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Thursday, July 14, 2016

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS


RANDOMS

1 - REDBLACKS CFL'S BEST:  Week 4 in the CFL started off with a bang Wednesday night with Ottawa smashing Toronto 30-20 at BMO Field.  It was billed as "Ray vs Harris" and that's pretty much entirely what it came down to.  Early in the second half, Argos radio colour commentator Jeff Johnson said, "This is a duel" and he was absolutely correct.

Unfortunately for my DraftKings, Trevor Harris came out on top over Ray and he certainly exacted some revenge on Argos coach Scott Milanovich for letting him walk in free agency.

Ottawa is the CFL's only unbeaten team after four weeks and it's becoming a serious question:  Who's going to beat them?  The RedBlacks are in Saskatchewan in Week 5.

2 - DRAFTKINGS LINEUP:  I took Toronto's Ricky Ray to quarterback my DraftKings squad in Week 4 and that turned out to be a big mistake (I try to avoid drafting Roughrider players if possible).  Apparently we need to remember this isn't 2003 and Ray is no longer in his prime.  Although his numbers weren't gross - they just didn't match up to Harris.  If the Argos would've been able to tackle, it would've been a different story. I agree with Milanovich. It was "sickening". Why couldn't they do that here?

Here's my Week 4 Draft Kings lineup:
QB: Ricky Ray
RB: CJ Gable
WR: Adarius Bowman
WR: Chris Williams
FLEX: Rob Bagg
FLEX: Ricky Collins
DEFENSE: Edmonton Eskimos

As of this morning, I'm in 7th place and in the money.

3 - A PITIFUL CROWD:  Much will be made over the next few days about the paltry 12,373 who showed up at last night's game in Toronto but frankly I'm tired of discussing Argos' attendance.  The crowd actually looked more like about 3,500.  However now with the Argos in the MLSE family, they're not in any danger of folding.  Is their attendance embarrassing?  Absolutely.  Is it fatal?  Not anymore.

I couldn't believe the TSN announcers blamed - among other things - a "very hot day" in Toronto as a reason for the poor crowd.  Is it up to the national broadcaster to make excuses for the member clubs?

4 - RIDERS HOME ON SATURDAY:  I can't remember when I've been looking more forward to a Roughriders game than this Saturday's home date against the B.C. Lions.  There's going to be so much going on!  Most oddsmakers have Saskatchewan listed as 2-point favourites and the forecast calls for mostly sunshine and 23 degrees Celsius.  Perfect!

It's going to be a huge celebration when this club wins its first game and my belief is that it'll come this weekend over Wally Buono's Lions.  At the very least, it's shaping up to be a spectacular game.

Can't wait.

Wayne Shaw
5 - HE SAID IT!:  Another big reason for the excitement building this weekend is the 50-year reunion of the 1966 Grey Cup champion Roughriders.  It's been an absolute pleasure to get to know many members of that team in my team with the football club and none of them are more entertaining than Wayne "Clamps" Shaw.  The Bladworth, SK product led the Riders in interceptions in 1966 and told us on the radio on Wednesday that he "played a great game" in the 1966 Grey Cup.

However the Saskatoon resident had some harsh words for the current Roughriders, and their playcalling in Friday's 39-36 overtime loss at Edmonton.

"I think (Chris Jones) wears too many black clothes and gets too hot maybe!" Shaw huffed.  "He works too many hours and doesn't think during the game because they should've been been putting more pressure on.  You can't be successful against good QBs rushing three players. You have to get some quick linebackers coming too."

Shaw said his coffee buddies in Saskatoon tell him the game is different now than when he played (1961-1972).  To that, he screams, "THAT'S B.S.!"

Wayne also revealed on the radio Wednesday that the 1966 Grey Cup game ball resides in the rink in Davidson, SK.

6 - FEELING THE HEAT:  I'm wondering how Chris Jones is liking having the Rider Nation breathing down his neck 24/7, seven days a week.  Is he even paying attention?  If he's not, somebody's likely telling him what the masses are saying.  There's always one of those guys within a football club.

But Wayne Shaw isn't the first to suggest Jones is "wearing too many hats" with the football club.  I heard it earlier this week from another Rider Hall of Famer.

However most of the General Manager's duties on this squad are being filled by John Murphy and Jeremy O'Day.

In my travels across the province in the off-season, many Rider Priders said if this club starts 0-3 or 0-4, they're ready to pounce on Jones for cutting Dressler, Chick, Getzlaf, etc.

I'm also hearing grumblings about the other former Riders such as Ryan Smith, Tristan Jackson and Macho Harris having success with other teams.

It's time to win!  The wolves will back off, temporarily, when that happens.

7 - IS IT "MUST-WIN"?:  That question came up this week regarding Saturday's game against BC.  I'd have to say that it's far from it.  And to quote Danny Barrett again, it's not must-win until you're facing elimination.  So you think Danny Barrett's full of hot air?  Don't forget he's the Running Backs coach with the NFL's Miami Dolphins this season.

What a classic case of perserverance Danny Barrett's story is.  At the age of 54, D.B. finally made it to "The League".

8 - CFL ON U.S. TELEVISION:  My friends in the USA are getting turned onto the CFL because most of the games have been on ESPN2 so far this season.  One funny comment a guy in Florida made was "Is that Cuthbert guy the only announcer the CFL has?"  It may seem like it at times.

Another guy felt the Riders are 0-2 because of their inability to convert on 3rd-and-1.  To me, that hasn't lost them the games but rather the fact they've lost the turnover battle in both games and of course the decision to play soft defense with the game on the line last week.

Hey, at least they're watching down there and we'll hear everybody's opinion.  We may just not listen to them all.

Regarding the CFL in the USA, please remember this:  Google "CFL US 2016 broadcast schedule" and bookmark what comes up.  I'm already tired of telling people traveling to the U.S. this summer where they can find the Rider games on TV down there.

9 - JUST NOTES:  Ottawa WR Chris Williams is on pace for 2958 receiving yards which would shatter the record of 2036 set by Calgary legend Allen Pitts in 1994.  However this "on pace" stuff is bunk at this time of year.  John Chick was on pace for 1,086 sacks in 2014 but that went down the toilet. ... The 166 yards rushing per game this season - combined by both teams - is the lowest in CFL history.  Why aren't teams running the ball anymore?  George Reed says it's because teams are too lazy to work on what it takes for the run game to be successful. ... The Ottawa RedBlacks are averaging 520 yards offense per game.  Only the 1956 Montreal Alouettes averaged more.  Who's Ottawa's offensive coordinator?  The unheralded Jaime Elizondo, who was a late hire.

10 - JUST NOTES II:  Former Rider punter Ray Early is now selling real estate in Columbia, South Carolina.  He announced the hire on Facebook this week.  Ray's pro football career lasted just one season, with the 2015 Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Hopefully it doesn't scar him for life. ... Congratulations to Daniel Fink who's moving on from the Regina Pats front office to the AHL's Manitoba Moose.  Good luck Daniel!  And thanks for your service to the Regina Pats. ... Joey Chestnut won the Hooters Pagent's World Chicken Wing Eating Contest this week at the Hooters Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  Chestnut slammed 194 wings in 10 minutes and the event was broadcast live on Facebook.  Who needs television anymore? ... I pity those living in East Regina.  It's incredibly difficult to get around over there. ... Great to see MLB investigating David Ortiz for tampering regarding his comments on Edwin Encarnacion this week in San Diego.  BUT he was just spitballin'.  Tampering, as a whole, should be allowed.  Because you'll never stop it. ... Why does TSN only dust off Paul Hollingsworth for the MLB All Star Game?  He does such good work that he should be featured more. ... Can't blame Rory McIlroy for pulling out of the Olympics and I agree with him that it's not his responsibility to grow the game.  His honesty was refreshing at Tuesday's news conference.

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

7 comments:

Enigma said...

The sky must falling when you're 0-2 right? There is an element of Rider Nation who are far behind the times. Back in the mid 60's the GM sat in the bowls of Taylor Field and counted pennies to see if they could afford to eat on the next road trip or if the guys had to pack their own lunches. A lot of guys who played for the Riders never would have got the chance if we had the money other teams had. Back then they had a coach/GM/and a couple coaches. Now they have coaches at every position, three managers, and a ton of staff. Shaw should maybe let go of the 50 year old model and pay attention to his coffee buddies. That model didn't produce a Grey Cup until 66 and then again in 89.

On 2014 The Tiger Cats had rebuilt an old and aged team after their GC loss. They lost their first four games of 2014, were 1-6 at August 16, and 2-7 by September 7th. The sky was falling in Hamilton. Woe is me. The Riders on the other hand were flying high at 8-2 at September 7th (an infamous date) Hamilton went on to play in the Grey Cup game and the Riders whimpered out the rest of the season and watched the Grey Cup from their home TV's.

Macho Harris was brutal last season and everyone was calling to punt him. Now there are people singing his praises? Are those folks daft? DD took lees to stay and so could have Chick and Dressler. They let their ego get in the way. Both left us for the NFL only to find they weren't good enough. Neither has been exceptional on their new teams. None of the ex Riders are doing exceptional. With the likes of Chambers, Collins, Francis, and Reaves to name a few who would trade these guys for those? Buying a Jersey 8 years ago is no reason to moan someone leaving the team.

CJ deserves better from the fans and from his so called friends who snipe and stir up the pot behind his back. I suspect even if he provides a Grey Cup there will still be some of the mindless bitchers out there devaluing his work.

Pat Strain said...

Hardly must win time . The Lions in 2011 lost their first 6 games of the season before they got their act together and won the Grey Cup that year . We may not win the Cup this year but anyone paying attention can tell we are a much improved team over last year and will get better as the season progresses.

TJH said...

Hey Rod, by any chance do you know any of or all of the 1966 Grey Cup team that will be in attendance this weekend?? I've seen some write-ups saying that there are potentially 17 of them who will be there....but cannot find a listing of who those 17 might be. Do you or anyone know??

Also, on an unrelated matter, I picked up your book Green Magic about the 2007 GC team from the Rider Store a number of months ago....any chance I can get it signed by you?? Thanks....

Glen Horvath said...

Very well said.

Rod Pedersen said...

Thank you for the purchase! Please email me at ridervoice@yahoo.ca. Regarding the list of returnees, I'd have to dig it up. I have it somewhere ...

RP

T. Brown said...

Great read as always Rod. Great commenting as well. To Pat Strain: I believe BC started 0-5 in 2011… Just saying. Wholly agree with your other points.

rammer said...

Macho Harris?? Upset we let Macho Harris go? He is the softest football player on the planet!! He wasn't making this team anyway.
BOBR