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Regina Rams Football

Thursday, December 29, 2016

NEW YEAR'S RODSERVATIONS


A RIDER DOZEN ODDS N' ENDS

1 - GO PATS GO: "Three years," a Regina business executive said to me in club seating during the Regina Pats' 7-4 victory over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings Tuesday evening.  "Three years is all it took the new Pats owners to sell this building out every night and be the #1 team in the country."

It's staggering what's going on with the Regina Pats Hockey Club right now.  While it's not new in some other WHL markets (Kelowna, Kamloops and Medicine Hat come to mind), it's entirely new here in the Queen City.  What's remarkable about it is that we were told over and over that it couldn't be done.  "Regina isn't a hockey town," was the mantra.

Think again.

2 - IF YOU'RE NOT FIRST, YOU'RE LAST:  Local businessman Trent Fraser further points out these three Regina teams are in first-place in their divisions/leagues: the Regina Pats, the AAA Pat Canadians and the PJHL Regina Capitals.

However don't forget that didn't work out so well for Calgary's Stampeders, Dinos and Colts who led for most of the year but faultered at the finish line.

*Incidentally the Pat C's are 1-1 at the Mac's Tournament in Calgary.

3 - PATS SHOPPING: As it turns out, the Regina Pats are in the market for a goaltender before the WHL trade deadline in early January but it's not due to a lack of faith in starter Tyler Brown.  According to WHL sources, the Pats are concerned over the lingering injury to back-up Jordan Hollett and are in the market for some insurance.

Who's out there?  It's unlikely the Western Conference-leading Everett Silvertips would part with Carter Hart however perhaps his World Junior teammate Connor Ingram would be made available by the 4th-place Kamloops Blazers.

A Brown-Ingram tandem would certainly make the Pats an even more formidable foe.

4 - BE LIKE MIKE: It's becoming the buzz in the Queen City: if the Regina Pats score six goals or more in any home game, fans can redeem their ticket stub for a free appetizer at Regina's Mr. Mike's Casual Steakhouse.  As it turns out, the Pats have achieved the feat nine times and you'd think the restaurant may be having second thoughts.

But think again!  I was in their fine establishment Wednesday evening and our server said Mr. Mike's is loving the promotion.  For instance after Tuesday's 7-4 win over Brandon, the joint was packed within 30 minutes of the game's conclusion.

They say they can't buy advertising like this.

5 - DURANT TALK:  Of course the Roughriders are still never far from peoples' lips around here.  "Anything new on Durant?" several people questioned on the concourse during Tuesday's Pats game.  "Let me guess; he's gone isn't he?" each one of them said.

To that, I still don't have an answer.

At least as of today, we're one day closer to a resolution to the number one hot-button topic facing Canada's Team this off-season.

6 - A DOUBLES CHRISTMAS: If there's a P.R. battle in this scenario, you'd have to think Darian Durant is winning it.  The franchise quarterback left a series of gifts around the city for his fans leading up to Christmas.  It was an Easter egg-type of hunt, with Durant Tweeting out various locations for fans to find a gift package.  Under the bow was an autographed 8x10 glossy photo of Durant.

2017 is shaping up to be very interesting in Riderville.

7 - KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES:  On the other hand, fans continue to settle into what seems like the inevitable; Durant having played his last game as a Rider.  Some fans have said that if Chris Jones is building "a system" in which the club can sustain the departure of any franchise player and still be successful, then they're all for it.

"He's a spreadsheet guy," said one long-time fan this week.  "He's taken emotion out of the equation and is building a rock-solid foundation."

It sure seems that way.

8 - VOTES OF CONFIDENCE:  From what I've been told, members of the Rider Board of Directors have been saying in the community that they fully support Chris Jones and his plan.  That should come as no surprise.

9 - FRENZY SAYS: Football maven John Lynch feels this Rider regime needs to be much more successful in free agency than they were last year.  For instance, Shawn Lemon, Justin Capicciotti, Kendial Lawrence and John Chiles never finished last season with the club.

10 - MAKING GAINES:  Thoughts on the Riders' re-signing pending free agent defensive back Ed Gainey on Wednesday?  He's a quality player and a quality person.  The type that you don't want to let slip away.

11 - SIMSATIONAL: Former Roughriders quarterback Blake Sims - a star at Alabama - was signed as a running back to the practice roster of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday.  Who can forget the Blake Sims Era in Riderville in 2015?  You've got to hand it to the guy; he's absolutely dying to be an NFL'er at all costs.

12 - EH OH CANADA GO: The 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship is playing out as per usual.  (i.e., wake me up for the medal round).  After Canada's 5-3 tournament-opening victory over Russia on Boxing Day, the TSN analysts said, "Well they weren't perfect".

Is that where the bar is set at?  That's an awful lot of pressure to place on Canadian coach Dominique Ducharme and his players but that's the way it is for Canada in every international tournament.  You're expected to win.  Don't screw it up.

13 - DOWN GOES DOWNIE: NHL'er Steve Downie went on a Twitter rant against the Arizona Coyotes late last week, blasting the club for not visiting him in the hospital when he was concussed, and advised any free agents not to sign there.  He also blamed Don Cherry for his style of play, saying he watched too many Rock 'Em Sock 'Em videos as a kid.  He's suffering P.C.S. and says he wished he never played hockey at all.

Sounds to me like a guy who's blaming everybody else for his problems.

---

2011
I've got to get back to work on the SportsCage on 620 CKRM.  I'm starting to enjoy not working far too much!  But first, we've got a trip planned to New York beginning Thursday and it's going to be spectacular.  On the docket are the Bills-Jets at MetLife Stadium, a tour of Sirius/XM Radio from my buddy Zig Fracassi of NFL Radio (hopefully including a stop by Howard Stern's studio), a trip through Central Park, the famed Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and of course watching the ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve.

You never know who you'll run into in the Big Apple.  The last time I was there, I got to spend time with Tim Tebow and Rider great Tad Kornegay!

To quote John Lynch, "It's just gonna be fantastic".

------

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR ...
RP
@rodpedersen

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonder who bought the rock'em sock'em videos for him? Don Cherry or his parents?

Anonymous said...

9. Frenzy says;

Frenzy is sure right on that one. Jones and Murphy were total flops on Free Agency last year. Total flops!

Anonymous said...

Back in the day I could never figure out why the hockey powers had Downie on Canada's National Junior Hockey Team.
He was just a loose cannon and you never knew when he was going to go off. But the brass explained that he played 'on the edge'.
He was a wingnut.

Anonymous said...

Hold on a minute, the Wheaties aren't going to roll over and allow the Pats to assume the WHL throne without a fight. Last night proved it and no question we'll see one hell of a battle come playoff time.

Wouldn't that be something if the Wheaties won the Cup in Regina in 2018? The sight of seeing Kelly hoist the Cup on their own home ice would be too much for Rod and his followers to bear!

Anonymous said...

If your the Pats, I don't think you would go after a guy the caliber of Connor Ingram to work in tandem with what you have already, considering what it would cost to get him. He would have to be the #1 guy or trading the assets you would give up would be a waste if he is sitting on the bench for half the games he is here.

Anonymous said...

If you think you are going to "stop by" Howard Stern's studio you are crazy. You have a better chance of swinging by fort knox. He may only use the studio 100 days a year but a guy from the NFL channel is not getting your foot near the door let alone in the door

Rod Pedersen said...

You may be mistaken.

Anonymous said...


Kelly is no longer with the Wheat Kings. He is with Las Vegas. That's OK, you're just an uninformed troll. HNY Roddy!

Anonymous said...

Believe me...if Pats got a guy like Ingram he wouldn't be on the bench half the games...he would be in the net for 90%of games and 100% playoffs...Pats will not continue to score 5-7 goals per game....after watching game here on Tuesday its plain to see we need upgrade in goal

Rally Driver said...

If you're looking for an interesting place to eat, try Ellen's Stardust Diner, 1650 Broadway, for breakfast or lunch. It's a unique entertainment experience, as is Birdland Jazz Club, 315 W44th St. Have a great time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wheat Kings fan dream on. You win a game 2-1 in a shootout and now you are going to go somewhere in the playoffs this year? Remind us all again what happened in the Memorial cup last year.

Anonymous said...

McCrimmon still owns the Wheat Kings.

Anonymous said...

Yes he does, and as such Kelly will be out there on the Agridome ice with the rest of the Wheat Kings after they win. Wonder if as he's hoisting the Cup skyward he'll look over at Roddy and give him a big ol wink. Boy the Sportscage the next day would be like the Howard Stern show with insults and rants all over the place.

Anonymous said...

It's Great to see the Pats winning and the Brandt Centre full, its great atmosphere.
Wouldn't it be nice if the REAL could figure out a better exit strategy when patrons are leaving a Pats game? Sitting for 25 minutes in the parking lot is insane. Do they ever plan on cleaning up that parking lot? There has been a pile of twisted steel pipe sitting out there since last season. Its now almost completely buried under the snow. Someone will have some severe damage to the underside of their vehicle when they hit that this winter.

Anonymous said...

Not a hope in hell you get near Howard's studio, let alone inside.
Wishful thinking though.

Rod Pedersen said...

I guess we'll see, Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

The Wheat Kings can't win a Memorial Cup. Never have and never will. I think God punishes teams that have stupid troll fans.

Rod Pedersen said...

That should end it.

Anonymous said...

Uh, guys? The Pats haven't won jack squat in 42 years, not even a league title since 1980. You're starting to sound an awful lot like Toronto Maple Leafs fans, long championship droughts but still centre of the universe. First place ranking in the CHL doesn't mean anything until you collect some hardware.

Transcript of Rod's meeting with Stern:

Rod: "Hi Mr. Stern, it's a pleasure and an honour to..."
Stern: "Hey bud, would you mind getting me a coke? And a glass with ice too"?
Rod: "Um, yeah sure, absolutely"
Stern: "Thanks bud" (walks away)

Rod Pedersen said...

I'd be honoured to get him a refreshment.

Anonymous said...

I love New York City, have a great time Mr Pedersen, be safe always! Happy New Year!

El@

Anonymous said...

The Riders BoD may still be supporting Jones but this fan isn't! How do the Riders expect to win without a bona fide starting QB? They expect fans to dole out big $s for season tix & in return, as 1 who has paid thousands over the years, I expect a decent team with a great QB. And if I don't get it, why shld I keep renewing my tix? The BoD needs to get their heads out of the ground!

Anonymous said...

bona fide starter been long time since we had one of those

Anonymous said...

Jones' approval rating is dropping as we go. If he doesn't sign DD, it will drop significantly. I am sure he could care less what anyone thinks. He gets paid no matter what happens, so no problem for him. The Rider organization believes that the fans will continue to shell out their hard-earned dollars to them, no matter what they do. The numbers last year and again this year have proved them wrong. Sooner or later, something is going to give! Who will blink first?

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the start of the season to see the 'smartest man in the CFL' implode the Riders

Anonymous said...

Its been 3 years since Durant has been a bona fide starter. He doesn't scare the other teams any more.

Michael Chicoine said...

Hundreds if not thousands of tickets available for the centennial classic.
No tweets from Arash Madani though

Anonymous said...

What is the centennial classic?

Anonymous said...


"He's a spreadsheet guy," said one long-time fan this week. "He's taken emotion out of the equation and is building a rock-solid foundation."

What a crock.
We had a CFL record number of players in camp last year and never came close to having the same lineup for consecutive games.
That my friend is not a 'foundation' but it is an indication of a guy in over his head.

Po'd lifelong Rider fan.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who listens to Howard stern knows that he is on holidays and not on the air (plus he isn't on the air thurs and fri period) so a tour of his studio is a possibility. Take pics if you do do the tour rod

Durant hasn't been a great QB since winning the cup and you could argue he wasn't great that year other than getting hot in the playoffs. Yes they were 8-1 before he got injured in Winnipeg but it was the defence that got them the 8-1 record. Durant was average and the guys who replaced him were well below average and they couldn't win as a result. He can't expect premium dollars when he isn't a premium QB

Jones is on the path to making the Riders great. What he did last year was change the culture and laid a foundation. The management group can clearly find talent which isn't something that has been happening the previous 6 years. It might not be 2017 but come 2018 and beyond - look out cfl!

Anonymous said...

Without doubt my friend, Arash is taking a Christmas vacation, probably in the Bahamas. Not like us peons stuck in the snow and cold and longing for his tweets.

Anonymous said...

The nhl has beat the outdoor games to death the novelty is gone. Sometimes less is more.

Anonymous said...

Durant is a bona fide starter in my opinion. What doesn't scare other teams is our O line and yes, our coaches. Regardless of the players on the field last year, the coaching staff made some strange decisions and had some odd game plans. I am just a fan but that opinion was given by several ex players. Listen to Carm sometime and Mike McCoullough, among others.

Anonymous said...

To Po'd Livelong Rider Fan: I could not agree with you more. Jones was coaching with confusion and desperation. He is well on his way to driving the Riders into the ground.
As for taking emotion out of the equation; that is another load of crap. Football is an emotional game. The players that succeed are those that play with a lot of passion. Jones also coached with a lot of emotion; most of it anger.
To the person who said that this management group can clearly find talent; take another look at our huge roster over eighteen games and count the number of players that are new talent. There are only a few, most are rehashed players that have been cut from other CFL teams. So do you mean the talent that we had on the O line after Labatte and Best got hurt early in the season? Oh, wait a minute, they were pretty bad. You must mean the D line. No, couldn't be the talent on the D line. I don't remember getting any pressure on the QBs. The DBs perhaps? No, that was a revolving door with only a few that look like bona fide starters. Maybe you are referring to the backup QBs. One will have to start because they refuse to sign Durant. Anyone of them look good enough to take the Riders to a three and fifteen season. Or perhaps they will go with some third or fourth stringer from another CFL team. That will certainly get us three or four wins. I give up. Just where is this tremendous new talent that Jones has found?

Anonymous said...

"He's a spreadsheet guy," said one long-time fan this week.

Rod. Why don't you quote the fans that told you Jones worries them?

George Porge said...

Jones' rebuild plan was thrown out the window when the commish forced him to send all his "pre-practice roster" players home. A lot harder to evaluate a hundred-odd players one at a time.

Anonymous said...

The last time someone got into the Stern studio while the show was off for a break, Howard went ballistic, sorry Rod, you have a better chance to see the studio while they are on the air, which is still slim and next to none.

Anonymous said...

Caleb Holley, armanti edwards, Ricky Collins, Justin cox, Sam eguavoen were all starters in their first year in the cfl.

That is a success in finding new talent itself. You are not going to find 20 + first year or new starters that the Riders needed when they overhauled a pathetic 2015 roster. Mrabure, Rodgers, gainey, Jefferson, fuller were solid second or third year cfl players that are young that we're signed by the Riders mgmt. I'm sure there are a few players that we don't know what they can do yet because they are talented but require a year to adapt to the nuances of the cfl and sat on the practice roster or were backups.

I know that it's hard for some fans to believe, but players don't wake up and just become superstars (like those fans must be at their place of employment)

Anonymous said...

To the delusional last anon.

How many good offensive linemen did Jones/Murphy find?

How many games did Holley, Edwards and Collins start? Jones found several nice receivers because he needed several because none of them could stay healthy. That's why they were available in the first place.

Reality

Anonymous said...

Sit on it

Anonymous said...

Wasn't great, but wasn't total either. Gainey and Foster evidence.

Anonymous said...

Okay, lets go over that list of players that you mentioned.
1.Rodgers-was on the Edmonton Eskimos practice roster in 2015. Jones
did not find him.
2. Armanti Edwards-28 years old. Played 41 games in the NFL over 4
seasons. Looked good but injured too soon to know for sure.
Not new talent.
3. Caleb Holly-a friend of Naman Roosevelt's. Jones cannot take
credit for finding him because Roosevelt invited him up here.
4. Ricky Collins-signed with Winnipeg in January, 2016.
5. Mrabure-signed with B.C. Lions after they drafted him.
6. Ed Gainey- played with Hamilton.
7. Jefferson- played with Edmonton Eskimos in 2014 and 2015.
8. Fuller- 26 years old. Signed with Calgary in 2013. Played 14 games
in Calgary. Signed with Seattle Seahawks in 2016.
9. That leaves Justin Cox and Equavon. Chris Jones saw 30000 young players, signed 192 players and dressed 102 players in the 2016 season and yet you can only name two players that he found as good young talent. The rest were "discovered" by other teams; some already played in the CFL for a few years. I do not call that a success at finding NEW talent. You are right in that you will not find 20+ new players in one year but then why would you release 20+ players in one year. And not being a superstar in their first year; right again. Which is exactly why we need Durant signed. Chris Jones has not found a backup QB, let alone a starter. He traded away our starting left tackle without a real good backup. He can't find that either. "Next man up"? By the end of the next season, we will be looking for the next man up in the coaching and GM position.

Anonymous said...

All those players have talent. You obviously have no idea what the beginning of a good thing looks like and won't realize it until it passes you by. Are still celebrating the 2013 grey cup win?

Plus you don't find good o-linemen, you draft and develop them. That takes time and draft picks. Something Taman never put value in, which puts the Riders behind the 8ball when best and labatte go down for the year.

Save yourself the grief, don't renew your tickets, avoid watching the Riders on tv, but make sure you stay limber enough to jump back on the bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

I haven't jumped off the bandwagon. I just took off my rose coloured glasses. And may I remind you that Chris Jones has traded draft picks away. Nothing has passed me by; I have watched Jones make the Riders into a team that the rest of the CFL snickers about. I have watched the "defensive guru" become so desperate that he hired Etch as a consultant. No disrespect to Etch. I have watched the revolving door on the 46 man roster. I have watched some very good players that just wanted out of here i.e. Cappicotti and Lemon. I will continue to watch. I just don't like what I see.

Anonymous said...

How was the tour of Stern's studio Rod? Any pictures?