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Friday, January 4, 2013

FRIDAY RODSERVATIONS

* 2012 went out like a lamb but 2013 is coming in like a lion as far as Roughrider news goes. And when you sit back and look at it, we have a lot to look forward to in the 12 months ahead. With the 2013 Memorial Cup, the 2013 CIS Womens Basketball Nationals and the 2013 Grey Cup to be held in our fair province, there is much to look forward to!

* The news that Craig Dickenson has resigned as Roughriders' special teams coordinator certainly knocked the CFL on its ear on Thursday. Having spoken to both sides, here's my assessment: the Riders needed Craig back earlier than what he'd planned/agreed upon. They couldn't find a compromise and there were other teams in the CFL willing to accomodate Dickenson's work commitments in Montana. Therefore, they parted ways on good terms. End of story. However to be clear, Craig did NOT want to leave Saskatchewan.

* One thing that's been refreshing is that it's been an off-season devoid of Darian Durant bashing. His line in the 2012 CFL Western Semifinal (24/37, 435 yards, 4 TDs and 2 INTs) have kept the wolves at bay despite the Riders' 36-30 loss in Calgary. It's been nice not having to argue with people about his performance and capabilities.

* The same cannot be said for Tony Romo whose three interceptions in the Cowboys' must-win Week 17 game at Washington have cued calls for his head in Dallas. I've tried to be a fan of Tony's. It's tough.

* Congratulations! We've made it through one month of the off-season. Only five more to go.

* How's this for a slogan? 2013 - The Year Of The Rider

* There's no Rider talk in Moose Jaw. That's the report from CKRM football maven John Lynch who witnessed the Pats-Warriors game in Moose Jaw Saturday night. That's why the Riders used to party in the Band City back in the day; no one knew (or cared) who they were!

* A good source, a Canadian Football Hall of Famer, tells me Kent Austin is earning $600,000 per annum with the Tiger-Cats. That's what I'm going with until I hear otherwise. **UPDATE: The Ticats have since notified me that this rumour is "ridiculous". I'd guesstimate that 10% of what I hear on the street is actually true. This one falls in the 90%.**

* There have been some interesting prognostications from "experts" around here lately. Fortune-teller Robyn Carrissa told Global News to expect a quarterback change for the Riders in 2013. Meanwhile the famous Pig Spleen Prognosticator predicted above-average snowfall in January. I hope he sticks to the weather! In a 2008 WHL playoff series he predicted the Pats to beat Swift Current in a five-game first round series. The Broncos took it in six.

* Former Roughrider Luc Mullinder wed Mel Winter on New Years Eve in the final ever event at the Regina Inn. The next day six months of renovations began for the Regina hotel to become a DoubleTree by Hilton.

* Ironically that morning I had breakfast with the voice of the Winnipeg Jets Brian Munz in the Regina Inn coffee shop. The employees seemed a little disspirited with their situation.

* It's been a treat listening to Munz's Jets broadcast partner Shane Hnidy on TSN Radio's World Junior broadcasts alongside Dennis Beyak. Hnidy and I became close friends on the 1994-95 Prince Albert Raiders before he went on to carve out a nice 550 game NHL career. The last time I saw him was in the Bell Centre press box before a preseason game a few years ago. "Hnides" was a healthy scratch as a member of the Boston Bruins and it was great to catch up. He has a beautiful family and things could not have gone better for him.

* Also on Monday it was a treat to run into Hnidy's Raider teammate Jay Fitzpatrick while shopping at Walmart. After Fitzpatrick's hockey days he went on to become a roughstock rider in the rodeo and is now a director for the Canadian Finals Rodeo living in Wood Mountain, SK. Hockey, the ties that bind.

* Former Regina Pat Jordan Eberle tore up the Texas Stars on New Years Eve, scoring a natural hattrick in 2:43 of the first period of Oklahoma City's eventual victory over the Stars. An Oilers hockey operations employee told me this week that Eberle is learning how to play pro hockey and have fun at the same time while in the AHL. He said while Eberle was sensational in his first two years with the Oilers, he was still putting too much pressure on himself. He said once he starts to have fun on the ice, the sky's the limit for his abilities.

* The first two text messages I received when the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve were from Sportsnet broadcasters Andrew Walker and Sam Cosentino. We run in 2012 together at the WJHC in Edmonton 12 months ago. Here's a photo of the crew in the Scotiabank Saddledome a few days later while calling the Canada-Russia semifinal game:

Hockey. The ties that bind!

* The best Canada can hope for at this year's WJHC in Russia is now a bronze medal. The gold medal drought now stretches back to 2009 in Ottawa. Cue the summit.

* Russia has made the bronze medal game despite the performance of forward Nail Yakupov. I didn't see the semifinal against Sweden but he was a liability in the quarterfinal against Switzerland. It was telling that he was on the bench with 1:36 to go, down a goal, with a faceoff in the offensive zone. It was also nice to see TSN's Ray Ferraro agree as he said "Yakupov's too busy trying to be THE guy rather than ONE of the guys." Perhaps his best is still yet to come.

* Would love to know what TSN's Gord Miller got to voice the play-by-play of that dugout shinny game in the Molson Canadian commercial.

* It's great to see the goal judges at the World Juniors wearing zebra officials jerseys. I say we do that in North America. Why not? It's not like they have an important role anymore with the addition of video replay.

* RUMOUR: Jeff Truitt will be the head coach of the Red Deer Rebels in 2013-14.

* It's an interesting conundrum for Regina Pats GM Chad Lang. His club is two points out of a playoff spot as they get set to host Medicine Hat tonight in the Brandt Centre at 7:00 pm (620 CKRM, Press Box Sports Bar Pregame Show at 6:35). The Tigers are the team which the Pats trail. Finally with a healthy lineup, the Pats look like they could do something in the second half however key 20-year olds Lane Scheidl, Colton Jobke and Matt Hewitt would likely fetch a lot before the January 10 trading deadline. What will he do? What should he do?

* Watching the 24/7 HBO special on the Flyers and Rangers made me realize there's one good thing about the NHL lockout; less John Tortorella.

* The 1995 NHL lockout created a career highlight for me. Kevin Dickie and I were fortunate enough to broadcast the NHLPA Charity Classic at Saskatchewan Place on Prince Albert's 900 CKBI radio. The roster included Ryan Smyth, Wendel Clark, Tim Cheveldae and Kelly Chase.

* Bumped into former Rider defensive tackle Marcus "Chunky" Adams in the Cornwall Centre this week. He scoffed at my phone saying "C'mon Rod, you're the only one in the world left with a BlackBerry!"

I say BlackBerry users unite!! You'll have to pry mine out of my cold, dead hands before I switch to an Iphone.

* Of COURSE NBC's Tony Dungy said Peyton Manning is this year's MVP of the NFL. They won a Super Bowl together!

* The SportsCage's Super Bowl pick: Denver.

* Ratings for Monday Night Football hit a four-year low in America this year. Their highest-rated game was a Week 4 match-up between Dallas and Chicago. That game drew 16.6-million viewers. America's Team indeed.

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

Greek-style Ribs
Honey Garlic Boneless Chicken Wings
Sausage and Sauerkraut
Wild Rice
Mashed Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables
Garlic Bread
Caesar Salad
Assorted Pizzas
Desserts

AND THAT'S IT FOR VACATION! SEE YOU IN THE CAGE ON MONDAY
RP

31 comments:

Parkside said...

Chunky just tweeted the other day that his phone lost all his contacts. Sounds like his iphone is top notch. ha. I think the new BB10 looks great. Cant wait to dump my Android phone and go back to Blackberry.

Anonymous said...

Russia lost the semifinal to Sweden today.

Anonymous said...

im with u roddy about the blackberry, i cant stand the wifes iphone with its stupid touch screen typing, us old guys have too fat of fingers for that BS

Anonymous said...

Agree on the blackberry!!! Don't cave. It is phone, text machine and BBM. If you want to watch TV go to your living room or a sportsbar!

Pat B

Anonymous said...

Rod, you have another choice, you could switch to an Android phone. My tech buddies loved iPhone when it came out but Apple has done little that is innovative with it for 4-5 years and they moved on.

Clark Stork said...

I am also with you Roddy, the BB is still a tool, not a toy like all the 13 year-olds get from mom and dad. Can't wait to get my hands on a BB10.

Anonymous said...

I'm a blackberry guy too. Still love my Torch, iPhone looks ok, but still can't see myself with a touchscreen. One con of a BB is the apps, but the security of BB is really good and it's good for business.

My opinion is trade the 20 yr olds and try to get something for them. I know it's easier said than done, but even they do make playoffs, I can't see them making it past the 1st round.

Mike

Anonymous said...

You mention the CIS women's basketball final but not the 2013 University Cup? It's a big event, arguably biggest CIS championship outside of the Vanier (it's on-par with the men's basketball final tournament). I think it deserves to be included.

Anonymous said...

Prediction: Women's basketball in Regina outdraws the University Cup. Suck it, Saskatoon!

Mike said...

I think the pats should stay put with what they got and keep Hewitt,scheidl, and Jobke and make a run for the playoffs. Another year of playoff experience would be really beneficial other than selling the farm.

Anonymous said...

You guys realize BB10 is a touchscreen OS right?

Anonymous said...

Prediction: guy who thinks that basketball will outdraw hockey in this province and is only saying that cause he hates Saskatoon is a complete loser.

Bet he's also bitter that the Blades are hosting the Memorial Cup.




Guy who lives in Regina

Anonymous said...

Lynch must be losing his hearing. There is a lot of Rider talk in Moose Jaw. Tell him to see me next time he is in the band city. Jeez where do you guys come up with this crap

Caesar said...

LOL, that last comment about realizing the BB10 is a touchscreen just had a few people going "huh? wait a second...."

Yes, but my torch I love and am STILL getting used to the touchscreen. I am trying to use it more and more, but sometimes you just need that keyboard to type faster.

I am just gonna stick with my Torch until it dies. I am not a big fan of playing games and watching tv on my phone, there are just so many other things one could do...like walking with your head up once in a while!

Parkside said...

You realize they have a Qwerty keyboard version of BB10 as well...right? As if BB would bail on their bread and butter.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad Dickenson has been lost. A good coach and a good person. The Riders accommodate some but not others. If they really wanted him, they would have found a way.

It would appear that Chamblin wants one of his guys. I see signs of this turning into a copy of the Shivers/Barrett years. Turning into a buddy club. It took ET to change all that but it seems that it's returning. Hope I'm wrong but with one of the elite QB's in the league we're still a sub .500 organization.

Anonymous said...

In terms of financial success, CIS hockey tournament will generate more money than the Basketball tournament because of sponsorships.


In terms of Attendance, CIS Basketball in Regina WILL outdraw the CIS Hockey tournament.

And I'm looking forward to it!

Yorkton resident who doesn't give a damn, about the bitter Regina-Saskatoon rivalry.



Anonymous said...

Buddy club,

Yeah why would we want to go back to Barrett/Shivers. I mean they only took us to 2 Western Finals where with this group we can get 5 and 8 win seasons, but hey we're rebuilding right? With the Barrett/Shivers regime when they won 5-8 wins it was called underachieving. Gee I wonder what's up with that revision of history.

I know it only took Toronto inheriting Cleo Lemon then making a couple changes to win a Grey Cup in 2 years. Here it seems it takes 18 and 23 years to build championship teams.

Anonymous said...

i'm with you gus on the Blackberry.
pair it up with a playbook and you got the best of both worlds. Plus the playbook is $400 less than an Ipad.
it does what i need it to do. Apps is a fad. I will continue in the Apple free zone.

Arnold in Midale

Anonymous said...

Prediction: Saskatoon draws crowds of 5,000 - 10,000 for the University Cup like the last time they hosted it. It will be pretty difficult for women's basketball to out-draw this in a 2,000 seat gym.

It's math, Regina. I know you don't have a great university like we do, but this one is simple math that even you guys can understand.

Anonymous said...

I wouldnt blame Chamblin. He did a good job. Tough to win a cup with Taman trading draft picks for imports. Toronto always finds good imports directly...Armstead, Carrol, Horne, Kuale etc.

David said...

From the CIS: The event (the University Cup) proved a huge success when it was held in Saskatoon for three consecutive years from 1998 to 2000 setting the three highest single-tournament attendance totals in University Cup history with 37,121 spectators over seven games in 1998, 37,184 fans in 1999 and a single-year record of 40,956 in 2000.

Not to mention the single game attendance records (at least two over 10,000).

Expect similar numbers this year. Better expand the 2,000 seat gym in Regina if you want to beat that.

Anonymous said...

Rod you forgot to mention about our man Jarret Stoll and that he's now dating the hottest sportscaster on the planet, Erin Andrews. Good for him! She's a big hockey fan and loves small towns, what more do you want?


Rex

Anonymous said...

too bad in saskatoon you have to learn that level of math in university

Anonymous said...

lynch is losing his mind anyway, first he wants gabriel catch highlight banned but probably has no problem with ridgeway's kick no matter how heart-breaking to ti-cats fans, probably has no problem with eberle's goals in wjhc being shown over and over, and many other instances that are heartbreak to other teams in all leagues and championships

then defends austin's record at cornell because he says it's an "unathletic" group of guys, forgetting that cornell doesn't play michigan, ohio state, alabama, georgia, lsu, usc, oregon, and so on. They play other ivy league schools for the most part so if austin is so great he should be able to coach his "unathletic" group to victories over other "unathletic" groups

Anonymous said...

At least Regina's team has a hope of appearing in the final of its event. Keep sucking it, Saskatoon!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just like the Pats were able to make it to the final the time they hosted the Cup, right? But they didn't because, as aalways, Regina just loves to shoot themselves in the foot.

Better luck next year boys.

mike said...

The pats have hosted the puck three times. I did not ever see hte Blades host the cup. The city whom has to have a bigger rink still cant fil it. Lorne Molleken could not win it here he wont win it in Saskatoon.

Anonymous said...

Regina vs Saskatoon bashing on here. I love it. Lets get Moose jaw involved and their pretty little rink . Moose jaw is still a dump.

Anonymous said...

Yea Moose Jaw has a pretty little rink but at least they fill it with fans.The only thing Regina fills their rink with is cow and horse poop at Agribition.

Anonymous said...

I'm also sensing that the Riders are drifting towards something akin to the Shivers/Barrett era. History has a way of repeating itself, especially where mediocrity (ie. 8-10 season) is touted as improvement.