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That Didn't Take Long

To no one's surprise, the Western semi-final is sold out. The last remaining tickets were snapped up within the first hour of the ticket office being opened Monday morning.

What could possibly be better than this?

Lining Up

After watching the Red Sox sweep the Rockies, I had to drive by Taylor Field to get home and by the looks of it, a lineup has started to form outside the ticket office. You gotta think the remaining tickets for the November 11th game against Calgary that weren't swallowed up by season ticket holders will be gone by the end of the day.

Spur of the Moment Performance

Marcus Crandell didn't get a lot of prior notice before starting last night's game.



John Chick's ability to grabb hold of the ball gave him the best moment of his football career last night.

Austin Satisfied

Kent Austin takes pride in knowing he's done something none of the last dozen Rider head coaches could ever do,....grab win number 12.

Blown Call Is Not What Gave The Riders The Win

All the talk on Fridays win in Edmonton surrounds the last play field goal by Sean Fleming that was waved off because of the "questionable" holding call on Mike Maurer. One that is being debated across the country by CFL fans today including on this fine forum. However, that call is not why the Eskimos lost. Lets recap.

--Edmonton could not beat a Rider team that was playing many backups.

--Edmonton lost a 13 point lead in the 1st half and a 15 point lead in the 2nd half

--They turned the ball over on a goal-line stand and again at the end

--They could only get a field goal after getting outstanding field position to open the game on the Corey Holmes fumble

What this translates to is the outstanding job the Riders had on the Commonwealth grass. As detailed in another posting, this team could have rolled over upon learning that BC had won and first place dreams were over but they didn't. The backups came through in shining colours. This Rider team proved it is solid from player 1 to player 46 on the roster and beyond.


Andre Proulx Strikes Again

Another black mark for CFL officials courtesy of Andre Proulx. The TSN crew maybe summed it up the best when Jock Climie said "I'm afraid the league will fine me if I say what I want to". It was another purely laughable call by Proulx and his mates as they stole a win away from the Eskimos. However, one must look at the tremendous amount of positives put up by this Rider football team. Where do I start...

1) The never quit attitude. After a 3rd quarter in which they gained a measly 4 yards in total offence, Marcus Crandell and the offence just kept plugging away until things got back on track and did they ever in the 4th quarter. They came back from a 13 point deficit at the start of the game and a 15 point deficit in the 2nd half. They found a way to win when maybe they didn't deserve to. That's the mark of a championship team.

2)Play of the backups. Kent Austin has preached that if backups were to get in, he expects them to play and make a contribution and that was the case tonight. How about the efforts of Henri Childs, Michael Palmer and Anton McKenzie. Their efforts must be applauded. Speaking of applause, I could not be happier for Neal Hughes. FINALLY after four years in the league, Hughes got his first career touchdown. Its long overdue and its much deserved by someone who has given a lot over his time here and could show so much more if given an opportunity over an extended period of time. Congrats Neal!!!!

3) T-J Stancil gets the award for hardest hit of the year. It was like Jackie Mitchell's hit on Dave Dickenson last year. It was one of those where you just scream as you see it. They can replay that over and over and over again.

The story will be what happened at the end of regulation and with good reason but the story should be another strong performance by the Riders and another outstanding job of coaching by 2007 Coach of the Year Kent Austin. (Sorry Kent...but deep down you know that is the case!!).

By the way, I wonder how much the Eskimos will get fined for criticizing the officiating!!!!






Beautiful! Funny how what goes around comes around.

Overtime Win

The Riders ended a Commonwealth Stadium jinx by beating the Edmonton Eskimos 36-29 in overtime in what was a controversial finish. Sean Fleming's game winning 47 yard field goal with seven seconds left in the 4th quarter was called back due to a holding penalty on Mike Maurer. The Riders then got the ball to start overtime and scored on a Henri Childs touchdown run. The Rider D then stuffed Edmonton on a 3rd and one to get the win and officially eliminate the Eskimos from the playoffs. Marcus Crandell got the start for the Riders who learned before the game their chances of finishing first in the West were over once B-C had beaten Hamilton. He threw for 250 yards and a touchdown. The win leaves the Riders at 12-5. They will close out the regular season against the Argos at Mosaic Stadium next Saturday.

Have You Voted Yet???

The Canadian Football League  and Future Shop encourage fans to log on to or and vote for the Division All-Stars before the first round ballot closes at Midnight (ET) on Sunday, October 28.

More than half a million player selections have already been cast in the first-ever CFL fan all-star balloting program introduced earlier this year by the CFL and Future Shop.

Fans, alongside the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and eight CFL head coaches are asked to vote to determine the East Division and West Division All-Stars as well as the CFL All-Stars.

The Division All-Stars will be announced on Wednesday, October 31, 2007. The second round of voting will re-open for fans on Thursday, November 1. In the second round, fans will have an opportunity to vote on the CFL All-Stars.

The program also offers fans the chance to enter the CFL Future Shop All-Star Balloting contest, with prizes including CFL merchandise, Future Shop gift cards, a $2,500 Future Shop shopping spree and a trip for two to the 95th Grey Cup where the winner will be front and centre as the 2007 All-Stars are announced.

W2W4 at Commonwealth

The Riders look to make it five wins in a row and eliminate the Eskimos from the playoffs for the 2nd straight year tonight on the Commonwealth grass. By the time the team takes the field, they will know if they still have a shot at finishing first in the West. So that being said, here's what I'll watch for tonight

1. The goings on in Hamilton.  The Riders will have some added fire in their belly if the Ti-Cats should pull off the huge upset. I know that hardly anyone thinks Hamilton can win but you play the game for a reason and you never know---especially in the CFL.

2. The Riders emotional state. Knowing your shot at first could come to an end tonight will be an emotional letdown for a team that has told you clinching 2nd is secondary and that their goal is to finish first. Kent Austin has said he wants his team playing good football going into the playoffs and I think that will still happen....but don't be surprised if you see a sluggish start because the dream of finishing first has officially evaporated. Of course a Hamilton win and you can ignore the previous few lines.

3. Marcus Crandell. Will we see him and if so when. Again, a lot of this depends on what happens in Hamilton. The same could be said for other players as well that the coaching staff wants to see in game action.

4. The desperation factor. The Riders are in the playoffs. They know that. Edmonton knows they must win their final two games and have Montreal lose both of theirs to get in the playoffs. Expect a desperate football team that will grasp at every straw presented to them.

Regardless of what happens in Hamilton tonight, I am expecting a Rider victory. I will say 33-22 Riders. As for Vanstone, I still firmly believe he was hit hard by Fred Perry and is feeling woozier than Dave Dickenson. He says the Hamilton loss and the desperation by the Eskimos will give them a 26-21 win.

Gordon Glad to be Back

Scott Gordon is happy to be back at his old familiar spot again.

Continuing To Battle Injuries

Riders coach Kent Austin says several of his players are questionable for Friday's game in Edmonton--a game that may not matter if BC beats Hamilton earlier that day. Wes Cates, James Johnson, Reggie Hunt and Maurice Lloyd all look at this time as if they won't be in the lineup. Yo Murphy also left practice early today with what looked like a hamstring problem. Meanwhile, Austin also gave us a status report on fullback Chris Szarka who is out after a home accident that resulted in him partially severing the thumb and forefinger on his left hand. Austin says Szarka has lost a little weight but his recovery from the injury has so far been positive. He expects number 33 will be ready for the playoffs.

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