Special People

Huge rain today.  It would only take a minute to soak you to the bone.  Walking through it dressed head to toe in rain gear had me feeling a bit smug.  Looks like this will keep up all day.

The Riders open their preseason at home tonight.  I’ll be sitting in the stands, in the rain, watching them with others from the Romanian Syndicate.  Been waiting six months and I’m excited about the team’s prospects this year.

Special Teams will win us at least three games this year (as opposed to losing four games last year).  Head Coach Greg Marshall told his starters that if they’re tired and need a break, they can take it on Offence or Defence.  Effort on Special Teams is paramount.

Makes sense too.  Giving up a touchdown on Defence isn’t the end of the world.  You could even say it’s expected, provided it doesn’t happen too many times.  Same for scoring touchdowns on Offence.  But Special Teams… a touchdown on Special Teams is usually a game changer, a back breaker, a coup de holy shitzkinville!

The game will be special for another reason too.  Marc Mueller, the grandson of legendary Roughrider Quarterback Ron Lancaster, will make his professional debut on the visitors’ sideline.  He’s a home town kid.  Quarterbacks the University of Regina Rams.  Signed a contract with the Edmonton Eskimos in May.

Ron Lancaster played his final game in Regina in November 1978 and was booed off the field by some.  It was an embarrassing and classless act.  The following week in Edmonton, Lancaster came off the bench and led the Riders to one final come-from-behind victory to cap a brilliant career.  Even though their team lost, Edmonton Eskimo fans gave Lancaster a standing ovation, knowing that they would never see him again in pads on their field.  He threw for 50,535 yards, and 333 touchdowns over 19 seasons.

Just as Edmonton fans gave the grandfather a standing ovation in the final moments of his career 33 years ago,  Regina fans will be equally enthusiastic for the grandson’s success at the very beginning of his career.  Though the odds are against it, I sincerely hope the kid has a long career.

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