Rod Pederson's Long, Long Rant defending Corky

One of the most amazing pieces of CFL “journalism” I’ve ever read. Basically, a long rambling defense of their local centre-piece coach, Chris “Corky” Jones. Pederson, by virtue of this immense pile of ramble qualifies himself for instant admission into the HOUSEBOY HALL OF FAME… judge for yourself! :cowboy:

Something really stinks.

And it’s not just the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 1-6 record, but that’s putrid enough.

No, Saturday’s 19-10 Rider loss to the Calgary Stampeders at Mosaic Stadium capped one of the worst weeks in recent memory for this franchise. Now the 2016 Roughriders season is hanging in the balance and we’ve barely passed mid-August.

BUT! But, but, but, but, the current situation of the Saskatchewan Roughriders extends far past Saturday’s game, and maybe even beyond this current season.

Twice in the past two weeks, the Riders were slapped with fines for breaking CFL rules. $15,000 for a ratio infringement on August 3, and then $60,000 last Thursday for roster violations. For those who don’t understand these things (and apparently there are many), Rider Coach and GM Chris Jones got nailed for not playing the minimum amount of Canadians against B.C. on July 16, and further for having too many extra players around at practice who aren’t under contract or on the team’s roster.

Then, on Sunday, TSN’s Gary Lawless reported the Riders were dinged with a $5,000 fine for prancing on the midfield logo in Calgary for too long two games ago. That’s about as ticky-tack as it gets. Can somebody say “Witch Hunt”?

Frankly, for what I’d heard about the roster situation over the past five weeks and the subsequent investigation by the CFL, I figured one of two things was going to happen: Jones would’ve talked his way out of it and walked away unscathed, OR Jones and the Riders would face the firing squad to the tune of a $250,000 fine and the loss of first round draft picks for a period of years. (A la the Portland Winterhawks or New England Patriots).

However when the investigation was completed and the fine was announced on Thursday, CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge slapped Saskatchewan with a $60,000 penalty. He split the difference.

My first reaction? “I was expecting way worse”. And for fear of making the situation worse, I tempered my comments on-air about Orridge’s decision. That is, until I saw a Tweet from TSN’s Dave Naylor which said this was the maximum fine allowable by CFL rules.

Was this the highest fine in CFL history? Nobody seems to know. And that’s the way things go in the CFL these days. You wouldn’t want to actually announce facts like these when issuing news releases of this magnitude.

But oh no, it’s the Roughriders whose conduct, behaviour and activities have compromised the reputation of the CFL as Orridge stated in his news release on Thursday.

The same 1-6 Saskatchewan Roughriders who are currently leading the league in attendance. The Gden Goose. The CFL has a problem alright, but it definitely ain’t us.

More on that in a moment. A lot more.

However first, in my opinion, the Roughriders did get off easy in the arena of public opinion on the roster fine. If the Riders were guilty of such a sophisticated scandal as reporters Justin Dunk and Scott Mitchell alleged (of housing, feeding and paying non-roster players), they surely would’ve faced far more-significant sanctions.

However none of that was brought up by the CFL on Thursday in their decision.

The Roughriders could seriously look at action against Dunk and Mitchell if those cavalier accusations are proven to be false. Rider President Craig Reynold’s assertion on Friday that no non-roster players were being paid aligns with what I knew of the situation.

Another thought which bounced around my head was, “We’re sure lucky Arash Madani is at the Olympics in Brazil right now” because the Sportsnet reporter loves scandals like these and takes no prisoners when it comes to exposing the truth. But it’s Canada. The minimum effort will suffice.

If the Roughriders were an NFL team, ESPN would have a production truck parked outside Mosaic Stadium and they’d be broadcasting live for days. It would end up being a 30 for 30 documentary.

To me, if Jones really thought these tryouts were breaking the rules, he would’ve held them somewhere else in the city and no one would have even known it was going on. Instead, the tryouts were done in plain view at Mosaic Stadium and on July 15 when the B.C. Lions came into town, they saw it themselves.

But no, the Riders got off fairly easily but Orridge’s swipe at them in his news release is something I’m not yet ready to let go of.

But the bigger situation here is where the Saskatchewan Roughriders are going under Chris Jones. Personally I like his direction, but others in the Rider Nation do not.

I’m not going to go back into my monologue on how I’m sick of playing by the rules and losing while watching other teams break the rules and win. (Go back to Friday’s SportsCage podcast if you want to hear that). But the fact is Chris Jones is the CFL’s answer to New England’s Bill Belichik. He’s always going to find a way to use his influence, bend the rules, find the loopholes, or occasionally break the rules in order to consistently win.

That’s what I want in a Head Coach and in a General Manager.

And as far as this organization goes, any businessman would spend tens of thousand of dollars in order to make millions. That’s what winning does.

But the Riders are 1-6 under Jones you say? To that I ask you who was last year’s Grey Cup-winning Head Coach?

I thought so.

Zip it.

When I heard Craig Reynolds was racing home across the prairies from a vacation in B.C. in order to address reporters on Friday, I thought to myself, “He’d best Google some quotes from Patriots owner Robert Kraft before he gets here”.

I did so myself. Here’s an excerpt from an column from April 1/2008 when Belichik and the Patriots were nailed for “SpyGate”, the scandal involving the videotaping of other teams’ sideline signals:

  • "New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick made the rounds on Tuesday, apologizing for and explaining Spygate.

In an emotional speech before NFL owners, Kraft and coach Belichick apologized for the franchise’s involvement in the scandal.

With apparent tension in the meeting room, Kraft asked for time to speak and apologized for Spygate in which a videographer was caught taping signals of Jets defensive coaches. After an investigation, the Patriots lost a first-round draft choice and $250,000 and Belichick was fined $500,000.

Kraft spoke of the values of the partnership with the league and how disappointed he was that his team brought negative attention to the league. Colts coach Tony Dungy described the speech as heartfelt and excellent, saying “I appreciated what he had to say.”

Others who listened believed Kraft was speaking from the heart. Once Kraft was done talking, the entire room broke into applause.

Belichick also requested time to speak. As he told reporters earlier in the day, he accepted the punishment and thought that action showed no gray area in regard to the rules involving spying. Since the season opener against the Jets, Belichick said he has changed the entire operation and is now moving forward with no misunderstanding."


That sounds exactly what went down here on Friday.

By the way the Patriots have appeared in two Super Bowls since Spygate, winning once in 2015. And now their quarterback Tom Brady will serve a four-game suspension to begin this season for his role in DeflateGate.

That’s about all I have to say on that other than I’m glad Chris Jones is in charge here and hope he is for many, many years to come. I’ve had only one five-minute, “off the record” discussion with the man but it’s clear our philosophies mesh.

And regarding Jeffrey Orridge and his claim that the Riders damaged the reputation of the CFL, well, that’s a very disappointing statement for the Commissioner to make.

The CFL had better look in its own backyard when it comes to the Mickey Mouse nature of this league. I could go on for days citing examples but the first one that comes to mind is the mole in the CFL office who leaked all this year’s draft picks to Sportsnet’s Justin Dunk on 2016 Draft Day, completely ruining TSN’s live Draft coverage. Perhaps Dunk was sitting in the league office himself and had access to the picks. Either way, TSN was livid. Not good for the CFL and to our knowledge, nothing was done about it.

What about the leak of the Riders’ chats with Greg Hardy, or the worst logo launch in the history of pro sports at last year’s Grey Cup in Winnipeg?

Those are just the public instances you all know about. What about the ones you don’t?

A lot of the finger-pointing in the CFL right now is being directed at the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the heartbeat of the league. The marquee franchise.

People around here are still furious at the non-Pass Interference call against Naaman Roosevelt on the final play of the third quarter Saturday night, and a missed facemasking penalty against Darian Durant in the game’s waning moments.

If Stampeders defensive back Jamar Wall had been called for Pass Interference on Naaman Roosevelt upon review - which he should have been - the Riders would’ve carried the lead into the fourth quarter and who knows how the game would have played out after that?

Some “fans” are pointing out that TSN’s Glen Suitor stated that it wasn’t Pass Interference.

So what? When did Glen Suitor become the CFL’s Director of Officiating?

Besides, Suitor even said, “There was shoulder-to-shoulder contact on the play”. Wall didn’t go for the ball. He KNOCKED ROOSEVELT OVER before the ball arrived. That should’ve been a black and white call, not left up to judgment.

That potentially game-changing call was made out of the Command Centre at CFL head office in Toronto.

After the game Chris Jones and Rider linebacker Greg Jones alluded to the fact that non-call was a major factor in the outcome of the game. However they were smart enough not to say anymore.

So the Riders are 1-6. It is what it is. The prospects for the playoffs do not look good. The Chris Jones-led Roughriders will survive and ultimately thrive, but it might not be in 2016. I sometimes wonder if that was even the plan all along anyway.

And most of the anti-Roughrider bias these days seems to be coming out of CFL headquarters in Toronto, the very office which is overseen by one Jeffrey Orridge.

On Friday, September 16 I’m scheduled to MC the annual Plaza of Honor Luncheon in Regina. On the agenda that day is a Q&A forum featuring Jeffrey Orridge and Chris Jones.

It should be fun.

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I only read the first paragraph but I will defend Jones too. A great coach, he took the Esks to the Grey Cup and is the current "coach of the year" the guy has a lot of passion and a very nice gentleman. Despite what you hear through the rumour mill he is well liked by his players. He was given a tough job to turn around a team with 2 wins last year.
The Riders should finish strong in the second half of the season, they will beat the Ticats on the road this week.

But the fact is Chris Jones is the CFL's answer to New England's Bill Belichik. He's always going to find a way to use his influence, bend the rules, find the loopholes, or occasionally break the rules in order to consistently win.

That's what I want in a Head Coach and in a General Manager.

So what he wants is a cheater

Whinny baby isn't he?

Pederson is stumbling around trying to restore his diminished credibility amongst rider nation. Basically, utilizing his standing as top media rat in Sask'n.

But the fact is Chris Jones is the CFL's answer to New England's Bill Belichik. He's always going to find a way to use his influence, bend the rules, find the loopholes, or occasionally break the rules in order to consistently win.

That’s what I want in a Head Coach and in a General Manager.

Pedersen wants a HC and GM who will break the rules in order to win?
this tool has no respect for the league nor the integrity of the game.

so I guess Pedersen would be perfectly fine if ALL HC/GM’s from opposing teams cheated as well…right?


...because a pass interference missed call in the third quarter always leads to victory for the victimized team, this conspiracy is deemed 'PROVEN'....

...ol' cranky Rod is certainly a piece of work isn't he....whatever sells papers to the green cult I guess....

You could plug a mope like Pederson into any CFL market and his first order of duty would be asking the existing management/coaching order how they like their bacon...

Rod Pedersen is one of the biggest bag licking homer shills I've ever read in my life, the guy is nothing but a green and white pom-pom waving major league suck up. He is absolutely pathetic and I'm sure if you got him to pull his pants down his fat arse would reveal a rather large Rider tattoo covering both his ass cheeks. You would almost think that this prick was on the Riders payroll the way he fawns over everything and anything to do with the team. The way he talks about Jones and how much he admires him maybe the two of them can get a talk show together. I even have a great name for it we can call it the "Corky and Dorky" show. :smiley: :cowboy:

Rod Pedersen = #1 Green n' White Fan Boy :lol: all he needs is a mask and a cape...Biggest Joke going :roll: rant over!!

Hot Dog

The same Rod who stated the Riders would win the division this year. :slight_smile:

Not that I buy into the conspiracy at all...just pointing out that he says "potentially" and you have some how elected to flip that into an "always"

As for the play in question...I feel it was touch and go. I mean, I do not see that as a PI....but the way things have been called the past couple of seasons it probably should have been...unfortunately. I look at a comparison in the same game...the Riders had a pretty big PI against them...there was no way that was a catchable ball to anyone but the DB who made contact going for it. While not the exact same thing by any means I think it is a good example of inconsistency in a single game.

"People around here are still furious at the non-Pass Interference call against Naaman Roosevelt on the final play of the third quarter Saturday night"

I'm still not crazy about the one involving Chris Williams at the end of 4th quarter in your only win, doosh. 8)

Him and the Rider radio broadcast crew. :roll:

I thought the Stamps crew were bad for being homers.
A few years back, I heard these guys. Talk about press box cheerleaders.

Perhaps it was because it was a playoff game, but radio crews need to call it down the middle.
I wonder if Pedersen thinks he scores points with the Rider fan base when he is a cheerleader.

Fully agree with previous comments about Rod being the biggest homer. He is, and I don't think if you asked him, he would deny it.
He reminds me of the local commentators in most US based NHL teams. They call the game from one perspective.

However, is Jones a complete jerk. Yes
Does he have a winning resume. Yes
Do I think he will turn the Riders around. Yes
From the time of the mass exodus of players, I viewed 2016 as an extended try out period.

As for the Riders getting too much heat from the league, if you break the rules, you should take the heat.
but on a video with lawless talking about the latest fine, $5k for standing at centre field, there does seem to be added heat on the Riders. Lawless went on to explain, that the Stamps were fined this year for this transgression, and that 3 teams last year received the same fine. I read and listen to almost every story on the Cfl that I can, and not once did I see anything about the league fining other teams for this and releasing it to the public.

$15k for the breaking of the non-import rule a 1 or 2 plays in the game. OK, even though they used to just give a team a penalty during the game.
$60k fine and $26k off the salary cap for going overally excessive in the gray area of league rules. I agree. However, if the league was already aware and investigating this for weeks, why didn't the league just step in and close the door on it weeks ago, instead of allowing it to go on?

What's with the continued knock on Rider fans. Yes some are way over the top, some obnoxious, but we are talking about a group that put over 30k in a stadium for a game with their team at 1 win. There are cities in the league with 3x-over 5x the population, and are proud when they get 22-24k.

I wondered about that but saw someone point out on social media that they didn't release this one, either. Lawless got a hold of it. So the league's behaviour was consistent with the other times it happened.

I think this needed to be nipped in the bud. Before jones and the riders embarrass the league with their BS moves.

Yes and no. The league is generally very leaky when it comes to news coming out. That this information hadn't, but the Riders did, just think the league is trying to put the boots to the actions of the Riders, deserved or not.

That was me.

Alternate theory: the Riders themselves leaked it to garner sympathy with the "the league is picking on us for petty things!" card, which is exactly how it got played up in Pederson's commentary.

We don't know where the leak came from on this one, so it's just speculation to try to assign motivation to it. We do know that involves the most popular team in the league (which makes it more interesting to the media) and that it involves a team already fined twice in recent memory (which makes it more interesting to the media).

If Ottawa had been fined for it instead of Saskatchewan this week, odds are that even if someone reports it, that report is in the Ottawa media, never makes TSN, and doesn't garner much discussion here. Given what has been going on with the Riders and how it plays into two narratives at once ("Jones is a cheater with no respect for the rules!" or "The league is picking on the Riders!"), it's like catnip to reporters and fans.

Personally, I don't think the league (aka Orridge) have a major ax to grind with the riders - and Corky in particular.
One thing that bears investigation - and I don't think the league has funds to due a proper investigation is finding out who was housing, feeding and slipping cash into the players hanging around the province. (The Saskatoon farm team, if you will)
If it was found Reynolds was telling the truth (Riders aren't paying any non-roster players) but Corky was using his own money to fund the extras then Corky should be suspended for at least 1 season (receiving no funds on his contract) and pay at least a $100,000 fine.