Dave’s Dis N’ Dat Friday January 23:

Another interesting seven days has come and gone in the world of sports. Here’s my take from the week that was…

Deflate-Gate… Well all football eyes south of the border are not looking ahead to the Seattle, New England SuperBowl nor are they gazed upon this weekend’s Pro Bowl. (Yes, that defacto all-star game with the flawed school yard pick ‘em to determine the teams). Instead the football community is focused on the New England Patriots and the under inflated footballs they used in the AFC Championship game last weekend. Were the Patriots cheating and doctoring the balls before the game? Absolutely! This is a team that has been busted in the past for cheating. Not sure if the NFL will actually do anything, however, as my View From the Sidelines Co-Host Michael Ball would say, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying!”

Now time for a reality check! Can you imagine if this happened in the Canadian Football League? The haters would be out in full-force calling the CFL bush league. It isn’t right but its reality!

our-balls-are-bigger-cfl-male-351Meanwhile back at the league office I wonder if this has crossed the league’s marketing department’s desk. If you remember back to the ill-fated 1996 CFL slogan, “Our Balls Are Bigger,” I wonder if now 2015 will bring, “Our Balls are Bigger AND Firmer!”

To Riderville and General Manager Brendan Taman knows that he’s up against the clock. With some high profile players yet to re-sign, Weston Dressler, Tyron Brackenridge, and Ben Heenan, Taman knows they are just a couple of weeks away from hitting the open CFL market. If you ask most fans they would say that priority should be given to getting Weston Dressler’s name on a contract. However, he has already picked the Riders once in free-agency and I wouldn’t be surprised if he already has again in his mind. (Maybe to push him over the top someone at a restaurant could offer him free ice cream??????) I would argue that Ben Heenan may have the most significance for Mr. Taman. You have to know that Winnipeg and Ottawa not to mention some teams south of the border are interested in putting the Saskatchewan native on their roster. However, non-import offensive lineman with as much upside as Heenan has are hard to find especially considering the offensive line already has lost Dominic Picard. Who would your priority be?

More CFL and what were the league’s voters thinking? They selected Calgary’s John Hufnagel as coach of the year. There is no doubt that his team had a solid season and translated that into a Grey Cup title. My vote would have gone to Chris Jones. The turnaround in Edmonton was remarkable. A new attitude, a play-off berth, not to mention a home play-off game, and an opportunity to win every week, the transformation was huge and should be credited to Jones.

One more from the CFL and what is Drew Tate thinking? The quarterback you will recall left Riderville as a free-agent for a chance to play, an opportunity that he wasn’t going to be afforded with Darian Durant at the helm. Tate, widely thought to be sought after by Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal was re-signed by the Stamps this week. With Bo-Levi Mitchell entrenched as the starter the Stampeders obviously saw what happened in Saskatchewan last year with a lack of depth at the quarterback position and didn’t allow Tate to escape through free-agency. BUT if Drew does want to get on the field I would have assumed that a more alluring offer and chance to play from those Eastern clubs may have been what he was after.

On a different field the Saskatoon Yellow Jackets won’t take the field in the 2015 season. Let’s face it attendance hasn’t been the greatest and with the team faltering on the field it has been a tough sell on Saskatoon sports fans. On a personal level I truly enjoy the product and found it to be a great way to spend a nice summer night with the family. That being said the lack of a quality facility in my mind was one of the biggest downfalls of the club, not their own doing. Also the league as a whole should look in the mirror with some questionable and objectionable decisions over the past number of years. From declaring a tie for a league championship to announcing that tie-breaker procedures would not be adhered to with play-off berths on the line because of financial reasons.

Staying with the Yellow Jackets I will be curious to hear the reasoning behind their decision not to play in 2015. The Saskatoon Star Phoenix reports a lack of ownership, while other league sources point to a lack of availability and quality dates at Cairns Field to keep the team viable. We shall wait and see. For now it appears that you can add the list of the Yellow Jackets to the heap of baseball teams that didn’t succeed in Saskatoon.

One more point on the YJ’s and this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as the Jackets playing games in Kindersley last year should have been a clear indication of their woes.

To hockey, good on the Saskatoon Blades for putting on a free to the public skills competition! The atmosphere and opportunity to see the athletes show their true calibre is a great way to show-off the team and further engage the community. Tonight’s skills competition as mentioned is free with a donation to the food bank and it begins at 7pm at Sasktel Centre.

More hockey and the NHL has to absolutely reconsider their all-star weekend. News yesterday that Sidney Crosby, the face of the league, will miss the game with a lower body injury is bush league. That means in the last ten years Crosby has played just once. If the best player, arguably, in the world doesn’t want to play why should anyone else have to?

Here’s an idea! What if the NHL were to move the All-Star game outdoors and play it in Canada? I’m thinking Winnipeg would be all over an early February event that would feature the best of the best and if the outdoor games are as intriguing, as the NHL would have you believe, south of the border you would still get the same amount of coverage in the US.

That’s all I have for today…. Enjoy the weekend!

DT