Friday, June 19, 2015

Riders vs. Stampeders: Preseason Game 2

Friday night the Riders close out the regular as we the fans kickoff another year at Mosaic (err… old Mosaic… Mosaic Classic... New Mosaic’s less attractive older sister… they need to come up with something to make this easier for me). The hated Stampeders are in town, it’s a Friday night game, and it’s a preseason game… I have a sneaking suspicious levels of inebriation will be quite high. Not that I would know anything about that.

Unlike the first game which was primarily about evaluation, this game will mostly be about ensuring the starters are in synch and ready to go next week. But fear not, for those of you who enjoy seeing the exact moment someone seals their fate as a cut, the 4th quarter will feature a lot of players on the bubble. Time you drinking intake well so that by the 4th quarter you can find the drop in playing level entertaining as opposed to depressing.

The first game answered some questions (such as: Was Tino the problem or Cortez?) but there are many more that will need to be answered. Here is what I will be looking for:

- They have yet to appoint a starting centre. I have made my pro-Watman stance very clear. Hoping we see him lock that spot down.

- Also hoping we can prove we have a solitary O-lineman outside the starting 5 that is worthy of even being on a roster. No way we get through a full season without a starter missing some time. It would ease my mind to see at least one guy show he can hold his own if thrust into action… especially at tackle. We looked like a hot mess last game so hopefully we can settle down a bit and not look dumfounded every time there is a blitz.

- Tough, tough decisions to be made at import receiver. Dressler is a lock. After that there are 2 starting spots and 1 (maybe 2) back-up spots and Taj, Richardson, Hardin, Roosevelt, Ryan Smith. Taj and Richardson are pencilled in as starters but aren’t locks just yet (especially Richardson… but by now you know my thoughts on that)

- If the season started today it sounds like Telvion Clark, Emry and Macho would be the LBs. Doughty, Knox and Steward are still in the mix too. Performance on Friday will be key for the future of the new guys.

- Starting DBs sound like Green, Maze, Brack, Brown and Jackson but Hollins is making a push for a starting role too. Brack sounds on track to be healthy for Game 1 but a strong showing by MacDougall and Webster in this game will really give me confidence in our depth there.

- I still think Milo will be our kicker with Early punting but other possibilities include Early doing all 3 jobs or O’Neil replacing one of those. Chamblin want’s consistency so anyone who wants to stick on or roster as a kicker had better not screw up on Friday (kicking out of bounds: that’s a cutting, bouncing it off the uprights: that’s a cutting, cutting in line: you better believe that's a cutting).

I will just be happy to be back in the stands, amongst the usual cast of crazies, cheering. It may only be preseason but I can’t wait for Bring Em Out!

Lastly, since this is the preseason I will once again be playing the Official Rider Prophet Preseason Drinking Game and I encourage you to play along… unless you need to drive or function coherently the next morning. Here are the rules. Enjoy and see you in the stands!


1. Every dropped pass or fumbled you drink

2. Every time the announcer screws up drink

3. Drink two if a flag bearer is out of formation during pre-game

4. Every time count, illegal formation, no yards, offside penalty you drink. Two if its on the Riders Double if its too many men.

5. Every TV Timeout you drink. (note: the game is not televised but I realize they have the timeout anyway... but hey this is a drinking game after all)

6. If someone calls for a fair catch you shot-gun a beer

7. If a player who is not dressed gets credit for a stat or penalty you drink.

8. If a cheerleader falls you drink

9. If an O-lineman scores a TD, pound 2 drinks (traditionally this is the Jordan Sisco rule but I had to find a replacement after we mercifully parted ways with him)

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