Friday, August 11, 2017
This and That
Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.
--As Sunday approaches, the two big questions are A) What version of the Riders will show up against BC and B) What part of the stadium will people bitch and moan about this time? OK, hopefully B isn't a factor, but just what Riders team will show up for the back half of a home-and-home against BC is a valid question.
I am still somewhat miffed at what happened at BC Place last Saturday. The Riders didn't show us a lot for the second straight road game. It's become obvious this football team is quite different when at home compared to the road. It doesn't make up for the complete horror show we saw in Vancouver and even if there is a win, will that create optimism going into Edmonton? Not for me! A loss will further exasperate a fan base looking for change, but a win shouldn't change the thought process either. Wins at home were followed by terrible performances on the road. Why should that thought process change if the Riders improve their record to 3-4? Until this squad decides it wants to go on the road and actually compete and try to win a game, any optimism should be tempered. We saw in rather ugly fashion that there was no lesson learned from the loss in Calgary. Did they learn enough in Vancouver to make amends for what happened? We will see starting at 6 o'clock Sunday night.
--Who is to blame for the quarterback controversy talk that started in the wake of last week's ugly loss? Despite the urgency of some to anoint Brandon Bridge as the starting quarterback I ask why? Nothing against Bridge, but Kevin Glenn gives you the best chance to win a football game. Yes, Bridge threw a pair of TD's in mop-up time to make the final score last week look more respectable than it was, but it was against a BC defense that had called off the dogs. Why the need to rush Bridge into action? Did Calgary rush Bo Levi Mitchell into action? How has that turned out! Drew Willy had an opportunity to stay in Saskatchewan, but he didn't want to wait around and went to Winnipeg as soon as he could. How did that turn out? How did it turn out when guys like Keith Price, Seth Doege, Jake Waters and Brett Smith were thrown to the wolves when they weren't ready. Glenn is coming off the best 5 game start of his career. He had one bad game. Yes, in Saskatchewan that is enough to get you run out of town, but really? At some point, a certain faction of the fan base needs to dial it back just a little. Giving a quarterback some reps in mop-up time for his development is OK, but doing that when it matters could shatter the confidence that has been built up. Besides, I would rather find some defensive backs who can cover a receiver without long plays burning this team time and time again. You don't think Bryan Burnham, Manny Arceneaux and that Lions receiving core are licking their chops knowing they can likely pad their stats again on Sunday. At the end of the day, the secondary has been awful and that must improve, and improve immediately. An interception or two from that group would help immensely as well.
--There have been many squabbles over the years over the start times of Rider home games, but I am guessing there are many in agreement that Sunday at 6 is not an ideal time. Who scheduled that? I can't remember the last Sunday night CFL game. Was there one last year? It's going to make those who want to spend their weekend out at the lake come back a little earlier than usual, but for those out of towners it is going to mean a late Sunday night which will translate into an early Monday morning.
--Two thumbs up to former Regina Rams lineman Akiem Hicks. The Chicago Bears defensive lineman was interviewed after training camp this week and he was proudly wearing a Rams shirt. Attaboy Akiem. Be proud of where you came from!
--Speaking of former Rams, it was tough to see Addison Richards be forced to call it a career this week. His body just would not co-operate and it cost him a chance to be a CFL'er. When he came out, I thought he could be an impact guy and I think coming out of college he may have had a bigger impact than Nic Demski. We never saw what he could have been. If he wants to, he will make an outstanding coach with the Rams or Thunder.
--Eugenie Bouchard did nothing to help her Anna Kournikova 2.0 campaign with a first round loss in Montreal at the Rogers Open. She then said it is time for someone else to carry the flag as she bemoaned her defeat. If you can be considered as someone who represents, and has the ability to carry the flag, I would consider that to be an honour and not a detriment. If she is serious about her tennis career, she puts the modelling career on hold and actually concentrates on the game that made her famous. If she wants to continue a career in modelling and showing herself off, then ditch the tennis and quit making excuses. Its as simple as that. There is as much pressure on her as there is Milos Raonic, and I don't see him complaining.
--Finally, I want to take you back to November of 2007. This blogger was in the dressing room of the Saskatchewan Roughriders after they had won the Grey Cup. What a moment for this guy! I can still remember just about everything from that day including a man walking up to me as I was about to interview Reggie Hunt. That man grabbed my camera from me and joked "I'll be your official photographer". As I spoke with Hunt, Gene Makowsky and others, this individual who was just days into his new job took several pictures. I put one of them up on my Twitter account Thursday morning. Over the next 9 1/2 years, I have had many opportunities to speak with this man on a variety of issues and talk football which he is about as passionate for as he is for the province he lives in and represents. That man who was my official photographer that day is outgoing Premier Brad Wall.
You can say what you like about the man, and I certainly understand the negativity being thrown his way. I think he does too if the truth be known. However, as many have said, there is no bigger advocate for this province and there won't be for quite a while. What he has done for the reputation of this province over the last decade is something even his foes are praising him for. He will be missed and whoever fills his shoes whether it be a Saskatchewan Party member or an NDP member will have quite the task in front of him or her. I have cherished the discussions I have had with Brad Wall the football fan, and Brad Wall the politician. I wish him nothing but the best as he prepares to leave office and hope he can now understand what a mistake he has made in cheering for the Raiders over all these years. I have often joked with him that I would know his time was up when he came out to meet reporters wearing a silver and black track suit that Al Davis made famous. Part of me somewhat expected that when he announced his resignation on Thursday. It is safe to say I would have fallen off my chair had he come out with that garb on.
He closed off his address by saying Thank you Saskatchewan. I say Thank you Brad for what you have done, and how you have stood up for little ol Saskatchewan. Your love for this province is unequalled and while people may not appreciate that today, it is something they will see with time.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend! GO RIDERS!!