Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pushing Forward

The feeling of "almost" getting it done, or "being one step away" can be harrowing when not handled right.  A lot of players will tell you that in the back of their minds, getting blown out would be easier to handle (in some ways) because it's easier to admit that, "they kicked our tail and we have to be better" after a game, than it is to pinpoint one or two plays that gave the game to the opponent.  Pinpointing focuses the ire of the outside masses on one or two players or coaches.  Nobody should ever be left out to fend for themselves over a TEAM loss.    
When a team hits some difficulty, as the Green and White are, all sorts of questions begin to surface about certain phases of the game, individual players, and obviously, the coaching staff.  The Riders are actually well equipped to handle all of this adversity, this organization has had its difficulties before and there are vets on this side that have been there throughout every low point.  
Here’s the thing…it’s natural to talk amongst teammates about what could’ve done in specific situations, whether it be a missed tackle, a dropped ball, or maybe a coaching decision.  It's perfectly normal to be frustrated with another teammate over discipline or production issues.  Play-makers may question the way the coaches are using their individual skillsets.  Even the guys in the role-playing positions will be convinced that they should be getting more opportunities.
Not winning will lead to all sorts of banter amongst the locker room, but none of it will become toxic.  When you’re one or two plays away from having your record reversed, everyone should have an opinion.  That’s what family does.  They tighten up, talk it out, then correct and continue.
So don’t worry Ridernation.  You can stop throwing rocks from a distance.  Stop feeding into those media guys that are fanning the flames of your frustrations; that type of conversation comes across as petty.  When it comes to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the group within the locker room, all of your opinions and demands will fall on deaf ears.  
Don’t take that as disrespect, or interpret it as nobody cares, either.  Players love and appreciate how much the Saskatchewan Roughrider fan base cares about their team, and the CFL. 
Fact of the matter is that these guys are grown men, and the scale in which they hold each other accountable is far bigger than you could ever imagine.  They’re talking amongst themselves as much as you guys are, but there’s an important difference…
The Green and White are working this out as a FAMILY.  Nothing gets in, and nothing gets out.  Every season is a different journey, with a different narrative.
2015's story will begin with, “Remember that time we started off…”  

The family is working harder than ever to finish that phrase off in a Championship fashion

#PutThePanicButtonAway #LetThemDoTheWork


  1. Great insight Luc!

    The past few decades as a Rider fan enable me to see fan and media reactions as predictable when losses mount.

    The main difference in recent years was the birth of local sports talk radio. It is easy to cater to the sea of fan negativity as a means of fighting for market share. Personally, I appreciate efforts that are more constructive and provide a fuller picture of the state of affairs.

    The funny thing about the game is that had the BC field goal kicker missed the 55 yard try (like he did on the convert) the fans and media would have been celebrating the improved defense, the best offense in the CFL, Jerome Messam etc. Instead, the black hole of despair opened up and the fans and media jump in with both feet. All that matters in the end is: what will the team do to win the next game. And all the fans can do is fill the stadium and get loud when BC has the ball.

    Old Hank

  2. Over 400 yards passing against Rider D in each game and no turnovers by Riders D.
    Easy to see why Riders are 0 - 3
    D still has not learn't how to play in the new rules

  3. Great analysis. I imagine most players think they know the answers as well as the fans think they know. Frustration has to be very high, especially with the injuries we are seeing. This is already a different team than we started with, hopefully some of the injured start returning soon.


  4. I do enjoy your articles Luc. on this one I have to ask from your football experience , how do teams trying to right the ship deal with the "nothing gets in , nothing gets out" , "IF" in some cases the rocks being thrown from a distance are in fact the same rocks being thrown inside the room. I realize the team is working hard to get wins and dealing with the issues. Why the negative from the team when the issues being presented outside the room are as valid as the ones being questioned inside the room. To me the only difference is the team can learn and change the outcome , the fans can only observe any results or not. Doesn't make the comments outside any less valid does it ? You well know Rider Nation supports this team unconditionally and that has never changed in my life time and never will I suspect .

  5. Chamblin: "Coaches coach...players play."...and we fans pay the price.