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.