Top 10 Tuesday: Burris Barks… but he may have a point!

Well it seems like forever since my schedule has been “normal.” With that being said there is a lot happening in the world of sports. So here is a quick look at what’s going on! AND in no particular order my Top 10 on this Tuesday.

10 – Hank Barking Away Well we start with the spouting off of Henry Burris to TSN’s cameras at halftime of their game on Saturday against Edmonton. The reporter in me (AKA the guy who has had to hold a microphone at that exact instant) is ticked off that a professional athlete would use that platform in-game to try and convey a message to a rights holder. I had a similar situation occur to me (albeit not on the air) my first game on the Rider sidelines! A Calgary Quarterback who used to play for Saskatchewan was poised to become the Stamps new starter and when I requested he join me for a post-game interview he in no uncertain terms told me how he would never appear on the Rider Radio network after feeling like he was slighted. (The language was kind of colorful)

9 – Who gets the last laugh? With that being said the interview where Hank “sounded off” was recorded so if TSN wanted to bury the footage they absolutely could have. However, with some ratings sagging especially during panel segments the buzz that this has created is terrific for ratings. AND Henry forgot one rule when sounding off, the network will always have the last word which is exactly what the panel was able to do when they tee’d off on Hank in the segment right after the interview.

8 – One last one from the Burris’ rant and whether you like him or not he does have a point! In his statement he referred to turning around four franchises in the league and he is right. When he came to Saskatchewan (both from Calgary and the NFL) he was able to solidify the position for the Green and White. When he defected (according to some) to Calgary he was able to right the messy ship caused by the Michael Feterik ownership that saw the league’s winningest coach, Wally Buono leave to B.C. Then in a move to Hamilton Hank was able to stabilize the offence and lead them to a Grey Cup appearance in 2013. Subsequently he signed in Ottawa where he put together a MOP season in the franchise’s second season leading them to a Grey Cup. SO it is hard to dispute his impact!

7 – To Riderville where through the opening third of the season the club is 1-and-5. With that being said I know that there has been a lack of confidence in the new regime coming out of the wood work, especially here in Saskatoon where tickets to home games are readily available, even being given away to no avail. With that being said I think this middle third of the season will be the true testament to what the Riders have. Even though they are banged up (see four of five offensive lineman) the brass now has a handle on what they truly have and will look to build on the positives and further address in-game weaknesses.

6 – Speaking of weaknesses in Green and White where you have to believe that the team is trying to find a successor to Darian Durant. I’m not sure that they have settled on Mitchell Gale (thanks to reports that Brandon Bridge was in Regina yesterday) but they have definitely have identified that weakness and are pulling out the stops to address it.

5 – The next weakness I think that they will look to improve is their national content. Bringing in Bridge, if they chose to sign him will only help, especially if they decide to convert him and use his smarts on the field in another position. (See Brad Sinopoli in Ottawa) To highlight their discontent with their current stable of Canadians the Riders were fined $15,000 for not playing enough earlier in the season. I don’t think that the Riders are/were trying to pull anything just attempting to field the best team when injuries struck their already thin national content.

4 – Speaking of Ottawa the REDBLACKS were officially confirmed as hosts of the 2017 cash cow. Ooops I mean the 2017 Grey Cup! I have no doubt that they will do a great job in hosting our national party. Having said that they couldn’t do much worse than the Argos in Toronto! Last month the Boatmen launched their ticket sales for this year’s championship game and I think they have some lofty expectations. Some sidelines for the game are selling for $900 which has been blasted by Toronto media. Not the feedback they were looking for.

3 – When it comes to national content one needs look no further than the Saskatoon Hilltops. The Toppers will open their season on Sunday against Winnipeg. The defending Champion Hilltops have a number of obstacles in their quest to repeat including a mid-season trip to B.C. and overcoming the graduation/departure of more than 12 players from last year’s Championship team. If there is one thing that I have learned watching Tom Sargent is that he always has someone prepared and ready to step into the line-up.

2 – Well the Olympic Games are on in Rio! Not sure how much you have seen but there are two conversations that occur during every Olympic games. Firstly the observation, “that’s an Olympic sport?” and secondly we need to give our athletes more so that we can win more medals. I often wonder where that sentiment is at budget time.

1 – Lastly, a salute to excellence! Ichiro Suzuki swatted his 3000th hit on the weekend. A gigantic case could be made that he is the best hitter of all time, especially if major league baseball would ever recognize his domination in Japan. That being said whether it was leading off or a clutch situation Suzuki for my money is tops, despite not smashing the ball out of ball parks!