Monday, December 11, 2017

10th Annual-ish Rider Prophet Awards

So these awards have reached an amazing milestone as this is the tenth time I am handing them out. I use the term "annual-ish" though because apparently I didn’t bother doing these last year… not really sure why but the official story is that I was preoccupied tending to orphans and volunteering for the underprivileged. But enough outright lies from me… let’s get to the awards.

In honour of our tenth anniversary award recipients will get the biggest prize package in the history of the awards. The bar for that is of course set extremely low as there has never been an actual prize handed out (my original plan to call them the golden rod’s hit a legal snafu with an adult film company). This year’s prize is the winner’s choice of either 2016 or 2017 Calgary Stampeder Grey Cup Champion hats… for some reason they were looking is dispose of a ton of both of them.

Best Player Name
It was really a lacklustre year for quality player names. I mean previous winners like Willy, SirVincent and Lirim Hulahoops are still around but we were lacking in new entrants into the category. So with limited options I had to go with a predictable but still always popular around these parts option…
Rakeem Cox

I like Cox, what can I say?

Previous Winners: Akawasi Owusu-Ansah, Lirim Hajrullahu, SirVincent Rogers, Drew Willy, Bear Woods, Solomon Elimimian, Craphonso Thorpe, Charleston Hughes, Chijioke Onyenegecha

Quote of the Year
Honourable mention to the Rider defense following the Duron Carter Pick 6… “Hey Bo, he’s still your best receiver.” But this year’s winner gets the nod not for comedic merit (as usually occurs) but pure ineptitude. The co-winners for 2017 are Kavis Reed and Jacques Chapdelaine for their explanation of the Bear Woods release.

Kavis: This was a football decision
Chapdelaine: This was not a football decision

Way to get your stories straight guys. Unsurprisingly this was the tip of the iceberg of a leadership situation in Montreal doomed for failure.

Previous Winners: Greg Quick, Solomon Elimimian, Ed Hervey, Joe Mack, Henry Burris, Eddie Johnson, Jason Clermont, Mike Abou-Mechrek x2

Play of the Year
Many plays this year entertained me. Such as Crezdon Butler bouncing off the uprights (though it wasn’t so funny at the time) or Duron Carter making a first down and then cheap shotting the defender. The runner up was for Rider Tevaughn Campbell giving up a safety on an interception and in most other years it would have won. But while my Play of the Year for 2017 happened on the football field it was not a football play.

In the video below you will see Simoni Lawrence steal Antonio Pipkin’s towel and it devolve into a game of keep away where Pipkin looked as helpless as a nerdy grade schooler. Hilarious!

Botched Call of the Year
This tends to be the most difficult award to hand out as there are literally dozens of potential winners each week. But while botched calls are nothing new to the CFL (particularly the Command Centre it seems), few have ever had such large and public consequences as what happened on July 13.

Ryan Lankford had already scored a kick return TD and in the second quarter Martese Jackson also broke free. CFL fans far and wide know what 2 kick return TDs mean… $1 million dollars in Safeway touchdown to win! What a glorious moment! Karen had won $1 million and the CFL world was full of excitement. But wait… the was a flag on the play. Sure a great PR story for the league was about to occur but who has time for that when minimal contact has occurred on an opposing player that in no way affected the play?

To their credit, the CFL and its sponsors were quick to give poor Karen a lot of consolations prizes but it was no million dollars and it was only after the damage of a bogus call had already been done.


The Commercial I Didn’t Get Sick of Seeing Even Though TSN Made Me Watch It 54,297 Times Award
In a first for this award we have a repeat winner. This is not really a reflection of how good the commercial is but rather a reflection on just how little effort advertisers put into in game commercials. The Buck Pierce BelAirDirect insurance commercial where Craig Butler destroys him wins again. 

I can't actually track down a video of the commercial anymore as it seems that like most of Buck Pierce's memories predating that hit, it has vanished.

Most Insulted Sports Figure
This should come as no surprise to anyone to regularly reads the space. My hate list is decidedly lean of late (generally a good sign for the team’s performance). While I wish Bakari Grant would not wear sleeves and I make not attempt to hide my lack of Dan Clark love, one person stands above all others in terms of those I’ve insulted this year. Offensive Coordinator Steve McAdoo. From his seemingly religious based aversion to running, to his insistence on randomly inserting the 3rd string QB at the most inopportune times, to his inability to adjust his play calling when adversity hits, I had many choice words about Mr. McAdoo (many of which were curse words). I guess the good news for us is that he wasn’t the least successful McAdoo in the football coaching world this year. 

Previous Winners: The Riders Secondary, Any Rider QB not named Durant, Pat Neufeld, Chris Getzlaf, Ryan Dinwiddie, Jim Daley, Michael Bishop x 2, Marcel Bellefeuille

Fans’ Choice Douche-Bag of the Year
You the fans have spoken yet again… and resoundingly so. In the largest majority in this history of this award (shattering the previous mark of 66%), you the fans have decided that with 78% (93 out of a possible 119 votes) Jason Maas is your Douche Bag of the Year.

It should really come as no surprise. Maas has a face only a mother could love and an attitude that only the blind and deaf could love. He throws more temper tantrums than a toddler. He breaks equipment. He berates his own staff. He rolls his eyes. He has unwavering belief in the power of the field goal. By the end of the season it got so bad that TSN essentially had a camera devoted to him looking to catch his tirades.

So congratulations to the most unanimous douche bag in the illustrious history of this award.

Previous Winners: Cory Chamblin, Chris Jones, Jon Cornish x2, Henry Burris, Dwight Anderson, Mike Kelly, Jason Jimenez, Rob Murphy

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Welcome to the Offseason

While the calendar won't officially switch to 2018 for another months. The 2018 CFL offseason is now upon us. The real work of GM's across the league now begins as they have scouting to do, contracts to rework and pending free agents to tamper with (oh don't act like it doesn't happen).

As with every offseason I will do my best to keep you informed on all the new that is news across the CFL. Though for newer readers be warned, my timeliness and punctuality tend to take a slide in the offseason. So feel free to add that to the list of things I don't do well (like grammar, coherent thoughts and personal hygiene... though at least you don't know about that part). 

Before we get to it, just a reminder to get your vote in for the Fans' Choice Douchebag of the Year Award. Currently an overwhelming majority of you are going in the same direction with your votes (not that I'm overly surprised). Vote on the poll on this site or an Twitter. Votes by carrier pigeon and signing telegram are also accepted and count for triple value.

On to the news:
- Biggest speculation with a Rider slant is the ongoing search for a  head coach in Montreal. According to a report, one scenario could see Kavis Reed move to Vice President (yet another promotion for reasons I can't comprehend) and bring in John Murphy as GM with DeVone Claybrooks as coach. Certainly worth keeping an eye on as Murphy would be a loss to a scouting system that is finally starting to show results.

- Other names on the Alouettes radar for head coach beyond Claybrooks include Tommy Condell, Corey Chamblin and Mike Benevides. I'm still waiting for Jim Popp to somehow end up coaching them again.

- On the other side of the country, Ed Hervey was hired as BC's GM and Buono will be back for one more year of coaching (he retires about as well as the Rolling Stones).

- There have been a few re-signings so far and generally that means the team has extra salary cap space (Winnipeg and Ottawa seem to). While the Riders have deals in place for a few guys (most notably Willie Jefferson) they aren't making the deals official meaning that we are likely fairly close to the cap. 

- Of course there is a ton of speculation on what could be a busy offseason for QB shuffles and the Riders figure to be actively involved. I will devote a future post to that entire topic (veteran move by me not blowing all my material at once).

Coaching Carousel
- Ottawa fired a number of assistants including Tavis Moore, Bryan Chiu and Ike Charlton
- Calgary fired DB coach Kahlil Carter (well technically his contract wasn't renewed)

NFL Watch:
Bo Lokombo – signed to practice roster of San Fransisco
Eric Rogers – workouts with NY Jets and Detroit
Stefan Charles (Edm) – Workout with Tennessee
Tevaughn Smith (Edm) – signed to practice roster of Oakland
Roy Finch, DaVaris Daniels, Shaq Richardson, Jonathan Mincy and James Franklin – NFL teams have requested workouts with them.

CFL Ins and Outs

In: RB Timothy Flanders, K Justin Medlock (contract extension)

In: WR Brad Sinopoli (contract extension)

Out: DB Jonathan Mincy, DB Tyree Hollins, DB Taylor Russolino, DB Travis Hawkins and DB KJ Morton (released)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Cast Your Vote

On December 11th I will be handing out the Annual Rider Prophet Awards. That means its time to vote for one of the most dubious distinctions there is... the Fans' Choice Douchebag of the Year. 

This year we have a number of people who have excelled in the field of douchebaggery. Be sure to cast your vote for your favourite. (Note for those viewing the mobile version of the blog, you will need to view the full version of the site to vote. There will also be a poll on Twitter if that's more your thing).

With out further adieu, here are this year's nominees:

Micah Awe - Nominated for his repeated headshots (not that the League seemed to mind too much)

The Hamilton Ti-Cats – Nominated for their epically misguided attempt to hire Art Briles… well technically they did hire him and then had to quickly un-hire him.

Henry Burris – Nominated because his GMC Playbook Segments were generally utter garbage. Plus the whole “Ottawa is missing leadership”… “Oh I’m not talking about me”… showing up at RedBlack practice the next day drama.

Jason Maas – Screamer, Tantrum thrower, Headset abuser, Field Goal enthusiast…. Did I miss anything?

Jon Cornish – Did absolutely nothing of note but it was requested by you the fans that he be nominated every year no matter what. (Predicting he finishes no lower than 3rd in voting because people are that spiteful)

Let your voice be heard. Vote now!