Uh-Oh!! I have said all along the Saskatchewan Roughriders can get back to the Grey Cup and win it if they stay healthy. They have now lost the one player they could not afford to lose. The story of this season could very well have ended with 538 to play in the 3rd quarter when Bryant Turner smoked Darian Durant leaving the Saskatchewan quarterback writhing on the ground with what appears to be a serious injury to his throwing arm. We will find out Monday what exactly has happened and how long Darian will be gone for, but I think its safe to say this will be Tino Sunseri's team for a while if not the rest of the season. Nothing against Sunseri because he has shown he can stand in there and lead the offence, but he is not Durant and the team's chances of winning have taken a serious hit. It certainly takes away a lot of the lustre of what was another big win for the football team. Here's some thoughts on what happened
--There will be a lot of debate on the Durant injury, but on TV the whistle could clearly be heard yet Turner did not stop and was not assessed a penalty on the play. This was yet another example of some questionable work by Al Bradbury's crew. Corey Chamblin said he heard the whistle, but Brendan Labatte said he didn't. There is no doubt the hit should not have occurred, but could the officials have done more. Should the whistle have been blown numerous times? Could the official get in there to take the bullet for Durant like NFL refs do when the play is blown dead. In the end, I am not blaming Turner, but I think a penalty should have been called.
--Winnipeg fans were quick to get on social media to get on Bradbury's case for a missed hold on the Weston Dressler punt return touchdown. They certainly didn't like the fact inside Investors Group Field that there was a penalty. Was there one? Absolutely!! It was as bad as the push in the back against Chad Kilgore last week that helped Troy Stoudemire get his touchdown -- a touchdown the same people who complained on the Dressler TD thought was clean. Karma's a bitch isn't it. Once again, another example of shoddy work by Bradbury and company. Rider fans don't like the work of Andre Proulx's crew, but I would rather see Andre than Al and his group.
--Can the Riders keep winning with a back-up quarterback and a three headed monster when running the football? We are going to find out because George Cortez isn't going to abandon the run with the #2 quarterback in there. Anthony Allen, Will Ford and Jerome Messam are making life miserable for opposition defences.
-- Was Glen Suitor a little over the top in his criticism of Cortez late in the 4th quarter as the Riders were trying to preserve the lead. Suits was not happy with the fact the team was throwing the football considering the success they had running. While I don't disagree with that notion, you have to sometimes throw on 2nd and long and when the Bombers are stacking the box, chances are you aren't getting the yards needed for the first down.
--With Darian out, the team needs to find another quarterback. Can I suggest Adam Weber? They said it was very close between himself and Seth Doege in training camp. If he isn't out of shape, give him a call and see if he wants to come back.
Other odds and ends
--MEDIC!!! I am guessing there are some in Saskatoon that were not happy Saturday mght after the Regina Thunder stole the first game at the new refurbished Gordie Howe Bowl. The Thunder were losing 25-6 with two minutes to go. It was over! The Toppers had beaten their provincial rival soundly. Hold the phone! Don't cash the cheque! The Thunder scored, recovered a short kick, scored again, recovered a second short kick and then scored a 3rd touchdown as Preston Bews hauled in a Spencer Mack pass with 5 seconds to go for a 26-25 win. Word is Hilltops coach Tom Sargeant took his frustrations out on a garbage can. I'm guessing the grin on Scott McAulay's face must be a rather wide one and will be for a while. What a colossal gag job by the Hilltops. WOW!
--Congrats to the Rams for their season opening win. There are some questions about the defence going into the season, but they did a pretty good job in stopping a couple of talented UBC running backs as they won by 10. Could that victory over the #7 team in the country propel Frank McCrystal's men into the top 10. They may just grab that number 10 spot.
--I didn't see a lot of the Hamilton-Montreal game, but Hamilton looked to be in full control at one point. What happened?
--There has to be red-faces in the CFL head office after Friday's debacle in Ottawa. Yes, weather had a part to play in it, but 7-5??? That is utterly ridiculous and is the rather untasty icing on the top of a bad cake for the league when it comes to games that have been putrid this year.
--As bad as the product has been this year, it does not help when Lulay, Mike Reilly and Durant are out of the lineup for an extended period.
--The first NFL Sunday had its share of excitement. Matt Ryan and the Falcons came through in an offensive outburst against New Orleans, the Bills upset the Bears, the Dolphins surprised the Patriots, and I don't think many thought the Titans would hammer the Chiefs. The play of the day was definitely this....
Some think Brown should be suspended for this. Why?
-- --Neate Sager of Yahoo Sports has assembled a list of WHL games you will want to see this season. The list can be found right here.
--There have been 150 batters in the majors this year that have struck out four or more times in a game. That's a record and not a good one for hitters.
--How the hell does a nine year old boy not only steal a city bus in Saskatoon, but drive it for a while on a busy stretch of road. That story had the potential to be extremely tragic.
--That being said, I bet that kid can drive better than many who were in east Regina on Saturday afternoon. The stupidity and ignorance of some behind the wheel just amazes me
--Graham DeLaet's year is over. He just failed to crack the top 30 for the Tour Championship next weekend. DeLaet didn't win a tournament this year. but he had several top 10's. I would think he has to be happy with the way the year went even though he didn't get a first place cheque.
--Finally, ZZ Top had to cancel some concerts recently after one member of the band fell down and injured his hip. In other words, he had legs.....he didn't know how to use them. Just because of that, I give you what may be one of the best videos ever for obvious reasons....
Have a good week!!