The Riders have failed to end their 100th season with a championship. In a football game that was not pleasing to the eye, the Montreal Alouettes beat the green and white to take the Grey Cup for the second straight year. This one doesn't hurt as much as last year, but it still stings. It would seem as if early on Darian Durant is taking the heat for the defeat.
Darian did not look comfortable right from the get go. TSN's Matt Dunigan said before the game that Durant had told him that he had a bad hamstring that was getting worse. Is that why he wasn't rolling out and doing what he does best? What seemingly has many hot under the collar though is his last minute interception to Billy Parker on a ball that frankly he shouldn't have thrown.
Here's where I will defend the Rider quarterback. I know I probably won't have many agree here. but here ya go.
Durant is a guy who refuses to say quit. Its been his mentality ever since he has been here. Its that gunslinger approach that he takes to the game. After Andy Fantuz went offside to make it first and 15, he knew he couldn't take a sack. He was trying to make a play. He was trying to do something like this.
Remember that play! With the exception of the end, it looked very similar. Its Durant trying to make a play when there is no hope of him doing so. Everyone loved his desire and his fire to get it done when he made that play. As I have said before, you can't have it both ways. If somehow that balls floats into the hands of the intended receiver and the team goes down and scores what would have been a game-winning touchdown, Durant would have been hailed as a hero. Bad throw--you betcha. Am I pinning the loss on Durant because of that throw....not a chance!
I feel bad for guys like Omarr Morgan and Barrin Simpson. They have been through a lot and they still don't have a championship ring. I think Simpson will be back, but I don't know about Morgan. Will Jeremy O'Day be back? Will Geno be back? Will Szarka be back? I don't know if that window of opportunity is closing or not, but I think this team will lose some veteran leadership.
The Rider Nation is disappointed and heartbroken and well you should be. However, the sun will come up tomorrow. I hope many of you are at Mosaic tomorrow to welcome the team home and I hope you are appreciative of their efforts. This could be a team like Winnipeg has been or it could be a team in need of a major overhaul like Edmonton. This is still a damn good football team and despite the fact they have allowed the Alouettes to take the Cup back to Montreal again, I still believe we haven't seen the last of the good times.
Is it safe to say we will see the Alouettes here again on Canada Day?
While I wanted to put up "Paint the Whole World Green". I'll have to settle for this. Its certainly true today.
One other item....it was just a bad day for Saskatchewan all around as famed actor Leslie Nielsen has passed away. It makes me want to go out and get a copy of "The Naked Gun". He was a great export for Saskatchewan. Men like him are rare.
Comment away with your thoughts on the game.