Well it was bound to happen and yesterday it did. The Bombers defeated the Riders 34-15 in the 4th annual Banjo Bowl. There's really not that much positive that can be said about Sunday's performance.
Our defense was about as effective as a condom with speed holes. They didn't manage to force Winnipeg into a punting situation until the 3rd quarter. Kevin Glenn and his receivers had their way with our D all day. To the secondary's credit, they did make the necessary adjustments to prevent Armstrong from getting another 200 yds. Problem was those adjustments apparently involved ignoring every other Bomber on the field. Our coverage and tackling were so bad that Fred Perry had to rush the QB and then turn around and run 12 yards down field to tackle the receiver who caught the ball. Pretty cool to see but if I had my druthers our LBs and DBs would be handling that so Mr. Perry could focus on getting sacks.
You could hear a gasp across the whole province when Matt Dominguez went down clutching his knee late in the game. "Not Dominguez! Why not Grant or Washington or even Fantuz? Anyone but Dominguez!" Now, like a college student at an STD clinic we are left waiting for news that we're pretty sure isn't going to be good but we're still praying for a miracle. After the game, Dominguez said he didn't think it was too bad. Problem with that is he said the same thing in '05 when he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season. I'm guessing he misses 1-4 games so here's hoping Yo Murphy is ready to go.
How did it come to this? At the start of the year we had so many receivers we didn't know what to do with them, now we are struggling to fill spots. Oh well, at least next week we get Calgary's defense, so I would feel confident starting Chris Best at wide-out.
Reffing was once again a hot topic. The game featured a number of questionable calls. Now I know the refs have a hard job and the Riders have been on both ends of bad calls this season, so I don't want to start ragging on the refs. However, there is one call from yesterday's game that I just can't ignore. In the 4th quarter we attempted an onside kick which Stegall and Kornegay both went up for and it appeared that Kornegay successfully knocked the ball out of bounds, thus making it Rider ball. In step the refs with this gem of a call... Apparently both players touched the ball at the same time (okay I'll give them that one). Now instead of making the logical call that a tie goes to the offense, the ref ruled that since both players touched the ball at the same time it cancels out and the ball is deemed to have been kicked out of bounds. What?! You can't just pretend that no one touched the ball. What's next? Are they going to rule that when a DB and WR both catch the ball at the same time it's as if it never happened and it's an incomplete pass?
I went out for supper last night after the game, still sporting my Rider jersey, and a guy driving by in his car hurled insults at me and 2 others questioned my sanity for wearing the jersey. I, being the courteous person that I am, promptly apologized for wearing the colours of the best team in the CFL... Did I miss something? I mean yeah the loss wasn't pretty but it's not the end of the world. We are still in 1st place. If I can take one positive away from the loss it's that there is a lot more leg room on the Rider bandwagon now that a bunch of people have jumped off.
I have a new fundraising idea for the Riders (patent pending). They should charge a $5 cover charge for getting on the Rider bandwagon. The cover charge however would not include re-admission. Just think of the money you could make off of the part time fans that get on and off the bandwagon on a weekly basis.
I would like to formally apologize to Marcel Bellefeuille. Over the course of the season I have made many jokes about his abilities as on offensive coordinator. However, after watching last night's games against BC it became obvious that it was not Bellefeuille that was holding back the Alouettes, but rather Calvillo and Cahoon. With those 2 out of the lineup the Als turned in one of their best performances of the year and upset the visiting Lions. Clearly Brady to Thurmon and Davis is way more effective that Calvillo to Cahoon. So again, sorry Marcel, I guess from now on I will have to makes jokes about AC and Cahoon instead. "So a Mexican and a Mormon walk into the doctor's office..."
Speaking of the BC game I find it funny that in a receiving corps featuring reigning league MVP Geroy Simon and "Mr. Reliable" Jason Clermont, that Paris Jackson is the go-to guy while the other 2 are virtually ignored. But I guess when you are a 3rd string QB thrown into a starting spot you look for any little bit of continuity you can find. And some guy with the same last name is about as good as Jarious could find.
Poor Ricky Ray. He yet again passed for over 350 yards and threw no interceptions in a losing effort. I don't know how much more he can do. He's 2nd in the league in both Passing and TDs thrown but the Eskimos are on pace to miss the playoffs again. I think Brian Hall said it best when he said "People who think Ricky Ray is the problem know nothing about football. Not just very little but nothing." Then again Hall followed up by saying "Danny Maciocia is not the problem either" so maybe I should find a better sportscaster to quote.
Well that's the way I saw things this weekend. This is the Rider Prophet signing off...