Saturday, May 31, 2014

Newcomers To Watch At Rider Camp

Training camp for the 2014 Saskatchewan Roughriders is underway as the two-a-day workouts have started meaning 2013 is officially over and all that is left is the memories. As the team starts the long journey to what they hope is a repeat in 2014. As is the case across the CFL, there are many new players looking to make an impression. Here is a list of newcomers in green and white you may want to pay attention to over the next couple of weeks.



A late signing by GM Brendan Taman, the receiver comes to Saskatchewan with a solid NFL resume. The Auburn grad spent several years in the NFL catching 78 passes with 5 of those catches going for touchdowns. Aromashodu has the speed to go deep and can be counted on to make the tough catch inside if called upon as well.


Some in CFL circles suggest the Riders got a steal when they took Bastien with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 draft as he might have been the best receiver in the CIS last season. Scouts believe he is the complete package and that he will have a tremendous CFL career. If that is to happen, there is no better place than Saskatchewan as the team has had several great Canadian receivers over the years,


If one made a football team based on his lineage, Cameron would be a sure-fire addition to the Riders. His father Bob was a long-time punter for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and is a CFL Hall of Famer. Cameron is trying to follow in his dad’s footsteps and comes to Canada after a successful college career at the University of North Dakota. With Ricky Schmitt no longer in the equation, the job is open and Cameron would like to seize it and start doing what his dad did many years ago.


The Riders are looking for a middle linebacker and while Kilgore may not go into camp listed number one on the depth chart, one has to think the coaching staff will give him a good look at the position. He recorded almost 400 tackles during a four year college career at Northwest Missouri State. His hustle and desire to get to the football is what will stand out the most.



No one knew what they had in Kory Sheets when he started with the Riders in 2012 and no one knows about the crop of running backs coming into this year’s camp looking to replace the Grey Cup MVP. MacNeal may get the first shot and he certainly has the resume to back it up. MacNeal led the USC Trojans in rushing as a junior in 2011 gaining over one thousand yards.  At 5 foot 7, he was thought to be too small to do his thing in the NFL and that size could hamper him in the CFL as well, but he has the tools to be a running back in the CFL.


After bouncing around the NFL, the University of Maryland product is hoping to find a home in the CFL. Moten is a playmaker and can play all three positions. He is also a very solid pass-rusher which may make him enticing in a Cam Wake type of role. That’s a role he would love nothing more to fill since he considers himself to be a hybrid of the former CFL defensive player of the year who is now a star with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.



No, that isn’t Weston Dressler wearing #2. Its Ryan Smith, but he could be considered a Dressler 2.0 as the comparisons to him have already been made. He is a Dressler clone and while Weston played his college ball at North Dakota, Smith did his thing at North Dakota State. He may have been the player that impressed the coaching staff the most at the Florida mini-camp earlier this season and they are looking forward to seeing what he can do against more experienced players at training camp. If he is another Dressler, he is sure to be a fan favourite very quickly.


Mitch Thompson may be a long-shot to make the football team this year, but the Regina Thunder receiver has proven he has what it takes to advance his game to the next level. Thompson has an incredible set of hands and was considered one of the best in the game in the CJFL last year. His 9 catch, 189 yard, two touchdown game in the Canadian Bowl victory against Vancouver Island showed many what he can do.  If he performs well at camp and a practice roster spot is available, don’t be surprised if its offered to Thompson who will be battling with many other Canadian receivers in what should be an interesting battle to watch.

Dressler Continues To Impress In Kansas City

It is looking more and more as if many in the Rider Nation may be purchasing a Kansas City Chiefs #13 jersey as Weston Dressler continues to show people with the Chiefs what he showed here with the Riders for nine years. Here is the latest complimentary column on Dressler's attempts to stick with the NFL club.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Ring Is The Thing

Here is what the Riders Grey Cup ring looks like.....


......that's some damn nice bling if I do say so myself. 

(Picture courtesy Chris Milo and Saskatchewan Roughrider football club)

Mike McCullough Retires

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today non-import linebacker Mike McCullough is retiring from the Canadian Football League.

McCullough is a veteran of eleven CFL seasons playing 185 career regular season games – including a streak of 110 consecutive – ranking him 16th on the franchise’s all-time games played list. The Kingston, ON native was originally selected by the Green and White in the third round (23rd overall) of the 2003 Canadian Draft  


Last season, the 34-year-old played the final nine regular season games, after suffering an injury in training camp, registering 24 defensive tackles, four special teams tackles and two quarterback sacks. He also started the West Semi-Final, West Final and Grey Cup at linebacker.

For his career, McCullough totaled 187 defensive tackles, 113 special teams tackles, 11 quarterback sacks, and one interception.

At the conclusion of the 2010 season, McCullough received the inaugural Jake Gaudaur Veterans Award recognizing the CFL player that best demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s Veterans. He was also the recipient of the Mosaic Community Award in 2008 and 2009 which is presented annually to the Rider player who contributes the most to his community.

He is a two-time Grey Cup champion having won with the Roughriders in 2007 and again in 2013.



This And That

What and I many others thought was a joke a few months go is now reality. The CFL is going to be hit with a players strike barring some last minute settlement.  While a strike is now reality, it doesn't change the fact that the league and the players will pay for this.  Say what you will about the CFL, but its not big-time. Its not a millionaires boy club like the other pro sports are.  Here in Rider Nation, we will painfully and patiently wait for the game to return but I don't know if that's the case in other centres.  The question now is how long does this go. I have heard the players want to send a message and that they would be content in losing the first exhibition game and having an abbreviated camp. We will see. I still think the players are being a little unreasonable in their salary cap demands as you don't go from driving a 79 Pinto to a  brand new Lamborghini overnight. They have to pull back a little and have the CFL increase things a little. An 11 or 12 percent hike in the salary cap would work for me.

In the meantime and in between time, what are you going to do Rider fans without your daily dose of football now that football season has arrived. You can't watch the Grey Cup every night----well you can, but you know what I mean.

I think Marwan Hage was a little overdramatic when he stated no CFL football this season at all, but the man is entitled to his opinion as we all are.

At least we don't have to worry about any Humpty's ads for a while.

Other thoughts running through my muddled mind in no particular order...

  --Dustin Tokarski deserves a starting job with some NHL team next year. He gave Montreal a chance when no one thought they had one against the Rangers once Carey Price went down. If only Montreal had some offence.

  --PK Subban is not and will never be an elite defenceman in this league in my mind with all the giveaways he has. He's another Mike Green!

  --Can we just admit the Hawks and Kings are the closest thing we have to an NHL dynasty and do we as hockey fans deserve that series to go 7. What a great matchup that has been.

  --Am I the only one who thinks the Canadian Tire guy is a real d-bag?

 --WWE fans, I think the next step for John Cena is to become a member of the Authority.

 --I want to know what the numbers are for the National Spelling Bee. Who is watching that when you have the NHL and NBA playoffs on along with MLB. CMON!!!! That's C-M-O-N!!

  --The Kansas City Royals have hit 21 homers in the month of May with two days to go....Edwin Encarnacion has hit 16 in May alone.

  --Jose Bautista throwing Billy Butler out at first base from right field last night was just awesome!

  --While I understand the excitement of Blue Jays fans, I caution them that there are still 100 games to be played. A lot can change. If they are on top in mid-July, start getting excited.

  --Start getting excited for the Regina Red Sox. They play their home opener Sunday afternoon against Swift Current. Scruffette has a ball tournament in Moose Jaw that wraps up Sunday, but its over by noon, I'll be at Currie for sure on Sunday.

  --I had been told by two sources that former Saskatoon Blade Jason Christie was going to be the team's new head coach, but I had cold water thrown on that notion by two people Thursday.

  --In 2000, the first Swedish goalie drafted was Mikael Tellqvist by the Leafs. 120 picks later, the Rangers grabbed some guy named Lundqvist. Oops!

  --I really wonder how Canucks fans feel knowing Alain Vigneault is off to the SC final.

   --Is the winner of the Chicago/LA series the closest thing we have to an NHL dynasty these days. Then again, if you don't do what the Habs of the 70's, the Islanders of the 80's and the Oilers of the 90's did, is it really a dynasty?

  --I find it rather embarrassing that Regina High Schools seem intimidated by out of city teams thus they don't want them participating in their leagues anymore. Its a joke that Lumsden and Balgonie have been given the boot. What school led the high and mighty charge on this?

  --Tiger Woods has let another major go by because of his bad back. It just cements the thought Tiger will not pass Jack Nicklaus for most majors won.

That's all I got. Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Talks Break Down

Labour talks between the Canadian Football League and the CFL Players' Association broke down Thursday after the league reviewed a new proposal from the players and then left the meeting.
However, a CFLPA source told TSN that players will be told to attend training camp this weekend "in good faith" until the union reviews all its options.
CFLPA executive members Brian Ramsay of the Edmonton Eskimos and Jeff Keeping of the Toronto Argonauts confirmed they will report when training camps open.
CFL commissioner Mark Cohon then released the following statement: "This afternoon, the Canadian Football League has sent its best offer for a new collective bargaining agreement directly to the players. Unfortunately, this best offer was rejected by the CFLPA executive committee this morning. We strongly believe it is a fair and equitable agreement for both parties. We want football. We want our season to start on time. But not at the cost of the unrealistic proposal put forward by the CFLPA. We do hope the CFLPA executive committee will put this offer to CFL players for a vote."
CFLPA president Scott Flory also issued a statement that addressed financial, health and safety as well as option year concerns expressed by the league. "We have just presented to the PRC an offer in the hopes of getting a deal done today. We feel as though we have listened and addressed all of their issues. We eagerly await the response of the PRC."
Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Ricky Foley showed his disappointment at the latest developments on Twitter on Thursday.
"The amount of compromise the players are making right now in meetings is not being matched by the owners...Fans need 2know this #Riders... The owners main issue was they didn't want Revenue Sharing...We have agreed 4the good of the league to essentially take it off the table... If owners would just compromise as much from their 1st offer as the players have done this morning in meetings a deal would be done #Riders"
With the current CBA set to expire at midnight Thursday, the league and players met amongst themselves, in different meeting rooms, starting at 9am et and came together shortly after 11:30am et along with a mediator.
They parted 25 minutes later. Quick comments from both sides have only been possible as members of both groups move between meeting rooms.

(Canadian Press)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Still Talking

The CFL and its players are going into overtime in their collective bargaining talks.
After spending more than 12 hours in meetings together and separately Wednesday, the two sides agreed to reconvene Thursday at an airport hotel.
"It has been a long day of meetings," CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said. "We’re going to resume (Thursday) morning, which is a good thing."
It’s certainly a far cry from what happened the last time the CFL and its players met. On May 21, they gathered for roughly 10 minutes as the league informed the CFL Players’ Association it was rejecting its latest offer before going public with the details of its last proposal to the union.
But there was no quick end to Wednesday’s session. The league and players held multiple face-to-face sessions but also spent a lot of time separately, with a conciliation officer being seen going from one party to the other.
It was the first time that news of a conciliation officer being involved in talks surfaced. Also, Cohon attended the sessions with the CFL’s bargaining unit, which also consisted of chief operation officer Michael Copeland, Saskatchewan Roughriders president Jim Hopson, Calgary Stampeders president Ken King, and CFL legal counsel Steve Shamie.
The CFLPA’s negotiating team was made up of president Scott Flory, vice-presidents Marwan Hage and Jeff Keeping, treasurer Brian Ramsay and legal counsel Ed Molstad.
The CFL’s current collective bargaining agreement expires at midnight ET on Thursday. Flory has said the players won’t suit up under the terms of the existing deal, meaning the two sides would either have to reach a new contract or at least be close for training camps to open on time Sunday.
The league and players met Wednesday morning but spent the bulk of the afternoon apart before resuming face-to-face talks later in the evening. That session ended after roughly an hour, with the CFL committee leaving for an alternate location. At one point, the conciliation officer and Shamie both could be seen walking towards the union’s meeting room, but the league lawyer left shortly afterwards.
Revenue sharing is the main stumbling block in the negotiations, with the players wanting it back to help determine the salary cap each year. The CFLPA had revenue sharing in previous agreements but gave it up in the last deal signed before the 2010 season.
Cohon has said the league won’t agree to revenue sharing because it doesn’t have sufficient revenues and profits for the model to work effectively.
After decades of financial woes, the CFL is enjoying economic prosperity.
It has a new contract extension with athletic apparel giant Reebok. One of its teams (Winnipeg) moved into a new stadium last season and another (Hamilton) is scheduled to do so this year, the same time expansion Ottawa will return and play at a refurbished facility.
And with attendance continuing to rise and corporate sponsorships remaining strong, the CFL is buoyed by a lucrative five-year television agreement with TSN, reportedly worth an average of $42 million annually, that kicks in this season.
That deal alone will reportedly net clubs an extra $2.7 million each this season.
There has been one players’ strike since the formation of the CFLPA in 1965. It came in ’74 and lasted three weeks during training camp before a three-year agreement was signed with no regular-season games lost.
The ’14 regular season is scheduled to open June 26.
The league has offered to boost the average player salary by 12 per cent this season to $92,917 with a further increase over the following five years. The salary cap would increase by nine per cent from $4.4 million to $4.8 million per team while the average salary would go up $5,000 to $50,000 with a further increase to $55,000 over the following five years.
The salary cap would also rise by $100,000 per team if the CFL receives more television revenue from TSN under a renegotiated broadcast agreement for each remaining year of the collective bargaining agreement.
The CFLPA, which contends the average player stipend is just under $72,000, is asking for a $6.24-million cap, with a $5.84-million minimum. The ’15 cap would be determined from the gross average revenue of seven clubs — excluding the top and lowest-grossing franchises.
The proposal also requested 55 per cent of gross revenues from TV rights, pay TV rights, radio, Internet and any other form of broadcast or telecast of CFL games, 45 per cent of revenues from sponsorship and licensing and 40 per cent of tickets to pre-season and regular-season games, including the sale of luxury boxes, licenses and any other revenue related to the public attending at games.

(Canadian Press)

Riders Add And Subtract From Roster

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that import defensive linemen Markus White and Robert Eddins and import receiver Devin Aromashodu have signed with the team. As per club policy financial details of the contracts were not released.

White (6’4 – 264) joins the Riders after spending the last three seasons in the NFL. The 26-year-old was originally selected by the Washington Redskins in the 7th round (224th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Florida native played three regular season games with the Redskins over two seasons before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in the 2012 season. He attended 2013 training camp with the Bucs appearing in two preseason games.     

Before going pro, White spent three seasons at Florida State registering 125 defensive tackles and 11.5 quarterback sacks in 38 career collegiate games.

Eddins (6’3 – 246) signs with the Green and White after spending parts of two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. The Detroit native spent the 2011 season on the Bills practice roster after originally signing with the team in July as an undrafted free agent. He attended 2012 training camp with the Bills seeing action in four preseason games.

Prior to the NFL, the 25-year-old spent four seasons at Ball State where he registered 167 defensive tackles, 17 quarterback sacks and seven forced fumbles in 46 career collegiate games.     

Aromashodu (6’3 – 201) joins the Riders after spending seven seasons in the NFL. The 30-year old Auburn product has played 61 career regular season games recording 78 receptions for 1,193 yards and five touchdowns. He was originally selected Miami Dolphins in the seventh round (223rd overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. The Miami native also went on to spend time with the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.   


·         The Riders also announced import defensive back Woodny Turenne and import linebacker Xavier Adibi have been released while import defensive back Prince Miller has retired.  


Riders Sign 2014 Draft Class

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed six of their 2014 Canadian Draft selections. Receiver Alex Pierzchalski, kicker John Mark, receiver Kristopher Bastien, defensive back Matt Webster, offensive lineman Kyle Paterson and linebacker Travis Bent have all agreed to contracts. Financial details of the signings were not released.


Pierzchalski (6’5 – 220) was selected in the second round (18th overall) out of the University of Toronto where he registered 149 receptions for 1,617 yards and 13 touchdowns in 32 career collegiate games.  


Mark (6’0 – 175) was taken in the third round with the 20th overall pick. In eight 2013 regular season games with the University of Calgary, Mark made 15 of 17 field goals (88%) and added 62 punts for 2,600 yards (41.9 yard average) including a 63 yard long.  


Bastien (6’2 – 205) was taken with the Riders second pick in the third round, 26th overall. The Concordia University product recorded 37 receptions for 592 yards and six touchdowns in eight 2013 games.


Webster (5’11 – 175) signs with the Riders after being selected in the fifth round (39th overall) out of Queen’s University. Last season Webster had 16.5 defensive tackles and two interceptions in just four regular season games.   


Paterson (6’3 – 284) joins the Green and White after being picked in the fifthe round (45th overall) from the University of Regina. The Weyburn, SK product has played 20 games for the Rams through four seasons. 


Bent (6’0 – 220) was selected in the sixth round (54th overall) from Concordia University. Last season Bent played eight games registering 29 defensive tackles, five tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one interception.  


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hoping For The Best

By Herb Zurkowsky-Montreal Gazette

A cautiously optimistic Scott Flory will enter the next round of labour negotiations with the Canadian Football League Wednesday morning in Toronto, not certain what to expect.
But Flory, the president of the league’s players’ association, remains adamant the union’s proposal is fair and equitable. And, the former Alouettes’ guard stressed, the players don’t want to be dictated to — which is what he claimed occurred last week, when league representatives stormed out of their meeting after only 10 minutes, followed by CFL commissioner Mark Cohon making the league’s proposals public.
“We’re talking about a system that very fruitfully exists already in sports in North America. It worked very well in all the major professional leagues — and it’ll work in the CFL, just on a smaller scale,” Flory told The Gazette. “When you’re talking percentages, it doesn’t matter the dollar value. It’s just percentages.
“Guys just want to be fairly compensated,” Flory added. “We’re not asking for the world. We’re not asking to destroy the league or the franchises. That’s not what this is about.”
The stumbling block continues to be the players’ insistence that a salary cap must be tied to revenues. Cohon, meanwhile, said that won’t occur, suggesting the league would return to the “dark ages” under such a system.
The union wants the salary cap to begin at $6.24-million. Under its proposal, the cap would consist of 35 per cent of revenues, excluding the new five-year, $210-million television contract. In other leagues, the cap’s approximately 50 per cent of total gross revenue. With each team receiving an additional $2.7-million, based on that TV deal, each team still would be left with a distribution of approximately $1 million, Flory said.
The CFL, in turn, has proposed the cap be raised $400,000 initially, to $4.8-million, followed by annual increases of $50,000 over five years.
“For anyone to say what we’re proposing, initially, is somehow over the top ... setting the league back to the dark ages, as it was characterized by the commissioner, is ridiculous,” Flory said.
Prior to the last collective bargaining agreement, signed in 2010, there was a provision calling for 56 per cent of defined gross revenue to be paid to the players. But the league never generated enough revenues, so the provision never was exercised. The CFL has had its share of financial hardships so Stu Laird, the P.A. president at the time, agreed to have the clause removed.
Now, with new stadiums in Winnipeg and Hamilton, a ninth franchise in Ottawa — not to mention the television windfall — the union’s insisting the cap be tied to revenues.
“The players have made concessions in the past,” Flory stressed.
The CBA’s set to expire Thursday at midnight. Veterans are scheduled to begin training camp workouts Sunday morning, although the players have taken a strike vote, the results of which could be released shortly. No one seems clear whether teams can conduct camp practises — or even play exhibition games, if necessary — with rookies.
Nonetheless, the clock almost has reached midnight and there might not be sufficient time for a resolution by Sunday. Flory refused to speculate what might occur this weekend.
He also sounded dubious that any veterans would cross the picket line and participate in scheduled workouts.
“From all indications from our membership, through our team reps and executives, our membership has never been more engaged or more united,” Flory said.
Veteran players receive weekly cheques throughout camp, the amount based on their years of experience. But most will start feeling the financial pinch in late June, should the impasse remain unresolved, when they start missing regular-season game cheques.
Flory said contingency plans are in place, intimating the executive has discussed the likelihood of distributing some form of strike pay.
It was Flory who reached out to Cohon after last week’s talks broke off, he said. What occurs now will depend on whether both sides are willing to budge and compromise their beliefs.
“Whatever that system is and how it’s administered, is all up for negotiation,” Flory said. “This is negotiating. There’s going to be movement on both sides. We have to find a common ground that works for both parties.
“It’s unfortunate they walked away last Wednesday.”

Its A Beautiful Day!!!

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and 620 CKRM, a Harvard Radio Station, are proud to announce an extension of their radio broadcast rights agreement which began in 1983.  As per team policy, terms were not disclosed.


“We are delighted to extend our partnership with the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club,” said Cam Cowie Vice President and COO Harvard Broadcasting. “With the extension, CKRM will continue to be the football clubs trusted voice to Rider Nation, over the air in Saskatchewan on 620am and around the world via live stream on and direct on the Rider App.”

“Our entire broadcast team led by Rod Pedersen (16th season) and Carm Carteri (26th season) is dedicated to delivering an informative, professional and engaging game day experience second only to being in Mosaic Stadium,” Cowie continued. “Harvard’s commitment to Rider Nation and the football club goes well beyond the game day broadcasts with CKRM’s SportsCage - the daily Source for all things Green & White”.

“We are ecstatic to continue our partnership with Harvard Radio’s 620 CKRM,” Riders President and CEO Jim Hopson noted. “Rod and Carm are two of the best in the business and have become a staple on Rider Game Day.”


2014 will mark the 31st year and 32nd season that 620 CKRM has been the flagship station of the Rider Radio Network which includes affiliates GX94 Yorkton and 600 CJWW Saskatoon. 


Monday, May 26, 2014

Riders Add Two To Plaza Of Honor

Today the Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor Committee announced two new members will be inducted into the Plaza of Honor. This year Chris Szarka and Omarr Morgan will have their names forever etched into Saskatchewan Roughrider history.


Besides being Saskatchewan’s most prestigious sporting dinner, the Plaza of Honor Dinner has contributed over $6 million to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.


The Plaza of Honor Dinner presented by SaskTel has inducted 116 individuals who have made major contributions to the proud tradition of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club. The club has also inducted the 1966, 1989 and 2007 Grey Cup championship teams.


The cairn honouring the Plaza of Honor Inductees is situated outside the main gates on the west side of Mosaic Stadium. The Plaza of Honor cairn is sponsored by SaskTel, SASK SPORT INC. and the City of Regina.


This year’s dinner is set for Friday, September 19th at the Credit Union Eventplex – Evraz Place. To accommodate a much larger audience, the event will once again take place in the Eventplex and will allow patrons a spacious opportunity with a large reception area throughout the evening to meet and greet friends and associates.
Eastern Illinois
  • Born in Vancouver, BC in 1975
  • Played 14 seasons in the CFL – all with the Roughriders
  • Played his college football at Eastern Illinois
  • Originally selected in the 2nd round (13th overall) of the 1997 Canadian Draft
  • Played 226 regular season games
  • Played in 15 playoff games and four Grey Cups
  • Won the Grey Cup with Saskatchewan in 2007
  • Named the Riders Most Outstanding Canadian in 2002 and 2003
  • Named the West Divisions Most Outstanding Canadian in 2003
  • Finished his CFL career with 423 carries for 1,703 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns while adding 98 receptions for 1,308 yards and five touchdowns
  • Was known as the ‘Canuck Truck’
Brigham Young
Defensive Back
  • Born in Hollywood, CA in 1976
  • Played 11 CFL seasons; ten with the Roughriders
  • Played collegiately at Brigham Young University
  • Originally signed with the Riders as a free agent in June 1999
  • Signed with the St. Louis Rams in April, 1998
  • Played 192 career regular seasons games … 176 with the Riders
  • Played in 12 playoff games
  • Played in two Grey Cups (2009, 2010)
  • Was named a West Division All-Star in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005
  • Was named a CFL All-Star three times (2002, 2003, 2005)
  • Finished his CFL career with 608 defensive tackles, 37 special teams tackles, 62 pass knockdowns, 27 interceptions – two returned for touchdowns, and 11 fumble recoveries – three of which were returned for touchdowns.

Something To "Mitch" About

If you are a Riders fan and you haven't gotten this, go out and get one. If you are a Riders fan from outside of this fine province, order one and get someone to get one for you and send it to you a-s-a-p. If you have already witnessed it, I'm sure you were impressed just like me at the 70 minute documentary.

I don't want to spoil it for all of those who haven't seen it, but the Riders video team and the organization themselves should be very proud of this production. If you have seen the highly successful and popular "America's Game" done by NFL films, this rivals it in many ways.

It brings back a lot of great memories of not only the season, but the Grey Cup festival and many other things. My favourite part is when head coach Corey Chamblin makes a comment about the crowd on Grey Cup Sunday and how it was more than a home game.


This still takes a while to get used to, but at least that helmet has an arrowhead on it and not a horse. That would be wrong! As someone said to me this weekend. the NFL and the Chiefs may have to give discounts on people from this province ordering Dressler jerseys because there will be many if he makes the team. Hell, I'm buying one and Mrs. Scruffy says she wants one too. Actually, Mrs. Scruffy doesn't want one because she wants to keep using the green 7 jersey she has now with hopes Weston will return.  She's just being selfish.

The UFC experience made a stop in Regina this weekend and by all accounts it was extremely busy in downtown Regina as UFC fans stopped in to see a variety of things. Business kept me from being in attendance as much as I wanted it to, but Reginans and Saskatchewan proved we love the UFC and we want to see it live in our province soon. If Saskatchewan's Mitch Clarke can be on that card somehow, it would be that much better. There is no doubt Credit Union Centre would be the first locale to stage a UFC card whether it be a pay-per view or a fight night, but one has to think a big event would come here once the new facility at Evraz Place opens.

Speaking of UFC, I didn't get a chance to catch UFC 173 Saturday night, but TJ Dillashaw defeating Renae Barao has to be one of the bigger upsets in the history of the sport. Barao hadn't lost in a decade and I don't think anyone was giving Dillashaw a chance to win the belt.


I don't think he is going to author a Cinderella story, but has Dustin Tokarski showed enough in limited time under the spotlight to garner a starting job somewhere in the NHL. You can't tell me he isn't better than what a lot of teams have----Calgary and Winnipeg come to mind right off the bat. Someone needs to ask Steve Yzerman why he got rid of the Watson native in the first place.


Dan Carcillo gets 10 games for what didn't look to be extremely physical contact with the linesman, yet the NHL gives Brandon Prust gives two games for a big-time cheap shot that breaks the jaw of another player. Where is the justice in that? People wonder why the NHL disciplinarians don't get a lot of respect. Prust should have gotten a minimum 5 if not more and I don't care if he is a so called first offender.


Does it matter to you that Canada hasn't won gold at the World Hockey Championships in a long time. It doesn't bother me since we don't send our "A" team. When that starts to happen and we don't produce, call me!


TSN will have its last national hockey broadcast on tonight when Chris Cuthbert calls the Hawks-Kings game. The rest of the series will be on CBC and with the Stanley Cup being on CBC, the end of an era happens as the NHL on TSN comes to an end as we know it. I hope to god the people at Rogers have some kind of clue as to what they are going to do because as it stands now, the TSN presentation is still miles better than what we get on a nightly basis from Sportsnet.


Congrats to the Edmonton Oil Kings. Its great having the Memorial Cup back in what I biasedly believe is the best major junior and developmental hockey league in the world.


I will say it at the end of this Memorial Cup and every other one until it happens. The tournament needs to expand. If the RBC Cup,  the Western Canadian Junior A championship. the Telus Cup and the Esso Cup can have a five team tournament, then figure out a way to make the Memorial Cup a five team tournament.


The debate is heavy when it comes to the CFL labour dispute and where the blame lies. I think right now the majority of people I have spoken with are blaming the players for being too greedy. I just want a deal to get struck so that we have football. If we don't, I think it hurts the league for a long time. It won't here where we will come back to the game much like fans of the Winnipeg Jets and Canadian hockey fans in general came back after the NHL lockout, but the CFL isn't the NHL.

There might be one good thing if there is no CFL season-----it will mean no Humpty's ads!!


Its good to see some other CFL teams get on the food bandwagon and start selling products bearing the likeness of their hometown football players. The Edmonton Eskimos announced Mike Reilly potato chips this week. I have to assume when you open up the bag, the chips are all pounded into dust much the way Reilly was in 2013.  There is also Corn-ish flakes cereal in Calgary. Let the comments on that start.

While I understand the excitement the Toronto Blue Jays are creating as we hit the end of May, may I just remind you there are 111 games to be played yet. Make no doubt about it, Toronto is playing probably the best baseball out of any team right now, but there is a lonnnnnnng ways to go and the Jays still need to make some moves to create some noise. One of those moves is finding a way to get another starting pitcher and if that pitcher isn't Cubs righthander Jeff Samardzija then GM Alex Anthopoulos will have some explaining to do. Anthopoulos let Ervin Santana get away from him before the season started and he can't afford to let a glorious opportunity get away.


I end this one with a line from WOLF 104.9 morning man Ballsy. His quip in the station the other day "Jordan Eberle won "Sticks on Rose" last year which is the only thing he has won with a hockey stick in his hands over the past few years. Sadly, I can't argue that statement.

That's all I got. Its going to be a great week!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

CFLPA Issues Statement

This letter from Scott Flory comes at the same time the two sides announce they will go back to the bargaining table on Wednesday,

CFLPA Statement to Facts 

(STONEY CREEK, ON)  The CFL Players’ Association and President Scott Flory feel that it is important to clarify a number of points and outline specific information from 3 separate documents issued by the CFL.  The first was a direct letter to every Veteran Player, the second ‘An Open Letter to Canadian Football League fans’ and the third ‘CBA Myths and Facts’, the latter 2 posted directly to   
I have also included other information as per the links below, where the League has made statements that are now contrary to their negotiating position.  In spite of the League ambushing the PA Executive and strategically breaking the trust of our media agreement during our last attempt to negotiate a new deal on Wednesday May 21st, the CFLPA Executive Negotiation Committee have utilized our time wisely and are now anxious to get back behind closed doors to negotiate in good faith, a deal that will get both parties a fair and equitable CBA that will stand for many years to come.   

FACT: Mark Cohon boasts about 6 of 8 healthy franchises at Grey Cup 2012.   
FACT: Players’ salaries are the only regulated form of spending on the teams.  Profitability varies due to differing business models, which is why our proposal is based on revenue.  
FACT: The Commissioners argument that we cannot compare ourselves to the other major professional sports leagues is just not true, we are all the same, just on a different scale. Their real issue isn’t a salary cap tied to revenue, it’s a league wide system of revenue sharing so all the teams can exist through good times and bad.   
FACT: Our initial monetary proposal would still allow for a distribution of an additional $1M per Club.   
FACT: Winnipeg’s revenues grew by $7.5M to $24.2M with a new stadium, a rise of approximately 45%. We can only assume Hamilton’s and Ottawa’s revenues will be comparable.   
FACT: The standard set by the other North American sports leagues is the salary cap is approx. 50% of total gross revenue.  Our initial ask is for 25.7% of Winnipeg’s revenue, 33.6% of Edmonton’s revenue, and 18% of Saskatchewan’s revenue!   
FACT: Our proposal provides for a salary cap of 35% of revenues. This percentage is based on a league wide average that excludes the high and low teams as outlined in the 2013 financial statements provided by the CFL.  This does not include the new TSN TV revenue!!!! 

Scott Flory - CFL Players’ Association – President 

Friday, May 23, 2014

This And That

--A weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled brain

  --You can be negative if you want about Regina's new stadium, but I'm all for it and can't wait to walk into it for the first time.  The bitching and whining doesn't really surprise me because its so Saskatchewan. I really hope someday that culture leaves us, but it won't be for a long time. You could embrace the opportunity in front of you, but some choose not to and that's fine. The bottom line is its getting built and I can assure you barring something unforeseen this project won't be botched like the one in Winnipeg was

  --CFL players should be told by president Scott Flory to shut up because they are not helping themselves. The ill-spirited comments by some on Twitter are making the players come off as whiners. Let the association handle this and stay out of it

 --A nine percent hike in pay is a reasonable request by the CFL, but the league can certainly move on that offer somewhat. I wouldn't find an increase that is 10-12 percent to be unreasonable. Anything beyond that is a stretch though.

  --In this day and age where its not hard to find somewhere else to spend your entertainment dollar, it would be wise of the CFL to get this situation settled. The last thing the league needs is to get the new Ottawa franchise off on the wrong foot and with the southern Ontario fanbases always questionable and Montreal's fanbase disappearing as the team's dominance leaves, the CFL should be very wary of the consequences that could occur if games are missed.

 --The Montreal Canadiens are not the same team against the New York Rangers that they were against the Boston Bruins. The goaltending situation does not change my opinion on that. The fire and hunger doesn't seem to be there against the Rangers.  That being said, they got back in the series on a greasy one and sometimes that's all you need.

 --I'm assuming it was a Habs fan that said to me on Twitter that Montreal fans will take the good PK Subban with the bad PK Subban. There's been a lot more bad than good in this series.  It baffles me as to how some people think this guy is the best defenseman in the league. He is terrible in his own zone.

  --Is new Habs hero and Sasky Dustin Tokarski  the twin brother of Canadian crooner Michael Buble...

  Tokarski was the goalie for the Spokane Chiefs when they won the Memorial Cup and then broke it. Remember that....

I spoke with Dustin a couple of days later on the old Remenda show and asked him his thoughts on that. He said he was skating over when the cup collapsed and just stopped and said "Wasn't me!!" Watching that clip makes me howl again! God that was funny!

  --Its late May and the Toronto Blue Jays are in first place in the American League East. Is that a surprise? Its late May and the Chicago Cubs are last in their division in the National League Central. Is that expected?

  --Former Jays catcher JP Arencibia got sent to Triple A this week by the Texas Rangers. Arencibia had the gall to blame the Toronto media for him leaving the Blue Jays in the off-season. Yeah, I'm guessing those prodigious numbers at the plate you have been putting up had absolutely nothing to do with it.  Is the Dallas media to blame for your Triple A appearance? Three words JP----GET A HIT!

  --People who doublepark in an Impark lot should have a special place in hell reserved for them and the phone number of someone who will get out door dents.

  --There is talk Kurt Angle could be rejoining WWE? Oh boy! (sarcasm off)

  --The stars of High Impact Wrestling do their thing Friday night at the Hungarian Club. There is no Access TV coverage of this event so Pete Paczko and I are going to mingle with the gronks. Yes, yes we are!

  --Just 15 weeks until the Seahawks start the 2014 NFL season by slapping the Packers around CenturyLink Field.

  --I think its finally safe to say summer has arrived.  Have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Here it Is!!!

Today, the Saskatchewan Roughriders joined the City of Regina and the Province of Saskatchewan to unveil, the final design of the future home of the Roughriders, which will carry the name Mosaic Stadium.  The Riders announced today that their current partnership with The Mosaic Company will be renewed in a 20-year stadium naming rights agreement between the two organizations.

Teaming up with Mosaic to secure the first naming rights partnership of Mosaic Stadium in 2006 was a defining time for the Riders, and for the community.  With the new Mosaic Stadium, and renewed naming partnership, the two organizations will come together in support of the Regina Revitalization Initiative, ushering in a new and exciting era for the Roughriders, the Province, City of Regina and all of Rider Nation. 

The new Mosaic Stadium will be a state of the art 33,000 seat facility that can be expanded to accommodate 40,000 fans for special events such as the Grey Cup Championship Game.  The stadium will deliver an incredible game day experience with wider individual seats, a sunken bowl to ease spectator access, expansive concourses, concession and hospitality offerings as well as premium options that include 38 suites for corporate partners.  Located three blocks west of the current Mosaic Stadium, this iconic new stadium will stand out as one of the premier facilities of its kind in Canada and will become a centerpiece for the province.    

“We could not be happier with this announcement and the long term extension of what has been a terrific relationship between the Roughriders and Mosaic, said Jim Hopson, President and CEO of the Roughriders Football Club.  “Beyond our shared love for this game and the league, is a shared commitment to the community.   This relationship has contributed to some great achievements for Riders and this new agreement will set the stage for what we expect will be many years of success, both on and off the field.”  

“Strong partnerships champion successful organizations and help build healthy and vibrant communities,” said Walt Precourt, Mosaic’s Senior Vice President of Potash. “Our sponsorship of Mosaic Stadium, and relationship with the Roughriders, represents the foundation for our continued investments in this province. Together, we’re proud to recognize our community’s rich past and are excited about a new and prosperous future.”

New Mosaic Stadium will host its first Rider game in June of 2017. 

The Riders also announced a new stadium website, where fans can access new stadium design images, videos and factual information.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Getz Yourself Some Rider Chips

First there was Fantuz Flakes cereal. Then came Dressler Undressed and Geroy’s Super Sour Cream and Onion chips. This season, Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback Chris Getzlaf and quarterback Darian Durant will headline the Co-op/Riders Game Day Approved roster with Chris-py Dill Chips and Darian’s Quarterback Quench Sports Drink.
These products are new and so is the competition. Co-op has offered Game Day Approved products with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the last two years. This season, the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders will also partner with Co-op in their own Game Day Approved product lines. Co-branded products food and merchandise will be sold at Co-op locations in all four markets. A portion of sales from Game Day Approved products will be donated to local children’s hospital foundations in the three Prairie provinces.
“This is a big win for everyone. Not only do football fans and Co-op shoppers get to support their team, they’re contributing to a healthier future for our children and families,” said Vic Huard, Vice-President of Strategy at Federated Co-operatives Limited, on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System. “Your purchase will help your team win off the field for children’s hospital foundations, and we’ll see who really has the best fans.” 
New Co-op/Riders products for 2014 include a specially branded championship cola in commemorative collector cans as well as a bar fridge, hard hat, food cooler, ice cream, apple juice and energy drink. Fans will also have a chance to win a VIP suite for 16 people at one of six Rider home games. 
“The Roughriders are leaders on the field and in the community,” said Steve Mazurak, Saskatchewan Roughriders Vice-President of Sales and Partnerships. “We’re thrilled to continue this successful partnership with Co-op and to contribute to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan’s great work.”
The Co-op/Roughriders Game Day approved lineup has set the bar for the three other Game Day Approved teams, raising $95,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan in the 2013 season. A total of $416,000 has been raised since the partnership began in 2010. The sale proceeds are in addition to the $5 million donation over five years to the five western Canadian children’s hospital foundations, of which the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan received $1.7 million.
"Football season is even better when the Co-op’s Game Day Approved items hit the shelves," said Brynn Boback-Lane, Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan President and CEO. "The support that our Foundation receives from the partnership with Saskatchewan Co-ops and our beloved Roughriders truly recognizes that this province has a team of great people and vision. Through this innovative program, we can provide more tools that are needed to help the children and families of Saskatchewan receive even better pediatric equipment and healthcare now and in the future."
Co-op stores in Saskatchewan will also be the exclusive retailer of All In, a DVD highlighting the Roughriders and their 2013 championship season.

The Commish Has A Message For CFL Fans

Thank you for your patience and understanding during our contract talks with our players.
Out of respect for our players and the negotiation process, we have had little to say in public. But now that the talks have reached a critical juncture, I want to provide you, the most important people in the CFL, with an update.
Today, we have directly communicated to CFL players the full details of our offer to them.
It is fair and reasonable. It would increase the average player salary by 12 per cent this season, to $92,917. It would increase the minimum player's salary by 11 per cent this season, to $50,000. It would increase the salary cap by nine per cent this season from $4.4 million to $4.8 million per team. More increases would come over the life of an agreement.
Unfortunately, the union's bargaining team has rejected this offer, and instead put forward an unrealistic proposal which, if adopted, would threaten the very existence of the CFL.
This is why we are now communicating directly to the players. The details of our offer, in a letter from me to the players, are posted on
You may hear a lot in the media about revenue sharing. Our offer would share increased revenue with our players. But we cannot agree to an approach that would focus solely on our teams' revenues while ignoring their costs and the investments we must make to modernize, stabilize and maximize the CFL.
For example, our teams are directly investing $175 million in new stadiums and stadium improvements. Like your mortgage, these costs have to be financed over several years. We also need to invest in our digital properties, our social media, marketing and ticketing, and the fan experience in our stadiums. We need to serve you better to continue to earn your support and attract new fans.
Like you, we want football. We want training camp to open and our full pre-season and regular season schedule to be played. We don't want a work stoppage.
Like you, we admire and appreciate what our players do on the field and in the community. They deserve to be paid fairly.
But also like you, we love this league. And that means we have a responsibility to you, and future generations of fans, to keep it strong.
Thanks to your support, the CFL is in a better place today than it has been in years. And we have made an offer that reflects this growth.
But we still have work to do to ensure all of our teams can make a profit, which is crucial to attracting the next generation of owners, at the same time we attract new fans. We still have a long way to go to realize our vision of a strong, sustainable league that can succeed in today's rapidly changing business climate, and in every market.
It was a long winter in Canada. And like you, we can't wait for the season to start. But we owe it to everyone who loves the CFL to seek an agreement that's fair to our players and right for our league and its future.
Thank you again for your patience and all you've done to help us grow.
Mark Cohon Signature
Mark Cohon
Commissioner, Canadian Football League

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Riders Sign Linebacker and Defensive Back

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that import linebacker Brandon Isaac has signed with the team. As per club policy financial details of the contract were not released.
Isaac (6’3 – 208) is a four year CFL veteran after originally signing with the Calgary Stampeders ahead of the 2010 season. The University of South Carolina product joined the Toronto Argonauts in 2012 before being picked up by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in July of 2013.
In 60 career regular season games the 29-year-old has totaled 127 defensive tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, nine special teams tackles and two interceptions. He won his first Grey Cup in 2012 as a member of the Argonauts.  
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that import defensive back Marshay Green has signed with the team. As per club policy financial details of the contract were not released.
Green (5’10 – 183) joins the Riders after spending the last four seasons in the NFL. The 28-year-old spent two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals after originally signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He went on to spend the 2012 season with the Indianapolis Colts as well attended training camp in 2013.
Before going pro, the Louisiana native played four seasons at Mississippi registering 62 defensive tackles and two interceptions in 48 career collegiate games. He also added 93 punt returns for 917 yards and three touchdowns. Green was named the Defensive MVP of the 2009 Cotton Bowl.

Riders Cap Off Season Tickets

The Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club announced today that they have reached a season ticket sales capacity of 26,700 tickets sold.

Creating a season ticket sales capacity allows fans, who may not be able to make a full season commitment, the opportunity to purchase single game tickets when they become available.   

“Interest to renew or purchase new season tickets has been very strong, following one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history.  It’s important to us that the broader fan base has access to single game tickets and we have therefore capped our sales of season tickets for this year” stated Riders VP of Marketing and Business Development Gregg Sauter. “We expect the demand for single game tickets to be high as well and we encourage fans to make their purchase as soon as possible when they go on sale.”

Mosaic Stadium capacity will return to 33,427 for the 2014 season.

Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public on May 31st at 10:00AM.

Tickets for the REDBLACKS CFL debut game June 14 at Mosaic Stadium are on sale now at

Fans interested in purchasing season tickets for the 2015 season can join a waiting list by signing up at