I’ve used up a lot of print space talking about how the National Hockey League has become a boring entertainment product over the last number of years, but now I’m going to go after the Canadian Football League. The CFL used to be a league where you could watch a couple of quarterbacks sling the ball all over the field or make exciting plays with their legs and fans would be treated to some amazing displays of skill and athleticism on both sides of the ball. Well, over the last handful of years the CFL and NFL have switched how the game is played. The NFL has an abundant of hybrid quarterbacks (Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin) and a number of others who are outright gun slingers (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan). The CFL has eight teams and eight starting quarterbacks who offer nothing of significant interest as far as providing fans value for their entertainment dollar. Anthony Calvillo is on the downside of his career and the rest of the quarterbacks are, merely, offensive caretakers.
Gone are the days of Jeff Garcia, Doug Flutie, Khari Jones, Danny McManus, and Damon Allen. I’m not sure Travis Lulay (perhaps the best in the league today) would rank in the top half dozen if he played ten years ago. Granted last Thursday’s game was preseason, but the Saskatchewan-Calgary affair was dull. And, more often than not over the last few years, I have left Mosaic Stadium unsatisfied with the value of my entertainment dollar. I don’t expect the Riders to win. But, I do expect the games to be good. And, my expectations have fallen short more than they have been met. It’s time for the CFL to re-evaluate their on-field product in an effort to make games more exciting. It wasn’t that long ago I heard football fans say they’d much rather watch a wide open game (which the CFL was) instead of the grueling pace of an NFL contest. The NFL has adopted rules to protect skilled players and you now have a game that is way more exciting than it used to be. The CFL needs to do the same and they also need to find a way to develop better quarterbacks.
Can anyone answer why a Canadian quarterback can spend his entire life playing by the rules of a Canadian game, yet can’t even carry a clipboard in the Canadian Football League?
This is it for Darian Durant. I’ve been a long time supporter of his, but this year there are no acceptable excuses for a mid-range season. He’s getting paid top dollar and General Manager Brendan Taman has taken steps to surround Durant with better than average talent.
Count me as one of the people excited to have Geroy Simon on the Roughrider roster, but he’s already struggling to stay healthy and upon further review; shouldn’t you be suspicious of anybody Wally Buono is casting aside?
The biggest key to the Saskatchewan offense this year isn’t going to be Durant, Simon, Kory Sheets, or Weston Dressler. It’s going to be Jock Sanders, who I expect will have a Corey Holmes (in his prime) type year. The one player who really stood out to me on Thursday was Tyron Brackenridge. He’s going to be a house hold name (if he isn’t already) by the end of the year and I like the decision to move him into the secondary.
While I am hammering away on making sports more entertaining, the Yorkton Cardinals could win me over with more displays like the one last Tuesday when there were two home runs hit in that game. Jubilee is too big a field to see a homer on a nightly basis so there really isn’t much suspense when you put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth and you are down by three. How many home runs will we see for the remainder of the summer there? Two or three? It’s also time for this team to contend a little bit. They’ve been a bottom feeder for too many years and I am a fan who believes that people should only support clubs that are competent. The Cards, unfortunately, haven’t been that for a few years now and I’ve lost interest.
The New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks have, essentially, traded head coaches. I expect Alain Vigneault to do well with New York and look for them to, totally, change their style of play next year. Vancouver, on the other hand, is in a dream world. Their window of competing for a Stanley Cup has closed and they are in for a disappointing year. It could be an outright disaster if the Vancouver media doesn’t have a better IQ than the one in New York. Sure, John Tortorella is a jerk. But I wouldn’t answer some of those bonehead questions either if I were him.
Nice person mentions this week to Tim Ottenbreit, Rae Groeneveld, Austin Vargo, and Joanne Perkins.