A happy Thanksgiving Monday to you all. If you haven't had your feast of turkey and whatever, may you have it today and if you have already consumed the beast, may that belt be untied and you are relaxing the day away.
As the Riders celebrate Thanksgiving, they do so in a rather good mood after a thrilling overtime win over the REDBLACKS on Friday. This is the Chris Jones I thought I would see in August. Better late than never I guess. You can see this team growing week by week, game by game, series by series, The funny thing is they are not out of the playoffs yet. That seems hard to fathom, but its true as they look for their 4th straight win and 5th overall in Toronto next weekend.
It was Friday, but here are some thoughts.
- Can we just sign Darian Durant to a contract extension already? Once again, the Rider QB got the job done. With the REDBLACKS having momentum, and the Riders sitting with the ball at their 5 in a hostile environment, Durant led the team on a 105 yard drive---it should have been a game-winning drive. It astounds me in listening to the Sportscage Rider Radio Roundtable after the game that there are still Durant haters out there. It's too late to change these people I guess. He is the leader of that squad. End of story!
- Where are all the Chris Jones haters now? For the most part, many of them appear to be slinking back underneath their rock waiting for another Rider loss. Fickle fanbase??? It depends on the day. It's been like that for years though so it shouldn't be that surprising.
- Willie Jefferson had a monster game in his first contest as a Rider. He made several huge plays.
- Tyler Crapigna continues to dazzle. The guy, who the Riders got in the trade for free agent to be Jerome Messam, was basically money. His only miss was from 55. Crapigna has had one bad game this year. As I said earlier this year, it happens to all of us.
- If we are going to keep Durant, can we find some money to keep Rob Bagg as well. The guy just continues to perform. His what should have been game winning touchdown catch was a thing of beauty. It doesn't matter what the record is, Bagg doesn't take plays off.
- What is the team going to do all week as they stay on the road with their next game being in Toronto? Chris Jones says a trip to Parliament Hill is in the works. Perhaps he can go have some words with Justin over his carbon tax. I am sure Brad Wall would advocate and endorse that plan.
- With games left against Toronto, Montreal and a back-to-back BC to finish things off, I believe the Riders can go 3-1 to finish. That would leave them with a record of 7-11. Would that be so bad considering the complete rebuild that occurred?
The big story in the CFL this weekend came out of Winnipeg where once again the league has egg on its face after a huge error.
“The replay official ruled there was no indisputable visual evidence to change the call made on the field,” said Paulo Senra, director of communications. “It could not be determined from the angles provided if the player had completely lost possession of the ball before the player’s backside had touched the ground.”
I wonder if Paulo truly believes what he writes. It is just another example as to how this game needs to be fixed with many having to voice input.
As I wrote in a "Something To Mitch About" column in late August, a summit of some kind is needed with current and former players, coaches, broadcasters, etc, etc. etc getting together to discuss what is wrong with this game and how can it be fixed. There are some things out of the league's control like the resurgence of the Blue Jays and other scheduling conflicts, but this game continues to be in a state of disrepair. A fancy new logo and ad campaign doesn't cut it. You got your work cut out for you this winter Jeff. Are you up to the challenge?
By the way, could the Bombers get a home playoff game because of blunders at the command centre? Add this one to the Labour Day debacle, and Winnipeg has 4 points they shouldn't have. If I'm BC, I am perhaps even more po'ed after this one than what the Riders were after Labour Day.
One group who aren't PO'ed are the Blue Jays. Playoff baseball is tremendous theatre, and that is what was given to us Sunday night as Toronto moved on. Give the Blue Jays all the credit for knocking off the American League's best regular season team, but the Texas Rangers did not help themselves at all in this series. Ian Desmond "alligator armed" what started Toronto off in Game 1 as many other center fielders would have caught Troy Tulowitzki's fly ball. Desmond again had a terrible base-running cramp in Game 2 to squelch a Texas rally as he was thrown out by Josh Donaldson at the plate, and then the game winning play was a play where Rougned Odor should never have thrown the ball. Go back to the passed ball on the game-tying run. Just too many mistakes. In the playoffs, every mistake is magnified and Texas made one too many.
Saturday night, the Cubs played the Giants in Game 2 of their National League Divisional Series. Within the first hour of the game starting, I had several texts from people wanting to know what channel the game was on. With the game being on MLB Network in the states, they had exclusivity to the broadcast meaning no Canadian TV coverage. Sportsnet's Jamie Campbell sent out a tweet with that message. Having the MLB TV app, it didn't matter to me as I could watch the game off my phone or my computer or by re-hooking up my PS3. However, I can only imagine what it would be like if the Blue Jays were on and it was not allowed to be shown. WAIT A MINUTE!! Game 2 of last year's ALDS was an MLB Network exclusive and Sportsnet showed it. WHOA!! If its an MLB exclusive, did Sportsnet break the rules? The Jays and the coverage they get on Sportsnet have helped grow the game in our country. Not allowing a playoff game on TV when it has happened before is not right, and hurts the game's development. The same will happen today with the Dodgers/Nationals series. As Canadians, even though the MLB Network is in some homes, we should not be shut out of watching all playoff games. Sportsnet could correct a huge wrong made on Saturday by putting that game on TV. I'm guessing it won't be happening.
With the Blue Jays now advancing, one can only hope we do not see that annoying seizure-inducing Coca-Cola ad that started Sunday night. C'mon Coke, be better than that.
It is more syrupy than what my pancakes look like when I go to Denny's, but for some reason I love the Ron McLean-Hockey Night in Canada ad.
EA Sports has run its NHL17 simulator and has this as the scene that will play out in late May-early June when it comes time to hand out the Stanley Cup,
The Predators? Really?! Nashville is good, but Stanley Cup champion good? I don't think so. There are several teams who will have something to say about this. EA adds Nashville will beat Montreal to win it all. I think EA is a little guilty of wanting to continue hyping that Weber-Subban trade.
Speaking of putting plans together, that is what Oiler GM Peter Chiarelli is doing, Many felt Chiarelli did his team a dis-service by trading Nail Yakupov for nothing. If Yakupov gets 15 goals in St. Louis, Edmonton gets a 2nd rounder next year. The money freed up allowed them to get better on defense by signing Kris Russell. Yakupov should be able to get 15 in St. Louis. I wonder when he will introduce himself to Jake Allen. Chiarelli has a plan. It is a plan that knock on wood gets Edmonton back into the playoffs this year,.
Week 5 NFL thoughts
- Are the Atlanta Falcons for real?
- Were the Vikings that good or was Houston that bad on Sunday. Brock Osweiler is not looking to be the answer at QB for the Texans.
- It was Cleveland, but did anyone really think Tom Brady wasn't going to have a big day on his return to the NFL.
- The Chargers are the worst 4th quarter team going. How many games have they gassed in the 4th quarter this year?
- It's not easy winning a fantasy football game when your quarterback has negative points, but I somehow found a way. By the way, thanks for nothing Ryan Tannehill.
That's all I got. There's no Blue Jays on today, so enjoy a CFL doubleheader. Have a good holiday Monday and a great week!