Christmas may be 2 weeks away but I will be starting the season of giving off early by handing out my largely uncoveted Rider Prophet Awards a salute to the hilarious highs and mind-numbing lows of the previous CFL season.
This being our 4th, we are pleased to offer awards winners our most lucrative prize package to ever (not that that’s saying much). Winners will receive an official Rider Prophet shirt of their choosing as well as one night with Man in the Bush, no questions asked.
Best Player Name
This season, my nod for best player name goes to BC rookie Solomon Elimimian. Elimimian’s awesome name was made even better by the fact that almost nobody in the media could pronounce it properly. At first when he was a back-up player this wasn’t a big deal as his name was uttered with about the same frequency as “And the Blue Bombers win!” However it wasn’t long before Elimimian’s onfield play placed him in the spotlight and people were forced to repeatedly try and say his name… and repeatedly fail.
Previous winners: Craphonso Thorpe. Charleston Hughes, Chijioke Onyenegecha
Quote of the Year
At the start of the year this year’s winner wasn’t even playing football, he was serving drinks in California. But thanks to the inexplicable collapse of Louie Sakoda we were introduced to one of the greatest Rider characters of all time… Eddie Johnson.
Blessed with one of the finest moustaches seen in Riderville since Ray Elgaard and a leg that could send a punt almost into orbit, Johnson quickly won over the fan base. But when a microphone was put in front of him Johnson transformed from a well-liked punter into a super star.
There are too many great quotes to pick just one but here’s a sampling of his greatest interview this year… bear in mind that he spent the entire interview combing his moustache.
When asked about how he ended up in Sasakatchewan…
Yeah Craigslist. You can find anything you want on there, pretty much. I put it in the classifieds, and actually the personals too. It said “Punter for hire. With ‘stache. Willing to travel. Willing to travel light. Single. No one will be mad if he leaves the state.”
When asked about the difficulty of punting in cold weather…
Tell me about it. It doesn’t travel as far, that’s for sure. Actually what I like to do is when I have the ball in my hands I give it a little... give it a little ‘stache. Ball gets scared. Ball travels farther. That’s usually how it works.
Here's hoping Eddie Johnson stays in Saskatchewan for years to come
Previous Winner: Jason Clermont, Mike Abou-Mechrek x 2
Play of the Year
Hands down the play of the year goes to Ron Flemons for treating us to this beauty…
Botched Call of the Year
It was hardly a banner year for officiating in the CFL so there were many candidates for this award this. While this year’s winner didn’t have a huge impact on the outcome of a game (unlike some other botched calls), it gets the nod based purely on how ridiculous it is that the call was botched.
The convert is generally regarded as the easiest play in football. It’s pretty much automatic. That’s why it was such a surprise to see Argo kicker Grant Shaw miss a convert attempt… at least that was the ruling on the field.
A closer look at the replay showed the ball clearly went through the uprights and should have counted. I have no idea what the refs were looking at when they called it a miss. For managing to screw up a call on the easiest play in pro-football, this call gets placed above all others in 2010.
The Commercial I Didn’t Get Sick Of Seeing Even Though TSN Made Me Watch It 54,297 Times Award
Unfortunately it was once again slim pickings for this award. Wendy’s and Tim Hortons continue to inundate us with their craptastic commercials that honestly make me less likely to buy their products (advertising money well spent).
Fortunately, as with every year, there were a couple commercials that renewed my waning faith in advertisers. Honourable mention goes to Egg Management Fee but hands down this year’s award goes to Old Spice for treating us to this…
And following up with this one and even letting Ray Lewis in on the fun.
Fans Choice Douche-Bag of the Year
You the fans have spoken and with an overwhelming 52% of the vote, have chosen Dwight Anderson as your Douche Bag of The Year. He’s obnoxious, loud mouthed and barely tolerable at the best of times. One of his shinning moments this season came here at Mosaic Stadium when a Stampeder coach had to run onto the field and drag Anderson off because he was celebrating a turnover and didn't notice that Calgary was trying to get a play in before Miller could challenge.
Previous winners: Mike Kelly, Jason Jimenez, Rob Murphy
Most Insulted Sports Figure
With perennial winner Michael Bishop being absent from the CFL this year, this category was wide open. Though admittedly just because Bishop wasn’t in the CFL it didn’t stop me from taking a shot at him from time to time.
It was in February that the Riders announced the Riders announced that Jim Daley had been hired as their Special Teams Coordinator. At the time, I was less than impressed because Jim Daley is a perennial failure when it comes to coaching. I knew that with Daley running the show our special teams would be far from the best… however I underestimated the embarrassing lows that he was capable of taking our special teams.
Not one week went by where there wasn’t some monumental screw up on special teams, whether it be repeatedly letting defenders through to block our kicks (one of which cost us Luca Congi), employing kick returners who had no clue how to actually catch a ball, allowing big returns for TD, failing to defending fake punts (even though a blind guy in the nose bleeds saw it coming a mile away) or his revolutionary kick return scheme that involved absolutely no blocking… in fact I’m not sure why we even bothered having the other 11 players on the field because they clearly didn’t do anything.
For all the reasons listed above Daley became the name I cursed and insulted above all others.
Previous winners: Michael Bishop x 2, Marcel Bellefeuille