Sunday, October 28, 2012

Something To "Mitch" About

Before I begin, I want those of you reading this to see this first. I was disappointed with the "Rider Nation" on Saturday because the game wasn't close to being sold out and there were too many empty seats. Fan apathy and the cold weather were two reasons for people not showing up. For those who fit into that category, I would like to share this with you.

Here is the story of this man from Facebook friend Jeff Sastaunik. It was off of his feed that I take this from.

Ive been working at the Rider games for 15 yrs now and have met many good people( and some assholes to) but yesterday was one of the toughest games ive ever worked as half way through the 4th quarter, my good buddy Bobby Corman came to say 
goodbye. I said we will see you next year my friend but he said I doubt it...I asked why and he said Im battling cancer and I prob wont be here. This gentleman has been coming to the Rider games since 1949. Two years ago his wife stopped coming due to health reasons. He used to bring us cookies his wife made. After EVERY rider TD, he would come over shake our hands and then go kiss a couple of ladies. Bobby, I will say a prayer for you. You have been one of the reasons why I keep doing the Rider games and I will miss our talks! Keep fighting my good friend, keep fighting! I know its 3rd and long but you have a long throw in you yet!

I have never met Mr. Corman and sadly, I probably won't. This is what it means to be a fan in my books.

Alright, on to the field....

17 games into the CFL season and I am still waiting for the Saskatchewan Roughriders to find an identity. It has been an up and down season. The team started off winning three in a row, lost five straight, won five out of six and have now lost three in a row.  This is a team that has the talent on paper, but they don’t seemingly want to play to their capabilities. I honestly expected the Riders to hand the Argos a beating on Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t materialize.  Here are some thoughts….

--I thought Ricky Ray was done a couple of years ago. Now I wonder how the West standings would look if Eric Tillman hadn’t shipped him to the Argonauts. Could Edmonton have been the 2nd place team in the West? Ray has been outstanding the last two weeks throwing eight touchdown passes and he was in control of the game right from the outset yesterday. Those first two drives made it look like the Riders were chasing their own tail. Be disgusted with the defence all you want Rider fans, but at the same time tip your hat to Ray’s performance because it was something else.

--Kory Sheets had the run of the year with his 24 yard touchdown run in the 2nd quarter. The play also proved without a shadow of a doubt that Xavier Fulton is the Riders rookie of the year and arguably their top offensive lineman as well. Fulton is a beast!

--While I talk about Fulton being the rookie of the year, I will get up on my soapbox and say what some others have said over the past few weeks. The CFL should scrap the “rookie” of the year and have a best “first year player” award. There is no doubt in my mind Sheets would be the overwhelming favourite.  I still think he isn’t used enough when it comes to running the rock. I think Sheets should be getting at least 20 runs a game-----however, those don’t have to necessarily come on 2nd and 2 or 3.

--I could talk about the work of the stripes---especially in that final Riders drive, but why bother. I give a lot of credit to both Darian Durant and Corey Chamblin as they were prodded to make a comment that could have seen their pocketbook get lighter, but they didn’t bite. I did find it interesting that several wondered if a flag would have come out of the pocket had that been Odell Willis making that play.

--The white helmets with the green jersey don’t work. That’s a fashion faux pas!

--James Patrick has had better days.

--While Patrick’s play is seemingly sliding, the play of Terrell Maze is climbing. I thought he might have been the best player on defence yesterday.

Before the Riders game, the Ti-Cats played their “last” game at Ivor Wynne Stadium. As you know, the stadium is being knocked down and re-built with a more improved Ivor Wynne coming. There was certainly a lot of nostalgia surrounding the game as there should have been. As I walked through the parking lot into Mosaic, I wondered what the Riders will do for the last season at Mosaic. You know that the pomp and circumstance will be high and that the greats of this team who ran up and down that field will be around.  I also started thinking about Taylor Field/Mosaic memories. TSN ran a top 10 Ivor Wynne Stadium moments the other night which makes me wonder what the top 10 TFMS memories would be. TFMS has been home to Blue Jays baseball, concerts and of course Rider football.  Having the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi would certainly be on the top 10 list as would the Blue Jays game, and the first Grey Cup to be played at the old lady,  but I ask you Rider fans, what are some of the Rider moments that you will remember .  Jason Clermont’s catch in the playoff game against B.C is one I will never forget. Perhaps that number one memory will happen in November 2013 when CFL commish Marc Cohon presents the GC to the Riders. I can’t imagine what it would be like in Regina on that night if that scenario were to unfold. This place would come apart at the seams. You might not get people out of the stadium until Monday afternoon.

The University of Regina Rams will take on the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in a Canada West football semi-final Friday night. I know this request is a bold one and one that will likely fall on deaf ears, but can we try to get a crowd of 8-10 thousand for this one. The Huskies will bring a solid base with them from Saskatoon and with the Thunder season over and the Riders home season over, this will be the last game of meaning  at Mosaic this year. Does Regina support the Rams? We will find out Friday night. It’s also the last home game for Marc Mueller who has been nothing but a great ambassador for this program along with being an outstanding young man (made all that more surprising considering Larry is his dad!!!  Just kidding Larry!!). I don’t know what the forecast is, but I’m hoping for some buzz to surround the stadium Friday night.

Speaking of buzz, the Pittsburgh Steelers looked like giant bumblebees. These uniforms were atrocious!! However, they were still not as bad as those lime green babies that the Seahawks trotted out a few years ago.

I hope the Cowboys never, ever get rid of Tony Romo. His performance just continues to bring tremendous theatre to the soap opera that is the football team in Dallas. That Cowboys-Giants game was the best NFL game so far this year.

Good to see former Rider defensive lineman John Chick back on the field. He pressured Aaron Rodgers a couple of times in the Jacksonville-Green Bay game. It was his first game back since he suffered a knee injury during a Monday night game last year. He had just been starting to make an impact on the Jags d-line when he got hurt so hopefully he can regain that form.

Driving to the Rams game Friday night, I was listening to Rod Pedersen and Scott Schultz on “The Sportscage”.  RP was saying it must be because he’s getting older because even though its not that cold, it seems to be extremely cold. He’s right! It has to be because he is getting older because I feel the same way. I just about froze at practice the other day and it wasn't that cold. What happens when I'm outside when its 30 below this winter. I shudder to think!

How about this little dandy from the Winnipeg Free Press’ Gary Lawless?   This is a great read for CFL fans.

Is anyone out there as creeped out by the guy that advertises Thursday Night Football on the NFL Network as I am?

It would be interesting to see what type of buzz would be created if former Expos 3rd baseman Tim Wallach ends up being the Jays new manager. He is one of the candidates from what I've been told. 

Is it safe to say Pablo Sandoval was the MVP of the World Series after Game 1? I will always say pitching wins in the end, but I didn't think Detroit would get out-pitched by San Francisco. 

The tweet of the weekend comes from Fake Arash Madani. After the announcement of the Grey Cup halftime show, FAM tweeted " In 50 years, the CFL will release another documentary called "Stonethrower", but this won't be about Chuck Ealey, it will be about the 100th GC halftime show."

That's all I got. Have a good Monday!


Anonymous said...

That's a great story Mitch. Thanks for passing it along. He definitely is a true fan and not a bandwagon jumper like so many others.

Anonymous said...

When did James Patrick go from being an all-star to being so bad! Has he made any plays this season?

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Mr. Corman. He truly defines what being a fan is. He could have stayed home on a cold afternoon (like so many others) and had a valid excuse. He is willing to get out there, dress warm and root on his favourite football team though. I hope he can fight it and be there for the start of 2013 and beyond.

Chris G

Anonymous said...

Calling Terrell Maze the best player on the defence is hardly a compliment. When you watch other games have you noticed the other teams defence is always facing the QB and ready to make a play on the ball while Rider backfielders always have their back to the QB and are in chase mode?

Anonymous said...

Why would I want to pay my hard-earned dough to have a crappy seat in the endzone and the wind cut through me thus making me miserable for the rest of the day? No thanks! Call me a bandwagon jumper all you want, but I support this team in many different ways. Don't tell me that not freezing my ass off at the season finale means I'm not a fan.

Anonymous said...

The Riders playoff chances - there is only one hope to get out of the first round of the playoffs. The Riders must win their game against BC on Saturday. Period.

You do not go 0-4 into the playoffs and think you can turn on a magical switch.

We need some momentum - any momentum. Sitting Durant is ludicrous at this point - if we were kicking ass and taking names go ahead (i.e. see BC), but we are not. There are those media folks that say "rest him" - give me a break. We rest Durant (if healthy) and lose – than we are guaranteed to exit in the first round.

It doesn’t matter whether we are in the East or West – with an 0-4 record to finish the season… Turn out the lights the party’s over.

Anonymous said...

If I am to read what Mr. Lawless has written correctly, he is saying Shomari Williams is more attractive than guys like Picard, Shologan and Butler. If that is the case, once you can trade players, please trade Shomari for someone who is equal or lesser value. Doing that would likely be a win scenario for the Riders.


Anonymous said...

Outstanding story and a sad one as well. If the old guy can live to the first exhibition game, I would love to see the Riders salute him in some manner.


Anonymous said...

Anon 2 and anon 3 have basically said what I was going to.

peter dalla riva

Anonymous said...

Mitch. i had the pleasure of meeting Bobby at the Tankard in Assiniboia this past winter. He had all of his curling collections set up and he had many pins and what-not from briers and tankards of yore.
We interviewed him during the final game between ends and was asked the question "What's been your favourite moment so far as a curling fan?"
His response?

"well, just a few minutes ago when I met this pretty girl running the camera!"
I thought Kevin Jesus might die from laughing. The control room was certainly laughing.
If you know Bobby, that's pretty much typical. Always about the girls!

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

A top 10 list of Mosaic memories is something you should get Vanstone on!

Anonymous said...

My favorite memories of Taylor Field; Mr.Joey Walters making a acrobatic pass catch In the south end zone when It had a hill slope for fans to sit right before my very own eyes to marvel, Enjoying the view from the south end zone on my lawn chair when the Sacramento Goldminers came to town on their own personal team jet with team logo, their beautifull cheerleaders, Mr. David Archer QB and the rest of this team, great show. Watching the Roughriders play the Hamilton Tigercats In a electrical rain storm with the rain pounding off the turf so hard It looked like a fog 10ft. high you could barely see the players on the field of play, lightning strikes so close that the game had to temporary take a time out for everyone's safety ,Mr. Warren Moon, Mr.Vince Faragamo, Mr.Ron Lancaster, JJ Barnagle, Mr. George Reed after his playing days In the crowd, Mr.Billy White shoes Johnson, Mr. Willie Touch-Down Wilder, Mr. David Overstreet (RIP) That NFL superstar who got hauled away In a ambulance after breaking his arm on Taylor Field, 2 Grey Cups and so many more time Infinity.