Realty One

Thursday, May 26, 2016



1 - Of utmost importance:  Where can a guy find a steam room in beautiful Saskatoon?  We've settled on the brand new Holiday Inn Downtown for our hotel for the next three weeks during Rider training camp, however it's devoid of a steamer and there are no Gold's Gyms in the Bridge City.  Who can help?  Thanks.

2 - The Brandon Wheat Kings were bounced from the Memorial Cup in Red Deer last night as their 2-1 overtime loss to the host Rebels dropped them to 0-3 and sent them packing.  Although we tease the Wheat Kings and their fans, we don't take pleasure in others' misfortune on this website.  As Wheat Kings' alum Keith Aulie told us last night in Avonlea regarding the Wheat Kings' exit, "That's too bad".  Brandon was expected to go into the tourney as the favourites, yet they are the first ones out.

Now, does Wheat Kings Coach/GM/Owner Kelly McCrimmon join the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer?

Glen Johnson in the Green & White Lounge
3 - We've been surrounded by referees this week.  And it's been great!  CFL V.P. of Officiating Glen Johnson hosted the media Wednesday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium to go over the rules presentation he's made in all nine CFL cities.  There were plenty of notes to take, but I thought you'd be interested in the top five priorities of the CFL in 2016:

- Player Health & Safety
- Reduce Penalties
- Expand video to protect integrity of outcomes
- Improve game flow and excitement
- Grow the game

4 - The concept of the "Eye in the Sky" beginning in 2016 isn't as ominous as I originally feared.  The second replay official, who will have access to an All-24 camera (a wide lense of all 24 players on the field), won't have the freedom to call penalties from the Command Centre in Toronto.  However he'll be able to review any penalty called by the game officials, and should be able to sort out any discussion in a matter of seconds (i.e. when the refs are together in a huddle and can't agree on what they saw).

I know for a fact that some officials and league personnel are leery over the mechanics of this innovation but Glen Johnson gave a tremendous presentation and had me a lot more at ease about it than before I entered the room.

Johnson - a software salesman by trade - has assumed a great deal of power in the CFL and is embracing video replay rather than running away from it.  All of these innovations he's dreamed up this winter are to best use the video replay the CFL's been provided by TSN, and improve the game.

5 - As one CFL coach said to me last week, "Without TSN, the CFL dies.  Don't ever forget that, because it's the truth".  That's true, so the CFL had better be careful because TSN wasn't pleased at all with what league employee Justin Dunk pulled during the CFL Draft (Tweeting out draft picks before TSN had a chance to air them).  And don't forget Justin moonlights at the rival Rogers Sportsnet.

6 - More items from the afternoon session with Glen Johnson:  The average length of CFL games fell by three minutes down to 2:52 last season ... The average length of a CFL video review is 1:31 ... Of the 64 Defensive Pass Interference challenges last year by coaches, only five calls were overturned ... The amount of plays coaches can review has been expanded but remember, the number of challenges coaches have per half has not.  Therefore this should not affect the length of games.  Roughing the Passer and Contacting the Kicker are a couple of calls that are now challengeable ... Eight officials who started the CFL season last year did not finish it ... There's a new four year agreement in place between the CFL and the CPFOA ... Four NFL officials will work CFL games this summer while three CFL officials will attend NFL officials training camp and referee one preseason game.  The CFL officials who are going south are: Dave Hawkshaw, Steve Foxcroft and Justin McGinnis.

Thank you Glen, for the visit and to the Riders for hosting us.

7 - Having said all of this, Sportsnet's Rich Sutter told us on the SportsCage yesterday that the NHL has gone "too far" with their video review.  We were discussing Game 6 of the Tampa Bay-Pittsburgh series where Jonathan Drouin's first period goal for the Lightning was called back due an offside which was missed by a fraction of a millimeter.  A year ago, that goal would have counted.  However the other night, Tampa Bay never scored again until they were down 3-0 to the Penguins and now they're going to a Game 7.  Video review is changing a sporting tradition we've had for 100 years and I'll go down on record as saying I'm not comfortable with it.

Rich Sutter also stated that Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby is, "The greatest player in the game right now".

8 - Hilarious that the Cleveland Cavaliers complained that their Toronto hotel rooms didn't have the Golden State-Oklahoma City playoff game on basic cable so they had to go, as a team, to the nearby Real Sports Bar to watch it.  The Cavs said they were "bored" because they couldn't get ESPN or TNT in their rooms.  Hey!  I get it!  That's why I have both networks wired into my home office in Regina.

However it's somewhat surprising that this story made national news in the States (it was discussed on Pardon The Interruption with hosts Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon).  NHL teams travelling in the U.S. face the exact same situation every night.  Coaches are always looking for a sports bar in cities like St. Louis or Columbus because their hotels never offer NBCSN or some of the other remote network which carries NHL games.

The difference?  Hockey people don't complain about it.

9 - Having said that, it's shocking to me that NHL players are complaining about being "tired" in these Stanley Cup Playoffs and even more surprising is the fact coaches and fans are letting them away with it.  The Blues and Capitals come to mind in this regard (incidentally both are teams who've been knocked out).   TIRED??  Ask a firefighter in Fort McMurray or a solder in Afghanistan if they're tired.   And the NHL players are getting paid millions.  Good grief.

The topic came up on the SportsCage on Wednesday and Rich Sutter admitted that perhaps the players are more "mentally" tired than physically.  Either way, to me it's bunk.

Ryan Getzlaf on the Cage.  We get all the guests.
Meanwhile Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf came on the air with us on Wednesday live from the Chris Getzlaf & Friends Charity Golf Classic at Avonlea's Long Creek Golf Course.  Among the things he discussed, he's "not at all" surprised the Sharks have made it to the Stanley Cup Final.  He said they've long had the talent, however a different coach delivering the same message sometimes is all it takes.

Getzlaf also said the Ducks have three or four more good years left before a rebuild will be necessary.  That was in response to critics' comments that the Ducks' window has already closed.

Regarding their vacant head coach position, Ryan says there's been plenty of interest because everyone wants to coach the Ducks.  However he's not certain who the front-runner is.

10 - Glad to see our Premier Brad Wall rode to the rescue and helped save the KFC Buffet in lovely Weyburn, SK this week.  It's one of the province's hidden treasures and should be included in all tourist brochures for people travelling through the 306.  Seriously though, I always thought we in Regina got jobbed the fact that our KFC's don't offer a buffet however I'm sure the managers fear they'd be overwhelmed by the daily rush of customers.  We were regulars at the KFC Buffet when I lived in Prince Albert, although we might not have been the healthiest people on earth.

And the free advertising for the Weyburn KFC this week has to be worth close to a million dollars.




Anonymous said...

Said it before and I will say it again. The Pats would have put up a better showing than the Wheat Kings. I was booed by some Wheat Kings fans for suggesting that after the Wheaties 1st loss. It wasn't just their first loss. It was how they lost. They looked like a team in the regular season. Not a in the playoffs. I'm nt saying the Pats would have won the Tournament, not by a long shot. However they would have represented better. Hell even Red Deer represented better and the Wheaties eliminated them.
The Wheat Kings looked like a team that did not eat their Wheaties and were outlasted by a team that was only there through the back door. There own back door that is.
Still not a fan of the host team getting a spot in the tournament. They say no one will show up to buy tickets if they don't. Have they ever tried to find out?

Anonymous said...

So great to see these local guys like Ryan Getzlaf come back in offseason.

Anonymous said...

The Getzlafs..........GOOD PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

Concurred, Sidney Crosby is the greatest player the NHL has right now. Connor (Majic) McDavid close behind riding his coat tails and will take over that mantel very soon barring unforseen circumstance.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod, try the YMCA or any Motion Fitness location in Saskatoon for a steam.

Anonymous said...

Economy tanks and Brad Wall saves the buffet - I won't criticize him as he is the exact person for these exact times we live in.

Anonymous said...

Ah don't lie Rod, you've got a grin ear to ear this morning regarding your nemesis Kelly's exit from the tournament. They ran out of gas, plain and simple.

The NHL playoffs are held to separate the men from the boys. That's why those who are bitching about being tired are now golfing while the real contenders will play for the Cup. If I'm an NHL GM I'd be taking note of the guys who are saying these things and make sure to never consider bringing them in. If you want to win the Cup you have to be willing to eat your own guts and ask for seconds. Those are the guys you want on your team to build a champion. The guys that would rather golf in May can go play somewhere else.

Gunderson's Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 ... similar to a mem cup team circa 2001 that outplayed a couple teams even though they had no business being in tourny.

However unlike that team the Rebels actually legitimized their existence in the playoffs losing to the eventual WHL winner. In fact I would argue that the East Final was the league final.

By fact the WHL is the hardest league to win due to travel, style of play, and travel. London is unreal and have won like 16 games in a row and most by a wide margin. How worn down are they.

Congrats to the Wheat Kings on a great season. Scary they will be the favorite again next season.

From a Pats fan and a realist.

Anonymous said...

TSN has done a great job for the CFL, the CFL should fire Justin Dunk, he is a joke. Prior to TSN we had to settle for CBC pouring money into coverage of the Blue Jays. CFL fans were left with a game of the week. In Saskatchewan we were lucky to have 2 games a year televised.

Anonymous said...

HATE the review of offside....and being able to back over the blue line "with the puck under control".

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a bunch of maroons. We are worried about a chicken buffet in Weyburn when we lost our last direct connection to the US. That is what Wall and sports people should be worried about. It is a great gateway for anyone wanting to do a US sports trip (and of course, the business crowd), plus, how much did the Riders use that conduit to bring in players etc?

Oh well, time to go slide down another piece of chicken.


Phil Andrews said...

The Bessborough Hotel in S'toon has a public gym with a great steam room!

Anonymous said...

FINGER LICKIN GOOD! Love the comments.

Colonel Sanders

Anonymous said...

Really ?? A KFC buffet is even worth talking about and fighting over. How Saskatchewan - ish.

Anonymous said...

"Without TSN, the CFL dies."

Although that statement is partially true, conversely the opposite could also be said. By having TSN only, the CFL could die.

I thank TSN for being there the last few years, especially things like Friday night football (which should always be a double header by the way). Yes TSN has been vital to the CFL. However let's consider for a moment a primary reason why Canadians often forget the CFL even exists (yes this phenomenon happens elsewhere in the country although usually not Saskatchewan).

Rogers highlights all sporting events in their sports coverage - EXCEPT THE CFL! Even the CBC rarely covers the CFL anymore.... More to the point, without any coverage, other than TSN, the league almost seems neglected; easily forgotten. Even TSN would rather cover whatever is going on in the NHL then the CFL; at best, there coverage of the league is lacking.

The reality is that having TSN only has actually been a bit of an achilles heel for the league. As long as the broadcast coverage goes to TSN only, the other broadcasters simply choose to ignore the league; in turn, this hurts the CFL.

From the left coast...

Kel from Victoria

Anonymous said...

I love that everyone thinks TSN is the savior of the CFL. TSN works hard to keep the CFL under it's thumb. They could broadcast games like the GREY CUP on the big network (CTV).They could promote CFL football through advertising on their other networks. Bell could be live streaming games to all Bell subscibers through their app, But they don't do any of that... As long as the CFL is a small potatoes league that draws a decent rating and the CFL is convinced they are the savior they have no desire to grow it and create another network bidding up the TV contract.

Anonymous said...

I just wish Brad would now do something about getting us folks in Sask a Popeye's chicken!

As far as Crosby being the best player, I just wish he was as effective on the ice as a Joe Thornton or a Joe Pavelski, or as exciting as Patrick Kane. I am still waiting to see him show up and have a great game, rather than one or two good plays a game.

Anonymous said...

"Congrats to the Wheat Kings on a great season. Scary they will be the favorite again next season.

From a Pats fan and a realist."

Do explain why you think Brandon is expected to be a favorite next season. They will be losing their older core(over half of this years scoring) and their '97 group is pretty thin. Patrick will obviously take away some of the sting of losing these players, but he will also be without his partner in Hawyrluk. Sure, he'll still do fine, but he will need someone else special to work with. The younger guys will step up into bigger roles and Daley is a great prospect, but can they fill the shoes of the exiting 19/20's?? Not to mention, they lose three of their top defensemen, an area that was not Brandon's strongest point this season. They will likely add some players too, but those are question marks right now.

Brandon will definitely be taking a step back next season. How far back is yet to be seen, but they are not going to be in a similar position as this season without making a handful of moves. Just don't see it.


Anonymous said...

It's one of the province's hidden treasures... Yeah, if I saw that in a tourist brochure, I would be sure to avoid the place completely.
I guess a KFC Buffet really is Saskatchewan - ish.

Anonymous said...

School divisions, health regions, crown corporations, liquor stores. He spends his time on KFC. What D.D has done with the Health Portfolio it'd be advised he go back to the fast food industry.

Anonymous said...

Rod probably wants to eat his KFC Buffet in the steam room. Only someone from Regina would do that. Even the locals in Weyburn woould have more class.

Anonymous said...

Airlines close but Weyburn has their buffet. Humboldt is the only other hotspot for the buffet. Perhaps Brad can spend more time and provincial money developing buffets in all the 296 municipalities. Seed money could easily come from the sale of a crown Corp. Real estate speculation and profiteering would satisfy his closest friends using the Regina bypass model. Sask is now so much more.

If the PA bridge repair isn't better managed Delta could well pull outta Saskatoon. Hunting and fishing are a large segment of customers flying outta Minnie eager to spend the monopoly colored money (Americans are not likely to say coloured). Brad needs to spend more energy ensuring better coordination for the project. He could always stop in Humboldt for the buffet.

Training camp will be a welcome diversion from this short sighted premier.

Anonymous said...

The refs have succeeded in getting RP in their backpocket. Well done refs!!

Anonymous said...

If the NDP were in power they would probably try privatize KFC, make it a crown corporation.

Anonymous said...

Right ... it Brad Walls fault the Canadian dollar is so weak that planes are flying half empty to American destinations. How much money you spend in the US in the last year?

Hunting and fishing? You've covered four months of the year bud.

Anonymous said...

And once again becomes the choice place to visit for a bunch of anonymous hacks who have nothing better to do with their meagre little lives than think they are a someone. It really is too bad that more and more people think the comments are better than the content including Mr. Social Media Expert!

Anonymous said...

The new Regina Sk stadium will now have a KFC franchise with a buffet as decreed by the premier of Saskatchewan. The numbskull people will whole heartitly approve of this move as they have also approved home baked goods sales already.

Saskatchewan = buffoons.

Anonymous said...

TIRED?? Ask a firefighter in Fort McMurray or a solder in Afghanistan if they're tired. And the NHL players are getting paid millions. Good grief!

Totally agree, I guess they'd rather be golfing.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah...says the guy on a Rider blog.

Anonymous said...

Haven't commented in a long time - and these idiots give me good reason not to. My goodness RP - not sure how you put up with all of this. Thick skin and a grin I would assume.


Anonymous said...

Ditto Brad.

S.A.D. said...

Can I just say how awesome the Riders season ticket box is this year, or are we only discussing chicken and airplanes?

Anonymous said...

It's true. Why is it ok for CTV to play the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl but not the Grey Cup? It's nonsensical. No wonder there are more viewers watching the Super Bowl. It's a bloody disgrace. You can't tell me CTV makes more revenue from playing Corner Gas re-runs and Question Period instead.

And BRAVO to the intelligent people who point out the idiocy of the Premier and a Health Minister of all people to stick up for a buffet. It's too bad they don't care about our environment, allowing Regina and Moose Jaw to dump sewage into our lakes year after year. The environment is the first budget to go under a Harper Junior regime.

But that's what you get for a government when the NDP wrote their election strategy on a napkin then blew their nose with it. There was no alternative!


Anonymous said...

And just what would TSN broadcast if they didn't have CFL football from June till late fall ? Two way street here my friends.