Well, this going to one mailbag a weekend has made for a very lengthy one; hope you can get through it all because there’s some good stuff in here.
Q: Hi Doug
Pretty sure you’ve covered this before (many times!) but looking at current standings where Raps divisions teams are ALL below 500 makes me wonder if it’s possible for a division-leading team at the end of the season NOT to be included in first round playoffs (ie only TOP 8 teams make the play offs)
BB Barry, Sarasota
A: You would think that might make some sense on the rare occasion it would happen – and it hasn’t yet – but, no, division winners are guaranteed no worse than a fourth seed, regardless of record.
What they aren’t guaranteed, however, is home court advantage in the first round. If, for instance, the fifth place team has better record than the fourth, it has the advantage in the first, same for sixth and third and even seventh and second.
Q: Hello Mighty Guy
Will the HOTHC have to have a team meal at somebody’s house for every road game? Do they claim their full per diem?
Since the IGBT has some recipes every now and then, perhaps a “culinary corner” should be assigned?
Any chance Gay becomes the second coming of Magic? Will he revert to hero ball in crunch time? Why don’t players revel in great passing stats?
Could we get somebody in the Prime Minister’s Office to forward a cheque, in order for the boys to play in the World Championships? They don’t have to let the PM know all the details.
Check out Dylan’s re- release of Like a Rolling Stone!
A: Hell, yeah. Full per diem all around, even on the days when there’s food before shootaround at lunch and post-game on the plane. Not giving up the $106 by any teams.
Crunch time? Rudy is Rudy.
Better than the PMO, why don’t we get some Senators to pay and file it as living expenses? Works for me.
Q: Hello Doug
I have been following your blog for over a year now and read you every day. My question is about rebounding statistics. In these days of advanced analytics is there a statistic which records contested vs uncontested rebounds? I mention this as I see people commenting on various players rebounding numbers or lack thereof. A good example of this would be peoples dissatisfaction with AB's rebounding numbers in the past. When you watch the game 5-7 times (minimum) per game a shot goes up from the opposing team but they don't even try to rebound the miss and the rebound gets pulled down by the designated inbound guy usually Aaron Gray who is standing beside AB in those situations padding his numbers to AB's detriment. So AB might finish with 5 boards but if he was the guy designated to gather the uncontested miss he might have 10 or more and satisfy the number watchers. I don't believe there is a traditional statistic which measures this but perhaps it exists in the analytics netherworld?
PS: Have you tried Mill Street Organic beer in your travels and if yes what did you think of it? It became my go to brew this past summer where available.
A: Oh, I’m sure somewhere there is a breakdown of “uncontested” rebounds but I wouldn’t know where to look. And aside from the scenario you paint, I’ve always wondered how many of the top rebounders get how many boards in a game off missed free throws by the other team, which are among the easiest rebounds to get in the game.
And, yes, I have had a Mill Street Organic or six, a friend pointed it out while we were sharing stools in different locales one day and I quite enjoyed it.
Q: Good Afternoon Doug,
Well done on the perfect Grey Cup party. Knowing your penchant for rules and remembering that you once remarked that you could not understand people who sit on a stool to watch a game and yell/talk back to the TV made me ponder this:
What are the rules for being the perfect guest at CasaDoug for the big game?
What is the appropriate attire - casual, cruise wear, semi-formal? How much cheering/yelling is allowed? What is the right balance between game watching, mingling and lively banter with the host / other party guests? Is it serve yourself, help yourself, always make sure the host and other guests are well watered first? Toilet seats left up, toilet paper spooling over the top of the roll? What should a guest bring as host gift? And how long after the game ends should one stay before the night is over?
David W. in Oakville
A: Oh, we’re way informal at Casa Doug, could be running short and t-shirts, cardigans and tank tops, suits and ties; whatever you feel comfortable in. And if you have a strong abiding interest in one of the teams, a jersey is okay and you can cheer since you’re among friends. It’s the people stools down you’ve never seen before who disrupt things that get to me.
Total serve yourself liquids, I’ll show you the coolers out the back door and the fridge and will always ask who wants one when I’m going but that’s about it.
Toilet seat down – I’ve been well trained – and the paper has to spool from the bottom. Sorry, that’s non-negotiable.
Now, I don’t need gifts so can’t possibly answer that and if it’s a couple of hours after the others leave and you want to hang in the kitchen or a hallway for a while having fun, that’s fine with me. Everyone will just know when it’s time to go.
Q: Hi Doug!
Nice party planning you did there. Great food and drink ideas. But you forgot the decorations! I think you should limit your décor to the colours of the two teams playing, don't you? So, black and gold and (if I must) some green will be the decorating and accessory colours.
And I like to have something on the TV when the guests arrive that whets the appetite for the big event to follow...say, "Rudy" or "The Waterboy" for the casual fans in the front room and kitchen TV's. But downstairs where the hardcore fans settle in, a video of a former great Grey Cup victory. Say, the 1967 match that saw the TiCats defeat Saskatchewan 24-1. Or the wonderful 1972 game when Hamilton beat Saskatchewan 13-10. (Sensing a trend here? Yes, I'm a Tiger Cats supporter.) But maybe this one would be best: the 1989 one that saw Saskatchewan emerge victorious over Hamilton 43-40. That'll get us going! 'Cause revenge is a dish best served cold.
So speaking of cold, and here is the question - after having watched our previously undefeated Western Mustangs lose in unfamiliar frigid temperatures and icy winds to the Calgary Dino's in this year's Mitchell Bowl - there were stories of TiCat players suffering frostbite during practice sessions in Regina this week. Now, I know the weather's a cool (and sometimes freaking freezing!) part of watching and playing in the CFL, but don't you think championship games should be played indoors?
Don't mind the weather playing some part in regular season games (see: Alumni Stadium, Guelph - biblical rainstorms during the summer of 2013 whenever the TiCats played there) but shouldn't the game that determines a league champion take place in a more controlled climate? Thank you. Oskee-Wee-Wee!!!
Lorie P, London
A: I have no problem with inclement weather and with something as nationally significant as the Grey Cup, it has to be moved around; leaving it solely in the dome makes no sense to me.
I understand that weather may play a factor in the result but isn’t the team that handles conditions on any specific day the best team on that day? And isn’t that how the outcome should be decided, by the best team playing through things?
Plus, it’s a far better story if there are outside influences that have an impact.
Q: Dear Doug,
Because Luddites need to know: What is this "new host" thingy you keep referring to? It doesn't have anything to do with parasites or aliens, does it? And why do you need this "new host" now? Has your "old host" asked you to move on or threatened to raise your rent? Maybe even more important for your Irregulars (because after all it's all about the Irregulars, is it not?), what exactly does this "new host" hold in store for us?
Is this a good year for Masai to pooh-pooh thoughts of a 7 or 8 slot in the playoffs and pull the trigger on a key trade or two to shoot for the 5 hole? I think we'd all probably agree that finishing 9th or 10th would be catastrophic.
Thanks for the great blog. You're the host with the most!
A: All we’re doing is moving from Typepad, the site that housed the blog for years, to CQ5 or somesuch, which is ours and a way for us to have a more accurate assessment of readers and the like. It might look at tad different and there are some coding and typing issues I have to figure out but it won’t be any different for you.
Now, for Masai? We don’t know how the next six or eight weeks are going to play out but I know he’ll make moves to get better quickly if he can but – and this might be significant – I don’t think he’ll be interested in taking on a lot of long-term salary in any deal and that might have an impact.