As a general rule Monday's are not that joyous an occasion to begin with. That terrible feeling when your sleep is uninterrupted by the alarm. The desperate race to intake enough caffeine to make the morning bearable. You know, the usual grind. But this morning's sentimonies may come across as a bit more melancholy than normal.
That is because I evidently have an affinity for sports teams that will cause me a great deal of heartache and weeping. The Riders' history is riddled with crushing heartache (that I think we'd collectively prefer we don't rehash). I am also a Vikings fans. Now the general response to "I'm a Vikings fan" since Sunday has been evenly split between uncontrollable laughter and empathetic "there, there" pats on the back. There are many ways to lose a football game but missing a game winning FG from inside 30 due at least somewhat in part to the fact that evidently no one ever told the damn holder that the laces go out. "Laces out Dan!"... well that is a special kind of pain. Fortunately decades of cheering for the Riders has built up a tolerance in me for heartache.
Here are some random quasi coherent thoughts to tide you over until there is some real news (knowing my luck that will be about 15 minutes after I post this).
- Not to dwell on that damn Vikings game but they outplayed Seattle in every aspect of that game except 2 plays: a botched snap by Seattle that they somehow let turn into the biggest play of the day and a 27 yard FG. If you had told me that the Vikings' chance of advancing in the playoffs would come down to whether they could defend a badly botched snap and kick a short FG, I would have be overjoyed.
- Given that every team I cheer for tends to hate me, I've decided to use my powers for good. I currently don't have a basketball, lacrosse, soccer etc... team so if you would like to improve your team's chances by having me cheer for their rivals, drop me a line. I'd be glad to help.
- In Rider news, we keep slowly adding the roster Chris Jones essentially lit on fire and threw in the garbage. Early focus seems to be on Cdn depth which is a refreshing change. For once Canadians might not make our roster by default because we brought no one else to camp to compete with them. Novel concept.
- We also added WR Michael Campbell whom we acquired in the waiver draft. Bet you had no clue such a thing even existed. I've been religiously following the league for years and have only heard vague whispers of such a think once. Makes me wonder what other weird secret things go on in this league.
- Free agent tryouts start right away for the Riders down south. Now I feel compelled to request that we collectively just relax a bit and not jump to our usual conclusion of declaring some recruit a sure fire MOP/Hall of Famer/demi-god. I have no doubt that between Jones and Murphy we will indeed find quality talent but can we dial it back to cautious optimism until we see these people play in the preseason at least? ... I realize that's probably too much to ask but a man can try.
- If there was ever a time to bring back the all black jerseys it would be while Chris Jones is at the helm. It's too perfect a match not try.
Marcell Bellefeuille – will join BC as an offensive assistant
Jaime Elizondo – hired as Ottawa’s new OC (was previously Argos’ WR coach)
Marcus Howell – hired as Riders’ receivers coach
Baron Miles – hired as Edmonton’s DB coach
Colin Kelly (Ott) - Signed with San Fransisco
Dexter McCoil (Edm) – Workouts with Washington and Pittsburgh
Cleyon Laing (Tor) – Workouts with San Diego, Washington and Pittsburgh
Eric Rogers (Cal) – Workouts with Chicago, Pittsburgh, Washington and Baltimore
Kenny Stafford (Edm) – Workout with Chicago
Terrell Sinkfield (Ham) – Workouts with Chicago and Baltimore
Willie Jefferson (Edm) – Workout with Washington
AC Leonard (BC) – Workout with Washington
Jeff Fuller (Cal) – Workout with Baltimore
Freddie Bishop (Cal) – Workouts with San Diego and Pittsburgh
Euclid Cummings (Tor) – Workouts with San Diego and Pittsburgh
CFL Ins and Outs
In: RB Melvin Abankwa(2015 draft pick signing), WR Michael Campbell, DB Nick Taylor, DL Caesar Rayford (free agent signing)
In: QB Drew Tate, Brandon McDonald (contract extension), QB Andrew Buckley (2015 draft pick signing)
Out: LB Juwan Simpson (released), OL Brander Craighead (retired)
In: DB Ryan Phillips (contract extension)
Out: DB Steven Clarke (released… likely to sign in the NFL)
In: QB Matt Nichols (contract extension)
Out: QB Brian Brohm, RB Da’Rel Scott, DL Jamarkus McFarland, DL Ethan Farmer (released)
In: QB Jeremiah Masoli, DB Johnny Sears (contract extension)
In: WR Chris Williams, DL Zach Evans, OL Matt Albright (contract extension) RB LaVance Taylor (free agent signing)
Out: OL Colin Kelly (signed with San Fransisco)