Monday, December 19, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Ho Ho Ho Merry Everyone

Christmas is fast approaching and whether your traditions have you waiting for the arrival Annual Gift Man or Eight Pound, Six Ounce, Newborn Baby Jesus, in his golden, fleece diapers, with curled-up, fat, balled-up little fists pawin' at the air, I hope the season brings you joy… particularly after a season where the most joy we got was watching a different team not let the Bombers win.

So this will be my last post before taking a well deserved… quasi-deserved… not really deserved but I’m taking it anyway break.

In the words of the great Krusty the Clown: have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, kwazy Kwanzaa, a tip-top Tet, and a solemn, dignified Ramadan.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Random Quasi Coherent Thoughts

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you know that about this time of year CFL news starts getting sparser and I go from my normal barely coherent writings, to overtly random musings where I don’t even try to pull it together into a unifying theme. At some point I fully expect one of the comments to just be one of you direct quoting the principal from Billy Madison: “At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Where do we start today: 

-        Another coach declined to be considered for our OC role. This time it was Markus Howell who was the receivers coach here early in Chris Jones’ tenure. With due respect to Mr. Howell he is hardly a A-list candidate. He has been a receivers coach for over half the teams in this league and never progressed in the past 10 years. When a guy like that doesn’t even want to be interviewed here, that should tell you something.


-        We are interviewing your future OC Kelly Jeffrey and “I’m only here so it looks like the team did an actual search candidate” Pete Costanza. Expect an announcement to come on the last Friday afternoon before Christmas. 


-        Speaking of coaching. It looks like the guys we fired will be landing on their feet. As expected, Maas is a candidate for Head Coach in Montreal. Steven Sorrels is going back to Chris Jones who he served under for two years here. I have no doubt it wasn’t all Sorrells fault along the OL. We had no talent and Maas’ schemes were not always OL friendly. BUT… I will remind you that Sorrels was the OL coach here in 2018 when we couldn’t figure out what to do with Derek Dennis, who has been a Most Outstanding OL Candidate/Winner in pretty much every other season other than when he played under Sorrells. So, trust me… Sorrells bears some of the blame


-        It’s pretty obvious we have like no cap money left for the 2022 season. Re-signings have been few and far between. Now that should be how it goes, teams should be spending up to the cap every year. It’s just sad that we spent the entire cap and all we got is a lot of sacks and regret... might as well have just gone to a male whorehouse. Ending would have been the same.


-        I do like that we have retained Alford who is a dominant returner and Morrow who is a versatile and productive running back. I also like that we have brought back 2022 2nd Round Pick OL Zach Fry. O’Day has a lot riding on this kid. Its already a demerit that we had to wait a year to get him at a time where we desperately needed OL help. If he pans out then it goes a long way to saving O’Day job.


-        For those assuming that O’Day will be able to help the OL in the upcoming draft, history would beg to differ. Let me give you a quick summary of O’Day OL drafting since taking over as GM (spoiler alert it will not exactly instill confidence):


o   2019 – Did not draft an OL until round 6. That guy did not make the team

o   2020 – Drafted Mattland Riley 7th overall. He retired after 1 season where he dressed in 1 game as a back-up. He did not draft another OL until the 7th round. That guy did not make the team

o   2021 – Did not draft an OL until the 5th round. That was Logan Bandy who the jury is still out on.

o   2022 – Drafted Fry in the second round who went back to school and Montoya in the 3rd round who despite playing on the worst OL in recent memory was only deemed worthy of dressing in the flu game where we essentially needed anyone not current craping their pants.

-        So to summarize O’Day has either not made the OL a drafting priority or picked guys who do not end up impacting the team when he does make it a priority.


-        I will go on record as saying that I think Jayden Dalke is going to be a big time contributor for the Riders. He impressed me in his rookie reason. For a 6th Round Pick he sure looked like he belonged out there.


-        Kian Schaefer-Baker has now worked out for 2 NFL teams, the Jaguars and Steelers. Like many Rider fans I’m fighting conflicting emotions of genuinely wanting him to succeed down there because he truly deserves it and being petty and selfish and hoping those NFL teams pass on him.


-        I’ll have a lot more on free agency in the New Year but in my opinion the top 5 priorities to re-sign once we can start spending 2023 money are: Lanier, Sankey, Milligan and Robertson in that order.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: The Two Sweetest Words in the English Language

In the coming days when the Riders inevitably name Kelly Jeffrey the new OC, they will say all the right things in the press conference. It was an exhaustive search. We determined him to be the best man for the job. Etc. But the truth is Jeffrey will be the OC because of the two sweetest words in the English language: De Fault.

The Riders used to be the prime destination in the CFL… not so much right now. Let me summarize how our search has gone so far: LaPo declined to be interviewed. That was fine, he gets a free pay cheque from the RedBlacks so has no incentive to actually work at this point. Then Marty Costello decided to stay with the Bombers. Then Mark Mueller decided to stay with the Stamps. Then Khari Jones opted to go to the RedBlacks. Then even Jarious Jackson declined to be interviewed (and he is far from a top OC option). At this point that leaves Pete Costanza and Jeffrey… and its only a matter of time before Costanza officially says no. 

As I have talked about in this space. Our OC job was about as desirable as a combination tax audit/colonoscopy. We have no QB. We have the worst OL in the league’s recent memory. We can’t offer any kind of job security as our Head Coach and GM are in the final year of their contracts and there is no guarantee they make it to Labour Day. So the only way the Rider OC job is appealing is if you are truly desperate or if you have absolutely no other viable job opportunities.

I am not saying that Jeffrey doesn’t have the skills to be an OC but if you honestly think that he was the best option out there then Jeremy O’Day thinks you are qualified to scout O-lineman. Jeffrey might be good. He’s admittedly an unknown at this point. But this hardly does much to give hope to Rider fans. I know its too early for doom and gloom but at this moment in time the most likely scenario, if we are being honest, is another garbage year in 2023 followed by a house cleaning. That is far from a certainty and could all change depending on which Riders we re-sign, who we get in free agency and how we draft. We have some solid pieces in place but not enough to be very confident at this point. Hopefully Jeffrey spites me and turns out to be awesome (yes I’m so desperate that I’m trying to play the reverse psychology card).

One final thought on this Monday for you and it relates to QBs. I am not looking forward to 2 straight months of Bo Levi Mitchell talk. I'm sick of it already. So here my one and only statement on it until he actually signs somewhere. Is Mitchell an upgrade at QB for the Riders? Yes…. BUT only for 3-4 games max. I honestly don’t think Bo’s body can stand up to a full season. Pretty much proved that in Calgary. So throwing big money and a multi-year deal (because that’s what it will take to land him) at a guy that you don’t think can be full time starter will not improve your team. If I needed a QB for a 3 game playoff run, sure I’d take a rested Bo. But we need a QB that can lead this team for 18 games plus playoffs. No chance Bo is that guy anymore… even if we get our OL back to mildly competent (which is no guarantee).  

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: The Men Who Would Be OC

The offseason is officially upon and pre-Christmas the big push is to fill coaching vacancies. Montreal and Ottawa are working on Head Coaches, the Riders, of course are looking for an OC.

 As a side note, I find a hilarious bit of irony in the fact that Danny Maciocia (a man who inexplicably kept getting promoted despite sucking as his current role) is considering Jason Maas (a man who failed miserably as our OC) as his next head coach. There was an old article on Maciocia and Maas’ relationship back whenMaas was still a QB in Hamilton. Do yourself a favour and read it. Its a wild ride covering everything from Maas saving his per diem and just bringing random food on road trips with him, to him trying to sell homemade jerky to his teammates to this really… umm.. different quote by Maciocia about Maas. 

"I miss him. I care for him. I love him a lot. I try to talk to him only once a week. There's days where I think about him. I want to call and then I tell myself, 'No, I just talked to him yesterday. Just don't bother him."

I think I just digressed from my digression. Back to the Rider’s OC. 

I’ll go through the potential candidates in a second but first I need to remind you just how undesirable our OC job is right now. We have no QB, no O-line and our Head Coach is in the final year of his contract and may not see Labour Day with a slow start to 2023. So we probably won’t want to offer more than a 1 year contract. All goes to say we might not be picking from the cream of the crop if our candidates have other, less crappy job options. LaPo already wisely decided to sit on his couch getting paid by Ottawa rather then come work for us.

Khari Jones – The most experienced. Good offensive mind. Players love him. In 2021 as Head Coach of the Als, they were second in the league in points. Downside is a proven guy like him will want $$ and multi-year contract. Also, as good of a guy as Dickenson is, I really can’t see him hiring a guy who has the credentials to step in and replace him given his less than certain job security.

Marc Muller – The potential of the grandson of Ron Lancaster (and a decorated U of R alum) coming to coach for the Riders has some people salivating. Mueller is unproven as an OC but is viewed as a high potential up and comer who has been steadily climbing the coaching ranks. I like that he at least isn’t just recycling the same old coaches. But I honestly can’t see him leaving the stability and success of the Stamps for us right now. The day may come but I don’t see it now. I’m not leaving the Stamps without a 2 year deal and our Dickenson can’t offer that. 

Pete Costanza – Well respected veteran offensive assistant (with a killer last name to boot). Spent a decade in Calgary under Hufnagel and was on the staff of both of the last Grey Cup champs. He’s never been a CFL OC but has a resume worthy of the chance. He’s probably a good balance between a fully qualified guy like Khari and newbie like Mueller.

Marty Costello – 7 years in Winnipeg. 5 as their OL coach under O’Shea. Also, while I have done no research I assume he is a descendant of Lou Costello so that should make him hilarious. Costello is another guy not proven as an OC but respected enough that his chance is coming. I will just point out that while I think OL coaching is very important and a competent OL coach should have gotten something more out of our OL, assuming Costello will instantly make our OL as good as Winnipeg is laughable. Somewhat easier to coach the best OL in the league when you a roster loaded with all-stars and arguably the best tackle in the last decade. Let’s see you do it with literal garbage at your disposal. I don’t think Costello is high on our list and I don’t think he leaves Winnipeg either. 

Kelly Jeffrey – Based on how 2022 went, it should surprise no one that the least qualified candidate is current the odds on favourite. Not to disrespect Jeffrey (who does have a ton of college experience) but tough to sell Rider Nation on a guy with 2 years CFL experience as an RB coach as the guy to save our offense. Dickenson must see some crazy potential in him… that or we just like him because he’s already under contract so we don’t need to worry about offering him a 2 year deal. Hiring Kelly is swinging for the fences. If it works out, Dickenson looks like a genius. If it fails, then Jeffrey will have company in unemployment.

If I’m ranking my preference: Khari, Costanza, Mueller, Costello, Jeffrey

If I’m ranking my gut on who we actually hire: Jeffrey, Costanza, Khari, Mueller, Costello.

Monday, November 21, 2022

14th Annual Rider Prophet Awards

Bless you Argos. A lot went wrong this season but seeing the Bombers not win a Grey Cup in Regina certainly made for a happy ending for those of us in attendance. Though Toronto did try pretty much everything in their power to lose that game.

Each year at the end of the season, we pause to honour the best and worst in the CFL. Now these lack the professionalism and desirability of most mainstream awards.

This year’s award winners get a gift basket of fireworks donated by the Riders. They have used a record low number of them to celebrate scoring plays over the past 2 years and need to unload them before they expire. Winners assume all liability related to the used of their prize.

Let’s get to the awards.

Best Player Name

Generally this one goes to either a name that’s super hard to pronounce or is something I can make penis jokes about. This yeah I’m going in a different direction.

Riders’ draft pick Diego Allatore-Montoya. Fans of the Princess Bride (which should quite frankly be everyone) will understand when I say that all his name made me think was “My name is Diego Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die”

Previous Winners: Luther Hakunavanhu, Guillermo Villabos, Armegedon Draughns, Rakeem Cox, Akawasi Owusu-Ansah, Lirim Hajrullahu, SirVincent Rogers, Drew Willy, Bear Woods, Solomon Elimimian, Craphonso Thorpe, Charleston Hughes, Chijioke Onyenegecha

Quote of the Year

I could pretty much give this award to any member of the Rider organization for any aspect related to their response to the Marino incident. I am not a PR guy by trade but can tell you that was pretty much a playbook of how not to handle a controversy. The shining example of this was Coach Dickenson’s response to allegations of racism on the part of Marino.

“He’s not a racist … He is engaged to a black woman, just so people know that. His best friend is an African-American.”

 A variation of this response has been used over the years “I don’t hate poor people, some of my best friends are poor”, “I’m not racist, my underpaid cleaning staff are all coloured”, etc… It has never worked. Ever. I don’t understand why people keep trying to use it. Dickenson later apologized for the comment. It was really fitting microcosm of the entire season.

Previous Winners: Tom Velessi, Cody Fajardo, Dave Dickenson, Kavis Reed/Jacques Chapdelaine, Greg Quick, Solomon Elimimian, Ed Hervey, Joe Mack, Henry Burris, Eddie Johnson, Jason Clermont, Mike Abou-Mechrek x2

Play of the Year

I have been watching the CFL a long time. While I know I haven’t seen everything, I have seen a lot of things spanning all the whacky things that can happen in the Canadian game. So for something to the be a first for me is quite and accomplishment.

We had one of the those this year on August 12 in a game between the Ti-Cats and Argonauts. The Argos took a delay of game penalty… on the opening kickoff!! How inept do you have to be to manage that? Sadly, that “inept team” won the Grey Cup and the Riders were many levels of awfulness below that.

Botched Call of the Year

This year we are going with a call off the field vs. on. Now it’s a widely known fact that CFL discipline is ridiculously soft and wildly inconsistent. That’s just the standard but I want to recognize one in particular that stood out from the rest.

Adarius Pickett was fined for two separate high hits in a game against Ottawa in October. He was actually also fined for violating the league’s media policy. That’s 3 separate infractions, 2 dangerous plays. So it was completely wrong (yet expected) that he only got a fine. But what raises this from normal CFL ridiculous to award worthy is that the very next week, in the first quarter of the game, Pickett did it again! So that’s 3 high hits in 2 weeks. Surely after a fine last week as suspension was in order?

Nope. Another fine!!! Apparently the only thing that makes dangerous hits suspendable is flexing, saying something about someone’s heritage and public uproar. Actual player safety is not a consideration unless it’s a convenient excuse.

Most Insulted Sports Figure

There was a lot to insult in 2022… a lot. So to rise to the top with so many insults out there takes a special level of futility.

Special level of futility accurately describes the Riders O-line. The only thing that outnumbered the sacks they allowed was the curse words I uttered in their direction.  This is a continuation of last year when the Offensive Tackles specifically were the most insulted. This year was a real team effort.

Previous Winners: Riders Offensive Tackles, John Ryan, Brandon Bridge, Steve McAdoo, 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 Douchebag of the Year

This award winner should come as no surprise to anyone.

With 47% of the votes, you the fans have named Garett Marino as the Douchebag of the Year. It actually marks only the second time ever where a current Rider has won the voting. We are blindly loyal to our team most times so when even we admit someone is a douche it’s a pretty scathing indictment.

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

Monday, November 14, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Grey Cup Week

Raise you hands if you thought that 2022 would end with Andrew Harris entering Mosaic Stadium as a fan favourite. You’re a liar if you put your hand up but here were are. It should surprise no one that I am firmly on team “anyone but Winnipeg” and I hope many of you will be joining me on that team. While I have nothing but respect for guys like Demski, Collaros and Jefferson as people… I’m a jaded bitter Rider fan and if I can’t be happy then I want others to share in my misery.

I don’t love that my hopes in that regard rest with McLeod Bethel-Thompson but beggars can’t be chooser. Besides, I fondly remember that in 2016 and 2017 the team that won the Grey Cup was decidedly not the best team overall but just happened to be the best team that day.

Honestly I am excited about the Grey Cup festivities. Now let’s keep in mind that present-day Prophet cannot party quite as hard as Prophet circa 2003 or 2013. Back then Grey Cup meant a multi-day bender. In 2009, I ended up at a downtown Asian karaoke bar and then got lost trying to find my way back to my friends. Good times.  

Pacing with be the word of the week now though. Which will be a lot easier with the Riders in it. I say that now but don’t be surprised if a headline come Friday is about some drunk dude in a beard and robe blowing out his hip on the tube slide trying to outrace and group of children. 

I will be out and about taking in the festivities and if any readers will be there as well, hit me up (in the comments or on Twitter). I’d love to meet up and have a drink. One of my favourite things is finding out how people end up reading the barely coherent football ramblings of a guy who plays dress-up. Though I am aware that by Regina media standards that ranks easily in the top 5 in terms of credibility.

 We may not always play great football, but dammit people in the province know how to party so let’s show the country one hell of a time. I’ll be the guy in the #23 Prophet jersey repeatedly requesting the DJ (or live band) play Hall and Oates.

Also, one last plug to vote in the Fan's Choice Douchebag of the Year Award. (go to RiderProphet on Twitter). 

Friday, November 11, 2022

2022 Fans’ Choice Douchebag of the Year – Vote Now

Each year we allow you the reader to vote on who deserves special recognition for their outstanding achievements in the field of douchebaggery. While an online poll may not be the most statistically valid method, I have never had to rescind a Douchebag award hours after it was announced so I’m still miles ahead of certain unnamed sports leagues.

I am assuming that this year’s vote is a formality but that is up you the fans to decide who will join the likes of Jon Cornish, Henry Burris, Jason Maas and Simoni Lawrence and be forever etched in history as a Douchebag.

This year’s nominees:

Garett Marino – If I have to explain the reasons he is a nominee then you have clearly mistakenly clicked on the wrong blog. Let’s just say I’m sure his brother Dan is very disappointed.

Duke Williams – He hit a guy with his helmet in warmups. He was alleged (again) to spit on people (let’s be serious be probably did) and he took a penalty in a game he didn’t even dress in. This is what his massive contract bought us as opposed to the onfield success we expected.

Andrew Harris – Did nothing particularly douchy this year but he is the defending champion and I feel deserves the right to defend his title. He is more nominated for generally giving off vibes of being a douchy guy.

Andrew Pickett – Got fined for two separate high hits in the same game and then the very next game went out and delivered another dirty hit.

Jason Maas – Let’s be honest, you hate him. And if he wins this year, he would become the only 3 time Douchebag of the Year ever… and we all know how much Maas loves 3s.

Other – comment below to do a write in vote.

Vote here: or on my Twitter (but do it quick before the company implodes)

This award along with all the other illustrious Rider Prophet Awards will be handed out after the Grey Cup.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: What a week

Tuesday we finally found out who would take the fall for the debacle that was 2022. Normally that would have been the biggest news story of the week. But the CFL did the Riders a solid and just kept doing things so dumb that come Friday, firing a couple coaches seemed down right boring by comparison. There was the all-star fiasco. Schaefer-Baker will always have those 2 hours where he was an all-star. Even the revised all-star list is somewhat suspect as Mario Alford has good odds of being named the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in the entire CFL yet somehow is not an all-star.

Then there was the long, long, long awaited half time show announcement. You knew it had to be good because all the really good news is announced Friday at the end of the day. My honest reaction was… who? And like not even sarcastically, actually had no clue who these people were. Once it was explained to me, its not awful (not great, but not awful). But having to take time to explain who they are kinda takes some of the excitement out of the announcement much like having to explain a punchline does to a joke.

But I’m sure you all want to know my thoughts on our firings… and if you don’t then I question what exactly brought you to read this. Looking for some culinary tips perhaps?

I was not at all surprised that O’Day stayed. We can’t afford to fire him and generally a GM gets two head coaches before they become the fall guy. Also, if you exclude the O-Line one could argue O’Day has done well. Back to back West final appearances. Good recruiting (Hickson, Milligan, Lanier, Robertson, Clark). Brought in guys like Sankey, Moncrief and Duke (which failed miserably in retrospect but was a big move at the time). He has built a solid team… that happens to be shackled with the worst O-line in football. Now I will give him a partial pass for the OL sucking in 2021. We unexpectedly lost LaBatte and Cofield and Vaughn blew his shoulder all right before the season. He had a decent OL in 2019 and had bad luck. But the 2022 mess is all on him. Rogers was a trainwreck, Evan Johnson can’t pass block, he paid close to $150K for Jamal Campbell to be not good enough to start on the worst OL in the document history of the CFL and we recruited exactly zero competent OL prospects.

I was a bit surprised Dickenson stayed. I have no knowledge of the goings on inside that locker room but it just seemed like he lost the group. Couldn’t control Marino, couldn’t control Duke, insisted on playing a crippled QB and then gave him a “vet day” when he did finally bench him. Weird stuff for the supposed leader of the team. Also, he fired McAdoo and brought in Maas. Year 1 of that gave us a QB and OC who were clearly not on the same page and the 7th best offense. So we gave him a two year extension!  This year the offense and lack of being on the same page didn’t magically fix itself (which seems to have been our plan), they got worse. So we are going to let Dickeson hire a 3rd OC in his 4th season and assume this time he knows what he’s doing this time? Also, as others have pointed out, both Dickenson and O’Day are precariously in the final year of their contract. Is a competent OC candidate really going to come here knowing that the whole regime might be blown up by Labour Day? Can we give an OC a 2 year contract with a HC on a year 1 deal? Very problematic situation. If Mark Mueller is as smart as we give him credit for is he really going to just happily leave Calgary for this shit show?

Maas was a massive failure. I thought he could be a good OC when we hired him. He has never produced more than the 7th best offense while here. Admittedly its not his fault his OL had all the blocking skills of cattle who are missing 3 of their 4 legs but his coaching did not improve anything. I think Steven Sorrells should be ecstatic that someone actually paid him to coach an OL that set a record for being the worst ever. A ham sandwich would have been just as effective.

One last thing I want to comment on was something Craig Reynolds said. He was asked about a perceived disconnect with the fans. He downplayed it but I can tell you its very really. Obviously winning helps the connection but the word I would use for the Riders and have for a while now is arrogance. **Caveat here, the players still do tremendous work in the community. Darnell Sankey was a living saint for what he did here. Dan Clark is as committed to good work in this province as anyone. Morrow and Schaefer-Baker made a devoted for life out of my son just by simply taking a moment to connect with him while signing his jersey. I’m not talking about the player, I’m talking about the highest levels of the organization.**

Its not entirely their fault, this organization is a product of the 2004-2013 run where you could literally put a Rider logo on a dog turd and people would push their grandma out of the way to pay money for it. You simply didn't have to try to make money. You could do whatever you want and people would happily go along with it. But the times have changed and the Riders have not. Where you see teams like BC and Edmonton actively trying to engage fans and improve their product the Riders haven’t been trying for years.

Here a just a few visible symptoms of the arrogance I am talking about:

-        Charging $5 per ticket to print paper copies of tickets. A move that disproportionately negatively impacts old people. Old people who have probably supported this organization through some pretty rough times spanning many decades. Thanks for your support gramps now pay up.

-        Remember when one of the options for Season ticket holder refunds during Covid was “just give us your money”? Literally they just asked us to hand over money to them and thought that was normal.

-        Their “new and innovative” theme nights this season were: country night, Canada Day and pink day… the same thing we have done every year for a decade.

-        The magnets they gave away at one of the home games. Its insulting to me as a fan that someone who the Riders pay money to do marketing actually looked at those magnets and said this is something that will improve our fans’ experience.

-        Roy Shivers is not in the Paza of Honour. Not because he is not deserving (he’s in the freakin’ Hall of Fame for pete sake) but because certain board members don’t like him and would be butt-hurt if he was recognized.

That’s the arrogance I see driving the disconnect. All the market research in world won't fix that.

One final note: Stay tuned as voting opens tomorrow for the Annual Fans’ Choice Douchebag of the Year Award. It might be the biggest foregone conclusion ever this year but it’s a fan voting award and dammit if we aren’t going to do it anyway.

Monday, October 31, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Merciful End

Riders 10 – Stampeders 36

I think I speak for all of Rider Nation when I say, thank god that is over! It was a long painful season full of disappointment and lacking anything resembling hope. Usually the end of the season leaves me wanting more Rider football. This season, I ever so grateful there is no more to endure.

I was thinking about it and this is probably the worst season I can remember since way back before Roy Shivers took over. Sure we sucked in the early 2000s but you could see something slowly building. We sucked in 2011 but at least we fired Greg Marshall during the season (Remember when he said we haven't seen the last of Greg Marshall? Maybe he will make his return about the same time Andrew Harris finds out who tainted his supplement). We sucked again in 2015 but again, we had a mid-season firing to instill some hope. 2016 was actually worse from a wins perspective than this season but again, we were slowly building towards something. 2022 offered nothing. No progress, no improvement, no plan, no hope.  

I’d rather not spend much time talking about Saturday’s game. Before halftime we had managed to let Calgary recover their own punt and gave up an 85 yard TD on a QB sneak. That right there tells you all you need to know about the game. Defense had clearly checked out as they allowed the Stamps to run for over 300 yards rushing. Offense was their usual useless self. I’m so glad we dressed Cody Fajardo as opposed to Dolegala or Lewis. Really proved be a useless move for the organization. Somehow the Stamps managed to dress 3 QBs but we determined that was simply impossible. 

There were exactly 4 things that I will make note of.

1)     Lanier is a stud. He played just 11 games but had 9 sacks. If there is a way to keep him in Green and White he is the #1 priority along the D-line by far.

2)     Alford is also a stud. Casually rips off another big return.

3)     Sankey sets a record. I mean, the fact that he had to make so many tackles is an indictment of our defense as a whole but Sankey is one guy who never gave up and is a stand up guy on and off the field. Good on him for setting a record.

4)     Dean gets 100 tackles. At his age, coming off major injury… to see him get all the way back to where he did was awesome.

Only thing I might add is that our disgraceful O-line will at least be immortalized for their futility as we set a CFL record for allowing 77 sacks. More than any other team since they started tracking that. Never forget.

Now we all wait with bated breath for the upcoming Craig Reynolds press conference. Changes are coming. But for those expecting a house clearing. Expect to be underwhelmed. For one, I expect the franchise to opt for consistency over radical change. For two, the coaching salary cap will greatly limit how much we can do even if we want to. O’Day, Dickenson, Maas and Shivers all have 1 more year on their contract. Unless we are replacing them all with unpaid interns, we simply can’t clean house.

I’ve said all along that O’Day survives and I stand by that. I think the team would like to keep Dickenson but from a marketing perspective I simply don’t think they can sell fans on another season of him. He clearly could not hold the team together through adversity. So we fire Dickenson. Hope to hell Montreal is stupid enough to poach Maas and pray that no one offers Shivers an “Assistant Head Coach” role to poach him. That’s my guess anyway.

Hopefully by next Monday I have something to discuss that presents some hope for us fans.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Riders vs. Stamps: One Last Time

When the schedule makers drew this up I bet they were expecting a massive finish to the regular season with huge playoff implications. Instead they get 2 teams going through the motions, one eager to get to the next game and one eager to be done with the season. It’s kinda like preseason, except we don’t have 70 players in camp so its like 3 back-ups and our regular starters. So we aren’t even really evaluating anyone. So all of the bad football with none of the underlying purpose. 

True to brand this season, the Riders found a way to mismanage a meaningless game. Simply put, there is no reason for Cody to dress in this one. It should be split with Fine getting a half and Dolegala getting a half. Hell give the practice roster QB Levi Lewis a quarter for all I care. But no. When asked Dickenson said he would “try” to get Dolegala on the roster (as if he’s not the guy making all the decisions) but that Cody would be there for sure. You'll try?There are 3 explanations for this:

1 – Dickenson is stupid and trying not to hurt Cody’s feeling rather than making the hard/right decision.

2 – We are so tight against the cap that swapping Fajardo for Dolegala would put us over. (Honest to god, exceeding the cap in a year this craptacular would just be the icing on the cake)

3 – Cody has some performance incentive in his contract that triggers if he plays and we are just trying to do right by him.

If it’s 3 then I can understand. Having a reputation as a team that does right by players is a good thing… but I highly doubt that is the case. If it's 2 then even more scrutiny needs to come to the job O’Day has done. Can’t rule out that possibility but 1 seems most likely. Things are so bad in Riderville we can’t even tank effectively.

There’s no point in doing my normal game preview. So here’s a few things that would be nice to see on Saturday:

·        Baker get 1000 yards. I know 1000 is an arbitrarily pumped up number but he needs to 65 to hit it and as one of the few bright spots on this team, I feel he deserves it.

·        Larry Dean is 3 tackles short of 100. Given that we can’t stop the run that feels like an easy mark to exceed but it would be a nice cap to an amazing comeback year for Dean.

·        Charleston get a few more sacks. Not sure he has enough playing time left to hit first all-time in sacks but I would love to see him continue to climb the all-time list. He currently sits at 5th. Remember how happy we were when we thought he got a TD? It’s been a steady slide to misery from there.

·        Its too little too late but seeing Lanier back out there will be nice. He is a force along that D-line that we sorely missed.

·        Dare I ask for 2 offensive TDs?

·        One more Alford return TD. His returns have giving us fleeting moments of pure joy in what is usually a painful 60 minutes. He touches the ball like 5 times a game usually deep in our own end and is still our best chance to score.  

·        Bo Levi Mitchell get picked off. Preferably by Nick Marshall. Bo picks are always good for what ails you.

·        Bo Levi Mitchell retire from football some I’m not subjected to months of chatter about him becoming a Rider, or worse, us actually paying him a boatload of money mistakenly thinking he can enliven our offense.

·        Rather than dumping Gatorade on the coach post-game, the players just hurl the whole jug at Jason Maas in the ultimate of ironies.

While I’m sure we are all more eager for the Monday press conference where the team hopefully announces the changes it will be making to try and avoid another trainwreck in 2023, we got one more chance to watch Rider football this season first.

I’d say enjoy the game but let’s more accurately go with tolerate the game.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Monday morning Sentimonies: Officially Official

Riders 21 – Stamps 32

Saturday night all the talk about playoffs and mathematical chances was put the bed for good and what had been painfully obvious to many for weeks now became official… the Riders will not make the playoffs. A part of me is relieved because I was getting sick of people talking about our playoff chances.

Full disclosure, I was not at the game (and judging by the stands, not many others were). I would like to say it was a sign of me protesting an awful season. But the truth is, that I would not have been there even if the game was worth watching. I was playing a gig in Rouleau. Our band has made sure to keep our November calendar open because, at this rate we may end up playing the Grey Cup halftime show by default, unless the Riders opt for an “imagination halftime show”. I did watch the game though.

I could talk about all the usual reasons we lost like I do every week. Such as no protection from the line and a defense that looks tired and can’t tackle or generate a sack/turnover but that was all expected and I think we are all getting tired of talking about it. I do want to talk about the big story going into the game: Mason Fine. Our dumpster fire of a season is giving him the chance for a 2 game audition for 2023. And you know what? I thought he looked alright. He’s not the second coming of Doug Flutie and our offense still only put up its usual 14 points but for a young guy in a tough spot with crap protection against a very good defensive front, I though he did well. He showed poise in the pocket. Didn’t appear overwhelmed or out of place and made some nice throws. I saw him make quick decisive throws from the pocket more in that game than I saw Cody make in September. He also was smart enough to take my advice and lean on Baker. I’m not ready to anoint him a fulltime starter yet but unlike his predecessor Isaac Harker (whom he supplanted) he looks to be progressing and developing and at least looks like he has potential. I do have to say that his TD pass to Shaq was some god awful mechanics. Didn’t plant his feet and kinda side armed it. But the pass was still perfectly placed. Fine gave me something that has been desperately lacking in 2022… hope.

Our coaches seem intent to make his job as hard as possible and sabotage him. Early in the game he threw a beauty pass to get a much needed first down. He was promptly rewarded for his achievement by being replaced with Fajardo so he could a useless QB draw that went nowhere. Fine comes back in on the next play and throws another 1st down. Like, what the hell were we doing? How exactly did we think that would improve that drive? Fine was feeling it, let him play. I also don’t understand the need to have Fajardo in for short yardage. If Fine is gonna be your guy he will probably need to run plunges. Why not let him? What’s he gonna do? Lose us the game? We have that well under control.

The only other thing that is worth talking about is Mario Alford. What a flat out stud. He now has 4 kick returns in 12 games this season for the Riders. That’s a good career, let alone partial season. He hit the hat trick on Saturday. He already had a kickoff and missed FG TD and completed the cycle with a punt return TD. He was giving effort in the waning minutes of a meaningless game in a meaningless season. We have not had a returner of his caliber since Corey Holmes… and I think Alford is more dangerous than Holmes was as a returner. O’Day has done a lot of bad things this season but he nailed it when he nabbed him for a 6th round pick.

We have one more meaningless game before putting this miserable season behind us. At least we can all get drunk at Grey Cup and wash our misery away… unless the Bombers win again then the whole thing becomes just further misery.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Riders vs. Stamps: Vet Day

The contrast between what this two game set with the Stamps was supposed to be and what is actually is could not be more stark. When the schedule came out this was supposed to be the Riders and Stamps renewing their rivalry, Fajardo vs. Bo to decide the top end of the West division standings. What we are actually getting is Fine vs. Maier in the Riders sad last gasps in the season before missing out on the playoffs for the first time in 6 years.

I must say I’m sick of people calling this “the most important game in the Riders season”. The playoff ship has sailed away and left us struggling to tread water in its wake. If we wanted to be in the playoff picture the games against Edmonton and Hamilton were the most important and we blew both those chances. We are not making the playoffs and the sooner people start accepting that the better things will be.

Hell of a start to the week with Cody getting a “vet day” on the first day of practice. It was so painfully obvious that Cody had been benched that even a CFL official couldn’t miss that call. Why Dickenson chose to lie only to change his tune the very next day I don’t know. But it certainly fits the narrative of the clown show this season has been. Does Fine give us a better chance to win? Probably not. But we have seen all there is to see from Cody this year and he ain’t going to win this game. So why not let Fine have a chance and see if he can rise to the challenge? At worst we find out if Fine has progressed enough to bring back in 2023. 

I will say this, as much as I believe the divorce from Fajardo is necessary (for both sides) I still feel Fajardo can be a good QB… just not on this team, with this coaching staff and this O-line. Simply put the organization failed Cody. They failed to give him an OC that put him in a position to succeed and improve his skillset. They failed to give him even a mildly competent OL. They failed him by letting him play when he displayed all the mobility of current day George Reed. Certainly Cody bears responsibility in this as his play just hasn’t been great but the brunt of this falls on the organization. They could have made this work but failed to.

Ok, drama aside there is actually a football game to be played. So let’s talk about that…

Defensively there are 2 things you need to be concerned about with Calgary. First is, they run better than anyone in the league. Carey is a force and Logan is no slouch. Both average over 6 yards per carry. Want to be beat the Stamps, you gotta slow down that running attack. There is a chance we get Lanier back (which would give us a massive boost in the front 4). Other thing you gotta be concerned about is Malik Henry. He is what makes their passing attack work. When he’s out, you notice a marked drop in production. Calgary has allowed a league low 15 sacks on the year (we’ve almost done that in a game) so it won’t be easy getting pressure on Maier. Honestly this is the chance to pull out any crazy schemes Shivers has been sitting on. We’ve got nothing to lose so throw something different at Maier and see if he cracks. Expect Marshall to bite on any chance at a pick. I bet he finishes with an INT and a long TD allowed.

Offensively, let’s be honest. This is going to get ugly. No one has more sacks than the Calgary D. We are on a mission to set the all-time record for sacks allowed. We allowed 7 sacks to Hamilton who is 7th in the league in sacks. I can tell you things won’t get better in this one. We do get Jamal Morrow back. While its too little too late it will be nice to see him back out there. Early in the season he was leading the league in combined yards. We will need him. I should clarify, we should give him a massive workload but we all know he will start strong and get 2 carries after the first quarter ends.  I found this stat surprising, but no one allows more yards through the air than Calgary. So they can be passed on. Last time Fine got meaningful action he threw exclusively to McInnis, Jones and Harty (bold choices). Hopefully with the benefit of a week of practicing as the starter his priorities re-align. McInnis and Harty won’t play so maybe that forces the issue. You want to look good as a QB? Throw to Baker. He’ll make you look better than you should. Kyran Moore is another guy I’d lean on. I’d say Shaq too but he’s been struggling. He’s also quite clearly a Cody guy so who knows how this will go for him. At a minimum if I can see Fine looked poised and move well in the pocket that’s something. Our offense is useless so the bar is set pretty low for Mr. Fine. Pretty much anything positive is just a bonus at this point.

We aren’t winning. This is a meaningful game against a good team. The only positive that will come out of this is that the playoffs (which have realistically been a pipe dream for many weeks now) will officially be unattainable. Then we can stop pretending and focus on starting to make moves to improve this team for next year.

Stamps by a lot.  

By the way, if you are wondering if this Saturday will the final time the Riders disappoint this season, don’t forget that they still haven’t announced the halftime show. Plenty more opportunities to disappoint are yet to come.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Fall Guy

Here is the situation facing the Riders: they are screwed. Just more of the high quality analysis you’ve come to expect from me.

Since people are still talking about playoff scenarios for some reason, I guess I’ll start there. Seems like a waste of time to me but I’m nothing if not topical. There are 3 scenarios for how this plays out, all based on how the Hamilton/Ottawa back to backs set goes.

Scenario 1 – Hamilton wins both.

Impossible to make the playoffs.

Scenario 2 – Hamilton and Ottawa split the games

Riders need to beat Calgary twice to make the playoffs. A.k.a impossible.

Scenario 3 – Ottawa wins both

Riders need to beat Calgary once. A.k.a next to impossible.

You may think I’m being a tad pessimistic but we have exactly one win in the past 2 months and we only got it because a team was forced into playing a combination of O’Connor and Pipkin. Amongst our 6 wins, the only one that is remotely legitimate is beating the Als. Otherwise we have only beat a bunch of non-playoff teams and BC’s back-ups. The team has been on steady decline since July. You don’t really think that suddenly now playing a team with a winning record that is chasing a home playoff game is the time we pull out of that tailspin? My honest hope is that Hamilton wins this coming week and we lose so that all doubt is removed and we can give Mason Fine and a couple back-ups the start in the final game. That is the best case scenario at this point.

That of course then gets to the question of how deep the knife will cut when the offseason officially hits and we need to look at changes? The answer to that question is deeply rooted in the concept of the “fall guy”. As Chris Carter will tell you, everyone needs a fall guy. And particularly in sports, people's ability to maintain employment when things don’t go well lies in whether they can pin the shortcomings on a fall guy or have to wear it themselves. So let’s take a look at what that might mean for the Riders.

Craig Reynolds – When things go bad in Riderville you can count on people calling for everyone to be fired from the hotdog vendor to the President. For a couple reasons, I don’t see Reynolds going anywhere. For one, his primary job is to make sure the Riders make money and they are. Other than hiring a GM, he has nothing to do with the on-field product. He also has many fall guys at his disposal. Odds are he survives.

Jeremy O’Day – Really mixed evaluation of O’Day’s 3 seasons as GM. On one hand he has brought in a lot of talent. Robertson, Lanier, Sankey, Moncrief, Dean, Milligan, J Clark, Baker, Morrow, Hickson, etc… On the other hand despite the fact that his pre-football ops career was entirely devoted to high level O-line play, he has failed to piece together a competent line for 2 seasons in a row. Now he has fall guys at his disposal. I also believe that a GM gets at least one chance to hire a head coach before becoming the fall guy. You could argue he hired Dickenson but based on the timing of Jones’ departure he was really the only viable option. Odds are good O’Day uses a coach as his fall guy and survives to hire a new one based on a full search.  

Craig Dickenson – The shine is really coming off of his coaching record. His first season was great. His second season was really good. Coming into the season it seemed far fetched to think his job was in jeopardy. But the larger trend emerging is that the team has gotten worse in each season under his guidance. I really like Dickenson but he’s giving off real Danny Barret vibes: great guy, pretty good coach, but pretty good won’t get you to the Cup. Dickenson has only one fall guy at his disposal, Maas. His issue is that unlike O’Day, Maas is second OC and he already made McAdoo a fall guy. You usually don’t get too many chances to make a fall guy in the same role. Odds are good that Dickenson is the fall guy for the Riders in 2022.

Jason Maas – He has no fall guy, which is a not a great place to be. In consecutive season he has led the Riders offense to (checks notes) 7th best offense in the league. If he can somehow spin that into a contract extension he will become the second best negotiator in the world (second only to the guy that keeps getting Kirk Cousins massive extensions). 

Monday, October 10, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Sinking Ship

Riders 14 – Ti-Cats 18

On September 19th, following an embarrassing loss to the Elks I declared the season over and that “the remaining 2 months will be nothing more than going through the motions”. I stand by those words and they may end up being the most accurate thing I write all season. And don’t even try and explain the math on how they are not technically eliminated yet. It's over. We need more wins in 2 games against Calgary than Hamilton gets in 3 games two of which are against Ottawa. We certainly aren’t winning again… do we really think Hamilton fails to be Ottawa even once?

Watching Friday’s game you would not have known that the Riders were fighting for their playoff lives. It was the same old Riders, with the same old problems that have plagued them all season. It was also a game painful to watch because the quality of football was exactly what you would expect between 2 teams trying really hard not to make the playoffs but benefiting from a system where at least one will.

I will say this… the defense at least showed signs of life. After a few really rough outings I thought they stepped up. They forced turnovers, they got a sack, they didn’t take penalties, they held their opponents under 20 points. That should be enough for a win on a marginally competent football team. They couldn’t tackle or stop the run at all. In fact, I’m not sure why Hamilton even bothered throwing. Dane Evans was completing less then 50% of his passes and had 2 INTs (one where he basically just gave the ball to Robertson). Wes Hills was averaging over 5 yards a carry. Hamilton should not have been passing. Admittedly our defense's best game in awhile came against a really bad QB and offense in general but at least they showed up and tried.

Offense was their usual utter embarrassment. O’Day and Dickenson have ben quick to point out how injuries have impacted the play of our OL and the continuity. Well Friday we had all out “best” OL: Clark, Johnson, Ferland, Vaughn. No injury excuse and what happened? They allowed a sack on average every 6 plays. We might as well have just placed 5 helmets on the ground and not had actual linemen. The helmets might have at least slowed down 1 or 2 defenders. Reminder that we actually pay someone to coach this OL and we obviously think he has been doing a good enough job to remain employed. It’s might be the second cushiest job in Canada next to senator. Compound awful OL play with Cody’s happy feet and general not being good this year. Compound that with the usually dose of questionable play calling. Compound that with receivers being mentally checked out and dropping the easiest of completions (looking at you Shaq). This offense has no fire power, no consistency, not an ounce of confidence they can actually produce. Here’s some quality logic from the Riders offense: despite being responsible for a third of our yards and half our points, we targeted Baker on less than 20% of our attempts. Why feed the ball to the one guy on the field who seems to make good things happen?

Yet again we did absolutely nothing in the second half. It was the 8th time this season we failed to score even a FG in the 4th quarter and the 6th time we failed to score a TD in the second half. Its pretty obvious that Jason Maas does not bother with halftime adjustments. Fun fact for you: if the games were only 30 minutes long, the Riders’ record would be 8-6-2. But when we are forced to play that pesky second half and our offense doesn’t feel the need to contribute it makes winning pretty hard.

This team sucks. There is no way to sugar coat it. We have talented players but as a team we are brutal. Any joy or fun that came with watching this team has been sucked out of it. The only thing we currently have to look forward to is getting really drunk in November and watching actual football be played by actual teams (well one actual team and the East representative). Mercifully we only have 2 more games to endure. Then we can get on to finding out just how committed the team is to learning from the mistakes made this season and implementing the changes needed to improve.

Other random thoughts:

-        That holding/grounding play in our endzone was such a trainwreck that it perfectly encompasses our offense this season. It also should have definitely been a safety.

-        The sheer chaos on that punt that hit Vedvik was something to behold. For Simpsons fans that is aptly labelled Pulling a Homer (to succeed despite idiocy). First of all Vedvik should have never punted high and straight into a wind. Second, how have you been in the CFL this long and not know that the punter can recover a ball? Someone get Jamie Boreham to give him some life lessons.

-        Also, when its an overly complex and obscure call, why is always Proulx? He’s a very good ref but his insistence on the most detailed explanation possible just further people’s incorrect views on his competence.  

-        Blace Brown is a frustrating player to watch. He makes some amazing plays (perfectly blocked kick, couple great coverages) and then blows some very simple coverages.

-        I like incorporating the FBs into our offense. We dress 3 and they clearly aren’t helping our blocking so might as well make sue of them somehow.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Riders vs. Ticats: Desperation Bowl

 Apologize in advance as I only have time for very abbreviated sentimonies instead of my usual game preview. Please feel free to take 50% of your annual membership fee to compensate.

June seems like such a long time ago. We opened the 2022 season with a thorough drubbing of the Ti-Cats. We seemed to be taking the first step towards a solid season. I will spare you the torture of rehashing the 14 games that followed but... yeah its not been great.

I call the the desperation bowl because there is one playoff spot left and while mathematically nothing can be decided in the game, realistically the winner of this will most likely get the final playoff spot. A sad fight over table scraps for 2 teams that were supposed to be fighting for top spot in their respective division. 

Here's where I get brief. Objectively I think the Riders are a better team and should win this game. BUT... having watched this team's decline over the past 2 months, I honestly get the feeling they will find a way to lose this. Nothing about this team instills confidence. Our best chance for victory is Dane Evans playing like Dane Evans (i.e. handing our turnovers like he runs a free bakery), which is possible. 

Our offense scores so few points they would have fir seamlessly into last night's Thursday nighter. Even if they defense suddenly remembers how not to suck (and as a side note, relying on Blace Brown to spark your defensive play is pretty far down the list of things that instill confidence).

I will be cheering for them, ready to have my heart broken again but I don't see a win coming.

(You are welcome in advance if the Riders get a spite win).

Monday, October 3, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: We’re Not Very Good

Riders 13 – Bombers 31

If you were surprised by Friday’s outcome, I don’t know what to tell you. Nothing that we have seen from this team over the past 2 months has shown anything but a team on the decline. Between injuries and illnesses we have certainly had our share of legitimate excuses. But here’s the thing… Moore and Evans came back from injury, we didn’t get better. Clark and Ferland came back from injury, we didn’t get better. We got to play Winnipeg without the fear of pooping our pants, we didn’t get better. In fact, we seem to be getting worse.

The defense was once the force that powered this team. Now it appears they are worn out from the strain of carrying the rest of the team all season because they are declining. No big plays when we needed them. No sacks, no turnovers, poor tackling, consistently allowing over 25 points a game. The telling sign for me was when somehow our defensive scheme called for Larry Dean to cover Nik Demski (the Nik Demski who has been single-handedly killing us this year, the Nik Demksi I specially warned that we need to limit) deep downfield. That’s bad defensive scheming. And it’s a sign to me that even the one area that does not suck is starting to give up. Through 3 quarters the D did a good job overall but good is not enough for a unit that used to be dominant. Edem looks to have lost a step (or is more banged up than he is letting on). AC Leonard is sure not making a lot of plays for what we are paying him.

Offense produced one solitary TD and 13 points overall. Unless our application to transfer to the east division is approved, that kind of production just won’t cut it. I have been (and continue to be) a Fajardo fan but he’s terrible this year. I still think he can be a good QB but it won’t be here and it won’t be with this OC. Fajardo was awful. Bobbled a snap. Threw more than one pass to an open receiver into the dirt. Feet moving like he’s auditioning for Riverdance. Seriously, get that man some ankle weights to try and counteract his happy feet. Its not like we are putting him in a position to be successful though. The interception will go on Fajardo but it was Tevin Jones’ fault. Do I believe he could have lost the ball in the lights? Sure (and it was a dumb second and 5 play anyway). But even kids are taught by their coaches to play to the whistle. Despite no whistle, Jones gave up and was gingerly strolling back to the huddle while the play was still going on. That is not someone with his head in the game. 

Some competent play calling would help… but we all know that ain’t happening here. In my pre-game write up I stated “I type this Maas is planning an offense based on deep shots”. Sure enough we are out there chucking it deep despite it definitely not being something we are good at and facing the bend but don’t break Hall D. Why? That 3rd down run to LaFrance that got stuffed was the definition of overthinking things. We needed a damn yard, fall forward. Pretty basic play. Yet instead we run some complicated thing were lineman are pulling.  Not only did it not fool anyone (because it was pretty obvious where it was going) it resulted in defenders coming through a huge unblocked hole to stuff the run. And of course with Maas in charge you know we were settling for that FG in the 4th. Ask any person who has even loosely followed the CFL this season what the odds of the Riders’ O getting back into the redzone. We needed a major there, wussed out and 2 plays later the game was over. Every single aspect of the O is a mess.

At this point I’m honestly torn. Obviously I want us to win a game and get into the playoffs. We might even win the East-semi before getting annihilated in the east final (heavy emphasis on might). But I’m honestly torn between wanting that and wanting to us to flame out completely and miss the playoffs as that may force the team to make the changes needed rather than foolishly thinking they are “close” with this group.


Other random thoughts:

-        At least Alford provides brief moments of joy

-        Demski was definitely offside on that one TD

-        I would like to request Nick Marshall resume short yardage duties

-        Dickenson should have been kicked in the crotch for that late challenge. I know he was right but why on earth would you want to drag that crappy game out any longer?

-        If the Riders wants to make big bucks this Grey Cup week, it would hold an official “Airing of the Grievances” event for the fans. Just let me get drunk and yell at O’Day for an hour. I would pay very good money.