Over the weekend I crowd-sourced some ideas to write about. Getting through this football-less period is going to take some effort… and that’s nothing something I’m historically big on. To those that made suggestions, know that I appreciate it and will be using them over the coming weeks. To those that didn’t make suggestions, thanks for nothing! Not like you have anything better to do. I’m mostly kidding. Though you could still leave ideas in the comments section.
Today’s dose of filler is a walk down memory lane as we explore some of the various Riders that have made my “Hatred List” over the years. Look, I bleed as green as everyone but unlike some that can’t take off their green tinted glasses, that doesn’t stop me from calling it like I see it and hating our players and coaches when they give me just cause… or even just because I can (not saying all my hatreds are purely justified).
This is by no means an extensive list but some of the highlights… or lowlights
Jason French – This one goes back a few years but I remember hating Jason French. His hands were so inconsistent, they made Chris Getzlaf look extremely reliable by comparison. I disliked him so much that when it came to playing rec league football I refused to wear #6 (which was my usual number) so as not to be seen as supporting him. The irony of that is that as a football player I probably was to Jason French what Jason French was to a good receiver.
Nealon Greene – Need I say more? I’m really not sure what I hated more, his futility as a QB or Danny Barrett’s staunch belief that he was the greatest QB in history. He couldn’t throw or read a defense and as defenses figured out that all he could do was run or hand off to KK his offensive output all but disappeared. That Labour Day in 2005 when they made a last second surprise announcement that Marcus Crandell would start over Greene remains one of my best Labour Day memories. Greene was part of one of the best musical groups ever in Frontlyne so I do have to cut him some slack.
Marcel Bellefeuille – Closely tied to Nealon was his OC. Remember the Prairie Offense? Well if you don’t it was basically shotgun draw, 5 yard out on 2nd and 8, punt and repeat. Our only hope tended to be KK or Corey Holmes breaking a big run.
Henri Childs – The year was 2007, Kenton Keith had left for the NFL and we needed a new starting RB. Eric Tillman traded for Childs and an American OL… in the process he gave up a 1st round pick and a Canadian OL (just let that one marinate for a minute). So this guy must have been awesome to command such a price right? The best thing I can say about Childs is that he ran with all the power and determination of an indecisive ballerina. Later we traded Rob Lazeo for an actual good RB and it was thankfully the Wes Cates show from there.
James Johnson – The poster child for my hatred list. Look I get that he is a Grey Cup hero and MVP but he wasn’t good! He just happened to come up against a terrible rookie QB in a highstakes game and got 3 picks not because he was good at coverage (he was not) but because Dinwiddie was terrible and Johnson just bit on everything. If you exclude the Grey Cup game, Johnson’s career was brutal… but he is heralded as a franchise hero because his one good game could not have been better timed. A small part of me died seeing him being named Grey Cup MVP. He deserved it but it just did not sit right.
Dan Goodspeed – Goodspeed was a very talented, very successful offensive tackle for many years in Winnipeg. Then, after all his best years were behind him, that’s when Brendan Taman decided we needed him here in Saskatchewan. I hated him so much I took to calling him Dan BadSlow because Goodspeed was far too complimentary for his level of play.
Michael Bishop – Perhaps my biggest hatred of all time. Bishop had a cannon for an arm and could literally throw it anywhere on the field. The issue was that he had no brains to go along with that arm. I remember how much hype he got because he went 11-1 as a starter for the Argos (the truth was his defense and special teams were 11-1, he was just along for the ride). People were actually excited to see him come here. Some people bought his jersey…. How did that turn out for you? As painful as the Bishop experiment was, it did lead to one of my favourite quotes ever. Following the 2008 West-semi where Bishop was a turnover machine, Mo Lloyd said the following:
“You can play against the deaf, blind and the homeless and you will never win a game with (seven) turnovers,''
Nealon Greene would top my list. Henri Childs - wow. Didn't know that. Tillman was, as my grandfather would say, "too clever by half" sometimes. Maybe not the Ricky Ray trade but close enough. The Eskimos got Jyles in return with Tillman swearing he was the next big thing. Interesting that both Greene & Jyles were brought into the CFL by the Eskimos & ended up in Saskatchewan shortly afterwards.
Find someone who believes in you like Tillman did in Jyles
Chamblin had one of the quickest rises and falls I've ever seen. SKyrocketed from unproven to Grey Cup winning superstar to ran out of town in 3 years. That's efficiency.
Al Ford is a good one. Mediocrity was the goal and best case scenario under him
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