They say the enemy of your enemy is your friend, only the word “brother” might be a better fit for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in this instance.
The Riders are in the hunt for the third and final playoff spot in the East Division by virtue of the crossover, needing to finish ahead of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks. Their playoff hopes took a major hit this past week when the Ticats upset the Calgary Stampeders by a score of 35-32 to improve to 6-10.
Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson is the older brother of Dave Dickenson, the Stamps’ head coach. Craig let his brother know after the game that Dave had done him no favours by losing to the squad his team is desperately trying to outpace over the final weeks of the regular season.
“That hurt. I told Dave that was no good,” said Dickenson. “Hamilton’s playing some good ball. I think you’ve gotta give Hamilton credit, you’ve gotta give [head coach Orlondo Steinauer] credit. They’re playing hard and they’re doing what they need to do to win.”
The Riders and Ticats currently have identical 6-10 records, which means Saskatchewan will need to finish with a better mark than Hamilton over the next two weeks in order to make the postseason. The Ticats are entering a home-and-home series against the Redblacks, who have been more competitive since making a coaching change.
“We’re still holding out hope. Ottawa’s playing better, [head] coach [Bob] Dyce is doing a good job out there with them and we’ve gotta take care of our own business and then we’ll figure out where we’re at after that,” said Dickenson.
The Dickenson brothers will be seeing plenty of each other over the next two weeks as the Riders and Stamps play a home-and-home of their own. Craig has been in touch with Dave briefly ahead of Saturday’s game at Mosaic Stadium, though football hasn’t been the primary topic of conversation.
“[We’ve talked] a little bit, mostly like where we’re going to eat on Friday night and who’s buying,” said Dickenson with a chuckle. “And of course, I’m buying like usual.”