Monday, November 5, 2007

And that’s the end of that chapter…

The CFL regular season came to a close this weekend with excitement and hype not seen since the Spice Girls announced their reunion tour. There were a lot of garbage games being played, not the least of which was played at Mosaic Stadium.

For the 6th time in a row, a sellout crowd of 28,800 was on hand but the home crowd wasn’t enough for the Riders to overcome the Argos as they fell 41-13. Now bear in mind that the Argos were playing for 1st in the east and we we’re playing for pride essentially. Should we have played better? Absolutely. Am I worried about our performance? Not really.

Here’s what I took away from the game?
· Michael Palmer is a bright spot at receiver. Unlike some other back-ups (read Kahlil Hill), he’s making the most of the opportunities he’s been given over the past couple weeks.
· Henri Childs is brutal! Think I’m being too harsh? Let’s recap his first 3 plays of the game: Run for 1, Fumble, Run for no gain. He helps our running game about as much as Life of Chris Gaines helped Garth Brooks’ career. Then again, I guess that’s what we get for sending Childs to do a man’s job.
· James Johnson turned in another poor performance. The fact that this guy is considered an all-star says a lot about how good Calgary and Edmonton’s secondaries were this year… or maybe it’s a sign that Rob Vanstone was finally allowed to vote this year. (Never mind, Kerry Joseph was the Western All-Star quarterback. Rob must have been shunned again.)

So the Riders finish the season in 2nd place at 12-6. We should stand and congratulate our Riders for an outstanding season. Hats off to Tillman and Austin for a job well done. They cast off the cloak of mediocrity, ended the home-playoff game drought and filled the stands week after week. There hasn’t been this kind of excitement on the prairies since the Rider Prophet announced he was shunning Sasktel and striking out on his own.

The league discovered this week that there was an error in tabulating the all-star voting last week and that Sandro DeAngelis is actually the West Division all-star place kicker, not Luca Congi as previously announced. Word is the CFL forgot to take a few of the Florida Electoral Colleges into account prior to announcing the winner. Some would say it's an honest mistake, while others would argue it makes the league look Bush.

Finally this week, the Hamilton Ti-Cats wasted no time in making off-season changes. GM Marcel Desjardins was fired today. Now, you can make a case that Desjardins wasn’t the best GM but constantly firing people is no way to build a team. At some point you have to pick a GM and coach and stick with them so they have time to build. I mean who knows where we’d be if we fired Shivers in 2001. Sources say that Eric Tillman sent the following note to Desjardins upon hearing of his firing:

Deeply sorry to hear about you getting fired. I personally want to thank you for your time and effort in Hamilton. Without you the Riders wouldn’t have Flick, Smith, and Holmes. Plus we’d still be stuck with French. Some might say you accomplished all there was to accomplish in Hamilton. On that note, don’t give up. I encourage you to apply for the soon to be vacant Eskimo GM job, where there is a whole new compliment of talent for you to dispose of... err, at your disposal. I’d love to continue making deals with you. Say Morgan and Ray for Nkyasen?

Regards, Eric

That’s the way I saw things this weekend. Check back soon as we begin to prep a game 19 years in the making. Don your watermelons and chill your Pilsner, the playoffs hit Regina in just 5 days!!!

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