What I learned this week in Winnipeg:
— Chris Jones, head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos, seems interested in becoming the general manager (and maybe the head coach, too) of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Jones has an extensive personnel background, has proven himself as an outstanding defensive co-ordinator and is growing as a head coach.
— Jones doesn’t mind being called a “Chip off the old Don’’ because it refers to Don Matthews, the legendary coach who brought him to the CFL.
— Jones isn’t nearly as acerbic as he appears on the sidelines.
— Ottawa Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell seems less interested in Saskatchewan’s job, while Ottawa’s assistant general manager Brock Sunderland is a candidate.
— When you close your eyes and listen to Campbell talk, he sounds exactly like his father, Hugh Campbell, who coached the Eskimos to five straight Grey Cups between 1978-82.
— Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris, now 40, hasn’t changed much since he joined the Roughriders in 2000 as a jovial kid who loves playing football.
— The Roughriders should have kept defensive linemen Keith Shologan and Zach Evans and kicker Chris Milo. And Burris, their teammate.
— This is the 103rd Grey Cup, my 27th. I don’t stay up as late as I used to.
— For some reason the Eskimos were favoured to win the Grey Cup by more than a touchdown over the Redblacks.
— Everyone tells me the Palomino Club is closing and the Spirit of Edmonton features the best party in the city, but I haven’t been to either.
— For the second straight year and the fifth time in the last nine, the Roughriders aren’t here, but their fans are. Some of those fans don’t want interim general manager Jeremy O’Day to be hired as the fulltime GM. Some of them do.
— Riders CEO/president Craig Reynolds has less than three weeks to hire a new general manager by mid-December, as he planned. I have crossed paths only once with him, Riders chair Wayne Morsky and former CEO/president Jim Hopson.
— Whatever the weather is like one day in Regina, it’s like that one day later in Winnipeg.
— Hopson was signing copies of a very good book he wrote called “Running the Riders.’’ I may be biased. I co-wrote it.
— Everyone gets a green toque for visiting Riderville.
— Jeffrey Orridge may grow into his job as the CFL’s commissioner, but I’m going to be very nice to him because he’s joining us (Football Reporters of Canada) as a first-time guest for our annual brunch tomorrow morning when we induct Dave Naylor and Joe Pascucci into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
— I have to get back to the FRC Hospitality Suite.