Trying times for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL, and a trying time for the team’s many fans. The string of losses have been bad, but Rider Nation was obliterated this week when news broke that head coach, Craig Dickenson would be benching the starter QB, who played with an injured knee for the majority of the season, and in favor of Mason Fine.
Let’s be honest here, folks. Dickenson has proven before that he is not in his position to win popularity contests. The way he handled the Garrett Marino situation, or rather fiasco, earlier this season, didn’t ingratiate him to many in the CFL universe, much less the Riders’ own fan base. And now, he sees fit to rip any shred of dignity Cody Fajardo has left.
We’re talking about a great human being here…really. Cody Fajardo is a great guy, and a great football player that has fallen to a difficult period. Wasn’t it just a few short months ago that Fajardo himself came to the rescue, having a stellar game against the BC Lions…bringing home the win? Indeed it was.
Let’s face it folks…sports stars have bad periods. Let me fill you in on a shocking bunch of statements: Mike Tyson has lost. Michael Jordan has lost. Ronda Rousey has lost. Wayne Gretzky has lost. Juventus have lost. The New York Yankees have lost.
Sports icons have bad times, and instead of their support system crumbling around them, perhaps if the support was a tad stronger…. I won’t finish that sentence.
In the end, Fajardo being taken out at this late stage of the season is a bad move. They have two games left and they have to win, or specifically as I stated last time… “The only way the Riders make the playoffs is if they win and the Ti-Cats lose or end up with a split with the Redblacks in their last two games, or if they manage a split with Calgary and the Ti-Cats end up losing both of their last two games of the season with Ottawa…”
In the end, if you want to win, don’t in a panic, and change your QB at the last minute.
Now look, it may go well for Dickenson in the end, he may pull it out and truthfully the sad state of affairs would be that in this horrendous action, he ends up looking like a hero as does Fine by association to this act.
It’s plain wrong. Fajardo is not hurt…or at least no more hurt than he has been all season (or most of it)…to take him out now, you are ruining the reputation of a great football player and a great man. Craig Dickenson had and has a responsibility to all of his players, including Cody. No one and their reputation should be expendable, and yes he was paid for his efforts, but it has rubbed many the wrong way.
With this move, Dickenson essentially said: You know what, we need to win these games…you’re not good enough I think, and now, we’re going with someone else. Thanks for playing with a bad knee and all, but now you’re out…
Big business sports…. Is that the answer you have for me? Well, they can have it. In soccer if an attacker/forward is having trouble; if he’s not getting those shots on net or scoring their points, should the coach give up? No.
I actually have proof of just this: The recent Euro Cup, Italy…when Ciro Immobile wasn’t scoring, did head coach, Roberto Mancini, take him out? No he didn’t. He stuck with him. And what happened in the end?
I’ll tell you what happened: Collectively, because the machine that was then the Italian national team that had played together throughout the qualifications, then the tournament itself, pulled out a win and won the Euro Cup.
The expression, ‘well now we’ll never know’ comes to mind here.
Would Cody have pulled out the victory in these two games? Would the Riders ever have made the playoffs with Cody…?
Questions we’ll never get the answers to.
And even if they do win, we still won’t know that the decision to play Fine instead was a good one, because none of us know with all certainty that Cody himself would have done badly or better.
It sounds confusing as all hell, but really in the end, this isn’t right; I guess that’s the simple part to decipher.
Veteran journalist, Rob Vanstone, said it extremely well in the header to his recent piece on this situation, which you can read by clicking here, as you most definitely should: Regina Leader-Post. But the header goes like this: “Just when it seemed like the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 2022 season couldn’t get any goofier, the decision was made to demote Cody Fajardo.“
By the time I was done with the rough draft of this piece, Cody Fajardo was trending on Twitter, and all because of this mess and horrible decision….
And how does Cody Fajardo feel about all of this? See for yourselves, dear readers, in some comments he recently made after the decision was made official:
“I hope there’s somebody out there that might still want me. I don’t think it’s the end of the Cody Fajardo football book, I think it might just be the end of the chapter. It’s tough to say, you never know but it’s difficult to go out like this…
Your last home game and not be able to start and you have no idea what’s going to happen in the off-season…I love everybody in this building and this organization gave me an opportunity to play, the first organization that really gave me a lot of confidence and pride and took pride in me and so it’s bittersweet…
It’s going to be a tough, difficult off-season and I gotta think and take time with my wife. I got a baby now, so I’ve gotta take a lot of things into account but I don’t think my playing days are over and I hope I can stay in the CFL for more years to come.”via Cody Fajardo
If your heart isn’t breaking for this guy and his fans right now…. I guess I’ll let Foreigner say the rest…
“You’re as cold as ice
You’re willing to sacrifice our love
You never take advice
Someday you’ll pay the price, I know
I’ve seen it before, it happens all the time
You’re closing the door, you leave the world behind
You’re digging for gold, you’re throwing away
A fortune in feelings, but someday you’ll pay…”
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