Written by Guest Blogger: Rider Prophet riderprophet.com
What a difference a year can make. We are told to expect the unexpected in the CFL but I doubt that many could have predicted how the standings would look 5 weeks into the 2011 season.
Last year the Eskimos and Blue Bombers both missed the playoffs and combined for a mere 11 wins. This year both teams are in first place in their respective divisions having already amassed a combined 9 wins. By contrast the Riders and Alouettes met in the 2010 Grey Cup. This year both those teams are sitting in the 3rd place in their divisions. While we expect things to change from year to year, this abrupt flip in the standings is more shocking than finding out your girlfriend used to be a man.
Let’s take a look at some of the top storylines so far this season…
– While Winnipeg is enjoying one of its best starts in recent memory, it’s not been all good news. Their QB has so far displayed all the durability of a house of cards. Despite a list of career injuries that will soon needs its own area code, Buck Pierce insists he is not injury prone. I mean sure he couldn’t last 3 full games before suffering a quad injury (the 2nd year in a row that he’s failed to last 3 games) but don’t worry about that. And that hit to the head that left him woozy and knocked him out of game 5? That was just a minor calf injury. How silly of us not to know that the cause and symptoms of head trauma and a calf injury are the same. While I admire Pierce’s heart and tenacity, I worry about his mental health. How many more shots to the head will it take before he starts clucking like a chicken?
– Fresh off back to back loses in the Grey Cup, the Roughriders entered 2011 looking to prove they were ready to get over the hump and win it all. Sadly, all they have proven this year is that producing your own line of cereal and potato chips does not automatically translate into on field success. First it was their defense that couldn’t stop anything and now it’s their offense that is so futile that most computer science majors score more often than the Riders do. With only 1 win so far, the Riders have dug themselves a deep hole that won’t be easy to crawl out of. Fortunately, thanks to the struggles of the Argos and Lions and the wonderful intricacies of an 8 team league, that lone Rider win is good enough to place them firmly in a playoff position. Gotta love the CFL.
– The saga of Jerome Messam is one of the more interesting ones in recent memory. A string of off-field misconduct (including punching a team mate in the face and sneaking a girl into his room during training camp) got him suspended by the Lions and ultimately offloaded to the Eskimos for a few rolls of tape and some new glasses to try and help with Wally’s squinting. Messam then starts turning in strong performances for the Esks week after week and all of the sudden he’s 4th in the league in rushing and an early favourite for top Canadian. Who knew that the path to being the Most Outstanding Canadian was paved with promiscuity and face punching? I wonder if other aspiring players will try and follow in Messam’s footsteps.
– For the first time in recent memory, equipment is starting to garner more attention this season that the actual players wearing it. Helmets have been popping off and flying around the field at an alarming (and almost comical) rate. The epidemic has gotten so bad that the league has had to start tracking and charting errant helmets. No word yet on what they will do with the data. Maybe they will use to develop a helmet forecast for each game that can be lumped in with the weather. “Tonight’s match-up will be calm and mostly sunny, with a 40% chance of helmet sized projectiles”
That’s all for this week. I’m the Rider Prophet and those are my sentimonies.