Thursday, January 17, 2008

CFL News – Homecomings

The day has finally come. After weeks of filler posts (damn good filler, but filler nonetheless), there's finally been enough noteworthy things happening in the CFL for me to write about. I've been hoping for CFL news for a while now and the phrase "be careful what you wish for" never rang so true. That said, I've wished for lots of other things (women, money, superpowers, emus) and all I have to show for it is an apartment full of giant birds.

So here's a Rider Prophet look at what's making news in a week where everyone seems to be heading home.

Austin to Ole Miss
The news arrived Wednesday morning like a football to the groin of the Rider Nation. After over a week of speculation, Kent Austin confirmed our worst fears when he announced that he is actually a vampire who feeds on the blood of the innocent by the light of the moon... Well actually he's leaving the Riders to accept the Offensive Coordinator position at his alma mater, the University of Mississippi (though the vampire story would have been way cooler and easier to swallow).

You can't fault Austin for accepting this opportunity. It's his old college, it's close to home, and it will lead to bigger and better things down the line. As Eric said, this is the risk you run when you employ talented people. I'm personally glad that we have a coach that is coveted by a prestigious US college, as opposed to a guy like Danny Maciocia who they wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole (unless they were using said pole to hit him in the head repeatedly). Fact is Austin is an outstanding young coach who deserves this opportunity (as much as it sucks for us). Anyone who harbours any ill will against Austin over this should be taken out back and beaten with a sack of doorknobs. And not those crappy doorknobs you buy at Wal-Mart either, I'm talking like industrial strength knobs.

I wonder if in any of his conversations with the Ole Miss head coach, Eric Tillman ever used the words "Houston, we have a problem." Actually, I bet when he heard that Ole Miss was going after his head coach, he probably just wanted to bust a Nutt.

This whole situation feels a lot like an episode of The Littlest Hobo. The town of Riderville was faced with a problem (season after season of coming up short of a championship). Then a hero strolls into town and quickly helps us resolve our problem. Then just when we think we've adopted a new member of the family he moves on to the next town as if a voice was calling him, down the road. Maybe tomorrow Austin will settle down, until tomorrow he'll just keep moving on.

God speed Mr. Hobo... I mean Mr. Austin. God speed.

How appropriate it was that Wisers chose to commemorate the Rider Grey Cup win with commemorative rye (it even had a little higher than normal alcohol content) that was a huge hit with the Rider Nation... it's almost as if they knew we'd soon need something to help drown our sorrows.

Maas to Edmonton
It wasn't all sad news in the CFL though. While Rider fans were trying to come to terms with the departure of their beloved head coach, estranged life partners Danny Maciocia and Jason Maas were reunited in Edmonton when the Eskimos signed the free agent QB Wednesday. Maciocia has made no secret of his affection for Maas which no doubt stems from an unhealthy childhood obsession with the Disney movie Dumbo. Rather than dish-out my standard compliment of jokes on this situation, I will let you read the following article. It was written after Maas was first traded to Hamilton. If you have never read it before, you've been missing out. This is one of the all-time funniest articles I have ever read (and that's saying something coming from the self-proclaimed most entertaining sports writer).

Wow hey?

Shivers to the CFL
Finally, after an 18 month hiatus, Roy Shivers is coming home to the CFL. He was hired by the BC Lions to be their Director of Player Personnel. It's kind of scary when you think that our biggest Western rival just combined one of the best coaches in CFL history with one of the best talent scouts in the business. Anyone who thought that BC might lose a step if Joe Smith heads to the NFL is terribly mistaken. If there's one thing Roy can find better than anyone its running backs. I'm actually convinced he has his own private island where he breeds them, kinda like football's version of Jurassic Park.

Roy took a lot of heat when he was in Regina for bringing in talent that, while impressive on the football field, proved to be a detriment to the community. Unfortunately for the Riders, bar fights, adultery, sexual assault charges and stolen dogs became almost a rite of passage under Roy's watch. When asked for comment on the character of some of Shivers' recent finds, Buono was quick to come to the defense of the maligned players: "Did you see it? How do you know it wasn't an accident?"

We now return you to your regularly scheduled filler post.


Anonymous said...

It's funny, Les MacPherson of Saskatoon's Star Phoenix had an analogy similar to your Littlest Hobo one last week. As people were griping about the potential departure of Austin, MacPherson said that it's not so bad. In fact there's almost something legendary about a guy who comes back for one year, wins a Grey Cup, and leaves. He said it was like a John Wayne movie where a guy rides into town, runs off a bunch of bandits, and then rides into the sunset. The only difference is the townsfolk in a John Wayne movie celebrate whereas ingrate Rider fans seem to bitch and moan.

I can't fault a guy who's played a huge role in bringing Saskatchewan the only two Grey Cups we've won since I've been alive. That said, this is a guy who, during celebrations at the legislature while everybody was focusing on the achievement, was already talking about winning it all again next year. I only hope we can find a coach with an attitude in any way similar.

Anonymous said...

John Wayne... ahh for the days when you could solve your problems by simply shooting people, without fear of being charged with murder.

Thanks for the comment.

CK said...

Are you sure that Wally wasn't talking about the Jimenez hit? I think it sounds like the same soundbite.

God bless Wally. He's arrogant and abusive to the media at every chance he gets.

Anonymous said...

Yes CK, that soundbite was from the Jimenez hit. That's what we in the business like to call a joke. Long ago I made a decision to forgo journalistic accuracy in favour of humour.