Monday, August 31, 2015


Corey Chamblin is the perfect example on fans exaggerating greatness when it comes to players and coaches who win championships.

Chamblin won a Grey Cup in 2013 as the head coach of a team that, frankly, had they NOT won a Grey Cup would have gone down as one of the bigger failures in CFL history.

His overall body of work as Saskatchewan Roughrider coach is one that says he isn't a good coach.  The Grey Cup should be disregarded.

I've thought a lot about this in recent weeks.

Mad Dog Sports Radio had a debate about Philip Rivers and Eli Manning.  Two quarterbacks drafted and then traded for each other in 2004.  The consensus is that Manning has two Super Bowl rings, so he's a much better player.  Yet, I'd argue that if Rivers was plopped into the same environment Manning had, he'd also have those same two Super Bowl rings.  And, remember that Manning needed two miracle catches in both of those games in order to win.  Manning wanted nothing to do with the San Diego environment at the time of his being drafted and was moved in exchange for Rivers.  I'm not saying Manning isn't a good quarterback.  He is.  But, I think Rivers has been dealt a bad hand in San Diego but has made the best of it.

You could make a similar comparison when it comes to Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck.  Wilson has a Super Bowl and Luck doesn't.  But, if you were starting a team today would you pick Wilson over Luck?  Some of you might because of the ring, but if Luck is in Seattle he has a ring too.  It's environment.

I think when you compare players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, the rings are a very good indicator on who's better.  But, it's not as cut and dry as 'Well he won a Super Bowl, so he's a better player.'

Is Corey Chamblin a better coach than Scott Milanovich?  Go ahead and make that case.


I was going to write a post about why Corey Chamblin should be fired; but everybody knows why.

What I'm going to write about today is that if I was Roughrider brass, I'd be investigating with a lawyer as to whether or not there is just cause for his dismissal and, therefore, you don't have to pay him.

I am not willing to suggest Chamblin is as stupid as what the entire country saw yesterday.  He has to be doing this on purpose.  He is, surely, orchestrating his own release.  A release that, so far, isn't forthcoming from Roughrider headquarters.  That, in itself, is as disappointing as watching Chamblin on the sidelines yesterday.

The evidence to remove Chamblin has been overwhelming for quite some time; but I was in the camp to keep him until the end of the year.  However, he's now doing damage to what could be an integral part of this team's long term future and the people who make decisions above Chamblin can't sit back and allow the destruction to continue.  This team has no hope.  No direction and no future under Chamblin.  Do you think any decent free agent is going to sign here in the offseason?  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Weston Dressler demanded a trade by Wednesday.

My philosophy is that coaching is overrated in times of success and times of failure, but when you look at the points differential and how the Riders have lost their nine games; you could make a very good case that this is a 4-and-5 team and not an 0-and-9 one.  And, that's without number one quarterback Darian Durant.  When you look at where the Roughriders need to be better, just about everything falls at the feet of the coach.  The coach who has eliminated an entire support staff from his 2013 Grey Cup squad.  I think Chamblin, for as brash as he comes across, was always fearful of losing his job to someone under his watch who was smarter than he was so he, simply, had them removed and now he has a coaching staff that is plentiful in numbers but not in capabilities to assume a lead role in the event of his dismissal.  To this, I say, anyone is better than Chamblin.  Let Jacques Chapdelaine do it.  Heck, anyone.  Anyone who isn't, purposely, sabotaging this team.

In the offseason, conduct an exhaustive search for a replacement and get it right.  Give the new person a three year contract and if that person can't do the job, clean out the entire Roughrider head office.  If you can't hire a competent head coach with the resources this team has, then you have no business making decisions in professional football.

There are those that say because Chamblin has a Grey Cup, he deserves some benefit of the doubt.  I say he does not.  He had a powerhouse team in 2013 and was surrounded by an all-star staff of assistant coaches.  Yet, he still almost blew that.  There were stories of discontent and dressing room turmoil that didn't really hit mainstream media because a lot of the Regina folks were cuddly with their favorite team.  Last year, there was the infamous off field incidents with Taj Smith and Dwight Anderson, not to mention a team that was 8-and-2 but by all accounts, not playing that well.  Durant's exceptional ability was bailing them out late in games.  Once Durant went down, the world crumbled.
I think now that we have Chamblin's full body of work, and even in  year one they went through an extended losing streak; it's reasonable to draw the conclusion that he has never been a good head coach; but rather the product of having a tremendous support staff with a stand out quarterback.  No, he doesn't have either of those things and the proof is in the pudding.

So far today, the Roughriders have opted to not even comment on the status of Chamblin.  To me, this is a sign of complicity and incompetence.  But, I'll reserve any further opinion for now in the hopes that i'm wrong.  

To me, what I saw yesterday was similar to being a supervisor at Walmart and watching the employee dip into the til and steal some money several times and decide at the end of that worker's shift to do absolutely nothing about it.

I know it would be nice to have a plan in place for a replacement, but this is an emergency.  Chamblin should be shown the door.  Figure the rest out later.  It couldn't be any worse.

Friday, August 14, 2015


The Saskatchewan Roughriders are so bad, they have the CFL’s top offense through seven weeks and still haven’t won a single game.  This, despite, their head coach turfing the defensive coordinator at the end of last season because he wanted a better unit and also wanted to run it himself.  It’s a mighty big plate of crow that will need to be consumed at the end of the year.

I’ve watched a lot of junior hockey players come through Yorkton in my fifteen years of living in this city, but two of my favorites have to be Dustin and Chad Nehring.  Dustin, to me, never was fully credited with how great a Junior ‘A’ defenseman he really was.  In his 20-year-old season, he missed about fifteen games and Yorkton’s record was around .500 when he didn’t play.  When he did play, they seldom lost.  They won a championship, actually.  To this day, I consider him the best shot blocker the Terriers have had since 2000.  He was also tough as nails and contributed better than a point per game as a defenseman.  You don’t see many of those types.  And, if I had my pick of any 20-year-old defenseman that the Terriers have had, I’d start my team with him in a heartbeat and that’s with all due respect to the Norrish twins, Devon McMullen, and Perry Faul.  Dustin was that good.  Chad is one of the most focused kids I’ve ever seen.  I remember sitting down with him in his final year here and he was very determined to pursue an NCAA scholarship and was keen on learning what more he could do in order to make it happen.  Well, he not only made it happen but he’s carved out a nice pro career to boot and will try out next month with the New York Rangers.  Chad’s 28-years-old.  NHL tryouts don’t get handed out for fun to 28-year-olds.  He’s not a kid anymore, but I still look at him as one and I couldn’t be more in his corner as he pursues his childhood dream.  Chad, by the way, has been a great mentor for younger guys like Davis Vandane and Turner Ottenbreit.  Davis will tryout with Chad’s pro team from last year (Hartford Wolfpack), while Turner returns to the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.  I can’t help but wonder if Chad had that same mentor when he was 18 if he wouldn’t already be in the NHL.  I wish him all the best.  Dustin, as many know, runs a very successful construction business in Yorkton and is a steady contributor to the local economy, especially through the football ventures at Century Field.  I’m proud of both of those guys.

The NHLPA has filed a grievance over the Los Angeles Kings’ handling of the Mike Richards situation.  Richards was stopped at the border and is being investigated on possible drug offenses, but absolutely no charges have been laid and it’s been a few months since the incident occurred.  The Kings, who were looking for an out of his undeserved large contract, used a loophole in the collective bargaining agreement to terminate the contract because of the off-ice incident.  They have hid behind the fact they are a team that demands high morals of its players.  Well, if that was true, defenseman Slava Voynov would have been sent packing long ago.  Voynov was charged over a year ago with assaulting his wife.  Actual charges.  The league (not team) suspended him and then the Kings proclaimed it would be best to wait out the legal process before making a decision.  Voynov pled guilty to some of the charges and Los Angeles now says that since he’s done his time, he deserves a second chance. 

Here’s the problem with ‘let the legal system play out’ defense with teams and players.  Ray Rice was never found guilty of anything.  Legally, didn’t commit a domestic assault.  Yet, we all saw the video.  He’s not guilty, yet he sits without a team willing to give him a second chance.

The federal election campaign, so far, hasn’t focused on any issue.  Instead, it’s on Justin Trudeau’s sex appeal and Thomas Mulcair’s ability to be a jovial soul.  The NDP are trying hard.  They’ve changed Thomas’ name to Tom.  I’ve gone one step further and will refer to him as Tommy.  They also have him laughing and smiling more in public.  I guess that makes people vote for you and you don’t even have to talk about your platform.  Trudeau was seen, over the weekend, patting a pregnant woman’s tummy.  How sweet. You can bet if Stephen Harper did that, he’d be branded a creep.  That, my friends, is what we call a double standard.

Speaking of double standards, pretend a male television announcer is conducting a report from a lively music festival and an attractive, scantily clad, woman runs up to him and kisses him on the cheek while on live television.  What would our reaction be?  Most of us would laugh and tell jokes about it and say ‘how lucky’ that reporter is.  Well, this very thing happened to a female reporter as an attractive male did what I just described.  The reporter filed an RCMP complaint and the majority of the general public was outraged.  The man has since apologized and it looks like cooler heads will prevail. 

Nice people this week:  Sherry Popov, Karlie Shewchuk, Amber Merriman, Brenda Kulpa, and Jill Datema.