Sunday, March 30, 2014
Something To "Mitch" About
Question: If you root for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Regina Pats, is it safe to say its been a bad month for you. What an utter collapse by the NHL's version of the blue-and-white. They can still make the playoffs if they finish strong, but I don't think many saw them losing eight in a row and looking bad in doing it. Dion Phaneuf has turned into a joke and its safe to say the Leafs will be trying to peddle him in the off-season. God forbid if Kevin Lowe should answer a call from Air Canada Centre in the off-season.
As for the Pats, their collapse is inexplicable or is it? This team asked for what they got by keeping Brandon in the race the last two games of the regular season. They gave the Wheat Kings all the momentum they needed by allowing Brandon to take three of four points in the last two games of the season and they rolled from there. The Pats won just one of their last eight games as they bow meekly out of the playoffs and leave Regina hockey fans bitter as they thought this was the year they would get to the 2nd round of the playoffs if not further. The Regina hockey fan has every reason to be upset and they are if conversations I had with people this weekend were any indication. However, all is not lost. This team still has a pretty solid core coming back. Daniel Wapple will be back in net and the team has Carter Hansen, Morgan Klimchuk, Connor Gay and Dryden Hunt all coming back as 19 year olds at forward with Kyle Burroughs and Colby Williams representing the 19 year old age group on the blueline. Sam Steel will get into the lineup on an everyday basis and more should be seen from guys like Brady Reagan and Rylee Zimmer. The future looks good which is encouraging.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers held a job fair at Investors Group Field on the weekend. Did they find a running back, some linemen and a secondary?
You will want to listen to the Sportscage (like I know you do as the ratings suggest) late next week as Rod is off to Florida for the Riders mini-camp. He will have all access to the camp and will speak with many individuals including Coach Chamblin. There will also be a special Saturday show as Dan Plaster and RP break it down and give you all the info you need to know from the weekend get-together in Bradenton. I really don't know if Bradenton is ready for those two.
My thought process on Kory Sheets making the Raiders took a sharp 180 upon word Maurice Jones-Drew has signed with the football team. Darren McFadden and Jones-Drew will fight for the starting running back job which makes me think either Sheets will have to one helluva camp or make the squad as a special teamer. His previous NFL experience may put the kibosh on him wearing the silver and black. I still wish Kory luck, but I'm starting to think at this time he will be back in green before 2014 is over.
Those hoping Desean Jackson wouldn't sign with Kansas City and his old coach Andy Reid because of what it would to do to Weston Dressler were forgetting one big thing. Jackson is an outside receiver and Dressler will be playing the slot if he makes it as a Chief. Whether or not Jackson wears Chiefs red is irrevelant to Dressler's chances.
Speaking of Jackson, the Eagles apparently got rid of him because of unsubstatianted rumours he was involved in gang activity, yet they embrace receiver Riley Cooper who as we know hurled racial slurs during last year's off-season. This is your NFL Roger Goodell!
What a tremendous weekend in Montreal! Major League Baseball certainly got the message that Montreal wants baseball back as nearly 100-thousand people poured into Olympic Stadium for two meaningless baseball games. The only thing missing was Dave Van Horne yelling "Up Up and Away" as Melky Cabrera pounded his 8th inning homerun to give Toronto the win on Saturday. I hope the Jays do this again in future years and I'd love to see them wear Expo jerseys while doing it. There is a long ways to go before baseball thinks about Montreal again, but they have to now. They have no choice.
The season starts in earnest today with the Jays in Tampa. I had the opportunity to speak to ESPN's Dan Shulman and John Kruk in a conference call last week and I asked them about Toronto's chances. Both aren't expecting any playoff baseball at Rogers Centre and both say you can blame the pitching when it comes right down to it. If Toronto finishes above 500, I'll be surprised. There is talk Alex Anthopoulos might have the carpet pulled from underneath him if the Jays struggle this year. He didn't get the desired results last year after making moves and he made no moves this year for whatever reason. That talk just might become reality.
There's a lot of good ball teams as the season starts. If you want a World Series prediction from this blogger, I am going with the Dodgers to beat the Rangers.
What a basketball game Sunday between Kentucky and Michigan. It had everything and then some. Michigan lost on what was simply an amazing three pointer with mere seconds left on the clock. I'm not sure how you could have guarded Aaron Harrison any better, but the freshman drained it thus ending what was a roller-coaster of a game emotion-wise for this "Mitchigan" fan. I had been at the Four Seasons watching Michigan State-Connecticut with State alum Luc Mullinder. I had to leave after it was over and its probably a good thing because I was besides myself watching Kentucky and Michigan go mano-a-mano. That might have been the best basketball game I've seen in a long time. I could sit and watch college basketball for the excitement, the drama and the emotion any day of the week. However, you give me the NBA and I'm looking for the remote. The NBA is just missing something that the college game has.
Great tweet which was retweeted by the National Post's Bruce Arthur. Aaron Harrison's 3 pointer gave Kentucky an added 330-thousand dollars in revenue. How much will he see of that. ZIP!!! Tell me again how the NCAA isn't a business and they aren't ripping off their players by paying them. They don't deserve millions, but they deserve more than they get. I remember the ESPN 30 for 30 when Michigan's Chris Webber is looking at his jersey in a sporting goods store and he can't afford to buy it. That's just sad and ludicrous on so many levels.
Happy Birthday to my good buddy Rob Vanstone. He turned 50 on Sunday. Rob informed me Sunday night in his best John Foley (the old Stampede Wrestling manager) imitation that he had had a party and I wasn't invited. What Rob failed to mention was the party was in a phone booth on Park Street near the Leader-Post.
Is there such a thing as a phone booth anymore?
Speaking of the Leader-Post, the iconic (and fellow Seahawks fan) Ian Hamilton had a beauty in his Saturday column "The Spectator". Ian wrote “The NFL is suing rapper M.I.A. for $16.6 million for her on-camera middle-finger salute during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVI.“Strangely, the league isn’t suing the Denver Broncos, who were M.I.A. during Super Bowl XLVIII.” BOOM!!!
That's a good place to end this one. Have a great Monday and know it will warm up sooner or later. It will won't it?