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Monday, March 13, 2017

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


A BRAND NEW WEEK

1 - It will be very difficult for the next seven days to come anywhere close to equalling the last seven. They were truly staggering in a multitude of ways.

It actually began on Wednesday when word broke Vince Young and his entourage were winging their way to Regina to sign a contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. From there, it was sheer pandemonium and I can't believe I enjoyed a front row seat for it all.

Let's review:

2 - There was a decided air of excitement in the brand new media conference room at New Mosaic Stadium on Thursday. Predictably, the room was packed to capacity with TSN3 and 620 CKRM set to broadcast the proceedings live. However what was different this time around was that a handful of seats in the front row were reserved for Young's crew. Just who would this include? We were about to find out.

At 12:00 noon, the doors flew open and in came the Vince Young Train which consisted of the free agent quarterback himself, his wife Candice, son Jordan, legendary football agent Leigh Steinberg and Young's business manager.

Suffice it to say, this was a whole lot more than us little ol' Reginans were used to.

3 - What followed was an approximately 40-minute news conference in which Vince Young said all the right things and conVINCEd the entire football world that this was no joke. The 33-year old Houstonian admitted to still being haunted by how his NFL career flamed out and he wants a "Do Over", while his body is still capable.

Having seen several photos of Young taken over the past few years in which his weight had ballooned, I was very eager to see what shape he showed up in for the announcement of his comeback (although Young prefers to call this an "opportunity").

However he looked great. There was no double chin, he looked fairly lean and athletic, and Young would tell us later in the 620 CKRM SportsCage studios that he currently tips the Toledo at 240 lbs.  He plans to play at 230, carried on his 6'5" frame.

4 - The news conference was standard and respectful, but we got a glimpse of "Hollywood" immediately afterwards when the Young entourage posed for enough photos to make the Oscars blush. Super agent Leigh Steinberg sprang from his seat when the cameras came out, and DANG that man is photogenic.

I'm not ashamed to admit to being star-struck by the whole deal, and was on pins and needles to be sitting beside Steinberg at the newser. I was sitting beside Jerry McGuire! (That hallowed sports movie was patterned after Steinberg's glitzy life).

He had me at "Hello".

Truth be told, Leigh Steinberg likely signed more autographs at Thursday's news conference than Vince Young himself! On the right is a photo of the signature Steinberg provided CKRM's Carm Carteri.

The whole event was head-spinning.

5 - Frankly I'm not certain what happened for the rest of the afternoon on Thursday however just after 5:00, Vince Young joined us in the SportsCage studio for a 30-minute 1-on-1 interview where he calmly fielded questions from the hosts and fans alike.

It immediately made Thursday's SportsCage one of the biggest we've had in our nearly seven years on air and I'll forever be indebted to the Roughriders for bringing their new star quarterback down to the radio station. It's not clear just why the Riders made Young available in person, but if it was a move to "sell" Young to the Rider Nation, it worked.

Again, the Texas Longhorns star reiterated that his past isn't one he's necessarily proud of but it's one he's eager and blessed to atone for. He repeated that money is not a motivating factor in this venture, since he owns a successful real estate business and chain of steakhouses in Texas. He's also employed by the University of Texas and is a regular on the Longhorn Network.

It was reported by 3DownNation.com's Justin Dunk on Friday that Young signed for $120,000 which is roughly the same as an NFL practice roster agreement. Perhaps that's how the Roughriders and Steinberg arrived at that figure.
Thursday in the SportsCage with Vince Young

And, Young is not a dumb man. He may have missed out on some key guidance earlier on in life, but last week he displayed the attributes of someone who's matured a great deal in his last two years out of the NFL, and he's very much on the road to being a well-respected businessman.

But first and foremost, Vince Young wants to be a football player again and is facing some incredibly long hours in the weight room and film room to get back up to speed in a hurry.

As Chris Jones said, "Vince knows what's ahead of him".

6 - By Saturday morning, Vince Young was back in Texas and did a live "double-ender" on ESPN's SportsCenter. Here's what he said:

VY: "First of all Coach Jones gave me a call in January and said, 'I got an opportunity for you'. I said 'What is that?' I thought it might be some coaching. But he wanted me to come play football and play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I thought it was a great opportunity.

"I always wanted to play football again, but I didn't know how it was going to happen. To me, my Mom always said 'God works in mysterious ways' and it's come back full circle. While I was working hard off the field, this opportunity came. I said 'Amen' and I'm happy to be a Roughrider right now."

7 - Will it work? Who knows, but that's entirely up to Vince Young. When he appeared on ESPN, I Tweeted "There's no turning back now" and many wondered what I meant by that. What I mean is, Young's been to Regina, braved the cold, and found out exactly what the Saskatchewan Roughriders have to offer.

None of what he learned last week deterred Young from making this comeback. Chris Jones and Leigh Steinberg both have said that you can see "fire in Vince's eyes" regarding this challenge, and I saw it for myself firsthand at CKRM.

Now ... CKRM's Luc Mullinder says it would be very easy for Vince Young to back out at any time, and go back to simply living his life in Austin. But then the naysayers and critics would have enough ammunition to say, "That's just Vince Young. He's never finished anything in his life."

That can't happen. Young will never be able to live with himself for the rest of his life if he throws in the towel before the Riders' Florida minicamp in April.

So now it's going to be endless hours of pumping iron and shedding pounds on the treadmill, and studying, studying, studying the CFL game. I wouldn't want to commit to that training regimen, but I'm not a pro football player. This is what they do.

Sure, lots of people in football are scoffing at this idea. That includes the media in Tennessee and even ESPN's Stephen A. Smith however Vince said he plans to "Make Stephen A. shut his mouth".

These people are unwittingly fueling Vince Young.

The vast majority of the Rider Nation are saying, "Sure, why not?" to giving Vince Young a shot but for Chris Jones, it has to run far deeper than simply extending a camp invite.

Jones - who we know knows football - thinks Vince Young can return to form and maybe even be better than ever before.

It's come time to "Make Vince Great Again".

8 - So just like that, with one stroke of the pen - Vince Young's signature on a contract - the Saskatchewan Roughriders are a big deal once again. There's no more, "I don't know who any of their players are!"

And the Riders' Florida minicamp April 25-27 at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, FL is going to be an absolute circus, whether people want to admit it or not. ESPN and TSN will be on hand to cover the event along with, I'm told, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and plenty of Regina media outlets.

Luc Mullinder said he's not looking forward to the "pageantry" of the camp, and that he'd prefer to focus on the football.

But I'm excited for both!

People can say "This isn't about Vince" all they want, but at least half of this venture is. All these American networks haven't come to Florida to cover the Roughriders in the past.

The other half of this is about Making The Riders Great Again.

By the way the minicamp in Vero Beach is open to the public and if you're a diehard Rider fan with some vacation days available, I wouldn't hesitate to come on down. There's plenty of space for fans to watch the workouts along the sidelines and all you need to bring is a lawn chair and some sunscreen.

For some travel tips on getting down there, don't hesitate to reach out.

Friday night at HMCS NCSM Queen
9 - Now the Vince Young story wasn't the only incredible event of the past week, at least for me. On Friday evening I had the opportunity to be the keynote speaker for the Royal Canadian Navy's HMCS Queen Annual Officer's Mess Dinner at 100 Navy Way in Regina.

Yes, the Queen City is home to a Navy barracks and has been since 1923, right on the shores of Wascana Lake. Many of these officers fly to Vancouver Island or Halifax and board the ships from there.

Friday evening had all the traditions of the RCMP Regimental Dinners I've spoken at in the past, but with the twist of being in the midst of officers who've sailed around the world defending our nation and keeping the peace. The sailor I was seated beside at the head table was prepping for deployment to Sudan, and regaled me with stories which went well into the night.

The accomplishments of these men and women make mine look pretty puny, but they were eager to hear of my personal Recovery story. Afterwards they said they were very inspired, but I feel like I was the one who got the most out of the evening.

It was totally amazing and I was so proud to be there. Thanks again.

10 - Last but certainly not least, how about those Regina Pats? I'm so glad I never gave up on them! The Queen City Kids swept a pivotal home-and-home series with the Moose Jaw Warriors on the weekend, outscoring their archrivals 9-3. Friday's win clinched the East Division Pennant for the first time since 2014, and the Pats stuck it to each and every one of their critics in the process.

Outworked the opponent? Check. Won a goaltending duel? Check. Played unselfishly as a team? Check. They didn't leave anything undone.

I missed Friday's 5-0 victory due to the RCN Dinner (a small price to pay), but I was lucky enough to be able to broadcast Saturday's 4-3 victory across Western Canada on Access and Shaw. It was a doozy of a game, and I sure love calling games in Mosaic Place.

And now the Pats are just one victory shy of equalling a franchise record for wins (49) with four games remaining in the regular season.

All in all it was a stupendous week.

But something tells me the fun is just beginning.

11 - Hats off to Moose Jaw's/Abbottsford's Adam Hadwin for capturing the PGA's Valspar championship, and earning a spot in the Masters! Whoda thought another Saskie would win a PGA title before Graham DeLaet?

12 - And bravo to the citizens of Nanaimo, BC who last week voted 80% against the construction of a new 5500-seat multiplex in their community, which would have lured a WHL franchise. You just set your community back 50 years! Let me guess; Nanaimo is a retirement community full of selfish seniors and P.A.P. (People Against Progress) who have no regard for the future of the city, just so long as their taxes don't increase?

Sheesh.  Way to go. How unfortunate for the youth of that community.

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BIRTHDAYS: Happy birthdays today to Rider alumni Nealon Greene (40) and Terrell Maze (32)!

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THAT'S ALL! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO AT 4
RP
@sportscage
IG: rodpedersenofficial
SC: Pedersenmedia
www.realtyoneregina.com

38 comments:

Larry said...

Rod, you had quite the week!
Vince Young signing, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
RCMP Regimental Dinner - Classy and prestigious affair, congrats.
Pats - Warriors, play-off preview?
Brad Gushue and Team Newfoundland win the Brier, many newfies will be coming to Regina in 2018!

Anonymous said...

Nanaimo's loss, the Blades woulda been a good team to move there.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad that the disgruntled seniors of Nanaimo had voted their nice new arena down. We've got the same problem around here with people that say "well, I'll never use that facility so why should I pay for it". It's incredibly selfish.

How bout the breaking news that your pal John Fraser is stepping away from broadcasting. He's done a great job and all the best to him in the future.


Gunderson's Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Yeah wow, how could the people of Nanaimo ever think it was a bad idea to build a rink for someone to get rich paying teenagers minimum wage to play hockey in front of people paying top dollar to watch them.

Anonymous said...

Nanaimo's stupidity brings a huge sigh of relief from Prince Albert.

Anonymous said...

Interesting there's no mention of Jake Waters (The one QB on the roster who had some long term potential) retiring as soon as the Young signing became official.

Anyone saying this is a low-risk move is only looking at the contract numbers and not ignoring that the move lost a young QB (who likely didn't like his limited reps being further reduced) and any potential locker room issues this signing is bound to cause (I'm sure every player will love the extra attention/special treatment a 100k/year CFL rookie is receiving).

Anonymous said...

At no time ever, should private citizens pay for a stadium, EVER.

That is just the stupidest thing ever. NFL stadiums are being built FOR billionaires, at the taxpayers expense...brutal.

Good on Nanaimo!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Team Gushue on the win, and Newfoundland for hosting a fantastic event It was a great Brier!

CM said...

everyone should be pumpred that Vince signed. He has so much talent and if hes into it he can dominate. He'll run over people hes bigger than most very linebacker in the CFL>

Anonymous said...

Nanaimo BC.residents got it right - WHL was there before and they became a failed collosal venture after one lonely season as the Islanders. Vancouver Giants now playing in Langley before sparse crowds and trending downward. Kootenay another story soon on the verge of moving or suspending ops. Seems Gary Bettman the nimcompoop has his hand in running the show on the beautiful west sunshine coast?

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Nanaimo!
$80 million rink for a city of 90,000 people, glad they were smart enough not to get sucked into this!
When the CFL folds, Regina will be left with a big white elephant.

Anonymous said...

did you ask Vince are those stories true that in Nashville he spent $5K a week at cheesecake factory and spent $300K on his birthday party. How did he run through $30M? He is an interesting dude

Anonymous said...

Jake Waters sucked. I am not a fan of the Young experiment, but Waters looked weak at best last year.

polkabill504 said...

Great MMG as always after a whirlwind week for you. I wish Vince Young all ofthe best of success in his new venture. He has been out of football for a while and probably his body is not beat up. He may turn into the "Jaromir Jagr" of the CFL and play for years.The Law of Averages dictate that these events rarely have a happy ending though. The Riders will survive but not so sure if Jones will..Polkabill from the Peg

Anonymous said...

You mean breaking even or taking a slight loss to own the team and 20 dollars to watch a game isn't top dollar

Anonymous said...

To the moron saying the kids get minimum wage. No they don't, and they dont deserve it either. I was one of these WHL players years ago and WE DO NOT DESERVE more $$$$ for playing at this level. Dont like it? dont put your kid in the WHL, see what other options are out there to make it to the show or to learn how to become a man. These so called RICH MEN who you make out to be billionaires behind the scenes with children tied up doing child labor are in actuality GREAT UNSELFISH COMMUNITY LEADERS who give all these young men a medium to hone their skills against the best in the world and guess what.... they also advertise and fill the arenas to make for a great atmosphere. They allow these kids to be legends for life in a town. Ask Frank Kovacs or Kyle Deck or Al Dumba if this is true. They teach young men how to be leaders and how to succeed in life. BY NO MEANS do they owe these kids (us) anything and they arent making money off our backs. Dont get it twisted when you're getting caught up in the political world with douchebags running their mouth about S#it they have no clue about. Wanna watch a league go to 8 teams overnight? Do something stupid like force minimum wage. Then watch the kids buy their own equiptment and pay for their own rides and set themselves up in school and find their own tutors when they are struggling and watch them pay for their own living. This is a COMMUNITY EFFORT to help kids, some MORON WITH NO F'ing CLUE always has to chime in and try give their stoooopid moronic skewed point of view on shit...............

Anonymous said...

who is getting sick and tired of this Vince Young story and its not even been a week really WHO CARES the riders cant make news on the field with good play so they have to try getting some people in the world to actually think they care

Anonymous said...

The people of Namaimo have it right spot on!! They have brains, something that I can't say for a lot of Sask people in favor of the new stadium being funded by taxpayers. There's a limit to how one can keep paying increasing taxes/fees etc, without even getting a corresponding increase in pay. GST, PST, Property Taxes, Utility fees(hidden taxes), as well as the increases in Sask Power, etc .......where does it end???? (Where did the boom money go??) Wall and pretty boy Fougere think money must grow on trees, and now we are paying for it. I would like a government that works with and for the people not one that does what it wants, spends what it wants, and when it messes up expects me to bail them out. If I work hard to improve my life and I am disciplined with my own budget what gives you the right to alter that and my future because you didn't do your part! One billion dollar debt!!??? Shame on you! Honestly, just because you f'ed up your budget should not give you the right to f up mine!! You were in charge of the wallet?? where is the rainy day fund?? Figure it out and leave the hard working middle class out of it. I don't want or need hand outs. I expected a budget that gets adjusted along the way, just like I have had to do at my own kitchen table, so should Government. It never changes. In my entire life I have never come across a government or politician that I can put my faith in. Sickening!! show me where the progress is???

John Knight said...

Its better to pay $20 to watch young players who want to play than pay &100 to watch some over the hill players who don't care for anything than their millions. Nanaimo's loss. They will be sorry in the long run

Anonymous said...

Jagr never quit playing hockey for 6 years. He's a rare hockey talent and trains unbelievably hard to take care of his body. The 2 are nothing alike.

Anonymous said...

Re Bob Irving's Tweet.

Remember Bob, Not your Circus, Not your Monkeys. Worry about the Monkeys in your Circus, you got enough to keep you busy there!

Anonymous said...

BOOM!

Mic drop

Anonymous said...

The money goes to fund social programs for people who contribute nothing to society. My T4 shows me paying $60 000 in income tax last year, so yeah, I'm going to enjoy my new stadium, and I'm gonna feel damn good about it.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Calvert retire in Nanaimo? just saying!

Anonymous said...

Jeez I thought Wotherspoon would have better things to do than post on a sports blog! Talk about LOSER some how you've turned a vote in Nanaimo B.C into a reason to B**tch about your life in Sask..Move to Nanaimo Pal I hear they make a good dessert bar!

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight...

People vote for arena-arena gets built with public dollars.

The WHL is lured to town again, team draws flies -based on their history.

Team leaves (travel costs will be very expensive for any owner) and nice shiny new arena with no long term tenant.

There are only so many Red Rider concerts and boat/rv shows you can sell dates for.

Want to see a WHL game?? Drive a hour south to Victoria and watch the Royals and make a weekend out of it.

Smart decision -let private money pay for it if they want to take the gamble.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Rod, I like your point #8. It is just entertainment isn't it. Players like Luc still think the entertainment on the field is enough. It may be enough for true loyal fans, but you need some off-field entertainment to draw new customers. Jones has been doing the CFL a favour since he joined the Roughriders by leading the league in off-field entertainment.

LF

Anonymous said...

You obviously you care or you wouldnt have taken the time to read the article and to comment about it.

Anonymous said...

Your riders waiting to sign Deane is over...he is in the double blue. Young you better be in shape because your going to be doing a lot of scrambling being chased.

Anonymous said...

J'Michael Deane signed with Argos. Too bad....

Rod S in Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

You are right about one thing. I now know the name of one new Rider. My goodness, it's the only name we have heard in the last week. Vince Young - a former NFL player who is 33 years old and hasn't played football in 6 years. I laugh at some people's comments on his abilities as if this is 2010 and he was just playing some meaningful football last year. He's been on the sidelines for a long time and he is older than when he was when he displayed those abilities. He has A LOT of work to do before training camp but as long as it didn't cost us anything, what the heck, go for it! I really doubt he will play any meaningful football games here. It's up to him to prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

You mean u have never heard of Derek Denis, Chad Owens, Jeff Hecht, Eddie Steele, Jorgen Hus...

Not much of a CFL fan, are you?

Anonymous said...

People think because he wasn't playing for 6 years he somehow halted father time.

Bob said...

I am not sold in the Young thing either but I disagree with you on the Waters thing. A...you have no proof he was anything but a note potential guy and B...ifor he is so unsure in his abilities and lacks the competitive spirit to go out there and win a spot I don't want him on my team. I think in all honesty he was looking for an excuse to bail. Sounds like he got offered a good job and he knew that he was likely never going to be a starter up here so he took the easy route again not a character trait I want in a guy on my team.

Bob said...

Uh....it's the off season donkey NO TEAM is making news on the field. Go troll somewhere else.

Bob said...

Well said....that dude needs to take the NDP rant elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Like Bob Irving tweeted; "Good Luck"

Anonymous said...

If you want an interesting read, look up the worst Wonderlic scores ever.