‘The Waggle’ is the official podcast of the Canadian Football League, hosted by Gemini nominated broadcaster Donnovan Bennett. To subscribe and listen to recent episodes, please see below.
Episode 278: Reeling in Rider Nation w/ Claire Hanna
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We have CFL on TSN’s Claire Hanna joining us from Regina this week to discuss the mood in Saskatchewan following a tough loss for the Riders at Mosaic last weekend. We also discuss the Stamps’ tough road ahead out west and even mix in a few volleyball takes with our former member of Team Canada guest.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Claire Hanna introduction (2:30), The vibe in Saskatchewan without football last year and to have it back now (3:30), Cody Fajardo and the mindset around Labour Day games (6:30), Labour Day & the upcoming Banjo Bowl (8:00), Covering multiple sports, Olympics and promoting volleyball coverage (11:30), Claire’s volleyball journey to Team Canada (15:00), Using her athletic background as a way to better relate to athletes she covers (17:00), The surprising start for Stamps QB Jake Maier (20:00), Injury reporting and players knowing if they’re ready to play (22:30), Building the CFL brand (24:30), The association of Claire Hanna the reporter as a member of the CFL family (29:00), Banjo Bowl and how the Riders respond (30:30), Must-win for the Stampeders in Edmonton? (31:30), Donnovan’s final thoughts (35:00)
Episode 277: Welcome to Mark’s LD Weekend w/ Derek Taylor
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We’re teeing up all the headlines around the CFL, including the great rivalries that encompass Mark’s Labour Day Weekend with someone who’s seen them all for a long time – the voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Derek Taylor.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Which Mark’s Labour Day Weekend rivalry is the best? (1:30), Which matchup has the biggest long-term ramifications this year? (3:00), QB struggles to start 2021 for Montreal and Ottawa (4:45), Where does Hamilton turn at QB this week and down the stretch? (8:30), How are other teams handling the COVID scare in Edmonton? (10:45), Jacob Ruby released and front office policing instead of locker rooms (13:45), Fan reaction in Saskatchewan to Mosaic requiring proof of vaccination (16:30), Impact legalized sports betting can have on the CFL (20:00), Early betting opportunities heading into the weekend’s games (23:45), Sign off (26:25)
Episode 276: Breaking things down with Brad
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Recently retired Ottawa great Brad Sinopoli joins Donnovan this week to give his perspective on the 2021 season so far, as well as talk about the REDBLACKS .500 start ahead of their home opener this weekend.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Right to ‘congratulate’ someone on retirement? (1:00), Finding yourself away from football (5:00), Brad’s new position with Ottawa (10:30), REDBLACKS surprising the league so far (12:30), RJ Harris and stepping into a leadership role as a receiver (16:00), Rick Campbell returning to Ottawa this weekend (19:30), Edmonton going through their Covid-19 situation (23:00), Scouting the future of Canadian QBs (25:30), Bigger surprise: East standings or Calgary struggles? (29:00), Wrap up with Sinopoli + Donnovan’s final thoughts (31:40)
Episode 275: QB Controversies with Farhan Lalji
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The QB position is dominating headlines in the CFL, whether it be the Michael Reilly/Nathan Rourke situation in BC, questions around who will start in Hamilton and Toronto, or the 0-2 Alberta teams. To help us make sense of it all is the CFL on TSN’s Farhan Lalji.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Bo Levi Mitchell (recorded prior to 6-game announcement) (2:30), Struggles in Calgary and urgency to rebound (5:40), More concerning: Calgary or Edmonton? (8:30), BC QB reporting and starting (10:45), What does Hamilton do at QB after the bye? (18:55), Similar questions surrounding the Argos QBs? (22:30), BC and Toronto team success and their markets (26:00), Canadian skill position players stepping up in the NFL (29:50), Donnovan’s final thoughts (34:00)
Episode 274: Welcome back with Rod Black
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Hello Canada! How good did that feel? We FINALLY welcomed our beloved league back last week, and this week on The Waggle we talk to a man who was in the building calling the action as we kicked off the 2021 season, CFL on TSN’s Rod Black.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Rod Black intro (1:00), Getting back in the saddle (1:30), The atmosphere being back in a stadium (3:15), Adjusting to all the new names and faces (5:00), Defence dominating across Week 1 (7:30), Will offences rebound in Week 2? (9:00), Injury reporting and the Reilly/Rourke confusion (12:30), Alouettes making their 2021 debut (15:30), What’s the premiere game of Week 2? (19:00), Rod looking ahead to Women’s World Hockey Championships (21:30), Tyler Black (Rod’s son) being drafted into the MLB (26:00), Donnovan’s final thoughts (32:00)
Episode 273: We’re Back! Previewing Week 1 w/ Marshall Ferguson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: It’s been a long time coming, but here we are. Week 1 of the CFL season is upon us! To take a look at all nine teams heading into kickoff of the 2021 season, CFL on TSN’s Marshall Ferguson chats with Donnovan Bennett about all the match-ups.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Marshall’s new gig (1:30), Hamilton @ Winnipeg (4:50), BC @ Saskatchewan (10:15), Toronto @ Calgary (15:00), Ottawa @ Edmonton (20:40), Montreal (bye week) (26:30), Introduction of injury reports (29:00)
Game Changers presented by CDIC: Episode 1
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Our first episode of Game Changers presented by CDIC, a very special edition of the Waggle Podcast, is out now! Donnovan Bennett is joined by Jo-Anne Polak, the first ever female GM in a professional sports league in North America, and by a special co-host, KateMcKenna.
Episode 272: Catching up with Courtney Stephen
EPISODE OVERVIEW: This week, Donnovan is joined by former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Courtney Stephen, who was just named the organization’s director, community partnerships.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Courtney Stephen introduction (0:50), Courtney talks about his new role in community relations with the Ticats (1:30), discussing how to handle finances after professional athlete career is over (5:30), Courtney talks about the future business seminar series (7:30), diversity in leadership roles in sports and business (8:30), how Courtney is planning to deliver with his his new role for the Ticats (13:45), personal finance advice after Covid could have disrupted your income (17:30), how important it is to be aware of where your money is going (19:30), games you can play with yourself to be more aware about finances (22:00), athletes and handling finances (25:00), NCAA athletes starting to make money and how they should handle it (30:00), importance for young athletes/students to save and start investing (33:00), what to expect from this CFL season (34:30), how fast teams will be able to get up to speed with no pre-season (37:00), Donnovan’s final thoughts (40:00).
Episode 271: Season preview with Natey Adjei
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan is joined by recently retired receiver Natey Adjei, who discusses his post-playing transition and helps break down the coming 2021 CFL season.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Donnovan introduces Natey Adjei (30 sec), Adjei talks about his decision to retire (1:15), the transition in life to no longer playing football (7:00), missing the start of training camp and and what Adjei misses (8:30), different ways to still channel his competitive nature (11:00), how players get their bodies back to playing shape after the long layoff (15:00), training by yourself is different than training on the field (17:30), how to evaluate players during training camp (20:00), new challenges for players for being COVID-19 compliant (21:30), how players need to be following the rules for the league-implemented COVID restrictions (25:00), injuries that have happened in training camp so far (27:30), what the Argos’ new talented roster will look like (31:00), competition for roster spots on the Argos will be very high (33:30), dark horses for West player and team (38:00), dark horse team in the East (42:00), dark horse player in the East (43:30), Adjei talks about his podcast (45:00), Donnovan’s final thoughts (45:00).
Episode 270: Previewing the Riders and the Bombers
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We wrap up our team previews with help from Murray McCormick covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and Darrin Bauming discussing the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Murray McCormick intro (1:15), A wild, injury-riddled start to Riders camp (1:45), How does Jeremy O’Day handle this, given restrictions? (5:45), How does the team make up for the loss of Brendon LaBatte? (8:45), Additions and subtractions in previous free agency periods (11:30), How do the Riders stack up in the west? (13:00), No fans allowed at Riders camp (15:30), Darrin Bauming intro (17:30), The vibe in Winnipeg waiting so long to defend the title (18:00), Being able to keep a championship roster mostly intact (20:00), Big losses or additions since 2019 (24:45), Losing Paul LaPolice and how Buck Pierce steps in (27:00), Are we still concerned about Zach Collaros’ health? (30:45), How do the Bombers stack up in the west? (34:30), Darrin’s new venture, bonfiresports.ca (37:25) Donnovan’s final thoughts (40:00).
Episode 269: Previewing the Alouettes & REDBLACKS
EPISODE OVERVIEW: This week we look east as we preview the 2021 REDBLACKS and Alouettes, and to do so we get help from our friends Tim Baines in Ottawa and Joey Alfieri in Montreal.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Tim Baines intro & mood in Ottawa with football coming back (1:30), Ottawa’s short legacy of success and will that be sustained? (2:45), Changing faces at QB (4:30), The impact of losing Brad Sinopoli to retirement (6:00), Who will fill the voids in the receiving corps? (8:00), Other big losses to retirement (10:15), Realistic expectations in the East this year (12:15), What it means to get football back across Canada (13:30), The buzz in Ottawa on game days (16:30), Joey Alfieri intro & expectations for the Alouettes in 2021 (17:00), Maciocia’s early impact on the team as GM (19:30), The ceiling for Vernon Adams Jr. as QB1 (21:30), The strength and depth of the receiving corps (23:45), The impact of William Stanback returning (26:00), Upgrades to the pass defence (28:00), What is the barometer for success in 2021? (31:30), The feeling and belief in the new ownership (33:45), Analyzing a very tough schedule to start the season (35:30), Montreal as a sports city and the Canadiens playoff run (38:30), The next Montreal sports team to be crowned champions? (41:00), Donnovan’s final thoughts (42:45)
Episode 268: Previewing the Lions & Betting on the CFL
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The BC Lions have a new front office and coaching staff, but how will they fare on the field in 2021 against the ultra-competitive west division? Later, TSN’s Dave Naylor discusses Bill C-218 that allows legal single game sports betting in Canada, and how it may impact the CFL.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Giulio Caravatta interview begins (1:30), Biggest differences from 2019 Lions to 2021 Lions (2:00), Offensive line struggles in 2019 (3:30), The depth of the Lions young QB room (7:00), Big names lost/gained in free agency (9:45), How do the Lions stack up in the west? (12:45), Dave Naylor interview begins (16:00), Growth opportunities with the legalization of single game betting (16:30), Implementing betting into the culture and experience of a CFL game (19:30), Is the CFL a bet-friendly game? (23:00), Real concerns over influence betting can have? (26:00), Adjusted roster sizes in 2021 (29:45), Donnovan’s final thoughts (32:45)
Episode 267: Previewing The Rival Ticats & Argos
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We travel along the QEW this week as Don Landry previews the 2021 Toronto Argonauts, followed by Ticats Digital Host Louis Butko talking Tabbies.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Don Landry introduction (1:10), Biggest difference from the 2019 team (2:00), The changing face of QB for the Argos (4:00), The Stampeders of the East (6:15), Big splash signings in free agency (8:00), Canadian linebackers (10:30), Noteworthy Argos making their CFL debut (13:00), Competition in the kicking game (16:00), What are expectations for the Argos in 2021? (18:45), Louis Butko introduction (21:30), How different is the 2021 version of the Ticats? (22:00), Necessary changes and staying the same (23:45), Two proven starters at QB (25:30), Assessing Ticat draft picks (28:00), Two years of free agency moves (30:00), The Grey Cup being held in Hamilton (33:00), Ticats chances of winning the East (36:45), Donnovan’s final thoughts (40:00)
Episode 266: Path to kickoff with Commissioner Ambrosie
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The CFL is coming back August 5th! To talk about how we got here, and what will happen between now and the start of the 2021 season we spoke to the CFL Commissioner himself.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The reaction to the CFL’s return (2:00), What went into getting a CBA ratified (2:45), Collaborating with Provincial protocols (4:00), The hope of getting fans in the stands (6:00), The possibility of “vaccine passports” for attendance (7:00), Board of Governors decision to play in 2021 (8:15), Could we see the playoff format change? (10:30), Getting players back into the country and their markets (12:30), What else needs to happen before we kick off the season on August 5th? (15:00)
Extra: Time for change with Natan Obed
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Natan Obed is President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the national representative organization for Inuit in Canada. In 2015, he spoke up against Edmonton’s team name at the time. Today, in honour of Indigenous History Month, we speak with him about why the change was so important and how we as a country can continue to seek change for the better.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Speaking up against the Edmonton team name in 2015 (1:45), Why the former team name was offensive and problematic (4:30), The importance of names and how we address individuals and their communities (8:00), Does the Edmonton conversation apply to other indigenous mascot names? (12:15), Natan’s personal experience as a minority in sport (16:45), Conversations with the Edmonton team to influence the name change (20:30), What can be done to better engage and include Indigenous communities? (25:00), Learning our past and gestures intended to influence change (28:30), Embracing change (34:45)
Episode 265: Previewing the Alberta teams
EPISODE OVERVIEW: It’s all about Alberta this week as we talk to Morley Scott about the new-look Elks, as well as Stampeders legend and hall-of-famer Jon Cornish about his philanthropic contributions to the city of Calgary and what the Stamps might look like in 2021.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Morley Scott introduction & constant change in Edmonton (2:30), Where does Edmonton’s roster stand? (3:50), Jaime Elizondo’s philosophy and how the roster will be shaped (5:00), Local response to the Elks new name (7:00), Support for Indigenous rights in Edmonton (12:15), Oilers vs Elks, who wins a title first? (14:30), the state of Alberta’s fight against Covid-19 (19:30), Can the Elks win the West in 2021? (21:30), Jon Cornish introduction (24:30), The ‘Cornish Trophy’ in the NCAA (25:30), Advocating for important causes and what role can football play? (27:45), Inclusion in football for LGBTQ2S+ (32:30), Stampeders long stretch of success and expectations for 2021 (37:45), Jon’s philanthropic involvement in Calgary (40:30), Donnovan’s final thoughts (43:00)
Episode 264: Bo Levi Mitchell loyal to the soil
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Calgary QB Bo Levi Mitchell checks in this week to talk about getting ready to take the field again, staying loyal to Calgary and his new podcast.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Bo Levi Mitchell introduction (1:00), How his new podcast started (1:30), Bo knows golf (4:45), How has he evolved as a QB over the years? (5:45), The meaning behind Bo’s tattoos (7:35), What does Canada and Calgary mean to him? (10:00), Being around family more this past year (13:30), The ability to get fully healthy over an extended off-season (16:25), Roster changes in Calgary since 2019 (18:45), Shoulder health going into 2021 (22:45), Bo’s thoughts on talks with the XFL (25:10), The Benny & Bo Show (28:30), Donnovan’s final thoughts (32:20)
Episode 263: Returning Stronger w/ Vernon Adams Jr.
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We check in with 2019 breakout star QB Vernon Adams Jr. who is excited to get back on the field with his Alouettes teammates for 2021.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Vernon’s excitement about an August 5th start date (1:30), Travelling back to Montreal in June (2:10), Getting vaccinated (2:40), Spending some extra time at home (3:30), Is VA in a better position to lead the Alouettes now vs this time 2020? (4:45), Coaching youth football camps (5:45), The difference of off-season work-outs now that things have opened up slightly (7:40), “Als Flock West” workouts in Washington (8:40), How the roster looks heading into 2021 (9:30), One free agency loss that the team will really miss (10:30), One free agency signing that Vernon’s most excited for (11:00), Continuing momentum from 2019 or clean slate/fresh start? (12:35), What it’ll take to get fans back in the stands (13:45), Donnovan’s final thoughts (15:10)
Episode 262: Hangin’ with Hall-of-Famer Don Wilson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Hall of Fame football player, and Hall-of-Fame-level storyteller Don Wilson joins the podcast this week to talk about his memories of the CFL, attending Wayne Gretzky’s wedding, his acting career, beating Jamie Foxx at ping-pong and much more.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Don Wilson introduction (1:00), Finding out he was entering the CFHOF (2:00), Playing for Edmonton and Toronto (5:30), 4x Grey Cup champion (6:30), Attending Wayne Gretzky’s wedding with Damon Allen (8:00), Moving to LA and getting into acting (9:00), Doing a scene with Pierce Brosnan in “After the Sunset” (12:30), Common traits of greats Don’s been around in sports and acting (14:00), Taking John Candy’s private jet while playing for the Argos (15:30), Playing twice for Pete Carroll in NCAA & NFL (17:30), Missing out on being in “Any Given Sunday” film (20:20), Working with Jamie Foxx (22:00), The best “Don Wilson story” (23:00), Interview wrap-up (27:00), Donnovan’s final thoughts (28:30)
Episode 261: No. 1 Draft pick Jake Burt
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Hear from 1st overall CFL Draft selection Jake Burt, as the former Boston College/New England Patriots TE expects a lot from himself and his new team – the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Jake Burt interview begins (1:10), How Jake decided to pursue the CFL (1:45), How highly touted did he think he was entering the CFL Draft? (5:30), Getting the call from coach Steinauer and his Ticats ‘care package’ (8:30), Keeping the news from family until the draft started (11:00), Getting a shout out from Boston College/Ticats great Darren Flutie (12:00), Family roots in Regina and converting them to Ticats fans (14:10), Burt family ties to Newfoundland (16:00), A message to a Ticats season ticket holder (17:55), Sharing stories about Riders fans (22:25), Jake’s season with the Patriots and how much he learned and grew (24:00), How would things have been different if he entered the CFL last year? (30:00), How the CFL game might uniquely suit his skill set (34:00), Story of being a highly touted volleyball player in high school (36:15), Jake’s final thoughts and excitement for getting started (41:30), Donnovan’s final thoughts (43:00).
Episode 260: CFL Draft breakdown with Farhan Lalji
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Fresh off TSN’s broadcast of the 2021 CFL Draft, Farhan Lalji joins Donnovan to share his thoughts on the Draft overall, the recent rise in quality Canadian talent in the NCAA and a look ahead to getting the CFL back on the field this summer.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Farhan’s overall perspective of the Draft (1:30), Chuba Hubbard to Calgary (3:00), Jake Burt to Hamilton 1st overall (5:00), Ottawa’s draft (7:50), Lions long-term approach to the Draft (12:20), Liam Dobson to Winnipeg 3rd overall (15:00), Nelson Lokombo to Saskatchewan 2nd overall (16:20), How deep the DB class was, yet not many in first 2 rounds (19:15), Saskatchewan grouping 2020 & 2021 Draft to assess larger needs (21:45), Canadians being selected or signed following NFL Draft (24:45), Emergence of Canadian skill position players (27:30), Players coming from across the country, not just GTA (30:00), Updates on the CFL’s return to play plans (32:00)
Episode 259: CFL Draft preview with Marshall Ferguson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: CFL Draft expert Marshall Ferguson joins Donnovan on the show this week to help preview the upcoming CFL Draft on May 4th.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Marshall Ferguson intro (1:30), The impact of double draft class (2:30), Players opting out or returning to school (6:00), Global Draft impact on Canadian scouting and roles (9:15), New staffs building new teams across the league (14:30), Linemen (O&D) fitting into the 2021 class (19:00), Canadian QB options draft day sleepers (24:45), Donnovan’s final thoughts (30:45)
The Waggle Extra: Randy Ambrosie & Taking the Field in 2021
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Commissioner Randy Ambrosie joins us to discuss today’s announcement of the CFL’s plan to return to the field on August 5th.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Summary of the ‘return to play’ announcement (0:40), Randy Ambrosie introduction (1:30), How the revised kickoff and Grey Cup date were decided (2:00), ‘drop dead date’ for when a decision can be made (6:00), Rumors around owners/B.O.G. not being on same page (8:30), Capacity threshold for fans in stadiums? (10:30), Will Grey Cup Festival still be possible? (12:30), How vaccines will impact the fans in the stands (14:45), the CFL taking strategies from other leagues (16:35), Improving the long-term business model of the CFL (19:00)
Episode 258: Going Global with Greg Quick
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The CFL’s former Director of Global Scouting, Greg Quick (now with Montreal) gives his insight to the level of talent converging on the CFL from around the globe and how his Alouettes fared in the Global Draft.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Greg Quick intro (1:40), Greg’s take on the 2021 crop of Global players (2:15), Alouettes selections and taking a punter first (4:30), What’s in the water in Australia for kickers? (10:30), The complexities of CFL GM’s balancing rosters and adding Global players (14:45), COVID-19 and how it impacted both Global Draft and CFL Draft (14:45), Thoughts on the 2021 class of Canadians in the CFL Draft (14:45), How do you approach training camp in this climate? (27:30), The Alouettes and the outlook in 2021 (29:30), Donnovan’s final thoughts (33:30)
Episode 257: Meet the 2021 Hall of Famers
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The honour is all ours on this episode of The Waggle as we get the opportunity to speak with three of the newest members of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame – Orlondo Steinauer, Nik Lewis and Marv Levy.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Orlondo Steinauer interview begins (1:50), Orlondo gives credit to those who helped him along the way (2:50), The players he coaches knowing he’s a hall-of-famer (5:30), How Orlondo would fare in today’s game (8:00), Longevity and how the game has changed (9:30), Individual vs team accolades (11:30), Other deserving players of HOF recognition (11:30), Nik Lewis interview begins (11:30), What made Nik different and a hall-of-famer (11:30), The signature Lewis leap/hurdle (19:30), How Nik would fare in today’s game (21:55), Training mentally (23:30), Both chapters of his pro career – Calgary and Montreal (23:30), Who else does Nik think should be in the Hall? (29:25), Message for young kids looking to become pros (33:00), What’s next for Nik Lewis? (36:25), Marv Levy interview begins (40:00), Being honoured in both CFL and NFL (40:30), The beginning of Marv’s coaching journey (41:30), Ideals from the CFL that he took to the NFL (43:00), The Alouettes and the Bills both on the rise once again (45:00), Donnovan’s final thoughts (48:45)
Episode 256: Global Draft and Scouring the World for Talent
EPISODE OVERVIEW: With the CFL Global Draft coming up on April 15th, the Canadian Football League’s CFO & Head of Football Operations, Greg Dick, joins Donnovan to discuss the challenges of scouting and drafting global talent during a pandemic.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Donnovan intro (0:10), Greg Dick interview begins (1:50), Challenges faced and adaptations made to scouting virtually (2:30), Impressive numbers coming from virtual combines (5:30), How global players are identified as candidates for CFL (8:00), Covid impact on players travelling (12:00), Backlog of young talent (Canadian & Global) at 2021 training camps (14:00), NFL International Pathway players and how they’ll be evaluated (15:50), The move to “snake” draft format for Global & National drafts (18:45), Greg interview wrap-up (20:30), Donnovan final thoughts (21:00 )
Episode 255: Henoc Muamba on boarding the ship in Toronto
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The always-inspirational Henoc Muamba joins Donnovan to discuss his decision to sign with the Argonauts, the influence of the perhaps even MORE inspiring Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons and how his family has changed him as a person.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Donnovan episode intro (0:00), Henoc introduction (1:00), The decision to leave Montreal in Free Agency (1:45), Being recruited by Pinball and the Argos (6:45), Henoc’s secret Pinball story (12:15), The ‘Muamba Moments’ podcast (13:15), Henoc partnering with the Peel District School Board in mentorship role (17:45), How becoming a father has changed his perspective on life (20:30), Henoc’s daughter learning that her Dad was no longer an Alouette (23:00), How Henoc fits on Argos roster + reuniting with Cameron Judge (26:00), How do Argos take a roster on paper and make it a competitive team (30:00), Henoc’s message to Montreal and Alouettes fans (32:00), Bringing a buzz back to Toronto (34:30), Henoc interview wrap-up (37:30), Donnovan’s final thoughts (38:45)
Episode 254: Bryan Chiu and Dave Dickenson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: In the wake of violence toward Asian communities, former Grey Cup champion offensive lineman Bryan Chiu shares his experiences and challenges, as well as those of his family. Later, Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson talks to Donnovan about the unique scouting challenges posed in 2021 without a traditional Combine, as well as how he has coped without a team to coach for over a year.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Episode introduction; Bryan Chiu intro (2:50); how recent events have impacted the Chiu family (3:50); has the pandemic increased racist acts? (6:00); Bryan playing youth football as an Asian child (6:45); Asian hate crimes on the rise in Vancouver and racism in Canada (8:30); how events are discussed and portrayed in media (14:30); how do we improve and how do others become allies? (16:15); Bryan being a trailblazer as a professional Chinese-Canadian football player (17:45); Donnovan’s final thoughts and Dave Dickenson intro (20:55); grading players now vs. when Dave was a player (23:00); the challenge of scouting highlight tapes (27:20); interviewing players virtually vs. in-person (30:30); dealing with the “backlog” of Canadian talent with 2020 picks not playing last year (32:30); the typical Stampeders “type” player, ie. Alex Singleton, Fraser Sopik (35:20); Stampeders’ inactivity during Free Agency (38:45); John Hufnagel & Dave’s involvement in scouting (43:00); Calgary’s backfield and the Trey Williams signing (45:25); how Dave has coped through the pandemic and the past year (47:45); thoughts on the CFL/XFL discussions (52:00); Dave Dickenson interview wrap-up (54:30); Donnovan’s final thoughts (55:00).
Episode 253: Celebrating the Women of the CFL
EPISODE OVERVIEW: This week we speak to just a few of the great women doing incredible work around the CFL. Donnovan is joined by guest co-host Kate McKenna as they talk with Sara Orlesky (CFL on TSN), Arielle Zerr (Saskatchewan Roughriders), Gemma Karstens-Smith (The Canadian Press) and Kristina Costabile (CFL.ca).
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Donnovan intros Kate McKenna as co-host (1:00); Kate’s relationship with football and the CFL (2:00); introducing the panel of guests on this episode (4:00); areas to grow when it comes to diversity (5:00); Sara Orlesky interview start (6:10); Sara and Kate’s memories of Chris Schultz (8:00); Sara’s relationship to football growing up (12:25); Donnovan & Sara remember covering the Vanier Cup (in the frigid cold) (15:20); Sara’s perception on sideline reporting as a woman (19:30); Sara’s authenticity on camera and being a role model to young girls (21:50); balancing being a mother and a demanding career (25:30); Sara Orlesky interview wrap-up (37:00); Kristina/Gemma/Arielle interview start (38:45); Arielle’s introduction to football growing up in Saskatchewan (39:10); Gemma’s early CFL memories growing up in Edmonton (41:50); Kristina’s connection to football growing up near Hamilton (44:30); times wishing there were more women working in the industry (46:30); women bringing a different perspective to the sport (47:30); being able to take pride in your work (50:15); Gemma on changing work perspective since becoming a mom (51:30); allyship and making professional sports a better place for women to work (53:20); advice for young women wanting to get into sports journalism (58:00); panel wrap-up (1:00:00); final thoughts from Donnovan & Kate (1:01:45).
Episode 252: Remembering the Gentle Giant, Chris Schultz
EPISODE OVERVIEW: James Duthie, Dave Randorf and Rod Smith join Donnovan to share stories and reflect on their time spent with Chris Schultz on the CFL on TSN panel. Schultz, the face of football on TSN in Canada, sadly passed away at the age of 61 last week.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Donnovan intro (0:00), Interview start (2:30), Duthie shares early memories on ‘CFL on TSN’ panel (3:00), Randorf early memories (6:30), Smith early memories (11:15), Schultz’s meticulous note-taking (14:30), Duthie’s video features with Schultz (20:00), Randorf stories of Schultz’s rigid punctuality (21:30), Smith’s story of Chris speaking to a HS team (25:00), Duthie’s small airplane story (27:45), Schultz’s connection to football people (coaches & players) (29:20), Schultz’s legacy as a Canadian football player (31:30), His dedication to the Purolator Tackle Hunger initiative (37:14), Everyone’s final thoughts on what Chris meant to them (39:15), Interview wrap-up (39:15), Donnovan episode close (48:20)
The Waggle Extra: Reina Iizuka is changing the game
EPISODE OVERVIEW: For International Women’s Day we spoke with Reina Iizuka, the first woman in history to crack the roster of a Canadian University men’s football team with the Manitoba Bisons.
To see a great video on Reina’s story, click here for a feature by Lewis Gordon.
Episode 251: Building the Boatmen w/ Ryan Dinwiddie
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The Toronto Argonauts made a big splash, in fact, a number of big splashes this off-season. This week on The Waggle, Donnovan talks to head coach Ryan Dinwiddie about all the moves and how he’s feeling finally heading into his first season at the helm.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Intro (0:00), Ryan Dinwiddie intro (1:30), Being a new head coach through a missed season (2:00), 2021 free agency signings (4:30), Defensive depth (7:00), Stable of ‘playmaking’ receivers (9:00), Bringing in John White, Terrell Sinkfield, Antonio Pipkin and Nick Arbuckle (11:30), Comfort level bringing in former Stampeders players (15:00), 2021 roster in March vs. 2020 roster in March (16:15), Toronto becoming a destination for talent (17:30), Dinwiddie’s involvement in scouting and player acquisition (18:50), Getting the fan base excited in Toronto (20:30), Interview wrap-up (22:45), Donnovan closing remarks (23:30)
Episode 250: Shared experiences as black broadcasters w/ Milt & Jermain
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan is joined for the final instalment in our Black History Month series by TSN’s Milt Stegall and Jermain Franklin, who have each blazed their own unique trail through the landscape of the CFL and Canadian sportscasting.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by Sport Clips (0:00), What does Black History Month mean to you? (2:17), Navigating the CFL as a Black person (10:41), On raising children in a complex and divided society (24:52), Where can we strive for improvement (24:52), Milt sneaks in some fashion talk (37:26)
Episode 249: Mentorship & representation w/ Duane Forde
EPISODE OVERVIEW: In the first of a two-part series, Donnovan is joined by his mentor and broadcasting colleague Duane Forde, a mainstay of the CFL on TSN broadcast team since 2008, for a discussion about the experience of Black broadcasters in football and the media industry as a whole. Donnovan continues the conversation next week with two more special guests.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by Sport Clips; Duane Forde and his quick thoughts on off-season activity (2:38); Duane’s influence on Donnovan’s early career (10:30); Duane tells how a meeting with Elliot Friedman led to his start in broadcasting (12:47); Diversity and representation in sports broadcasting (16:23); Where is there room to improve? (24:42).
Episode 248: Free Agency Frenzy w/ Lalji & Zimmerman
EPISODE OVERVIEW: With day one of 2021 Free Agency in the books, Donnovan is joined by two experts with a deep passion for the game. TSN’s Farhan Lalji provides his thoughts on Solomon Elimimian’s retirement, the Argos’ impressive early moves, and how grassroots football can bounce back in Canada post-COVID. Later on the episode we hear from Spencer Zimmerman, an experienced scouting director with stints with both Hamilton and Toronto to his name, who gives some deep insight into the thought processes teams go through during free agency.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by SportClips (0:00), Welcome Farhan. Solly retires with a lasting legacy (2:49), Argos’ early moves make waves (12:23), Bombers quiet on day one (16:28), Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Arbuckle/Nichols swap (18:29), Michael O’Connor gets another shot (22:29), Edmonton and BC (24:47), COVID effects on grassroots football (29:40), Welcome Spencer Zimmerman (32:44), Two styles of approach teams take in free agency (34:01), Highlighting two interesting moves from day one (40:45)
Episode 247: CFL memories & new job w/ Marcus Brady
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan connects with former CFL quarterback and coach Marcus Brady, who transitioned from the Argos coaching staff to the NFL in 2018 and was promoted to offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts last month.
Episode 246: Kyle Walters on unique off-season & looking ahead to 2021
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Winnipeg’s General Manager Kyle Walters chats with Donnovan about the unique challenges and tribulations of the pandemic off-season, and looking ahead to the new landscape of the CFL post-COVID.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by Sport Clips (0:00), Welcome Kyle Walters (2:07), Art vs. Science: is CFL GM the toughest exec job in sport? (5:28), Implications of a potential double draft class (9:01), Process of restructuring contracts and budgets (11:15), Has the pandemic made it easier to keep the Bombers championship roster intact? (20:28)
Episode 245: Catching up with CFL prospect Liam Dobson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Fresh off the release of the winter edition of the Scouting Bureau, Donnovan chats with Canadian NCAA lineman Liam Dobson, CFL prospect and sought after transfer from University of Maine who has found a new home at Texas State for his final season of college play.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by Sport Clips (0:00), Why Texas State was a good fit (3:33), Liam’s viral photo from last year (9:49), Natural athleticism in football (13:35), Ottawa’s emergence as a football hotbed (15:07), BBQ favourites (17:03), On the prospect of going pro (19:06)
Episode 244: New deal and new normal w/ Cody Fajardo
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo checks in on The Waggle to talk about his latest extension with the team and share how he’s handled a year without football at home. Later on the show, Cody shows off his analyst chops as he gives his thoughts on each NFL quarterback in the playoffs this weekend.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by SportClips (0:00), Catching up on 2020 and feeling the love from Riderville (2:05), Lessons learned from past QB teammates (8:39), Staying healthy during extended off-season (11:17), Dealing with the pandemic at home (20:33), NFL quarterback analysis and playoff matchups (23:29), Looking ahead to a Grey Cup in Regina (36:12)
Episode 243: Ringing in the New Year with Marshall Ferguson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Marshall Ferguson checks in on the ‘Pod for our first episode of the new year. Donnovan and Marsh chat about the wealth of Canadians excelling in the NCAA and take a look at the Free Agency pool including a check in on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Plus, Chris Streveler made headlines this weekend in the NFL, what did Marshall think about it?. All that and more on this episode of The Waggle.
Episode 242: ‘Chez returns home for the holidays
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis Sanchez returns to the pod just in time for our special holiday episode. Donnovan and Chez break down their dream guest list for a fantasy CFL holiday party. Who’s cooking in the kitchen? Who’s mixing the drinks? Why is Milt wearing a beard?? All that and more on the final episode of the year of the Waggle.
Episode 241: Stacey Dales’ Canadian connection, Campbell’s remote reunion
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan is joined by Stacey Dales, pro basketball player turned sports analyst currently for the NFL Network. Stacey reveals what it was like growing up with a CFL All-Star punter for a brother, and how her experience as a high level athlete has translated to her career as a reporter. Later on the show, Rick Campbell reflects on his recent Remote Reunion with players from the REDBLACKS inaugural roster.
Episode 240: Free Agency frenzy w/ Chris O’Leary
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Chris O’Leary joins Donnovan to highlight some of the more intriguing names found on the recently released free agent list, now available at CFL.ca. Later on the show, Travis Lulay reveals what it was like virtually gathering with his 2011 teammates to relive Grey Cup glory.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Initial thoughts on free agent list (4:05); Argos banking on local signings (10:28); Will we see a wave of retirements? (12″06); Who are the most valuable assets to hit the market? (14:02); Travis Lulay on the 2011 BC Lions Grey Cup (27:35).
Episode 239: Creating a CFL schedule with Trevor Hardy
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan chats with the CFL’s AVP of Business Operations and Analytics, Trevor Hardy. Known as @CFLCapGuy on Twitter, Trevor is the spreadsheet wizard tasked with creating the CFL schedule each season.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Trevor Hardy is welcomed to the show and talks about the multitude of schedules he made in 2020 and the many challenges of his job (2:25); planning a schedule in a pandemic (7:48); the science-art split in making a schedule (10:15); contingency plans and the challenges of booking games with venues that host other events (15:35); the impact that 2020 might have on future schedules (18:00); what an even number of teams would mean to a schedule maker (19:23).
Episode 238: Revisiting the 2005 Grey Cup 15 years later
EPISODE OVERVIEW: 15 years after capturing a heart-stopping Grey Cup victory for Edmonton, Ricky Ray, Jason Maas and Danny Maciocia look back but also talk about the CFL going forward into 2021. Later, Blue Bombers’ writer Ed Tait talks about a Matt Dunigan passing record that may be impossible to break.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Initial thoughts on ’05 GC (3:30); Ricky Ray on cornerroute to Derrell Mitchell (6:30); How the CFL has evolved (9:00); Maciocia on trying to build a team now vs. 2005 (12:20); Unsung heroes of ’05 team (14:30); Jason Maas on backing up Ray (19:00); 2020 without football (22:50); Ed Tait on Remote Reunion Revisited (31:35).
Episode 237: Dissecting the All-Decade Team w/ Duane Forde
EPISODE OVERVIEW: With the unveiling of the 2010-2019 “All-Decade Team”, we’ve brought in the one and only Duane Forde to break down who stands out the most of all the talented names on the list. Later, we talk to the best coach of the 1980s, Hugh Campbell, about his Edmonton dynasty in Remote Reunion Revisited.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The decade of the Canadian RB (3:30); No Canadian WRs (8:00); Grading offensive linemen (12:00); U Sports grad on special teams (14:30); Trying to pick the top QB (17:00); Student and teacher winning in CGY (20:45); Large wave of Canadian talent (24:00); Hugh Campbell on the Edmonton dynasty of the 80s (35:00).
Episode 236: The great Hugh Campbell and the biggest trade of all time
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We had the distinct privilege this week to talk to a CFL living legend – Hugh Campbell. The TEN-TIME Grey Cup champion and Hall-of-Famer talks about his life in the CFL, including a monumental 16-player trade he once pulled off with the Argonauts. Later, Rick Moffat talks about the 13th Man game and the 09 Alouettes championship.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcoming in Hugh Campbell (2:04); Missing the CFL in 2020 (3:00); CFL as a trailblazer (4:15); The 16-player trade of 1993 (13:15); Influence on Rick Campbell’s coaching career (18:05); Rick Moffat on the 2009 Montreal Alouettes (25:00).
Episode 235: Reuniting the Riders’ ‘Canadian Air Force’
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We’re going green this week – specifically, Rider green. First, we’ve gathered the Riders’ “Canadian Air Force” receivers Jason Clermont, Andy Fantuz, Chris Getzlaf and Rob Bagg. Later, Jamie Nye stops by to talk the 2007 Riders Grey Cup team for our Remote Reunion Revisited.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The origin of the Canadian Air Force nickname (2:30); Jason Clermont’s impact on young receivers (4:00); All receivers in U Sports at the same time (5:55); Changing the perception of Canadian receivers (8:45); Playing for Paul LaPolice (14:30); Favourite memories of playing with one another (23:00); Jamie Nye drops in to talk 2007 Riders GC (30:10).
Episode 234: Singleton in the Spotlight + Morreale on Ticats’ Beer Room
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Fresh off a pick-6 against the Niners and blowing up the Giants’ backfield, former Stampeder and current Eagles LB Alex Singleton catches up with Donnovan. Afterwards, Hamilton-born receiver Mike Morreale talks about winning the 1999 Grey Cup with the Ticats (and all the partying that ensued) in Remote Reunion Revisited.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Remembering David Braley and Joey Moss (1:00); Alex Singleton drops in (4:30); Making the most of his opportunity (11:30); Playoff hunt in Philly (13:45); Tackle inclusion and raising money for Special Olympics Pennsylvania (15:00); Mike Morreale joins the program (20:45); 1999 Ticats reunion and leadership roles now (24:00); Connection to the Hamilton community (26:00); The story behind the Tiger-Cats ‘Beer Room’ (27:45); Differences between teams of the 90’s compared to now (30:45). Did Charles Barkley save the Grey Cup? (35:30).
Episode 233: Rick Campbell weighs in on state of Leos after Hervey departure
EPISODE OVERVIEW: BC Lions head coach Rick Campbell discusses GM Ed Hervey stepping down and how the team moves forward in an already difficult year. Later, Don Landry reminisces on the dominance of the 1996 Toronto Argonauts.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Rick Campbell drops in (1:56); Campbell’s reaction to Hervey stepping down (2:35); Connecting to the modern athlete (10:20); Don Landry revisits the dominant 1996 Toronto Argonauts.
Episode 232: Flashiest receivers of the 2000s Pt. 2 w/ Nik Lewis & Ken-Yon Rambo
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Continuing the theme of last week’s interview with Bombers receivers Milt Stegall & Robert Gordon, this week Donnovan speaks with Nik Lewis and Ken-Yon Rambo – Stampeders receivers responsible for such TD celebrations as ‘The Bobsled’ and ‘The Bike’.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome back Nik Lewis and Ken-Yon Rambo (2:45); Balancing multiple receivers who demand the ball (5:20); Underrated teammates (7:00); Building the perfect receiver (7:55); Planning TD celebrations (9:00); Playing with Henry Burris (14:12); Lineage of talented WRs in Calgary (16:30); Interview with former Stamp & GC hero Mark McLoughlin
Episode 231: Flashiest receivers of the 2000s Pt. 1 w/ Milt Stegall & Robert Gordon
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We’re looking back on some of the flashiest receiving corps in the CFL, starting with Milt Stegall and Robert Gordon of the early-2000’s Bombers. To help us out, one of the flashiest receiver in recent memory, Emmanuel Arceneaux, steps in to help co-host!
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Manny Arceneaux drops in (2:30); Milt and Robert Gordon talk WPG WRs of the 2000s (4:00); Milt on ‘starting’ the TD dances (5:00); Manny on planning touchdown dances (6:30); Walking the walk and talking the talk (8:45); Receivers working together vs individuals (11:45); Timing and relationship with former QB Khari Jones (15:00); Talking Calgary celebrations (17:30); Receivers who didn’t get the credit deserved (18:20); Connection to Geroy Simon (24:40); Opinion of Arland Bruce lll (29:30); Games within the game for receivers (33:40); The next generation of receivers (36:00).
Episode 230: Brandon Bridge from QB to policing and the BLM Movement
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan Bennett is joined by former CFL quarterback Brandon Bridge to talk about his football career and his recent transition to policing and the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: When Brandon knew it was time for a career change (3:00); Transitioning from football (4:30); How would his CFL career been different (7:30); Why he wants to be a police officer (10:15); How did the Black community respond to his career choice? (12:40); How has Brandon perceived police brutality videos (15:20); What does ‘defund the police’ mean to you? (19:35); Playing at Southern US vs. Canada (23:06); What to say to kids who want to work in law enforcement? (29:06).
Episode 229: Checking in with Chris Streveler
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and 2019 Grey Cup Champion quarterback Chris Streveler chats with Donnovan about the transition to the NFL after joining the Arizona Cardinals for the 2020 season.
Episode 228: The first lady of the Grey Cup, Dayna Spiring
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Dayna Spiring is the Chair of the Winnipeg Football Club Board of Directors and in November at the 2019 Grey Cup she made history. Donnovan speaks with Dayna about representation, diversity and inclusion and her path to being the first woman to have her name inscribed on the Grey Cup.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Dayna on being the first woman on the Cup and how she found out (4:05); On diversity and inclusion in the CFL (7:40); The power of diversity in business (9:55); Inspiring women around the CFL (12:25); Women in football (14:00); How to be inclusive in football at every level (15:50); How Spiring became the Chair of the Blue Bombers (17:10); Engaging casual fans (19:15).
Episode 227: Hopping in the booth with legends of Labour Day broadcasting
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Broadcast legends Bob Irving, Mark Stephen and Rick Zamperin join Donnovan Bennet to discuss what Mark’s Labour Day Weekend means to their respective markets and share stories from years past.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcoming in Bob Irving (3:31); Mark Stephen on his best LD call (15:40); Stephen on favourite LD moments (16:20); Rick Zamperin on Ticats LD calls (26:21).
Episode 226: Debating the quarterback of the decade
EPISODE OVERVIEW: CFL.ca’s resident MMQB Pat Steinberg joins Donnovan Bennett to debate the best quarterback of the decade for the All Decade team presented by LeoVegas.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: How do you best evaluate the decade based on how the game has changed? (4:20); Do stats tell the whole story? (7:32); Pat’s QB vote and why (12:38); Hesitations on making the selection (15:30); Who is the best QB of the next decade? (18:40); Opt-out window and what it means (22:35); Which city will win the Grey Cup and Stanley Cup in the same year? (28:03); What is Pat binge watching? (30:50).
Episode 225: Jeremy O’Day outlines how GMs attack the next few months
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Jeremy O’Day, the VP of Football Operations and General Manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, joins Donnovan Bennett to talk about how football moves forward for CFL clubs with the news of a cancelled season.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Learning of the CFL’s cancellation (5:40); How to prepare for all scenarios (7:56); How to evaluate players during a pandemic (10:22); Players opting out of contracts (14:40); Significance of no GC in Regina in 2020 (18:33); Rider fans and their passion towards organization (21:02); Unexpected more time with family (25:42); Introducing the Grey Cup Fan Base (28:45).
Episode 224: Wade Miller breaks down what comes next
EPISODE OVERVIEW: With Donnovan away this week, President and CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Wade Miller joins Brodie Lawson to discuss next steps for the CFL and what the last few months have been like trying to get a 2020 season in action.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: On how Wade is feeling about the decision (3:34); What went into planning the bubble? (4:57); What have conversations been like with players? (6:00); Fan reaction and feedback (7:25); On the process that took us to August (8:33); What does 2021 look like and what are next steps? (10:41).
Episode 223: The two-QB system debate w/ Matt Dunigan & Joe Barnes
EPISODE OVERVIEW:A lot has been made about teams who run a 2-QB system, especially after Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler helped bring a Grey Cup back to Winnipeg last season. Two of the best to ever do it, Matt Dunigan and Joe Barnes, reconnect to talk about their experience with it.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcoming Matt Dunigan and Joe Barnes (2:30); Are they still throwing? (3:30); Viewpoints on the two-QB system (11:30); Trust with other QB competing for reps (18:00); How much does money matter with QBs (22:15); Handling the QB room (31:45); Former QBs coaching QBs (34:15); Build the perfect QB (39:20).
Episode 222: What it takes to stay in football shape
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We take a bit of a different course this week as Donnovan speaks with elite athlete trainer Matt Nichol about how players have been staying in football shape during the pandemic.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: What players should be focused on to stay in peak condition (3:50); What does gearing up look like so players can avoid injuries (5:48); On working with Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ Orlondo Steinauer (8:50); Challenges on being a ‘specialist’ in your position (12:30); Why work with the Tiger-Cats? (20:00).
Episode 221: Hub City and Edmonton name change
EPISODE OVERVIEW: CFL.ca’s Chris O’Leary joins Donnovan to discuss the Edmonton Football Team name change and the latest developments related to the potential Hub City scenario in Winnipeg.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Why Winnipeg as the Hub City? (4:04); The mental and physical challenges of a Hub City (7:50); Edmonton’s name change (12:33); Name changes in other leagues – more to come? (19:40); How did George Floyd’s death change perspective? (24:00); Amplifying black voices in the CFL (27:13); How do you vote for O-Linemen on ADT? (31:55).
Episode 220: Homecoming for GTA Argos
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Toronto Argonauts Natey Adjei and Juwan Brescacin both grew up in the GTA and after playing in the West Division they felt pulled to come back home. Juwan and Natey talk about what’s brought them home and what is keeping them busy outside of football.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Elite athletes from Mississauga (2:03); On decisions to play with Argos (6:10); Which GTA player they think works the hardest? (10:35); Staying motivated in the gym while waiting for season (11:30); What would playing in a hub city be like? (13:25); Aftermath of George Floyd murder and the (15:08); What are you binge watching right now? (30:40).
Episode 219: Henry and the Hall Call
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan is joined by CFL legend Henry Burris to celebrate the news of his pending induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: On the delayed HOF ceremony (6:30); How Henry got his call to the Hall (10:43); His wife’s vital role in HOF reveal (15:00); Who he called first (18:15); The team cap he would wear to represent his impact in the CFL (23:05); On being first ballot (27:55).
Episode 218: Hub cities? + Davis signs off
EPISODE OVERVIEW: DJ and ‘Chez talk about some of the challenges and triumphs over the years hosting the pod. The pair also talk about the concept of hub cities and speculate about their pitfalls and strengths.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The jobs Davis has been fired from (3:30); On Hub Cities (9:35); On players and their identity during this time (20:30); On podcasting about the CFL (37:30); Former host Cybulski sends Davis a farewell message (43:53); Davis signs off (55:12).
Episode 217: Canadian Football lessons for Canada Day
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Happy Canada Day! Davis and Donnovan discuss the lessons Canadian Football has taught them and how applicable they are in the current climate. Davis also shares some of the toughest players he had to defend and informs Waggle fans that next week will be his final episode of the podcast.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Fave Canada Day memories (2:30); Davis on the power of love and benefit of doubt during tense times (5:20); DJ on life lessons in sport (7:50); Teams level of fiscal obligation (14:10); ‘Chez on players payment (16:30); What jobs would you have if there were no football (21:10); Davis on the best players he had to cover in CFL/NFL (29:55); Davis announces his departure from The Waggle (35:10).
Episode 216: Debating the decade’s best
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis and Donnovan are joined by CFL.ca columnist Matt Cauz to dissect and debate a few of their picks for The All Decade team presented by LeoVegas.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Introducing the All-Decade program (2:35); Process of selecting a team (5:00); The running back discussion (12:40); Pivotal decisions (18:30); DB debates (18:30); What about the ratio? (27:10); Kickers and punters (29:30); Netflix and wine (35:00).
Episode 215: Self love in sport w/ Ryan Russell
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis and Donnovan talk with former NFL defensive end Ryan Russell about coming out as bisexual, how self love and acceptance is critical in sports and what pride means to him this Pride Month.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Hub Cities (2:35); Ryan Russell introduction (7:38); On being equal and the intersectionality between sexuality and race (11:20); Freeing up mental space to perform in sport (16:20); On coming out (24:40); What pride means (26:48); Catch Madness presented by TimberMart (31:40).
Episode 214: Nate Behar’s raw essay + Orlando Bowen from injustice to activism
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Nate Behar joins Donnvan Bennett and Brodie Lawson to discuss the powerful essay on race he wrote for Medium, a self described “stream-of-consciousness” turned to “paper”. Then, former CFL player turned activist Orlando Bowen joins the show to share his own personal story of injustice turned to activism.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Nate Behar’s inspiration to write an essay (6:45); On active caring (11:20); Racist incidents from the past (23:30); Reaction to the article (29:50); Orlando Bowen joins the program (33:35); Bowen on his own incident with police (37:48); Bowen’s organization One Voice, One Team (44:50).
Episode 213: Henoc Muamba on growing tensions and how to action change
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Alouettes LB Henoc Muamba joins Donnovan and Davis as they discuss the ongoing tensions and protests and how sports is reacting. They also discuss the Henoc’s newest venture, ‘Muamba Moments’.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The story behind the ‘Muamba Moments’ podcast (1:20); How sports is reacting to tensions and protests (5:30); Keeping the conversation going (8:45); Realizing issues are not exclusive to America (10:45); Silence speaks volumes (12:30); Tangible actions (14:30).
Episode 212: Chris Cuthbert and his greatest calls
EPISODE OVERVIEW:CFL on TSN play-by-play man Chris Cuthbert chats with Donnovan & Davis about his time covering the CFL, as well as his personal favourite play calls.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: 3:50 – Tee up Cuthbert (the Michael Jordan of play-by-play); 5:30 – Welcome Chris Cuthbert ;8:15 – Game preparation; 11:20 – Favourite Cuthbert calls; 17:00 – Keeping your energy up during slow games; 19:30 – Tony Romo contract & ‘predicting’ the plays; 24:30 – The key to cohesion with a broadcast group; 27:00 – Cuthbert’s time as the ‘voice of the Montreal Concordes’ in 1981; 29:45 – Excitement for great players; 30:30 – A career highlight for CC & Davis; 32:00 – Increased reach of play-by-play voice on highlights; 33:00 – Keith Urban in the booth during Grey Cup; 38:20 – 13th Man call; 41:30 – Letting the moment breath; 43:30 – A call he’d like to have back (Mike Pringle 2000+ yards); 45:30 – Different approach to calling big hits; 47:00 – Calling football vs. hockey; 48:00 – Potentially calling games with no fans in the near future; 52:00 – Wrap up
Episode 211: Status update with CFL executive Greg Dick
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Greg Dick, the CFL’s chief financial officer and head of football operations, speaks with Donnovan and Davis about the current status of the CFL as the league continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to The Waggle presented by Sport Clips (0:00); Greg Dick intro (2:20); Decisions to postpone to September and cancel Touchdown Atlantic (4:30); ‘Win-and-host’ Grey Cup model vs. ‘hub city’ option (8:30); Look at planning out all options (10:00); Why would it be a big financial loss if we just ‘shut down’ and come back next year? (12:00); Would a season be financially viable without fans? (16:55); What is the ‘drop dead date’ for a September season vs. cancelling 2020? (20:00); Grey Cup in December? (20:30); Opportunity to slowly start bringing players back to train? (21:30); What’s the shortest season the league would consider playing? (26:00); How critical is government support to getting back to play? (26:50); Impact on minor football and USports football (28:30); How does the league use this as an opportunity to reassess business? (35:30); Closing thoughts (37:20).
Episode 210: ‘Sauga Siblings: The Brissett brothers land pro contracts in the same city
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan and Davis are joined by Dejon Brissett, the second overall pick for the Toronto Argonauts in the 2020 CFL draft, and his brother, Oshae Brissett of the Toronto Raptors.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by Sport Clips (0:00); How much did playing at home factor into career choices? (3:00); Sibling rivalry throughout childhood (5:37); Where Dejon fits on the Argos (7:00); Training during COVID-19 (10:41); Running routes with mom (14:52); Reflecting on each other’s success (19:43); The Mt. Rushmore of Mississauga Athletics (23:49); What are you watching right now? (25:07).
Episode 209: Post-draft breakdown with Duane Forde
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The guys are joined by TSN analyst and Canadian draft guru Duane Forde to discuss and dissect the 2020 CFL draft. Davis and Duane share some behind the scenes insight on the TSN broadcast coverage while Donnovan gets an unexpected answer when he asks what Duane is binge-watching these days.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to the Waggle presented by Sport Clips (0:00); Quick look ahead to prospects coming down the pipeline (4:23); Effect of cancelled combine on the draft (9:48); Roster fluidity and player retention (13:45); Recruiting homegrown talent (19:04); Davis and Duane discuss the TSN panel coverage (24:01); Duane’s sleeper pick of the draft (33:20); Who was Duane surprised to see go undrafted? (37:33); Canadian quarterbacks (45:26); Comparing Nathan Rourke and Michael O’Connor (50:09); What is Duane binge-watching currently? (57:13)
Episode 208: Draft strategy with Kyle Walters
EPISODE OVERVIEW: As we get set for the CFL Draft on Thursday night (8 p.m. ET) we talk to the man in charge of the Grey Cup champions draft: Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Kyle Walters joins Davis and Donnovan (2:30); How the draft has changed over the years (3:30); Conducting interviews not in-person; Mechanics of draft day amidst COVID-19 measures (13:00); Drinks & snacks during Draft day (15:00); How to weigh prospects with NFL opportunities (17:00); Position needs by round, by team or by year (19:00); Process of scouting a player from start to finish (21:00); Late-round selection value (24:00); Pick timing (26:30).
Extra: Nathan Rourke 1-on-1
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan chats with Oakville, Ontario native Nathan Rourke, a three-year starting quarterback for the Ohio Bobcats and an intriguing prospect in the 2020 CFL draft.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Bracing for the Draft during COVID-19 (3:07); Playing QB in the States vs. Canada (6:22); Adjusting to different responsibilities in college system (11:02); Potential for a Tayson Hill role in the NFL (12:41); Role models (13:24); On not being invited to NFL Combine (16:48); Training and fitness during C-19 (18:17); Message to Canadian Fans (19:54).
Episode 207: The wild year in the life of Armanti Edwards
EPISODE OVERVIEW: In this edition of the Waggle, Donnovan catches up with Armanti Edwards who was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos this month after a stint in the XFL. Hear what led to the move down south and why Edmonton was an easy choice upon returning to the Canadian game.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Deciding on Edmonton (2:25); Handling a strange off-season (3:54); Free agency and leaving of the XFL (6:57); Joining the Eskimos receiving corps (11:05).
Episode 206: Patiently waiting with Alex Singleton
EPISODE OVERVIEW:The boys are joined by former Calgary Stampeder linebacker Alex Singleton, who waited patiently for his shot in the NFL and was finally rewarded when he was promoted to the active roster of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2019 season. Alex reflects back fondly on his time in Canada and gives his thoughts on his former quarterback’s status among the CFL’s all-time greatest gunslingers.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Armanti Edwards signs with Edmonton (1:41); Potential effects of the XFL folding (4:07); Lirim Hajrullahu headed to the NFL (8:45); Checking in with Alex Singleton (12:17); Which former teammates of yours belong in the NFL? (21:50); First hand observations on talent difference between NFL and CFL (24:18); Getting waived after pre-season, almost coming back to Calgary for Labour Day (28:39); Thoughts on Bo Levi Mitchell (37:51); Virtual workouts with Special Olympics Calgary (46:19); Alex’s latest binge-watch picks (47:29).
Episode 205: Trusting the Tape w/ Marshall Ferguson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis returns with news of his happy and healthy second child while Marshall Ferguson joins us to explain his toughest assignment to date: formulating a mock draft without a combine. Later, Donnovan stirs up the classic top 5 QBs of all-time debate. Does Bo belong in that conversation? Listen to find out.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Marshall Ferguson on formulating a Mock Draft (5:29); How will no Combine alter players w/ injury histories (16:16); Mechanics of social distancing on Draft night (20:00); Territorial picks and Ottawa’s options (25:17); Debating the Top 5 QBs of all-time (33:00); Will Bo Levi MItchell enter the Top 5 while playing (47:44); Binge-watching suggestions (53:10).
Extra: Steinauer and the offseason like no other
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan chats with Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer as he and his staff navigate a unique off-season.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: On adjusting to the COVID-19 situation; Effects on off-season workflow (2:55); How this alters the draft and roster planning (4:37); Evaluating the 2019 season (6:26); Silver linings and more family time at home (8:04); Guidance for players in current situation (9:57).
Episode 204: Checking in with ‘Big Play VA’
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan checks in at home with Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. as he juggles a complicated situation with off-season preparations.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Vernon Adams Jr. drops in (4:06); Staying in football shape at home (5:31); Staying connected with CFL fans (7:40); Reflecting on how the Als rallied around Adams last season (10:14); Working on composure (18:15); Optimism around new ownership (21:14); Vernon’s Music Playlist (22:27).
Episode 203: Navigating the unknown w/ Bill Manning
EPISODE OVERVIEW:This week on the Waggle, we’re joined by Bill Manning, president of the Toronto Argonauts and Toronto Football Club to discuss the uncertain times ahead for MLSE and the rest of the sports world, and his optimism that sport will be there to reunite us when the time is right.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Giving back in a time of need (5:51); Interview with Bill Manning (9:19); Final thoughts on this week (31:46).
Episode 202: Adapting to the new normal ft. Chris O’Leary
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis and Donnovan check up with their pal Chris O’Leary to share how they’re coping at home and discuss how the CFL is adapting to new realities ahead of the Draft.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Working and adjusting to life at home (0:50); How will the gambling industry be impacted? (11:54); Varsity atheletes and the Combine (13:44); How does this affect veteran players still on the market? (23:19); Teams step up to support their part-time staff (26:40).
Episode 201: Busting CFL myths with Randy Ambrosie
EPISODE OVERVIEW: It’s a rapid fire rundown of the hottest topics from the message boards and comment sections. Donnovan is joined by CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie this week to address some of the most common misconceptions, criticisms and questions from fans across the country.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The commish’s least favourite CFL misconception (3:19); should the CFL playoffs be moved to Saturday to avoid competing with the NFL? (6:20); why isn’t the Vanier Cup paired with the Grey Cup each year? (8:20); start the season on Canada Day! (9:29); a Quebec City expansion team (10:08); too much roster fluidity in the league (11:46); a CFL All-Star game (13:24); new playoff format idea (14:59); picking playoff opponents (17:09); CFL 2.0 potentially affecting Canadian players negatively (19:10); merging with other leagues (22:53); relationship with the NFL and advice from Roger Goodell (25:40); CFL games on international soil (27:32); the football ops salary cap (28:20); the No. 1 thing fans can do to support football in Canada (32:34); greater harmony between U SPORTS and CFL schedules (35:03); combine interview questions and advice for attendees (38:57).
Episode 200: Mama we made it! ft. James Cybulski
EPISODE OVERVIEW:The Waggle officially hits the 200th episode mark this week and O.G. host James Cybulski is back to celebrate the milestone and reflect on the young history of the official CFL podcast. The guys take a walk down memory lane from recording the first episode, to their favourite interviews, the first time they ticked off a fan base, and much more.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: We made it to 200! Welcome back Cybulski (2:08); James recalls the origin of the pod (3:45); Players who DM to complain about the show (7:30); Cybulski on the wrath of Riderville (9:33); Favourite Waggle interview … so far (23:10); Donnovan and James connect on their love of history (27:45); Cybulski on the best storyline of 2019 (32:46); Fave football movies (48:52).
Extra: Black History Month – a discussion with ‘Pinball’ Clemons
EPISODE OVERVIEW: As Black History Month draws to a close, Donnovan Bennett speaks with CFL icon and Argonauts general manager Michael “Pinball” Clemons about the challenges and successes he’s found at the crossroads of football and race.
Episode 199: New playoff format, who dis?
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis and Donnovan round up the latest off-season news, including a discussion around Commissioner Ambrosie’s “pick your opponent” playoff idea that he’s pitched to fans for feedback.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: 40-Yard dash story time (1:49); Free Agency still in play; BC makes moves at WR (7:45); Where is Derel Walker? (16:00); NFL CBA and how it impacts CFL (19:43); Benefits for U Sports players (22:47); Reading into CFLers in XFL (24:41); New Playoff Format – Yay or Nay? (32:24); Objectionable Conduct – Homemade signs for kids (45:10).
Extra: Willie Jefferson on his decision to stay in WPG
EPISODE OVERVIEW: 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, 2019 Grey Cup champion and 2020’s most sought-after free agent Willie Jefferson re-signed with the Bombers for two more seasons. Davis caught up with the superstar defensive end to talk about his decision to stay in Winnipeg.
Episode 198: Come on back to Winnipeg! (Post-FA Special)
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Willie Jefferson has gone back to the ‘Peg, while Derel Walker keep everyone waiting. Davis Sanchez and Donnovan Bennett wrap up the week that was in a special post-free agency episode.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Initial free agent thoughts (1:43); tactics from the negotiation window (4:37); Davis recalls his recruitment visit to Oregon (8:40); Willie Jefferson’s impact on the market (11:52); scheme capital and the value of positions (16:31); who won free agency? (20:08); who lost free agency? (36:05); Derel Walker on reality TV? (39:18); S.J. to the XFL? (41:56); James Franklin comments on his time in Toronto (47:46).
Episode 197: Previewing Free Agency
EPISODE OVERVIEW:With just one week left before the chaos of Free Agency begins, Dave Naylor joins Donnovan and Davis with predictions and analysis of all the biggest signings. CFL.ca’s Chris O’Leary also stops by to explain the new free agency window and what it means for fans of the league. Later, Donnovan wants to dig into Davis’ childhood memories for this week’s edition of “Objectionable Conduct”.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Chris O’Leary drops in (1:45); Superbowl 54: How did it stack up to GC107? (3:11); Post-Game Super Bowl Comments from Frank Clark (6:25); Understanding the New Free Agency Negotiation Window (7:46); Dave Naylor talks all things Free Agency (12:50); Remembering Willie Wood (40:10); Objectionable Conduct (41:09)
Episode 196: We’re big in Japan + Ranking the FAs
EPISODE OVERVIEW: The boys are joined by a very special guest all the way from Tokyo. But before that, Davis and Donnovan debate the recently released Top 30 Free Agent list on CFL.ca. Later, in this week’s Objectionable Conduct, Davis weighs in on people “doing it for the ‘gram” in public.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Welcome to The Waggle (0:00); Passing of Kobe Bryant (2:34); Collaros signs in Winnipeg (9:06); Donnovan’s Top 5 FAs (11:20); Davis’ Top 5 FAs (19:10); Toronto and Ottawa QB options (21:40); Should Nichols feel slighted by the Bombers? (28:48); Objectionable Conduct: Influencers in the wild (37:37); Interview with Scotty from Tokyo’s CFL Podcast ‘Two Guys, One Grey Cup’ (43:29).
Extra: Eugene Lewis share his story #BellLetsTalk
EPISODE OVERVIEW: For #BellLetsTalk day, Alouettes receiver Eugene Lewis shares his story of watching his father deal with and overcome depression and how it has motivated him to be a better athlete, but also to help others.
Episode 195: Going Global + Who are the Top 30 FAs?
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Brodie is back from her honeymoon and joins Donnovan to chat about the latest on CFL 2.0, the top 30 free agents about to hit the market, and the appropriateness of sweatpants in the office.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: How late is too late to say “Happy New Year”? (0:00); Global Combines continue (6:30); DJ on Global optimism (9:15); Debating the Top 30 Free Agents (16:45); CFL Power Couples (31:45); Montreal assembles front office (40:33); Which CFL team will Meghan and Harry cheer for? (43:20); Objectionable conduct (45:50).
Extra: The Manny Show must go on
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Donnovan catches up with Manny Arceneaux during Grey Cup week in November 2019 to discuss his future, his motivations, and what legacy he wants to leave on the CFL.
Episode 194: Exploring the QB landscape w/ Marshall Ferguson
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Marshall Ferguson joins Davis Sanchez for another off-season edition of The Waggle. We’re talking the latest leadership news in Montreal, where the QBs will last this time around, and what to expect from the CFL global combines.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: Montreal locks in Macocia, new President (1:00); Analyzing the QB landscape in 2020 (14:10); Who is better right now: Masoli or Evans? (19:00); Toronto’s QB situation (20:10); Where does Zach Collaros fit? (22:40); Davis’ NFL roster story (29:20); Global combines underway across the world (33:38).
Episode 193: Can Ottawa lock up Arbuckle + The best GM nobody is talking about
EPISODE OVERVIEW: Davis and Donnovan analyze the latest moves and news in the CFL, including Nick Arbuckle’s potential signing in Ottawa and Hamilton’s stacked quarterback room.
EPISODE RUNDOWN: The fallout from Nick Arbuckle trade (1:00); Hamilton locks up Masoli (13:00); Who should start for the Tiger-Cats? (17:10); Montreal Alouettes new owners (22:40); The most qualified GM nobody is talking about (29:30); Nick Marshall and Shaq Cooper off the FA board (33:30); Objectional Conduct (35:30).
Episode 192: New Year, new resolutions for CFL teams
EPISODE OVERVIEW: We’re quickly dropping in to wish you a happy new year, and give you a new years resolution for every team in the CFL.
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