I admit it. I didn't think the Saskatchewan Roughriders would beat the Montreal Alouettes in Montreal after what I saw in Hamilton. Neither did many of you. The crow that many of us are eating today is something we deserve, but I get the feeling many of us are OK with it. After looking nothing like a football team in Hamilton and having some emotional practices this week, the Riders look as if they have it put together as they beat the Alouettes 27-24 in a game that shouldn't have been as close as the final score indicated.
Many non-believers will say the Riders would not have won this game if Anthony Calvillo did not get knocked out with a 2nd quarter concussion courtesy Dario Romero. We will never know the answer to that, but Calvillo was struggling when he got hurt even though he had just led the team to a touchdown drive. I thought Greg Marshall said it best when he said after the game "Nobody is taking this one away from us. He didn't leave. We knocked him out and that's football. That is 100 percent right. If you want to say it that's fine, but the bottom line is the Riders took Montreal's key weapon away from them and they couldn't regroup.
--A much better effort by the defence in all areas of the game. The pass rush was there and so was the coverage on Jamel Richardson and SJ Green. With one, you get the other.
--Dwight Anderson should be suspended for his eye poke on Weston Dressler at the end of the game. That just can't be tolerated. At the least, he should be fined.
--Has Anderson's brash style rubbed off an Alouette team that I thought was extremely chippy. How many roughing plays did they take?
--Will the NDP look at Gene Makowsky's rough play penalty and somehow use it as a way to say this is how you will be treated by the Saskparty if they get back in. Will they splice the footage to make it look as if Mean Gene is hitting Dwain Lingenfelter late?
--When will the CFL do something about its shoddy, shoddy officiating? Once again, the work of the men in the stripes was less to be desired and that goes both ways. A good product on the field is being hampered by the work of the stripes.
--Why is Hugh Charles in the football game at the end? Charles is known to put the ball on the ground. Please keep Wes Cates in there!
--Is it just me or does Remond Willis remind you of another Rider that wore 41 (Fred Perry).
All in all, its a good win for the Riders. With a Calgary team that doesn't look close to being the team it was last year, the Riders are ready to perhaps start playing the football we knew they could.
Yahoo CFL blogger Andrew Buchholtz liked the win, but he's not sold yet. You can get his take on the Riders right here
If you were watching the Canadian Open on Sunday, you might have overheard CBS' Bill Macatee say that Canadian Adam Hadwin--who was two strokes behind the winner--was from Moose Jaw. I didn't even know who Hadwin was before yesterday, but I was sure I had never heard of him before in local golf circles. I put a message out on Twitter and before you know it, several from Moose Jaw were letting me know that Hadwin was indeed born in Moose Jaw and that his dad used to be the pro at the Lynbrook course in the 80's. OK?! Does this mean that Saskatchewan has two golfers on the PGA Tour in Hadwin and Graham DeLaet of Weyburn?
What am I reading about the Philadelphia Eagles and Brett Favre? Please, please, please tell me this is a joke. In fact, NFL owners and players should put a clause in their new agreement saying no more Brett Favre.
Did you watch the baseball hall of fame ceremony? I thought the intro of current day hall of famers would never end. Its good to see Robbie Alomar in Cooperstown as a Jay, but he's not the greatest 2nd baseman in there. That honor goes to my favourite all time ball player if not athlete---former Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg. One can't argue that he was a little classier during his playing days than Alomar. Some have reminded me as to how arrogant he was when the Jays spent some time in Regina.
Congrats to Riders PR guy (and friend) Ryan Whippler. He and his wife are now proud parents for the first time after welcoming 6 pound Alexis Whippler to the world on Sunday morning. I'm sure Dad is doing fine, but he is a germaphobe so I'm not really sure what's going to happen when he has to change that first diaper. I'm thinking hand sanitizer sales have gone wayyyyyyyy up. Break out the cigars at Tuesday's practice Whip!
Have a good Monday!