Monday 16 August 2010

Morning-After Thoughts (Week 7)

Canadian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010
The CFL conducted two Retro Weeks in 2010, one in Week 6, the other in Week 7. There would seem to be no better time than during Retro Week to honour the newest members of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Up top, four of the five Hall of Fame inductees for 2010 (pictured from L-R: Joe Pistilli, Don Narcisse, Bob Cameron and Tracy Ham; missing is Elfrid Payton) were in Regina last night for the CFL's annual Hall of Fame Game. I always love when players from the past are recognized because it allows newer fans who may never have seen them play learn a little about the history of this great game. Congratulations to the five newest members of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
  1. American expansion was one of the worst ideas in CFL history, but watching the retrospective on the Baltimore Stallions was pretty awesome. Is it any wonder that the Als, who as we all know were the relocated Stallions, are as good as they are? If you add the Stallions' two dominant years in, that franchise has been the class of the CFL for almost two decades.
  2. Glen Suitor made an interesting comment about a face masking call in the BC-Saskatchewan game. He said something to the effect of, "You can never put your hands on someone's face mask." That brings up the question of why a stiff arm is allowed. If hands to the face is never allowed, why do offensive players get away with it? Seems like an odd double standard.
  3. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that BC is in a lot of trouble. They sit at 1-6 and with games against Calgary, Montreal and Toronto coming up, the Lions could very easily start the season 1-9. It's not looking good in BC these days.
  4. People can blame the QBs all they want, but BC's O-Line looks like an absolute sieve out there. It seems like they really miss Jason Jimenez and Rob Murphy.
  5. Brock Ralph might be the stupidest football player on the planet. He catches the ball beyond the first-down marker on second down and proceeds to run backwards to lose yards and force a third-down gamble. That has to be a nominee for Bonehead Play of the Year.
  6. How about Albert Smith of the Tiger-Cats? Very first CFL play, he gets a sack. He disappeared for most of the rest of the game, but that is one heck of a way to introduce yourself to the league.
  7. Let the QB controversy in Winnipeg begin. Based on recent performance, Steven Jyles should be the starter going forward. Buck Pierce is too fragile and Jyles has looked very good since he has been given the reins. He only won one contest, but he looked very good in the two other games he started and in mop-up duty against the Tiger-Cats this week.
  8. My hat goes off to Marcus Thigpen who became the only player in CFL history to score a touchdown in five different ways. He now has a rushing TD, a receiving TD, a kickoff return TD, a punt return TD and a missed field goal return TD.
  9. Speaking of hats, what the hell was that on Arland Bruce's head? He looked like former WWE star The Godfather.
  10. Jamall Johnson's stuff of Steven Jyles on third and inches made me jump out of my seat. My lord, did he fire into Jyles like a rocket. Johnson, who leads the league in tackles, might just be the best Linebacker in the CFL.
  11. Just like BC, Winnipeg could be in some serious trouble. Sitting at 2-5 and in the basement of the CFL's East Division, and with the Tiger-Cats having won the season series three games to one, the Bombers now have to face Montreal, and then a home-and-home with Saskatchewan. There is little doubt in my mind that the Bombers will be 2-8 in mid-September.
  12. No word yet on the injury to Jeremaine Copeland, but it doesn't look good. He has his arm in a sling during the end of the Als-Argos game. The rest of the team picked it up nicely after he left, namely Chad Owens, but the young Argos are really going to miss Copeland's veteran presence if he misses any substantial amount of time.
  13. The Argos left it all out on the field in their game against the Als. They went deep into the playbook for a Running Back Pass and Direct Snap on a punt. Both plays worked out fantastically for the Argos.
  14. As much as it pains me to say it, the Argos are the real deal. They are unbeaten at home and now have their second quality win. Excuses were made when they beat Calgary (short week, playing at home), but there can be no excuses here. They just plain whooped Montreal. For the first time in a long time a Hamilton-Toronto game will have meaning. I can't wait for next week.
  15. Looking back, Montreal was ripe for a stinker. They finished very poorly against the Riders, and started very poorly this week. The early INT and fumble really hurt. They put Montreal in a hole that they never got out of. The late-game drops sealed the deal. Montreal gets a mulligan, but it seems like they may have taken Toronto lightly. I don't expect this will happen again, and I feel really bad for Winnipeg, who will now have to deal with Montreal's wrath.
  16. When a team is losing like the Eskimos are, they tend to try different things. The offensive formation with only a centre on the line can either be seen as genius or desperation. With the Esks being 1-6, I don't have to tell you what I think it is.
  17. With Ricky Ray, the Eskimos were a 1-5 team. I don't even want to fathom what they will be without him. If Ray misses any extended period of time, the Eskimos are in even more trouble than they were already. Jared Zabransky looked like he hadn't played much (not his fault), and Jason Maas looked just as bad as he did the last time he started in the CFL with Hamilton (entirely his fault). It could get much worse in Edmonton before it gets better.
  18. With Fred Stamps out with an injury, Kelly Campbell became Mr. Everything for Edmonton. He played phenomenally well, even in a losing effort.
  19. I know the Eskimos are reeling, but the Stamps deserve a ton of credit. They absolutely pounded Edmonton. Add this in to the drubbing they gave the Riders, and Calgary is, in my mind at least, the best team in the CFL. They have the best record, they have overcome their early season struggles, and now they have kicked it into high gear. Calgary is going to be a tough team to beat from here on out.
  20. Pop the champagne, because your noble scribe has once again posted a winning record on his weekly picks. Another week with a 3-1 record, and if I had told you before the week that the only blemish would be the Alouettes, you'd have called me crazy. I have now upped my season mark to 13-15. Since the next two weeks only have two games each, I have a realistic shot at a perfect week.

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