It's no secret that Edmonton Eskimos' head coach Kavis Reed is one of the most quotable people in the CFL. It's also well-known that the Saskatchewan Roughriders' receiving corps could use a new name, as the old "Royal Canadian Air Force" tag doesn't work as well without Andy Fantuz and with the increased prominence of American Weston Dressler, although the on-field product is working just fine. Put those elements together, and you wind up with Reed coming up with a rather interesting nickname for Saskatchewan's receivers. Here's part of what he told The Edmonton Sun's Gerry Moddejonge about the Riders' offence:
"Every week is a season and Saskatchewan is a very important offence, as we saw," said Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed. "Weston Dressler is Batman right now and (Chris) Getzlaf is Robin. Added with the other guys they have around … and our defence has a Herculean task in front of them.
"And to put the icing on the cake, we have to play at Mosaic Stadium."
There's something satisfying about the idea of the Roughriders' receivers running over opponents with the "Pow!" and "Ouch!" on-screen pop-ups seen in the 1960s Batman TV series (starring future Quahog mayor Adam West), but Dressler's incredible 13-reception, 180-yard, three-touchdown performance against Hamilton suggests a much more fearsome Batman, perhaps more along the lines of Christian Bale in the recent Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises). Getzlaf as Robin works, too; he never gets the buzz of the leading receivers in the Riders' offence, but has been quietly effective, especially over the last two years, where he recorded 946 and 1,071 receiving yards respectively. Robin's widely disrespected, but has proven crucial to saving the day in some iterations of Batman, and that fits Getzlaf nicely. (Plus, you never know; at least one guy who played Robin has his own star status now.)
Why so serious, Coach Reed?The Saskatchewan offence is about more than just Dressler and Getzlaf, though, so the analogy would have to be expanded. Perhaps Rob Bagg can play Police Commissioner Gordon, off-screen for large stretches (thanks to injury in Bagg's case), but often making vital contributions when he shows up? As Batman needs technology to work with, the Riders' receivers aren't much without well-thrown passes, so Darian Durant might be best suited for the role of Lucius Fox. General manager Brendan Taman might make a good Alfred, too, keeping this group on course. Given that they're facing the Eskimos this week, Edmonton general manager Eric Tillman and his convoluted plans would seem like a good fit as The Penguin, while Reed himself might make a good Joker; sure, he always has a quip ready, but don't underestimate him. The overall setting of Batman's pretty dark, too (well, except the 1960s version), and that fits the Riders' 5-13 2011 campaign. Put up the bat signal; we'll see if these dark knights can continue to rise this year.