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Thursday, July 16, 2015

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS

A RIDER DOZEN RANDOM THOUGHTS
  (And a note from the Regina Pats)

1 - Definition of a rant:  "Speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way."  Rider coach Corey Chamblin's rant on Tuesday about the possibility of being fired caught everybody's attention from coast-to-coast.  It appeared in newspapers from Nanaimo, BC to Sidney, NS and got everybody in the league asking, "What's going on with him?"

I don't have the answer to that question.  But Chamblin should know that - from what I can tell - nobody's calling for his job.  He's been endlessly criticized in just three weeks' time but that's what they do here.  They don't have Darian Durant to pick on so now Chamblin's in the crosshairs.  But it doesn't mean they want him replaced.  It's just their provincial pastime.

I'm always reminded during times like this of the treatment of Ron Lancaster.  The beloved "Little General" couldn't wait to leave here because of this exact type of thing.  He told his friends he'd never, ever settle here and he made good on his word.  The province cried for days when Lancaster passed away in September of 2008, in Hamilton, but when he left he never looked back.  Ronnie never got over the way his tenure ended here, despite all of the great things he did for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

And now Chamblin got fed up too and said "enough's enough".

That whole scenario on Tuesday when Chamblin made his comments was puzzling to me, but at least Corey let you know what's on his mind.  It's got everybody talking and the only real sad thing that came out of it is it seems to have upset the older, long-term fans.  They took it as a slap in the face.

My gosh where does it go from here?

2 - All this over an 0-3 start.  But that's the way it goes in the Rider Nation.  A win would cure everything, and perhaps it'll come Friday night in the form of a home victory over the B.C. Lions at Mosaic Stadium (8:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network).

Rider Hall of Famer Andrew Greene was our analyst on Tuesday's In The Huddle television show and surmised that this team needs to play with more effort and to play for 60 minutes.  If they do that, they'll be coming out on top in these games.  He also advised not to leave the game in the hands of the officials.  "When you do that, you're always taking your chances," the former Seahawk and Dolphin lineman offered.  "If you need one yard, get three."

If you need any more proof of how luckless the Riders have been to start the 2015 season, they haven't lost three straight games by three-or-less points since 1982.  The Riders finished that season 6-9-1.

3 - Bill Tomporowski, one of the last of the original "railbirds", will be laid to rest today after passing away last week at the age of 80.  I got a note from his son Duane who asked if I could say something.

When the Roughriders used to practice on that grass field adjacent to the railroad tracks, just west of Taylor Field, there was a group of old men who used to bring their lawn chairs and sit together while watching practice.  They were known as "the railbirds".  It was the highlight of their lives.  Bill was one of them.

This was before internet message boards so this is where you'd have to go if you wanted to chat football with other hardcore Rider fans.

It wasn't before sports talk radio though, and "Bill T." was a regular caller into our shows.  Usually, he wouldn't call until things reached a crisis point.

Anyway, it's always tough to lose a Rider fan but the world has lost a great one.

Farewell Bill T.

4 - You may or may not like the new CFL rules, but they're here to stay.  That's the word I got from the CFL office this week.  Like the way the NHL got rid of obstruction and fighting, this is the CFL's attempt to "open things up" and refreshen the game.

It's completely knocked the league on its ear and thrown statistics ALL out of whack.  For instance, in this week's game notes package, we learned the CFL is on pace to have 17 one-thousand yard receivers this season.  Last year there were only three.  Also, there have been nine defensive touchdowns scored this season which is on pace for 61 for the year.  The record is 42, set in 2004.

And sacks are waaaaayyy down, averaging four per game.  That's the lowest since 2002.

5 - Furthermore, the league's officiating department feels the teams are their own worst enemies.  Penalties may be up by about 30% from last year at this time, but 45% of them are the "preventable" fouls of Offside and Procedure.  Regarding coaches not being able to ask for measurements anymore, the league says that's the coaches' own fault because they used to ask for measurements just to get an impromptu timeout.

The fact is games are taking less time this season despite all the penalty calls.  There have been less reviews and FAR less measurements.

And, the number of penalties called has dropped week-to-week.  This is all exactly what the league predicted would happen with the nine rule changes and they are pleased.

- The Roughriders have been featured in four of the CFL's last five overtime games and have a 1-3 record in that time.  Meanwhile up until Friday, the B.C. Lions hadn't played in overtime since 2004.

7 - Week 4 in the CFL opens tonight with Hamilton at Montreal.  On Friday the doubleheader opens with Edmonton at Ottawa.  The Eskimos are 3.5-point favourites in this one but I'm going against the grain and picking the RedBlacks to win.  They are 2-1 overall (more evidence of the CFL's statistical whackiness in 2015) and they own the league's #1 defense.  The last time an Ottawa team was 3-1 was 2004 when the Renegades opened the season 3-0.  They went on to finish 5-13.

8 - Meanwhile Ottawa's Brad Sinopoli leads the team in receiving and is the #1 Canadian receiver in the league with 190 yards.  It should be a special feeling to be Canadian and lead the Canadian Football League in any statistic.

9 - Another odd statistical quirk:  The Riders and Blue Bombers are the most-penalized teams in the CFL (43 flags each) yet the Edmonton Eskimos lead the league in penalties-per-game at 17.5.  Edmonton has simply played less games than the other two teams and therefore haven't taken as many total penalties.

10 - You'll have to forgive the avalanche of CFL coverage and little else of other sports.  From sun up to sundown, that's where my head is at for six months.  I've poked my head out enough to notice the Blue Jays beginning the post-All Star schedule 4 1/2 games out of first in the AL East and owning the best offense in Major League Baseball.  So ... are they going to finally make a run for it and do something about their pitching?  They owe it to their fans after 21 years out of the playoffs!

Oh, and Matt Devlin could takeover the play-by-play of Blue Jays telecasts on Sportsnet on a permanent basis as far as I'm concerned.  I love Buck Martinez, but Devlin has been sensational pinch-hitting this week.

It's too bad Sportsnet needs to find Americans to fill these roles, but it is what it is.  It's also too bad American networks don't feel the same way about hockey!

11 - There's a player on the NBA's Phoenix Suns from Saskatoon?  That's what I thought I heard during highlights of Summer League games in Las Vegas, but didn't catch the chap's name.

12 - It's no secret, I prefer to watch American news networks over Canadian while I'm pounding away on the treadmill.  Headline News (channel 47) is my go-to.  So I've been inundated with coverage of the U.S. Presidential Election and guess who's leading the polls amongst Republican candidates?  That's right, Donald Trump.

I don't think Donald Trump as President of the United States is good for anybody.  However political observers say the Democrats are desperate for Trump not to win the nomination because they know he'll beat Hillary.

Now this is fascinating stuff!

13 - And finally, I'll never complain about the cost of a hotel room in Saskatchewan again after spending the weekend in Vancouver.  We extended our stay after Friday's Rider game at a cost of $379 per night.  THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-NINE!!  And the weather was miserable so we were unable to take the harbour cruise we were hoping for.

So, we opted to watch the UFC at a downtown sports bar and then enjoyed the movie Ted 2 in a jam-packed theatre. The Scotiabank theatre offered pizza, burgers, hot dogs, poutine and Starbucks at the concessions which immediately drew my ire.  We're not good enough for this in Regina?

But then once we sat down, the seats were cheap and hard as rocks.  I'll take the comfort of a cushioned seat over an expanded concession menu anyday.

The movie Ted 2 gets one-and-a-half thumbs up from the MMG.  However if you're going, make sure you watch Seth MacFarlane's original movie Ted on Netflix before you go otherwise you'll be lost.

But it was great being in Vancouver and I wasn't in a particular rush to get home.

0-3 will do that to you.

------

The 18th Annual Regina Pats Wickenheiser Golf Classic is set for Monday, August 24 at the Wascana Golf Club and it promises to be the best one yet!  Several alumni are coming back for the event as everyone wants to be a part of what QCSEG has going on.

You can too.  This tournament is open to golfers of all experience levels.  The entry fee is $350 and includes 18 holes and a cart at Regina's most-prestigious course.  There will be a BBQ lunch followed by a full meal following the event.  Each golfer will receive and exclusive gift.

Tee & green sponsorships are available as well.  For information on any of this, call the Pats office at 306-522-PATS.

The SportsCage will be broadcasting live on location that day on 620 CKRM from 4:00-6:30 pm.

------

THAT'S ALL.  ENJOY FRIDAY'S GAME AND GET YOUR TICKETS!
RP
@sportscage

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. Deflect the blame to the fans.

John Moore said...

I wish you'd stop all this its only 0-3 stuff. Hopefully Friday you'll use 1-3 but the concern is that it's more like 2-13 in the last 15. That's a concern in anyones books when the same terrible tackling, bad penalties & coaching calls....they may change as to who calls or makes them but they are all under Corys watch. Now we do have some serious long term injuries so depth will really be tested and in the preseason our depth did not do so well against other teams we played depth.
Reginawing

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) Cory Chamblin needs to understand in Riderland they take pleasure in eating their own. Ron Lancaster and Hugh Campbell should be the templates for all players and coaches. You are hear to work, and when the better offer comes leave. Hugh Campbell could have been an executive here, but that wasn't an option for him. He went to Edmonton and the rest is history. Ron Lancaster same deal. He got his proper due in Edmonton and in Hamilton. Saskatchewan was a 16 year stop until he found the promised lands, and I truly believe Edmonton and Hamilton can lay a better claim to Ronnie than Saskatchewan can. Even George Reed....where was a place for him after his playing days? Read his autobiography, he was in Calgary in his 60s working at Superstore before Jim Hopson to his credit brought him back.

Kent Austin did it right. He never gave them the chance, and when it's over and done with Hamilton is going to lay rightful claim to him.

No, Ridernation shows it's appreciation when years later they bring guys back for the Plaza dinner where they can make some money off their names.

I had a great talk with a former Rider who had a non descript playing career. He agreed with me. The money is the same in Toronto and you get half the headache. You can win just as easily there as here, and not have the hassle.

2) American news is sensationalism and I follow it closely. Donald Trump is a funny guy, but in a general election he will get demolished by Hilary Clinton. The numbers no longer work in the GOP favor. Democrats have the women, latinos, visible minorities, and young people. The GOP have old white guys.

If you don't watch Canadian news you should, not that there are a lot of options, but we're in a crisis point in Canada. This election will be very important and I'll just leave it at that. But anybody that votes for Stephen Harper and the PCs, well then democracy rules, and you'll get exactly what you deserve.....

3) 0-3 is not a tradgedy, but I'm not going to the game on Friday night. I'll watch the game on TV or I may go to the movie Entourage playing at the Rainbow Cinema.

When it comes to the Riders and their bunk, well life moves on.


Y'er Welcome
Obama

Dennis said...

People are comparing the amount of injuries this year to 2008, the only difference is in 2008 we started off 6-0 under Ken Miller and hosted a playoff game. These next two home games are huge, as we go on the road against Edm and Tor next.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rod

Utah drafted a kid (Trey Lyles) this year that was born Saskatoon but played all his ball in the US


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trey_Lyles


Anonymous said...

Riders are 0-3 AND Obama leads off the comment section...

This has the potential for our first article with 200 comments...

Anonymous said...

"OBLAHMA!" OBLAHMA!" OBLAHMA!" OBLAHMA!"

Anonymous said...

Obama is bang on with everything except Canadian politics. The only option for leadership is Stephen Harper. Trudeau will plunge the west into the dark ages and the thought of Prime Minister Mulcair induces nightmares.

Anonymous said...

The Riders play less of a game (57 min) and lose. Less penalties may help (more off sides and no pass interference) but fewer penalties would be best. Please learn the difference between less and fewer. Ask Obama for help he writes less but makes fewer mistakes.
BTW this is the problem with playing in Sask during difficult times. The disrespect for education leaves the populace with no options to properly express the frustration other than vulgarity and scapegoating. It would help if professionals used the language properly.

REP said...

I'm too young to remember Lancaster's days in Saskatchewan, and I was young and grateful in Kent Austin's days as QB but I thought the rough treatment in Ken Miller's last days went too far.

Chamblin's really only hearing it from the lunatic fringe and a few people with low levels of fan understanding. I'm pretty sure this will blow over.

Bottom line is that human abuse is never okay. I don't care how many hours you drive, how much money you spend, or how many years you've been buying the same tickets. Treat coaches and players like humans.

Steve said...

WE NEED LINEBACKERS!!

Anonymous said...

1) To Obama and anon, please leave your politics off this blog. We're here to talk sports.

2) Furthermore Rod, no need to apologize for talking all football all the time. The only way we'll start caring about the Pats en masse is if the Riders continue to slide into the toilet. It's July. We have September-June to talk hockey when the weather craps out and when the Riders miss the playoffs. Us real fans appreciate the work you do to give us your analysis.

3) As to Rider fans eating their own, it's true that when things aren't going well, it's very difficult to live in this town as an employee or player of the Riders. I suggest you start winning and life will improve.

4) We 'could' use injuries as an excuse. The problem is a team like Calgary that has a superior GM to us can bring in players so good that it makes up for the loss of two offensive tackles in their game on Monday. One replacement had never played the position and they still won the game. A coach can only do so much if the GM doesn't bring in the talent, both starting players and depth. Seriously! Who is Chris Getzlaf's eventual replacement? Who will replace Rob Bagg when he hangs it up?

5) We have Chamblin and Taman for all of 2015 and possibly beyond. Get used to it. We will see if they have the ability to turn this around. As fans, all we can do is extend the courtesy to them to give them 15 more games (18 more if we get into the playoffs) to right this ship. Being negative helps nobody!!

6) Mr. Chamblin, stop reading this crap. What counts is what you do in the locker room and on the field. You will be treated like royalty if you can turn this around and make the playoffs, let alone get us a home playoff game.

Signed, Mr. Positive. Formally Mr. Negative!

Anonymous said...

That, my friends, is why we've only won four Grey Cups in 105 years of Rider football. The assholes run all the good people out of town cause they think they know everything. With social media it's even worse. I'd love to see Chamblin flip off an idiot fan at Taylor Field. And you know what? He'd probably get a standing O for it cause the majority of fans are getting sick of the idiots giving the rest of us a bad name.

Hey Obama it was great to see you out on the doorstep campaigning this week. I'll definitely be voting for the SaskParty candidate you were helping out. Keep up the good work!


Y'er welcome
Huckabee

Anonymous said...

I see you changed your blog to Hamilton being tonight not Edmonton. Does letting you know about that get me free tickets to the Rider game on Friday? If it does you can email me at petrulias@hotmail.com. It would be greatly appreciated. :)

Rob Swallow said...

Somewhere on the shores of the mighty Wascana, the drums are beating. It is the annual gathering of the Loyal Disorder of Rider Priders, those long enough in the teeth that they remember the enduring horror of the Reign of Error.

On Friday it will be 251 days since Cory's crew has come through and it is turning the nerves of the Loyal Disorder raw.

Only a win will start to satisfy the masses who are ready to send coach Corey down the Wascana Creek on a funeral pyre.

Until then, the drums continue to beat on the banks of the mighty Wascana....


My take on what the late great Bob Hughes may have had to say going into Friday's game.

Anonymous said...

Ken Miller deserved the criticism he got cause it was his dealings that got the team to that horrible record. But even he didn't get the level of crap Chamblin has. Seems like guys like Miller and Hopson got off easier cause of their folksy personality and Chamblin being the hard ass gets all the flak. It's ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

This is a very well written and balanced article!

Campbell and Lancaster left for more money. Some of the newer fans don't realize that we have only had the salary cap for a short time. In Edmonton's glory days they spent twice as much as Saskatchewan was able to. They paid Campbell far more than we ever could. They bought their teams and were able to keep just as good players on the practice roster paying them well. They weren't well managed, they were well funded. They haven't achieved that kind of glory since the arrival of the salary cap.

It's funny how some prima-donna type players, GM's and coaches spew off when they own a record barely over .500 WE've heard their rhetoric, but talk is cheap. It's time to see some results. This still remains the #1 place free agents look to or want to come back to. Most of the other places they are footnotes and some cases they are anonymous. It's OK to play bad when you head onto the street and nobody knows who you are.

If you don't like the pointed questions and critiques when you lose, but love the accolades and bask in the glory when you win fix it. It's obvious what the answer is.


Anonymous said...

Umm Rod......

The Lions played the Riders in OT in 2006 when Wally decided to punt the ball in OT.

Lions also played Calgary in OT in 2007 which resulted in a draw.

The 2009 Eastern Semi Final had the Lions winning in OT vs Hamilton.

REP said...

That "Loyal Disorder of Rider Priders" stuff was some of the worst prose ever published in the English language.

Anonymous said...

Id be more concerned about the middle east conflict upcoming on this Iran deal more then anything. Might put alot of us in the oil field back to work if a war starts. Which is imminent. Plus im mad about the 0-3 start.

Anonymous said...

Harper and Oblahma suck!

SkRoughie said...

Just found out who Obama is. Made is laugh. Hahaha. No wonder he is a goof on this blog. Plus Roddies friend.

Rod Pedersen said...

They don't include playoffs in these stats and historial references. Plus it was 2004 when the Riders and Lions went to OT in the WDF.

Anonymous said...

Nice try cupcake.
Y'er Welcome.

SkRoughie said...

Ha hilarious Obama. Worst president ever.

Anonymous said...

I predict the Riders will win Friday by a healthy margin.

You heard it here first!

Imagirl

Anonymous said...

Respect, appreciation along with employment opportunity by Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation to a fine outstanding man, citizen, ambassador highly probable for Mr.Reed/family coming back to Regina. Jim Hopson? Too much credit for anything and everything. Dead on opinion, thanx, regarding how a majority of former Saskatchewan Roughriders players forgotten by the wayside, sad.

Anonymous said...

Trudeau and Mulcair suck!

Rafal said...

Riders will be fired up and will win Friday, looking forward to my trip to Regina from Toronto tomorrow, it's been so many years since I've been to Taylor Field (mosaic), geez I still call it skydome not rogers centre here.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Firing Coach Chamblin...

"Everybody in the league asking, "What's going on with him?"

The problem is that Coach CC likely has very likely considered to fire the Defensive Coordinator, however then realized that, really, it is himself who is actually in-charge of the defense; he certainly does not want to fire himself.

When Chamblin started to take the reigns away from Richie Hall, both Hall and Chamblin knew that Hall would have to go and that Chamblin had to hire someone who he could work with whereby he himself could call the shots. Well, after all the smoke has cleared, Chamblin now has Quick in charge, yet everyone know that it is Chamblin who is calling the shots. Therefore, it is Chamblin who is accountable.

Chambin is now vulnerable to being fired; the defense sucks!

I wish Cory Chambin would focus on just being the HC and all would be good... However he is now vulnerable - He knows it!!!

Kel in Victoria

Go Riders

Anonymous said...

RP said, "I don't think Donald Trump as President of the United States is good for anybody".

Wow Rod, you think???

Let's see, if you are a right wing tea party loving conservative republican who has the intelligence of mentally challenged simpleton, then maybe Donald Trump would be good for you... otherwise... NOT!

Speaking of Tea Party - How about that Harper guy???

Go Riders

And thank-you Alberta for showing us that people do have brains!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You really did drink the Koolade. Idiot!

Anonymous said...

To whoever said: "Wow! You really did drink the Koolade. Idiot!"

Interesting comment but we don't know who it was addressed to???

How about we hold up a big mirror on this one so that you can call yourself an idiot!

Next time be a little more specific and maybe add some content to your comment. Anyone can make one-line simpleton remarks...

Comment Police

Anonymous said...

The new rules have already ruined our game and fans will quit paying to go to "Flag Day" every game. Riders lose another one and Chamblin will be well on his way out.

Anonymous said...

same dolts picking the riders to win EVERY GAME this season. i guess if you throw enough turds at the wall some is eventually bound to stick lol

SkRoughie said...

Obama....Zzzz

Anonymous said...

Might this man head coach Suskatchwun Riders be angling to get himself out of that town with rude attitude ? it does not reflect well on one's self, football club image far or wide.

Bomswa Addawa

Anonymous said...

Correction;
Mr. Bomswa Adawa very tired sleepy from travel, fat finger misprint given name.