Category Archives: Viewpoint

Top 10 Tuesday: How To Fix The Saskatchewan Roughriders (Starts With 2 Letters)

Well it has been an interesting 24 hours in Riderville. Yes, the Saskatchewan Roughriders cleaned house after an oh-and-nine start to their season.

Many in Rider Nation were calling for Head Coach Corey Chamblin’s head after the club’s blowout loss in Ottawa on Sunday. However, many were perhaps surprised that the Riders also cut ties with General Manager and Vice President of football operations Brendan Taman.

I won’t lie to you it was with mixed emotions that I read the news. First thought was that it had to be done. It was quite obvious in watching the game on Sunday that the team had given up on their leader and it may have all come down to the removal of Quarterback Brett Smith from the game after an end zone interception. The dismissal of Taman was perhaps more of a shock. While, I was not privy to the conversations within Mosaic Stadium Taman stuck by his guy on the outside and it’s hard to believe that he would turn on him after the contest in the Nation’s capital. With that being said that decision may have necessitated his dismissal.

The second thought was for the people that Taman and Chamblin are. Both were very kind to me in my dealings with the club and I hold the upmost respect for both of them. Having your life changed overnight is tough and I wish nothing but the best for them.

So where do the Riders go from here? Here is today’s top 10 ways to fix the Riders, in no particular order:

10 – The team has to upgrade their Canadian talent.

A Questionable Top Ten Tuesday:

From the gloom and doom in Riderville to play-off talk in Toronto. It has been a whirlwind week in sports.
Here are my top 10 thoughts from the week that was:

10 – Are the Saskatchewan Roughriders really an oh-and-6 calibre team? Hate to say it but the Riders are what the record shows. The defence let the team down in four very winnable games at the start of the season and now with the struggling offence the Green and White are up against it.

9 – Should Brendan Taman have to address the status of his coach? First I fully am on board with Taman defending his coach, Corey Chamblin. CFL “Insider,” Gary Lawless was doing what he had to do to grab headlines and report what he heard, I get that too! However, I’m not sure that a GM should ever have to address the status of a coach. Both are under contract until otherwise noted. Having to answer the questions to me seems ludicrous.

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat: On Game Day!

Well here we go with my scattered thoughts from the last seven days in the world of sports..

Start off with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Green and White will look to break into the win column against the team I feel is the best in the entire league, the Edmonton Eskimos. The Eskies defence is ferocious, their offence will come around with the return of Mike Reilly from the injured list and Grant Shaw seems to have found consistency and is playing well in the kicking game.

More on the Riders and is it time for Brendan Taman to make a pivotal decision? Darian Durant is done for the year. Kevin Glenn likely won’t come back. So is it time to try and swing a deal for a QB that has had at least some CFL success? (Trevor Harris, Thomas DeMarco, Johnathan Crompton, etc.) To be honest I think the Riders need to give Brett Smith and possibly Tino Sunseri. It’s not so much in fairness to the players though. But rather the Riders have invested in the players by developing and grooming them. Now is the time to see if that investment has paid off.

Will the Riders win? Not many are giving them a shot at tough Commonwealth Stadium. However, I think it’s a case of now or never. Can the team circle the wagons and come out firing on all cylinders? OR will they fall flat similarly to how they did last year after Darian Durant went down? Honestly I have no idea which way it will go but I do know that it all starts with the Rider ‘D’.

Last one on the Riders the players aren’t throwing in the towel on the season, obviously. The question is who can the Riders pass to make the post-season? With there being no cross-over to the East this season the Green and White will need to surpass two western teams to get in. Who can they catch. I would speculate that BC is a candidate but with the Lions sweeping the Riders already this year that means a season series loss for Saskatchewan which could be tough to overcome. So who is next? Winnipeg? Calgary?

Top Ten Tuesday: What Changes Can Rider Nation Expect? And Is AA off the wagon?

It’s that time of the week for my random thoughts on the world of sports.

From fixing the Saskatchewan Roughriders to figuring out what the Toronto Blue Jays are doing heading into the trade deadline is all here…. In no particular order.

Enjoy!

10 – So the Toronto Blue Jays have made a major deal prior to the deadline, check. (Last night the Jays dealt Short Stop Jose Reyes and prospects to Colorado for Troy Tulowitzki, and some bullpen help). However, they didn’t address their glaring need for pitching instead helping their defence and adding another bat. Here’s hoping that this is the first of more moves for Alex Anthopolis.

9 – So the MLB trade deadline is this Friday, I do appreciate the new Commissioners thoughts that the deadline needs to be pushed back to further separate buyers and sellers. I hope he’s thinking of mid to late August.

8 – Before I get to the Saskatchewan Roughriders oh-and-five start to the season how about the CFL? I mused in my To The Point thoughts yesterday that the CFL may be changing their rules mid-season. There was a drastic drop in illegal contact on receiver penalties from week 4 to week 5 which makes me think that the CFL is changing its’ stance on zero tolerance on contact beyond five yards from the line of scrimmage. OR have the players adjusted that well and that quickly? I think the CFL recognized the problem after backlash from the media and fans through the opening two months of the season, pre-season included.

To The Point: CFL Week 5 Recap; Has The League Compromised Its New Rules?

Another week has come and gone in the CFL and once again the week ends with a disappointing Rider loss.

Here are my running thoughts from this week’s action including an argument that the CFL is listening to its fans and changing rules mid-stream.

Here We go:

Hamilton 31 – Saskatchewan 21:

The contest starts with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats moving the Ball into Rider territory. The drive stalls at the Rider 51 and instead of trying to pin the Riders deep Kent Austin elects to go for a 58-yard-field goal. Obviously, Kent feels the Riders are a fragile bunch and he knows an early lead will help his offence enormously.

A nice return by Weston Dressler can turn the tide in the Riders favor if they can capitalize which they do with a Paul McCallum Field goal.

McCallum’s consistency is a hug plus for the Riders.

Scanning the Riders sideline and Taj Smith is on the bench. I thought the Riders really didn’t want much to do with him for the rest of the year. Interesting that he is back around the team.

Commentators on TV are continuing to talk about how little things are adding up into big things for the Riders. Right on cue Chris Getzlaf seems to lose his place on the field and cuts his route off short of the yard sticks. The completion is made but the Riders have to kick. Down and distance awareness has to be more of a priority for the Green and White.

Opposite end of the spectrum, what a great decision by Weston Dressler. After a botched lateral pass he throws an incomplete pass instead of taking a 13-yard loss. That’s a great heads up play!

The Rider injury carousel has taken another spin as National Full-Back Spence Moore heads to the Rider locker room. Done for the day.

Have the Riders outcoached themselves this game by not giving the football to Jerome Messam? I personally would have made Hamilton stop him before moving away from him. The Rider ‘O’ hasn’t afforded that opportunity to the league leader in yards from scrimmage.

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat: Can You Handle The Truth?

Another seven days have come and gone which has meant some more R & R for yours truly.

That has meant for a bit of a slower time here at toontownsports.net but it has been anything but slow in the sports pages. So, here is a look back at the past seven days with my take and some cold hard truth. Can you handle it?

Kicking things off this morning is the Saskatoon Hilltops. I had the opportunity to literally drop in on their golf tournament and ring ceremony at the Dakota Dunes Casino and Golf Links yesterday. One of the reasons I feel so privileged to have been working with this team for the last decade is the family philosophy that they have built. The supporters that were on hand last night to salute the 2014 Canadian Champions, one last time, were oozing with pride.

Staying with football and the word from some in Regina and around the CFL is that “apparently” Head Coach Corey Chamblin’s job may be on the line after an oh-and-4 start to the campaign. Wow! With more than 12 players on the team’s 6-game injured list and a combined 12 points being the margin of defeat how can anyone blame the Head Coach? Literally the Riders are three plays away from being 3-and-1.

Unfortunately those three plays have been defensive ones. That being said the Riders are missing the quarterback of their defence Shea Emry. In the off-season the Riders identified a young group of Linebackers that would be utilized in 2015. To address the need the Green and White acquired Emry from Toronto. Unfortunately, Emery has missed all but two quarters of the season. I guarantee that if you insert him back in the line-up the defensive group looks a lot different.

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat to Wrap Up The Week: With A Final Pro Chance For Saskatoon Fans?

It’s Friday and about time, dare I say, as I am not sure that I can handle any more negativity coming out of Riderville after an oh-and-3 and a subsequent, perceived, blow-up by Rider Head Coach Corey Chamblin.

AND that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Here are my scattered thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports.

Ok let’s start in Riderville and perception has to meet with reality in the Saskatchewan Roughriders oh-and-3 start.

Rider Nation has to realize that two of those losses came in overtime. Yes, the Green and White squandered late leads in both games but in reality the games could have gone either way.

The one concern that I most certainly have within the oh-for start is that the Green and White are oh-and-2 at home which is troublesome especially when you see that Riders road schedule is back loaded.

Staying in Riderville and some are upset that Head Coach Corey Chamblin sounded off about fans and media that were criticizing him. He knows that he has his neck on the line every week, especially since taking over the defense.

However, it should be noted that people who are tired of sports clichés and want raw emotion are the same ones condemning Chamblin for doing just that. You can’t have it both ways and I for one am glad that he spoke his mind.
Oh, and for what it’s worth I predict another nail-biter at Mosaic tonight but look for the Riders to seal the deal in regulation.

Top Ten Tuesday: Has the CFL Destroyed Its Product?

Week three in the CFL came to a close last night with a rare Monday nighter. A look back at week three in the CFL. Plus the games that nobody wants, apparently, opened on the weekend.
A look at those as well as random thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports are here in no particular order.

10 – So week three in the Canadian Football League wrapped up with a rare Monday night contest between Calgary and the Argos and by all accounts attendance at McMahnon Stadium seemed alright, albeit on fan appreciation night. It is now going to be interesting to see what the television numbers from the game were. If they are alright it may be the start of Monday night football in Canada, at least until the NFL season begins.

9 – Please note while I think the Monday night idea may be a good one especially in Toronto and B.C. I don’t think it will work in Regina as too many fans traveling into a game wouldn’t make the journey on a weekday and the Riders know it. That’s why they were 100% against Thursday night football games at Mosaic Stadium.

Top 10 Tuesday: Extending The Pre-Season And Are The Riders Playing Scared?

Here are my scattered thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports in no particular order.

10 – The ugly side of football has definitely reared its’ head in the early stages of the CFL season. Serious injuries are up across the board especially with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. With that being said the game is a performance based business and one of the all-time good guys was let go by the Green and White yesterday. Chris Milo who was 1-for-2 in the field goal department in week one was cast away by the Riders yesterday after Paul McCallum came in and went 4-for-4 in his season debut on Sunday. It’s a cruel business sometimes but Milo was up against the wall after only 72% field goal proficiency last season.

9 – When it comes to the injuries in the CFL there was an interesting point that I posed to a pair of former players last week. Do they feel that the pre-season should be extended to help prevent early season injuries? The reasoning behind my query was simple, with the number of strains, and pains in the opening weeks of the season would it not be better to ease into full 60-minute game mode as opposed to having to find that gear after generally three quarters of playing time and a two week training camp. If you think about it the pre-season is primarily an evaluation tool as opposed to a preparation tool in the CFL. Unfortunately, the business of the sport dictates that it won’t work as fans don’t come out to see pre-season games and in a league reliant, for the most part, on attendance that’s a red flag. Not to mention the fact that some feel the season is too long already. So, while the athletes would like the extended time to get their body’s right the money involved won’t work!

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat! Back In The Saddle/Request For Help/Join The Team

First off, thank-you for the inquiries well wishes, and your thoughts through the last couple of weeks.

It’s been a rough go but I am well on the way to recovery and happy to be back.

Well I’m not even sure where to start from the last fourteen days in the world of sports. Perhaps there is no better way than to dive right in with my assorted thoughts in no particular order.

– I can’t imagine the emotional state of Darian Durant. Heck I was devastated when it was confirmed that he would miss the remainder of the season after injuring his achillies in week one vs. Winnipeg. Doubles worked his tail of preparing for 2015 with a new offence and new enthusiasm. This injury is shattering.

– I don’t want to say that I told you so but I knew almost immediately the extend of Darian’s injury. When Coach Chamblin came off the field and told Assistant General Manager Jeremy O’Day what was happening with Durant on the field you could see the emotion all over O’Day’s face.

– Is Kevin Glenn a curse? Hamilton, B.C. and Calgary are all stops that Glenn was dubbed the back-up but was forced into action when the incumbent starter was seriously injured. I don’t think he is a curse but rather a solid insurance policy.

– That being said I wonder if this isn’t the last chance for Glenn to win a Grey Cup being a significant role player? Father time is not on Glenn’s side and you know the motivation to succeed is through the roof.

– Speaking of motiviaiton it has to be through the roof for Tin Sunseri. I will be truthful, I am shocked that the Riders asked him back and that he came back. Yes he knows the offense but is he the future. That is for him to prove and the Riders to find out.

– Is the future now for Rider pivots? I am not the first to suggest that perhaps the time is now for the Riders to find their Quarterback of the future. Who knows how Durant will come back from the Achillies injury and the recovery could last well into the 2016 season.

– Losing Darian I don’t feel is anywhere near as devastating as the loss of two quarterbacks in Montreal in week one or Mike Reilly in Edmonton in their curtain raiser. I would suggest that Montreal may have the best receiving corp in the league. Not sure that anyone can now get them the ball.