Realty One

Monday, October 10, 2016



1 - Depending which end of the stick you're on, the sports gods have either a wonderful sense of humour, or are incredibly cruel.

The error charged to Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor, in the bottom of the 11th of last night's Game 3 of the ALDS, was responsible for the game-winning run for the Toronto Blue Jays who completed the sweep and move on to the ALCS.

Odor, of course, was the one who decked Toronto's Jose Bautista in the mug back in May when the two clubs got together for the first time since last year's ALDS.  It was seen as retribution for Bautista's "Bat Flip Heard Around The World", and no one seemed to have the problem with Texas evening the score.

So why did he baseball gods victimize the Rangers Sunday night, and Odor specifically?  It's tough to tell, and maybe it's for someone to discover who's following the game far deeper than me.  Or, maybe it was because of the headline in the Dallas newspaper which called Bautista and the Blue Jays out prior to the series.

Either way, the Rangers will have a long winter to think about it while Toronto gets ready for either Boston for Cleveland.

2 - Here in the Rider Nation, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for.  We have a 106-year tradition, the most-loved football franchise in Canada (and one of the most on the continent), a brand new stadium, what's looking to be the best Head Coach & GM in the CFL, and now a three game winning streak.

Whew, that's a lot!  And as a Rider fan, you deserve to feel good as you read this column on a Holiday Monday.

We'll all be better off when we're thankful everyday, and not for just one weekend out of the year!

3 - Remember Friday's 32-30 overtime Rider victory in Ottawa?  It seems like ages ago.  The Riders won it, or the RedBlacks gave it away, orrrr, who cares? The Roughriders are certainly guilty of giving away their share of football games this season so it doesn't matter how the game went for 60-plus minutes.  What matters is what was on the scoreboard at the end of the game.

SASK 32 OTT 30

The one amazing thing I came out of the weekend with was that the Riders are in last place in the West Division with 4 wins while the RedBlacks are in first place in the East Division with 6 wins.

That's simply embarrassing for the teams of the CFL's East Division while it's also a testament to how tough the West Division is in 2016.

Saskatchewan could well finish with an 8-10 record (I'm starting to believe it'll happen), and wind up in last-place in the West.  I can guarantee you that will be a first in the CFL because I've studied the standings meticulously over the years.

No team has ever had 8 wins in a 5-team West Division and finished in last place.  Interestingly the 2009 B.C. Lions finished at 8-10 and in last place in the 4-team West Division, and must've felt like they were jobbed.

So the 2016 Chris Jones Saskatchewan Roughriders have a chance to make history and I say, Why not?

They've already set a CFL record for the most players used in a season at 90+, so why not dive headfirst into the record book!

4 - You saw the quote from Chris Jones on 620 CKRM's postgame show Friday night but it's worth repeating in the MMG:

"Three, or four, or five plays in games early in the season, we were close enough to win," Jones told Carm Carteri.  "Our average age is 25.  I feel like we're gonna have a real good team for a long time here."

Were you watching Friday's game at Ottawa?  Armanti Edwards was a human highlight reel.  Darian Durant and Rob Bagg turned back the clock, Ed Gainey, Justin Cox and Fred Bennett were game-long menaces in the seconday, and Willie Jefferson covered the whole box himself.

I can only assume Chris Jones admonished Jefferson on the postgame show for his two offside penalties Friday night simply to prevent his head from getting too big.

It was his first game back in the CFL!

The Riders are going to look like a contending team the rest of the way, even if their record doesn't show it.  They're not going to fool anybody over the final four games, although I got the sense going into the Ottawa game that the RedBlacks were looking past them.

5 - Chris Jones is 7-0 against the Ottawa RedBlacks.

6 - Jones is getting some heat in Riderville for his lack of success on challenges this season.  However he'll be the first to tell you that he gets the challenges right when they matter, like in the 2015 Grey Cup when his Pass Interference challenge in the fourth quarter won them the game over Ottawa.

There's always going to be heat on Jones in Riderville.  He loves it.

7 - Speaking of Pass Interference, I noted in the MMG a few weeks back that CFL headquarters seems to be softening its stance on what is, and what isn't, pass interference as we forge our way down the stretch.  The coaches have noticed it too, and they're applauding what appears to be a conscious move by the on-field officials as well as the Command Centre.  Simple contact is being let go however if a defender prevents the receiver from catching the ball due to contact, then it's a penalty.  All - for the time being - is as it should be, and the league is saving face.

8 - Just playing Devil's Advocate here, but perhaps there were two reasons why Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris was called down on a game-deciding review by the Command Centre in Saturday's game against B.C.:  1) The ground can't cause a fumble and it appeared as though the ball came out as Harris hit the ground (it did to me at least) and, 2) Was his forward progress stopped?  When was the whistle blown?

The CFL Command Centre was getting roasted on Twitter by media, fans and CFL players alike Saturday afternoon but I wondered how much of the noise was warranted versus how many jumped on the negativity train because it was the thing to do at the moment?

The League issued a statement to Saturday night and it read similar to what I wrote above.

I'm not sure the criticism of them in the Andrew Harris case was warranted.

9 - Time spent in Ottawa is FANTASTIC!  It's one of the greatest cities in North America and it was a thrill to get some juicy gossip on the sports scene in the nation's capital.  We're told Senators owner Eugene Melnyk doesn't get along with the OSEG ownership group (owners of the RedBlacks, 67's and Fury), and that's a big reason why the Sens' final preseason game against Buffalo was scheduled directly against the RedBlacks/Roughriders game Friday evening.

However the move backfired and only about 5,000 fans showed up for the NHL game versus the 24,668 who attended the CFL match.  Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun wrote that at best 8,000 were on hand for the hockey game.

10 - Holy smokes Oilers fans ... stop whining about the trade of Nail Yakupov.  Did you actually watch the games while the Russian forward was with Edmonton?  He was all flash and dash and no substance (a poor man's Taylor Hall), and appeared to come with a poor attitude to boot, despite his Twitter thank you over the weekend to the City of Edmonton.

Let Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli do his job and stay out of the way.  How can you admonish him for jettisoning players from the habitual worst club in the NHL?

11 - For what it's worth, the EA Sports annual similation for the 2016-17 NHL season has the Nashville Predators winning the Stanley Cup over the Montreal Canadiens.  The Oilers, Flames and Coyotes are predicted to finish 8, 9, 10 in the Western Conference with only Edmonton making the playoffs of the three, and the computer has them beating L.A. in a first round series.

Other interesting notes from the similation:  The Leafs are expected to make the playoffs while the Senators and Red Wings are not.  The Canucks and Blue Jackets are expected to finish dead last in their respective conferences.

12 - It's back to listening to the Toronto Blue Jays on 1190 CFSL during another Jays playoff run.  That was the first-ever radio station to give me a paycheque and it has a huge spot in my heart.  I heard a spot for E. Bourassa & Sons (Your New Holland Dealer) during Game 2 of the ALDS, and the Big Voice Guy said "Bourassa" three different ways in the same commercial!

To quote Neil McCoy, "You gotta love that".

13 - What I'm thankful for lately: 1) Pumpkin Scones at Starbucks, 2) An empty Ottawa airport at noon on a Saturday, 3) The CFL being referenced respectively in the latest edition of GQ (the one with Kurt Russell on the cover, 4) My android box is fixed and ESPN is once again pumped into my home office, 5) My family, friends and you!



Curtis said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well.

Anonymous said...

I still say the command center blew the call on the review.
-the ball was coming out before he made contact with the ground;
-forward momentum wasn't stopped.

But I'm glad Wally got shafted. Looks good on him!

Anonymous said...

Rod how the heck have you not been on the cover of GQ yet? You're kind of the fashion plate of the CFL. Maybe that's why you're sticking up for Orridge these days, he's got connections and can make that happen!

stephen preston said...

Great read, thanks Rod!

Kurt Weare said...

Which add-on do you use to get espn on your Android box? I can't get a good feed.

CrownShred said...

Haha not going to touch the Montreal- Nashville final? OH how the NHL would love that, and of course for pk to win and Montreal to lose! I don't see it happening but you never know. Happy Thanksgiving Rod.

Anonymous said...

I too am glad to see Wally loose his S*it on the fumble that was not called. Wally ...... Wally .... get off the field

Newt from YQR

Anonymous said...

If the Harris fumble was after the whistle, why didn't the Command Centre just out and say it? It would have been a lot easier to buy than 'no fumble'.

Either way it looks 'bush' to me and I'm a CFL fan through and through.

Rod Pedersen said...

Sports Devil / Live Sports / Sports4U

Anonymous said...

Riders look good give Jones and Murpphy an off season to improve CDN content and Riders will really roll in 2017. Demski terrible Riders would have won much bigger if he could hang on to a football. Another Taman/ Chamblin error.

Anonymous said...

CFLeague East/West Division format should be scrapped. The best of best in a nine team league should be the reciepient/recognized of a play-off 6 spot as these teams deserved for their hard work. It would make low end teams strive to do better to their product.

Anonymous said...

Okay so I see the comment about the east/west should be scrapped…upon what reasoning I ask. You want the best six of hard work and with the east/west you are seeing it, take a look bud that the top six are making it either system…Calgary, B.C., Winnipeg,Edmonton,Ottawa, and Hamilton…either system will have the same six teams, so this brings me to the conclusion that you are being a straight out cry baby trying to cover up the fact that your riders are now the only team eliminated from the chance of play-offs and if it was combined of the top 6 you would still have a chance. My evaluation and problem solving talent I have lets me give you my best advice possible…instead of whining and crying about a bad season how about you play better football and then you can be big boys like the rest of the teams going to battle for the grey cup…the league set up of divisions is fine, next time come to play football before the last 5 games of the year. HAVE A GOOD OFF SEASON BOYS LMAO

Anonymous said...

I wasn't watching the game that closely but did the command Center even review the call? If it wasn't ruled a turnover by the refs, then they should not review it unless it's challenged. Just curious.

Rod Pedersen said...

It was reviewed because the ref said there wasn't enough evidence via review to prove a fumble.

Anonymous said...

And the Regina Pats? I guess they're relevant when its convenient for you Roddy

Rod Pedersen said...

Anonymous comments will not be considered.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful detrimental to the CFL actions this weekend

Anonymous said...

CFL East Division a pig sty with the exception being the Hamilton Tiger Cats. Hamilton football franchise in great hands with Mr. Kent Austin running his sports operations to high professional standards. The rest... (all teams) need get their sh*t together consistently or move to the back of the bus. "Nine team league"... only the best of the best need inquire to a place worthy/rightful of a play-off berth any year anytime.

Kurt Weare said...

Thanks Rod!

Anonymous said...

Only the best of the best should play…well guess what, go take a look at the past five years and see who your top six are that made the play-offs…like I said before and say it again but maybe listen this time, the same 6 teams would have made the play-offs counting them from one to six or using the crossover rule so blasting on that it should be nine teams with out divisions would make zero change so figure it out mr. wise one.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love an android box! haven't had cable for years and really don't miss it. Another good add-on for sports is Castaway. If you keep your KODI / add-on up to date you'll have no problem getting the feed for any and all sporting events.


Anonymous said...

Any Dubious play is automatically reviewed in the last 3 minutes of the game. These reviews are called by the Command Centre.

Anonymous said...

Yep! Only the best of the best allowed to play for the championship, anytime, all the time. Scrap the archaic CFL division relic of the past.