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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

Photo: Riderville.com
1 - WEEK 2: Coming off a 27-19 win over Toronto in Friday's home-opener, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are already in Ottawa for their Week 2 clash, Thursday against the RedBlacks (5:30 pm Sask Time, TSN, 620 CKRM Radio Network). Ottawa had a bye in Week 1 so this is their season-opener and Rider QB Zach Collaros says Saskatchewan will have to "match their intensity".

2 - ODDS, FORECAST: For some reason the RedBlacks are favoured by 2.5-points and the weather prediction calls for a perfect night for football: sunshine and 22 degrees Celsius or 71 Fahrenheit.

3 - 1-0: The importance of the victory over Toronto last week can not be overstated. As defending Grey Cup champions, the Argonauts are presumably the best team in the CFL so for the Green & White to have had that good of a showing in Week 1, they should take a bow. Saskatchewan hadn't won a season-opening game since 2014.

4 - JONES'ING: If anyone was surprised by the slick showing of the Riders last week, it wasn't Head Coach & GM Chris Jones. "I told y'all before the season started that we're a good football team and I still firmly believe that," the Rider boss said this week. "If we stay healthy and keep people in the right mindset, we can play with anybody in the league. It's just a matter of doing those things: we gotta keep people healthy, keep practicing 'em and keep grinding 'em and get better at the things we're not good at."

5 - MINDSET: Jones' comments echo something I wrote in this space during training camp. The 2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders are good and they know it. Chris Jones' biggest task this season may be to keep his troops humble and grounded on a weekly basis. So far, so good. But they're a hungry bunch, led by vets such as Zach Collaros and Jerome Messam who are still chasing their first Grey Cup ring. The names and numbers may change but the goal remains the same.

6 - ANCIENT HISTORY: If last year's CFL East Final - a loss in Toronto - was "old news" for the Riders going into the Toronto game, then the same should hold true for last season's CFL Eastern Semifinal. The Riders trounced the RedBlacks 31-20 in a game where RB Marcus Thigpen ran for 169 yards and a TD and Ottawa QB Trevor Harris was picked off twice. Have the Riders moved on? Probably. Has Ottawa forgotten about it? Not likely.

7 - BACK TO NORMAL: Ahhh, the CFL. Duron Carter is front page news again (he'll start at CB on Thursday), there's another zany negotiation list story (the Eskimos have reportedly added Terrell Owens), and now there's the crazy fan incident in Vancouver on Saturday, with lawyers becoming involved. The CFL is predictably unpredictable and that's why Canadians remain fascinated with it.

*Oh, and they still hate Duron Carter in Ottawa for running over their coach Rick Campbell.

8 - STATS: Some numbers that jump out ... Saskatchewan has the #1 overall defense after Week 1 (265 yards) and are #1 against the run (54 yards) ... QB Zach Collaros has the #2 Passing Efficiency (109.3) behind BC's Jon Jennings (131.1) ... Saskatchewan is 1-0 when winning the turnover ratio (+1) ... The Riders had the most rushing attempts in the CFL in Week 1 (27) and that's from a team which was 9th in rushing last year.

9 - WORLD CUP: I'm proud to report I haven't watched a second of the World Cup this past week and my life is none-the-worse for it. There's a reason the CFL will always beat soccer in Canadian TV ratings: it's a better product.

10 - SHREK LIVE: It was a treat to experience Shrek, The Musical at Globe Theatre. The show seemed a bit long, but not for the myriad of kids in attendance. They were spellbound. And people say there's nothing to do in Regina! Hogwash.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen


20 comments:

Anonymous said...


Pretty ignorant comment on soccer Rod.

Anonymous said...

#1 against the run...vs. the RB who many think is far and away the best in the league.

Defense was huge. And as they were slowing down in the 4th the offense stepped up with a huge game ending drive.

Definitely a great way to start the season.

Will OTT be rested because of the bye week? Or rusty? Most teams took awhile to get going in Week 1. Hopefully SSK hits the ground running and Ottawa takes some time to find their groove.

Anonymous said...

Got news for you pedersen soccer and and basketball ball are now the most popular sports for participation amongst teenagers in this country now by a fair margin. I wouldn't be to smug in your declaration of TV ratings staying the way they are.

WesternMBRiders said...

Interesting comments as usual, and I agree in that while it was only one game, and not a perfect outing for sure, there is reason to expect a very good season from the Riders. With respect, do not underestimate the interest many have in the World Cup, and with soccer in general. It is a reality in Canada that we have a diverse culture, and a population which consists more and more with immigrants and those from areas of the world where soccer (not football or hockey) is the favorite sport. On addition, when it comes to youth and attracting a new generation to the CFL, it should be recognized that many more play soccer than hockey or football, due to the high costs associated with youth hockey and even youth football. So, even though the CFL is an exciting game, which is a tradition here and unique to the NFL (which is the biggest show on each right now), complacency cannot set in when it comes to promoting the Canadian game in this ever increasing competitive world of options for sports and its viewers.

william weppler said...

Shrek was great! Started off a bit slow but turned out to be one of the best Globes we have attended. Lord Farquaad the best!!

Anonymous said...

#9 I've totally agree with you.

Anonymous said...

As a Rider fan it sucks seeing Chris Jones blow another season. GET TRE MASON THE BALL. What is the issue here? Hate to say it but it looks like another 3rd place finish behind the Eskimos and Stamps.

I wish Rod would stop being such a cheerleader for Chris Jones and co. Love Rod but enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

I don't love soccer but #9 is wrong. A quick google search will tell you more folks watched the fifa finals than the 2013 grey cup finals (a riders final)

Unknown said...

In next 8 years I am interested in see professional soccer vs CFL argument present itself. Specially outside the walls of Saskatchewan...

Anonymous said...

It's 1 game in which they WON and Jones has ruined the season???? U are a sad and pathetic little girl aren't u?

Tim said...

Regarding #9, I am the same, haven't watched a second and none the worse for it. Can not say it any better.

Anonymous said...

I love to play soccer, great exercise, and I would love to be in the crowd for a World Cup game, as it sure looks fun, but it is a sport I could never sit down and watch on TV (just like with Tennis, Golf, Bowling, and Cricket). Football and Hockey on TV, 'tis the Life for Me!

Anonymous said...

More views in Canada for the 2014 world cup than in Canada for the 2013 grey cup. ( the closest comparable finals)

Anonymous said...

4Factoids of the day,

"Duron Carter
All World Football Superstar"

"Duron Carter also a very good qb," at the drop of a dime Duron can play... and win football games playing qb.

"Duron Carter All World Football Superstar" = "Superman"

Riderville fans dont know what they have until it's gone.

Russell Cone said...

Rod,

Since my girls have played soccer since 2005 I've really like watching the big events like the World Cup or the Euro tournament.

We also broadcast the game last year at Mosaic and it was a pretty amazing experience. Anytime you get to work with Jesus, it's a win. ;)

You should give it a chance. Watch a semi final or a big names game and let me know what you think.

If the Ratings in Canada are better for CFL maybe that's because some of the games are at 545am. Most would PVR the game.


Have a good game in Ottawa Rod.


Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

I would love to be part of Redblackville for their home opener. Looks like a great stadium to watch a game. But I just have this feeling that the Riders will spoil things.

Anonymous said...

So... REDBLACKS want to kick our media man Pedersen out from practice sidelines, they just started a WAR with Riderville they'll be sorry they started. Go Roughriders!

Anonymous said...

That’s because all you need is legs, shoes and a ball genius!!! Im with Rod on this one... Soccer sucks!!

@mrt_man said...

WATCHING SOCCER IS ABOUT AS EXCITING AS THE SHOPPING CHANNEL...

IF I WANNA SEE PEOPLE DIVE, I'LL WAIT FOR THE OLYMPICS.

2 - RE: ODDS - MAYBE THEY ARE FACTORING IN THAT THE RIDERS ARE ON A SHORT WEEK?

Anonymous said...

just watched the world paint drying competiton last weekend, now that was excitement, and no one dived or faked an injury like soccer professionals.