I needed to take a day to digest it all, but to say I am one angry Ging' would be an understatement.
I do not care for any explanation that the league conjured up; to not have the Argos in Hamilton on Labour Day means that there will be no Labour Day Classic in 2011.
The league talked about competitive balance. Fine and dandy. Where was the care for competitive balance in 2010 when Hamilton and Winnipeg played four times in seven weeks? (Five times in eight weeks, if you count the final pre-season game.)
Where will be the care for competitive balance when the Cats will likely have to play their entire 2012 season on the road?
Where is the care for competitive balance when this season, in a schedule the league just released, the Cats will play six of their last nine games away from Ivor Wynne? Don't give me the junk that the Moncton game is a home game. It's a "home" game, not a home game. The Cats will not be playing in front of 25,000 of their fans in the friendly confines of their stadium. So the Cats can play six of nine away from home to end the season, but the Argos can't play six of nine from home to start the season?
Also, teams play front- and/or back-loaded schedules all the time; this would have been no different. Montreal played their first three games on the road in 2010, and it didn't seem to hurt them any. (In case anyone forgot, they won the Grey Cup.)
To make matters worse, since the 2012 CFL season will not be played at Ivor Wynne Stadium, while it undergoes renovations for the Pan Am Games, that means that we Ti-Cat fans will go two years without seeing the hated Argos descend on Hamilton to get their butts whooped on the first Monday of September.
This is unacceptable. I was very much looking forward to the 2011 CFL season (and I still very much am), but the loss of the Labour Day Classic casts a dark cloud over the entire year. What should have been a great day (the day the schedule was released) turned into an unmitigated disaster.
Thanks, CFL. Good job.
P.S. I have added the Tiger-Cats' 2011 schedule to the side bar.