Sunday marks the 2nd and final preseason game for the Riders. It also marks the least favourite game of the year for many Rider fans. It’s not our least favourite because its relative significance/importance ranks somewhere below Grade 8 graduation. We’re Rider fans, every minute detail about the team is important whether it be a preseason game or the brand of soap that a particular player is using. No, our dislike of the game stems from the fact that it is the only road game that is not shown on TV. We have to settle for listening over the radio.
The problem with the radio is that you can’t actually see what’s going and have to rely on someone else describing what is happening. My main problem is that I’m not a great visualizer and my mind tends to wander. So when I reality a QB may be rolling to his right getting pressured and dumping the ball off to his RB… in my mind the QB may be rolling but he is being pursued by a bear on a unicycle and ends up dumping off to his RB (who just happens to be riding on an ostrich). In my mind the stands are also filled with a lot more topless attractive women than their probably are in reality. Kinda like Spartacus if any of you have ever watched that show.
Anywho, you probably didn’t come here to hear about my weird day dreams (and if you did that’s downright creepy)... onto the game. Sunday will be last chance for the players to impress the coaches. For some that could mean the difference between starting and riding the pine. For others it could mean the difference between coming back to Regina and taking a plane ride home.
Offense is pretty much set unless Wayne Smith can steal his starters spot back from Joel Bell. Only thing left to determine is which rookie WR can earn himself a back-up spot.
Defense has a bit more uncertainty. Secondary and LBs are set. D-Line is anything but. We like to field a 6 man rotation and of those 6 spots, 2 are set in stone (Chunky and Shologan), 2 are pretty certain (Mullinder and Shomari) and 2 are wide open. Despite not logging any game time yet, Hawkins is a favourite for one of those spots. Guess we will see if the hype is deserved (or we’ll at least hear about it and visualize a bear on a unicycle). That leaves Kitwana, Evans, Ike Squared, Riddick (who is apparently hurt), Stadnyk and Josh Miller (who is a long shot at best) competing for the last spot. The stakes are higher than an old person's belt line.
It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out come Sunday.In other Rider news...
- One person who won’t be making the trip to Calgary is Kent Smith... who in a shocking turn of events was released early this week. There are very few details being given about his release but I have a feeling that it had something to do with the fact if Smith manages to make the connections on his flight home he will have surpassed the number of connections he made on the football field.
- In perhaps the best news of the young season, the Riders announced that Weston Dressler has agreed to a contract extension. This is great news! A guy as talented as him doesn’t come along very often. From a human resource perspective he also helps the Riders meet their employment equity targets since it technically counts as employing a midget... or as I believe they prefer to be called, vertically retarded.
- The Riders have retro red and black jerseys to commemorate the team’s history. Reaction was decidedly mixed on the jerseys which will be worn for one game in July. Personally I think they aren’t that bad and are a good way to commemorate the team’s roots. I still maintain that if they really wanted to do things right, the players should be wearing leather helmets when they sport the retro jerseys. Evidently the team (and most medical professionals) disagree.
- It was also announced that the Canadian Mint will be producing a special Rider loonie to honour the centennial. Of course, I told you my faithful readers about this special loonie back in April. Proving yet again that I am miles ahead of the rest of the football world... and when Tim Cronk is named Most Outstanding Canadian 3 years from now, I will yet again be vindicated.
One final note, does anyone else think that Prechae Rodriguez looks like a terrorist?
Seriously, if he came out of the shower with his head wrapped in a towel you might as well call him Osama Bin Rodriquez.