Realty One

Thursday, October 13, 2016


On Sale Now: Final Game Merchandise at The Rider Store

1 - If opening night was any indication, the National Hockey League is in great hands.  Auston Mathews netted all four of Toronto's goals in a 5-4 OT loss at Ottawa.  Several Roughriders staff were on hand at Canadian Tire Centre to watch the #1 overall pick make history in the greatest debut by an NHL player ever.

Not surprisingly, Mathews is the talk of the hockey world this morning.  "Hurricane Mathew," blared one headline in The Big Smoke.

Old-time Leaf followers are comparing him to Darryl Sittler.

Of course, the Scottsdale, AZ product scored four goals but his Maple Leafs still lost.

How Toronto-ish.

2 - Meanwhile over in Edmonton, a capacity crowd of 18.441 was on hand at Rogers Place to watch the Oilers dismantle the Calgary Flames 7-4.  Edmonton's Patrick Maroon scored the first-ever goal in the new Oilers arena while in his first game as Oilers captain, Connor McDavid netted two goals and an assist.

Who scored the first-ever goal at Northlands Coliseum in 1974?  That would be Ron Buchanan.

The stars of opening night in the NHL were Auston Mathews and Rogers Place.

A downturn in the Alberta economy?  You wouldn't have known it by watching the Flames-Oilers broadcast.

3 - There was something overwhelmingly comforting about seeing Wayne Gretzky watch his Oilers from a luxury suite at Rogers Place Wednesday evening.  The Great One smiled glowingly as McDavid put on a show on the ice and as Sportsnet's Jim Hughson mentioned on the telecast, "Connor McDavid is making himself at home".

Earlier in the day, Gretzky was named to the Oilers' management team as Vice Chairman and Alternate Governor.  What will his duties be?  No one seems to know for sure, and no one seems to care.  All that matters is that Wayne is back with the Oilers.

4 - The Edmonton Eskimos' win at Montreal on Monday officially eliminated the Roughriders from playoff contention in 2016 and it was a punch to the gut for anyone connected to the team.  Given their 1-10 start, receiver Rob Bagg admitted that it was "unrealistic" to expect all the stars to align down the homestretch in order for his club to make the playoffs.

That didn't make Monday's result any easier for the man in charge of the Green & White.

"I haven't been able to sleep since we were eliminated from the playoffs," Chris Jones said on 620 CKRM's Coaches Show on Wednesday.  "I'll always remember that day.  I've never felt that way before because it's hard to know that you don't have a chance to move on and compete.  But it's given us a great opportunity to move forward."

Jones has never missed the playoffs in his 15 seasons in the CFL, until now, so it's clear he's in uncharted territory.  It's caused him to reach out to his mentor for advice.  

"I had a great conversation with Bill Parcells this morning at 5:00 and we spoke for about an hour," Jones revealed.  "We talked about moving forward and exactly what we should do with our personnel and targeting what we ourselves could have done better.  We're looking forward to keeping this thing rolling."

This will be the longest off-season in memory, as the club moves over into New Mosaic Stadium and an exciting team continues to be built.

- The 4-10 Roughriders visit the 5-10 Toronto Argonauts on Saturday at 2:00 pm Sask Time (TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network).  Bodog has the odds listed as a "Pick Em", meaning it's a coin flip to guess who wins.  The forecast for Saturday at BMO Field calls for sunshine and 18 degrees Celsius.

6 - It'll take more than ideal conditions to draw fans out to Saturday's game in Toronto.  The Toronto Blue Jays are scheduled to visit the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of their American League Championship Series at the exact same time as the Riders-Argos game.

I questioned on the SportsCage this week how many Rider fans will be tuned into the football game versus the baseball playoff telecast but I should've known better.  In a landslide, the vast majority or respondents said they'll be watching or listening to the Roughriders.

That shouldn't have been a surprise.

7 - The MMG predicts the Blue Jays will beat Cleveland in a 6-game series.  Toronto's playing as a team, their starting pitching rotation appears to be better than Cleveland's, and their offense is unquestioned.  The season series was pretty close with the Indians winning four of seven meetings.

8 - The Roughriers are building on a record they've already set in the CFL.  The Riders have used a league-record 90 players in 2016, bettering the old mark of 88 set by Hamilton in 2013.  It's proof positive that Chris Jones has been the architect of the largest rebuild in Canadian Football League history.  If they finish at 8-10, it'll be astonishing.

9 - This is the craziest ending to a CFL season that I've seen in my time in the league.  While the four top teams in the West Division have all clinched a playoff spot, all four East Division teams are still in playoff contention.  However if both Montreal and Toronto lose this week, a crossover from the West Division will be guaranteed.  Mathematically, only the top two teams in the East Division will make the playoffs, but all four are still alive with four weeks to go.  Amazing!

10 - The West Division has won 13 straight games against the East Division lately but who honestly saw this western dominance coming?  We all knew every team in the West would be better going into 2016, but who predicted the implosion of the East?  Not very many people.

11 - The Calgary Stampeders have locked up homefield in the West Division Final but they still have plenty to play for.  They've got a shot at the best regular season-ever in the CFL, and they have a chance to set a CFL record for the lowest turnover total in league history.  Calgary's at 20 turnovers while Winnipeg is at 21, and the league record is 23 set by the B.C. Lions in 2012.

12 - A startling trend in CFL Thanksgiving Monday doubleheader TV viewers:

Game 1, 686,000 viewers, Game 2,  956,000 viewers

Game 1, 782,000 viewers, Game 2, 843,000 viewers

Game 1, 580,200 viewers, Game 2, 598,300 viewers

* Not one  CFL game in the 2016 season has had an average audience of a million-plus.  That's the first time that has happened since the 2000s.

13 - As was noted in last week's column, the National Football League is mired in a similar slump.  So many millenials are telling me they've "cut the cord", (cancelled their cable subscription, favouring the internet instead).  That's great for NetFlix viewers, but it means you can't watch live sports programming in your home.  

The ratings are reflecting this trend but with so many sports viewers going to live-streaming, that is ultimately "trackable" and the numbers will eventually correct themselves.  That's the fun part of the ratings business; trying to to stay on top of the technology and trends.

14 - Something big was missing on the CFL on TSN panel this season.  Now it's back, in the form of 6'8" Chris Schultz.  Welcome back big guy!

15 - The Regina Pats are still unbeaten in regulation time, however they ended their homestand with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Portland Winterhawks on Wednesday evening.  Earlier in the day, the Pats were given a #5 ranking in the CHL Top Ten but they looked decidedly average against Mike Johnston's Winterhawks.

It was a treat to watch the game in the east end upper deck with the Molleken family (Lorne, Doug and Dustin) but the MMG gives the Brandt Centre hotdogs a 5-out-of-10 on Weiner Wednesday.




Anonymous said...


Your welcome. :)

Parkside said...

Re: Football ratings. Some still watch on the their 'box'. They may have cut the cord on paying for it. But are still watching.

CFL numbers were not helped by the Challenges in the first half either.

Anonymous said...

*** you're
You're welcome.

Author Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Hey Roddy,

There is no question that I'll be tuning into the Rider game.... On the PVR after the Jays game.

Anonymous said...

Okay in the number 9 section of the blog it makes me wonder if you do know the CFL well at all…Quote 'While the top four teams in the West have all clinched a play-off spot"…so the crossover has not been clinched yet and only 3 teams make it to play-offs on the west side so how did all four if the west teams clinch Rod, can you explain this since you know the game so well lmao

Rod Pedersen said...


Anonymous said...

I think part of the issue for Monday's games were the state of the teams playing. Both MTL and TOR most weeks are boring to watch, and you just had the feeling the games would be blowouts and they were. Hard to watch any Argo game in TOR when there are small crowds, just makes the game uninteresting to watch. Build a stadium in Halifax and move this team already. As much as the league thinks they don't need TOR. They need 9 viable franchises no matter where they are located. Even if the Argos had a good team, they will never be able to compete for the entertainment dollar of the Leafs and Jays. things are almost as bad in BC. A good team and they can't draw 35,000 to a game out of over 3 million plus people. WHY?

Anonymous said...

Question about ratings. If the game is PVRed...does it register as being watched?

Anonymous said...

From what I understand PVR'ed is a category now for most shows when Neilsons does it's ratings. Not sure the cable companies in Canada are that technically advanced :-)

Dustin said...

Read the last two sentences on point #9 D.A.

Dylan said...


It's funny that you talk about "millennials" cutting the cord and cancelling their cable subscription, because I've been there. The CFL was the only thing that kept me from cutting the cord, but then I moved to Alberta and my TV/internet bill would have nearly doubled from what I paid in Saskatchewan, so I went searching for alternatives. After a lot of searching, I found a handful of sites where I can stream the CFL broadcast from European sports networks, and occasionally ESPN. Is it the best quality? No. But it's better than nothing, and it's cheaper. I would like to see the CFL and TSN come together and set up some sort of MLB.TV style streaming service for people like myself that have cut the cord. I can't afford an extra $75 a month for cable, but $100-$150 a season for crystal clear streams, direct from the CFL/TSN? I'd be the first to sign up! That's just something I wish the CFL would think about.

Keep up the great work Rod!

Still reading and listening from the Crowsnest Pass,

-- Dylan

Anonymous said...

Some a$$hole in sweatpants in his parents basement commenting on how much Roddy knows about the CFL. hahahahaa

the best CFL hypeman ever and questioning if he knows the league.

bahahahahahahahahahahah perfect definition of a fool who thinks he has a voice cause he is on "your" blog talking to you.

I can literally hear and smell the stupid.....

Anonymous said...

Here is a great quote from a football coach taking charge of a team coming off a one win season:

"We're going to relentlessly chase perfection. In the process we'll achieve excellence. I'm not remotely interested in just being good."

The year: 1963
The team: Green Bay Packers
The Coach" Vince Lombardi

Don Mitchell said...

On 2 and out podcast the hosts mentioned that the Labour Day rematches should be played on Thanksgiving Weekend. Could you imagine the ratings with Cal vs Ed and the Peg vs Riders? Especially with the way all four teams are playing lately?

Anonymous said...

Ottawa Sens game was far from a sellout last night

Anonymous said...

Fans aren't watching because of the new rules and how boring it is to wait and see if there is going to be a challenge after every play. My god after every play the receiver thinks he's been interferred with. I used to watch every game now I try and stomach through just the rider games and apparently I'm not alone. Go Jay's

Rally Driver said...

RE: Point #9- Edmonton has not clinched yet, but can with a tie. If they lose their last 3 games and 3 Eastern teams do a whole lot of winning (not likely), it is possible for Eskimos to miss the playoffs. To cross over, a fourth team must have MORE points in the standings than the third place team in the other division. A tie goes to the third place team, despite the results of the games played against each other.

Curt Dittmer said...

Comparing the decline in CFL TV ratings to NFL ratings is really like comparing apples and oranges. It is being speculated that the drop in ratings in the US is largely attributable to the US election coverage/debates and the fact that online streaming and RedZone subscribers are not included in the ratings. I don't really think these arguments apply to the CFL. What does apply to the CFL is that the Blue Jays and NFL are taking viewers away. The NFL is consistently outdrawing the CFL in Canada which supposedly would "never happen." Streaming of games in Canada, I expect, is likely not that significant and would apply to all sporting events, not just the CFL. I do not believe the ratings decline is an aberration or the result of being unable to track new technology. The CFL brand is not as strong as it used to be. I truly believe that the CFL in Toronto is dead and I do not seeing it coming back in that market, they just don't care or seem to want it. Interest amongst younger viewers is in serious decline and I don't know how the CFL gets them back, there are just too many entertainment choices out there and the CFL product right now is not that appealing. I do not want to see the CFL disappear as it has demonstrated the ability to provide an entertaining product (just not in the last three years) but I fear that the TV ratings bear out what is obvious, the CFL is in serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

Then you should close your mouth.

Anonymous said...

riders with jones finish out of the playoffs and in last place. what happened to all of the calls saying riders will finish in first place ???
The only way the riders will ever make the playoffs is if they fire jones and get a proper HC and O'Day as GM

gman80 said...

Lol. You! Mr. Anonymous.(last poster) with your bull@$#& comments! YA! NOW YA COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK TO TROLL! The Riders unfortunately started too late this season to turn it around.. unfortunately with their poor play in the first half (which was expected).. they got knocked out...But you're either a punk Riders hater looking to troll or your just blind to whats been happening with the Riders in the last 3 games! MARK MY WORDS! next season Jones and Co. Will be back in the playoffs and better than ever! Go back in your hole s@#$ for brains!

John Knight said...

To the last poster, get your EE head out of your a$$. We are already much better than last year and no-one said they would finish in first place this year. They also will be last in west but in 7th in the league. Jones will be here until he gets a better job and that will only be NFL.

Rudyman said...

I really think the cfl is starting to price its self beyond the means of the fans. I love the game and the atmosphere watching in the stadium. At 500+ a ticket for grey cup i really dont think i would pay that if it was here, in the new stadium, with the riders in the game. At $200 more next season i am having a tough time accepting that to go. I can buy alot of other entertainment for $800 per year.