I’m going to speak out of both sides of my mouth this week when it comes to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I’ll start with the negative and, hopefully, end on a positive.
Firstly, I can’t think of another team in professional sports that guts out the hearts of their fans the way the Riders do. I don’t proclaim to be an expert historian on the Riders, but from what I’ve seen being an actual ‘fan’ of these guys is an utter embarrassment. In 2004, reliable kicker Paul McCallum missed an 18-yard field goal that would have sent Saskatchewan into a Grey Cup game that they, likely, would have won. Oh wait. If they had somehow pulled out the West Final, they would have squandered the Grey Cup in legendary fashion, probably. So scratch that. After that loss, Henry Burris was finished as a Roughrider too. For some unknown reason, his General Manager at the time didn’t think he was better than Nealon Greene. Where do the hiring gods find these people anyway?
They won the Grey Cup in 2007, but a new General Manager decided his ego was more important than the rest of the team and he, swiftly, dealt the star quarterback (Kerry Joseph), despite Joseph’s willingness to play the championship season on a pay cut. Joseph also was seen at local hospitals on a regular basis and became a real pillar in this community. Not to mention, he took home Most Outstanding Player honors. Not good enough, apparently. And, before you say the right decision was made and Joseph was done as a player, consider he was traded to a team that tried to make a square peg fit into a round hole.
In 2009, we had the world renowned Too Many Men call at the end of the Grey Cup that I shouldn’t need to go over any further. Non sports fans all over the planet know about this one.
Last year, incompetence was the story highlighted by almost five solid games of without even so much as a touchdown. This year, we have a 3-and-2 team that should be 5-and-0 if not for blowing huge leads in the fourth quarter of games that appeared to be blowouts. I have no sympathy for any of this. You show me a good loser, I’ll show you a loser. All of this should make us all laugh. It’s just sports.
Now for the positives: I like this head coach. He holds players accountable and he will continue to do that in the wake of this latest defeat. Darian Durant, sure he fumbled late, looks to be fine and is going to be one of the better quarterbacks in the CFL this season. Kory Sheets, when used, is a formidable running back. I’m not thrilled with the defense, but the front four look fantastic. To me, there are a lot of pieces to work with and this team, when not deciding to write tragic endings, is fun to watch and has a bright future. I said at the start of the year they may only win six games. I have higher hopes now, but even if they ended up 8-and-10 I would be okay with that as long as the effort is present and I’m seeing necessary changes.
This will sound easier said than done, but I wish those punks going around Yorkton and spray painting various business walls could be punished in a fashion that sees them clean up the graffiti as opposed to a poor business owner who has to pay and then watch the wall get sprayed up again a short time later. Even if the actual culprits aren’t found, there are enough juvenile delinquents on community service that could clean this up too.
If you want to feel a little outrage today, go to You Tube and in the search area, type in ‘burning a fresh new bill’. I have a source that says this video was done near Kamsack. I’ll say no more. Look for yourself.
The Shinedown concert was excellent. They are, definitely, my favorite hard rock band at the moment. I can’t stop listening to the new album. The venue was The Odeon and it was a cozy set-up. I’d go to another concert there in a heartbeat. In fact, I just might. Anthrax is coming in late September. I know. I don’t seem the Anthrax type.
Police in Saskatoon say they are considering impounding vehicles to put a stop to drivers who insist on texting while driving. I have no problem with this at all, I just wish that ‘get tough’ act would be followed through on all crimes.
Nice person mentions this week to Marlin Murray, Jason Hannah, Danny Scott, and Dave Campbell.