Welcome to part 2 of my look at the greatest Rider players by numbers. Last week we started with the critically acclaimed feature on numbers 0-9… well it was critically acclaimed in that, to my knowledge, no negative reviews were penned. No news is good news.
We jump back into the list today looking at 10 through 19.
10 – A few options here. Henoc Muamba was solid in his tenure here. There’s obviously a lot of sentimental love for Luca Congi (despite the fact that his girlfriend once called me a horrible person on Twitter… a story for another time). He was by no means great but dammit I loved Steve Miller, purely because I gave him the nickname The Space Cowboy. Really wish he would have lasted longer. But the clear cut winner her is WR Dan Farthing. It’s a shame his tenure with the team coincided with one of their least successful decades.
11 – If we were going purely on how awesome they were off the field then Eddie Johnson would have this number in a landslide. But factoring football performance I have to go with DB Ed Gainey. I was pretty skeptical when we first signed him in 2016 but he has been rock solid which is impressive considering the relatively short shelf life of a DB.
12 – This is a popular number amongst QBs with the likes of John Hufnagel, Steve Sarkisian and Rocky Butler wall wearing 12 at some point. But for this one I’m going with a local boy DB Dale West who is a Grey Cup Champion, Plaza of Honour Inductee and a member of the Sask Sports Hall of Fame.
13 – Relatively recent fans might not know this but prior to stealing the 13th man from Seattle (who in turn had stolen it from college ball), 13 was actually a number worn by someone other than a pantsless gopher. TJ Stancil was the last Rider to wear 13 and I always kinda liked him. But P Ken Clark is probably the greatest to wear 13 (hat tip to those on Twitter who helped me figure that out).
14 – I was a huge James Patrick fan (even before he became a starter) but his amazing 2010 season isn’t enough to seal this one for him. Instead I’m going with a man who played a prominent role in the 89’ championship, RB Tim McCray. He was a true offensive weapon, could run, catch and return kicks.
15 – I do have a great affinity for Nealon Greene (and if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Kindersley to sell you). I’m sure someone will tell me I’m omitting someone more deserving on this but I’m going with DB Lance Frazier. He brought much needed stability and playmaking to the halfback spot during his tenure.
16 – Tom Burgess is certainly one option here, and one that I’m sure many would support. I’m going back further in time than that and going with DB/FB Hank Dorosh. A versatile, hard nosed player.
17 – This number seems to have attracted some infamous QBs over the years: Reggie Slack, Michael Bishop and Tino Sunseri. But since we are looking for actual talent, the hands down choice is WR Joey Walters. Simply put he is one of the most talented receivers in the history of the franchise. He holds claim to the two most receiving yards in a single season with 1715 and 1692 in consecutive years. One can’t help but think about what might have been had his tenure with the team coincided with any talent outside of himself being on the roster.
18 – Before I get to the top #18 I just want to do a brief segue to stay that looking in #18 reminded me about Santino Hall. Remember Santino? Far from an all-time Rider great but I did want to mention him just because. Clearly #18 has to go to WR Jeff Fairholm. 4th all time in Rider receiving yards and part of the magical 1989 Grey Cup Championship.
19 – The old guard would probably like to see Steve Molnar here. Some probably would even argue for 2007 Grey Cup hero James Johnson (who regular readers will know I have a love/hate relationship with… in that I hate everything he did outside of that one glorious game). But there is really only one option for this RB Corey Holmes. Arguably the best returner in franchise history. He was a 2 time CFL Special Teams Player of the Year. He has the third most combined yards in a season at 3455. He’s one of my favourite players of all-time.