GA Sep 8 Riders Bring Em Out LDC S615 copy

Riders Bring Em Out LDC. Photo credit: George Alexander.

George Alexander sports column 

George A PortraitIt was merely a week ago when the axe fell from above in the firing of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach, Corey Chamblin and General Manager, Brendan Taman. The Riders were mired in a horrendous nine game losing streak with no end in sight. The laughable play even extended as far back as last season where combined, the Riders had lost 18 of their past 20 contests. Not exactly a model of success. CEO Craig Reynolds and the board had simply had enough. The new Riders culture and corporate plan could simply not afford continued losing, in this or any manner.

What a difference just a week has made here in Riderville. Fans feel somewhat appeased, fresh off a solid 37-19 beat down of their rival, Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the vaunted Labour Day Classic. Throngs of fans came early to tailgate and then filed in to pack Mosaic Stadium right to the brim. The “Sea of Green” was simply overwhelming. Fans hungered for the team’s first victory of the season.

The “LDC” started quite auspiciously for the green machine as the Bombers built up and early 10 point lead. However, The Riders came back strong with the wind at their backs to garner a 13-10 lead at half time. New Head Coach, Bob Dyce obviously made some fine adjustments at the break as the Riders came on to own the second half and walk away with such a convincing victory.

GA Sep 8 Tailgate Riders practice field LDC S615 copy

Riders tailgate party at the LDC. Photo credit: George Alexander.

One could not help wonder about the immense potential of new quarterback Brett Smith. The kid emerged with his best game ever. Stellar through the air and just as convincing on the ground. Another rookie also shone; Nic Demski scored two majors including a long punt return taken right to the house. The Riders defence picked up its attack led by newbie, Andre Munroe who collected a pair of sacks and had a forced fumble. Right across the board, there was vast confidence and improvement with the young Rider charges.

I know it’s only one game but a lot of positives can be taken in from the Riders organization and fans alike. The support of Rider Nation is strong and not waning. Fans are very supportive and appreciative of the changes made. The team must stay the course with their young guns and peddle their older assets either now or in the off season. A solid coaching and management crew has to be assembled to take the Riders into their new stadium in 2017 and beyond. A lot is riding on future success and with the right formula it certainly can be attained.

Follow George Alexander on Twitter @Big_G_09

 

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