THE DAY AFTER
1 - THOUGHTS: This is what can happen when you don't quit. But was it the greatest Super Bowl ever? That would depend on your definition but Sunday's 34-28 overtime victory for New England over Atlanta in Houston constitutes the largest comeback in the history of The Big Game. (It's not the greatest upset ever like Calgary's choke job in the 2016 Grey Cup, but it's close). However the Patriots overcame some serious sloppiness in the opening 45 minutes to claim the improbable win. They did not look like a championship team throughout and colour commentator Troy Aikman oft mentioned how "off" they were. ... And who really thought the Patriots were capable of the comeback anyway? Fox Sports loudmouth Skip Bayless tweeted that the game was over with 8:07 remaining in the second quarter. Heck, I tweeted to "Start the bus" when it was 21-0 Falcons so I'm no better. However the resolve of Tom Brady, Head Coach Bill Belichick and the "men in that locker room" proved to be too much for the scrappy young Falcons. .... When you don't care who wins, you really don't have an opinion on NFL overtime rules, I've found. Similar to shootouts in international hockey. ... Call it the Old Bull versus the Young Bull. The old bull always wins. .... The halftime show featuring Lady Gaga was simply sensational and anyone who thinks otherwise will never be impressed. She jumped off the roof of the stadium. The only way to top that is to parachute in next year. ... It was a tough night for the broadcasters. Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck was misidentifying players and stumbling over his apologies for it while halftime host Curt Menefee forgot the sponsor line for Pepsi No Sugar which provided an awkward moment. ... All-in-all however, it was one of the greatest spectacles ever and if you turned your TV off at halftime, you're a dodo.
2 - Monday morning in the Regina Airport, a nice man came up and handed me a Roll Up The Win winning coffee cup. "They don't have these where I'm going," he smiled.
What a great start to the week! And I'll try to pay it forward.
3 - There's something incredibly special brewing right under Regina's nose right now. In fact, it's brewing under the orange top known as the Brandt Centre on Exhibition Way.
Saturday night's crowd of 6,484 was the 10th sellout of the year for the Queen City Kids and the #1 team in the country quickly put the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings in "the sleeper", chewing them up 7-1 for their 37th win in their 50th game.
|Keith Hershmiller Photography|
Everyone was handed blue glow sticks (pictured) to help with the celebration and the atmosphere created was astonishing.
I was beyond thrilled to be able to call the game on television regionally throughout Western Canada and I pray the electricity was conveyed on the Access/Shaw broadcast to the four western provinces.
It seemed to have been, because my social media was lit up by posters from Winnipeg to Victoria and everywhere in between Saturday night.
Vanstone wondered what the atmosphere will be like in the spring if Pats Fever is hitting a crescendo right now? The fact is, we've got a long, lonnnnnnnggg ways to go and I'd suggest we're at a "6" on a scale of 1-10 for hysteria around the team.
The blessed new Pats owners have already added extra seats to accomodate the rush. They could likely add more.
And, what about the atmosphere outside the Brandt Centre? Are storefronts adorned with Pats merchandise? No. Are downtown lamp posts decorated with Pats banners? No. Is there a Pats flag flying at City Hall or has there been a Pats Day designated by His Worship Mayor Michael Fougere?
The last I checked the answer is also, no.
But to quote famed Charlestown Chiefs coach Reggie Dunlop to the aforementioned Dickie Dunn, "That situation is about to change. I guarantee it."
As team President Todd Lumbard said on CKRM last week, "Our goal was to be at the forefront of the local sporting community."
They want the coverage, deserve it, and therefore will get it.
|Saturday's Rider camp in Las Vegas|
The team held open tryouts in Las Vegas over the weekend, and had staff meetings in Sin City too, but nothing is known about either.
Similar to the CFL meetings in December which were held in Winnipeg under a cloak of darkness.
Of course the Riders added former NFL quarterback Vince Young to their top-secret negotiation list last week but no comment was made on the transaction.
The CFL apparently wants to have another off-season "under the radar" just like last year.
So let's respect their wishes.
7 - Oh, except the inaugural CFL Week is scheduled for March in the Queen City. Uhhh, that's next month.
The website www.cflweek.ca mentions that a Gala Dinner is planned but sadly no date is listed. Rumour has it a Fan Fest will be featured as well.
But, I know nothing about any events.
8 - Meanwhile it's not too late to join us in Phoenix this week for the Riderville Arizona Tour III! We'll be broadcasting the SportsCage live on 620 CKRM on Thursday from Salt Tacos & Tequila at the Westgate Plaza next door to the Coyotes' Gila River Arena from 3:00-5:30 pm MT. Rider alumni will be on hand along with franchise star Naaman Roosevelt. That night the Coyotes take on the Montreal Canadiens and you can get your tickets at www.arizonacoyotes.com/riderville (use the promo code RIDERS). Afterwards, we'll take our traditional postgame photo with the group on-ice.
The first year in 2015 we had 350 Rider fans, last year we welcomed 1,200 and this year I'm hoping for literally thousands more! If you can't make it, be sure to tune into the SportsCage and follow my social media channels including Snapchat at: Pedersenmedia.
But it doesn't end there. We've got another Rider Fan party at The Draft sportsbar in Mesa, AZ on Friday from 12:00-3:00 pm featuring George Reed and more Rider alumni. I'll likely check into the SportsCage from there with host Derek Meyers.
Then Friday night, join us at the Chicago Bulls-Phoenix Suns NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix. I'm not sure how many fans have purchased tickets with the promo code RIDER at https://oss.ticketmaster.com/aps/suns/EN/promotion/home but I can assure you I'll be at the game along with my personal attorney William Howe!
What a success story the Riderville Arizona Tour has become.
9 - Another fine movie for you to attend: Gold starting Mathew McConnaghey. It's the true story of a down-on-his-luck prospector in Reno, NV who discovers the largest gold find in the history of the world in Indonesia. It doesn't rate up there with Patriot's Day, but it's a worthwhile way to spend your evening. Mathew is Mrs. SportsCage's favourite.
But DON'T waste your time on Masterminds with Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson like we did early Sunday afternoon. It was good for some cheap laughs but I'm glad I didn't shell out theatre money.
10 - If you're habitually late for meetings and appointments, you're showing a lack of respect for the people you're meeting. Stop it.
BIRTHDAYS: Happy birthday today to Rider great and Hall of Famer Nate Davis! (DT, Indiana, 2001-2007)
THIS FLIGHT'S BOARDING. TALK TO YOU FROM PHOENIX!