Dunigan won't be cheering for either of his old teams

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

Matt Dunigan's deep ties to the Edmonton Eskimos don't mean a thing when it comes to picking the winner of Saturday's East Division playoff semifinal game.

The TSN analyst is not choosing the Green and Gold against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"I'll say Winnipeg wins at home," said Dunigan.

The former quarterback who played five seasons in Edmonton (1983-87), will be in an interesting spot during TSN's one-hour pregame show (10 a.m. MT) on Saturday because he played for both teams.

When asked who he is cheering for Saturday, Dunigan was ready with a good reply: "The best team."

In reality, there is no cheering.

But he does speak his mind on Edmonton's shortcoming.

"Edmonton is a different team on the road than at home. That has to change," he remarked.

The Esks finished the regular season with a 7-2 record at Commonwealth Stadium, tied for the league high.

But on the road, the club had just three wins in nine games.

As for the keys within this weekend's game, Dunigan lists many.

"Edmonton taking care of the football and stopping the run," he commented. "And Winnipeg has to sustain the line of scrimmage."

MEDIA MUSINGS

With an economic slowdown underway, credit to the local CTV and CBC stations for sending a sports reporter to Winnipeg to cover the Eskimos.

However, Global TV is not sending John Sexsmith or Dean Millard from their Edmonton affiliate to cover the game.

Apparently, Global will jump on the media wagon if the Eskimos advance to the East Division final in Montreal.

RADIO RUMBLINGS

A well-placed source tells Sun Media it's premature to suggest Bryan Hall is in his final season as the play-by-play voice of the Edmonton Eskimos on 630 CHED radio.

It's believed CHED will secure a new rights contract with the club and return as the flagship station next season.

At this point, it appears Hall will also return to the broadcasts in 2009.

But with Hall now 74 years old, there needs to be some succession planning in the near future.

It would be wise for CHED to start identifying a new play-by-play voice and working that person into the booth with Hall next season.

In fact, next year - or the next two seasons, for that matter - it would be a good idea to have a new voice start calling a quarter per game.

If you are looking for candidates to be an eventual replacement for the legendary broadcaster, there are two in this city right now.

Sexsmith - a Global sports anchor - and former Edmonton Oilers' radio colour analyst Morley Scott should be considered.

Energetic Eskimo colour analyst Dave Campbell should return to his role next year.

PARTING SHOTS

The CBC's Fifth Estate is working on a feature involving Edmonton Eskimos linebacker coach Dan Kepley ... With TSN handling all CFL regular-season games this year, overall audience figures increased by 6% over last season. An average of 393,000 people tuned in to games, up from 371,000 last year.


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