Watching the Riders this year is like watching the movie "Groundhog Day". It is the same old story and all you can do is shake your head.
The Riders have lost seven games this year---SEVEN---by five or less points. They shouldn't be, but they are and they have no one to blame but themselves. Once again, the green and white snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as Ottawa outscored the Riders in the 4th quarter to drop the green-and-white to 1-11 with a 30-27 win in what was a very entertaining football game. As entertaining as it was, the stark reality is the Riders enter the final third of the season with no shot at making the playoffs which will make the last six games a challenge in many ways.
Just some thoughts on what I saw.
--The defense looked great in the first half and for the first little bit of the 3rd quarter, but once Henry Burris got on a roll, it was over. There is no doubt Burris is the comeback player of the year after having a nightmarish 2014. There is some talk Hank should be part of the conversation when it comes to the league's most outstanding player and with Zach Collaros going down, that talk might increase. What a difference a year makes!
--There was miscommunication on the sidelines as to the late timeout called by Tyron Brackenridge. Head coach Bob Dyce fell on the sword for that one and perhaps blame that on his inexperience. It doesn't mean he gets a pass on it, but it is a mistake he won't make again.
--Nic Demski made a dumb play in running the ball out of the endzone and then just about giving up a safety by going back in. Demski knows he made a major mistake and while one might be able to blame it on youthful exuberance and wanting to make a play, things like that simply can't happen! As mentioned, Demski knows he made a mistake and the key is making sure it doesn't happen again.
--Ryan Smith is becoming a bigger and bigger part of this Riders offence and is fun to watch.
--Should Rider fans really be surprised to see Chris Milo hit the upright? He has a tremendous knack of doing that and I think most of them are the left upright.
--If you missed the Rider junior reporter interview with Andre Monroe, it was a beaut. Monroe threw a shout out to the dead goldfish he had a kid saying "I miss you Goldie". What a character that guy is!
--When the ball is fumbled, can you still call illegal contact? That was a very weird play and it was a play that sustained a drive where I believe Ottawa got points. That isn't the reason the Riders lost and neither was the sure pick six Tyree Hollins had, but it is a question that needs to be answered. I don't have a rule book handy so I can't answer the question. I'm sure someone does have one though so flip through the pages and let me know.
The big story of the weekend in the CFL could somewhat revolve around the Riders. With Zach Collaros being the latest quarterback to go down to injury, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats need an experienced QB if they are going to have a shot at the Grey Cup. Kevin Glenn is likely the best option Hamilton has. You would have to think Kent Austin will give Jeremy O'Day a call, but is Glenn available. While the Riders seemingly aren't going anywhere this year, I would think the football team would have to make sure Darian Durant is the starter going into 2016 and that he is 100 percent healed from his Achilles injury. If he isn't, I think you have to keep Glenn unless you believe Brett Smith or Keith Price is ready. We have seen what Smith can do, and we have no idea what Price can do. If Glenn is dealt, I can't see Hamilton giving up more than a draft pick and a neg list player. They certainly won't be giving up any starters.
Other odds and ends:
--I don't know what Mike Gibson's thoughts are three games into his first season as the head coach of the University of Regina Rams, but I am guessing one of those thoughts is trying to find a way to get instant replay into the CIS game. In the season opening loss to Alberta, the Rams had recovered a fumble on what was clearly a lateral, but it was ruled an incompletion. It was a big play in that game. On Friday in Saskatoon, the Huskies, who were the better team on Friday night in a convincing win over Regina, benefitted on a fumble that wasn't and a ruling that a play wasn't a fumble when it was. There has been a long standing thought process in Regina that when playing Saskatoon you should take the approach you are down 14 right from the start of the game and what was shown by the officiating on Friday night makes that thought process stronger. Gibson was beside himself which he should have been, but in the end as mentioned the Huskies were the better team. The Rams now get set to face a Calgary team that hung 80 on Alberta while racking up almost 1000 total yards Paul Dawson and the Rams defence had better be studying a lot of film this week.....a lot of it!
--If Jason Day had not suffered from vertigo at the U-S Open, we might be seeing one of the best years a golfer has ever had on the PGA Tour and that includes Tiger. Since winning the Canadian Open, Day has been in a league all by himself.
--I think I can truly start to plan for a Chicago Cubs playoff game. It may only be one, but I think I can start planning for it. I didn't see that happening at the start of the year. While the National League playoff picture is basically set, it is still anyone's game in the American League. I think the only teams you can say are in for sure are Kansas City and Toronto. After that, who knows! It will be an exciting final few games.
--Since acquiring Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays are 34-12 with three of those losses coming without Tulowitzki in the lineup this week. As it was noted by Sportsnet's Jamie Campbell on the weekend, even if Toronto does not win this year, they will still have Encarnacion, Travis, Tulowitzki, Donaldson, Martin, Bautista, Revere and Pillar back next season meaning they need to add some starting pitching as Mark Buehrle will likely go as could R-A Dickey with David Price and Marco Estrada potentially leaving as free agents. If Alex Anthopoulos can somehow find a way to keep Price and Estrada, there is no doubt who the favourite would be to win it all in 2016.
--John Chick certainly got some feathers ruffled Sunday night with this tweet.
It sent my phone going crazy with some believing he had been traded to Toronto. The hashtag #SunLife obviously meant nothing to those who read it, and I think the extremely classy 97 would have announced this by saying more than just leaving for Toronto. For what its worth, John is heading there for a kick diabetes campaign sponsored by Sun Life.
It was bad enough for Dallas Cowboys fans that Dez Bryant was gone for a good portion of the season and it got worse when Tony Romo left Sunday's win over the Eagles with a broken clavicle.
One person texted me saying the Cowboys were like the Riders as they had lost their marquee player.....I quickly corrected that person saying the Cowboys have won twice this year. SIGHHHHH That being said, I wouldn't be very confident with Brandon Weeden at the controls and please for the love of god, do not sign Tim Tebow. That circus would be nightmarish.
Speaking of nightmarish, how about the Eagles offense. I had to check a couple of times to see if Tino Sunseri had replaced Sam Bradford. That was an absolutely embarassing performance by the Eagles.
I had the Seahawks finishing 12-4 this year meaning they have to go 12-2 in their last 14 after their loss to the Packers. That's doable and if it means another NFC Championship date against the Packers this time at Lambeau, I'm down with that. Hopefully by that time, Michael Bennett will have stopped jumping offside as he did three times Sunday night at crucial points in the game.
It certainly wasn't surprising, but one can only shake their head when Minnesota Vikings fans give Adrian Peterson a standing ovation in his first home game after his suspension. You may beat your kid Adrian, but you can run for 100 yards and two touchdowns and we love you! Not the first example of this and not the last one either. It does make you shake your head though.
If Toronto had bid for the 2024 Olympics and won it, one can only imagine how sick of it we would be with that being rammed down our throats for eight and a half years.
If any of the three main political leaders can somehow find a way to legislate a 45-75 minute nap into the work day, they have my vote!! I am thinking they would have a lot of supporters for that.
That's all I got. Have a great week everyone!