Dave’s Dis N’ Dat: To Wrap Up The Week

It’s time once again to share some scattered thoughts from the past seven days in the world of sports.

In no particular order, away we go:

– The Saskatchewan Roughriders open their pre-season this weekend against Edmonton. The most important thing to come from the game is to remain healthy.

– Second to that is the battle on the offensive line. Cory Watman and Dan Clark have gone all out to try to earn the starting center spot. With live bullets it will be interesting to see who can come out on top.

– Kicking…. I know what you are thinking how can that be a key in the first pre-season game. Simply put the Riders gave up a lot of yardage with both their punting and kicking games. It is going to be interesting to see if incumbent kicker Chris Milo can come out on top.

– Speaking of the kicking game with 45-year-old Paul McCallum being dumped by the B.C. Lions some in Rider Nation have called for the Green and White to sign him. With that being said McCallum doesn’t kick-off or punt, the two specific areas that the Riders needed to be improved.

– More Riders and the release of National receiver Alex Anthony was a big surprise among the Rider training camp observers. That being said I think that it was a very classy move by the Green and White to realize that he won’t factor into the teams plans which will give him a chance to latch onto another team. Watch for one of Toronto, Winnipeg or Ottawa make a bid for the young receiver.

– Back to the Riders-Eskimos pre-season game and the Eskimos appear to be taking this exhibition game in Fort McMurray very seriously! The Eskies are offering up $100 per point scored against the Riders on Saturday night to charity. Hmmm an old fashioned bounty?

– Back to my point of staying healthy and ask the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Edmonton Eskimos about staying healthy. Both teams have lost their running backs for significant time. The Eskies will be without John White for the season. The Ti-Cats will be without C.J. Gable for at least a month and Mossis Madu is out for the season.

– More on the pre-season and TSN is being trashed for not making pre-season games available through any of their 5 channels. I can’t comment on their programming but quite frankly the audiences for the games not televised would NOT have had a huge following which would bring their average audience number down. That number is the one that they use to pitch to perspective advertisers and a lower number means a harder sell and lower ad rate.

– Staying with the CFL and the league has decided to walk away from their relationship with the Canadian Centre For Ethics in Sports. The CCES was critical on the CFL’s stance on players that test positive for performance enhancing drugs to not face any sanctions. The league didn’t like the common sense and has backed away. What kind of message is the CFL trying to send to it’s players, fans, advertisers, etc? It’s OK to cheat to get into the league but it stops as soon as a contract is signed? Come on!

– Last one from the CFL and I think there has to be some concern in Ottawa the team did not look good in the pre-season opening loss to Hamilton. Like Winnipeg last year, the REDBLACKS have to make some decisions soon as they play their second and final pre-season game this weekend. The league needs a turn-around or at least a promising season in the nation’s capital or the franchise could be in trouble.

– To hockey and what is NBC thinking? It was leaked this week that they asked the NHL to stop the play-off beard tradition. Geesh!

– More hockey and what was the City of Glendale thinking? Kudos to the city council to terminate the agreement with the Coyotes that is costing tax payers $15-million annually. I know that Canadian hockey fans are cheering for the Coyotes to relocate. I wouldn’t hold my breath as this battle is going to be tied up in the courts for a LONG time.

– Staying with hockey and the game 3 performance of Ben Bishop has to go down in Stanley Cup lore as one of the gutsiest of all time. The goaltender, playing on one leg, gave his team a chance to win and some big confidence in the series.

– Staying with hockey and the St. Louis Blues are letting a big part of their character walk away from the organization. The Blues will allow former Regina Pat Barret Jackman to leave via free-agency by not offering him a contract. To me Jackman is a heart and soul guy that is tough to find. It will be interesting to see where he lands.

– Last one and some in Saskatoon are upset by the comments of friend and colleague Rod Pedersen scoffing at the likelihood of an NHL team moving to Saskatoon. Unfortunately I echo his comments as there appears to be little appetite by the sports ticket purchasers to put their money where their mouth is. Case in point the past two tournaments that feature the top players in the country and world were far from sellouts. (The Memorial Cup and World Junior Hockey Championship) Seeing those figures, the current attendance numbers of the Saskatoon Blades and the less-than sell-out crowds for NHL pre-season games, I think that would scare off any perspective NHL owner in Toon-town.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the weekend!

DT