|Our Palace Awaits|
1 - It appears Thursday will be the coldest day of the year. It's what everybody's talking about around here.
What shocks me is I've been through 43 Saskatchewan winters (one in Alberta) and people continue to be surprised at how cold it is and how bad the roads are. Are Saskies expecting one of these winters to be totally different? Tropical like Mexico?
Grin and Danny "Bare-It"!
2 - Wednesday's news that Jonathon Newsome has re-signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders is the type of "good news" stuff that the club can use right now. But the veteran defensive end dropped another nugget on the SportsCage Wednesday when he said - as far as he knows - teammate Willie Jefferson plans to re-sign with the Riders as well.
Speaking from balmy Indiana, Newsome said he spoke with Jefferson that morning and Willie said his intention is to come to terms with the Green & White.
Jefferson is part of the "Big 3" players on defense that the Riders need to sign, including linebackers Jeff Knox Jr. and Otha Foster.
3 - Darian Durant is in another stratosphere as far as the importance of him re-signing with the club goes, and dare I say it's the #1 story in the CFL right now. Scruffy was on the SportsCage from Edmonton on Wednesday and he said a Rider fan stopped him in downtown Edmonton asking, "Is today the day we sign Darian?"
That notion caught me off-guard, but it shouldn't have because I get the same question almost daily. However that's not how I envision this scenario unfolding. (i.e. the Riders calling a last-minute news conference and catching us all by surprise with the good news).
No, I suspect that whether Durant signs with the club or not, the news will have been leaked well ahead of time by one side or the other. The ultimate news conference could be anti-climactic.
4 - Who the hell does Meryl Streep think she is?
5 - Of the Top 10 most-read stories on the website 3DownNation.com in 2016, FIVE of them included the Saskatchewan Roughriders. If that isn't proof enough that the Riders are what pulls the CFL wagon then I don't know what is. The other teams and head office need to quit fighting it.
6 - Would the Winnipeg Blue Bombers have released quarterback Kevin Glenn last Friday if they didn't think starter Matt Nichols would be back? To me, that's doubtful. However if Nichols doesn't re-sign with Winnipeg, are the Blue Bombers contenders in 2017? That's also doubtful.
7 - Twice now I've heard Kevin Glenn's named linked to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, at the very least as an insurance policy in the event that Durant isn't back. How would that go over in the 306?
8 - The Leader Post's Rob Vanstone penned a masterpiece of a feature on old Exhibition Stadium, the former home of the Regina Pats, which is scheduled for demolition in the not-too-distant future. Some local sporting types have winced that the aged arena hasn't received the hullabaloo that Taylor Field enjoyed across the street in 2016.
But it's hardly a surprise. That Pats have toiled in virtual obscurity in this town for much of their 99 seasons and even the recent heroics of John Paddock have gone unnoticed up until the past month.
However that's about to change over the next year or so. After having meetings with the Queen City Sports & Entertainment Group - the new owners of the Pats - over the past while, I can tell you that their plans for the franchise are literally mind-blowing. My jaw dropped on the floor as some of the strategy was laid out in front of me.
It's true. The Pats' future is so bright that Regina needs to wear shades. In fact, all of Saskatchewan will if these plans come to fruition and I have no reason to think that they won't.
9 - The rumours of the sale of the Saskatoon Blades are getting more juicy and delicious by the day. Remember, I still have the Twitter Direct Message strongly denying that a sale will take place. It may come in handy!
10 - STANLEY CUPS: Maurice Richard (8), Alex Ovechkin (0).
11 - I'm taking the same supplement that Brock Lesnar does. However somehow, I don't look like Brock Lesnar.
12 - LOVED the retro jerseys worn by the Winnipeg Jets in their 2-0 win over Calgary on Monday night. It made me want to go out and buy one. Errrrr, wait a minute. No it didn't.
13 - The Regina Pats were once again named the #1 team in the Canadian Hockey League on Wednesday. Out of 16 weeks, they've been nationally-ranked 15 times. I'd love to know how many weeks they've been at #1.
As an aside, read this work-of-art by the Prince George Citizen on the state of the WHL in Prince George. "Some hockey town". http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/opinion/editorial/the-city-that-forgot-hockey-1.7101859
14 - I loathe the fact that I need to start getting in shape for Roughriders minicamp in Florida. #pushups. Last June during training camp in Saskatoon, I shot back to the players that I'm a broadcaster in my 40's, not a finely-tuned professional athlete. Defensive end Shawn Lemon shrugged and yelled, "Shut-up and get down there." I did.
15 - Join us for a Cowboys Nation SportsCage/RodPedersen.com Watch Party Sunday at 3:40 pm at the Four Seasons Sports Palace to watch Dallas take down Green Bay in the NFL Playoffs. The bash is for us Cowboy fans (including Luc Mullinder, Derek Meyers, Sharky, myself, etc.) but even Packers fans will be welcomed. We'll have giving away SportsCage hats and SportsCage licensed footballs and having a grand old time.
After last week's successful event at Boston Pizza Emerald Park, local sports bars and restaurants (and even some in Saskatoon) have been clamouring to host one of these events. However the condition is that you have to be a SportsCage sponsor. That includes the Four Seasons, Canadian Brewhouse, all Regina-area Boston Pizzas, etc.
See you Sunday!
THAT'S ALL! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO