Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CIS Quarterbacks

Michael Faulds, Danny Brannagan, and Justin Dunk are all in their final year of quarterbacking in CIS football. They are fourth, fifth, and seventh respectively in CIS all-time passing yards. All three are top 20 in touchdown passes, and top ten in completions and attempts.
Last year there was a similar group of three. Matt Connell, the CIS all-time passing leader. Josh Sacobie who sits second in touchdown passes, and Teale Orban who is second in completions and third in attempts. The latter three have all since graduated and none are playing football anymore.
In the CFL, 23 roster spots must be filled by a Canadian and there is not one Canuck quarterback in the league. The CFL doesn't count quarterbacks towards a team's Canadian quota. Former Ti-Cats GM, Marcel Desjardins said, "the rules don't entice you to have a Canadian guy around." Desjardins is a Canadian himself.
It's time the CFL revised the rule. There hasn't been a Canadian starting QB in the league since Larry Jusdanis in 1995. The last truly successful Canadian under center was Russ Jackson, who played 12 years for Ottawa, and retired in 1969.
The sport is growing rapidly thanks to better coverage and the CIS owes it to themselves and the fans to produce a better product and it starts with coaching. Quarterbacks in the American system get extensive training on the fundamentals by the time they've graduated high school, never mind how accomplished they are after university.
The outlook is bleak for Faulds, Brannagan, and Dunk. Much like Connell, Sacobie, and Orban already found out. It's a shame after the success they've had, but for the CIS to grow, they can ill afford quality Canadian players to continue to fall by the wayside.

That's Questionable At Best.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

So You Want To Be A Maple Leaf?

So you want to be a Maple Leaf? In Phil Kessel's opinion his time was up in Boston, and Toronto was his destination of choice. Brian Burke had spent the better part of six months trying to land the young forward. The season has started and Kessel is on the Blue and White, in return the Bruins received two first round picks. One in 2010, the other in 2011, as well as a 2010 second rounder. The question ultimately becomes, who won the deal? Since we reside in Hogtown I'm going to analyze the transaction from a Torontonian perspective.

For the Leafs it's a risk and reward situation they are in now. Back in June, Boston wanted Tomas Kaberle and the 7th overall pick in the draft. Brian Burke said no. If that deal was no good then, how could Burke give up two first round picks now? His answer to that is the Leafs won't be picking that high up when those picks roll around. Toronto paid a hefty price to land Kessel and the price can only go up from here. Burke had better be praying to the hockey gods that the Leafs don't pick 7th or higher in the upcoming drafts because his refusal to part with the pick in 2009, the one that landed Nazem Kadri, was well documented. The message of this trade is clear, the Leafs are ready to win now and they believe they have the team to do it. If they don't, the price paid will double right before the Buds' eyes.

There has to be concern about his health. Kessel is coming off off-season surgery to repair an injured shoulder which will keep him out of the Leafs lineup until mid-November. He also missed time in 2006 when he was diagnosed with cancer. While the cancer is not related to hockey it does not take away from the from the fact that the Leafs have put all their eggs into one broken basket. What if the shoulder doesn't heal completely? What happens if the soreness doesn't dissipate and Kessel is reluctant to mix it up in the corners or shies away from contact? These are all things that if they don't concern Leafs management, they darn well should. You always hear the surgery went well, or the rehab is ahead of schedule. What is the doctor going to say? "I really botched that one, his shoulder will never be the same." Of course not, but only time will tell how Kessel responds post injury. Keep in mind we are talking about the injury history of a 21 year old. Not exactly faith inspiring.

Kessel's character was questioned by the Toronto media after his acquisition. Brian Burke told a story from the Olympic camp where Kessel was invited to a fishing trip and went because the team did, even though he gets incredibly seasick. Burke attempted to give the media and Joe Fan an inside look at this guy's personality. Can anyone forget however, his well publicized benching during the playoffs in 2008. Or his slide from the projected first overall pick down to number five because of the issues surrounding his attitude and work ethic. Kessel went from superstar prospect to playing on the 3rd line on his college hockey team. Those types of characteristics don't just disappear overnight and Leafs fans must be mindful of that fact.

There is no denying Phil Kessel is a supremely talented hockey player. There is, however all of the question marks surrounding his health, attitude, and the Leafs ability to make the playoffs. This could turn out to be one of those trades that is talked about in the future as the one that got away. Brian Burke had better be crossing his fingers that everything goes to plan otherwise once again in Leaf-land the risk will prove not to be worth the reward.

That's Questionable At Best.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Time To Go J.P.

For all intents and purposes, the Toronto Blue Jays 2009 season was all but over toward the end of May. I was lucky enough to see the climax of their season. The final game of a sweep of the Chicago White Sox which came just before that crushing nine game losing streak. It's four months later, the Jays are in fourth place, and 14 games under .500. They let one of their best young players go for nothing, and for the better part of September, the Jays couldn't break the 12 000 mark in attendance. In what has to be arguably the most alienating season for a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, someone is to blame. I blame J.P. Ricciardi.

Ricciardi came from Oakland to replace Gord Ash as GM in 2001. He brought with him a five year plan and the magic touch when it came to low budget teams. The Jays GM said upon arrival that competing with the Yankees and the Red Sox will be tough, but he could beat them with smart baseball moves and fiscal responsibility. Fast forward eight years later (what happened to the five year plan?) and this is what Ricciardi said,

"Let me make this clear: It doesn't matter if J.P. Ricciardi is the GM, or
Joe Blow is the GM. Two years from now, five years from now, seven years from
now, the reality that we face in Toronto is the division is not going to change.
If the Yankees want to, they can take their payroll to $300 million"

That to me is an admission of defeat. J.P. Ricciardi is screaming, I CAN'T DO THIS! I GIVE UP! YOU WIN YANKEES AND RED SOX!

Things have to change in Toronto and it's more then likely going to start with Doc Halladay being traded. Why aren't all 11 000 Blue Jays fans up in arms about the possibility of someone who readily admits defeat being in control of the trade of the best pitcher in baseball. This trade is going to be the future of the Blue Jays and based on their past, Ricciardi can't be the one to make it.

Thats Questionable At Best.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


This is the first unofficial post of Questionable At Best. Hopefully you guys enjoy what I have to say, and hopefully it will be just as enlightening as it is entertaining.

One of the reasons I started this was sheerly for practice. I'd love feedback, good or bad. I can take it I swear! Whether it is content, length, or a lack thereof, I want to hear about anything from the poor use of a verb to punctuation errors. Don't be afraid to throw a little bit of good reports in with the bad because if I jump off a bridge this post won't last too long!

Seriously though the people that I hope will read this regularly all bring something different and special as far as what they can do to help me improve my own writing.

What you can expect from Questionable At Best is opinionated postings about hot topics in the sports world. Anything from the reasons behind why the Jays are drawing 11 000 a night in attendance, to... I don't know... lets say, why Pete Rose should be let into the Hall of Fame.

Topics will not necessarily all be on the field but they will all be relevant. I hope to post every Monday.

Thats Questionable At Best.