Anyone needing clarification on how the Saskatchewan Roughriders managed to out-duel the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 34 to 31, need only look at the inscription on the back of each of last years Grey Cup rings...
...Believe. What HAS to be the Riders most exciting chapter in a long history is being completely ignored and discredited by Canada's football media.
For anyone just tuning in to the 2008 season and listening to the TSN broadcast analysis, the Riders had no chance at halftime.
The team that resides 550 kilometers east of Regina clearly lacks any of the reward earned by such a philosophy as belief.
The only thing the Bombers managed to do was lead with their helmets (none of which were called), benefit from poor officiating, and fold as a team when the chips were down.
At the final whistle the positives for the Bombers didn't matter as they hadn't even helped the CFL's all-time best receiver, Milt Stegall, get the official record even though he required less than 100 yards(he did get his name on street sign leading up to CanadInns though).
On the other side of the ball, a raw rookie out of the University of North Dakota, Weston Dressler sure had a big day (6-199, 2 TDs). It might be the last time he out-duels Stegall who remains in the twilight of his career in the CFL. Welcome to the CFL in 2008.
Speaking of 2008, human life-preserver Wes Cates had 14 carries for 92 yards and a rushing TD, proving with average numbers that while he is the leagues premier running back, he's not the only weapon available to new Rider number one (make no mistake about it) Michael Bishop.
Those weapons include a cast of receiver purchased at Dollarama. Manitobans will know what I'm talking about. Good deals.
Dressler, Vincent Marshall, Gerran Walker, Michael Palmer, Henri Childs and Adam Nicolson aren't exactly candidates for people in your five (most frequently called numbers on your cell phone).
Bear in mind Bishop has produced his best game of 2008 despite these factors and despite having only participated in nine practices with his new teammates.
No excuses in Riderville. Just heart pounding hard nosed never-say-die individuals that can almost kill you as a fan at times. Clearly the CFL's "Cardiac Kids."
It was Joe Smiths first game in blue and gold. The wind was strongly in the Riders favor in the fourth quarter. The Bombers defense suffered a few injuries mainly to the line backing corps.
So I ask you, when do the Riders arrive at their destination, if not now, as the CFL's best team?