Capital Auto Mall

Realty One

Access

Monday, January 2, 2017

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


From a Holiday Inn in Secaucus, New Jersey, here comes the first Monday Morning Goalie of 2017.

Happy New Year!

Before we get to the usual Monday column, here's a photoblog of our New Year's trip to the New York-New Jersey area which included stops at MetLife Stadium (above), Times Square, Central Park and all the great New York hostspots.


MetLife Stadium, home of the NY Jets and NY Giants.  There are some cool facts on it below, but it certainly had the feel of New Mosaic Stadium ..


The Giants Legacy Room.  Celebrate the franchise's four Super Bowls or get lost in the Hall of Fame busts of New York football legends ..


The home radio booth, and home of the Giants' Bob Papa.  It's identical to the home radio booth at New Mosaic Stadium in dimension and design.


The last time we were here, we didn't set foot in the famed Central Park.  This time, we spent a whole day there on Sunday.  It was well worth it..


One of the highlights of my trip, a tour of Sirius/XM's NFL Radio with host Zig Fraccasi.  Long-time listeners of that channel will know he's a pretty big deal ..


This is mid-morning host Howard David and this is how the conversation went in the NFL radio studio:

ZIG: "Rod, this is Howard David.  He used to be the Voice of the Dolphins."

HOWARD:  "And the New York Jets.  And Monday Night Football.  And Sunday Night Football."

ME: "Cool!  Can I get a photo?"

HOWARD: "If you must."

He was the classic crotchety old radio guy.  I loved it!


Unfortunately this was as close as we could get to Howard Stern's studio.  He has an entire wing of the radio station (on the 36th Floor of 1221 Avenue of the Americas) to himself, but was on holidays and won't allow anyone near his studio when he's gone.

Why?  Because one time when he was gone, somebody was getting a tour and messed with his stuff.  That was it!  No more.


With my bride on New Year's Eve in Times Square.  It was a fantastic event!

I'll put the rest of the photos on my Facebook page.

Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

------

10 MONDAY ODDS N' ENDS

1 - END THE SILENCE: I sincerely hope that when the CFL gets back to work on Tuesday, they do so with a vengeance.  The league has been virtually dormant since the Grey Cup ended, 38 days ago.  I'm not sure whose brilliant P.R. strategy it was for an entire league to drop out of sight for over a month, but it's going to do far more harm than good.  It'll show up in the bottom line, guaranteed.

We are in the midst of Bowl Season, the NFL Playoffs are starting up, and the CFL is asleep.

In fact right now, the CFL is averaging about one news story per week.  Last week it was Ed Gainey re-signing in Saskatchewan and the week before it was the Ottawa RedBlacks retaining their entire coaching staff.

That's just not enough for a pro football league.  It's been a public relations nightmare and a fiasco for a league seemingly lost in the dark.

And I don't think the teams will like it if us media outlets have to resort to creating the news which I'm about to do once I get back in studio on 620 CKRM's SportsCage.


2 - DURANT UPDATE: Last week before coming down here I asked the Darian Durant camp if there was anything new in the contract talks with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"Zilch," was the reply I got.

TSN's Gary Lawless reported on Thursday that the Riders and Durant were going to take a breather over the Holidays and resume talks in the New Year.  Excuse me, but take a breather from what?

They haven't talked since at least November 5.

3 - JONES NAMED #1 NEWSMAKER: The writers at CFL.ca (remember that website? The one that fired me?) took a poll of the top Newsmaker of the Year and top Person of the Year in the CFL and the results were Chris Jones and Henry Burris respectively.

My guess is Jones will be the Newsmaker of the Year each season that he's in Saskatchewan.  I'd guess, to, that he'd have won it in 2015 in Edmonton if they'd had such a poll back then.

The one award the CFL is dearly lacking is a GM of the Year like most other leagues.  If I had a vote, it would go to Ottawa's Marcel Desjardins for the 2016 season.

Who was the CFL's top P.R. department this season?  Who won the Gibson's Finest Reporter of the Year?

Am I in a dream and have yet to wake up?

Hellooooooooo ... is there anybody out there in the CFL???

4 - BIG APPLE ADVICE: If you're coming to New York for New Years Eve, you'll need three things: 1) Bring lots of money.  It's far more expensive than I thought but that's okay, 2) Bring warm clothes.  At times, the full-length Roughrider overcoat I brought wasn't warm enough.  It didn't dip below zero degrees but the wind has been ferocious and 3) Download the Uber app.  It saved us hundreds of dollars.

I know, I know.  The youngsters reading this are saying, "You didn't have the Uber app until now?"

No, I did not.  I'm Old School and liked to support the cab/private driver industry but when $72 fares are cut down to $30, I'm sorry, but it's every man for himself.

Cabbies are furious over what Uber is doing to their industry but you can't stop technology.  Taxis are going the way of Blockbuster and newspapers.

Adapt, or get in line for your buyout.

Also, regarding the top of Point 4, we had to shell out $199US each for two spots at Virgils BBQ's New Years Eve party.  Otherwise we'd have been left standing outside in the cold for up to 12 hours on December 31.  Lots of people did, but I wouldn't have wanted to be them.  You'd better love Ryan Seacrest if you want to do that! 

It's not just enough to show up and stake your spot along the thousands of barriers outlining Times Square.  You need a plan, and lots of money that you didn't expect to spend.

Other than that, the New Years Eve show was good enough for many I suppose.  I'm not a huge Mariah Carey fan so there's that.  Jenny McCarthy did a nice job being the roving reporter on the national telecast but it's a shame she's had so much work done to her face.  She didn't need it!

5 - STADIUM FACTS: MetLife Stadium was built in 2010 and was a joint venture through the New York Giants and New York Jets and various levels of government.  It seats 82,000 and it generally takes 24-36 hours to flip the stadium over between the two host teams (sidelines, endzones, interior and exterior stadium banners, etc) but they've done it in as little as seven hours.

The Giants have the larger of the two home locker rooms, and that was decided by a coin flip.

During the tour, the guide asked, "Does anyone know why the seats are multi-coloured with three different shades of gray?"

"So it doesn't look empty!" I shouted.

She replied, "We've got a ringer!"

One little kid asked her if we'd see Odell Beckham Jr. on the tour.  Clearly we would not, but the flamboyant Giants receiver is by far New York's most-popular athlete right now especially since the retirement of Derek Jeter.

The Giants were founded in 1925 by Tom Mara at an expansion fee of $500US.  The Mara family still owns them today and you may know great granddaughter Rooney Mara, the popular actress who also has roots with the Steelers' famed Rooney family.

It seems like the NY Jets - the Giants' NFL roommates at MetLife - are little more than an annoyance in the more popular Giants' home.  The Gotham Green have just one Super Bowl to their credit (1968) and their only true franchise icon is Joe Namath.

I opted for a stadium tour on Saturday rather than to go to Sunday's Bills-Jets game.  All I wanted to see was the stadium, so why not pay just $20 rather than go to a meaningless game between two bad teams?

On Sunday I asked the doorman at Trump Tower where I could find a sportsbar to watch the Jets game.  "Why would you want to watch the Jets?" he smirked, and then directed me to Cassidy's Irish pub a few blocks away.

By the way, President Trump was out of town on Sunday but that didn't stop the Secret Service with machine guns pacing the front doorways.  Check out my Snapchat at Pedersenmedia to see it all.


One other interesting stadium tour note: during construction, the coaches of both teams hired special agents to come in and sweep the ducts over the locker rooms looking for hidden microphones or cameras.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH FOOTBALL PEOPLE??

6 - HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE: It's not my idea of a holiday to flirt with frostbite, spend half your day in cabs, be elbow-to-elbow with two million other people who've come in for the same occasion, or have the foul stench of I-don't-know-what in my nostrils for five days BUT, my wife loves it and that's why we came.

Was I fearful for our safety on New Years Eve?  98% of me was confident we were in the safest place on the continent but there's always that nagging 2% that Homeland Security might've missed something.

A guy with a backpack got targeted on his way into Times Square after midnight on Saturday and it created a stir amongst NYPD.  I'll relate that story on Tuesday's SportsCage.

But give me Phoenix, Mexico, Las Vegas or Southern California on any other vacation.

Sun, space and fresh air.

7 - CENTENNIAL CLASSIC: Got back to the hotel room just in time on Sunday to watch the outdoor game in Toronto between the Leafs and Red Wings.  I was praying the Leafs would lose so I could Tweet that they're blaming the loss on the Argonauts.  But alas, Auston Mathews was the hero in a 5-4 Leafs overtime win and he's looking to be at least as good of a pick as Winnipeg's Patrik Laine.

From how it looked on the NBC broadcast, they did a real nice job at BMO Field even if it didn't sell out.  And it was great to discover where Pierre McGuire is hiding out these days (between the benches on NBC).

I'd say I miss hockey but you get your fill in the Tri-State area between the Devils, Rangers and Islanders.  I was able to watch the Rangers "shlomp" the Coyotes 6-3 on Thursday.  That's a term they used down here.

When you're down here, you could see why NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman virtually ignored Canada for the first 15 years of his tenure.

However he doesn't anymore.

By the way I predict there will be an outdoor hockey game at New Mosaic Stadium in the next 3-5 years but have no idea who it might be.

8 - DOWN GOES RONDA: Ronda Rousey's career could be made into a new movie, "Gone In 48 Seconds".  She was eviscorated in 48 seconds by Amanda Nunes Friday night in Las Vegas in UFC 205.  It was a fight she was never in and seemed ill-prepared even though she never actually went down.

Her story is simple.  While Nunes was off training, Rousey was starring in movies, living the rock star life, (reports said she became pregnant but lost it), and generally taking her eye off the ball.

Now, many are calling for the former champ to retire.  Personally I hope she doesn't but she certainly has enough money to last her a lifetime.  (She received $3,000,000 for Friday's fight).

9 - DOING IT RIGHT: A heartfelt kudos to the people of Swift Current who unveiled a commemorative monument to the Four Broncos on Friday.  Whether it was the Broncos, the City of Swift Current, private donations or whomever was responsible, thank you.

30 years ago on Friday I was 14 years old in Milestone, SK and was planning to attend the Pats and Broncos that night in the Agridome.  However my Uncle Ross Nicholas informed me of the crash while he was delivering our groceries.

Those four players will live in infamy.  And as someone who rode the buses of the WHL for 17 seasons, there wasn't a time when we boarded the bus that I didn't think of those four.

Again, congratulations to Swift Current for doing the right thing and it appears they're doing the appropriate things to begin healing.

10 - X MARKS THE SPOT: Former Roughrider Xavier Fulton is hosting a charity steak night on Saturday, January 14 to raise funds for Hopes Home.  Hopes Home is a Regina non-profit organization which helps children with complex medical needs and suffer from chronic or progressive medical conditions.

The event will be held at Cravings in East Regina and tickets are available there, or call James Foster at 306-533-0158.

It's a great iniative by "X" and here's hoping we see him in Green & White again one day!

------

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY!  HAPPY NEW YEAR
RP
@rodpedersen

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was 21 years old and living in Swift Current when the bus accident happened.

My brother used to play hockey with Scott Kruger, so we knew the family.
My brother dated Trent Kresse's fiance before she became his fiance.
I used to see Chris Mantyka at his gas jockey job on the top of Central Avenue.
Unfortunately, I never met Brent Ruff.

As I get older, I think about how these guys will always stay young.... What could have been.

IMAGIRL

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Rod.
I don't have anything positive to say about the Roughriders, so I won't say anything.

SWC

Anonymous said...

Here's a good item on the Four Broncos monument.

http://www.swiftcurrentonline.com/local/i-m-more-at-peace-now-with-what-happened-reflections-of-the-broncos-monument-unveiling

Anonymous said...

First blog and Roddy talks about Riders. BORING. Riders will not win with Jones. He's a terrible GM(and Murph).I'll ride the Pats wave. Go Pats Go!

Anonymous said...

Like most of 2016 I've erased the Riders last season and looking to the future with a ton of optimism. Welcome 2017. Glad you survived New York Rob, I'm with you, gimme a beach somewhere with lots of space to relax.

Anonymous said...

Weird how you say the CFL has made no news then immediately reference an article they posted.

I'm a big fan of yours Rod but the CFL website is one of my daily sport stops and they have produced great articles recapping the 2016 season and looking ahead on a daily basis. It is out there if you go and look!

Happy New Year!

Rod Pedersen said...

With all due respect, that's not news. News is transactions, coaching and management moves, etc:

What you're talking about is manufacturing news which is what I'll be doing come Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Rod the NFL goes into hibernation for 6 or 7 weeks a year too, it is just that it is a busy time in the CFL (june and early july). Ronda Rousey (correct spelling) was in incredible shape, maybe the best ever physically. She was not skipping out on the gym. But mentally she was a mess.

Anonymous said...

And if there are no transactions to report???

Anonymous said...

So the league is to mandate signings and trades in December and January?

Anonymous said...

There is no such person as "President Trump." Not of the USA, anyway. His deplorables are getting worried that he is going to welch on his promises (duh) so they might still take his advice and exercise their 2nd amendment. January 20 is still a bit away. Oh, and by the way, it's President "Elect". Just sayin'...

Rod Pedersen said...

You guys can't possibly be this dense. There's coaching news to pass on but in some cases, I've been asked not to report it.

Pending Rider free agents have had NFL tryouts, etc.

There's LOTS to report on but the league prefers to be silent.

Bad idea IMO.

RP

Anonymous said...

If there is news and you have been asked to not report it, who's fault is that? Seems like you're on a bit of a witch hunt here. Every extension and re-signing has been covered. Should the CFL manufacture news just to please you? It's January, free agency opens next month, the schedule will come out...patience Rod, patience.

Anonymous said...


Pro leagues that are legitimate are making news every day. When the NFL off-season hits, there will not be 48 hours without some kind of news being made. The same with the NHL and MLB. This is why the CFL will be and is content with being 2nd rate.

Go ahead trolls, argue away and keep sticking your head in the sand thinking all is good!


Anonymous said...

To SWC

Just don't comment altogether. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

IMAGIRL

Was that Karen? When I was going to University, a good friend of mine was one of her best friends. We were going to meet her at the game that night. I remember my friend phoning back to her parents in Swift from my apartment to confirm the terrible news.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Mariah Carey? Lip syncing fiasco Mariah Carey? Terrible. She walked off the stage in shame.

*Entry prices to any New York New Year event go up signifcantly (100+%) around Times Square the closer to the countdown if not sold out in advance.

Rally Driver said...

We found cabs in NYC to be the least efficient method of travel. The doorman at your hotel usually will have a couple of nice private cars he can access in minutes that will cost 2/3 the price, won't use a toll bridge unless absolutely necessary and the driver often can give you some insight regarding the city. The subway is cost effective and relatively quick. You're right about the costs, just figure out what you want to spend, add 50-65% and anything less is a bonus. Great choice on your New Year's Eve, trying to find a spot on the street would be painful.

Anonymous said...

I was just on TSN.ca reading that the Argos and Drew Willy had re-worked his contract.
Right beside the story was a big green Saskatchewan Roughrider advertisement urging everyone to renew their season tickets for the 'Inaugural Season.'
Seems I've heard there is a waiting list. Maybe the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, or the waiting list is BS.

Anonymous said...

Journalists dig for stories, then write them. Lazy bloggers bitch and moan stories aren't prepackaged and handed to them.

Centennial Classic just finished. World Juniors are underway. If the CFL is sitting on any big stories, it's a bad time of year to release them – there's too much other stuff going on. Give it a couple weeks.

You're turning into a grouchy old man Rod.

Gloria Evans said...

Regina Pats outdoor game at stadium. .celebrate their heritage. Sounds like u had a great time. GE

Rod Pedersen said...

Ya! ^ ^ ^ I'm lazy! 😂

That's a first.

Anonymous said...

Entitled?

Anonymous said...

Those CFL refs cost us the 2013 Grey Cup Championship, no doubt about that! When will that damn commissioner straighten out this collosal league mess?

Oskee.

Anonymous said...

Love it ! party !!!

Jason G said...

The CFL was smart they would as league be advertising the product year round, merchandise, tickets etc. Make it to point that you are sick n tired of seeing ads like Canadian tire Boston pizza do. They should during NFL playoffs and Superbowl be marketing as much TV ads as possible. Make people who are football fans think well Superbowl is done cant wait till June CFL starts.

Until something happens with Darian,he signs with Riders or elsewhere do we really need update everyday or week if nothing happens. Same with rest of league in regards to players who are lesser concern.

Enjoy blog Rod,your pictures of New york are good but you really make me want to visit Arizona, done Vegas numerous times but sounds fun to visit and make a sports trip out of it.

I think NHL should have game at new Mosaic probably Jets Flames Oilers would be home team but they should make it a marketable visiting team, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh or even Chicago.

Enjoy blog keep up good work can't wait till football season.

Rod Pedersen said...

Jason G with the post of the year. (He got in early).

So why ISN'T the CFL advertising during bowl games and NFL games?

Anonymous said...

Good points on the lack of promos from the CFL. Now that the holidays are over they should be hyping every piece of news that goes on. Keep the league in the public eye as much as you can. But of course don't tell that to the leauge's flunky Paulo Senra. If you try to suggest any kind of constructive criticism, he right away takes it personal and blocks you on Twitter. Or when someone suggests the NFL adapt instant replay he puts on there "oh we're leading, not following". Right, cause CFL fans just love the new rules so much.

Anonymous said...

CFL during bowl season should be hyping up prospects and their potential to play in the league. Super Bowl, should be promoting the players that have played in the league (if they have) and host Super Bowl parties at bars across Canada to kickstart the 2017 season. Heck, CFL should have been all over the Centennial Classic since it was being played in the Argos home stadium. Nope, none of that happened. But yet it's us fans suggesting these changes who are the jerks. Come on, man.

Anonymous said...

So your plan is that a league that struggles to stay a float year to year is going to pay for a bunch ads (or is TSN doing it for free out of the goodness of their hearts???) to attract interest for games 6 months from now? Advertisers won't advertise more than 2 weeks before a movie release date because they know the public has no memory, but let's ignore that and throw money down the toilet to draw attention for games played in July. Post of the year? Really? geez...

JPR said...

Welcome to 2017 and the Anon trolls are back out. They could not wait for you to get back from holidays. I love the d bag comments from these guys. From all the guys that say your blog is garbage and will never read again, there seems to be alot of repeat customers.

Rod Pedersen said...

Aren't they great?

Evan Wiome said...

Rod,
Justin Dunk is reporting daily which CFL players are getting NFL workouts. The only Rider FA I can remember reading about is Otha Foster, and that was some time ago.
If more Rider FAs are getting NFL looks, why wouldn't Dunk be including them in his articles?

Clay said...

Rod, I don't know how you can put up with a lot of the idiotic postings that some people put on here.
Unbelievable to say the least. I wonder where some of them went to school. Wasn't the same as you & I.!!!!!
They think they are all experts.
Glad you & the wife had a great trip to the Apple.
Have a great 2017 to you & all the family.
Clay

donna Campbell said...

FRESH AIR in Phoenix and Las Vegas, you got to be kidding Rod!

Rod Pedersen said...

Fresh-"ish"

Anonymous said...

You should smell India

MC Matt said...

Rod not endearing himself to the commish today but telling it as is nonetheless. The league is sending the message that - we're not that noteworthy. CFL is inviting the haters to come out with the old cliche "second rate" comments.

You know, Arash said last week that basically the CFL should know its place. Arash is great, but he is so wrong on this. Being a doormat or accepting a role as a second class citizen only invites the peanut gallery to start throwing tomatoes. Look at it this way, if you do amazing work but are you are a doormat at your job and let ppl push you around all day, you ain't getting the promotion. In fact, you will get the shaft, believe me. Let's ask Shakespeare. (one of my favorite quotes)

It comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him. WS

The league has to deal with the perception problem. The athletes are world class, the game is excellent, and yet the narrative never tells that story. The CFL is a different game, folks the field is 60% larger! There are more players, more motion, no dead plays. Football is football, sure, but there is a lot of nuances that dramatically alter the dynamics and needs of each game. We know this. We see this and it has been proven hundreds of times. Rod always says why can't you just like all football? Wanting to impose a hierarchy is really a useless endeavor.

Look, 15000 players come out of US colleges every year. 15,000 players who were so good in high school they got to go to college for free. Of those players, maybe 300 end up on an NFL roster. Players 300 to 340 in the CFL. If you are going to try and tell me that the demarcation line between world class and hack is 300 I will tell you that you are nuts. And be right.Besides, those numbers do not even factor in measurable that play as much if not more of a role than talent when the NFL picks its pieces.

Be that as it may, the trashing of the CFL always happens. And the league takes it! They should be in the news cycle all the time. Pick a fight with Rogers media. Call them chumps for degrading the CFL. Imagine if Rogers decided to promote a message that curling was a joke. Would we take it? The CFL needs to promote. Ads during college or NFL games is a fantastic idea. It almost seems like its the people who work at the league office who don't properly respect the game.


Anonymous said...

Wow and double wow. Post of the year, no, post of the decade, goes to MC Matt. Rod I strongly suggest you forward his comments to commish Orridge, Mr Morsky and whomever else has pull at the top of the CFL. Matt is absolutely correct.


Dubya

Anonymous said...

Extremely

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Wow, welcome back RP. This place is a mess already. Folks, you're just coming off some holidays simmer the F down.

And next time in NY, you can turn the $30 Uber ride into a $3 subway ride. Super easy, super cheap, and can get you within a block of anywhere.

CM said...

impressive work you put into your blog. Nice read.

Rod Pedersen said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is reason to Celebrate folks!!!!