Realty One

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


1. FANS WRONG TO DISMISS CFL STRIKE: I’m hearing all kinds of online ridicule from Rider fans about the possibility of a players strike delaying training camp. Don’t underestimate the resolve of the players or the sub-par compensation they get for the beatings they take. As fans, we sometimes like to think we own the players because “we pay their salaries”. But that’s a 2-way street. Nobody forces them to play just like nobody forces us to pay to watch, either. If you don’t like it, then don’t watch when they come back. I’ll be in my same spot on opening day, whenever it comes.

2. BOB IRVING’S TWEETS: The guy is an absolute Rockstar on twitter. Most of the older generation of broadcasters seem to prefer doing most of their best work on the traditional AM dial. Not the voice of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. But it’s also where Bob got it wrong over the weekend:

“I’ve always been in support of CFL players making more money—I just hope that in this current CBA negotiation they realize that despite the current relative economic stability, CFL teams are either losing gobs of money, barely breaking even or making modest profit (Sask. Aside)”

That’s the same kind of baloney MLB owners told the players in the days of labour unrest in Major League Baseball. If the owners want to cry poor, then they need to open up their books, which they refused to do during the last round of CBA negotiating. And if there are a few teams hoarding the money (Saskatchewan), than they should be called upon to cough up a few dollars for players to earn better health benefits via revenue sharing.

It’s great that Bob cares so much about the teams and the fans. He’s had the great privilege of making a living around this great game for nearly 50 years. But that doesn’t make his concerns any more important than the guys down on the field who are THE PRODUCT kicking the crap out of each other just so Bob and the fans can be entertained.

3. GOOD CALL TO GET SOL: I can think of just so many examples of great linebackers at the end of their careers being discarded, only to feel snubbed and find another last gasp someplace else. Matt Millen did it with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Greg Battle did it here in Saskatchewan and Solomon Elimimian can do it, also.

4. JON RYAN: No problem with the signing, except I’m not sure this is an upgrade over Josh Bartel. And besides, some of those washed up NFL kickers/punters don’t really pan out anyways. See Mike Vanderjagt with the Argos post-NFL career. The whole thing just seems gimmicky to me. And like seriously, are the Riders really going to sell any extra tickets because of Jon Ryan?

5. RICKY RAY: I still think he can change his mind after missing training camp if he really wants to. But when Ricky Ray says he’s finished, I believe him. Truth be told, Frito Ray has looked very frail as he’s reached his late 30’s. He deserves credit for being man enough to walk away. For the CFL’s sake, I hope he sticks around the league. And for his sake, I hope his coaching career (if he has one) goes a lot better than Anthony Calvillo’s has so far.

6. JUNE JONES: The XFL has hired 2 head coaches who were either fired (Marc Trestman) or demoted (June Jones) by the CFL in the last few months. It’s great news for a few reasons. This shows that our game is NOT inferior and also opens up opportunities for younger, unknown and maybe even Canadian coaches to take their place. These big-name ex-NFL head coaches haven’t made the CFL any better. In fact, they have taken jobs that should go to experienced CFL assistants who’ve been working their way through the trenches for years. And besides, the league shouldn’t be overpaying for overrated coaches when it needs money to pay its own players better then it does right now.

7. ARENCIBIA IN SWIFT CURRENT: Spent the weekend in, as legendary Swift Current broadcaster Ryan Switzer would say, “Beautiful sense-making Swift Current, Saskatchewan”. Switzer, along with ex-Blue Jays J.P. Arencibia and Ricky Romero knocked it out of the park at the Swift Current 57s annual fundraising banquet. The Yorkton Cardinals really ought to copy whatever the 57s are doing because Swift Current (about the same size as Yorkton) gives that ball club some pretty amazing support. Arencibia opened up about the mental health struggles which ended his career early and was asked if he’s patched things up with Gregg Zaun yet from their feud in the media a few years ago.
“HELL NO!” says J.P.

I’m thinking that getting those 2 in a room together would make for a really entertaining sports dinner somewhere in Saskatchewan in the near future.

8. BEST PART OF RAPTORS WIN: Matt Devlin’s call of Marc Gasol’s 3-pointer, “GASOL FROM REGINA!” Somebody should ask Gasol if he knows where Regina is. Actually, someone should ask Matty Devlin if he knows where Regina is.

9. WHL FINALS: The Prince Albert Raiders are kings of the Western Hockey League after last night’s game 7 overtime win over the Vancouver Giants. I listened to the incredible finish on the Giants radio network with former Battlefords North Star broadcaster Dan O’Connor and the legendary Bill Wilms. Wilms even referred to Raiders game-winning goal scorer Dante Hannoun as a “pain in the ass” to the Giants. It’s a big win for small town Saskatchewan to beat Vancouver just a year after Swift Current won the dub’s biggest prize. It will be nice to have a team to cheer for in the Memorial Cup next week. Pretty embarrassing for the WHL to NOT have a quality TV broadcast for its championship in a year when the SJHL did!

10. WEEKLY WISDOM: In the words of Regina Red Sox GM Bernie Eiswirth, “When you treat it big league, it becomes big league.”

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)


Anonymous said...

#4. You can't put a price on a hometown boy playing for his hometown team. May not sell more tickets but guaranteed more Ryan jerseys are sold than Bartel jerseys. Plus the impact he will have on the community is priceless. I liked Bartel but that's the business of pro sports.

Anonymous said...

I expect they've had building inspectors at the Roy Hauser Center last night to make sure the roof was not damaged. I can only imagine the emotional explosion when the OT winner was scored. Good for PA you've supported your team through some lean years, savour your Big Win you deserve it.
Go Raiders make Saskatchewan proud.

Anonymous said...

#4 Should I mention that Hank Ilesic who was inducted into the CFL HOF in 2018 showed he can still kick the ball? He's 60 but might have come cheaper.

BradyY said...

What? How on Earth did Prince Albert win with such terrible goaltending? McGuire did you not say that was going to be the big issue for Prince Albert and why they wouldn't make it out of the first or second round? What a hack!!!

Anonymous said...

#4 You are missing the point about the Jon Ryan signing.

Everything is always about the money. The Riders return on investment is about as sure of a thing that there is. Look at the buzz his signing is already creating. His jersey will be the #1 seller in Canada this year. Who else could compete with such a compelling story?

Unlike other NFL punters, Ryan is coming to his hometown, living out his childhood dream. Mike Vanderjgat was just another pro looking to extend his career, and make a living. Cuz its always about the money.

Also, look at Ryan. He's a stud at age 37, a pro, a proven winner in the toughest environment. He's bigger than most CFL linebackers.

If anyone has something to prove, and the will to prove it, it will be Ryan. That said, the fickleness of sport is a big reason why people keep watching.

The Riders need a distraction to get the unwashed masses to forget about the very sad QB situation.

Anonymous said...

(Sask. Aside)

riders arent making money. follow along you will see they are no different than other teams. they make more and spend way more than any other team.

Anonymous said...

High hangtime kickers will result in lots of no yards penalties

Randolph Charles said...

No one needs any booKs opened up to know the teams are not making money. There really is no lineup to buy a team, obviously because there is no money in it. Ask the Gliebermans, or Ryckman, Skalbania; all would tell you the same thing. Comparing the CFL to MLB is like comparing apples to oranges.

As to why the teams don't open up their books to the public, why should they? If you owned the team how would that help negotiate contracts with your players? It wouldn't.

With regard to Sol, you forgot one. The great Alondra Johnson.

As for Jon Ryan, this generation of kids has an icon that, like them, grew up in Regina, and know if they work hard and catch a break or two, can not only make the bigs, but excel to boot. When Jones was in charge, there was a serious lack of players to relate to; he got rid of anyone approaching fan favorite status.

To close, when was Ricky Ray known as "Frito Ray"? I think you are the only one that has called him that, Brendan

Anonymous said...

Randolph, Ricky Ray has been known as "Frito Ray" since his 1st year in Edmonton. That was his job when he was discovered by the Eskimos.

Anonymous said...

A couple three things:

1) I will just say it again - there will be no strike and here is why. You have Canadians and Americans fighting amongst themselves over that ratio so it's already divided an conquered. Unlike NHL hockey or MLB baseball - there isn't a guy on every corner who can well....skate...or hit a 98 MPH fast ball with 76 MPH slider following that cans that deal. 1987 the NFL set the template - you have a glut of available football talent in both Canada and the USA. The gate gets opened and as I said whoever wants to to be a Pro-Ball player just cross the line. They will crawl over themselves to get through the gate...and then that Association is all but finished.

Football is a contact game. Driving a Cab in the 'hood has risks. C'est la Vie, but rest assured you'll always find someone to do that job.

Time to play Football and knock off this non-sense.

2) Jon Ryan is a Punter. All I know is when the kick off happens and it's his turn he better be able to place the ball and get field position. I could careless - in the sense I have no opinion one way or the other. I do know when he played for Winnipeg he was a phenom. I don't watch the NFL so to me he's another player.

3) June Jones - Hamilton should thank their lucky stars they had him. He was the transition from Kent Austin who basically is the CFL version of Jim Harbaough. - just to intense for the long terme - J.J did his job, so him and Jerry Glanville will take their show to Houston and good on them. Hamilton is my pick this year to win the Grey Gup. - in that division they should roll up 13 wins and if the West cannibalizes itself like it should - they should win it all - plus they are due.

4) $127 for Alouettes season tickets...I could weep if that team folds.

5) He's Mr. Ricky Ray...CFL royalty - lay off the Frito Lay it was cute when he came in the league as his back story. Had Doug Flutie never played in the CFL - Ray is the GOAT.

Life is good.

Y'er Welcome

Anonymous said...

Bob Irving did not get it wrong. The CFL is in trouble financially. Look at the crowds in Montreal, BC, Toronto, Hamilton, and even Edmonton ( averaging less than 30,000 a game). And the league having to take over both Toronto and Montreal. If you think the league is lying to the players about not making much money then you are a goof. Actually after reading most of your stuff there's no question. You are a goof.

Anonymous said...

What is being 'televised' really?

The SJHL 'televised' broadcast was only available to Sasktel Max subscribers. Unavailable to anyone with an Apple TV, Shaw, Access or any other TV provider.

Every WHL game is available to anyone with a computer tablet or phone and a few bucks.

Anonymous said...

Matt Devlin's great and love his calling of Raptors games. Back in 2012, Matt got to call a few CFL games when a bunch of the TSN guys had gone over to London to cover the Olympics. Don't know what it was, maybe it was his voice and his cadence, but he was made a CFL game sound like an NFL game.

Anonymous said...

Brendan McGuire = Rod Pedersen clown show

Anonymous said...

Pierre McGuire > Brendan McGuire... Never thought I'd see the day where Pierre topped anyone.