1 - Now We Roll? The Riders' 37-20 win over Hamilton on Saturday was huuuuuuge. It moved them out of the winless club (only the RedBlacks and Ticats live there now), it built crucial confidence and above all else, it gave us ALL reason for hope!
2 - The Riders did it with generally the same roster from the past two weeks (including embattled kicker Tyler Crapigna). Chris Jones showed confidence in his players by sticking by them and they rewarded their coach with the win. Btw NO ONE was ever worried about Crapigna's mental state.
3 - The Riders did fairly little differently than the other games other than scrapping the 3-man rush. They simplified the game plan a bit but overall, they just turned 'em loose. DE Willie Cinco Jefferson did admit however, that the 4-man rush made his life a lot easier.
Their communication on defense seemed a heckuva lot better than last week against Winnipeg too. One or two slips, yes, but not ones which cost them the game.
4 - You say the win only came against the lowly Ticats? Stop it. The Riders had won only 10 of their prior 47 games. Again, this victory was huuuuuuuge.
5 - Next up, the Riders visit the Calgary Stampeders on July 22 in the CFL's oldest stadium. Let's take it over! It will be great to see the Tractor Factor come out in full force that night and turn McMahon Stadium into McMosaic Stadium (again).
6 - There are TONS of things to be excited about in the CFL right now: amazing games, electrifying players, beautiful new stadiums and a fantastic Commissioner! The 2017 season is a blast to be a part of.
Now, to get Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal engaged. They're missing out! Although Southern Ontario is full of "closet" CFL fans.
7 - All the pressure will be on the Calgary Stampeders in that July 22 meeting with the Green & White. They're "supposed" to win because they're the CFL's best team. But the Riders are coming back from the dead. I feel the worst is over.
Thanks Toronto Blue Jays for the distraction the past couple years, but the Green Canada's Team is ready to regain centre stage again.
8 - It won't take much for the Rider Nation to warm up to Chris Jones. Sure he cut their heroes, but the Riders were 3-15 in the last year with all those guys. A few more wins this summer and Jones will be the toast of the town. And he'll be able to wear whatever shirt he wants on the sidelines.
Having said that, I think the Chris Jones impersonator is infantile, childish and insulting to the head of our professional football team. IMHO.
9 - Walking into New Mosaic Stadium NEVER gets old. The TSN guys call it "the nicest facility in Canada and it's not close". On the radio side, wiring it for broadcast has been like constructing an entirely new radio station (I'm told) so it's been a massive undertaking. But so worthwhile to call the finest stadium in the land, "home". I just love it so, so much.
10 - Congrats to former Rider Therapist Schad Richea for being named the new Head Athletic Therapist at Brandon University on Friday. Way to go Schad!
*BIRTHDAYS* Happy 35th Birthday on Thursday to Rider alum Tad Kornegay (DB, 2007-2011)!