Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not To Be

The Riders have failed to end their 100th season with a championship. In a football game that was not pleasing to the eye, the Montreal Alouettes beat the green and white to take the Grey Cup for the second straight year. This one doesn't hurt as much as last year, but it still stings. It would seem as if early on Darian Durant is taking the heat for the defeat.
Darian did not look comfortable right from the get go. TSN's Matt Dunigan said before the game that Durant had told him that he had a bad hamstring that was getting worse. Is that why he wasn't rolling out and doing what he does best? What seemingly has many hot under the collar though is his last minute interception to Billy Parker on a ball that frankly he shouldn't have thrown.
Here's where I will defend the Rider quarterback. I know I probably won't have many agree here. but here ya go.

Durant is a guy who refuses to say quit. Its been his mentality ever since he has been here. Its that gunslinger approach that he takes to the game. After Andy Fantuz went offside to make it first and 15, he knew he couldn't take a sack. He was trying to make a play. He was trying to do something like this.

Remember that play! With the exception of the end, it looked very similar. Its Durant trying to make a play when there is no hope of him doing so. Everyone loved his desire and his fire to get it done when he made that play. As I have said before, you can't have it both ways. If somehow that balls floats into the hands of the intended receiver and the team goes down and scores what would have been a game-winning touchdown, Durant would have been hailed as a hero. Bad throw--you betcha. Am I pinning the loss on Durant because of that throw....not a chance!

I feel bad for guys like Omarr Morgan and Barrin Simpson. They have been through a lot and they still don't have a championship ring. I think Simpson will be back, but I don't know about Morgan. Will Jeremy O'Day be back? Will Geno be back? Will Szarka be back? I don't know if that window of opportunity is closing or not, but I think this team will lose some veteran leadership.

The Rider Nation is disappointed and heartbroken and well you should be. However, the sun will come up tomorrow. I hope many of you are at Mosaic tomorrow to welcome the team home and I hope you are appreciative of their efforts. This could be a team like Winnipeg has been or it could be a team in need of a major overhaul like Edmonton. This is still a damn good football team and despite the fact they have allowed the Alouettes to take the Cup back to Montreal again, I still believe we haven't seen the last of the good times.

Is it safe to say we will see the Alouettes here again on Canada Day?

While I wanted to put up "Paint the Whole World Green". I'll have to settle for this. Its certainly true today.

One other was just a bad day for Saskatchewan all around as famed actor Leslie Nielsen has passed away. It makes me want to go out and get a copy of "The Naked Gun". He was a great export for Saskatchewan. Men like him are rare.

Comment away with your thoughts on the game.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that - it put a smile on my face after a heartbreaking loss. Darian, we love you buddy. You're here to stay. You led the team to 2 Grey Cup games in your 1st 2 years as a starting QB. You the man!

Anonymous said...

Sucks that we lost but you can't hang this on Durant. The whole team in all three phases has been hit and miss all season. When the O works it covers up a lot of other problems. When it doesn't, like tonight, it looks pretty bad. Defense played well tonight. Special teams didn't kill us, althought it didn't really help either. Tonight the O just didn't get it done. I don't think Doug Berry called a very good game. We were still damn close, and this franchise is the envy of every other in the league. No more telethons. No more 3-15 seasons. Losing the big game sucks, but at least we got there. Two years in a row. Bet the Eskimos and the Bombers would gladly trade places. I love this team and have for over thirty years.

Anonymous said...

We were beaten by a better football team. Darian didn't have his "A" game, but he did make some plays. I wonder just how hurt he is. He never seemed the same after getting kicked in the shin.

Darian has been our starter for two years and in both of those years, we have gotten to the GC. Hang your head tonight if you must, but realize there is a very bright horizon. This team isn't going away anytime soon.


Paul E said...

Mitch I completely agree with your assessment. This is still a very young team in the big scheme of things and if they can keep their core group together then we will see multiple Grey Cups coming to SK just like we see with Montreal now. These are tough growing pangs for Durant and company but lets support these guys in the tough times and they will rise to the top sooner then later! I feel bad for Omar M, Barrin S, etc for sure. I'm already looking forward to the Riders in 2011.

Anonymous said...

i am with you Mitch...well said...there is no way anyone should put this on DD...true fans know where his heart and his passion are...they are the Rider Nation!!!

a true fan

shaun souster

Anonymous said...

Boohoohoo! This endless defending Darian crap is purely laughable. The guy can't get the job done in the big game. Its the truth!!! Ricky Ray would have won this year's game and last and so would the hated Hank. Durant is over-rated and this proves it. The Riders will never win it all with him at the helm.

Graham Stuart said...

The game was far from a classic, but I'm proud of our men in green. Rather than spewing venom, Rider Nation should realize how lucky it is to have Darian Durant as our quarterback. He personifies the "never say die" attitude that the 'Riders embody. More than ever, the "S" on the side of that helmet needs to stand for "support". The players need to know that we're behind them no matter what, otherwise the league-wide opinion that we're all a bunch of bandwagon-jumpers will start to be accepted as fact by the very team we love. To all those anonymous "fans" clamoring for another QB: please leave Rider Nation via the nearest exit. To the 2010 Saskatchewan Roughriders: thank you and hold your heads high.

Walter (Red's cousin) said...

Excuse me but Henry would not have won the game as he didn't make it to the Grey Cup and neither did Ricky Ray - duh -what a stupid comment. Darian Durant is the future and this loss was not his fault - coaching was not there today and changes will be coming next year.

Rider Nation still rocks and the CFL would be nowhere without them.. Go Riders

Anonymous said...

Did anyone ask Darian about his health after the game? I'd like to know if his pocket passing was because of this bad hammy that Dunigan talked about before the game.


Jaymz F said...

The fact of the matter is, if you look at the time left, the down, and the position Darian was in, you take that sack every time. That throw was a terrible decision, and Darian knows it. However, one bad decision does not make a game. By all accounts Darian is a smart guy. He obviously has the talent and ability to be a top QB in the league, if not the top QB.

Mr. Blair, I can appreciate your support for Darian, but to compare the throw in the GC to a two point convert is a poor comparison. It is recognizing the difference between these two scenarios that separates a HOF guy like Calvillo from Durant or even Burris. There is a reason why someone like Brett Favre only has one ring despite all of his records and opportunities.

I believe in Darian, and am hopeful that this loss will only make him a better QB as he learns from his mistakes. I am excited to see him come back better than ever next year. GO RIDERS.

Anonymous said...

How would Henry Burris have won this game? He didn't even win the West Final! Give your head a shake.

Anonymous said...

You know, Jaymz F, at first I was upset with Durant for not just taking the sack and losing 6 yards or whatever. After all, 6 yards means little when you still need another 40 or so anyways. But when you consider that the clock doesn't stop after a sack, and it does stop after a ball thrown out of bounds, I increasingly think it was not a bad decision. The problem was, Durant got hit at exactly the moment of release. That changed his angle of delivery, and that kept the ball in bounds.

What I AM unhappy about is the utter inability of our offense to convert on 2nd down. Contrary to my expectation, our defense played a hell of a game (even stopping the run!) but the offense just couldn't do anything.

Honestly, to me, his one hurts as bad as last year's. Last year, never at any point in the game did I fully believe we were going to win (and I noticed the flag before Duval even kicked the missed field goal, so I held off on celebrating). But this year, I honestly believed we would win, no matter how much better Montreal was, because we had the motivation for redemption. That makes it tough.

Also, I know we can't really complain about the refs after getting some breaks in the Calgary game. But what kind of ref calls offside on the last drive of the game when a receiver is less than one yard offside??!!!! Are you f^&*ing kidding me?? This is the CFL - everyone knows that every receiver is offside on every play. That's like giving a speeding ticket to an ambulance that's going 51 in a 50 zone. That is pure BS by a ref who wants to be the star.

Anonymous said...

Fantuz was off-side by more than one yard. That was why the call. The Ref's called a solid game as they should. They also called a P.I. call that cost us big time on an interception but on the replay you could see the infraction.Remember the lack of calls like that against Browner all season long and the call from Rider Nation to nolonger let backs get away with it. We got our wish didn't we.
The Fans are disappointed for sure but most because of the pitiful offence in the 2nd half. Montreal didn't have much offensive success in the 1st half and made good adjustments at the half. We didn't and it showed.
Durant is going to be a great quarterback for us. Don't dump on him for his effort on that interception. He was hit just as he released the ball. What a gritty effort to not take a sack.
Riders will make some positive changes next year and we will be back in Vancouver in 2011.

Robert in Riderville