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Regina Rams Football

Monday, June 13, 2016

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


10 HOT TAKES

1 - THE FAREWELL SEASON:  Well, we're off to a roaring start.

Saturday night's last-ever Saskatchewan Roughriders preseason game at Mosaic Stadium was indeed a memorable one, for a lot of the wrong reasons.  By now you've heard that the game was delayed for an hour and 26 minutes (1:26) at halftime due to a power outage at Mosaic Stadium.

That - as much as the game itself - was the talk on coffee row in the Queen City on Sunday morning.  SaskPower was diligent in keeping the public informed via its Twitter account during the delay, while SaskPower workers scrambled to restore power to the "Grand Ol' Lady".

One of those workers informed me of the culprit Sunday morning.  "Neighbourhood kids made a big light show," he wrote via text.  "Shot a confetti gun at the power line and it wrapped around the lines."

Seriously, who besides me is thinking "That can cause a massive power outage?"

Was it an intentional act of mischief?  No one knows but by the timing of the outage, I smell a rat.  I had just spoken into my headset on the 620 CKRM Roughriders Radio Network, "The Lions lead the Roughriders 18-6 at the break.  The halftime show is coming up next..."  Then, POOF!  All power to the stadium was lost.

But unlike the great power outage during the Riders-Eskimos game in August of 2007, there was still enough daylight to diffuse mass panic within the facility.

It's unlikely that that the perpetrators will be caught and identified, but just like the 17-year old who caused $10,000 damage in New Mosaic Stadium last week, hopefully they are harshly punished if the opportunity presents itself.

As Tiger Williams said on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Friday regarding the teen vandal, "Hang him from centrefield and if he lives, good for him."

Was Confetti-Gate embarrassing?  Absolutely.  But I suppose given the events of the nightclub mass shooting in Orlando Saturday night, we need to put this incident into perspective and shrug it off.

To be sure, the Farewell Season is off to a memorable start even if a fraction of a normal home crowd was in attendance.

I'm told approximately 17,500 took it in.  The new-fangled CFL stat sheet doesn't list attendance.  Hopefully that changes, and pronto.

#whereisthecommissioner

2 - THE GAME:  The Roughriders were more optimistic after Saturday's 28-16 loss to the B.C. Lions than I'd expected.  Head Coach & GM Chris Jones wasn't exactly chipper in our live postgame interview or news conference but he didn't seem overly discouraged either.  Certainly he didn't report any symptoms of nausea like one week before after the mock game in Saskatoon.  He was very open and obliging on the radio with us.

Oh sure, I overheard the comment "Oh the Roughriders lost again" many times Sunday morning at the coffee shop and during our walk around Wascana Lake but those folks clearly hadn't watched the game closely.

Saskatchewan wasn't guilty of many unforced-errors in the way of illegal procedure or time count violations and only took 12 penalties to B.C.'s 17.

There were plenty of positives including good pressure from the defensive front four (including a pair of sacks and a handful of knockdowns).  The running game was solid which will be a hallmark of the Stephen McAdoo offense.  After watching the game a second time, the receivers did an exemplary job of blocking downfield.  These are some of the little things the club has spent a great deal of time working on during training camp and they've come a long way since Day 1.

It's clear the B.C. Lions are far more set than Saskatchewan with regards to their roster for this season but if this game had been purely "1's versus 1's", it might've had a far different outcome.

3 - THE CUTS:  There were no big names included in the Roughriders' list of nine cuts on Sunday but it did include veterans WR S.J. Haidara and DB Dan West along with journeyman DL Caesar Rayford.  I thought perhaps receiver/returner Ricky Collins might feel the knife after his second half fumble on a kick return however he was spared.  "He's a great player," I was advised by the Roughriders staff Sunday evening.

Chris Jones was particularly harsh on quarterbacks Brett Smith and B.J. Coleman after Saturday's game and deservedly so.  Both pivots have shown traits that could wiggle their way into the hearts of the Rider Nation but Rider fans are unforgiving when it comes to interceptions and giving up needless sacks.  Clearly, there's plenty of work left to be done in the battle to decide who will be Darian Durant's top back-up.  I'm told the interceptions are less of a concern than their inability to consistently move the ball and put up points.

The Riders are hoping to get veterans Justin Capicciotti and Jeff Knox Jr. back on the field at some point this week but it could still be a longshot for them to suit up next Saturday in Edmonton in the preseason finale.  The pair has basically missed all of training camp with muscle injuries while veteran defensive end Dylan Ainsworth is working his way back from a concussion.

It's clear the Roughriders will be a much different team with the likes of Durant, Capicciotti and Knox and it's a blessing this team has a bye in Week 1.

4 - BACK IN THE EPICENTRE:  You've gotta love Regina.  I'd just walked up to the counter at Starbucks at 8:10 am Sunday when I heard a voice over my shoulder saying, "Rod, what did you think of #78 and #72?"  I turned and asked the gentleman if he could at least wait until I ordered my standard Venti Pike!

The long-time Regina businessman was referring to defensive linemen Tony Criswell and Tre'Von Armstead who he felt had a rough outing against the Lions.  In truth, I hadn't noticed Criswell at all in the game - good or bad - and had only spotted Armstead on special teams duty.

These Rider fans inspect every minute detail of a game and they watch with a harsh eye.  Armstead's a guy who struggled as an offensive lineman in the Florida minicamp (it was later learned he was battling through a hamstring injury) and has been switched to the defensive line in training camp.  This practice of swapping players to the opposite side of the ball continues to be a curious one and I feel it presents a multitude of challenges for the players because they won't be able to rely on their instincts or past experiences because they've never played that position before.

It will be very interesting to see how this all turns out once the regular season kicks off but amongst the most hardcore of Roughrider fans, I sense a willingness to allow Chris Jones' plan to unfold.

5 - JUST NOTES:  Roughrider veteran Levi Steinhauer has worn three different numbers since training camp opened on May 29:  #51, #13 and #43.  I'm told he was ordered to shed #13 for Saturday's game because it belongs to Rider mascot Gainer The Gopher.  Seniority, I guess. ... Given the popularity of Golden State Warriors NBA players Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson who are known as "The Splash Brothers", I respectfully submit this nickname for Rider defensive ends Shawn Lemon and Justin Capicciotti: "The Smash Brothers".  Lemon was a force in his limited time on Saturday night which was a welcome sight since he's spent a lot of time talking over the past few months.  Against B.C., he walked the walk too.

6 - RUNNING BACK TO SASKATOON:  The Riders are back on the Griffiths Stadium turf Monday at 9:00 am as Week 3 of training camp begins.  With the roster pared by nine, the groups will be a little more workable and things will take on an even more serious tone. ... Saskatoon has been a gracious host for training camp, as was expected.  However if I was a Saskatoon restaurant owner I'd instruct my staff not to ridicule Regina when patrons from the Queen City frequent their establishment.  On a daily basis when our server discovers we're in from Regina for work, their response is always, "Ewwww, sorry about that." ... But I guess that's to be expected with this inter-provincial rivalry.  On a radio morning show in Saskatoon last week I was asked by the host, "How much better is Saskatoon than Regina for training camp?"  I was at a loss for words for an answer on that one.  It was an interesting way of wording the question.

7 - FAREWELL GORDIE:  It was stirring to be in Saskatoon on Friday morning, the very day of Gordie Howe's passing at the age of 88.  By 7:30 am the coffee shop I was in was buzzing, with parents telling their little kids about the legendary Detroit Red Wings #9 who hails from the Bridge City.

I had to dig through one of my Mom's scrapbooks in Milestone, Saskatchewan on Saturday to find this photo of Gordon Howe and me at the Prince Albert Raiders wind-up in 1994.  That mic cord wasn't plugged into anything so I asked Mr. Hockey to "fake it".

As my Mom wisely pointed out, "Pictures aren't worth anything until 20 years after they're taken."

Some of my Mom's other sage sayings:

"Kids can hear the grass grow."

"He's another guy with more money than brains."

"Youth is wasted on the young."

I could think of plenty more given more time.

Judi's a great small town Saskatchewan farm girl and an unbelievable mentor.

8 - HOCKEY THOUGHTS:  The hockey season officially ended last night with the Pittsburgh Penguins' 3-1 victory at San Jose to clinch the Stanley Cup in six games.  Let the record show the season went until June 12 in 2016. ... I was shocked that Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs given the fact his goaltender Matt Murray was the story of this post-season.  Sidney was a force in the Final, but it didn't show up in the statsheet. ... Crosby is only 28, even though it seems he's been around forever.  There's plenty of winning to be done by him before he calls it a career. ... By the way, none of the pundits on Sportsnet or CBC pointed out the fact the Calgary Flames had San Jose goalie Martin Jones right under their nose for four seasons while he starred for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen.  As the Flames continue to search for a franchise goalie, they must be lamenting the fact the L.A. Kings robbed their backyard.

9 - KEEPER OF THE CUP:  A fun fact - the Hockey Hall of Fame's Phil Pritchard helped carry the Stanley Cup onto the ice in San Jose last night for the postgame ceremony.  Pritchard resides in Burlington, ON and lives right down the street from the Keeper of the Grey Cup, Mark Denobile of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

10 - AROUND THE TABLE:  TSN debuted its series Around The Table on Saturday evening prior to the Riders-Lions telecast.  The episode I caught featured host Rod Smith with CFL General Managers Jim Barker, Jim Popp and Marcel Desjardins.  It appeared Smith had to keep the reins on Barker, as the Argos GM was chomping at the bit to steal the whole show.  But it was a great, classy presentation with the men discussing CFL rule changes and how they got into the role of General Manager.  My wife was watching with me and mused, "They're talking about the same stuff that you and your buddies talk about everyday!"  I suppose that's the idea -- to give viewers an inside glimpse into the nuts and bolts of the Canadian Football League.  The MMG gives the show two thumbs up.

Meanwhile one has to wonder who TSN will tab to replace Paul Lapolice with the popular Coach's Playbook feature on CFL telecasts?  If they've named a replacement, I missed it.

Alert Rider fan Govind A. in Calgary has pointed out Corey Chamblin is available.

------

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY!  SEE YOU ON THE RADIO...
RP
@rodpedersen

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll be honest Rod, I've lived in Saskatoon all my life and have never heard of a waitress bashing Regina. You must be super sensitive.

Nor have I heard Saskatoon bashing in any Regina restaurant I've been in. Biggest place I've heard Saskatoon bashing is in the comments section on this blog.

Might be time to take stuff a little less seriously, no? Both cities are great but have things that suck about them.

Rod Pedersen said...

Me? Sensitive? Never.

Anonymous said...

Yawn, here we go again with RP kicking off another week by trying to get the Saskatoon/Regina thing started.
The only way he can get any sort of ratings I guess.

Rod Pedersen said...

Ratings aren't a problem for us amigo! Not by a longshot.

RP

Anonymous said...

kudos to the Penguins, popular win guys, congrats, hope to see Kunitz here with the cup this summer.

Anonymous said...

Your attitude is though.

Anonymous said...

"It's clear the B.C. Lions are far more set than Saskatchewan with regards to their roster for this season but if this game had been purely "1's versus 1's", it might've had a far different outcome."

Yeah the Riders would have been blown out. Lions are miles ahead of the Riders right now. Last in the west is coming up again. Book it.

Anonymous said...

It's sad the area around old mosaic is such a crime zone

Anonymous said...

Rod clearly believes in the idiom 'never let the truth get in the way of a good story'. Excellent story telling, but some truths are clearly stretched and embellished.

Anonymous said...

How do you Regina Dudes like it here in Saskatchewan's Biggest City?
I was in Regina last week and it felt more like being in Davidson.

Anonymous said...

Rod missed his calling, he should have been a pro wrestling manager. He's great at hyping up storylines and stretching the truth to get people fired up and make a great story.

Not only did Garth come out on Friday wearing a Gordie Howe sweater for the show but he also bought a hundred bouquets of flowers to put around the statue outside SaskPlace. Any wonder why he's so popular. He even paid tribute to Rod's man crush (George Strait) with a cover of Amarillo by Morning on Saturday night.


Gunderson's Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Back up situation doesn't look good. Smith looked awful. Too bad Glenn and for that matter Messam weren't still here. Both trades yielded not much and Riders were the losers in each deal. D looks good though. Jones / Murphy will get this right.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, who besides me is thinking "That can cause a massive power outage?"
Hey Rod were did you get you Electrical Engineering Degree from, Maybe you should host another summit, hopefully they consulted with you for the new stadium's power system

Rod Pedersen said...

^^^^

Guess I'm not the only touchy one this morning.


Anonymous said...

More trolls then a Fantasy story today...

Anonymous said...

I'm a born & raised Regina boy now relocated to Saskatoon and I love both cities. I agree with Rod that Saskatonians are arrogant about their city. When I say where I'm from, I get the usual "oh, thats too bad" or "do you shower with your mouth closed?". Sure Saskatoon is beautiful, but Regina has a lot to offer as well.

Tyler
Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Poor Toon towners still having to insult Regina to make them feel better about where they live. I've experienced the same things as Rod when traveling to Saskatoon.

Anonymous said...

Someone didn't have their fancy smancy gurly beverage of Venti Pike this morning, a bit sensitive today, try some Nabob. Venti Pike? Is that a Saskatoon coffee mixed with Pike fish soup exclusive to Saskatoon. McDonalds coffee to go please.

Anonymous said...

The new Adidas jersey - Anyone else notice they don't fit well with players constantly adjusting the sleeves as they ride up. Too tight fitting for the rigors of professional sports or any sports for that matter. They look uncomfortable.

Anonymous said...

Tyler..... Do yourself a favour and don't wear your NAME TAG in Saskatoon. People have been Tarred and Feathered for Less.
Hey Rod, how about the Cop in Regina faking to be a Vagrant and getting a guy a $150.00 fine for undoing his seat belt to pay the Vagrant ( COP). ONLY HAPPENS IN REGINA.

Anonymous said...

That's a shame Roddy. I work in Regina all the time and I've grown to really like it. I could never see myself living there only because Saskatoon is, and always will be, home.

For those on this blog who have never come to Saskatoon in the summer time, please do. Take a walk along the river and enjoy some of the neighboring pubs.

Just don't tell anyone where you're from!! lol. Sorry had to.

I watched the game Saturday, I thought Coleman had moments, Smith looked lost. I liked Cobb and Walter. I think Denmark will have a good year.



Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

You need to include weekly Judi'isms those were awesome! Had the chance to get to know her years ago and she is a great lady!

dave spad said...

Corey Chamblin wouldn't be a good fit for the Coaches Playbook. He would spend the entire segment talking about how great he is.

Anonymous said...

The cop did not fake being a vagrant. His sign clearly stated he had no issue. The issue was when the individual removed their seat belt which is against the law, and also when people are texting and driving. The point being you can do what you want in your car, but you can't text and you can't take your seat belt off.

Anonymous said...

This vagrant entrapment by the police is disgraceful, better get Tony on it.

Lyle Pederson said...

Whoa up everyone! Jeez! Checking to see everyone's take on the game and it's all about dissing the guy we are lucky to have giving us the skinny on our team. Try finding similar in most CFL cities. (No I am not ... notice he spells his name wrong)

@mrt_man said...

Cop dress up act is used in many cities all over the place. Some doorknob who whines to the media because he got a ticket doesn't change the fact that none of those involved would have gotten tickets had they been following the rules. Sometimes I speed... I don't call the media if I get a ticket for it.

Pre season game... I know a lot of these guys are new n all. But there sure are a lot of strange faces out there... 89 made a catch,and he was black, so good reminder that it wasn't Getzlaf lol. Lol forward to getting to know the guys thought. Hoping for a fun year!

Anonymous said...

My daughter went to U in Saskatoon ... did some serving. First trip home she says "Dad ... what's all this hatred of Regina about? We don't hate Saskatoon." I said "You need to understand the history and human nature. Regina was chosen as the capital so then seems it is favoured. Creates resentment. Like many hate Ottawa but never been. But it's not real hatred, most are just having fun. But maybe not all"

Anonymous said...

I was lost in Saskatoon and I'm talking lost to the point of almost crying as the GPS got me so turned around. Pulled into a parking lot of an industrial company on the very North end and I wanted to be on the South end. I said I was from Regina, they said that's your first problem. They then told me where I needed to go to get on my way and not to stop until I hit Albert Street. Could not have been better people. It's a beautiful city with great people.

Anonymous said...

How does that attendance compare to previous years pre season games?

Anonymous said...

Qu'Appelle Sk. was chosen as the Capital of the Province. Pile of Bones (Regina), was just that... a pile of ....!

Anonymous said...

Vinti Pike? Orange Mocha Frappuccino! wake me up before you go go.

Anonymous said...

If those in Saskatoon don't think there is Regina bashing at restaurants and other places, they had best get out and look at their city.

Wife and I were at Tony Roma's for the early Brooks concert on Saturday and when the waitress asked where we were from and I told her, she said "Came to see what life is a real city did you?". I laughed at the comment, but I bet she didn't laugh at the tip she got.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit there are a lot of touchy, bitchy people on here today! WOW!

*not a robot

Michael Spencer said...

LOL "do you shower with your mouth closed" that's amazing. Gonna have to hand on to that one

Anonymous said...

Where did the comment section from Thursday go?

Anonymous said...

Saskatoon is a beautiful city (so is Regina) but apparently the servers in Saskatoon are not the brightest. Making remarks like that and expecting (I would assume) a tip at the end of the day screams DUMB!!! We were there for the concert and had great service everywhere we went. Everyone was just saying to have a blast at the concert, which we did.

To the complainers about how the RPS was catching those doing wrong, they aren't the first to do this. Other cities do it too. Don't want a ticket, don't do anything wrong. Problem solved! Remember, big brother is always watching.

As for the game, we definitely have a bit of work to do yet. Thank goodness for the bye week in week 1. We are going to need every second of time we can get before we play the games for real. Could be a bumpy ride for a few weeks but hopefully they will get the right combination of players out there and they will start playing like we hope they can.

Anonymous said...

I want the nicknames to be "Axe and Smash" or "Demolition". lol

Anonymous said...

Sweet and Sour, might work!!!

Anonymous said...

What's a Saskatoon? Isn't it a berry? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

To the person who ended up in the very North end when s/he wanted to be in the South end: I mean Geez, What was your first clue? Maybe it says more about You than the people of Saskatoon.

Anonymous said...

Same self confidence/ city bashing exists between Calgary ( Saskatoon) not the capital vs. Edmonton (Regina) the capitals. Calgary and stoon people feel like they get robbed by not having crown jobs and the capital so have to take it out on someone. IMHO quite petty

Anonymous said...

I don't like Saskatoon or Regina. Not much difference between the two other than one has the Riders and the other has a river through it. Who the hell founds a city where there is no river / lake anyway ?

Anonymous said...

People in Regina, moreso than anywhere, think they're in a giant city that should be spoken in the same breath as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Its funny. Love the debate over which mid market city is better. To people in real cities the Regina/ Saskatoon rivalry comes off like Yorkton vs Melville.

Anonymous said...

The comment about Regina and Saskatoon being small potatoes is bang on. Maybe things have changed, but most market size measurements in North America consider a population of 249,999 and under small market. 250,000 to 499,999 mid market and 500,000 and over large market.

So yeah, congrats Regina on BARELY being a class above Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Swift Current and Yorkton. New stadium is going to be awesome tho. Best in a small to mid market anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I want the good merchant named Tony to get on the class action against RPS for performing an illegal act holding signs on busy boulevards. There is a city bylaw that the RPS can ticket those homeless kids for (so why does it not apply to the RPS then?) Get on it Tony, I'll join the action.

Anonymous said...

Lived in both Saskatoon and Regina. Love both cities but if I had to choose - Regina wins every time.

Anonymous said...

Regina, the city that rhymes with a smelly onion.

Anonymous said...

Life is too short to argue about stupid things. Have fun,regret nothing and don't let people bring you down by insulting you and where you live to build themselves up.

Anonymous said...

Like the rivalry comment comparing it to Yorkton/Melville. The bickering is small minded.
The Rider media sure think they are big time though.

Anonymous said...

Regina, no river, a smelly lake, basically a mini Winnipeg.

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Anonymous said...

Roddy looks like an exact twin of NDP Erin Weir in that oldie pic with Gordie