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.”
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