Realty One

Sunday, March 24, 2019


1 - NO CANADA: It's been a week since news broke that the CFL and its Players Association are considering lowering the number of starting Canadians on CFL rosters from 7 to 5. It's been fun to sit back and watch the carnage, but now it's time to reveal my own thoughts. Most times CFL teams struggle to find that 7th starter. Even a 6th is iffy. Cutting the number to 5 is incredibly drastic but if they settle on 6, I believe everyone could live with that. Commissioner Randy Ambrosie's job is to do what's best for the CFL, not necessarily Canadian amateur football. And I'm still on Team Ambrosie until there's good enough reason not to be. He's taken the bull by the horns in a big way.

2 - OH CANADA: Regina Minor Football boss Len Antonini is considered one of the country's leaders in minor football. I was with him Friday and posed the "ratio question". It took him an hour to make up his mind, so that tells you how much of a photo finish this issue is. However he doesn't believe a ratio reduction would be a good thing. In fact he thinks it would be bad for minor football and young Canadian players who grow up dreaming of winning a Grey Cup. Registration numbers are steady and concussions are WAY down in recent years. He's met with Ambrosie on all of these topics. Meanwhile Lenny says the Top 3 football-playing provinces in Canada are Saskatchewan, Quebec and Alberta, in no particular order.

3 - COMBINING: Some pundits and fans scoff at the notion of football combines but one fact remains: the kids participating at the CFL National Combine this weekend in Toronto have been waiting for this opportunity their whole life and that needs to be respected. That includes Regina product Brayden Lenius-Dickey (pictured), whose family is at this weekend's event. Brayden is the son of former Rider WR Troy Dickey and was raised my his Mom Shauna, whom I've known for years. The Riders have been lacking in local content for some time now, and I'm praying Brayden ends up in Green & White. Meanwhile Regina product Kade Belyk of the Guelph Gryphons posted a tidy 4.67 in the 40-yard dash at the Ontario regional combine. This is actually really interesting stuff to follow and has live coverage.

4 - CFL LIVE DRAFT: Sources tell me the CFL has explored the possibility of an NFL- or NHL-style Draft to be held in Toronto, live on TSN. It's probably time for a bold move like this for the Canadian College Draft since this hasn't been tried since the early 1990's. We're living in a much different world now. I'm told the Live Draft won't happen in 2019, but there's a good chance it will next year.

5 - FOR SALE: This Montreal Alouettes-For-Sale soap opera is tickling me. We've seen it so many times before with other teams! Former Alouette - and apparent current millionaire - Eric Lapointe is itching to get his hands on the team but Als owner Andrew Wetenhall (the son of the legendary Bob Wetenhall) isn't responding. This is curious because the Als staffers I've talked to say the younger Wetenhall doesn't feel there's a problem and wonders why people think they're bad owners after all those great years between 1996-2010? These things happen with a C.E.O. like this (Child Of Existing Owner). The Saskatchewan Rush's Brandon Urban is an exception.

6 - AAF: Are you watching the Alliance of American Football? Will you now that Johnny Manziel is in the league? I've been watching it all along on NFL Network and enjoyed it a lot, even if one veteran CFL coach labelled the calibre of play "average". This week the AAF announced its championship game is moving from 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas to Dallas, and the Cowboys' 12,000-seat practice facility. The NFL - particularly Jerry Jones - is a huge backer of this league and will continue to pour money into it in the early stages. They need a developmental league such as this, and it's great for everybody all around. And as far as the CFL goes, competition is a good thing.

7 - #HUMBOLDTSTRONG: Where to start? The Humboldt Broncos are back in the SJHL Playoffs and the road to the RBC. My heart swelled to walk into the Elgar Petersen Arena Monday night for Game 3 against Estevan. Here's what I can report: the Broncos are playing with an incredible amount of heart and pride - for a myriad of reasons - but the Bruins aren't rolling over for them. Broncos forward Brayden Camrud - with 11 points in 5 games - is playing particularly possessed. The cloud is lifting in Humboldt. It's not gone, but there are smiles in the EPA. It's an amazing community. Always has been. And they were very welcoming Monday night.

8 - LUBIE: Over to Saskatoon, where we found ourselves Friday night to witness Game 1 between the Warriors and Blades. Being invited to sit with Blades legends Darryl Lubienicki, Lorne Molleken and Jack Brodsky was another reason for my heart to pound. Apparently this trio hadn't been together for quite some time and it was amazing to watch the NHL scouts, one by one, come by and shake all their hands throughout the game. Lubie regaled me with story after story, but my favourite was of him "saving Mike Babcock's life" after Dave Brown was beating him to a pulp IN PRACTICE in the early 1980's. Apparently Babs disputes this story, but witnesses swear it's true.

9 - KILLER: The rumour making the rounds at SaskTel Centre Friday night was that the next coach of the SJHL's La Ronge Ice Wolves will be none other than Blades great Kevin Kaminski. The Churchbridge, SK product played 139 NHL games and is currently head coach of the WSHL's Fresno Monsters. I HATED Kaminski in the 80's but now we talk all the time. Turns out we're cut from the same cloth. LIFE!

10 - GO CRAZY SASKATCHEWAN: I'm being urged to write a book on my generation in the broadcast booth with Canada's Team. You know, inside stories on Cal Murphy/Al Ford, Danny Barrett/Roy Shivers, Jim Hopson, Kent Austin/Eric Tillman, Corey Chamblin/Brendan Taman and Chris Jones. The only trouble is, I'm 46 years old! Jim Hopson didn't take over the Riders until he was 54. Marc Trestman didn't come to the CFL till he was 52. Who writes their memoirs before the story is over? The best is yet to come!

Y'er welcome,


Anonymous said...

What a Damn Disgrace when you can't watch a WHL Playoff game on TV in Saskatchewan unless of course Regina is in it. Instead last night, they showed an OHL Playoff game and Basketball was on 7 other friggin channels. Look at all the WHL games being played in the Playoffs and we don't get to see them. Shame on Sask. Tel and Shaw for the non coverage of these games. Go Blades Go !

Anonymous said...

Sorry... a vast majority of Canadian kids now dream of playing on sundays in the nfl . The CFL is the fallback.

Anonymous said...

Thumbs down to nfl , no fun league

3RD and 1 said...

Sorry but I kinda disagree with the suggestion a vast majority of Canadian kids dream of playing in the NFL.
I had 2 boys who played football, all the way up to Junior football. Its a roller coaster of emotions and dreams. Most Canadian kids under 14 down to the age of Pee Wee dream of playing in the CFL. They haven't expanded their minds to know that much of the NFL at that point.
Once they start to excel in High School they start to think of the NFL. Once in College the NFL will be on their minds but reality sinks in and 99% realize their talent level is not that of the NFL. Then they start to realize that only about 10% of the Canadian College players are even going to make it in the CFL

Rudyman said...

Rod, the book title should be my Canadian tour with the Green and white and tell road trip tales.

Anonymous said...

Poster #1…"your a complete fool"

It's up to the local cable company to negotiate rights and arrange the broadcasting of WHL games in various cities. Saskatoon Blades clearly didn't want the games televised. They had 6000 fans attend in a building that holds around 10,000. Playoffs are where they make money and if people wanted to see the game, buy a ticket. It has nothing to do with Shaw or SaskTel. The Pats play to about 99% capacity all the time. If other teams fans did the same perhaps their management would have a change of mind.

In most other places fans "pay" for their cable packages, and it costs extra to have the Jr Hockey packages. Some people don't want to pay for that either. "ya has ta pay fer what ya gets"

Rod Pedersen said...

Archaic thinking.

The more eyeballs on your product, the better.

Anonymous said...

Ok anonymous number one,in the real world you can watch whatever WHL game you want for $7.00 online. Toontown averaged 3900 fans per game in the regular season, in the playoffs 5,000 and 6,000. Hopefully having a winning team will draw more fans, the kids on the team deserve the support.

Anonymous said...

I just have a tough time believing anybody in Canada could give a crap about a varsity basketball tournament in the US.

SWC said...

You could write your memoires of your years as the Rider's PxP man. You could call it "The Gag Years"
Back when you had to bite your tongue and say things you didn't even believe.
I'd certainly buy one.

Anonymous said...

Gladly buy a new book as seen through the eyes of a former professional sports franchise play by play voice if it's hard hitting truth. No holds barred truth.


Rod Pedersen said...


Anonymous said...

So .... the CFL reverts back to a 8 team league .... again! Alouettes falling, failing, folding. 2019 season delayed or scrapped, as no CBA in sight.

Anonymous said...

This is the most Regina comment ever.

3RD and 1 said...

Hey chicken little. The Alouettes are not going anywhere!
Think about what the CFL did a Month or so ago. Ambrosie made them release their fictional star player. The player Kavis Reed gave the farm to get. I’m sure the Wetenhalls are upset. The CBA will get done as it always does.
Don’t be so frantic. THC is now legal, There is a certain kind the Doctors say settles those nerves.