Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Morning Sentimonies: I Froze My Ass Off For That?

Riders 26 – Argos 31

Instead of the exciting season finale at Mosaic that fans were expecting (and deserving of), Saturday we were forced to endure 3 hours of a team mailing it in in every facet of the game. Players weren’t making plays, coaches had a brutal game plan and the admin staff didn’t even bother making an attempt at a half time show (I guess all the fabulous shows we had all season must have eaten away at the budget). But hey what have the fans ever done for this team?

The team didn’t even bother starting to try until the second quarter by which point Ricky Ray had already carved us up for 2 TDs. I’d say we were just going through the motions but unfortunately what I saw was the team I have seen for the last 3 weeks. Our O-line was obviously too cold to block as we allowed the worst pass rush in the CFL to get constant pressure and 4 sacks. So much for all that money we spend in the offseason upgrading our OL (Though a serviceable right tackle would go a long ways to shoring that up). The ever reliable Dressler obviously started his Halloween celebrations early and came to the game as Chris Getzlaf (a much better looking Chris Getzlaf mind you) as he was dropping passes all day. Our offense looked terrible for most of the game but yet again (HEY Bob Dyce this is a recording) when you don’t attempt passes over 10 yards against an aggressive secondary it allows them to move up and wreak havoc on your short game.

As for the defense well someone should go inform Richie Hall that this is not touch football so fielding a team that can actually tackle might help a bit. I have been a massive Patrick fan since the day he arrived in town but he needs to get off the field as he is utterly useless on corner. It’s gotten so bad that I’d even be willing to give James Johnson a call myself to see if he is available.  I think we need to designate someone to sit down with Hall before each game and remind him about who the oppositions weapons are. While I’m pleased at how he was able to limit Spencer Watt, it would have been a tad bit more helpful if we’d bothered covering Durie or possibly Owens. It’s not all on the secondary since our D-line was completely neutralized by the likes of Parenteau and Wayne Smith. No pressure on Ray = you are screwed. Seriously If I can figure this crap out why can’t a guy whose job it has been for over a decade do it?

The discussion on team failures would of course not be complete without talking about Sandro DeAngelis. 16 yards?!?!?! 16? Are you f’ing kidding me? We ran McCallum out of town for that and we actually used to like him... imagine what we will do to someone we don’t like.

In the end, one team showed up to play and one didn’t. One team showed a sense of urgency, one didn’t. One team made plays, one didn’t. Hell even when we did make plays (Lobendahn INT, Jackson huge punt return) we couldn’t capitalize. We appear to be coasting into the playoffs and I sincerely hope the coaches and players don’t think they can flip the switch come 2 weeks because that just won’t happen. We need better game plans, better execution and better effort and we need it now.

Lastly I feel the need to comment on the last drive headshot. I will preface this by saying the refs didn’t lose us the game. We played like ass and should not have to rely on a last second drive. That said, the no-call there was pure and utter BS! How the guy whose job it is to watch the QB doesn’t see a helmet smash into his when the ball was still in his hands is inexcusable. Sadly it’s a recurring pattern with Durant. He never gets calls. I really wonder what he did to piss off the refs that bad (did he sleep with all their wives?... well I hope for Durant's sake he opted for daughters as some of those refs are getting up there).  If that was Calvillo the flag would have been thrown just for the defender being within 5 yards of his head. Ray gets that call, Lulay gets that call, Pierce gets concussed. As I tweeted after the game I’m not sure if it’s the Riders the refs hate or just black people but it’s clearly a double standard and the refs and the league are failing to protect a QB even though they proclaim it’s their top priority.  

Other random thoughts:
-       To the old guy in the balaclava who wanted to fight me for commenting that the stands would be pretty empty after halftime: stay classy.
-       I’ve said a lot of smart ass things over the years in the stands but that is by far one of the tamer ones yet apparently it was the most offensive.  Who knew?
-       According to the stat sheet our MLB did not have a single tackle... that stat is indicative of a complete defensive failure.
-       I’m not sure what Willis was drunk on but he should have shared with the fans who endured the cold.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Are You Smarter Than A Baby - Week 18 Results

Unlike the Riders, Prophet Jr. decided to turn in one of his best performances late in the season. He put up a perfect week. Step-Prophet had 3, Mrs. prophet 2 and (as always seems to happen), I was the worst in the household with 1 point.

With only 1 more week to here are your top 3.

1 - Mrs. Prophet - 41 points
2 - Jim, Prophet Jr. - 38 points
3 - Wes, DB - 36 points

Friday, October 26, 2012

Riders vs. Argos: Home Finale

Saturday the Argos come to town for what will be the final home game of 2012... and it will be a chilly one. It’s a good thing most of our seats our covered by season tickets because trying to market a cold game, that doesn’t mean a whole lot against the Argos can’t be easy. I mean if the Riders will willing to give the fans what they want: mascot soccer at halftime then it would surely be packed. But I have been pitching for years and I’m convinced Helen Keller will hear me before Jim Hopson.

The story of this game will be which Riders team decides to show up. The one that won 5 of 6 and beat the best in west or the one we’ve seen the last 2 weeks doesn’t look like they could beat anyone. The cynic in me expects the latter as there isn’t a whole lot on the line here (we are in the playoffs either way). The stupidly optimistic fan in me still likes to think the teams actually cares enough to play strong for their fans. That said the stupidly optimistic fan has been burned a lot more than the cynic this year... and in general. I feel a spouse who keeps returning to an abusive relationship.

What’s sad about this game is we actually have a better record than the Argos but thanks to dreadfully awful level of play in the east, we might yet finish 4th and the Argos are all but assured 2nd and a home playoff game. I mean short of pulling a Tanya Harding on Calvillo there’s not much more the league can do to get Braley’s Argos into the cup... not that anyone is Toronto would care. They are too busy enjoying the Maple Leafs’ first non-sucking season in years.

As for the game, it will be a lot different that our first meeting since Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert will be playing. I don’t want to say Jarious Jackson is awful but this akin to an Olympian competing in the actual Olympics instead of the special ones. Actually Kackert worries me. Ray likes short throws to him and Montreal has repeatedly shown how vulnerable we are to that. Based on the last Toronto game I saw I expect to see a lot of Kackert and a lot of deep shots. Then again if a decade of facing Richie Hall defense has taught Ricky Ray anything he would run a ton of crossing routes. I just hope we learn from last week an actually game plan to cover their best receiver.

As with always the key will be disrupting Ray with pressure and hits. If he has time he will carve us up. If Joseph can do it, the prospect of Ray is scary. Time for the bounce back game that should have came last week. Their O-line isn’t all that good so we should be able to generate pressure. If the LBs can contain Kackert and the DBs eliminate Owens and the big play we should be in good shape.

Offensively, I say run, run run. The Argos have a good secondary and generate a ton of INTs but their run D is the second worst in the league. Cold weather + bad run D should = a heavy dose of Sheets. That said I’d be lying if I said I was confident that Dyce would figure that out. Obviously Dressler is phenom so lean on him but we will need a few other weapons to step up to keep the opportunistic Argo secondary from keying on Dressler. I’m still leery of Taj Smith but he seems to be playing well lately. Now that we’ve discovered McHenry is able to run more than just the out he is developing into a reliable outlet. If we believed in using our receivers’ height to our advantage I would recommend the deep ball along the sidelines to Carr but since Bob Dyce believes that the depth of a receiver’s route is inversely related to their height I won’t bother. The Argos are for some reason fundamentally opposed to sacks so our O-line should be up to the challenge.

It would be easy for the Riders to mail this in, but I just have to believe they will come out fired up for one last time at Mosaic and play some inspired ball. I see Ray throwing for a lot on us with Kackert leading the way in receptions but at the end of the day I think the D will finally generate some turnovers (that hopefully won’t get negated by BS penalties) and the O (led by a powerful running game) will capitalize.

Riders by a Kory Sheets TD.

See you in the stands. Cheer loud, it will help you stay warm... I also recommend whiskey poured very strong.

Are You Smarter Than A Baby - Week 18

Here are thr Prophet family picks for week 18

Prophet Jr. - Calgary. Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal
Step-Prophet - Calgary. Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Montreal
Rider Prophet - BC, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Edmonton
Mrs. Prophet -  BC, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Montreal
Momma Prophet -  BC, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Montreal

Please be sure to have your picks in by kickoff tonight

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Les Maudits Riders

Riders 28 – Als 34

Saturday’s game was a shot to the nuts... both literally and figuratively.

Well I will say this, at least when the Riders decide to play like crap they do it as a team. Since Saturday’s loss, I have heard lots of talk about how this was the defense’s fault. Believe me I will be getting to the many, many failures of our D in a minute but if you don’t think the O and special teams (Dressler TD aside) shares just as much blame then you obviously didn’t watch the same game.

Our offense was abysmal for 3 quarters, putting up just 7 points against a very mediocre defense. Then like a drunk ex they showed up in the fourth quarter for a booty call giving us the naive fans, hope of a happy reunion but left us disappointed in the end. The wind appears to be one of Bob Dyce’s many kryptonites. Our O consistently produces nothing into the wind despite the fact that our opponents are giving us a firsthand tutorial on how it can be done. Another Dyce kryptonite showed up as well... not running in the 2nd half. Sheets had 3 runs in the 2nd half. Three!!!! Admittedly we did try getting him the ball throw the air in the fourth but he displayed Patrick Thibeault hands. Durant struggled but no more than anyone else. Our O-line got roughed up something awful, Durant had no time to work. On that last play of the game the Als only set 3 pass rushers!!! And still the pocket collapsed faster than an old man with a heart condition at a wet t-shirt contest. It was embarrassing. 5 on 3 and we got schooled. We need Fulton back and soon. The ghost of Greg Carr made an appearance which was nice to see but he never had a pass over 10 yards. I honestly have no idea why we even bother bringing in tall receivers (Rodriguez, Baker, Harper, Carr) because they only ever run short stuff. Bottom line, you can’t mail it in until the 4th quarter and hope to beat a team as good as the Als.

 Our defense should even be ashamed to show their face in public this week. First of all I’m not sure if we were too busy game planning against Green and London, but how in the bloody hell did we forget about Jamel Richardson?!?!?! Over and over and over (I could keep going). I realize Richardson is among the top WRs in the league and he will get catches but we let him have free reign out there to play pitch and catch with Calvillo. Evidently we were more concerned with limiting the receiving force known as Eric Deslauriers. Just like in our first meeting, the Als used the same dump pass to the RB to victimize us over and over again. I mean outside of Richardson and that RB dump to Jennings, Clavillo only completed 4 passes. Probably because the first 2 options were so easy to complete he didn’t need to look at other ones.

This of course brings me to most embarrassing part of the day, letting old man Calvillo run for not one but 2 TDs. Run actually isn’t the right term, it was more like casually saunter. The old man almost had better stats then Sheets. For a defense that was supposed to be built on speed letting that happen once is an epic fail... twice, well there isn’t enough words in the English language to describe how embarrassing that is. We should ask Calvillo what’s Spanish for “bent us over and had his way with us”.

If this is the kind of performance we can expect from the Riders at home against a banged up team with nothing to play for then our post season will likely be short and painful. Collectively the team (coaches included) needs to look themselves in the mirror and man up because we only have 2 games left and a lot of work to do to get back the winning team we have been at times throughout this season.

Other random observations:
-       2 kick return TDs in 1 year!?! I didn’t think that was even possible for a team that went over 4 years without one.
-       Isn’t it amazing how good things happen when you introduce a bit of creativity into the short yardage team?
-       The decision to even attempt that FG into the wind was a poor one.
-       I wonder what was said or done that led to Emry nut shotting Labatte... something tells me it had something to do with his mom. Mabye Labatte offered to take Mrs. Emry out to a nice shrimp dinner and never call her again (anyone out there catch that reference)
-       What an idiot Emry is.! And then to swear at the ref while being escorted out... dude you sucker punched a dude in the balls after the play... short of untimely muscle spasms I’m not sure how you can justify that?
-       I have always been a huge James Patrick fan but I fully expect this season to be his last with us unless he’s willing to take a pay cut.
-       Tahnks to Andy Fantuz for getting into the playoffs despite our crappy play.
-       I love how we have just given up putting effort into halftime. “What can we do that’s easy and cheap?... I got it we’ll just drive Geno around the field. Sure we’ll do it again when he’s inducted into the Plaza and again when he makes the Hall of Fame but screw it.”
-       PS thanks to Scott Schultz for at least adding some entertainment value.