Sports fans tend to have a knack for overreacting.
One important win and all is right in the world, at least with their team. The term "statement win" has become cliché. One untimely or ugly loss and you might as well make massive changes and start evaluating players who could be the first overall selection in the upcoming draft.
I've long found Saskatchewan Roughrider fans to suffer from this condition known as premature evaluation. And it was particularly evident this month with the Labour Day Classic and the subsequent Banjo Bowl games.
The Riders won on Labour Day, 32-30 in overtime in a game that proved to be entertaining after a rather sluggish start. No matter what happens the rest of the season, Rider fans will have a measure of satisfaction because they beat the Bombers on the day before Labour Day at Mosaic Stadium.
It's unlikely the Riders will do much come November this year, but they won on Labour Day.
Still, you had the fans who were a little too excited after beating the powerhouse Bombers. Jake Dolegala was the next great Rider quarterback. The offensive line was finally improving. The team had been getting better. And the defence was stout. After all, they held Bombers' quarterback Zach Collaros to five completions in the first three quarters, an unheard-of level of futility for the CFL's top player in 2021 and 2022.
Then came the rematch in Winnipeg – the Banjo Bowl, as it is known.
The Riders had a three-point lead to start. They were outscored 52-3 the rest of the way. It was 42-6 at halftime. And when you watched the third quarter, you had to think the Bombers had a realistic shot at scoring 60.
Now Rider fans want anyone other than Dolegala at quarterback. The coaches and the management team should be fired. Widespread replacements are needed on defence. The offensive line is terrible again.
It's not just Rider fans. Last week was the opening week of the NFL season. I don't know much about the NFL; I'm a lifelong CFL guy and, besides, I'm usually working long hours on a Sunday. I can't imagine having time to spend three hours watching a football game on a Sunday. Except during playoffs.
But the pundits down south are now questioning if the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have taken a step back after they lost their opening game of the season. It's one loss. Not three or four. Just one.
And the San Francisco 49ers might need to be the Super Bowl favourites after their convincing victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The New York Giants? Forget about them. A 40-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 will be too much to overcome over the next 16 games.
I understand that football has a comparatively short season at 18 games for the CFL and 16 for the NFL. College, high school and U.S. semi-pro campaigns are even shorter. A bad four-game stretch can sink your season. It's the reality of a sport in which you play once a week.
This isn't baseball with a 162-game slate, or the NHL or the NBA with an 82-game season.
As for the Riders, fans need to realize that this team will likely be a playoff squad, but that's likely as good as it's going to get. You don't expect they'll go into Winnipeg in November and win a game with the season on the line for both teams. If they need the crossover to make the playoffs, it's also unlikely they'll defeat the Toronto Argonauts.
From an organizational standpoint, right now the Riders are treading water. They're far from the worst. They're also far from the best. They're a middling team that will finish fifth or sixth, win seven or eight games and possibly give their fans one more thrill before the season is out.
This doesn't feel like a team that's going to have a sudden turnaround next year either, unless Dolegala becomes the next big thing at quarterback, and even if he does break through, the Riders will need a much better offensive line to protect him, or whoever plays quarterback next year.
They are who they are. And no single victory or defeat will change that.