Realty One

Thursday, May 12, 2016



1 - The New Mosaic Stadium is really coming along nicely.  On track for opening August of 2016.

2 - It's going to be real hard (I assume) going to games at the current Mosaic Stadium this season when the Belle-of-the-Ball is right next door, and is on target for its scheduled opening in August.  However, we must soak up Old Mosaic Stadium for all that it is and savour every final second of it during the 2016 season.

I'm told the final game in Mosaic Stadium - Saturday, October 29 vs B.C. - will be fairly similar in feel to the 2013 Grey Cup in which fans didn't leave the stadium until well over an hour after the game.

3 - A patron at least week's sports dinner in Hudson Bay, SK told me the 2013 Grey Cup was "the greatest single experience of his entire life".  He was a retired Sask Power worker in his 60's.  I'd have to say it was for me too, and I've had a multitude of great experiences.

4 - I expect each and every Roughrider home game this season will be sold out, thus making it very easy for Craig Reynolds to afford Chris Jones' salary.  Spending money to make money.  It works.

5 - Many friends and Rider fans have asked this question so I'll just answer it here:  How's my relationship with the Riders right now?  My answer is that it's the working relationship I've always dreamed of having with the football team.  The brief Austin-Tillman Era was really good as well, but this is as good or better.  There are many reasons as to why, but suffice it to say I have no complaints.  Now let's just kickoff training camp already!

6 - TSN's Farhan Lalji reported that Winnipeg and B.C. won the 2016 CFL Draft.  That's like declaring the winner of the Kentucky Derby after the opening furlong.

My assessment is that the Roughriders are - and should be - ecstatic with their Draft.  After holding onto the #1 overall pick (as I predicted they would), they got the best-available player in the Draft in Josaih St. John as well as the #1 prospect in David Onyemata.  My guess is one day Onyemata will be back in the CFL from the NFL because it seems like they always do comeback sooner or later (i.e. Scott Schultz, Austin Collie, Sam Giguere, Dan Federkeil, etc.).  Elie Bouka was the second-best DB in the Draft and the Riders got him as well, and all of this came with only one pick in the opening two rounds.

Since John Murphy is a Canadian talent savante, if he's happy, we should be happy.

Justin "Slam" Dunk
7 - What do we do with Justin Dunk?  The and reporter - and former Guelph Gryphons quarterback -  completely ruined TSN's CFL Draft coverage by Tweeting out the draft picks by as much as five minutes before Canada's Sports Leader got around to announcing them.  It got to the point where, as we were doing our own live Draft show on radio from the Rider locker room, I thought to myself "Why are we even watching TSN?"

One CFL on TSN Insider called it a "complete conflict of interest" that a CFL employee could moonlight for a competing sports network and then break pick, after pick, after pick and make the television rightsholder look so bad.

Is Dunk in trouble?  The last I heard CFL officials were still scrambling to find out how Dunk got all the information so quickly.  Chasing their tails.  And Dunk was smiling like a Cheshire cat.

Frankly, Justin Dunk is the ideal person to be covering the CFL.  He's a millenial with a football background and a flair for how the media works.  He went into CFL Draft Day with a plan and absolutely crushed it while TSN was caught with their pants down.

I loved it.

8 - There would have been a lot more hype around here for the CFL Draft if there was a stud local prospect like Ben Heenan or Brett Jones out of the U of R or U of S programs.  Why wasn't there by the way?

9 - Legendary Roughriders trainer Ivan "Guts" Gutfriend is being honoured tonight in Regina by classmates from the Class of 1969 from the University of Saskatchewan.  They've come from all over the country to celebrate the man who spent 39 wonderful years with Canada's Team.

10 - Awesome to see that the Seattle Thunderbirds avoided a sweep in the WHL Final by dumping Brandon 6-1 last night and will now host Game 5 on Friday with a 3-1 series deficit.

The WHL Final has been a very interesting story -- the Wheat Kings and Thunderbirds shared a charter aircraft which flew from Brandon to Abbottsford, BC earlier this week.  The Wheaties were seated in the back of the aircraft with WHL officials in the middle and the T-Birds in the front.  (They've been doing this in major junior hockey since the 1960's).  Once the plane touched down in BC, the Prince George Cougars' bus was at the airport waiting to pick up the Wheat Kings to drive them down to the Emerald City.

The T-Birds are too good of a team to lie down and this could become a very interesting series.  Plus, it never hurts to see Kelly McCrimmon sweat a bit.  However it's clear Crim made the correct call in turning down the Toronto Maple Leafs' job offer to stay and coach this Brandon team.  Obviously, they're special.

11 - 59-year old Mike Johnston returns to Portland to run the Winterhawks. It was announced Wednesday.  He was dumped by the Pittsburgh Penguins this year, and his replacement Mike Sullivan has guided the Pens into the Stanley Cup's Eastern Conference Finals.

12 - ESPN's Mike Wilbon got tongues wagging in Washington this week when he said the Washington Capitals need to dump Alexander Ovechkin if they plan to go anywhere in the playoffs.

He gets $5-million a year to give opinions like that?  I've been writing that here for at least the past two seasons.

13 - The rumour mill suggests as least these four candidates could be the next head coach of the Calgary Flames:  Ryan Huska, Randy Carlyle, Glen Gulatzan or Darryl Sutter.

14 - Chris Cuthbert is absolutely crushing the Stanley Cup Playoffs on NBCSN throughout the USA.  And to think Sportsnet could have had him when they acquired NHL rights but said, "Thanks but no thanks".

It brings up the question of who's better at calling NHL games:  Chris Cuthbert or Jim Hughson?  That's like comparing Sidney Crosby to Ryan Getzlaf.  Both are impeccable, and Hall of Famers.

15 - Why, why, why do we continously get sucked in?  ESPN's Barry Melrose predicted last fall that the Stanley Cup Final would consist of the New York Rangers and either L.A. or Chicago.  I fell for it hook, line and sinker and that included my Kenaston Playoff Draft sheet.  Now they're all in the playoff ditch and it's down to Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and San Jose/Nashville.  Who saw this coming?  The opinions on these panels are so much gobbledygook and baloney.  Much like a lot of what you read here!

16 - Back to the topic of broadcasters for a second - Sportsnet's Mike Johnston will have a long, distinguished career as a colour commentator.  TSN identified and groomed the former NHL forward, and Sportsnet stole him.  He's about as good as they come.

However there will never be another Harry Neale.




Don Mitchell said...

TSN's inability to trump Dunk just shows how out of touch they are with today's younger more connected society. That is saying something because I'm over 50 , but TSN and other network media seem to be desperately holding on to the old way of doing business and they are bleeding red ink all over the place. They better figure things out or they won't be around in 10 years.

mister winnipeg said...

Can TSN at least assemble the GMs and top 20 prospects in a hotel ballroom in Toronto and at least try to make it look like someone gives a crap about the CFL draft?

They used to do that at one point in the early 90s. Now the "conference call" approach and 15 minute delayed reporting just kills whatever minor buzz the draft might create.

And after years of following the draft I hate to say it but anyone who declares a "winner" the day of the draft usually turns out to be dead wrong. (As much as I'd like for Winnipeg to be the draft winner.)

Dick Rubnutz said...

Justin Dunk was kind of a dink in terms of tweeting out who got drafted a few minutes before TSN announced it, but really, it's TSN's fault.

They need to get their act together on their CFL coverage. Get all the teams in one place and have the Top 20 guys in the building. Make it an event, get people excited about. Not sure why the CFL is so far behind in regards to these types of things.

Make the draft a true live event and all their problems will disappear surrounding it.

Anonymous said...

How can you have the top 20 draft picks in one room when 1/4 to 1/2 are already drafted by the NFL? What a dumb idea.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that TSN really dropped the ball on their draft coverage. Now they're all upset because someone made them look bad for it. Hey TSN, it's YOUR fault and yours alone that you screwed up. You so badly wanted to retain the national TV rights and zealously guard them against all other media companies. Now you're getting complacent and figure that CFL fans are so passionate they'll happily go along with whatever you guys do. Gee, sounds kind of like the entitled attitude that CBC had when they broadcast the CFL! What do you think of that?

This league has so much potential and the passionate fan base deserves to see it grow like it should. Media, marketing, fan interaction, all of it should be first class.

Great to see things have improved between you, Rod, and the Riders. Obviously last year was really tough and even the past six (save for 2013) weren't the greatest of times. You're the voice of the team and the connection many of us fans have to the organization. No doubt Reynolds and Jones understand this.


Anonymous said...

The whole CFL draft is lousy TV.

Picks are made and not announced as TSN fills time with pseudo-analysis.

Why should Dunk delay the actual picks? It's TSN dropping the ball by delaying the pick announcements.

TSN should hire Dunk and ditch Gary Lawless. Blech.

Anonymous said...

What is sad is Justin Dunk and your boy Madani are 10 times what Lalji, Naylor and Lawless are. If Rogers would actually show the CFL some love and let these guys do some great work, it would be beneficial for all.

Dunk needs a weekly segment on your show. If you can put him on in place of Scruffy, I would welcome it.

Anonymous said...

Rod, I know you love what Dunk did but wouldn't it be the same if one of the Rider media guys tweeted who the Riders picked the minute it happened?

If this guy is paid by the CFL then there's NO way this should have happened. Unless they *wanted it to. (*Page 34 of the Pedersen Media Guide) LOL.

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the other comments. If the CFL actually held a true draft, then these things wouldn't happen.

Good for Justin Dunk in tweeting out picks when he had them confirmed, That is what he is supposed to do. I followed him on Twitter before/after/and during the draft for all of my info.

Competition makes everyone bring their best. TSN needs some competition in all aspects of CFL coverage, games included.

On hockey commentators, Cuthbert is great. I am not a Hughson fan at all. But the best hockey commentator doing games today is Doc Emrick.

Dean - Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Instead of pointing the finger at Ovie who is probably the most exciting player in the NHL, I think Brooks Orpik is the reason the Caps didn't advance.

Anonymous said...

TSN saved the CFL. I'm sorry, they did. When the league needed it the most, TSN did. People are pissed that the entire draft wasn't televised and feel like Dink was a knight in shining armor. Well it is a conflict of interest. And for this casual CFL fan, it makes me shake my head and say the CFL will never change. And that's why I'll stick with the NFL.

From a retaliation perspective, won't TSN just do something to Sportsnet's NHL coverage? Food for thought

S.A.D. said...

An actual sports draft is not exciting like the Kevin Costner documentary "Draft Day ". They are actually quite dull. TSN should have picked up the pace and just announced the picks, and dropped the 5 minutes of analysis on each OL's footwork and technique.

If there are actual time delays on the clock because the GM is working on a deal, fine. But delaying the pick for the sake of delaying the pick leaves the broadcaster open to the Justin Dunk's, and it's fair game.

Kevin Costner's Draft Day was hilarious. Check brain at door...

Christopher Evans said...

I agree that TSN needs to pull up their socks with CFL coverage. I think it smells of laziness because they have the contract locked up for the next number of years.

The CFL also needs to get their heads out of the sand too! It really seems like one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing. A media reminder re: new jerseys coming out during the day of the draft; very little hype about the draft (although it really is a bit of a snoozer); no commitment to hyping CIS players in the draft; during the draft, the commissioner could only brag about the off season being about the new rules, extra officials, and a new drug policy; the new logo fiasco leading into the Grey Cup game last year?!?! A major disconnect at the league office... or very poor leadership shown so far. In today's world, it is so easy to engage the fans and the CL and TSN both need to learn how to do that effectively... send them an invite to your summit, Rod!! lol

Anonymous said...

So because TSN saved the CFL as you say, then they should be allowed to be complacent with subpar CFL coverage and not get criticized for it? Hell no.

mister winnipeg said...

"How can you have the top 20 draft picks in one room when 1/4 to 1/2 are already drafted by the NFL? What a dumb idea."

The NFL draftees usually don't go in the first couple of rounds. If Onyemata and whoever decide to sit out the draft then whatever, that's one guy. You're seriously going to say the conference call format is better because one or two prospects might not show up?

Anonymous said...

The WHL has a phenomenal draft and they don't have players on the floor getting introduced. It works and the professionals could learn something from them.

Anonymous said...

Chris Cuthbert hands down better than Hughson. However, neither are as good as Bob Cole. Coley not only gives you play by play, he also gives you a story at the same time. I love it when the old guy does a game.

Anonymous said...

"gobbledygook and baloney" is an excellent description that seems to sum up much of sports talk radio in Regina in the last couple of months. Thank god Rider season is finally on the horizon!

Anonymous said...

Is Bitter Gainer coming to the summit? Haha.

Must be nice working with the Riders now and have a president like Reynolds who gives you full support. Not a president who's only thinks about himself and stabs you in the back when he gets a chance.

Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

I agree a formal gathering for the CFL would have been much better to celebrate their draft. Now that some of the teams are having draft gatherings, you can see there is a small interest, but obviously the most interest is here in Saskatchewan. Perhaps the Riders with this so called wealth should spearhead a gathering in 2017 at our new Mosiac Stadium facility. Bring in the top 20 to 30 prospect, and give an invite to others. If your a top 20 prospect and get a free trip to Regina maybe, give the boys a little perk that make it to the top. A draft celebration like the Grey Cup Celebration (OK maybe not as good) but it may generate National interest and if successful perhaps other teams would want to host. Let the fans in the stadium, put this on the Big screens in the stadium. Build it and they will come.

Anonymous said...

Rod, Crawford that the Cowboys drafted hasn't come back and Israel Idonije never came back to the CFL either. Stefan Charles isn't coming back anytime soon either.
They don't "always" come back.

Anonymous said...

Reuben Mayes a former Rider pick never came back to the CFL.

Anonymous said...

The CFL needs to make the draft a mobile event and see if they can get proposals from prospective host cities to see what they come up with. Chris Cuthbert had come a long way from doing Terrier games at good ol GX94.

Mitchell Blair said...

Me too Roddy! Work on that!

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest Gundersons Yorkton, your Hopson hate needs to go on vacation. Time to join 2016 buddy. Stop living in the past! Try a new outlook on life that helps you see past whatever Mr. Hopson did to you back in high school when you were his student and got that F on your report card.

Anonymous said...

TSN puts effort into things that return value. Sorry to break it to you folks but Canda as a whole has very little interest in the CFL draft. The ratings and ad profit for the basketball game on after would have had exponential increase. Also, they are smart enough to know they were right up against NHL playoffs - that Sportsnet owns the rights to and has made embarrassing.

Sounds to me like TSN is running a business. No?

Arnold said...

I'll be back ...

Anonymous said...

It brings up the question of who's better at calling NHL games: Chris Cuthbert or Jim Hughson? That's like comparing Sidney Crosby to Ryan Getzlaf. Both are impeccable, and Hall of Famers.
You haven't heard "BAD" until you hear Ferraro and Miller and their continuous Yapping during the game when Miller should be doing the Play By Play. And Ferraro and his million replays about nothing over and over. Thank God they are over in Russia and I wish they would stay there . No doubt Bob Cole is the Winner in the NHL and nobody really touches him even at his older age.

Anonymous said...

Oh don't worry I'm glad it's 2016 and Hopson is no longer around to mess things up. Most overrated exec in league history. Reynolds has done a superb job so far. He didn't give in to the public pressure to hire JO and instead correctly recognized that the team needed new blood with a new vision. That's why we're going to dominate this year. You're right, no point in living in the past thinking how badly Hopson and you old boys club members would have messed things up. Onward and upward!

Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Cuthbert actually gave kudos on Twitter to Benny "and the jets" Walchuk for his call of the winning goal in the RBC Cup two years ago. That's pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

did you just compare Sidney Crosby to Ryan Getzlaf?


Anonymous said...

Getzlaf comparable to NHL superstar Crosby. Absolutly not, Getzlaf a journeymen plumber.

Rod Pedersen said...

Hilarious. Their hockey resumes are virtually identical. Getz must've best you guys up in elementary school.

Anonymous said...

Hockey resumes are virtually identical? Ummmm, ok. How many Hart Trophies has Getz won? Weird comparison Rod. Getz is likely a future hall of famer, but the comparison to Sid doesn't hold water.

Anonymous said...

Crosby vs Getzlaf and Reynolds vs Hopson. Typical debating day here on the blog.

Ah 2007. When the press box was still Regina's hottest sports bar and a pic of Britt Thies was on the blog twice a week. Glory days!

Anonymous said...

TSN will go bankrupt. They lost the NFL forever and now they going to lose the CFL soon.

Anonymous said...

TSN will still have The Ruptures, they had them on 4 out of their 5 channels a couple of days ago.

Anonymous said...

I once thought that Gundersons Yorkton had a little bit of football IQ despite his silly and constant ravings about the old old boys club. But his statement that Jim Hopson was the most overrated exec in league history demonstrates that he is just another crank trolling the internet. He needs to be reminded that there is a team in the CFL called the Blue Bombers who would have loved to have Hopson and the three Grey Cup appearances during his ten year tenure.

Anonymous said...

Except for the 200 point difference I guess ;)

Christopher Jones Let's Talk said...'s live Draft feed was posting the draft picks about 1 min before Justin Dunk made his commentary... at one point Dunk was 3 picks behind and I sent him a tweet to hurry up he is falling behind... we both had a good laugh.. You cannot blame Justin for something that the league itself was doing... IF TSN does not have the proper resources to do the coverage properly... Why did they bother doing half assed????

Anonymous said...

Are you high on something? wise up! Getzlaf comparable to Crosby, really? Never and a day. Getzlaf a plug.

Doovy 49 said...

Gobbledygook!!!! Great word Rod. Thought you made it up so I checked Webster.Yup it's there!!