Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Taking The High Road

Well the results are in and for the second year in a row I have been snubbed in the Canadian Blog Awards and will have to settle for a participant ribbon. Now I could sit here and throw a DeAngeles-style hissy-fit and whine about how I should clearly be the winner based on my sheer blogging superiority as well as all the records I’ve broken this year… but I won’t stoop to that childish level. I don’t need a silly award to know that I’m a fantastic blogger. So rather than crying like a little girl about not winning an award, I am going to take much more mature approach… and create my own awards out of spite.

The 2nd Annual Rider Prophet Awards will be handed out on Thursday. Find out whether Marcel Bellefeuille can repeat as my Most Insulted Sports Figure and who you chose as the Fan’s Choice Douche Bag of the Year. All this and many more arbitrarily contrived awards are just days away.

Now onto some CFL news…

The big news in the days following the Grey Cup has been coaching. Do you realize that when the 2009 season starts, Wally Buono will be the only head coach left from the 2007 season? That’s right, in just 2 short seasons, 7 of the league’s 8 teams have changed head coaches. Last year, Saskatchewan, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto changed head coaches. During the season Hamilton and Toronto changed head coaches. And in the coming weeks Winnipeg, Edmonton and, you guessed it, Toronto will be looking for new head coaches.

Winnipeg’s vacancy is a result of Doug Berry getting unceremoniously axed… becoming the first coach I know to sign a contract extension and then manage to be fired before it could be publicly announced. It takes a special level of incompetence to manage that. Mike Kelly (the Eskimos receivers coach) has been chosen as Berry’s replacement and may even take over control of roster moves from Brendan Taman. This can only be seen as good news for Bomber fans and bad news for any GM looking to acquire Winnipeg’s first round pick in 2010.

Toronto is just a mess plain and simple. Whoever they name as coach will become the 4th head coach they’ve had in just over a year. Their problem is their philosophy with regards to recruitment. For years, the Argos have felt they need to acquire only high-profile big name players to impress their Toronto fan base rather than build a solid talent base. This has led to such impressive acquisitions as David Boston, Bethel Johnson, Ricky Williams, Mike Vanderjerk and the list goes on and on. That’s why I’m guessing that they will pass on quality candidates such as Richie Hall and Mike Benevides in favour of another NFL name: Jim Fassel… that is if Fassel is even interested. Word is he’s also being considered for the soon to be vacant Oakland Raiders job. Man what a terrible spot Fassel is in. I mean when you’re only options are Oakland and the Argos you know you’ve just about hit rock bottom. Actually hitting rock bottom I guess would mean your options are the Detroit Lions and Hamilton Ti-Cats.

In Edmonton, their head coaching spot is vacant because Danny Maciocia has stepped down in order to concentrate exclusively on his duties as GM. I for one will miss Maciocia and his comical face contortions on the sideline. I will also miss his blatant disregard for running the ball. No firm word yet on who will be named as his successor though some names being tossed around include Chris Jones, Greg Marshall, Benevides, Noel Thorpe, Doug Berry and our own Richie Hall (Richie, Please don’t leave us for Maciocia - that’s like the highest level of insult possible).

As a Rider fan I don’t like any of these moves. I was quite content to let these 3 teams falter along with incompetent coaches and the fact that they might actually be improving is somewhat concerning. The good news is Toronto is still a mess, Maciocia will still be heavily involved in holding the Esks back and Winnipeg… is… well Winnipeg and they don’t concern me all that much.

One final bit of news for you, Noel Prefontaine, Kamau Peterson, Mike Labinjo and Belton Johnson have all re-signed with their respective teams. I’ll do my best to keep you informed of other signings as the offseason progresses.

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