Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reader Mail

It's been quite a while since I've gone through the Sports As Life Mailbag - so on the first sub-40 degree day in a week here we go...

" here is my first comment ever posted....on any site anywhere. However, as an eskimos fan who has been hearing a lot of crap lately about the riders vs. edmonton, I feel I should give you just a bit of feedback on this. First, thanks for keeping it real (as they say) about the riders success.

I actually received an email that said "it is great to be a rider fan isn't it?". Hilarious. So, welcome back to the real world rider fans.

Here are two points I wanted to mention that you didn't, and keep in mind I follow about as much CFL as to barely call myself an eskimos fan. 1. Pulling Kerry Joseph? Is that the best move? I mean, obviously Crandall threw an interception first drive out...but that is besides the point. Shouldn't you show a bit more faith in your quarterback to rally the troops? The game wasn't that out of reach.

2. And last, and again I don't watch a whole lot of CFL so I don't know the names here, but shouldn't the Defensive Back that was covering G. Simon not celebrate like he had just been given a puppy for his birthday? They were down by like 28 points and he is showing off with dance moves. Sure Simon had been shut down, but it is a team sport.

I can't imagine I will post too many comments, but I have to tell all the Rider fans out there the following. If you know an eskimos fan out there, wait until your team wins more than 2 games before you start talking trash!"
- JK

What makes JK's comments even better is they were posted before Saskatchewan's meltdown against Edmonton on Friday. Who's laughing now!

I totally agree with the dancing when you're 28 points down, I noticed this as well during the B.C game - it wasn't a DB that I saw but a defensive lineman. I can't remember if it was a sack or just a tackle for a loss but whoever made the tackle got up like he'd just stopped Walter Payton on the 1 yard line on 4th down. First of all - SCOREBOARD! If you want to dance after a tackle, do it when it means something, not when you're trailing by 4 converted touchdowns. And second of all, you're a professional - act like you've been there before. I don't get up on my desk and dance after I make a really good photocopy.

About harsher security measures at Taylor Field-
"I really like the moat idea, seriously. I am all about the over-reaction, and people seem to be great at it in this province. Crime goes up, more police, harsher punishment. Price of gas goes up, well lets drive the same amount as always and ask for a new government. People run on the field at a football game (like that doesn't happen anyplace else, moat or not) and misbehave, lets get guard dogs and explosive neck collars for all fans.

Sure people misbehave, but it happens all over the place and isn't confined to sporting events, this is life...get use to it. So you don't want your kids to hear swear words and see fights, go sit in the family fun zone (or perhaps you could cut off their ears and gouge out their eyes cause they will see and hear that stuff sooner or later). Hey riders want to do something pro-active? Have a section for adults only (then put all the lazy security guards in that section).

But I am probably wrong...more guards and a fence will fix everything, good idea Riders."
- T.H.

First of all I love the idea of explosive neck collars. I think that instantly solves all of the crowd-related problems at Taylor Field. It probably creates a couple new problems, but that's neither here nor there.

I like the idea of the Adults Only section - I'm not quite sure how the logistics of it would work. Send in your ideas about what this would look like/contain and we'll work up a proposal for the team.

If you haven't heard, apparently Woody from Jack FM here in Regina is taking donations to cover his fine when he streaks at the game on Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure about the specifics of this, as I don't listen to the radio. But if this is true and it actually happens, it could be the greatest publicity stunt of all time - especially since the rival FM rock station is a big sponsor of the team. Hilarity.

See things like that wouldn't happen at Taylor Field if they had a moat.

"Luke I must agree with you. Kent Austin was so out coached in the 2nd half it was sick. I was there gentlemen live in living color. It was part of the Walker stag extravaganza. I sat there and watched the Riders build a 20-1 first half lead. I was still waiting in line for food after half time was over. Watching on cctv as the Esks scored their first TD. I knew right then and there what was coming. But back to the coaching comparison or lack there of. What was Austin thinking in that 2nd half. Why run the same play over and over and over if it hasn't worked once. Could Joseph learn to sell a play action hand off? For the love of god! Why on 3rd and 2 would you not call an audible at the line and change the QB sneak that everyone on the Esks D can see coming. Then you get a second chance to make good and he gets sacked. I can't talk about this anymore some Wii bowling will take this of my mind."
- Walks

Welcome back to Rider Football! As Andy Fantuz was breaking off his route 2 yards short of the first down marker on 3 and 23 or whatever it was (nice awareness) - I was having a discussion about whether this team is just cursed. Well maybe not cursed but whether this is just their destiny - to be maddeningly inconsistent and finish 9-9 every season for the duration of my lifetime. I think the solution we came up with was to demolish Taylor Field, exorcise the grounds, change the team name and colour and start again.

I will say this for Austin though, at least he admitted to being out-coached. Well maybe not in so many words, but he did admit that he needs to do a better job. But he is still a rookie head coach, so there are going to be some growing pains.

One last thing about Friday's game - how about Sean Fleming's 47-yard dagger of a field goal with 2 minutes left? Out of 10, how confident would you be in Luca Congi having the leg to make that kick... 2...3?

And why on Earth does Taylor Field not have a CCTV system where the concessions and beer vendors are? With the lines at those places people usually miss substantial amounts of the game. It's probably because they're saving for the moat.

"Just a quick "told ya so" to Trebor about "he who shall not be named" in the football world. I told you they wouldn't let him play and Goodell telling him to stay away from training camp until the NFL has reviewed the charges is the first step of the NFL washing their hands of this horrible case.

Next will be the team asking him to take a leave of absence until the case is me, I looked into my crystal ball this morning.Oh and sorry for bringing this up, I know no one wants to talk about it, but it is not often that I am right about anything in the sporting world (especially the NFL)."
- T.H.

P.S. I hope you noticed that I didn't actually mention his name...I just alluded to him.

"damm chubby fingers and not thinking my posts through.... as for the one that adidas named 'zoom'. It made sense initially so that i wouldn't have to say the unnamed one but it came out with the wrong words ???"
- trebor

I appreciate you guys being delicate and respecting the Mike Vick moratorium - but that's officially over now - so mention him all you want. I said I didn't want to talk about him until something actually happened and with his suspension from training camp yesterday, I think that would fall in the category of something. He also makes his first court appearance tomorrow, so that's something as well. THEN it was also reported yesterday that the Falcons were going to suspend Vick four games until the NFL asked them not to so they could conduct their own investigation (you can read the story at So the flood gates are open now.

If I had to guess I'd say that at the very least his career in Atlanta is over. I also have a sneaking suspicion that his NFL career is over. Even if he somehow avoids jail time on this, he'll be suspended for the year by the NFL. After that he's going to be close to untouchable for every other team. What team is going to want to bring in a public relations nightmare like that - especially one with a career completion percentage of about 54%.

My advice to every CFL team is to get this guy on your negotiation list right now.

"I just wanted to point out that if you watch the baseline replay of the first call in the Suns vs. Spurs clip, you can see that there are about 3 players in between Donaghy and the foul. What the hell? Unless they were wearing invisibility cloaks (that is the first and last Harry Potter reference I will ever make), then how the hell can he make the call. There is better reffing in Quidditch....damn it, that is the last one...Seriously...Sirius Black...ahhhhhhh"
- JK

Awesome - you just can't avoid it, Potter mania is everywhere.

"Just watched the video... wow. that first one was a good clip, though you could make the argument that from behind it looked like maybe raja followed through with the hack and didn't pull up ??? however the one at 6:20 is the one that i thought was the best even though it didn't involve donaghy.... Rush is standing 6 ft away from nash when horry slaps his arms.

I enjoy watching basketball and never bought into the conspiracy that certain games are fixed or teams given preferential treatment..even after seeing the ...1986 draft lottery... but with the report that others are being investigated... if there is more than one then this league is in a world of hurt... maybe not as much as NHL but pretty bad."
- trebor

My personal favorite bad call on that Donaghy video (this is the video in question, by the way - in case you missed it yesterday) is the blatant Bruce Bowen knee to the groin on Steve Nash. It was called as an offensive foul but that's one of the more deliberate attempts to injure I've seen in the NBA. And looking back at the video it seems like Ed Rush is involved in most of the bad calls as well - including that one.

NBA commish David Stern says that Donaghy was a rogue ref but if some of the reports are true and Donaghy is going to name names and implicate other people the NBA is going to be in enormous trouble. It's going to be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

I was watching Prime Time Sports yesterday and they were discussing Donaghy's personal life and apparently he is regarded as a bit of a nut. It seems he wanted police to arrest his neighbour's 5 year old son because he was throwing mud at Donaghy's house. Sounds like the kind of stable person you want refereeing a professional sport.

"I missed the final U20, but really the whole tournament was pretty good watching. It isn't too often that you can watch a game where five empty break-aways occur in 10 minutes of play (the USA had a non-existent defense). And good for Toronto Metro for doing what they've been known for in the past. Respect through fear. Strength through discipline, strength through action.

I'm just not sure how attempts to invoke fear in all foreigners will work out for the city of Toronto in this day and age. I am more for instilling fear in a general sense. If you're going to target someone, why not make it hippies?"
- Mitch

Just the sort of comment I'd expect from long arm of the law.

Why don't you take your 1980's, made for TV, Grade 10 Social Studies, post-apocalyptic, militaristic propaganda and go elsewhere. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable at Rob Vanstone's blog.

Ok, that's it for now - the Mailbag is closed. Keep the comments coming as always, they're all appreciated.


Anonymous said...

MICHAEL VICK!!! Ahh, that felt good. Vick is done in Atlanta, even if he is absolved of this crime the trust between player and team is gone, poof (just like the unbeaten season of the Riders). But I think that you underestimate teams willingness to give players a second/third/fourth/etc...chance. There are teams in the NFL who would take him on (even after serving some jail time). You may think the Raiders on this one (I actually don't think that Al Davis would take him on if found guilty), but I was thinking Miami...or one of those criminal-based teams, like the Bengals.
Oh, and as for the "adult only section", which should be renamed for obvious reasons, how about an East/West stands thing? I know what you are thinking "that would never work", but I think that it would. Only serve beer in the adults only section and you shall see that the adult section will be full every game. Then the clapping/non-drinking/purist fans with their families can sit on the other side and clap to their hearts content.


VICK, VICK, VICK...just needed to get that off my chest.

Trebor said...

I must have read the rider post too quickly or I would have gotten on this whole whole Out-coached thing ???
Yes you can say that with a 20-1 lead and losing 21-20 that some things went wrong, but if the riders got the field goal at the end and won 23-21...would people still say the Austin was out-coached.
I think it was Wally from B.C. who said something like "well we won so i guess i was the better coach". Is that all it comes down to ?????
Really what does the coach do, besides put the players out their to make plays and maybe have some say on the plays ran. I'm sure Luca missing a field goal or fantuz dropping the ball is never going to be part of the game plan. The players watch the video know what to expect know how to play the game... it comes down to their execution. If you want you can make a round-about arguement that execution comes back to coaches having them mentally and phyically ready to play but....

I guess at the end of my small rant..... can you say a winning coach was 'out coached'? or on the flip side can a losing coach be 'the better coach'?