Realty One

Saturday, April 27, 2019


1 - CALL TO THE HALL: Kudos to Jim Hopson for his selection to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, announced Thursday. Without him there'd be no new stadium, we'd still be stuck at 2 Grey Cups, and we'd still be broke. Jim Hopson held people accountable in the Rider organization and demanded excellence from everyone, including himself. We butted heads during his era, The Decade Of Decadence (2005-2014), but that's because I didn't like being held accountable at that point in my life. Now I'm happy to say Jim and I are closer than we've ever been. Congrats Hoppy!

2 - PREDICTIONS: The CFL season is right around the corner and it's delicious seeing all the predictions come spilling out from the pundits. Here are mine: WEST - Winnipeg, Calgary, BC, Saskatchewan, Edmonton. EAST - Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal.

3 - HEAR ME OUT: I picked the Roughriders 4th because it was the simplest thing to do; those are the Vegas odds. Let me be clear: this prediction is not an indictment on the abilities of GM Jeremy O'Day and Head Coach Craig Dickenson, both rookies in their roles. Each was put behind the 8-ball when Chris Jones bolted to Cleveland. However the Riders were unable to land a marquee QB in free agency and people in the league are wondering how long Zach Collaros will last this season due to his concussion history. I'd be shocked if he doesn't have his bell rung and miss time by the end of July.

4 - THE REST: The reasons for my other West Division picks: 1) Winnipeg - they've been building for this moment and are ready to kick the door in. 2) Calgary - because they're Calgary. 3) BC - the winners of free agency with a young, enthusiastic coaching staff. 4) Saskatchewan - for the reasons noted above. 5) Edmonton - they couldn't make the playoffs last season with the best QB in the CFL. What makes us think they will do any better without him?

5 - QB BUZZ: League sources tell me that Kevin Glenn and even Darian Durant are content to play the waiting game regarding the 2019 season. The pair would like to play this season, but see no need to go through the rigors of training camp. They are both waiting for a call from a team in need. Could you imagine Darian Durant back with the Roughriders as an emergency injury replacement?! Could happen.

6 - JONES BUZZ: Chatting with Rider fans around the province at these sports banquets has been enlightening. At the event in Sedley where I spoke alongside Ricky Foley and Henry Burris, a fan said afterwards, "I was hoping you guys would've ripped Jones!" The simple answer to that is, why? Chris Jones treated me like gold and was the utmost professional anytime I was around him. If people are harbouring any resentments towards him, that's their problem. He's having the last laugh with perhaps the hottest young team in the NFL.

7 - CONNECTIONS: The Arizona Cardinals have taken a QB in back-to-back first rounds of the NFL Draft (Josh Rosen and Kyler Murray) and the last team to do that was the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 with Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh. Aikman, of course, led the Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles while Walsh bounced around the NFL. Now, he is the Quarterbacks Coach of your Saskatchewan Roughriders. Meanwhile the Cards dealt Rosen to the Miami Dolphins Friday evening, so there's that.

8 - STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: My take on Game 7 between the Sharks and Golden Knights - was the Eakins hit on Joe Pavelski worthy of a 5-minute major? No. Of course not. In a Game 7, anything short of aggravated assault should be 2-minutes and this check might not have been a penalty at all. However why is everyone letting Vegas off the hook for allowing FOUR SHORTHANDED GOALS on the ensuing major powerplay? I don't think I've ever seen that before. Strong teams should be able to overcome bad calls.

9 - BABS: On Tuesday someone asked who I was cheering for in Game 7 between Toronto/Boston. I thought for a minute, and answered "I'm cheering for Mike Babcock because he gets too much crap in Toronto". Does he have an ego the size of Manhattan? Sure. But he needs it to survive, and thrive, in the centre of the hockey universe. Players decide a Game 7, not the coaches. And there should be more heat on Nazem Kadri for not being available for that game due to suspension. Don't crosscheck someone in the face in the playoffs. Or, ever.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: The addition of Vladimir Guererro Jr. is enough to get me interested in the Toronto Blue Jays again. ... That's what the insertion of a single player can do to ignite fan interest (see: Ryan, Jon). ... Join me at the Sask Rush/Colorado Mammoth game Saturday night at SaskTel Centre as the Rush attempt to secure home field in the playoffs! I'll be on the mic down on the field in the pregame ceremony. Thanks Rush! ... The Rush lead the NLL in attendance. ... Also, join me at the Brett Jones Golf Classic on June 22 at the Weyburn Golf Club! The Minnesota Vikings lineman is raising funds for his hometown. To enter your team, contact Chelsea at ... This is shaping up to be an amazing summer! ... Sam Steel is tied for the rookie scoring lead in the Calder Cup Playoffs with San Diego. For what he did in Regina, they should be naming streets after him. Having said that, he didn't finish his career in the Top 5 in franchise scoring. There's a lot of greats atop that list and they're all hanging from the rafters EXCEPT Jordan Weal. ... Want a job in hockey? Both the Humboldt Broncos and Weyburn Red Wings are looking for marketing managers! Check out the SJHL website for details.

Y'er welcome,


SWC said...

Rod, I totally agree with your CFL predictions but I'll go one further. I'm saying there's no cross-over so the Riders miss the playoffs.
Like you I'm not slamming O'Day or Dickensen, maybe Reynolds but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Unreal how people still want to give Jones a hard time. Where’s the heat on JO for not bringing back Doubles, Dressler and Bagg? Nope, those certain people hate Jones cause he was different. Same thing with Roy, whom Hopson owes big time for that 07 Cup that started everything but will never give due credit to.

Also, what gives with the Riders cheaping out on the season ticket packages? A shopping bag? Gee whiz, times can’t be that tough!

Gunderson’s Yorkton

concience said...

Read your own lines! One you say there should not have been a penalty for a cross check to the face by Vegas player then turn around and say Kadri deserved the penalty to the face and deserved a suspension. Just because you are biased for the Knights does not make them right!

Rod Pedersen said...

Eakins didn't crosscheck him in the face. He shoved Pavelski in the chest. Big different between what Eakins did, and what Kadri did.

Larry said...

Clear, see thru smaller sized bags are becoming the norm in stadiums across North America due to security issue's.
Eventually, this is what you will only be able to bring into Mosaic, no more large back packs, etc.
Ladies will also be allowed a very small purse.
Why do we even get something for buying season tickets anyway?

Eric Moroz said...

Except there was more contact by the second player that drove him to the ground hard. It’s either a 5 minute major or 2 penalties and 5 on 3. Either way sharks get at least 2 goals in the time.

JackD83 said...

Without Roy shivers, there would be no Jim hopson

Rod Pedersen said...

It’s a fun debate!

Fanboy said...

Jones failed. He built a defence, not a team. He won nothing, and the results of his time here benefitted him far more than it did the Riders. He may have even damaged their brand overall. Thats why people give him a hard time.

Anonymous said...

But there is no debate. Tillman even said the 07 Cup wouldn’t have happened without Roy’s, and Danny’s, efforts. That’s what kickstarted the wave of Rider Pride that led to record profits and eventually the new stadium. Roy deserves that spot in the Plaza or at least recognition in the Diversity is Strength campaign. But because of past grudges that Hopson, Shepard et al had that recognition will never happen. Part of leadership is giving them due credit when their efforts lead to success.


Anonymous said...

Funny how free agency was so hyped up & when it happens people ignore it. With a full hand of last year's All-stars coming over, the best QB available as Reilly & BLM had their minds made up & almost 1/4 of the available Top 30 ranked 3 agents, poor Edmonton is going to finish last behind the Riders with Collaros, the worst of the QB's in the West, losing Jefferson, Eguavoen & Antigha. Somebody's smoking Justin's cigarettes. Hello - free agency happened. As for Calgary, they're missing 20+ guys from last year's team including Singleton, Johnson, Thurman, Evans, Davis & on & on & added 2 out of free agency - Courtney Stephen who is good & Ivan McLennan to shore up the position vacated by Johnson. Never mind, they got Bo so they'll score 50 points a game to bail out the defence so all's well. Completely agree on the East, Rod, but as a Rider fan we'll be lucky to finish 4th - no QB, O-line has 4 guys on the wrong side of 30, D-line has 35 year old Hughes & Leonard couldn't start @ DE in Winnipeg or Edmonton, & no depth Cdns @ Receiver, Safety. Here's my question. If I told you prior to free agency the Riders would get a top 3 QB, Harris, sign Ellingson instead of a banged up Arcenaux, get ex-Rider Unamba the CFL SAM All-star, MOP finalist Dean to replace Hurl & Santos-Knox @ WIL, would this be a successful free agency for you? All of them are better than what we have & I'll bet there are 9 GM's in the league who would take 23 year old Boateng over 35 year old Hughes in a heartbeat & Bassie is miles ahead of Leonard. I can see why you picked the Riders behind the other clubs although our defence is better than both Calgary & BC at this point but not sure where you see us above the Eskimos. Much better offence, pretty good looking defence according to recent column on & the Waggle. But - like your optimism. Go Riders.

Rod Pedersen said...

Jim doesn’t hold a grudge against Roy. Neither does he decide who gets into Plaza or who’s recognized by the Diversity Is Strength campaign.

Anonymous said...

Gunderson. Why should you get anything beside a season ticket that you paid for? Are you that entitled? Do you feel that privileged?

Perhaps if you would venture outside of the borders and see what real life is outside the 306, you would see most teams are going the clear plastic bag route. Its called security. Its OK, you spout before you think way too often. Are you really Brendan McGuire?


Anonymous said...

4th? A year ago you would be saying first! While the honesty is refreshing, this shows what a hypocrite you are. Here's hoping Derek Taylor isn't that way!

Anonymous said...

Good one Tyler!

Anonymous said...

A few things:

1) The Roughriders have had a 100+ year narrative and many people have contributed. Without Al Ford you don't have a team as he had no money and held it together. Without Tom Shepherd you don't have him selling lottery tickets to keep it going. Back up to Phil Kershaw bringing in Don Mathews which moved the needle. Roy Shivers would have had a better playing field had he taken over an expansion team. Nobody is perfect and in hindsight Roy hitched his wagon to Danny and it is what it is. In Jim's book he praises Roy, gives him credit and tells it like it is. They are both hard nosed guys and Jim needed to get things moving. The rest is history. Jim is deserving of the HOF. Roy Shivers for the talent he's brought to the CFL - he should be in the HOF.

Roy Shivers though as the years go by I respect him more. He'd most likely be like Waylon Jennings. They would put him in the Plaza or the CFL HOF and he'd tell them to stick it and not show up. It's not remotely important to him.

Y'er Welcome

Helix said...

Shivers lead the team to mediocrity. That is all.
Hopson is responsible for his own legacy. No one else is. 4 cup appearances with two wins is what I saw. Congrats on being selected to the hall Jim!

I respectfully disagree with the idea that Collaros is feeble and prone to concussion more than their qb’s. I agree with coach Dickenson that the concussion causing hits Zach took would have concussed any player. The first one in preseason should have never happened. Jones had him out there behind an amateur line and he got cranked hard by two linemen folding him for a whiplash type concussion. The second dirty high hit in open space by Odell was a real bell ringer if you saw it. Jones actually praised Willis for it. These events show me the disregard jones gave the offence. Far different from the outstanding defence he ran, among the best in the league. Jones did a great job at GM overall. Took the team from a 3 win clunker to top tier. The playoff losses were good competitive games. It was fun watching the games for the last two years and I wish jones luck in Cleveland.

Anonymous said...

Jones is an o/s defensive coach but he was brought to Regina @ great expense with complete authority to do things his way to win cups. If Reynolds had a crystal ball & could predict that Jones would leave town in 3 years with ONE semifinal win & a win/loss record of 27-27 woild he have overpaid him that much? I distinctly remember Rider fans crowing about getting 1, if not 2 Grey Cups with Jones. Strictly mediocre record here, same as when his mentor Matthews came to Regina for 3 years. He left behind a lousy offence & some of the pieces on defence left too. Had we a better offence, maybe a top tier QB would have showed some interest.

Anonymous said...

Where exactly does Eric Tillman fall into this narrative? He was the GM of the 2007 team and was responsible for bringing in Kent Austin who was persona non grata around here. - yet you'll hear about Roy & Danny being Plaza worthy - Danny is 4th all time in wins. Yet Eric & Kent (kent went in as a player - but could be a builder too) - where are their accolades.

There is an old saying about legacy. Richard Nixon was once asked how history would remember him. He said quite well as he intended to write it himself.

Randolph Charles said...

Roy knew his players, no doubt about it, but didn't know how important it was to mesh the Canucks with the imports. Hopson had it all down pat, maybe the best GM since Ken Preston.

Jones was WAY overpaid for his accomplishments, and overrated for his efforts. The only phrase that I can think to describe him is carpet bagger; and yes, he did damage the product, and alienated some of the fan base. I believe he never had anything in mind except pulling the team out of the cellar, and any number of coaches/gm's could have done that, for a lot less.

Dickenson and O'Day should be a lot more 'fan friendly', that is for certain.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randolph, Hopson wasn’t the GM. Unless you’re suggesting something...