Weather aside, it was good to be back in the stands from some Friday night football. And all things considered, the weather could have been far worse. Given the torrential downpour that occurred all afternoon, I'm not sure where that sunshine came from but it was a welcome sight.
First and foremost the Riders won the game, and winning at home is always a good thing. That said, a small part of me is somewhat concerned by the victory. You see, the Riders are traditionally not very good in the preseason. We lost both preseason games last year and made it to the Cup. We lost both in 2009 and did the same. In fact, the last time we actually won a preseason game was 2008. And if you'll recall that season ended with Micheal Bishop single-handedly ruining our season. So I'm not sure if I should be excited about the victory or not.
In no particular order (other than the random one they pop into my head) here are my observations on the game:
- Hats off the the guy selling booze tokens on the 2nd deck. While paying for tokens, I commented to a friend that getting married doubles your expenses (as I was buying tokens for Mrs. Prophet). Without missing a beat the token guy responded "Yeah but you spend less on hookers so it balances out" Gold!
- I can't believe the wind didn't send some of the people trying to hold down the giant Canada flag flying,
- As much as it pains me to say it, Dinwiddie did good out there given the conditions. That said I may having been secretly praying for an Edmonton defender to level him when he took off on that one run. Yes I am an awful person, I readily admit it
- My boy Bergquist had a mostly good showing, highlighted by a nice TD pass to Patrick Brown. That was slightly offset by 1 - his ill-advised decision to run that one time that he got rocked on and 2 - the even more ill-advised decision to shovel a botched FG snap to Eddie Johnson. Seriously at what point did that seem like a good decision.
- Unless Chris Leak is willing to work for practice roster money, he is so cut.
- The battle at running back is a tough one to call. All 3 backs have some great plays on Friday. While I can't see Cates losing his spot (especially after his nice runs and even nicer catch), both Charles and West showed enough to keep them in contention.
- Cary Koch is ridiculous, that is all.
- Wheelright looked good too. That said I'm still concerned that our primary use for big tall receivers seems to be short routes. It seems like a waste at unless we find a receiver who is tall enough to just fall forwards for 10 yards every time.
- How weird was it to actually see us repeatedly stuff the run? It had been so long that I'd almost forgotten that's what's supposed to happen on defense.
- As weird as that was, it doesn't even come close to us actually witnessing a kick returned for a TD by a Riders!!!!! I thought such things only existed in myths and fairy tales but Hugh Charles showed us that they can actually happen (he even topped it off with a flip). I just hope we didn't waste our only good return of the year on a meaningless game.
- Pull up your socks Mullinder! You're only a starter because of your birth certificate and if you keep that up, even that might be enough to save you.
- Even without Patrick, Hawkins and McKenzie, i like the look of our defense! I think good things are in store for that unit this year.
- I don't mind the look of Ludovic Kashindi. I think he's worth developing.
- Craig Butler didn't look out of place with the starters. I realize he's got a long way to go but given how well the last DB we took with our first draft pick has been coming along its reassuring to see.
- I know he's not a Rider but Wopamo Osaisai is a freaking awesome name!
- I sure called the Marc Mueller token appearance. Kudos to him though for using his knowledge of Rams football to pick on Tamon George.
- Chris Graham's first sack made it worth the price of admission (I've been wanting to see that truck hit someone all training camp). He's second sack/german suplex was icing on the cake. We are deep at LB but Graham is fighting hard to stick around.
- What and absolute gong show that fourth quarter stretch was. First they all run out onto the field only to be reminded by the refs that a quarter can't end on a penalty so they all run off. Once they get to the sidelines a TV timeout is called and they are sent back on. Then once they are done the last play of the 3rd quarter occurs and they are forced to kind of gloss over the 4th quarter break,
- Who the hell was that giant headed mascot and what did he do with Worksafe Bob?!?! All he did was hold his head the whole time. That is not stretching you impostor! We want the real Worksafe Bob back! You know the faceless black thing that frightens children.
All in all I was happy with how the Riders fared. They will have a quick turnaround as the final preseason tuneup is Wednesday in BC.