Well it's been 3 days since the Riders big win in Calgary and my head is finally clear enough to put some coherent thoughts together. So without further adieu here are my thoughts on the Thanksgiving weekend.
There's nothing quite like the atmosphere of a Rider game in Calgary... beautiful day, a cold can of Pilsner, some Frontlyne in the background and thousands of fellow Rider fans whooping it up in Cow-Town after a big Rider win. All in all it was a great weekend, unless of course you were a Calgary sports fan in which case it was a terrible weekend. The Flames lost... again. The Dinos lost to the Rams. And of course, the Stamps fell to the Riders.
Don't get me wrong, this was by no means a convincing win. In fact, the game was about as pretty as a Hamilton cheerleader... but we won and in the end that's all that matters. After the game I was talking with Paul Lapolice and I congratulated him on the win. He said "Yeah but we got 3's when we should have got 7's". I told him that I all I care about is 2's. (PS - the above conversation was not about a game of Go Fish between me and Paul. Though if we did have one I would easily win).
How great was it to see #29 directing traffic in the backfield again? He just makes the whole secondary play well as a unit. Even James Johnson, didn't seem to suck as much with Eddie back on the field. That says quite a bit about Eddie's talent, since making James Johnson look good is about as easy as making Mike Ricci look good.
There was quite a bit of speculation surrounding why the Stamps chose to close their practices all week, and it seems that the answer was that they were attempting to implement a 4-3 defensive package to replace the misguided 3-4 preferred by the equally misguided (and dearly missed, from any Rider fan's perspective) Denny Creehan. Turns out that when your best option at middle linebacker is Scott Coe, maybe 4-3 is not the way to go. Although then again, if your best option at middle linebacker is Scott Coe, you've pretty much already committed yourself to the Phoenix Suns' defensive philosophy anyway. Which works well in theory, unless the Akili's heel of your team is holding up your quarterback.
Speaking of Akili, I have to say that Tom Higgins made my entire weekend when he decided to pull Smith at halftime and put in Ben Sankey. He gave us more of a game than I was expecting, but it was mildly amusing to see a journeyman quarterback who hadn't played a down of CFL football in 3 years badly outplay the quarterback who was once selected with the 3rd overall pick in the NFL draft. Seriously, as draft blunders go, Akili makes Ducarmel Augustin look like a stroke of genius. It should really come as no surprise that a backup QB in Calgary didn't do well though as I'm pretty sure it states somewhere in Burris' contract that the Stampeders aren't allowed to have a QB on their roster that is remotely talented.
Well that's about it for now, check back tomorrow for my thoughts on this weekends games. Also, I promise to have the video footage from Calgary up soon.