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Monday, March 27, 2017

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE

THE AFTERMATH

1 - I couldn't decide who deserved top billing in this week's MMG - the Regina Pats or Marks CFL Week - so I combined the two. Everyone connected with the CFL, as well as Regina's major junior hockey team, can take a massive bow because last week around here was a major victory for all involved!

And in a lovely bit of cross-promotion, members of the Pats participated in CFL Week at Evraz Place while several CFL types ventured across to the Brandt Centre to check out the Pats' two playoff wins over the Calgary Hitmen.

Nothing makes me happier than when everyone works together to achieve success.

2 - As far as the first-ever Marks CFL Week goes, the Jeffrey L. Orridge administration deserves a firm pat on the back for setting the bar amazingly high. Canadian football fans and CFL staff alike weren't quite sure what to expect from this venture because it was the first of its kind but the planners knocked it out of the park. From the oodles of autograph opportunities with players and coaches, the wide array of interactive exhibits, the succesful Combine, Passing Showcase, and the VIP Hall of Fame Gala, CFL Week had it all.

Perhaps the best testament of its success is that no one seems to have any type of complaint.

3 - Of course the biggest topic coming out of Marks CFL Week is, where will next year's be? After speaking with several CFL head office executives over the past several days, I'm fairly confident in saying no decision on that has been made yet. They just wanted to make sure this year's extravaganza was a success, and they did that in spades.

But that hasn't stopped the many rumours from flying around. Some suggest it'll be in Winnipeg next year, while many say it'll be back in Regina, and others are sure it'll be in Ottawa. Again, I'm certain no one knows for sure as we sit here today.

The other fun notion being floated is to take the festival to the Maritimes or other non-CFL markets and show Canada what this league has to offer. None of that would hurt, and any extra exposure is a great idea.

One thing is certain: there's a lineup forming to host the 2018 Marks CFL Week.

4 - The only thing I fear coming out of this event is that the CFL "goes away" until the 2017 Draft on May 7. BC Lions Head Coach & GM Wally Buono told reporters last week that the CFL needs to become a "12 month league" and clearly, I couldn't agree more. That's what I've been trying to do since the Riders' season ended way back on November 5.

To me, the biggest difference between the CFL and NFL (other than salaries) is the money allocated to marketing and exposure.  The "game" isn't better in my opinion, and most CFL people feel the same way. But with ESPN beamed into my house, it's hard not to notice that the NFL still accounts for at least 75% of the network's coverage and this is the deadest time of their year.

Football will never top hockey in Canada, but it's ridiculous to have zero profile for many winter months. For the CFL to remain visible through the off-season, they need the media to get on board and we are certainly more-than-willing to do our part.

Even if it's Fake News, every click or eyeball helps.

Insiders are estimating the CFL's pricetag to throw Marks CFL Week had to be into the millions so again we yell, "Bravo!" and recognize a job well done on the marketing front.

Regina was humbled and honoured to host the first one.

5 - The only complaint I had from the week - and it's not even a complaint really - is that Wednesday's announcement of the 2017 Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction class had a distinct "Calgary flavour" with the inclusion of Stan Schwartz and Kelvin Anderson.

Now, the long-time Stampeders executive Schwartz exudes class and Anderson was a nightmare to cover for a long time and both are Hall of Famers in their own right. This not to be seen as a slight on them.

However I'd have preferred to see Jim Hopson and Jason Clermont up on the stage at Mosaic Stadium's AGT Lounge Wedneday night. Both of them are on the Hall of Fame ballot, so it wouldn't have been a stretch and it would've garnered far more local media attention.

I know there are several who don't agree with that stance, but I also know there are several who do.


6 - While the football types went gaga over the Combine results on the weekend, I just couldn't get into it. Kind of like curling and Nascar, I tried, but just couldn't get excited.

However as the Voice of the Tiger-Cats Marshall Ferguson said on Friday's SportsCage, "What are we supposed to do ... not do it?"

Of course Marshall was in town to provide the play-by-play of the Combine on CFL.ca, and his eyes lit up when talking about it. He was the perfect choice to be behind the mic along with Brodie Lawson, Davis Sanchez and James Cybulski.

It was also interesting to get Chris Jones' take on the components of scouting prospects. He's got it basically broken down into thirds: game film, combine results and the individual interviews.

Chris Jones on Saturday
7 - Chris Jones said the interviews are his favourite part of the Combine, and his staff asks a wide range of questions including, "What's the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?"

How would YOU answer that that question?

For me, before my feet hit the floor each morning, I thank God for another day, count the first three blessings which come to mind, and think about what I'm looking forward to the most that day.

It works real well, and I don't care who knows.

8 - Chris Jones also declined to answer any questions about Vince Young during his media availability on Saturday. I asked the Rider boss how Vince's workouts are going in Austin but he advised, "I'd prefer to keep the conversation on the players who are here".

Perhaps he'll discuss it during his appearance on the SportsCage on Monday.

9 - If CFL fans didn't know who Brodie Lawson was before this week, they do now. The host of CFL.ca's live coverage and The Snap feature did a splendid job in Regina and gained thousands of new fans.

10 - Truth & Rumours: The Ottawa Sun's Tim Baines Tweeted on Sunday that Henry Burris is poised to join the CFL on TSN panel this season ... I'd also heard that former Argonauts GM Jim Barker may be offered a spot on the panel as well ... Last week we'd mentioned that former star Rider defensive back Omarr Morgan was in town for CFL Week. The Leader Post's Murray McCormick Tweeted that Omarr is scouting Southern California for the Roughriders.

11 - There's a big shakeup to be announced on Scott Flory's University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football staff. It includes the addition of former Rider Paul Woldu as a defensive assistant.

12 - Interesting tidbit from CFL Alumni Association President Leo Ezerins: In 2012 there were 33 former CFL players working in football operations in the League (coaching, management and scouting). However now in 2017, there are 60.

Obviously the addition of the Ottawa RedBlacks has something to do with that increase but clearly it's a positive trend.

That includes the addition of former star Rider safety Tyron Brackenridge as an Assistant DB Coach on Corey Chamblin's Toronto defensive staff. We plan to get T-Brack on the SportsCage this week to discuss last week's hire.

13 - The Regina Pats have now won 10 in a row following a pair of playoff victories over Calgary in Games 1 and 2 on the weekend. They've outscored the Hitmen 10-3 and simply continued their dominant play into the postseason.

One hockey scout asked me on Sunday, "What deficiencies did you see in Regina's game against Calgary?"

I had to say "none".

Calgary will be looking to turn the tables as the series shifts to the Saddledome for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Thursday however if the Pats keep the pedal to the metal, this will predictably be a short series.

14 - And although both Friday's and Saturday's games were sellouts of 6,484, I feel like this city could be a lot more in love with the Regina Pats than they currently are. Perhaps Marks CFL Week stole a bit of their thunder but other than a few local sports bars, I don't see any Pats signage up around town.

I expect that to change as the playoffs wear on and the snow melts.

MORE CFL WEEK PHOTOS

Anthony Calvillo and Warren Moon during Thursday's panel discussion on the Main Stage ..


Ticats' GM Eric Tillman and Alouettes QB Darian Durant share a chuckle ..


Rider great Nate Davis stops by the SportsCage at Fan Fest ..


One of the first photos of Darian Durant in a Montreal uniform ..


The Riders' Justin Cox, Josiah St. John and Willie Jefferson sign autographs ..

***

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO
RP
@rodpedersen
IG: rodpedersenofficial
SC: Pedersenmedia

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Even if it's Fake News, every click or eyeball helps."

Pretty ridiculous statement. If the CFL needs to become a tabloid to get attention then it's in pretty big trouble.

Anonymous said...


5 - I'd have preferred to see Jim Hopson and Jason Clermont up on the stage at Mosaic Stadium's AGT Lounge Wedneday night.

I agree Jason Clermont belongs in the Hall. Nuff said.


10 - Truth & Rumours: The Ottawa Sun's Tim Baines Tweeted on Sunday that Henry Burris is poised to join the CFL on TSN panel this season

Can Hank talk about anybody but Hank? I've never him do so.

Anonymous said...

I Like CFL week idea and hope it grows. I believe it should be moved around just like the Grey Cup. Another celebration they should do is around the CFL draft. Holding this at a large location like the Brant Center bringing in the top prospects as they get drafted. I am sure fans would get behind this as well, if it is made fan friendly and can give the CFL another week to showcase its product.

Anonymous said...

Great weekend for the pats and great week for Regina hosting CFL week. Also, all the best to Mark McMorris in his recovery.

Anonymous said...

If you want REAL fake news read anything by the canadian press..

Anonymous said...

Sorry you're not into the combine Rod. I absolutely love the combine, and don't like curling or NASCAR either. I want to give a shout out to CFL.ca for now streaming all of the drills online and for the excellent commentary during the drills. I've watched CFL.ca's coverage every year, and it keeps getting better. It's fun to debate who the Riders should pick with our 2nd and 11th picks. Can you do that on your show? Evan

Anonymous said...

Met Willie Jefferson at Marks CFL Fanfest, what a personable great individual........IMO., This guy is a true Gem, he's big, he's huge, he's a giant and he is a gamer. He will fit right in here in Regina. He's my new favortite player. Go do what you do best Mr. Jefferson. Looking forward to watching you on the field this year.

Anonymous said...

When I want news that is redundant and behind the times, I go to 980 on my AM dial!

mister winnipeg said...

With all due respect to Hank, CFL on TSN needs some defensive perspectives. It can't be just Suitor.

CM said...

Grill Jones on VY. Hes the biggest thing to hit the league since Ricky Williams. And he has the potential to save the Riders seasons and Jones job. Something no one else on the roster is capable of doing.

Anonymous said...

I agree Rod, great weeke and weekend of regina sports.

In follow up to your point number 1, 11 of 14 points are dedicated to one topic. It's clearly telling what kind of town this is.

Anonymous said...

Holding the draft at a big venue would not work. Canadians have minimal interest in CIS sports and unfortunately don't know the stars of CIS and what great athletes they are. The combine is the best way to showcase the athletes.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that Chris Jones actually spent a whole week in Regina. Must have been forced to do so.

AUZZSTRIKER said...

Whoever said that cfl week would be back next year in Regina doesn't know what they are talking about...it's a 100% traveling event.

Anonymous said...

It was great to hear all the excitement from your broadcasts each day last week Rod. I catch your show at 5 each night while I make supper and happened to catch the moment Omar Morgan was spotted and came to talk. Loved him as a Rider! I hope you had a great week and look forward to hearing all the football news heading into the season. Also want to add I have been following the great season the Pats have had, Good Luck the rest of the way!

Anonymous said...

The CFL week was great. Wish I could have spent more time down there. I believe that it should be moved around so other fans get to enjoy it as much as Saskatchewan fans did.

Anyone who is a hockey fan and not going to the Regina Pats games is missing something special. This team is so much fun to watch. GO PATS GO!

Anonymous said...

The WHL play-offs are great of course, but really looking forward to the NHL play-offs this year with so many Canadian teams in the race. It will help us coast into the start of the CFL season. Love to watch the Leafs, Flames, Habs, Senators and the Oilers with their exciting young players. Mitch Marner, Johnny Gaudreau, Conner McDavid, Austin Mathews, all emerging superstars fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

I am 100% in agreement with my old friend Gunderson's Yorkton that it is a miss by the CFL in not having Jim Hopson in this years Hall of Fame class.

Anonymous said...

Raider to Vegas! Can the NHL and NFL both thrive is such a small market? Need a lot of rich folk to but all those season tickets.

John Knight said...

Neither team will work there but NFL will do better than NHL.

Anonymous said...

NFL will push NHL down hard there

Anonymous said...

The fewer Canadian teams the better. Watching those Sportsnet/CBC broadcasts is unbearable.

Anonymous said...

I will take Nascar over boring curling and the bush league "sport " of hockey. And then there's floor hockey or lacrosse, whatever that Rush team is. LaCrosse I think.

Anonymous said...

Not mentioned yet but way to go to the staff and Management at Evraz Place for a great week with the CFL and weekend with the Pats.

Anonymous said...

Radio dial???? Does such a thing still exist? Anything AM is redunant and way behind the times!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of fake news. Anything and everything relating to the end results of the 2013 CFL season was total fake news, totally!!!! The powers that be across the land colluded to appease a long suffering fanbase of a floundering franchise that was incapable of getting the job done on its own so it intervened to have the others let up so those long suffering fans could celebrate a fake made up championship, and so it was, a fake championship was born.

Anonymous said...

This Guy must of missed the western final in 13 ..Durant willed that team to win and carried them on his back...

Anonymous said...

Ahhh... 13 - Durant did nothing of the sort my grand ma ma couldn't do in her army boots with a blind fold on. Kory Sheets willed that team to win and carried them on his back... to the fake colluded championship title... litterally!

Anonymous said...

Do you really believe that Calgary, Hamilton, etc. rolled over in 2013 because the Rider fan base deserved a Grey Cup? I do hope that you realize that stuff you are smoking isn't legal yet.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should go back and watch the western final. That game was all Durant. You can give Sheets the Grey Cup game but without Durant the Riders wouldn't have been in the big game.

Anonymous said...

13 western final, hmmm ... durant didn't play the game by himself did he? He surely must of had some teammates. One man does not a "team" make!

Anonymous said...

Of course not. Watch the game. With an open mind. One man does not make a team but one man can be the piece of a puzzle that brings a team together.

John Knight said...

Nascar? Really, LOL. Only for rednecks an hillbillies

Anonymous said...

Smoke with a good moonshine sip sip sip. We still make good hillbilly red neck product here in Saskatchewan and damn proud of it, just like old pappi use to do back in the day, hmmm hmmm good. And yes everyone rolled over in 2013 just to appease a long suffering rider fan base, that's a fact jack.