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Monday, May 9, 2016

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


SPECIAL TO THE MMG

By: Tony Playter

REGINA -- This weekend CFL Hall of Fame receiver Don Narcisse held his Annual All-Star Event in Regina. This yearly football camp allows young kids the opportunity to learn football skills from both current and past Roughrider players.  In addition to the on-field camp, Narcisse hosted a Gala Dinner to celebrate with fans and event sponsors.

One of the new Roughrider stars stepping up and lending a helping hand with the camp was Justin Capicciotti. Originally a 2012 second round draft pick of the Edmonton Eskimos, Capicciotti was featured during the dinner’s keynote question and answer segment.

His passion for the CFL and being a Saskatchewan Roughrider was quite evident. As a National starter and 2015 CFL all-star, Capicciotti seems to be a perfect fit for the team both on and off the field.  His presence was felt among those attending the Gala dinner as he went out of his way to make time to chat or sign autographs with each member of the Rider Nation during the evening.

“This fan base and community were one of the main reasons I signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders,” said Capicciotti.

It would seem that Capicciotti truly understands what it means to be a Saskatchewan Roughrider and that the green and white culture is engrained into football fans at an early age. From the weekend’s events it’s evident to all the new Roughrider players that CFL football is more than just a game in Saskatchewan, it’s a way of life.

 “You can play a game in Toronto and then go out afterwards and nobody cares you won or even knows there was a football game that day,” said Capicciotti. “Here when you win a football game and you go out, you are going to have fans approach you and say congratulations, you did great.”

Don Narcisse Saturday night
While the fans passion for the game played into his decision to move to Regina early, Capicciotti credits Don Narcisse for helping with his transition to Saskatchewan.

“Don was the first person I was introduced to when I arrived as he Friended me on Facebook,” said Capicciotti. “He was the one who introduced me to the community and the Rider Nation through social media and after that I felt so welcomed by the fans.”

It’s in Capicciotti’s nature to help out and be a leader, which is why he enjoyed taking part in the football camp and sharing his experiences with the kids.

“It was a great day and I told the kids to just have fun,” said Capicciotti. “This is a great event because it’s football related, but also gets the kids outside to run around and have fun.”

Capicciotti mentions his older brother, Brandon, as being a positive influence growing up. He feels it was his mentoring that helped him reach his goal of playing professional football. It was same type of inspirational messages he shared with the kids during the football camp.

“In our neighbourhood he was the man, always the biggest, the strongest and a great football player,” said Capicciotti. “I always looked up to him and wanted to be like him.  Brandon was the one that encouraged me to work out and showed me how to be better.”

Now entering his fifth CFL season, Capicciotti appreciates the efforts made by the Rider Alumni to assist new players to feel comfortable in Regina.

“As you get further in your career you are always told by coaches that this profession doesn’t last forever,” said Capicciotti.  “When I meet guys like Don and Belton Johnson, I always ask them why they chose to stay in Regina and how their football career helped them transition into what they are doing now.”

While Capicciotti and his teammates Shawn Lemon, Spencer Moore, Victor Dean and Tre'Von Armstead enjoyed sharing time with the kids at the football camp, they are focused on the upcoming CFL season.

“Our goal and vision is to win a Grey Cup,” said Capicciotti.

He was quick to point out that Vice President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach, Chris Jones, was also a key to him signing in Saskatchewan.

“Chris Jones is doing something special here, and I believe he is going to get this team ready to win a Grey Cup quickly,” said Capicciotti.

One of the changes that impressed Capicciotti and his teammates was the addition of Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Clinton Spencer.

“Clint is amazing and I had the opportunity to spent some time with him and realized that if I come out here and train with these guys, I am going to become a better football player,” said Capicciotti. “Clint has all the guys in Regina training together and that’s huge for building team chemistry.”

One thing Roughrider fans can count on this season is Justin Capicciotti sharing this enthusiasm, dedication and desire to win not only with his teammates but also with the entire Rider Nation.

"I believe we are building something special here and I want to be a part of this team,” said Capicciotti.

(Outlaw Communications)

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POSTCARDS FROM HUDSON BAY, SK



The MMG's off-season tour continued Saturday night with a trip to Hudson Bay, SK for the Lions Club's annual steak and lobster dinner.  This winter I've made it a point to speak at sports dinners in Saskatchewan communities where I've never been before (i.e. Eatonia, Wadena, etc.) and Hudson Bay was next up on the list.  The organizers were raising funds to purchase a digital imaging machine for their local fundraiser and proud Hudson Bay product Craig Adam - a long-time friend of mine - asked me to come up to the northeast to talk about the Riders to the crowd.

Here are some photos:


This is where the event was held Saturday night ...


The event was sold out, serving 250 patrons ...


Delicious lobster was flown in from Nova Scotia for the masses ...


I've been to sports dinners before where they've held a "Sheep Draw" but it's been many, many years.  You'll have to ask Craig about this one (pictured) ...



During a break in the program, Craig busted out his guitar and sang a variety of hits including two he personally wrote: Wasted Away in Riderville and Riderville By Morning ... 



Craig and me on stage.  This is the only known photo of the address.  Unfortunately we didn't hit the stage until 10:00 pm and by a lot of the crowd was tired and restless.  Still, there were plenty of Rider fans on hand who said they enjoyed the talk ...



The local hockey arena which was named after local announcer and manager Wally Dawyduk ...



Hudson Bay's first two NHL'ers:  Larry Lozinski and Trent Yawney.  It was Yawney who famously coined the term "Hudson Bay Rules" during an interview on Hockey Night In Canada.  He was referring to a Stanley Cup Playoff game in which the refs put their whistles in their pockets and played Hudson Bay Rules (many there aren't any rules) ...


The Hudson Bay Comprehensive School is only a year old and is a very impressive facility!  Clearly, they love their Riders a lot up there ...


And we had to stop on the trip up and get this pic of the water tower in Sturgis, SK.  I'd never been past Yorkton before so this whole excursion was a blast ...

THANKS TO HUDSON BAY FOR HAVING US!  It's a great town full of great people.

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The 2016 CFL Canadian College Draft goes on Tuesday and there's starting to be plenty of discussion leading up to it. Barring a trade, the Roughriders will pick #1.

The website LastWordOnSports.com did a preview of the draft needs of each CFL team and with their permission, I'm posting the story here this morning by Greg McCulloch on the Saskatchewan Roughriders:

-- As long as the 3-15 season felt for Rider fans, the off-season has been a roller coaster of emotions. It started with a complete front office and coaching staff over haul, followed by the loss of fan favorites Weston Dressler, John Chick, Tyron Brackenridge, and Weldon Brown; the additions of young CFL stars like Shawn Lemon, Justin Cappiciotti, Shamahd Chambers, and Curtis Steele; and the sudden retirements of Tearrius George, Maurice Price, and Bruce Campbell, even though the latter two did not play a down for the Riders. Safe to say Rider nation has never seen an off-season like this, and the Roughriders 2016 CFL draft will only make it more interesting.

Saskatchewan Roughriders 2016 CFL Draft: Top 3 Needs

Offensive Line

This seems easy to predict, as it is no secret that all great CFL teams have or had great Canadian depth on their offensive linemen. After a 3-15 season, the Riders sit with the first over all pick and most mock drafts have offensive linemen Josiah St. John, Charles Vaillancourt, Michael Couture or Jason Lauzon-Seguin in the first five or six picks. If the Riders do not trade the first overall pick to gather more picks later in the draft, expect one of those four names to be on the Rider roster opening day.

Wide Receiver

It wasn’t too many years ago when the Riders trotted the “Canadian Air Force” onto the field consisting of Rob Bagg, Andy Fantuz, Jason Clermont, and Chris Getzlaf. Now, only Bagg is left, but there are the makings of possible return of the “High Flying Canucks”, with slot back Nic Demski in his sophomore year and the addition of Shamawd Chambers. While the Riders have no second round pick they do have two in the third round where they could take a gamble on a player with NFL aspirations like Tevaun Smith or pick a receiver who will be in camp this year like a Llevi Noel or Doug Corby.

Linebacker

The Riders have had a huge hole to fill since they let Craig Butler walk away in 2014. They tried to fill that hole last year in the Ricky Foley- Shea Emery trade which, due to injury, did not work well for the Riders, although they found a keeper in International LB Jeff Knox Jr.. A quick glance at the roster shows only one National linebacker, Nehemie Kankolongo. Unless the Riders are going to move Matt Webster or Graig Newman closer to the line on certain plays, they need more Canadian depth in the linebacking corps.

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Mike Pereira
The Canadian Football Officials Assocation (CFOA) is holding its annual convention in Saskatoon on May long weekend and we ask you to make plans to attend the Gala on Saturday, May 21 at the Radission Hotel and Convention Centre.

I'll be giving a Roughriders presentation to the crowd as the warm-up act for the headliner, Mike Pereira of the NFL on Fox.  Pereira is a former NFL official and V.P. of Officiating for the National Football League.  Now he's a Rules Analyst for Fox NFL telecasts.

Here's the link for tickets:

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Wednesday is the cut-off for registration for the inaugural Pedersen Media Summit to be held Saturday, May 14 at Mosaic Stadium's Pilsner Place.  Already about 40 people have registered and they include sports teams, charities, small businesses and members of the media.  We'll be discussing social media strategies, media relations, branding, publishing and much more.  The focus of the event is to learn how to get maximum exposure for your organization through social media and media relations tools, and monetize it!  More than anything, it's about publicity.

Each delegate in attendance will get a handbook which serves as a "How-To Guide" to tackle the ever-changing world of social media.

The cost of the event is $150 which includes a continental breakfast and lunch.  You can register at www.pedersenmedia.ca.  For those unable to attend, the handbook will be made available for purchase at a cost of $75 plus S&H.

I'd love to see you there!

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RANDOMS

1 - Saw a gigantic bumblebee at 6:11 am today, trying to break into my home office.  It was nice to see him since I heard cell phone towers and signals drove bees to extinction.

2 - As noted above, the Hudson Bay event was a bit of a challenge due to the fact we got on stage so late and by then a large portion of the crowd wasn't paying attention.  However, there are some rabid, diehard Rider fans up there who had some burning questions.  Over the next few points I'll try to answer some of them.

3 - One farmer - Mr. Drexler - was particularly concerned about the rash of retirements in Riderville (Maurice Price, Bruce Campbell, Tearrius George, etc).  He thinks these players didn't want to play for Chris Jones.  Rider Assistant V.P. of Football Operations/Player Personnel John Murphy took to Facebook last week to try to quell the growing animosity.

"Each of these recent scenarios had real life or personal choice issues that determined their fates with our team," Murphy wrote on the ALL RIDER Fanpage.  "We wake up, move on and will grow bigger, better and stronger tomorrow because the rest of us carry on with the light of a new day allowing us to improve on all aspects of our organization.  Don't be so quick to critique or criticize, our temperatures may have risen just a few degrees but the thermometer in the room is just as steady as it's been all off-season... never let a speed bump appear to be a mountain."

4 - One lady asked about the retirement of Ben Heenan and why he called it quits at age 26.  I had to tell her I really don't know since Ben isn't talking.

5 - Many asked why there isn't a dome on New Mosaic Stadium.  I explained, as Jim Hopson state six weeks ago, that we couldn't afford it.  "There's enough money!" huffed a local fertilizer dealer.  I repeated that I'm only going by what I'm told, and not to forgot the added $3-million or so it'll cost each year to maintain a domed facility.

6 - Interesting move by the Roughriders to sign free agent defensive end Eric Norwood, if true.  TSN's Mathew Scianitti reported it on Sunday and he's not one to start rumours.  Will Shawn Lemon and Norwood compete for reps?  Is Norwood even healthy?  John Murphy will join us on the SportsCage live today to go over all of these things and preview the Draft.

7 - The West Kelowna Warriors and Brooks Bandits earned the two berths in the Royal Bank Cup in Lloydminster out of last week's WCC in Estevan.  That's awesome because they were the two best teams I saw, although I didn't see Portage play.

8 - It may have taken them longer than they'd like, but the Regina Pats are the buzz in the hockey community.  It seems all the great young talent is dying to work for them in all areas.  It's great to see.  Obviously, I've been travelling all over the prairies over the past number of months and have talked to a large, large number of hockey people.  It's fantastic for junior hockey in Regina.  I love it so much.

9 - What was the word out of the 2016 Dog's Breakfast in Saskatoon?  I didn't hear a peep about it although Kerry Joseph, Duane Forde, Rod Smith, Glen Suitor, etc. were expected to be there.  Did any of you readers go?

10 - Peter Loubardias went back to work on Saturday night calling Game 2 of the WHL Championship series on Shaw.  It wasn't exactly against doctor's orders but there were many who weren't sure if it was a good idea.  While "Lou" is on the road to recover, he's still facing an uphill mountain in a lot of areas.  Therefore we continue with plans for the "We Love Lou" fundraiser at the Four Seasons Sports Palace on Wednesday, May 18 at the Four Seasons Sports Palace.  Kelly Remple, Peter Sereggela, George Yannitsos and myself are all armed with $25 tickets for the All-You-Can-Eat Pizza/Pasta event which runs 5:00-9:00 pm that day.  The SportsCage will even be broadcasting live.  Shoot me a note at ridervoice@yahoo.ca and I'll meet you to handover tickets.  You can also contribute directly to the Loubardias Fundraiser at the Conexus Credit Union South Albert branch.

THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY!  THANKS FOR READING,
RP
@rodpedersen

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

helluva Monday morning goalie, thanks!

Anonymous said...

So in saskatchewan they have sheep draws...... Okay then.

Anonymous said...

If you win one of the sheep do you have to buy it dinner and a drink.

Anonymous said...

“Here when you win a football game and you go out, you are going to have fans approach you and say congratulations, you did great.”

"OR they will dump a steaming pile of manure on your lawn." - Paul McCallum.

Anonymous said...

If you win the sheep, does it come with velcro gloves?

mister winnipeg said...

Rod, you need to come out this way to see how a proper sports dinner should be done. The Rady Jewish Community Centre Sports Dinner fills the Winnipeg Convention Centre with a marquee name each time (Dan Marino this year) and it's a classy event. The Ukrainian Sportsmen Dinner is a church basement full of drunk Ukrainian men laughing at salty jokes told by people from the Jets, Bombers, the government and other local teams. Neither event can be beat.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to win both sheep at once?
I'm asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

I would heavily argue the fact the Riders need Canadian linebackers. They will probably have the best starting linebacker trio in the league with Knox, Jones, and Foster. Agreeably they need special teams linebackers but not defensive snaps guys.

The safety position will become Canadian again finally that will arguably replace the Butler of past.

Christopher Evans said...

Dear mister winnipeg... are you really trying to flaunt a sports dinner held in Winnipeg (pop. 663,000+) vs. a sports dinner in Hudson Bay, SK (pop. 1506)?!?!? Regina does pretty well for sports dinners in it's own right, if you want to compare more apples to apples!

Re: roofed stadium... Mr.Hopson has also said in the past that the Riders would need to find another practice facility, as the prime focus would be to having as many dates filling the domed stadium as possible to generate revenue. I'm sure the Riders could practice in there, but they would likely be displaced very easily by another short-term renter/concert/etc.

Anonymous said...

"Tiga talk 2016",

Oskee Wee Wee,
Oskee Waa Waa,
Holy MAKINAW!
Go Cats Go!

Simply the best! Better than all the rest!

Hear the RoarrrrrRRRR... !!!! "Tiga talk 2016", exclusive only to flatland praire "BUM"kins of Sk.

Oskee...

Anonymous said...

Dogs Breakfast was great. Was nice to have former CIS guys there, Jock Climie and Duane Forde talk about their experiences playing the Huskies and witnessing the start of the Huskies rise to prominence, largely credited to Brian Towriss. Jock Climie made a joke about how he was 19 playing against Huskie players that were grown men with beards that played junior for several years before going to the Huskies.

Paddy Neufeld, Levi Steinauer and others were there to welcome the new recruits. Suits was great as usual. KJ talked about his big Labour Day run and thanked Chris Jones for blitzing the shit out of him in his last game as a Rider. KJ said he was planning on signing a 1 day contract with the Riders so that he could retire a Rider before they called him to come back for that last year. He also said that Jason Maas offered him a coaching position with the Eskies that he turned down to coach with his alma mater, McNeese.

Lastly, Suits or someone talked about the huge number of players that Jones, JO and Murph have evaluated throughout the off-season. Suits says they must have looked at 2X more players than any other CFL teams.

Dennis said...

Great read as always Rod, on the topic of Norwood, I thought Cfl clubs were prohibited from releasing injured players?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mr. Pedersen, enjoyed read today, MMG.

El A

Anonymous said...

Hi oskee!! Great to hear from you! And Paul relax. Wasn't it your neighbors lawn?? Just saying.

Anonymous said...

It looks like jersey #7 is still going to be a big seller.

@mrt_man said...

RE: CANADIAN O-LINE... WHY DO MOST TEAMS CHOOSE TO PLAY A LOT OF CANADIANS ON THE 0-LINE? IS IT A LOW SKILL / LESS ATHLETIC POSITION THAT 'LOWLY' CANADIANS ARE ABLE TO FILL WITHOUT A BIG DROP OFF, OR ARE PLAYERS COMING UP PLAYING 3 DOWN BETTER AT IT FOR SOME REASON?

Anonymous said...

Accross the CFL O line reseeved exclusively for fat farm fresh Saskatchewan style plough boys. They git the job done.

Anonymous said...

And here is the nursery rhyme again lol

Seymour Buttkiss said...

God love ya Oskee baby!!

Austin and Tillman are in for a tough year, but Rider Nation wishes you well when you take on the Esks, Lions, Bombers and Stamps in 2016 - hope your team can do the miraculous and win against the west, save for the butt kickings to be delivered to the Tiger-Cats by the Riders.

Anonymous said...

What, you spend half a column talking about Hudson Bay and you don't even mention Bob Poley? Bullcrap!


Dubya

Anonymous said...

There's only one number 7 and Mr. Capicotti isn't it.

Anonymous said...

That farmer, Mr. Drexler, I wonder if he would be inclined to name his first born son Weston ...

Anonymous said...

The only number 7 on the roster right now, and therefore the only one that matters, is Mr.Capicotti.

A guy in Lower Canada

Anonymous said...

Bob Poley lives in Alberta now, why talk about him?

Anonymous said...

The Rider should NOT need to find a practice facility. There's no way the City is going to find some other paid event that is going to need that type of space at 9 in the morning when the team practices.

The real issue is operating costs which would be more expensive than the City's yearly loan payment for its contribution.

Anonymous said...

Bob Poley actually lives in the Okanogan region in BC.

Anonymous said...

Bob Poley is one of Rod's best friends. That's why.