Riders Plaza of Honour inductees a deserving duo

Roger Brandvold and Wes Cates are go-to guys.  

The media appreciates go-to guys. Evidently, so does the Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honour, which is going to induct Brandvold and Cates during a gala reception Sept. 22 inside the new Mosaic Stadium.

During a crisis, following a difficult loss or whenever some insight is required, the media looks for a go-to guy, someone who stands up to the questioning and answers honestly. There aren’t enough go-to guys in the sports world, but Brandvold and Cates qualified during their tenures with the CFL team.

A former chairman for the community-owned franchise, Brandvold’s tenure included the 2013 Grey Cup victory and didn’t sail through tremendously rough waters. That’s partially a testimony to Brandvold, whose predecessor had ceded most of the public commentary to the team’s first, full-time president/CEO Jim Hopson. Still, Brandvold understood the importance of being transparent and available whenever there were on- or off-field concerns about the community-owned franchise.

Upon joining the Roughriders in 2007, Cates displayed a disarming smile and a streak of self-confidence. Sometimes injured because of his aggressive play, Cates inspired his teammates and frequently answered for them if they weren’t available for interviews. Cates was always forthright, observant and often humourous when talking about his performances, plus he was able to help outsiders comprehend the team’s state of mind.

They never sought attention, but because they were always available to the media when requested, Brandvold and Cates were able to keep the fans and public up-to-date on the team. That’s not, however, why they’re being inducted.

Brandvold joined the Riders’ Board of Directors in 2005, advancing to chairman in 2010 and serving five years in that volunteer capacity, which included being chair for the team’s most recent Grey Cup victory in 2013. He co-chaired the 2013 Grey Cup committee, participated in negotiations for a TV contract as a member of the CFL’s Executive Committee and was a driving force behind the construction of new Mosaic Stadium.

Cates, a tailback, was acquired from the Calgary Stampeders in June, 2007. A strong runner and reliable receiver, Cates was also an exceptional blocker who protected quarterback Kerry Joseph as the Roughriders marched to the 2007 Grey Cup; Cates played the championship game with a broken foot. Through five seasons with Saskatchewan, Cates played 77 regular-season games and carried 925 times for 4,761 yards and 41 touchdowns. He also played eight playoff games with eight rushes for 507 yards and three touchdowns.

The Plaza of Honor was introduced 30 years ago to fete outstanding contributors to the community-owned franchise. There are now 125 individuals and three teams enshrined in the plaza. The commemorative cairn which lists all the inductees is being moved from the old stadium to the new stadium. The new structure will change the name to Plaza of Honour — adding a “u” to “honour” changes the word’s spelling from the American to the Canadian version.

The plaza’s fund-raising dinner is also undergoing some changes. Tickets used to cost $250, but different price points are being introduced this year and the format is being altered to make it more of a reception than a dinner, with different levels of seating in the new stadium’s banquet halls.

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.
Darrell Davis
Darrell Davis
About Darrell Davis (119 Articles)
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.

58 Comments on Riders Plaza of Honour inductees a deserving duo

  1. Mr Curling // May 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm //

    These are two of Mr Curlings favorite Riders and deserving of the Plaza. Cates didn’t get a chance in Calgary because of Reynolds and Cates was maybe better in the sense that he could block and catch better than Reynolds and was close to Reynolds in Rushing. Brandvold is a Saskatchewan guy who was pure class, ah Mr Curling longs for the good old days. Congrats to you both, you have done Saskatchewan proud

    • Cates was not a better blocker than Reynolds. I’d give you that he was a better receiver. Reynolds was no slouch at blocking, and was a superior rusher. Reynolds was over 1000 yards six times, including twice over 1500. Cates best year barely broke 1200 and he only has 2 1000 yard seasons.

  2. Scottsask // May 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm //

    Great tribute to both men, nice article Darrell. This is why you’re in the hall of fame.

  3. mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm //

    I don’t know a lot about Brandvold but it sounds like he was a valuable executive and contributed a lot to this team and all for the love of the team and community.

    Cates was a great player but is he really worthy of honor? I would say he falls a little short of this line. 125 individuals is a lot. Seems to me they should be a little more selective as to who goes on. Just my opinion!

  4. Roger has always been a standup guy, and is deserving of the honor. Wes blocked like few others, helping keep more QB’s than just Joseph healthy, and a heck of an RB to boot. Glad they are both in, great selections!

  5. solara2000 // May 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm //

    Don’t live in Riderville nor particularly am I a Rider’s fan nor do I hold any animus for the team and its supporters. As I read this article, I was challenged to remember Cates and I think I can honestly say I have never heard of the other gentleman. My point is this must be a really big Plaza or the names of the selected nominees must really be in small font. Nothing derogatory about the Plaza or the nominees but it must be an interesting nomination and selection process. 125 and counting…..

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 6:49 pm //

      my point exactly!
      If it’s existing 30 years and you have 125 names That’s over 4 per season. That’s a lot for 1 team.
      Calgary does a few wall of fame inductions like every 3 years or so.
      Cates played for 5 years. Had only 2 -1000 yard seasons his best being 1200, good but not earth shattering. 2 west allstars and 1 cfl allstar. Like I say very good but not elite!!

  6. If Mr Curling says Cates might be better than Joffrey Reynolds and you’re saying Cates is no good????? Reynolds is a HOF er, Cates was way good, but Calgary could have got 3 seasons out of Cates and 3 more out of Cornish if not for Reynolds, too bad, an embarrassment of riches for Calgary at running back from 2003 to 20016, realize when Mr Curling is complementing your organization

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 8:33 pm //

      Calgary is just that good that there just isn’t room even for great players. Cates wasn’t a better running back than Reynolds,not even close. He was a better blocker and much better receiver however.

      • The only reason why Rider fans have this idea about Cates being the best blocking back ever is because in Cates later years he was not a dynamic runner at all and they needed to justify his spot on the roster. He was a good blocker, only in Regina did they ooh and ahh about his blocking.

        • mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 11:50 pm //

          Very true Childress
          Hence why only in Saskatchewan they think he’s worthy of honour

      • Ladd Law // May 5, 2017 at 10:38 am //

        However Cates was a good citizen, does that count?

  7. mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 8:42 pm //

    If I was to compare Cates to any past Stamp backs in terms of comparable contribution it would be Gary Allen and Keyvan Jenkins.
    Good players but neither distinguished .

    Are Rock and Roll Preston in the plaza?

  8. mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 11:17 pm //

    They should start calling it Plaza of the pedestrian

    • Haters gonna hate…

      • mrnehnehincognito // May 3, 2017 at 11:47 pm //

        Its not hate. Its opinion based on observation

        • Hadenufofmrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 8:26 am //

          But that’s the point, your opinions are always hateful about the Riders. I find your opinions of little importance on most stories but when a team is honouring who they choose to honour then perhaps you could just refrain from being such a schmoe. Just sayin you really need to stop smacking others just to make yourself feel better. Calgary is not without it’s problems, remember your Huff was one of the mentors that taught Jones. If you believe that all of the other teams are not doing the same thing Jones is doing then you sir are livin in a dream. I have facts to back that up however I don’t need to prove anything to you or anyone else, I do need to say that my comments on here are no more or less important than yours!!

          • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 9:26 am //

            Really facts. Well you sir should take those facts to the proper authorities. You owe it to the league and all it’s fans to report any information you may have.
            So you are one of those who says every team is cheating. Than why are only the riders being fined. Big conspiracy??

          • Ladd Law // May 5, 2017 at 3:40 pm //

            Love the handle. Well done. Some persons will never get it. Case it point appears slagging the Riders on a regular basis.

  9. Patience // May 4, 2017 at 2:36 am //

    I will make a few points. The Plaza of Honour was introduced thirty years ago but it draws from players much father back than that. For example, there are players from the 1966 team in the Plaza of Honour. Furthermore, Reynelds was a better runner than Cates but could not match Cates’ blocking, as few could. He also played in the Grey Cup with a broken foot. He is a Rider hero. He was a team leader and in Sask, we will honour him as we see fit. I don’t care who Calgary or Edmonton or anyone else honours but here we appreciate and honour our heroes. Statistics do not always tell the whole story. If Calgary does nothing to honour Joffery Reynelds, that is up to them. But Wes Cates is very deserving of a Plaza of Honour inductee.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 2:38 pm //

      I agree stats don’t tell the entire story. In the CFL community participation is also important.

      Community involvement

      these(and in this order) should determine worthiness.

  10. Patience // May 4, 2017 at 2:46 am //

    Cates was a two time west all star and once a CFL all star. I guess those years Calgary had nobody better than Cates.

  11. Saskatchewan honors a larger percentage of its retired players and builders than some other teams. That an article celebrating this years honorees has drawn such vitriol from fans of these other teams is, sad. I truly pity someone who has to stoop to criticize men of character being celebrated for their accomplishments.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 9:48 am //

      Nobody is criticizing Cates. As I said in my first post he was a great player. Every team honors players their own way but it loses meaning when the standard isn’t high enough.
      Compare it to monument park at Yankee stadium. It started in 1929 and to date has 37 names. Think of the teams and success that team has had and all the great players. If they had the same standard as the riders they’d have probably 500!. That’s crazy and diminishes the great’s accomplishments and diminishes the organization.

      • No Sir, recognizing retired players & builders does not diminish an organization in any way. We’re adding two people this year, hardly a diluting number, and don’t forget, this is not the only way to recognize the greats. Saskatchewan takes great pride in all its alumni, if other teams choose another path, that’s their prerogative.

  12. Great comments Patience and Grain!

  13. Everyone reread Mr Curlings comment to start the thread, he cleverly flushed out the trolls using Joffrey Reynolds as bait, yet still staying completely on point, yer welcome

  14. Patience // May 4, 2017 at 1:41 pm //

    Putting players into the Plaza of Honour does not diminish what others in the Plaza have done. For instance, putting Wes Cates in does not belittle what George Reed did, arguably the best running back the league has ever seen. Sask still honours Mr Reed but that does not mean that we cannot honour Cates as well. They both were an important part of Rider history. And so he is a member of Rider alumni that the Riders choose to award. Let the Yankees do whatever they want and let the Riders do what we want. I fail to see why this would concern you.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm //

      I would agree Patience you could make a strong case that George Reed is the best of all time. He was the leagues all time leading rusher for multiple decades. He still lives in Regina I believe and as done a lot for the community. He is a great and should be in the Plaza of Honour. Tell me how Cates is worthy to be mentioned in the same sentence with Reed

  15. Yankees Monument Park and the Riders Plaza of Honour are two completely different things. Ours is a fundraising dinner that started in the 60s as the $100 Dinner. You basically tried to drink $100 worth of liquor while looking at a reverse draw board to see if you won a prize, no women, everyone got falldown drunk and you went home with a door prize. In 1967 or so the prize was a leather case with two thermos bottles with Rider $100 dinner on the side. Security were told not to check those bottles so booze was regularly smuggled in in those. Sometime in the 80’s a decision was made to “class up” the dinner and the price was raised to $250. The Plaza was added to provide entertainment and women then started to show up, now drinking is way down , it would meet or exceed most sports dinners in North America, interesting to see how the move to the new stadium goes with a $30 general admission ticket added it may lose some of it’s luster but Calgary and Toronto should remain unaffected

  16. Patience // May 4, 2017 at 2:33 pm //

    I already told you. They were both an important part of the Riders history. One does not belittle the other. They both displayed leadership, loyalty, toughness and were good at what they did. Both honoured alumni. Reed was just the GOAT.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 2:47 pm //

      FYI Patience . Cates playing in a greycup with a broken foot isn’t heroic. Matt Dunigan QB’d in a grey cup with a broken shoulder and Anthony Calvillo played facing a cancer diagnosis.
      Cates played that game because he could. The lack of severity combined with pain killers allowed him to be effective with minimum discomfort. Any player would play in his same situation.

  17. Patience // May 4, 2017 at 3:48 pm //

    No. Amy player would not play under those conditions. Especially not in this era. In some ways you proved my point. Dunnegan and Calvillo were also heroic and if they had played in Sask would also be in the Plaza of Honour. George Reed played with broken ribs. That’s tough. Wow. Calgary hangs their name on a wall! Do you remember the old comedian whose punch line was “never got a dinner”? You do what you want but here in Sask , we will honour our heroes and give them a dinner. I really don’t care if Calgary honours anyone. Why do you care that the Riders do?

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 4:42 pm //

      Pretty sure there’s a dinner involved too along with a gift (Allen Pitts got a truck) and a beautiful half time ceremony. Unlike the riders we feel no need to have the grey cup at our ceremonies unless we are celebrating a greycup win! (see mosaic closing ceremony last year) COME ON! Why did you feel that was appropriate? I guess when you’re short on opportunities to celebrate that’s what you do.

      • Patience // May 4, 2017 at 9:01 pm //

        Perhaps when you get a new stadium, we will see if the Stamps have the Grey Cup at your opening or closing ceremonies. And I repeat. You aren’t a Rider fan so why would you be so concerned about it because, according to you, the Stamps do everything right. There are different ways to do things. That doesn’t necessarily make either way wrong, or right for that matter. Perhaps just right for that team. The Riders sell out these dinners year after year because fans want to see these inductees. If that is not good for the Stamps, so be it.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 4:43 pm //

      I disagree.

  18. Scottsask // May 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm //


    • mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 5:40 pm //

      Scottsask you’ve got the right idea. Sleep and avoid the season altogether. When you wake up Jones will be gone and a rebuild from total ashes will have begun.

  19. mrnehnehincognito // May 4, 2017 at 10:38 pm //

    So what Mr Curling is saying is the plaza of honour is a farce and is just an excuse for a piss up?

  20. Scottsask // May 5, 2017 at 11:32 am //

    I’m just gonna shake…..

  21. Raptor // May 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm //

    If the roles were reversed and it was Calgary that had the plaza of honour, mrnehneh would be saying how great it is of the Stamps and belittling the Riders organization.

    Typical of a small minded hater. Grow up already.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 5, 2017 at 1:44 pm //

      Honestly If stamps had a plaza of honour with 125 names I’d be just a critical

      • Ladd Law // May 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm //

        If the Stumps had any relevance within their community there would probably be something. As they are an after thought to most cowtown cowpokes, probably not going to happen.

        • mrnehnehincognito // May 5, 2017 at 4:07 pm //

          Calling Stamps (CFL’s answer to the New England Patriots) an after though in Calgary is a myth. As is this thing call rider pride a myth

          • Ladd Law // May 5, 2017 at 4:31 pm //

            If you actually made sense or were credible it would be slightly more tolerable. The myth is you know something about football. Rider Pride is global and that’s a fact jack.

          • Raptor // May 5, 2017 at 4:56 pm //

            “CFL’s answer to the New England Patriots”… bwahahahahaha. Good one!

  22. mrnehnehincognito // May 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm //

    Fine if not Calgary than who would be most comparable in the CFL to the NE Pats?

  23. Raptor // May 5, 2017 at 5:11 pm //

    No one in recent memory. Not even close.

    The Eskimo teams of a bygone pre salary cap era we’re the only ones.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm //

      Fair enough Raptor
      Suppose you HAD to pick a team that was the closest. Who would it be?

  24. Raptor // May 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm //

    Als and Stamps have had the most success in recent decades in the regular season but to compare them to the Pats…nope, not a chance. Pats record in the final sets them apart.

  25. Raptor // May 5, 2017 at 8:35 pm //

    Keep in mind that they haven’t had the best players either just better as a team.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 5, 2017 at 8:47 pm //

      Ia agree the Pats are in a league of their own. Amazing the “non star” type players they have. Most recent is Hogan the receiver. A total NFL reject yet on the Pats he’s a great player!

  26. Scottsask // May 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm //

    The Riders are on their way then, they’re full of rejects, Goooooooo Riders!

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