The 2008 CFL season officially kicks off tonight when Toronto visits Montreal and Winnipeg visits Hamilton in preseason action.
More importantly though, tomorrow night the Riders season officially kicks off with the first home game of the year against the BC Lions. Not only will it be our first chance to see this year’s team in action, the game will also feature the raising of the 2007 Grey Cup banner. The last time such an event occurred in Saskatchewan was 1990. My how things have changed. Back then Bush was president, Harrison Ford was playing Indiana Jones, Chris Chelios was playing in the NHL. Actually… come to think of it, we’re a pair of parachute pants and a New Kids On the Block tape away from being in a time warp. History lesson aside, I can’t wait for the game. It’ll be a good chance to see what some of the new guys can do in a game situation. Not to mention a good excuse to get drunk in public (as if you need an excuse).
A number of players will be sitting out the game. Some to rest minor injuries (Davis, Washington, Abou-Mechrek, Lloyd, Bradshaw and Tate), some due to more serious injuries (Dominguez – out until Aug 1, O’Day – out for 2 weeks and McKoy – likely headed for the 9-game injured list) and some due to just plain sucking (Johnson and Childs). Okay… to be fair Johnson and Childs are nursing injuries and by all accounts having good training camps but I’m biased and like to take cheap shots whenever I can… deal with it.
Another player that won’t be suiting up tomorrow is Kyle Mitchell but not because of injury. Mitchell was released this week. The move surprised many given that Mitchell has been on the team for the past 2 seasons. When asked about why Mitchell was released despite a couple very strong performances last year include a blocked kick and TD, Eric Tillman responded “No, no, you’re thinking of Naseem Mitchell.”
It appears that Corey Holmes may be on the verge of retirement. Mr. Everything has applied to become a high school football coach in the U.S. and if he gets the job he will officially retire from football. I wish Corey the best of luck… which apparently he is going to need given that the team he wants to coach failed to win a game last year and gave up 4 times as many points as it scored. Well, at least now Corey’s experience in Hamilton won’t go completely to waste. It should more than prepare him to deal with his new team.
Well that’s it for now, see you tomorrow night.