Realty One

Access

Regina Rams Football

Monday, February 15, 2016

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


FAMILY DAY RAMBLINGS

1. I had planned to take Family Day off from the blog (it's a day off for CKRM's SportsCage), but so many people were asking for it that I cobbled together some thoughts on this provincial holiday.  Enjoy the day!

2. Remarkably enough, Friday evening was the first opportunity I'd had to shake Chris Jones' hand and personally welcome him to the province from Rider Radio.  I was away when he was hired, and wasn't around for many of the subsequent announcements including the release of Chick and Dressler.

3. From what I can tell, Jones and I will get along fine even though I had some earlier doubts.  If he was indeed a "Don Mathews Clone", then this relationship was going to take some TLC.  However, after being around him and chatting with those closest to him, he's not like "The Don" at all.  Players who played for Mathews here in Saskatchewan (1991-93) said Don Mathews was "all about Don" and was an attention-seeker.  However I've quickly realized Jones isn't about that at all.  He puts his staff and players first, long before he thinks of himself.

I guess that's the new era way of being successful in pro football.  John Paddock seems to do the same thing across the street with the Regina Pats.

4.  On stage at the Delta Regina Friday night, I asked Jones why he's got such a reputation of being a hard-ass.  He replied, "You'll have to ask the media about that".

It's true, standing in a media scrum with Jones can cause you to break out in a nervous sweat.  HOW DARE YOU ask a question that's already been asked!  I usually stick my microphone in there just to record what the coach is saying, and absorb it later when I listen back at the radio station or in my home office.

I even dreamt about it last night - or had a nightmare - depending how you look at it.

Reporters have to be on their toes now.  And that's fine because it'll make me a lot better.

5.  Things are a lot different with Canada's Team than we're used to.  It's great for the media because John Murphy is doing 90% of the interviews leaving Jones to construct his team out of the media and public's glare.  This regime's openness is entirely new compared to anyone I've worked with since 1999, with the possible exception of Eric Tillman.

And they certainly don't lack confidence.  That's new too.  Insecure?  Not on your life.

6.  It would appear CFL Free Agency has calmed down considerably, and may almost be over.  There are still some big names on the board - including Tyron Brackenridge, Alex Hall, Fred Stamps, Cleyon Laing, Dave Stala, Tristan Okpaulago, Chris Getzlaf and Paul McCallum - which we may hear are signed in the coming months, but the first big tidal wave is over.

7.  Who won 2016 CFL Free Agency?  Or is winning it?  That's subjective.  While many pundits are giving that honour to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, you'd get a big argument in Winnipeg.  They're bouncing off the walls in Bomber-Land whatwith the additions of Weston Dressler, Ryan Smith, Keith Shologan, Andrew Harris, Euclid Cummings, Jeff Keeping and Justin Medlock.  At the Kinsmen Dinner on Friday night there were Bomber fans boastfully wearing Drew Willy and Khari Jones jerseys and "rubbing it in the face" of the Rider Nation.  It's nice to see them proud again. Hopefully it lasts, and I mean that.

As guest speaker Paul Coffey noted on stage, "Big balls by you guys".

I guess the proof will be in the pudding and these teams will "do their talking on the field".

8.  Many have asked my thoughts on the Rider moves and the absence of any big names.  My take is this:  the guys the Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed are still making their names.  They're in their mid- to late-20's and come at a far cheaper salary than the 30+ aged established stars like the Blue Bombers signed.

Linebacker Greg Jones led the Argos in tackles last year and was an East Division All-Star yet he wasn't even a household name in his own house.  WR John Chiles and RB Curtis Steele gashed the Riders while with Toronto in the past.

We all know who these guys are, but they haven't habitually been on the highlight reels.

They will be however, and the Riders will be the benefactors.

9.  It appears it's going to take a lot of work for the New Mosaic Stadium to open in time for August doesn't it?

10.  What was with the monstrous crowd at the Pats game on Saturday night?  I couldn't make it as we had an anniversary supper but my eyes bulged when I saw on the scoresheet 6300+ in the Brandt Centre for Regina's 5-2 rout of the Brandon Wheat Kings.  I thought the capacity of the Brandt Centre was 6200?  Either way, the Queen City seems to be tuning into the Regina Pats big time.

One Pats staffer jokingly said to me last week, "Do you hate us?  You're always so hard on us on your blog and on the radio!"

It shocked the hell out of me because the Regina Pats are the closest team to my heart.  However I go to all the games - save for Saturday - and can clearly see what this team is capable of (even without top defensive pairing Colby Williams and Connor Hobbs).  And over the past three homes games, we've seen the best of the Regina Pats.

The Pats have great players.  I've been saying it all along.  If they don't do something significant in the playoffs, it'll be a disappointment.

I thought it was a good thing that I went to all the games and offered a critique.

11.  Toronto can take a bow for the way it hosted the NBA for this weekend's All-Star festivities.  The only downer was TNT's Marv Albert who must've set a record for saying the term "bitterly cold".  The game was a bore, but everything around it, going back as far as Friday night, was must-see TV.  I also liked NBA-TV's ploy to broadcast Saturday's team practices at Ricoh Coliseum (or as Marv Albert called it, Ricoh Arena).  I think that could be a huge boon in the future - televising CFL, NHL, NFL, etc. team practices live during the playoffs or before big games.

12.  The movie Deadpool.  Thumbs-up for thumbs-down for the MMG today?   We've got to make a choice.

------

CARTERI'S CORNER

Carm Carteri is entering his 28th season as colour commentator on Roughriders radio broadcasts on 620 CKRM.  The former Roughrider, Ticat and Concorde linebacker stopped by our broadcast location at Friday's Kinsmen dinner and I asked him if he'd like to help me interview Chris Jones on stage.

"You know what?  No!" Carteri laughed.  "I've had some sleepness nights thinking about that and what it'll be like going into a locker room to interview Jones, especially early if the Riders don't have success.  But having said that, I've been doing this a long time and played six years in the league, and I've never seen a team gutted as much as the Rider team has been.

"I'm not talking about getting rid of free agents.  I'm talking about getting rid of local legends.  Guys who are going to be in the Plaza of Honor.  I'm thinking 'What's going on here?' and then two weeks later, you sort of see things evolve with what these guys are thinking.

"I'm looking at it like baking a cake.  You've got so many good ingredients but you have turn the oven onto the right temperature to make sure that cake evolves the way you want it to.  That's going to be the big thing with this coaching staff going into this year.  I'm excited going into the year with it, but to be honest I'm kind of blown away with what's happened."

Carteri says the most-impressive free agent signing for the Riders has been middle linebacker Greg Jones who Carm refers to as "a steal".

------

Fichter
In the past I've mentioned the Facebook group The All Rider Fan Page (the group with almost 7000 members).  Well page curator Jason Fichter asked me to publish his latest posting to the MMG and I thought why not?  Jason's been very accomodating to both the SportsCage and this blog in the past.  He has a certain Jim Jones way about him.  If you don't know who that is, Google him.  Let us know your thoughts on Jason's post in the comments section:

"Ok Rider Priders! Here is my 2 cents!

From what I gather, most are excited as hell for Chris Jones and our new team. There are a few that are not. Before I say anything, yes, you are all entitled to your opinion. Makes for great debates.

Ya'll know I love debates. smile emoticon lol. That being said, some that doubt Jones have to look at the big picture. He is here to win games! Some dislike Jones and that is fine but.... Get over it! He is here to win games! Jones is not here to win you fans over! He is here to win games! We as fans think we deserve a shout out from him?? NO!! He doesn't owe myself or any of you fans! He is here to win games! He is here to fix stupid! Dung that Taman left!

Hopson got out while the getting was good, Barely! He knew. Craig Reynolds did what he had to do. Bring in a guy who wins wherever he lands. Kudos Craig! Jones, whether you like him or not? HE Is a WINNER! Jones had to get rid of most of these players.This team was old! This team didn't gel anymore. Players were too high priced! There was crap going on! Trust me! Yes our favorite players are gone. My favs too. I except it, gone for a reason! The Old Boys club was getting redic! Jones axed that! Jones is building something special here!! He has proven that so far with FA and signings and adding an all star staff/team! So I say this! Before you go judging him and the new players? Let them have a chance! Let them play a game or 2! Support them! They need you! They are your new Riders! Jones is all business...In Jones I trust! Go Riders! June can't come soon enough!"

Jason Fichter

------

THAT'S ALL FOR THIS WEEK! ENJOY FAMILY DAY
RP
@rodpedersen

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Rod has been fair incorporating more Pats into his blog during a historic off-season for Riders.

Anonymous said...

Riders signed another RB on Friday. Terrance Cobb "the Cumberland Corvette". 5'11" 220 lbs. age 25. Was in the Raiders camp the same time as Kory Sheets. His older brother was a RB in the NFL for a number of years.

Dave from Saskatoon

Dave said...

Great read Rod and Jason totally agreed with what Jason said Jones will find the next Dressler or Chick

Anonymous said...

Did a 6 year old write that? Good grief.

Anonymous said...

No doubt. Exclamation mark!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jason 100 percent. I think Rod stuck his neck out a bit too far with supporting O'Day. The Riders clearly needed a new direction and to cut salaries in order to improve. Big name signings often don't work as you are paying for what a player did in their past not what they are capable of doing now. I am going to miss Dressler and Chick as much as I miss Jurasin and Elgaard. New heros will emerge, new memories will emerge and more Grey Cups will come our way. Rather than fighting with one another over moves.. Rider fans should jump on board like we do at the stadium and cheer proudly for our team... or in Rod's words "Canada's Team"!!

Darcy from Regina

Anonymous said...

Televising an all star game practice compared to televising a playoff game practice or championship game practice? Is this an actual serious comment?

You consistently talk down to people how you have been in sports your whole life yet this comment demonstrates how much you don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Bad grammar aside, Jason is bang on. Why some idiots out there want Jones tarred and feathered just cause they dealt fan favourites is beyond me. Jones and Murphy have both won wherever they've gone. These guys aren't stupid. If they're releasing guys like Chick and Dressler, it's not cause they have malicious intent. It's to make the team better. And like Jason said, Jones doesn't owe the fans a damn thing. He is paid to win. The good thing is, 99.9% of fans agree with this. Let's face it, they have a real tough task after years of Taman/Hopson mismanagement. It took a lot of balls for Reynolds to do what he did in cleaning out the Old Boys Club but it needed to happen.

Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Great blog as usual Rod!

Jason hit it out of the park. I couldn't put it into words what it means to have Chris Jones here until he said what he did.

Dominic said...

Jason is a very excitable individual ! For sure!

Anonymous said...

Deadpool gets 2 thumbs up

Anonymous said...

Spot on Jason! Chris Jones is well respected for many reasons. Look at all the coaches and now some players who have followed him.

Anonymous said...

This Jason guy says "their was crap going on " "trust me". O.K. but tell us what the "crap" was before I "trust" you.

Anonymous said...

I read what Jason writes. He has great insight and what he said there is very true. It's a great page to be apart of!

Cloud Strife said...

Rod,

Any truth to the rumor that the Riders are going to run on to the field to the Counting Crows' "Mr. Jones" this season?

Cloud

Anonymous said...

Jason's comments are bang on. Great blog Rod.

MJB

Anonymous said...

Jason is a joke! Great blog until you posted his thoughts. The all-Rider fan page is just about as bad as Riderfans.com. The only difference is stupidity must be accountable, because your name is on it. I got off that site months ago, and Fichter is the main reason why. Ask him his thoughts on DD!

Anonymous said...

In Jones we trust. I couldn't have said it better myself Jason. Rod, thanks for publishing the MMG on a day off, very much appreciated.

Rod Pedersen said...

In regards to the commenter who mentioned televising practices. I meant as a compliment to televising the games.

RP

Anonymous said...

Rod, you are so much better than Fichter. Disappointing you'd waste our time with his opinions. I' d rather hear your thoughts. With the most expensive management and coaching payroll in the history of the CFL, they better win! Go Riders

Rod Pedersen said...

Everyone's opinion counts. Jason's been gracious to me and I thought I'd return the favour.

RP

Anonymous said...

Jason has taken the same approach on Darian as Chris Jones has. Some people are jealous of other people's insight and knowledge. I know for a fact Jason thinks the Riders best chance to win is with DD. He was just concerned about insurance behind him. There is nothing wrong with that.

Anonymous said...

The piece written by Jason Fichter is juvenile. First off it is based on the premise that there is a large group of Rider fans that don't like the new regime. Where are these people. The only ones I have ever heard are the Eskimo fans posting on this blog. Absolutely everyone I have talked to supports the new people...I certainly do.
He then repeats some of what Chris Jones has said in interviews about his being here to win games not to win a popularity contest. He passes this off as his own thoughts.
He then makes other unsubstantiated assertions about crap going on and Jim Hopson having some kind of ulterior motive for leaving when he did. Look, I don't know Jim Hopson but as near as I can see everything he did was to benefit the Riders.
Rod. Please. No more.

Anonymous said...

So Rod, after seeing the 19 man housecleaning and then the Dressler/Chick releases then finally meeting Chris Jones, do you still think Jeremy O'Day was 'ready'?

Anonymous said...

The majority do support Jones Yes you're correct! He was showing his support for Jones in a way that was done extremely well. Why do you have a problem with that? Talk about dumping on a guy for no reason at all. The guy offers his support in a huge way and that's the thanks he gets?

Anonymous said...

Shawmad chambers at 170k a year you gotta be joking for a back up reciever

Anonymous said...

Of course Hopson only did what he thought was best for the team. It just wasn't the right decisions. Plus his ego getting in the way didn't help.

Anonymous said...

It's better to get Rider info first hand from the ones the riders are paying to communicate CKRM than second hand opinion based trust me writing.

Do we need to except the proof is in the pudding? The proof of the pudding is in the eating. This metaphor has been butchered by most people to the extent that it is meaningless. I wish professional writers would stop using it.

Anyone who doesn't know the difference between accept and expect should not be writing. Formal education should be taken more seriously. Proper grammar helps opinion credibility. "A Handbook of Good English" would be a start for anyone that has pride in their writing.

Anonymous said...

Mr Fichter did a good job expressing his feelings and opinions. Certainly as good or better than most. However there are still that fringe group always trying bust some guys ba--s while trying to disguise it as opinion. The world needs more guys who drink their beer out of a bottle, and don't eat kale! It's not only the insiders who get information and news. Some of the "regular guys" who are super fans get a lot more than people will ever know. They are also smart enough to not blab it. To those who want names named named and facts exposed, zip it! Even veteran journalists will never expose what they know and there are good reason for that.

The guy spoke what most feel. Jones is here to win and speaks in a matter of fact manner about his team and direction. One guy at the LP better tighten up his chin strap because I doubt his insolence will be tolerated by Mr Jones. It's been a great hire and the rebuild to date has been outstanding. The players will love playing for the guy and the results will be positive. Now if the trolls could just stay under the bridge.

Anonymous said...

I also left the Rider fan page because of one Mr. Fichter. The guy is clueless and garners all his information from reading sources like this, Green Zone, Leader-Post and then making his own outlandish claims. If you dare to disagree with him, he tries to mock you on the site. No thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Rod, read your column all the time. First I heard of this Fichter fella. I have no dog in this race. But I think my 10 year old could have written a piece better then that.

Thanks for the Monday article in any case.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Trolls………….

Anonymous said...

Dear Jason Fichter bashers, I like how some of you have something to say but you won't stand by your comment with your name? They have a name for your kind, Keyboard warriors or my favorite, troll! Listen, I had just finished a 16 hour day at work, came on to the page (The best Rider fan page out there) to find a heated argument about Chris Jones. A few bashing Jones/Murphy. I had 10 minutes to write what I did before having to head back to an emergency work call. It may not be my best writing but I am pretty damn sure I got my point across just fine. To all you haters? Bash away with out stating your name. Just goes to show the cowards you really are. Even though you are anonymous, I can still recognize some of you from what you stated. Yes, some of you left the page. You left the page because you couldn't handle the truth and reality. The others were kicked off for bashing fellow members. What it comes down to is I have stated an opinion and have the Cajones to back it up with my name! Go Darian Durant, Chris Jones, John Murphy and the rest of the Team! Go Riders! Going to be 1 hell of an exciting year to say the least! Thanks. PS. For all the news 1st and great Rider discussions? Join the All Rider Fan Page.
Sincerely,
Jason S Fichter.

Anonymous said...

The Riders have hosted one west final in 40 years. One! Wouldn't that be something if the first season in the new stadium results in a west final being played there?

It's good that Bomber fans are fired up about the new season. The CFL needs to promote this in every city as a matter of regional pride to the rest of the nation. Make people in those bases proud to be fans and show their colours, like the Riders have been successful at. Create hype for every game and make those games into events. That's why so many people watch the super bowl, because it's a huge event with a ton of hype. Many people that watch it don't give a damn about the actual football, its everything else surrounding it that gets people interested. The Grey Cup and CFL games have so many opportunities to create hype but because of their crappy past marketing the opportunity is lost.

Dubya

Anonymous said...

That Jason Fichter is something else. In case you didn't know Rod, HE was one of the people calling DD out on twitter trying to run him out of town. Hope for no more Jason Fichter columns on this blog. I left the group about a month ago because if you don't have the same opinion as him, you're wrong!!! The guy is a hypocrite. One day telling DD to get outta town and the next day jumping for joy because he signed an extension. Quite the "insider" he is lol.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gundersen Yorkton keeps mentioning an "Old Boys Club" and states that President Reynolds had "the balls" to clean it out.

Is he referring to the previous coaching staff and the GMs?

It is true he got rid of Chamblin, Dyce, and their young assistants, plus Taman, but I don't think they were old. To my knowledge, he has not purged anyone on the Rider Board of Governors.

I don't get what he is referring to. It just sounds silly.

Based on his logic (?) Jones, his coaches and Murphy/O'Day are the "New" Old Boys Club. Obviously there have not been any old or young girls added to the mix, or any males under 30 brought into the "Club".

Clarify if you will Mr. Yorkton or stop with the fiction.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

This is the best group out there by far. Jason's knowledge is extremely high. He puts a lot of time and effort into it. Trolls have low self esteem.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

This was the first and last time I'll bother reading anything this guy has written. He does nothing but look to insult anyone with an opposing viewpoint. Not interested in his website either and don't have any plans to look it up. Kinda reminds me of a guy named Morton Downey Jr about 20 years ago.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous that called me a hypocrite? Note: Another basher who can spew without leaving a name! lol. I was jumping for joy when DD signed an extension? You may have been dreaming that day? Umm news flash! DD did not sign an extension?? DD was already signed through 2016 by Taman. Jones came in and restructured that current contract through 2016 only. He took a significant pay cut with incentives( meaning he will get paid in full if he performs or is able to). Know your football folks. You really want to know? I am one of the biggest fans of Darian Durant, just ask anyone who knows me. With a healthy DD, the Riders have the best chance to win! I am mostly concerned about insurance behind him if he goes down or can't go this year. An Achilles injury can be career ending or take up too 2-3 for full recovery. Murphy reassured me that the back ups will be just fine and they are bringing in more. I am pumped that DD says he is ready! We need him! Go Riders! Jason S Fichter.

Anonymous said...

Based on his response he acts like one too. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck...you know the rest.

Anonymous said...

Jason,

Don't take the bait!

You may be new to this comment section but I can tell you as someone who has been part of it for years, there are some here who get their jollies by fishing after those such as yourself who truly care about the Riders by posting silly or outrageous comments, unsupported by facts or common sense and hoping to get a rise out of you.

My advice, post you insights and thoughts as you see fit. Try to be original in your thinking and analysis and most will appreciate your effort. Ignore the garbage posted by those who are simply chronic haters or whiners. Its not worth your time or consideration. Life is too short and your time to too valuable.

Your Friend,
Gordo

Anonymous said...

Comments like this shouldn't be allowed.

Anonymous said...

"Old Hank"

The 'Old Boys Club' that Gundersons and several other posters refer to means the guys that have been around for a while and don't want any radical change. They also believe that any promotions should come from within, thus you get people like Rod Petersen, Scruffy Blair and Rob Vanstone promoting Jeremy O'Day as the new GM when everybody else in the province wanted new blood.

Mike M.

Anonymous said...

Hey it's not just me that says it. It's well known around here that there's a select group of gentlemen that for many years ruled this football team with an iron fist. Any dissention in the ranks and they'd get tossed. Just ask some of the guys on RF.com, they'll be glad to tell you some of the stories. Reynolds went and hired someone the club didn't want. Think about it, there weren't too many media around here advocating for Jones to be hired.


Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...


The All-Rider fan page is a bigger joke than Riderfans.com, and it is because of you Fichter. You are embarrassing!


Dennis

Fluffy B. said...

Looking at the new stadium, sure looks like exterior work has slowed down, but what about all the interior stuff they have to do? I think it will be ready come this fall. Just watch, once Spring is here to stay, there will be a flurry of activity on that site.

And i dont have enough thumbs up for Deadpool, great movie.

Anonymous said...

Classic example is last summer when Frenzy said on the air that this horrible season never would have happened under Hopson. Fact is, it was Hopson that created the mess. Frenzy was just sticking up for his pal. That's how the old boys club works. Same how Vanstone defended Taman.

Anonymous said...

I cheer for the Riders.
I drink beer out of a stein and never out of a bottle. Depending on the beer it may be cold or room temperature.
I eat kale which is especially good in salads accompanied by the correct room temperature beer.
I am male but don't follow the politics of the Riders.
I support leftist policies including feminism, gay rights, transgender and education.
I beginning to feel unwelcome in this province but will always be a Rider supporter.

Anonymous said...

So therefore Reynolds DID NOT get rid of the "Old Boys Club" because the people identified by Mike M. are still around - Vanstone, Reynolds, Scruffy.

Its funny that Gundersons Yorkton would say that they "ruled this football teams with an iron fist" and then say that the people hired were not who they wanted. Is it not truer to say that the "Old Boys Club" never had any power to begin with and are as powerless as any other group of pundits. Kinda like the major papers who all wanted Harper back as PM but we know what happened to him.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

Just as a point the stadium isnt due to be done this summer. It is scheduled to be mostly done. The term they have always used is substantial completion by fall. The seats and field of play are actually a small percentage of overall work and will take just a couple months this summer to have both done.

In reality, the stadium has about 16 more months to be done.

Anonymous said...

Oh great, somebody fed the illiterate stray dog, and now good luck getting rid of him and his "I'm an insider!" ego.

This Fichter dude is the Chad Novak of sports, mark my words.

Rance

(Love the "I'm so busy I don't have time to write properly" line. Yeah, that's why...)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Gee thanks a lot. Now Rod is going to get a letter from Novak's lawyer cause you mentioned his name on Rod's blog. Please don't do that again.

Anonymous said...

Jason has never been a fan of Darian Durant.

Anonymous said...

He hates Darian Durant. He was bashing him on twitter once and DD actually responded. DD told him that he can stop cheering for the Roughriders if he doesn't like him. I remember once Fichter called Darian a "cancer in the locker room". Lol all the guy does is steal real insider's tweets off twitter then claims them as his own. What a loser, I hope I never see him in this blog again.

Brett

Anonymous said...

Novak and Roddy have made up

Anonymous said...

Is Novak still alive? Where is he?