Happy Canada Day AND Top 10 Tuesday:

Canada Day is one of my favorite days of the year as it is the one day that our country seems to actually come together and put our past, differences and multi-cultural heritage on the back-burner and show off our patriotism.
So, grab your red and white, and wear it with pride.

In the meantime, here are your top 10 thoughts on this Tuesday in no particular order, starting with some reflections from week one in the Canadian Football League.

10 – Are the Riders that good or the Hamilton Tiger Cats that bad? As a wise coach once told me things are never as good as they seem nor are they as bad as they seem. I think that holds true for the Grey Cup rematch that was held on Sunday at Mosaic Sunday. One thing for sure is that the Ti-Cats need to get better quick along the offensive and defensive lines.

9 – More on the Green. The biggest question following the victory over Hamilton was whether or not tailback Anthony Allen did enough to be the next big running back in Riderville. The arguement that any back behind the Rider offensive line can run for 100 yards in a game is hogwash as that isn’t the case. However, the one strength that the team had last year was their ability to run the football and move the yardsticks with success at times when everyone in the ball park knew that they were going to run the ball. That wasn’t the case in the third quarter Sunday when going into the win the Riders struggled to pick up first-downs on the ground even in second and short situations. There is work to be done on the Rider running game.

8 – Biggest surprise of week one? Had to be the Winnipeg Blue Bombers dominance of Toronto in the season opener. Keeping in mind what I said above the Bombers, thanks to new Head Coach Mike O’Shea Winnipeg had a decided advantage knowing exactly what to expect from Toronto while the Argos had limited knowledge of what the Blue Bombers would do. That advantage was huge and was a big part of their success.

7 – Too much too soon? Full marks to the Edmonton Eskimos for their victory in Vancouver on the weekend. However, the Eskimos emptied the trick play list with a fake field-goal, and on-side kick to pull out all the stops to get in the win column in Chris Jones first game with Edmonton. Gimmicks don’t work in a marathon of a season but for a team looking to get some early momentum the moves worked masterfully.

6 – I am worried in Montreal! The Als have hitched their fortunes to former Heisman winner Troy Smith at quarterback. He had moderate success last season but had a very different offensive line in front of him. Als fans have been spoiled for more than a decade with teams at the top of the East. Will they still be there when the team is going to struggle? Nowhere near capacity the last few games last year would suggest not.

5 – Rubbing their hands. That’s exactly what the Ottawa REDBLACKS are doing right now. Again the CFL schedule makers should be ashamed that they gave an expansion team a bye in the opening week. That being said the REDBLACKS are all of a sudden atop the East Division with Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal all losing in week one. Their season opener won’t be easy in Winnipeg but they have film on what the Bombers will try to do and have a big opportunity to create a buzz in the nation’s capital.

4 – On a different field. The Toronto Blue Jays appear to have run out of gas. The amazing month of May was followed up by a brutal month of June has seen their lead atop the Al East fall from 6.5 games to 1 game over Baltimore. The Jays are taking the positive saying that if you would have asked them at the start of the season if they would lead the division on July 1 they would take it. However, their opportunity to run away with the title is gone as is their offence in the last couple of weeks. This will be a make or break month for the Jays as they will play ten consecutive games against the Red Sox and Yankees.

3 – More of a different field. I haven’t bought into the World Cup. The constant diving that is going on is embarrassing. However, the referees continue to call the penalties so if you are gaining an advantage it will continue to happen.

2 – Proof that the NHL doesn’t care about Canada. With the start of Free Agency on Canada Day the NHL is proving that they don’t care about Canadian fans and truly believe that they will always be there. If the Free Agent Frenzy was to happen between July 1st and 4th there would be a lot more followers north and south of the border. However, having free agency open on a holiday in Canada loses an additional interest in Canada that may be created while moving it far enough away from July 4th as to not affect the American teams.

1 – The hockey moves that I am watching are closer to home as two very prominent hockey people close to home have their contacts come to an end today. With that they are eligible to join other hockey clubs and if what I am hearing comes to fruition a team in the WHL’s East Division could be a big winner very soon.
That’s it for this week! Talk soon.


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