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Friday, February 22, 2013

FRIDAY RODSERVATIONS


* Getting that itch for Roughrider football? I don't blame you. These off-season days are going by more slowly than ever, it seems. For a great football fix, please come on out to Gull Lake, Saskatchewan (the home of Roger Aldag) for their Sportsman Dinner & Auction on Saturday, March 9. Weston Dressler, Scott Schultz and I will be there telling Rider stories and 800 CHAB Moose Jaw's Craig Hemmingway will be the emcee! All proceeds go to the Lyceum Theatre. Here's the poster for the event:

For tickets call Corinna at 306-672-4112.

* Country star Eric Church is in town for a sold out show at the Brandt Centre. I'm hoping his last song will be "Springsteen", but it will likely be "Drink In My Hand". Either way, the Dome will be Can't wait...

* The 2013 Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction class was announced on Thursday and there wasn't a Roughrider in the bunch. That's too bad but after we put out a call for Rider nominations on the Sports Cage Wednesday night, the list of names wasn't very long. Amongst the players who came up were Eddie Davis, Eddie Lowe and Dan Rashovich. Chris Szarka, Scott Schultz and Gene Makowsky were nominated as well, but of that group only Schultz is elligible and none are even in the Riders' Plaza of Honour yet. Once elligible, Gene Makowsky and Jason Clermont are slam dunks for the CFHOF. What about Schultz?

* One listener wondered why Kent Austin isn't in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame yet and it's a splendid question. He owns three Grey Cup rings and frankly, while we think of him as "our Kent Austin", he belongs to the entire CFL since his stops include Saskatchewan, B.C., Toronto (twice), Winnipeg, Ottawa and now Hamilton. Anyways, put him in the Hall!

However with that resume, one wonders for long he'll be in Hamilton?

* A hearty congratulations to our good pal Miles Gorrell for being named to the 2013 induction class. His CFL stops include Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Hamilton and Winnipeg and he won one Grey Cup with the Ticats. As he often jokes with us, "I never wore green in my career!"

* Quote from 2010 CFHOH inductee Don Narcisse on Twitter this week: "It costs you NOTHING to be nice."

* Scott Gordon was the hard-hitting starting safety for the 2007 Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders. He reached out via Twitter this week and we learned he's now a plumber in Ottawa with a company called Tackle Plumbing. You can follow Scott at @tackleplumbing. Incidentally he celebrated his 36th birthday on Thursday.

* The Roughriders will soon announce a contract extension for middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn. I learned of the extension last weekend while in Winnipeg and Lobendahn confirmed on Twitter that the deal is done. It's a good move.

* You're in charge of chiseling a Mount Rushmore of Rider coaches and need to choose the four faces. Who do you pick? Mine are Eagle Keys, John Gregory, Ken Miller and either Danny Barrett or Kent Austin. Please discuss.

* The Tweet of the Week comes from @CFLHistory:
"According to the CFL, the delay in the 2013 schedule is because the 87 Argo season ticket holders can't agree on which home dates they want"

* The trip to Winnipeg last weekend was first-rate other than the weather. The Jets aren't very good, but the game day production in the MTS Centre is as good as any I've seen in the NHL, CFL or NFL. They're all basically former Manitoba Moose employees who clearly are good enough to work in the NHL. The opening video of a fighter jet taking off, featuring Jets captain Andrew Ladd, really gets the crowd going.

* The jumbotron also boasts "THE LOUDEST FANS IN HOCKEY" and I believe that to be true. Winnipeg hockey fans are the loudest in the game but the decibel level in the MTS Centre was nowhere near what it was in the old Winnipeg Arena. Your ears rang for days after going to game in there. It was awesome.

* A Winnipeg Jets alumus from the old WHA days told me this week it's "disgusting" that Evander Kane is allowed to wear #9. That jersey hung in the rafters of the old building, honouring Bobby Hull, but it was a different franchise back then. Even Evander Kane says it's time to move on and stop living in the past. That was one major bone of contention I noticed while in Winnipeg over the weekend.

* The other is that Jets fans are getting impatient and want a winner. As noisy as they were when the Jets came on the ice on Sunday against the Boston Bruins, they didn't hesitate to boo the team once things went wrong. They want a winner? "Then get in line," Curtis Hunt said on the Sports Cage on Wednesday. It's going to be awhile before there's winning hockey at the MTS Centre.

* Back to football for a second. The B.C. Lions let it be known this week that they'd like to host the 2014 Grey Cup. My boss said on Wednesday, "Hey, they just had it!" but I say who cares? Like many others I'd like to see the game on a three year rotation through Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver with all eight teams splitting the revenue equally. These cold weather games are for the birds. Heck, of the 47 Super Bowls, 20 have been played between New Orleans and Miami.

* IF our new facility in Saskatchewan has a roof put on it, then it would be great to enter that rotation. The cold weather isn't so bad for the festivals, but it sucks for the teams during the practice week and it really sucks for the fans on game day.

* Has the Grey Cup outgrown little ol' Regina? The event has gotten so huge over the past decade and expectations are immense for the 2013 Grey Cup but this accomodation situation seems to be a nightmare. Our house is going to be full of out-of-town visitors that week. Why is there no hotel space this far in advance?

* Speaking of Cups, the voice of the Ottawa 67s - A.J. Jakubec of Team 1200 radio in Ottawa - says Guelph has pulled out of the running to host the 2014 Memorial Cup. That leaves London, Barrie and Windsor in the running to host the event.

* The Saskatoon Blades will host the 2013 Memorial Cup this may and the Blades made it a Rider Dozen this week with their 13th consecutive victory, tying a franchise record which dates back to 1987-88. This year's Memorial Cup promises to be a tremendously exciting event and the Sports Cage will be there broadcasting live all week on 620 CKRM.

* The SJHL Coach of the Year nominees for 2013 are: Humboldt's Dean Brockman, Yorkton's Trent Cassan, Battlefords' Kevin Hasselberg, Nipawin's Doug Johnson and Notre Dame's Kevin White.

* It was somewhat sad to see Lindy Ruff get turfed as coach of the Buffalo Sabres this week. He was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL and he outlasted three Sutters (Brian, Darryl and Brent) with the Calgary Flames during his time.

* WHAT DECADE IS IT?? The Canadiens, Leafs and Senators are all in a playoff spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference! That's great news. Vancouver is comfortable in the west, so now all we need is for the Oilers and Flames to pull up their socks. Oh, and the Jets too.

* The Quote of the Week comes from Sportsnet's Doug MacLean: "(Buffalo goalie) Ryan Miller talks too much. Stop the puck!"

* Despite the euphoria around the Maple Leafs' start, Sportsnet's Arash Madani tells us it's surprisingly quiet on the streets of Toronto. He figures the Leafs Nation is waiting for the bottom to fall out. Leafs fans are eerily similar to Rider fans; they're eternally optimistic but ultimately broken-hearted.

* They're hard up for celebrities at New York Rangers' games when they're featuring Phillip Seymour Hoffman for games at Madison Square Garden.

* Raptors play-by-play man Matt Devlin was harrassed by Washington-based rapper Wale during the Raptors-Wizards game this week, which made international news. They got in a Twitter exchange, and then Wale stormed the broadcast booth. A few years ago we had a fan crawl into our Roughrider broadcast booth and I pushed him down the stairs. Tampering with a live broadcast is a Federal offence, I'm told. Security seemed to be on our side.

* In a new commercial for Chevrolet, Bobby Orr says "Kids never forget their first hockey helmet". Excuse me, but how would Bobby know? He never wore one!!!

* Got my hands on a new BlackBerry 10 this week. I'll wait for the edition that has an actual keyboard. No touchscreen for me.

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

Mango Glazed Ham
Terriyaki Chicken Bites
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Garlic Bread
Mixed Vegetables
Mac & Cheese
Hot Dogs and Pork & Beans
Assorted Pizzas
Caesar Salad
Various Desserts

THAT'S IT! SEE YOU IN THE CAGE AT 5!
RP

37 comments:

Mike K said...

A Mount Rushmore of Rider coaches?

There's a mountain in Saskatchewan?

Mike K said...

BC will get Grey Cup in 14.
David Braley owns both BC and TO.

The CFL will bend his way.

Anonymous said...

Has the Grey Cup outgrown little ol' Regina? You bet it has...until it has a world class convention centre, partying in a rental tent on Scarth Street ain't gonna cut it anymore...sorry Regina

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, are all we pussy's? Last time I checked football is meant to be played outdoors not in a damn dome stadium.

Anonymous said...

Take Danny B off the list and you've got the Rider's Mt. Rushmore.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't put Danny Barrett in the class of the other 3 coaches. Glad you are sticking with the BB brand. I am waiting for the keyboard model as well. BBis the most secure system out there and BB messenging is great.

Anonymous said...

Splitting the Grey Cup between Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto is absolutely moronic. If you don't get that right off the bat then you don't get the CFL, and it blows my mind that you can cover the CFL and be in all the markets and not get this very simple fact. "Cold is for the birrrds" you bellyache like an old man.

Anonymous said...

Mount Rushmore of Rider Coaches…..The Riders have a 100 year history not a one generation history. If I was too choose 4 faces they would be Piffles Taylor, Al Ritchie, Eagle Keys and Ron Lancaster. These 4 have had the greatest impact on Football in Saskatchewan more than anyone else. Without these 4 there would be no Roughriders today. Winning Grey Cups is one thing but few people understand what it was like in the early years of Football here in Saskatchewan. The Roughriders in those early years represented and area of Canada populated by ploughboys and they frequently participated in the Grey Cup competing against Iconic Teams from the East that had a much greater opportunities to develop and compete against tougher competition. Yes our success was not achieved by winning the Grey Cup in the 1920’s, but just making it to the Grey Cup in those days would have been an impossible task for someone from Saskatchewan. Adding Kent Austin as a No. 5 would be acceptable to me. I have 52 years of Season Ticket Experience, I have followed and read about every Roughrider team back into the 1940’s and while at University I wrote a paper on the 'History of Football in Saskatchewan' that is now included in the papers of a Former Lieutenant Governor of our Province.

Anonymous said...

Roughrider Players that deserve to be recognized in the Hall of Fame: Al Ford, Hugh Campbell, Tom Campana, Rhett Dawson, Frank Tripuka, Reggie Whitehouse, Bill Clarke, Ken Carpenter, Gene Walasiuk, Glen Suitor, Al Ritchie and Piffles Taylor and yes Kent Austin of course.

Wayne Shaw said...

Talk to the tour groups, Rod. They're hogging all the rooms, and charging an arm and a leg.

Anonymous said...

Playing on a frosty day in the fall is fun. -19C on game day is moronic. Half time entertainment could be ice fishing! I hear the reason for limited hotel space is our great economy, damn workers taking the rooms! Lastly, going to the game in Vancouver was a blast! Give me comfort and noisy atmosphere any day. You know Rod, some guys drive around Regina in the winter with the Window open! Go figure!

dewter011 said...

this brainstorm just in....move the season up a month and allow ALL teams an equal oppertunity to host the grey cup!...ludicrous hosting this game in antarctican conditions!... quitters should never be in any hall of fame!!

Anonymous said...

Eagle Keys, Al Richie, Ron Lancaster, and if you need four; I would take John Lynch before Barrett.

Anonymous said...

Bobby Hull says he has no problem with Evander Kane wearing #9. It's a new era for Jets hockey.

Anonymous said...

Ron Lancaster was a great roughrider player but average at best as a roughrider coach. I don't think miller should even be in this conversation.

Anonymous said...

Roughrider Coaches- Mr. Piffles Taylor, Mr. Eagle Keys, Mr. John Payne and Mr. Kent Austin.

GWil26 said...

Danny Barrett did a lot for this organization. Like it or not.

Jarrett said...

Given how fickle the fan base is, perhaps carving the faces into a block of ice would be more appropriate.

This way, all the Rider greats (and debatable greats) can be honoured and quickly forgotten as frequently as the weather changes in Saskatchewan.

Perhaps this sculpture could be around for for Grey Cup – right next to the ice hotel they're going to have to build.

For what it's worth, Al Ford needs to be on the list. He kept this team running on a budget of a buck 99, got us to a Grey Cup with a rag tag bunch of cast-offs, and steered us clear of bankruptcy multiple times throughout the 90's. His legacy to the team is simply that we still HAVE a team to cheer for.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod I was at the Bruins/Jets game last weekend, you are right the people in Winnipeg do put on a great production on game day. Very loud arena. I wouldn't want to guess when the Jets will produce a winning team, I don't think there is a waiting line for top skilled players to sign in Winnipeg, however I think the Jets should follow what the Oilers are doing of course no.1 draft picks are a huge help.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you have Miller on your list.Perhaps you chose him be.cause of his skill in judging talent!

Anonymous said...

Here is why Brendon Tamon will never be a GM in any other city... If he were in Vancouver or Toronto for example, where there is much competition for the entertainment dollar, it pays to be popular.

Taman's quote earlier this week regarding the signing of DA flys in the face of the marketing notion to be popular:

"Our job is to win games, not to win a popularity contest.”

Just a reminder to Taman that in many major sporting markets, winning games alone does not mean strong attendance, but being popular does. I concede that Sask has strong attendance and they, of course, are very popular. But don't take it for granted Taman... Again, this is the sports and entertainment industry, being 'popular' is very important.

Anonymous said...

Danny Barrett or Kent Austin?

Danny Barrett finally got Sask into the playoffs... but really, that was it.

Kent Austin without doubt should be on the list. Even if you don't like the site of the guy or his arrogance. No one can ever take away the great contribution he gave to this province on two great occasions. Of the Sask Roughriders 100 years in football, we only one the cup three times; Kent Austin was instrumental in 2 of those 3 cups... This is a no brainer!

J French said...

Let's win a few more grey cups before we decide what coaches get chiselled on Mount Roughrider. It would take longer to chisel their likeness in stone than most actually spent days on the job.

The Woz said...

I think part of the reason people did not have good ideas for former players and builders to go to the HOF is that people needed a list of who is already in there. Your list includes players only but like it or not Jim Hopson should be included in the list as a builder. He continued to build on what Shivers started and has done a great job in merchandise and sponsorships. Alot went into out turnaround but he needs to be at the top of the reasons.

As for just going to three cities with domes for most Grey Cups.... you need a history lesson. That is exactly what they did for the most part prior to 1990. While the game conditions were good they found that the festival and game attendance suffered because the it was no longer a big event...residents of Toronto MOntreal and Vancouver got bored with having the game there every three years. It was only when they started moving it around in the eight team rotation that every location made it a big deal since it only came to town once every eight years. Compounding things is that if you lived in Toronto and year after year when the GC came to town it was BC versus Montreal would you shed out $450 to go see it? Although there is no guarantee the Riders will be in it, I am willing to do it in Regina once every eight or more years since it is an event and even if it is BC/Mont the game is secondary.

If you want another example look at the Brier - the first few times it came to Saskatoon they were huge big deals...but the last couple have been still good but more ho hum/been there done that.

The GC is just as much about the festival as the game itself (some fans would say even more). So it is important on a number of levels to keep switching between host cities. Geez - even the NFL is holding next years SB in a cold weather location. Are we Canadians or wimps?

Anonymous said...

Danny Barrett/Roy Shivers made the team competitive again. Although, they couldn't get the team over the hump (although they were close!), they definitely deserve credit for revitalizing the franchise.

Anonymous said...

Who's Phillip Seymour Hoffman ? Did Rider gm Taman sign him ?

Anonymous said...

The guy commenting on popularity. Clemens went to the Yankees. They got over it. He probably couldn't walk into the stadium unescoretd with the Redsox. Same with babe ruth

So brnging on an unpopular player is irrelevant. It's about winning.

Anonymous said...

Re the subject of 'Popularity' as it pertains to Taman:

The Toronto Argos won many games last year, in fact, they won the Cup... So I guess winning means everything right?

WRONG!!!

If you are not popular or your players are not popular, then the seats don't get filled... It's a fact!!!

Anonymous said...

....and if Roy Shivers would have said they are not in the business of being popular? Roy and Danny had better results yet this regime gets the pass.

Anonymous said...

Mr.Roy Shivers Inherited a 3-15 Roughriders football franchise In financial dire straights December 24th, 1999 and was relieved of his Gm duties August 21st, 2006 as a result of Internal medling by certain malcontents who continue to keep this team a old boys club. Roy Shivers deserves credit for giving the Saskatchewan Roughriders direction and financial business turn around success to this very day.

Anonymous said...

Roy sits and laughs believe me. I am always ahead of the curve and let me tell you this. 20 - 30 years from now if this franchise is still around they will go through records and kids will ask, "Hey how come the Head Coach with the 4th most wins, and 2 Western Conference Final appearances is not in the Plaza of Honour?" and then someone will ask, "Hey how come a GM who inherited a team on deaths door, built the infastructure to get them to the 2007 Grey Cup isn't in the Plaza of Honour?"

Someone can explain, "Well kids, Mr. Hughs, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Lipp decided over coffee one day those 2 didn't kiss their asses enough, tell them what they wanted to hear, and wouldn't go play golf at the Wascana Club like good little boys."

Not me. I know what's what.

Y'er Welcome
Obama

Anonymous said...

Riders old boys morning coffee club, former sevens restaurant. Pretentious blowhard wannabe know It all's who never played a down of football spewing toxic waste from their big lips sink ships pie holes.

Anonymous said...

Rod, ask your buddy at Dash Tours why there are no hotel rooms available for Grey Cup.

Anonymous said...

In the history of Saskatchewan Roughriders management ( board of directors ) structure, has there ever been any visible minorities representing this community owned team ? Curious In the 306.

Anonymous said...

Shut up Obama you arrogant blowhard!!!!!!!!! Neil

Marty McFleigh said...

Obama...."Y'er welcome: belong to Bob Hughes so stop being such a wanna be...pathetic

Anonymous said...

To Curious in the 306,

No there hasn't been two visible minorities, and when Roy and Danny were running the team they were the ONLY minority pair in all of Pro-Football

On a separate note this is a known fact that Bob Ellard had no idea Roy Shivers was even black when he first talked to him to set up the interview. The Riders job was so crappy that at that time Eric Tillman and Tom Higgins turned it down before they moved onto Roy.

Regardless of how it ended those two deserve recognition. It'll come down the line.

Oh and I'm taking the Y'er Welcome handle just because I feel like it.

Y'er Welcome
Obama