Rider fans have been teased relentlessly with the ‘too-many-men’ jokes for more than a decade.
But now, it’s a ‘not-enough-men’ situation that has the green and white embarrassed.
A quick glance at the game summary from the Saskatchewan Roughriders 29-24 win over Edmonton will show you a timeout at the very start of the third quarter.
It’s a very unusual play description and perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime one, entirely. Head coach Craig Dickenson answered the fans and everyone who was wondering: ‘What the heck happened?’
“Well I’ll tell you, it’s the first time in my career that I’ve had to call a timeout at the start of the second half because I didn’t have 12 guys. And I’m not happy with the team about that and they know that,” Dickenson said.
“Now, maybe I spoke with them a little bit late. I probably need to give them the second half talk at five or six minutes instead of four but they’ve got to get out and play. I reminded them: ‘Hey, we start the second half with kick-off, I want the kick-off team out there ready to roll.”
“We had a couple of guys milling around in the locker room, using the bathroom and all of a sudden the clock goes to zero and I don’t have 12 guys in the huddle, so that’s why I called the timeout to get the right people out there.”
Dickenson believes the players pre-game meals will need to be better-monitored to ensure these stomach issues don’t cause this to happen again. Much like the 13th man fiasco which cost Saskatchewan a Grey Cup, nobody was identifying the guilty party on this night, either.
“It was an embarrassing moment for me as a coach,” Dickenson said. “And I hope the players are embarrassed by it, too. That’s not a good way to start a second half of a key game.”
It’s alright, coach, if you had been in that locker room at McMahon Stadium after the 2009 Grey Cup, you’d remember some gaffes are something and some gaffes are nothing.
In the grand scheme of it all, this is nothing.