Riders’ Craig Dickenson felt CFL should have gone ‘easy’ on referee Tom Vallesi for live mic F-bomb

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

If the Saskatchewan Roughriders are mad at CFL referee Tom Vallesi for the F-bomb he directed toward them Saturday night, the green and white aren’t showing it.

Vallesi was caught on his own live mic yelling: ‘F*** them.’ That was after the Riders called timeout to delay the start of the second half and he’s since been fined by the league office. Head coach Craig Dickenson doesn’t think it was a personal grudge against his ball club.

“I don’t think it was a big deal. I know Tom, personally. I don’t think he has anything against us or the team. I think it was more a matter of he’s getting pressure from the booth to get the game going,” Dickenson said.

“That’s what the refs always do, they’re always in our ear: ‘Let’s go. Let’s get ’em out.’ And that’s what he was getting pressure to do. It was to keep the game rolling so TSN could do their thing and we weren’t co-operating.”

“I’m sure somebody was in his ear about: ‘Get these guys going.’ And I’m sure it was a reaction more to the fact we weren’t ready to go and it was messing up the timing of the game.”

“I’m not worried about it, it’s not a big deal. I know a lot has been made out of it, but it’s really not a big deal for me or any of the guys on the team.”

Dickenson told Regina Leader-Post scribe Murray McCormick he doesn’t think Vallesi needed to be fined or punished in any way.

“I don’t think he has any ill will towards us. He got caught with the mic on and if the mic was on us every minute of the day we’d have a lot of things we said that maybe we shouldn’t have said,” Dickenson said.

“I think they should have gone easy on him, I don’t think he meant anything by it, but I also know how our league is: they come down pretty hard on people after the fact.”

“I’ll let the league figure out if it’s the right thing or not, but to me, it’s not a big deal and I’m not worried about it at all.”

The embarrassing timeout was caused by the Riders not having 12 players in the huddle for the second half kick-off. An unusual play causing an even more unusual chain reaction of events.