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Regina Rams Football

Friday, July 31, 2009

Riders Arrive In Calgary

At The Stadium


Stamps receiver Nik Lewis was asked how he feels about all the GREEN that'll be in McMahon Stadium Saturday night."

"The funny thing is every week we come out here, it's the green grass that pisses me off. There's green all over the field. I'm so glad for the white numbers and lines. And the white horse. It could be black, but we're not talking about that. But we DO have a black President."

Lewis was asked about all the Rider fans that will be in attendance:

"I don't really notice them. They only come out when the Riders come to town. The rest of the time they put those jerseys in the closet and wear red. They're all our season ticket holders. I always thought 'who's giving these Rider fans tickets? Then I realized it's our season ticket holders.' Hey, they love football and it's good for the league."

Lewis was asked about ROWDY Rider fans:

"It would get real rowdy in here if they cut off liquor sales. That, I'd like to see!"

Lewis quotes courtesy Ian Busby of the Calgary Sun.

Smilin' Hank

Imagine that!

I'm In

Fan 960's Dave Row reads the sports while Mike Richards watches and listens....

Live on Fan 960

Doug Kirkwood

Made It

This will be one of those "reverse chronological" days on the blog ....

Here you see the cab ride to the Fan 960 here in Calgary.

Honestly, the cabbie hasn't been that nice.

Calgary Bound

That's a pic of our travelling crew to Calgary on a 6:00am flight. Rider equipment guys Gordon Gilroy (left) and Bob Thomas. We're supposed to land at 7:18am. They're going to the stadium and I'm headed to the Fan 960 studios to sit in with Richards and Kirkwood.

www.fan960.com

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Press Box Sports Bar Friday Buffet

Spanish fried potatoes
rice
mixed veggies
thai chicken and basil stirfry cheerted shrimp and artichokes
spring rolls
lemon garlic pork

Pizza Buffet:
Pepperoni and mushroom
ham pineapple
veggie pizzas

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Stanley Cup comes to Regina
Proceeds to benefit Saskatchewan Cancer Agency

Two-time Stanley Cup Champion, Chris Kunitz, is bringing the Stanley Cup to Regina on Monday, August 10, 2009. The cup will be at City Hall from 9-11 a.m. for public viewing. There will be a short program at 9 a.m with the voice of the Pats Rod Pedersen as emcee, as well as refreshments.

There will also be an opportunity to take your photo with the cup. The event will raise funds for the Allan Blair Cancer Centre by requesting a minimum $5 donation to have an autographed picture of Chris. There will be limited quantities of the signed picture, so fans are encouraged to bring their own memorabilia for Chris to sign.
"Growing up playing hockey in Regina was a big part of my life, so to be able to share this with my home town is an honour for me," Kunitz said. "Being able to give back to the community by benefitting the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency makes the victory that much sweeter."

"My sincere thanks to Chris for sharing the Stanley Cup with the people of Regina," Mayor Pat Fiacco said. "Chris's generosity in helping to raise funds for such a worthy cause is admirable."

"We are grateful to Chris and to the City of Regina for including the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency in this event," Bob Allen, the Agency's Chief Executive Officer said. "The funds raised will go toward patient care and treatment at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre."

The event will be held in the courtyard in front of City Hall so bring some sunscreen and don't forget to bring your camera! Tax receipts will be available for all donations of $20 and above.

For more information call 777-7000.

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Red Sox first round playoff matchup set:  

The Regina Red Sox clinched second place in the WMBL East Division on Wednesday night with a 6-5 win over the Weyburn Beavers and will now meet the Melville Millionaires in a best of 5 matchup in the 1st round of the WMBL playoffs.  

The Sox will start on the road with two games in Melville on Friday & Saturday, July 31 & August 1, game time is 7:30 p.m.  The first home playoff game for the Sox will be on Sunday, August 2 at Currie Field with the first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m.  

Game 4 (if necessary) will go at Currie on Monday night at 7:00 and game 5 (if necessary) back at Pirie Field in Melville on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.. 

The Sox finished the season with a 21-18 record, winning 9 of their last 12 games.  The team is healthy and primed to make a run at the 2009 WMBL title. 

Fans can get tickets prior to the start of each playoff game at the Currie Field ticket booth. Ticket prices will remain unchanged from the regular season. Fans are encouraged to “pack the park” as the Red Sox take a run at the 2009 WMBL title.

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North Regina Little League is hosting the Minor AAA Prairie
Division Tournament
Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Kinsmen Park North.

Opening ceremonies are Saturday morning at 10. Games start at noon.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Buffalo Days

Ooooo Calgary! We're Sooo Scaaaared!


Hahahahaha! Is this not the funniest pic of the year??


Who is this guy? The Press Box Sports Bar is offering a free XL Roughrider pizza for the first person to identify this creepy Rider fan!

Please provide your caption...

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Rider coach Ken Miller dropped a bombshell at practice Thursday saying Darian Durant will start Saturday's game at Calgary but backup Steven Jyles will come in after 3 or 4 series.

That's ONLY if Durant is struggling. It's an opportunity for Darian to have a look at things from the sideline before going back in.

And SB Andy Fantuz is still bothered by a hamstring problem and may not play.

Where's Clermont?

Roughriders offensive coordinator Paul Lapolice was our special guest on CKRM's Coaches Show last night and it was co-host Joe Hadesbeck who lobbed the first grenade at "LaPo". It was regarding the team's "under-utilization" of Regina's favourite son, Jason Clermont (pictured above). Clermont only has five catches for 54 yards this year.

Lapolice didn't duck the question.

"The first thing I'll say on that is, and this is why he's one of the best pro's I've ever coached, he's one of the few guys who from day 1 said 'I just want to make this club'," answered the Rider assistant coach. "He said 'what my role is will be determined by them.' So at times I think it's unfair for him."

"Here's the situation; when we go into our two-back offense, our deuce offense, then he's not on the field. Our slotbacks are Andy Fantuz and Weston Dressler who we feel are two of the premiere slotbacks in the league. What happens is he doesn't go into that personnel grouping. When you do that 10 - 15 plays a game, Jason's not going to be in."

"The other package we have, our big-team package with the tightends, well he's not going to be a part of that either but he IS our next guy as a fifth receiver. We're going to be doing some things this week with him as a tightend. You'll see him in big-team. We think he's got good talent and the more he feels comfortable in our offense, the more you'll see him. He's actually going to play one of the tightends in some of our schemes against Calgary. So that gets him on the field."

"He's been able to make plays when he's been in and like I said, he's one of our five starting receivers."


So then I asked Lapolice (pictured above) if they still feel that Clermont has some good years left.

"Yes," he replied. "It's hard when you have a group of good receivers! Everybody wants to know why somebody doesn't get the ball. A couple weeks ago the wideouts didn't get the ball, this week they did. When you're using different personnel groups, it's hard to get the ball distributed. And if Jason's not on the field, that means Chris Szarka IS, or one of the other guys."

"And Johnny Quinn, who had an excellent camp, split time with Jason last week so I hope people are patient with him. One man does not make a team, and he'll make plays. Like I said, he's as good a pro as I've worked with at this level. He'll get his touches as the season goes."

Dansereau Gets Tryout With Sens

The Ottawa Senators have announced they have signed graduating Broncos’ forward Keegan Dansereau to an amateur tryout agreement.

Dansereau, from Saskatoon, led the Broncos in scoring last season with 37 goals and 44 assists for 81 points. Dansereau joins former Broncos' captain Zack Smith as a Senator prospect.

The Broncos acquired Dansereau at the start of the 2006-2007 campaign from Calgary. He spent 2 seasons with the Broncos and 5 years in the WHL tallying 241 points in 311 games. Keegan has previously been at 2 NHL camps, last year with Columbus and in 2007 with Florida.


The Broncos 3 graduating over-agers have all now made commitments to further their hockey careers. Goaltender Travis Yonkman has committed to the University of Alberta and defenseman Spencer McAvoy has committed to St. Francis Xavier University.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CKRM Week 5 Picks

Sked:
Thurs: Montreal @ Edmonton
Fri: BC @ Hamilton
Sat: Winnipeg @ Toronto
Saskatchewan @ Calgary

LYNCH: 10/16 MTL - HAM - TOR - CGY
CURRIE: 10/16 EDM - HAM - WPG - CGY
HADESBECK: 9/16 MTL - HAM - TOR - SK
PEDERSEN: 9/16 MTL - HAM - TOR - SK
JOHNSON: 8/16 MTL - HAM - TOR - CGY
CARTERI: 8/16 MTL - BC - TOR - CGY

Wednesday Rider Update

There's not much new over the past 24 hours but here's what Rider coach Ken Miller had to say after Wednesday's practice. REMINDER: Rider offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice will be our guest on 620 CKRM's Coaches Show tonight at 6:05 live from the Press Box Sports Bar:

Q. Andy Fantuz missed practice again?

KM: As I said yesterday he had a little hamstring situation and we sent him in early. We're just making sure that he's okay and I'm planning on him being able to play.

Q. What were the reasons for the release of K Perry Scarcelli and OT Matt O'Meara?

KM: We have a lot of players here and so it's a matter of the salary management system.

Q. Tell us what DE Joe Sykes brings in the place of John Chick?

KM: As you've seen he is big and strong, and very, very quick and powerful. I'm really anxious to see him in a real game situation because he has a lot of potential.

Q. What's the psyche of this defense right now?

KM: I think that they're very committed and very positive. They're optimistic and feel very confident that they'll be able to be successful.

Q. Coach Etcheverry talked about an attitude adjustment on defense.

KM: As we went through the game on Saturday, we didn't play with our characteristic effort and so we have to do that. In order for us to be successful we have to play with great effort all the time.

Q. How scary is a runner like Calgary's Joffrey Reynolds?

KM: Certainly he's a great running back and we're going to have to be at our best in order to contain him.

Q. Will MLB Ray Williams shadow him?

KM: We won't assign Ray to him overall. But there'll be times that they're paired up.

Q. Williams said the defense is taking it personally to stop the run this week..

KM: Certainly every player on our team took that loss last week very personally, as did the coaches. So we're all planning on a much better effort this week.

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DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR GARY ETCHEVERRY:

Q. Where's your defense at right now?

ETCH: We fundamentally got away from our identity which is first and foremost about sprinting to the football. We played like it was hot, we played like we were down a defensive lineman, and we didn't make the kind of adjustments and adaptations that we should've. It's pretty simple. It's pure, simple effort and we were really lagging in that regard.

Q. Your t-shirt says "WITH FEELING". Has that message been hitting home?

ETCH: It better be. Or else there are going to be some significant changes and they know that. They've chosen this industry for their livelihood and they know the good parts of it and the bad parts of it. And this is one of those times where they have to make those changes. They're not difficult to make. They're very simple attitude adjustments from where we're sitting.

Q. Joffrey Reynolds provides quite the task this week...

ETCH: Again, I know there's an assumption. We had three runs that were really poor against us (last week). Those stats are readily available after the game. There's computer nowadays and those stats are available right away and people tend to look at averages and that sort of thing. Three plays, we looked like the old New York Life team if you remember that commercial. So, not to say we can't improve on every area, but we can't allow three good runs like that either.

MINNESOTA RE-SIGNS JOSH HARDING

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher announced today the National Hockey League (NHL) team has agreed to terms with goaltender Josh Harding on a one-year contract prior to today’s scheduled arbitration hearing in Toronto, Ontario.

Harding, 25 (6/18/84), appeared in 19 games – 11 starts – with the Wild in 2008-09, going 3-9-1 with a 2.21 GAA and .929 SV Pct. The 6-foot-1, 197-pound native of Regina, Sask., has appeared in 58 NHL games making 43 starts for Minnesota in parts of four seasons, going 19-27-4 with a 2.49 GAA, a .920 SV% and three career shutouts. Harding was Minnesota’s second-round pick (No. 38 overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

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HOW TMZ WORKS:

"Hey Rod, just thought that you would like to know that there are staff from TMZ (in L.A.) that read your blog. I received a call early this morning (1am) from a staff member at TMZ asking me if I had a photo of Taylor Swift eating her Wendy’s Burger – they offered A LOT of money if I had one. They also offered some serious cash if I would do a phone interview with an account of a minute by minute recap of what she did, said, acted like, etc…

I of course said that I respected her privacy and was not going to do that to her.

LOL – just thought that you would like to know that they are scanning through your blog!

Shae
at Prairie Mobile Communications "

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A note for Alberta Rider fans:

Tune into the Fan 960's Mike Richards morning show this Friday morning as I'll be in studio with Mike and Doug Kirkwood for a portion of the program.

It should be a great time!
RP

Riders, Bombers Each Cut Two

REGINA, SK - The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced that they have released the following players: 

Non-import OL Matt O’Meara
Non-import K/P Perri Scarcelli


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WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Football Club made the following transactions today. 

The football club has released the following players: 

QB – Richie Williams

DT – Tyrone Williams

Greene On In The Huddle

One of the greatest offensive lineman to wear the Green & White, #68 Andrew Greene, was our in-studio analyst on Tuesday's province-wide television show.

Let's just say ... he'll be back on the air soon.

Wow! That's what you get when you have a guy who was relatively outspoken when he played, and now that he's retired he doesn't give two spits whom he offends or upsets with his comments.

Hmmm, where should I start? Blaming a missed field goal in overtime of the 2004 West Final for costing him his best chance at a Grey Cup ring was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser.

His steadfast defense of Danny Barrett as head coach was interesting too. "Hey, he got us into the playoffs and West Finals ... It was our job (as players) to take it the rest of the way," was what he said.

The fact he picked the Stampeders to beat the Riders Saturday in McMahon Stadium was somewhat ballsy. "Hey, prove me wrong fellas ... but if I had to put money on it, I'd go with the Stamps."

That's what you want in an analyst.

He was great and he event went so far as to say he'd be willing to go down to the stadium and conduct interviews with the players if it would help us out.

Thanks Drew! That was a treat Tuesday night.

Bruce A Ticat

Arland Bruce III is a Hamilton Tiger-Cat.

The Toronto Argonauts dealt the disgruntled slotback to their nearest rival today, less than a week after leaving him behind for a road game for disciplinary reasons.

Exact details of the trade weren't immediately known but there was strong talk the Ticats were offering the rights to defensive lineman Corey Mace, a native of Port Moody, B.C., who had spent the past two seasons with the NFL's Buffalo Bills but had been unable to agree to terms with Hamilton.

Bruce, 31, has surpassed the 1,200-yard receiving mark with Toronto three of the past four years but had been fined four times by the club this season for missing meetings and misplacing his playbook. Argos head coach Bart Andrus left Bruce at home for last week's 19-5 win in Winnipeg, prompting the receiver to call out both Andrus and Argos quarterback Kerry Joseph publicly.

Bruce fully expected to rejoin his teammates Tuesday when Toronto began its preparations for Saturday's rematch with Winnipeg, but was told by Argos officials to stay away while the club decided his future.

Bruce has also got into trouble with the CFL.
(The Canadian Press)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kelly Fined

Toronto, ON (July 28, 2009) - The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced today that it has fined Winnipeg Blue Bomber Head Coach Mike Kelly $1,000 for derogatory comments made towards on-field officials in last Friday's game against the Toronto Argonauts.

Some Blog Readers...

....Have too much time on their hands!!

This from our friend Caesar....

Makowsky In, Chick Out ... And More Rider News

Here is Rider coach Ken Miller's Tuesday post-practice media session:

Q. Coach can you talk about the importance of the play of the offensive line for a team to be successful?

KM: Really the success of a football team and begins and really ends with the offensive line. You know if they block well you run well. If they pass protect well, you pass well. And then you're able to keep the offense on the field which keeps the defense fresh. So, the offensive line is a really key component to the success of any football team.

Q. What do you need to do better to stop the pass rush?

KM: They're gonna bring five or six guys and we have to be prepared to get the ball out quickly in those scenarios. That's one of the things. And then maybe run some more screen passes. That would be helpful as well.

Q. What do you need to do to get the run game going?

KM: Just really what I said already. The offensive line has to be more aggressive in their blocking.

Q. Were you happy with their play?

KM: We did a reasonable job in our pass protection but we didn't run the ball nearly as well as we wanted. Wes had a couple of nice runs and Darian was able to scramble in those situations but we didn't run the ball as well as we wanted to.

Q. How will having Gene Makowsky back on the O-line help?

KM: Certainly he is helpful. His experience and his size and mass. And the fact that he's a great communicator and our offensive line will be a more cohesive unit with him in there.

Q. Calgary has six new faces on defense and three on the D-line. Will they be vulnerable?

KM: Well they might be vulnerable but even though they're rookies, they're quick, they fly around, and they're very talented players.

Q. So Gene's in for sure?

KM: As of today, Gene is in for sure.

Q. How worried are you about your second half point production?

KM: Really, we need to score evenly in all the quarters and we haven't scored in the third quarter at all very well. We just have to do a much better job there. Primarily it's about execution. We had three 2-and-outs to start the third Saturday and we started a drive that went over into the fourth that ended in a touchdown so we were capable of moving it in the third quarter. It just didn't work out like that on Saturday.

Q. Are you working on your run defense?

KM: Well certainly we're working on it. You look at our run defense and it's been pretty solid except for about three plays. But that's like saying your secondary's sound except for giving up three touchdown passes too. So we have to make sure that we're doing a great job with gap cancellation and filling those holes.

Q. Joe Sykes in at DE this week?

KM: As of today he probably will be but we'll see how that goes in the next couple of days.

Q. What is the update on John Chick and Sean Lucas?

KM: Sean Lucas wasn't out there today. We're doing our normal precaution. I think he'll be in uniform (Wednesday). And John Chick, it's a seperated shoulder and after the game they said 1-3 weeks and yesterday they said 2-4 so that's looking like he'll be out for this game and perhaps the next one.

Q. Can you weigh in on your returns?

KM: I was really happy with Eric Morris early on and he'd be our return guy if he were healthy. And Denatay Heard had a great punt return on his first so he has some potential. We said we were going to lighten the load on Weston Dressler and not have him do that full-time, but sometimes when we feel we're in a critical situation and since he has great hands and we have such a great trust factor in him, he could be back there a good part of the time as the off-returner and we'll pair him up with Heard or Gerran Walker.

Q. Andy Fantuz left practice?

KM: Andy has a tender hamstring and I personally asked him to take great care with that today and it got tired so we sent him in.

Q. Any interest in Arland Bruce?

KM: Arland is a great athlete and a great pass-catcher. And he's a really expensive athlete and pass-catcher so I don't know if he'd fit in our salary cap situation. And you'd have to have a serious talk with Arland and see how he'd be willing to fit into our locker room. We have a locker room with such outstanding character here that we certainly wouldn't want the same sort of incidents that he's demonstrated in the first part of this season.

Celebs At Practice Today!

TSN CFL Insider and star of The Reporters Dave "Nails" Naylor is in town on his western Canadian tour.

Warning To Rowdy Rider Fans // Tillman Update

(Here's a great photo of happier times outside Calgary's McMahon Stadium before a Stamps-Riders game. Pregame tailgate parties have been banned in 2009. Photo courtesy http://drediknight.blogspot.com/)

The Calgary Stampeders would prefer if rowdy Roughrider fans stay home this weekend, rather than come to McMahon Stadium for Saturday night's first-place showdown between the Riders and Stamps.

Calgary Stampeders play-by-play man Mark Stephen was on CKRM's Sportsline last night and although he doesn't speak for the Stamps per se, he is the "Voice of the Stamps". I asked him if he's looking forward to Saturday night's game.

"Uhhhhh, a little bit," Mark answered skeptically. "But I'm not gonna lie to ya. The small element, and let's underline 'small', that come over here to cause mayhem definitely do spoil it for people. I don't mind the fun back-and-forth stuff but it is a great environment when you have enormous cheers whenever the Riders do something on the field."

I've heard Stampeders' players on Calgary radio admitting that the stands are at least a 50/50 split of Riders and Stamps fans if not 60/40 green. There's always been a heavy component of Rider fans at road games in Calgary but the past few years the atmosphere as gotten out of control as the number of Rider fans has risen.

"Those that are coming here to cause trouble, and there seems to be a persistent minority, they're going to be looking for you," Stephen warned. "It's a little testy there at times in McMahon Stadium. But it is a great environment when these two teams get together."

I'm sure if I was in the Stamps' shoes, I'd feel the same way. It wouldn't be a great feeling to have the OPPOSITION come into YOUR park and take the place over. Where else on earth does this happen in sports anyways? Buuuuuuuut, I'm not in the Stamps' shoes so this morning we're going to have fun with it.

A Stamps' fan visiting Regina last weekend said he's giving his tickets away for Saturday's game because when the Riders come to town, it's simply no fun. He also said Rider fans are the direct reason that pregame tailgating around McMahon Stadium was banned in 2009. Another source in Calgary told me this to be true, but Mark objects to that notion.


"Nope," said Stephen (pictured). "That's something they were cracking down on before. I mean, that was part of it, but not the single reason. There's a big tailgate party this weekend off the McMahon Stadium grounds that they're going to be watching but this policy wasn't put in place specifically because of Rider fans."
One point on this; the Stamps are right in that the incidents that have ocurred over the past two seasons have gone over the line. The incident where a Calgary police officer was assaulted by Rider fans in a YouTube video was stomach-turning. The fights are unnecessary. No one should ever go to a sporting event and have to feel afraid for their personal safety.

If we keep it fun Saturday night (no knuckle-chucking), it's going to be GREAT weekend.

So whaddya think about this Rider fans?

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I asked Riders' head scout Joe Womack on Saturday's Roughrider Warmup Pregame Show about the status of GM Eric Tillman, who's running the team from home while on administrative leave. Here's his response:

"I'm so glad you asked that. Eric is great, he's doing really well. He's very upbeat about our team and the season. He's loving the weather, and he's getting out more and I've encouraged him to do that. We are really looking forward to Eric being back with us physically. He's certainly running the team now and doing a great job of that."

"Getting Graham Harrell in here was such an accomplishment, in working with his agent. The new UFL in the States, and Denny Green who's the head coach at San Francisco, was really after him. So Eric continues to work very hard on the personnel with myself. He's the backbone of our football organization without any doubt."

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Don't look here for comments on the Phoenix Coyotes in Saskatoon story.

TSN's Darren Dutchyshen was right on the money last night on Sportscentre when he said this whole idea of the Coyotes playing fives games in Saskatoon is RIDICULOUS.

Couldn't agree more.

Have a great day..
RP

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rey Williams On Sportsline

STAMPS AND 'RIDERS BOUT ALMOST SOLD OUT

The Calgary Stampeders host the Saskatchewan Roughriders at McMahon Stadium this Saturday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. and tickets for the game are very close to sold out. Limited tickets are still available for $15.99 through local (Calgary) Safeway locations.

For further information on Saturday's contest or any Stamps' home game, fans can contact the Stampeders' Ticket Office at 403.289.0258.

The Stamps and Riders enter the week in a three-way tie with the Edmonton Eskimos for first place in the CFL's West Division.

The game is the first of three matchups between the Stamps and Riders this season. The Red and White will host Saskatchewan again on Oct. 17 before traveling to Regina on Nov. 1 to close out the regular season. The teams split the 2008 season series with two wins each.

WHL Signings

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan – The Prince Albert Raiders are pleased to announce that Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association product forward Ryan McDonald has signed an East Coast Hockey League contract with the Elmira (New York) Jackals.

“This is one of the steps I want to take to further my hockey career and I want to thank many people for their help along the way”, said McDonald. “The Raider coaching staff-past and present, my teammates, everyone in the organization, the fans and most of all my family and friends have helped me to achieve this goal. Being from PA, growing up here, playing hockey here most of my whole life was incredible. There was no where else I wanted to finish my junior hockey career and I will never forget what it was like to step on the Art Hauser Centre ice with the fans screaming their support!”

The Raiders acquired McDonald from the Regina Pats on December 7th, 2006 allowing him to finish his Western Hockey League career with his home town Raiders. In his final two and a half seasons of Major Junior eligibility McDonald appeared in 183 games with 82 goals, 80 assists and 274 minutes in penalties. In 2007-08 he tied for the team scoring title with 59 points, then in 08-09 finished second on the team with 63 points.

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New York Rangers Press Release

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Sam Klassen.

Klassen, 20, skated in 72 games with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (WHL) last season, registering two goals and 18 assists for 20 points, along with 92 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played, goals and plus-minus rating (plus-27). Klassen ranked fourth among team defensemen in assists and fifth in points. He also finished fourth on the club with 92 penalty minutes, while his plus-27 rating ranked seventh on the Blades.

The Watrous, Saskatchewan native recorded a season-high, three-game assist streak from November 22 against Brandon to November 30 at Prince George, collecting six assists over the span. Klassen tied his career-high for most assists in a game with three assists in the final game of the streak. In addition, he recorded one assist and 10 penalty minutes in seven postseason contests with Saskatoon.

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This from Rider team chaplin Barret Kropf:

"Out in Whistler for a week for a conference, and found out yesterday that Chiliwack Bruins have hired Peter Hay as assiatant coach. Peter is a former Weyburn Red Wing player who was with them about 8 years ago when they were up 3-0 on Battelford in the SJ finals and ended up losing the next 4 to the Stars..... great land for Peter "

Barret

Williams On Sportsline

Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker #48 Renauld "Ray" Williams will be our special guest on 620 CKRM's Sportsline tonight at 6:05pm. Ray will join us in person on location at Capital Ford Lincoln on Pasqua St. North.

Everybody's telling me to brace myself for the call-in portion of the program tonight so we'll see what happens. I don't think it'll be too bad.
http://www.620ckrm.com/

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This week's Rider sked:

MONDAY, JULY 27TH
DAY OFF – NO MEDIA AVAILABILITY

TUESDAY, JULY 28TH
11:00 am Riders practice
1:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, JULY 29TH
11:00 am Riders practice
1:00 pm

THURSDAY, JULY 30TH
11:00 am Riders practice
12:45 pm



"Hi Rod:

You’re always putting up photos on your blog but they’re not always of you – so here’s one for you! I took this with my camera on maximum zoom at Saturday’s game. It turned out not bad considering that I sit on the east side in the very top row!!

Cheryl McLean-Keil
Executive Assistant Football Operations
Saskatchewan Roughriders"

(That's me standing up in the middle of the box, presumably typing something on my phone. Thanks Cheryl!)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 27, 2009

WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Football Club has added import quarterback Michael Bishop to their practice roster.

Bishop (6-2, 223, Kansas State ‘98, DOB: May. 15, 1976 in Galveston, TX) spent this spring playing for the Corpus Christi Hammerheads of the Indoor Football League. He split time between the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders last season. Bishop started eight games with the Riders in 2008, throwing for 2,224 yards and seven touchdowns, while compiling a 4-4 record. He also ran 41 times for 202 yards and four touchdowns.

In 2007, Bishop had his best season as a pro, leading the Toronto Argonauts to an 11-1 record while he was the starter. During that time, he threw for 2,920 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Bishop has thrown for 51 touchdowns and 8,737 yards in his CFL career. He has also racked up 1,303 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing.

“We’re very pleased to add a quarterback with Michael’s experience and skill set,” said head coach Mike Kelly.

The Monday Morning Goalie

Ugh ...

Back to back "down" weeks. What did we do to deserve this?

Actually I'm inclined to go with the comment of former Rider/Ram linebacker Craig Zimmer who said last week, "there are no down weeks Roddy! Only up weeks!"

Spoken like a true player-turned-coach.

It is what you make it I guess. But I was referring to the glum mood of the Rider Nation following a loss. Emails pour in with titles like "I'm Considering Suicide", "I'm At A Loss For Words" or "We Suck!"

I don't even respond to them, nor do I go near the message boards in weeks like this because it's all gloom and doom.

Best rest assured, the Rider braintrust feels the same way you do. And steps are being taken to correct matters.

Onwards and upwards. Let's leave it to the coaches to figure it out...

----

You can't dampen the spirit of the 1989 Riders though. What a sensational job the club did with the 20 year reunion festivities!

It was great to see the greats, but somewhat sobering to see them trucked onto the field sporting hearing aids and bi-focals.

Time marches on....

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Too bad key figures such as Kent Austin, Dave Ridgway and Don Narcisse couldn't be here.

As a close friend of Kent's said, "Kent's not much of a reunion guy ... He's too busy planning the next 20 years to look back at the last 20."

That sounds about right.

----

In his prime, Rider DL Chuck Klingbeil bench-pressed 580 lbs. We confirmed it yesterday.

----

The Leader Post's Murray McCormick talked to CFL officiating god Jake Ireland and he reiterated they thought Weston Dressler dropped that pass on third down in the final minute of Saturday's loss to Edmonton. Of course, the Riders turned it over on downs and went on to lose the game.

The Riders maintain they feel Dressler caught the ball and so do I.

But maybe we're not looking at it objectively.

----

Some great John Lynch stories:

The Hall of Fame Rider broadcaster was approached by a blonde man wearing a Rider coat and hat after Saturday's game. Here's the exchange....

Guy In Cap: "John Lynch! Nice to meet you! I enjoy your work."

Lynch: "Thanks a lot! Nice to meet you too!"

They depart.

Lynch: "Joe, who was that guy?"

Joe Hadesbeck: "Premier Brad Wall."

Lynch: "Oh."

Lynch recounted a story at coffee yesterday regarding a lunch conversation he had with Rider coach John Gregory in 1989 at the Lakeshore. They were discussing the Austin-Burgess quarterback controversy:

Gregory: "Lynch, I think they should let Colin Thatcher out of jail."

Lynch: "Why?"

Gregory: "To give these #?@!-ing fans something else to talk about!"

----

Edmonton Eskimo personnel were all "up me" regarding this blog on the weekend. Staff, executive, etc.

Hey guys! This blog is for Rider fans, Pats fans, Saskatchewanians and ex-Saskies! Why are you reading it? SHOO!

Trouble is there are very few CFL bloggers so I guess teams are coming here for lack of something better to read.

So be it.

----

Rumour: The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are considering a partnership to purchase RDTV Red Deer, and will use it to broadcast their games.

----

Former Regina Pat Derek Morris signed with the Boston Bruins over the weekend.

I could make a whole after-dinner speech about Derek Morris stories. The Sylvan Lake, AB product wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.

EDIT: I should point out the "tool in the shed" comment is tongue in cheek. He's a good friend and we joke about these things on a regular basis. As a matter of fact our kids were born on the exact same day and we made a pact nine years ago for them to wed once they're of age.

My favourite story of him was when Pats GM Brent Parker handed Mo a plane ticket from Regina to Calgary. Derek looked at the ticket for about a full two minutes.

Parker: "What's wrong?"

Morris: "The ticket says I leave at 8:30 and land at 8:45!"

Parker: "Yah, so?"

Morris: "I knew the flight was short but I didn't know it was that short!"

----

Courtesy Pats PR man Dan Plaster, here are some pics from the under-construction Brandt Centre.....


That's a view from the press box of the newly-enclosed east end of the Brandt Centre.

That's Al Dumba and my broadcast booth. They've taken four feet away from us. It doesn't really bother me.

Thanks Dan!

----

Some local reporters were hoping TSN would send Pierre McGuire to broadcast sideline reports during the Rider-Eskimo game.

Said TSN play-by-play man Gord Miller: "He could do it. He played football in college!"

You learn something new everyday.

----

Something about the Canadian Football League seems to attract bizarre and quirky incidents.

Like receivers running into trees during training camp, teams drafting dead players ... that sort of thing.

The latest was our friend Kitwana Jones of the Eskimos tracking down a purse-snatcher in downtown Edmonton last week. Kit was mad that at 7:00am, he hadn't had time to stretch before the perpetrator led him on the chase.

He told me on Friday the guy was in good shape.

The lady's name was Muriel Wright and she said of Kones, "He was just a nice guy to me. He was just a nice little sweetheart."

I'm sure Kitwana likes being called a "little sweetheart" as much as Muriel liked being called a "little old lady" by Kit since she's in her 50s.

He had us in tears on Friday recounting the story.

Only in the CFL. God bless it.

----

Primetime Sports radio host Bob McGowan referred to Rider football ops guru Brendan Taman as "Brendan TAY-Man" last week during an interview.

During the 89 reunion, Brendan's brother Barry confirmed to me that in Saskatchewan their surname is indeed pronounced "Taa-man."

It's the Ontario Tamans who refer to themselves as TAY-Man and thus that could be why McGowan was confused.

----

Roy Halladay said Friday night after his nine-inning performance that he wishes not to be traded.

That's great. Now, what are you going to do in free agency? I haven't seen a comment on that yet.

----

"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

I saw that book title in Chapters Sunday and I couldn't agree more.

----

License plate I saw outside Robins Donuts Friday morning:

"Montmartre. Paris of the Prairies"

???????

----

Buffalo Days is this week. Lorne Molleken always says hockey season starts right after Buffalo Days.

He's pretty much right on the money. Regina Pats training camp opens August 20 in Lumsden.

----

John Lynch asked me if the Pats will be a surprise this year.

I said, "they were a surprise last year. Who knows?"

I really don't know what they're going to come out with this year.

----

Another note for the Dubsters:

Dave Sheldon was unceremoniously dumped as Voice of the Vancouver Giants after the 08-09 WHL campaign, and replaced by former Edmonton Oilers announcer Morley Scott.

Dave has landed on his feet, and then some, by being named Voice of the Abbottsford Heat. They're the AHL expansion team in the Fraser Valley. He'll do a good job for them.

----

It's great ex-Riders are stepping up and volunteering to be guest analysts on In The Huddle. This week it'll be former CFL lineman of the year Andrew Greene on Tuesday.

We planned to only have four analysts this year (Marshall Hamilton, Al Ford, Ron Cherkas and Ventson Donelson) and rotate them weekly but we've been deluged by ex-Riders who want to come on.

Funny how when they're playing, players generally loathe the media. But when the lights turn off and the roar of the crowd is gone, their attitude changes.

That's fine with me.

----

Too bad every CFL player can't be like Anthony Calvillo. This guy has infinite class. He'll be a success at whatever he does after football.

----

Twittering is fun once you catch onto it. A bevy of CFL stars and personalities plus a handful of Riders are Twittering.

It's interesting to get their personal thoughts, away from the cameras and microphones.

I swear if I was a pro athlete, I would make all my statements via my website or Twitter.

That way they can control the message, and words can't be twisted around.

"Want to know what I thought about the game, go to my website."

This won't happen of course, and it would sink those of us who do live post-game shows on radio. But I'm surprised that at least a few players haven't gone this route. Especially those who dislike reporters.

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It doesn't bother me that Regina's the crime capital of Canada once again. Mind your own business and you'll be fine in this town.

EXCEPT for property crimes which really burn me. And senseless vandalism.

But that's another thing Pasquale Fiacco has cleaned up since he took over the city in 2001.

This is a tough guy town. I like it that way.

----

A fun thing to do:

Sitting in a Regina coffee shop over-hearing the locals talk about the Riders. Not a Starbucks, but a real greasy diner-type coffee shop where the people wear blue collars.

Boy do these guys have things figured out! Their rumours were so wild I thought about stepping in but I restrained myself.

I don't do it often, but I did on Friday while waiting for an oil change in my Saturn Vue.

God bless these old-timers.

----

Saturn of Regina is the only dealership in town that I've done business with, and felt 100% good when I walked out their door.

Great people. Find out for yourself..

----

Nice for CBS to congratulate Jim Parsons (Sheldon on Big Bang Theory) for his Emmy nomination. That's my favourite show.

----

Anybody else watching this season's Bachelorette series like I've been forced to at home?

I don't find the Bachelorette Jillian to be attractive.

I'm just saying.

But that country singer on the show named Wes, who lied about having a girlfriend back home, is a helluva singer. A dirtbag yes, but a helluva singer.

----

I miss the Cuban Lunch. That was that square chocolate bar that came in a red wrapper many years ago.

I also miss Buddy's Steak House. We used to have lots of Pats functions there.

Time marches on ....

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HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
RP

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Autties At The Beach

Read on for details of the 1989 Grey Cup reunion wind-up Sunday at Steve Mazurak's cabin. Thanks Maz! Top shelf.

34

Friends To The End

Another Bobby J Photo

Apparently people can't get enough! He's one of the best.

Mazurak's Cabin Sunday

1989 Grey Cup reunion festivities conclude with a function Sunday at Steve Mazurak's Pelican Point cabin.

Pictured from left: Bobby Jurasin, Steve Mazurak, Roger Aldag.

Klingbeil

Aldag, former team doctor Donovan Brown, Bobby J

1966 Rider Dale West

Sunday Rider Roundtable / Bishop To Bombers


So .... what have you concluded about the game?

We're having our own roundtable discussion in the coffee shop with luminaries John Lynch of CKRM/Access and Don Hewitt of CTV.

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The Winnipeg Sun
Sun Jul 26 2009
Byline: BY KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have completed one pass longer than 20 yards through four games this season.

A man who will likely be on the practice field tomorrow at Canad Inns Stadium would be able to improve that stat in a jiffy.

Two sources close to the Bombers said yesterday the team is finalizing a deal with hard-throwing quarterback Michael Bishop, formerly of the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders, and there's a chance he will be here as early as today.

One of the sources indicated there's even a chance Bishop could start next Saturday in Toronto against his former team.

Bishop was coy when reached last night in Texas, but he hinted he was all but on his way to Winnipeg.

Eskimos 38 Roughriders 33

There were storylines abound heading into Saturday afternoon’s Week 4 Canadian Football League showdown between the 2-1 Saskatchewan Roughriders and 1-2 Edmonton Eskimos at a soldout Mosaic Stadium.

First and foremost it was the 20-anniversary reunion of the 1989 Grey Cup champion Roughriders and 34 players and dozens more staff plus their families were on hand for three days of festivities culminating in a halftime ceremony.

Former Rider defensive back from 1989 and defensive coordinator Richie Hall made his way back for the reunion as well, but also as head coach of the Eskimos. Along with him were former Riders Kitwana Jones and Maurice Lloyd and injured safety Scott Gordon who made their first return to Mosaic Stadium since their off-season migration to the Alberta capital.

The Riders were coming off their worst home defeat since 1992, as they lost 43-10 at home to Montreal one week before. For the second straight Saturday, it was a blazing 30 degrees Celsius in Regina and every one of the 30,945 seats were sold.

Here’s the game log from the broadcast booth:

- The Riders were adorned in their green home uniforms with grey pants and green helmets. The Eskimos were in their road whites with gold pants and helmets.

- Hall, Lloyd and Jones enjoy a long and loud standing ovation upon the Eskimos’ entrance onto the field.

- The Riders win the coin toss and defer to the second half. The Eskimos took the football and defended the north endzone to start the game.

- Eskimos 2-and-out on opening drive. So too are the Riders.

- Rider linebacker Tad Kornegay strips the ball off Edmonton returner Tristan Jackson at the Edmonton 31-yard line.

- Four plays later Wes Cates catches a 4-yard flare pass from QB Darian Durant and Saskatchewan takes a 7-0 lead with 10:51 to go in the opening quarter.

- Rider kicker Jamie Boreham makes it 8-0 on a 79 yard kickoff single.

- Rider DB Lance Frazier returns Ricky Ray interception 65-yards for a touchdown. 15-0 Saskatchewan with 8:19 left in first.

- Riders move the ball 102 yards ending in an 18-yard touchdown run by QB Darian Durant just 3:02 into the second quarter.

- Eskimos finally get on the board with a 16-yard Noel Prefontaine field goal with 6:44 left in first half to make it 22-3 Riders.

- On Edmonton’s next drive running back Calvin McCarty rumbles for a 37-yard touchdown to make it 22-10 Saskatchewan with 4:10 to go in the first half.

- Saskatchewan answered with a 27-yard field goal by kicker Luca Congi with 2:23 to go, making it 25-3.

- Rider players going down left and right. DE John Chick, OT Bobby Harris, LB Sean Lucas in this heat. All have come back, although Chick went into the locker room before halftime.

- Eskimos score on a third straight possession with a 41-yard Prefontaine field goal with 1:06 to go in half. That made it 25-13 for the homeside and they took that lead into the halftime break.

- Wonderful halftime ceremony announced by 1989 Rider commentator Carm Carteri as the 89 Riders were trucked onto the field by a series of carts. Simply the best!

- “We made some plays in all three phases in the first half,” said Rider coach Ken Miller at halftime on CKRM Radio. “Now we need to maintain some drives and force 2-and-outs on defense.”

- Edmonton opens the second half scoring on a 33-yard field goal from Prefontaine cutting the Riders’ lead to nine points, at 25-16 with 9:17 left in the third quarter.

- A 75-yard punt return touchdown by Tristan Jackson for the Eskimos makes it 25-23 for the Riders with 8:05 to go in the third.

- Rider linebacker Carlos Armour leaves the field on a cart with a broken leg. He was filling in for regular starter Tad Kornegay, who was sidelined with cramping.

- Eskimos take their first lead of the game on a 3-yard touchdown run by Calvin McCarty to make it 30-25 Edmonton with 2:25 to go in the third quarter.

- Riders’ first first down of third quarter came with 0:50 to go in the third quarter. On the final play before the fourth, popular Rider receiver Jason Clermont hauls in a 34-yard pass to the Edmonton 22-yard line.

- A 22-yard pass interference penalty against Rider receiver Weston Dressler sets the Riders up 1st-and-goal at the Edmonton 1-yard line.

- Backup QB Steven Jyles hands off to Chris Szarka for a 1-yard touchdown lunge, and the Riders take the lead back at 31-30 in the opening minute of the fourth. A two-point convert is successful with a Durant pass to Andy Fantuz. 33-30 Saskatchewan.

- Rider punter Jamie Boreham concedes two points and it’s a one point game; 33-32 Saskatchewan with 11:07 to go. Good call by Richie Hall to pin the Riders in deep with a punt rather than gamble on 3rd-and-1.

- The Eskimos regain the lead with 7:55 left to play on an 18-yard touchdown run by Arkee Whitlock. It’s a 56 yard, eight play drive. However the two point convert attempt fails and the score becomes 38-33 Edmonton with 7:27 to go.

- Key point in the game; 5:40 to go and Edmonton returner Jamaica Rector fumbles on the Saskatchewan 54 yard line. Richie Hall challenges the play, however the ruling on the field stands.

- Riders march it to the Edmonton 20, but have to gamble on 3rd-and-inches. A Steven Jyles plunge is spotted short, and the Riders turn it over on downs. Coach Miller challenges, however the call on the field stands. It’s the first Rider turnover of the day. Edmonton takes over on their own 20 with 2:41 to play.

- The Riders got the ball back, but turned it over on downs at the Edmonton 44 with 0:59 to play. It clearly appeared as though Saskatchewan’s Weston Dressler caught a pass for a first down, but the officials called it incomplete. It was not reviewed and that was all she wrote. Plays in the last three minutes of the game are supposed to automatically be reviewed by CFL headquarters in Toronto. That did not happen. Coach Miller will sort it out on the postgame show...

- Game over. Edmonton 38 Saskatchewan 33

- “They just got back on track,” said Rider tailback Wes Cates on CKRM after the game. “Nothing changed the temp. I guess we fell asleep for a bit. I don’t know. There were some controversial calls but the refs run the game. I guess you just have to live with it.”

It was a triumphant return to Mosaic Stadium for the ex-Riders.

- “Both are very good teams,” said Kitwana Jones. “Saskatchewan at home, you know were going to be hard-hitting and intense. I thought it would be defensive but it was an offensive game.”

- With the win, the Eskimos pull into a first-place tie with the Riders and Calgary, all at 2-2.

- The Dressler “incompletion” will be talked about long and loud in the week ahead. TSN commentator Matt Dunigan said for sure it was no catch. One Rider assistant coach said after the game for sure it WAS a catch. Either way, it should’ve been reviewed by the league.

- “I think clearly that it was a catch and the replays would show that,” said coach Miller. “That’s just the way I saw it. I saw it live and on replay, and I thought it was a catch. I think that once it’s called incomplete, that they can’t challenge that. I think they can over-rule a catch, but not an incompletion.

- “That was heart-breaking and you’d like to think we would’ve gone on to score a touchdown and win. But really, we let them drive the ball, they scored on a punt return, and we were 2-and-out too many times. Really the call was a key play, but there were other areas where we weren’t good enough.”

Injuries were also a concern, and Miller addressed that situation.

- “I think Tad Kornegay will be okay and Lucas. I think John Chick has a shoulder separation but I’m hopeful it’s not serious. But really, Carlos Armour broke his leg. The tibia and possibly the fibula and that was disastrous.”

- All in all, it was a tough day for the Roughriders, and their defense.

- “It’s just a matter of finishing guys, man,” said Rider DT Scott Schultz. “We’ve done great in the first half but for some reason we can’t finish teams. Last year we finished guys out and got wins and we got to get back to that. The heat wasn’t a factor. It’s just as hot for them as us. But losing John Chick getting hurt throws a wrinkle into our rotation. But Ricky Ray is Ricky Ray and he’s going to make plays. I just can’t get my head around how we blew it.”

- Canadian receiver Rob Bagg was the Riders’ offensive star with six catches for 83 yards.

- “We’re all pretty disappointed but it’s a long year,” said Bagg. “We can play a lot better than that. We had some good drives but you have to play a full sixty minutes. We learned that today.”

- “I wouldn’t say it was my coming-out party. I’ve done some good things in the past but that wide-side spot is tough to get the ball too, and I’m just happy to have made some.”

- The Riders’ next game is Saturday night in Calgary as first-place in the CFL West will be on the line.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Too Much Fun At The Press Box

Hey, it happens....

IMG00333.jpg

One More Time

25-13 SK At Halftime

1989 Riders circle stadium...

Pregame On Practice Field

Courtesy Global's Derek Meyers!

Pregame Pics From The Press Box

This is Press Row...

Below is TSN's Gord Miller getting ready for the telecast...

Below that is Eskimos Voice Bryan Hall...

Argos, Stamps Win

The Argonauts were without Arland Bruce The Third, but it didn't matter as Toronto downed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 19-5. Justin Medlock booted four field goals and Jamal Robertson rushed for the game's only touchdown for the Argos. Toronto rookie head coach Bart Andrus left Bruce at home for disciplinary reasons.

Henry Burris threw three touchdowns passes and Joffrey Reynolds ran for two more as the Calgary Stampeders crushed the B-C Lions 48-10. The Stampeder defence mauled the Lions with five sacks and two interceptions. Calgary erased a 7-4 deficit by scoring 34 unanswered points. The defending Grey Cup champions improved their
record to 2-and-2.

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Bad Rider injury news:

The Riders, who have been hoping to have Belton Johnson back in the starting lineup in the next week or two, received some very bad news Friday regarding the veteran lineman.

Johnson, who was injured week one and hasn't played since, has been recovering from a small crack in the area where the sternum and clavicle connect.

After complaining about significant pain this past week, the Riders medical staff ordered a new series of medical tests which revealed the big tackle also has a torn muscle. The injury is serious enough that Johnson will likely be placed on the nine game injured list.

Game Day Morning

Former Detroit Red Wing and New York Ranger (and Pats ass't coach and player) Mike Blaisdell joins me at Starbucks for a Rider pregame head to head.

Notice the Saturn Vue CKRM sports cruiser in the background!

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Rider DE Stevie Baggs game day Tweet:

"Im not getting ready for my game I stay ready..... Lets go do battle!!! Glory to God....... Shakespeare 90 Bless"

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Looking to go the game?

Press Box Sports Bar has 4 tix. pressbox@sasktel.net

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Invasion

At Wascana Park ... Our Lady Peace tonight.

Mo Lloyd

Thanks to the Esks for taking care of my pregame notebook!:

Edmonton Eskimos at Saskatchewan Roughriders

Date: Saturday, July 25, 2009
Place: Mosaic Stadium - Regina
Kick-off: 2:00pm (Mountain Time)

Television: TSN

Radio: 630 CHED Edmonton (Bryan Hall & Dave Campbell)
620 CKRM Regina (Rod Pederson & Carm Carteri)
Sirius Radio (Channel 98)

Overview

After surrendering 90 points in the last two outings, Edmonton (1-2) needs a bounce back game in the worst way possible. But they’ll have to do it at Mosaic Stadium where Edmonton has just one win in eight trips since 2003. Hard on the heels of a 40-22 loss to BC last week, Head Coach Richie Hall said he was both “disappointed and disgusted”, citing a lack of emotion, energy and consistency as his club’s most glaring problems.

Naturally the defence has come under scrutiny, particularly the secondary. Coach Hall says some of that can be attributed to the period of adjustment needed for the new faces to gel with the few vets, some of whom are playing out of position. Former Alouette and 2008 CFL East All-Star T.J. Hill was added early this week and should add a physical presence. Whoever lines up will face a ‘Rider offence that has considerable offensive weapons with the likes of Cates, Dressler and Fantuz. Shutting down the big play will be essential for the Esks.

The Eskimo coaching staff put the emphasis, and re-emphasis, on execution and consistency during a week of preparation. Ricky Ray has shown brief glimpses of his usual form, but in the words of Coach Hall is “not the Ricky Ray we’re accustomed to.” Edmonton leads the league in passing yards (943 yds) and has the league’s leading receiver in Maurice Mann (277 yds on 17 catches), but has put just 57 points on the board to date. A solid performance by the O-line will give Ray the time needed to find receivers and create holes for the Esks to establish a running game, something they’ve struggled to do in the first three games.

Notables

- Many Happy Returns? As a player and then a coach, Richie Hall called Regina home for close to twenty years. Even the ‘Rider faithful will be hard pressed to cheer against Hall who got a long overdue chance to be a CFL head coach in Edmonton.

- Ex-Riders Mo Lloyd and Kitwana Jones return for the first time and will be on the receiving end of some ‘Rider Pride “love”.

- Joe McGrath to face the wrath? O-lineman Joe McGrath, who signed with Saskatchewan as a free agent only to be traded back to Edmonton early in training camp, will no doubt be singled out by the usually hostile crowd.

- Jason Goss needs 6 more tackles for 200 tackles in his career (200).

- Kitwana Jones needs 7 more tackles for 100 tackles in his career (100).

- Kamau Peterson needs 9 receptions for 200 receptions as an Eskimo (200).

- Tristan Jackson needs 97 punt return yards for 1000 punt return yards in his career (1000).

- Maurice Mann needs 176 receiving yards for 1000 receiving yards in his career (1000).

Eskimos Arrive

Check out Kitwana's belt buckle

A Pic Says 1,000 Words

There's my Dad scouting the Western Prospects camp at the Twin Arenas which has been going on all week.

Photo courtesy Pats equipment mgr Leigh Fitzpatrick.

Friday Happenings

TSN's Matt Dunigan visits with Gene Makowsky Friday morning...

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"Hey Rod, I was wondering if you could make a mention on your blog.  Today from 11:30am-7:00pm the Boys at MUCHO BURRITO on Rochdale Blvd. are hosting a FREE BURRITO DAY in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. 

All you need is a minimum $2 dollar donation.  Members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be on hand to sign autographs between 5pm and 7pm. 

Come and enjoy some great food, meet some Roughriders, and most importantly support a great cause.  

Thanks Rod,
Dan Cozine"

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Press Box Sports Bar
Friday, July 24th - Lunch Buffet

Rice Pilaf
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Home made Macaroni and Cheese
Pork Cutlets in Mushroom Gravy
Mixed Veggies
Cabbage Rolls
Roast Beef

Pizza Buffet:
Ham and Pineapple
Pepperoni and Mushroom
Veggie Pizza

1989 Reunion Photos

Richie Hall, running the Eskimos from Regina..

Jeff Treftlin

Dan Rashovich - a sure-fire Plaza of Honour member



Dan Rashovich and Chuck Klingbeil

Tom Burgess



Jim Hopson



Richie Hall



Coach Ted Heath



Mike Anderson and Vic Stevenson



Norm Fong


Carm, Cindy and Donna

Rob Bresciani

Carm with Brian Illerbrun


Darren Mitchell


Coach Gregory


From left: Phil Kershaw, Ray Elgaard, Carm


1966 team member Ted Urness


Harry Skipper


Kenny Moore



Steve Mazurak visits with Cindy



Darren Mitchell



Mark Urness


Equipment manager Gordy Gilroy