Monday, October 1, 2007

Rider Trivia Time

Because I often give the CFL a hard time, the Roughriders especially, I thought I should share a couple of interesting tidbits with you.

But first of all, if you've seen today's Leader-Post sports section, perhaps you've seen a headline on Page C2 that reads, "It Was a Fantuzik Game." Now I'm serious - what does that even mean? Was it a typo that was supposed to read, "It Was a Fantuz-tick Game"? I'm really in the dark here - somebody please help me out.

Back on track...

It comes across my desk this morning from a very reliable source that Phil Simms of CBS Sports told a little story about the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the Denver Broncos - Indianapolis Colts game yesterday. I was not watching the game myself, so this is all coming to me second hand (I cannot stand Phil Simms, so I was deliberately avoiding the Broncos - Colts game).

Anyway...

Because former Roughrider Kenton Keith is the backup running back for Indianapolis - there is usually an obligatory CFL reference or two whenever he's in the game. But because starter Joseph Addai got hurt in the fourth quarter yesterday, Keith saw some extended action.

Anyway...

The story that Simms was telling, as it was relayed to me, went that in the late 1970's or early 80's Simms - a highly regarded but not highly successful collegiate quarterback, at least statistically - was recruited quite heavily by a little CFL team called the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Apparently a former Rider quarterback named Ron Lancaster came to see Simms and he brought with him a big bag of money. As I understand it, the Roughriders actually offered Simms more money than the New York Giants did (the team that drafted him in the first round of the NFL Draft). However, Simms went to play for the Giants, won a Super Bowl and became one of the better quarterbacks to play the game.

Now perhaps this story is common knowledge among Rider fans of a certain age but I know I'd sure never heard it before. Did anyone out there have any knowledge of this prior to yesterday? Even though Simms didn't end up coming to Saskatchewan I still think it's a pretty interesting piece of Roughrider history.

The other Roughrider story I have to share is more commonly known but maybe not by much. It's about former Rider quarterback Steve Sarkisian - remember him? Do you know what his current job is? Well I'll tell you...he is the offensive coordinator for the College Football juggernaut that is the USC Trojans. Prior to that he was the quarterbacks coach for USC - guiding names like Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart to Heisman Trophy's and NFL careers. He also interviewed for the Oakland Raiders head coach position in the offseason but he decided to return to USC and dropped out of the running. USC was the #1 ranked team in the U.S until yesterday, when they dropped to #2.

Who says nothing interesting ever happens in the CFL? Oh wait...I do...

2 comments:

Jeff K said...

"It was a fantuzik game". Ha. Outstanding. I love it. I am starting to think that perhaps the writting for the leaderpost sports page is actually grade 7 assignements. Okay kids...today we are going to write abou the Riders game. Although, I would have to say that that title may even be C-work for a 7th grader.

Mitch said...

C-work? I think that is fantastic, or 'Fantuzik'. The constantly funny headlines seem to me, more like bets between a couple of goofs writing for the LP. Who can make up the funniest headline about the Riders this week? If I were writing for the LP, you better believe the headlines would be getting more and more ridiculous. I love it, 'Fantuzik,' I can't get enough of that. Right up there with Humpty's Eggs-cellent menu.