Riders 6 – Ti-Cats 24
In retrospect there were many signs during Saturday’s game that this wasn’t going to be our day. One could point to the TSN turning point occurring very early in the first quarter when Durant fumbled the ball on a botched play action. One could point to the fact that that was just one of 3 turnovers Durant committed in his first 9 plays. One could point to Chris Jones being our offensive MVP and the focal point of our offense on those exciting 5 yards patterns (he even added a defensive tackle to boot). But for me the biggest sign was that across the board there was a huge lack of intensity and effort.
After spending the whole week assuring us their focus was on the Ti-Cats, I think we can now call BS because you can’t tell me that after turning in a performance like that that the Riders weren’t overlooking Hamilton and thinking about the Calgary game this week.
With the exception of Armstead, nobody seemed to have their heads the game. Durant seemed to celebrate Halloween by dressing up as Michael Bishop. The O-line joined in the spirit of the season by dressing up as bag boys… they were handing out sacks like their pay-check depended on it. The defense donned their BC Lions costumes and proceeded to make the very mediocre DeAndra Cobb look like an all-star RB. Even the usually reliable Rob Bagg appeared to dress up as Dylan Ching. There was just nothing positive about that performance. It was just plain ugly.
Speaking of ugly, this is of course the perfect segue into a discussion about the Hamilton cheerleaders. Now this group isn’t exactly the most attractive ensemble at the best of times but for some odd season they decided this week to step it up a notch and dress up as zombies. To be fair though while the attire and make-up somehow managed to make the group look worse, in a few cases it actually made a couple of them more attractive (you know, relatively speaking).
Other random thoughts on the game…
- Congi sure has a knack for finding the uprights on long FG attempts.
- Was it “Red Plastic Bag Day” at Ivor Wynne?! I mistook a floating bag as a penalty flag early in the game but it seemed that a new one would waft down the field every couple minutes.
- What ever happened to Neal Hughes?? Last year he put up 7 TDs and was a versatile weapon and an important part of our offense. This year he received his first and only offensive touch on Saturday. We’ve given multiple touches to Szarka so why not show Hughes some love?
- Yes I realize the irony in complaining that a FB other than Szarka is not getting the ball enough. Maybe Hughes just needs to run for city council.
It was a very disappointing performance but fortunately it ended up not mattering much in the grand scheme of things. With Calgary beating BC, we have clinched our 3rd straight home playoff game. It comes down to this Saturday’s game against the Stamps to determine if it’s yet another West-Semi or the first West Final since 1976.
I am officially placing all first aid personnel at Mosaic Stadium on notice that I’m not sure my heart will be able to take the stress of that game and I will likely require medical attention at some point.