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The Neutral Zone

On Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Eastern, Brock Richardson and his panel of sports experts engage in a lively roundtable discussion about Parasports and professional sports news and newsmakers.

The Neutral Zone

On Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Eastern, Brock Richardson and his panel of sports experts engage in a lively roundtable discussion about Parasports and professional sports news and newsmakers.

November 22, 2022

Announcer:
Are you ready? Let's go from AMI Central. Now circling in the neutral zone, here's a pitch on the way, 36 yards for the wind. This here comes the big chance is this the neutral zone as it gets. Now here's your host two-time Paralympian Brock Richardson.

Brock Richardson:
What's going on? It's time for another edition of The Neutral Zone. I am indeed your host Brock Richardson. We did something a little different. As we were getting ready to do this show, our technical producer, Marc Aflalo, asked if everyone was ready to go and we cheered and said, "Yes, of course." One thing Claire said when we were doing the "yay thing" was that kids are back in school. I followed up by saying how long's the contract a day? Everybody seemed to agree that would be about precise. I'm sure it's longer than a day, but we're a sports show, so we're not going to delve into kids in school in Ontario. Just be happy that the kids are back in school and everyone seems to be on the same page for the time being. My page tells me to introduce my co-host for today. Let's bring in Cam Jenkins. Cameron, how are you?

Cameron Jenkins:
I'm doing great. Work is going well and this guy is going on vacation and to the Dominican Republican a week from yesterday. I'm going to be sipping some Coco Locos on the beach probably a week today. How can I not be happy?

Brock Richardson:
Yes, I will be very excited for that same reason in about late June, early July, I will be disappearing for my own vacation. I'm right there with you on the hot weather and doing all that. Dominican is very cool and it's one of the places I went to when my sister got married. My oldest sister, she got married in Dominican and I learned that the sun is hotter in Dominican than other places in North America. I got a certain degree burn on top of my hands, because I-

Cameron Jenkins:
I was going to ask, is it like a scientific experiment that you did that the sun is hotter in the Dominican? How did you figure this out?

Brock Richardson:
No, but my hands bubbled on about day three of the strip. It was very, very bad. It was awful. They blistered, but the rest of my body was fine because I had sunscreen everywhere else except for the top of my hands. It's cool. When you do that, do remember to sunscreen, this is your public service announcement for the day when you go to Dominican. Looking forward to hearing about that and maybe you can get some pictures and we can slide them on one of our podcasts. When you come back as an opening segment, we can all live vicariously through the one and only Cam Jenkins.

Cameron Jenkins:
I can certainly do that.

Brock Richardson:
Also, joining us is the one and only Claire Buchanan. Claire, how are you?

Claire Buchanan:
Well, I'm doing fantastic. I'm a little jealous now that you guys are talking about being on the beach and getting some sun with how windy and cold it is out today.

Cameron Jenkins:
Well, isn't Cherry Beach nice this time of year? Can't you go to that?

Claire Buchanan:
Oh, yeah, there's definitely a lot of beach options in my area. Surprisingly. That's one thing I realized with living in the city the past few years, that there is a lot of options of beaches, but I think it's way past beach time.

Cameron Jenkins:
It's not the same as Dominican?

Claire Buchanan:
Doesn't have that year-round warmth to it like the DR does.

Cameron Jenkins:
Well, I was just trying to help. Yeah, I was just trying to help you out there.

Brock Richardson:
Yeah, that's how we roll on the Neutral Zone. We try to help each other out or make each other jealous as we seem to have done in this opening segment. Let's bring in the informative part of our show and bring you our headlines for this week.

Announcer:
Neutral Zone. Headlines. Headlines. Headlines.

Claire Buchanan:
Big news came out of the CFL almost immediately after our last show, the Hamilton Tiger Catch traded for the rights of Bo Levi Mitchell, which gives Hamilton the first opportunity to offer him a contract this off-season. Mitchell is 23 years old and has played his entire CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders winning two Gray Cups with the organization as well as two most outstanding player awards. If you watched The Gray Cup recently, he was also one of the broadcasters. It will be interesting to see what contract he gets and where.

Brock Richardson:
It will be interesting for sure if he gets into the East and Hamilton because that changes the dynamic completely to the CFL as to what's going on right now. One of the craziest situations took place on social media recently. It was released that Tom Brady would hope to play in the Canadian Football League one day because "things seemed to be going well outside of the country" and this was in a reference to his recent game in Germany that they won. Certain things come out on social media and people go crazy over it. I brought this story to one of my hits on now with Dave Brown and I didn't even know at the time it was a joke, because I believed TSN and all the sources would be bringing this out for us to talk about, but it turns out it was a joke.

Cameron Jenkins:
You know what, Brock, at the end of the day, we don't need no stinking Tom Brady because the CFL and the Gray Cup game, it was phenomenal. Don't even bother coming over the border, Tom Brady. Major League Baseball has announced their coaches of the year in the American League. We have Cleveland Guardians coach Terry Francona, and in the National League we have New York Mets coach a Buck Showalter. The Guardians had a record of 92 and 70 and the New York Mets, they had a record of 101 and 61.

Brock Richardson:
Those are your headlines for this week. Let's check on our Twitter poll question. Last week we asked you, "Who do you think will win this year's Gray Cup?" Well, 50% of you said the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and 50% of you said the Toronto Argonauts. The listeners couldn't decide and, as we know, it was the Toronto Argonauts, which we'll discuss later on in the program. This week's question with the World Cup upon us, how do you think Team Canada will do at the World Cup? Will they be winless, win at least one game, make it to the knockout stage, not or win it all? Cast your votes at our Twitter handles coming at you right now.

Announcer:
Welcome back to The Neutral Zone AMI broadcast booth. We are set to get this ball game underway. The first pitch proxy by Brock Richardson's Twitter account at Neutral Zone BR. First pitch, strike. Hey, gang, why not strike up a Twitter chat with Claire Buchanan for the neutral zone. Find her at Neutral Zone CB and there's a swing and a chopper out to second base right at Claire. She picks up the ball, throws it over to first base for a routine out and fans, there is nothing routine about connecting with Cam and Josh from the Neutral Zone at Neutral Zone Cam J and at J Watson 200. Now that's a winning combination and this organ interlude is brought to you by AMI Audio on Twitter, get in touch with the Neutral Zone. Type in at AMI Audio.

Brock Richardson:
Joining us today as our guest is one of the most prolific Canadian blind hockey players, he has even been mentioned in the same conversation as Connor McDavid. I'm talking about Canadian blind hockey player Jason Yuha from Rosalind, Alberta. Jason, welcome to the program. Thanks for joining us.

Jason Yuha:
Thanks. Thanks very much for having me.

Cameron Jenkins:
Jason, when you hear somebody use the words "one of the most prolific Canadian blind hockey players ever" and they compare you to Connor McDavid, how does that make you feel?

Jason Yuha:
It's very humbling. Obviously, anytime you get mentioned in the same sentence as the best hockey player in the world, it's pretty special. No way do I think I'm anywhere near that level, but it's very humbling and it's very gratifying, I guess, to have the respect and to be thought of as that highly.

Claire Buchanan:
You've been on the national team for a few years now. What in your mind made this team different than years past?

Jason Yuha:
I would say, I guess, our resiliency. Our teams in the past we never really were faced with much adversity. We had a full complement of players. We didn't have any injuries and we were able to, basically, control all of our games. We never really were in danger of losing or anything. This tournament we were shorthanded. A few of our better players weren't able to make the trip so we were down to begin. Then two of our better players that did come got injured at the start of the tournament. We were discombobulated. We were a short bench, our lines were all mixed up. We were just really shorthanded and, I guess, it was good for us to go through something like that. We haven't really been faced with an obstacle before, so it was good to go through that. Just to see the resiliency of our team, I guess, is something that we hadn't had to show before. That was something that was different for sure.

Cameron Jenkins:
Now as I understand, you've played a three-game series against the United States and you won all the games by a combined score of 19 to two. Can you talk about each of your games for us?

Jason Yuha:
Sure. Game one, I would say, there was a lot of nervous energy. We had a lot of first-timers making their debut on the national team. They didn't really know what to expect. Even some of our returning players, we hadn't had an event since 2019 because of Covid. There was a lot of anticipation, a lot of anxiety, I guess. We didn't really know how much the US had improved. I would say there was a lot of nervousness, definitely that first period. Then when two of our better players went down early, now everything was mixed up, our lines. Nobody knew who they were going out with, what position they were going to be playing, but our coaches did a good job of settling everyone down. Then once we got into the game, everyone got a few shifts under their belt, we started to relax and once we got a couple goals we were able to carry on.
That was game one. It just took us a while to get going, but once we did, we found our stride and kind of rolled with it. Game two, I would say, was probably more a complete game. We knew what to expect right away, so there was no surprises. Their goalie actually played really good in game two, so the score wasn't as lopsided, but we definitely controlled the majority of the play. Then game three, since the series was wrapped up after game two, game three, there wasn't a whole lot to play for, but obviously still playing your biggest rival, you still want to beat them, but I would say it was more dirty, more physical, just, I think, they were frustrated with losing the first two games. They came out, they were chippy, they were playing the body a lot more using their sticks. It was definitely more of a dirty game, but, again, we were able to battle through that and start scoring and our goalies played fantastic all three games. Yeah, that's how I would summarize those three games.

Claire Buchanan:
Obviously, it's not hard to get up for a game against the United States, no matter what game you're playing, one of your greatest rivalries, but how hard is it to keep your foot on the gas, even when you guys are dominating as much as you guys have been?

Jason Yuha:
Yeah, it can be difficult, but it was something we talked about going into the tournament. We've been waiting for this for so long with not being able to play the last couple years that we didn't want to take anything for granted. We were there for one reason and that was to win gold. We knew with having a short bench as the tournament went on, we knew we were going to be getting tired and they were going to be more fresh. We knew we had to play as hard as we could and get as big a lead as we could because we knew they were going to have a push. I didn't find it that hard to stay motivated, because we knew what we were there for and how long it's been since we'd played that we were going to do whatever we could to make sure we won.

Cameron Jenkins:
Jason, what did you learn about yourself and your team during this event that you didn't know beforehand?

Jason Yuha:
I guess I would just say to stay patient, stay composed. In tournaments past, I've kind of had lots of room out there, lots of space. I was able to do my thing. This tournament, I was able to still do my thing offensively, but they definitely had a game plan to try and shut me down. They were double-teaming, even triple-teaming me and trying to take away my time and space. It's easy to get frustrated in those moments, but my coaches did a good job just keeping me calm, keeping me poised, and I just told myself to stay patient, my opportunities are going to come and they did. I just kept working, kept playing our game and then the points started coming and I think I still led the tournament scoring. You don't have to accomplish everything on that first shift or that first period. It's a long game and as long as you're playing the right way and you trust the process, you're going to get the results you want.

Claire Buchanan:
Even after such a dominating performance, coaches always find a way to tell us things that we can improve on, both individually and as a team. What was that at the end of the series for you guys?

Jason Yuha:
I guess most coaches would say, you have to play a complete game, you have to play a full 60 minutes. I think we did a good job the majority, but there was always, in each of the three games, there was always that five-minute span where we got a little stagnant. We weren't making clean passes, we weren't getting pucks deep, we weren't backchecking, things like that. I would say the coaches, that's one thing. You got to play a complete game. You got to play the full 60 if you want to be victorious.

Cameron Jenkins:
Other than getting that opportunity to wear the maple leaf, what's the biggest difference in playing for Team Canada versus your club team?

Jason Yuha:
I guess I would just say having a whole country behind your back. We all come from across Canada, different provinces, different cities. We all have different backgrounds, but getting to play together and being one is so cool. It's so much pride in that. Playing for all the little boys and girls across the country, that dream of being on this team one day is really humbling and you feel really proud to obviously put on that jersey, but, yeah, I would say just having the... Playing for a country is something that there's nothing like it. It's so much fun.

Brock Richardson:
We're joined by Jason Yuha, who is a Canadian blind hockey player and we're talking all about his recent event against the United States. I'm your host Brock Richardson, alongside Claire Buchanan and Cam Jenkins.

Claire Buchanan:
What's next for the national team and you personally in your career?

Jason Yuha:
For the national team, we're going to keep meeting, do our virtual meetings every month or two. We host Zoom team workouts or team-building exercises. We have guest speakers, so that's something we do fairly regularly just because we can't get together in person very often. That would be the main thing is we keep meeting virtually. Our next big event will be the national tournament again in Toronto and at the end of March. That's what we're all preparing for next. I believe the US will be coming up, so we'll be having probably another Canada US series. I would say that's our next big event.

Brock Richardson:
Jason, thank you so much for taking the time today to join us on the program. We always appreciate your time and best of luck with the rest of the season.

Jason Yuha:
Yeah, thank you very much for having me. It's always fun to come on with you guys and I look forward to seeing you guys soon.

Brock Richardson:
That was Jason Yuha, who is a Canadian blind hockey player from Rosalind, Alberta. If you like what you hear on this interview or any others we do. Here's how you can get ahold of us by voicemail.

Announcer:
Hey, if you want to leave a message for the Neutral Zone, call now 1-866-509-4545. Don't forget to give us permission to use your message on the air. Let's get ready to leave a voicemail.

Brock:
What a wonderful interview it was with Jason Yuha and all of us have had the pleasure of seeing blind hockey in one form or another. And one of my favourite things that Nicco Cardarelli does on ParaSport TV when he scores is he does this very dramatic but very cool, "Ye-haw Yuha." And that's one question we didn't get a chance to ask Jason, but it is my favourite thing. And I'll tell you a quick story before we get on to chatting about it. So when we would be upstairs at the Mattamy Athletic Center, our headsets would be connected to Nicco and I had no clue that Nicco does this or would continue to do this. And I have cerebral palsy. And the reason I bring this up is because the first time he did it, I jumped so high because I was like, "Oh my goodness, there's Nicco with the Ye-haw Yuha." And I just think it's so wonderful when that comes up. He has a nickname for every player in different ways, but the one that really sticks, is the Ye-haw Yuha. Cameron-

Cameron:
You got to say it with more feeling than that. Ye-haw Yuha.

Brock:
I listen, I cannot do it justice, so-

Cameron:
Nor can I.

Brock:
You did a wonderful-

Cameron:
Yeah, Nico's the guy for that.

Brock:
Yeah, you a wonderful attempt at it. And it'll be a promo near you very soon, that little Ye-haw Yuha.

Claire:
He's got to cover a women's sledge hockey team game or something. That sounds very cool.

Cameron:
Nicco gives all the names. Yeah, he's awesome for that.

Claire:
Yeah.

Brock:
Nicco is one of the hardest-working people on the beat of ParaSport. He goes through a lot of events and we've had him on promoting ParaSport TV and he's going to be coming back to promote the Canadian Blind Hockey Championships, which are in March. But he's just a wealth of knowledge in para-sports and is so good and always loved to have Nicco on in joining us on the program. Let's switch gears to some news that took place recently that the Toronto Blue Jays have made a trade that can we say, shocked the Blue Jay's universe I would say. Let me give you the trade breakdown. So they traded outfielder Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle for reliever Erik Swanson and Adam Mako. Adam Swanson, excuse me, was incredible out of the bullpen last season. He was sixth on the depth chart to come out of the bullpen. So what that means is that when he would come out, it would be sixth in line, so not quite your shutdown guy, but kind of more in the higher leverage rather than the lower leverage situations.
Mako was a strikeout machine this year. He had 60 strikeouts in 38 innings and a third in the minor leagues. This also frees up at $12 million in cap space. Now with this trade, before I bring in my co-host, my view in this is the following. Number one, we have to, in order to get over the hump, we have to sometimes make changes. And there's no doubt that Hernandez is a favourite, no question about that. But when you're looking to build, you have to sometimes give up something to get something. If this is how this trade ended today and this is all they did, I'm not a happy camper. But the off-season is still very early and I think if they do the right thing, like get a left-handed bat, Toronto blue days, please, then I think we can judge this at a later time. But now Cameron, isn't the right time and you'll tell me for sure if I'm right or wrong on this,

Cameron:
It's the right time to start doing this. This is one domino that is falling. Let's see what ends up happening by spring training, because getting the reliever Swanson, he was lights out with Seattle and the Toronto Blue Jay's bullpen, they need help. So it's going to be a great addition for that. But I think the biggest thing here is that we have 12 million in cap room. We were not going to be bring Teoscar Hernandez back with the kind of money that he wanted. So I think it's the dominoes that are going to fall for that lefty hand bat that they're looking for. So, it's just going to be a matter of finding out who they're going to get.
I think top on their list, he might want too much money though as well is Brandon Nimmo. So I think that's who the Jays are looking for to get in the outfield. It's a lefty bat. Nimmo is really good for the Jays because of batting left and his average and getting on base. And I even think there's going to be a few more trades. We still have three catchers at the end of the day. And Alexandra Kirk, I believe he just won the Silver Slugger award. I think he's at one of his highest values. So if you can trade him to get another bat in the outfield or maybe even more pitching help in the bullpen, I think that's what you're looking for trades for upcoming throughout the rest of the winter season.

Brock:
Agreed. Claire thoughts?

Claire:
Yeah, I agree with you Cameron. Aside from the cap space that this opens up, we're one of very few teams that have a lot of power and consistency behind the plate as well with catchers. You don't see a lot of teams with three really good catchers and as much as the Blue Jay's universe would hate to see Kirk go and stuff. But it's business and we're trying to become a better team and get to a deeper place in the playoffs and be a fighting team for the World Series. And sometimes we've seen some of our favourite players go and it's in the process of becoming a better team and more well-rounded team. Yes, we have very hot bats in the dugout and very strong pitching, but we definitely need more relievers and it's early in the trading season as well. If they're patient and see what kind of comes and goes around with other trades and stuff, we can capitalize on this. And I don't think that we need to jump on the first thing that comes available and I really hope that they take their time.

Cameron:
And another thing too, Claire and Brock I think is that taking a look at that starting pitching, I think they're going to need help there as well. They got Manoah and Gausman at the top of the order and they were probably the most two reliable pitchers along with Stripling, but I think he's going to want too much money and he's gone. And then you have Berrios and he did not have a very good year this year, so he's going to have to bounce back. And then you still need a fourth and fifth starter. I think they have, and I always forget this guy's name...

Brock:
Yusei Kikuchi.

Cameron:
Oh that guy.

Brock:
You're welcome.

Cameron:
He was horrible and I think he's making 10 million a year or whatever he's making, I forget what it is. But they need to send him down to the minors or trade him for a bag of baseballs at the end of the day. They got to some more pitching-

Claire:
They'll probably be more consistent.

Cameron:
So they got to get more pitching help as well. And I think they're going to end up having to do that through trade. So that's another weakness I think of the Jays is the starting pitching, which was supposed to be their greatest asset. I think you can really only rely on two starters. So you've got to get the third starter, Berrios turned around. And then you've also got to get a number four and five pitcher.

Claire:
You know what, last year, Manoah, yes, he was one of our best pitchers, but yes-

Brock:
The best I would argue.

Claire:
But when it came to the playoffs you could see his inexperience and he hadn't been put in that position before. So, I think that is going to fuel him in the off-season and we're just going to see a more consistent Manoah. I mean, he's one of those people that just brings the attitude that you want from players too. He's going to have that fire from the starting pitch to when he's called out.

Cameron:
With Manoah though, it was only the first inning that he was bad, I believe in the playoffs. And then the rest of the innings he was okay if I remember back that far. I'm getting close to my fifties so I don't remember like I used to.

Claire:
But there was also questionable coaching decisions. Yes, absolutely.

Cameron:
I think that's what I was more than anything at the end of the day. So yeah, Manoah, I think it was just that one inning and if one inning's going to do you in when he gave up, I think it was three or four runs, if that's going to do you in with the lineup that the Jays have, man, it's not Alex Manoah's fault in my opinion.

Brock:
Yeah. And the challenge I had with that first inning was that as Claire pointed out, you could visibly see the nerves. You could visibly see... It almost looked like he was standing on the mound and you could see the shoulders be up sort of by his ears and the front side flying open when he was throwing. But Cameron, you're right. When your team can't dig you out of a hole like Alex put-

Cameron:
From the first inning, you got to get innings, it's playoffs, baby.

Claire:
Lots of baseball left. Yeah, absolutely.

Cameron:
Let's go.

Brock:
Yeah, No I think there's a lot and I wanted to go back on Cameron's favourite, Yusei Kikuchi and just say we have to figure out something to do with Yusei Kikuchi. I'm not sure you're going to get much back for Yusei other than as Cameron rightfully pointed out, a bag of balls which can be used in batting practice to test your swing. But they do have another year of control with Yusei. And I think if you're not going to trade him, you need to put him in the bullpen because when they did that, he was able to come out at certain times of the year and do okay. He certainly was not in high leverage situation. I would shoot any manager that put him in a high-leverage situation with the bullpen that they had in the back end of it. But you have to figure out something to do with Yusei, because I'm not sure, even though we're saying this in jest, I'm not sure a bag of balls is enough for Yusei Kikuchi, especially when you consider the money that they poured in and the hope that they had for Yusei.

Cameron:
With Yusei the only thing you can do is put him in whether you're winning by a large amount. Like if you're up nine to one, put him in there, because if he gives up three or four runs and hopefully he spreads that over three or four innings, you're still winning. Or you do it when you're getting blown out because who cares at that point in time and put them in there. It doesn't matter how many runs you get. I don't like Yusei.

Brock:
I think you made that pretty clear on today's episode of The Neutral Zone. I'll be honest, he did get put in a nine-one game and I remember tweeting or putting out on Facebook, I can't remember. I said, "Even my anxiety can't handle a nine-one lead and yet I see Yusei, and I'm just like, 'Man this screams we're giving it up.'" And if I recall in that nine-one outing he had, he still gave up two runs and made it nine-three. And I was just like, "Oh man, we can't have this. We just can't."
But there was so much promise in signing him for the four years that I think he's been a big disappointment for the organization because I think they thought that he would be the guy that not necessarily would be a front runner with Manoah and Gausman and even Berrios, but I think they thought he'd be a decent fourth starter and he wasn't even a decent fifth starter at times this year. So Ross Stripling was just a light of positivity really when Kikuchi went down and they said, "Well Ross, you're up." And Ross, if it wasn't for him, the Blue Jays wouldn't have even got into that playoff series at all. Just to put a wrap on this conversation, do you guys think that this trade was okay for Teoscar Hernandez? Was it underwhelming? Where do we sit Cameron?

Cameron:
I think it's to be determined. It really depends on the other trades and UFAs they do this year. So for me it's a to be determined.

Claire:
Yeah, I agree. Yes, he's one of the bigger names with the Blue Jay's organization. Sad to see him go, but again, we have lots of time to see how this unravels and what we get back with the trade. So I'm interested to see what comes of it.

Brock:
I think the thing I want to emphasize here, we don't grade a paper when we're not even a quarter away of the way through the test. We can't grade this paper. It's not fair. I know Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins have been really hit hard in Toronto Maple Leaf fan base. Fine. I think if you look at who they took over for, he was beloved, Alex Anthopoulos, Paul Beeston, that's great. But I do think you have to give them a fair chance in getting things done. And we are only in November and the season doesn't get going until March if we look at spring training and then April if we look at the regular season.
So I think I caution people, hold on a little bit. Hold your judgment. I know it's hard because as a fan base in any sport you want to judge something before it's actually a finished product. And I don't think at this point that's very fair. Speaking of something we can judge as a finished product and that is the Grey Cup, which concluded a couple of days ago. I want to get your thoughts on the Grey Cup. A lot of people were surprised by the result. Our pole emphasized that exactly. 50-50, no one could decide. Claire, what say you on this Grey Cup this year?

Claire:
I don't know what this game didn't have. This is probably one of the best football games in any league that I've watched. It had blocked field goals, it had interceptions. It had turnovers in the last minute. The second half was just phenomenal sports and phenomenal football to watch and for it to be a Canadian championship game of all things. It was really fun to watch. And I also am a big fan of an underdog story. So for all those haters that came into that game and had Toronto, just not even having a chance to take this away. Yeah, I loved watching that and it's so exciting to be a part of and congrats to Toronto.

Cameron:
I watched the game. I'm an Argos ticket holder, I'm going to be a homer here. Well, saying that I was shocked that the Argos won. I really thought Winnipeg was going to win it, but they didn't. And like Claire said, this game had everything and it was close all the way through. There was Muamba, he ended up getting and I think it was the second time that a person got a Best Canadian and MVP for the game. And he was just a beast out there. He ended up having, I believe it was two interceptions, he got some blocked... I think he was the one that got the blocked field goal near the end of the game. Man, this game had everything. And I've been so hard on the McLeod Bethel-Thompson because he just always seems to run the ball or give it to the running backs to be able to run the ball. And his passing, I always have not been a huge fan of his, because they'll do the short pass or the medium pass, but never those kind of long bombs.
And he had a few of those, the 10 to 15-yard passes, which was really good, but then he ended up being hurt. I think he dislocated his thumb. And so, all of a sudden I see this other quarterback in, I still think it's McLeod Bethel-Thompson. And my friend Ryan, who's a friend of the show, he's been on the show before. He's like, "No, Chad Kelly's in the game." And Chad Kelly, he did not miss a beat. And I really think that he was a huge reason why the Argos ended up winning because he was able to move that ball and get that touchdown. Harris and you also have the other guy, AJ Ouellette, the two running backs. They ran up quite a few yards for the Argos, more so in the early stages of the game. But this was a total team win by the Argos and their defence is their biggest attribute and they were able to hang with Winnipeg and get some really big plays. And I think the biggest play was that blocked field goal and that's why they won by one point.

Brock:
It's funny that you guys talk in this way. I think if we look at Andrew Harris who is in his thirties and Winnipeg kind of basically politely said, "Yeah, you're getting up there, we're going to move on from you." And I think Andrew Harris took that a little bit personally, I think he said, "Okay, Winnipeg. I'll show you what you're missing." And that's exactly what happened. I mean we had returned punts... There was things that happened everywhere on the field. It was just wonderful.
And it's tough because the CFL gets such a hard rap, "Oh it's just a Canadian football league. Oh, the west is so much better than the East. All this." But when it matters, it matters in the Grey Cup. And I agree with both of you. That was one of the best games that I have seen in a long time. And I think that that was a really great homage to Canadian football. I don't think you could ask for a better game. And Andrew Harris basically said it at the end, "I'm going to celebrate this with my team," because of course the first question that gets asked is, "What are you going to do next year?" Can we let the... I'm talking to all of media.

Cameron:
No, the people want to know. Tell us right now. It doesn't matter.

Claire:
The game just ended. Oh yeah. What are you doing in 365 days from now?

Cameron:
You get the high off the Grey cup, you just won it and you want to repeat. Make a decision. Harris, let's go.

Brock:
Can we let the champagne, the beer come off the ice just a little bit? Can we let the wobbly pops as you call them, go down just a little further before we're ramming a mic in the guy's... "What are you doing next year?" "Can I celebrate it? Please, can I celebrate it?" And I just want to point out too, I was at the Canadian Boccia Championships over the weekend and I woke up this morning at about 6:30, 6:45 in London, Ontario. And I watched the game from start to finish. I hid our instant message group so that I didn't know the score. And I am thrilled that I watched it. It was so good. It was so wonderful. And you know what? Even if Winnipeg won, I would've said still a great game. But just to see Toronto as one of the oldest franchises in the CFL winning a championship, that's a good thing. And I think nobody-

Cameron:
I think it was the 18th win by the Argos. I think that was their 18th Grey Cup.

Brock:
Yeah, I think you're right too. And everybody said that Winnipeg would win. Zach Collaros would do it. It's three championships, it's done. Well, this is an example of why you have to play the game. And good on the Argos for getting this done. And one of the things that I loved hearing from the broadcasters is how they bring out the Grey Cup, and for those of you that might not be able to see it, I want to sort of depict the picture that I saw. So we had two Royal Canadian Mounted Police walking down the steps and it happened just after the three-minute mark and the whole time they're discussing the history of the Grey Cup and saying that this has been done 108 times and all that. And it just was so cool. And they don't do that with the Lombardi Trophy. It's not this big pomp and circumstance. And I love the way they do it. I think it's very cool. Would you guys say that that's up there on the way... Not necessarily the trophy celebration, but more of how it's presented? Is it up there for you Claire?

Claire:
Absolutely. It's very Canadian. I like how Canadian it is. A couple of Mounted Police carrying the CFL trophy. I mean in sports, there's not many things better than that. And like you said, Brock, to have it explained about the history of it and where the game has come from and just one of those... Remember those Canadian heritage commercials? It's one of those, where you put the CFL trophy in one of those commercials and it's one of those things that it's just feels good to watch as a Canadian.

Brock:
Totally.

Cameron:
Yeah. I just think if they're going to present it, the Mounties, that's so Canadiana, love that. But I think they need to maybe have some maple syrup, maybe some beavers kind of roaming around there too. Let's make it even more Canadiana at the end of the day, except just not the Mounties.

Claire:
So instead of beers in the change rooms afterwards, it's just maple syrup [inaudible 00:25:52]?

Cameron:
Well no, you got to have beers eh. Come on, you got to have beers.

Claire:
Canadian beers.

Cameron:
Canadian beers, yeah.

Claire:
Better be Canadian beers, yeah.

Cameron:
Yeah. Just Canadian beers or whatever supports the CFL. Better not be an American beer supporting the CFL but whatever. Because you got to look to those sponsors. But yeah, it's really nice. It's been around for 109 years and people really need to take a lot of pride in the CFL, I guess is what I'm trying to say because it's been around for 109 years. They've been playing the same way and especially in the bigger cities, they need to get more fans there. But I was reading an article where especially in the bigger cities, there is such a melting pot of people and that's why in the bigger cities the CFL isn't as popular anymore because it used to be white Anglo-Saxon people that ended up enjoying football and then once it became such a melting pot here, there's so many more options. So I really hope that somehow that they're going to be able to get more people to enjoy the CFL and get more fans out there because it is an absolute fantastic product. And it was just the epitome of excitement for the Grey Cup and everyone needs to watch the CFL.

Brock:
Cameron, I'm going to ask you this question and we're going to move on just in a few minutes on the Grey Cup. We don't have too much longer left. But I want to ask you, how is this championship going to be viewed in Toronto? When I've gone to BMO Field, I've sat beside you, I've sat to your left. And I've looked up and I said to you, "Cameron, why are those seats empty?" And you say, "Oh, they don't sell those because nobody comes." How is this championship in your mind as a season ticket holder, going to be viewed in Toronto? Does it help? Does it hinder? Or do we just have to celebrate it and accept it and hope it gets better?

Cameron:
I think you have to accept it and hope it gets better. And when you end up seeing somebody go to a Toronto Argos game, they're the ones, it's word of mouth where you've got to be able to talk to other people and get them excited. I was never a huge CFL fan either, but I saw the excitement from the Bennett's and how much they love it. And speaking with Ed, he's been going to Argo games since he was 12 years old, and I'm not going to say how old he is now. So he's been going for a lot of years.
So you just got to get the word out there, I guess. And other people that like it, get their friends to go and hopefully they end up having a good time and doing it that way. I think another thing is that if you do have a dynasty, or if you do have quite a few championships in a row, or at least get into the Grey Cup or to the East Final a lot of years in a row, many years in a row, I think that would really help as well to get more butts in seats. And that's a whole different discussion as far as why teams aren't able to get a dynasty in the CFL. And that has a lot to do with coaches and players coming and going. So that's a whole different topic for a different show.

Brock:
Yeah, I agree. Let's move on to something else that everybody's going to jump on or is jumped on or whatever the case is for the next month. And that is the World Cup. And I think a lot of times people look at this and they say, "I'm going to go to my heritage because Canada's not in the World Cup. And so the next best thing is go to my heritage and cheer on that team." Well, in this case, the Canadians are in the World Cup. How do we think they're going to fare? No one is giving them much of a chance in this group. Claire, what say you on this?

Claire:
I don't think that we as a country have extremely high hopes for them going deep into this tournament. I think we're being realistic with that. The big thing is that we're just celebrating that we're there and I am excited to watch these guys play because you can tell from their coach, all the way down to their players that they want to soak this up and take it as a learning experience so that they can get back there in the future. So it'll be exciting to watch them play and see a country behind them. But I've had a couple of England jerseys back in my day and growing up with half my family being right from England and immigrants from there. But yeah, I might have to add a Canadian jersey to the lineup.

Cameron:
Yeah, I'm going to have to add a Canadian jersey to my line too. But usually I'm going for a Cameron, so that's usually my World Cup team.

Brock:
I wonder why.

Cameron:
I can't cheer for them this year, I got to cheer for Canada. So yeah, I think with Alphonso Davies, anything's possible when he's on your team and as long as he's healthy, there's been discussion whether or not he's going to be able to be part of the first game or not part of the first game, or if he's going to be able to possibly play in the tournament. But I think that's going to happen. So Canada really surprised a lot of people this year and if they win one game, I would be very happier. Even if they were to get a draw, I would be very happy. But you know what? I think Pinball Clemons was saying it would take a miracle to beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, but Pinball, he believed in miracles. So hey, I'm going to use the same thing here. I don't know if it's going to take a miracle for Canada to maybe even win a game or to even make it in the far stages of the World Cup, but I believe in miracles. I believe in miracles.

Brock:
I believe in them as well. But for what it's worth, Belgium's, one of their main strikers whose name I'm not even going to attempt, but one of their main strikers is injured and is out for the tournament. That's going to change a lot of things. We need four points to have a potential of going to the knockout stage. I think if we were able to do that, then Canada would be happy. And I think you're going to see national pride really take place here. And I think that is where we need to look at these things. Having said that, the tournament for Canada gets going on Wednesday, so if you're listening to this on Tuesday, then it is tomorrow. So enjoy, get on the bandwagon and see where we go. That is the end of our show for this week. I'd like to thank Cam Jenkins, Claire Buchanan. Our technical producer is Marc Aflalo. Our manager is Andy Frank. Tune in next week because you just never know what happens when you enter The Neutral Zone. Have a great week and we'll talk to you next week. Be safe, be well.