Saturday, September 20, 2008

Football tonight

Since the Oregon State Beavers have the week off, (and who wouldn't need the rest after running over, under, through and around Hawai'i like they did last week?!?!) to feed our football fix this weekend, the eyes turn North of the border for a big West Division match-up between the division leading Saskatchewan Roughriders and the cellar-dwelling B.C. Lions.

The Lions won a see-saw battle over the Riders last week, pulling out a 28-23 win at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver. Saskatchewan battled back from a 21-9 4th quarter deficit in last week's game, closing to within 5 points on Wes Cates' 1 yard run with 1:46 remaining, but B.C. recovered the ensuing short kick and ran out the clock for the win.

Names to listen for tonight include Quarterback Michael Bishop, running back Wes Cates, (Who leads the CFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,426) linebacker Anton McKenzie (2nd in the CFL with 56 tackles) and kicker Luca Congi for the defending Grey Cup champion Roughriders. British Columbia is led by Quarterback Buck Pierce, running back Ian Smart(second in the lead in combined yards with 1,622), kicker Paul McCallum and linebacker Javier Glatt.

Saskatchewan enters the game with an 8-3 record for 16 points, (CFL teams get two standings points for a win) 2 points ahead of both Edmonton and Calgary. The Lions are 6-5 for 12 points, just 4 points out of first in what is proving to be the wild, wild West in the CFL this season. This is the third meeting of the regular season between the two teams, as the Riders won in Vancouver 26-16 on July 4th. Saskatchewan took 2 of 3 from the Lions in 2007.

Tonight's game in Regina's sold-out Mosaic Stadium kicks off at 8:30p.m. Central time. The Roughriders broadcast, with Rod Pedersen ( calling the play-by-play and Carm Carteri providing the commentary, can be heard online at If you've never listened to a CFL game, it's a thing of beauty. 12 players on the field, singles(A kick into the endzone not run out gives the kicking team 1 point), centerfield(CFL fields are 110 yards long, so you will hear something "strange" to fans of American football, like "The Riders have the ball at the B.C. 53 yard line."), multiple players in motion and 3 downs to make 1o yards. Oh, extra points aren't extra points in Canada...They're converts.

As the CFL so proudly says: "This is OUR league." I, in one American's viewpoint, love the CFL. It's uniqueness, the spectacle, the passion of it's fans, make it an enjoyable experience. The Bills can just keep their over-paid arses and over-inflated egos in Buffalo where they belong! Check this game out tonight. You'll enjoy it. Rider pride lives in the U.S., especially in Wisconsin!

Green is the color tonight. Go Riders!!!!

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