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Thursday, February 18, 2016

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS

10 QUICK HITS

1.  There hasn't been much time spent on the topic of Dennis Wideman on this blog but today's the day.  The Calgary Flames are "very upset" that on Wednesday NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 20-game suspension handed their defenceman for striking linesman Don Henderson on January 27.  We've all seen the replay hundreds of times and anybody who's played the game can clearly see it would have been just as easy for Wideman to take two steps right versus the two steps left that he took to pulverize the official.  He was in a fog from being hit and possibly concussed?  Right.  Allowing that defense would be a pandora's box that no one wants to see opened.

2.  Wideman is quoted in a text message to a teammate as saying he wouldn't have even had a hearing with the NHL if it wasn't for the "stupid refs" and the "stupid media".  WHAT, IS HE 10 YEARS OLD?  And now Flames President of Hockey Brian Burke is defending Wideman.  This is like the parent who defiantly defends their child in the principal's office even though Little Johnny struck a teacher in the head with a rock on the playground and was caught on video.  It's deplorable that the Flames would defend this guy.

Grow up Wideman, take your punishment, and move on.

3.  Where are Oilers fans emotionally after their 5-3 loss to Anaheim the other night at Rexall Place?  Depressed?  Impressed?  Optimistic?  Pessimistic?  What kind of "stic" best describes Oil Country now?  It changes so fast I can't keep track.   The gross thing is they're in line for another draft lottery win and the right to select American phenom Auston Mathews.  That is a stomach-turning thought, but a very realistic one.  Shameful.

4. Professional sports leagues are going to have to take a serious look at the use of video replay again.  Review the review, as it were.  The delay in that Edmonton-Anaheim game on Tuesday took 10 minutes before reaching a conclusion.  TEN MINUTES!  I have to say I changed the channel and never came back.  Fans in Rexall Place were probably looking for the same option.

Initially I campaigned for the banning of video review entirely but that's impossible.  Imagine if a championship game was decided on a play that was not reviewable but TV replays showed otherwise?  Sports really has painted itself into a corner here on this one.

5.  Hot Tip Of The Week:  The Prince Albert Raiders will be playing in a new facility in five years max and you'll never guess who the prime financial backer is.  It's Edmonton Oilers owner Darryl Katz whose family is from P.A. and the very first-ever Rexall Drugs is on Prince Albert's Central Avenue downtown.  At least, that's what I was told this week by a very reliable hockey source.

6.  CFL Free Agency is done for the most part, and all that the second tier of free agents can hope for now is to be signed as a "Blue Light Special", as Daved Benefield used to call it.  The new Rider regime remains extremely tight-lipped on the status of free agent receiver Chris Getzlaf and it appears he may have to prepare for the possibility that his career is over.  The same goes for Paul Woldu who, like Getzlaf played nine years, would be departing with three Grey Cup rings and likely an induction into the Regina- and Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.  Their careers spanned triple the average for a pro football player.  However I'm sure it's tough to face the fact it could be over.

7.  The response I received from one high level CFL executive when I asked on Wednesday when we can expect to get our hands on the 2016 schedule was "Soon!".  It's turned into a ginormous pain in the rump because people around here can't wait to plan their summers and vacations but what can we tell you?  The CFL hamstrung itself somewhat by releasing the schedule last year on January 28 so we expect more of the same now.  Last year the league had to deal with the FIFA Womens World Cup in Edmonton and the Pan Am Games in Toronto and Hamilton and still was able to get the schedule out in record time.

Where's the Commissioner in the media - or on social media - explaining what the hold-up is?

WHERE'S THE COMMISSIONER, PERIOD?

At least we got a new logo.

8.  Football maven John Frenzy was furious his Roughrider license plate "FRNZY" was stolen off his Chev Impala last week right outside his south Regina residence.  The car wasn't stolen, just the license plate was.  Dennis in Calgary wrote in and said, "Lynch should consider himself lucky!  If it was a Stampeders license plate in Calgary, nobody would have wanted it!"

9.  Jolene Campbell of Regina's Highland Curling Club will represent Saskatchewan at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts beginning Saturday in Grand Prairie, AB.  It's her first time at nationals as skip, but her fourth time there overall after having been a member of the Amber Holland rink.  Go Campbell Go.

10.  We are well into the sports banquet season and here's a wonderful piece of advice if you plan on attending one:  ZIP IT!  My wife said the incessant chatter of the ladies at the next table ruined the speech of Chris Jones for her Friday night at the Delta Regina for the Kinsmen Dinner.  People were complaining about the sound system Friday night but the best speakers in the world can't overcome the buzz of chatter in the room.

Remember the Regina Red Sox dinner last year where Blue Jays great Devon White had to TWICE scold the room?  How embarrassing that was.

If you're not into sports but received a free ticket to one of these galas, please stay home and send somebody who's interested in listening to the keynote speakers.

Here are the sports dinners I'll be a part of this spring:

March 19: Regina Thunder featuring Gizmo Williams
March 26: Bulyea, SK featuring Gregg Zaun and Jim Hopson
April 16: Eatonia, SK featuring Wendell Clark
April 21: Cougar Men's Hockey Alumni with Dennis Hullo
April 23: Regina Red Sox featuring Roberto Alomar
May 7: Hudson Bay, SK featuring Craig Adam and Rod Pedersen

Hope to see you at one or all of them!

------

THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY.  HAVE A GREAT ONE!
RP
@rodpedersen

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Flames Wideman deserves to lose every penny during that suspension.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Flames fan and I agree his suspension should be upheld. Can't believe he would send such a text message. He's screwed the Flames in two ways: first that he's not playing and second, he now can't be traded (which the Flames should be doing since they aren't making the playoffs). It's a dark cloud over the whole team.

What the CFL should have done for schedule release is pick a huge sports bar in every CFL city (and Sasktoon for all the Rider fans there). Have a big cross-country schedule release party on a Friday night broadcast on TSN. Include cheerleaders and alumni, drink specials, prizes and trips to the Cup to be given away, etc. Make it into an event and get some hype going for the new season. People want to be part of events and the NFL long ago recognized this. But even they don't have an event to release their schedule, this would be a first. All these opportunities for the CFL to appeal to fans old and new and they keep doing nothing. Mr Morsky, if you're reading this you need to say something at the next board meeting. It's ridiculous that this great league has such crappy marketing.


Dubya

Anonymous said...

Be better Rod. Maybe if you had better MC skills the people in the room could stay focused. Maybe they are sick of hearing you name drop and talk about how important you are as a sports figure in Saskatchewan.

Anonymous said...

No Pats Commentary Roddy? Just because the Pats beat your hometown Raiders shouldn't stop you from showing love to the Pats who have the best record in the Eastern Conference over the past 10 games. Things are looking good!

Rod Pedersen said...

You again.

Anonymous said...

Beat it Bub !

Anonymous said...

Where is the commissioner is right?!! Our best public relations in the CFL right now is the media and blogs like yours Rod. The marketing is weak and TSN isn't much better right now. They missed out on covering free agency big time. Could have easily done a two hour free agent frenzy on opening day in the late afternoon. Would have been great exposure of our league. There are fewer major events in Canada this summer, Toronto is out of Rogers Centre thus have fewer scheduling conflicts with the Jays and we are still waiting for a schedule this year!!

Aaron Anderson

Anonymous said...

Rod: your hatred towards all things Calgary never ceases to amaze me, what is so dang special about Regina that you have to bag on anything and everything Calgary. someone sounds like he is still butt hurt that he was not considerd good enough to get the flames job a couple years back.

GROW UP rod take your punishment and continue living in Regina and move on!!!!

Rod Pedersen said...

The Wideman comment had nothing to do with my contempt for Calgary. I'd have said the same thing about any player in that situation regardless of the team (ie John Scott).

Anonymous said...

To the idiot that thinks Rod is bagging on Calgary, Wideman got off too light. He was skating towards the linesman with his hands down and BEFORE he got to the linesman he raised his arms and stick and viciously crosschecked the linesman. He should have gotten a more serious suspension and anyone who tries to defend what he did is an idiot. As far as the oilers getting another high draft pick I would sooner see that than a US team getting it

Anonymous said...

Back to the old days in the blog section again. Love it

Anonymous said...

The cabana boy is at it again.

Anonymous said...

Good column today Rod. Here's my thoughts on your subjects.

2. You are not being very nice to 10 year olds by comparing Wideman to them.

2a. Brian Burke is the most obstinate man in hockey and the biggest reason the NHL's entertainment value just keeps dropping.

3. The Oilers. When the Bob Nicholson supposedly cleaned house and brought Peter Chiarelli in he just moved Kevin Lowe and Craig Mactavish down the hall. You can see them sitting in the private box with him during games. The stench of their mismanagement still permeates the whole organization.
I fear the Roughriders may have taken the same path by keeping Jeremy O'Day around.
Speaking of the Oilers, what about former Pat captain Brandon Davidson? What a bright spot he is.

7. Has the CFL ever had such a 'lame duck' commissioner?

MM

Lee said...

Take note , rod promotes all sports in the province, as indicated by the list of the listing of the up coming dinners!!!

Anonymous said...

That is promotion of himself. He is definitely self serving.

Anonymous said...

Everything Rod does is for the betterment of his team and the community. Anyone who feels otherwise is just insecure about themselves for whatever reason.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the FRNZY license plate will show up at some fund raising event, either in a silent auction or as a prize in the 2016 Rider loto - although can't quite see Tom Sheppard doing any such nocturnal skulduggery with his drinking buddies in John's driveway.

Anonymous said...

If Connor McDavid was as productive as our Pat's Adam Brooks, then the Oilers would be moving up the standings fast.

Brooks should be headed to a fine NHL career. He is just having an incredible year!

Anonymous said...

On the 10 minute review. Even after that should've been reversed, and wasn't. It should have been open season on the ANA goalie. Every save, ram and hack at the goalie. Why?? Because that's what the referee decision caused. It should have been open season on the goalie with that call being allowed. They need to give their heads a shake. The officiating once again, is causing the game to be slowed down. And they want to reduce the goalie's gear?!! Are you freakin serious Hirsh!?? Give your head a shake. Goalies are elite athletes in this day and age and when you constantly evolve sticks to make shots harder, you actually want to reduce the size of the goalie equipment.

Darren "Caesar" Bradley

Anonymous said...

Connor McDavid has more points per game than anyone on his team and any other rookie in the league. Terrible comparison. hahaha

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how long the CFL Commish has a contract for, but my impression so far is that he should not be welcomed back. He is terrible!!!

Hopefully it was 3 years or less...

Kel in Victoria

Anonymous said...

To Dubya,

I like your ideas but for starters, TSN seems not willing to promote anything let alone the problems with the CFL Commissionaire.

The only thing I saw on TSN with regard the free agency was a 1 minute blurb with Owens leaving TO for Hamilton... Other than that, NHL rules the roost...

But a Friday night release party of the schedule on TSN sounded great... Again though, I am more confident that the TSN would interrupt the broadcast to announce an NHL defence-men from Nashville was traded to Tampa Bay... so important... NOT!

Go Riders!

Kel

Cloud Strife said...

Apparently the reason the commissioner was not explaining what the holdup was with the schedule is because he was busy putting out the schedule.

Byes weeks one and fifteen. Lame.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious how everyone is so angry that a linesman got hit. As if they're so precious. The NHL is a joke. Treat the refs like gold and the players like crap. I'm not condoning Wideman's actions but I am saying that had an official struck a player, I can guarantee that a much lesser punishment would be handed down. NHL officials have an easy job. They're living a dream life and they consistently fail. It's like they'really all 10 year old children throwing temper tantrums and going on power trips on a nightly basis. They're union is like the parent that constantly defends them and validates their constant mistakes. This is the reason that the NHL is the worst pro sports league going.

Kim K said...

BTW...CFL schedule released this morning.

Anonymous said...

The Rams are not having a dinner this year? I haven't seen it on your list or heard anything.

Anonymous said...

Rod: no where in my comment did i specify the the Widemen suspension in how you love to bag on Calgary at any chance you get. for how often you bring it up about how much Calgary sucks and how you hate Calgary along with all your minnions mainly scruffy that share the same discontent on a daily basis on the sports cage. i love the sports cage but it gets a little old everyday listinging to the same rant over and over again. Get over it!!!! Very REGINAISH!!! think they are all that. I moved to Calgary 2 years ago from Saskatchewan and the only thing from there I miss is Brad Wall

Anonymous said...

Not certain if the poor manners are just in Hillbilly nation or not.

The no manners "entitlement" generation we live in dictates that I can talk whenever I want when I go to any event.

I do not care if it is distracting/inconsiderate to others-this is my entitlement.

Then again if my mom and dad are brother and sister maybe that gives a good enough reason to not have any manners.

Manners-those are rules for others, I don't have to live be these.

This is what bad parenting has brought us...

How much lower can we get as a society?

Anonymous said...

Got wonder how Robbie will handle the hillbilly crowd at the Red Sox dinner.

Hope he brings his chew...

Anonymous said...

All you posters moaning about Pedersen media's comments regarding Calgary why not finish reading the Rodservations to note he also blasts Edmonton as well.

I guess as the saying goes "Once a hillbilly...

Anonymous said...

Point 2 about the teacher so sad yet true. Parental bullies are running and ruining many schools.

Chris said...

Wideman deserves his suspension. No doubt about it. But the PA and the NHL have a problem with the appeal process. He has a collectively bargained right to appeal and he will now take it to an independent arbitrator. Lets say this appeal takes another two weeks to play out. By the time it happens the term of the suspension is almost up. Now lets says arbitrator decides to reduce the suspension to 12 games. But by this time Wideman has sat for say 17 games. So now Wideman needs to get paid for the 5 games that he sat but wasn't actually suspended for. If you are the Calgary Flames, how is this fair. You now have to pay Wideman real $$$ for 5 games in which he did not play. The Flames and Wideman are just the example here, but the point is how is it fair to the player and his team if a drawn out appeal process eventually leads to an overturning or reduction of a suspension. NHL probably has to follow the MLB model of allowing the players to play while the appeal process is ongoing.

Anonymous said...

Rod I agree with your wife, I'm so tired of going to sports dinners only to have them ruined by people who don't even know who is speaking.
Stay the fvck home if you are not interested in football, hockey, baseball or whatever!

I paid good money to hear stories from people who have played in the Bigs.....NOT YOU!
Rant off.

Anonymous said...

Kel, you're right in that TSN's coverage is very subpar. For being the exclusive rights holder and the amount of money they pay for it, they sure don't seem to do a whole heck of a lot to promote what's theirs. That is one of the biggest disadvantages of going with exclusively one broadcaster: no accountability. NHL is now finding this out with their ratings heading downward in part due to crappy Rogers broadcasts. Cohon screwed up big time when he signed the TSN deal. I like TSN but if you're a league wanting to grow beyond your niche market you need to be on as many channels and have as many media outlets talking about you as possible. Sportsnet and CBC never pay attention to the CFL, why should they? Tim and Sid are instructed to never talk CFL on their show (heck they talk about the CIS more which is embarrassing).

I firmly believe the CFL could be a dominant player on the North American sports scene. But the complacency that CFL head office shows towards its marketing is brutal. They've made some changes for the better but still a long way to go. Thanks Cohon, all hot air and no work.


Dubya

Anonymous said...

Schedule release sometime in the future
All bars in Sask packed. Great idea.
Calgary bars.....Where the .... Is the flames game?
Edmonton bars.....Where the ....is the oilers game?
Vancouver bars...whatever
Winnipeg bars. Police called to rescue bomber fan getting beat up for turning the channel away from the jets
Ottawa bars. Empty as everyone is in Hull. No one is talking, whatever goes to Hull stays in Hull
Toronto bars. Split between spring training and the lafs. A schedule release? Aren't the Raptors already playing?
Hamilton bars. Where the ....is the leafs game...they're going to win it all this year
Montreal bars. Ever been to one of them? Nothing to do there but watch a schedule release?

Canada is so much bigger than someone living in a perogy patch wondering what to do on a Thursday night and assuming everyone else is as boring as they are.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to hate everything Calgary. All you have to do is talk to a Calgarian. They're Canada's Texans. Everything is better.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like Reginans attitude towards the rest of SK. Sums it up right.