Before we officially turn the page on the 2023 season, its time for the annual event where we honour the best and worst (mostly worst) of the CFL season with the Rider Prophet Awards. What they lack in mainstream credibility they make up for in brutal honesty and TV air time on par with the actual CFL Awards.
This year’s award winners receive a case of blue and gold confetti which the CFL has been trying but just can’t find a use for.
Let’s get to the awards.
Best Player Name
I really wondered whether or not to make this player eligible for this award since he didn’t even make it through training camp… but then I remembered this is a made up award and its stupid to try and uphold the integrity of awards criteria I make up on the spot.
So La'Akea Kaho'ohanohano-Davis is the winner. By Hawaiian standards that’s a fairly normal name I’m sure. But by Canadian standards we would have had to put a nameplate extender on his jersey and take out a loan just to afford to stitch all the letters on there.
Quote of the Year
For the second year in a row the quote of the year goes to now ex-Rider Coach, Craig Dickenson. This time he wins for:
“It’s a different vibe this year, We may have the same record but I feel like we’ve got better dudes in that locker room.”
He said this as the Riders were 6-8… they proceeded to not win another game and finish 6-12. The exact same record as last year. All those “better dudes” did not lead to more wins. I don't know why but it reminded my of that famous George W Bush quote “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”
Previous Winners: Craig Dickenson, Tom Velessi, Cody Fajardo, Dave Dickenson, Kavis Reed/Jacques Chapdelaine, Greg Quick, Solomon Elimimian, Ed Hervey, Joe Mack, Henry Burris, Eddie Johnson, Jason Clermont, Mike Abou-Mechrek x2
Play of the Year
This play of the year actually lead to one of the Riders few victories in 2023. With 1 minute left in the game, the Riders had just tied the game 11-11 (yes the “good” games involved tying it at 11 late in the 4th… very sad). Lauther kicks off and CJ Sims inexplicably lets it go into the endzone and casually took a knee. He then trotted off the field blissfully unaware that he had just conceded a game losing kickoff single. He damn near let the cover team recover it for a TD.
Botched Call of the Year
For the first time in the history of these awards, the botched call of the year did not happen on the field. It comes courtesy of the CFL’s ludicrous approach to player discipline.
Micah Awe was fined not once, not twice, but 3 times for illegal hits this season. He committed a 4th that was flagged in a game but apparently wasn’t worth supplemental discipline for a chronic offender. Add in that he was fined for another illegal hit in Week 18 of 2022 and in a span of less than 16 total games he was fined 4 times (and a fifth offense was ignored) and not once did suspension come into the conversation. If Awe, who averages an illegal hit every 3-4 games, is not dangerous enough to suspend then don’t ever try and claim you care about player safety.
CFL cares about one thing, public blowback. And they will only suspend when that comes into play. Awe is the fullest disciplinary record I have ever seen and the botch of the year was not suspending him at any point.
Most Insulted Sports Figure
This will come as no surprise. In a landslide the most insulted sports figure this season was Craig Dickenson. His continued poor game management and even worse ability to motivate this team meant I (and most of the province) spent the past 5 months cursing his name. He was so bad it made Evan Johnson’s continued sucktitude not look that bad by comparison.
Previous Winners: Riders O-line, Riders Offensive Tackles, John Ryan, Brandon Bridge, Steve McAdoo, The Riders Secondary, Any Rider QB not named Durant, Pat Neufeld, Chris Getzlaf, Ryan Dinwiddie, Jim Daley, Michael Bishop x 2, Marcel Bellefeuille
Fans’ Choice Douchebag of the Year
I will forever advocate for and uphold the integrity of the fan voting process. This award will always be decided by you the fans. But in yet another sign that democracy doesn’t work, you the fans got it wrong.
With 39% of the voting, Craig Reynolds, Jeremy O’Day and Craig Dickenson are your joint Douchebag’s of the year.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know why you voted for them. Hell hath no fury like a Rider fan scorned… in back to back seasons. I’m not saying you have to like those 3, but I would not call them douchebags. Failures maybe but not douches (except maybe Reynolds, he gives off douchy vibes). Micah Awe or Chris Edwards, now those are douches in every sense of the word.
But you the fans have spoken and Reynolds/O’Day/Dickenson are your Douchebags of the Year.
Previous Winners: Garett Marino, Andrew Harris, Simoni Lawrence, Jason Maas x2, Cory Chamblin, Chris Jones, Jon Cornish x2, Henry Burris, Dwight Anderson, Mike Kelly, Jason Jimenez, Rob Murphy