Thank you Andy Fantuz!!! That is what many Rider fans are saying today after he pulled off a Tony Romo allowing Calgary to beat the Tiger-Cats meaning the /=S=/ are in the playoffs. I just find that so ironic and laughable on so many levels.
While the Stampeders are 10-6, you have to say they are a lucky 10-6. They have had three games this year in which they have won on the last play because the other team has missed a field goal. The Eskimos lost twice thanks to Grant Shaw misses against the Stamps and the Ti-Cats lost when Fantuz couldn’t get the ball on the tee for Luca Congi to kick what likely would have been the game winner. You can’t take the wins away from them though and Calgary certainly isn’t making any apologies for getting three victories that perhaps they shouldn’t have had---four if you talk about the 4th quarter meltdown that the Riders had in Calgary early this season. It looks like the Riders will take on Calgary in the West semi November 11 and I will like the visitors chances going in.
I left Mosaic Stadium on Saturday basically feeling like this after watching the Alouettes hang on to beat the Riders. The Montreal offensive line----real good. The Saskatchewan offensive line---not so much. The refs----absolutely horrible, and Anthony Calvillo----still amazing at 40. Here are just some thoughts from yours truly on the game…
--Scott Flory, Josh Bourke and company basically owned the Riders d-line. They allowed some big runs and for the most part, A-C wasn’t disrupted when he had to be (2nd and longs).
--Chris McKenzie and Eddie Russ have had better days! The same with Johan Asiata. Xavier Fulton was missed.
--Considering the afternoon Jamel Richardson had, was it symbolic that the game sponsor was Richardson Pioneer?
--Is it coincidental that the Riders have struggled in two of the three games that Jock Sanders has missed?
--Was it just me or were the snaps to Darian Durant consistently high? That is very unlike Dominic Picard. I was beginning to wonder if Marc Parenteau had re-surfaced.
--I am starting to think that no matter where the Riders finish that Weston Dressler get consideration for the league’s MOP. I just can’t think of any more superlatives to describe #7. I heard some fans grumbling about a couple of “drops” that he had. Really? Those aren’t easy catches, like ones Kory Sheets fumbled through his fingers in the waning moments.
--The Calvillo pass to Bo Bowling that ended up in a touch touchdown was vintage A-C. He rolled out and waited for Russ to bite and when he took that one step towards Calvillo, he fired a bullet to Bowling for the touchdown. Many quarterbacks in professional football just can’t do that. Still with A-C, TSN’s Duane Forde said he was speechless after seeing Calvillo run 14 and 22 yards for a TD. On the 2nd one, Rob Vanstone tweeted that Calvillo should have been called for delay of game halfway through the run because of his mercurial speed. I can’t disagree with Duane or Rob.
--Shea Emry was just gutless with his punch to Brendon Labatte’s junk. I would like to think he will get suspended like Khalif Mitchell was, but it is the CFL so I wonder. He should get two games for that. He should also consider himself fortunate that Labatte or someone else didn’t kick his ass right there. Was Emry exchanging words with Brendan Taman as he left the field? If so, I wonder how that conversation went. Good on Emry for apologizing on Twitter Sunday, but its too little too late.
--Some creativity on 2nd and short is needed. The Kory Sheets plunge into the line is wayyyyyyyyyy too predictable!
--It was yet another bad day for the zebras. Tom Higgins really needs to explain some of the questionable decisions that are happening. It takes away from the game. I’m not saying the Riders had one stolen from them because I thought Saskatchewan had some calls go their way. However, there were some calls (especially no yards) that were just baffling.
Other thoughts on the weekend:
Congrats to the Regina Rams for a hard fought win over Calgary. The Rams, without Marc Mueller, weren’t given much of a chance and they knew if they were going to win, the defence would have to stand tall. They did! When I say no one gave the Rams a chance, I’m not kidding. I ran into U of C alum Sam Hurl at the end of the game and asked him what he would have to do seeing the Dinos lost. He smiled and said he’s getting away easy because none of the Rams alumni would bet him on the game. Shame on you Neal Hughes, Chris Getzlaf, Brendon Labatte and Jordan Sisco. I gave Getz the gears on that after the game and he just laughed saying without Mueller there was no way he was betting on the Rams. Tsk Tsk!!!
Try and try as they might, the Regina Thunder just can’t beat the Saskatoon Hilltops. The Toppers winning the PFC title beating the Thunder 37-0.
I had a chance to interview Canadian national womens soccer team player Kaylyn Kyle and look at her Olympic bronze medal on Saturday. Olympic medals are something to see. Its great seeing a home-grown Saskie succeeding on the international stage and she is one of many who are doing that ---not just in sports.
Pro-line winnings can turn into pro-line losing in a heartbeat. Thank you Victor Cruz!! (NOT) Thank you Nate Washington!! (NOT)
After seeing Mike Reilly’s efforts on Friday night, the Lions had better trade him because he is a free agent before the expansion draft and he won’t be ending up in Ottawa. Eric Tillman, are you reading this? How about you Joe Mack?
When will the Tiger-Cats decide where they are going to play next year and is there any guarantee that Ivor Wynne Stadium will be ready for 2014?
Who is the front-runner for the Jays vacant managerial job? Would Ernie Whitt be considered seeing the job he has done with the Canadian national team? Why would Toronto accept an infielder as compensation for John Farrell when they need starting pitching?
Are you going to watch more NBA since there is no NHL? Speaking of which, check the blog later on Monday if you want to get your hockey fix. I'm about to take on an assignment for my daily readers.
Cam Newton needs to grow up a little bit. The Carolina quarterback who has struggled mightily this season said he was going to spend the bye week looking at his technique so he could play better. It was then learned that Newton spent the bye week racing go-karts, playing video games and watching movies. No word if he went to Chuck E Cheese. The Panthers need more than that from their leader. Compare what Newton did to what Darian Durant does when he doesn’t go home during a bye week to stay and look at game film in an attempt to get better. What has happened to Newton? He was so good last year and so bad this.
I am alive in my Survivor pool by the hair on my chinny chin chin. The Patriots made that too close. It was the Jets for gods sake!!
I don’t know what bothers me more. The fact that officials are so inconsistent on calling pass interference or letting it go or receivers who squawk every time there is an incompletion stating that a flag should be thrown.
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is not the only the best at his position in baseball right now, but he could be leading his team to a World Series and he is dating Kate Upton. Everything is going right in Justin’s world and I mean EVERYTHING!
That's it for now! Later!