Last week I managed to break even at 2-2 for my picks. Unfortunately, I called the Rider loss correctly, but I never guessed that Saskatchewan would get blown out of the stadium in such spectacular fashion.
That lopsided loss to the Bombers brings me right into tonight’s Calgary-Saskatchewan game in Regina. A rational human being would predict an obvious annihilation by the Stampeders over the hometown boys. There would appear to be very little reason to bet against the Stamps, outside of a problem with hallucinogenic drugs or severe delusional episodes.
The Stamps have galloped into first place in what is currently a one-horse race in the entire league. They show about as much mercy as sociopathic Klingons when it comes to their domination on a football field. Plus they have enough offensive and defensive weapons to destroy their opponent’s will, or reason for existence for that matter.
Saskatchewan has gone in a different direction. They help build self esteem in lesser CFL teams like Edmonton and Winnipeg and rescue them from the depths of despair. The Riders have generously donated wins to the Esks and Bombers even though most people have pegged the Roughies as a serious contender, including yours truly.
I have had to re-think the top shelf label on the Riders, but that will not stop me from a bold (or clinically insane) prediction of a Rider victory in tonight’s game. Saskatchewan has a great home record this year. They have even narrowly beaten Edmonton and Winnipeg at Mosaic/ Taylor Field in 2010.
So they know how to win at home against the football mutts in this league, but what about the purebreds like Calgary? They can beat Calgary by pushing Henry Burris’s hot buttons with serious pressure on the guy. Henry does not like the smack in football, especially as a 36-year-old quarterback. Hank is too young to be a U.S. president, but he is getting old in quarterback years.
It is obvious that delusion is also part of any campaign to compare Rider quarterback Darian Durant to the CFL’s greats, but he can win a ball game.
He has to make quicker reads and carry the ball more often to win games. The O-line is definitely part of the problem, but great quarterbacks rise above the protection problems. This is Darian’s night to change some minds about his abilities as an elite quarterback.
Hamilton travels to B.C. in a late Saturday night game. The fur will fly in this catfight, but B.C. will win. Eastern teams have trouble with time zone adjustments, and the Lions have improved in the past few weeks. Wally Ball is alive and well on the Left Coast, despite the rumors.
Sunday morning’s Argo-Bomber game is a tough game to crystal ball, but I lean toward Winnipeg in this one. The Bombers have a vicious front four and they will make Argo quarterback Cleo Lemon wish that his religion prohibited working on Sundays.
Lastly, the Sunday afternoon game features the Alouettes at home to the Eskimos. Recent staff changes in the Igloo will not prevent a Montreal massacre in this game, because the Als are too much for Edmonton to handle.
See you next week.
Jim Sutherland is a local freelance writer whose columns appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. He can be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com