Realty One

Thursday, December 21, 2017


1 - The Roughriders have delivered early Christmas presents to the Rider Nation. This week's signings of pending free agents Brandon Bridge, Thaddeus Coleman and Jovon Johnson were welcome news (they're all starters), and a tad surprising. In particular Bridge, whom we assumed would test his value in free agency.

2 - Bridge said he only wants to play in Saskatchewan, and didn't give much thought to signing with his hometown Toronto Argonauts. He said on the SportsCage that he grew up an Argos fan, but the Riders "showed me the love" and it was a relatively easy negotiation. This is the new breed of players. They don't necessarily chase the dollars, but rather "the love". It's refreshing.

3 - Bridge said he was brought into Chris Jones' office and shown the list of key free agents the team wishes to sign. His name was atop the list. I'd give my right arm to know what other names were on that list! I'm sure the other pending free agents would too.

4 - But the Riders stopped short of annointing Bridge the starting QB for 2018 the way Marc Trestman did with Ricky Ray on the day he was hired last spring. The Rider braintrust has left itself some wiggle room to go after a free agent QB in free agency, and has the salary cap room to make a splash. The QB landscape in the CFL has shifted somewhat so far this offseason, but it has a long way to go.

5 - Kudos to the CFL for staying in the news since Grey Cup and now comes word the media is invited to attend the annual GM meetings in Banff on January 10. We're going to do our best for the SportsCage to be there since I lobbied so hard with the Commissioner for them to open their doors to us. Here's hoping the CFL media makes every effort to attend. Silence doesn't sell tickets, jerseys and hats, so here's hoping Canadian football fans step up with their wallets this Christmas.

6 - News came down on Thursday that WWE boss Vince McMahon is looking at reviving the XFL. The fledgling pro league was huge news during its only season back in 2001, but it ceased operations as McMahon bickered with his TV partner NBC. The CFL will assuredly see the XFL as competition for players, but I feel the more pro football there is - especially on TV - the better it is for the sport.

7 - It dawned on me this week that 2018 Roughriders training camp in Saskatoon will conflict with Memorial Cup Week in Regina (May 18-27). It's also been made clear that the only person concerned about this is me, but the SportsCage can't be in two places at once! Methinks there will be more people than just me concerned about this once the snow melts.

8 - I need a helicopter.

9 - It has not been a casual Christmas break for Regina Pats Coach/GM John Paddock. A shade below .500, the Pats sit in a wildcard playoff spot and many are questioning if they'll be a suitable host team for the tournament. I'm not one of them. First, I have complete faith in Paddock. Second, they're good enough to be a playoff team as-is. Third, if the Pats can land Jake Bean from Calgary and maybe one or two more pieces, they can be a force. Fourth, goaltending is NOT the problem and if you think that, you don't know what you're talking about.

The club has been torpedoed by an avalanche of bad luck this year but I can assure you they won't fold their tent. Hang in there because this is going to get wild.

10 - The SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon is the place to be Saturday as the Saskatchewan Rush host their home-opener against the New England Black Wolves. It's the return of former Rush great, goaltender Aaron Bold, who's now with New England. The Rush will raise their conference championship banner and the evening will be filled with Christmas-themed festivities. There are still tickets available! Now ... how can we get an NLL franchise for Regina?

Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Aw come on Rod you just want a free trip to Banff. Shooting the breeze with Jones while you’re relaxing in the Sulfur Mountain hot springs. Tough job but someone has to do it!

It’s amazing how the attitude of the league regarding media and visibility has turned a full 180 in the last year. And it would seem Ambrosie is just getting started.

Gunderson’s Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Season's Greetings Rod.

Anonymous said...

Now the challenge falls squarely on Stephen McAdoo's shoulders. Is he capable of drawing up some plays that accentuate Bridge's talents or does Brandon have to change to suit McAdoo's style?

Anonymous said...

Chrstion Jones resigned also.

Anonymous said...

Zach Collaros comes here with this offensive line and receiving corp and with Brandon Bridge getting his reps then if they stay healthy it's a wash the Riders will be in that Grey Cup game.

Taking a page from Vince McMahon go back over his Wrestlemania events. In the early years he once held Wrestlemania in three separate venues ergo getting three separate gates along with his pay per view buys. He also had guys on the road 300 days a year and ran two cards ergo the Hulk Hogan card and then the Intercontinental Champion of the day card - Ergo run two separate Sport Cages and expand the hours to an all day format ergo the precursor to an all sports radio format albeit temporarily.

Anonymous said...

Collaros sucks and is made of glass to boot. Pass!

Anonymous said...

It's "re-signed", not "resigned". They're basically the exact opposite.

Anonymous said...

TSN would be wise to deputize Rod and Scruffy and have them do on-site TV interviews from the Banff Springs Hotel on January 10.

Anonymous said...

#3: I was wondering if the list was alphabetical but then I saw Bell and Bailey (whoever they are) come before Bridge.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for publishing this so I don't have to read the crap below it!

Anonymous said...

Pats are 2-3 pieces away from owning the league again....don't get it twisted folks, Rod hasn't. We know the Pats will be a deadly team with just a few more pieces and when Steel is back from WJ's, I don't think he's where he wanted to be this year so it's affected his game a tad, watch once the home stretch comes.

Jake Bean won't be here, they want 4 first rounders, not for an offensive piece we already have in Mahura. Look for two big strong stay at home d-men and maybe two more forwards, one with jam and one highly skilled.

Pats can use all their future picks as trade bait if they want. Why ? Because next year you can dish Fleury and Jake and Henry and Davidson at the deadline and get back maybe a current player and a couple picks in the draft for each player, maybe more for the right team.

Pod Redersen

william weppler said...

THx a lot Rod. Wishing a safe and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

I predict that Kevin Glenn will end his career this season as an Edmonton Eskimo, an insurance QB with experience for Mike Reilly now that Franklin has left town on his NFL/Argo/free agent Expedition.

Anonymous said...

hearing there has been a mass exodus of coaches. this true?

Anonymous said...

Not freakin likely. Are you trying to start a rumour

Anonymous said...

To the anon who has taken it upon himself to be the language police about resigning vs re-signing. Who the f@#k cares - we all know what the poster meant! Jeez, go visit a grammar blog instead of a sports one where no one expects perfection.

Anonymous said...

Long article today on the CNN website written by Gerald Narciso on Trent Richardson and his Sask Riders experience thus far.

Just saying said...

What a joke Montreal coach says they will win a Grey cup maybe two or three. I’m guessing he doesn’t last the year!

Anonymous said...

Pod Redersen….is on the right path about the Pats. We have Mahura and Davidson who are puck movers, so our biggest need is two big defenders who will make us hard to play against.
A couple forwards so that there is a big left winger/puck retrieval forward for Steel and Henry.
Bradley could go back to his center Ice spot. The other new forward could fill where required.
Maybe an extra untility forward.
However we still haven't solved our as Vanstone nicely puts it "erratic goaltending"

@mrt_man said...

Chasing the love... there is much love for not being unemployed.

Sometimes on a cool winters eve I can't help but think back to the wonderful brunch at the Banff park lodge. Perhaps this doesnt run on a Wednesday...Expensive time for flights... let me know if you need me to drive the cagemobile over there for you ;)

Anonymous said...

Durant's CFL career will be almost over in 3 weeks when new Montreal Coach cuts him before Jan 15th to avoid his $150,000 bonus for being worst performer in 2017.