October 24, 2008
'Riders getting richer
By JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA
REGINA -- Random thoughts and observations as the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders get set to meet tomorrow at Mosaic Stadium (5 p.m., CHED, TSN).
- Rider Nation continues to bleed green and white - and to take green bills out of their bank accounts.
The money pouring into the Roughriders' bank account this season is a story on its own.
For the 17th straight game, the Riders will play in front of a sold-out crowd tomorrow at Mosaic Stadium.
That word came out yesterday when the ticket office closed after selling nearly 31,000 tickets.
This comes one week after the community organization held its annual Plaza of Honour Dinner at the Queensbury Centre in Regina.
A record 1,431 people attended and essentially delivered a $267,500 profit for the Riders.
The dinner is now referred to as one of the highlights on the yearly provincial social calendar.
- On a related topic, the Eskimos annual dinner Wednesday night attracted 963 people.
At $300 per ticket, the proceeds went to the club's Champions in the Community programs.
The Eskimos, by the way, don't reveal how much money is raised from their annual dinner.
- The Riders will get feared pass rusher John Chick back on the roster this week, Sun Media has learned.
It has been a frustrating year for the defensive end, having spent two different stints on the nine-game injured list.
When asked how many games he has missed this year, Chick replied: "I can't count that far."
Joking aside, he has missed 10 games for a variety of issues.
If the Riders hadn't swallowed the bullet and taken Chick off the nine-game list early in the first and second half of the year, he would still be on the sidelines.
An incredible force in the 2007 post-season for the Riders - three quarterback sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in three games - Chick has only played in six games this year.
During his first stint on injured reserve this year he missed the Riders' game in Edmonton in Week 9 when the Esks rolled for 225 rushing yards.
- Stevie Baggs will not get a shot at redemption against the Eskimos tomorrow.
The Riders defensive end will not be on the field because of an MCL injury suffered last weekend.
Baggs played in seven games for the Esks last year (12 tackles and one sack) before being cut loose.
- Edmonton's struggles at Mosaic Stadium have been well documented over the last couple of years.
With one win in their last nine regular-season games in Regina, it has not been a pleasant place for the Eskimos.
Riders defensive tackle Scott Schultz was mulling over an idea yesterday to make the Esks' three-day stay in this city even more uncomfortable.
"Any little edge we can get. You know, maybe we will put some itching powder in the sheets at the Hotel Sask," said Schultz, referring to the Eskimos' hotel in downtown Regina.