FIDDLER’S FACTS: World Cup, Gray Cup in the spotlight of Canadian sport

Canada is making its first appearance in 36 years at the world’s most prestigious sporting event – the FIFA World Cup.

PEI football fans will be glued to their TVs when Canada meets favorites Belgium on November 23rd. Canada is in Group F with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco.

Although the John Herdman-led club eliminated the United States and Mexico to qualify for the World Cup, the competition in Qatar is much tougher. Belgium is world No. 2, Croatia reached the 2018 World Cup final, while Morocco is considered one of the best teams in Africa.

Football in Canada has grown by leaps and bounds since its last appearance. This country produces world-class players. Alponso Davies plays for Bayern Munich but is rumored to not have fully recovered from a hamstring injury.

If Davies is perfectly healthy and rising world-class stars like Jonathan David and Cyle Larin make it big, Canada could steal a game.

gray mug

Eastern champions Toronto Argonauts (11-7) and western champions Winnipeg Blue Bombers (15-3) meet in Regina on November 20 in the 109th edition of the Gray Cup, Canada’s soccer greatest prize.

Winnipeg, attempting to win its third consecutive Gray Cup, is a four-point favorite. Star Winnipeg QB Zach Collaros, the 2021 CFL MVP (and likely to win again), walked out of last week’s fourth-quarter playoff game with a sprained ankle.

Toronto has a top quarterback in McLeod Bethel-Thompson. He looked good in the 23-22 home loss to Winnipeg earlier in the season and hasn’t thrown an interception in his last five games. Add in the snow factor and this should be a thriller.

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Here are a few things to talk about in PEI coffee shops this morning:

… Local tennis crowds are still raving about Montreal’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, upset in Italy against world No. 2 Rafael Nadal. Tennis is another sport where young Canadian grand circuit stars are in the spotlight.

… Did you know that Frank (Butch) Callaghan, who passed away last week, was the SDU’s varsity goalkeeper on a team with top scorer Dick Tingley? Butch was the brother of the popular Dr. Harry Callaghan, a junior varsity basketball guard and a talented first baseman in the City Baseball League in the early 1960s.

… Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Logan Thompson has had a strange and checkered journey into the NHL. He started at Brock University in 2018-19.

… Donnie McGuigan, who passed away last week, was a back-up goaltender for the Junior Islanders in his time but has been a regular on the light rail for the past 40 years. A great guy who we will miss very much.

NFL

After Washington upset previously unbeaten Philadelphia, players have concerns about “suspensions” entering the NFL’s 11th week.

A look at the Nov. 20 games:

Rams (3-6) at Saints (3-7): Rams are without Cooper Kupp and QB Matt Stafford is in doubt after suffering a concussion last week. That’s enough for me – Saints by default.

Jets (6-3) at Patriots (5-4): Betting against Bill Belichick in late November in New England, that’s all you need to know. The Patriots, who smothered the Jets three weeks ago, are doing it again.

Cowboys (6-3) at Vikings (8-1): Cowboys are preferred, but not in my book. Vike’s QB Kirk Cousins ​​has plenty of receivers and the addition of All-Pro tight end TJ Hockenson is another target that can help the run game. Vikings win instantly.

Bengals (5-4) at Steelers (3-6): Bengals are coming off a bye, and QB Joe Burrow is healthy with many weapons. Pittsburgh smothered the Saints last week, but Cincinnati is more talented, finally healthy and will cover the 4.5 span.

Lions (3-6) at Giants (7-2): G Men can count on Sequin Barkley to run against a leaky Detroit defense. Detroit will score, but the Giants, battling for a playoff spot, can easily cover as a three-point favorite.

harness racing

… It’s a big weekend in Red Shores Charlottetown with Horse Persons Day on November 19th and another card on November 20th. Post hours are 12:30 p.m. The annual drivers competition should be interesting as most of the best drivers are in action and fighting for money. Racing fans will rejoice as turkeys, fuel cards, restaurant vouchers and various prizes will be available via draws.

… There were many Maritimers at the Harrisburg Sale, and most brought home yearlings and racehorses. Wayne MacRae and Gilles Barrieau took home yearlings, as did Earl Watts and Wayne McGean and the Cape Breton Boys, and Andrew Moore from Rideau and Ron MacDonald from Guelph. dr John Hennessey was at the auction, as was Dr. Ian Moore, who bought four heads, including a high-priced Bettors Delight for Serge Savard and Ron MacLellan.

… Stable.Ca’s Anthony MacDonald has spent almost $700,000 on eight or nine year olds, in addition to the $1.2 million he spent in Lexington. At the auction in Kentucky he got a full sister of King of the North for about $185,000. This was before the big stallion won his elimination and the Breeders Crown in a course record of 1:50:3 at Mohawk for Mark MacDonald.

… One of the hottest local horses of late is Kimball Bernard’s Buddysnvirgins, who won again last week in 2:00 for driver Mark Bradley. It is co-owned by George Halliwell and driver Bradley.


Fred MacDonald’s column appears in the Guardian every Saturday. He can be reached at [email protected].



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