2 - STANDINGS, SCHMANDINGS: Rider fans are giddy that their team sits in 2nd place in the CFL West in early September but it really doesn't matter. Playoff spots aren't being awarded yet and although the jockeying has begun, each game doesn't mean any more now than it did in June or will in November. So ignore the standings-watching if you can because all the Riders need to do is keep winning. The chips will fall into place properly when/if they do.
3 - BREAKING MY OWN RULE: As of Week 14, the crossover is in play and if the playoffs started today, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would cross over into the East Division and visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the ESF. That makes it all-the-more head-scratching that BC fans are ready to give up on their season with the Lions standing at 3-6. There's plenty of football left to be played; for everybody.
4 - THE TURNAROUND: A month ago the Roughriders were 3-4 and staring the Lions in the eye in last-place in the West Division. A month later Saskatchewan is on a 3-game winning streak to stand at 6-4 and is within sniffing difference of first. What changed? The release of Duron Carter, the return-to-form of Zach Collaros and, most importantly, Collaros saying after the Labour Day Game that the players believe in "our recipe for success". The Riders grew up before our eyes, eliminating turnovers and penalties. They've walked the walk.
5 - JONES' STATS: Apparently, according to CFL stats, back-up Rider QB David Watford got the "Win" in the LDC because he was on the field for the team's first series and Nick Marshall, who took the only snaps on that series, was listed as a cornerback so he's inelligible to get that stat. Confusing! No matter to Chris Jones. The Rider coach feels Zach Collaros is 4-1 as Saskatchewan's starter and a perfect 4-0 on Labour Day Weekend (the previous 3 coming while with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats).
6 - THE POINTS: Many fans wondered why Chris Jones wouldn't kick a field goal when Saskatchewan took over the ball at the Winnipeg 18-yard line with 55 seconds to go in the LDC and holding an 8-point lead. Presumably Jones knew that the season series is 3-games and the winner will come down to wins, not points. Still, had Jones elected to kick a "3" in that situation, it's doubtful Bomber coach Mike O'Shea would've been upset. That's just playing football.
7 - THE BANJO BOWL: Since this game's inception in 2004 when Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood referred to Saskatchewan people as "a bunch of banjo-pickin' inbreds", the Saskatchewan Roughriders have refused to acknowledge Winnipeg's nickname for this rematch of the Labour Day Classic. That stance predates Rider Presidents Craig Reynolds and Jim Hopson, yet remains in effect to this day. Presumably the Riders take it as an affront to their fans, which is commendable and honourable. Still, I take it for merely what Westwood meant it to be: a playful jab at their top rival. After all, Westwood's mom is from Saskatchewan. As far as I'm concerned, strum away!
8 - THE REMATCH: Winnipeg is 8-6 all-time in the Banjo Bowl including a 48-28 drubbing of the Riders last year. ... The Bombers are favoured by 3.5-points in Saturday's game (2:00 pm kickoff Sask Time). ... The forecast calls for sunshine and 25 degrees Celsius. ... The game is soldout.
9 - LOCALLY: The USports UofR Rams are 0-1 after falling 49-35 at home to the UofC Dinos on Friday. They'll shoot for their first win this Friday at the Alberta Golden Bears on 620 CKRM. ... The PFC's Regina Thunder are 2-1 after a 28-17 win at the Edmonton Huskies on the weekend. The Thunder host those same Huskies this Sunday at 1:00 pm. ... The WHL's Regina Pats are 1-1 in the preseason after last weekend's WHL exhibition tournament in Regina. The Pats play a preseason home-and-home with Brandon this weekend beginning Friday at the Wheat Kings. The Queen City Kids host Brandon on Saturday night on 620 CKRM. I think the Pats will be fun to watch this year.
10 - THINKING OUT LOUD: Colin Kaepernick, meet Pat Tillman. All gave some, some gave all. ... Is the path around Wascana Lake meant for speedsters on bicycles? I think not. .... Remember: Nobody cares about your NFL fantasy team but YOU! ... Overheard while travelling with a pro football team: "I need a burner account", and "I need to get my followers up!" ... Hats off to all the teachers out there. That's a thankless job that I wouldn't want. ... As a kid, I was excited about getting school supplies. I just wasn't excited about school. ... If you could only have one cable TV channel for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mine would be TSN. It used to be A&E until they got rid of American Justice and Dog The Bounty Hunter marathons. ... I have a love/hate relationship with bobbleheads. I love collecting them but hate displaying them anywhere in my house. .... Teams: Please don't send me a postgame scoresheet and expect it to be posted here. Put some work into your media relations!