It’ll be an old fashioned shootout for CFL West title

I am reputed to be a Rider fan, but I have a little bad news to deliver to the Green People this year: I do not believe the Saskatchewan Roughriders are destined to be the home team in this year’s Grey Cup. I believe the CFL West will be a shootout again this year, but the biggest gunslingers will be on other West Division teams in 2013.

I am reputed to be a Rider fan, but I have a little bad news to deliver to the Green People this year: I do not believe the Saskatchewan Roughriders are destined to be the home team in this year’s Grey Cup.

I believe the CFL West will be a shootout again this year, but the biggest gunslingers will be on other West Division teams in 2013.

Once again I will caution that my predictions are based upon healthy starters and football is a decidedly unhealthy way to earn a living.

My choice for number one in the CFL West is a familiar name because the BC Lions are once again my early favorites to finish in first place this year. The Lions have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Canadian receivers and American linebackers-plus they have star quarterback Travis Lulay to lead them to the frozen promised land in Regina for the 2013 Grey Cup. BC is a well-balanced squad with a lot of explaining to do about last year’s playoff loss to Calgary and there are few creatures more dangerous than hungry lions.

Number two spot in the West will also be occupied by a familiar tenant: the Calgary Stampeders. The Stamps are coached and managed by one of the best in the business with John Hufnagel. His teams are a blend of proven talent and unexpected stars recruited in the off-season through free agency or good scouting.

The designated quarterback starter in Calgary is Drew Tate, but Tate’s hold on the reins is subject to his performance on the field. Hufnagel is not exactly a sentimental guy because he knows that his own job is also performance driven, so he would not hesitate to yank Tate and throw in journeyman Kevin Glenn as his quarterback. Glenn is a great safety net and talented third string pivot Bo Levi Mitchell will also factor into the equation this year.

Mitchell may even cultivate a quarterback controversy in Cowtown by the end of the year because he will be a starter somewhere in 2014-possibly in Ottawa.

One of the smartest moves of the off-season was made by Eskimo GM Ed Hervey because he managed to acquire quarterback Mike Reilly from the BC Lions organization. Reilly is an intelligent and talented pivot who deserves to be a starter in this league and that job was unavailable in BC.

Last year the Eskimos had an open audition between coach killer quarterbacks Stephen Jyles and Kerry Joseph during which both proved why they should pursue jobs other than football.

Joseph is back to provide a veteran backup quarterback presence for Reilly and Eskimo fans should consider the idea of human sacrifice to the football gods to prevent any scenario where Joseph comes into the game as their starter.

The Eskimos were stone-cold killers with their defensive front seven in 2012 and they will be even better this year with the return of people like now-healthy giant tackle Canadian Ted Laurent to the lineup. Add it all up and I pick Edmonton to be a better team because they have a legitimate quarterback guiding their fortunes.

There is always hope and promise before every season in Saskatchewan. This plucky optimism is a foundation for the football dreams of every Rider fan, but I do have serious misgivings about quarterback Darian Durant once again this year. I suspect he is now the fourth best starter in the West Division.

I do not believe Durant is consistent enough to be a star in the CFL and he is now a 31 year old quarterback who can no longer ride the “potential” train. Durant still has big problems with his reads and accuracy, so I pick the Riders for last place in the West.

The team will be much improved on defense but Durant will hold them back from a legitimate championship run. My beliefs about Durant will not make me popular with Rider fans, but I believe that long droughts between real Rider quarterback stars like Lancaster, Austin and briefly Henry Burris have brought an aura of desperation to Rider Nation. See you next week.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud, right, vies for the ball against Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio during an MLS soccer match in Harrison, NJ., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Entering his ninth season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio said his off-season regimen was no different than in the past. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (19) makes the save on Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman (11) as Tyson Barrie (22) defends during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Toronto continues to lead the North Division standings, but hard-charging Edmonton is now just four points back on the all-Canadian circuit heading into a three-game series between the teams in Alberta's capital beginning Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Angela James stands on centre ice in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs team after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday November 6, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse talks to center Aron Baynes (46) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara
Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Most Read