George Alexander sports column

George A Portrait thumbnailHow low can you go? This is no limbo contest but an honest assessment on the state of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Riders are a dreadful, 4-22 over the past two seasons and undoubtedly the worst team in all of pro football today. The Riders were Grey Cup Champions just three seasons ago and now are the laughing stock of the entire Canadian Football League.

Every team has its ups and downs when it comes to winning and losing in professional sports. However, the Riders are losing at an alarming rate and don’t even offer up any real competition on the field. Just look at last weeks horrendous, 53-7 beat down at the hands of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. As the score would indicate, the Riders were simply manhandled in every aspect of the game. Things simply wont get any easier for the 1-7 Riders as they head into Commonwealth tonight to play the defending league champs, the Edmonton Eskimos. The Eskies have owned the Riders on home turf for years now. The green and white will certainly suffer at least another double digit loss in the Alberta capital.

The new czar of the Riders, Chris Jones indicated that he’s never lost like this in his entire coaching career, including Little League baseball. That’s no laughing matter to Jones or the rabid fan base of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Rider Nation wants and needs better! Losing like this in simply unacceptable. The Riders have gone so far as to resort to cheating to try and win. Yes, they got with their pants down in overt CFL recruiting violations.

Gang green is the richest and most powerful club in all of the CFL. This means jack and has transferred into nothing in the win column. The Riders are still drawing good crowds and selling plenty of merchandise but interest is beginning to wane. In fact, tickets to the upcoming Labour Day Classic versus Winnipeg are actually plentiful and some ducats are actually being offered out below cost.

As bad as things are in Riderville, we must stick it out with the new Chris Jones regime. It’s tough to swallow the almost certain playoff elimination not even half way through the current season. There’s already a plethora of excuses for losing and some are valid indeed. New personnel across the board and a rash of injuries haven’t helped the cause. There will be sun at the end of the Riders rainbow though. Moving into the new Mosaic Stadium is on the horizon and Chris Jones will ultimately lead the green and white back to the promised land. However, I’m sure accountability and and a return to respectability are first and foremost on everyone’s mind. Stay tuned, Rider Nation.



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