Sometimes there’s so much going on that we just want to cover it all, so on these occasions we will offer up a little ‘Sports Potpourri” for your enjoyment – in this case CFL Grey Cup Edition from Regina.
The Grey Cup matchup between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts is front and centre in terms of the news but right behind it is the future of B.C. Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke.
It’s been the biggest off-the-field storyline of the week and everywhere I and Giulio Caravatta go, we are asked about Rourke and his future.
We had the opportunity to interview Rourke for our Grey Cup coverage that can be found at BCLions.com and I can honestly say it was the most fun we had with him all year long. It’s amazing how much looser Rourke was not having an upcoming game to think about.
A sidebar story to this was the interaction between Rourke and Calgary defensive linemen Shawn Lemon in the hotel lobby after our interview with the Lions signal-caller. Lemon made it a point to introduce himself to Rourke and let him know how much he appreciated his play. Rourke reciprocated, and then in the one degree of separation that is in the world of football, they chatted about their days in the MAC Conference with Rourke and Lemon reminiscing about their time at Ohio and Akron respectively.
It was pretty cool to witness the mutual respect between two great athletes.
Meanwhile, two former Lions appear to be in the mix for the vacant coaching position in Ottawa with the Redblacks.
Current Hamilton defensive coordinator Mark Washington, who played and coached for B.C. from 2008 to 2018, appears to be the frontrunner for the head coaching position.
If Washington does get the job, it appears that he will bring former Montreal head coach Khari Jones with him as the offensive coordinator. Jones was a backup quarterback for the Lions from 1997 through 1999 and enjoyed success as the team’s offensive coordinator from 2014 through 2017.
There’s also a lot of talk that Bo Levi Mitchell will sign with Hamilton after the Tiger-Cats traded for the impending free agent quarterback but don’t book it just yet.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders need a quarterback after Cody Fajardo’s demise and if you’re Mitchell, you would be wise to explore the possibility.
Saskatchewan, and Regina in particular, is a unique market. I remember having a conversation with Hall of Famer Geroy Simon after his time with the Green and White with him explaining to me that you ‘could make a living there’ just with off-field endorsements and sponsorships alone.
There is no doubt that Mitchell realizes that and will do his due diligence in that regard. In the end, it could be the difference between signing in Hamilton and with Saskatchewan.
As for the Grey Cup game itself, there are concerns about the health of Zach Collaros. The Winnipeg quarterback injured his right ankle late in the fourth quarter of the Bombers 28-20 victory over the B.C. Lions in the Western Final and was unable to finish the game. He also missed significant practice time during the week in Regina.
Bombers Head Coach Mike O’Shea says that Collaros will start but the question remains will he be able to finish? If he can’t go, look for Dru Brown to get reps with Dakota Prukop being used in special packages regardless.
Given Collaros status, I’d probably take the Argonauts and the 5 points.
Veteran B.C. sports personality Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich writes twice weekly for Black Press Media. And check out his weekly podcast every Monday at Today in B.C. or your local Black Press Media website.