Thursday, November 8, 2007

West Semi Final: Riders vs. Stampeders

In honour of Remembrance Day I thought I would start things off day with a poem:

At Taylor Field the Rider fans go
To line the bleachers row on row
To cheer our team, and in the sky
The Pilsner flags will proudly fly
And the Rider Pride will clearly show

The last time was 19 years ago
We lost and since, failure's all we know
The Riders seldom play in the November snow
At Taylor Field

Joseph 4 touchdowns will surely throw
As the Riders vanquish their western foe
After the loss Henry just might cry
While Rider fans rejoice with heads held high
And elation will abound and spirits flow
At Taylor Field

That's right ladies and gentlemen, the big home playoff game is only 3 sleeps away! Are you as excited as I am? Well if that's the case it means that you haven't been this excited since the last Frontlyne concert.

There have been a number of crazy stories circulating this week about the Stampeders. Everything from John Hufnagel already being hired to replace Tom Higgins, to coaches losing it on players in the locker room, to Higgins benching defensive leader Brian Clark, to Henry Burris clubbing seals. I don't think even Lindsay Lohan could manage to have this much bad press in a week. Which is why I won't believe any of it until it's proven (like the seal clubbing story). The Stampeders have a history of running a gong-show of a team, but this is over the top even for them. It wouldn't surprise me if this is all an elaborate hoax to lull the Riders into overconfidence. Either way I'm not too worried, either it's all true and the Stamps are in complete disarray or it's all a hoax and the Stamps just spent a week of effort on a drama production rather than on preparing for a football game. Although knowing the Stamps like I do, this could all be the preamble that is required for their next touchdown dance, so you better be paying attention if you want to have any chance of following the plot on Sunday.

Both teams have high powered offenses and questionable defenses so this game will come down to 2 things. 1 - Which defense can manage the most stops and 2 - Which QB manages not to choke. In both cases, the Riders have a clear advantage. Calgary's defense stops the runs about as well as a bottle of Exlax and has been scored on more than Debbie during her last trip to Dallas. And in terms of QBs, we have the West MVP, whereas they have a QB that chokes in November like Jean Chr├ętien when accosted by the public. Burris has never won a playoff game in 4 attempts. For the record, I don't give Henry Burris credit for the 2004 West semi-final win over Edmonton, since Kenton Keith carried him to that win, whereas in 2007 Burris is reduced to riding Joffrey Reynolds.

The home team has lost the last 4 WSFs (That said, 3 of those 4 games were won by the Riders). Regardless, I really like our chances. It will be a high scoring game, but we will prevail in front of a mad-house 28K strong.

The Rider Prophet crew will be out and about this weekend interviewing fans, signing autographs and taking in the festivities. Please stop by and say hi, you may just end up being interviewed by the Prophet.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. We waited a long time for this game so let's cheer loud and show everyone what Rider Pride is all about.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know I'd be feeling pretty good about my chances going into hostile territory for a playoff game with a 7-10-1 regular season mark and a team that's falling apart at the seams.

No 'ofense' - exactly what I expect out of Calgary on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous, I just have one word for you... Scoreboard!

- Prophet