Tag Archives: Huskies

100 Ideas to Improve Saskatoon: 5. Give up on Gordie Howe Bowl

Gordie Howe Bowl is a terrible stadium and it will be even after the renovations.  I know its home to the Saskatoon Hilltops, the 834 time Canadian Junior Football champions but that doesn’t mean it’s a decent stadium.

Gordie Howe Bowl

The stands are a long ways away from the playing field and the seats are sloped well back.  It’s more a saucer than it is a bowl which means that the stadium is quiet, even with a crowd full of cow bells and air horns.

The concessions are terrible which makes a bad game day experience worse., even if watching the Saskatoon Hilltops is always worth your time and money.  For high school football, the size is too large even for frosh week or rivalry games.  Even when attendance is goodl, half of the stadium is empty.

Proponents of Howe Bowl point out that the improvements (larger dressing rooms that no one uses), concessions, and field turf will make the game better.  Field turf has shredded (63%) more knees (players hate it) and caused more concussions than decent grass ever has.  The medical evidence for keeping players on natural grass is significant, especially since most high school seasons are done before the extreme cold hits (I know there are exceptions, I have played in them).  By upgrading Howe Bowl and making it cheaper to maintain (our city’s m.o.) we are making it less safe for high school athletes.

The solution is to stop the fundraising for the stadium and move the Hilltops to Griffiths Stadium.  As for high school football, construct metal stands on each high school field like they do in almost every other city in North America and have them play there.  Most high school fields are in good shape and the addition of some bleachers means that home field would really mean something.

As for the Hilltops, it isn’t as if this is a big move as the Hilltops play late season games at Griffiths each season after the high school teams have destroyed the turf at the Bowl.  Canadian championships have been won at Griffiths Stadium.  It has history for both the Huskies and Hilltops not to mention city high school games and even the Charity Bowl.

Gordie Howe Bowl has a lot of tradition but there is no need to have a separate field for both the Huskies and Hilltops.  The field is out of date and the upgrades will make it dangerous for players.  It was a poorly conceived idea from the start.

Plus, this commercial makes a lot more sense when a high school actually has a “home field”.

The Weekend In Sports

First the positives:

The negatives

  • Sure it is good to see the Houston Texans get an offense but boy do the Pittsburgh Steelers look old.  It’s early and you don’t want to count the Steelers out but I can’t help but wonder if there won’t be a drastically different looking Steelers roster for next season.
  • Let’s not talk about what happened in Green Bay.  Denver is not a very talented team yet.  Shanahan’s last couple of drafts were horrible and the only decent player that McDaniel’s brought in was Eric Decker.  It’s going to be a while until they are back on top.
  • What can you say about the Saskatchewan Roughriders other than they are not a very good team.  Grandpa coming back gave them a spark but I have been saying since last season that just because Ken Miller was a good assistant coach, it doesn’t make him a good personnel man.  That and I have been terrified of Brendan Taman running the team ever since they brought him in.  Look at what he did to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and how long it took them to recover.
  • Dear Buffalo Bills.  You lost to the Cincinnati Bengals.  Really?  Rookie QB, lame duck coach, apathetic fans and you still lost to them.  You should be ashamed.

University of Saskatchewan Huskies vs. the UBC Thunderbirds

University of Saskatchewan Huskies logoThe Huskies are hosting the UBC Thunderbirds this Friday at Griffiths Stadium.  Unless the weather is beyond horrible, I will be attending with Mark and my brother.  Let me know if you want to join us.

Despite being a big football fan and a fan of the Huskies since I was a kid, I think this is only my second game ever at Griffiths Stadium. 

It’s a nice way to kick off the Thanksgiving Weekend.  After we take in the game, we plan to head to Arlington Beach for a quiet weekend at the cabin.  Of course it is kind of a sad trip because unless we get some really warm late October weather, it will be our last trip up for the year.

Contextless Football Thoughts

I was up at the lake this weekend and the little bit of football news I got was through Twitter.  It’s always nerve wracking to come home and wonder if your team or teams won.

Okay, let’s just admit that Notre Dame will probably be 10-2 heading into a BCS bowl game and we still won’t know very much about them.  Their schedule is really, really soft and they still can barely beat teams.  Yeah they beat Purdue but we know Purdue isn’t that great.  They beat Michigan State which is nice but Michigan State lost to a directional Michigan team and won’t be contending for the Big-Ten title this year.  We really don’t know much more about Notre Dame than we did before. 

The Saskatchewan Roughriders won ugly but it’s a win and they move to the top of the Western Conference standings with a win over the Edmonton Eskimos.  What was amazing about this game was the attendance in Edmonton, over 62,000 people in Commonwealth Stadium.

The University of Alberta Golden Bears stunned a ranked team for the second week in a row with a 27-7 victory Friday night over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night in Edmonton’s Foote Field.  I can’t say the loss was unexpected.  The Huskies were 2-0 heading in to the game but hadn’t played well at all.

The University of Miami Hurricanes Growing up, I hated the University of Miami Hurricanes, they represented everything that was bad about college football and on top of that, they gave the world Vinny Testaverde and no college should ever be forgiven for that.  Over the last couple of years I have warmed to the Hurricane’s and this year I had switched my allegiance from the Florida State Seminoles to the Hurricanes.  In that context, I was saddened to see them get blown out by Virginia Tech today.

Of course the good news today is that Denver is now 3-0 with Mr. Neckbeard having a QB rating of 92.1 while JaMarcus Russell’s problems continued with a QB rating of 22.6.  I have heard the stories for a couple of years about his work ethic and if they are true, this is just a case of defenses learning more about him than he knows about them which is not a recipe for success in the NFL.  While there is no doubt in my mind that Denver will not make the playoffs this year and will finish somewhere around 7-9, it’s nice to get the season started and stop hearing about Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall everyday.  It’s also nice to see that this Josh McDaniel kid can really coach. 

medium_Brady-quinn While I don’t really like Mangenius as a coach, I am fan of Brady Quinn but he looked horrible against the Baltimore Ravens defense today.  Then again, Derek Anderson didn’t look that great either.  That being said, I have a feeling that Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in their prime would have struggled against this defense.  Quinn went 6 for 8 for 34 yards and an interception. Anderson, who lost his starting job to Quinn last year, was 11 for 19 for 92 yards and three interceptions.

Contextless Football Thoughts

University of Saskatchewan Huskies Well the University of Saskatchewan Huskies beat our illiterate arch rivals from the University of Regina Rams in a close game at Griffiths Stadium.  Congratulations to the University of Regina for making it close.  Someone just needs to help them understand the score.  While the U of S is 2-0 this year, they don’t look that great.  I hate to jump off the bandwagon already but I can’t see this year’s team going to the Vanier Cup. 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish helmet It wasn’t good news at the Big House as Notre Dame squandered a late lead against the University of Michigan Wolverines.  What was Mr. Decided Schematic Advantage thinking in calling for long passes when all they needed was some first downs.   The defense melted down by yielding 431 yards to a Wolverines offense led by a true freshman quarterback.  While there doesn’t look like much heavy lifting is left on the schedule, how will this loss impact the Irish’s psyche?  It wasn’t just the defense,  Weis play calling was absolutely horrible during that game and now he finds himself on the hot seat in South Bend.  I really can’t see Charlie Weis surviving the season in Notre Dame unless he finishes 11-2 or better and I could seriously seeing Michigan State beating Notre Dame in South Bend next week.  It gets worse for Notre Dame.  The bad news continues for Notre Dame is that they get play USC late in the season and by that time, Matt Barkley should be even better.  If Charlie Weis is still Notre Dame’s coach at that time, he can’t be looking forward to that. 

Ohio State Buckeyes If you are a Ohio State University, you need to accept that if you could not beat USC this year, it’s never ever going to happen as long as Pete Carroll is coach at the University of Southern California.  I don’t buy the idea that the Big Ten is an inferior conference (although Michigan State’s loss to directional Michigan looks bad) but the issue is that USC may be superior year in and year out to almost every other school in the nation and is one of the three or four elite programs in the country (Florida and Oklahoma being the other two with Alabama and LSU getting close)

Denver Broncos Well it took Josh McDaniels seven months to get a break and he finally did.  When all seemed lost for the Denver Broncos, Brandon Stokley caught a tipped pass from Kyle Orton and ran 87 yards with 11 seconds left in the game Sunday.  Not only was it a great catch and run, it was a smart play.  As he raced down the left sideline, he saw that his pursuers had given up, so he started running across the field, parallel to the goal line, just before the end zone. Then, as Cincinnati defenders realized what he was doing, he strolled in for the score. He was able to kill seconds off the clock in the Broncos’ 12-7 victory.

Banjo Bowl It’s the Banjo Bowl today.  Despite what you have heard, the Labour Day Classic is not the Banjo Bowl, the rematch is.  The weird thing was that I reading all sorts of media reports calling last week’s game the Banjo Bowl… great job of fact checking there.  Saskatchewan won pretty easily 52-10 and the game wasn’t really in doubt.  In the end Saskatchewan got excellent quarterback play from Darian Durant while Michael Bishop played his usual mistake filled game and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers turned the ball over eight times and the offense looked like it had given up all hope.  While I really like seeing Saskatchewan beat Winnipeg on back to back weeks, I hate seeing a team give up like that and I wonder if the Blue Bombers are going to have trouble selling tickets going forward.