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Who Are These Saskatchewan Roughriders?

Published: Monday, Sep 11th 2023, 3:09pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


Following another embarrassing road performance from the Saskatchewan Roughriders, this time losing 51-6 in the Banjo Bowl against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, I’ve seen many people ask “who are these Saskatchewan Roughriders?” I’ve been asked this question over the last few days. And the simple answer comes courtesy of Jeff Spicoli and Mr. Hand… I DON’T KNOW!


The truth is, I don’t think this Riders team knows who they are.


Are they a good team that has had a few bad games? I think that label goes more to the BC Lions than the Riders.

Are they a bad team who just got lucky a few games? I see the argument for that, but that’s more so the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to me.

Are the Riders just an average team, a 9-9 team that reminds me way too much of the Roy Shivers/Danny Barrett Riders of the early to mid 2000s?


On one hand, they play pretty well at home. They’re able to score points and were just coming off huge home wins against the BC Lions and the Blue Bombers. Maybe this team has figured it out. This is a good team. Sandwiched around those games are two embarrassing blowout losses in Montreal and Winnipeg, where the team completely gave up after allowing TDs on their opponents opening drive.


I think there are a lot of good players on this team and the depth is actually pretty good. General Manager Jeremy O’Day has done a good job of recruiting good players. If you would have told me that the Riders would be down to their 3rd QB and would still have a 2 game lead on third place in the west division… and still somehow have an outside shot at 2nd place and a home playoff game, I’d have called you delusional. I mean, it DOES help when the Calgary Stampeders continuously find ways to lose, allowing these blowout games to not really hurt you that much, but how long can you rely on other teams being awful for you to get where you want to go?


I don’t get it… the more criticism the team faces, the better they play. There was a LOT of pressure on Head Coach Craig Dickenson going into the BC game a few weeks ago before the bye week. I, along with a big portion of Rider fans, wanted a change in coaching in that bye week (though, I never actually thought it would happen, regardless of how that game played out). They came out and played their best game of the year and beat the Lions. Then they played quite well again after the bye and beat the Bombers in the Labour Day Classic for the first time in 4 years. THIS was what I wanted to see from the team and the head coach and I loved it. I’m not sure what flipped for them in the locker room, but it was clear something did.


So now things are going great in Riderville, maybe they’ll put in a good effort in the Banjo Bowl and dare I say… win it?! The pressure comes off and they put on a performance that I can only describe as one of the worst displays I’ve ever seen. Credit to the Bombers for coming out pissed off and destroying the Riders, but my goodness… that was PAINFUL. I’m not calling for Dickenson to get fired after this one like I’ve seen come up again (let’s face it, winning the Banjo Bowl in the post-Durant era just really isn’t a thing for the Riders), but it sure looked like the team quit on him again. Outside of Thomas Bertrand-Hudon, no one really looked like they tried out there. It looked like they were just putting in the motions because they got their split in the Labour Day Classic/Banjo Bowl series.


So which Riders team are we going to see against the Edmonton Elks this Friday night at Mosaic Stadium, again facing criticism and pressure to win this game and keep their lead on the Stampeders for the final playoff spot in the West? The Elks team that they struggled to beat twice this year when it was Taylor Cornelius playing QB and not the much better Tre Ford?

Mr. Spicoli, care to answer?



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