In the first two and a half minutes of last night’s game, both the starting quarterbacks for both teams got hit.

It was that kind of game.

In the end, the Calgary Stampeders came out over the home team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 22 to 18. Like a lot of the CFL games I’ve seen recently, the score doesn’t quite capture just how well the winners actually played.

The Riders showed some fight. When their defense was on their game, they could drive Calgary quarterback Henry Burris into some tight situations. The Riders offense manage a few great plays, including a 58-yard touchdown pass in the opening of the third quarter.

For most of the game, though, Saskatchewan quarterback Darian Durant couldn’t connect with his receivers. More often, they couldn’t seal the deal and actually catch the ball, while occasionally, he just couldn’t find them. This was also another game where people weren’t treated to Durant running the ball.

The same couldn’t be said of Burris. He rushed for 47 yards during the game. Beyond that, he was simply playing really well. There were plenty of calls of “Hen-ry” through out the stands –– a little girl behind me asked her dad what everyone was saying, clearly not caught up on the drama between Saskatchewan and the former Roughrider – but he made the big plays. He ran the ball when needed and found all the un-harrassed receivers.

You couldn’t argue with the level of their game. Here’s hoping the Riders get it together for next week’s game against the B.C. Lions. If we can’t beat them this time around, that’ll just be depressing. Although, I imagine it would be more than a little vindicating for defensive back Tad Kornegay, recently released by Saskatchewan then picked up by the 0-5 Lions.

Stray Observations
1) During one of the commercials for the Rider Oath, I heard someone behind suggest an addition: “They should say that they will sleep with any Rider in the oath.” I think it’s comments like that in front of children that actually gave them idea to do this oath thing.
2) I know that this isn’t the case, but I like to imagine that the 15-second bursts of popular songs were some kind of commentary on the game, like I might better understand the meaning of what was happening because they were playing “Hell’s Bells”.
3) The guy who won a Sirius Radio by guessing that the clip he heard was Nickelback’s cover of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” did not look excited at all. If he was jazzed in the slightest, he was hiding it very well.
4) I have the feeling that the Subway Kids Correspondent may have been told to ask her player what his favourite sub is. Just a hunch.
5) The fourth-quarter hit on Stampeder Romby Bryant was absolutely brutal. It looked just devastating. On the screen at Taylor Field, they showed it from every angle that they had, and one elderly woman was just delighted at every view they could give her of it. It reminded me of the joy my grandma used to take in watching Chuck Norris stomp someone’s ass in Walker: Texas Ranger. Check out the hit yourself here, at about the six-minute mark.