I haven’t been for a while now, but I occasionally dropped by Taylor Field to catch bits of the Riders’ practices in months gone by. One wet, windy day last month found them practicing right inside the stadium instead of out on the practice field. I climbed a section up into the stands to get a better view but was driven back to field level by the chill in the wind. Seeing an old guy huddled down the sidelines, I figured visiting with him would be warmer than watching alone.
Upon arriving beside him, I realized I’d just stepped up to Mr. Cal Murphy. Yes, that’s the Cal Murphy who coached the Bombers for a bunch of years, and better teams for a few more. He’s now a scout for the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. Yes, that’s one of the best teams in professional football. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised to find myself face to face with Mr. CFL.
We chatted a bit; some about football, some about Regina, some about family. Ten minutes in, we were interrupted… by Eric Tillman. Yes, that’s the current GM of the Riders. They, of course, knew each other. I, of course, knew them as well… from TV.
Then for the next forty-five minutes, we (yes, I was now part of the “we”) talked CFL football. A lot of you are likely thinking “whoopty doo”, but this was like talking NHL with Don Cherry… or chemistry with Jeremy Olson. I mean, how else would I now have the scoop on…
- Why the Montreal Alouettes don’t scare anyone this year.
- Why the Bombers are this year’s more pleasant surprise.
- Why the Ti-Cats stink so bad.
- How Cal Murphy (an NFL scout) evaluates the Rider rookies, including Andy Fantuz.
- The love life of the “grumpy old man”: Don Matthews.
- And more CFL tidbits that can’t be recalled by this weak mind.
This may mean nothing to most reading this. I’m all right with that.
But it was a simple pleasure to this simple fellow on a chilly day last month.