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Monday, November 2, 2015

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


REGINA -- Let me first say this:

Looking back, if you had to make a trade, would you sacrifice the worst season in Roughrider history in order to experience the greatest?

Look at it this way -- if someone told you going into the 2013 Roughrider season that at the end of the thing, you’re going to win it all in your own stadium on the most perfect day in Saskatchewan’s history, 45-23, (over Kent Austin’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats no less), but in turn you’d have to experience the worst season the Roughriders have ever had?


Of course you would.  We all would.  In a New York minute.  We’ve just got it backwards.  However nobody at that time could’ve predicted how painful that trade-off would be just two years later.

Like, holy smokes.

Look, I understand there are scores of people going through much, much more painful things in life, like life-threatening illness, job loss, marital break-ups and all the rest.

But in football terms, what the Saskatchewan Roughriders are going through right now is as bad as it gets.  Or at least, the worst I’ve seen in my 17 years on the job.

This was clear immediately following Saturday’s 42-19 humiliation in Calgary at the hands of the Stampeders when I was sprinting to the press box washroom in a break before the postgame radio show.

Some of the Rider assistant coaches were coming the other way, on their way to the elevator that led down to their locker room.  I’ve seen a lot of facial expressions in my quarter century in this sports business but the look on these guys’ faces was a new one.

They looked like zombies.  Emotionless.  Spiritually bankrupt.  It would seem the pain is gone and now they're all just numb.

Just ... get ... this ... season ... over ... with ... already.

So what do you need to know about Saturday’s game in Calgary anyway?  The Stamps opened the game with a 60-yard kickoff return and three minutes later the ball was in the Rider endzone courtesy of an Eric Rogers touchdown reception.  8-0 Calgary after a two-point convert.  Less than seven minutes later it was 16-3 Calgary after another Rogers touchdown and another two-point conversion.

Calgary would never trail in the game.  The loss dropped the Riders to 2-15, equalling a franchise record for losses in one season with another game to go.  And just why was Stampeders coach John Hufnagel going for two points (twice) so early in a game like this?  I checked with the Stamps and they said that's what they always do early in games.  And by the end of the first quarter, it was forgotten anyway.  You can't blame them for doing what they do.

As the adage goes, “if you don’t like it, stop it”.  But the Roughriders weren’t apt to do that on Saturday.  Not with this defense.

So it's finally come down to this.  Three more practices, one day-before walk-through, and then four more quarters of football for the Riders Sunday in Montreal before we can bury this season.  I don’t expect many to attend the funeral.

I’ve taken to calling it “Football Purgatory”, this state where the Saskatchewan Roughriders currently find themselves.  Not familiar with the term?  Here’s the definition:

“A place between Heaven and Hell, where the soul is not bad enough to be sent to an eternity of damnation in Hell, but not good enough to go to Heaven, so it is sent there temporarily where the person suffers, and is purified so that it can be sent to Heaven.”

Suffering.  That’s what it is!  And unfortunately for so many members of the 2015 Saskatchewan Roughriders, they didn’t get to feel the unequalled elation of that late-November day in 2013.  Not even thought-of back then were Ryan Smith, Brett Smith, Keith Price, Jeff Knox Jr., Naaman Roosevelt, Nic Demski, Rory Connop, Anthony Allen, Jake Doughty or Matt Webster.

These guys are the future.  It’s an exciting group and it’s important that their spirit not be broken!  Gleaming, exciting days are ahead except we just can’t see them yet.  Can't see them for miles.

And, trust me, these players will never, ever again go through anything as bad as this season has been.

But just remember – we asked for it.

------

10 MONDAY QUICK HITS

1. RIDER SLIDE: Just like was the case more than a decade ago, everything about the road trip was great except for the game.  We were treated extremely well by Calgarians and despite a lack of buzz surrounding the game, more than 31,000 fans took in the clash.  It wasn't an inflated figure.  There were far less Rider fans than we're generally used to but the ones who showed up were hearty.  They just wanted to see the Riders win a game.  Unfortunately Saskatchewan couldn't produce and the culprit was the youth in their lineup, particularly on defense.  The secondary was patchwork and it showed.

2. VERY CALGARY-ISH: The front cover of the Calgary Sun on game day was typical, with the headline "BOO ROUGHRIDERS" on Halloween Saturday, but I was impressed they opted to showcase that day's CFL game rather than the Flames' 6-2 home loss to Montreal the night before.  We wondered why more media love hasn't been shown to the Stampeders given their chase for first-place however the Regina Pats are likely wondering why we spend so much air-time on the last-place Roughriders.  You gotta go with what's hot baby.

3. FOOTBALL KARMA: The bullish comments from Rider linebacker Tyron Brackenridge towards Calgary running back Jerome Messam on Friday were amusing and caught everyone's attention.  Unfortunately for "Brack", Messam shoved his words where the sun don't shine on Calgary's second series when he delivered a knee into Brackenridge's neck/shoulder area which temporarily knocked him to the sidelines.  Payback, even if it wasn't deliberate.

4. FORT KNOX: Rookie Roughrider linebacker Jeff Knox Jr. is poised to take home three of the club's major awards this season: Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Rookie.  He's already set the franchise's single-season tackles record with one game remaining.  Fortunately he's not able to flee to the NFL just yet.  He's under contract with the Riders for the 2016 season as well.

5. WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT TODAY: The low hit by Hamilton linebacker Simoni Lawrence on Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris on Sunday caused some serious heat at Tim Hortons Field.  Some of the postgame comments are contained in the game story below but we haven't heard the last of this.  Ticats coach Kent Austin blew a gasket afterwards which caused team owner Bob Young to apologize for his coach on Twitter.  Obviously it's hollow if Kent doesn't apologize himself, which would be his second public apology this season.  What has people upset is Austin's treatment of the media plus his assertion that it was a "clean hit to the hip".  Replays clearly showed Lawrence went for Hank's knees and if the League is as serious about player safety as they said in a news release last week, then the Hamilton player is looking at a major fine.  These two teams conclude the regular season next week in Ottawa in a game which will decide first-place however this situation will have likely blown over by then.

6. ONCE YOU POPP, YOU CAN'T STOP: That may be the cheesy slogan of Pringle's Potato Chips but it may also apply to the Saskatchewan Roughriders' search for their next General Manager.  Speculation abounds that since the Alouettes were bounced from playoff contention on Sunday for the first time since their relocation to Montreal in 1996, that Coach & GM Jim Popp may face the firing squad.  Would he then become an attractive candidate in Saskatchewan where he began his coaching career with receivers in 1992?  It's likely possible.  Although the John Hufnagel rumour isn't going away either, even though Stampeders personnel said on the weekend Huff is content relinquishing the head coaching duties so he can spend more time hunting and fishing.  We'll see.

7. JEREMY, ED AND KYLE: Here are two hot tips from CFL-types in the past week regarding the Riders' search for their next GM: 1) "I think Jeremy's going to get the job", and 2) "I don't think Jeremy's going to get the job".  The fact is nobody's sure which direction the Riders are going to go and at this point, that likely includes President Craig Reynolds.  There's still plenty of time but Reynolds' phone will likely be busy during Grey Cup Week in Winnipeg.  But that hasn't stopped "insiders" from passing on what they think they know.

It appears the only minus on the list of pros and cons for interim Riders GM Jeremy O'Day is the "unknown factor".  He's never held the position before and that makes a lot of Rider fans nervous.  However they scoffed in Edmonton when Ed Hervey was named GM but on Sunday they locked up first-place.  On the other hand people questioned the Blue Bombers when they gave the GM title to Kyle Walters and it appears we know how that's worked out.

But as one CFL manager said last week, "Somebody had to give Mike Babcock his first job."  Now Mike's the best coach in the NHL.

8. POKER ON ESPN: At the Canadian Brewhouse in Regina's Harbour Landing early on Sunday afternoon, the televisions were tuned to the National Football League.  Not ONE was on the Ottawa-Hamilton CFL game but I suppose we can continue to believe the TSN people that the NFL is not a threat.  I was sitting with a Torontonian who said, "It's been this way in major cities across Canada for quite some time.  You're just noticing it now".  I'm not sure that's the case, but I'll have to take him at his word.  Either way, it's alarming.

Meanwhile during NBC's broadcast of the Green Bay-Denver NFL game, ESPN was airing a replay of televised poker.  They seem to know that no one's watching their channel during Sunday NFL games so they put on some filler.

A lot of this scheduling comes down to stadium availability and perhaps the Eskimos would prefer to steer clear of the Oilers as well.  But it mostly comes down to the television rightsholder's wishes, I'm told.

9. THE FLAMES: Calgary is a hockey town first and foremost.  Period.  So it's not surprising there's considerable panic around the Flames given their 3-8-1 start.  After Friday's blowout loss to Montreal, one reporter said to me "If they lose in Edmonton on Saturday, the season's over".  Lo and behold, the Flames came out on top 5-4 in the Battle of Alberta and Calgary had meager hope again.

The Flames goalies are getting all the blame and it makes sense since their 50 goals against are far and away the worst of any otherwise respectable team.  However their defensive zone play has been abhorrent and stars Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton have been shells of themselves.  But if you feel your goaltending's weak, then tighten up.  Stop giving the puck away.

10. OTHER NOTES: It was refreshing and exhilarating to be back in an NHL rink on Friday.  The air seems rarified.  They served prime rib for the pregame meal!  And it was great to kibitz with the personalities in the press box.  I mentioned to one Canadiens staffer that I almost shut the TV off when his Habs were up 3-0 in the second period in Edmonton on Thursday.  "You should've," he smirked.  "We did".  The Oilers went on to win that game 4-3 ... Great to see Craig Bonner in the Saddledome press box.  A couple of weeks ago he stepped down as GM of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers but he's now a pro scout for the Dallas Stars ... The tour continues next weekend in Montreal where we'll get to take in the Bruins and Canadiens the night before the Roughriders-Alouettes game ... The Edmonton Eskimos attracted a crowd of 31,014 to Sunday's home game against Montreal meaning they'll lead the CFL in attendance in 2015.  Had the Esks drawn fewer than 28,100, Saskatchewan would've led the league in home ticket sales which would've been quite a feat given the season they've had ... As it is, the Riders continue to be the CFL's top road draw ... Two movies you should see: Black Mass and The Intern.  They couldn't be more different but Johnny Depp and Robert Deniro are always must-sees ... Question for SportsCage listeners: would a small weekly segment on NFL Fantasy Football be to your liking?  Since CKRM-types like Luc Mullinder, Mike Abou-Mechrek, Phil Andrews, Brandon Basler, Scruffy and me are all engulfed in Draft Kings, the notion came up over the weekend.  It might be fun! ... Congratulations to Phil and Megan Andrews on the birth of their son Declan Charles Andrews on Saturday ... All hail the Kansas City Royals, 2015 World Series champions!  They vanquished the New York Mets with relative ease in the MLB final series, which may take some of the sting out of the way the Blue Jays went down in Flames.  But that was the funnest baseball season in a generation up here ... You've gotta be happy for Royals skipper Ned Yost who, after last night, is now 1-7 in World Series.

------

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY! SEE YOU IN THE CAGE ...
RP
@sportscage
IG: ridervoice

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Since CKRM-types like Luc Mullinder, Mike Abou-Mechrek, Phil Andrews, Brandon Basler, Scruffy and me are all engulfed in Draft Kings."

You guys make a living in the CFL but publicly worship the NFL every chance you get.

Anonymous said...

Rod, 2013/2015 was not a trade-off. It was bad management, really bad management, bad scouting, bad recruiting and bad coaching.
I don't know why you have such a tough time admitting that the entire top end needs to be replaced but they do. Everybody but Gainer needs go.

Anonymous said...

"You gotta go with what's hot baby."....and that's the Riders!?

Anonymous said...

Top anon:

You can like both the CFL and NFL you know.

It's not a crime.

Anonymous said...

The fact the Riders are in this situation to begin with is mind blowing! If Jeremy is in fact hired as GM then this club will officially become the Edmonton Oilers of the CFL. The mentality of hiring the "old boys" and looking after their "own", or because someone has ties to the province, team or because they've put in their time. In the financial position this club is in, the ability to sell out a stadium 9 times every year and merchandise sales being what they are (were) and a very, very, loose league salary cap...this club should be a Calgary type franchise year in and year out!

I have no sympathy for the club and not a lot of people do, but the way the fans were treated by the organization this year and even by likes of you and your station Rod was down right deplorable. Pretty much being told to shut-up and show-up mentality swept the organization and the long time paying fans were told to not worry this thing was going to be turned around it wasn't and it won't be for a minimum of three years!

Reynolds should have never been the guy, but he was always the "next guy" and the safe hire so that's how he came to be....now he's "the guy" to turn this thing around? Since we are't "CKRM-types" I know our opinions don't matter to you or your station but many of the loyal die-hard fan base are seeing through the crap and want big changes to occur to this club and a true long-term plan to be put in place and for once this club to act a true professional football club rather than a glorified community owned minor league team.

As for your hate on for Calgary? Really Rod? You were the first to try and dig up a bit of a rivalry story last week and Dyce wouldn't bite because he even knew it was laughable but I guess when the shoe's on the other foot its okay for you and the rest of the media to play into a Rivalry but not this year.

How "Regina'ish!"

Stew - Lumsden

Anonymous said...

How about changing up the "CKRM-types"....I like you Roddy and don't mind Mitch but Luc and Mike need to really improve their radio skills because they are tough to listen to and sadly I end up tuning out when they're on.

But, I'm just one guy and I'm sure you'll have some rude arrogant comment to throw my way for placing any form of criticism to your show.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

Actually, goof, if you knew the guys you were talking about, you would know they are CFL first, and CFL isn't available via daily fantasy. Go read something else.

Anonymous said...

It just blows me away that the CFL and TSN continue to have their head in the sand regarding their crap marketing and the NFL threat. What's it going to take for these turkeys to finally realize what's going on? A Grey Cup that gets less viewership than Sunday Night Football? God forbid that ever happens. The CFL has all this potential to be huge and they're pissing it all away. Very frustrating. Maybe things will turn around once the new group takes over the Argos and wakes up to this lack of marketing and interest across the country. There should be CFL marketing people in the biggest sports bars in the country every Sunday asking non-CFL football fans why they don't watch and what they can do to make them fans. Market research guys, it's not that hard!


Dubya

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.

CFL fantasy football? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA You can't with nine teams do it right. The idiots are out on a Monday Roddy!

Anonymous said...

If Mitch were to get nasal surgery he "might" be tolerable to listen to.

Anonymous said...

Kansas city royals mop up mets! small market vs center of universe NYC! whether Harvey sits or tries to be a hero didn't really matter...kc wasn't going to lose @ home! an unbelievable "team" in K.C. ,no "superstars" ,jus a bunch of "heart n guts" "no quitters"...congrats to ROYALS! p.s. agree with lots of what stew says!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry have to disagree nobody asked for this only small minded sask thinking would think this is a good trade off probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever read on this blog!!

Anonymous said...

Fantasy football, baseball, hockey. SIGN ME UP!

Anonymous said...

I also don't buy the idea that we've had to put up with two years of crappy football in order to win the 2013 Cup. That just shows the skill of Taman running the football operations. Anyone can buy a team to win it all but it takes the skill of drafting and scouting for sustained success. Tillman had us competitive in the years after we won the 07 Cup. What's Taman's excuse? In fact, we won that '13 Cup with mostly Tillman recruits.

And of course still no blame placed on Hopson. He was sure quick to take the credit in the good times and be the face of the franchise but now that his results have turned sour he's nowhere to be found. Overrated he is.


Gundersons Yorktok

Anonymous said...

So now we suppose to use the excuse of all going out in 2013 for bad management of the team the last two years. Sorry Rod do not buy what you are trying to sell.

Anonymous said...

Small minded Sask thinking is the reason we're in this mess and have allowed the dark soul of mediocrity to creep into this franchise and many to be okay with it. When those that appreciate what Calgary has built and expect that type of plan to be here they're chastised and told to shut up because they're being negative.

The times have changed and just making the playoffs or going 9&9 are no longer being tolerated and I for one am glad to see the Riders/TSN feeling the rath of fans and tuning this team out until things improve. O'day is not the answer, neither is Dyce...go out, get the best and let them bring in the best!

Anonymous said...

The riders went from one of the best defense's in the league in both 2013-2014 to this.....
Lets recap, they let Ricky Foley go, Sam Hurl and coach Ritchie Hall, lost Weldon Brown. Can't lose leaders and coaching. Yes I am still pissed that they let this happen. Stupid. Lots of work needs to be done, even though we did find some young talent.

Well offense...need some Oline talent, and a quarterback. Can't expect a rookie (23 year old kid) to take you to the Grey Cup. Look at Tiger Cats!

End of Rant, lets hope we can beat Montreal, since neither has nothing to play for except pride, but Montreal has a excellent team on Oline and defense....

Anonymous said...

Babcock's and O'Days's situation is not the same at any level. Babcocks played, coached and managed at different levels of amateur, college and professional levels as the guy or assistant until he got the call. He understudied a long time and had a resume of successes. Stew is quite right that the old boys network is alive and well in Riderville. Taman was elevated without a search and how did that end up really? We just about tanked in 2013 and were very fortunate to get to big the game. We weren't the best team in the West and played pathetic Eastern competition.

Did anyone think there weren't better and more respected real football people to be hired on as CEO of a FOTBALL team. Next good ole boy up again. Containable and controllable. According to some "insiders" the team apparently wants to do this again. This mentality will yield continued mediocrity until someone finally does the right thing and hires the best possible candidate based on past track record. Then all the cheerleaders will be saying "I told you so" much they are now about Taman. Go along to get along and paycheque.

This team has lived for years on the residuals of Tillman and Miller. That's all gone now and they have to figure this out on their own. Unfortunately they nobody competent enough to do that. There have been other GM jobs open up in the past number of years. It's surprising the guy being promoted for this job wasn't successful in landing that type of job elsewhere. There is a reason.

Anonymous said...

The premise that we needed to experience this season in order to have won in 2013 is completely bogus and proof you haven't accepted how bad of a GM Brendan Taman is. This idea that we couldn't have won that championship in 2013 without being a 2 win team 2 years later is preposterous.

No, this happened because Taman is a bad GM.

If we had had a REAL GM search prior to 2011 and gotten a REAL GM we could've won the 2013 Grey Cup AND still been good in the years immediately following.

But "Taman's a good GM who got swept away because of Chamblin and we really can't be too angry at our record because 2013 was worth it and is why we're struggling now", right Rod???

Rod Pedersen said...

It's an Attitude of Gratitude fellas. Nothing you or I say will change where we are or impact the future. So let's enjoy what we have and sit tight until the good days return.

That's my advice.

Anonymous said...

"The riders went from one of the best defense's in the league in both 2013-2014 to this....."

You've got different memories of a Richie Hall defense than I do.

Anonymous said...

"So let's enjoy what we have and sit tight until the good days return.

That's my advice."


You also advised keeping Taman.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Tillman gets the credit for the success that Taman enjoyed in 2013. Much the same way Shivers got credit for Tillman's success in 2007. I guess it's a tradition of the new guy never good enough as the last guy run out of town by the pitch fork crowd.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to suck after winning in a salary cap league. Look at the Blackhawks, Patriots. The Stamps have been consistently good under Hufnagel. The reality is Shriver brought in talent, but was missing a few things (good HC for one.) Tillman added to it and sustained it. When he was turfed, Miller took over and the talent slide began. Taman did have 2013, but I give more credit to DD. If you look at Tamans and Chamblins player personnel decisions and trades you can see why they are last. Losing Cdns; Butler, not protecting one of Shologan/ Evans, losing depth Hurl, Newman, trading Foley, never replacing Sheets etc. Now ODay trading Messam for a kicker, who I doubt is much superior to Milo. Hopefully Popp will come! Clean house and get an experienced GM. Fix this mess.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Popp, "Would he then become an attractive candidate in Saskatchewan"?? NO why would we consider a man who took Montreal with a winning record down to out of the playoffs? Remember he cut a winning coach in Higgins and the team has suffered ever since. Shows me he put himself above the team because he wanted to coach again. And we want to consider him as a candidate????
Someone has to get to the Media who schedule CFL games opposite NFL games and explain the facts of life to them. If not the CFL will be toast and a joyous Rogers will be dancing in the streets of the Center of the Universe.

Anonymous said...

It's this whole complacency thing that has ruined things in Riderville. Hopson admitted to it on 2011 and we all thought he learned his lesson. Turns out the exact opposite happened and now we're in this mess. It's gonna take awhile to get it cleaned up and poor Reynolds is gonna get the flak. Yet Hopson gets a free pass cause the Regina media grovel at his feet. Want evidence? Lynch commented this summer that this never would have happened under Hopson. Come on man, Hopson put the people in place that made this mess!


Hugh Jass

Anonymous said...

Stew made some good points. Perception is 9/10 ths of reality and when fans start perceiving an old boys culture the franchise is heading into troubling times. Social media makes it easy to connect to a world larger than the riders. If the young get turned off they will find other outlets and merchandise. Reynolds old boy or not better get this monster turned around. Soon it may be impossible to turn it around and if lost no 1980s telethon will save it because this ain't the eighties with the two channel network.

Anonymous said...

If you liked the movie Black Mass, there is a book just out by T. J. English called "Where the Bodies Were Buried". I just finished the book from the library last week and highly recommend it. It covers the trial and history of the Whitey Bulgar years in Boston. By the way, the other books by T. J. English and all riveting.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

The Riders had the 2nd worst defense last year so i don't know how this guy thinks they've been good???

Anonymous said...

There was a time not too long ago where the NFL was not a problem. Through to the 60's - 70s, players were still coming here because salaries were relatively on-par. Of course that all changed to the point where an NFL announcer recently referred to a player (Cam Wake maybe) as "playing semi-pro in the Canadian league." Now it's like driving a Bentley or a Lambo instead of a K-Car.

And we can't even say that "at least our league is more exciting" any more. Did anyone watch the Giants-Saints shoot out yesterday? That used to be the CFL every week! There on-field product as a whole is horrible, and in many cases unwatchable. What happened?

But you know what the real threat is? Soccer. MLS. We are far away from this but if you ever attend a game or watch on TV you will see people who are really into it. And there are a TON of them.

Don't believe me? Ask the Argos where they fall in the pecking order in Canada's most important market.

Sad as it is to say, the CFL is doomed. I don't know much about the league commissioner, but it appears Cohon knew exactly what he was up to when he bailed.

Anonymous said...

"Blogger Rod Pedersen said...
It's an Attitude of Gratitude fellas. Nothing you or I say will change where we are or impact the future. So let's enjoy what we have and sit tight until the good days return.

That's my advice."

Sorry Rod, but there in itself sums up the mindset of many around here....be thankful we have a team and and a last place team full on front office alum is better than no team, so show up, shut up and pay up because that's how we've always done it around here and that's how we should continue to do it. I have a lot of respect for you Roddy, but that statement is believed by many around here and that's why nothing will change because the fans aren't being heard....well, when the revenues start to get effected than maybe they'll listen.

Anonymous said...

Could not agree more with the last poster about MLS soccer. One just has to look to Regina minor soccer and the money being spent on high priced performance coaches, association ties to Spanish professional teams and for the fourth consecutive year in Canada Soccer enrollment continues to rise while hockey and football enrollment nationally drop to record lows. We're sheltered from the soccer craze in SK but try to get tickets to a an MLS game in a CFL city and you'll be shocked at the popularity of these events!

John Moore said...

John Hufnagel would likely be the best qualified to do the job in Sask but would be come and at what price. Jim Popp would be a distant second choice but for GM only. Then the a close tie for second would be the most successful CFL coach who went south but has now lost that job.Naybe also wise to wait to see how busy Reynolds' phone is till xmas. Like to see GM in place before the new year so decisions can be made on free agent with Riders on other teams.....Need to get Head coach by end of Jan.....then scouting team and game plan. Lots to look fwd to. To start it off a nice win this week to end the season on a winning note would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Peter King's MMQB column is a must read each Monday morning. Also check out his link in his column to the story on the Packer's management with dirty hands in the signing of players with criminal tendencies.

Anonymous said...

Pretty crafty Rod, post a ludicrous theory on the Riders and just count the hits on your blog. Hits go up, ratings go up.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit, the CFL isn't doomed. That's like saying the SJHL is doomed cause of the WHL. The CFL has been in worse trouble than this. It just needs a good shakeup and soon. All the good work started under Tom Wright has eroded under Cohon and now it's up to Orridge to fix. So far we haven't seen anything but hopefully soon with TO having new ownership and a new stadium.

It's time for all us fans to be part of the solution to the CFL's success and not the problem.


Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Riders rookie placekicker Tyler Crapigna a great addition for the Riders - so far 100% on his kicks. He along with other new additions made this year form the basis going forward. A great future for the Riders.

Get your heads out on the sand people there have been some excellent moves made to move the Riders forward and there will be more made - guaranteed!!!!!

Anonymous said...

saying Peter King's article is a must read is like saying Peyton Manning has had a nice career. That's something that was obvious about 12-14 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, lobbying for Taman's understudy O'Day to have his Interm gm tag removed, thus annoiting him gm without due diligence to a thorough team search.

Anonymous said...

Gunderson I'd do a little research before you post.....the SJHL is in some serious trouble, the Weyburn Red Wings are holding onto a thread and are financially strapped, as is La Ronge, Humboldt and the rest of the teams (including your Terriers) are seeing record low attendance numbers and players jumping to the BCHL, AJHL and Americans preferring to stay and play in NAHL.

Cohan had the right ideas on how to grow the game and keep fan interest at an all time high. Orridge completely destroyed CBC sports and is so far removed from the fan base that he will completely plummet this league back into the late 1990's

Anonymous said...

whateevvveeeerrrrr

Anonymous said...

Rod's goal to try and stir up comments help keep his buddies advertising, so if we can get over 50 comments Carm gets a free banner for a free pass to the gym, press box makes sure he eats/drinks free, 60 comments get him and Remple free tickets to Mosaic and prairie mobile keeps that cell phone bill nice and low.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha who still watches the SJHL?

Anonymous said...

Four Grey Cups to a team history 100 year plus, and now the current mess? Your team hierarchy structure sucks, as it seems to suffer from a sk 1930's handed down kkkisk like mentality. Why is there not any former player's on the board of directors? who better to give insight than the men who have actually played the game? Visible minority representation? non apparent thoughout team history. New professional sports team direction reflective of a 21st century with a renewed mission/mandate needed asap. Out with the old boys club, now!

Anonymous said...

People in SJHL towns watch SJHL hockey. But, to your point why does any one watch hockey at all.

Anonymous said...

eazy come eazy go

rammer said...

The CFL needs to work in harmony with the NFL. For some reason, Canadians think it is either NFL or CFL, you can like both!! Football is Football, some is better than others. But you can like Junior and Pro hockey, hell, you can even like minor hockey and High School football!!
The NFL has become a large financial machine that creates a great deal of excitement. They have their boring games as well. I think the CFL should look to the NFL to help market the sport in Canada. I would go as far as to suggest that football in Canada should adopt the same rules as the USA!
I think one of the problems with the on field product may be a product of adding a 9th team that has created a shortage of Canadian starters and that is driving their salaries up. How much are Jones and Heenan going to cost?? If they were imports, it would be less than half!!
Why do we have different rules anyway? It is all North American football!!
BobR

Anonymous said...

An American football announcer talking down about the cfl, means squat. Have you ever heard virtually any American give it any respect?

Rally Driver said...

Anon: re Respect
Cameron Wake, Doug Flutie, Warren Moon, Chris Berman come to mind.

Anonymous said...

The throngs who say they are will to be patient on a rebuild are full of crap. It's easy to say when the team's as bad as it is. It's easy to say when you're the laughing stock of the League. If this team goes out and start 0-4 or0-5, those same patient people will be wanting someone's head. There will be no patience and so suggesting otherwise is so much bunk!

The right way to win Grey Cups is building and winning and continuing to win. To suggest the 2013 Grey Cup was the end all - be all, is again no sense. It wasn't worth it and upcoming years of futility will prove that. What about the other years the Grey Cup was in Regina? Did those not matter? The main difference was that we gave up everything and spent a bundle hoping we had enough to do it. We had so much money invested that it became an organizational mantra which was picked up and glorified by the media and bloggers. You know; make it more than it really was and put a happy face on the devastation that resulted. Total nonsense.

And now there is a movement to keep the old club alive and try to fix this mess using local yokels. This mess is far greater than the skill set of the interim people, and it will take a much higher skill set to fix it. That is if management really wants it fixed.

Anonymous said...

Not really sure if Dyce and Oday should be given a chance to move forward with the team, or start from scratch. Looks like they entered the Titanic, with really not a hope of bringing on a winner. I don't think Darian being hurt was the major issue. The offence the first part of the year wasn't bad, just the d sucked and couldn't tackle their way out of a wet paper bag.Looks like Taman's management record is pretty consistent. Have a winner for a couple of years and then look like idiots the rest of the time.

Anonymous said...


Do the B.O.D. go on away games with the team and if so why? Do the B.O.D. interfere with the coaching? Doesn't one of the B.O.D. own ckrm ?

Anonymous said...

Other way around bub! Tillman took all the credit for a championship team that Mr. Roy Shivers built.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a pile of negativity.
There is no doubt that the Riders need some fixing. The repairs have started. Any one remember where the Eskimos were just a few years back? As for on air personalities Luc and Mike are awesome. I commute everyday and they have great perspectives from the point of a player. Plus the off the wall dry humour makes me chuckle often. We have to remember that it is a game, and it is entertainment. Sometimes we get our good value for our time spent money spent, quite often we don't. We have all seen a lot of bad movies. We saw a lot of good football games in the first half of the season, problem is we lost many of them by 4 points or less. This year has been painful but we all know that good times are and victories are heading our way.
Thanks Rod for sharing your frustrations as well as your hope with all of Rider Nation.
Go Riders - Go Sportscage!
Thanks for the daily dose of Rider info on my commute.
Arnold in Estevan

Anonymous said...

No no no...it was INJURIES! We don't lose Durant or KG and our season is much much much better. When you lose some of your best players, S#!+ happens!

Anonymous said...

Rod, Can you tell me what HC is going to come here under O'Day when he is part of the scouting and recruiting that has been looking for a MLB for 2years and can't find a End D for 5 years and the secondary that is a disgrace. Why would Lapolice leave his job for something like he had when he was HC only to be fired again. The only kind of HC that will come here is like a G. Marshall. He had 2 months to bring in someone,anyone to help this team and he failed in every way.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Freeloader bums. Yes. Yes.

Anonymous said...

I remember several years ago when Rob Bagg hit free agency and resigned with the Riders. His quote was something like, "Here's where I want to be because here's where the action is going to be." He was right, four Grey Cup games in seven years.

Those days are done. Unless we hire a sure fire GM that can turn this thing around real quick I can't see any free agents coming here. Why would they want to sign with a team of losers that promoted from within?

As far as I'm concerned, O'Day is a proven commodity. He tagged along with Taman while they built the worst secondary in CFL history and that has nothing to do with DD getting injured.