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Alex’s CFL Tuesday Takes – Less Talk, More Walk

Published: Tuesday, Sep 26th 2023, 1:09pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

The last few weeks for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and their fans have been absolutely painful. Getting blown out in the Banjo Bowl, followed by a collapse at home with the worst run defense I’ve ever seen against Edmonton and an incredibly uninspired loss in Ottawa (the score REALLY flattered the Riders here) have Rider Nation annoyed, angry and ready to move on to next year.

 

But all we keep hearing from the leader of this football team, Head Coach¬†Craig Dickenson¬†is how they are a better team than last year. Last year, they went 6-12, lost their last 7 games, the team quit on their head coach and they pissed away a playoff spot. This year, the team was 6-5 (sound familiar?) and has lost 3 straight games (sound familiar), have quit on their head coach (sound familiar?) and appear like they want to piss away a playoff spot yet again. But we’re a better team, he’s a better coach. BLAH. BLAH. BLAH.

 

Coach Dickey, time to nut up or shut up. I’m tired of the talk of how the team will TRY and be better and TRY to fix mistakes and they play really hard. BE better. FIX those mistakes. No trying. We WILL be better, our execution WILL be better. THAT’S what you should be saying. This past Friday night, you were shown CLAPPING at your players after taking multiple penalties (misconduct fouls, no less), allowing Ottawa to score a TD. There is NO discipline with this team and you aren’t even TRYING to fix anything. It’s beyond embarrassing.

 

Fans have every right to be mad, be happy, whatever. But this fan base is losing interest in this team right now because they see the same things happening again and that’s the worst part. The most hardcore fan base in the CFL is starting to not care and I’ve seen comments about how they won’t watch another game, they won’t renew tickets, etc. until things change. I don’t blame them, but that’s a very bad thing. You shouldn’t coach or manage a team based on what fans think or want, but ultimately, they are the ones paying your bills here in the CFL. You have to give them SOMETHING to look forward to and keep them engaged.

 

Coach, you can be angry at media all you want and interrupt them when they compare this year’s team to last year all you want. I get it, you want and need to be defensive about that. It’s a very natural, human thing when you get criticized. But until you start backing up your talk with results on the field, it’s all just talk and you AREN’T a better team and you AREN’T a better coach than last year. Less talk, time for some walk. Start this week in BC. The last time you played the Lions, you were expected to get blown out and you came away with the best effort of the season (for 3 quarters) and got a win to spark hope again. I’d hope that the team comes out motivated on Friday night with the whole “us against the world” mentality, or whatever they need to be motivated. Whatever it takes to get the players to care and make the game close (and dare I say, win it?) is what needs to be done. Time to walk the walk.

 

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