Esks relying on experience

JOHN SHORT

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

There's no way right now to tell if the Edmonton Eskimos are getting better, but one thing is clear.

They're getting older.

Through history, the best CFL teams - the best teams in every sport except the dollar-crazed baseball Yankees - have done by drafting or recruiting young players and filling the holes with serviceable vets.

Unless things change between now and the start of training camp, it's fair to guess the Eskimos will be counting once again on the smarts of guys who have been around for awhile.

It doesn't bother me much that Tyler Ebell is gone, or that another in the long line of inconsistent or injury-prone import receivers is gone, too. What bothers me is that Goldie McLendon is still around.

He says all the right things and apparently works hard in the off-season but nothing in the history of this once-touted running back suggests he can be serviceable - even as a backup.

DEAN OF DIRECTORS

After MacEwan Community College athletic director Mark Mahl was left to twist in the wind for several months, a decision has been made: he's no longer on staff.

Mahl's departure (dismissal?) extends the list of replaced athletic directors to three in a row -not including Bill Dean, who steps in whenever and wherever needed.

Ken Larson, now the executive director of Alberta Basketball, was given a handshake several years ago.

More recently, Phil Allen was given similar treatment, and he entered the weekend needing one victory by the Lakeland Rustlers to give him a whopping 800 in his basketball coaching career.

Now, it's Mahl's turn to wave farewell.

MacEwan bosses, as usual, are saying little.

Dean, as usual, is filling the gap until someone else comes along.

CONFUSING CATS

The Edmonton Cracker-Cats saga gets more interesting by the day.

Owner Dan Orlich says he has not received an offer to sell the franchise. A former Northern League operator insists that he did place an offer.

Orlich and Erica Cruz and what else remains of the Cracker-Cats are in the Northern League no longer, of course. Now, they're complicating the Golden League - whatever quality that league may be.

Another interesting fact surfaced Friday.

Veteran reporter Scott Taylor, who's close to the Winnipeg Goldeyes, told me that Orlich once talked to him about becoming general manager here.

Taylor was instructed to show up at the Winnipeg airport where a ticket would be left for him. He would fly to Edmonton and the offer would be discussed face-to-face.

Taylor says he showed up; the ticket did not.

Do I expect a denial from Orlich or someone in his group? Of course. That's been his pattern since Day One.


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