Ok folks, here we go - this is the moment you've been waiting for since October - it's officially Rider season. Let the compaining begin!
But I want to start off tonight with an impression:
City of Regina Official #1 - "Hey, when do you think we should re-pave the Broad Street Bridge and Wascana Parkway to cause the absolute maximum inconvenience for people in the city?"
City of Regina Official #2 - "How about the Canada Day Long Weekend?"
City of Regina Official #1 - "Perfect."
It's shortly after 5 here in the Graceland and we're watching TSN's CFL pre-game show. Oh how I've missed Jock Clime, Glen Suitor, and Chris Shultz. These three guys are the poster children for why players should not become analysts.
We've just seen Montreal's new offensive co-ordinator Marcel Bellefeuille, who Saskatchewan fans know was the creator of the Prarie Offence. Did putting that on his resume help him get the Montreal job. The over/under for hitch screens has just been set at 37.5 - Cooper wanted the over. Tim thinks that a reasonable number is 15 and he's taking the under. He's just real excited to see the shotgun draw again.
Dave Randorf tells us that the pre-game show is being brought to us by Wendy's new burger, the Bacon-Eater... not what it really is, the Bacon-Ator. Sponsorship money well spent.
Ok before the game starts we're going to go around the room and get some predictions for the season opener.
Tim - Montreal 28, Saskatchewan 21 (but he qualifies this by saying that if Crandell plays the Riders win 32-28. Riders win with Crandell in, I'm told.)
Pat - Saskatchewan 29, Montreal 24 (the one true believer)
Luke - Montreal 34, Saskatchewan 21
5:39 - Here we go... kick-off
5:40 - Tim is already calling for Crandell. Joseph almost overthrows Armstead, but he makes a great catch. That was a fantastic catch by Armstead. Tim calls a challenge upcoming.
5:41 - Good call, here comes a challenge. I don't think he had control, the other two think they might give him the catch.
5:43 - Wow, they gave him the catch. CFL officiating at its finest... well maybe that was closer than I thought upon further inspection.
5:44 - R-Kal Truluck sighting, I'm all kinds of fired up.
5:45 - Well it wasn't a three and out, but close. We'll call it a 4 and out. Thus came and went the first Roughrider possession of the season. I think it's going to get a lot less detailed from here on out. This is a lot to type in a quick time.
5:47 - Ok Montreal's got the ball now, let's see what the defence looks like.
5:49 - Pass defence not looking good so far. There's some discussion as to whether that was a hitch-screen or not. We might have to go to the judges. The official ruling is that was not a hitch-screen. Devastating.
5:51 - Think the Riders miss Nate Davis? Montreal just ran the ball up the middle untouched for about 15 yards.
5:52 - Ok, interception by James Johnson on the goal line, probably saving at least 3 points. I would put that in the category of bullets dodged.
5:52 - The pizza's here. I'm taking a break.
6:10 - Well we're back - if you weren't watching the game, you didn't miss anything. It's still at 0-0 with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter. We're starting to think that the first rouge will win the game. I'd rate the Riders as a solid C right now, both offensively and defensively.
6:13 - Kerry Joseph gets sacked quicker than you can say revamped offensive line. Terrible read by Joseph. A professional quarterback has got to be able to read that blitz.
6:14 - Riders give up a safety, 2-0 Montreal. Game over. (well maybe not, but 2 points looks insurmoutable for the Riders right now)
6:17 - Cooper comes in with a late prediction, Monreal wins 24-9. Tim thinks it'll be closer than that once Crandell comes in.
6:20 - The best way to sum up this game so far is sloppy.
6:23 - Wow, that was almost 6 the other way. Joseph threw that about 4 feet over the head of a stationary Andy Fantuz.
6:26 - Luca really Congi'd that one. Riders lead 3-2 halfway through the second quarter. This is CFL football at its best.
6:36 - Tim's very upset by Kerry Joseph's play. He didn't have to sit through this last year. We're all use to it by now.
6:40 - Glen Suitor officially moves into the creepy zone, commenting on the Montreal cheerleaders standing in the rain, "Nothing wrong about that!"
6:43 - This hasn't exactly lived up to its biling so far, everybody's getting a little bit testy. Tim thinks the game should be called at halftime.
6:45 - You know, as much I've been ragging on the Riders and their offence - Montreal has looked just brutal on offence. The only points they've scored is from the safety Saskatchewan conceded.
6:48 - The three minute warning in the first half. I can't remember being more bored by a half of football. There will be no play by play in the 2nd half. This was a bad idea right from the start. Oh well it was worth a try...
6:52 - I think blitz recognition will be high on Saskatchewan's list of things to work on this week. I think it's a bad sign when we know at home the blitz is coming and Joseph doesn't seem to.
6:55 - Well it's now 6-2 for Saskatchewan. I'm actually a little disappointed, I was hoping to see a rouge.
7:01 - I guess it's halftime now and I've officially had enough. Here's a video clip Cooper just sent me with the title "Kerry Joseph's Halftime Interview" -
That was the best thing I've seen all night.