Sunday the Riders travel to Winnipeg to face the Bombers in the Banjo Bowl. The now famous event was of course made popular by former Bomber kicker Troy Westwood, who was cut this year in favour of Alexis Serna. How low must Westwood feel knowing that the Bombers think that Serna, the league’s worst kicker, is better than him? Probably lower than Serna’s kicking percentage... which would make him feel as low as his own kicking percentage (zing).
Michael Bishop will once again get the start for the Riders. Hopefully, with an extra week’s practice he will look more like a decent quarterback this time around and less like Michael Bishop. That said, even if Bishop does somehow manage to improve it will be offset by the continued obliteration of our receiving core. Adarius Bowman is the latest starter to succumb to injury and will be out 4-6 weeks. That means this weeks receivers will include such feared names as Bagg, Grant, Palmer, Childs, Marshall and the only moderately concussed Dressler (Never thought I’d see the day when a mild concussion was good news). Yep, our receiving corps now officially falls directly between "Danny McManus looking to run" and "the return of Patrick Thibeault" on the list of things that scare a defense.
The good news is that despite our limited offensive fire power, we are playing an offense even worse than our own. The Bombers are dead last in scoring this season so even a meager offensive showing will be more than enough to beat them. Of course the Bombers are hoping recently acquired Joe Smith will give their offense a boost but Fred Reid will likely get the bulk of the carries this week while Smith learns the offense. So to make a long story short, after a disgraceful offensive output last game the Bombers only adjustment is a severe downgrade to the run game. God bless the logic of Doug Berry. If Glenn struggles again this week, I wonder if we’ll see Ryan “I single-handedly made James Johnson a star” Dinwiddie come in. Not that it really matters, both are quite capable of throwing INTs so either one is fine by me.
While our offense continues to weather an unprecedented amount of injuries, the defense is a different story. John Chick is expected to make his return to the line up on Sunday, giving our already stellar defense a huge boost! Seriously, if Dan Goodspeed was overpowered by Kitwana Jones’ pass rush, how bad is Chick going to make him look?
I expect the Banjo Bowl to be a lot like Labour Day except both teams will likely score one more major and the crowd will be a lot more inbred.
Riders by 12.
Around the CFL…
Arland Bruce was fined an undisclosed amount of money for donning a Spiderman mask during a TD celebration in Monday’s game in Hamilton. This is the latest in the long line of football celebrations that make zero sense. Maybe I’m missing something here but exactly what does Spiderman have to do with a touchdown? Can he swing from a web? No he can’t, he’s Arland Bruce. Not sure how this either adds to the glory of the TD or adds to the insult of the opponent (unless this is the kind of Spiderman he was referring to). The Spiderman joins such distinguished touchdown celebrations as the Argos’ “They All Fall Down” and the “Overly Homoerotic Calgary Bobsled”. The good news is that despite Bruce's best efforts, Kerwin Bell's legendary touchdown celebration is still unrivaled.
It appears Dave Dickenson’s career is over. He was placed on the 9-game injured list by the Stamps after suffering yet another concussion during his limited action in the Edmonton game. This should come as no surprise to anyone. Years of bone jarring hits have left Dickenson’s head so fragile that it’s a miracle that the water pressure in the post-game shower didn’t concuss him … in fact the only thing surprising about the concussion is that it didn’t come at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.