Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sixth Annual Rider Prophet Awards

It’s that time again… that time where I artificially create filler posts to get through an offseason with limited actual stuff to talk about… also known as the Rider Prophet Awards. This year the awards have the added bonus of being more prestigious and relevant that the NHL awards. I actually asked Gary Bettman to borrow their awards for this since they wouldn’t be needing them but he ended up locking me out somehow. We have talks scheduled for next week… also TSN will be doing an all day special about the progress of those talks for some reason.

What my awards lack in actual trophies and being desirable to win, they make up for with… err… umm well they aren’t as excruciating as the Emmy’s and the results are more relevant than the Tony’s. This year’s winners will receive an all expense paid trip to Man In the Bush’s house, their choice of items from the mall lost and found box and an autographed picture of the Rider Prophet to commemorate this occasion.

Now, on with the awards:

Best Player Name
Anyone who followed my blog or twitter feed this season will clearly know who this year’s best name goes to. Previous winners in this category have had names that entertain me, but this year’s winner took it to the next level by inspiring an ongoing set of jokes and hilarious (at least in my mind) potential headlines. Ladies and gentlemen you best name of 2012 goes to the Riders’ own Drew Willy.

Our honouree declined to accept this award in person, turns out the whole idea rubbed Willy the wrong way. I guess Willy prefers self-gratification over strangers tooting his horn.

Previous winners: Bear Woods, Solomon Elimimian, Craphonso Thorpe. Charleston Hughes, Chijioke Onyenegecha,

Quote of the Year
It’s common for comments said by people across the CFL to irk some people, but it’s truly rare for something someone says to incite outrage league wide… particularly when it doesn’t involve racism (yes I’m not going with Khalif Mitchell here though he did have a couple doozies). This year’s award for quote of the year goes to Bomber GM Joe Mack for using the following statement to explain why him team was sucking beyond belief.

"We've had a fairly rough year for the psyche of the team. It started with the death of coach Richard Harris. I knew that would have a big impact on our players. As I reflect back... it had a much bigger effect on the psyche of the team than I even realized. And there were other things that maybe compounded that. There were things beyond the team's control."

Memo to aspiring GM’s attempting to gain sympathy for your ineptness by saying your team’s poor play is due to coach that died a year ago is not a good idea. Mack earned himself the ire of pretty much everyone in the country and that is why he is deserving of this honour.

Previous Winner: Henry Burris, Eddie Johnson, Jason Clermont, Mike Abou-Mechrek x 2

Play of the Year
Normally this award goes to marginally talented people who I can scarcely comprehend how they found employment as a professional football player (case in point, Ryan Dinwiddie won last year). However this year’s award goes to one of the more talented people in the CFL: Chris Williams. I’m not sure if he just got bored by returning so many kicks for TDs or if he momentarily forgot he was playing on the bigger Canadian field but this year’s play of the year goes to this:

Honourable mention to Taj Smith’s embarrassing attempt to field an onside kick.

Botched Call of the Year
It was hardly a year for officials to brag about (though I guess to be fair they were a step above the NFL replacement officials), inconsistency and questionable calls became the norm. While there were literally hundreds of potential nominees, the one that sticks out in my mind from this season came in a home game against Toronto. 

Darian Durant was at QB late in the game needing a TD drive to win the game, he took the snap and dropped back looking for a pass. Meanwhile Brandon Isaac came on a blitz and nailed Durant with a dirty head on head hit. No worries though as the ref assigned to watch for such blatant infractions saw it and instituted the appropriate penalty… oh wait that’s what should have happened. What actually happened was the said ref was too distracted by the swirling ripped up 50/50 tickets or day dreaming about how vertical stripes are slimming. He somehow missed the blatant head shot and accompanying thundering crack of their helmets that happened right in front of him on the person he was being paid to watch. It was so bad that the League instituted a one game suspension on Isaac (and this is a league that goes out of their way to avoid suspending people).
The Commercial I Didn’t Get Sick Of Seeing Even Though TSN Made Me Watch It 54,297 Times Award
Honourable mention to Flex-Seal for teaching us that when in doubt you can fix a boat with a screen door but this year’s winner was far and away this contribution from Mr. Lube. It just never got old.

Fans Choice Douche-Bag of the Year
You the fans have spoken… and in records numbers I might add as we had the most votes cast in the 6 year history of this award. It probably had something to do with it being a banner year for douche-baggery in the CFL. But above all the other run of the mill douche bags, with 50% of the total votes you have chosen to award Jon Cornish as the 2012 Fans Choice Douche-Bag of the Year.

It was probably the mooning thing that put people over the edge but Cornish just seems to give off this vibe that makes people dislike him.

Interesting to note that Cornish becomes the 3rd Stampeder in a row to earn this dubious distinction.  I’m sure you’re all shocked by that.

Previous Winners: Henry Burris, Dwight Anderson, Mike Kelly, Jason Jimenez, Rob Murphy

Most Insulted Sports Figure

Usually I can see potential winners in this category coming a mile away. Generally the nominees come from my long-standing hatred list (such as 2 time winner Michael Bishop). But this year’s winner is a bit of surprise to me. Not because he is undeserving but because if you would have asked me at the start of the season he would not have even been on my radar (that said Mrs. Prophet has hated this guy even since last year).

This person received an offseason extension and accompanying huge pay increase. Unfortunately the size of the increase was proportional to their drop in play. When he wasn’t busy dropping easy passes, he spent his time going offside and being the target of passes that were intercepted. I am talking of course about Chris Getzlaf who caused me to curse more than anyone this year and also inspired a motto “Nothing good happens when you pass to Getzlaf”.

For me the clincher was when he was booed off the Mosaic turf. Do have any idea how much you have to suck to be a hometown Regina Ram product and get booed?!? For god sake we gave standing ovations to 2 yard passes to Clermont and -1 yard runs by Stu Foord. The bar is not set that high. But somehow Getzlaf managed to set a new low. All for the low price of $120,000… the same price we pay our super midget who is one of the best receivers this franchise has ever had.

For inspiring more insults and profanity in my household (most of which came from Mrs. Prophet), Chris Getzlaf is this year’s Most Insulted Sports Figure.

Previous winners: Ryan Dinwiddie, Jim Daley, Michael Bishop x 2, Marcel Bellefeuille

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Grey Cup Thoughts

The 2012 season came to a less than dramatic close last night as the hometown Argos beat up on the Stampeders. In a stunning turn of events it actually seemed liked people in Toronto not only noticed but cared… either that or a lot of people in this country really hate the Stamps. Actually in retrospect that second one seems a lot more likely.

The game actually went pretty much as I expected. For the third consecutive meeting Chris Jones completely eliminated Jon Cornish. The only thing that was surprising about it was that Cornish decided to keep his pants on. On the other end of things, the Stamps obviously spent all week focusing on how to eliminate Chad Owens and completely forgot about Chad Kackert. Or as his friends like to call it, the Kack Attack… though I’m pretty sure they copied that from an adult film series (not that I would know anything about that).

So there you go, the Argos are the top of the league this year… though if you ask Eric Tillman I’m sure he’d tell you that Steven Jyles and a bunch of cap space could have just as effectively handled the Stamps.

Here are a few other random thoughts on the game:
-       Glad Calgary spent all that time trying to get their horse into the game, its presence would definitely have made all those TDs a lot more special… oh wait.
-       Kevin Glenn should probably have just broken his arm again then at least people could speculate about how good he would be in a Grey Cup
-       I can’t believe Adriano Belli actually Khalif Michelled somebody in the biggest game of the year. Though I’m not entirely convinced he wasn’t just sure the Argos would win and wanted to get an early start on celebratory drinking
-       Amazingly Justin Bieber wasn’t the worst part of the halftime show… at least his lip-synching was better rehearsed than Mariana’s Trench.
-       That said I’m pretty sure the Call Me Maybe chick has bigger arms than Bieber.
-       Also I’m pretty sure the Rogers Centre was piping in canned noise (BC Lions style) to cover up the crowd’s obvious unhappiness… well the portion of the crowd that wasn’t under 16 or a male cheerleader.
-       Sad fact: Jarious Jackson now has as many Grey Cup rings as Anthony Calvillo, Ricky and get this…. The Saskatchewan Roughrider franchise.

And thus ends the 2012 CFL season but stick with me through the offeason as there will be posts and tweets to get through the long months ahead. Next up on tap is the Rider Prophet Awards, be sure to get your vote in for Douche Bag of the Year.

Friday, November 23, 2012

100th Grey Cup and Other Friday Thoughts

Sunday the 2012 season comes to a close as the Stampeders take on the Argos at Rogers Centre. For the record I’ll just be impressed if the game doesn’t get bumped out of Rogers Centre for a full length Bieber concert and asked to move to Wednesday.

It’s an intriguing matchup in this year’s championship as 2 QBs who were snubbed by their teams at the end of last season go head to head. Hamilton dumped Glenn for Burris and Edmonton dumped Ray for a salary cap coupon and the rights to a new GM to be named later. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I will be cheering for the Argos. Kevin Glenn aside, I really just can’t stand the Stamps. Also, I’d like to think that a Grey Cup win for the Argos would be good for football in southern Ontario… I’d like to think that. I know it’s a pipe dream and the non-existent NHL will get more coverage in Toronto but one can always dream.

The difference in the game will be Chris Jones eliminating Jon Cornish. The Argos beat the Stamps in both meetings this season thanks in large part to Jones’ D holding Cornish to 82 total rush yards and no TDs combined over both games. If he does that again, it’s Ray vs. Glenn in an aerial battle and my money is on Ray. You know that and the fact that David Braley has rigged the Cup so his charity investment in the Argos will pay off… err I mean not rigged it wink wink.

Other random Grey Cup week thoughts:
-       CFL Awards went yesterday… not that you would know since it received less coverage than Gary Bettman’s bowl movements. I think it’s ridiculous that TSN now broadcasts the 5th round of the Canadian Draft live online but the league awards get nothing. At least the league has its priorities.

-       The awards were fairly anticlimactic this year as the deserving winners were so blatantly obvious that not even the reporters who vote on it (most of whom wouldn’t know what makes a quality football player if it was spelled out in a manual for them) couldn’t get it wrong.

-       It will be an interesting phenomenon on Sunday when everyone who likes football turns off the TV at halftime while everyone who does not turns it on.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Division Finals

If you are like me you spent yesterday watching the CFL division finals. You also spent most of the West Final thinking “good lord, the Riders would have beat that lackluster BC effort!”. Alas it was the much hated Stamps you were the beneficiaries.

It’s actually too bad I hate Calgary so much because I do like Kevin Glenn and would like to see him get a ring… problem is I don’t like him enough to cheer for the rest of his douche bag infested team. If he could somehow separate and run as an independent candidate that would be ideal. I would just recommend that Calgary ensure all walkways are thoroughly de-iced and all shower rooms plastered in non-slip mats. I just have this sinking suspicion Glenn will slip and break his arm. Dude just seems cursed.

As for the East final, it’s a real shame that no one in the city will even notice that the Argos have their first legitimately good team since they fired Kent Austin and will be playing for the Cup at home. Since I so loathe the Stamps, I am jumping on the Argo bandwagon… or at least I tried to turns out the city cares so little for football that they don’t even have a bandwagon so I had to built it before I could jump on. Only city I know where support for a sports team is inversely related to their odds of winning a title. I guess they are too busy basking in the fact that the Maple Leafs aren’t currently embarrassing themselves.

Speaking of the East final, has anyone seen or spoken to Brian Bratton since the yesterday. Just assume that between Calvillo and angry French people someone must have done him in.

The Grey Cup goes next week but for now we are opening voting for the annual Fans’ Choice Douche Bag of the Year for the upcoming Rider Prophet Awards Please vote in the poll above. This year’s nominees are:

Khalif Mitchell – Arm bars, throat slashes, racial slurs… take your pick. This guy is a real gem.

Shea Emry – Nominated for punching Labatte in the nuts and then swearing at the refs for having the audacity to eject him.  Despite it being his third offense requiring supplemental discipline apparently it wasn’t suspension worthy.

Jon Cornish – Nominated for being the first person I can recall who got so mad at the Riders and their fans that he took his pants off in disgust.

Jovon Johnson – Nominated for being ridiculously cocky about his defensive skills both before and after getting repeatedly burned by opposing offensive players. In his words: “There is a reason I was defensive player of the year last year”… in my word: “And there are many reasons you did not repeat”