I have many friends in southern Alberta and so far all of them have gotten off lucky when it comes to their homes, but many have been impacted. I'm sure many of you have some connection as well. As I said, the pictures are staggering and when it comes to sports, it makes you wonder when they can resume.
That's nothing though compared to the Saddledome. After some fake pics hit the internet on the weekend, we finally got some pictures from the Flames themselves and it is just as devastating.
Flames president Ken King says the team will be ready to go by the time next season is ready to go, but I question that when I take a look at the rink and the damage that has been done that we haven't seen. Word is the dressing rooms are toast, the media center is done, everything in the lower bowl has been destroyed. How long does it take to get that water out? How long does it take to repair the damages? Is the building safe? So many questions that need to be asked. Could we see the Saskatoon Flames for a year? At this point, it wouldn't surprise me. I know the Flames will do everything they can to play hockey in the Saddledome and Calgary needs the Flames, but realistically can it happen. I'll be shocked if the Calgary Stampede goes off in a couple of weeks.
I'm also interested to see if leagues start coming to the table with money for flood relief. The NHL can surely donate some money and so can the CFL. In fact, I think Canadians would show their generous spirit from coast to coast if CFL fans were able to donate 5 or 10 dollars at their team's first home game. I know I would put 10 or 20 bucks into the pot if I were walking into Mosaic for that first home game of the year----ironically against Calgary on July 5. I would love to see that happen here and I know the Rider Nation would come through with a lot of dollars for our friends in southern Alberta. If we can do it for the food bank promotion, we can do it for this can't we??
I have said it won't be much longer until Graham DeLaet is in the winners circle on the PGA circuit. I thought for a while that Sunday was the day. DeLaet, who did his part for Alberta flood relief by donating so much per birdie and eagle on the weekend, was right there all afternoon in the final round of the Travelers Championship. He didn't fade off like he has. His golf this year has simply been amazing and with a few more starts to go this year including what should be a lengthy appearance in the oh-so-confusing Fed Ex Cup golf playoffs, we will hear from the Weyburn native before this year is over. I ask this of you when it comes to DeLaet. Have you watched more golf on TV this year or paid more attention to it. I watch a lot of golf, but admittedly I hardly would have watched any of the Travelers Championship had Graham not been in contention. I think its safe to say that in a province where many of us play the game, we are watching a lot of more of it too. I'm guessing a lot of Weyburn had the golf on Sunday---perhaps moreso than the baseball game.
I might have been wrong when it comes to the Blue Jays. There is still a long ways to go, but I thought they were done. NOPE! The pitching staff has rebounded and the bats are going. Add that to the fact Jose Reyes is ready to come back and there might be some meaningful ball games played in late August and September at Rogers Centre. Make no mistake, Toronto still has to show they can beat the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox, but they are showing right now why many thought they would be a playoff team this year. I also find it interesting that they are playing their best ball of the year without Brett Lawrie. I love the way the kid plays, but he has to tone it down just a tad because he hurts his team. When he comes back, what role does he have?
I want the Boston Bruins to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Monday night just so we can see a Game 7. We deserve that don't we? The playoff hockey we have seen continues to be incredible and Game 5 in Chicago Saturday was another great example of the game being played the way I wish it could be played all the time. The 6-5 Chicago win in Game 4 was amazing as well, but we all know the coaches hate that game and they are rare. It makes them all that more special.
The CFL season is upon us. Its now time to see if what Brendan Taman did in the off-season will work or not. Some are already saying "I told you so" when it comes to Geroy Simon. Can we give the guy a chance? Why the hate towards someone that wanted to come here? If someone said they didn't want to come here, I would understand it, but he wants to be here!!! The offensive line's play was concerning against Calgary, but I think to a man that was a real reality slap and we won't see that again. The kicking game needs to sort itself out, but Chris Milo was the incumbent and I didn't see him getting knocked off his perch.
When it comes to the final cuts, there are some guys on the roster that make me scratch my head wondering why while others that appeared to look OK are gone. The Eddie Russ release surprised me the most, but when he didn't play with the number one guys on Thursday, you had to know something was up. I'm hoping he sticks around on the practice roster, but I'm thinking we have seen the last of Eddie in Rider green. Two other guys that I hope stick on the practice roster are local products Zach Evans and Ryan Wellman. We know what Evans can do and I heard Wellman had a great camp, but I didn't notice him too much on Thursday.
Other CFL thoughts...
--How bad will Winnipeg be? I am guessing Russ and a lot of other cuts may end up in blue and gold.
--What is the Eskimos excuse for missing the CFL cutdown deadline by over 14 hours? The CFL says the cuts were in, but I don't believe that for one second otherwise we'd have known. The league can't protect Edmonton in this situation, they must slap them hard for this transgression to let it be known to them and other teams that this action won't be tolerated. I don't know if Ed Hervey is to blame or Kavis Reed or whoever, but they have embarrassed their own organization and the league with that stunt!
--Hamilton beat Winnipeg badly, but does that really give us an indication as to how good Hamilton is? I still think they are fighting Montreal for 2nd in the East when it comes right down to it.
--What will the flooding in Calgary do to the Stampeders and their psyche. You know their minds can't totally be on football.
--Who in their right minds said Arsenio Hall should be back on late night television. What has the American public done to deserve this?
--Two of the best U of R Rams to ever put on the helmet right here ladies and gentlemen...
Marc Mueller was one of many who came out Friday night for a steak night put on by Jon Ryan with money going to Regina Minor Football and the Bob Ryan Scholarship Foundation. From all accounts, the golf tournament that Jon put on was a huge success in its opening year meaning they have quite an act to follow up on year two, but like the Eberle deal, it will happen. The q and a with Jon, Troy Westwood, former Steelers kicker Jeff Reed (who wouldn't exactly endorse that Roethlisberger was in the endzone in Super Bowl 40) and Don Narcisse was highly entertaining as Rod Pedersen put them through the paces. The best thing about it all was when Reed and Jon talked about how much of a privilege it is to play in the NFL and that when you look down at that shield, you know you have made it. Reed says he just about whiffed the opening kickoff in Super Bowl 40 because of the nerves he felt and the cameras popping. I can't imagine what that would be like to be on the field and have the eyes of the world on you watching every move.
Do you have your blue bin yet? I'm not sure. but my neighbourhood might have been one of the last in Regina to get them. I was starting to think I was going to have to phone the city to see where mine is.
The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and several other schools are coming out with a cologne. Yes, you know can smell like a Notre Dame football player or a West Virginia football player. The Yankees apparently did this years ago. It just begs the question as to when the Riders will trot out their version of cologne. You know if it had the /=S=/ on it, it would be a big seller in Saskatchewan no matter the scent. It would just add to the money they are already raking in.
That's all I've got. If reading from Calgary or southern Alberta, thanks for doing so and keep safe and dry. The country is thinking about you. Have a great Monday!