Shit like this used to only happen to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Now the Edmonton Elks are the victims of once-in-a-lifetime punch-to-the-gut losses.  It might be time for Edmonton to change its name back, because “Elks” ain’t workin’. Hugh Campbell would be rolling over in his grave if he wasn’t still alive.

Speaking as a lifelong member of Rider Nation and permanent resident of Riderville (otherwise known as Crazytown), last night’s Saskatchewan Roughriders 12-11 victory over the hapless and helpless Edmonton Elks (Elksless?) was the most boring 58 minutes of incompetent football I have ever witnessed (and I lived through the late 70s and early 80s) followed by 2 minutes of stone cold merciless offensive execution and a boneheaded play for the ages.

I wonder what Edmonton Elks’ return man—who shall remain nameless—thought was going on as he casually sauntered over to the ball rolling around in the endzone as Roughriders players were hysterically closing in on him and an entire stadium of drunken loudmouths were suddenly going bonkers like it was feeding time in the gorilla cage. I think I know what he was thinking:  I’ll punch Al Ford’s grandson in the head and take a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.

I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this kind of win as much if the Roughriders had beaten any other team but Edmonton. But this is Edmonton. City of Champions.  That Edmonton.

Nick Marshall sealed the win with his second consecutive game-winning interception, after a bizarre non-penalty reviewed by the so-called “Command Centre” (which I do not believe actually exists, or might just be two guys getting drunk in a shed outside Flin Flon while listening to the game on the radio and flipping a coin whenever someone calls them on the shortwave to review a play). 

Before Mr. Marshall stepped up, the game looked like it was headed for one of those insane only-in-the-CFL punt contests where teams trade punts in and out of the endzone, which itself would have been just another layer of madness in a league that actually has rules designed to make the game more interesting, not less.

Those American folks watching on CBS (all three of them) must have wondered what the hell is going on up here (if they managed to avoid falling asleep for the first 58 minutes of the game).

This kind of thing is what makes the Canadian game the best football on the planet. In the words of President Joe Biden:  God Bless the Queen.

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