Realty One

Saturday, November 17, 2018


1 - FIRST AND FOREMOST: Hats off to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. They came into Mosaic Stadium for Sunday's CFL Western Semifinal and were the hungrier team, walking away with a 23-18 victory. It was a formidable match-up for the Riders, who saw their season end despite a brilliant 12-6 campaign. The Blue Bombers will be a tough out the rest of the way, but the opponents get better each round. Much respect for the Blue.

2 - ZACH ATTACK: It seemed, unfortunately, the outcome of this game was decided when TSN announced the night before that Zach Collaros wouldn't even be in uniform on Sunday. That's unfortunate on so many levels. However even the Vegas oddsmakers could see it, shifting the Riders from 3-point favourites to 2-point underdogs once they learned of Dave Naylor's report.

3 - NAYSAYERS: To me, what's most disappointing about the way the season ended is that Collaros didn't have a chance to stuff it down the throat of those who said he couldn't regain his 2015 form, and is made of glass. Chris Jones rolled the dice by acquiring Collaros and unfortunately - after taking a season full of pulverizing hits - Zach wasn't available when it mattered most. But you want a coach who will take risks because playing it safe never won anybody anything.

4 - AIR CANADA: The Rider Nation is anxious because the only QB the team has under contract going into 2019 is back-up David Watford, but they are advised to relax. 6 of 9 CFL teams are in the same boat including Edmonton, Calgary and BC. A whopping 69% of voters in a Twitter poll said they didn't want to see Brandon Bridge back in Green & White next season. However I voted "yes". The team has 3 years invested in him, he's a good person, and I don't give up on people.

BIG MAC: By the way it’s not news that Offensive Coordinator Stephen McAdoo is returning in 2019. It would’ve been news if he WASN’T returning. But it’s no surprise. Mac is a top Lieutenant in the Jones Army.

5 - QB CAROUSEL: In his weekly appearance on 620 CKRM's SportsCage, TSN's Chris Schultz called the upcoming QB Lottery "fascinating" and if possible, that's an understatement. Atop every team's wishlist is 2017 CFL MVP Mike Reilly but not everybody's going to be able to sign him. You'd think Montreal's Johnny Manziel might be made available via trade but a whopping 64% of poll respondents in Saskatchewan gave the thumbs-down to that idea. Would you?

6 - NO MAAS: Last week the Edmonton Eskimos announced they are retaining the services of Head Coach Jason Maas despite the fact they missed the playoffs at 9-9 in a year where Edmonton is hosting the Grey Cup. Imagine if the Riders had missed the playoffs in 2013 when we hosted! They would've cleaned house. However the popular notion of why Esks GM Brock Sunderland kept Maas is that he believes that's the best way to keep pending FA Mike Reilly. Time will tell if the scheme worked.

7 - ARGOS: Who'da thunk that Duron Carter would outlast Marc Trestman in Toronto? And who'da thunk Toronto would fire their Head Coach less than a calendar year after winning a Grey Cup? You'd think winning a championship would buy a CFL coach at least one season (i.e. the clock doesn't start ticking until after Year 1). A popular question out there is: does Trestman coach in the CFL again?

8 - CFL HQ: After a Year 1 love-in, CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie must be getting used to being the bad guy in Year 2. In the past few weeks he's had to answer for "missed calls" by the referees (shouldn't the Director of Officiating be speaking on that?), and now coaches are upset over the enforcement of a salary cap on football operations. Another popular question right now is: Is the CFL headed in the right direction? I want to believe that it is because I’m a huge fan of Randy Ambrosie.

9 - DIV FINALS: It's Hamilton at Ottawa in the East and Winnipeg at Calgary in the West. If I have a rooting interest, it's the Tiger-Cats and our old friend Eric Tillman, who's their GM. Saskatchewan has fierce rivalries against the other 3 teams in the Final Four! No matter who emerges, it's going to make for a heckuva 106th Grey Cup in Edmonton and the SportsCage will be there live, broadcasting from Radio Row in the Shaw Convention Centre.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: A labour impasse has caused the cancellation of Friday night's Saskatchewan Rush preseason game in Saskatoon. However I'm told to expect some good news perhaps as early as today. A strike in the NLL would suck for us Rush fans. ... Why is the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony televised on TSN but not the Canadian Football Hall of Fame induction? ... Two thumbs up from the Monday Morning Goalie for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, chronicling the history of the iconic band Queen. However the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga flick A Star Is Born is better by a smidge. If you can, check them both out.

Y'er welcome,


SWC said...

#8; Did anyone else notice that Andre Proulx wasn't refing in either game last weekend? Did Ambrosie arrange that?

Rudyman said...

My QB concern is regarding development. We keep getting other (older) QB's from other teams. Experience is great, but the reason Calgary has been so strong for so many years, is they find, and develop great QB's from within the organization. Winnipeg has done that, Nichols is good, Streveler is good up and comer. Ottawa I think is in good shape that way as well. I just do not see that with what we have currently.

A lot of people complain about players jumping to the NFL after a couple years. I think it is great if we can develop guys and allow them to progress their careers in a larger league. I have no expectations that CFL is the top tier for players development. Let's use that to our advantage, and become great at developing players. The winning will come from that talent learning and becoming better.

Dan said...

My wife is a good person but I want her as a Rider QB. Bridge is done. He will never be a starter.

Morgan said...

Hey Rod, who do you think is the odds on favorite to be the starting QB for the Riders in 2019?

Mick in Uplands said...

I don't buy the thought the Bombers were hungrier than the Riders. When you sit back and analyze the game and watch it on PVR it really came down to two poor passes by Bridge. The first was in the first quarter when he through behind Roosevelt in the corner of the end zone. We get 3 points but should have had 7. Net loss of 4 points. With the score 23-12 Bombers, we score a touchdown to make it 23-18. Add on the 4 points we missed and it's 23-22. We kick a convert rather than going for 2 points and we have a tie game at 23. It also would have allowed us to get to field goal range on the last drive rather than needing a touchdown. The second poor throw was the interception (that they turned into 7 points, credit to them). Run out of bounds, or throw it out of bounds. We were in field goal range at the time.

Last year we were 1 defensive play from the Grey Cup, this year 1 offensive play from the Grey Cup.

Piffles said...

#3 - Jones the GM has bungled the qb situation. Cut Durant under the guise of "too expensive and injury prone", with NO succession plan. Experiments with a two qb system last year that fails in the playoffs, as is typical. Signs a qb who has a track record of being FAR more injury prone than Durant, for as much as Durant was looking for. That QB spends the majority of this year injured. Next year will be starting over at QB for the fourth straight year.

Like it or not, these are the decisions that have held this team back. He's a defensive genious and a bad GM.

Helix said...

Jones is no genius of any kind. He is a very good football coach however and worth every penny of his expensive contract. It was a good idea to bring in Collaros but it didn’t work out. Simple as that. Bridge looks hopeless out there. Takes too long to make reads. His throws are not accurate. He still hurdles like he is in a track meet, All the while holding the ball out like a loaf of bread. He will eventually get injured or stripped of the ball again. And that interception he threw to lose the game last week was pathetic! Move on from Bridge already. Enough time wasted trying to coach him.

brandon renneberg said...


T JH said...

to mick in uplands......

Just HOW were we 1 offensive play away "from the Grey Cup"???? You do know that IF we won we would have had to go to the Western Semi-Final in Calgary?? That is not exactly a gimme to the Grey Cup.

Dan said...

I don’t buy into the idea that the Bombers were hungrier than the Riders. The Riders were a motivated team this season or they would not have finished second overall in the regular season in spite of our offensive challenges. The difference in the game was one team had a quarterback and one team didn’t. Simple.