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Thursday, May 31, 2018

10 THINGS FOR FAMOSO PIZZERIA

1 - SASKATOON: Welcome to beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, home of the drama-less 2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders Training Camp. There's no Vince Young here this time around and, in fact, the media circus is in Hamilton, not Riderville. The #1 topic here is Duron Carter playing both offense and defense, which we'll get to.

2 - CFL EXPANSION: Somewhere I saw a study that said Saskatoon will have a population of 500,000 by the year 2035. (Wikipedia says it's curently 250,000). Surely it could support a CFL expansion team by then? That notion was quickly shot down when I brought it up on the SportsCage. This is Rider Country, and the love for Canada's Team in the Bridge City never ceases to amaze me.

By the way, what happened to the CFL in Halifax?

3- GOOD LOOKING: The Riders are coming together in Week 2 of camp. Head coach Chris Jones said as much on Wednesday. They are a veteran group that's built to win now. The pundits mostly seem to concur that it's going to be a 2-horse race in the CFL West between Saskatchewan and Edmonton, and this is going to be a lot of fun.

4 - ZACH ATTACK: It's Zach Collaros's team, end of story. I haven't seen the analytics but it appears both Zach and Brandon Bridge have had excellent camps. That shouldn't be a surprise because they're both great QBs. It's great that there are tons of Bridge fans in the Rider Nation who want to see him play, and they'll get their wish at some point, I'm sure. But Collaros is a little older, a little more experienced and a little more polished. He's the leader and it's his team.

1881 Scarth St. Regina, 306-789-0011
5 - RB: I spoke at an event in P.A. on Wednesday and the first question from the crowd was, "Who's going to be our running back?" I posed that question to position coach Kent Maugeri and he laughed, "Tell him I wish the Running Backs Coach knew!" That's what training camp is for. If Marcus Thigpen wasn't to be suspended for 2 games, it would be him. Now it's a 4-horse race between Thigpen, Jerome Messam, Zac Stacey and newcomer Tre Mason.

6 - WORKING OT: It seems logical to me that if Duron Carter is going to play on both offense and defense, then he should get two paycheques? I asked him Wednesday if that's crossed his mind. "Oh man, I thought about that last year. Me and my agent decided to wait until after this season to see how I do." So far, so good.

Interesting too, that Duron told us he has a photographic memory and once he sees a play on the board, he remembers it forever. That’s helped him on defence too, because he always knows what play is coming.  He was born for this game. 

7 - RIDER PRIDE: This is an easy team to cheer for. Have I written that since camp opened? From the ever-smiling Duron Carter, to the humble Zach Collaros, to the dancing-up-and-down-and-waving Willie Jefferson, to the model-like Brandon Bridge, to the Mighty Mouse Chad Owens, there's a lot to like with Canada's Team this year. They are a treat to be around.

8 - GATEWAY TO THE NORTH: It felt great to be in P.A. on Tuesday/Wednesday for the Special Olympics breakfast. Raiders GM Curtis Hunt took me on a tour of the town and it's changed quite a bit since I lived there from 1993-95. But it's still as beautiful of a place as you'll find. We agreed a new arena on the North Saskatchewan River banks is just what the city needs. The Art Hauser Centre is the second-oldest rink in the Dub and has outlived its usefulness. P.A. remains a very special place, but they need a new arena. Fortunately for them, Premier Scott Moe is from just down the road.

9 - MEMORIAL CUP: The best team, Acadie-Bathurst, won. What more is there to say? The host Regina Pats have nothing to hang their heads about and a whole new generation of young Pats fans has been spawned. The team hadn't played in the Memorial Cup final since 1974! When will they get that close again? I don't think it'll be another 44 years with this ownership group and braintrust. They make you proud to be a fan. Hats off.

10 - KNIGHT TIME: The real Braden Holtby showed up to backstop Washington to a 3-2 win over Vegas on Wednesday, tying up the Stanley Cup Finals at 1-1. Holtby still has a lot of fans here in Saskatoon, where he starred for the Blades. And with Saskatoon product Chandler Stephenson on the Caps, this is decidedly a pro-Washington town. However my rooting interest remains with the Golden Knights, which has made for some fun barbs. This is the best, juiciest Stanley Cup Final in a good many years. Way to go NHL!

Meanwhile I treated myself to a Spicy Thai pizza at the Famoso Pizzeria on Wednesday for Game 2. They might have the best patio in Saskatoon! I'll be back.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling BC, Calgary and Winnipeg will have a lot to say about the "2 horse race" in the West. Each year seems so unpredictable. Heck Sask and Edmonton could be a 2 horse race for the basement for all we know. The West is wide open

Anonymous said...

Rod - the best patio in Saskatoon is at the Yard and Flagon on Broadway - give it a try.

Anonymous said...

There's no stadium or any appetite for public money to build one in Halifax it's a long long shot Halifax will ever get a team.

Anonymous said...

If Saskatoon gets that big, they should get an NHL franchise. Saskatchewan is historically a hockey province with the same amount of HHOF inductees as Alberta and BC combined.
LF

Anonymous said...

There's no stadium in Saskatoon or any appetite for public money to build one, unless the government gives them the money to build one. Saskatoon does not have the corporate base to make a CFL franchise financially viable. Biggest employers are Saskatoon health region and U of S. I know you have to kiss Saskatoon's ass while your there but its time to retire this discussion.

Anonymous said...

The year is 2035 and Saskatchewan has two teams. There are the Regina Roughriders in their classic green and white uniforms and there are the Saskatoon Rough Riders in their classic "Shivers" black and green uniforms who play at the 40,000 seat Gordie Howe Memorial Stadium.

Anonymous said...

Your arms tired from banging the drum? Rider fans don't want to see a team in Saskatoon? You call it Rider love, I call it petty. There's that inferiority complex coming out again. When the Flames moved from Atlanta to Calgary it created one of the greatest rivalries in the NHL with must watch viewing in the 80's & early 90's. When the Eskimos joined the CFL, it happened because the Stampeders won the Cup. Get over yourselves. Canada's team? Really? How about showing some sportsmanship rather than constantly whining about sharing any kind of space with your perceived superiority being threatened again. You don't like the idea of an arena in Saskatoon - can't support it. Saskatoon is larger than Regina. If they got a CFL franchise down the road it would be good for all Saskatchewan. As usual the narrow minded Rider fans 1st thought is losing some of their fans. Showing the love? C'mon Rod. That's pathetic. Just once take the blinders off. It gets tiresome.

Anonymous said...

It’s all rainbows and unicorns. Just like last year at this time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1. There's nothing unpredictable about Rod touting Riders for first place. That's been as predictable as him being wrong. He's money.

Anonymous said...

When reviewing the running back situation you said, "That's what training camp is for."
Yet, one paragraph earlier you skipped training camp and anointed Zazh Collaros as the starter.
Why the double standard?

Scott Thompson said...

There are 1 or 2 very good running backs that aren’t going to make this team. I’ve been very impressed with all of them. Now if we only had that depth along the o line.

Rod Pedersen said...

Because one position is set and the other one isn’t. Why is that so hard to figure out?

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous "Arms are tired" - Rod I think you hurt a Stinks fans feelings - keep up the good work. I love it.

I see a 3 way race with EE, Riders & Bombers in the West. Bombers are loading up on vets for a run and if they stay healthy and keep Nichols upright - they will be tough to beat.

The Stamps have not gotten any better and will finish behind BC this year. Ha - Stinks fans, don't go away mad, but just go away.

I don't think Saskatoon would be able to support another CFL team until they get to a population base of closer to 750K. There are alot of fans in my section that drive 6 - 8 hours from the north, one way, and I've asked if they would support a CFL team in Saskatoon - "We would go to the Saskatoon games if the Riders are playing" has been the response I've gotten.

Newt from YQR

Anonymous said...

Health region and the U of S sorry buddy...Head Office to FCL , Nutrien (Potash Corp), BHP, Cameo, to name a few....

Anonymous said...

"Kiss Saskatoon's Ass" ? Who the hell are you to make those remarks of the Best City in Saskatchewan ? You don't have to Kiss anybody's Ass, just do us all a favour and STAY OUT OF TOWN, and enjoy your hockey in the BURNT CENTER.

Anonymous said...

Stay out of Saskatoon? My pleasure that city is a hole just like their hockey stadium which averages 2000 fans a game ,Saskatoon would be a terrible place for NHL or CFL as the toon fans only support a winner and the only reason the rush are supported is because they are winning and that saves them.Regina is obviously the Premier city in this fine province,why else would Regina be chosen as the Capital city and the home of The Riders oh ya Saskatoon it's because you just NOT good enough to hold those titles.

Anonymous said...

I am not from Saskatoon or Regina but you forgot one thing Regina is noted for and 1st in Sask. is all the hot air. If parliament wasn't there, there would be nothing but a pile of bones. It is a terrible city

Anonymous said...

Thin skinned Toontowners. Largest employers in Saskatoon is the Province of Saskatchewan.

Content in Regina

Anonymous said...


Thanks Scott!

Anonymous said...

Regina would love getting crowds like rush do..saskatchewans team rush will win championship..riders love coming to Saskatoon we have great facilities ..

GWil26 said...

Hey Rod,

I know I posted this on a previous article. But is there anywhere to watch the Green and White scrimmage or the June 8 preseason game?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Got the hits/comments on your site back up by ticking off the Regina people again. They just hate when you show any like for Saskatoon. And the rest of the province just laughs

Anonymous said...

Go rush ..love lacrosse.

Anonymous said...

NO! You can’t watch either game

Anonymous said...

Year 2035... fact - new immigration migrants lean towards the game of soccer making the CFL obsolete. Saskatoon has a NHL team, Sorry.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason the riders come to lowly Saskatoon is to stop the whiners complaining if they didn't ,you only support the rush because they are winning once that stops so due the fans and than Saskatoon will lose the franchise and be a have not city once again,Saskatoon will NEVER get an NHL or CFL franchise BOOK IT!

Anonymous said...

Saskatoon vs Regina , a modern day Bugtussle vs Hooterville.

Anonymous said...

Stay classy Saskatoon, words not usually mentioned in the same sentence but please try. Your nothing special.

Anonymous said...

Buy a drone with a camera attached

Anonymous said...

Time to cut bait on stjohn the guy can't stay healthy

Tim said...

Thanks for the good read Rod.

Anonymous said...

To GWil26 who said: "Hey Rod, I know I posted this on a previous article. But is there anywhere to watch the Green and White scrimmage or the June 8 preseason game? Thanks!"

not sure about the scrimmage, but there IS somewhere to watch the June 8 preseason game.....it's called "Mosaic Stadium". Get your tickets now!