Realty One

Sunday, March 17, 2019


1 - OH CANADA: Everyone is in a flap today over CFL Insider Justin Dunk's report that both the CFL and CFLPA are in favour of lowering the number of Canadian starters from 7 to 5. It did not take long for players to respond, like Chris Getzlaf who Tweeted "Terrible idea. It's called the CANADIAN Football League. Would mean many players like myself wouldn't have had the chance to show they belong as a starter". Getz is right. And with the long-standing American bias of CFL coaches already, this is horrible news for Canadian football players. For a league so ultra-worried about "how it looks", this move is akin to blasting their own toes off with a shotgun.

2 - SLAM DUNK: On cue, CFLPA Executive Director Brian Ramsay went off on Twitter, lambasting Dunk's report saying "This negotiation is a delicate process and reporting wrong information can be damaging for everyone involved." If someone can point to an instance where Dunk has EVER been wrong - including the Roughriders illegally contacting Johnny Manziel in 2017 - I'm all ears. Dunk doesn't report fluff or Fake News. Stop shooting the messenger!

3 - FREE LAPO: At our sports conference in Winnipeg on Saturday, the topic of the Blue Bombers blocking O.C. Paul LaPolice from interviewing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders head job came up at length. On one hand, Bomber President Wade Miller was simply doing what's best for his organization by not assisting a divisional team (and their top rival). On the other, a franchise that denies its employees the opportunity to advance their careers is doomed for failure. Call it bad karma. The Saskatchewan Roughriders should, actually, be lauded for blessing Chris Jones' signing in the NFL. And, on the topic of Lapo, I STILL think Craig Dickenson was the #1 choice here regardless.

4 - JOHNNY FOOTBALL: Ratings and attendance in the AAF will spike with Johnny Manziel now a member of the Memphis Whatcha-Ma-Call-Its. On the trip home from Winnipeg, some of our contingent asked why there's such a fascination with Manziel. They pointed the finger at the media but I explained the media wouldn't cover him so much if he wasn't such click-bait and a ratings-grabber. John Manziel is an inexplicable phenomena that isn't going away. Oh and by the way, the CFL was supposed to be his last chance. Now this!

5 - 81: It came up this week that Ray Elgaard’s #81 should be retired by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Should it be? Damn skippy. But so should Don Narcisse's #80 and Gene Makowsky's #60. The Riders already have 8 numbers retired which shockingly is a far cry from some other teams in the league (Montreal 11, BC/Ottawa 10). But here's an idea: UN-retire ALL the numbers and put them back into rotation. Simply honour those franchise greats on the stadium facade but let 'em play! This seems like a question for Hall of Fame Rider equipment manager Norm Fong.

6 - SOLD: I spent some time on the weekend with some Winnipeg Jets personnel. They asked, "How's the hype for the outdoor game between the Jets and Flames in Regina?" I replied that everyone's talking about it. That, and the proposed NFL preseason game in August. However I mentioned how much I loathe outdoor games because the vantage points are poor and I don't like the cold. He replied, "No! It's an event! Like Grey Cup! It's not about the game, but the whole week leading up to it! You guys are going to have a blast." It's similar to the CP Womens Open last August where I showed up at the Wascana GCC expecting a golf tournament. What I experienced was the Super Bowl! This seems similar, so I'm in.

7 - VEGAS WHEAT KINGS: You can't spend time in Manitoba without someone pointing out Kelly McCrimmon's Brandon influence on the Vegas Golden Knights, where he is Assistant GM. The first player they ever signed was Wheat Kings alum Reid Duke, their current roster includes former Wheat Kings stars Mark Stone and Ryan Reaves, one of the Knights' assistant coaches is Brandon great Ryan Craig and a key member of the scouting staff is the legendary Bobby Lowes. Am I forgetting anyone?

8 - GO PATS GO: It'll be a shock to the system for many in the Regina Pats organization to have their season end while there's still snow on the ground. They wrapped up their year with a 5-4 shootout loss in Brandon Saturday night, and will miss the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. If it makes ya feel any better, last year's Memorial Cup champion Acadie Bathurst-Titans had the worst record in the QMJHL this season (8-54-5-1). This is how it goes.

9 - BRANDING/MARKETING: If the Regina Pats held a year-end awards banquet in the basement of the Travelodge, I'd go. A speech from the coach about the season followed by a hot stove with Phil The Thrill and some Pats greats would be soul-warming for us Pats fans. These are the kind of events that make fans fall in love with a team; actually being able to MEET the players, coaches and staff. The same goes for the old Roughriders Quarterback Luncheons where the team's QBs would be featured in a similar hot stove and we got to know Kent Austin, Tom Burgess, etc. But what do I know. I always get the, "But Rod that's not the way sports are anymore". BS! And then teams and leagues wonder why it’s so hard to get fans out to games these days.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Whether this NFL game gets played or not in Regina this August seems like a 50/50 proposition. It does not have universal support which is very disappointing. ... It was announced McMahon Stadium won't be expanded for the 2019 Grey Cup which means ticket prices are inflated. One CFL pundit described this decision as "Cheap and lazy". ... The upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs are going to be a riot! It's always more fun when the Toronto Maple Leafs are in them. Remember my September prediction: San Jose vs Tampa Bay. ... After weekend play in the SJHL Quarterfinals, here's where the series stand - Humboldt 1-Estevan 1, Nipawin 1-Yorkton 1, Melfort 2-Kindersley 0, Battlefords 2-Flin Flon 0. We are headed to Humboldt on Monday for Game 3 and I can't wait. ... We've started two new series on Netflix and so far we are underwhelmed: Ozark and Better Call Saul. Someone please suggest some others, or convince me why we shouldn't give up on these shows. ... Does drinking coffee through a straw actually avoid staining your teeth? I'm not sold on the idea. ... I have a tough time believing European soccer games get better ratings on Canadian TV than junior hockey games, or the AHL. ... Have a great week!

Y'er welcome,


Ben Schuler said...

Watch the 6 part Netflix docu-series "murder mountain"

Richard from Saskatoon said...

Dont give up on Better Call Saul. It starts a bit slow but it picks up

SWC said...

In an effort to entice 'new Canadians' in the big cities to watch the CFL Ambrosie is alienating all of the existing fans.
Fans that remember the likes of Ron Atchison, Ted Urness, Jason Clermont and Roger Aldag. These guys were all Saskatchewan born and raised and they were 'ours' and we loved them.
Take out the Canadian content and all you have is a minor league team and with the two new leagues down south we may end up being the fourth best league. Does everybody want that?
For a guy that started out with high ratings Ambrosie has went the way of Trudeau.

Karl Hungus said...

Sorry Rod, Better Call Saul is a winner...even better than Breaking Bad. I notice almost all of your movie picks are usually rated as terrible by critics. The critics aren't always right, but they usually are in my experience. Low-brow movie tastes...cue the fart gags!

Anonymous said...


I think the American media needs a new 'Johnny Football'
'Johnny Hockey' is doing just fine in Calgary but Manziel is a train wreck everywhere he goes.

Rod Pedersen said...

I guess we should like these shows because the critics do? 🤐 NOT.

Anonymous said...

Narcos on Netflix is off the charts a thrill ride. And the new Narcos Mexico is looking to be just as great!

Anonymous said...

I see you're still trying to blame the Bombers for the Riders being forced to make the convenience hire for a head coach. You can spin it all you want but that's what Dickenson and Shivers both were. It's Reynolds fault that Jones was able to leave the Riders high and dry and it's not the other CFL teams' responsibility to bail them out. That's what you get for hiring an 'all me' guy like Jones in the first place and giving him total control.

Anonymous said...

Rod, the NFL preseason game isn't going to happen. People in this town do nothing but complain. I can already see folks whining ticket prices.

Also, lowering the number of Canadian starters is a step in the right direction. As far as I'm concerned there should zero Canadian starters. It's pro football, the best players should play regardless of nationality. I could care less where a player was born I just want to see good football.

Anonymous said...

This is the CFL, the Canadian football league. If the ratio needs changing, it’s a no-brainer, increase the number of Canadian roster spots and decrease the number of the international spots. This will promote the players playing here in high school and college and junior. It will also give then incentive to achieve playing in the CFL. Given the chance, hundreds of young guys here would achieve playing skills and experience of the internationals. The level of play would not drop off.

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) I put myself in the category of nobody loves the CFL more than me. There are a lot of us in that category and I'll swear up in down it's the best football and the best league. I have since I was 9. Having said that the Canadian ratio not once in 35 years did I ever spend a second thinking about the Canadian ratio. If you're good enough you're good enough and I have no problem going to 5. That means your lines are Canadian and maybe a kicker.

Chris Getzlaf I'll say something sacriligious. He was a prime example of a Canadian who had to play his way off a roster rather than onto the roster. To a man he knows this. Andy Fantuz on the other hand could play anywhere anytime.

If you're good enough you're good enough. I am paying to watch the best. It's no different than CRTC radio rules of having to play Canadian content. That's why Toronto/Chiliwak/Honeymoon Suite will never get off the play list .

2) Better Call Saul is a winner. It starts glacier slow and by design because they need to fill in the story how you get to Walter White in Breading Bad. Even Breaking Bad was slow at the beginning, but once Gus has his cartel infrastructure in place and you see how the back story matters with guys like Mike Ermantraut, the massive lab being constructed, and how Don Hector ended up in that wheel chair it is much watch TV.

Ozark sucks.

3) Sports should be the way it was back then. We'd get on a city bus in 1987 to go downtown to Eatons to have breakfast - Met Rod Houk, Frank Kovacs, Scott Daniels, Darren Parsons, the list went on. Dennis Sobchuk was the Coach - he says "how's it going boys" we watched Slap Shot on a loop and at 13 say, "you guys gotta get the power play going" Dennis Sobchuk laughs, and says back, "uh huh yeah we're workin' on it."

There was a time before that at a hockey school we met Dale Derkatch - you'd think our heads would have exploded. He runs that thing at the Cooperators and when guys my age pass by him nobody says anything but everybody knows Dale is, was, and always will be the man.

That's probably why I still go to games and was a season ticket holder this winter. Connection.

4) Johnny Manziel. It'll end two ways. Option 1 - Texas Tech will take back their favorite son and similar to Vince Young he'll blow that chance and at 35 when nobody cares anymore maybe...maybe...maybe he'll get honest. Probably not why would he. Option 2 - He'll watch some youtube videos of Tony Mandrich who was labelled the incredible bust and he'll reminisce on how embarrassing and stupid he talked when he was an addict, take responsibility and then get on with building a productive life.

My's not going to end well for John Manziel.

4) Ray Elgaard and I hate to say it sorry, if you have to advocate for a jersey retirement not happening. He was a local great, but part of the contingent that missed the playoffs a tonne of times, got hot in '89 and he was cut mid season never to be heard from again.

Nobody ever hears Bobby Jurasin whining to have his number retired. You don't hear it from Kent Austin or Don Narcisse.

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

Anonymous said...

I'm really not liking the rumours that are being "leaked" into the media re the CBA negotiations. I will say this, if the Cdn ratio decreases AT ALL and/or league-wide revenue sharing is adopted, the Riders will lose my season tickets and I won't spend another $ on anything CFL. Been a fan for over 40 years but I refuse to subsidize the East or pay to watch NFL rejects. I'll watch U-Sports and Hilltops football and God forbid, the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Leanne M. said ...

My thoughts about CFL 2.0 ...
1. My worst thoughts came to pass with the reduction of Canadian starters;
2. What about the game-day roster of 44 players? Has that ratio remained the same (21 Canadians, 20 Internationals, plus 3 QB's)? Or have those Canadian spots also been reduced?
3. Entering agreements with European and Mexican football leagues was touted as providing Canadian players the opportunity to play and continue to develop their skills after their college eligibility expired to maybe improve their opportunities to making it in the CFL -- then they reduce the number of Canadian starters in the CFL (and it remains to be seen if the Canadian roster spots are also reduced). Doesn't make sense to me.
4. Having additional revenue from international countries is a good thing -- but that's not going to put bums in seats at our stadiums and that is what is needed.

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly un-retire the numbers of the great Ron Lancaster,
George Reed, Roger Aldag, etc. This would not make any sense. The ultimate honour for any athlete in any sport is to have their number
retired, so no one on that team will ever wear it again. To me that would be a total lack of respect. Do you really think any Rider fan would want to see any one else wearing #23, #34, or #44? There would be nothing short of a riot in my opinion.

Randolph Charles said...

You completely missed the point in #1. These guys have talent that is overlooked, as Rod said, because of the bias toward Americans by largely American coaches. They simply wouldn't get a look. A Canadian is not automatically inferior; if that was true why are NFL teams running pro days at Canadian universities?

I would be happy if they left the ratio alone, but eliminated the quarterback exemption. Then QB would actually develop some Canadians, and maybe move some Canuck talent to the defence.

With regard to the CRTC regulations, I will say this: "all hail Pierre Juno"

Anonymous said...

"Sure the current coach was our first choice just like the current QB was our first choice" LOL They were just trying to sign another coach for some "competition" during training camp, you know give them both some reps and see who shakes out ...

Anonymous said...

A lot of people's spouses are and were not their first choices so deal with it.

Rod Pedersen said...


SWC said...

To the clowns that say they want the ratio done away with so they can watch quality football. I don't follow your logic.
The best you'll see up here is a fourth level American. You'll get the guys that can't make the NFL, AAF or XFL.
If anything we should be increasing the number of Canadians or did you want American rules too?
Would it make you happy if we reduced the size of our fields too?
Get some pride you bunch of wannabes.

Anonymous said...

If anything we should be increasing the number of Canadians or did you want American rules too?
Would it make you happy if we reduced the size of our fields?

Yes, that would be great actually.

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

Stop whining, Ray. Fine that BC, Mtl & Ottawa have retired more than Riders. Eskimos retired zero. Unofficially retired 3 - Moon, Warrington, Miles. 13 Cups between them. Some teams raise the bar high. Haven't heard any complaints there & Ray's # 15 has been worn since he left. Like the man says, not for Ray to say he's worthy.

Curt Dittmer said...

If you have access to Amazon Prime they have all 6 seasons of Justified. It is simply one of the best TV series of the last 10 years. It follows a US Marshal who is relocated from Miami back to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Harlan is full of interesting people and criminals. It is like a modern day western and is highly addictive.

Lyle Pederson said...

Went to those QB lunches. Learned a ton. Coach Lancaster would show one quarter of the previous game and break it down play by play ... why it worked or didn't. One time a few plays it was a rook O- Linesmans fault. Asked why he wouldn't bring in experience to replace the rooks he said these kids have huge talent ... just make mistakes and will learn. Of course he was referring to Aldag and Poley. BTW ... also developed a connection with new players who would be guests on the 'Huddle'.

Unknown said...

This is the CFL, leave the ratio alone. "And they wonder why...." This is so true.


Anonymous said...

How to get away with murder was a great show. Highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it