Top Ten Tuesday: From Will He To Should He? And Should The Raiders Have?

It’s been a wild week in the world of sports here are my thoughts from the week that was in no particular order!

10 – Darian Durant was on the field throwing the ball for the first time in 8 weeks yesterday. Does that mean that he will suit up in the Riders regular season finale or be available for the play-offs? I have no idea! I do know that some of the conversation has shifted from will he play to should he play.

9 – If you ask View From The Sidelines co-host Mike McCullough he is 100% against Darian Durant playing. McCullough feels that the Riders need to protect their franchise player and not think about the now but instead think about the future.

8 – As you will have heard I don’t subscribe to his theory. Sports are a win now business and hence the team has to do whatever it takes to give them the best chance to win and if that’s Darian Durant at 75% so be it. That being said medical advice cannot be overlooked.

7 – One more argument that supports McCullough regarding the business of sport. This sporting executive that I spoke too alluded to the fact that the loss of Darian Durant has cost the Riders $1-million in the loss of a home play-off game. That being said he points to the amount the team could lose in ticket sales and support should Durant be lost long term.

6 – More CFL and the amusing observance of the week came from a Rider fan in my social circle who pointed out that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are so bad that they didn’t make the end of the regular season. (Of course the Bombers season ended on Saturday as they have a week 20 bye).

5 – Listening to Mike O’Shea’s post season media conference it doesn’t sound very rosy in the Manitoba capital but he does acknowledge that the team is now on the clock as they host the 2015 Grey Cup game.

4 – To Cowtown and was anyone else scared when the Stampeder’s Jon Cornish was unable to get up after smashing his head on the frozen McMahnon turf? Cornish missed a big chunk of the season with a concussion/neck injury and was definitely dazed by the blow. The Stamps and Cornish himself are blowing the injury off but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that they will definitely need him in the post season to be successful.

3 – One troubling statement from Calgary Receiver Nic Lewis. The veteran pass catcher had been critical of the turf at McMahnon being stripped of the rubber pebbles that cushion the surface there when snow was removed earlier this year. Who knows if that would have had any bearing on Cronish’s injury but a guy that’s been around as long as Lewis has, knows what he is talking about and it should be taken note of.

2 – One more from Calgary and the notion that the Stamps needed to use the adverse weather condition on Saturday as a barometer to see if they can play in the cold is absurd. In my mind the Stamps took their foot off the pedal and made crucial mental mistakes that cost them the game. No need to panic in Calgary but I would submit that there should be some concern about the team’s preparation.

1 – Lastly, to Prince Albert and why I feel for former Head Coach Cory Clouston. Believe you me I have no inside knowledge regarding the Raiders decision to terminate his contract last Thursday. The hiring of Marc Habsheid seems to be a big coup on the Raiders part. However, in Clouston’s defence his 6-and-9 record through the opening 15 games of the season is not a big sample size and you have to consider that the Raiders were without Captain Josh Morissey for a big chunk of training camp and the first three games of the season. Additionally, the team is in a state of flux waiting to hear if Edmonton Oiler first-round draft pick Leon Draisaitl, who bulged the twine 38 times last season, will be returned from the NHL. These of course are out of his control. However, if the decision was based solely on results you have to feel for the guy don’t you? As you know I have long been a proponent of postponing the start of the WHL’s regular season to allow for NHL teams to make a decision on their under-age players. That would allow WHL teams to ice their best possible line-up for their entire 72 game season. (The World Junior Tournament does throw this theory out in some respects) That ability to play their full line-up doesn’t create the, “ifs and buts,” in tight play-off races which can cost franchises much needed play-off revenue but in this case may have cost a man his job.

 

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