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Regina Rams Football

Thursday, February 2, 2017

RODSERVATIONS

Pedersen Media Inc.
LEFTOVERS

1 - It's not just that the Regina Pats are winning games at a franchise record pace.  They're doing it in wildly entertaining fashion.  Wednesday evening's last minute 4-3 victory over the Moose Jaw Warriors will have the 5,402 in attendance talking for several days, or at least until Saturday when the Edmonton Oil Kings come to town.  It was the Pats' sixth win in a row.

Saturday's home game is Brandt's Hockey Night In Regina and has already been announced as a sellout.

One concerning factor though: the buzz in the arena Wednesday night was, "I sure hope the Pats don't meet up with the Warriors down the road in the playoffs!"

It's true.  The Pats are the better of the two by a smidge, but Moose Jaw works harder.

2 - Pats President Todd Lumbard was on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Wednesday talking about the club's string of sellouts, and habitual crowds of over 5,000.

"There are a lot of people coming to games who hadn't been here in years," Lumbard observed. "We felt all along that if we could just get them into the building, that we'd give them enough of a show that they'll want to come back."

That's been exactly the case.  Many Regina hockey fans have said that Pats games offer an NHL atmosphere and they're right  The $3-million scoreboard, glitzy replays and crowd-pumping music have made Pats games the place to be in the Queen City right now.

The music was so loud Wednesday evening that you couldn't carry on a conversation in the seats, which is fine by me.

And when they had a "dance-off" on the scoreboard in third period, I wondered if they hired professional models for the contest.  They were twerking their considerable assets for the entire arena to see.

Good stuff.

The club even added additional seating this week to accomodate the rush the rest of the way.

3 - The buzz amongst the NHL scouts in the VIP room prior to Wednesday's game was about the Pats' bid to host the 2018 Memorial Cup last week.  "I heard their presentation was Olympic-worthy," said an NHL executive.  That's heedy stuff.

We should've known the Queen City Sports & Entertainment Group would put forth a world-class pitch and it's the talk of hockey right now.  The word is the winning franchise will be named on a Hockey Night In Canada telecast in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately no one is quite sure when the CHL will make that announcement.

I've heard February 4, but also February 11.  It's a head-scratcher that no firm date has been nailed down.

4 -While on our trip to Mexico, I saw a 13-year old boy from Saskatoon wearing a Pats bunnyhug.  I asked him why he was repping a team from a rival city and his response was, "Because they're the number 1 team in the country."

How do you spell marketing?  W-I-N.

End of story.

5 - It was sad to learn of the Riders' release of veteran long-snapper Levi Steinhauer on Wednesday.  He was a true home-grown talent and the Moose Jaw product gave everything he had for four seasons with the Green & White however lingering injuries kept him off the field in 2016.

The Riders cleared a Canadian roster spot with this move and were obviously not willing to gamble on Steinhauer's availability for 2017.  Good luck to Levi in his future endeavours.  He did he and his family proud.

6 - And while I'd hoped that the Riders would make a pitch to sign free agent Canadian defensive tackle Keith Shologan after he was released by Winnipeg on Tuesday, it wasn't a shock to learn he signed with Montreal on Wednesday.  At 31 years of age and with quite a bit of wear and tear on his body, "Sholo" just didn't seem to fit with the Riders' youth movement.

The Spruce Grove, AB product was a huge part of the Riders Decade of Decadence from 2008-2013 and he fit this province like a glove.  But the past is the past.

The signing of 37-year old Kevin Glenn certainly doesn't fit with what appears to be the Jones youth philosophy but it's looking more and more like he was brought in for insurance.  I'm hearing rumblings (externally) that the Riders have had talks this week with a fairly big name former NFL quarterback about resuming his career north of the border.

However those talks are unconfirmed.

7 - I've mentioned a lot about how Chris Jones looks to be following the New England Patriots template constructed by Bill Belichick.  As has been noted several times, the Patriots were 5-11 in Belichick's first season in 2000.

How were they in Year 2 under Belichick?  11-5.

11 wins seem like a lot for this franchise in Year 2 of the Jones regime but we now know it's not unheard of.

8 - Congratulations to CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge for being honoured with the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Sports.  He's a tireless promoter of the CFL.

9 - It's entertaining to see sports stars biting back at their critics in the media, such as NBA star Lebron James lambasting NBA on TNT's Charles Barkley this week and calling him "a hater".  It reminded me of Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris calling out the CFL on TSN panel this summer.  THAT was gold, and Hank got the last laugh.

It's clear that the athletes have heard the scathing criticism all along but as Lebron said, "I'm tired of biting my lip."

Which athlete will be next?

10 - If you've got some spare time the rest of this week, I encourage you to check out the motion picture Patriot's Day, which re-enacts the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing with star Mark Wahlberg.  It certainly gives some perspective on current world events, and it should have you leaving the theatre with a knot in your stomach.

I haven't been so physically moved by a movie since Boyz In The Hood way back in 1991.

And, as an added bonus, the hotdogs at Southland Cinemas are the best in town.

11 - NHL Thoughts: Was the firing of Ken Hitchcock expected to turn the St. Louis Blues around? I'm sure it was, but I doubt it will.  Leaky goalie Jake Allen is the culprit in St. Louis and as long as the Blues don't have NHL-calibre goaltending, they're not going anywhere ... Might the Arizona Coyotes deal All Star Mike Smith to St. Louis?  It's a fair question.  Smith backstopped the Coyotes to the 2012 Western Conference Final but hasn't been the same since.  Perhaps a change of scenery is needed ... The New York Islanders will be on the move out of Barclay's Centre after this season but prefer NOT to go back to unsightly Nassau County Coliseum.  Meanwhile some media in Hamilton are causing a stir that perhaps the Isles should move to the Hammer, creating the "Hamilton Islanders".

12 - Super Bowl LI between the Falcons and Patriots figures to be a case of the Young Bull versus the Old Bull.  And, generally, the old bull wins and that's why I expect New England to cover the 3-point spread.  I'll be cheering for them too.  You have to admire their expectations of winning, and doing so at all costs.

13 - Is there anything more entertaining than Facebook drama?  Whether it's people airing their family's dirty laundry, poisonous political observations or spewing jealously over other peoples' sunny vacations, it's all popcorn-inspiring stuff.

And just remember - people are free to post pretty much whatever they want on social media.  If you have a problem with what you see, simply Unfriend of Unfollow them.  Getting in fights isn't going to solve anything and is only a reflection on you.

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THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY! SEE YOU IN THE CAGE AT 4
RP
@rodpedersen

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Pats can be a perfect example of the path the Riders are headed down. The Pats were TERRIBLE for a string of years under the Parker administration. But clean house, bring in some hockey/business minds that are respected, bam. Create a winner, fill the seats and build a team this city hasn't seen maybe ever.

Which, IMO, is exactly what is happening in Riderville. No one should have expected a Grey Cup last year in a tear down year, which actually makes this year the rebuild year. I know two years is a long time in this instant gratification world we live in, but it's worth the wait in the long run. So simmer down. If it's too much for you to take, sell your tickets, stay away, others will pick up your slack. If in 4 years this team is the joke of the league, you proved your point, but not until then.

Rod Pedersen said...

Bravo

Anonymous said...

In 4 years?...why not 5 or 6...maybe 7. It should not take that long for a rebuild of a team. It is to early to tell what teams will look like or expectations of teams should be until free agency and training camps are done. If your team does not get play-offs by the 3rd and last year of Jones contract you would be happy to see him and his group all get paid again to come for a fourth and more years. So let me get this straight...John Chick, Weston Dressler, Darian Durant were to much money for there positions but did win you 1 or more grey cups in there time with the team but if Jones and crew don't even make play-offs in three years you would have them back again...guess you people like running off excuses...guess it is all past history's fault and never Jones and company's fault. Having the 3 players mentioned either doesn't mean they need to be there but if your going to hold these guys accountable then you should have to do the same for GM and coaches also.

Anonymous said...

I've gotta disagree on the Mike Smith assessment. He is the only hope the Coyotes have as they are simply the worst team in the NHL. They have a terrible roster and horrible coaching.

If they trade Smith the seriously may not win another game.

Anonymous said...

You were Orridge's biggest critic, and now you're waving the pom-poms for him. You are A) hypocritical and B) a Regina version of Justin Trudeau.


Anonymous said...

Hamilton Islanders or Quebec Islanders = Flint Tropics. Jackie Moon, "let's get tropical."

Jarrett said...

The Pats were competitive in year 1 of the new regime, and they worked with what they had on the roster. In fact, they kept the same scouting staff.

In an era of one-year, not-guaranteed-contracts, any CFL GM needing two years to rebuild, is heading for unemployment.

The formula for success is pretty simple. Lock down a franchise QB, spend money on Canadian ratio-changers, develop your draft picks over three years, salt in some heart-and-soul vets, and then fill the rest of the roster with cheap Americans.

Support new players with a coaching staff dedicated to teaching and developing – not cutting them the moment a shiny new prospect shows up on film.

Look at what Ottawa did after two years. Look at what Calgary does every year.

The Jones regime is doing the opposite, and he has the team headed for another season-long training camp with no one at QB.

At the end of 2017, a ton of his free agent signings from 2016-17 will be free agents once again, and given Jones' penchant for treating some professional athletes like cattle, there's no guarantee those players will stick around to realize the fruits of a two-year rebuild anyway.

Jones needs to win big in 2017 if he wants to keep his job. A mediocre team with tons of potential down the road is exactly what we had when the Parker regime ran the Pats.

Anonymous said...

For Real??
"Congratulations to CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge for being honoured with the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Sports. He's a tireless promoter of the CFL."

He is American by birth! Is this the BEST candidate that deserves this award? Are there no coaches out there that volunteer their personal time out of the spotlight, heck, even if they get paid for it, it's what they do for the sport and growth? Mike Thomas maybe? Guys like that who aren't in the spotlight.

Orridge is the guy they pick??? Guess it's not who you know...it's who...well you know the rest.

Mr. E said...

Fairly big name NFL QB? Tebow Time! Yes! ;)

Anonymous said...

Attendance at CFL games has dropped 10% during Orridge's tenure and you're kissing his butt? He made a new logo though.

CM said...

Jarrett +1. Tillman said you win in CFL with QB's and Cdns. Jones' plan appears to be the opposite. Hope we're wrong.

Anonymous said...

To the 2nd annon. Mike Smith is their only chance? chance at winning? winning what? You don't know hockey obviously. Trade Smith because they have goalies in the system who can get more time and the Yotes won't be good for at least 2-3 years. Smith will be completely expired by then. This was your lesson from the day.

Pon Jaddock

Anonymous said...

Signing "a fairly big name former NFL quarterback" doesn't guarantee success as many American QBs just can't adjust to the Cdn game. Anyone remember former LA Rams QB, Vince Ferragamo, whom the Alouettes outbid the Rams for back in 1981? He didn't even last a full season before being relegated to backup status. Smacks of desperation to me and not aligned with the Riders so-called youth movement.

Anonymous said...

I'd wager a lunch buffet from Spices of Punjab (best in town by the way) that this 'big name' QB we speak of is Johnny Manziel. The guy was a hot mess in the NFL, appears to have made strides with his personal life and wants to play football.

It's a huge stretch to suggest he would come (if those talks are even taking place) but if he did, it's my humble opinion he has many of the tools necessary to be a relevant QB in this league.

Just my two cents.

HM

Anonymous said...

Any GM needing 2 years for a rebuild is headed for unemployment???

That was perhaps the dumbest comment of all time. A rebuild literally means that you are sacrificing now to be better for the future. If one year isn't now then when is it? yesterday? Because the rest of sports and anyone with half a brain knows that it's 2-3 years to tear down and build back up. You have to build back up and if you try do it overnight you will most definitely fail at building anything solid. Take your un-thoughtout negative comments elsewhere~

Pon Jaddock

Anonymous said...

Duron Carter will be great for Saskatchewan Football as he will turn out to be a engaging fan favorite. The man is an elite athlete who will produce productivity on and off the field of play representing the organization In good standing. "Prime time" has arrived.

Go SkRrs!

Anonymous said...

Persuading young Johnny Football to come to the CFL would be a great move for all concerned. Regina would be a safe and quiet place for him to turn things around in his life. Once he learns the game up here his talent could enable him to be another Kid Dynomite!

Anonymous said...

Tebow /Manziel, yeah, turn the Riders into an even bigger sideshow.
The longer this off season goes the less interested I become and I was really pumped after the Durant trade and Carter signing. Just not feeling it now. So sad.

Anonymous said...

The big name former NFL QB they are trying to sign is Vince Young

Anonymous said...

manziel would look @ contract n say,"generous per diem,now let's talk salary"!

Anonymous said...

Feeling a little low today because you switched to Sanka, get back on the Nabob. Ahhh... Nabob coffee, good to the last drop.

Evan Wiome said...

Agreed.

Evan Wiome said...

You'll have to forgive me if I laugh at and disregard the anonymous poster who demands accountability.

Anonymous said...

Johnny is a rich kid who will come up to play for the fun of the game not the small salary, with the hope that in two years someone in the NFL will see how well he did up North and invite him back down South to compete for a back-up job.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I owe someone a lunch buffet...

HM

Anonymous said...

Clearly people didn't sense the sarcasm in the Orridge point. I actually 'LOL'd' a little when I read it as it is pretty clear that Rod put very little effort into that point and sarcastically commended him for something he has done virtually none of. I also laughed when I initially read a couple days ago that Orridge was getting an award for his work.

FG

Anonymous said...

Well the riders had a good 7 or 8 years, now it's back to normal and they stay in the basement...sounds great to me.

Anonymous said...

Come on you guys. 4 years to rebuild a team in a league of 9 teams is way too long. It's been proven many times in the CFL that you can do it in 2. The latest Coach\GM to prove that was Austin. He too dumped his #1 QB Burris. However he had a young replacement in mind. Signing Collaros shortly after releasing Burris to Free Agrncy. Where as our GM gambler shoot from the hip has proven he has no plan. Just a cliche of leaving no stone unturned. Proven by signing an older QB that can't seem to hold down the position on other teams. As a competing radio station mentioned. Kevin Glen is the CFLs version of the Littlest Hobo. Paying him a hundred grand less than Durant. Hell Jones pissed more than a hundred grand away last year on nothing but stupidity and embarrassment for the franchise.
This fan base will not tolerate a 4 year rebuild. If this current administration starts out with a losing record in the first half of 2017. The pitch forks and torches will be out in full force. Mark my words. No personality is strong enough to dump Dressler and Chick one year while they go on to have great seasons. Followed by the disrespectful handling and dumping of the teams franchise QB who will probably go on to do well in Montreal.
I've been a fan for 40 years and I have never felt the contempt I feel for our bean counter President who hired an unproven rookie GM gambler and given him an open cheque book and no one to report too. It is and has been a recipe for disaster. Plus a very good source close to the team has stated that Jones was not signed for 3 years but actually has a 4 year contract. Making this whole scenario that much worse.
We are moving into a new stadium which should be a time of happiness and confidence for the club. When in fact it's a time of discontent and uncertainty. Let's see what other embarrassing CFL records we can set in 2017. The record set in the CFL last year for the amount of players brought in and shipped out for 1 team proves this administration is going to spend money like drunktn sailors hoping something comes of it. If we brought in that many players that were not worthy to play on a 5 win team. Then who the hell is doing the scouting.

Signed
Green from illness

tskware said...

Rob,
I'm sure you didn't know this when you wrote the blog, but the "big name" NFL QB is a retired 34yo Vince Young. Surely this is in jest. Bringing in a QB with 4 good years left while needing to learn the Canadian game? What is CJ thinking. Name one NFL QB over 30 that has come to the CFL and had years of sustained success. Please! Help me believe.

And sad to see Levi go. He is a strong special teamer, very versatile and can long snap, a need the Riders may find they need badly if Hus signs with the NFL.

In short, both of these moves I just don't get.