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Friday, November 16, 2012

FRIDAY RODSERVATIONS



Is it Friday already? I guess it was a short week. First off let's start with some photos:


We got a note this week from Rider special teams coordinator Craig Dickenson, a faithful reader of this blog. He asked if we can pass along this info:

Rod:
Can you give this a little plug? It is DD and me holding the box of soap and shampoo the team collected this season. Each player saved whatever soap and shampoo they did not use when on the road this year and put it in this box. We ended up donating the soap and shampoo to a woman's shelter called "my aunt's place". I would encourage any and all teams that do a lot of travel to try and collect soap and donate it to worthwhile places.
Thanks bud.
Craig

What a great guy!


What a blessed couple of weeks it has been (despite the Rider losses)! Last week I got to meet Minnesota Vikings radio play-by-play man Paul Allen and on Thursday it was an honour to meet Sportsnet Blue Jays analyst Gregg Zaun and catch up with old friend Jamie Campbell of the Jays broadcast crew. They were in Regina scouting hotels for the 2013 Gregg Zaun Grey Cup Bash and I hooked them up with the fine folks at the Ramada. Here's a shot I took at Fibber McGee's pub Thursday afternoon. From left: The Sherminator, Zaun, T-Sack and Campbell. You can get tickets to this year's Zaun Grey Cup Bash at www.ticketscene.ca. Just search "Gregg Zaun". I've already bought mine.


So many people have asked what Gregg Zaun's really like. The above photo gives you an idea. What you see is what you get with Gregg Zaun. His Twitter bio says it all: 16 year Major League veteran, currently an Analyst for Rogers Sportsnet, Millionaire, Playboy and Philanthropist #Zauntourage


Despite being a Los Angeles product, Zaun is a dyed-in-the-wool Riders fan. He fell in love with the franchise at the 2009 Grey Cup when Campbell took him there for a getaway. As word grew of his love for the team, the Roughriders sent him jersey with his name and Jays number on it.



The 620 CKRM Rider Pep Band got us in the Grey Cup spirit this week by forwarding a photo from the 2011 Grey Cup in Vancouver, and the Harvard Broadcasting hospitality suite. Here is Global TV and Sports Cage co-host Derek "Duke" Meyers performing with the band. By the way you have to catch Meyers' Green and Grey series during the Global News chronicling the Riders' Grey Cup history. Now that's how you do a documentary.



And lastly here's a random photo of Rams great Josh Shaw (the recipient of the famed 'Darryl Leason fake kneeldown pass') at an event in Winnipeg Thursday night. Here Shaw poses with a Don Cherry impersonator. This guy performed at a Regina Pats Sportsman's Dinner a few years ago. Oh my.
______

FRIDAY RODSERVATIONS

* Thursday night former Roughrider Marcus Thigpen became the first Miami Dolphin ever to have a punt return touchdown and kickoff return touchdown in the same season. Thigpen's Dolphins lost 19-14 in Buffalo. Of course Thigpen made history in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last year when he became the first player to score a touchdown five different ways. I'm sure if the Roughriders could do it all over again, they wouldn't have chosen Dominique Dorsey over Thigpen.

* The theme of the week on our various TV and radio shows was Was The Rider Season A Success? We posed the question to our array of pundits and this is some of their reaction:

Arash Madani: "Absolutely. They had to start ALL over again."

Bob Hughes: "Yes but they have a long ways to go."

Carm Carteri: "No, because they lost in Calgary."

* Judging by their comments to the media this week, I'd guess Coach Corey Chamblin would label the 2012 season a success while GM Brendan Taman would not. Taman basically stated on Thursday that they fell short of their goals and had a losing record although he was buoyed by the fact they made the playoffs.

* Going into the season I predicted a 9-9 season plus a playoff berth. Had they achieved 9-9 but missed the playoffs, I'd deem it a failure however even though they went 8-10 but made the post-season, I'd call the season a success. Either way they were highly entertaining from start to finish.

* Rider historian John Lynch pegged Sunday's semifinal loss in Calgary as the fourth-most painful loss in Rider history. The others are 1) 2009 Grey Cup, 2) 1976 Grey Cup, 3) 1970 Western Division playoffs.

* Heartbreak. That's what we're all about. By the way I've never understood the annoying phrase "The sun will come up tomorrow!" as it pertains to sports. So what? If the Riders never win another game in their life, the sun will come up. WE COULD LOSE THE TEAM and the sun would still come up. So what?! It makes no sense to me.

* Will Corey Chamblin be among the three finalists for CFL Coach of the Year?

* Happy birthday to Rider alum Cole Bergquist!

* Last year Paul Lapolice was a finalist and eight months later he was on the unemployment line. I haven't seen Lapo as a TSN analyst yet but I plan to on Sunday. I'll be interested to see how he feels about having to be critical as a TV analyst. He wasn't too pleased with my critical column during Grey Cup last week but perhaps he'll see it differently now that he's on the dark side.

* Don't forget 620 CKRM will carry both division finals on Sunday complete with a 90-minute postgame show hosted by Michael Ball.

* As of mid-week, 42,000 tickets had been sold for Sunday's EDF between the Alouettes and Argonauts at 55,000-seat Olympic Stadium.

* Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun gives the coaching edge to Calgary in Sunday's WDF between the Stampeders and Lions. Part of the reason is Hufnagel is 13-6 this year without his top quarterback for most of it. Now he's got to go with his back-up again since Drew Tate has a broken arm. Let's see what Huff has up his sleeve.

* Tweet of the Week comes from former Argo play-by-play man Jamie Stein: "@jamiestein: Drew Tate named CFL player of the week, but forgets why he won."

* It's times like this that I think about Ticats play-by-play man Rick Zamprien of 900 CHML in Hamilton. Earlier in the season I blogged that Rick must be wondering if the Ticats will ever get back to the Grey Cup during his time in the booth. I believe it's six seasons and counting for Rick and the Ticats' Grey Cup drought stretches back to 1999 -- the longest in the league. Have no fear Rick! I had to wait eight seasons before getting to the dance.

* Great find by Global's Derek Meyers in Lance Frazier as an analyst. The former Rider DB and Grey Cup champ is working in the oilfield making big dough but he's interested in getting into the media. That's odd because he always told me he'd like to get into personnel but perhaps he can do both. Class guy.

* It was great to catch up with former Rider DB Tad Kornegay in Calgary last week at the Keg in the Westin. He said "Hey just because I'm not part of the family no more doesn't mean you can't write me! When you coming back to New York?" Maybe this spring.


With Tad in Times Square in 2010

* The Grey Cup Train pulls into Exhibition Place in Toronto on Saturday, concluding its nationwide trip. Tour Coordinator Carley Smith told the Edmonton Sun her favourite stop from coast-to-coast was Yorkton, Saskatchewan. She said she was presented with a baby pig, which is a Yorkton tradition which goes back to 1952!

* We learned this week that when the train was in Regina, Rider receiver Chris Getzlaf showed up at the tour stop in cognito and waited an hour and a half to get in. Chris was recognized by tour officials and asked to sign his locker inside.

* The new Ottawa CFL franchise will hold a name-the-team contest in the next few weeks. I'm told it likely won't be the Lumberjacks or Capitals, which have been rumoured. It will likely start with an "R" so they can use the old Rough Rider logo for retro purposes.

* Ottawa businessman Jeff Hunt is an owner of both the Ottawa CFL team and the OHL's 67s. In an interview this week he said he wants the CFL team's logo to connect with the youth population, but not too young. He says the 67's "wheelhouse" is kids aged 4-11 but, "that's not football". Interesting. If Hunt ever hosted a seminar on sports marketing, I'd be the first to buy a ticket.

* Sometimes you never know what your audience is going to grab ahold of. Our idea to adopt an NFL team on the Sports Cage for the rest of the season has gone nuts! We've had a ton of reaction since deciding to go with the Minnesota Vikings because of the obvious connections. This is going to be a lot of fun!

* We learned this week that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had some cash and his passport stolen from the locker room during a road game in Pittsburgh last month. I could write a book on locker room thefts.

* The sports world is abuzz with this week's Marlins-Blue Jays trade, being called "one of the biggest trades in MLB history" however Fox Sports Radio's Dan Patrick says "Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Blue Jays had 73 wins this year while the Marlins had 69! Let's not get too excited". Dan's right. It looks like Toronto is getting a bunch of overpaid underachievers.

* I'm sure Blue Jays boss Paul Beeston would prefer if TSN could find some other stock footage of him talking with GM Alex Anthopoulos when he's not carrying a plate of food and stuffing his face in a luxury suite. They show it time after time.

* The Detroit Pistons got off to the worst start in franchise history at 0-8. Wouldn't you know it? We're going to see them play the Mavericks in Dallas in two weeks on the Sports Cage Marlin Travel Ultimate Sports Trip II!! Woohoo! Always good to watch history makers.

* Meanwhile the AJHL's Brooks Bandits are off to a 20-0-0-0 start.

* rodpedersen.com will not be entered in the 2012 Canadian Blog Awards which are on now. Somebody else can win this year.

* This blog will be posting columns from Associated Press writers Tim Dahlberg and Jim Litke over the winter because they produce award-winning stuff. Hey why not, I'm paying for it! Please give them a read and give them a chance!

* Today's Press Box Sports Bar Friday lunch buffet menu courtesy Chef Laura:

Roast Beef
Fried Chicken
Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Baked Macaronia & Cheese
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Garlic Toast
Vegetables
Caesar Salad
Assorted Pizza
Dessert Tray

THAT'S ALL! SEE YOU IN THE CAGE AT 5:00 FOR FOUR SEASONS FOOTBALL FRIDAY!
RP

40 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Wow......does Meyers have naked pics of your mom or something? They guy's a hack, and yet you are giving him hand service all throughout your blog.

Get real.

Rod Pedersen said...

It's called supporting your friends but you'd actually have to have friends to understand that concept.

Anonymous said...

Rod, the way 2011 went around here, it's no surprise in retrospect that we got rid of Thigpen to stick with overrated overpaid underperforming talent. Heck, if they were around for 2012 they probably would have taken a pass on Sanders and Sheets too. Thankfully this team does appear to be headed in the right direction. We do have to make adjustments in some areas but there's no reason not to think we won't be in the mix to go after the cup right at home at Taylor Field.

I agree with you on the whole "oh it's not the end of the world, the sun will rise tomorrow" mentality that some people have. Those people who say that are not nearly as passionate about this (or any other) team as we are. When you are that dedicated of a fan and follow them that closely, it becomes part of your life and who you are. And when they lose, it hurts a lot. Especially heartbreaking losses like the Grey Cups. That said, there is a lot more to life than just football. I don't know about you but I'm starting to go into some serious sports withdrawl with the NHL gone.



Rex

Anonymous said...

Score one for Roddy!

Come on Rod, I'm sure the dummy has lots of friends. And drives an Escalade with a hot blonde riding shotgun. Real man about town.

Anonymous said...

Win or lose, life goes on. A Riders loss doesn't mean we all die. We still go to bed, get up, drink our coffee, and go to work. Life is more important than sports. Thus "the sun will come up tomorrow" line.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Aren't the Bombers the longest Grey Cup drought dating back to 1990?

Great column as always!

Jason Burns

Anonymous said...

Just wished you had picked the Seahawks to promote. They have the only Regina player in the NFL and a ton of Canadians have season tickets to the Hawks.

Anonymous said...

I'm not prepared to call this season a success. We can't revert back to that mentality that a five hundred record and a loss in the first round is a sucess. Yes, this was a better year than last year, but by no means was it a sucess in my books.

Winners don't settle for medicrity? That the mind st this team and this fan base need to keep in mind.

My 2 cents!!

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Rod, you are such a hipster dufus.

Anonymous said...

The 2004 West Final in BC has to be in the list of most heartbreaking Rider losses... At least it is in my list.

Thanks.
Paul C.

Anonymous said...

If I was getzlaugh, I wouldn't want to be recognized either.

Corrie Banman said...

@Jason Burns - Winnipeg hasn't won since 1990, but Hamilton hasn't even been to the Grey Cup since 1999. That's the drought in question.

Winnipeg has been there a few times since 1999, but have lost each time.

Rod Pedersen said...

Think I'll take a blogger break. These losers are getting me down.

Kevin Waldal said...

Hey Rod,

Good job per usual. On the list of heartbreaks, my is a little different. I grew up with Ronny Jr and love Ronny Sr. My list goes:
1976 GC
1972 GC
2009 GC
2004 WF

Keep up the good work. On another note, the season was a success because I feel a heck of lot better this year than last, so something improved. I also think CC is the type of coach to get us to the promise land for many years to come.

Go Riders

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey Rod, hope you are still reading these cause I have real question for you. If the Riders were going to chase a game changer for next year to try to get us into the Grey Cup who do you think it might be? Either through free agency or NFL or whatever. You talk to the guys who know, is there anyone out there that the Riders are saying we will spend whatever it takes to bring him in so that we can make a run for the cup next year. Love to hear what names if any are bbeing thrown around.

RC

Rod Pedersen said...

Even if I knew couldn't say because that would be tampering, but I don't know anyways!

Keith said...

I hope the Ottawa picks the name the 'Ottawa River Rats'. It would make for a great team logo. Fans can wear rat tails, and they could have a Gainer type mascot - say Gordie the Rat. The colour black would also be retained and mesh well with retro uniforms. It could make Ottawa into a CFL version of the Oakland Raiders.

Gored said...

Pats and Giants tonight on Sportsnet!

It would be truly bush if Ottawa returns the "Rough Riders" name.

Anonymous said...

For me, the most heartbreaking loss was the 2003 WF against Edmonton when DB got outcoached. The riders had a real shot and playing in a home grey cup and DB absolutely blew it by sticking with a crappy QB. Once the QB change was made, they were better but ran out of time. That one hurts the most. Yes, even the 2009 GC loss. The '03 is #1 and '09 is 1a.


sorry the jerks are bringing you down. Have a good weekend off. After the grind you have had I am sure you deserve it. I know you'd rather be working but everything happens for a reason.



Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Screw the haters Rod. Why let losers get you down? I've got a lot of buddies that are/were bully types growing up and are still like that online. I just laugh at them - is their life so bad they need to take internet cheap shots like little boys?

Kenny said...

Great blog Roddy.

Nice to see you are buds with Tad. My wife and I sat beside his mom and family at 2007 Grey Cup. Great lady and nice family. We couldve used Tad in the secondary this year. He's the only guy on the stamps I can stomach.

2004 in BC was another massive heartbreak too. I could write a book
on them.

Can't wait for 2013 Riders

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read the debate about whether or not a season is a success or not. In particular, when certain view points explain that because we didn't win the Grey Cup, the season simply can't be considered a success.

I guess by that rational, every single team in the CFL that will not win this year (seven teams out of eight), are all unsuccessful in what they do. And further, I guess, all the fans that watched and/or attended the games were really wasting their time as, quite simply, those fans were losers for supporting an unsuccessful sport team/event.

Let's get real, only one team will win the Cup (in any sport), are we really that shallow that we now have to conclude that the team and fans are all losers for backing a team, that didn't win it all?

Trust me, I want the Riders to win the Cup too, but I don't need to feel depressed about it. Up until now, I was actually enjoying the games as part of my personal entertainment. I will continue to do so... Nothing more - nothing less. Go Riders!

Kel in Victoria

Anonymous said...

Rod: Great blog all year long. Don't let the a--holes get you down. If it was me I'd hit delete but you are better than that and give everyone an opportunity to voice an opinion, however idiotic it is. As a Bears fan I'm not happy with your choice, we need all the help we can get. Sadly, I remember listening to Vikes games on the radio during the Purple People Eater days. Joe Kapp, Bud Grant, man I'm old!
Dave in Medicine Hat

Anonymous said...

Agreed fully on the 04 west final loss being at the top of the painful list. The whole drive back home, neither me nor my buddies could say a word. What can you after a loss like that? I still have no doubt that if we'd had won that game, we would have beat TO for the Cup. Burris was on fire and so was our D. Thanks McCallum.


The name's Pedersen. Rod, Pedersen. Feel free to use that one around Mrs. SportsCage.



Dubya

Anonymous said...

Scott Barnstable still has a stock of stolen toilet paper from hotels too....one roll at a time.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the AJHL's Brooks Bandits are off to a 20-0-0-0 start.

These team has broken something like 2 or 3 records in the AJHL already this year, going for another tonight as 21 wins would tie the longest winning streak in AJHL history (I really don't buy that since they have won 31 regular season games in a row going back to last January) Either way should be a excellent hockey game in Grande Prairie tonight. They have won 8 in a row too.

For anyone who cares the Bandits have a Saskatchewan connection. Chris Muscoby was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. But grew up in Airdrie,Alberta Hence why hockey websites list that as his birthplace.

Anonymous said...

It is not feasible to think a successful season only constitutes if you win a Grey Cup. That's the ultimate goal, but there are other ways to measure it.

I'll make a rubric for you and the more you have of these elements then the more successful the season is or is deemed successful.

1) A team actually wins the Grey Cup or makes it to the Grey Cup Final where it's 50/50 what happens. Getting there is a success.

2) Finish in 1st Place, get the bye and host the WDF or EDF

3) Finish in 2nd Place, get a home playoff game

4) Finish with a winning record

5) Finish .500 or if below .500 the team has a winning home game record. If you have a below .500 record then beat the teams in your division at least and not the doormats of the league.

6) Win the games you are supposed to win, and don't blow the games you should win.

7) If you can't beat a clearly better opponent then at least make a good game out of it.

Success is not based on what happened the previous season. You can't say well we were so crappy the previous season, but Winnipeg was worse so we got some wins there and that really helped out in the W/L column. You also don't say it's a success due to ticket sales and T Shirt sales as a way to distract from what happens on the field. There's to much turnover in the CFL so 2011 doesn't have diddly boo to do with 2012.

When you finish 8-10, give games away, and lose games by poor decision making then no you are not successful.

Obama

Anonymous said...

.....I'll say this though. The Riders have a lot of positives to build on. They need to find 2 big American Recievers to be #1 and #2, move Dressler back to #3, and Getzlaf to #4. Find a bonafide Defensive End, and just game plan a little better. Overall it's not a horrible situation.

I'm looking forward to 2013 already. Doesn't matter whether it's a success/not a success it's a fun debate and all of us always come back.

If I can watch 11 seasons of Beverly Hills 90210 and never once miss an episode then I can come back and watch a 33rd year of Rider Football believe me.

Obama

Anonymous said...

I'm going to join several others and say, "You can't call an 8/10 season a success."
That's Danny Barrett mentality and I quote,"The other guys get paid too."

Veeseven

Anonymous said...

@ Corrie, thank you for clearing that up, I feel kind of dumb now haha

Rod, have you ever thought of only posting the positive and intelligent comments? I usually don't bother with the comments anymore because they make me think less of the human race. Thanks again for keeping us all informed

Jason Burns

Anonymous said...

Lol Obama, Dressler has never been option #3 in his career and now you want to magically find two better receivers? Taman is exec of the decade if he pulls that off....hope it happens!

Anonymous said...

Not happy about adopting the Vikings. Go Packers...all the way

Anonymous said...

Winning refers to the state of successfully accomplishing goals, besting competition and "generally not losing" "achieving absolute victory" and "one that Is successful" especially through praise worthy ability and hard work. "WINNER" - Victor, Conqueror, Vanquisher, First, Champion, Master, Prizewinner. 2012 Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club, "LOSER"- Failure, Flop, Washout !

Anonymous said...

Lemme clarify because that is a good point. I like Weston Dressler and he is going to be an all time great. My point is looking at 2007 when the Riders dominated the Receiving Core were big men like DJ Flick, Andy Fantuz and Matt Dominguez. I like Weston Dressler, but he is the Riders version of Montreal's Pat Woodcock or Ben Cahoon. He is a clutch possession guy, but he isn't flipping the fielf on Offense. It's like using Don Narcisse in the right role. He will get you first downs and convert second and longs. To think you're going deep with him it's not happening. Again, not to debate Dressler because he's great however you take him out of the Offense as it currently is then there isn't even a chance.

Obama

Anonymous said...

Jus left a Winnipeg night club featuring a live band, some smack talk about Saskatchewan Inventing the "tooth" brush, anywhere else It's called "teeth" brush. A little Insulting to this visitor, but It got a big cheer from the packed house.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree to a certain extent.....Narco, and I love the guy, was possession and no YAC after first couple years. But to suggest Dressler is as well is inaccurate. He has had plenty of large plays this year after catching the ball, several took place last week but I will concede he does not have that Chris Williams type of gear.
Ferguson Jenkins

Anonymous said...

To Obama; To suggest Taman is going to find the receivers to bump Dressler to #3 is ludicrous, Remember, this is the same guy that's spent 2 years looking for a defensive end and hasn't even found one.

Badger