Realty One



Thursday, June 16, 2016


Photo by Josh Lambert

1 - IT'S OFFICIAL:  Rain here in Saskatoon has cancelled Thursday's Day 19 of Saskatchewan Roughriders 2016 Training Camp presented by Coors Light.  It was to be the final on-field session of camp however they'll likely spend it indoors in meetings.  But rain or shine, we'll be on the air at 4:00 pm with the SportsCage live from the U of S on 620 CKRM.

2 - Many Saskatoon Rider fans have asked if they'll have another chance to see their Rider heroes again this week and the answer is YES.  A day-before walk-thru is planned for Friday at 9:00 am at Griffiths Stadium before the Riders travel to Edmonton for Saturday's preseason game with the Eskimos.  (2:00 pm, 620 CKRM Roughrider Radio Network).

Saskatoon broadcaster Darren Dupont feels Saskatoon Rider fans are more "into" the team than anywhere else - including Regina - because they've had the opportunity to see this club be built over the past three weeks.  I would not disagree with him.

3 - Many Rider fans across the country are griping that Saturday's game isn't on TV or available via a livestream.  Cripes, even my wife is upset about it.  However the fact is TSN elected not to carry the broadcast while the Eskimos nixed the idea of broadcasting it live over the internet.  (The idea being it would hurt ticket sales).  That's not exactly New Millenium thinking but it serves 620 CKRM and our network of rightsholder radio stations just fine.  This will be our biggest broadcast of the year.

4 - Wouldn't you know it -- the year TSN elects to trim its number of preseason broadcasts, the ratings go through the roof.  Two of the first telecasts of the CFL preseason (Montreal at Winnipeg and BC at Saskatchewan) attracted nearly 500,000 viewers which is astounding for this time of year.  There are a variety of reasons, I'm told, for why TSN reduced its preseason broadcast schedule and low ratings over the past few years is just one of them.

5 - The most-popular question I've been posed this week from Rider fans far and wide is, "Who's going to be the back-up?"  That's a great question and for most of the last decade it didn't really matter because Darian Durant started 93 of 100 games.  However now with people questioning his durability, it's become a hot topic.

At this very moment, I don't think the Riders even know who their top back-up will be but judging by what's been going on in practice and by their comments coming out Saturday's preseason loss to B.C., B.J. Coleman is primed to be "the guy".  Philip Sims is rapidly moving up the depth chart as well (see Wednesday's practice report), so I still maintain Brett Smith might end up being the odd man out.  However if the club elects to keep four quarterbacks, he'll still have a job.

We do all forget how young Smith and Sims both are - born two months apart in 1992.  There's still plenty of room for both to grow and it would be a shame for 2015 to have stunted Smith's growth or ruined his career.

6 - A CFL referee popped by practice the other day and threw flags during the workout.  At the outset of the session, he dropped to the ground to join the Riders in their pre-practice stretching period and reeled off 40 push-ups like it was a walk in the park.  The CFL personality I was standing beside turned to me and said, "Are we checking the refs for steroids?"

7 - Over the past few seasons the Roughriders secondary has labelled themselves as "The Wolf Pack" however with almost all of those coyotes being sent home (save for Tyree Hollins), this new group of defensive backs call themselves "Savage Life".  Rider newcomer Ed Gainey came up with it.  We'll see how long that lasts.

8 - As I write this column, Sportscentre is publicizing Ichiro Suzuki "surpassing" Pete Rose as baseball's all-time hits king on Wednesday if you include his Japanese pro league stats.  What an absolute sham this whole idea is.  If you're going to include Japanese players' hits, then you'd better transfer Hideo Nomo's Japanese strikeouts, no-hitters, and all of the like.  Charlie Hustle has gone on record as saying this Suzuki thing is a farce and I couldn't agree more.  What's next -- the NFL adding Cam Wake's sacks with the B.C. Lions or the NHL adding Jaromir Jagr's KHL statistics?  

As CKRM's Luc Mullinder pointed out, this is just another way for Major League Baseball to sully the reputation of Pete Rose.  Incidentally Luc thinks Rose is being "petty" and agrees with what MLB is doing.

9 - Another fabulous debate is 'Who is the best hockey player of all-time?': Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr or Wayne Gretzky?  Of course that's like choosing between a Lamborghini, a Ferarri and a Rolls Royce but if I was starting a hockey team and could have any one of those players in their prime, I'd still take Wayne Gretzky.  2857 points.

Not one person has said the tributes for Gordie Howe over the past week have been over-the-top and that tells you how much he was respected.  It's been amazing and a lot of it has been lump-in-the-throat stuff.

And as far as television coverage goes, TSN won out over Sportsnet quite handily on Wednesday.

10 - Sportsnet's Rich Sutter has been a fantastic guest on the SportsCage all hockey season and he proposed on Wednesday that the NHL retire the number 9 league-wide in honour of Gordie Howe, just as it did for Wayne Gretzky.  That notion has been met with mixed reviews when I put it on Twitter.


My good friend and host of Access Communications Talk of The Town, Lisa Peters has been nominated for the CCSA Best On Camera Community personality Award. Lisa and I have worked together on numerous events and she is a huge supporter of many community endeavours . We need your Facebook vote. You can vote every 24 hours. Also ask your friends to vote for Lisa. Thanks! Go to the bottom of this page and vote:

Lisa with Damon Allen
The winner gets the opportunity to donate $1000 to a charity of her choice on behalf of CCSA.  She has chosen the Regina Humane Society, which is currently overstocked with cats.   Lets bring this award to Saskatchewan!




Anonymous said...

Not broadcasting the game would hurt ticket sales?

Who pays full price to go to a preseason game?

Anonymous said...

Who pays full price to go to a pre season game. Exactly. Like when Hopson thought they'd do just that for that Ottawa pre season game a couple years ago thinking that just cause it's the Riders people will open their wallets. What a load of crap. Why not take the opportunity to get more people into the experience by lowering ticket costs for one game? Couple years ago the Argos did a thing with elementary schools kind of what the Blades and Pats did this past hockey season. Result? 40000 screaming kids at Skydome. Unfortunately that didn't translate into more box-office success while at Skydome but they had the right idea.

Gunderson's Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Lisa Peters > Tiffany Lizee. Wow!

Anonymous said...

What? Scruffy and Pete Pasco don't get nominated for their village idiots show?

Anonymous said...

Rod, Gretzky has 2,967 points. You forgot to include his WHA totals.

Rod Pedersen said...

If I don't agree with the Ichiro thing, I can hardly go along with Gretzky's WHA points.

Anonymous said...

Maybe TSN doesn't have enough channels. Seems odd to me that they couldn't get a local crew to do the game and put it up on one of their repeat channels. If they want more subscribers to their network, maybe try giving the people the shows they want to watch.

8 Canadian sports channels and we can't watch our Canadian professional sports leagues. Whatever happened to Canadian content? Load of crap as far as I'm concerned.

Tpaz said...

Agree 100%

Anonymous said...

IMO - TSN's choice to not show the Riders / Edmonton game is all about economics. TSN felt the advertising would not cover the cost of telecasting the game. They don't give 2 hoots about supporting the CFL / Esks or Riders for that matter.

Personally, I think it is the wrong choice by TSN. I will be trying to pick up the game on my Riders app while traveling to Manitoba this weekend.

Go Riders Go,
Newt from YQR

Anonymous said...

Gordie best choice for starting a team
1. He doesn't need any enforcer so no wasted cap money there.
2. He would play for a fraction of Great Ones salary and put up similar points. Again more cap room.
3. Gordie is from Floral Sask
4. Bobby Orr could be signed with all the cap room. The Great One may carry your team to the final a la LA but would lose in four to Gordie.
5. This one is a push. It's hard to believe Grets would be successful in an era where you look out for yourself using your own fists without a helmet. Hard to believe Gordie would be successful in the dive and turtle era as he'd be in the penalty box quite frequently.

Adrian McPherson will be DD backup as the sheets will be soiled by BJ and Smith again.

Anonymous said...

Cancelled due to rain??? Really?

I love the Riders, definitely not a hater, but what's that all about? I wonder how certain QB's or receiver's will due in a rain-storm game down east, or when it gets cooler and wet during the fall, how will you gauge who is an all-season player and who is not.

Some coaches in the past have wetted and frozen the football in order to practice for cold-weather wet games, but here are the Roughriders going inside for the first sign of wetness.

Okay I am going to digress, Coach Jones won the Grey Cup so he must know what he is doing. But hopefully like Corey Chamblain, everything doesn't change the year after he won the Grey Cup.


Anonymous said...

Don't complain about TSN. We are getting far more CFL games on TV than when CBC was televising

Anonymous said...

Gotta love ol Gunderson's Yorkton and his never-ending campaign to keep the memory of Sir Jim Hopson alive in this prestigious comment section.

Anonymous said...

Hey just trying to educate people on the failures of the past. Those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. But yeah you're right I should really give it a rest. Kind of like NDPers continually talking about how awful a premier Grant Devine was 25 years after he left office. Craig Reynolds is a great president and when it's all said and done he'll have a far greater legacy than whatshisname.

Gunderson's Yorkton

Anonymous said...

MLB wants Pete Rose dead and buried and there is more to that story than meets the eye. As far back as 1982 he was suspected of gambling and I was his biggest supporter for reinstatement. However when he finally had his meeting he has shown nothing to what is deemed a reconfigured life. Hindsight is 20/20 but Johnny Bench said they worked with Pete to admit his problem he never met with a Therapist to say, oh my God I have a problem. Imagine him coming clean out of the gate, then showing 25 years in Gamblers Anonymous and helping others overcome their problem. Instead he wanted to be reinstated for the sake of reinstatement. He's still the greatest, my favorite player, but his epithet is he loved baseball he just loved gambling more.

As for the hits record that is ludicrous to suggest Japan totals are Major League level. What you have with Ichiro is a giant kids staying in his small town all those years and dominating before he moved to the big stage. Tuffy Rhodes crapped out of MLB went there and hit 51 home runs. Not even close. If that's the case I want Kevin Kerr and his 600 goals in the minors counted in all time totals.

MLB wants Pete Rose gone from planet Earth.

JackD83 said...

#9- Mario Lemieux. That is all.

Anonymous said...

Whatshisname...its Shivers

Anonymous said...

I can't understand why Smith, a Promising QB and future replacement for Durant according to Murphy has been pushed down the chart by Jones. His reactions to questions right from the beginning suggest he had prejudged against him from day one. Now he's promoting a guy who failed in the NFL and quit and who threw repeated interceptions in the first game.
Signs of an overinflated ego to me.

Anonymous said...

Steve Yzerman, he carried the Detroit Red Wings franchise on his shoulders as did Mario Lemieux with the Penguins.

Anonymous said...

When Smith blew up at Chamblin that told Chris Jones all he needed to know about little Mr. Smith. That and the film of him playing.

Mario Lemieux would go through Gordie Howe and as evidenced starting a franchise you go with #66. #87 would also be a good one and #88 in Chicago isn't bad either.

Anonymous said...

Geordie was born 2 minutes outside Saskatoon in Floral, went to school, was raised and always called Saskatoon his home town.

Anonymous said...

We will go a lot further with BJ than Smith. Smith played half a season and should have gained something from those games. He has no confidence and we would be waisting a spot on the roster. Im the guy who called 620 after the 89 Grey Cup and said Austin needs to go, I was right back then.

Anonymous said...

You actually think the Riders should have kept Burgess instead of hall of famer Austin? Wow, you must be a special kind of stupid. You probably also think we should have kept Steven Jyles instead of Durant.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who watches Smith and sees a guy who struggles making his read, never looks comfortable in the pocket with his happy feet and his first instinct is to run?
Milanovich got rid of him for a reason.

Some of those holding calls came after 5 seconds and he wouldn't get rid of the ball. An oline can only protect the pocket for so long.

Anonymous said...

Burgess went to Winnipeg the following year and they won the Grey Cup. Austin won the Grey Cup in BC a few years later. Both were great but Austin had the intangibles Burgess didn't and he was on the field in '89 so he's remembered as this savior.