Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Morning Sentimonies: We’re Back

Well somehow we defied the odds and the entire Rider Prophet crew returned safely from Las Vegas… and weren’t even forced to file for bankruptcy. All in all it was a fantastic trip with the exception of the illness I picked up in Vegas that did not adhere to the “stays in Vegas” rule… Now I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not an STD… the call girl gave me her word on this.

Here are some random musings from sin city:

- For some strange reason I felt at home in a city where stumbling the streets with an oversized drink is encouraged.

- Despite our best efforts we were unable to locate any Las Vegas Posse merchandise, or any evidence of their existence.

- The 4am shift of cocktail waitresses could easily get walk-on parts in horror movies… Yikes!

- Once while rolling the dice at the craps table, the guy next to me tapped me on the shoulder and said “My nigga!”… I should mention that the guy who said this was almost as white as me… the whole situation was just wrong on so many levels.

- FYI – Panda Express doesn’t actually serve any Panda… needless to say I was thoroughly disappointed.

The Riders were nice enough not to do anything noteworthy in my absence. As for the rest of the league, here’s some random musings on what went down…

- Kevin Glenn signed with the Ti-Cats. With Glenn and Kenton Keith now at his disposal Marcel Bellefeuille must be elated. This will save many days in training camp since they’re already quite familiar with the shotgun draw.

- Jesse Lumsden became a prolific bobsledder. This is just such a weird story. Apparently there’s talk of him even being in the running to compete with Pierre Luders (who is of course the only good bobsledder in the country) in the Olympics. Personally I hope people don’t get their hopes to high… if history has taught us anything, it’s that Lumsden will likely start out dominating the bobsledding world only to somehow injure his shoulder in his 3rd competition and have season ending surgery. The sling is as much a fixture in Lumsden’s look as his overly greasy mullet.

- Burke Dales re-signed with Calgary. I, along with many others, thought that Dales had already signed with Winnipeg… evidently that deal was never finalized. Talk about a lucky turn of events for Dales, instead of being stuck in Winnipeg he gets to go back to the defending champs.

- Winnipeg didn’t come up empty handed in the kicking department though as they signed kicker Kenneth Byrd… who’s most recent accomplishment was getting cut by the Detroit Lions. Byrd vs. Serna… wow the kicking competition at Bomber training camp will be atrocious this year!

- BC traded Jason Pottinger to the Argos for a 1st round pick and a conditional pick in 2010. Pottinger is a solid special teams player but this still strikes me as a steep price to pay for the Argos… then again, nobody ever accused the Argos of being the sharpest knives in the drawer.

And here are some other Ins and Outs that I’m too lazy to write anything about.

In: RB Lavarus Giles (free agent signing)
Out: DL Matt Kudu, WR Kerry Johnson (released)

In: OL Gurminder Thind (free agent signing)

In: Javier Glatt, Aaron Hunt (contract extensions)

In: WR Eric Ware (free agent signing)
Out: Shannon Garrett (retired)

In: OL Patrick Atiff, LB Matt Hewitt, DB David Lofton (free agent signing)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rider Prophet Salutes Bad Team Names: League Award

*The following post was pre-written to accommodate the fact the Rider Prophet is currently in Las Vegas and likely in no condition to operate a computing device. Barring any legal complications the Rider Prophet will be back from his vacation and resume regular posting on Monday.

As you’ve seen throughout our ongoing salute, there are bad team names in virtually every sport, at every level and in every league. But when I came across the subject of today’s salute, I knew that they were in a league of their own when it came to bad team names.

Bare in mind while reading the flowing that the league I’m talking about is the 2nd oldest basketball league in the world (second only to the NBA)…

Worst Collective Effort – Philippine Basketball Association

We start out with a few teams that aren’t that bad (nothing to brag about but still respectable)
- Alaska Aces
- Barangay Ginebra Kings

Then things start getting slightly worse when corporate influences start to take over:
- Coca Cola Tigers
- Barako Bull Energy Boosters
- Burger King Batang BK
- Sam Miguel Beermen
- Sta. Lucia Realtors

Then we get to the teams that take corporate sponsorship to hilarious new lows:
- Rain or Shine Elpaso Painters – was the Rain or Shine part really necessary? And besides who the hell paints in the rain?!

- Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants – As terrible a name as Tender Juicy Giants is, it’s actually a remarkable improvement over their previous team name… the Corned Beef Cowboys.

And finally, we get one of the worst team names I’ve come across yet…

the mighty Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters who are the reigning Philippine Cup Champions. When the best team in your league is called the Texters you deserve to be the laughingstock of the professional sporting world.

And of course a salute to the PBA wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the historical contributions of the now defunct Crispa Redmanizers and Toyota Super Corollas

So congratulations PBA for giving the sporting world so many bad team names that you warranted your own post.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sin City Here We Come!

As you have hopefully deduced from the poster, the Rider Prophet is going to Las Vegas! Media Consultant and Man in the Bush will be joining me along with a few others, and tomfoolery and chicanery are sure to ensue.

Next week will be a nonstop whirlwind of debauchery, excessive gambling and adult-themed entertainment all shrouded in a veil of intoxication… Unless of course my girlfriend or members of my family are reading this… in which case next week my time will be split between sight seeing bus tours for seniors, attending church, volunteering at local soup kitchens and not marrying cocktail waitresses named Candi, all between the hours of 7:00am and 9:30pm.

Anywho, given the arduous schedule listed above, I will not be doing any blogging. Though through the wonder of technology I have set things up so that there will be a pre-written post mid-week (I can’t risk my readers finding out they live without the blog for a week).

Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a wallet full of money that’s just itching to turn into some spare change and a hangover.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rider Prophet Salutes Bad Team Names: Colour Me Unimpressed

This week’s edition of my salute to bad team names will hopefully debunk the myth that colours are inherently cool and their coolness can transfer to otherwise lame objects via osmosis.

Top 5 – Adding A Colour To A Bad Team Name Doesn’t Make It Any Better

5. University of Evansville Purple Aces (NCAA) – Aces come in red and black (and occasionally naked girl) but not purple. Regardless it’s a pretty bad mascot.

4. Saint Francis University Red Flash (NCAA) – To me a red flash seems more like a symptom of a serious medical condition than something I associate with sports. They should probably have that checked out.

3. University of North Texas Mean Green (NCAA) – My understanding is that the University of North Texas originally competed in the NCAA under one of the organization's staple names, the Eagles. That all changed when a standout defensive tackle came along in the late 1960's, "Mean" Joe Greene. Greene was so good that the school changed the name of not just the football team, but every varsity team on campus - while they would retain the Eagle as the mascot, the teams would forever more be known as Mean Green. Fortunately this method of team naming didn't catch on across the sporting world, or we could be eagerly anticipating games between the Edmonton Swamp Dogs and the Saskatchewan Undertakers... or worse, the Big Nates.

2. Cornell University Big Red/ Dartmouth College Big Green (NCAA) – I feel like Principal Skinner… “And the award for the children who obviously had no help from their parents...” Honestly, way to put zero effort into a team name. My only guess is that the schools are not artistically inclined and were looking for a logo that would be easy to draw. The odd thing though is that Cornell’s logo feature’s a brown bear. Mind boggling!

Winner: Presbyterian College Blue Hose (NCAA) –

Of all the potential mascots out there the Presbyterians went with the mighty hose. But not just any hose, a blue one. Straight from the garden shed to the athletic field. I’m not sure what exactly it was about the hose that made the Presbyterians go “Now that would make a great mascot”. I mean sure being beaten with a hose is no fun but on its own a hose is not very intimidating.

Dishonourable Mentions: Tulane University Green Wave (NCAA), Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (NCAA), Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Defensive Additions

While you’re busy filling out your March Madness brackets, here’s an update on what’s been happening with the Roughriders.

The Riders have signed 6 defensive players:
- AJ Raebel (DE)
- David Patterson (DT)
- Chris McKenzie (DB)
- Jerell Freeman (LB)
- Brady Brownie (DB)
- Michael Stadnyk (DE)

A few things to note about this group. McKenzie recorded the 6th fastest 40 yard dash in NFL Combine history at 4.32 and has been clocked as low as 4.26. That’s some serious speed. Brownie was a 5th round pick by BC in last year’s Canadian draft. We drafted Stadnyk last year in the 2nd round after trading our 1st rounder this year to BC. He’s very similar in build and style as Jon Chick, he also happens to be a Regina native.

I don’t really expect more than 2 of these names to be around long enough to become noteworthy but it’s reassuring that we are at least bringing some solid competition to camp. I’m especially happy about brining in some new guys to compete on the D-line because last year our D-line was about as intimidating as basket full of bunnies and as effective as a March Madness system of picking teams based on who has the coolest name (which is incidentally the system I’ve used unsuccessfully for a number of years now).

Also, Bob Wylie was officially introduced as our new O-line coach. I’ve actually been expecting this announcement for 3 months now, as it was reported back in January that Wylie would join the Riders. Not sure why it took so long for this to become official… either way this is a great signing. Wylie will be a valuable addition to our staff.

CFL Ins and Outs

In: LB Walter Spencer (re-signed), LB Jon Abbate (free agent signing)
Usually the term “career special teamer” is a negative label for a player to have but not for Spencer. He’s a guy who legitimately excels on special teams… and appears to have no discernable skills in any other facet of the game.

In: Doug Brown, Brandon Labatte (contract extensions), Jon Oosterhuis (re-signed), DB Marlon Fair, DB Aric Williams (free agent signing)
Out: Kevin Glenn (cut)
Losing out on the bidding war for Jon Oosterhuis (alleged to be in the tens of dollars) is a tough pill to swallow and significantly hinders our Grey Cup aspirations. Truth be told, I would be willing to overlook Oosterhuis’ marginal playing abilities to see him in Green and White if for no other reason that to get to say his name regularly.

As for Glenn, Mike Kelly sure looks like an idiot now. After going on record as saying he intended to pay Glenn’s bonus, everyone laughed at him (especially Bob Obillovich) because they were sure he was full of crap. Turns out we were all right and Kelly did cut Glenn rather than pay the bonus he would have been due. Shocking I know. About the only good thing here for Kelly is that he’s working in Winnipeg… he’ll fit in perfectly with the other idiots (also known as Manitobans). Only thing is Kelly can’t blame inbreeding.

In: Nautyn McKay-Loescher, DB Calvin Bannister (free agent signing), O’Neil Wilson (contract extension)
Just a few shorts years ago, BC boasted one of the best groups of Canadian receivers in recent memory with Clermont, Jackson and Thelwell. Today Jackson is still around but instead of Clermont and Thelwell, their next best option is O’Neil Wilson… I guess even the BC Lions aren’t immune to the recession.

In: Jason Maas (contract extension), QB Juan Joseph (free agent signing)
Don’t expect to hear much more about Juan Joseph. Edmonton is a tough place for a QB prospect. Not only will he have to live in the shadows of Ricky Ray’s immense talent, he will also have to dwell in the shadows created by Maas’ giant ears.

In: WR Abraham Morlu, WR Jeron Harvey, WR Cleannord Saintil, DL Clifford Dukes, DL Ronald Jones, DB Matt Black (free agent signing)
For those of you who don’t remember the name Abraham Morlu, he was a receiver brought into camp by Winnipeg last year. But not just any receiver… Morlu is a Liberian sprinter who once competed in the Olympics. Seriously, how many teams can boast that an Olympian is on their roster? An Olympian who’s football experience amounts to a brief high school career and a few weeks at Blue Bomber training camp prior to being cut… but an Olympian nonetheless. I highly doubt Morlu will amount to anything. If being a talented in one area of life automatically translated into success in another, OJ Simpson would be tearing up the NASCAR circuit as we speak.

PS – what kind of name is Cleannord anyway?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rider Prophet Salutes Bad Team Names: Grammatical Inaccuracies

Part 4 in my salute to bad team names from across the sporting world… Today we look at the effects of poor education system in the US.

Top 5 - Spelling Errors Are Fun

5. Cincinnati Jungle Kats (AF2) – When did we collectively decide that the letter K is cooler than the letter C? What did C ever do to be labeled uncool? I would have thought the unfortunate affiliation with the KKK would have sunk K for good but it appears to have emerged unharmed.

4. Utah Starzz (defunct WNBA Team) – Admittedly I am somewhat ashamed that I have knowledge of a WNBA team (let alone a defunct one), my life has indeed become quite pathetic.

3. Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (AF2) – The Junkyard Dog made one hell of a career for himself and he didn’t have to resort to creative spelling of his name… so shame on you Oklahoma City.

2. West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (AA Baseball) – Even if they had spelled Jacks correctly, odds are I would still be making fun of this team. Jacks is a game that had been classified as lame long before I started school (not that that stopped me from setting a school yard record with tensies, booyeah!).

Winner: Georgia Gwizzlies (ABA) –

I wish I was making this one up. At first I thought this was just a typo but then I saw the logo… and proceeded to laugh hysterically. This is by far one of the worst team names I’ve come across so far. I’m not sure who in Georgia thought a team name that celebrates speech impediments would be a good idea. What better way to rally the fans together in support of your team than by making them sound like retards every time they say the team’s name.

In keeping with the “politically incorrect humour” I’m known for, I’m sure there’s a Special Olympics joke to be had here. However, I’ve opted not to go down that route since the intellectual capacity shown by the Gwizzlies is so miniscule that I don't want to shame the good folks at the Special Olympics through the comparison. Damn those kids try hard.

Dishonourable Mentions: Portland Lumberjax (NLL), Sam Houston State Bearkats (NCAA)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Where’s My Ostriches?

I’ll warn you… news is pretty thin this week and not likely to get better in the near future. Hopefully you’re enjoying my Salute To Bad Team Names…

The CFL rule committee has proposed 5 potential rule changes for the 2009 season. They include:
- Teams must kick off after a field goal, no taking it at the 35-yard-line.
- After a safety, the kick will be from the 25 yard line instead of the 35.
- Granting a 3rd challenge if a team is successful in their first 2
- Allowing the wildcat offense
- Creating a central "command centre" similar to that of the NHL to review on-field calls that have been challenged by a coach.

While I’m disappointed that my “officials must ride trained ostriches” suggestion didn’t make the cut, I'm happy with the suggestions being put forward and think all 5 will be good for the game. As for the ostriches that I prematurely started stockpiling... I will shortly have a large supply of ostrich meat if anyone is interested.

CFL Evaluation Camp ran this weekend and was highlighted by RB Jamall Lee setting an E-Camp record in the 40 yard dash (4.39) and vertical jump (44 inches). I’d go into more depth about the weekend results but given that anyone good enough to be invited to E-Camp will likely be drafted before the Riders lone pick comes up, there’s really no point.

Given that there’s nothing major happening in the football world, I’ve been watching a lot of curling. This weekend's Brier action has made it painfully obvious that we should not have a provincial playdown, we should just always send Stefanie Lawton to the Scotties and Pat Simmons to the Brier. Actually I even think we should have sent Lawton to the Brier this year, she couldn't be any worse than our current representatives. And she's better to look at than this "Johnny Depp plays Dracula" thing that Joel Jordison has going on. Unless CFL news starts to pick up, expect a lot more curling commentary in the coming posts.

CFL Ins and Outs

In: Buck Pierce (contract extension)
The first report I heard on this stated it was a 2 year deal worth $930,000, at which point I almost choked on my ostrich burger. It led me to believe Buono should lay off the drugs (and that Ricky Ray should get a better agent because he’s easily worth twice as much as Buck). Further research into the matter clarified that it is a 2 year plus an option deal that (including incentives) totals $930K, putting his base salary in the high $200K range. This is much less outlandish than I first thought but still strikes me as a lot of money for a 27 year old blessed with the body of a 67 year old.

In: Brandon Guillory (free agent signing)
Good signing by the Ti-cats but some people are wondering why the Riders didn’t go after him given that he’s a young D-linemen who has showed some promise. Like most things, it boiled down to money. I’m guessing the Ti-cats offered him some pretty good coin. The Riders by comparison have been unwilling to offer money to a reigning MOP and standout linebacker… do you really think we're going to throw big money at an inconsistent import linemen?

In: LB John Mohring (free agent signing)
Mohring played last season in the AFL… and that’s about as much effort I’m putting in to writing something about him.

Out: OL Jude St. John, OL Jerome Davis (released)
Oddly enough some people are questioning this move by the Argos. I guess they don’t agree that getting rid of 2 members of the 2nd worst O-line in the CFL to make room for 2 all-star linemen is a good idea.

In: DB Keyuo Craver, DB Derrick Straight (free agent signings)
So would the bizzaro Derrick Straight be Derrick Gay?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rider Prophet Salutes Bad Team Names: Fictitious Animals

Part 3 in my continuing salute to bad teams names…

Top 5 Made-Up Animals

5. Binghamton University; University of Cincinnati Bearcats (NCAA) – I rather not get into the physiological reasons why a bear and cat couldn’t mate. Furthermore no adult sites even list this as a possibility… at least not the ones I deny ever visiting.

4. University of Alaska Anchorage; Stony Brook University Seawolves (NCAA) – Though I’ve never been to Alaska (or Stony Brook for that matter), I highly doubt the existence of a species of wolf that is indigenous to the sea.

3. Charleston Swamp Foxes (defunct AF2) – As previously discussed in on this blog, this team name may be in reference to the father of guerilla warfare as opposed to a made up animal but still…

2. San Jose SaberCats (AFL) – If you were really dead set on a made-up cat as a mascot why not go with something that has an existing fan base and logo… the ThunderCats. Now that’s something we can relate to.

Winner: Webster University Gorloks (NCAA)

If you’ve never heard of a Gorlok (and I sincerely hope you haven’t) it is a made up creature that has the paws of a speeding cheetah, the horns of a fierce buffalo and the face of a dependable saint bernard. I actually almost had to edit this article to disqualify the Gorlok from competition. When I wrote this post earlier in the week I was led to believe that the Gorlok was a fictional creature, but then my roommate brought a female of the species home from JD's last night and my hours of extensive research were instantly worthless.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

On This Day In Roughrider History: Opening Old Wounds

Well what was supposed to be a regular feature on the blog makes its glorious return after an 8 month hiatus. What’s that? You didn’t even notice it was gone? I don’t blame you, because the reason for the extended hiatus was that I also forgot about it.

Today marks an important anniversary in Rider history. It was 1 year ago today that the Riders sent shockwaves through the CFL and brought Rider fans to a near riot by trading reigning MOP Kerry Joseph to Toronto. The deal included a 3rd round pick in 2010 and in return we received Glenn January, Ron Flemons (who we ended up trading back for TJ Acree), 1st round pick 2008 (drafted Keith Shologan) and a 2nd round pick in 2010.

At the time, I was just thrilled to find out we wouldn't be getting Michael Bishop in exchange. Five months later Bishop did land in Regina, and the next three months served as a harsh reminder of why I had been so ecstatic at the time.

A year later this move looks even better than when it went down. To summarize, in exchange for the reigning MOP we got the chance to cut a whiny receiver, to bench a linemen before he bolted via free agency, a 1st round pick who has yet to make an impact and an upgraded draft pick next year… that I’m pretty sure we already traded away.

Blood boiling yet?

I won’t get into why I still maintain this was a good move. By now you either like it or you don’t and there’s no changing your mind. So let's agree to respect each others views, no matter how wrong yours may be.

Highly controversial trades, a proud part of our Roughrider heritage (at least since Tillman took over).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everyone Is Stupid But Me

I’ve come to terms with the fact that a side effect of living on this earth is constant exposure to the stupidity of others. At this point in my life, I’ve been exposed to so much stupidity that small amounts of it no longer bother me… it’s just a fact of life. But every now and then the stupidity levels go beyond what I can reasonably tolerate and I have to speak up.

Fortunately we live in the technology age and any opinionated yahoo (that’s me!) has access to a public forum to post his scathing commentary. So allow me to address 3 cases of stupidity I’ve come across this week.

Case #1: Rule Changes
The League is currently reviewing 3 proposed rule changes submitted by fans at their annual conference, one of which is related to altering the rouge. This suggestion is based on the idea that a team should not be rewarded with a single point just because when their kicker is faced with a 23-yard field goal he happens to shank it wide of the uprights and clear through the back of the endzone. According to them, it's a reward for failure. Incorrect.

Here's a fact: there is a limit to how far someone can kick a football. For some, the maximum range is longer than it is for others, but one constant fact is that there is a huge span of territory on any CFL football field from which even the strongest kicking leg can't pound a ball from a point seven yards behind the line of scrimmage to a point somewhere past the opposing team's end line. So here's a message to the defense: if you don't want the other team to be guaranteed a point whether they make the field goal or not, maybe you should think about stopping them sometime before they drive to your 5 yard line! Reward for failure? Hardly. How about a reward for getting so close to the other team's endzone that they can't do a damn thing to stop you from kicking it clear through the back? This is no different than when someone complains that a team ran up the score. You don't want to have the other team hang 60 on you? Well then do something about it!

If the logic is that a rouge rewards failure, why not do away with field goals as well since that is really just rewarding teams for failing to score a TD. And while were at it let’s abolish 3rd down since that is really just a reward for failing on 2nd down.

I'll believe that the rouge on a missed field goal is a bad idea right around the same time someone can make a convincing argument to me that it's a good idea for a team to get 1 point in a hockey game just because it took them a little longer than 60 minutes to lose. What is that, overtime pay? Now there's a stupid rule.

There's nothing more Canadian than a rouge. So let's keep it a part of the game.

Case #2: CFL Team in Saskatoon
Billionaire Bret Wilson has publicly stated that he wants to bring a CFL team to Saskatoon. My problem is not with Wilson. Exorbitantly rich people regularly come up with odd ideas on how to spend their pocket change, so that’s nothing new. He’s clearly just drunk with power… or possibly just drunk. My problem is with the people who actually think this is a good idea. Are you people retarded? (well obviously, not sure why I even bothered asking). Not only would a Saskatoon team not benefit the province, it would do damage to it. First of all there are not enough football fans in Saskatoon to support a team of their own so that one would fail. Second, many Rider fans come from Saskatoon and the surrounding area so it would hurt the Rider’s fan base. Face facts people we are a province of 1 million and have only recently learned how to sell out one football stadium on a regular basis. Do you really think that we can magically drum up another 30,000 die hard fans without affecting our current fan base? Are you going to teleport them in from some hidden island where a fan base has been stockpiled for just such an occasion? Well I’d like to see your teleportation device.

If Saskatoon wants football they’ll just have to settle for the AF2.

Case #3: Leader Post
By now you’ve probably heard that Jason Armstead was arrested this week for alleged domestic violence. Police arrested him after he was found chasing his ex-girlfriend’s vehicle while waving his gun in an attempt to get her to pull over. While I’m sure there are a number of very legitimate reasons why someone would be waving a gun at their ex, all I’ll say on the matter is I can only assume the police chase involved Armstead running backwards and ultimately losing possession of the gun.

Anyway, yesterday I’m checking out the Leader Post’s website and come across the headline “Former Roughrider Armstead charged after Mississippi police chase”. What?! Former Rider? Thank you Leader Post for somehow spinning this into the over arching theme that all Riders are criminals. May I remind you that Armstead is a current Bomber who was cut by Montreal, after being cut by Hamilton after being traded there by the Riders… that’s 4 degrees of separation. We washed our hands of him 2 years ago so don’t go inferring that this is somehow a Rider problem. What’s next “Man who once watched half a Rider game on TV charged with theft”? “Woman who is aware of the Riders' existence is actually a suicide bomber for the Taliban”?

How come when John Hufnagel was named Coach of the Year the press release didn’t read “Former Rider QB named top coach”?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Morning Sentimonies: And Then There Was One

… draft pick that is.

That’s right, going into this year’s draft the Riders currently have only 1 pick remaining. Now for those of you how haven’t religiously tracked the ever changing 2009 draft order, first of all what the heck is wrong with you? Second of all don’t worry the Rider Prophet is here to compensate for you actually having a life.

We traded our first round pick during the last draft to BC along with our 3rd rounder in that draft for 2 picks in last year’s draft (with which we drafted Michael Stadnyk and Frenchy McFour-names himself Jean-Francois Morin-Roberge).

We traded our 4th round pick to Calgary as part of the Wes Cates deal.

We traded our 5th round pick to Winnipeg during 2007 for Jermese Jones.

We traded our 6th round pick to Hamilton but I couldn’t tell you for what. (Media Consultant maintains that it was part of the trade to draft Orban last year but I think he’s wrong).

And most recently we traded our 2nd round pick along with our 2nd round pick in 2010 to Montreal in exchange for Donovan Alexander.

I’ll have more on the draft and our complete lack of picks as it gets closer, but for now this is shaping up to be the easiest draft coverage ever. My Live Draft Day Blogging may look like this…
10:00 – Draft begins
11:00 – Rider Prophet rolls out of bed
11:05 – Riders use their only pick to select so and so.
11:06 – Rider Prophet returns to bed.

This must be what it’s like to cover the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on draft day. Though maybe I should ease off slightly on the Winnipeg draft jokes given that they currently have more picks than us (I never thought I’d see the day).

Now back to the Alexander trade. For those of you unfamiliar with Alexander (due to this aforementioned “life” you seem to have), he’s a non-import cornerback who went to school with Weston Dressler and apparently runs faster than him. He is obviously meant to join Leron Mitchell and Konrad Wasiela in the competition for starting wide-side corner. While you never like giving up 2 draft picks I don’t really see it as a loss when you are getting a young Canadian in return. The whole point of the draft is to improve your young Canadian talent so if you can accomplish this by trading picks away then it’s just as good.

While Alexander seems like a talented player I do have my concerns. I mean if acquiring the effeminate prancer known as Henri Childs cost us a first rounder, how much worse must this guy be for Montreal to only charge us a couple of second rounders?

CFL Ins and Outs

In: WR David McKoy (re-signed), KR Casey McGahee (free agent signing)
To me, this is the deciding year for McKoy. Is he really as good as he’s been made out to be? His time here has been spent mainly on the injury list. The coaches obviously have faith in his potential given that they have been willing to be patient with his injuries. Hopefully this is the year he gets a chance to show his talent as opposed to becoming Nathan Hoffart version 2.0… okay maybe that comparison is not completely fair to McKoy as his 2 career receptions actually double Hoffart’s production as a Rider.

In: Korey Banks (contract extension)
While terms of the deal were not released I’m guessing I’ll be able to gauge the size of the signing bonus based on how much more jewels and precious metals Banks has attached to his teef come the season opener.

In: DB Stanford Samuels, LB Cam Hall, DB Jonathan Ordway, DT Tim McGill (free agent signing)
Out: DB Khalil Carter (released)
… good for them …

In: QB Josh Betts, QB Erik Meyer, DL Dennis Haley, DL Mike McFadden (free agent signing)
Out: Nautyn McKay-Loescher, Nick Kordic (released)
Back in 2007 when McKay-Loescher signed with Hamilton, Eric Tillman said he would love to have him. I guess we’ll see if that is still the case now that Loescher is 2 years older and coming off a sub-par performance in ’08. Though given that his price tag is over $100K I highly doubt he’ll land here.

In: DB Brandon Stewart, WR Kyle Smith, DL Dorian Smith, DL Keith Saunders, Nick Kordic (free agent signings)
Out: Timmy Chang, Michael Roberts (released)
Chang is still somewhat of a mystery to me… is he Asian or Hawaiian? I mean he’s from Hawaii but the name Chang is generally associated with kimonos and deliciously prepared alley cat as opposed to grass skirts and pineapples. Just saying is all.

In: LB Nick Hannah, CB Alphonso Hodge, CB Reggie Lewis (free agent signings)
Out: Mike O’Shea (released), Chad Folk, Chris Hardy (retired)
So O’Shea was set to also retire to but changed his mind. In retrospect I think O’Shea will wish he had retired with Folk and Hardy. Given the current market for 38 year old linebackers, he’s going to look pretty foolish for saying he’s not retiring at one press conference only to call a separate one a month later to retire anyways.

In: DE Alain Kashama, DL Ryan Riddle, DL Kelvin Morris (free agent signing)
Kashama may be best remembered for an incident in ’06 when he was with Montreal. Kashama alleged that Montreal police were racist after he and teammate Mark Estelle were pulled over for a traffic violation and briefly detained at the police station. At first I didn’t really believe Kashama as it is a well known fact that the only people Montreal Police are racist towards are Anglos. However, I changed my mind after reading a quote from the police where they said “the vehicle had Illinois license plates, all of which led the officers to believe a drug deal could have been in the works.” I’m not sure what the French have against people from Illinois but I fail to see how an out-of-state plate directly relates to drug dealing. Be warned Illinois residents, you have apparently been geographically profiled by Montreal police.