Why so soon? Chris Jones extension premature for Riders

I’m thinking of writing a CFL movie about the 2018 season.

Fade in….. We are in the boardroom of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the General Manager stands in front of a long table of board members. He is dressed in all black from head to toe and is inexplicably wearing sunglasses inside.

GM: Hey y’all, I’m gonna need another year on my contract.

Board: Why is that?

GM: Well, my contract expires after this season, and I know I am the highest paid guy in the league at what I do, so I think I’m gonna stay here a little longer.

Board: Your record as a head coach and GM is 15-23 and you haven’t placed better than fourth in your division despite having almost an entire second roster to choose from last year. Not to mention that you have led the league in fines….

GM: I know

The head of the board pauses for a moment, then stands.

Board: Let me get my checkbook.

Of course that could only happen in the movies, right? Wrong. The architect of the West Division’s second worst record this season has been rewarded with an extra year on his contract.

Those who know me well know I have no issue with taking the Roughriders to task over almost any issue, but as an outsider to the situation, this one truly astounds me.

Why now? That’s the sticking point for me. I also know the first comments that will hit below so let me address those now.

“But Ryan, how can you sign free agents if you are a lame duck GM and Coach?” There are two answers to this. First, you sell the player on the team and emphasize that winning is just as important to you because without wins, you won’t get an extension. Second, no job is guaranteed anyway, ask any coach who has signed in Montreal since 2013. Lose and you will get fired, extension or not.

“We won 5 more games this year than last year” And? Still wasn’t good enough to host a playoff game, let alone get into the Grey Cup. There are (misguided) people in Calgary calling for the heads of John Hufnagel and Dave Dickenson because the Stamps have lost back-to-back Grey Cups. Saskatchewan should hold itself to a better standard than 10-8. Yet, one game above mediocrity is rewarded with three quarters of a million dollars or more.

There were rumblings last year after a 2-4 start that Jones was in danger of losing his job. A dominant performance against the then West Division leading BC Lions changed the narrative. All of a sudden there was hope in Riderville that the team had turned it around. Then they beat an injury ravaged Eskimos team, and won on Labour Day and the parade on Piffles was planned.

The rest of the way they went 1-3 against teams that finished above the .500 mark.

Not exactly a glowing record. Especially when you consider that the one victory came against a Calgary squad that was one point away from clinching the division with 3 games left and had shifted into injury prevention and playbook protection mode.

So again, it begs the question, why now? It is possible that the Saskatchewan Roughriders are afraid of letting Jones hit the open market. There are no attractive coaching positions this year, but Jones has shown in the past a willingness to move on. Through his coaching career he has only stayed in a place for more than four years once and his last two stops before landing in Regina lasted just two years each.

Jones also lives in a hotel while in Regina and his family is home in Tennessee. I know he is only there to win football games, but if you dated someone for a little more than two years without meeting their family, you might question their commitment to the relationship.

So now, the board put a promise ring around their sweethearts finger and are hoping that the relationship will continue chugging along towards something long term. But, if the Riders stumble out of the gate, that ring could end up being $750,000 flushed down the tubes while Jones couch surfs.


Ryan Ballantine

Ryan Ballantine

Ryan is a lifelong Stamps fan and host of the Horsemen Radio Podcast. He has been covering the team since 2008.
Ryan Ballantine
Ryan Ballantine
About Ryan Ballantine (29 Articles)
Ryan is a lifelong Stamps fan and host of the Horsemen Radio Podcast. He has been covering the team since 2008.

146 Comments on Why so soon? Chris Jones extension premature for Riders

  1. Provemewrong // December 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm //

    There is that giant brain trust who run the sliders. Just think 1.5 Million for 15 wins. BRILLIANT!!! So, when the sliders go 8-10 in 2018, and Jones has to be fired, YOU GET TO PAY HIM TO SIT AT HOME for a year. Or, if he actually turns the sliders into a plus 500 team, as soon a Jones can get some interest from a US Collage he will be GONE!!!

    • Shirley White // December 18, 2017 at 7:40 am //

      I AGREE with 3Down Nation. My husband and I have been Season ticket holders for 19 years but will probably not renew this year. Craig Reynolds and The Board are wasting our money. Jones is Not a community man. He has only been “moderately” successful. He is Not a good representative of RiderNation. I would rather lose games with another coach than win with Jones.

      • Angus Jackson // December 18, 2017 at 10:35 am //

        Please let us know where your seats are because I might want a crack at them before the 2,000 plus on the waiting list does.

      • Well then Shirley you should move to Montreal. Because that’s what they are doing there. So you go ahead and in your own words find your nice community minded man that you would rather lose football games with. That is stupidity at its finest. Guess what sweet heart. There is thousands of people lined up to take your seasons tickets. Good bye… don’t let the door hit you in the sss on your way out.

        • Your lack of tolerance, ignorance and disrespect is shocking. A lack of properly functioning grey matter between your ears has become a large problem for you. Shirley, I appreciated your comment and agree with you.

  2. stomp into 2018 // December 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm //

    Excellent Ryan
    You couldn’t have said it better (BTW I love your podcast)
    I showed rider fans a simple analytic yesterday how a mediocre 10-8 record was on the backs of a terrible east division. Its also worth pointing out that wins against BC, Edmonton and Calgary all came at the front end of struggles for these team (each went on to have losing streaks).
    What is a 1 year extension anyways? It’s nothing but window dressing.
    I’ve said for 2 years that signing Jones cannot end well for any team. Lose and he’s fired. Win his stock goes up and he’ll jump ship in a heart beat for another CFL job or the NCAA. Consider too he was given title of GM, HC, DC, VP. His sudden departure would leave the riders having to fill so many roles. It would be devastating.
    For an organization wanting to model itself after Calgary the hiring of Jones is counter active. This guy has shown NO loyalty in is career and living out of a hotel room shows nothing as changed. How can a guy so vital to the organization not live there? How can you not be spending your non scouting times during the off season in the riders office? If you worked for a company, held 4 top titles and earned 3/4 of a million annual do you thing you’d get away with that?

  3. That’s the current Rider approach, let’s throw some money around and a lot of money. Let’s buy a winning team. 287 million for a new stadium, that’s part of it. And if they bend a few rules along the way, or a lot of rules, well hey, it’s not how you play the game it’s whether you win or lose. They take their football too damn seriously for their own good.

    • Ok let’s not build a new stadium then. Or should we have upgraded Avery old stadium. That was a idiotic comment. 287 million for a new stadium in this day and age is fairly cheap. Bigger and cheaper than all other new stadiums being built. A city like Calgary isn’t even close to building a stadium for either if their teams. When and if they do I guarantee it will cost more

      • I’m not a Calgary fan. Could you please present the figures that validate the new stadium in Regina is cost effective compared to other stadium ventures.

      • Angus Jackson // December 18, 2017 at 10:44 am //

        The new stadium in Regina was a collaborative effort involving very defined stakeholders, a P3 structure, and wise fiscal management:

        1. The city gets a new stadium for less than refurbishing Old Mosaic would cost. The city recovers its capital investment of $90 million by redeveloping and selling the old site. Win-Win for taxpayers and the city. Not to mention the new stadium site has now cleaned up one helluva mess that otherwise had no plans.

        2. The Riders have become a shareholder in the new stadium with their $25 million + investment. In effect, the Riders have dramatically increased the clubs value by investing in new Mosaic. Plus the Riders now have some landlord opportunities within – that are now revenue streams.

        3. The fans get rewarded for their support. This stadium is NFL caliber only on a smaller scale. Fan response has been very positive.

        4. Players and coaches get a better facility to work in, and this will be attractive to new talent ongoing.

        I know this author is biased towards the Stamps, so I ask him – how on earth will the Stamps get a new or improved facility? Nobody cares enough in Cowtown to become a stakeholder in anything new. I foresee another decade for the Stamps in that old tub.

  4. When I got to the bottom of the article and saw Ryan was a Stamps fan, I wasn’t surprised.

  5. First…It is not ANYWAYS, it is ANYWAY. For one who spews off as much as you do, at least do it in proper English. Maybe mom can throw a book or two in with the meal tray she slides under the door.
    I let the first 99 slide but for one who is so arrogant, you’d think they at least would know a thing or two.
    Next. You say he could not have said it better but yet, there you go trying to do it yourself.
    If you listen to no one else, at least listen to other stamp fans and stop embarrassing them.

    • Provemewrong // December 17, 2017 at 4:55 pm //

      You should have used a semicolon after “First”
      “Maybe mom” should be “your” mom, other wise it looks like you share the same mother.
      You used, “you’d think they”. That is plural, when it should a world that is singular, as in “you”.

      You are welcome.

      • I was referring to the generic ‘one’, not a particular ‘one’. I also don’t go around like I am perfect, and like I know everything. I can be bad with the proper use of colons, semi-colons etc but I do know my words. I can also admit to my mistakes, unlike a certain other here.
        No, we don’t share the same mother. Mom used in that context was used as a title. I was not addressing her. Your Welcome.

    • stomp into 2018 // December 17, 2017 at 5:05 pm //

      Does giving a deflective English lesson change the truth of this article?? You know it’s true.

      • No it does not. But where else are you going to enter into an online football forum and encounter a punctuation, grammar debate. It’s absolutely priceless when you stop to think about it. Besides that what are you worried about. Your the star of the show. They respond to you more that to the topic that is presented.

      • Truth or bullcrap, stompeder fan?

      • It makes more sense than you turning a tread about ANYTHING other than the Stamps and Riders INTO the stamps and Riders. When it comes to sticking to the topic, you are the LAST one who should criticize Sparky.

  6. When the other CFL fans said that “3DN is just a bunch of a$$hats masquerading as sportswriters” I said: “No, they’re just plying their craft and there’s bound to be a few glitches along the way.”
    When they said “3DN likes to write controversial articles about the Riders because that’s where the most clicks come from,” I said: “Well, they have to have a large enough readership to justify their existence and to earn their pennies from the little advertisements on their site.”
    When they asked “Why do they let a barely literate doofus like Ryan Ballantine write barely readable hate articles for them,” I said: “Ryan is just frustrated that his team finds so many new and imaginative ways to lose Grey Cup games.”
    When they asked, “How do Calgary Stampeder fans figure out the answer to the captcha questions when they comment on 3DN articles?” I said, “I truly have no idea because the 3DN crew wouldn’t know either.”

    • stomp into 2018 // December 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm //

      Some buttons have been pushed!
      Personal insult is the signature of vitriol and vitriol is the signature of truth exposed.

    • Have to admit, this made me laugh. Appreciate the constructive feedback. As to the last two Grey Cups, while I was appropriately disappointed in the way they ended, I continue to take solace in the fact that any season that doesn’t end with a Grey Cup Championship for the Calgary Stampeders is considered a “choke”.

      It is certainly a nice problem to have.

    • Ehat the Roughrisers have to do with the Stompeders is beyond me. Continue to encourage me in my laughter!

    • LMFAO hilarious!

  7. If you are a Stamps booster why concern yourself about the Riders. You do need to look at the stamps staff. Questions are legitimate. Calgary only made it to the GC because Maas can’t subtract 3 from 7.

    • As an unapologetic Stamps fan, I don’t feel that disqualifies me from having an opinion about other teams. Just like you offered your advice regarding the Calgary coaches. No harm, no foul. Thanks for reading!

  8. Just another article from 3Downnation for stomp into 2018 to redo his Side Show Bob impression………you are a serious joke.

  9. I totally agree. The Riders were lucky to win a lot of tight games last year. IMO if Willie Jefferson had a season ending injury they would have been screwed big time

    • This is a laughably false statement. Where are these “lots of tight game” wins? They lost their first two games by a total of 4 points, and had ANOTHER one point loss later in the season. Of the 10 wins, weren’t all but 2 by 9 or more points? Before making dramatic statements about things, you should be sure it doesn’t take less than 3 seconds to find that you are completely incorrect, and that the facts actually demonstrate the exact opposite of the point you were attempting to make.

  10. stomp into 2018 // December 17, 2017 at 5:38 pm //

    If Willie Jefferson goes down, the rider won’t win a game

  11. True green // December 17, 2017 at 5:50 pm //

    Revelation!! Ryan Ballantine IS Donkey, Stomp into 2018, Horsie and all the other pseudonyms he replies to his own posts with. Now I understand the reason for the grating personality; he was beat like a red headed step child. Finally we get to put a face to the name!! And here I though Donk was Justin

    • Don’t be owned true green , that’s Lancasters job

    • Just my second post here, so only one other to comment on.

      Also, no other identity but my own. I will always be very public about who I am when it comes to internet opinions, because I am not interested in hiding behind a user name of avatar.

      *Not intended as an insult, just how I choose to live my life.*

    • @ True Green- I was thinking that very same thing, in fact I was studying how they both write and use punctuations, almost a mirror image, SAD, A writer who’s so pathetic, he needs to play the roll of judge and jury just to keep his article live!! 3DN should look in to this, perhaps Ryan/Donkey should be fined like Jones

  12. stomp into 2018 // December 17, 2017 at 5:57 pm //

    Jones brags of a 3 year plan. He didn’t accomplish it after 2. Why an extension? Other than Jones has the power to dictate what Chris Jones wants.

    • Please DO explain. How exactly does one accomplish a 3 year plan in two years.
      On second thought, never mind. Your ‘logic’ will make your explanation as odd as every thing else you spew forth. Thanks for the laugh. Does make me wonder who does the math for you on every post though.

      • Hey Dave, I think Ryan uses the same math that many Stamps fans use. You know, the math where they keep losing Grey Cup games but still think they’re the champs that year? I think it’s called Denial Math 101. It’s a very popular course in Calgary.

  13. Quite frankly I don’t blame Mr. Jones and all the other football ops executives who also got an extension. If the damn fools who run this club are going to throw all this money around, why not take the time and pick it up.

  14. Get Canadian // December 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm //

    This logic is truly bizarre.
    So if the Riders win, you’re left having to pay a king’s ransom at the end of the year.
    If they lose, I’m left wondering where the coach’s focus is — on improving the team or finding another job.
    Extending 1 year for the improvement to date is eminently sound.
    Arguing that you should do nothing exposes you as either a very shallow thinker or more likely, a closet Stampeder fan.

    • Trust me, he ain’t a CLOSET fan. We can only WISH for that.

      • Your right BC Dave. I ain’t no closet fan. Never have been a fan of closets. Nor have I ever been a Stamps fan. Never could understand where that came from.

        • Sorry Thunder. I mis-read. I thought someone was calling the loud, arrogant Sparky a closet Stampeder fan. That is what I responded too but, as I said, I mis-read.

    • No Get Canadian, with all due respect your missing the point. I made the point that the Rider’s are trying to buy success. I completely disagree with that approach. Whether they win or lose is of no consequence to myself. Your “kings ransom” comment seems to imply that you are in agreement with myself in regard to the overspending. It’s how you play the game not whether you win or lose that defines individuals and organizations.

      • How are they buying success. Like teams of the past? If you add the GM salary along with the coach and D coordinator they all make that and more. Your comment does not have any merit. If you add all the years of the CFL in salary paid out. Riders are last. When the Riders for the first time in 100 years have money, you all hate and are very jelouse of the organization. Worry about what’s for supper, not the Riders

        • Could you make the results of your research public. This is something you should not keep to yourself.

        • The Riders are used to paying fired coaches & GM’s. They were paying both Taman & Chamblain for a couple of years. The point is, Mr Green, that they are a community owned club & have a responsibility to use the money wisely. Paying a coach/ GM around 750K is not responsible, especially for the kind of results to date & doesn’t merit an extension unless there is an adjustment down in salary based upon results to date. After all, I am reading where, should Collaros end up in Regina, that should only happen with a salary decrease. Fair enough based upon results lately. So why is no one applying the same criteria to Jones? Based upon what he might never do – win a Cup? Haven’t you wasted enough money on past coaches & mgmt, never mind the 500K annual Durant took out of the club the past few years? You’re slow learners. In the West there are at least 3 teams with better QB’s. Good chance you’ll have trouble finishing higher than 4th. Thus the hysteria about getting Franklin even now he’s been traded elsewhere. Extension? Bad move. Should wait to see how next season goes. He isn’t getting 750K elsewhere.

    • I’d suggest Jones current pay grade is already a king’s ransom. Should the Riders come out of the gate 1-6, or 2-5, does he still have a job? I’m not suggesting that extending Jones was a bad idea in general, I just disagree with the timing.

      • Hey Ryan it’s an awesome article ,you don’t have to justify anything to sliders fans ,just ignore them and let them continue to be happy with last place or 4th place finishes as they are just trying to make some noise to see if anyone cares about them being stuck in the basement for so long.Keep up the good work Ryan .

        • The Riders had a winning season, not a losing one.
          The Riders made playoffs.
          The Riders won a playoff game and were less than two minutes and one play away from the Grey Cup.

          To those of you who love to describe the team as “sliders”, I would suggest you pump the brakes just a little. If the team improves as much in 2018 as it did in 2017, what would it look like? What will even a little improvement look like?

          Would you stake your credibility on the statement that the team will be worse next year?

  15. Omg what a useless article from some Idiot Calgary columnist!
    Then you get the same idiots who like to analyze and degrade anything Rider related.
    Why don’t you losers try to analyze why you choke in the post season so much.
    Sick of turd down nation garbage articles .

    • He’s not a columnist. He runs his own podcast out of his mom’s basement. Full credit for earning some spending money (outside of his allowance) doing what he loves.

  16. wow. Is that all you got to think or talk about so you can forget another choking from the so called best team in the league. Vitriol so called journalism at it’s best. Go clean toilets at McMahon you duffus. You know nothing about what goes on with other CFL teams. Bet Shit disturber fans come from Calgary. Go figure.

  17. BleedzGreen // December 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm //

    A butthurt Stamps fan critiquing the Riders… This site has reached an all-time low.

    • Just for clarification, what am I “butthurt” about?

      • BleedzGreen // December 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm //


        • BigRedMachine // December 18, 2017 at 8:06 pm //

          Seems to me the only butthurt fans around here are the ones who can’t debate an opinion piece without resorting to name calling and other assorted put downs…

          • BleedzGreen // December 19, 2017 at 3:07 pm //

            I don’t debate asinine opinion, especially opinion designed to antagonize (and in this case generate web traffic). You may have noticed that I don’t debate the resident jackass on this site either (i.e. ‘stomp into 2018’). If you’re bent on starting an argument, I’m sure he’ll reciprocate.

  18. You keep talking on hoe much money Jones makes. What do others make thst do the dame jobs as him i would like to know . And if it so easy to have create a winning club why do the eastern team continue to have a losing records year after year

    • There was a 5-13 club from last year who rebuilt the team into a GC winner within a year. The other 5-13 team finished 4th in the West but there’s hope. Just ask their fans. They’re predicting a GC win this year – AGAIN.

  19. Lancaster/Reed // December 17, 2017 at 6:45 pm //

    If you wanted more proof that the average stamps fan is dangerously obsessed with the riders every move, look no further than this article.

  20. This writer is a biased writer. It’s his poor opinion. First of all how much does Dickinson, Hufnagek and Claybrooks all make together? Those are the titles Jones holds. For throwing money around, pre cap era, the Riders for many many many years spent a lot less than everyone else. Stamps fans crying about his 750 when the league allowed a terrible Flutie rule and Calgary paid him 1 million a season. That is hypocritical. Riders went 17 thousand over the cap once, due to injuries when Chamblin and Taman could easily have kept it under but never used the injury list to it’s advantage like everyone does now. An extension shows commitment from both sides. You don’t wanna change philosophy every year or 2. You need stability.
    This was the worst article I’ve seen in a long g time. What’s also hypocritical from his guy, he blames a lot, if not all of the Grey cup loss to Jordan and they resign him, which they should have. Players learn from mistakes, so do coaches and GM’s.

    Hey “Sports writer”, you know nothing. It was a smart football move. The guy has missed the playoffs once up here. Was seconds from advancing to a Grey cup. He has improved the team and as an organization you show confidence. You hate on the Riders yet many get rewarded for not winning yet? Did you write about Trevor Harris? Even thought away made the right move. You can’t run an organization scared. Commitment and support goes a long way. That’s what happens made many stories great. CJ is a great football mind. You don’t fire people for showing improvement. If you did, there would be no great sport stories or movies from this stories. Worst article ever by a major @#$&$%\#!

    • No idea what the salaries are for the Calgary coaches and GM. I only mentioned his salary because it was discussed by our own Darrell Davis in his article on this site praising the move.

      I don’t feel like this was the wrong move, I just would have waited to see how 2018 started before making it. If the Riders stumble out of the gate, Jones could still be fired which makes the extension a costly mistake.

      Also, I feel like you might be assuming I have written some things on here that I haven’t. No worries though, thanks for reading this one too.

    • How quaint – a biased writer. That never happens here. Pot meet kettle.

  21. Argos2017Champs // December 17, 2017 at 6:56 pm //

    This site has devolving into nothing more than BS.

    This SOB Ballantine calls himself a journalist. Just another butt slammed Stamps fan who just can’t take it other than in the rear bwahahaha

    Enjoy the off season LOSERS!!!!!

    • Sometimes comments get taken down from here, I hope this doesn’t.

      The unneeded references to my mother and the implications regarding my sexuality are interesting choices to make given I offered my opinion about a football team. Hopefully we can raise the level of discourse going forward.

      Finally, the one thing that wasn’t an insult was the implication that I believe myself to be a journalist. I don’t. I am nothing but a podcaster who provides interesting enough content to have been offered an opportunity by the fine folks here as another place to share it.

      Thanks for reading!

  22. Get Canadian // December 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm //

    Thunderbolt, you missed by 270 degrees addressing my argument.
    Your main point seems to be you think the Riders overpaid for Coach Jones. If that is your true point, then make that.

    But your strategy of doing nothing just is borderline nonsensical. There’s only 1 scenario of many where it could make sense — if the Riders do so poorly, a midseason coaching change is necessary. All other scenarios render the do nothing strategy as frankly, poor.

  23. One other thing Ryan Ballentine. Calgary kept paying Flutie a million dollars a season. The scouting on him was he could not win when it matter most, in the cold weather. He eventually proved that wrong. By your brain dead logic no one would get a chance to improve, learn, adapt and have an opportunity to succeed. Same with the Argos. Ray looked done, Trestman also gave him a vote of confidence. He returned the favor big time by winning the biggest game of the year. Your a joke. Stay in the basement and continue your podcast to the 5 Stamp fans who tune in. Obviously you don’t reply to comments on here because the math questions for you are to hard.

    • Yep, contracts prior to the SMS era were ridiculous. Thankfully, that can’t happen anymore.

      As to the math, I used up all my fingers and toes and made it happen! 😉

  24. Baltimore CFLer // December 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm //

    Anyone catch the Steelers/Patriots game? Big Ben pulled a Bo Levi on the last play.

  25. All right fine, the Riders have overpaid Chris Jones. I believe I made that point absolutely and completely clear. Seems to have escaped you though. Happy now.
    In regard to the comment “strategy of doing nothing”, I really don’t know what the hell your talking about.

    • If your the writer, your poster name doesn’t surprise me. Very much an ego name. Your point is wrong Jones is not overpaid. Compare his salary to the 3 titles he holds to Hufnagel, Dickinson ( guy who sounds terrible and can’t talk in interviews making no sense and bumbling words) and Claybrooks. I bet Calgary paysm more for those 3. Dickenson will be fired before Jones. He’s no HC. In fact he’s terrible, just inherited a good team. My point, your opinion comes out of hate. I’ve been reading sports articles longer than you. This could be the worst I’ve ever seen in any sport. Pathetic and sad man. Pathetic and sad. The article starts as arrogant and rude. All black in sun glasses. Get your head out of your a$$.

      • I’m not a Calgary fan buddy, sorry. How do you know you’ve reading sports articles longer than me? Are you sure about that?????

      • BigRedMachine // December 18, 2017 at 12:42 am //

        Sorry to burst your bubble but currently the Riders have 13 coaches including the GM position covered by Jones. The Stampeders have 9 coaches plus Huff as GM for a total of 10. However, coach Carter’s contract was not renewed so there is currently a vacancy for a total of 11. Still two less than the Riders despite Jones serving as GM, HC, and DC…

      • greenenvy? // December 18, 2017 at 1:10 am //

        Stamps have the leanest coaching staff in the CFL. Easy for you to check out. Riders habe an NFL sized coaching staff along with 2 Asst VP’s of football operations. You are assuming, Mr Green that Jones fulfills the roles of all his duties to earn the salary. He has more assistants in mgmt & on the coaching staff, who are all also highly paid to help him with his duties. And don’t even get me started on his scouting staff. It is widely known that Jones was primarily hired to coach. Most of the Rider roster comes from free agents & castoffs from other clubs. Look at the starters. Your top 3 QB’s all are ex-Als. I won’t bore you by going through the rest of the roster.

  26. Well Thunderbolt, you at least articulated that your point that you think Jones is overpaid. One for you. But the point of your article is you don’t think that was a wise move.
    But please you and I both now that is indeed stating your position on Chris Jones’ future, which could either be fire him or do nothing (play out the year). Sir, I humbly offer you the floor to explain which it is and why that move is right for this football team. Because if you can show me how that is logical for the braintrust operating this team, then that would constitute an objective argument rather than one based purely on the emotion of hoping the Riders and Jones fail.

    • To answer your first point the time has come for Chris Jones to validate his salary and reputation. He is in his 3rd year of running football ops. The Riders need to make the playoffs and make some noise. Should that be accomplished there is reason to move forward with him. Should that not be the case the Riders need to reevaluate. Are we getting enough bang for the buck? I have previously stated if you’ve read my posts that I don’t agree with how they do business. Why I don’t agree has been made perfectly clear. I see no need to rehash them.

  27. Colour me green // December 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm //

    So now we have troll journalists as well on this website. Not surprising that it is a stamps fan. No bias there.

    New low for this site

  28. Green Pastures // December 17, 2017 at 9:09 pm //

    No love. Not even at Christmas time.

  29. I’ll keep it short. Ballantine is an idiot.

  30. Bentley Lewis // December 17, 2017 at 9:54 pm //

    He’s a Whaapeders fan..So really who gives a rats ass what he has to say….Oh and hows that new stadium coming in Calgary lol…..

  31. Neither a Stamps nor a Riders fan (Go Cats Go!). Why can’t an article be appreciated and critiqued for its content without the childish rhetoric between Riders and Stamps fans. It is wearing thin. Hey, I have an idea – why don’t you folks set up your own blog – I am sure one of your ill can show u how.

  32. Loved reading this column and comments from butthurt Stamp fans. They are so sheepish right now after completely eclipsing the 09 grey cup with not one but two devastating chokes in consecutive years. These stamp fans know that the riders are back and on track to displace the stamps as the leaders of the league and are resorting to the only thing they know, trying to belittle the riders and their fans. I say bring it on, it wreaks of your desperation with every sentence, which makes me smile even wider.

  33. I’ll should have read ‘ilk’ – damn spellcheck

  34. Hey Ryan, Worry about your own team, you know the red guys that are slowing going down, and I LIKE it.

  35. It’s funny, I only see a butthurt Stamp fan writing these articles. Believe me rider fans desire nothing of Calgarys, your rat infested sports facilities are the laughing stock of the sporting world. Your cocky quarterback produced one of the nicest moments in CFL history, that interception was a thing of beauty. Your natural reaction is to attack the riders with your petty comments and articles, it is completely laughable.

    • greenenvy? // December 18, 2017 at 1:18 am //

      That QB sneak for an Argo TD in the last minute of the final was pretty neat too. Knocking a club for losing a Cup is best left to someone who was actually in it, don’t you think?

  36. Nice try Ballantine. New shiny stadium, rabid year-round interest in the football team, rivaling U.S college zeal, the most entertaining football they’ve had in decades, a team on the rise…and your keen football intellect tells you they should start from scratch again. Great article. Try watching a few cfl games next year, instead of squinting at stat sheets.

    • Thanks to all who took the time to read and comment! The overwhelming reaction to this opinion piece shows how dedicated a community 3DownNation is becoming. I can only hope to continue the growth!

      • I have no issues with your article. You put a story out there and I feel, since you say you are not a journalist but a blogger, your opinion has a place in the story (as opposed to a journalist whose job it is to report facts).
        Some will agree, some will not. I have more of an issue, as do SOOOO many on here, with Horsie/donkey/Sparky constantly insulting other, saying one thing in a thread to insult someone and then say the opposite in another thread to insult someone else. He is nothing more than a shi* disturber here and I really wish be could be banned. The stories and comments/discussions would be so much more informative and entertaining. It has been proven the few times he was given a (too short) rest from here and the times we managed to ignore his comments as if they were not visible to anyone. He left tat thread for others and the quality of those threads was excellent with good comments from all fans of all teams.

      • I find it a little funny and sad at the same time that 3downnation went ahead with your completely bias article. I almost thought for a while that they were an actual source for real sporting news although completely inaccurate at times, but this is so transparently a Stamp fan trying to ease the pain of a devastating grey cup loss by deflecting attention to the riders and 3D running this article is a desperate attempt to get more followers from the rider fan base.

  37. You only sparked the Jones lovers who have no facts other than having won Grey Cup rings with other teams where he was never a GM, was not responsible for finding talent and never stayed long. They are all so proud of him having moved from last place in the west to fourth place that they overlook the fact that, going into his third year, it is still anyone’s guess who the starting quarterback will be. He has also divided Rider Nation like I didn’t think was possible. Oh and don’t forget they were only seconds from making the Grey Cup game. But totally criticize Calgary who was only seconds away from winning the Grey Cup. And when push comes to shove, the self proclaimed “true” Rider fan reverts to name calling, belittlement and weird conspiracy theories. But no worries, they still think they are “Canada’s team”!

  38. Lol! I haven’t read the comments yet, so I’m probably repeating, but … PANIC IN THE PADDOCK!!! Stamps fans are hearing footsteps!! And well they should. Who beat them 30-7 in week 18? Yes indeed, it was the Riders. The Nags are hobbled and stumbling, and the Riders are ascendant! A better question would be, why did we only sign him for one year? That was the mistake, imo, but hopefully one that can be resolved with money and not the loss of a dynasty. If we host a home playoff game next year Reynolds should just put the checkbook on the table and tell Jones to fill in his own number. The improvement in this team over the course of this year in particular was amazing. For those of us who follow football have seen the talent coming in right from day one, but it wasn’t until in the second third of this year that that talent really began to gel into a team, and we went on a roll crushing BC, Edmonton and Winnipeg in successive weeks and posting an 8-4 record over the last dozen games, including the very satisfying thrashing of the Stampeders. As good as that record was there are still some holes in our roster. We don’t yet have a top tier QB, although one may have emerged last year in Brandon Bridge. Although much improved we still had some issues with the OL in the latter half of last year. We did acquire a good group of young prospects last year however, and Jones also showed that he can find the right veterans to step in and help us out too. There is great optimism in Riderland this off season, which is in great contrast to the heartache and trepidation that have taken over in Stampsland. If I was Ballantine I’d be panicking a bit about the Riders too.

    • And what if they slip back to the basement this year? No guarantee of having Bridge next season. Could be stuck with Kevin Glenn again. If they fall to the basement again, then what? Coaches’ contracts are guaranteed. How many years do you want to be stuck with a three quarters of a million dollar contract? Hopefully, they have learned enough from the past to not give out long expensive contracts that can haunt a team for many years. Every team thinks they can be on top next year. No team goes into a season believing they will be in the basement but somebody had to be. A one year extension with a wait and see and prove it attitude is far more responsible and fiscally sustainable.

      • pantsonfire // December 18, 2017 at 11:29 am //

        Perfectly logical. BC was 12-6 in 2016, favourites to win the Cup by many & on the rise. Jennings was considered alongside BLM & Reilly as the CFL’s best, posting over 5000 yards. Bridge pales in comparison to what Jennings or BLM have done at Bridge’s age. Instead of battling for 1st or the Grey Cup, they ended up last. Just ss easy to see the Riders take a step back as forward. They have, at best, the 4th ranked QBing in the West. Their best RB, Marshall, is not as good as any on the other clubs in the West. Their OL only bests BC & their starters are older than the OL’s in Edm, Wpg & Calgary. Riders are what they are – 4th place, no better. Need to improve in a lot of areas.

        • There have been teams that have gone from first to worst as well. Does that mean that New England should only sign Belichick to one year deals because they could fall into the basement the next year? The one true thing you’ve said is that we don’t have our championship team in place yet, and that makes what we did last year all the more impressive. Lots of unanswered questions at this point however. Who will be the QB? Will Trent Richardson be back? We know that Thigpen and Marshall will be. Will Jones pick up more strategic veterans this year? Sooo much excitement in Riderville this off season. Rider football is fun again!

          • greenenvy? // December 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm //

            Not a good comparison, RFD. Riders only have to fall 1 spot to the basement. Could the Stamps fall from 1st to last? Yes. Many Rider fans predicted as much going into 2017. It happens. But are the odds better for a next to last place team going to last or a 1st place team? The gist of this is that no one would argue for a Jones extension if he finished 1st or 2nd like, say, Belichick does. So no, New England has every reason to extend him for as long as they want & no one would debate that. But Jones isn’t that coach. It’s not unlikely for the coach of a 1st team to get an extension. It’s also not unlikely for the coach of a team finishing 4th & 5th getting fired or, at least, not getting extended. Jones is getting the big bucks & the extension because of his prior reputation, certainly not for his results in Regina. You have more questions than answers – read your comments above.

      • Does New England only sign Belichick to one year deals because they could fall into the basement the next year? I can only assume that you didn’t think for 2 seconds before saying that. There are always player changes, but Jones has proven now that he can not only find good players, but also that he always has a plan B and a plan C in case something unforeseen happens to plan A. We did get Jones quickly signed to another year, so I’ll give Reynolds credit for that. I think that was the bare minimum of what was acceptable. Maybe we can say that subconsciously he went more conservative because of what happened with Taman, but if we have a good off season and start off next year another step up, then we need to immediately start talking about a long term extension. I think Jones has earned it now, but he certainly will have earned it then.

        • pantsonfire // December 18, 2017 at 5:06 pm //

          Comparing Belichick to Jones is ridiculous. His record allows him to get whatever length he wants, one year, three years etc.. When’s the last time Bill had a 4th place club in his division? Jones’ record in Saskatchewan doesn’t compare. So Plan B is bring in another Vince Young or Marquise Williams – the next “next one” or Plan C stay the course with the QB’s who brought you a 10-8 season? News flash RFD, MOST coaches have Plans B & C if they are successful. You make it sound like Jones is the reigning genius. I don’t necessariy buy the theory that rotating 16+ wannabe starters through the roster over 2 years is a Plan – more like throwing jelly against the wall to see what sticks. You use a lot of “ifs” for someone so sure of himself. “IF” we have a good off season, “IF” we host a playoff game. Sure “IF” you do those things you may have a shot. But you forgot one “IF”. If you improve your team & “IF” everyone else stands around while you collect players, hard to do with a CAP, then maybe you have a reason to pay the man his money. But there was no reason to extend him at this time. He still has a year to go. See ‘IF” he can improve on his 4th & 5th place standings. Because THAT IS WHAT HE HAS DONE IN REGINA. He hasn’t proven anything yet. You guys set an awfully low bar for yourself & all the what “if’s” don’t count as much as what “is”. Look a lot of people are saying they think it’s a blunder & giving evidence why. You don’t & that’s perfectly fine with me. I’m not a Rider fan &, truth be told, I’m happy he’s in Regina because I think he’s overrated & overpaid. That’s just me.

          • When was the last time Belichick took over a 3-15 team and had to rebuild it? The point is that contracts are offered based on performance, not some nonsense about “what if the team falls to last place.” Jones has done an outstanding job rebuilding this team, and don’t forget that the team improved greatly over the course of last year as well, so the overall record doesn’t indicate how good the team was at the end of the year.

            W.r.t. the QBs, Jones has so many options I don’t know if anyone but him really knows what the plan As and Bs are. The year we brought in Glen and Young. Young got injured but Glen had a great year and took this team to the next level, along with Bridge who was brought in the year before but who emerged this year. Jones also really likes Adams and Williams, and there are a bunch of blue chip QBs available this off season as well. Jones can’t say anything about Franklin or Collaros because they’re both under contract, but one or both could well be high on his priority list as well.

            “He hasn’t proven anything yet.” lol, I can smell your fear from here. Jones is the hardest working GM in the league and he has TRANSFORMED this team over the last couple of years. When the Riders finally gelled at about the 1/3 mark of the season and went on to crush ALL the top teams in the west/league I knew that people would start to panic, and it still makes me smile. But like a good sport I’ll still wish you luck next year, and I can’t wait until we play. 😉

    • Riderites like to bring out the 8-4 nonsense. You peaked after the 3 beatdowns, one of which was on an Eskimo club playing with more than a few 3rd & 4th stringers. You still needed 37 points off turnovers to win. Didn’t do so well when the starters came to play at Mosaic with the crossover on the line. After those 3 lopsided wins, you were 5-4 down the stretch or 1-3 vs teams above .500 coming home. Not so great when the season’s on the line. BTW you had a 4-6 record vs the West. It ain’t going to change if you go into 2018 with Bridge & Glenn. You may not know it but Jones does. But go ahead. Keep living off those 3 wins in the 1st half. You were 1-6 the rest of the way vs the West. Stats, stats, stats.

      • Yeah you’re right. That 30-7 beat down of the Stamps in week 18 didn’t mean a thing. Have another glass of Kool-Aid my friend.

        • greenenvy? // December 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm //

          As I said, keep celebrating the big wins but, as a coach famously said, you ARE your record. In the overall scheme of things that 30-7 beat down meant squat. I’m not a Stamps fan but they made it to the big game, Riders didn’t, so you’re really not one to talk, are you?

  39. Hey Ballentine, why don’t you do an article about the Stamps? There are plenty of big questions this off season in Calgary. Will BLM ever be 100% again? Has Dickenson proven that he isn’t a championship coach? Is there something wrong with the psyche of this team that causes it to choke when the snow flies? Is it time to blow this team up and start again?

  40. Phil Miller // December 18, 2017 at 5:46 am //

    This story is really quite laughable. Surly 3rd Down Nation could afford a better Calgary based writer.

  41. The Commodore // December 18, 2017 at 7:34 am //

    BC Dave has it right – this is a good forum with a lot of knowledgeable CFL fans that are not journalists but some could very well be.
    The back and forth insults of some – are somewhat disturbing – show a complete lack of respect for a large number of contributors that sometimes spell a word wrong or are mistaken on some point – the donkeys that post – and their numbers are few but they certainly don’t belong here – they drive good fans and common taters away – oh look a spelling error –

  42. As someone who doesn’t cheer for the Riders, I don’t mind them signing Chris Jones at all.

  43. So he took a 3-15 team and in two years rebuilt basically from scratch to get to 10-8 and could have with a little bit of luck advanced to the Grey Cup and the Riders are jumping the gun extending him beyond this year? What an ‘article’ lol

    • pantsonfire // December 18, 2017 at 11:55 am //

      You make it sound like this is exceptional. Jones improved by 5 wins this year. Meh. Just the year before BC improved by 5 wins to 12 in 2016. Didn’t last. Jones took a 5-13 team to 4th place & the playoffs the following year. Meh. Trestman took a 5-13 team to 1st place & the Cup. Jones was paid huge $$& to bring a Cup to Regina & in 2 years has delivered a last place & 4th place finish. Meh. Trestman was brought in to resurrect the Argos & well, you know. Anyone who thinks the Riders playing in the West with Reilly, BLM & Nichols is a sure thing for improving their current position really doesn’t understand football. Look at the Grey Cup winners & see how often the winning team doesn’t have a stud QB. The ofds are far more likely BC, with Hervey in place, get their act together & Riders have a hard time maintaining their spot. No wonder Rider fans still obsess about Franklin waiting for FA on the slim hope he signs there.

      • You were doing OK until the 2 years part, or at least you had a plausible argument, and then it all fell apart. Jones was brought in to build a contender in 3 years, hence the 3 year deal. The mighty Marc Trestman took a team from 5-13 to only 9-9, so not as good as Jones. And even at that that improvement was largely due to the utter collapse of the rest of the east, where most of their wins came from. The reason why Trestman won in the playoffs is that he has a top tier, HOF, QB who already had 3 GCs to his name, and because Calgary chokes when the snow flies. Nothing is guaranteed in football but anyone who was playing attention last year even a little bit knows that the Riders crushed ALL of those teams last year during our final 8-4 run. And we did all this without a fully rebuilt team. In particular we did it all without a top tier QB. But with so many top QBs available this off season we’re sure to end up with one of them, and knowing Jones we’ll have some great young prospects as well. Bridge, Franklin, Collaros, other? Only time will tell, but Jones has already proved that he can deliver the goods.

        • pantsonfire // December 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm //

          I’m aware of that RFD. That story has still to be written. I am merely comparing what Trestman has accomplished in one year to what Jones has accomplished in two. I’m not stating that Jones should have brought a Cup in 1 or 2 years & if he completes his mandate to bring one in 3 years that’s fine. That’s not my argument. As for your argument of 9-9 not being as good as 10-8, you’re splitting hairs. In fact, both teams won 11 games this season if you want to be perfectly correct & count the playoffs. It also flies against the argument, put forth by yourself & others, that the regular season record is meaningless which is the ENDLESS narrative presented to Horsie. So what is it? Now you are throwing out the argument that “we didn’t win the Cup but, oh yeah, we were better than the Argos in the regular season”. Your earlier 1:34 post even touts your superiority over the Stamps over ONE GAME. So if you don’t win the Cup, you bring out the 10-8 vs 9-9 seasonal record. If you had less regular season points than the Stamps, then you bring out the ONE GAME you won against them. You can always find an argument one way or the other. Fact is, Jones record is not great to date with the Riders & there are no guarantees for 2018.

  44. I feel a one year extension was justified. It was only a one year extension BECAUSE of what happened with Taman and Chamblin. One year extension for now and let’s see what you do with 2018 before we give you another 2 or 3. Good move in my opinion.

  45. Ryan, you’re an ass hat. And you know it. The title should be, how to get clicks on a story, by a useless writer from Stumpville. Write about the Riders. Your opinion is as tainted as Rider hater extraordinaire donkey, no life mama’s girl. You two optimize why the Stumps fan base is the most hated in the league – you fit right in. I skipped all the comments because I am sure they echo mine. Try again clown.

    • pantsonfire // December 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm //

      He DID mention his bias. While we’re on the subject, Ladd Law, you DO know what irony is, yes??!!! Methinks thou dost protest too much.

      • Me thinks we will continue to protest as long as the haters get ink. No point in writing this article except to get clicks and stir the pot. No reason at all. And yes, my dislike for all things Stumpville is alive and well and they keep adding to the list. But I still have sore ribs from laughing so hard as the GC ended.

        • pantsonfire // December 18, 2017 at 5:52 pm //

          That’s DA news business. And I still get laughs from how the East Final ended. Had it in the bag – Oops. But let’s be fair. The better team won. Riders were fortunate to be in it. They were outplayed for all but about 3 minutes.

          • What ever … they weren’t the vaunted Stumps, just a 10-8 cross over team and not the favorite. It was still a great day for us regardless, how did it end for you lou??

  46. Habsnriders // December 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm //

    All I see is another stamp fan very nervous because they know full well that Jones will turn the riders in to a top team and since the stamps can’t get past the riders in the playoffs there goes their chance of getting back to the show
    Now on a positive note for stamp fans they won’t be choking in a grey cup game anytime soon.

  47. Howard Wulkan // December 18, 2017 at 1:56 pm //

    This article is a good way to show how presenting the facts to fit your view can support any viewpoint. But if I take a few sentences and slant them the other way, suddenly re-signing Jones looks like a stroke of genius.

    “The architect of the West Division’s second worst record this season has been rewarded with an extra year on his contract.”
    How about, “The architect of the fourth-best record in the entire league this season has been rewarded with an extra year on his contract.”

    “‘We won 5 more games this year than last year’ And? Still wasn’t good enough to host a playoff game, let alone get into the Grey Cup.”
    Alternatively, “The Riders won 5 more games this year than last year, which was good enough to get back into the playoffs after a 2-year absence. They also won a playoff game, and only just fell short of making it to the Grey Cup.”

    “Yet, one game above mediocrity is rewarded with three quarters of a million dollars or more.”
    Or, “Doubling the number of wins over the previous season is rewarded with three quarters of a million dollars or more.”

    “There were rumblings last year after a 2-4 start that Jones was in danger of losing his job…The rest of the way they went 1-3 against teams that finished above the .500 mark.”
    Alternatively, “There were rumblings last year after a 2-4 start that Jones was in danger of losing his job…The rest of the way they went 8-4, solidifying Jones’s position as head coach and GM.”

    “Especially when you consider that the one victory came against a Calgary squad that was one point away from clinching the division with 3 games left and had shifted into injury prevention and playbook protection mode.”
    How about, “Especially when you consider that one of those 8 victories came against perennial juggernaut Calgary that went 13-4-1 and made it to the Grey Cup.”

    This isn’t to say that the original points made in the article are invalid, but rather to show that picking only specific facts that support your already-decided-upon viewpoint will bias any article. There were good reasons for the Riders to re-sign Jones; this article’s writer simply chose to ignore those reasons.

  48. Best analogy, yet, Howard.

  49. Ridersnhabs // December 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm //

    Anyone twig on the fact that this dude that wrote the story is the infamous donkey , one in the same

  50. I really don’t grasp the author’s logic nor do I see a case for not extending Jones.

    If you really saw what went on this year with the Riders and how close they came to a GC berth you’d see some of what Jones did with his team staying east twice was similar to the process oriented approach Marc Trestman employed pre East Final and GC game.

    Perhaps you should be doing an article on how the Stamps in two GC finals weren’t prepped to win as they failed twice with the HC looking at it like it’s just one more game. Meanwhile Trestman got his team to buy into the process of these weeks leading to championships and he got a better result in the GC.

  51. Sliders still finished 4th lol

    • Habsnriders // December 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm //

      So you still haven’t figured out that all a team has to do is make the playoffs and go from there .
      Oh btw your childish “sliders” term is old and played , it makes you look foolish using it . Reminds me of a bully in a schoolyard
      Hmmmm I doubt I’m far off

  52. Always amazed at how many slider fans “don’t care” yet whine about it for days after. I like this site, if you don’t just GO AWAY!

    PS Slider’s suck and so do the Stamps so which team will I be labeled as a fan of?

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