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Thursday, August 20, 2015

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS

10 ODDS 'N ENDS

1 - BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGAN:  Gene Makowsky will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Saskatoon tonight, in the very same place he was drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders over 20 years ago; TCU Place (or the Saskatoon Auditorium, as it was known back then).  Congratulations Gene!  The same goes for fellow inductees Eddie Davis and Bob O'Billovich.  Eddie's a Rider great as well, but if this were Cooperstown, he said he'd be going into the Hall of Fame wearing a Stampeders cap.  At least he admits it!  That's not the story with Gene however, who's a Roughrider through-and-through and one of the greatest of all-time.  Nobody's played more games in Green & White than him.

Speaking of Hall of Famers, happy birthday to former Roughrider running back Tim McCray who turns 55 today in Florida.  He'll be inducted into the Rider Plaza of Honor in September along with Scott Schultz.

2 - KUDOS RIDER NATION!:  Saturday's home game against the Calgary Stampeders will be the first sellout at Mosaic Stadium since September 21 of last year when the Riders beat Ottawa 35-32 in overtime.  I talked about it at length yesterday on the radio -- this sellout seemed a little fishy, ONLY because it was announced so early in the week.  Usually the announcement of a sellout goes right up to the day before, or the morning of, the game.

The conspiracy theorist in me thought the Riders snatched the remaining 1000 tickets up themselves, just to buy up the goodwill.  For instance, the positive publicity the sellout has generated on social and mainstream media has been immense.  (i.e. "They're 0-7 and the fans are still selling out the park! Love this team!").  By the way, the idea isn't so far-fetched.  Our NFL insider Jim Lang told us on the SportsCage last night that NFL teams do this all the time.  I would've just done it several weeks ago, and distributed the tickets to the needy.

However this isn't the case here.  It's legitimate.  There were 500 tickets left as of Monday morning and only 300 tickets left 24 hours later.  By Tuesday at noon, the announcement of a sellout was made.

Why is this the first sellout in almost a calendar year?  1) The Stamps are the Riders' top rival.  2) We're running out of games at old Mosaic Stadium.  3) We're especially running out of warm weather games at Mosaic Stadium.  4) It's the Hall of Fame Game with Gene Makowsky and Eddie Davis being honoured and 5) Fans truly want to support their team.  They haven't turned their back on the Riders.

3 - ANT MAN:  Whether you want to admit it or not, the verbal spat between Riders running back Anthony Allen and defensive line coach Mike Sinclair prior to Tuesday's practice during the stretching period was symbolic.  Things like this happen all the time, it's true, but for a team that's supposed to be putting the past seven weeks behind them and starting over, that was a dreadful way to begin the post-bye practice week.

Allen was dealing with personal issues which included the health of his father, and he explained the tiff after Wednesday's workout.

"Frustation from both us from being 0-7.  We hadn't had the chance yet to hit somebody else on the field," Allen said. "I was around girls for the last 10 days.   It was just some built-up stuff from both of us.  It's been dealt with and we've moved on.  (My Dad) is always on my mind but that's no excuse for what happened.  I apologized to the team, I apologized to the coach I was involved with.  I wish I could apologize to the fans and I apologize to the media who was out here at the time.  It's very uncharacteristic of me and it's a one-time thing.  Both of us were frustrated but we're all good now."

Nobody really batted an eye across the league, however it caught everyone's attention.  Former Rider players chimed in on Facebook with their thoughts:

REC Jeff Fairholm:  "I do have hope for the Riders but everything I read and hear suggests they are imploding!"

FB Shawn Daniels: "These spats are only newsworthy because of the record."

Shawn's probably right.  Are disputes in practice a big problem?

No.  But they're certainly not ideal.  Especially for an 0-7 team which is trying to pull together.

4 - BIG BLUE:  Rider lineman Brendan Labatte says the sellout on Saturday is "absolutely fantastic".  He clearly doesn't follow the sports news much because the sellout was news to him on Wednesday afternoon.  However the Radville, SK resident said this shows the Rider players that the province hasn't given up on them and the support will go a long way.  I asked "Blue" what his memories are of watching the Riders as a fan at Mosaic Stadium.

"I remember watching Andrew Greene quite a bit," Labatte recalled.  "Before that, I'd say Shonte Peoples.  That was a big thing down in Weyburn.  I just remember the atmosphere in the stadium was quite a thing.  We didn't have 10,000 people in Weyburn but you come up here and there's 30,000 all in the stadium.  It was an eye-opening experience.  The energy in this stadium when it's rockin' makes it a special place."

Ironically Labatte just missed out on playing with Andrew Greene.  Greene spent 2007 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers while Brendon got to Winnipeg in 2008.  By then, "Drew" had moved on to the Argos.

5 - FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH:  The CFL Game Notes package has illustrated how devastated by injuries the Roughriders have been this year.  For instance in their last game at Toronto in Week 7, the Riders had 15 players on the injured list who represented 626 career starts.  Meanwhile the B.C. Lions had only seven players on their I.L. (55 career starts).

6 - STAR ON THE RISE:  Rookie quarterback Brett Smith is gaining a lot of fans in the Wheat Province as he prepares for his 3rd career start on Saturday.  His quarterback efficiency rating in his first start at Edmonton was 46.0 however it vastly improved to 99.5 the next week against Toronto.  This statistic takes into account completion percentage, interceptions, times sacked, rushing yards, etc.

7 - RIDICULOUS STAT:  Perusing the game notes, something jumped off the page even though it won't be news to the old-timers.  Ron Lancaster was the Riders' quarterback from 1965-1978.  Of the 224 games in between, Ronnie started all but FIVE!  No wonder they call him "The Greatest Roughrider Of 'Em All".  Incidentally Lancaster's grandson Marc Mueller comes in with the Stampeders on Saturday.

8 - GROSS STAT:  The last Roughrider quarterback other than Darian Durant to win a regular season game against the Calgary Stampeders was Michael Bishop in 2008.  That's not saying much however, as Darian started 93 of 100 games up until last year's Banjo Bowl.

Question: is Weston Dressler's consecutive game streak with a catch in jeopardy after missing last week's game in Toronto?  Obviously not, because he missed half of last season while trying out in the NFL even the streak is now up near 80 games.  I can't remember how it works in hockey, if you miss a game does a point streak end?  That was always very confusing.

9 - PEOPLE WITH NOTHING BETTER TO DO:  The story that suspended Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon was in Regina this week was a hoax.  The photo was snatched from online from some time ago, and some guy tried to pass it off as his own.  He even said it was taken at the airport.  No wonder the Riders said they had no idea why Gordon was in town.  He wasn't.

10 - THE NAME GAME:  A topic which has come up the last little while revolves around the name of the University of Regina's football team.  If you read the three-page report from that satellite committee on how the program could improve a few years back, one of the recommendations was changing the name from the Rams to the Cougars.  Some think that will never happen, however the team is wearing a Cougar patch on its jerseys already THIS year.  If this happens, will the Regina Thunder junior program change its name to the Rams so their illustrious history won't become extinct?  You can't blame them if they don't want to.

I'm headed down to "Compete Street" - or the U of R - for Day 5 of Rams camp today.  Perhaps we'll discuss it there.

------

THAT'S ALL!  HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND
RP
@sportscage

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Hall of Fame induction was last night? How come nobody knew about it?

Tanner

Anonymous said...

Because they chose to promote it on CJME, which nobody listens to.

MERV THE PERV

Anonymous said...

Whoever is telling you the Rams are changing their name to the Cougars is completely wrong.

Do some homework!

Curtis said...

In regards to consecutive games streak. In MLB, the streak only counts if you participate in the game. For example if you have a hitting streak and sit out the game, your streak is still good. If we use the same reasoning as MLB, then Weston's streak is still going strong.

Anonymous said...

The official ceremony is tonight in Saskatoon.

CJME won't care unless there is some sort of salacious scandal so they can resort to their TMZ style of journalism. #sad

Anonymous said...

Hey Regina football fans why watch a Rams practice when you can watch a Huskie game Friday?
Oh wait, you don't watch Rams practice nor Ram games. So who does then? The girlfriends and parents? So you don't care if the name is Rams,Cougars, or Junior Huskies south.
Sorry greatest football fans living in the best sports city in the province.

Anonymous said...

Oh Saskatoon, you make me laugh. U really do.

The inferiority complex you have is really something that should have you seeking some kind of help.

Keep playing the game though



Anonymous said...

Agree with last anon... I've lived in both cities. Truly is amazing how much time Saskatoon people spend complaining and criticizing Regina. While living in Regina I rarely heard anyone say anything bad about Saskatoon... they just didn’t care!

Anonymous said...

Regina is the Suburb of Saskatoon . They might be called the Queen City but that is only because they have all those Over Paid Union Workers from the Government working there. Saskatoon's population is thousands more than Regina , we have an Arena that makes Regina's look like a Barn, and if it wasn't for so many of us Great Rider Fans from Saskatoon and around Football wouldn't even exist in that City. So Chew On That.

Anonymous said...

any positive P.E.D tests outta huskie camp yet? those dogs cant hunt without it

Anonymous said...

annon above.... bahahhahaha what an idiotic post. Worst of the year. Regina couldn't give a s%$t about your awful city. You have a nice arena that has been wasted on nothing. I have lived in both places. Regina is by faaaaar the better place to live. You merely have thousands more whiny idiots just like you, thats another reason Regina is better than your crappy, whiny, grotesque city.

Bart

Anonymous said...

Thanks for proving my point...

Anonymous said...

Pertaining to the 1st bullet:

Wasn't the TCU Place originally named Centennial Auditorium (not Saskatoon Auditorium)?

Anonymous said...

As an out province visitor to Saskatoon and Regina, it is no contest. Regina is a dump compared to Saskatoon.

Rod Pedersen said...

Something like that. And one of my wedding receptions was even held there.

Anonymous said...

Apparently people from Saskatoon really like using capital letters.

Anonymous said...

From an out of town perspective:

Regina is easier to access and drive in.
Saskatoon has better shopping.
Saskatoon has better high end restaurants.
Both have a good fast food selection.
Regina has a better sports scene.
Saskatoon has a better arts scene.
Saskatoon has better bars and nightclubs.
Housing market is the same.
Saskatoon has better healthcare.
Saskatoon has a nicer indoor stadium.
Regina will have an awesome outdoor stadium.
Saskatoon has better walking and bike paths.
Saskatoon has a better downtown.

Winner: Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Regina is a dump. It's was built by a dump, pile a bones. Nevertheless it is the provincial Capital (by default) and for that deserves respect. The much maligned civil service keeps the province functioning in good times as well as bad. They deserve our thanks.
Saskatoon has two major problems:
1. They continue to elect a mayor who once held the title of stupidest mayor in Canada.
2. This mayor and his friend Brad refuse to admit that the fastest growing population segment in the city are children living in poverty. Imagine the frustration of the child services worker seeing children in need (hunger, addiction, prostitution) and unable to do anything about it due to a continual decline in resources and support.
Hopefully Regina is not using the Saskaboom model for growth.

Anonymous said...

Oh man Roddy. The cesspool is in full force today.

When the Rams first entered the CIAU I had heard from the U of S athletic director who said the Rams had the name for 5 years then had to change it.

It's been over 15 now. Quite surprised they'd keep the name now that Frank is gone.

It's kind of silly to have different names. Although I know the U of A has different names for mens and ladies teams. Bears and Pandas.

I hope the Riders crush the stamps this weekend Rod. That would make my year.

Have a good game.



Russ from Saskatoon

REP said...

I hope the Rams DO become the Cougars, as I have more ties to the school than I do to the football club.

As alumni from before the U of R had a football team, I'd feel more ownership of the football team if they were the Cougars and I suspect others would as well. I'd also more readily open my cheque book for donations to the U of R Cougars Football team, and I think others would as well.

I get that Rams alumni and long-term supporters of the team are protective of their legacy, but I think the student athletes of the future would benefit from being closer to the school (and the well-heeled alumni of the school). Times change, and today's players are missing out on the goodwill of some valuable resources by sticking to old ways of doing things.

Steve W said...

My good friend sits on the U of R Board of Directors and they WILL be changing the name to the Cougars...now that the ego's have left the team. As a U of R Alumni, I too would open my check book if they were called the Cougars, it won't feel like I am supporting a PFC team but rather my Alma Mater!!

Do the Huskies, Thunder and Hill Tops get any of the 50/50 money from the Rider games? If not, why? If so, great!

Steve W

REP said...

Also regarding the Thunder and Rams, I don't think the Thunder should "inherit" the history of the Rams if the Rams become the Cougars. The Thunder are a different team, with a new history.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders "own" all the history of the Regina Roughriders, the Regina Rugby Club etc. The Pats "own" the history of the Regina Monarchs. Lots of precedent here.

Anonymous said...

saskatoon is a bunch of losers who wanna be from Regina. Case closed. If your city was better IT would be getting the stadium and have the football team. It isn't. Deal with it. Regina has better walking and biking paths by far, better restaurants by far, a better art scene by far, everything is better. I have lived many years in both cities. The only other diffrence is that Regina people don't care at all about saskatoon people but all saskatoon people care about is Regina. Its because they are Regina's redheaded step brother.

Bill from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Anyone impartial knows that Saskatoon is better. Regina has the advantage of being on the TransCanada Highway and that's it. If someone in Saskatoon instead of Regina had the foresight to start a rugby club more than 100 years ago we would be watching Rider home games in Saskatoon.

Anonymous said...

Regina is a toxic city. If Saskatoon had housed the Riders there would be more than 4 great cups in 100 years.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem...Saskatoon never had and still doesn't have any foresight. You just supported the Regina argument. Great job and thanks! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Rams need to change to the Cougars to instill some pride and continuity in the student population and to not look like a farce from an outsider's perspective.

Anonymous said...

Saying Regina had a good idea 100 years ago doesn't support the argument in 2015 bud.

Saskatoon > Regina.

Anonymous said...

Arguing over what's better .... Saskatoon or Regina. Like arguing over what's better .... a hernia or an ulcer. Some of you really need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

The only reason the two of them are even close is because Regina has tried to become more like Saskatoon in the last decade.

Chin up Regina. You're still better than Moose Jaw and PA.

Anonymous said...

Hearing out of Rider camp that Doughty has just been sick last few days and kept away from locker room to avoid spreading. My guess is he will play.

Bud said...

The lack of foresight is a cultural issue in Saskatoon which genetically started 100 years ago and still exists today...hence it does support the argument. Its not your fault, its in your genes and I undestand. LOL!

Bud

chad said...

Saskatoon and moose jaw had a rugby team 100 years ago and they did play against Regina ! But Regina beat them all the time and they folded ! Still that way 100 years latter

DJK said...

Why is this all of a sudden a battle between Regina and Saskatoon. I prefer Regina over Saskatoon. Doesn't mean I need to bash one or the other.

We have two great cities to visit in this province. Let's be happy about that. They both have their pros and cons.

It could be a lot worse - AKA Winnipeg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You're saying Saskatoon, in general, doesn't have the foresight Regina does? Lol!

Maybe Regina's founders could have used some of that foresight to settle by a lake instead of resorting to building one.

Saskatoon has more than 30,000 more people and both cities incorporated around the same time. Why is that buddy?

Saskatoon has always been better and that isn't changing soon. Keep fighting the good fight bud.

Anonymous said...

Adcock and Getz not able to play Saturday. Things look very grim for the grim machine. Hopefully Jerome Messam has a monster game to keep things exciting. He may be our only hope.

Bud said...

Yes, Saskatoon is bigger but that is even worse, you have more people and still have no foresight, you would think there would have been at least one genetic mutation among the extra 30,000 people...you keep making my argument for me. Its OK, you will understand everything tomorrow....hindsight is a beautiful thing. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see we have wingnuts in both cities!

Anonymous said...

Somebody found a big word and decided to try and use it as much as he can today. Good job buddy. Super proud of you that you also found a variation.

Anonymous said...

Saskatoons way superior than Regina- it has a professional lacrosse team.

Anonymous said...

Rams and Thunder have a looooong way to go in terms of catching up to what the Huskies and Hilltops have done in the last 50 years.

Anonymous said...

Doughty's probably sick because he drank that putrid smelling Regina water.

Anonymous said...

Like I said, Saskatoon has an inferiority complex and it is showing on this blog today.

Cmon Saskatoon, act like someday you want to eat at the big boys table and quit acting the way you are now.

Have you bought your Rush tickets yet or have you found a convenient excuse to stay away like you do with every other team or high-profile event.





Anonymous said...

Instigating a Regina/Saskatoon debate to cover for a slow news day. Classic Rod. Love it! That's why you're the best.

Anonymous said...

I am from stoon and I like Regina, but I never hear Regina bashing in Saskatoon, nobody seems to have any animosity towards Regina here that I can see.

Anonymous said...

Agreed

Anonymous said...

This is a hilarious read today, thanks for the posted entertainment comments from the a**clowns of riderville Saskatchewan. Clowns producing blog page hits. Typical inbred flatland "bum"kins arguing about who's hamlet is better, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ..... ouch!!!!

Anonymous said...

Regina people, particularly in the media, seem to think Regina is a Canadian mega city that should be mentioned in the same breath as Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. Saskatoon knows what it is.