About a dozen Riders visited Wascana Rehab for their Labour Day Rider Pride Day on Thursday. From left, T.J. Stancil, Lance Frazier, Dustin Cherniawski..
The Riders Marc Parenteau and Mike Abou-Mechrek visit with fans..
The two events I'm about to write about will likely enjoy little publicity in these parts, which is most unfortunate. They pale in comparison to a salacious exchange of trash talk, or a court appearance by a football player, or any number of negatives that the media likes to latch onto.
But about 10 Roughriders showed up to the Wascana Rehab Centre on 23rd Ave. in Regina Thursday for the residents' "Labour Day Rider Pride Day." By name, they were Scott Schultz, D.J. Flick, Mike Abou Mechrek, Dustin Cherniawski, Marc Parenteau, Jermese Jones, Eddie Davis, T.J.Stancil, Lance Frazier, Wayne Smith, Marcus Crandell and a mouthpiece named Rod Pedersen.
Now THAT was something special. The foyer area was jam-packed with Rider fans who make their home at that rehab centre and can't get out to Rider games yet they follow them all on radio or TV.
Those players stayed for the better part of an hour signing autographs, shaking hands and hugging their fans. Not a TV camera was there, not a notepad, not a microphone. To be fair, I'm sure the media wasn't even notified or else they likely would've been there. The Riders didn't publicize it and the fact is they rarely do pump up their community appearances for fear that it may be viewed as self-serving.
But just so you know, we've got some quality guys on this team who didn't hesitate to come down and spend some time with a group of their biggest fans. I'm proud of them.
The 2008 Saskatchewan Roughriders Charity Calendar in support of Kerry’s Catch for KidSport™ will officially be launched today at 3:00pm at the Shoppers Drug Mart on Broad and 14th Avenue in Regina. The second annual fundraising calendar was once again produced through the partnership of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, KidSport™ Saskatchewan and SaskEnergy. Last year, over 4,200 calendars were sold throughout the province raising over $98,000 for KidSport™ Saskatchewan, and the partners are hoping for a similar result this year.
“SaskEnergy understands the importance of supporting an organization and program which benefits tomorrow’s youth,” Doug Kelln, President and CEO of SaskEnergy said in a news release, “This calendar ensures that kids throughout the province can participate in sport programs and learn values that will last a lifetime.”
Riders’ President and CEO Jim Hopson will purchase the first calendar to officially kick-off the fundraising initiative. Several Riders, including Kerry Joseph, will be on hand to sign calendars, while Gainer the Gopher will pose for pictures and entertain the audience with his fun and wacky antics.
“We are extremely pleased to once again take part in this initiative,” stated Riders’ President/CEO Jim Hopson. “The Roughrider organization is dedicated to ensuring that all kids throughout our community can participate in sport, and this calendar helps to ensure that will happen.”
Kerry’s Catch for KidSport™ is a program sponsored by Greystone Managed Investments, Saskatchewan Lotteries, ServiceMASTER, Fine Foods/Express Foods, McDonalds and individuals who make contributions to the fund every time the Saskatchewan Roughriders make a first down during the season. The program is led by Riders’ quarterback Kerry Joseph, and all of the proceeds from the program are donated to KidSport™ Saskatchewan. KidSport™ is a registered children’s charity that provides children in need with financial assistance for sport registration fees, and in some cases sporting equipment, so that all children are given an equal opportunity to play sports and to grow and succeed in life.
“KidSport™ would like to thank the Saskatchewan Roughriders, SaskEnergy and all of the sponsors for their support of the 2008 Saskatchewan Roughriders Charity Calendar and Kerry’s Catch for KidSport™,” says Don McDougall, Chair of KidSport™ Saskatchewan. “Every dollar that is raised will help children in need participate in community sport programs where they will learn invaluable skills – such as teamwork and responsibility – that will help them to succeed in life. I encourage everyone to pick up a calendar at your local Shoppers Drug Mart or the Rider Store today and help ensure that no child is left on the sidelines this year – so all kids can play.”
The funds raised from the 2008 Saskatchewan Roughriders Charity Calendar will help ensure that KidSport™ continues to thrive in Saskatchewan. The calendar features not only pictures of present and past Roughrider Greats, but it also includes historical team trivia.
Calendars are on-sale now at your local Shoppers Drug Mart, the Rider Store, and www.riderville.com for only $20.00. The calendars will also be on sale at the SGI ‘Play it Safe Day’ at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday, September 1, 2007 from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Kerry Joseph and the Riders will be on hand signing autographs, and everyone who visits the SaskEnergy tent will have the chance to win four box seat tickets to Sunday’s Labour Day Classic at Mosaic Stadium. The draw for the tickets will take place at 12:30 pm at the SaskEnergy tent during the ‘Play it Safe’ event.
The Riders practice today from approximately 11:00am to 1:30pm.
What honestly is there left to say about Labour Day Classic XLI??? LET'S KICK IT OFF ALREADY!!!
Rider fans (not Bomber fans, we'd prefer they stay away) are welcomed to Mosaic Stadium on Saturday for SGI's annual Play It Safe Day from 10am to 12:30pm. Rider players, coaches, Gainer, and CKRM Cheerleaders will be on hand for pictures, autographs and games. The Pep Band will also perform. Gates open at 9:30am and the Riders will be on the field at 10:15am. I have the honour once again of introducing the team. See you there!
The U of R Rams host the Manitoba Bisons at 3pm Saturday at Mosaic Stadium to open the 2007 CIS Football season. Looking for a reason to go? Rams quarterback Teale Orban is worth the price of admission and CFL-types feel he's the best young quarterback in Canadian university football.
"He's not only a great QB, but he's a really bright guy and a guy our entire community can be proud of representing our university and our city as a whole," said Rams coach Frank McCrystal, "Teale's someone that you can come and really appreciate his skills and the way he carries himself. He can throw the ball, he's a leader on the field for us and he's someone that fans won't just appreciate, but will be very proud of."
Regina/Manitoba -- 3:00pm Saturday in 620 CKRM. I'll be part of the SaskTel Max television broadcast, calling the play-by-play with former Ram defensive back Marco Ricci providing the colour commentary.
Junior hockey news: The Edmonton Oil Kings have released former Pats goalie Tommy Tartaglione ... The Regina Pats leave this morning for Edmonton and the Oil Kings inaugural preseason tournament. The games WON'T be played at Rexall Place, but rather at the brand new hockey facility in St.Albert. Regina plays Kamloops at 11am Saturday, Prince George at 3pm Sunday, and Kelowna at 11am Monday.
"We've got some tough decisions between good young guys and vets who are being pushed," GM Brent Parker told CKRM on Thursday, "We've got 26 guys going with us on this trip who played in the WHL last year so it's a pretty veteran group. We've got a lot of decisions to make this weekend and try and get down to some semblance of numbers closer to what our lineup will be. We'd like to play our last few preseason games with as close to our regular season lineup as possible."
The best place to go for information on the games is right here at www.rodpedersen.com The Pats will be sending me all of the game stats (goal scorers, shots on goal, etc) immediately after the games and I'll post it.
Labour Day Weekend Rodservations...
The Regina High School football season kicks off tonight with three games:
High School Football at Mosaic Stadium
O'Neil vs Johnson, 3:30pm
Martin vs Miller, 5:45pm
Luther vs Notre Dame, 8pm
Hey, do you know of any budding journalists in high school who would like to blog on the RIFL this year? I would be willing to set up a blogspot blog for any kid who'd like to be a beat reporter and get his/her foot in the door in the world of sports journalism.
Drop me a line at email@example.com and let's get started. It would be something like a News/Notes column, plus nightly scores. It would VASTLY help us out in the Regina media to have an inside look at the league, plus up-to-date scores.
> Just as Toronto is not a hockey town, it's a Leafs town, Regina is not a football town. Wanna debate it? In Toronto, fans don't show up for the AHL's Marlies or the OHL's St.Mike's Majors yet they pack the ACC for Leafs' games.
In Regina, fans don't show up for high school football, junior football and not much for University football either. However for the Riders, they're packing the stadium.
Argue you it if you will, but anyone working in pro football in this town agrees; it's a Rider town, but not a football town.
And you can't tell me differently..
The furor over the Rider retro jerseys rages on. Last night over wings and beers at the Press Box Sports Bar, our table of five got extremely animated discussing this whole thing.
If the Riders actually sold the same jerseys as the 1966 team, who would buy them? As J.Dalmage tells me, there were no logos on those jerseys - just stripes. And apparently the jerseys the team will wear in Sunday's Labour Day Classic XLI aren't exactly what's being sold in The Store right now. Somewhere or another, the Press Box got ahold of a retro jersey named and numbered for Ron Atchison and it's hanging in their rafters. Now THAT'S a retro jersey, but I'm quite certain Reebok didn't make it.
One last thing on this point; the Riders are bound by the CFL's agreement with Reebok. If Reebok doesn't make a mesh, cotton jersey then there's no way in heck the Riders could get one to sell. The Riders have to sell something like 90% Reebok merchandise so jerseys made by any other supplier wouldn't cut it. Jerseys HAVE to be the #1 item for this team.
But the debate will rage on...
Can anyone tell me why you can't smile in passport photos? It has me completely perplexed.
Better run. Have a great Friday, and enjoy the Labour Day Weekend!!