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The Bye Week Blues

Published: Thursday, Jul 13th 2017, 2:07pm

By Alex Dormuth

The Bye Week Blues

The Riders can’t lose this week! They also can’t win, but that’s not the point. The Riders are on their first of 2 bye weeks for the 2017 CFL season and it comes after a big win against the Hamilton Tiger Cats last Saturday night, a 37-20 dominant performance. So we sit and wait… and wait… and wait for the next Rider game on July 22 in Calgary.

The bye week comes at a nice time for the Riders as there is now a renewed faith in this team from the fans. Fans haven’t been this optimistic about the team since Darian Durant led us to an 8-2 start in 2014. Since that dreadful, franchise changing Banjo Bowl day, the fans really haven’t had anything to cheer for, so having this optimism is a pleasant change from what we’ve seen lately. The players get a week to rest, go home and refresh their bodies and minds ahead of a big road game in Calgary. But what about the fans?

For the first time in a long time, the Riders don’t play during the Country Thunder (formally the Craven Country Jamboree) weekend, so there is a plus for those that have to decide on missing out on a game or the festival.

The heat wave allows for people to head out of town and hit the lakes, campgrounds and just enjoy the hot summer, especially since it could snow tomorrow in Saskatchewan (if it does, you have every right to blame me and I fully accept responsibility).

But how do fans really treat a bye week? For myself, I still watch as much CFL as I possibly can (work permitting) and it’s a great week to work on that honey-do list and just spend time with family and friends without that added stress of the game… but it’s just not the same. As much as I love the league and watching all the other teams, I love watching my team the most. The week just seems incomplete when your favourite team isn’t playing. The team is pretty much forgotten about during the bye week. People aren’t out and about wearing their green, forums are quieter and sports shows struggle for content (it also doesn’t help that this is the quietest week in sports on the calendar).

But at least this bye week comes after a win. Fans are happier, the grass is greener, the sun is sunnier and things are just looking great. Imagine what Saskatchewan would have been like had the Riders lost to Hamilton and fell to 0-3. This place would be completely different. People would care, but for other reasons. The calls for Chris Jones to be fired would be loud and frequent, the Rider store wouldn’t see sales as brisk and people in general here would just be grumpy. Thankfully that’s not the case and the bye week blues are only a minor inconvenience for us sports lovers.

How do you spend the bye week? Do you still catch all the CFL games or do you plan holidays around the Rider schedule and take time off? Do you get bummed out about no Rider football? Do the other games just not do it for you? Let us know in the comments.

Be sure to check out the latest episode of Piffles Podcast where we talked to Riders O-Lineman Dariusz Bladek and new CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.


Enjoy your bye week fans, you deserve it. Rest up and get ready for a big game next week in Calgary. Go Riders!


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