Thanksgiving Weekend Sports

I will not pretend that I follow Canadian football closely; I do not.  I tune in a game occasionally when other things are less interesting, but I do try to watch the Gray Cup game every year.  It happened yesterday; I recorded it and watched it once the Sunday night game was over.  Congratulations to the Calgary Stampeders as the 2018 CFL champions.  The Stampeders beat the Ottawa Redblacks 27-16.

  • [Aside:  When I started viewing the game, I was confused for the first several minutes.  The team wearing red and black uniforms was not the Redblacks; the team wearing the white uniforms was the Redblacks.  Whatever…]

I have had fun in the past with the name of the Stampeders’ QB, Bo Levi Mitchell.  [When I see his face, then I’m a BoLevier…  Sorry about that.]  After seeing him play a couple of times, I think that NFL teams that are “deficient at the QB position” might want to give this guy a chance.  I do not think he is the next coming of Andrew Luck or anything like that, but I do “bo-lieve” that he can play QB better than some of the guys who hold those positions in the NFL this year.

I know that Calgary is a long way from Florida and maybe that is the reason that no one from any of the 3 NFL franchises in that state have cast their eyes upon Mitchell.  Having identified that geographical region, let me say that Bo Levi Mitchell would improve the “quarterback room” for any and all of those 3 franchises.  Mitchell is 28 years old and played college ball at Eastern Washington – the same small school that produced Cooper Kupp for the NFL.

Speaking obliquely about potential sources of quarterbacking talent for the NFL, the AAF – the Alliance of American Football – will hold a QB Draft tomorrow night.  It will be different from the NFL Draft; so, let me explain.

  • There are 8 teams in the soon to commence AAF.
  • QBs who have signed with the league have been assigned to the teams closest to where they played college football to generate regional interest.  Those QBs now are subject to the AAF Draft.
  • The model is “Protect or Pick”.  A team may designate any of the QBs assigned to it as a “Protected Player”; that would take that QB out of the draft.  It also will serve as the 1st round draft pick for the team opting to “protect” a QB.
  • There will be 4 draft rounds.
  • There are a few interesting names in the upcoming draft including Christian Hackenberg, Josh Johnson, Aaron Murray and Scott Tolzein.

The AAF will commence operations in February 2019 a week after the NFL season ends with the Super Bowl.  It has a TV deal in place with CBS; it has its franchises geographically skewed toward the south and southeastern part of the country where football is most popular.  The eight teams are:

  1. Arizona Hotshots
  2. Atlanta Legends
  3. Birmingham Iron
  4. Memphis Express
  5. Orlando Apollos
  6. Salt Lake City Stallions
  7. San Antonio Commanders
  8. San Diego Fleet

It was a disappointing season for Nebraska football.  Scott Frost returned to coach the team he had led to a national championship about 20 years ago and expectations were high.  The Huskers lost their first 6 games and finished the season at 4-8.  Notwithstanding the failure to return to glory, Brad Dickson – formerly with the Omaha World Herald – came up with several reasons that Nebraska fans should be thankful.  Here are 3 reasons that I particularly liked:

“Husker fans can be thankful that the Memorial Stadium hot dogs are made of the finest ground sandhill crane meat available.”

And …

“Nebraska fans should be thankful that the team isn’t involved in one of those Big Ten rivalry games where the winner gets a trophy that depicts a cow’s snout or a hog’s anus.”

And …

“Nebraska fans can be thankful that the new Tunnel Walk is 12 million times better than the highlight of our 150th birthday celebration which consisted of Gov. Pete Ricketts waving a sparkler from atop a hay wagon while screaming ‘Kansas blows!’ in 23 languages.”

Before you ask, I did not cough up any legal tender to watch the concocted golf match over the weekend nor did I go and find out who won what in that competition.  The only reason that a golf tournament borders on watchable on TV is because there are cameras at every hole and one can bounce from place to place to see golfers attempting to put the ball in the hole for most of the time you are staring at the screen.  With only 2 players to follow, the round of golf could take about 4 hours with a total of 10 minutes of “action”.  That is not entertaining; that is not compelling TV.

Finally, here is Brad Dickson once again with an observation about Nebraska Coach, Scott Frost and his family:

“Things I think about when I’m cold: if Scott Frost has a sister and she married former Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze she’d be Susie Frost-Freeze.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



3 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Weekend Sports”

  1. Just a small correction Curmudge — it’s the Grey Cup, originally donated in 1909 by Earl Grey, (Governor General of Canada) for the amateur rugby football championship of Canada.

    And as to QBs in the CFL, there have been (and will be) a number who could probably play in the NFL but are ignored because they’re from smaller colleges, are supposedly too small in stature, etc., etc. Some do go to the NFL, like Doug Flutie and Warren Moon. Moon, by the way, had by far the strongest arm I’ve ever seen in the NFL or CFL.

    1. Bones:

      Thanks for the correction. Curiosity question, is that the same Earl Grey for whom the tea is named?

      You obviously see more CFL games than I do so I presume you have seen Bo Levi Mitchell more often than I. Do you think he has a shot as an NFL QB? Starter or backup?

      1. I think the Earl Grey in the tea was a British politician predating this Earl Grey by some time, but I stand to be corrected on that.

        As to Mitchell, he probably could play in the NFL. As a starter or a backup I really couldn’t say, although when you consider a QB like Blake Bortles, Bo could definitely be a starter. 🙂

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