May 29, 2017

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 19 comments

How are we not talking about the start of the CFL preseason in just eight days?

posted by rcade at 06:15 PM on May 29

The NHL playoffs are still going. When that's done, Canadians will notice the CFL again.

posted by grum@work at 07:26 PM on May 29

I worry that the CFL really ought to add a 10th team to balance out the schedule. A nine team league makes me uncomfortable. Could Quebec City support a team?

Don't know if anyone noticed that Montreal released Bear Woods on the same day that Tiger Woods got booked in on a DUI. Just a bad day all around for forest creatures.

posted by beaverboard at 09:38 PM on May 29

I'm not a doctor or a pharmacologist or a scientician of any stripe, but Tiger looks high as hell on opioids in his latest mugshot. Makes sense given the string of back surgeries he's gone through over the past few years. To hell with golf for the time being, here's hoping he gets the help he obviously needs.

posted by NoMich at 09:42 PM on May 29

By the way, his public statement about the incident is a textbook example of how it should be done:

"I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions," Woods said. "I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly," he said.

"I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again. I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office for their professionalism."

Admit the mistake, accept the blame/punishment and apologize. Praising the authorities for their part in the matter is just icing on the cake. It's almost impossible to find fault with that statement.

posted by grum@work at 10:56 PM on May 29

Did Bryce Harper intend to throw his helmet at the pitcher in this old-fashioned basebrawl? The announcer presumes otherwise and says he intended to throw it sideways. I think the helmet slipped out of his hand by accident.

posted by rcade at 10:56 PM on May 29

I'm almost sure he wanted to throw the helmet at the pitcher, but it slipped. The rule is grip the brim for underhand toss, grip the main part for an overhand toss. He made the mistake of using an underhand grip for an overhand toss.

posted by grum@work at 09:46 AM on May 30

By the way, the best part of that brawl was how little Buster Posey (SF catcher) cared about trying to stop Harper from getting to Strickland. He didn't make a move to intervene or interfere until Harper had already thrown a punch.

In the full video of the at-bat, you can see Strickland shake off EVERY signal from Posey before throwing the bean ball. Posey knew what was coming, but probably didn't want it to happen.

I think the fact that Strickland decided to throw at Harper because of home runs he hit THREE YEARS AGO bothered Posey (since he'd be the prime retaliation target for the Nationals), so he basically said "fuck it, you're on your own" to Strickland when Harper charged.

posted by grum@work at 09:53 AM on May 30

I think that helmet slip saved Harper from a seriously long suspension.

posted by rcade at 10:26 AM on May 30

I worry that the CFL really ought to add a 10th team to balance out the schedule.

Put a team in a U.S. city close to Canada, like Rochester, or make another attempt at the Atlantic Schooners.

posted by rcade at 10:31 AM on May 30

Put a team in a U.S. city close to Canada

Put it in Detroit, so we can FINALLY have a pro football team...

posted by MeatSaber at 03:59 PM on May 30

I think that helmet slip saved Harper from a seriously long suspension.

I doubt it. Even if he hit him, you'd never be able to prove intent.

posted by tron7 at 05:16 PM on May 30

The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg isn't letting Bryce Harper off the hook for his role in the leadup to last night's shenanigans.

posted by bender at 06:35 PM on May 30

I worry that the CFL really ought to add a 10th team to balance out the schedule. A nine team league makes me uncomfortable. Could Quebec City support a team?

QC would sellout a NHL franchise and have a waiting list of 8K or more like most other Canadian cities.

CFL? I'm not sure.

Montreal, also in Quebec, is predominantly a hockey town yet also has strong support for the CFL. As do other cities having both including Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Ottawa .. although Ottawa's hockey support isn't as strong as other cities. The Toronto CFL franchise is in the largest market yet gets the least fan support and is ultimately entirely supported by league TV revenue.

I'd guess the CFL is closer to being 8 teams than 10. If it did look to Canadian expansion a maritime city (Halifax) may get the first opportunity as there is strong support for Canadian College football there.

Previous US expansion didn't work well. Baltimore had their act together but the rest were all poorly run. As well the US / Canadian ratio discrepancies gave US teams a distinct advantage diluting the competition.

Geography is also at play. There are US markets in the South that could easily support CFL football. Unfortunately most Northern large market football cities already have NFL teams and College teams.

Michigan? Maybe. As a fan there CFL would be my 3rd choice behind Michigan and Michigan State.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:53 PM on May 30

Mandate changing the pronunciation of St. Louis back to the French original, and declare it a proxy city of Quebec. Place a CFL team there, (The Explorers?) which would play its games at the renamed North American Center Dome.

If the team was good, they could hold their training sessions in Florissant. If they were bad, they could train in Creve Coeur.

Don't think a CFL team would get too much competition for regional attention from the Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, or Illinois college teams. Maybe from the KC Chiefs or the Bengals. Definitely not from the Chi Bears.

posted by beaverboard at 08:02 AM on May 31

I vote for giving Duluth, MN a team.

posted by NoMich at 09:51 AM on May 31

Duluth would be a great location.

Fans from both Winnipeg and Saskatchewan travel every year for games at their opponent's location, about a 6 hour drive. Could almost bank on the same happening with a Duluth franchise as it is a similar distance. Although crowds are not as large as the NFL the traveling contingents are usually 800 to 3000 fans and have a decent impact on the local tourism economy, especially during the summer months when most every other tourist is more drawn to the lakes and beaches close to Winnipeg.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:59 AM on May 31

Although, if you're going to grant a franchise to Duluth, you may as well give it to Thunder Bay since they are in Canada. Has Thunder Bay ever had a CFL team?

posted by NoMich at 12:58 PM on May 31

TBay has never had a CFL team and actually no major professional team in any sport. Nice there, loads of outdoor activities. Great support for high school and minor sports. It does kind of have a Duluth vibe to it, maybe that is just because of it's terrain and proximity to big water.

My opinion about Duluth stems from a trip quite a few years back. While doing the tourist thingy I noticed a few hundred people waiting outside an old baseball field early in the afternoon. When I asked someone what was up they mentioned the Dukes were playing that night, and tickets were all rush seating. Grabbed some tickets quickly and saw the game. Great fans and atmosphere.

CFL football is typically viable in any market that can have a sustained attendance of 25,000. The highest paid players make salaries that some NFL practice roster guys pull in. It should be easy to make it work. I think the problem is that good business people have no interest in owing franchises because of the limited returns and future potential. Nobody is interested in getting involved in a sport franchise that doesn't yield $150 per ticket average anymore.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:39 AM on June 01

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