Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Ti-Cats Conference Call

Prior to the start of Training Camp, the eight CFL teams have conference calls with local and national reporters to discuss the upcoming season.

Today was Hamilton's turn, with President Scott Mitchell, General Manager Bob O'Billovich and Head Coach Marcel Bellefeuille fielding questions for a slew of reporters.

The three men covered a lot of topics, and if you so choose, you can read a full transcript or you can listen to the audio of the conference call.

Here are some of the more salient points made:
  • The team recorded their "second straight year of record revenue" while selling over one million dollars in merchandise for the first time in franchise history.
  • The October 7th game against Winnipeg has been dubbed "Your Team, Your Rules" where fans (like me) will get a chance to vote on a number of things that occur at the game, the most stunning of which is that fans will get to choose what the first offensive play of the game will be.
  • The new stadium came up, and it is official that the Cats will play at Ivor Wynne Stadium in 2012 and be back at a new Ivor Wynne (or whatever it is called) for the 2014 season. That means that 2013 will be played elsewhere.
  • Obie believes that the Cats will be a "major challenge to the Alouettes" this year.
  • It sounds like Marcus Thigpen's role will expand, with him possibly seeing time at Receiver.
  • The Secondary is clearly still a work in progress, with Bellefeuille saying that it is possible that there could be two or three new players patrolling the back end of the Defense.
The fact that the team is seeing an increase in revenue is a good thing for the long-term viability of the club. As much as we fans do not have a real stake in the financial side of things, it is always good to see that the team is doing well in that area.

The "Your Team, Your Rules" thing has the potential to be a really cool venture. I'll be curious to see what the fans pick. October 7th should be one interesting night.

Rumours ran rampant about the stadium, so it's nice to get a little clarification on everything. We don't know everything, but we do know that 2012 will be the final season at old Ivor Wynne.

It's nice to hear Obie say that they are going to go after Montreal. The Als are the class of the league – not just for being the two-time defending champs, but for being the measuring stick for every team over the past 15 years – and it's time the Cats took aim at them.

I'll be extremely curious to see what role Marcus Thigpen plays in the Offense in 2011. He has the ability to be a difference maker for the Cats, and if he is used more effectively, Thigpen could be that weapon that takes the Cats from good to great.

I'm really curious to see what the Secondary will look like. Everyone and their Grandmother knew that the Secondary was the biggest weak spot for the Cats last year, so it'll be interesting to see what changes are made to address the deficiencies in that unit.

The Cats have now done their league-mandated conference call, and it's off to Training Camp, which begins, in earnest, on June 1st when rookies and Quarterbacks report. Veterans report on June 4th.

It's almost here folks; the 2011 CFL season is just around the corner.

1 comment:

  1. Thigpen should be used the way we DIDN'T use Corey Holmes.

    I hope the Ticats make a big deal out of the games in 2012 to commemorate the history of IWS. Two years later, we may be making our pilgrimages to the same holy ground, but we'll worship from pews that have not been part of the experiences shared by over five decades of fans on the south side and four on the north (not to mention those who sat in the stands that came before the existing ones). Think as well of all the great players who were witnessed from those seats.