The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ reign over former radio play-by-play voice Rod Pedersen has come to an end.
Pedersen was instructed by the Riders to never reveal specifics or pictures of the infamous Duron Carter practice fight, but since he no longer works for the team the details have come out.
Monday, October 14, 2017 was the day it went down.
It was a spirited, competitive practice, like most Chris Jones practices were. Duron was his usual talkative self – nothing new there – but he had a particularly long-running dialogue going with cornerback No. 37 Sam Williams, Pedersen wrote.
Carter was giving Williams problems covering him, and letting him know about it. Jones drawled something in Williams’ ear and all of a sudden, there was a scuffle. Frankly, I didn’t think anything of it. Practice skirmishes were nothing new, and initially I thought it was just play fighting.
But then I heard a distinct “smack … smack” which caused my ears to perk up. I recognized that sound from my hockey days. That’s the sound of fists hitting face. Then, I heard a “thud” and everybody gathered round in a circle like a schoolyard brawl.
I remember thinking, Duron’s not just a talented receiver. He can throw the dukes too!
This was occurring around the north 50-yard line, and Duron was eventually pulled out of the pile by receivers coach Markus Howell. Howell dragged Carter all the way down to the south 35-yard line and the receiver was livid.
He was screaming, “F*** you Jones! F*** you!” I’d had my camera in my pocket and quickly pulled it out and starting snapping pics. I’d barely put it back in my pocket before I was warned not to be posting those photos anywhere.
The eventual deal was, since I was only the reporter on the sidelines, I wasn’t to ask Jones about it in the post-practice media scrum unless another reporter brought it up. Nobody did. While walking off the field with Chris Getzlaf, I leaned over to him and said, “Welcome to the jungle.” He responded, “I love it.”
One thing I did learn is that Jones never *really* set the fight up. After having enough of Duron’s jaw-jacking, Jones snarled in Williams’ ear, “Are you gonna take that?” That started the fists flying.
During the 2017 season, Carter led the Riders with 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns (including one on defence) during the regular season, earning him Saskatchewan’s Most Outstanding Player award and CFL all-star status.
The Riders finished the season 10-8 and came within one play — Ricky Ray to James Wilder Jr. on third and five in the East Final — of going to the Grey Cup.