the Rider Nation their thoughts on whether or not the team should go after him and it was an overwhelming "NO"!! I can't say I disagree! This is the guy that tried to gouge out Weston Dressler's eye last year. I am thinking there are many vets in the Rider room that would have a tough time allowing that guy into the fraternity.
If Jim Barker is signed through the end of the 2015 season, I guess you can put those Eric Tillman to Toronto rumours to bed. Where did that story start anyhow? Who gets credit for that piece of journalistic gold!
Great question by Dustin Halvorson in the Sportscage on Thursday. When talking about Barker, he asked is it better to have job security or financial security. I would take the latter!
I think its safe to say the Ottawa Senators are done this year. First, they lose Jason Spezza with a herniated disc and now Erik Karlsson is gone after undergoing surgery to repair his partially severed achilles tendon. I have to laugh at how some are reacting because it was bad-boy Matt Cooke who stepped on Karlsson's leg causing the injury. There was no dirtiness involved in that play. It was an accident! If the Penguin in question had been Crosby or Malkin or Letang, there would have been no questions asked, but everyone jumps all over Cooke because of his reputation. That's wrong in this case.
I self-admittedly have not watched the amount of Regina Pats hockey that I would have liked to this winter, but I have had some ask me if Chad Lang and Pat Conacher will be back next year. While I haven't seen a lot, I don't think either one of those two are going anywhere. Chad will have another year (the last year of his contract I think), and Pat will be there too unless a pro job comes along in the off-season. I wonder if some of Conacher's shine has come off considering the season the team has had, as Pats p x p guy Phil Andrews says Conacher hasn't really had a chance to work with the lineup he has wanted so his stock shouldn't have taken the dip that some think it has. I can't disagree with that line of thinking.
Is Elisha Cuthbert really the hottest woman on TV as MAXIM magazine has suggested? No doubt she is a good looking girl, but Kaley Cuoco wins that prize hands-down---at least in this blogger's opinion!
Access needs FX Canada so I can see "The Americans". It looks and sounds like a great show that I want to watch and I can't. When is the box-set coming out?
Why do I get the feeling that this year could be one to remember on the PGA Tour? Tiger has won an event, Phil has won an event, Rory McIlroy is on the top of his game and Brandt Snedeker is unreal right now. There could be some great duels on the horizon. Add guys like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan to that mix of guys looking to move into the top tier and there could be some fantastic Sundays in store for PGA fans.
Where does the time go? 25 years ago, we were watching the world in Calgary as the Winter Olympics were going on. What's the biggest memory of those games? I would think it would have to be Elizabeth Manley's free skate on what I think was the 2nd to last night of competition.
Speaking of the Olympics, it is absolutely insane that the IOC is looking at dumping wrestling at the 2020 games. No disrespect, but sports like dressage, rhythmic gymnastics, sailing and trampoline have no business at the Olympics if sports like baseball, softball and wrestling are not there. How can the IOC even consider this knowing wrestling has been a part of the Olympics since the first one back in 1896. U of R wrestling coach Leo McGee suggested politics may have played a big role in this decision. I can't argue that.
That's all I got. Have a good weekend and remember it could be worse, you could be the PR director for Carnival Cruise Lines right now.