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Monday, November 28, 2016

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


RECAPPING, AND GRADING, THE 104TH GREY CUP

1 - STAMPS BEAT THEMSELVES: From an historical perspective, the 104th Grey Cup game saved 2016 Grey Cup Week in Toronto.  The Ottawa RedBlacks' 39-33 overtime victory over the Calgary Stampeders in Sunday night's CFL championship game at Toronto's BMO Field is instantly in the discussion for the greatest Grey Cup game ever played.

It was gripping.  And it was definitely the biggest upset in the history of the Grey Cup.

Favoured by 9-points going into the contest, we'd mentioned that the only team who could beat the 15-2-1 Calgary Stampeders were the Stampeders themselves.  In the end, that's exactly what happened as quarterback Bo-Levi Mitchell heaved three interceptions and fumbled once in a forgettable outing personally.

But a questionable playcall by Stamps coach Dave Dickenson in the dying seconds led to what one long-time Calgary media person told me afterwards was "The biggest loss in Calgary sports history".

Facing 2nd-and-goal at the Ottawa 2-yard line with 40 seconds remaining - and trailing 33-30 - the Stamps elected to run back-up Canadian quarterback Andrew Buckley off tackle right.  He was tripped up in the backfield for a one-yard loss, and kicker Rene Parades then booted a 10-yard field goal to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Nevermind that Dickenson could've gambled to win the game on 3rd-and-goal from the Ottawa-3 but elected to tie the game and take their chances in overtime.

Former Roughrider and current CKRM football analyst Luc Mullinder felt the game was lost one play before that.

"I really think that Calgary's crazy for getting all the way down to the Ottawa goalline and putting in Buckley to run that last play," said Mullinder Sunday night.  "I'm okay with not giving the ball to Jerome Messam if you're going to run a play like that because it has a high success rate but it has a high success rate when you have the CFL MVP (Bo-Levi Mitchell) in the lineup, not a Canadian rookie.  That was ridiculous."

"You look back on that and that's what cost them the game.  It's 2nd down, you've got two yards to go, you got Jerome Messam in the backfield, and sometimes you don't go with Mess because everybody and their Momma knows he's going to get the rock.  But man, don't put the young Canadian quarterback in a position like that."

We all know what happened in the ensuing overtime.  41-year old Henry Burris became the oldest quarterback to win a Grey Cup when he tossed an 18-yard touchdown to Ernest Jackson and the Stampeders ultimately turned it over on downs on their possession.

Game, set, match.

And the Stamps beat themselves.

They talked the talk all season long but in the end, they couldn't walk the walk.

That's got to be incredibly hard to live with.

2 - GET OUT THE MARKING PENCIL: If I had to give the 2016 Grey Cup Week a grade, it's an emphatic F.  If you could hand out a score even lower than that, I would, because of the 16 Grey Cups I've attended, this one was by far the worst.

And for that, I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the entire CFL and I'll tell you why.

This thing was dead in the water when the host Toronto Argonauts set the ticket prices sky-high, well out of the reach of most CFL fans.  $800 for a Grey Cup ticket?  Give me a break.  The Argos were questioned on the pricing structure, but defended the decision by saying the market could handle it.  However they forgot entirely that the vast majority of fans would be coming from all corners of the country and not just from the GTA.

It led to the predictable, embarrassing decision to slash ticket prices down to $89 in October which completely ticked off the diehard CFL fans who'd already paid full price.  Many of those I talked to in Toronto never did receive a refund for the balance.

Argo executives seemed somewhat sheepish as they shifted through the empty events in their own city all week, knowing they blew it.

The party festivities themselves fell flat.  Riderville is always the hotspot but the convention room they booked was for 3,000 people, and it was almost entirely empty for most of the weekend.  In truth, they could've held Riderville in a hotel ballroom but these things are booked well in advance and no one knew this thing was going to fall flat on its face at the time.

Gregg Zaun slashed ticket prices down to $35 on the day of his annual Grey Cup Bash on Friday just to save the organizers the embarrassment.

People will be talking for years and years about the infamous Pizza Pizza $30 promo for a pizza and two Grey Cup tickets debacle.

Many teams scaled down their host parties, electing instead to stage their events in downtown Toronto bars rather that at the Convention Centre.  That's certainly fine, and it may start a trend, and at least they didn't lose their shirt like the Riders did.

Hats off to the Edmonton Eskimos who won 2016 Grey Cup Week by ensuring their popular Spirit of Edmonton party room offered free admission, reasonable drink prices, and was always packed.  The rest of the CFL should take note.

But the Montreal Alouettes didn't host a party at all.  So a group of their fans took it upon themselves to host a party - with the team's blessing - but it's flatout mind-boggling that the Als themselves would do nothing.

The fizzling of Grey Cup Week began right after the 2013 Celebration in Rider Nation in Regina.  The whole thing has been trending downward beginning in 2014 in Vancouver and sinking even lower in Winnipeg in 2015.

The best symbol of the 2016 Grey Cup this weekend was when the Stampeders' infamous horse crapped all over the lobby and front desk of a downtown Toronto Holiday Inn.  That pretty much said it all.

This year the Argos trotted out franchise greats Pinball Clemons and Damon Allen and current players Ricky Foley and Shawn Lemon were tireless in their efforts to promote the game.

But did anyone think to get ahold of Doug Flutie and make him the Poster Boy for the 2016 Grey Cup in Toronto?  That would've shaken up interest all over the continent.

The whole problem with the CFL right now was summed up far better than I can by CBC.ca columnist Dave Bidini who wrote a piece entitled, "The CFL Needs To Stop Trying To Be NFL-Lite".  It's available here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/cfl-changes-1.3867744

CFL fans were getting gouged left and right in Toronto and it left a bitter taste in their mouths.  This is not the Super Bowl.

Bidini also correctly wrote that it was a "particularly awful decision" to go with American pop band One Republic for this year's Grey Cup halftime show.  Bidini agrees with me that this should always be a Canadian act, especially when the Canadian music scene has never been so dynamic.

A marketing whiz texted me and said, "We need a top level act, regardless of its nationality, so that the CFL gives the perception of being Big Time".

But we're not Big Time.  Perhaps we never will be and that's okay.

But it's never wise to masquerade around as something you're not.  Be real.

The CFL needs to get back to its roots, realize what it is, and exploit that for all it's worth.

This league is authentic, honest and unique, but it needs to get its act together.  Yesterday.

I'm getting tired of defending it.

3 - ORRIDGE: Boy oh boy.  The fate of CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge is incredibly interesting.  To say his status is "tenuous" heading into the final year of his three-year contract would be an understatement.

Let me first say that he's an incredibly bright guy, as evidenced by his Harvard Law Degree.  He's also a really good, nice person too.  His performance at Friday's State of the League address was above average and light years ahead of last year but as anyone connected with the CFL will tell you, there was nowhere to go but up.

Orridge handled questions on Friday about officiating, media access and expansion with ease but got flamed for his response to the question about a link between football and C-T-E (the brain disease caused by concussions and repeated head trauma).  Orridge said he really couldn't comment on the matter because there's currently a lawsuit against the CFL and further said there's no conclusive evidence linking the two.  That was fine by me, because it's the same stance taken by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman but that wasn't enough for most of the reporters in the room.

At Saturday's Athletes In Action Breakfast, Orridge told me privately that he said all he was able to say on the matter and that he was satisfied with his answer.  If reporters still wanted to be critical, that's their problem.

Asked on stage at the AIA breakfast what the most surprising part of his job has been, Orridge responded "The pressure".  He went on to say, "The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.  How many in this room want to be nothing?  No one".

Orridge then surprisingly admitted to some of his own personal shortcomings during his term in office however he's doing his best to learn on-the-fly and do what's best for the CFL.

He was pretty much nothing in the first year of his term but in Year 2 he's been much more visible, grew some teeth with stiff fines to the Roughriders, Eskimos, Kent Austin and Jason Maas, and grown the game incrementally in the areas of TV ratings, social media and the deal with Draft Kings.

Will it be enough to save his job this winter?  Only time will tell.

One national reporter told me privately it's been impossible to get a league official to pinpoint a "Yes" or "No" to whether or not Orridge will be back for the third and final year of his contract.

That's because - I'm guessing - that it'll come down to a vote of the nine league governors at their winter meetings. I don't get the feeling the governors want to make a change unless they deem it absolutely necessary.

The main question is: Is Orridge putting money in their pockets?

Only they can answer that.


4 - THE ARGOS IN TORONTO: This will hopefully be the last time we discuss this mess, but it likely won't be.  Toronto Mayor and former CFL Commissioner John Tory was on TSN Radio in Toronto on Saturday saying he feels the Argonauts can indeed be successful in that market.  The first step, Tory feels, is vastly better marketing.

There's been a perception in Toronto for 25-plus years that the CFL is minor league but right now there's no perception of the league or the Argos at all.  They are invisible.

A particularly gloomy story in the New York Times last week made the Argonauts look even worse, quoting former Argonauts President Brian Cooper.

"The Raptors were in the NBA playoffs competing against Lebron James in the Eastern Conference Finals," Cooper said. "And then all of a sudden, the Saskatchewan Roughriders come into town?  For some, that doesn't have the same appeal or cachet."

THANK GOD that guy isn't still President of the Toronto Argonauts.  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

There have been 104 Grey Cups and 48 of them have been played in Toronto.  Dare I say there's a bigger CFL footprint in Toronto than any other market in Canada?

I too believe it can work, but right now the situation is at an all-time low.  It's an abusive relationship between Toronto and the CFL!

Any counselor worth his salt would tell someone to get out of a relationship like that.

An escape plan out of Toronto needs to be explored more thoroughly.

6 - GREY CUP IN SASKATCHEWAN: Orridge reported at his State of the League news conference that the CFL is moving towards a bid process to determine the host of the Grey Cup annually.  It's mind-boggling that for 100 years the league has basically used a Spin The Bottle method or doled out Grey Cups to appease influential owners like David Braley or MLSE.

However all that's certain now is that Ottawa will host the 2017 Grey Cup and it's abundantly clear that the RedBlacks have their ship together.  A logo's already been designed and their pricing structure has been determined.  RedBlacks President Jeff Hunt can do this stuff with his eyes closed, and always knocks it out of the park.

Beyond that, who knows?  I was under the impression that Hamilton would host the 2018 Grey Cup but ongoing litigation involving their stadium has caused the Tiger-Cats to bow out of the running for the time being.

The B.C. Lions are poised to be sold and I'm told the sale could be complete by the end of January.  Will hosting the 2018 Grey Cup be a condition of the sale?  Possibly, and likely.

However only the 2017 Grey Cup host has been announced and perhaps the CFL will have a bid committee in place in time for the Saskatchewan Roughriders to make a pitch for 2018.

Stay tuned.

7 - *UPDATE* CFLAA LEGENDS LUNCHEON: CFL Alumni Association President Leo Ezrins wrote in on Monday wondering why I ignored the wildly successful annual Legends Luncheon at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre?  It was a good question and I admit that it was an oversight.  This is the same event which garnered international notoriety in 2011 with the infamous brawl between Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca.  Although the luncheon's been much less volatile since, Friday's was another incredible success.  Argo greats Pinball Clemons and Pete Martin were each honoured with the CFLAA's Man of the Year Award and this luncheon is probably the best bang-for-your-buck at Grey Cup.  It's roughly three hours long and is attended by many former CFL greats.  It was an honour to be there.

Sorry Uncle Leo!

8 - AND FINALLY, DARIAN: The CFL will be buzzing about Sunday night's game for a week or so but pretty soon the national football topic will return to Darian Durant.  Heck, for most of last week the #1 topic at Grey Cup was the contract negotiations between the Roughriders and their star quarterback until the attention finally turned to the game.

As it stands now, I'm turning the saga over to the big boys at TSN.  National reporters Farhan Lalji and Gary Lawless have been in constant communication with Chris Jones and Durant's agent Dan Vertlieb and described the talks on SportsCentre as "acrimonious".

Riders' Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy was tight-lipped on the matter on the SportsCage on Friday evening from Toronto, saying Chris Jones will be the team's voice on the situation going forward.

But I will say this: Chris Jones has the full support of his higher-ups with the Roughriders and their belief in his ability to lead this franchise back to prominence has not wavered. Unlike what Lawless said on the SportsCage on Thursday, I do believe that Jones wants Darian Durant back with the Riders in 2017 but it has to work within the framework of the salary structure they've laid out.

I'd be shocked if these talks don't drag out until the opening of the Free Agent period in February so Durant can see what he can fetch on the open market.

If he leaves, that'll be his call.  But Darian shouldn't operate under the misconception that he's not wanted in Saskatchewan.

------

THAT'S IT FOR THIS WEEK! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO AT 4 PM
RP
@sportscage

40 comments:

John Knight said...

I watched several NFL games over the last few weeks (when there were no CFL games on), One of the best parts of NFL games is that they allow "touching of receivers, incidental bumping,and simple contact away from the play. Its time we get rid of the idiotic rules in play in the CFL. What a ridiculous call against the Redblacks when a Calgary receiver ran into a Redblacks defender and were called for pass interference.

Anonymous said...

I hope that the CFL builds on the momentum from that game and fixes the problems for next year rather than patting themselves on the back and saying all is well. Orridge did mention that they were going to examine everything this off-season so I hope there's a strong push to get the PI rules corrected. That being said, the fan passion is there so I'm optimistic about the future of this league. That CBC article was ridiculous. Don't sing O Canada before the games and quit honouring the military? Screw that! If that guy wants to be all pacifist he can move to Switzerland. This is a league with a great future. If the struggling teams can use Ottawa's example on how to build a franchise then the CFL can realize it's full potential.


Dubya

Don Mitchell said...

Once again the Grey Cup saves the week but how can these whiz kids get things so bloody wrong!
Much of Bidini's article was crap, but that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

The game was an "A" and like Rod wrote, the Grey Cup experience throughout the week was a "F". Agreed 100%

Jonny Morgan said...

Dave bidini is a moron who doesn't know what he's talking about. He should stick to hockey and music. Maybe not even music cause he's a terrible singer. Most of what rod says is scripture to me but I disagree about Dave. Terrible article and we are all dumber for reading it.

Anonymous said...

When you offer a starting QB back up money, he's not wanted. He's as wanted as John Chick, Weston Dressler & Chris Getzlaf were.

Jones doesn't want guys who have been here for a while and have a legacy, since he feels they are 'bigger' than he is. He's a power driven egomanic who the "higher-ups" continue to feed.

We're headed for the dark days again if he's allowed to keep this much control.


Anonymous said...

Amazing Grey Cup game!

That CBC article was a complete joke, though. Yeah this dude will definitely fix the CFL by skipping the national anthem in favour of Black Lives Matter support and renaming the Eskimos. Give me a break.

I agree with having Canadian acts for halftime but that could've been said in a tweet instead of that mind numbing article.

Anonymous said...

Rod the TSN boys were discussing the sale of the Lions and they said the owners of the Nucks were one of the interested parties. What have you heard? If they have deep pockets and follow Jeff Hunt's example there's no reason CFL football can't be revived in Vancouver after years of neglect. You're right, the CFL is not the NFL and if the CFL uses the advantages it has then it can be so much bigger and better. Last night's game was a great example of that.

Anonymous said...

Get an iconic Canadian band like RUSH and sell the place out, not banana republic

Anonymous said...


Calgary Dinos lose Vanier
Calgary Stamps lose GC
Calgary Flames beaten in Philly.

Tough weekend for Calgary

Oh well, life is good here!

Anonymous said...

A very entertaining game, showcases a great product.Brian Cooper is right about one thing regarding the CFL. Toronto considers itself a big league city. In the eyes of these yankee wannabes having teams from Saskatchewan and Hamilton makes it somehow minor league. Media shows little attention and respect to CIS teams, which supplies the bulk of the Canadian talent to the CFL. Pretty easy to see why the CFL mindset in Toronto and Ontario is what it is. Nothing wrong with being the 2nd best football league in the world, but in Toronto they are too sophisticated for something so Canadian.

Anonymous said...

I totally thought if there was interference it was offensive. The Calgary receiver ran into the defensive player.

Anonymous said...

Mark me as a no thank you to more dinosaur Canadian bands for halftime shows.

Anonymous said...

The CBC article is mainly crap! Sure the league needs to make some changes but not getting rid of O'Canada.

Anonymous said...

AGREED

Anonymous said...

AGREED

joe bunyawk said...

The NY Times article was written by Curtis Rush, a 40 year member of the Canadian media who worked among other places in Toronto. It basically summed up that city's feelings towards the Argos and CFL. That's a big part of the problem. You have media there that consistently knock or ignore the team and league. I have to think TSN having the monopoly doesn't help either. What incentive is there for other networks to sign the praises of the game? I wasn't a fan of the Bidini article myself except for the suggestion the Grey Cup stays away from T.O. for a long time if not ever. The negative stories this week, and year, took away from a very interesting, if not tremendously well-played game.

Anonymous said...

The RIDERS need to take note of the fact that there is a limit to how much you can gouge the fan. You can only go to the well so many times and there only so much entertainment money available. The Riders continually come up with new gimmicks to make a buck. The one that could break their back is the allotment of seats in their new venue and the increase in price of a number of seats now being considered gold zone, the same as those on the 55 yard line half way up. 2017 will be a good year as fans will want to experience the new stadium. Given another year of mediocrity many fans will bow out and look at other means of spending their entertainment dollar.

Fans will not tolerate another year of Jones arrogance. It was so nice to see the accomplishment of Coach Campbell, who made a winner out of a number of average players and within such a short period of time. He also parlayed the wisdom and experience of a quarterback who was thought to be too old - hmmmmh! Instead of belittling the man, he paid him what he deserved. Jones, do you get the picture - sign Durant.

w said...

Dickenson's ego though he was smarter and bigger than the team. That's where that bonehead call came from. Epic CFL game.

donna Campbell said...

Love it when Calgary loses.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the cfl this year has been the media who somehow think that they should run the cfl but in reality are just HATERS.

Anonymous said...

For the majority of the past three seasons DD hasn't been available to the club. He was even hurt again last season. He was clearly not himself when he did play and finished up the season with no fire or cause for future excitement and hope. His play for the most part of the season didn't match up to anyone he was playing across from. Yes there were dropped balls and improper routes but there were also missed throws, wrong reads, untimely INT's, limited running, and basically no fire. He played like a backup.

People who think he is our only option for the future are wrong. I hope he's back but he isn't our only option. So we open up the bank for him and he goes down with another injury as he's been prone to. What do we do then? Wait for another year and have the die hards insist we bring him back at any money once again. If he's back it should be with a performance laden contract.

Many teams in the league now have young QB's who are far and away superior to DD. At some point it needs to change, and that time may have arrived. Every team has a couple high end guys except us. That needs to change. We can't hand onto the past until our players become eligible for social security.

GEY CUP GAME - shadows of Marshon Lynch not getting the ball. They didn't take advantage of what they brought Messam in for. On the 2 yard line with the D off the ball by a yard. Slam Messam into a hole and they would have won the game. Got too cute when they should have gone with what they brought. Terrible call.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on the fact that the Riders need to be careful regarding gouging for things. It started under Hopson, with the prime example being that Ottawa pre season game in Regina where they charged full retail for tickets and nobody showed up. The CFL needs to be affordable and accessible, it's what made this league great for all these years.

Rod now that you and Orridge are back on speaking terms has he enlisted your help for implementing these ideas you have? Sure this Grey Cup week went to hell in a handbasket but there is no reason we can't get things trending back upward. Sounds like Ottawa is on the right track with their festival. Lets do our part to make sure the CFL week in Regina is a big success. Make the parties and events accessible and affordable and the fans will show up.


Romney

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the Red Blacks!

Always great when the arrogant Stamps get beaten, especially when they were beaking about being the best team in CFL history. No one will remember their regular season record, only that they choked yet again in the playoffs, a la 1989 Eskies. I hope this game haunts the Stamps and that over-rated Blo Levi Mitchell for the rest of their lives. Really good to see Jackson, the east rep for MOP, make the catch of the game in OT. During the game, it was beautiful to see the doubt and fear in the Stamps eyes and after every play and the loss even looks great on their coach, Howdy Doody. Serves them right for looking past Ottawa and even writing their post-game speeches assuming that they'd already won the game. Congrats again to the Red Blacks!!

Anonymous said...

"Many teams in the league now have young QB's who are far and away superior to DD. At some point it needs to change, and that time may have arrived. Every team has a couple high end guys except us. That needs to change. We can't hand onto the past until our players become eligible for social security."

You got anyone in mind?


Willy, Doege, Price, Sunseri, Joseph, Glenn, Smith, Simms, Gale, Bridge, Kinne.

Quarterbacks not named Durant that have dressed in the past 4 seasons. How has that worked out for the Riders? DD has to be the guy in 2017.

Anonymous said...

Really good game and for the most part refs let them play which was good. Bo looked a lot less confident than he has all season. Finally someone matched toe to toe with Calgary and what a great day ror Ottawa to have the performance they did.

Anonymous said...

Understand that if it wasn't for jones outrageous contract Riders would have fired jones !!!!

Anonymous said...

WRONG.

Anonymous said...

BLM's not as good as the uneducated fans like to give him credit for. Get some pressure on him and look what happens. He looked below average at crunch time.

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY. In the 6 seasons that DD started we went to the GC 3 TIMES. 2011 and 2016 were write offs due to coaching and management. 2012 DD had us ahead in the final minute of the west semi. The man is, was and will continue to be CLUTCH.

Pat Strain said...

A friend of mine who lives in Toronto and is a long time CFL/ Argos fan says the Grey Cup should never be held in Toronto again . His personal favorite Grey Cup City is Regina .
Good summary Rod. 2 things in particular. Spirit of Edmonton does it right every year - been to many GCs and theirs is the best spot. We all need to take a page out of their book. The CFL absolutely needs to stop trying to be what it is not - especially during Grey Cup . We are a small, affordable , fan friendly league . Not the Jr. NFL - not a corporate juggernaut. The relentless pursuit of the "youth demographic " is just embarrassing to league. Let the youth grow up , get a job , settle down and quit idolizing all things American . They will become CFL fans as they mature and realize they don't really care if Jacksonville beats Cincinnati as they have never been to either of those places or know anyone who lives there . This is more of a comment on other CFL cities and not the Riders who enjoy healthy support from all demographics .

Anonymous said...

Important fact: the oskee wee wee's of loser town aka Hamilton, have the second longest grey cup drought in the CFL now. The more you know. Take notice of this Hamilton buffoons!

Anonymous said...

The Toronto Grey Cup organizers have seriously damaged the brand of the CFL Grey Cup and the CFL in general. This will hurt the Grey Cup attendance for years to come. Many die hard CFL fans must feel ripped off with the original high ticket prices they paid. The Pizza Pizza promotion is also so embarrassing. Not too mention all the free tickets Bell and TSN employees received. To think, the commissioner had the gull to say the Roughriders "damaged the reputation of the CFL" earlier this year. Grey Cup tickets have increased in price at too high a rate. The league is seeing the consequences.

Anonymous said...

I loved being at the Grey Cup game yesterday! A wonderful experience and an incredible entertaining game. But I have to say that the $11 for a can of beer was crazy (more than a buck an ounce is a bit much), but what was more crazy was the number of CFL fans shelling out cash for beer after beer. Beer and football seems like quite the marriage.

Anonymous said...

The Grey Cup and the CFL has zero responsibility to push Canadian music at half time. The league absolutely should get the highest profile musical act REGARDLESS of nationality.

Anonymous said...

Anon's criticism of Durant is downright STUPID. Durant started 15 games which is entirely acceptable. And he was as good as he always was - it was playing behind a matador offensive line and getting rushed and sacked all the time plus not having a running game for most of the season that limited his production.

Durant remains a legitimate franchise QB. People that say otherwise have their heads up their asses.

Anonymous said...

The damage done to the Grey Cup by Toronto will be minimal. CFL fans know that this was Toronto and they are unlikely to get another Grey Cup for many years. Other Grey Cup hosts respect the CFL and have pride in being Canadians, crowds and support will return. A new commissioner is required to get the CFL and the players the respect they deserve.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the need to have Canadian entertainment at the GC game. I have heard nothing but positives about OneRepublic's show yesterday. Get entertainment who can entertain. Not some Canadian band that is outdated or no one has ever heard of just because they are Canadian.

The Rider organization needs to realize that their fans do not have an endless amount of funds to hand over to their organization. Ticket prices skyrocketed for the 2017 for a lot of fans. Merchandise prices are getting ridiculous. I am not surprised that people stayed away from Riderville. I heard from a number of fans that asking fans to pay $31 to have a beer at Riderville was more than they were willing to pay. They headed to parties that did not charge for the "honour" of walking through their doors.

Loved the game yesterday. Happy for the RedBlacks and their fans. Officiating wasn't too bad but that PI in the endzone where the Calgary player ran into the RedBlacks player and then the RedBlacks are called for PI was completely ridiculous. They had better fix that one in the off-season. Right now the way it stands, if the offensive guy is running towards the defensive player, the defensive player needs to step back and let him go. RIDICULOUS!!!!

Biggest concern right now is getting DD re-signed to a new contract. If it doesn't happen, a lot of Rider fans are going to be very unhappy going into the 2017 season. We had a horrid 2016 season. Really don't want to go through another bad year. Get DD re-signed - sooner rather than later!!



Anonymous said...

Great article Rod. I went to my first Grey Cup for the 100 year in Toronto. I had a good time but also felt it was an F. No Toronto room...in the host city. Montreal room was across the city away from the rest...if it even was true. Hardly any Argo fans to be seen. Until they won..then they appeared...Edmonton was the largest room that was free. Cheapest beer live bands and packed. Saskatchewan was smaller but packed...same with Calgary..but I was shocked at the lack of knowledge people had of what was going on in the city...oh and Bieber as a half time show....groan!

Anonymous said...

There is a great article written by Daniel Austin in the Calgary Herald about why Toronto should not host the Grey Cup for a long time and how they don't really support Canadian sport either.