Realty One


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Monday, September 21, 2015



1 - A PICTURE SAYS A THOUSAND WORDS:  The look on Rider receiver Ryan Smith's face during Saturday's 30-27 home loss to the Ottawa RedBlacks tells you all you need to know about the mood in Riderville these days.  That loss left the Riders' record at 1-11 and has put them in a considerable bind with six games to go.  According to CFL Statistics, the Riders can't afford a loss in their remaining games if they hope to make the playoffs in 2015.

Don't laugh.  Quarterback Kevin Glenn told the media at his postgame news conference Saturday night that no one's throwing in the towel just yet.

"I don't think the season's over with," Glenn deadpanned.  "We've got Montreal coming in, a team that we're chasing and B.C. lost this weekend.  I don't think we're out of it based on how many games we have left.  I don't think anybody will ever punch out.  It's not over till it's over.  We have to hope that other teams help us out but that's just the nature of the sport."

Winning six in a row will be a tall order for a team that's only been able to win once in 12 games already this season.  And really, their schedule's been somewhat soft considering seven of those games have been at home and they've only faced division leaders Calgary and Edmonton once each.  They've lost four games to bad B.C. and Winnipeg teams. The final third game of the season could aptly be named Murderer's Row.

How tragic, in football terms. They're playing their asses off week after week but are 1-11.

Can anybody else see where this is going if it's not headed off at the pass?  In 2013 the Riders were clobbering everything in their path, winning games by double digits.  In 2014 before the Durant injury they were just eaking out wins, and then couldn't win at all without their QB.  In 2015 they've been losing games by the narrowest of margins, in fact a league record for thin futility.  The way it's going (if you were to draw a graph of the Riders' results the past three seasons), the next logical step would be to be blown out in games in 2016.

That is, unless the new regime can change the franchise's direction and that's the goal for whomever it winds up being.  More on that futher down in the column.

2 - HOLDING OUT HOPE:  There's no question the Roughriders will continue their focus of "one game at a time" heading into this Sunday's home game against Montreal - the annual Plaza game - as long as they still have a heartbeat.  In his postgame comments, interim Riders coach Bob Dyce said he knows no other way to prepare for a game than to win at all costs and field the best lineup.  That would include starting Kevin Glenn at quarterback since he proved against Ottawa he still presents the best chance of winning at the quarterback position.

And the notion of the Darian Durant's season-ending injury costing the Riders the 2015 season really is a mirage.  Saskatchewan's allowed the most points, given up the most sacks, taken the most penalties and is last in the turnover ratio through 12 weeks this season.  9th, 9th, 9th and 9th in a 9-team league.

However they still have tickets, jerseys, t-shirts and caps to sell and they'll continue to sell "hope" right along with it.

If nothing else, the Rider Nation is proving its mettle as the best fanbase in pro football with crowds consistently over 30,000 throughout this disastrous season.  If Mosaic Stadium had the capacity of the 24,000-seat TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, our home sellout streak would be around 100 games.

The tickets aren't printed with a guarantee of playoff contention or even if the game will be exciting but more often than not, the Rider home games this year have been heart-stoppers.

The forecast for next weekend calls for sunshine and temperatures in the mid-20's Celsius so it should be another fantastic atmosphere at the Grand Old Lady as the Roughriders are truly down to their final out.

The Riders' Most Outstanding Player this season truly has been the 13th Man.

3 - TRADE TALKS:  With this season on the verge of going up in smoke, there have been loud murmurs within the Rider Nation about the possibility of trading veteran QB Kevin Glenn to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats since they lost their starting pivot, Zach Collaros, to a knee injury on Saturday.  (An update on the severity of the injury is expected to be provided on Monday).

If the Riders are considering such a move, we likely won't know about it until it happens (if it happens at all).  That's the nature of how this new Roughriders regime will work; interim GM Jeremy O'Day is as tight-lipped as they come, which is probably a good thing.  However my sources in Hamilton say, at this time, there is no appetite to acquire Kevin Glenn since it's likely too late in the year for him to satisfactorily digest their complicated offense.  Plus, they're comfortable with the quarterbacks they have behind Collaros.

Meanwhile Roughriders defensive end John Chick set the Twitterverse ablaze Sunday evening when he posted a selfie from the Regina Airport with the caption, "Just leaving for Toronto.  Announcement coming tomorrow. #SunLife @CFL Stay tuned".  The truth is Big John is headed to Toronto for a national Diabetes campaign announcement on Monday sponsored by Sun Life.  However it was entertaining to watch the hysteria in the Rider Nation Sunday night when fans thought Chick had been dealt to the Argos.

4 - O'DAY QUOTE #1:  Regina-based Chicago Blackhawks scout Bruce Franklin noted over lunch last week at the new Regina Keg that "coaches are shortsighted and GM's are longsighted" when it comes to their respective approaches to the fortunes of their franchise.  It really is no different from sport-to-sport so with that in mind, I asked Roughriders GM Jeremy O'Day if his mind is on the "now" or on the "future" of his franchise.

"That's a great, great million dollar question: how do you balance the two of them?" O'Day observed.  "With letting the players know winning the game is the most important thing but also keeping the focus on the future.  I think that's something you have to do - especially as a GM - is you have to obviously want to win every game, prepare for every game, but also keep in the back of your mind the need to prepare for the future so that you'll be in the best spot to win in the future."

O'Day was careful in selecting his words, and wasn't ready to lay his cards on the table from his position in the General Manager's chair.

"That's my job, to balance the two, and provide the coaching staff with the best possible players available and manage the roster so you don't affect their ability to put the players on the field that they want to have out there," O'Day said.  "We understand the situation we're in, and our record, but we haven't thrown in the towel by any means.  You can see that with the philosophy of going back to Kevin this week, that we want to win and we want to get that winning feeling back.  It's just a better atmosphere when you win."

5 - O'DAY QUOTE #2:  Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba spent the 2011-2013 seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and in 2013 was named the club's Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Canadian.  That earned him a contract with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts where he spent the 2014 season however he was waived by the club two weeks ago.

Muamba is now fielding offers from the Blue Bombers, B.C. Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats about a return to the CFL and I asked O'Day if they'll be making a pitch to the free agent.

"The thing I'd like everyone to know is that any time there's a player on the market that we believe would help our team, we'll go down the path of at least getting our name in the hat and also exploring that opportunity that's presented to us at the time," O'Day explained.

"Unfortunately in this circumstance, we've actually reached out to his agent to see what the contract demands are and also to look at our own salary cap and where it's at.  The bottom line for us is it just doesn't work with the cap situation that we're in right now.  Aside from what you may hear, we are probably out of those sweepstakes but we did do our homework.  We looked into it and looked at the potential of trying to get in that game but unfortunately with our cap, we're not in a position to do that."

Great question:  what will it take for O'Day to have the "interim" tag removed from his title?  Don't expect that to happen any time early in the off-season because with Marc Trestman's NFL Baltimore Ravens off to an 0-2 start, the whispers are getting louder in CFL circles that the Riders will make a SIGNIFICANT pitch to Trestman to get him here as a Coach/GM combo for 2016 and beyond.

6 - O'DAY QUOTE #3:  The Roughriders have also had in-depth talks with free agent offensive lineman Ben Heenan who was waived by the Indianapolis Colts in August after suffering a meniscus tear.  As was reported on this blog last week, Heenan is back in Regina (where he spent the 2012-2014 CFL seasons) plotting his next move.  Heenan's availability was another question I posed to Jeremy O'Day.

"We've had contact with both Ben and his agent," O'Day reported.  "Ben's obviously in Saskatchewan and he's come in and seen us.  Right now Ben is in a waiting process of waiting for his knee to get better.  From that point, he's going to relay to us and evaluate where he's at with both CFL and NFL opportunities and from there he'll make a decision that's best for him.

"We've communicated to him that we'd like to be informed through the process and stay in touch with him and his agent.  He was great with that.  He's been really first-class to talk to.  He's following this team like a fan right now and a lot of his true friends are in that locker room that he's feeling for.  He's like a lot of people who are hoping that we get it turned around.  But he's focused on getting his knee back to full health before he starts to make any decisions."

7 - HENNNNNNRRRYYYYYYY:  RedBlacks quarterback Henry Burris certainly stuck it where the sun don't shine on Saturday night didn't he?  Hank's 477 passing yards against Saskatchewan were an Ottawa pro football record and the 40-year old betrayed his age in gunning down the Riders' secondary all night long.  With Zach Collaros now on the shelf, Burris is moving to centre-stage in the campaign for CFL's Most Outstanding Player, and also perhaps leading his team to the top of the East Division.  Is he a part of the RedBlacks' long-term plan?

"I think if he were to ask him he'd tell you he's got 10 years left!" reporter Tim Baines of the Ottawa Sun said on our pregame show Saturday.  "He's got one year left on his contract.  He's playing at a very high level right now and part of it is a great offensive scheme.  He's got a great set of receivers.  I think Henry will get through next year and we'll see where they go from there."

8 - A FINE MESS:  I've made no secret of the fact Roughriders running back Jerome Messam is fast becoming my favourite player on the 2015 team.  He's playing balls-out and hasn't hidden from the media during this distasteful season.  However he got his bell rung in Winnipeg last Saturday when led him through the standard concussion protocal tests last week, which he passed.  However he didn't exactly give himself a vote of confidence when discussing it with reporters.

"I feel good.  I had the day off on Tuesday," Messam smiled.  "Was it Tuesday?  Yeah it was Tuesday.  No, I feel good.  I followed the protocol, passed my concussion tests, and feel good."

With three former CFL'ers reportedly launching lawsuits against the League for the head trauma they are experiencing in retirement, I had to take the opportunity to ask Messam if - as a running back - he's concerned about the damage these head hits will be causing later in life.

"Honestly I've thought about it," Messam admitted.  "It's tough as a football player because since we're kids we're taught to be warriors and have a warrior mentality, and you've got 50 other guys out here counting on you.  You've got to do what's best for you, for your future, and really sit down and think about these things, which I have.  If I wasn't ready to play, I don't think I'd be out here."


9 - VERY SASKATOONISH!:  The University of Regina Rams are understandably seething over their 33-18 loss at the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Friday night which dropped their record to 0-3.  Noah Picton and company waged an admirable war against their provincial rivals but felt the game was ripped out of their hands by questionable calls from local officials.  Two contested turnovers went in Saskatoon's favour at key points in the game which caused a heated discussion between Rams coach Mike Gibson and head referee Mike Ciona.

"You're taking over the game!" Gibson snarled as he walked away from Ciona, and the Shaw TV cameras caught it all.  "Are we okay coach?" Ciona responded.  "Are we okay?"

Ciona seemed in control of the game and was doing a very admirable job but, without the benefit of video review like his CFL colleagues, was left at the whim of his officiaiting crew.

Shaw announcers Jim Mullin and Jesse Lumsden regularly questioned the job done by the officials for the balance of the broadcast.

Honestly I wasn't as riled up as the Rams because I have no dog in the hunt but this is a Regina blog and from a Rams' point of view, they certainly got jobbed in a game they could ill-afford to lose.

On another note, 6476 fans turned out to Griffiths Stadium Friday night on Support Our Troops Night and the camera shots of all the soldiers in the stands caused a patriotic lump in the throat.  Have the Roughriders ever held a Support Our Troops Night?  That would be a great promotion to pack the park.

10 - A GREAT WEEK AHEAD:  The SportsCage will be live on location on 620 CKRM on Monday from the annual George Reed Golf Classic at the Wascana Golf and Country Club as I'll be joined by Luc Mullinder and Mike Abou-Mechrek.  On Thursday, Kelly Remple and I will be live from Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw as the Pats and Warriors faceoff in the opening game of the 50th WHL season.  Then on Friday we'll be live from the 2015 Plaza of Honor Induction Dinner at the Credit Union Eventplex as we get set to enshrine Scott Schultz and Tim McCray.

It's always fun times around here, no matter our teams' records.


IG: ridervoice


Anonymous said...

Why is it always that when a Saskatoon Team , be it football or hockey beats a Regina team that it was because of poor officiating. Come on Regina, give your head a shake and realize that you were beaten by a better team and not the referees.

Rod Pedersen said...

It's just easier this way.


Anonymous said...

The word that I heard on Henoc Muamba is that he basically told the Riders no thanks, that he wasn't even interested in talking to them. And that's from a media source too.

Anonymous said...

Hey it's the same as when Brandon beats the Pats. It's not cause the wheat kings are better it's cause Kelly McCrimmon provides the refs and league office with hookers and blow after the game. How Roddy-ish.

Nice pic from Mrs Sportscage on Twitter of the new stadiums Saturday.

Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Regina, "The City of Whiners".

Get over it, the Hilltops have been jobbed in Regina as well over the years for petes sake.

Anonymous said...

Regina ..... the land of 1000 excuses.

JackD83 said...

Id like to propose a trade with Hamilton. Glenn & getzlaf for Austin..

Anonymous said...

Remember the 2012 WHL playoffs when the officials jobbed the Pats in game 4 when they called a slew foot on Stevenson in the third period. The warriors scored and went on to win the series 4-1. Again Regina was supposedly hosed by the refs. Never mind that the Warriors were a far superior team.

Anonymous said...

Whine, Whine, Whine ! Did you know that even in Regina you can get lots more of it at your Local Liquor Store.

Anonymous said...

Mike Ciona? As in CTV Saskatoon's Mike Ciona?

Anonymous said...

Was at the game on Saturday and there was far from 30,000 people there!

Anonymous said...

Poor Regina, always getting ripped off by the refs.
If it wasn't for the refs, they'd dominate every sport!

Anonymous said...

The riders suck this season. No sense in trying to sugar coat it. They deserve to he where they are. Time to gut thus fish and start fresh next season. Bring back Tillman and let him hire a coaching staff. Get rid of the old over paid guys and bring in young talent. Time to set Dressler, Bagg, Chick, Labatte, etc free and hire some guys who want to win! Get an entire new secondary too. The current players are a joke!

Anonymous said...

i was at the game and there was about 30,000 people there.

Anonymous said...

26,000 at best. In regards to starting Glenn or Smith with the rationale that Glenn gives this team the best chance to win? Last time I checked Smith actually has a win this year. So let him and Price play. Glenn is not the future.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to see all the hicks from nowhereville are up and posting on stuff they don't know anything about. Most of them have never been to a game of any sort in any sport. In hockey the dicks from MJ, Saskatoon and Brandon should shut their mouths until their WHL team ever wins a Memorial Cup. They haven't ever yet and likely never will. The Thunder only have to beat the Hilltops once and their season is over, and they likely will. The Huskies haven't won anything since the mid 90's it's become a distant memory. Considering they have a University at least three times larger than the U of R. It's the provincial University that has the bigger programs and draws kids from all over the province and country and got plenty from Regina. Yet the Rams are putting out more and higher quality drafts! Reverse the logistics and then talk. Mostly big mouth losers who don't know crap from fat meat are posting about crap they know nothing about. If the Rams ever deleted their program and went back to solely JR football, the Hilltops would revert back to #2 and likely never win another championship again. Can't have it both ways losers!

Anonymous said...

Glenn will be the future ..... when Durant can't play next season.

Anonymous said...

1-11 team up against the salary cap? We should be applauding Reynolds for firing Taman! Where is Woz to defend a terrible gm who left an old, expensive team, with poor Cdn talent? Write this season off. Get a real GM who has the savvy to trade older guys for picks and gut and rebuild. O'Day is part of mgt team who assembled what is here. Not the best candidate go forward!

Anonymous said...

To the big mouth above, you are a bonifide loser.

Anonymous said...

Hear here!!!!

Anonymous said...

Huskies, Hilltops, Rams, Thunder. Nobody outside those two stinkholes cares. Move on.

The Woz said...

Personally I think it would be a mistake to wait on Trestman. If he goes anywhere up here it will be back to Montreal. Meanwhile if we wait for him until January we will miss out on other candidates for both gm and coaches. This will all be window dressing anyway.... Reynolds wants to be able to say he shook all the bushes but in the end he will hire oday.

There is also no doubt that the best fans in pro football are the Packers. They have had 300 and something straight sellouts. That is 40 years! They had 65000 out for brett farve day and filledthe stands fir a practice. Plus the sell out when it is cold out meanwhile we have turned into wimps herevand dont go unless it is warm.

Anonymous said...

Why would Trestman come Regina when his old job is waiting for him in Montreal? Seriously folks keep dreaming...

Anonymous said...

Watching the Eagle vs Cowboys game was one grim experience. One team loses their QB while the other finds that they don't have a QB.

Anonymous said...

Was at the game. 30000 sounds about right. The crowd was rocking for the most part.

Something Canadas team can be proud of, that's for sure.

The only highlight of the season is this confirms who the best fans are in the league.

Hats off Rider Nation

Anonymous said...

Trading Glenn = huge mistake.

Realistically what would be the return? Keep Durant and Glenn again next season. Its the CFL a turnaround is not difficult.

Anonymous said...

100% agreed! Tillman, Trestman, Murphy. All would be miles better than O'Day. Tillman could get us back to respectability in one year!

Anonymous said...

If Glenn is here next year losing games, I may as well not renew my season tickets for 2017.

Anonymous said...

I for one applaud Taman for the job he did for bringing us the Grey Cup in 2013! Yes we are suffering now with our talent, but can you imagine the uproar if we would have not won that cup??? That win was the greatest day in Roughrider history! Thank you Taman!

Anonymous said...

Enough about these nonsensical, ridiculous CFL stats Roddy. 14 pts will NOT get a team in this season, its obvious. You don't need a stats guru to do simple math do you? Can you think for yourself?

Even IF the Riders did win all remaining 6 games, which only a complete IDIOT would think possible, BC and Wpg (and Mtl) ALL would have to shit the bed for Riders to get in. The odds are like flipping a coin 10 times and landing heads each time. (These other teams also play each other. So accept this horrible team is done and let's move on for God's sake)

TJ from Riderville

Anonymous said...

Enough with the Tillman BS already!

Simon said...

I could have thrown for 300 yards if they would have given me a 15 yard cushion on every out.

Anonymous said...

No you couldn't of.

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of points to make:

1) To the above who suggested O'Day can't become the GM because he is part of the team that assembled the current roster. If you have read or listened to another he said following being named interim GM, he flat out said some things were done which he didn't agree with. He may not get the job but that being said, and call me naive if you choose but I believe him that he didn't like the direction the team was going. Who knows, maybe his path might be the right one. Only time will tell if he is even afforded that opportunity. I hope he is unless we choose to hire one man to wear two hats.

2) As for Trestman, some suggest he would never consider coming here because his job is waiting for him in Montreal. Do you really think Jim Popp would give up his role as GM? Other than getting an NFL opportunity, Popp is the GM of that team for the foreseeable future. Trestman might be intrigued at the opportunity to not only coach here, but also to be an integral part of revamping and improving this roster where necessary.

Just my thoughts. Given the rhetoric of this blog, I expect some sort of backlash.


Anonymous said...

To the anonymous poster above who thinks I am from 'Hicksville' and think I have never been to any live sporting event. Let me tell you I have been a Rider season ticket holder for 16 years, have been to Rider games in 5 other stadiums and to 4 grey cups. I am a Warrior season ticket holder for 9 years, have been to NHL games in 4 different arenas. I have also been to 2 NFL games and about 10 MLB games. I have also attended about 5 briers. 4 scotties, Roar of the Rings, Canada Cup of Curling with full event packages. Just because neither Moose Jaw or Brandon have not won a Memorial Cup doesn't mean we can't comment on the 'Blame the refs or officials' for a loss.

Anonymous said...

Taman wouldn't know a football if it hit him square in the face. 2013 Grey Cup title courtesy of a all out colluded CFL/Roughriders organizational effort to appease a long suffering Riderville fanbase. Team was allowed to circumvent league rules to ensure home championship on Taylor Field to a pathetic poorly run franchise who just can't seem to get it right on how to run a professional sports team.

Anonymous said...

Trestman would be an interesting pick as a rookie GM. Not sure how it would pan out, but don't count the Ravens out yet. He may have a future in Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

The whackjobs have come home to roost!!

Once again, an incredible look at the complete idiocy from some on. Someone should really do a thesis on some of these clowns and their actual thought process. It would be amazing!

Anonymous said...

The Dump "Dum"ski campaign

Dump "Dum"ski immediately, trade to Blue Bombers. He's unteachable and will continue with the costly stupid team mistakes.

The Dump "Dum"ski campaign committee.

Simon said...

Hey anonymous, why don't you sign your name "Ballsy", so we all can confirm who you are.

Anonymous said...

Why did it take so long to dump Taman and Chamblin? Why couldn't anybody in a powerful place see what was going on? It'll take years to clean up their mess and only the so called 'idiots and bandwagon jumpers' knew it.


Anonymous said...

Nice try Winnipeg Cup Cake!

Anonymous said...

Geez, I wonder why the "CFL/Bomber organizational effort" did not work to get the Bombers into a 2015 home Grey Cup appearance (or even the play-offs). LOL

Anonymous said...

Yas I wood haiv. No problem, I scored 4 touchdowns in one game.

Al Touchdown Bundy

Anonymous said...

Simple, simpleton. Blue Bombers and their fan base not long suffering apathtic. Collided polluted purchases championship not condoned in Winnipeg as it it would be tainted and not in accordance to their team mission statement and mandate to on gold product success.

Anonymous said...

The Raven's lost because of their defence.

Trestman's offence had a total of 409 years with 33 points.

Sure it was Oakland but if his offence continues to put up those numbers he will be in the NFL for a long time.

NFL offence coordinator > CFL GM/Head Coach

I'm not a Robot

Anonymous said...

" not long suffering? " hmm 25 years isn't long enough for you? Ok keep turning out those gold standard years. Talk about a franchise that accepts mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

Until I read a post from Obama, bestowing us how the world turns and who I should be voting for, none of these comments matter.

Anonymous said...

Zach Collaros out for the year. Like Darian and several others, it wasn't the result of a tackle. I think the CFLPA should look into this new artificial turn maybe go back to natural grass where possible. That new turf is killing the league.


Anonymous said...

Riders suck.

Rodricko Pefersen.

Anonymous said...

obama has moved on in the most serious sense and he will no longer be returning to this blog. you've heard that last of him and that is a guarantee.

Anonymous said...

Why, did Obama go to the big football field / political stage in heaven (or hell)?

Rod in Saskstoon