The weekly set of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they are in no particular order.
(Photo Courtesy Saskatoon Star-Phoenix)
--Congratulations to two all-time great Riders and now two CFL hall of famers. Gene Makowsky is Roger Aldag 2.0. He simply is Saskatchewan. They are both the same type of individual with one coming from the city and one coming from the country. They both symbolize what Saskatchewan is and it is great to see Geno immortalized in the CFL Hall of Fame as it is Eddie Davis. Without a doubt, he is one of the best defensive backs to have ever played in the CFL and the stories he must have from his days with the Birmingham Barracudas would be legendary.
--The new Mosaic continues to grow and from this shot by RRI staff, it looks great at night. By this time next year, the doors will be ready to open. There are still some who are highly against this being built. Too bad! Enjoy the events and other benefits that will come out of the facility and yes, there will be many besides football.
--The Riders are 0-7 and Saturday's game is sold out. Well done Rider Nation, well done indeed. Hopefully the team sees the fan-base has not given up on this season and they can come out and pull off a major upset. If they did, it would have people talking around the league. No one is picking the Riders to win and for good reason, but if they do, it will give the team a great deal of confidence heading into Ottawa. Brett Smith gets the start again and he showed drastic improvement from his first start to his second one, but it doesn't help him that Chris Getzlaf and Levy Adcock won't play.
--What the hell was going on in Calgary with Jasper Simmons and why was this battle through Twitter involving guys like Bo Levi Mitchell. The agent for Simmons was upset his client hasn't played this year and went to Twitter to voice his anger. This got a war of words going between Marquay McDaniel and former Stamp Maurice Price and now the Calgary quarterback has gotten involved. I would think John Hufnagel is smart enough to see whether a player deserves playing time and obviously Simmons doesn't in the opinion of Hufnagel. Getting criticized through his agent is not going to help Simmons or any other player in the CFL represented by his agent. It wasn't a surprise to see Simmons get released by Calgary, but it was a surprise to see the guy get picked up by another team. I don't think he is worth the headache or at least the agent providing the headache. Simmons would be wise to tell this guy to get lost.
--Why is it kickers in the CFL are having such a problem kicking a 32 yard convert? Going into last night's game, 20 had been missed and there was at least one missed in the 1st quarter by Montreal's kicker. That was the only rule change I liked, but I still find it odd that there have been so many missed especially when the percentage of kicks from that spot are back are way better.
--University of Saskatchewan head coach Lisa Thomaidis is certainly getting a lot of positive press these days for leading the Canadian women to gold at the Pan-Am Games and then the FIBA Americas title. There is no doubt Thomaidis is a great coach, but there is another great coach doing his thing with a University program in this province who seemingly always falls under the radar and that is the U of R's Dave Taylor. It's no secret Taylor knows his stuff and he is one of the main reasons why the U of R has one of the best womens basketball programs in the CIS. Between these two, basketball in this province and this country is in very good shape on the womens side. Speaking of Taylor, if you have a daughter who is playing basketball or any sport the U of R offers, the various Cougar teams hold great summer camps with the womens basketball one wrapping up this week. I would highly encourage you to put your kid in one of these camps because they are worthwhile.
--Moose Jaw Times Herald editor and 620 CKRM's Sportscage baseball analyst Craig Slater wrote a very good letter to the Leader-Post this week asking about the lack of baseball facilities Regina has especially with Pacer Park about to go under the bulldozer with the Regina bypass project. Slater makes some very good points in his letter saying Leibel Field and the Co-Operators Centre helped ease the minor football and hockey crunch. What happened with the Baseball Canada Under 21 Championships and the Regina Red Sox was very unfortunate and wouldn't have happened had Regina lost Game 5 of the Saskatchewan Division final to Weyburn. The sport of baseball is growing in this city and this province and while Regina has two great facilities in Currie Field and Optimist Park along with the Baseball Regina diamonds across from the Orr Centre, it is obvious something more is needed. It won't happen overnight (unless you want to turn Kaplan Field into a baseball diamond like you did when the Little League National Championships was here), but it would be nice if another baseball facility was available for the many who are playing the sport. One can only wonder if the city will pay attention to not only Slater's call, but the call of the baseball community in this city.
--That being said, the timing is not there for a new facility when you look at the current state of the economy. It is why I think Ken King's press conference in Calgary this week to talk about a new home for his teams is nothing but a giant pipe-dream. If he thinks he will get what he wants from others to have that built, he is out of his mind. I would think the Oilers are carefully watching this as well as they don't have any or very little money coming from the provincial government for Rogers Place which will be ready to go for the start of the 2016-17 season. If the Rachel Notley government is going to give money to King and the Flames, they are obligated to give money to Daryl Katz and the Oilers and yes Calgary fans, I would be saying the same thing if the roles were reversed. As I said, I will be shocked if ground breaks on this initiative. Time will tell.
--There are stores starting to stock Christmas items already. This is wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Can we get the kids back to school and get through Hallowe'en before we start thinking about Christmas?
--Did the University of Regina Rams really erect a sign called "Compete Street" on their practice field? Whether they did or they didn't, I love the slogan. Head coach Mike Gibson was on the "Sportscage" this week and he did the interview just moments after seeing his squad go through a yoga session. Gibson admitted the young lady teaching the class had the approval of the players----there is no other way some of those guys would get caught in LuluLemon attire is there?
--The UFC makes its first foray into Saskatchewan this weekend as "Fight Night" goes Sunday at Sasktel Centre. Its a packed card headlined by a featherweight bout pitting Max Holloway against Charles Oliveira. Holloway has been tearing through the competition lately, winning six fights in a row, including a submission victory over Cub Swanson in his last fight. The Hawaii-born fighter is looking to jump into title contention with a win, but he's got a tough test to prove he belongs in that conversation. Oliveira has been just as impressive lately, winning four fights in a row, with three of them finished by submission. The Brazilian has long been considered one of the best prospects in the UFC, but now he's starting to finally realize that potential, and a win over Holloway would certainly propel him into the top five of the division. It is going to be a great night and I can't wait to sit with fellow UFC fans watching this historic event in our province. It should be a great night!
--One last thing and that is there is a very proud pappy wandering around the halls of 620 CKRM and for good reason. The legendary Perry Nyhus who went from on-air to a position in sales is beaming over the fact his son Mason has been named the quarterback for Team Canada in some games against the U-S which will be played in Texas. I've never seen the kid play, but Dad says a lot of schools are interested in him, Let's hope the CFL has smartened up somewhat when it comes to Canadian quarterbacks and by the time this kid is finished University, he can step onto a CFL roster in some fashion,
That's all I got. Have a great weekend everyone. If you're going to the Riders game, stay dry and GO RIDERS!