The folk(s?) at RodPedersen.com added a poll this morning asking if Kent Austin’s banner at the west entrance to Taylor Field should come down now that he has signed on as coach/GM/VP-football ops
/caterer/accountant/ball boy with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Appropriately, as of 3 p.m. today, 98 of the 135 votes cast were in favour of leaving it. That also meant 24% (probably closer to 17-20% after eliminating the obligatory trolling) feel it should come down.
For what it’s worth, I say the only it should come down is if it happens to perish in another tragic yule log fire … but that’s another story altogether.
If we can be frank (because, let’s be honest, when is being Frank ever a bad idea?) the odds of this becoming a regular feature are pretty slim. Very occasional might be better description but, regardless, we’d encourage you to check back every week as we examine the latest droppings of wisdom the local sports scene hath left on our collective windshield.
This week, we learned …
Greg Marshall is no longer the most embarrassing head coaching hire in CFL history. That honour can now go to George Cortez, who was fired as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. To be clear, it’s more embarrassing for the organizations involved than the coaches themselves, but Hamilton’s gaffe tops Saskatchewan’s for the simple fact of the dollars involved. When the Roughriders canned Marshall, he was reportedly owed a shade over $638,000 through 2014. Hamilton could end up paying Cortez $1.2 million for the next three years. Oskee-wee-wee, Oskee-ha-ha!
No, wait, you’re still an idiot. Really, you’d have to be to think, even for a second, that there was any context ever in which wishing death upon four players of an opposing sports team would be considered funny. As a great man once said, you can stuff your sorries in a sack.
But at the end of the day (luckily for you) nobody died, so we’re not going to kick you anymore while you’re down. And we actually come bearing good news too: You’re no longer the most embarrassing Saskatchewan Roughriders-related mistake to surface this week.
You can cross another of life’s great unsolved mysteries off the list. (You’re welcome Robert Stack.)
Those intrepid Montreal reporters (they’re the best, seriously) took the piss out of the CHLPA’s vinegar yesterday when they got “union” president Georges Laraque to confirm that spokesman “Derek Clarke” is actually a convicted fraudster working under an assumed name. Notwithstanding Lois Einhorn’s pending trademark infringement suit against the CHLPA, the story got stranger yet when Laraques backpedaled his way into a corner later in the day.
That TSN’s Engraved on a Nation documentary The 13th Man was the talk of the province for most of this week was about as surprising as what’s going to happen to Jerry Sandusky for the next 30 years in prison. Some of the commentary was positive (standout performances from Rob Vanstone, Jamie Nye, Ken Miller and Paul McCallum; revealing chats about Grey Cup ’09), some was critical (weak fan interviews; lack of Grey Cup ’07 discussion as a contrast; inclusion of anything that reminds us of Terrence Nunn – sorry ladies), and some was about as insightful as the Lingerie Football League’s public relations strategy (see: Friend of the blog Bald Clown who texted me no less than five times “Eric Anderson. Journalist.”)
Overall reaction – even the rational stuff – was decidedly mixed.
But I still have to give it two thumbs up. For starters, it gave us this lasting image of Damon Duval:
Maybe, just maybe, reports of the Swift Current Broncos’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.
When a prominent national sports blog floated an unsourced rumour last month that the Broncos were “on their last legs,” speculation began to run wild that they would be leaving town at the end of the year, or month, or next episode of Survivor. But when the Broncos announced a $4,000-ish profit for the 2011-12 season, after eating a $197,000 loss the year before, their so-called last legs suddenly looked pretty lively. You don’t engineer a $200,000 turnaround sitting back on your haunches and waiting for the end, after all.
That’s not to say the financial picture is rosy in the Broncos’ stable just yet. Last year’s hockey operations loss was close to $1 million. But it smells a lot less like manure than it did a year ago at this time.
Whether team officials will admit it publicly or not, the Broncos can sustain themselves on $5,000 profits year-in and year-out. If this is the new normal – and board chair Liam Choo-Foo does refer to 2010-11 as “a perfect storm” of bad luck – then the Broncos aren’t going anywhere for awhile.
For real. In the hands-down favourite for this year’s Most-Random-Interview-You’d-Sell-Your-First-Child-To-Get-Anyway award, Gretz talked to the Leader-Post’s Greg Harder about the Regina Pats’ bench boss and, naturally, had nothing but good things to say about his former teammate:
I know he’s going to have a great career. This is just the start for him. People who have a passion for it and treat people with respect become successful. He’s going to have great years in Regina and one day go on to be a tremendous NHL coach.
For all the pressing questions affecting the Saskatchewan sports scene right now (Have the Roughriders found their quarterback(s) of the future? Could Saskatoon support an NHL team? Does fighting have a place in hockey?), we’d be about as enlightened as Doug Berry’s playbook if not for ESPN asking the most important one of all. Namely: Would you rather be a hard-working and productive power forward stuck with one of the NHL’s most hopeless teams, or to be a surefire Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer dogged by drug accusations and trying to squeeze one more season out of your broken-down-shell-of-your-former self?
There’s been lots of debate over the morality of the Lingerie Football League (and the mental well-being of Regina’s general population too – mostly the north-enders I assume) after it was announced the Queen City is getting an LFL expansion team this year. The bad news for those expending energy on both sides of the debate is that it doesn’t matter because the league’s Regina franchise won’t see a second Christmas. And the morality issue is a moot point because it won’t change the fact that most men appreciate an attractive, athletic woman and the team will not succumb to the outcry over a little T&A. Simply put, it will fail (miserably) because it is crappy football in a saturated football market, and no amount of dubious marketing is going to change that.
On the plus side, the Leader-Post’s Rob Vanstone had some beauty name suggestions for future possible LFL teams in this morning’s paper. A few others worth considering, should the league expand further into Saskatchewan: The Raymore Skin, Lampman-Eaters, Love Doves, Porcupine Plain Janes, and the Cucumber House of Ill Repute.
- There’s been a lot of talk lately about the reasons Andy Fantuz “should” stay with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. One of the main arguments seems to be the fact that he can be at the centre of the community here – a local celebrity on par with the Premier or Theresa Sokyrka. (OK, maybe the last one was a bad example.) With all due respect to those who like the “fishbowl” atmosphere of our province (hell, I’m one of them), who’s to say this is something that appeals to Fantuz? Maybe Fantuz DOESN’T want to be a rock star. Maybe Fantuz wants nothing more than to catch for 150 yards and go home to eat a cereal with someone else’s face on the box. Saskatchewan’s a great place but it’s not for everybody, and if Fantuz left on those grounds it would be hard to fault him.
- Khari Jones doesn’t see his move from offensive coordinator in Hamilton to quarterbacks coach in Saskatchewan as a demotion. He sure seems sincere when he says it, and it’s not a stretch to believe him either. Management isn’t for everyone.
- If I were in charge of a local sports team and had a couple ounces of common sense, and my front office person had an affair with the coach and several players, everyone involved would be on the first bus out of town. It’s a no-brainer, right?
- Not Saskatchewan-related, but too deadly to ignore: How about Brendan Gallagher last night? Seven points for the Vancouver Giants in an 8-4 win. Holy shit.