Top Ten Tuesday: With a State Of The Union

It was a week of football, football and more football. To say the least there is some concern with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, who are oh-and-2 to start a season for the first time in a decade.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders suffered a season defining loss, perhaps. The Saskatoon Hilltops are rolling and the Jays are rolling in injury on the field.

That and more in this week’s random thoughts in no particular order in this edition of the top 10 Tuesday.

So here we go;

10 – The panic button has not been pressed but the finger is on the button with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team. The Green and White for a second straight week coughed up a halftime lead and fell in Canada West Football action. The Huskies will be the first to admit that they haven’t played a full 60 minutes this season. That being said the team is closer than some would like to admit. That being said this group needs to overcome the mental hurdle that it will take to lift them to a win. Yes I am implying that the team needs to learn to win.

9 – In learning to win the Huskies also need to learn to play not to lose. By that I mean the Huskies had opportunities in the second half of Friday’s ball game in Edmonton to right the ship after Alberta started cutting into the Huskies 18-point lead. However, in not wanting to make a mistake the Dogs did. For example, open receivers were missed downfield because of a fear of turning the ball over. While on defence the DB’s backed off losing their aggressive edge. Playing to not lose is completely different than playing to win.

8 – That all being said I believe in the talent and coaching of the Saskatchewan Huskies and know that they can turn their season around. Heck the last time the team was oh-and-2 to start a season the group came together and made it all the way to the Vanier Cup.

7 – The other team in Green and White had a season defining game in Winnipeg on Saturday night. The Saskatchewan Roughrider defence came to play in the Banjo Bowl but the offence sputtered, seemingly working away from their strengths (the running game). Basically, what I am getting at is the team cannot seem to get all three phases of the game working together at the same time. That’s on the players as with removing the Head Coach and General Manager there now is nowhere else to look.

6 – Speaking of defining in Riderville, this week will give us an excellent snapshot at how the organization feels about itself. Should the Riders start Quarterback Brett Smith I would surmise that Interim General Manager and Head Coach Bob Dyce feel comfortable in their roles and status within the organization. Smith doesn’t give you the best chance to win now but may do so in the future. Should the Riders start Kevin Glenn to me that’s a sign that O-D and Coach Dyce want to show the organization what can be if afforded a veteran quarterback. Thus, proving that they can make the team competitive and perhaps securing their jobs into the future and removing their interim tag.

5 – Staying in the CFL and it’s amazing to me the lack of discipline handed down to Hamilton Head Coach and General Manager Kent Austin by the Canadian Football League. If you missed it, his blatant bump of Toronto receiver Dave Stala was bush league in last week’s game. The CFL wrist slapped Kent with a $5000 fine. Could you imagine if that happened in hockey or any other sport for that matter? A coach striking an opponent would be banned for life. Apparently the contact “wasn’t that bad.” But it is something to think about.

4 – To the majors and two out of three ain’t bad for the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite my skepticism the Jays pulled off a big series win in the Bronx over the weekend. That being said injuries are starting to creep up on the Blue Birds who may be in a position to just hang on to a play-off spot the rest opf the way.

3 – Staying with the Jays and will the price be right? When it comes to pro sports simply put it’s all business. Since the Jays made their moves at the trade deadline and became a contending team their attendance has doubled. Couple that with increased merchandise sales, in-stadium services, etc. the Rogers profts (owners of the Jays) are up substantially. It all makes me wonder if the Jays wouldn’t take a run at re-signing pending free-agent David Price, who appears to be a great fit on and off the field.

2 – To the ice and we are a week away from the opening of the WHL’s regular season. Yes I know hard to believe but the season is set. It is going to be a very interesting one for the Saskatoon Blades. They are in year three of a rebuild after the Memorial Cup and the question is going to be whether or not their young players will have enough gas in the tank to compete for a whole 72 game schedule. I personally am wary about saying the Blades will be a play-off team. However, I can see them challenging for a spot all year.

1 – Speaking of seasons starting early… The curling season is well underway. For one I am shocked that they are going so soon. BUT getting television coverage this time of year is ingenious especially when curling is attempting to grow the game not only by eyes watching their sport but also getting new participants to play the game. Airing some of the best players in the world during registration season is brilliant!