The Saskatchewan Roughriders obediently rolled over for the Montreal Alouettes this last weekend, losing 41-12 to a team that did not have its starting quarterback or running back. Granted, the Roughriders are currently dealing with a nasty schedule that makes it very difficult to win games, and a while ago they lost the services of their very capable starting quarterback who ate up a good chunk of the team’s spending cap, but Darrell Davis of the Regina Leader-Post & Real Estate Flyer said it well:
It’s no secret that [Riders’ head coach Craig] Dickenson and general manager Jeremy O’Day are good people, respectful of the CFL team’s history and everyone who deals with the community-owned franchise. Those traits don’t necessarily win football games.
The current iteration of the Saskatchewan Roughriders appears to reflect the personalities of their head coach and general manager: polite, respectful, level-headed, hardworking, reasonable and diligent. But who needs that shit?
Craig Dickenson’s press conferences are delightful. He is articulate, honest and thoughtful. I can only hope his pre-game or halftime speeches are nothing like his press conferences. But they probably are.
The 2023 Saskatchewan Roughriders are too nice, and Coach Dickenson is letting them be too nice. I doubt his brother, Calgary Stampeders general manager and head coach Dave Dickenson, is being nearly so nice to his players these days. He certainly doesn’t sound like it when he talks to the media.
When did this Roughriders team really come apart? When they lost that dick Garrett Marino. The Roughriders have played 22 games since Mr. Marino injured Ottawa REDBLACKS! quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Mr. Marino was suspended and then fired after the Ottawa game. (Yes-yes, he played a little bit after Ottawa, but you know what I mean.)
The Roughriders have won precisely 6 games since losing that dick Garrett Marino. Three of those victories were against a historically bad Edmonton Elks Football Club that has won precisely 2 games over that same period (one being against the Roughriders) and is currently in the midst of a North American professional sports record for consecutive home loses.
Did the Hamilton Tiger-Cats get rid of Simoni Lawrence when he concussed former Roughriders’ quarterback Zach (Zack) Collaros? Did other teams jettison legendary dicks like Kyries Hebert, Adriano Belli or Angelo Mosca. No. They won Grey Cups with guys like that. Hell, if memory serves (and it probably does not), Belli was thrown out of the Grey Cup game the Argonauts won.
Have any of you ever watched one of the greatest movies ever made? Team America: World Police. It lays out the three types of people:
“See, there are three kinds of people: dicks, pussies and assholes. Pussies think everyone can get along and dicks just want to fuck all the time without thinking it through. But then you got your assholes. And all the assholes want is to shit all over everything. So pussies may get mad at dicks once in a while because, pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes! And if they didn’t fuck the assholes, you know what you’d get? You’d get your dick and your pussy all covered in shit!”
It’s time for one of two things. Either Craig Dickenson becomes a dick, or Craig Reynolds goes out and finds a dick to take over the team like he did days after the Edmonton Eskimos won the 2015 Grey Cup with their dick head coach. Otherwise, this team will win two more games this season (three, tops!), finish another season out of the playoffs, and start from scratch again next season.
The 2023 Saskatchewan Roughriders are a team running on the fumes of the machine that current Edmonton Elks head coach and general manager Chris Jones built. Don Matthews turned a crappy 1991 Roughriders’ team into a powerhouse 11-7 1993 Roughriders team. Both men were total dicks. Both men unexpectedly dumped the Roughriders, because they were dicks.
Hell, remember Kent Austin? Total dick. He was a dick when he left the Roughriders as a quarterback, and he was a dick when left the Roughriders as a head coach. And he won Grey Cups with the Roughriders as both.
We need another dick. Craig Dickenson can become that dick, but I’m not sure he knows how. He can start by tearing a strip off some hapless sports reporter who asks a dumb and inane question. Or even a good question. Here’s how you do it. You start your answer with “First of all, fuck you.” and then go from there.
Rob Vanstone, the official propagandist of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, unintentionally drove home the point I am trying to make in this post with his interesting and genuinely illuminating description of the Roughriders’ flight home from Montreal at www.riderville.com. By the depiction of the players’ demeanors, one would assume this flight was a trip home after a delightful and relaxing vacation. Here are a few words and phrases used to describe things: pleasantly, politely, a little good cheer, handed out…chocolatey snacks, nice gesture, cheerful nature, supremely friendly.
Look, I’m not suggesting the team should be throwing fits or brawling with each other. This is professional football and these are adults, after all. But did anyone on this flight even appear to notice the team just got its ass handed to them? Or is everyone just too polite and nice to point that out?
Roughriders’ president Craig Reynolds might have to point it out the hard way.