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Thursday, November 1, 2018

10 THINGS FOR CAPITAL QUICK LANE

1 - FLIP FLOP: A few months ago I wrote that it would be better for the Roughriders to finish in 2nd place and avoid a 21-day layoff between their last regular season game and the West Division Final. I've changed my mind. Forget the "Rest vs Rust" argument. Playing in the Western Semifinal gives the Riders (roughly) a 33% chance of getting to the Grey Cup while playing in the Western Final - and avoiding the Semifinal altogether - gives the Riders a 50% chance of getting to the championship. Based on science, it's better for the Roughriders to finish 1st.

2 - WILD, WILD WEST: Even Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones seems to agree with that assessment. When asked about it last week, Jones smiled and said, "Winning the West would be nice". Of course it would be! For so many reasons. The Riders get a banner for that, and again, face a 50/50 shot of getting to the Grey Cup. Plus it would be a nice bow on the Chris Jones Era, which should include him winning CFL Coach of the Year in 2018. By the way Jones' 27 wins with the Riders are 8th all-time, and just ahead of him are Corey Chamblin (29) and Ken Miller (32).

3 - NOT SO FAST: All this sounds great but their fate is not in the Riders' hands. For Saskatchewan to finish in 1st place, they need Calgary to lose to the BC Lions in Vancouver on Saturday night and I can't see that happening. Calgary will storm the field at BC Place knowing a win will clinch them 1st, while the Lions know they're finishing 4th and crossing over into the East Division no matter what happens Saturday night. Calgary's motivation should trump the fact the Lions want to win Wally Buono's last-ever regular season game, and last game at BC Place. Also, the Stamps haven't lost 4 in a row since 2004.

4 - WALLLLLY: The iconic Coach thanked Saskatchewan for the warm welcome in his farewell last weekend, "But not the butt-kicking". Now here are some figures from CFL HQ that'll make you *gulp*: Buono is coaching his 450th career game on Saturday night but if you factor in his years as an Assistant Coach and/or VP and GM, he's appeared in 690! He's made the playoffs 23 out of 25 years as a Head Coach. He's employed 20 different starting QBs and of those, Dave Dickenson's played the most for him (76 games). Doug Flutie is next (62). And Buono is 5-4 all-time in Grey Cups.

5 - THAT'S OUTSTANDING: Kudos to the Roughriders 2018 Most Outstanding Player award nominees. Willie Jefferson (M.O.P./Defense), Brett Lauther (Canadian/Special Teams), Brendon Labatte (Lineman) and Jordan Williams-Lambert (Rookie). Jefferson seems to a have the best shot at winning Conference and League honours. Lauther and Williams-Lambert would have a tough time edging out Ottawa's Brad Sinopoli and Lewis Ward, who've had record-breaking seasons. Ward has made a pro football record 46 consecutive field goals. And he's only 5'6"!

6 - CAPITAL GAINS: Saw Roughriders star Ed Gainey out for supper last night. He looked bored! Can you please fill up the comment section below with Things To Do in Regina for our star DB? I fill my time with Pats games and movies.

7 - ZACH ATTACK: We *patiently* await an injury update on Rider QB Zach Collaros. He left Saturday's win over BC after a headshot and did not return. Many feel the Riders' playoff fortunes are tied to Collaros and that's a reasonable assumption, however I don't agree. They've won games with Brandon Bridge before and I expect they can do it again. Either way, an extra week off in November could help Zach out a great deal. Incidentally, Collaros is now 4-0 all-time against BC QB Travis Lulay, which could come in handy in this year's Grey Cup.

8 - RIDER NATION: For some reason people have pointed out the empty seats at the last few Roughriders home games. However according to my records, Saskatchewan will lead the CFL in home attendance this season. This, despite a tough economy. Attendance is not a problem in the 306.

9 - BLUE BOMBERS: We are glad the Winnipeg Blue Bombers clinched a playoff berth last weekend because they deserve to be in the playoffs. They are the hottest team in the CFL right now, and it would be wise to avoid them as an opponent. The last time Winnipeg visited Regina in the CFL playoffs was 1975, when Saskatchewan won 42-24 on the strength of Ron Lancaster's 338 passing yards. Not a single current CFL player was alive then.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: This year's Regina Pats team has thrown more thunderous bodychecks than the last two seasons combined. That must be the Dave Struch influence. They work hard, and don't cheat the fans. Captain Jake Leschyshyn is worth the price of admission. Get out and watch him before he's dealt! ... The top two jerseys in the NHL: 1) Blackhawks Reds, 2) Oilers Orange. ... Our house went through 3 boxes of Hallowe'en candy from mid-September to the end of October. Last night, we had just one Trick or Treater! Kudos to everyone who dressed up for work or play on Wednesday. ... The best quote I've heard in awhile came from the movie The Wife starring Glenn Close, "A true writer doesn't write to be published. He writes because he has something to say. If he doesn't write, his soul will starve."

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen

4 comments:

John Waynes Holster said...

Hey Ed lets go bowling, I will even ask for them to put the bumpers up.

Don Mitchell said...

For someone from a larger city in a warmer climate, then yes Regina is in the deep recesses of flyover country.

But there is live theatre, live music (of all genre's) and funky arts groups if you are into that.
If you are into outdoors there is hiking opportunities galore and winter-time is sled, snowshoe and X-Country ski time.

Fate has sent Ed to Regina Saskatchewan. He can sit and mope with his hood up and look at his phone and complain how bored he is. Or (when he is not working out or looking at film) he can get off his arse and get out and about. This is not Vegas or New York or Vancouver that's for sure.

Cheers!

Old Rider Fan said...

Just heard a story today about Brandon Bridge. Seems he was in a restaurant during a bye week. There was a kids birthday party happening. He went over and said "I'm here a long way from my family ... enjoying watching you having a good time. So I am going to pick up the bill for your party." So he did. Nice gesture but kinda sad. Gotta get pretty lonely sometimes for these guys. (BTW ... the families then figured out what the bill was and donated that amount to the food bank)

Scott Thompson said...

Great job by both Brandon and the family.