This past Monday on Bird's Eye View on CTV Montreal, I did a commentary on Rider Nation getting its comeuppance at the Grey Cup. Well, did the shit hit the grain hopper in Canada's breadbasket. Here's what I had to say:
As one of the seven deadly sins, pride is something conventional spiritual wisdom tells us is best avoided, lest it manifest itself as hubris. Apparently, Rider Nation forgot to consult with its spiritual advisors before the Grey Cup.
Rider Pride was the overwhelming theme in the week leading up to last night's game, and the casual observer might have had a difficult time identifying the other team involved, even though the other team was the defending champions. The Alouettes and their entourage were a Grey Cup week afterthought, overshadowed by Saskatchewan's travelling football circus, which the CFL and its media partners gladly exploited to the promotional maximum. Rider Nation milked the attention for everything it was worth, and then some.
It's the "then some" that sometimes makes Rider Pride objectionable. A year ago, their team lost the Grey Cup because they couldn't count to 12, yet Rider Nation descended on Edmonton awash in expectation that bordered on a sense of entitlement. In a situation that called for at least a shred of humility, they chose unrestrained swagger, and poked karma with a sharp stick. Karma responded accordingly.
Of course, it wasn't just karma that was Saskatchewan's undoing. The Alouettes facilitated the process with some terrific halftime adjustments on both sides of the ball. Either way, for the second straight year, ill-advised Rider Pride just gave way to another deadly sin: Rider Envy.
CTV's website was carpet bombed by Saskatchewan fans who'd caught wind of my commentary online. I was also thorougly trashed on a site called riderspride.com and on a morning radio talk show simulcast in Regina and Saskatoon. Interestingly, three callers in a 10 minute segment said my commentary was spot on, and those are people in Saskatchewan. The host didn't exactly enhance his credibility by mocking my voice after replaying my CTV segment. It was childish and unprofessional, but I'm the idiot, apparently.
Footnote: I have an audition today for a television commercial - I'll be playing a Saskatchewan farmer. That, my friends, is irony.