I think I speak for all Rider fans when I say, Thanks for nothing BC!
It was highly unlikely that Calgary would lose when playing a team that did not care about the results (and if they had it would have been cause for major concern in Cowtown) but it was fun to dream. Many have correctly pointed out that if we had beat Montreal earlier in the season we'd have finished first but there's no point getting into the coulda, woulda, shouldas. There's no shame in finishing second. There is especially no shame in hosting a home playoff game. The first in 5 years... unlike the 11 year drought, we don't need to record a song about it but its still something worth celebrating.
I'll have my usual detailed pre-game analysis on Friday but for now let me just say that we beat the Bombers 2 out 3 times and there's a big difference between playing one the road on 4 days rest vs. playing at home with 2 full weeks rest. This will be damn good game.
I spent the bye week reminiscing about past West Semi Finals played here in Regina. So today I will share some of those memories with you. My trip down memory lane dates back only to 2007 because as we all known, home playoff games were outlawed by the government prior to that... at least that's what our parents told us.
2007 vs. Calgary - What I will remember most about this game was the noise. One of the loudest games I've ever been at. DJ Flick scoring at TD right off the bat only upped the volume. Good times.
2008 vs. BC - The opposite of good time. Defense played an unreal game but were unable to overcome the fact that Michael Bishop was their QB. I also distinctly remember when they mercifully pulled Bishop and put in Durant to a large cheer. Durant proceeded to trip and fall down on the way to the huddle. This was a game that made you thankful that alcohol is a thing. Bishop had a habit of that.
2010 vs. BC - A roller coaster of emotion. The game went to double OT and we were a play away from needing Warren Keane to hit a 42 yard FG to tie. Remember Warren Keane? No? That's why that was such a scary moment. 2 plays later Jason Clermont strolled into the endzone for the win. Clermont received a standing O anytime he touched the ball that season. This was one of the few ovations that Clermont actually deserved.
2013 vs. BC - By far the coldest game I have ever been at. I'm not a person who nurses my rye and cokes (you're shocked I'm sure) but that day you essentially had to pound your drink or it would freeze solid. I'm not sure that it would have been possible to go to the bathroom. For one I was wearing so many layers that I'm not sure I could have found my um... equipment. But even if I had gotten through all the layers, I'm pretty sure I had an inny by that point. There was also a football game played. Nervous start to the game but Durant eventually used his legs to carry us to victory en route to a home Grey Cup.
What does 2018 have in store? The first in the new stadium? Hopefully more memorable things than the temperature's effects on my bathroom visits or QBs tripping on the way to the huddle. I'm freaking pumped, nothing beats playoff football especially when its a home game.
Lastly I feel compelled to comment on the Drew Tate signing. Those are words I never imagined I'd be typing this year. Like most of you I'm confused. I honestly had to double check the date on the tweet to make sure it wasn't someone jokingly retweeting a headline from 2007. Like most of you I also hate Drew Tate. Like most of you I also immediately assumed that this could not mean good news for Collaros. Now Rob Vanstone has reported that Collaros is fine and expected to be at practice when it opens but I'm still not 100% confident.
I thought about it a lot and here's where I landed. Collaros will start the game (concussion or not he just will). But should he not be able to finish,do you really feel confident with Bridge? Personally I rank him slightly ahead an inanimate carbon rod in terms of chances of victory... possibly behind. All we trust Bridge to do is hand off (rightly so, have you seen him attempt other things?). Given that, is there really a difference if its Tate handing off or Bridge? Now you could rightly question the logic of waiting until this point in the season to address the fact that you don't trust your back-up QB but Chris Jones tends not to care much for the conventional approach. With any luck neither Bridge or Tate will see the field for the remainder of the season.