View from the Cheap Seats is kind of an extension of the newsroom. Whenever our three regular reporters, Calvin Daniels, Thom Barker and Kelly Friesen are in the building together, it is frequently a site of heated debate. Topics covered range from sports to politics to pop culture to whatever piques their interests. This week: Was the Roughriders-Eskimos tilt on Saturday a good game?
The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 14-9 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Oct. 12 was simply painful to watch. It hardly entailed any long drives and both teams appeared to have a serious lack of talent on the offensive side of the ball.
The Riders did grab the win because of a last minute goal-line stand, but they affirmed for practically the 11th straight game that they aren’t a contender. They didn’t look like a team ready to make some noise in the playoffs. Instead, they appeared as a team lucky to make the playoffs.
Besides two touchdowns in the second quarter, the Riders could hardly generate any offence. This essentially stems from quarterback Darian Durant. He only completed 16 of 24 passes and threw two timely interceptions. This type of performance has essentially been on repeat since the fifth week of the season.
The Eskimos, meanwhile, couldn’t even generate a touchdown. Mike Reilly, like Durant, didn’t play up to par. He did throw for 244 yards in the air, but his two interceptions ultimately cost his team the game.
The bottom line is CFL football is supposed to be exciting. TSN has a commercial that says “You have to watch these guys play.” Well, I’ve been watching them play, and besides the odd game, I’ve thought the quality of football, especially at the quarterback position, has been well below average compared to past years.
Ever since the Roughriders narrowly defeated Edmonton on Saturday, I’ve heard a lot of whining about what a terrible game it was.
I disagree. While I am as disheartened as the next fan that we couldn’t manage to soundly thump what is arguably the worst team in the CFL, there is a big difference between being disappointed and whether or not the game was a good one.
I know many people prefer to see a tonne of offence, but a defensive duel can also be something to be appreciated. This game was chock full of great picks, goal line stands, tight pass coverage and pressure on both quarterbacks. Add in the wind factor and the back-and-forth field position battle and you’ve got what, to my mind, turned out to be a great game (that is when I managed to take off my Riders jersey for a moment, which is a difficult task to be sure.)
I would not want to see this week in and week out. Just like in baseball, it is usually more exciting to see home runs and base runners than watch two pitchers grind out strikeouts and ground balls, but a really amazing pitchers’ duel is a thing of beauty once in a while.
That’s what Saturday’s game was, the football equivalent of a great pitchers’ duel.
I was lucky Saturday, I missed the snore-fest that was the Saskatchewan Roughriders game.
Well, I at least missed visually seeing the clunker of a game, listening to it instead on radio as we headed home from Regina.
Yes the Roughriders won, which is a good thing, although when you manage to do so by only a 14-9 score against the woeful Edmonton Eskimos who would be the worst team in the league if the Winnipeg Blue Bombers weren’t a dumpster fire this season, doesn’t prove much.
Offensively Darian Durant was held to 170 yards through the air, a paltry effort in the Canadian Football League, which means our offence was once again reliant on running back Kory Sheets who again eclipsed 100 yards on the ground. But it was against the Esks.
The green and white defence can boast allowing only nine points, and while Mike Reilly is a great young quarterback, the cast around him is basically minor league. Edmonton has no running game, and after Fred Stamps the receiver corps is below average.
So a win is a win, but it was an ugly one, and ultimately boring.
Defence in sport is a necessary obstacle to overcome, but ultimately offence must win out to make a game achieve the heights of excellence.
A 14-9 football game is about as exciting as mowing the lawn, a WNBA game, or dare I say, soccer. I’ve never been able to watch soccer because 90-minutes of running around to score one, maybe two, and rarely three goals drives me to the land of dreams.
A 14-9 football game is too soccer-ish for me, even if the right team won.