A Scenic Top 10 Tuesday:

It occurred to me that it was a 24 hour travel weekend for yours truly (yes, 24 hours plus on the road). Therefore, a behind the scenes look at my grid iron excursion and some other points of interest along the way.

10 – The weekend started with a bang to say the least with CFL action between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders. More on the football game in a moment, however, one of the greatest parts about night games at Mosaic Stadium is getting to see the full glow of the pyrotechnics! Unfortunately a fire at the top of the Sasktel Maxtron forced the fireworks to be shelved for the night.

20141003_200712 9 – Full credit to Mosaic Stadium staff for putting out the blaze in short order and allowing for some Friday night lights football. Unfortunately, the only fireworks put up by the Rider offence came after Seth Doege was replaced at quarterback after throwing three interceptions. If you have not heard Mike McCullough’s analysis of the Riders decision to start Doege from last week’s View From The Sidelines it is well worth the listen as he nailed why Sunseri should have gotten another chance to start the game.

 

8 – The other side of the coin, as far as I am concerned, had starting Doege light a fire under Tino and provided enough of a push to get Sunseri going. It will be interesting to see if Sunseri can maintain that level of urgency against a hungry Montreal team on Thanksgiving.

20141003_2007397 – Meanwhile, the Calgary Stampeders as you can see looked on in amazement as the fire burned atop the Maxtron. Their open eyes were anything but when the game started as the Stamps came out doing what they do best. Making the most of their opportunities (scoring points off of three interceptions) and getting the ball in the hands of Jon Cornish (before he left with injury)

6 – Continuing to give credit where credit is due and the Stamps in my mind shut it down early in this one as with a 24 point lead they pulled a banged-up Jon Cornish out of the game and took their foot off the gas. Luckily for the Stamps they were able to turn it back on and walk away from the win at Mosaic.

Bussy5 – Following the game it was time to hop aboard the bus for the 8 hour journey to Winnipeg with the Saskatoon Hilltops. My absolute favorite part of any Hilltop trip is listening to the coaches talk strategy. Discussing what they have seen on film, occasionally disagreeing on what the best game plan and tactics are to put their team in the most advantageous position, and of course sharing a laugh along the way is truly intriguing.

Smoke Show At Huskies4 – First stop was a check on the U of S Huskies taking on U-B-C in the annual blackout game. (PHOTO Courtesty Steve Hiscock). The contest would wind up in a controversial 31-25 victory for the Dogs over the T-Birds. The controversy was a late game apparent fumble by the Dogs that was awarded back to the Huskies despite television replays that seemed to show U-B-C jump on the loose ball. That all being said no one will remember as the hi-light of the game was the 40 minute halftime delay after the smoke failed to dissipate from the mid-game firework display.

 

3 – 20141005_113422In Winnipeg it was my first opportunity to check out the one-year-old Investors Group Field. The facility is top shelf and no details in my opinion have been overlooked. The Bob Irving Media Centre was my home for the weekend. Interestingly enough the talk inside was all about the Bombers struggles down the stretch and whether or not they can turn it around in time to get back into the post-season picture. (Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case.)

 

 

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2 – My vantage point for the Saskatoon Hilltops 44-19 victory over the Winnipeg Rifles was top drawer! The game itself was a great see-saw battle until the Toppers pulled away thanks to a big third quarter with the winds at their backs. The Saskatoon offence looked smooth while the defence responded after being challenged by the Rifles pass-happy offence. The only thing that made the mood any better for the trek back to Saskatoon was the news of a Regina Thunder Edmonton Huskie tie. The result opens the door for the Hilltops to finish first in the Prairie Football Conference and perhaps the opportunity to control their own destiny the remainder of the season.

20141005_11174520141005_111802 1- The last thought of the weekend goes to a group of people in suits that were on the field prior to Sunday’s game. Initially, I wondered if the group was the officials or the Rifles or even members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It turns out, however, that the dozen or so folks were members of the site compliance committee with FIFA. Winnipeg is one of six Canadian cities that will play host to the 2015 Women’s World Cup of Soccer. The world soccer governing body was on hand to make sure they new facility meets the standards for international competition. The thorn in the side of FIFA is the women’s desire, rightly or wrongly, to play on a natural grass surface for the championship like men do as opposed to the Field Turf surface that is featured in all but one of the Canadian sites. In Winnipeg one of the options being discussed is importing a grass surface on top of the turf. The process would entail covering the turf, adding six inched of topsoil and then the sod. The cost would be more than $200,000 per game! Yikes.

BONUS: In case you missed it you have to see how the Penticton Vees opened their season. All I will say is that some promotions are executed better than others. Safe to say this one wasn’t and probably won’t happen again!

 

 

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