Monday, March 25, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Hits and Misses

With the CFL Draft approaching, I thought it would be interesting (and only mildly depressing) to look back at the past 5 drafts for the Riders. Take a look at which picks we nailed, which one were not so great, and who we missed along the way. 

The rating system I will use to assess each draft class is based on comparisons to previous Rider QBs. 


Early Round Success: This draft was about restocking the receiver shelves (which we needed). We took McInnis 6th overall and Lenius 15th. Both have proven to be starting caliber Canadian receivers (though both were only able to show it in flashes as a Rider)

Late Round Success: We only had 4 picks after the second round and we used one on Cam Judge’s mostly out of football brother (remember that?). But we did hit one home run in the 5th round when we selected Charbel Dabire. There were 9 DL’s drafted before him and a total of 3 of them you can maybe argue are legit better than Dabire. Great value pick who has been a valuable contributor for the Riders ever since.

Biggest Hit: Brayden Lenius

Biggest Miss: Honestly nothing major. Brady Olivera went one pick before Lenius which meant if we wanted him it would have had to be 6th overall. In retrospect, yes you do that. At the time, that’s super high for an RB.

Overall assessment: I would give this one a rating of Kevin Glenn… nothing flashy but pretty good overall.


Early Round Success: None. We used the 7th overall pick on Mattland Riley who retired with one career game played (not sure he even got on the field). Even at the time Riley was “safe” pick, not a top end prospect, though it was a relatively weak draft class overall. The whole experience made O’Day so leery to take an OL high that he’ll never do it again (at least that’s what it seems).

Late Round Success: Rider fans are willing to forgive O’Day the Riley because in the 4th round he landed us Kian Schaefer-Baker… the steal of that entire draft.

Biggest Hit: Schaefer-Baker by a mile.

Biggest Miss: In the second round, there were only some moderately successful players taken like Marc Antoine-Dequoy and Nathan Rourke, that we could have used our first round pick on.

Overall assessment: This one rates a Michael Bishop… overall unmitigated disaster with one brief moment of brilliance thrown in there.


Early Round Success: This was the Covid draft and it was a pretty thin class. We used the 2nd overall pick on Nelson Lokombo. In theory a great pick but injuries have greatly limited his impact so far. We used our second round pick on Terrell Jana. Again, in theory a good pick but he retired without ever playing a down. But hey, the first overall pick by Hamilton was TE Jake Burt… so by comparison we did OK.

Late Round Success: Continuing the theme of “in theory” we did get Logan Bandy in the 5th round. He’s been our 6th OL for a while and started due to injury. The team really seems to believe in his potential. I don’t think he’s good and would add that the fact that O’Day believes in Bandy may be an indication of why our OL has been a week point until his watch.

Biggest Hit: Bruno Labelle, not exactly a huge impact player but he’s at least been on the roster consistently and using a 3rd round pick on him was about bang on for his value.

Biggest Miss: Not a ton of big name players came out of this draft. Ben Hladik who went 22nd overall and is now a legit starter is probably someone who would go much higher in a redraft.

Overall assessment: This one rates a Kerry Jospeh starting the 2014 playoff game… it seemed like a good idea at time but in retrospect you have the regrets.


Early Round Success: Early last season it became apparent that Sam Emilus was a very good use of our 7th overall pick. We grabbed OL Zach Fry in the second round who O’Day is still pumping up but who has yet to make a material impact on the team. Hopefully he’s on the Chris Best development path.

Late Round Success: Were it not for a home run in the 5th round, anything after Emilus in this draft would have been written off as a failure for the Riders. But with the 54th overall pick, O’Day landed a scrappy safety who has blossomed into a starting caliber player in Jayden Dalke.

Biggest Hit: Sam Emilus/Jayden Dalke

Biggest Miss: Honestly, none. Based on where they picked the Riders did not “miss” on anyone. In fact, it was not a super strong draft class once you got past the first round.

Overall assessment: I give this one a Cody Fajardo (while in green and white), was it the best? No. But it’s the best we’ve seen around here in a few years.


Early Round Success: Still early to know the full impact but getting both Korte-Moore and Ford, who were defensive contributors as rookies, looks to be a good move at this point.

Late Round Success: In the fourth round we drafted a bruising RB out of Delaware by the name of Matthieu Bertrand-Hudon. In a mostly awful season, he was one of the few bright spots.

Biggest Hit: Hard to say at this point but Korte-Moore has so far lived up to the hype.

Biggest Miss: Too early to tell. Teams my regret letting the Stampeders get Clark Barnes at 24 but I would have lost it if the Riders used another high pick on a receiver with all their other needs.

Overall assessment: I’ll give this a Trevor Harris. On paper it looks okay and there have been some early flashes, but we will need to see a lot more in year 2 to be truly satisfied.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Make It Canadian

Note: I will warn you in advance that today’s post is very light on actual news and serious analysis and very heavy on the ridiculous and whimsical. Obviously if you are a regular reader here you are used to a fairly regular dose of the ridiculous but if that ain’t what you are after this morning then try again next week.

I, like many of you, fell in love with the Canadian football game. The unique rules set it apart from its American counterpart in so many good ways and it is steeped in tradition and heritage. But today I ask, is the game Canadian enough?

Sure we have bigger fields, unlimited motion, less downs and the beloved rouge (the rouge is wonderful and I will not her arguments to the contrary) but there are so many more ways the game could be made even more Canadian.


1.     Metric system – the most obvious place to start is by fully implementing the metric system. Yards should be replaced with meters. First and 9.144 will be the new standard starting point. Players will strive for a 914 metre season instead of 1000 yards. And we will ooh and aah as Bret Lauther bombs kicks from 46 metres out and further. All player heights and weights would also need to be converted to metres and kilograms.  

2.     Aboot - next we clearly need to fully incorporate Oot in the lingo. Failing to get a first down is a two and oot. GMs will send their scoots to go recruit new players. Receivers will run roots. And Sports Centre may report on the ootcome of a blowoot or even a shutoot.

3.     Apologies – Anytime a player is penalized the amount of the penalty should double if they don’t immediately apologize. If the opposing team does not reciprocate the apology the penalty should be negated.

4.     Tims – All Gatorade container will be replaced with Tim Horton’s coffee. The post game Gatorade shower will become quite dangerous and hydration levels will plummet but dammit if we won’t representing the awful coffee that our nation seems to adore.

5.     Royal Assent – In keeping with the rules of our constitutional democracy, all player transactions should be subject to approval by the King/Queen via the Governor General or Lieutenant Governors.

6.     Public Health Care – The team’s individual injured reserves should be replaced with one central injured reserve that is funded by the league through public taxation.

7.     Bilingual – All PA announcements and referee calls must be in both official languages. Trash talk between the players will only be allowed if it is also in both official languages. Coaches are also encouraged to have their play calls in both official languages. Watch for L’option de courrir passer avec un déroulé de quarterback. 

Do have any suggestions for how to further improve the Canadiana of the CFL?

Monday, March 11, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Delayed Random Quasi Coherent Thoughts

Apologies for not writing a post last week. Rest assured the person responsible has been admonished and given a fine equal to 50% of their salary. When this blog cannot even live up to the extremely low standards it holds itself to, we take that very seriously.

While much of this is dated, let’s get caught up on what’s been going on in Riderville…


-        The Riders’ marketing team got themselves in some hot water over a “Girl Math” promotion they sent out. This was clearly a case of trying to be trendy and just missing the mark. I think they honestly would have been fine with the “Girl Math” headline but each successive line just get worse and worse. The Riders have apologized and I say good enough and move on. They tried to be creative it flopped, they apologized, case closed. No need for a further witch hunt.

-        It does make me wonder who the hell reviews and approves their material though. I (an aging white male, with no marketing experience) could clearly tell that was not in good taste. Somehow a team of marketing professionals who are presumably younger and more female than me, did not see the issue. That is like the equivalent of your finance team producing a financial statement where all the numbers are replaced with 58008 and not thinking it will be a problem. If you don’t immediately get that reference then a) you are clearly much younger than me and b) should go ask you parents for a calculator (maybe first ask them what a calculator is), type in that number and turn the calculator up side down. (This is what we used to do for entertainment).

-        The Riders signed a new LB by the name of Diego Fagot. Now a younger and even less mature Prophet would have had a hay day with this back in the day. All I will say now is that it’s definitely not pronounced like you think but I hope he makes the team purely to make the play by play guys sweat bullets. One Freudian slip and there’s trouble.

-        Good on the Riders for honoring former president Jim Hopson by naming the Jim Hopson Auditorium at Mosaic Stadium. And given his health, good on them for doing the honour while he was still able to receive the honour in person. We may bemoan the current state of our Riders but look back in history at what the team was before Hopson. There were years where they would have killed for down years like ones we bemoan now. Hopson was key part of raising expectations.

-        Speaking of a key part of raising expectations, it remains criminal that Roy Shivers has not been honoured in a similar way by the team. No plaza induction, no in-stadium recognition. The freakin’ CFL saw fit to add him to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame but we have not. Let’s not wait until its too late.