SIGHHHH!!! That's what the Rider Nation is saying after yet another loss as the green and white saw hopes of a home playoff game this year go "poof" as they were beaten 24-19 by the Edmonton Eskimos Sunday afternoon.
At the half, it looked good. Kerry Joseph was playing well and the defence was playing well, but it came to an end on the first play of the second half as Kendial Lawrence took the kickoff back 96 yards and while the Riders still had a two point lead at the time, it was basically game over.
For whatever reason, the team acted emotionally as if it was game over after that as the Eskimos controlled the second half to win the game.
--Kerry Joseph can still play the game. His timing wasn't there, but he made some plays and gave the offence some life it hadn't had over this losing skid. Believe it or not, there still is reason to be optimistic. However, Joseph will have to pick up his game as the Stamps and Eskimos now have film on him....fresh film at least.
--Dropped passes did not help Joseph.
--Levy Adcock had one of his better games, Ben Heenan did not
--Covering a kick and punt return has definitely been the Achilles Heel of this football team this year. They've been atrocious as was the attempted short kick at game's end. You have to be better in those areas. Much better
--The Kisscam was uh----um.....uh......interesting and downright funny this week. I'm wondering if a certain fan got slapped after that escapade had come to an end.
--I really wonder what the Durant haters are saying these days
--Don't pin any blame for this loss on Ricky Foley. He was all over the field and maybe took the hardest hit of the day from teammate Tyron Brackenridge at the Riders sideline in the first half.
--I still believe the Eskimos are the best team in the West at this time.
While it was a frustrating afternoon for the Riders on Sunday, it was yet another frustrating afternoon for the University of Regina Rams at Thunderbird Stadium (pictured) as they were beaten 33-32. They are now 1-5 on the season, but three of those losses have come by 1,2 and 5 points. The one point that decided this game was a rouge as UBC punter Quinn Van Gylswyk launched his best punt of the afternoon late in the 4th quarter that the Rams could not get out of the endzone. They couldn't muster any offence after that single either as their playoff chances took a serious hit and one that likely prevents Frank McCrystal from going to the playoffs in his final year.
I've seen Frank walk off the field after a loss many times before, but there was something different about the walk this time and the look. I think the realization its over has hit him. There's a lot of talk about what will happen to the Rams and who will take over. That person has big shoes to fill as Frank was more than a football coach and there are many around this city that will tell you that. Many!
As for our broadcast on 620 CKRM Saturday, all I can say is I'm sorry for the phone line problems. Yes, I heard how bad it was and as I called the game via my cellphone while my colour guy Marco Ricci could just sit there helplessly in a spotters role, I knew how bad it was sounding. The mandate is to get it out there and we did. Once again, I'm sorry you had to endure that for 3 hours, but we did the best we could. If you're wondering, the double ryes consumed after the game did not really make up for the frustration being felt.
Thanks to former U of R Hockey player Greg Hutchings. Hutch texted Marco Ricci on Saturday wanting to know if we wanted his tickets to Saturday's Lightning-Canucks game. We just couldn't find a spot for a ticket drop that was easy so we had to say no to the request. Just to recap---a terrible football broadcast forced by having to say no to center ice tickets for free for an NHL game. How was your Saturday?
Congrats to Peyton Manning. He doesn't have the championships that the others have, but he has to be considered the greatest of all time after becoming pro football's leading touchdown pass leader on Sunday night. I don't know if you caught the piece ESPN on had on the nine players that have caught just one of Manning's passes for a touchdown, but it was a great feature.
Its tough to repeat in the NFL and the Seahawks are showing that. What the hell happened on that punt return? That was just bizarre. By the way, the officials screwed them at the end, but we'll never know if Seattle may have been able to get a game winning field goal and it shouldn't have come down to that so I'll just let it go---albeit reluctantly.
Looking forward to the World Series. If its like the rest of the baseball playoffs, strap yourself in.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons asks a great question about the Royals when it comes to the Blue Jays. Should the Jays be encouraged or discouraged that another team using their formula is in the World Series. The one big difference between the clubs---look at KC's bullpen and then look at Toronto's---end of story.
I read an article on the weekend suggesting Buster Posey is the new face of baseball now that Derek Jeter has retired. I can't argue with that. I'm a big Posey fan myself.
I'm hearing rumblings from TV people who aren't necessarily liking the new Hockey Night in Canada. What are your thoughts?
As a hockey fan, tell me you were upset to see the refs get in between Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla who were going to square off the other night. That would have been a great fight!
Why doesn't Regina have a Papa John's Pizza? I have never had one and I want to.