There was a time when the late Bob Hughes, then the sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post, would put a CHAOS-BY-THE-CREEK placeline on columns about the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
An example, from the paper of Oct. 3, 1983, following a 24-23 loss to the visiting Ottawa Rough Riders (ohh for the days of Roughriders and Rough Riders) . . .
“CHAOS-BY-THE-CREEK – On the mourning after the nightmare before, in the frosty dawning of the Sabbath, the masses marvelled quietly over the curious versatility of the team that can’t win for losing.
“The Saskatchewan Roughriders, hunkering down for the stretch run to last place, have proven they can lose indoors as well as outdoors. They have shown us they can lose in good weather as well as bad weather. They have proven they can’t come from behind and Saturday evening displayed they can’t hold a 22-point lead. Versatility, here is thy child. It has, now, officially, spawned a seventh straight season out of the playoffs.”
(BTW, the creek reference was in honour of Wascana Creek, which flows through Regina.)
That brings us to this week and the goings-on with the Roughriders. Here’s a taste from Rob Vanstone, The Leader-Post’s sports columnist . . .
“Cody Fajardo would have legitimately taken a ‘vet day’ earlier this week only in the event that his prized pooch, Sulley, had required a check-up.
“Even if we presume that is not the case, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 2022 season has nonetheless gone to the dogs — the latest forehead-slapper being the sudden demotion of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ most-recognizable player.” (That column is right here.)
ICYMI, Fajardo wasn’t an active participant in Tuesday’s practice, after which head coach Craig Dickenson said that his starting quarterback had been given a “vet” day. On Wednesday, Dickenson admitted that Fajardo no longer was the starter and that backup Mason Fines would be starting Saturday against the visiting Calgary Stampeders.
“After the second day of on-field preparations for the Calgary game,” Vanstone writes, “Dickenson verified what should have been obvious on Tuesday — that Fine has supplanted Fajardo as the starter.
“This just goes to show that the Roughriders, who are mired in a 2-9 tailspin, don’t play games very adeptly even when they aren’t confronted with an opponent.
“But who needs an opponent, really, when the Roughriders are their own worst enemy?”
Chaos by the Creek, it seems, is very much alive.
According to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the CFL, the Grey Cup game — it is to be played in Regina on Nov. 20 — has been sold out since Sept. 28. However, Laura Sciarpelletti of CBC News reports that there are lots of tickets available for resale. Her story is right here.
THE BEDARD REPORT — The Regina Pats, featuring F Connor Bedard, are scheduled to meet the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C., on Nov. 25. It was revealed on Thursday morning that all 5,276 seats in the Langley Events Centre have been sold and that standing room tickets went on sale that morning. . . . Bedard, the favourite to be the No. 1 selection in the NHL’s 2023 draft, is from North Vancouver. Here’s hoping that the Pats don’t trade him before Nov. 25. Just kidding! . . . Meanwhile, Victoria Cougars Hockey Project (@victoriacougars) tweeted that “lots of end zone seats still available” when the Pats visit Victoria on Nov. 26. . . . On Wednesday, Bedard even got a mention from Tony Kornheiser on the ESPN show Pardon The Interruption (PTI). Yes, it had to do with NHL teams possibly tanking for Bedard. . . . On Thursday night, Bedard scored the game’s final goal, at 7:04 of the second period, as the Pats (6-5-1) were beaten, 5-2, by the Warriors in Moose Jaw. After being held pointless in the season-opener, Bedard has at least a point in 11 straight games. He leads the WHL in goals (10), assists (11) and points (21). . . . The Pats’ next game is Sunday against the visiting Warriors. . . .
The Pats scratched F Tanner Howe with an undisclosed injury on Thursday night as they dressed 17 skaters, one under the maximum. Howe scored once in Sunday’s 4-3 shootout loss to the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, and didn’t appear on this week’s WHL roster report. Howe, who won’t turn 17 until Nov. 28, skates in Bedard’s shadow, but he also is something special. He has six goals and nine assists in 11 games. Last season, he finished with 69 points, including 27 goals, in 64 games.
NYET! NYET! — The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating season opens with Skate America beginning tonight (Friday) in Norwood, Mass. The Russians and Belarusians won’t be be there; they were banned after Russia attacked Ukraine and the bans remain in place. Of course, that means Russian Kamila Valieva won’t be there. You will recall that she, then 15, was embroiled in scandal at the Beijing Olympics in February after a drug test she had taken on Christmas Day came back positive for a banned heart medication. You won’t be surprised to learn that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency is continuing to investigate. . . . Stop with the chuckling! . . .
Meanwhile, the World Curling Federation held its annual congress recently and upheld its decision to bar Russia and Belarus from international competition, including the European championships in Oestersund, Sweden, Nov. 19-26. A rink from Hungary will replace Russia in the women’s draw, with Spain sliding into the men’s side. The WCF had punted Russia from the 2022 women’s world championship in Prince George and the men’s event in Las Vegas.
THINKING OUT LOUD — There were three train wrecks — the New York Yankees, Vancouver Canucks and Thursday Night Football — playing on Thursday night and all were available on my TV set. Which one to watch? . . . I chose the Canucks because, well, that train wreck is closest to home. And they fell, 4-3 in OT, to Dean Evason’s Minnesota Wild. When it was over I flipped to the Yankees and the host Houston Astros, who were leading 3-2. Got there just in time to see the top of the ninth. The Yankees ended it with three strikeouts so all was normal there. . . . The Canucks finished their season-opening trek at 0-3-2 — in today’s vernacular they have points in each of their last two games. They will have their home-opener on Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. . . . How frustrated are Canucks’ fans? After veteran Vancouver media personality Don Taylor tweeted that “nothing says a great NHL postgame show like the Grand Slam of Curling” — I think that was a shot at Sportsnet — a fan replied: “It’s nice to see a sport with intensity.” . . . Could be an interesting atmosphere inside Vancouver’s home arena on Saturday.
YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER — From CBC News: Ontario is reporting 109 new COVID-19 deaths over the past seven days — the single highest death count since early May during the sixth wave of the pandemic. The weekly death toll comes from new data released Thursday by the province’s ministry of health, which reported 67 deaths the week before. Not since May 6, when deaths numbered 112 for the week, has the province reported a death toll this high. The province’s weekly data release normally includes seven individual days’ worth of information spanning the number of newly reported COVID cases, hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and deaths. This week’s release is missing three days of data — Oct. 15, 16 and 17.
Headline at The Beaverton (@The Beaverton) — Liz Truss resigns after long, illustrious reign of power spanning two British monarchs.
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