First off, the Division Finals are tomorrow and despite the fact that the Riders aren’t involved, they should actually be good games. Out East Anthony Calvillo leads the CFL’s top offense against Ricky Ray and … well, Ricky Ray. Montreal may have had a schedule that was about as easy as the job applicant screening criteria at McDonalds but I don’t think they are overrated. Their only glaring weakness is a suspect secondary (which unfortunately plays right into Edmonton’s only strength). For Edmonton, their chances at success, as always, lie solely with Ricky Ray. I’m predicting a shootout featuring more scoring than a Japanese whore house. In the end though, I fully expect the Alouettes to emerge victorious and play for the Grey Cup in front of a home crowd. While both teams are fairly evenly matched I give the edge to the Als because they actually have a run game. Also, the fact that Edmonton had difficulty beating the lowly Bombers last week should be a sign to Eskimo fans that they may be in trouble.
Then we head out west for the Stampeders versus the Lions. I’ve been trying to decide for days now which of these 2 teams I hate the least. On one hand you’ve got the infinite douche baggery of the BC Lions, with such lovable characters as Buono, Banks, Marsh, Murphy and Jimenez. On the other you’ve got the utterly annoying Stampeders who counter with Lewis, Armour, Browner and Burris the Gap-Toothed Wonder. I’m very torn here. I honestly hate the Lions and wish them zero success. But, I also really want to see Henry "Mr. November" Burris choke and blow his 4th straight playoff game. I think the only way I would be completely satisfied is if somehow a meteor struck McMahon Stadium resulting in a double DQ (provided Bruce Willis doesn’t screw things up). But since that’s about as likely as a Maple Leaf hockey dynasty, I’m going to have to say that the Stampeders should win but they will choke… again… and BC will win a close one. As much as it will suck to see Wally’s band of ne'er-do-wells get another shot at the Cup, it will be more than offset by watching the backlash of the Stampeders fans at being forced to endure Burris’ Playoff Choke Volume 4. The hatred levels will reach and likely exceed Bishop-esque levels. I can’t wait.
Turning back to the Riders…
First off, congratulations to Anton McKenzie, Mo Lloyd, Wes Cates and Gene Makowsky on being named CFL All-stars. Though if history has taught us anything I would wait a day or 2 before celebrating as there’s always a chance that an error in vote tabulation could result in your all-star status being removed and given to Sandro DeAngeles.
There has been much speculation this week about the Rider’s potential free agents. The list includes all 3 starters from our outstanding linebacking corps as well as 3 of the 4 aforementioned all-stars, which is somewhat concerning. The good thing though is that Tillman is still running the show so I have faith that things will work out just fine… and by that I mean he will likely make a couple highly controversial moves that will send Rider Nation into a frenzy of hate despite the inherent logic in said moves. As someone who operates a year-round Rider blog, I sincerely appreciate Tillman’s ability to keep the offseason interesting.
For those of you who are interested, our potential free-agents are as follows: Darian Durant, Anton McKenzie, Maurice Lloyd, Neal Hughes, Gene Makowsky, Sean Lucas, Belton Johnson, Mike Abou-Mechrek, Scott Gordon, Steve Morley and D.J. Flick
One final note, although the Rider’s season may be over I will continue making regular posts throughout the offseason to keep you informed of all the news that is news across the CFL. Here’s what’s on tap for the Rider Prophet in the coming weeks:
- Continued coverage of the CFL playoffs
- Analysis on the 2008 Rider Season
- Second Annual Rider Prophet Awards
- "Whatever I was on, it must have been good", aka Revisiting My Preseason Predictions