Realty One

Access

Thursday, December 31, 2015

NEW YEAR'S EVE RODSERVATIONS


LAS VEGAS -- We're ringing in the New Year of 2016 down here in Sin City but have collected a notebook of thoughts on the goings-on back home for your reading pleasure.  We'll be taking in UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena as part of the excursion plus some business meetings which I'll discuss in the MMG.  However until then, here goes:

1. All is quiet in Riderville for the time being, and I've been told not to expect any news of consequence until 2016.  However there's a Rider flavour in some of the U.S. college football bowl games including the New Years Eve Capital One Orange Bowl from SunLife Stadium in Miami.  Playoff Semifinal #1 between Oklahoma and Clemson will be shown on TSN's main network at 3:00 pm.  Sooners junior quarterback Baker Mayfield is on the Saskatchewan Roughriders' negotiation list so it'll give Rider fans a rooting interest, and more of a reason to tune in.  Who knows if Mayfield will ever set foot in the 306 but when I asked the Riders which prospects will be featured during Bowl season, Baker's name was the first one provided.  Clearly they're watching him with more than a casual interest.

2. While the USC Trojans were battling the Wisconsin Badgers in the Holiday Bowl Wednesday night in San Diego, USC was at the same time battling a lawsuit from former head coach Steve Sarkisian.  Sarkisian (a quarterback with Saskatchewan from 1997-1999), was placed on leave in October and later fired by USC as he entered a treatment facility for alcohol dependency.  Sarkisian alleges that the school discriminated against him because of his alcoholism and breached his contract, according to the suit which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The L.A. Times published a massive feature on the story this week and it provided an interesting subcurrent to what's going on on the field.  There are several roads this story could go down: 1) Will Sarkisian win the suit, 2) Will Steve ever coach again and 3) Would the Rider Nation welcome him back if he's spurned by the NCAA and NFL?

3. Some time in the New Year the Saskatchewan Roughriders are expected to announce the signing of former St. Mary's running back/receiver/returner Melvin Abankwah.  After being cut by the Riders coming out of 2015 training camp, Abankwah starred with the AFL's Fort McMurray Monarchs.  Melvin scored three touchdowns in the league semifinal before the Monarchs succumbed to the Calgary Gators in the championship game.  The AFL receives little fanfare but the mere presence of a player like Abankwah gives the league some added legitimacy.

4. Hoping to hook up with Rider great Ray Elgaard at some point this week here in Vegas.  #81 was busy on the links on Wednesday, carding an 84 in +10 degree Celsius temperatures.

Meanwhile this is our first stay at the Luxor Resort and it's the best facility we've experienced in our travels.  Two thumbs up if you're planning a Vegas vacation!  I had a backlog of vacation days I was told to burn up by Harvard Broadcasting and this seemed like the best spot.  No regrets.

5. Former Rider Chairman Phil Kershaw responded on Facebook to a New England newspaper story this week on Patriots defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, wondering how the U of Rams (Hicks' alma mater) could produce more NFL'ers than the Saskatchewan Roughriders (Hicks, Stefan Charles, Jon Ryan and for a time, Jorgen Hus).  My response to that is, so what?  The Riders' mandate should be - and likely is - to win as many football games in the CFL as possible rather than finding or producing NFL talent.  The Kelowna Rockets and Brandon Wheat Kings don't have many more NHL'ers than any other WHL teams yet they have many more wins and WHL titles.  So this Rams-NFL thing is, unfortunately, a facade.

6. I've been sitting in my room coming up with the Top 5 stories in the CFL this year.  Remember this is all off the top of my head.  So far what I've come up with are: 1) The hiring of Jeffrey Orridge as Commissioner, 2) Saskatchewan stealing Edmonton's coaching staff and the collateral damage, 3) Edmonton winning the Grey Cup, 4) Michael Sam signing with, then leaving the Montreal Alouettes and 5) ??????

Some suggestions which have come in are the same of the Argos and the turnaround of the RedBlacks. What are yours?

7. I've been watching with interest Canada's dissection of the World Junior Tournament in Finland.  Many are wondering how Switzerland could take Canada to a shootout, and then get pumped 10-1 by the USA.  To me, this preliminary round has been far more interesting to watch than the 14-1 Canadian routs of teams like Latvia over the years.  Just sit back and enjoy the hockey!  And don't forget how good Canada could have been with Connor McDavid in the lineup.

It was sad to see the Ottawa Senators get admonished by Canadian hockey fans for celebrating the exploits of prospect Colin White with Team USA at the WJC.  Cheer for whomever you want!  I'm sure the Sens didn't anticipate the backlash when they recognized White on their Twitter account.

It's also sad to see that no Saskatchewan radio stations are carrying the World Juniors.  In the 90's, many radio stations did including CKRM however there always seemed to be a Regina Pat on Team Canada.  This can be viewed in one of two ways: 1) There's an opportunity out there for some local radio station or 2) There's a reason why these stations aren't carrying the games (lack of listeners and/or sponsors).

Still, if you're travelling and want to tune into the games, download the Tunein App on your smartphone and stream TSN 1050 Toronto in your car.  They've got all of Canada's games.

Chatting with Foley in the Suncoast Casino
8. Yahoo.ca named Ottawa Senators 73-year old GM Bryan Murray - and his ongoing cancer battle - as the #1 newsmaker in the NHL in 2015.  Prospective Las Vegas NHL owner Bill Foley was named #6 on the list due to his dogged pursuit of an expansion franchise.  I'm told the prevailing feeling in the NHL is that it's a matter of when, not if, Foley gets a franchise.  However the Florida billionaire has to be riddled with anxiety as the new Las Vegas Arena is set to open in April, yet the NHL pushed back the expansion vote to the spring.  It was supposed to happen in early December of 2015 however as far as Foley's concerned, he's ready to go and already has 14,000 season tickets sold.  He told me his team would be ready to play in September of 2017 however the NHL has told him this will happen on their timeline, not his.

9. Tough times in Steeltown.  The Steelers' loss to Baltimore on Sunday dropped their chances of making the playoffs from 90% down to 40% and head coach Mike Tomlin is on the hotseat.  Meanwhile Pittsburgh hockey fans are all over Sidney Crosby for he and his team's lacklustre season, and are rooting for him to be traded.  Ahem, why does perennial coach-killer Phil Kessel get a pass?

10. Not surprisingly the NFL is all over the news down here and one interesting story is that of quarterback Brandon Weeden who's undefeated with the Houston Texans.  This, after he went 0-3 with the Dallas Cowboys in place of the injured Tony Romo this fall, and was dumped.  Weeden sneered in the Houston media this week that he'll be playing in the NFL playoffs while Cowboys GM/Owner Jerry Jones will be "watching from his couch".

What a coaching job done by the Texans to get Weeden ready to start, and win games.  It makes you wonder how the Saskatchewan Roughriders couldn't get Kerry Joseph prepared enough to win a CFL playoff game in 2014 with over a month to do so.

11. It's great chatting CFL with people in Nevada who truly love their football.  Several of them remember their early 1990's franchise, the Las Vegas Posse, and rookie pivot Anthony Calvillo.  As one clerk at the Under Armour Factory Outlet mentioned to me, "The CFL is a big deal".

12. The movie "Concussion" about brain injuries in the NFL starring Will Smith bombed at the box office in the first week of its opening.  How surprising is this?  Not really at all.  It's our contention that fans care no more about the concussion issue than they do about steroids, and that's very little.  They pay their dough and want to see the best players on the field every Sunday regardless of what it takes to get them out there.  When you put on the helmet or stick a needle in your butt, you should be aware of the risks.  If you don't want to do it, there's a line up of guys behind you who do.

13.  It's nice to see NFL head coaches have the time to do game-day interviews with their broadcast partners, even if their counterparts in the CFL do not.

14.  Bill Cosby.  Man.  Just wow.

15. It was hilarious to see everyone who got sucked into the Facebook hoax in the belief that President Mark Zuckerberg would be handing out millions to his social media users.  Here's an idea -- try earning your fortune rather than begging for his!

------

THAT'S ALL FOR THIS YEAR!  ALL THE BEST IN 2016 ...
RP
@RodPedersen

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

5) Ottawa Redblacks get to Grey Cup in second year of existence.

Anonymous said...

Canada's WJ team will be just fine. They could have easily beaten the US but they came out flat. They dominated the latter part of that game. Play 60 and it's a win for sure.
You have to give the Swiss credit for the way they played Canada. It ripped their hearts out when CANADA won in the shootout. They were not the same team against the U.S. Also it was a back to back game for them. They didn't have the jump in their legs that they had against Canada.

Koocher said...

Have Fun in Vegas Rod and Happy New Year! I been down here the lpaat three years for New Years and it can get pretty wild.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod......I'm a bit confused by your new "Pederson Media" logo. I thought you always claimed not to be media.

Anonymous said...

More CFL stories of interest to me are the rule changes, specifically pass interference, and the officiating/CFL command centre.

It's too bad the CFL doesn't invest more in training and officials salaries.

As bad as the officiating is at times, the command centre is worse. Seems like they blow every call.

Anonymous said...

The rise of Ottawa and winning the East should be part of the top 5!

Anonymous said...

You are mostly right about concussion. But that little thing called Star Wars is also killing every other movie at the box office. Really bad timing. I will go see Concussion.

Anonymous said...

Abankwah wasn't good enough to make a 3-15 Riders team even when he was on steroids.

Anonymous said...

Rod, my pick for #5 CFL story of the year would be the rule changes and their impact on the game. Cheers

Anonymous said...

CFL stories

1) OB injuries
2) Orridge gets hired
3) Attendance and TV numbers drop
4) Resurgence of Ottawa
5) The fall and rise of the Riders

Anonymous said...

99% of the time I agree with you. This will be the 1% where we'll agree to disagree and then decide what's for lunch.

1) Regarding Bill Cosby. There is a systemic force designed to bring all black entertainers down and tarnish their legacies. I've outright said on this Blog under a former handle women are dumb. Be it the Ray Rice situation or how they act at Roughriders games.

What were individual women totaling 30 and counting doing going to Bill Cosby's hotel room? He's a well known married man this is no secret. These incidents took place in the 70s and 80s. If you've seen any documentary on this era people walked around with cocaine spoons around their necks. If you're on coke you take qualudes to bring you down and even you out.

These women were in hook up relationships with him, and they are in old age regret, broke and see a money train. He should countersue and take everyone of them to court and have them tell exactly what happened.

What you'll hear are a bunch of dumb broads,clubbing it up and well what happens happens. They went knowingly to his hotel room....think about that.

2) There's a hierarchy. Rod is a Prince, Phil Kershaw is a King. He and his sons are/were dear family friends. If Phil asks the question it's relevant. The reason the Roughriders don't put anyone in the NFL is they don't recruit NFL style players. They're all small, undersized, non impact and the result is a 3 win season. You're feature Receiver on a CFL team can't be a 5'6 white guy from North Dakota and if he's the #1 my goodness look at what's behind him. Then you get a bunch of butterfingers running backs that can't catch out of the backfield or block. There isn't a true DE that could convert to NFL LB. The personnel sucks. The moron fans along with the Color Commentator actually wanted the backups to play ahead of the Starters. Chris Jones got to town and cut 19 players!!!! There will be more coming as well.

3) Regarding Steve Sarkisian - I remember him well, and I always liked those BYU guys.

1) Will Sarkisian win the suit,
- USC will settle this suit to make it go away. If it went to court he would win as his disease or illness was not accommodated.

2) Will Steve ever coach again and
- The famous line at the end of The Hustler when they let Paul Newman go applies to him. "you'll never walk into a big time pool hall again" - he can be an Assistant Coach or a Joe Boy for Pete Carroll or Jeff Fisher. He can take the Lane Kiffin approach and work for a guy like Nick Saban to rehabilitate his image, but he will never run a major program again. People don't understand the disease and won't trust him.

3) Would the Rider Nation welcome him back if he's spurned by the NCAA and NFL?
- No they wouldn't and if he winds up here then it would be the Jeff Tedford deal where similar to Gene Hackman when Barbara Hershey told him, "A man at your age in Hickory either is running from something or has no where else to go." - he was a terrible CFL player when he was here.

Y'er Welcome
Mr. H.

Rod Pedersen said...

Anon 4: my guess is you're confused a lot. I don't even know where to start. I never said I wasn't media.

Happy New Year

Mo said...

#5) RedBlacks go from 2-16 season to 12-6 and almost winning a Grey Cup. Pay attention there Rod

Anonymous said...

Mr.H! Mr.H! Mr.H!

Anonymous said...

Michael Sam #4??? Seriously? Must have been a terrible news year for the CFL.

Anonymous said...

Mr.h = CLUELESS

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. H.
Going to someone’s room; apartment; home; office; etc. does not constitute giving consent for an action done to these women. These women were drugged so could not give consent. Nothing else to say about this subject except go back to the rock that you slithered out from.
Imagirl

Anonymous said...

Good to see that goofy Obama is back.

Anonymous said...

alas,risen from the ashes! so much for"obama is dead",eh Pederson? as for backlog of holidays,you seem to be on vacation most of the year!!! mr.jealous

Anonymous said...

I would think the total collapse of the Riders has to be in your top 5.
Or even Darian tearing he Achilles. Because of the collapse, the Grey Cup winning GM and Coach were fired, ratings were down, the Grey Cup did not sell out, Fan favorites were let go, The Riders stole the Edmonton staff....

Anonymous said...

Imagirl

...so in your world, you party with a guy. You know he's married. Then you decide sure I'll go up to his room....this is 30 years ago....then you decide 30 years later you didn't give consent...and then you file charges. Okay sure that'll fly. What is giving consent? Did you tell your husband, yes you'll let him buy you $70 worth of shooters at the Old Gold, then you did a line of his coke at his table, then you took his qualudes. When he asked you back to his parents house to sleep in his bunkbed you said sure...but you didn't give consent?.....nice to know you were raised right......

Y'er Welcome
Mr H

Rod Pedersen said...

Actually when you don't get a day off between June 1 and Dec 1 (including all stat holidays), these things tend to add up. Who's kidding who -- it's a great life!

JackD83 said...

If you have time go watch carrot top at the luxor. Very funny even if your not a carrot top fan and reasonable prices too. Enjoy Vegas!!

Anonymous said...

hey Rod,

I hope you have a great time in Vegas, and enjoy yourself at the fights. Hopefully you can post some pics, from your seats on MMG.

Happy New Year

Anonymous said...

All this Gab about nothing . What about TEAM CANADA winning the Spengler Cup this morning ? These guys worked their asses off to bring Gold home to Canada but with very little Recognition. Oh ! I guess I forgot , this is a Regina Pats site. "Good Job Canada" !

Anonymous said...

In the world of Mr. H, it is okay for a man to drug a women and rape her, but if only if he is married and famous. Mr. H is one sick puppy for sure!

Anonymous said...

sweden 6
canada 2

-nelly furtundo-

Anonymous said...

whats an OB ? get it RIGHT!!!
q is on the opposite end of the keyboard

Anonymous said...

Canada 6
Sweden 2

-kelly tundofur-

Anonymous said...

Saw you met "Rod Pedersen" in LV and bought his twitter handle. I'd love to hear that story in the MMG!

Tanner in CGY

Anonymous said...

wheres that scrubby guys post on here? canada 0 sweden 0 equaling the amount of interest that event

/nellie fromunda\

Phil Kershaw said...


Happy New Year Rod in Las Vegas! Just a comment my FB post simply said it's interesting that more Rams are in the NFL right now than Riders. I didn't add any editorial comments to suggest this was a bad thing but should be noted a major + for the quality of the Rams program. However, lets get real when CFLers like Eric Rogers gets NFL looks it's a news story and is seen as validation of the fact we have elite athletes in our league as well. Am I wrong about this?

Rod Pedersen said...

Not wrong at all! Just fodder for blogging. Happy New Year Phil!

Anonymous said...

Excellent feature about the Sooner's Baker Mayfield in the Dec 21 issue of Sports Illustrated. He could be our guy in 2020!

Anonymous said...

It would seem as if Mr. H is a late candidate for biggest d-bag on this blog and there are a lot of nominees.

Anonymous said...

And the D.Bag of the year award goes to (drumroll)............... Mr. H (aka Blowbama)

Anonymous said...

This Mr H is a real piece of work

Anonymous said...

Ignore Mr. H eventually he goes away and resurfaces under a different name

Anonymous said...

Cosby comment 1) asinine! pathetic! this from a man who ...

From the engine that drives Un the 306, V8.

Anonymous said...

Really ?? The Luxor Resort is the best facility you've experienced in your travels ? You sure haven't seen much of Vegas then.

Anonymous said...

Please explain why these women went to Mr. Cosby's room though... to play checkers? I think not... you're an ignorant fool.

Anonymous said...

I luv CFL football

Anonymous said...

The Luxor is a dump, not a surprise you're staying there.

Rod Pedersen said...

Haha. HNY

ReginaRed said...

Rod must be pissed that front page LP news refers to Canada's team, the blue jays, again!

Anonymous said...

Rod ur sliders are still 3-15 with only 4 cups in 100+years lol where franchise in CFL history

Anonymous said...

Hot Nude Yoga!!! Lol