Wow, was last night’s defeat to BC Lions the most inexplicable one for the Saskatchewan Roughriders since the ’09 Grey Cup?!
The Riders had the game in the bag — until that BC touchdown, and then QB Brett Smith was stuffed on the third down conversion, handing BC the opportunity to tie the score on an improbable 55-yard field goal. And of course in overtime the Riders lost the game.
Now the Riders are 0-3, and even though it is still early in the season, the fan base is outraged at what they are seeing.
The local post-game call-in shows were interesting last night, to say the least. People were bashing head coach Corey Chamblin, and moaning about the play calling and the defence again.
The message boards are also full of venom. Check out the headlines at the Riderfans.com discussion forums and they tell you all you need to know about the general fan mood right now. One of the threads is entitled “Chamblin you are a disaster…” while another reads “worst coached Rider team since Greg Marshall.” Another thread reads “if they let Chamblin go.”
This is just two years after Chamblin led this team to the Grey Cup, yet people are already calling for his head. But this place is notorious for pulling the trigger quickly. In fact, coach John Gregory was just two years removed from a Grey Cup win himself when he was fired early in the ’91 season.
The real problem for Chamblin is all the other scapegoats you could point to on this team have already walked the plank. The offence tanked last year, so they canned offensive coordinator George Cortez. They also tossed Richie Hall over the defence’s performance.
The fans cannot even blame QB Darian Durant for any problems anymore, because he’s out for the season. The real issue is there’s no one else left to blame. It’s all on Chamblin, and for that matter, general manager Brendan Taman. Who, by the way, is taking increasing heat for building a squad full of old and castoff football players.
So if you are going to fire anyone, you have to fire them, it’s that simple. Any more losses like this one last night and the chorus will be on full blast from the fans to find replacements for both these two.
As an aside — isn’t it awful for a whole province to have to pin its hopes on just one pro team?
That’s the advantage of living somewhere else, like Toronto. Instead of just one pro team letting you down, they have five or six of them doing that.
But at least in Toronto, when one team’s season starts to head straight down the tank, you at least have the option to move on to something else that might offer fresh hope or at least a few wins in the meantime (ie. the Raptors).
Here in Riderville, you can’t. We’re stuck with the Riders, like it or not, and there are still 15 more agonizing contests left to endure.