If you could bottle and sell it, you'd be a millionaire. Actually a quick Google search tells me a few fragrance-makers have tried that in the past, but quickly wound up in the clearance bin.
But seriously the confidence the Saskatchewan Roughriders are displaying right now as we approach the midway point of the 2013 season is as much good news for them as it is bad news for the league's seven other teams.
|Sheets Shining for Riders|
The Riders took a stellar 5-0 record into the bye week in early August and have emerged with two narrow victories and a deserved loss in the three games since to stand alone on top of the CFL.
It's the first time in my lifetime this has happened, and likely yours as well. In fact in the franchise's 103 years, they've only been 7-1 once before and that was in 1971.
When football maven John Lynch proclaimed on our sports talk show earlier this season that "tis is the greatest Rider team of all-time!", I only smiled and nodded, thinking he was off his rocker. He's covered this team since the 1960s but I thought his was a vast exaggeration.
However he could be right.
If you've been reading this column weekly you'll recall we've chronicled the club's record-setting start to the season all along and it hasn't cooled off. Perhaps the most-impressive mark comes from Rider tailback Kory Sheets who entered the record books Saturday in Edmonton, hitting 1,000 yards rushing faster than anyone else in CFL history.
The sophomore from Purdue certainly has a flare for the dramatic, surpassing the millennium mark in his eighth game on a touchdown run in the third quarter. He's all flash and dash.
It's incredible. And quarterback Darian Durant has gone a mind-boggling seven games without throwing an interception. Obviously this all adds up to success in the win column.
They're hungry for more too. The Riders were beating teams handily in the early going this season, but their last two victories have come by a combined six points. And both were exciting come-from-behind victories in the dying moments.
There's a reason for that.
"It's the second six (games) of the season and teams shore up in this period," reasoned Rider coach Corey Chamblin after Saturday's game. "The biggest thing is we came out with the win. The guys were like clockwork, slow and steady, but we got it done."
That's where the confidence comes in. Although they were winning games by double digits in the summer months, and lately games have gone down to the wire, the Riders still know they'll be on top once the clock hits 0:00. There's no other word for that than "confidence".
"In the second six of the season all teams will be more evenly matched because they've gone through their ups and downs in the first six," Chamblin continued. "The games won't be like the first six when we ran away with them."
Does that include the Winnipeg Blue Bombers? The Bombers are in the Riders' sights now as the prairie rivals head into back-to-back games against each other beginning with Sunday's Labour Day Classic in Regina and ending with the Banjo Bowl a week later at the brand new Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
My how the tables have turned. Two years ago the situations were reversed as a high-flying Winnipeg club came into Regina, needling the Riders about their pathetic record. However a well-timed coaching change spurred the Riders to consecutive victories over the Bombers.
We haven't heard the term since!
So what will happen this time around? Only the football Gods know for sure but one thing is certain; this is where it starts to get fun.
For daily Rider news follow Rod on Twitter at @sportscage.
Rod Pedersen is the Voice of the Saskatchean Roughriders on 620 CKRM. You can check out his award-winning blog at www.rodpedersen.com. Follow Rod on Twitter @sportscage.