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Thursday, August 25, 2016

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS

Canadian Press
GETTING YOU EXCITED

1 - The 1-7 Saskatchewan Roughriders head to Edmonton today for Friday night's showdown against the 4-4 Eskimos.  Initially I felt no reason to be excited about this game but after perusing the game notes and reading Edmonton media accounts, my spirits have picked up considerably.  Let's see if we can't do the same with yours today ..

2 - First off, it appears as though Friday night in the Alberta capital will be a great night for football.  The Good News: the forecast calls for mostly sunshine and 22 degrees Celsius.  The Bad News: the Eskimos are favoured by two touchdowns.  Please Green & Gold, go easy on us.

3 - The Edmonton Sun's Terry Jones says Friday's game is tracking to be the highest-attended in the CFL this season.  The prior mark was in Week 3 when 34,196 showed up at Commonwealth Stadium to watch the Eskimos beat the Roughriders in Edmonton.

"Canada's Team" anyone?

It's also Armed Forces Appreciation Night, which you know I'll get behind.  Volunteers will be selling "Support Our Troops" t-shirts beginning at 6:00 pm at three gates around Commonwealth Stadium Friday night.

4 - Eskimos Ticketing boss Scott Murray (U of R Cougar hockey alum) told Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun that the reaction from the Rider Nation leading into this game has been phenomenal.

 “They are so proud of their relationship with the club regardless of circumstances. It’s truly a remarkable concept, how their whole province supports them from one corner to all four corners of the province, and just about anybody who was born there and now lives elsewhere in the country,” Murray told the Edmonton Sun.

“The reaction we’re getting is ‘We don’t care what our record is, we’re still coming. It’s our team and we’ll support them no matter what the record is.’ ”

How about a little more of that attitude from the Rider Nation here in the 306?  In truth, we can't complain.  The last Rider home game was a sellout.

Other teams continue to be green with envy.

5 - The Riders are the CFL's worst team and yet they are still the most high-profile.  Consider for a minute the expansive feature on the Riders on TSN's Sportscentre this week in which Chris Jones said he isn't altering the course he's laid out for the franchise.  And as rookie defensive end Jonathan Newsome said in the story, "You're either with us, against us, or in the way".

In Hamilton, they'd rather write about the fact the Riders took down the billboard next to Tim Hortons Field which went up before last week's game than write about how well the Ticats played.

Sad.  The Riders are still the CFL's #1 click-bait.

6 - It's all playing into the Roughriders' hands from a business standpoint.  I was down at Torchy's Sports Imaging on Wednesday getting some cresting done on a Rider jersey and owner and proprietor Mark "Torch" Simpson was literally sweating from all the new Adidas Rider jerseys he's embroidering for Rider fans.

"Apparently the fans didn't get the memo," Torch smirked, alluding to the fact Saskatchewan is the CFL's worst team.

In truth, bad publicity is still better than none.

When the media and fans across the land STOP talking about the Saskatchewan Roughriders, we're going to be in huge trouble.  Fortunately that may never happen.

By the way, Torchy says ROOSEVELT 82 is the most-popular selling jersey right now.

7 - FINALLY!  We have a legitimate excuse for the Roughriders' poor record.  According to this week's CFL Game Notes (which were splendid by the way), the Saskatchewan Roughriders are the youngest team in the Canadian Football League with 32% of their team being rookies.  That accounts for a lot of the brain farts.

- The carousel of players under Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones has been insane.  Through the first eight games, the Riders have dressed a total of 77 players.  The club record in that stat was set all of last year at 84!  The CFL record for most players used in a season is 88 set by the 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  So ... Chris Jones is nuts but Kent Austin wasn't?

As Riders Assistant V.P. of Football Administration Jeremy O'Day said on our pregame show last week, "The right mix is the one that wins games."

9 - I've likened what's going on with Canada's Team to the construction of the new stadium.  We would've loved for it to be built in a scant six months but that just isn't possible.  Chris Jones is going about constructing his team the exact same way.  Fans want the finished product NOW but that just isn't feasible.

By the way Scruffy blew my metaphor out of the water yesterday, and compared the Roughriders to Regina's current downtown Capital Pointe project which is taking forever to build, with considerable delays.

10 - JUST NOTES:  My new go-to for lunch-on-the-go is Pizza Pizza.  Four pieces of pizza and a Diet Coke for $7.50?  It doesn't get better than that.  Plus they're a sponsor of the SportsCage on 620 CKRM. ... John Chick will play in his 100th career CFL game Sunday when the Ticats visit Calgary.  Meanwhile Darian Durant suits up in his 149th Friday night in Edmonton. ... Rider WR Naaman Roosevelt is on pace for 1,580 receiving yards this season.  The last Rider to do that was Curtis Marsh in 2000 with 1,560.  (There's the 2000 season coming up again).  Marsh was an interesting story.  The Steelers great was exiled from the NFL and came up to the CFL with the goal of leading the league in receptions and yards in a single season. After doing just that, he retired. ... Darian Durant now holds the CFL record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception at 323.  That record won't last forever but for now, it belongs to Darian.  Ricky Ray has the next longest streak at 247.  ... Montreal WR Duron Carter is the CFL's leading receiver since Week 5 with 508 yards.  Roosevelt is 4th (407) ... Teams leading after the third quarter this season are 29-7. ... There have been 90 coaches challenges so far this year compared to 102 all of last year.  Edmonton's Jason Maas has thrown the challenge flag the most and is 8-6.  Calgary's Dave Dickenson is 0-7. ...  Devastated I'll miss the first two days of Regina Pats training camp but I'll see you at the Blue & White Game on Monday evening at the Cooperators Arena.  GO PATS GO!

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THAT'S IT! TALK TO YOU FROM EDMONTON ...
RP
@rodpedersen

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

This article proves why the Riders love Roddy so much.

Tanner in YYC

Anonymous said...


The Riders resemble the Capital Pointe construction. ZIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGGGGG!!!!

Anonymous said...

record for most players used in a season is 88 set by the 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats. So ... Chris Jones is nuts but Kent Austin wasn't?
Austin won the East Division and had his team play in the Grey Cup.
Plus Austin wasn't all over National TV and Social Media\Twitter as a GM cheating the system. Nor was Austin fined $60K and nailed $26K on the salary cap!
Obviously there is a right way to do things and a wrong way. I would say that Austin did it the right way!

Anonymous said...

You make no sense. If a team makes that many changes and still makes it to the Grey Cup, then it shouldn't be criticized if a team is struggling makes that many changes.

Anonymous said...

Austin also played in the east which was far weaker then the west that year. Making the Grey Cup was not much of a feat when you look at who they were up against. And what happened that Grey Cup? The Rider's took the Ti-Cats down handily.

As for the fines, I believe that happens across the board and all teams do it, may not be as out in the open as Jones, but it happens.

I would like to know the ratio of rookies on his team that year as well as injuries, we have been hit from every angle this year, and the Jones haters will go away quickly once he finds the mix like he wants and the wins start rolling in.

P.S. Austin still hasn't taken home a cup as head coach in the east, but won one with the Rider's.

M7A0S8T8E5R

Anonymous said...

and you will say the same about Jones by the end of next year.

you will be the person saying "I knew it all along"

Jeff F said...

Rod, I love your positive attitude...keep it up! BTW, I was playing golf in Orangeville, Ontario and I saw 3 people with some sort of Rider gear on.... one even recognized me... In Ontario!!!!

The fans are everywhere and I totally agree with the Canada's Team label!

JF

Anonymous said...

Happ on the mound tonight for Canada's team.

Esks by 35 tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

We almost always lose in Edmonton but we would never miss a chance to see our Riders. My kids are "born in Alberta but raised on Rider pride". ...next billboard?!
Love your blog and I love that it bugs the haters too.

Anonymous said...

"The CFL record for most players used in a season is 88 set by the 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats. So ... Chris Jones is nuts but Kent Austin wasn't?"

You could see Austin's team improving each week !!!

Good objective MMG back to the green BS on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

The coach's challenge in the CFL has got to go. It's clear that the coaches are using it to challenge every play that doesn't go their to check for even the slightest infraction. It completely kills the buzz of a great drive. It's like employees at a company that get credit cards for expenses. If you abuse that privilege it gets taken away. CFL coaches have abused the system and it needs to be cancelled. Maybe have challenges for scoring plays but this can't continue. Maybe have the ability to challenge scoring plays and that's it. Scruffy mentioned on the Cage yesterday how bad the ratings have gotten, well they will get much worse if something isn't done. It's not a CFL vs NFL thing. Too bad the CFL head office seems to have the attitude of "don't let the door hit you on the way out" towards frustrated fans who won't watch anymore. So much for the customer is always right.


Dubya

Christopher said...

Good article Rod... very down to earth and realistic... you really need to dump the "Canada's Team" its past its prime... just like Swaggerville needed to be put to bed... my only complaint about the article is grammar... it should be coach's Challenges not coaches challenges.. :) take care... good luck Friday.. sincerely a Lions fan

Anonymous said...

Torchy's Sports does a very good job of skate sharpening for $5.

Looking forward to the game Saturday night to see if/how the Riders bounce back after another disaster in the east.

Anonymous said...

Capital Pointe! LOL!! THat's great!

Enigma said...

Great article Rod. Really well done. You get and understand how most of us feel. We all know that mismanagement of the past isn't worked through in a season, and better times are right around the corner. I certainly hope the players and coaches understand that we "get it" and know we will be winning another GC very soon. The Trolls are just who they are but will be the first ones back on the bandwagon. Morally bankrupt individuals!!!!!!

tskware said...

Immediate results just aren't feasible? Ask Austin about that in Hamilton in 2013. Grey Cup appearance. Ask CJ in 2014 in Edmonton. 8-1 by Labour Day and 2nd place finish. Both in first year of rebuild. So how is it not feasible Rod? I will give you some time to come up with some obscure reason why this team is so much different than those teams.

JackD83 said...

So what you're saying is the Roughriders are the Toronto Maple Leafs of the CFL?

Anonymous said...

Im so tired of people calling other people on here trolls because they voice their opinion.
This team has a HISTORY and that History isnt that great. So just because you want to believe the present Administration that's sitting at 1-7 is going to turn this around. Sure as hell dosent mean that someone else who dosent believe is a troll.
In fact I would call you a certain name on here but then this wouldnt get posted.

Spock Logic

Anonymous said...

Just read Kirk Penton's article in the L-P. His idea that even though Collaros wasn't looking at Banks the slight tug by the Rider DB meant it prevented banks from being "wide open" in the end zone.
Where on earth did the L-P dig up this guy. He is a moron.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. I have stopped watching CFL games because of all the delays.
Dave

Anonymous said...

The bluejays are NOT Canadas team.
Go Yankees

Anonymous said...

Um, no! The Riders have won since 1967. You mean the Oilers are like the Leafs

Anonymous said...


Canada's team ---leads the CFL in attendance per capita
---talked about by the talking heads in Toronto more than any other team including the defending GC champs

---rabid fanbase
---creates attendance in visiting cities because of said fanbase (Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver) etc. etc

Canada's team---yeah I guess they're not. #MORON

The Riders are the lifeblood of the CFL. You take them away and you might as well throw this league away. #FACT

Anonymous said...

Mr. "Kent Austin is a Saskatchewan Football God". He's personally responsible for two of four team franchise Grey Cup titles in a 100 plus year history. Do not use his name in vain. All bow down riderville and hail Mr. "Kent Austin the Saskatchewan Football God".

Anonymous said...

Actually when Hamilton set that record for players and then ended up making it to the Grey Cup, the East was a disaster. Every team was losing. Riders smoked them in the first game of the year with 10 sacks.

Anonymous said...

Oskaaweewee to you my gawd-loving Kent Austin fan. See you at the Grey Cup,

Your pals in Rider Nation

Anonymous said...

Heh heh heh, he said farts.

Beavis.

Anonymous said...

Please bring in Lil Jonnie Manzeil, he would look good in green and white as the starting qb.

Anonymous said...

The Blue Jays are Canada's team. They drew 40,000+ tonight against a last place team (yes on a Thursday night). also over 1 million viewers. Every CFL game last weekend including Riders drew between 300-550,000 ppl.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure they are the Toronto Blue Jays, not the Canada Blue Jays

tskware said...

So the east division was a weak division. Hamilton still made it to the GC in Austins first year. You dont do that by accident. And I would gladly take getting blown out in the GC in CJs first year in the job. That would be progress.

Anonymous said...

Rod wrote, "Darian Durant now holds the CFL record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception at 323. That record won't last forever but for now, it belongs to Darian."

What makes you say that? I think it's a Gretzky like record that will never be broken.

Anonymous said...

No, the Habs are Canada's team!!