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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR CAPITAL FLEET

1 - MONEY TIME: This is tremendously exciting! The 2017 CFL Playoffs are upon us and they open on Sunday when the 10-8 Saskatchewan Roughriders visit the 8-9-1 Ottawa RedBlacks in the Eastern Semifinal. The line has not yet been set but my guess is that the RedBlacks will be installed as favourites somewhere in the area of 2.5-points.

2 - ODDS N' ENDS: The Roughriders' fourth-place record in the West is better than all four teams in the East ... Ottawa and Saskatchewan split their 2-game season series, each winning in the other's park, and each team scoring 50 total points! The match-up is razor-thin ... The forecast for Sunday at TD Place Stadium calls for snow flurries and +3 degrees ... These two teams haven't met in the playoffs since the 1976 Grey Cup (see: Tony Gabriel).

3 - KG VS TH: One disparity is at the quarterback position. The Riders' Kevin Glenn is 3-7 as a playoff starter while the RedBlacks' Trevor Harris is making his first career playoff start. No doubt, the competitive fire burns brightly for both. Glenn was spurned as Ottawa's expansion starting quarterback in 2014 but more importantly, he's still chasing his first Grey Cup ring in his 17th season. Motivation won't be a problem for him, nor will it be for Harris who wants to prove that he's a big game QB.

4 - D.C. CHILLIN': Riders leading receiver Duron Carter has been a particular thorn in Ottawa's side. In the 2-game season series, Duron has caught 16 passes for a whopping 320 yards. The flamboyant Rider MVP has flipped back-and-forth between offense and defense in recent weeks but it says here he'll pose the biggest threat for Ottawa at WR rather than at CB. Once the Riders begin the practice week on Wednesday, we'll start to learn the Riders' plans for DC.

5 - SPEAKING OF: Unfortunately injuries are a major factor leading into this game. The RedBlacks really are only missing WR Brad Sinopoli and DB Jerell Gavins while the Rider Injured List looks like an All Star team. What's the status of Brendon Labatte, Naaman Roosevelt, Nic Demski, Trent Richardson, Cameron Marshall, Derek Dennis, Sam Eguavoen, et al? We won't know until Day 1 of the practice week.

6 - SPINNER SPENCER: The Riders will have to be on the lookout for RedBlacks WR/KR Diontae Spencer. The McNeese State product recently set a CFL record for combined yards (496) surpassing the old mark of 474 set by Winnipeg's Albert Johnson III in 2001.

7 - ZALMER CHUBB: Chris Jones raised eyebrows last week when he referenced former high school football teammate Zalmer Chubb from South Pittsburg, TN. Jones said he's the greatest athlete he's ever seen, mentioning "He could dunk a basketball in Grade 6". Jones explained their head coach's style of coaching Jones and Chubb two separate ways to maximize each player's productivity. Zalmer Chubb still lives on Holly Ave in South Pittsburg, and I placed a call to him on Monday to see if he'd be willing to come on the SportsCage to discuss Chris Jones!

8 - BLACKING OUT ON BLACKOUTS: I casually mentioned on Twitter that the CFL could revisit blacking out televised games due to empty seats in CFL stadiums in Week 20. That was met with a tidal wave of bitterness from the Rider Nation but let me be clear: I'm not advocating blackouts. It was just a flippant comment. The Roughriders led the CFL in attendance in 2017 so there's no problem here.

9 - MOVIN' ON UP: Having said that, Saturday's conditions made for an unpleasant evening at Mosaic Stadium. We wussed out and left the windows closed in the broadcast booth in order to block out the teeth of the 30 km/h wind. The argument to move the CFL season up to a June 1 start has reared its head again but it's highly unlikely it'll happen on Commissioner Randy Ambrosie's watch. The cons are: bad summer TV ratings, low ticket sales, competition with the Stanley Cup Playoffs and bungling up the Labour Day "turn" versus the only pro: it's darn cold this time of year. Unfortunately there just doesn't seem to be an appetite at the league level to move the season up.

10 - WESTERN SEMIFINAL: The Eskimos are the hottest team in the CFL, carrying a 5-game winning streak into the playoffs. If Winnipeg starts QB Matt Nichols, he'll be nowhere near 100% due to a nagging calf injury. Coupled with injuries at a myriad of other key positions, it looks like the Bomber Grey Cup drought will hit 27 years. Meanwhile the Calgary Stampeders haven't carried a 3-game losing streak into the playoffs since 1957. Advantage Edmonton.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reasons not to move the season up are ridiculous.

Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal won't have to worry about hockey in June.

No one goes to preseason games, so who cares about competing with hockey in preseason games. If that preseason game is going to make or break a team, the CFL is in more dire straights than they let on.

Anonymous said...

Don't know about other cities but I do know Edmonton is a hockey city. There is no off season as far as sports casts go. It's hockey 365 a year. As soon as the cup is won discussions start as to what each team can or will do to improve etc etc ad nauseum. So if that's the talk on radio and TV it has to be fan driven and if that's the case they just might forgo CFL. If the poster above is just slamming poor playoff results he should be aware that things like that change. Last year for example.

Anonymous said...

Esks/Argos Grey Cup. Argos win.

Anonymous said...

Hope Mr. Chubb says "yaw" to coming on the Sports Cage! Huge boost for the ratings.

Anonymous said...

I don't think blackouts will work in 2018 and beyond. With live streaming on the internet now, you can get access to the games anyway. And people will do that whether it is a legit site or not.

I am all for moving the season up. Times have changed in the CFL. Ticket prices have doubled in the last 10 years. I didn't mind going to a game and sitting in the cold when it cost me $27 as a university student. But do I want to pay $80 to sit in the cold and watch what is usually mediocre football under such conditions. The answer is no. Yes, I am also getting soft. The commissioner would be wise to consider this seriously. Listen to your customers, just like you did with the challenges

Anonymous said...

Just a few thoughts here 1- riders injured list an all star team? In 4th place ? Lol lol lol .wasnt Dennis a high priced prized FA last off season? Was he really that bad for the riders ?

Anonymous said...

As much as I would LOVE an Eskies vs riders Grey Cup I think the riders don't have a passing game,running game ,banged up o-line and a very vanilla defence I think Redblacks 33 riders 22 and Eskies win a close one Eskies 26 Bombers 22 .What is everyone else's prediction for this weekend?

Anonymous said...

So having the best players play sub-par football for the last scheduled games and playoffs in front of empty stadiums across westren Canada is somehow good for the league? Worse is that very few children attend these games especially late night ones. So the challenges of longer days, tougher marketing due to NHL playoffs, people looking to get out, an open air venue, Sunday day games, pregame celebration with kids and gainer, beer sales, fan safety (both driving and spectators at games) and comfort are too difficult to overcome in June?
#titanicmustsailon

Rod Pedersen said...

I'd like to see it moved up.

Anonymous said...

If I were not a season ticket holder and most importantly a died in the wool delusional diehard I would not have attended that most recent game. However there is a Roughrider home game I am conditioned to be there. That was god awful conditions to sit through. - move the season up and have faith in the product as the CFL is outstanding. When summer hits unless my team is in the playoffs then no I'm not sitting in a house watching hockey. The other thing that needs to happen is for them to scrap divisional system for players and the top teams get seeded accordingly.

Anonymous said...

"a very vanilla defence" Seriously??? What have you been watching this year bud?? Riders defence has been anything but vanilla!!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the season moved up for a trial year. Then there's no guessing as to whether or not it would work.

Anonymous said...

Yea I would Vote for a move up of the season. Have the opening week the 2nd last weekend of June, and the week 2 games on Canada day weekend. It isn't much earlier, but non-playoff games in November is ridiculous. If they add another bye week, add it to the front of the season not the end. Grey Cup needs to be the only game/event in November for the Cfl. Teams will have to decide if they want television viewers or fans in the seats. I am not taking kids to sit outside for 3 hours when it is below freezing. Kudos to those that did, but man did they (the kids) did not look happy leaving Saturday night.


Elaine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Injuries have hurt offence for sure. Glenn has been missing his best running back and receiver and the team MOP was moved to defence. We should not be surprised that both QB's appear to struggle lately.
LF

Elaine said...

Excuses Excuses Excuses
The NHL come June probably will be down to the finals, and those two teams that are left would only be on same time as cfl
for maybe one or two games. At this time lots of people's interest wanes as their team has been eliminated.
Fans if you want the CFL to exist, stop running down other teams as they are all vital for the leaque to exist.
Let's promote and encourage are fine players and teams, and encourage the powers to be to do the same.
Here's hoping The Commish does some of that this off season.
Cheer for your team, and quit being negative about the leaque and other teams.
PEOPLE, we need every team to succeed to be able to EXIST.

JackD83 said...

How about playoffs being on Saturday. To not compete with NFL and maybe gather some American audience?

Anonymous said...

The CFL regular season schedule should start on the first week of June.
People who happen to like NHL hockey too can PVR the game (CFL or NHL) on the rare occasion where there is an overlap.

Anonymous said...

Move the season up you dinosaurs.
Today's society is about comfort and convenience. Start a poll Roddy

Anonymous said...

TSN doesn't care if there are empty seats if anything they like seeing it , as it means the people who would normally be there are instead watching on tv

eddie said...

i absolutely agree to move the season up who wouldnt rather sit inthe stands in warm summerlike conditions as opposed to freezing

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify.....Redblacks are also missing starters, Nolan MacMillan, Sir Vincent Rogers, Josh Stangby and Kenny Shaw....plus backup Connor Williams......all teams have big time injuries this time of year.

Savanna said...

C'Mon, people, This is CANADA, not
CANCUN! Cold/ Snow part of the game, just as it is in Green Bay or Pittsburgh in January.
The 1991 Grey Cup Game was the the COLDEST EVER, -30° and a Windchill.
Still a very entertaining game.
I've been sitting outside at Taylor Field since 1971. It's part of the game come Fall. Embrace it.
Enjoy it. LOVE IT!!

Zalmer Chubb said...

Zalmer Chubb is a great name

Anonymous said...

Edmonton Eskimos are the #1 power ranked team going into the playoffs, and GUESS WHO is the #1 ranked quarterback (hint, hint...its not Kevin Glenn or Brandon Bridge)?? Another hint, not on any other Western team but Edmonton.

Riders slide in the power rankings going into the playoffs......not a good sign??

May the best teams (power ranked) win this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need two pre-season games? Training camp and pre-season games used to be there for players to get into shape. Not any more, as you better be in top shape from day 1. Coaches are evaluating year round now. I say lets get it on without any pre-season games, as well it gives us fans a price break for not having to pay to watch a bunch of players that have no chance making the team. Season moves up 2 weeks instantly.

Anonymous said...

8-9-1 Ottawa REDBLACKS installed as favorite over the 10-8 Saskatchewan Roughriders, HUH? Only in the CFL would a team under 500 be the favorite to win. Odds makers need to give their heads a realistic shake and wake up! Roughriders win this game easily!.

Anonymous said...

Seriously no preseason games? How would coaches evaluate young players in game situations? No preseason would ruin the talent in the league every team would be full of old vets because te coaches would be nervous to bring in new talent.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the guy about training camp. These guys stay in shape year around.

Anonymous said...

Every so often there is an opportunity (I think by the CBC) where people can respond to the question, "If I were Prime Minister ...". The CFL should consider this format, be it written or visual, and have fans submit their thoughts on how to better our national game by an "If I were CFL Commissioner .."

Anonymous said...

Still shocking to see Sask above Calgary in the Power Rankings. Who would have ever thought ...

But it will also be a shock if the Eskimos don't win the Grey Cup this year. Their only wild card is a nutty head coach, but the team is deep in talent.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between being in shape and being in game shape. The rookies also need a chance to show their talent without the score mattering. Because some players look good in practice but don't perform well under game situations, while some are the complete opposite.

Anonymous said...

The same BUFFOONS who designed the Regina Bypass are the same BUFFOONS who designed New "Mosaic" Stadium Regina.

Anonymous said...

I am a Rider fan and not a chance in hell I would rate the Riders above Calgary. Calgary has a QB and a running back and a very good defense which the Riders do not have. The last 3 games mean nothing when you have nothing to play for. My prediction for the semi finals is the 2 better teams advance to the div finals, the Esks and Redblacks

Anonymous said...

I think they should move the season up to Mid May start for preseason.

If you want to attract more fans, give them nice weather!

After a long winter of hockey and being inside - us football fans are just itching to get out and sit outside in the fresh air in May and June and watch a football game on a beautiful day when the sun is warm - hockey is old and boring by now lol! Let's get outside and cheer! NHL finals are always night games, lets have weekend sunny afternoon games. Will sell way more beer too.....

As far as summer holidays interfering - well when I have my holidays at the lake I go. If I miss the game - so be it -. But I would tend to guess that more people make a point of going to summer games when the kids are out of school and holidays are on.

Keep up with the cold winter games - yes only the die hards will come and freeze, shiver and teeth chatter and watch athletes only perform to part of their potential due to cold, poor field conditions, and bad weather, not too mention the risks of getting some highly paid athletes hurt on the frozen ground and missing very important games.

You want more new fans - move the season up - more people will come and enjoy. In the winter people like to be indoors watching hockey, curling or basketball or they will watch from the warmth of their house on the big screen TV's.

My thoughts FWIW

Bonnie

Anonymous said...

Moving the season up is the best thing they can do. You could easily start the regular season next year around June 7. Weather is nice enough to start training camps in May. You can't predict who will be in the Stanley Cup final and when the games are so take it out of the equation. Grey Cup could be held 2 to 3 weeks earlier. It's Canada so you could still have a chilly Grey Cup in early November might get nicer weather, again something that nobody can control (look at Regina today) You should get more fans out in June as kids are still in school so nobody is on summer holidays. Fans can still plan their summer holidays around going to a game in July or August. So those months shouldn't change.

You can still do the Labour Day games and the rematches the week after. Who cares if this doesn't signal the mid point of the season. They are the Labour Day classics because it's Labour Day Weekend, not because its the mid point of the season.

Anonymous said...

An All-Star team of injured players? Oh well, consider the source. As usual, more overblown hyperbole when it comes to the Riders - exhibit 2 Zalmer Chubb. Slow night on Sportscage, Rod? Playoffs are here if you haven't noticed.

Anonymous said...

I have sat through some extremely cold games when I was younger.Like the Stamps/Rider final in a blizzard years ago. You know the one, where Robinson kicked a field goal against the wind to give them a victory and a berth into the Grey Cup.

Not any more. Why would I pay big $$ to freeze my butt off when I can watch it on TV for free? Does that mean I am a poor fan? No it means I no longer want to sit in the cold and wind to watch a game I can see in the comfort of my home.

The traditionalists prefer old fashioned freeze your butt off football in November. I don't. Move the season and schedule games to accommodate today's fans if you want butts in the seats. The league worries about conflicts with NHL? LOL There will always be some conflict with some sport and vacations, etc. so why worry? Just try it and see. What do you have to lose?

Anonymous said...

This post... Doesn’t resemble anything SK. Sounds like a poser Albertan too me. Too much emphasis on what Alberta has and nothing in SK.... this is Fake news

Anonymous said...

I totally dissagree. Coaches can not make sound decisions without seeing talent when the lights are on and the billets flying. You want the 1st half of the season to be exactly like training camp? Because that’s what would happen if there was no preseason.

Anonymous said...

The whole world is waking up and change is everywhere. There is nothing to embrace sitting for 3 hours at minus 20. That’s more for the fool hearted booze hounds that get another excuse to pound them back.
Move the season up!

Anonymous said...

Solution! Move it up 2 weeks.

Play afternoon games in June. Canadian NHL schedule... 7pm puck drop. CFL 2pm.

I am a big fan but people couldn't give there tickets away in Riderville in a blizzard.

Labor Day value of seats on kijiji or 2-300 a piece.

Bottom line is "people don't want to sit in the cold" it's not the 60s anymore HD is way to darn good.

Anonymous said...

We're walking into the stadium bundled up and have blankets. These guys behind us one says, "I shouldn't have had those 6 beers before the game."- that's your demographic on a game day like that. As for lake people and farmers, NHL, NFL conflicts to heck with them. I go because since 1982 I am a fan. It's a privilege to go to a Rider game and it's a privilege to be in that stadium at any excuse.

Anonymous said...

The anonymous above is the definition of a Rider fan's fan and I'd like to have a seat beside him. Not like the thousands of y'all that wimped out and stayed home....yea sure I could see it for those who have to travel a long distance to get to games, but for the locals....no excuse.

Anonymous said...

I dont really like this team. That was my excuse. I wont really like this team until Glenn is gone and the next real franchise QB has emerged. The man is just uninspiring-win or lose. You cant make me like em either.

Even if he finds a way to win a cup this year, he's still behind where any real QB should be after 17 seasons in a 8-9 team league.

Ive been to basically every rider home game,good weather or bad, since about 1990, btw.