This Sunday the Riders will take the field against the visiting Toronto Argonauts, who will be led into Mosaic Stadium by Kerry Joseph, who as we all know was named the 2007 Most Outstanding Player on his way to leading Saskatchewan to a Grey Cup victory. It seems as though the Rider Nation has mixed feelings over what kind of reception Joseph should receive upon his return. Let’s face it, Kerry did some pretty great things for our team and our community last season. But that doesn’t change the fact that I will treat him as if he tried to steal my grandma’s life savings when he takes the field. Kerry Joseph loved Regina and loved the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He just would have loved them a lot more for an extra $100,000 or so.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t fault Kerry at all for getting himself the best financial deal that he could. It’s a brutal game, and no player plays forever, so I fully realize the importance of making money while it’s there to be made. But let’s be honest about it and see things for what they are – Kerry thought he’s worth more than we were willing to pay him so he found a situation where he could get it. That makes this whole “I loved Regina and I felt betrayed when they traded me” about as believable as “Of course the Lions are under the salary cap.”
For me, the bottom line is that Kerry’s not with us, he’s against us. To borrow a line from Dave Chappelle, come this Sunday, “I hope all the bad things in life happen to you, and no one else but you!”
As for our own quarterbacking situation, we found out on Wednesday that Marcus Crandell is not yet ready to play, and as such Darian Durant will get his third consecutive start. The best part of that is that now all of the Rider fans as well as the Rider “fans” can support our offense – because I really get the feeling that there would have been some in attendance on Sunday that would have liked to see Joseph outperform Crandell this week. Sick.
But Saskatchewan isn’t the only place where quarterbacks are a big deal this week. In Winnipeg, Ryan “My Eyes Will Steal Your Soul” Dinwiddie took over for a struggling Kevin Glenn for week 5 against the Calgary Stampeders, and he managed the improbable by guiding the Bombers to their first win of the season. Not only did he win, but he looked extremely impressive doing it! Earlier this week the Calgary media was building up our game against the Stamps on August 2nd as a Battle of the Undefeated. That was a head scratcher when Calgary was 3-1, but it’s really going to be a tough sell for them now that the Stamps are hovering just over .500. “Well to be accurate, we meant undefeated… today.”
Elsewhere in the CFL, the Montreal Alouettes spent the first part of the week in Regina before flying off to Vancouver for their game against the Lions. Head coach Mark Trestman expressed a desire to have an extended road trip like this with his team in hopes that it would serve as some type of team building exercise. That’s actually a really good idea… in theory. In reality, their team building week consisted of a night of bowling (attended by roughly half the team), a barbeque at Scott Flory’s parents’ house (by invitation only – attended by 8), and the release of Jason Armstead and Rayshaun Kizer as a direct result of stupid mistakes in the last game. If that doesn’t bring the Als together, I don’t know what will.
That’s all for today, enjoy the game Sunday! I’ll have a complete summary next week of the showdown between the Durant-led Riders taking on What’s-his-Name’s Argos.