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STUDIO S

Friday, December 7, 2012

FRIDAY RODSERVATIONS

WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT:

* It'll be great to be back in studio for Four Seasons Football Friday in the Sports Cage with the Old 96'er Scott Schultz. If anyone has been keeping track, our radio show has been on the road for much of the past two weeks including the Delta Chelsea Hotel and CN Tower in Toronto, the Holiday Inn Market Centre in Dallas, the Brandt Centre in Regina and most recently Wilcox, SK Thursday night for the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Hockey Tournament. It's been great to be all over the place, but it'll also be nice to be home.

* It was tough sitting across the table in the lobby of the Duncan McNeil Arena at Notre Dame last night watching tears roll down the face of Mandi Schwartz's mother Carol while we interviewed her and husband Rick. It was far tougher on her of course, but she has to be proud of her daughter for all the people she touched in the hockey world during her time on earth. It's great to be able to take the Sports Cage out on the road and get the word out for these events.

* Of course Wednesday's Jordan Eberle Night was a treat as well, broadcasting the show from the Brandt Centre box office before going inside to a nearly-full arena. It's a topic of much debate; should Eberle's #7 have been retired at all, let-alone so soon after his junior career? However after seeing how much it means to Jordan and his family, and because of the quality of person Jordan is, this blogger gives the tribute two thumbs up.

* Even TSN's James Duthie alluded to Eberle during last year's World Juniors as a "Canadian hockey hero". I'm certain when TSN's Top 40 all-time Team Canada World Juniors are named on December 19, Eberle will be at least in the top three.

* There were some great quotes from Eberle during his Wednesday morning news conference. My favourite was, "I have a strong sense of pride being from this city. Obviously I'm a huge Rider fan but even though I moved to Calgary when I was 15, I came right back to play for the Pats."

* It was also amazing to learn that Eberle was a Canadian Tire Seventh Player at a Pats game in 1997 when he was seven years old. The player he selected to sit beside in the dressing room was #9 Derek Morris. The two would end up knocking heads in NHL corners many years later.

* The Pats couldn't be happy that the Riders announced their coaching moves on the same afternoon as the Eberle event, but it didn't steal any thunder. A photo of Eberle and his banner appeared on the front cover of the Leader Post and this blog the next day. I can assure you there was no malice intended by the Riders, and it's something that's gone on as long as I've been in this town. However if the Pats are upset, you can see why.

* It's hard to figure these Pats out and I don't follow the team closely enough to provide any analysis. They have a record of 11-16-2-2 and sit 10th in the Eastern Conference, however they're only two points out a playoff spot so it's FAR too early to write them off. Would you rather have 40 wins and miss the playoffs or 30 wins and make the playoffs? I know what I'd take.

* With football season over the Regina Pats are on centre stage in this town until spring which means they're in the firing line in the media if they can't snap out of their current funk (winless in five). Is it still true that bad publicity is better than none? I think it is.

* From all accounts, Pats coach Pat Conacher is turning in another Coach of the Year performance this season. He's a fine coach.

* For a fantastic preview of Team Canada's World Junior training camp which begins next week in Calgary, visit our friends at The Pipeline Show blog in Edmonton here:
http://thepipelineshow.blogspot.ca/2012/12/nervous-nights-for-hockey-canada.html#more

* Still miffed at the US customs agent we dealth with in Denver one week ago. He was a George Cortez clone and was apparently unimpressed by my Roughrider windbreaker. "Coming down to watch some real football are ya?" he sneered. I wasn't in any position to lip him off so I simply replied with a "Pardon?" He snapped back, "Let's put it this way; let's put the Super Bowl champ up against the Grey Cup champ and see how that goes...."

Alrighty then. Welcome to America.

* Quote of the Week came from Regina's Jason White when told the coach would pick us up at 2:30 pm on Friday for our Cowboys Stadium tour. "The coach of the Cowboys is coming to pick us up?" Whiter questioned. "That's quite a tour!"

* Clearly Rider coach Corey Chamblin is fed up with calls for him to fire defensive coordinator Richie Hall. "I'm not going to get into defending coaches," Chamblin said during his media scrum Wednesday when asked about Hall's status. Chamblin said from here on in this off-season, if an assistant coach leaves this team it will be his own doing.

It seems like fans ALWAYS want someone to be fired around here but Chamblin is putting his foot down. And, truthfully, I'll trust the guy the opinion of the guy who watches 10 hours of film per day rather than Joe 6-Pack in Section 23.

* Chamblin also said he won't even look at the CFL free agent list until the New Year because he expects half the players on it will re-sign with their respective teams.

* Interesting to see Gene Makowsky's name on the list of Rider free agents. Makowsky must not have officially filed retirement papers last winter in case he needed to be brought back in an emergency.

* Makowsky's and Jason Clermont's names are coming up down at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton about induction in the next few years.

* RUMOUR: The PFC's Regina Thunder were high on former Rider assistant coach Alex Smith for their head coaching vacancy but needed an answer sooner-than-later. Alex still wants to explore CFL opportunities so on Thursday, the Thunder opted for Scott MacAuley who is an excellent choice.

* RUMOUR: Former Rider defensive lineman/assistant coach/broadcaster Ron Cherkas has a high degree of interest in the team's vacant defensive line coaching position.

* FACT: Former Rider offensive coordinator Doug Berry has a high degree of interest in the Alouettes' vacant OC position.

* FACT: Record-setting U of R Rams quarterback Marc Mueller is joining the Molson family as a merchandiser once he completes his degree this month.

* FACT: The 2013 Vanier Cup will NOT be played in Regina next November due to the outdoor stadium and the lack of hotel space.

* FACT: Experienced Pat Fiacco's restaurant Fortuna for the first time on Thursday thanks to a gift certificate from John Lynch and the meal was absolutely amazing. We'll be back. Thanks Pat and thank you Frenzy!

THAT'S GOT IT FOR TODAY. SEE YOU IN THE CAGE!
RP

27 comments:

John Meissner said...

Wish I could come up and go to Fortuna with you. If you reccomend it, then it's got to be good!

Anonymous said...

If Chamblin wants to put his job on the line over Richie Hall he's free to do so. But, it makes me think of Roy Shivers getting canned over Danny Barrett and we all know how that turned out.

Joe 6-pack

Anonymous said...

Rod can't blame you in the least for not wanting to talk about the NHL lockout on the Hot Rodservations. That process is so disgraceful and embarrasing that it's at the point where nobody even cares about it anymore. What a complete joke. That's my five cents.


Rex

Anonymous said...

For Pete's sake people, Richie has been here longer than how many Head Coaches for the Riders, and each HC has had the option to keep him or fire him.

And guess what? They all choose to keep him!

Wow!!! Could it be that Richie is actually a great coach?

No, couldn't be that...


Anonymous said...

Rod, at least the customs guy even knew about the Riders and the Grey Cup. Obviously hes a closet CFL fan if he can even make a judgement.

Anonymous said...

Went to Fortuna and the service was slow and the meal was very salty. Not sure if I will go back.

Anonymous said...

Richie obviously has a lifetime contract here.....guess we get used to the 2nd and Balgonie conversaions in crucial spots in the game....bu hey, we had the 2nd rated D last year. C'mon man, how long does he get a free ride with his uber-soft defensive schemes?

Just another Joe 6 pack who Roddy seems to disresepect.

Rod Pedersen said...

I respect ALL Rider fans and their right to an opinion. I'm just saying I'll trust Corey's judgment given his years in the game and investment in this team.

Anonymous said...

I agree the sevice is brutal and the food ain't that good at Fortuna

Anonymous said...

I had no problem with my meal at Fortuna. I'll definitely be back.

Mr.Morin said...

I completely agree with Rod on this one. We want to fire everyone the minute there are bumps in the road. Last year we gave up on average 23 points/game; six times and we held opponents under 20 a game.
I trust what is being done. Mike Walker was fired. I realize there were a lot of second and long completions but here is something to think about.
How many times on those occassions did we get enough pressure to disrupt the QB? Not very often in my memory. These are professional QB's; if you give them time in the pockey they will find recievers.
I think Chamblin has addressed that issue by making a change along the line. Just my thoughts.

CJ Evans said...

I'm excited to see what where the defence goes next season. Coach Chmablin started to put a little bit of his stamp on the defence with adding some bigger bodies as the year went along. A little more experience on the back end and a little better pressure up front and we're gonna have a damn fine defence!! I really like the direction that Coach Chamblin is taking our team!!

The Woz said...

Rod is completely right that around here people want to fire someone every year. I bet even if we won the Grey Cup that there would still be a call to fire someone. The fact is that we are in a retooling phase - and to do that you can't be constantly firing and bringing in new coordinators every year - otherwise you get no continuity, have new coaches constantly coming in with new philosophies requiring different skills sets which requires new types of players, and constant turmoil. You also need to be able to get along with the Head Coach and work well together. Richie has been able to do that with several HCs over the last 15 years so he must not only be a good coach but someone who is respected in the coaching community.

Corey has found the guys he wants to go to war with and is going to stick with them - he learned this from his mentor Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. Of course he knows that his decisions impact his own job security! If he makes the wrong choice he knows there could be consequences. It was the same with Shivers - the guy was loyal to Danny and in the end it was part of why he was dismissed - Roy knew the possible consequences and paid the price. That is life.

But lets consider a few people that the "fans" said had to go over the last few years:

Kavis Reed - now in Edmonton and by many accounts was a good choice for their HC and in fact might be in the running for the GM there. Fans here thought he was a bum but when suddenly Edmonton made the playoffs others were saying we should have hired him! Go figure.

Marcel Bellefuille - run out of town here but had a long run in Hamilton and guaranteed to resurface at some point.

Greg Marshall - supposed bad choice here but will be scooped up soon for a DC job and some people actually say they would rather have him than Richie.

Etcheverry - many people say we should have kept him over Richie yet he was run out of college ranks after only one year when the players revolted.

Doug Berry - will get another OC job in this league sometime - either in Montreal or elsewhere. Ran lights out offences in Montreal before.

Jim Daley - was the special teams coach in Hamilton last year and even though he was run out of town here, Hamilton had a great special teams unit with Williams running back many record returns for TDs and winning the special.

Constantly wanting to fire someone is a sickness here similar to always wanting the back up QB in the game. Firings and constant turmoil were the Riders in the 80's and 90's reign of error. To be successful you pick your guys and stick with them long term alla Pittsburgh, BC and New England, etc.

Anonymous said...

Reign of error Is the team with a 13th man on and off the field of play, so much opinion and answers that are best left for the professional personnel who are paid to assemble this club Into a championship. caliber franchise. If mistakes are made, appropriate response, action and consequential redress required by management Imediately and decisively.

Anonymous said...

the one and only reason eberles number was retired, is for pats publicity and Brent parker riding eberles wjhc popularity as long as he possibly can. this is also why he didn't trade him.cause them he wouldnt be a pat.

Anonymous said...

The Vanier Cup answer is simple, put it in Saskatoon!

Smitty

Parkside said...

Ritchie is a stellar coach, with the number 2 rated defence in the league. Yet so many people call for his head. Why? Durant is one of the best things to happen to the Riders in a long time. Yet people want to see him benched. Until they see the backups throw lame ducks. Then they blame the coaches or defence, etc. The fact is Joe 6-pack doesn't know football. Yes you might know rules, players names, etc. But you don't know whats best. Do you still want Eric Tillman back here? Did a fine job in Edm. Taman, Chamblin, and Hopson know football, they know this team, and they know what's best for both. Trust them, trust Hall, trust our QB DD. Thats what we need in this province. Trust. Not whining. Not calling for jobs. Thats my 2 cents.

Parkside said...

Grey Cup Champs vs Superbowl Champs you say? haha. Is that what it takes to feel superiorly American? It's hard to defend that matchup either way. Im sure the Patriots would run all over the Argos. I love both games very much. I love football and follow both leagues. A just for kicks NFL vs CFL game would be fun to watch. Would settle arguments. Who cares if the Cowboys beat the Stampeders 42-13. It would be fun to finally see. Maybe the Riders beat the Dolphins at Mosaic stadium? Who knows. But I guess we will never know. Just love football. Don't always claim you are better than others. Especially some doofus at customs who talks like he played in the game. How's your economy? Like would he enjoy that remark?

Anonymous said...

obama for D-line coach. Just sayin'.

Joe 6-pack.

Anonymous said...

Jyles and Joseph must be pretty happy hearing that Hall will be staying put with the Riders. Terrible decision by a rookie head coach who has a lot to learn from what seen this past year.

Anonymous said...

Smitty last time I looked Saskatoon didn't have a stadium reguired to host a Vanier Cup

Anonymous said...

Anon, google '42nd Vanier Cup'. Hosted in 2006 by University of Saskatchewan at Griffith's Stadium in Saskatoon, opened in 1967. I guess you haven't looked for awhile.

Hound Dog

Anonymous said...

Well you gotta admit that through most of our recent losing years, Richie and Alex Smith have been common denominators. Yes, wes won a Grey Cup in 2007 but just barely and it wasn't a " lights out" victory over Ryan Dinwiddie by any means. So, its no wonder why Richie gets so much heat.

Anonymous said...

To all of you Richie fans that keep saying, "Second best defence in the league last year."
Everyone, from Glen Suitor to Corey Chamblin to Rod Pedersen to Nik Lewis agree that the Rider Nation can and does disrupt opposing offences. That disruptive noise is a distinct advantage to our defence. I have no idea how many procedure calls the fans at Mosiac cause but it's a bunch.
Now think about it, Richie Hall gets to play his defence in Mosiac Stadium NINE times a year. With that kind of advantage we should lead the league in defence, so your 'second in the league' really is not that impressive.
Another thing. If Richie is so darn good why don't the other seven defensive co-ordinators emulate him? Why in second and long do the other seven say 'bring the heat'. Why don't they say back-up and hope the other guys make a mistake like Richie seems to.
When we scored with 52 seconds left in that playoff game all the gals were excited at the house party I was at, but all the guys said, "we've lost." They knew that Richie can't stop anything in the final minute because the other team has had 59 minutes to set him up and he steps in the trap everytime.
When Corey Chamblin announced he was keeping Richie Hall I lost all hope of a hometown Grey Cup because I'm sure Ryan Dinwiddie isn't coming out of retirement.

Joe Sixpack

RR said...

What does Ryan Dinwiddie not coming out of retirement have to do with a hometown Grey Cup? Don't forget, Dinwiddie almost won that game.

Anonymous said...

must b heck of a good friend...needing a FREE meal to check it out!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Dinwiddee couldnt throw a football 10yds. Joe12pack.