Top 10 Tuesday – Getting Back At It

To say the last little while has been a bit auspicious would be an understatement. However, time to get back on the saddle so to speak with my random thoughts from the world of sports.

So in no particular order here is today’s Top 10 Tuesday:

10 – Well it may be a week late but definitely never too late to recognize excellence. Congratulations to the Saskatoon Hilltops on the winning of their third consecutive Canadian Bowl. Unbelievably one critic pointed out to me that the only reason the Hilltops win is that they are able to keep their older players on their roster. My response, I think that speaks to the program not the athletes and perhaps if other teams could get the same dedication and commitment they would could emulate the success.

9 – Question, if a Grey Cup is held in Toronto and no one knows does it really happen? It will be curious to see the number of butts in the seats for Sunday’s Grey Cup game in the big smoke. Right now the forecast for Saturday is calling for a Mix of Sun and Cloud and high of +6.

8 – Organizers of the Grey Cup have to be ecstatic that Ottawa will provide the opposition for Calgary on the weekend. I don’t think that it has to do with the East vs. West tradition argument that now can be avoided (With Edmonton eliminated in the Eastern Final). Instead, I think that organizers can thank their lucky stars that Ottawa fans who may be more apt to travel than those of the Eskimos will make the trip to scoop up some tickets.

7 – What is the CFL doing Part 1: Did you catch who will be performing the national anthem on Sunday? The CFL is bringing out The Tenors to sing O Canada. If the group sounds familiar they are the Canadian crew that performed at the MLB All-Star game while holding up cards and changing the words to the anthem. What could possibly go wrong?

6 – What is the CFL doing Part 2: I loved the optics from the Eastern Final in the midst of a blizzard from Ottawa. Nothing to me says Canadian football more than snow and adverse conditions. However, am I the only one that noticed in the first half that stadium crews were working harder to clear the on field advertisements than they were the hash marks or sidelines?

5 – What is the CFL doing Part 3: I preface this by saying that player safety is paramount! Did you catch during the Western Final when Calgary running back Jerome Messam was sent off the field? Apparently, the mystery people that are charged with overseeing player safety from above communicated with the on-field officials that Messam should be sent off for medical attention after taking a big hit. So the officials diligently obliged sending him off the field BUT when Messam got to the sideline he didn’t receive any medical attention. No one from the Stampeders medical staff even came to see him. Instead Messam fumed for three plays before heading back into the huddle.

4 – On the other hand, I applaud the CFL for what they are trying to do with CFL week, next spring in Regina. For seven days the Queen City will be home to the current and future stars of the league. Great move by the CFL trying to generate some off season interest. What will be intriguing for me is whether or not the event will be supported by Rider nation who some argue are Rider fans and not football fans. It will be interesting to see.

3 – To University football and the only member of the TSN crew that didn’t seem surprised by the performance of former Manitoba Bison tailback Kienan LaFrance in the Eastern Final was Duane Forde. Forde, is the only member of the broadcast team with an eye on U Sports (formerly CIS) football. If you ask any CFL executive they to a person will confirm that the strength of a team is in its Nationals (formerly Non-Imports). Unfortunately, for whatever reason, TSN doesn’t see the benefit of highlighting our home-grown players until they reach the CFL.

2 – Speaking of U Sports football and the Vanier Cup will be held in Hamilton on Saturday and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies could have a dubious distinction for the second year in a row. Should Calgaray defeat Laval the it would mark the second consecutive year that the last loss suffered by a Vanier Cup winning team would be to the Huskies. Of course, the Huskies beat Calgary in week 7 at McMahon Stadium. In 2015, the Dogs handed UBC their last loss of the season before the T-Birds ran the table to a Vanier Cup victory.

1 – Lastly, the Saskatoon Blades had to make a tough decision on the weekend dealing over-ager Ryan Graham to Swift Current. The only member of the team to have played a play-off game with the Bridge City bunch got caught in the numbers game which is too bad for a player that truly became a part of the community attending a number of events. With that being said the Blades now need to step away from the uncertainty and become a team ready to push for a post-season spot.