At the Rider 2019 home opener against Toronto, the game seemed a tad long because of a two hour weather delay. There was no weather delay on Saturday night at Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan’s second home game, but the game felt much longer.

In fact it seemed to drag on for months.

The final score of 37-10 for Calgary seemed about right because Saskatchewan was beaten in every facet of the game except punting.

There was only one team playing smash mouth football (Calgary), and there was only one team lying on the ground (Saskatchewan).

The Calgary offensive line dominated the Rider defensive front, pushing around the men in green like a schoolyard bully.

The Stampeder defensive front stopped the Rider running attack in their tracks, while also pressuring QB Cody Fajardo to the point where he never looked comfortable throughout the entire game.

The team that wins the battle of the trenches rarely, if ever, loses.

Calgary just seemed to play too fast.

Cody only threw for 89 yards with 2 picks. He couldn’t seem to stay in the pocket long enough and seldom got off quick enough throws. When a pivot is having a tough outing with the happy feet, it all inevitably spirals further downward with no running game.

Saskatchewan’s tackling was abysmal with Calgary running backs Terry Williams and Ka’Deem Carey both turning Rider defenders into turnstiles. Carey was playing in his first CFL game.

Boundary corner Solomon Means took three penalties with the third being the most costly.

Schematically the Riders got out coached but they are not alone, the Stamp’s crack staff often take other team’s coaches to the cleaners as well.

Stampeder General Manager John Hufnagel is clearly the best football executive in the CFL and it’s not even close. Why don’t more people talk about that?

As they exited, I don’t think many of the over 29,000 fans in attendance could really believe how bad the Roughriders played.

Speaking of fans, no sellout again with the major culprit being a soft local economy. Premium tickets prices, a 1-3 football team, and a soft economy equaled empty seats against a strong Western rival.

What a lousy day in sports, Kawhi leaves and the Riders don’t show up.


There were several highlights on the night - Gainer ditched his fluorescent green eyes - to the delight of the fans - while Jaden Schwartz, Tyler Bozak and Brayden Schenn showed off their Stanley Cup.

The lowlights started with the opening kickoff and ended with the final gun, although I guess now it’s the final whistle.

If the Riders don’t show up again after their bye week in a home date versus BC on July 20th, their final gun for the 2019 season may not be that far off.

Don Hewitt started covering the Saskatchewan Roughriders for CKCK-TV in 1979.