With the report I posted late last night already having over 700 “views” I feel bad for letting people down today. A specialist’s appointment this afternoon, that I could not reschedule, prevented me from getting to Guelph. With only a single practice in the morning tomorrow I won’t make that either but I have already spoken with a knowledgeable football observer who will be there and “take notes”. If you want to see truly comprehensive training camp coverage check out UofS’s Huskies Outsider. With a plethora of writers they have already pumped out nine informative posts today. And this nice video from today’s practice by OutsiderTV.
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Speaking of Saskatchewan, the Huskies will be conducting their tenth preseason practice this evening and will have had 13 in total before Friday night’s game. Guelph, on the other hand, has just completed their fourth. Tomorrow the Gryphons will hold a marathon 4 hour practice. Then they don’t practice again until Sunday. It seems that air travel takes a bigger bite out of the practice schedule than busing it. When Guelph went to Montreal to face Concordia it only cost them one practice on their travel day. So too for McMaster as they head to Laval this weekend.
If there is any fault here it lies with the universities that make up the OUA. I don’t think the OUA should go to a full 3 week training camp as the Quebec league [RESQ] has but at a minumum the OUA should allow teams that are playing a preseason game against an opponent not on their regular season schedule to start 3 days earlier. It would encourage more teams to play non-conference games. That would be good for CIS football.
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I heard a good news story from a Gryphon fan. She received a message from a relative telling her of “an awesome display of class” by members of the Gryphon football program that she had witnessed. Yesterday, the team “sang Happy Birthday to a 16 year old girl at East Side Marios and as one staff member put it to me…that has to be the best 16th birthday present ever, it was very sweet.”
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I noticed last week that the Gryphons Box Office has put on-line sales of football tickets on hold. I don’t know the reason but my assumption is that it has to do with the stadium renovations. I see two potential issues: 1) the Athletic Department may not know the number of tickets that can be sold until the construction is complete. You can’t sell 10,000 tickets if 3-4,000 people can’t sit on the hill; 2) there may have been some fear that the field would not be ready for the Sept 15 opener. Providing refunds could have been a major headache. I don’t see that being an issue now but bureaucrats are risk averse.
If that’s not enough, tonight I went on-line to buy tickets for the Mac game. I have bought them this way before and still have an active McMaster ticket account. In spite of that I could not make the purchase. I don’t know what the problem was. With Labour Day falling during Mac’s frosh week activities you don’t want to count on getting tickets at the gate. I have already sent out a few inquiries about these ticket issues. The one bright spot this week is that I did manage to purchase a pair of $80 ducats for the Michigan State vs Boise State game in East Lansing on Friday, August 31.