Saturday, September 03, 2011

CFL Game Day: Winnipeg at Saskatchewan (September 4)

Two teams with polar opposite records (as pointed out rather mischievously on a Regina billboard) but a healthy rivalry will ratchet up the Labour Day weekend excitement for CFL fans on Sunday.

It's the annual home and home series between the Riders and the Bombers and this year the Blue arrive in town with a fair bit of swagger as they say (and say frequently in Winnipeg these days, something that it seems is getting old fast in Regina).

The Bombers who have had a remarkable front  part of the CFL 18, look to continue on with their winning ways at the expense of a struggling Rider squad, which having cleared the decks of upper management on the sidelines find a familiar face back at the helm of last years Western champion squad.

Ken Miller makes his return to the coaching ranks on Sunday, having had one week from the Riders bye week to try and turn around what seemed to be a team that has lost its way.  The jury of course is going to be out for a while as to whether the Riders made the right move in removing former head coach Greg Marshall and offensive coordinator Doug Berry.

More than a few observers suggest that Marshall in particular didn't get a fair shake and that the Riders sent mixed messages by having Miller still heavily involved in the Riders day to day prior to the Marshall dismissal. Regardless with but one win to show for eight games by the bye week, the Riders chose to remove the two coaches as opposed to a good portion of the starting lineup.

If the Saskatchewan players wish to put the first half of the season behind them, a successful and energetic effort will be required on Sunday and in the weeks to come for that matter.

And while they anticipate that perhaps Andy Fantuz may yet rejoin the Riders lineup after his Chicago experience, caution has been urged not to get to far ahead of that curve, as Fantuz seemingly still hopes to attract interest from some of the other NFL squads that may be looking for a receiver.

Regardless, Fantuz won't be available on Sunday for the Labour Day weekend showdown with the Riders,  so perhaps a bit more interest to the game plan as devised by coach Miller might be more of a priority.

Should the Bombers continue on with their CFL domination as they have in the first half of the season, then it will really be academic if Fantuz returns, he's but one player and the Riders were having their problems in any number of positions in the first eight games.

Miller will find out pretty quick this weekend if his team has put those darks days behind them, or if there is much, much more work to be done to climb back into the CFL playoff race.

Game Time 2 PM ST ( 4 ET, 1 PT) TSN

Pre Game

Winnipeg Free Press-- Trash it up: Labour Day Classic has the makings of a madhouse at Mosaic
Winnipeg Sun-- Bomber's Classic roster coming into focus
Regina Leader Post-- Ken Miller's hoping for a thriller on Sunday
Globe and Mail-- New Riders coach hopes to defuse Bombers Inside the Game: Worst vs. First in Labour Day Classic

Quick Snaps Winnipeg Bue Bombers
Quick Snaps Saskatchewan Roughriders

Post Game

Winnipeg 7 at Saskatchewan 27
Attendance-- 30,048

Regina Leader Post-- Roughriders continue Labour Day dominance over Blue Bombers
Winnipeg Free Press-- Winning streak ends as Roughriders defeat Bombers 27-7
Winnipeg Sun-- Labour pains for Bombers
Globe and Mail-- Riders cool off red-hot Bombers
National Post-- Riders win over Bombers marks new beginning

Post Game

Winnipeg 7 at Saskatchewan 27
Attendance-- 30,048

Regina Leader Post-- Roughriders rock on Labour Day
Winnipeg Free Press-- Black and Blue and Gold
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers regrouping
National Post-- Riders win over Bombers marks new beginning
Globe and Mail-- Bombers cool off red-hot Bombers

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