Okay, here’s the deal with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Fix the damned secondary and you got yerself a real live professional football team. Crapigna is not the problem. Seriously, man, do I have to do everything?
Okay, let’s review the Nissan Titan Power Rankings from our mysterious “Staff” friends at the cfl.ca.
- CALGARY STAMPEDERS
- OTTAWA REDBLACKS
- EDMONTON ESKIMOS
The only team to win two games so far, and only good enough for third in the Power Rankings. I guess that’s about right, but it doesn’t feel right.
The Eskimos don’t play this coming week, so unless Ottawa accidentally loses to the Toronto Argonauts, Edmonton is stuck here for now. Yes, I suppose the Calgary Stampeders could lose to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this week, but I will not dignify that hypothetical with a comment.
- BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS
The Lions will pound the Alouettes on Thursday, thereby justify this ranking for at least one further week.
- WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
If any team has trouble beating the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they must drop at least one spot in the Power Rankings. I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them. Actually, I did make that rule but I can’t enforce it. So… yeah, we’re stuck with this elevated ranking for now, but Calgary will demolish the Blue Bombers this week and we’ll see a Power Ranking adjustment next week.
I don’t say this with any joy. I hate the Calgary Stampeders, but let’s be serious, folks.
- TORONTO ARGONAUTS
The Argonauts will be playing in Ottawa this week, and remarkably, there will be more Argo fans in the stadium than if they were playing in Toronto. Do they publicly disclose the Argonauts’ schedule in Ontario? Because I’m not sure anyone knows when they play.
- MONTREAL ALOUETTES
How much does Nic Lewis weigh? He must be pushing 250. And how old is he? 50? And he’s still one of the most dependable receivers in the league. He’s like a bag of cement with arms and legs. And a head. A bag of cement with two arms, two legs, and a head.
- HAMILTON TIGER-CATS
You know what this team needs? A little vitamin R, as in Roughriders. In the Canadian Football League, if you are a team not named Roughriders, and you are on a losing streak or you desperately need a win or your team just plain sucks, well, the Roughriders are the team you want to play. They’ll never let you down.
So Zack Collaros can look forward to a career day this coming Saturday. The Tiger-Cats should not rise in the Power Rankings after that because beating the worst team in the league is no achievement, but it will be nice to pick up a win. Look for John Chick, this week’s former Roughrider, to get four sacks and perhaps a fumble recovery.
- SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
Last week I predicted it was Weston Dressler’s turn to scorch his former team with 200 yards and three touchdowns. Well, it was only 124 yards and two touchdowns. What a loser. That’s what passes for shut-down defense in Saskatchewan.
This week the Hamilton Tiger-Cats get to visit the nicest stadium in Canada to beat up the lousiest team in Canada (apologies to the Toronto Maple Leafs). I am sure there are some die-hard Roughrider fans who will assume that the team will be able to beat a weak Tiger-Cat team at the Palace on the Prairies (I’m looking at you Jamie Nye), but those people haven’t been on this Earth long enough to really understand what is going on here.
Notwithstanding the current Roughrider woes, which I enjoy mocking as only a long-term member of Rider Nation can enjoy, Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager and Head Coach Dark Helmet has assembled an impressive group of athletes. The receiving corps is the most obvious example, but the offensive and defensive lines are, to a man, all hosses. Hell, I’ll bet even the younger members of the secondary are, as individuals, pretty extraordinary physical specimens. On paper, this team looks terrific, as did last year’s opening-week lineup. Unfortunately, the paper here appears to be of the toilet variety.
There are two problems here. First, the secondary. We’ve beaten that dead horse enough. Second, there are no leaders on this team. I don’t even think there are any followers. They are all individuals. With the exception of two or three younger members of the secondary, who obviously need a little more time to learn how to play Canadian football, this is the kind of team that would be put together by a fantasy draft participant. In a fantasy draft, you don’t need team leaders, locker room guys or team chemistry. In real life, you do.
But alas, Mr. Jones unloaded all the old team leaders, so we have to wait for the new team leaders to reveal themselves over time. In the meantime, fix the damned secondary and you can wait for the leadership to appear. Otherwise, Mr. Jones may go the way of Mr. Marshall.
And Bakari Grant. Sir, lose the pajama top sleeves. If no one on the team will tell you why, just ask the 2013 Calgary Stampeders.