Riders Rely on ABC - Anyone But Calgary
Published: Saturday, Nov 3rd 2018, 7:11am
by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
The biggest game of the CFL regular season happens tonight in the final game of 2018. The BC Lions (9-8) play host to the Calgary Stampeders (12-5) in a game that determines who finishes first and second in the West Division. All the crazy math is gone now and it's really simple. Calgary needs a win (or a tie) over BC to finish first and get the bye to the West Final, and keep the Saskatchewan Roughriders at 2nd, hosting the West Semi-Final against Winnipeg. A BC win tonight means the Riders finish first for the first time since 2009 and Calgary will finish in 2nd place and face Winnipeg next week.
The Riders fate is in the hands of the team they just destroyed last week... and that's a great thing! The Riders could have locked up first place already, if not for losing to the lifeless Montreal Alouettes early in the year (a game I am not happy to say I correctly called a trap game), but they also escaped a few games they should have lost, so it is what it is.
Tonight, an entire province and fan base switches allegiances for one night, for the greater good. And it's not so much that we are cheering FOR BC to win... in fact, we are cheering for Calgary to LOSE! ABC. Anyone But Calgary.
I know there are some Rider fans that want Calgary to win so that the Riders DON'T have 2 straight bye weeks between games. Keep the momentum going. I get it. But here's why we REALLY want first place in the West:
- You only need to win ONE HOME GAME to get to the Grey Cup! ONE! That's it. And it wil be against either Calgary or Winnipeg (both of who we beat at home this year). Mosaic Stadium is playing host to a home playoff game for the first time in it's early existence... what better way to kick it off than the WEST FINAL! A thing that's so foreign to Rider fans, that it ony happens once every.... ummm well only once since 1977.
- Injuries. Zach Collaros is dealing with what may be his third concussion of the year. He needs ALL the time off he can get to get right for the playoffs. An extra week between games means we only need 2 more good days from him this season, as opposed to 3. Keeping Collaros healthy has been the key to the team's success the entire year. Do you remember watching Brandon Bridge play last week against BC? If you don't, good for you for being able to block out that memory. As a reminder, he sucked. Good thing that the Riders have a solid rushing attack right now, because if this team has to rely on Michael Bishop... I mean Brandon Bridge in the playoffs, we're screwed. Collaros NEEDS to be good to go. It would also be nice to give star receiver Naaman Roosevelt an extra week off. He did play last week (sparingly), but thankfully the game flow kept him off the field with the Riders up big most of the game. There are other guys with nicks and minor things they play through, so geting them up to 100% would be great too.
- Calgary always chokes in their 2nd playoff game, it's pretty much scientific fact. They will beat Winnipeg in the Semi-Final then choke against the Riders. I'd much rather see the Stamps lose here than Winnipeg. In fact, Winnipeg is the team I DON'T want to see come to Mosaic Stadium. Other than their 4 game losing skid not too long ago, they have been arguably the most complete team in the leage and with the way Adam Bighill is playing right now, I'd prefer not to see him again this season.
So tonight, in Wally Buono's last game coaching in BC, on Wally Buono night, the Lions need to win. But BC, don't do it for us. Do it for you. Do it for the gipper, for the great Wally Buono. Win tonight so you can put last week behind you and go into the playoffs on a good note, not two straight losses. Do it for your fans! Do it for... Ahhh who cares who you do it for. Just, please do it BC. Pretty please.
ABC. Anyone but Calgary.