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Regina Rams Football

Thursday, February 9, 2017

RODSERVATIONS FOR CANADATOARIZONA.COM


WE'RE BACK!

1 - PHOENIX, AZ: The Rider Nation has descended on the Valley of the Sun for the Riderville Arizona Tour III.  Thousands of Rider Priders will be at Thursday's Riderville party at Salt Tacos & Tequila at Westgate Plaza adjacent to Gila River Arena, home of the NHL's Arizona Coyotes.  The party gets started at 2:00 pm MT and we'll be broadcasting the SportsCage live with many special guests from the Riders and even the NFL's Arizona Cardinals.  After the show, we'll head inside to watch the Coyotes take on the Montreal Canadiens.  It's a dream trip for fans of the Riders and Habs, not to mention the Coyotes too.

In our first year in 2015 there were 350 Rider fans on hand and that number swelled to 1,200 in 2016.  This year we're expecting thousands more and the added bonus is Friday's party from 12:00-3:00 pm at The Draft sportsbar in Mesa, AZ followed by the Phoenix Suns-Chicago Bulls NBA game.  For tickets to the Suns with a discount for Rider fans, email me at PedersenMedia@outlook.com.

I'm very much looking forward to Thursday's show, and visiting with fans over the next few days about the current state of the team.  If you're unable to join us in Arizona, please tune in on 620 CKRM!

The forecast calls for sunshine and 30 degrees Celsius.

2 - SCHEDULE THOUGHTS: I was disappointed to see the Riders wouldn't be hosting Darian Durant and the Montreal Alouettes in the home-opener at New Mosaic Stadium but that might've been asking for too much.  The Riders may not have even wanted the extra attention Durant would have drawn, preferring to showcase the stadium itself.

Meeting Durant and the Alouettes in Week 1 in Montreal has a nice ring to it.  The Riders have never lost a season-opener there before, with wins in 1983 and 2007.

And it's ideal that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers will provide the opposition on that Canada Day evening since they are historically the Riders' top rival.

“We are thrilled to showcase the best rivalry in sports with the opening of Mosaic Stadium on Canada Day,” Blue Bombers president and CEO Wade Miller said in a press release.

“We know many Bombers fans will be there to take part as well.”

That's if they can get a ticket.  The Return of Dressler II will add enough extra drama.

Beyond that, I don't get too wrapped up in the schedule when it comes out each year.  I check to see who's coming to town for the home-opener and that's about it.  You know you're going to face the eastern teams and selected western teams twice, and two more western rivals three times.  It's nine home and nine road no matter how you slice it.

Obviously I was interested to see when the bye weeks come and the first is in mid-July which means we may schedule a SportsCage Marlin Travel sports trip to New York or Chicago for baseball that week.  That will allow new listeners to join us who otherwise aren't able to make it December when we usually go.

CKRM analyst Carm Carteri also mentioned that CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge should be lauded for getting the schedule out sooner than ever before.

3 - ABOUT THE RIDERS: I had occasion to spend some time with Arizona Cardinals punter Richie Leono at a barbecue on Thursday and one of his first questions was, "Who's your quarterback?"  I really had no answer other than Kevin Glenn but when I mentioned the Riders had added Vince Young to their neg list, his jaw hit the table.

That transaction last week got several people in football talking and also wondering what exactly the "end game" is there.  Young hasn't taken a snap in live action in several years and you really have to wonder what's in it for the Riders, especially with the current youth movement.

However I'm told Chris Jones met with Young in Tennessee last week so there's obviously more to it than generating publicity.  Jones doesn't seem to be the type to go in for that.

I can't wait to discuss it on Thursday's show.  Also, Richie Leone will be at Thursday's party and is scheduled to appear on air with us.

4 - AINSWORTH A LION: Justin Dunk from 3DownNation.com reported late Wednesday night that former Rider - and pending free agent - Dylan Ainsworth has signed a free agent deal with his hometown B.C. Lions. The Western product was much-hyped as a 2nd round pick of Saskatchewan in 2014 and had some pretty stellar campaigns including being name the club's Special Teams Player of the Year.  Players like that are critical to the success of a football team, but a severe upper body injury wiped out Dylan's entire 2016 with the Green & White.

His family has to be ecstatic that he's headed home, and the kid works so hard that he deserves another shot in the CFL.

5 - MORE FOOTBALL: People down here are still buzzing about Super Bowl 51 and New England's epic comeback however the conversation is more weighted towards Atlanta's mammoth collapse.  "Why didn't they run the ball with an 8-point lead at New England's 29-yard line with only minutes to go?" is the oft-asked question.

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is getting mauled on sportstalk radio for "butchering" the fourth quarter of the game by his playcalling.  The San Francisco 49ers are getting buried too for hiring Shanahan as their new Head Coach right after Super Bowl.

Meanwhile former Rider quarterback Steve Sarkisian has bolted Alabama to replace Shanahan as the Falcons' O.C. and that's left many people wondering what Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban thinks about being left holding the bag just five months after hiring him.

Hey, you've got to look out for #1 and it's great to see Sarkisian get back to "The League" after his well-documented personal problems.

6 - THE COYOTES DEN: It may not be getting much play in Canada but the hockey people in Phoenix are buzzing about the collapse of the Coyotes' new arena deal with Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.  On Friday, ASU abruptly pulled out of the deal meaning the Coyotes owners were left holding the bag.  The new arena was expected to save hockey in the Valley, whatwith a move closer to where the majority of Canadian snowbirds are located.

Coyotes GM John Chayka was on sportstalk radio here Wednesday morning saying they're content to stay in Glendale for the foreseeable future and was speaking lovingly about Gila River Arena and Glendale politicians.  That's a flip-flop from what the team's been saying for almost the past year.

7 - VEGAS BABY: It shouldn't be long before the NHL's expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights name their first-ever Head Coach and watch for it to be Claude Julien, who was fired by the Boston Bruins this week.  My sources in Las Vegas predicted a month ago that Julien would be out in Boston and that he could be headed to Sin City.

However Julien is one of four top candidates who became available this season including Ken Hitchock (St. Louis), Gerard Gallant (Florida) and Jack Capuano (N.Y. Islanders).

However the Vegas people feel they not only need a Head Coach, but also one who's capable of "selling the game" in Las Vegas by way of speaking at luncheons and banquets and making the media circuit.

I contend that an NHL Head Coach has enough on his plate let alone being a P.R. guy too.

Time will tell, and we'll know soon who Golden Knights GM George McPhee selects.

8 - MEMORIAL CUP: These have to be anxious times for the owners of the Regina Pats as they await the CHL's decision on who will be named host of the 2018 Memorial Cup.  I was told the winner was supposed to be announced last Saturday however a few snags came up.

On our Pats-Oil Kings telecast last weekend I asked Pats Coach & GM John Paddock how confident he is that Regina will be picked.  "I really don't know," Paddock said on Access. "But I can't imagine the conversation if they called (bid chairman) Shaun Semple and told him we didn't get it."

Paddock was in Toronto for the bid presentation and said it was mind-blowing.

Incidentally the Pats were ranked #1 in the country on Wednesday for the 19th week out of 20 so far this season.

9 - MCSORLEY COMING TO REGINA: The 5th Annual Regina Cougar Mens Hockey Alumni Night of Stories is scheduled for Thursday, April 6 at the Travelodge Hotel & Conference Centre.  The keynote speaker is NHL great Marty McSorley and I'm pleased to have been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.  I've done some events with Marty in the past and he's one of the best storytellers on the circuit!  He's also fresh to the Regina banquet scene.  Tickets are $125 each and you can get yours by emailing Sharky at cougaralumni@myaccess.ca or www.reginacougarhockeyalumni.com.

10 - CANADA TO ARIZONA: I want to personally thank Rob Pederson, Miles Zimbaluk and Darcy Hordichuk at Canada To Arizona for the accomodations and transportation while we're down here this week.  For weekly and monthly rentals at their beautiful gated community in Scottsdale, check our their website at www.canadatoarizona.com.

BIRTHDAYS: Happy 26th birthday today to Rider equipment assistant Mike MacNeil and to Pats alum Troy Vollhoffer.

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I THINK THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO AT 4
RP
@rodpedersen

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Winnipeg and Saskatchewan the best rivalry in sports...well I guess you don't watch sports then because they don't even make a top 10, but because it's Saskatchewan you believe this, whatever keeps you warm at night Rod.

Rod Pedersen said...

It was Wade Miller's comment.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the party down in Arizona tonight Rider Nation!!

It was an extremely memorable night for myself and my now husband when we attended the first year! The pre-party was PACKED!! You could hardly move to get to the bathrooms but everyone was happy and excited for the night to come. The atmosphere in the arena was phenomenal! The Rider fans cheered no matter who scored, we even went home with green Coyotes toques! Then, the icing on the cake and the perfect end to an amazing Rider party in Phoenix...we got engaged down on the ice before the Rider fans photo! Talk about the perfect memory for an engagement!

SO, enjoy every minute of it Rider Nation and make memories with new and old friends while you're there!! I will be listening at 4:00 on my commute home here in Sask! Enjoy the rest of your time down in Phoenix, Roddy!

Michelle

Rod Pedersen said...

Thank you Michelle. You two are a BIG part of this event's success. Hope to see you down here in the years to come!

RP

Anonymous said...

That guy who made the first comment really needs to get laid. Must suck being so bitter at life all the time. Keep up the good work Roddy, don't get distracted by the gorgeous Mrs. Sportscage at poolside.


Al

Anonymous said...

Pt #1. Never knew that there are Coyote fans. Never seen one up here, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Al, is that an offer.

Anonymous said...

Durant left. Can we move forward.

Anonymous said...

Not until Jones proves it was the right move. I have my doubts that day will come.

Anonymous said...

CFL schedule. Play each team at home and away. Then start the playoffs. No need to play a team 3 times in a season.
Dave

Anonymous said...

No it's not, Mrs. Sportscage is happily married to Mr. Sportscage. It's ok to be jealous though.


Al

Anonymous said...

Hard to move forward when you don't have a bona-fide QB and a lot of moves seem to be going the other direction, two steps forward and ten steps back. If Jones has a "plan", he has it well disguised as a basement dwelling team. Rider Nation will only move forward from the Durant trade when Jones presents an acceptable alternative. There doesn't appear to be one in the foreseeable future so get used to hearing the lament about losing Doubles.

John Knight said...

We only won 3 games with doubles and DD chose to leave. GET OVER IT. He will be running for his life with Montreal's lousy offensive line and our new turf will last longer now that Durant isn't here to bounce his passes off it

Anonymous said...

Never mind we do not have an anointed QB (yet) but has anyone else noticed we also do not have a running back. Actually I lie. We have 2. Greg Jones and a former Miami Dolphin RB named Daniel Thomas, age 29.

One comment I saw from RotoWorld was "Dolphins released Daniel Thomas.
"We always breathe a sigh of relief when Thomas gets cut because watching him run the ball in games is painful. The Dolphins still have cuts to make at running back. At age 28, Thomas' pro football career is nearing its end. Sat, Sep 3, 2016 01:17:00 PM
'Fumblin Dan' Thomas released by Dolphins
Sat, Sep 3, 2016 01:17:00 PM

Great scouting guys.

Anonymous said...

Well, it sounds like 3 Down Nation may be in trouble as the Riders are apparently considering legal action for the article regarding the Riders allegedly working out Johnny Manziel. Sadly, Jones track record of roster violations casts a shadow of doubt on whether the workout actually happened. Hopefully, Jones will be proven correct as the Dunk article wasn't very flattering for the Rider organization.

Anonymous said...

Durant did not chose to leave until he was basically driven out of town by Jones. Doubles has lots of experience running for his life, having played behind the Riders O line. It is easier to see that Montreal is trying to improve than what I see in our own back yard.

Bill Salloum said...

Re the Riders schedule, I like opening the season in Montreal for the Durant story and home opener being vs Winnipeg. Not crazy about the growing propensity towards late night games (7pm/7:30/8pm starts). It makes it difficult for those who travel from outside Regina and have to travel 2/3/4 hours to get home after. Especially don't like a night game on a Sunday (Aug 13) and two late games in October (13th at 8:00pm and 27th at 7:30pm). In October/November, even a nice afternoon can turn pretty cold once the sun goes down. There should be no night games on the prairies after Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

I mean you , big Al.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful , well said.

Anonymous said...

Running backs are easy to find. Roy Shivers.

JackD83 said...

Daniel Thomas is not a good running back. I've watched him on the Dolphins since they drafted him and brought him back twice. All 3 stints were failures.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to watching Daniel Thomas in preseason play. He didn't have the most impressive stats in the NFL, but their Defensive players are much larger then the CFL's. He will do well with his size and the size of defenders he will face in the CFL. He did fumble early in his career, but later years not quite as often. Are you writing off a player based on one comment on a fantasy football site, have you even seen his stats? He's not quite Messam's size but he is in the same category at 6'1" 235 lbs. I've heard that he would be faster then Messam as well, with that size and more speed, could be make us very dangerous in the rush game!

It's all conjecture at this point, once June comes and the players hit the field then we will know what we have/don't have. Until then bring on Free Agency!

M7A0S8T8E5R



Anonymous said...

M7A0S8T8E5R so NFL players are much larger, what are they 7 feet tall, 500 pounds and run 4.3 40's.

Anonymous said...

John - while we may have only won 3 games with DD last year, that record ultimately falls at Jones feet. Therefore, I will continue to question and criticize Jones decision to trade Durant, up until he has produced an alternative QB that is as good or better than Durant, with a reasonable chance to succeed DD as the next long term starting QB.

So I suggest that YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT.

Anonymous said...

thank goodness on that McSorley news

Anonymous said...

Isn't Nealon Greene available?

Anonymous said...

Mr Jones has starter Kevin Glenn In the Roughriders fold who is a superior qb compared to the lousey less than mediocre durant with prospects galore waiting on the wings.

Anonymous said...

Nice Try!

Anonymous said...

To Anon,

They are larger, look at their Linebackers and CB's. Generally taller and heavier then what you will find in the CFL. We have a larger field and more ground to cover, so our LB's and DB's have to be fleet of foot, and that generally means a smaller size. Now there will always be exceptions to this rule but as I see it, with his size Daniel Thomas should have an advantage running in our league over the NFL.

There now that I've defended my point, what my comment was directed at was that people are so quick to go after Jones and his signings on little to no information. This man has never played in the CFL, who knows how well he will adjust to the game? Give him a chance and if he sucks he gets cut, plenty other RB's out there.

M7A0S8T8E5R