Realty One

Wednesday, March 13, 2019


1 - FREE AGENT FRENZY: The NFL Free Agency period has already whipped the CFL's butt and it didn't even start until Wednesday afternoon! If you've noticed, Antonio Brown is now an Oakland Raider, Odell Beckham Jr is a Cleveland Brown and Le'veon Bell is a New York Jet. The Steelers are being roasted for not hanging onto their stars but something tells me they're not overly sad to see those egos go. Why do I have the feeling somebody has a whopper of an April Fool's joke ready to go? All of these NFL moves seem like spoofs as it is.

2 - CFL QUIET: Watch for next week's Out Of The Tunnel column in which we'll rate the Top 25 Remaining Free Agents in the CFL. Will Weston Dressler and Rob Bagg be on the list? Who will be #1? Check back here Monday to find out. There are rumblings the Riders should - or could - re-sign Weston Dressler at age 33 but a nagging feeling in my gut tells me the new O'Day/Dickenson regime would prefer to look forward and not back. Can you blame them? This season still feels like a rebuild to me. Chris Jones got a pass from the fans in Year 1 and so should these guys.

3 - COMBINING: The CFL's Regional Combines are being staged this week and that's where you'll find the Roughriders braintrust. There is little fanfare. The events are a necessary evil - I guess - but they still seem so academic. For instance, have you ever heard TSN's Glen Suitor or Duane Forde say on a CFL broadcast, "Oh, and he put up __ bench press reps and his shuttle cone time was ___ at the combine!" Not that I can recall. The term Underwear Olympics really does fit.

4 - STEAK, BOOZE AND DULL DREAD: The NFL has made their combine a Made-For-TV event much like TSN did with the World Juniors but it would be nearly impossible for the CFL to do the same. There just doesn't seem to be the interest. Is the CFL Combine a booze and tail fest like the NFL's as was reported by ESPN? I don't know. I've never seen that at the Canadian events, but I also don't run in those circles anymore. 20 years were enough.

5 - CFL LABOUR TALKS: It's not like there's nothing going on in the CFL right now. It's just not as sexy as the NFL news. Tuesday was Day 2 of Collective Bargaining Talks in Toronto between the League and its Players Association. The two sides shared "non-monetary proposals" in a Toronto boardroom. Yawnnnn. This, like the Combine, is a necessary evil but it's also akin to watching paint dry for the fans. Just get it done and tell us when it's over!

6 - S.J. PLAYOFFS: The SJHL created a helluva brand with their "Survivor Series" which dates back 20 years. Everybody knows it's a Best-of-3 series to advance to the Final 8. This year, Flin Flon swept Weyburn in one and Yorkton downed Notre Dame in the other. The Quarterfinals are now set and they are: Humboldt vs Estevan, Nipawin vs Yorkton, Melfort vs Kindersley and Battlefords vs Flin Flon. Get out to a nearby rink and check it out! I think we're going to be headed to Humboldt next week to check out some live action.

7 - BACK IN THE BOOTH: Yikes. When I climbed the ladder into the broadcast booth at Duncan McNeill Arena in Wilcox to call Game 2 of the Hounds-Terriers on HockeyTV, it had been 28 years since I'd been on the mic for an SJHL game. The last was 1991 on CJVR as I pinch-hit for the Mustangs-Hounds. In truth, the last time I called a game there was 2001 for a preseason game between the Pats and Wheat Kings. Brandon had a bruising rookie named Dustin Byfuglien whose helmet sat up on the crown of his head because it wasn't big enough. I pronounced his name "Bye-FOOL-Yen", which apparently is the correct way to say it.

8 - THE ROLLER COASTER: It's difficult to find the best word to describe tonight's Pats-Broncos WHL encounter in the Brandt Centre. Ironic? Too bad? These two iconic clubs will miss the playoffs after this weekend but their playoff series and Memorial Cup clashes the past few years have been absolute wars. They made memories that will last forever! Adam Brooks, Connor Hobbs, Tyler Brown, Glenn Gawdin, Tyler Steenbergen, Stuart Skinner, etc. Such is life in junior hockey. Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

9 - GOIN' TO WINNIPEG: Would you pay $50 to hear Paul LaPolice speak on Leadership and Teamwork? The Bombers Offensive Coordinator will be one of the keynote speakers at our Champion Your Own Success conference at the Clarion Hotel & Suites this Saturday in Winnipeg. We'll also cover Mental Strength, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Prevention and Nutrition. The whole event is specifically designed for young athletes and their families and it's only $50 per head. DM me for details!

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Why the love for the S.J.? Because 2 years ago they came to me and said "Will you help us?" It's been a fantastic partnership and I'm thrilled to say I'll be calling selected playoff games on TV later this spring. But that's for them to announce where and when. ... I’ll believe the Alouettes-For-Sale story when I see it.  However for now, these reports are Fake News. ... Loving the time change! This Is Us is now on an hour earlier. However I was quite upset that Kevin couldn't/wouldn't stay sober. ... The newspaper business is dying but the news business is not. That's why this blog is cleaning up. (For instance, you're here.). ... March Madness: The time when Canadian white men pretend they've been following NCAA basketball all year long. ... A lot of my days are filled with watching A Football Life marathons on NFL Network. If someone ever produced a CFL version, they'd have a grand slam on their hands. Kevin Glenn truly is the CFL's Dan Marino. ...   Kudos to Red Deer's Brent Sutter for notching his 500th career win this week. His secret? "Living in the present". That means: Not fretting over the past and not worrying about the future. i.e. One Day At A Time. ... That's all for now. See you at the rink!

Y'er welcome,


SWC said...

According to un-named sources Chris Jones wants to turn Odell Beckham Jr. into a DB. LOL

Anonymous said...

Big shout out this morning should go to Sid and the Penguins organization for bringing in the Matechuk family for the game last night against the Caps. Very classy on their part to do so. Great to see Layne doing well in his recovery.

Gunderson’s Yorkton

TKP said...

The SJ is good hockey at a decent price. I went to a Warriors/Hurricanes snoozefest in Moose Jaw on a Friday night this year... came back to Estevan and watched a really entertaining game the next night. More hits. More effort. The WHL has the "big league show" down pat, but at least on these two nights the SJ was better game to watch (not to mention less money too). Playoffs should be good! Go Bruins! :)

Anonymous said...

It is a rebuilding year. Right on that, Rod. Until we get a QB who we can count on & our prospect receivers don't become Holleys who tease us but can't quite catch on, we aren't contenders. It's not as simple on defence saying we lost Jefferson but gaining Johnson evens it out. Eguavoen & Antigha are big losses as well & not that easy to replace.

Anonymous said...

It was opined on this very site a few weeks back (Senior) Mr. Wentenhal was walking away from the CFL after it snubbed, dismissed his organisation to host a Grey Cup Championship game. The personal money operation purse can only give so much before it's realized its time is coming to a end. (Senior) Mr. Wentenhal more than generous to his ownership responsibilities during his tenure.

Anonymous said...

Rob Bagg in the list of top 25 remaining free agents ??? Please confirm that this is your lame attempt at comedy.

Anonymous said...

Opps on commissh
c-f 1 partnered into working agreements with international others. Possibility of contemplated hostile takeover forever changing the game as we know it. Current negotiations not including to their content and say does not sit well .

Anonymous said...

Where's Neugsie's weekly Notre Dame report??

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chris Jones was the best thing to ever happen to the Saskatchewan Roughriders Footbal Club since Mr. Roy Shivers and sliced bread.

Anonymous said...

Opps on commissh
Get your nose out of your glue bag!

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) SJHL to me is and always has been this little gem on the Prairies. The people in that league have full respect. It just operates on a shoe string and I don't think people realize just how razor thin the margins are for teams to operate on.

2) Montreal Alouettes...sigh. If they go down what a shame. I don't blame him for selling, but they also have to help themselves. You don't put Kavis Reed in as a GM. Brendan Taman is out there, Eric Tillman and there are guys, but it starts and ends with winning and the rest can fall into place. The Johnny Manziel debacle just shoes history repeats. I can recall hearing about The Als/Concords bringing in Feragamo and these guys and eventually they went the way of the dodo.

3) Toronto Argonauts....sigh. If they go down what a shame. How on Earth they don't have guys like Pinball involved amazes me.

4) I ventured to MJ last Saturday to watch them play the Pats. $22 for one ticket..nice rink, no thanks.

5) I renewed my Pats season ticket in the upper deck. Good price and that's good for jr hockey. A warriors season ticket I heard is $780 and then we wonder why these teams struggle at the gate.

6) Regarding This is Us - I have watched it. If the guy didn't stay sober all I say is oh well. Get to a meeting, put your hand up, try again, but learn. Most of the time it's ego and people, places, and things...what has to change...everything, but easy does it, one day at a time and if one day is to hard, one hour, 10 minutes, 1 minute. I've been told - 15% is drinking so after the plug goes in the jug, 85% is life so deal with it or don't their choice.

Y'er Welcome
O...meh go with Jerry

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Jones, he of 1 semi-final victory in 3 years when Grey Cups were expected AND predicted upon his hiring for huge bucks, is your idea of the best thing to happen to the Riders, hooray for your low standards. Can we erect a statue for him now beside Ronnie & Reed? If the Riders finish last which is predicted even by your local media, what kind of team did he leave behind? It's basically still the team that Chris built. Still flying the "In Jones We Trust" flag. Jeez.

Anonymous said...

Hey great idea! Statues! Don't forget Mr. Roy Shivers. He deserves to be there also.

Anonymous said...

If the Argos go down, it's more than a shame. The Argos bring in the money from TSN. 20% of Canadians live in the greater TO area. In the USA, TO is as big as Chicago population wise, only smaller than NY & LA. TSN doesn't give the CFL big dollars to advertise to Regina. They want to reach the biggest audience to pay out those kinds of bucks. Like it or not, "Canada's Team" is insignificant to the future of the CFL compared to Toronto. Take out the Argos, say goodbye to big TV contracts & likely the CFL. It's not a shame, it would be a catastrophe.

Anonymous said...

Those salivating over the SJHL have never been to an AJHL game. Teams like Brooks, Spruce Grove, Okotoks are ten times the squads that the best SJ team is. An AJ team would win a Best of 7 any day of the week.

Better players, better hockey.

AJ vs SJ would be like Huskies vs Cougars in University hockey.

Rod Pedersen said...


Anonymous said...

Nah he's right Rod... The SJHL is slightly above Jr. B in Alberta and BC.

Also, stop trying to compare the NFL and CFL... The CFL is minor league football. There is no comparison. No one cares about CFL free agency or a combine.