Rob Vanstone's column for the leader post

Rob Vanstone, The Leader-Post
Published: Saturday, March 08, 2008

The venom can be transmitted in the form of expletive-laden telephone calls, non-punctuation e-mails or (shudder) in person.

A few dozen organisms who consider themselves the World's Greatest Fans are, in fact, imposters.

At the other end of the intellectual spectrum, there is Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager Eric Tillman.

The vilification of Tillman began Wednesday, when it was announced that the Roughriders had traded quarterback Kerry Joseph -- the CFL's reigning MVP -- to the Toronto Argonauts for unheralded compensation.
Cue the wailing.

Tillman has incurred the wrath of many fans by trading a 34-year-old quarterback who is coming off his one great year in the CFL. The Riders' GM was understandably reluctant to lavish a six-figure raise upon a quarterback who perceives himself to be one of the elite performers at his position.

Earth to Kerry: String together a series of stellar seasons before voicing an entitlement to top dollar.

Yes, Joseph won a Grey Cup in his final game as a Roughrider -- but it was also one of his least-productive games in Green and White. Joseph was three James Johnson interceptions shy of being labelled a Grey Cup goat. Imagine how people would have reacted then.

During the 2006 season, some fans (?) booed Joseph. Now those same people are boo-hooing over his departure.

Earth to overheated Rider fans: Tillman has been the GM of three Grey Cup champions. He has celebrated as many titles in a 13-year span as the Roughriders have in almost a century.That does not exempt him from questioning, but people should peruse his track record before coming unglued.

Tillman faced some criticism 15 months ago when Kent Austin was hired. He went on to become the coach-of-the-year. It was also Tillman who, while with the Ottawa Renegades, brought Joseph to the CFL in 2003. Are the cases of Austin and Joseph not a testament to Tillman's football acumen?

Riders fans -- in effect, the owners of the community-owned team -- are entirely within their rights to criticize the deal. That is fair game. So is Tillman.

But some fans -- merely a few, but still too many -- have gone too far in demonstrating opposition to the move.

It is one thing to dissect the deal from a football perspective. It is the prerogative of the fan to formulate and dispense opinions, often in intemperate fashion. Games people play have been known to inspire emotional reactions, and that is absolutely fine. Passion is part of the package in Riderville.

However, nobody should have to endure the type of abuse to which some Roughriders employees have apparently been subjected in recent, indecent days. Tillman indicated that the CFL team's receptionist and ticket-office staff have fielded repeated obscene calls from outraged (ahem) fans.

Much of the bile is directed toward Tillman, who should actually be a hero in this province. But who ends up dealing directly with the nonsense? The Roughriders' staffers -- including four female employees who have been sworn at, repeatedly, since Wednesday

It must be emphasized that the obscene callers are a small fragment of the Roughriders' otherwise exemplary fan base, but their boorish behaviour can tarnish everyone's reputation.

Sadly, there have been recurrent episodes of deplorable conduct, such as the infamous manure-dumping of 2004.

The vast majority of Roughriders supporters abhor such conduct. But it only takes a few whackos to ruin it for everyone ... and they're doing it again.

This is probably lost on some of the myopic zealots who have been harassing Roughriders employees of late.

Those brave, bold callers do not identify themselves by name or phylum. But we do know this much: They are alone.

(Any comment people?)

Yes....this is a rob vanstone article that is designed to suck up to Tillman....nothing more and nothing less.

I like the way Vanstone "tells it like it is."

Kerry Joseph has ONE great season, one POOR championship game. That does not entitle him to label himself as an elite, dependable QB.

Tillman has 3 championships in 13 years. You do not do that without having some football savvy.

In 2006, (with a wonky knee) Joseph was often the goat of 'rider fans, receiving a lot of criticism, and I think was poorly coached.

I think the issue with 'rider fans, is that we have been the lap dog of the league for a number of years. For nearly a decade prior to the Shivers, Barrett era, we were consistently the worst team in the league.
Shivers and Barrett made the team better, but Tillman and Austin put it over the top.

Without Austin, Joseph would have remained the QB he was in 2006.

Some 'rider fans were enraged that we traded Corey Holmes to get him. And now he is our poster boy for success? Give me a break....

Since when did understanding why someone did something qualify as sucking up?

when vanstone never goes against anything tillman does, then I call it sucking up.

Because Vanstone is $ucking up. He says that Joseph has put up good years before. Well sorry I don't buy that argument. Compare his stats to Burris or Dickenson or even Ray for total offensive output stats not just passing and you will see that Joseph's stats are comparable. In fact Vanstone's comment that Joseph doesn't deserve more argument goes out the door by the simple fact that Toronto did sign him to that exact type of contract. That is the end of story.

Last time I heard that phrase, other than in this thread, was when I was in elementary school; when the class brat/dunce/bully whined about the class nerd answering all the questions asked by the teacher to class...

"Boy what suck up he is.... always sucking up to the teacher."

Mr. Vanstone is the Marty York of Saskatchewan. You take anything he says with a very healthy dose of salt.

Does he say anything that is not true?

What gives you the right to decide for all of us when a story is over?

I never take anything Vanstone says seriously. The guy is a moron and has the loudest mouth in Saskatchewan. I remember when he bashed Shivers when he was here and Shivers said "when was the last time Rob Vanstone brought talent to this province" I thought it was halarious.

I don't waste my time and energy reading anything Rob Vanstoned has to write. I used to find it annoying enough listening to his criticism of how the Riders were run. Now he's criticizing fans (i.e. his audience, those who are the reason he's writing such smut). I haven't read the article, I'll admit it and I won't.

Rob Vanstoned can eat $hit! This thread just reaffirms my hatred for him.

Anyone who phoned in and verbally abused the people who work in the ticket office because they disagree with what Tillman did is an piece of -hit and should be banned from attending games.

Actually, yes.
To begin with, let's be clear.
The fans that phoned in and abused the staff at the ticket office are idiots--pondscum.
However, by then stating ET is at the other end of the intellectual spectrum, he implies/states that ET is somekind of genious/evolutionary endpoint, which frankly, even if you believe ET is a bright guy, might just be an overstatement.

And then the rest of it is largely BS.

Earth to Rob Vanstone: If you examine KJ's stats, and have watched him play, he has in fact played rather well EVERY year--we call that putting together a streak of stellar years.
In fact, I believe KJ played BETTER in 2005 than he did last year for the Riders.
And, while he is 34, the fact he has been a QB for only 5 years, means he may in fact still get better. Experience wise, he remains among the least experienced QBs starting in the league.

Earth to Vanstone: Yes, ET has 3 rings. I think by now, everyone knows that. Largely because scarcely a day goes by when we aren't reminded of that simple fact in the Leader post--every time ET gets a cup of coffee, someone says, "my, look at the way he pours the cream into that cup--did you know he has 3 rings".
We get it.
But how come (and I know you guys love this) the 3 rings Roy had, likely never were mentioned once by Rob Vanstone in 7 years?
The fact is, ET had next to nothing to do with Toronto being defending champs. And the talent, which even ET admits one the championship last year, was already here. So how much credit is too much?
In BC, sure, he took over a lousy team and won a championship. They however never finished above 3rd place.
And after they won the championship, he traded the starting QB--his pal, Mr. Austin.
Anyone want to guess how that panned out?
3rd again that year, but 5-13 two years later--so not very well.
So while ET has 3 rings, he can get back to me when he has 11 like Don Matthews, or 10 like Cal Murphy.
Even 5 (6?) like Wally.
Three is great, but isn't miraculous, and shouldn't get you a free pass.
I don't think Matthew's 11 ever got him a free pass....
Frankly, it makes me nauseas constantly hearing about the "lord of the rings".

So really, there wasn't much in that article worth the ink it wasted, or the time it took to read.

Rob Vanstone has been pushing for Marcus Crandell to start since before KJ arrived here, and he has not allowed a Grey Cup and an MVP year to sway him from that agenda.
So of course he supports ET on this deal--it is what he wanted to happen.....

And if you are going to have Vanstone columns, how about this dreck.
An interview with ET, which frankly, leaves me wondering if either man does know anything about football:

[url=] ... 3b&k=73439[/url]

I love the "proof" for why Crandell's stats are3 not as good as KJ's.
I can't imagine why after 11 years as a pro QB, Crandell has only started in two of them, and wasn't very good even then, if he is half as good as ET is making him out to be.

I love how in 89 and 97, the team deteriated because people were "scared".
How about the fact that the 97 team wasn't ever very good.
Or the fact that, let's see what happened after 89--oh yeah--they traded away first Burgess, then Austin. Then they su'cked!!
And in his press conference, he took that notion a step further and referred to the 66 team. I think he implied maybe we should have traded Lancaster...

End of the day, defend this trade if you want.
Obviously ET must justify it.
But try to keep the BS down to a dull roar, please.....

Gosh some people sure get worked up over a kid's game.

Football is meant to be fun; something we watch with our children and all some do here on this forum is hurl insults at each other.

It is almost enough to make me watch curling. At least their fans don't come across as raving lunatics.

Some of you guys are starting to creep me out.

Arius, why are you so incredibly bitter?

Vanstone is an idiot.

There appears to be nothing else to do in the off season except turn on each other :wink:

I don't get angry very often but I did when I heard what so called fans of this team did when Tillman traded KJ.

Because he and Mike want Tillman to fail. Want our gm to fail more than they want Riders to win. I love the Riders. Gave Ford my support. Gave Shivers my support. Give Tillman my support.

Arius keeps talking about Shivers. How he has 3 rings to. But he does not say this so I will say it. 0 as gm. Zero. 9 years as gm here and Birmingham. Being a scout is not being a GM. And Tillman and Shivers both have 1 ring with Flutie. So dont give me the Flutie BS. Tillman won 1 here. And won 1 in BC. Took Lions from last to first. In only 2 or 3 years.

Mike said Tillman was bad hire here. Said Austin was bad hire to. When they won Cup said it was Shivers team. Funny how Shivers and Barrett did this. 0 for 7 for home playoff games. 0 for 7 for getting to Cup. 0 for 7 for winning cup. But when Austin and Tillman do it. It was Shivers team. Sure it was.

For what its worth. Im not big on Joseph trade. But Im less big on this. Mike and Arius always complaining about every thing. I hope Crandall throws for 4000 yards and Riders get home playoff again. Or this would be better. Crandall and Jyles both play. And Riders win 10 or 11 or 12. No home playoff game since 1988 until 2007. If it happens back to back with new gm Mike and Arius cant say any thing. But they will. And what they are will be seen by everyone. Rider fans who loved Shivers so much they want Riders to fail now.

I cheered for Shivers. But when is it over? 1 winning season in 7 years. 2003 was a good year. But did you see same team I saw? Our Riders went 9-9 3 straight times. And went way over cap going 9-9.

Mike also said Tillman lied about cap. Told everyone on here that. Said gm wasnt counting injuries in cap when he said Riders were close to making cap. Said it was a lie when he said Riders would be over by $50,000. Mike said Riders would be over by $300,000. Or over by more. If its only $50,000. Its simple then. Tillman cleaned up Shivers salary cap problems. Something like $750,000 over in 2006. And still won cup.

Arius trys to find way to put down what Tillman did in BC. Google it. Tell me this. Lions were 3-15 before ET. Won 10 and 11 and 10. And a cup. That is good. Very good. Arius says bad 2 years after trading Austin. Tillman wasnt there. And Dave Richie wasnt there. And McManus wasnt there. QB Richie and Austin kept. New owner. New gm. New coach. Lions go 4-14. Cant blame that on Tillman or Richie Arius. But you will try.

Oxbow you said football was supposed to be fun. They dont want it to be fun. And with all there negative BS make it no fun for us. Winning cup not even fun. Hate. Hate. Hate. Thats what it is. Nothing more. It never stops.