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Thursday, July 9, 2015

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS


NOTES & QUOTES

1 - WHERE'S THE GUARANTEE?:   The Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-2) are heading to B.C. for a Week 3 showdown with the Lions (0-1) Friday night in an 8:00 pm Sask time start (TSN, CKRM Rider Radio Network).  Who can forget the last time we were there?  It was Sunday, August 24, 2014 when Lions President Dennis Skulsky guaranteed a victory by his squad.  If they failed to back-up his bold prediction, all fans in attendance would receive a free ticket to a future Lions home game.

Well, that spurred the Roughriders on even more and they went on to win a hard-fought game 20-16 before a season-high crowd of 33,196.  And the Green & White still hasn't forgotten.

"I remember that!  I remember that!" howled Rider running back Anthony Allen following the team's practice on Wednesday.  "Guaranteed the win and everybody was free the next game or something like that?  Ya that was the wrong time to do that.  Oh man, haha!  That was the wronnnng time to do that and I got to be the running back in the fourth quarter too so I got to just drill it to 'em.

"But man that was so motivating.  We haven't forgot that too.  We know that we are 0-2 so teams might be overlooking us this year but we're here to prove that we're here to bust some arrows and win some games."

Sounds like the Riders won't need any added motivation this time around.

2 -  A MARKETING BLUNDER?:  There are those within the Lions camp who still think this was a brilliant marketing strategy by Skulsky.  Did it sell some tickets?  Yes.  Did it get everyone in the Lower Mainland talking about the game?  Absolutely.

But it put his club at a competitive disadvantage given the motivation it provided the Roughriders and no matter how much you tell me otherwise, I will not be convinced that Lions coach Mike Benevides would have been happy about it.  Not at all.

It's my belief that the business side of a team's operation should work in concert with the football side when it comes to most promotions.  This one definitely backfired.

3 - AN UPBEAT BUNCH:  The grins on the Roughriders' faces were a mile wide once the doors swung open to the media at the conclusion of Wednesday's closed practice.  It was hard to believe this team is winless to start the season given their giddiness.  "No one on this field is down," advised veteran defensive end John Chick.  Why the optimism?  Because the Riders know they have a good team and their wounds have been self-inflicted.

However one alarming trend is the statistic TSN's Paul Lapolice pointed out on Wednesday's SportsCage.  Of eight redzone trips by the opposition offense through the opening two games, they've scored eight touchdowns on Saskatchewan.  The Roughrider defense will have to be "cleaned up" if they hope to beat the Lions Friday night.

As it stands now, the Riders are the CFL's #1 passing team and the #1 rushing team.  They've had their glitches but to blame Sunday's loss on them is outright ludicrous.  The offensive line is ranked #1 as well.
Ryan Smith

** Update -- the Roughriders will have to do without the services of receiver Ryan Smith for quite some time.  The league's leader receiver has been placed on the six-game injured list with a concussion.

Meanwhile the Riders have drawn the most Pass Interference flags in the CFL with five.

4 - PICK EM:  Week 3 in the CFL opens Thursday night with the Ottawa RedBlacks (2-0) visiting the Edmonton Eskimos (0-1).  How on earth does one pick a winner in this game?  Ottawa teams are on a 19 game losing streak at Commonwealth Stadium while Edmonton quarterback Matt Nichols is 0-5 as a starter!  The oddsmakers have installed the Eskimos as 5.5-point favourites.  I've got Edmonton to win based soley on the fact that head coach Chris Jones simply won't let them lose.  Let's see what happens.

Incidentally the B.C. Lions are 3-point favourites over the Roughriders Friday night.

5 - MORE ODDS 'N ENDS:  It certainly has been a wild and whacky start to the 2015 CFL season, headlined by the injuries to starting quarterbacks, the new rules and the resurgence of the East Division.  Last year at this time the West was 5-1 against the East while this year the East has turned the tables, going 5-1 ...  The Roughriders have only been 0-2 twice in the last 11 seasons, the last being in 2011 ... They've only been 0-2 after two home games four times in 80 years! ... Meanwhile the Roughriders have been in three of the last four overtime games in the CFL and have a 1-2 record including Sunday's 42-40 loss to the Toronto Argonauts ... Saskatchewan starting quarterback Kevin Glenn enters Week 3 now alone in 7th spot in the CFL's Top 10 all-time passers (having surpassed Matt Dunigan last week) and now he's 6,602 yards behind Ron Lancaster for #6 ... The new Pass Interference restriction has thrown passing statistics all out of whack as starting quarterbacks Zach Collaros, Trevor Harris, Kevin Glenn and Drew Willy all have completion rates 75% or better ... The eye-popping offensive stat oddities so far this season should be tempered by the fact they're basically playing pitch-and-catch out there.

6 - PROUD OF THESE GUYS:  We truly have a fantastic stable of football analysts on 620 CKRM.  Rookie analyst Neal Hughes revealled on Sunday's pregame show that he spent time visiting forest fire evacuees at Evraz Place last week on behalf of Red Cross while Luc Mullinder and Michael Ball have generously donated their time as volunteer amateur football coaches.  Great guys giving something back!  The Riders have been generous too, donating 800 tickets to last Sunday's game to evacuees from Northern Saskatchewan.

7 - LOCAL RESTAURANTS IN ON THE ACTION:  The Roughriders offensive line held a bonding session Friday night at team sponsor Mr. Mike's in Harbour Landing.  Their tab was $800 and no one left hungry.  And the bonding exercise may have worked.  The hoggies have been the most impressive unit on the club through the first two games ... Meanwhile Regina's Italian Star Deli is becoming a favourite destination for visiting CFL clubs.  Calgary running back Jon Cornish makes the Italian Star his first stop on road trips to Regina while several boxes of Carlo's famous sandwiches were trucked to the Blue Bombers locker room after their Week 1 game in Regina.  Hey, owner Carlo Giambattista is no dummy.  Visiting teams' money is as good as anyone else's!

8 - MORE NOTES:  The Ottawa RedBlacks have now soldout 10 straight home games, including Saturday's exciting 27-16 victory over the visiting B.C. Lions ... The Toronto Argonauts boast 11 players on their roster from the Greater Toronto Area ... Meanwhile the Roughriders have 10 Saskatchewan products sprinkled across their active roster, practice roster and injured lists ... Did I miss the birth of some nicknames across the CFL?  TSN's Rod Black referred to Ottawa receiver Ernest Jackson as "Action Jackson" on Saturday's telecast while Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian was referred to as "The Lion King".

9 - PUMPING THE CRUISE:  If you've never been on a cruise, love football, and would like to get out of the deep freeze this February, consider joining Bomber greats Chris Walby and David Black along with the Riders' Carm Carteri and me on the inaugural Football Fan Cruise through the Caribbean.  For details email christine@ixtapatravel.ca.  For more info check out this CBC story on the cruise: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/travel-agent-creates-banjo-bowl-themed-cruise-package-for-football-fans-1.2756441

10 - SOCIAL MEDIA, THE GOOD AND THE BAD:  Somebody has to say it.  Nobody cares about the zany antics of your dog or the size of the steak you have on the grill.  That's pretty much all I see on Facebook nowadays.  And there are so many inspirational memes being posted that they tug your head in all different directions.  Some of them aren't even true, like "God helps those who help themselves."  No He doesn't. ... Having said that, sports leagues had better be paying attention to what social media has done for the coverage of our leagues.  Twitter and Facebook have pretty much single-handedly made Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson the top All-Star Game vote-getter of all time (along with his own exploits on the diamond).  Social media has made the Blue Jays and Raptors part of fans' conscience across all across the continent like television never could.  And it's free!  It just takes a lot of work.

-- And one last societal note:  Where does Cineplex get off by significantly reducing the size of their large fountain drinks but still charging the same price??  They already did away with free refills on soft drinks and popcorn.  Theatre owners say they're losing money hand-over-fist but it costs over $100 for me to take my family to a flick.  Where are their revenues going??

:(

-- FURTHERMORE:  We blew past 13-million all-time hits to this blog earlier this week.  Thanks to our sponsors Prairie Mobile, Access 7, Realty One, JLB Electric, Camco Plumbing & Heating, Press Box Sports Bar, Four Seasons Sports Palace, Mosaic Place, Fountain Tire, Gold's Gym, Titan Auto, Mercedes of Regina, Bidsy.com and Vigr for your continued support.  But most of all thanks to YOU for making this Canada's #1 independent sports blog.

------

THAT'S ALL! TALK TO YOU FROM VANCOUVER
RP
@sportscage

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great Thursday read!

Anonymous said...

How can anyone claim that the hoggies are the best unit on the team, when they single handily each took a bad penalty to kill red zone drives and not to forget a Hands to the Face penalty took Getzlaf's 4th Q TD off the board. Though they kicked a field goal, how big were those lost 4 points.

Hardly sharp between the hoggie ears.

Anonymous said...

I had a gift certificate from Cineplex purchased at Costco. It was for $25.00 and that included 2 tickets to the movie and 2 drinks and one popcorn. After handing out theater ticket over I proceeded to the concession and I asked the girl if I would have had to pay for the popcorn and drinks what would they have cost me and she told me $18.00. That was a year ago and now they are ripping people off more.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod, if you are a slave to Facebook then suck it up and quit complaining.

Rod Pedersen said...

To Anon #2 -

And you could say Kevin Glenn threw a costly pick, Taj Smith didn't come back to the ball on that particular play, Jerome Messam couldn't find the endzone inside the three, the D-line can't get enough pressure (even though Chick's been double-teamed all night long), the linebackers couldn't tackle and the secondary took too many penalties.

That's if you're nitpicking! All in all I'd say the OL has been the best group, followed by the QBs. Brett Smith is 100% in short yardage conversions.

RP

Rafal said...

Well said Rod, the Riders just need to fine tune some things in Defence.

Anonymous said...

Good column this morning Rod.

Regarding the o-line, sure they took a few bad penalties last game but a few of the penalties were pretty bogus too. The hands to the face on Adcock was puzzling to me as I didn't see anything wrong with that play....they actually hit Glenn late on that play with no call. I expect an even better performance for our hoggies in BC tomorrow night! Go Riders!

Rod you should get the cineplex passes from costco! You save about 15 bucks.

-Barry

CM said...

Riders D is the issue not the O! Agree. and hate the new rules. flag football. Why allow a guy like Glen Johnson to put out all these crazy rule changes. Hes a ref, not a former player or builder!

Anonymous said...

Not Glenn Johnsons rule changes. Officials administer the rules on the field - that is the extent of their responsibility in all of this. Changes cames from Rules Committee, led by Hufnagel and Buono, the two strongest and most experienced voices on that Committee.

Anonymous said...

The new rules didn't dictate that the safety lines up 30 yards from the line of scrimmage. The coach did!

Anonymous said...

The Rainbow Cinema is a good deal - especially on Tuesdays. I highly recommend the Mad Max movie now at the Rainbow. A lot of the bad guys have a striking resemblance to Ricky Foley. If they do a sequel, Ricky should apply for a role.

Anonymous said...

hey rod,jus wunderin why podcast of the 5th quarter isn't available following the bomber game...says "0" for playback....any idea where I can hear the murray-corey q&a?

Anonymous said...

Rod..What is the rule regarding bringing players off the 6 game injury list early if possible?

Thx
J

Anonymous said...

So when in the Riders last game did Ryan Smith suffer his 2nd concussion of the season. If it was in the 4th quarter on his big catch then why did he play after. Come on Rod ... ask the tough questions. It's easy for you to question the Bombers about Drew Willy but let's see if you have the nads to do the same with the Riders.

Rod Pedersen said...

You're hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Just what I thought Cabana Boy

Anonymous said...

THE ONLY GARUNTEE I HAVE IS THAT THE RIDERS SUCK AND WILL BE IN LAST PLACE IN THE LEAGUE

Anonymous said...

Serious. Your comparing the Riders handling of Smith to how the Bombers handled Willy. 6 game list to play the next game. Wow.

Oh but I forgot, "Willy is a tough kid "according to O'shea.

Hello Buck Pierce

Anonymous said...

"Where does Cineplex get off by significantly reducing the size of their large fountain drinks but still charging the same price??"

Glad to see that the volume of the pop has been reduced; as for the cost, glad to see it has not changed. In fact, the cost should be increased, not by Ciniplex, but by the government in an attempt to cover the costs of all the obesity related health issues associated with diabetes and excess weight. We as tax payers pay for all the people that don't care about there health.

The NY Mayor had it right by eliminating large cup sizes of fountain pop. Any other state or province that chooses to tax the heck out of it, go for it!

Lay off the pop, it will kill you (literally)!.

Anonymous said...

Good question. When did Smith get concussed?? You watch his "play of the week" catch, and he landed on his head and was slow getting up. Maybe the OT hit was his third of the year.

Anonymous said...

Anyone at all familiar with the CFL will know that it is a total waste of time for any reporter to ask about the details of a player's injury. The teams will not give details for strategic reasons. The best you will get is how the long player may be out for, except when it is a season ending injury and/or the details are common knowledge.

The Ryan Smith catch was replayed about a hundred times on TSN and it was clear that he fell hard on his shoulder. I would bet it is a bruised shoulder that has him out. His head was not hit.

The teams can pull any player off the 6 game injured list. The consequence is that the players salary cannot then be subtracted from the salary cap. This should be no bid deal for the Riders, as Durant's salary is off the books for the last 17 games. So if Ryan is better in a couple of weeks look for the Riders to pull him off.

Y'er Welcome,

Bay Roc

Anonymous said...

Durant is the new Buck Pierce... Going back to LAST year's banjo Bowl, he will end up playing 1/2 a game in about 2 years for the riders.

Anonymous said...

Wait... what? You don't like the pictures of my dog on Facebook? *sniff* :)
And you're right about Cineplex. Pretty brutal if they can't make a profit off 18 cents worth of popcorn, fountain pop & "buttery topping" for a cost of $21.
Have fun in Vancouver. Go Riders!

Anonymous said...

" Durant is the new Buck Pierce... Going back to LAST year's banjo Bowl, he will end up playing 1/2 a game in about 2 years for the riders. "

Ya nice try.......Buck played in the CFL for 9 years (6 as a starter) and started more than 10 games in a season only 3 times......and started more than 12 games only once!! One season in his whole career!!

If you blew on Buck, he'd get concussed.

Durant is tough as nails.

GeorgesB said...

Hey Roddie, I'm with ya on Cineplex.
If you have a Costco membership or know someone that does, you can buy great movie vouchers there.

2 Adult Admissions, 2 Reg Drinks and 1 Reg Popcorn for $25.

Its the only way to go, and they dont count as passes, so you can even use them for movies that specify "no passes"

Anonymous said...

Thanx Mr. Tips!
You're the #1 insider source for Roughriders info.

Anonymous said...

tx 4 answerin my question rod....ur all "pro"! should have asked bout a movie instead!!

Anonymous said...

Two Words - KODI /XBMC

No more paying for movies or netflix!

Anonymous said...

Saskatchewan, one of the most obese population base in the country... We want more pop!!!

Anonymous said...

Ryan Smith on 6-game injured list

Anonymous said...

This comment section has really gone downhill since Obama abandoned the scene. Come back Obama, we miss you bud! We are sorry for making fun of you. It won't happen again.

Anonymous said...

The spanking Ottawa are getting so far in Edmonton may bring fans back to earth in Redblackville!

Anonymous said...

The TD by Zack Evans is right up their with the TD catch by Dan Clark in hoggie heaven classics. Zack may have a future as a full-back.

Anonymous said...

The the CFL is no longer pro football, it's flag football. It's so disinteresting and actually quite pathetic. Like throw a flag on every play or every other play. Totally turned off. Should be the CFFL in name. Canadian Flag Football League. One can expect that they will very shortly have the little flags attached to the uni"s. I mean they might as well as the Buono/Hufnagel power base tandem is ruining the game. They.ve bullied the league into accepting something that has no place in pro football. This can't be allowed to exist as the standard.

Anonymous said...

Obama (Dink) finally grown up, what a sickin suck up he was. On occasion, he was okay for opinion. The Woz (Doink) blindsided him and their love for each other was sadly dissolved. They tag teamed up a few years back as Dink (Obama) & Doink ( The Woz) trying to take down The engine that drives In the 306, V8, but encountered epic failure resulting in hatred for one another with divorce. Sad.

Anonymous said...

When does the NFL come back on the tube? CFL now a amateur football league, it's pathetic bad !

Gerri

Anonymous said...

Rod Black indicates its garbage time now, he's absolutely right. The whole game tonight Edmonton+Ottawa was garbage.

Anonymous said...

PS,
From the engine that drives In the 306, V8.

Anonymous said...

What is an engine that drives in the 306 with a V8 ?????

Confused