Sunday 6 November 2011

Morning-After Thoughts (Week 19)

It took all 19 weeks, 72 games and 4,320 minutes (well, almost) to figure out the playoff matchups, but now we know who will go where. Winnipeg and BC will be sitting at home while Hamilton travels to Montreal and Calgary heads to Edmonton. The Lions never have to leave home, and have to be the odds-on favourite to win it all. Let the playoffs begin!
  1. The league released its list of all the players up for the end-of-the-year awards and the most egregious omission was, of course, Jamel Richardson for MOP. Calvillo is having a good season, but Richardson is having a career year. The man they call Optimus Prime should have been the team's MOP candidate. He has defined the term outstanding all season.
  2. Despite playing for the team I loathe, congrats to Bryan Crawford on a great CFL career. Crawford is a Hamilton boy, and it's too bad he had to spend his entire CFL career in those ugly blue uniforms. He would have looked nice in the Black & Gold.
  3. Another congratulations to Ken Miller, who is retiring as well. Despite not winning a Grey Cup as Head Coach, Miller was one of the more successful coaches in Roughrider history. He is one of only two Rider coaches to lead the team to back-to-back Grey Cup appearances. Enjoy retirement, Coach Miller.
  4. Nickelback will be performing at halftime of the Grey Cup, but does it really matter? Yes, we all agree that Nickelback sucks, but does anyone really watch or care about the halftime show? I know I don't.
  5. The league is really going to have to do something about the refereeing in the off-season. Marcel Young had one of the worst pass interference penalties called on him against Toronto. These types of terrible calls is going to have to be addressed. It cannot continue.
  6. If I ever hear an Argo fan complain about a dirty player, I will simply point to a picture of Lin-J Shell and tell them to shut it. Shell is as dirty as they come.
  7. Andre Durie was voted the most underrated player in the CFL on Friday. On Thursday, he had his best game as a pro with 144 yards and two touchdowns. I have been trumpeting Durie all season, and it looks like he is ready to breakout. We'll see what Durie can do in 2012.
  8. Not since Sean Millington in 2000 has a Canadian rushed for over 1,000 yards. Jerome Messam joined a very exclusive group by doing just that in 2011. Left for dead by BC, Messam resurrected his career in a big way in Edmonton.
  9. There are great games and then there is the game that Adarius Bowman had against Saskatchewan. He was unstoppable with 226 yards and two touchdowns. I haven't seen a Receiver dominate a game like that since Arland Bruce did it against the same Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2010.
  10. With Andy Fantuz gone for most of the season, Chris Getzlaf stepped up and tallied his first 1,000-yard season of his career. He is the only Canadian Receiver to get over 1,000 yards in 2011.
  11. What is it with players named Baker and smacking people in the face?
  12. With the way that the Riders season has gone, the only way their final game could end was on a critical mistake.
  13. Drew Tate is now 3-0 as a starter since taking over from Henry Burris. Every week he makes John Hufnagel look smarter and smarter. The Stamps were left for dead not five weeks ago, and now they have as good a chance as any of winning the whole thing. Don't be surprised if Tate is hoisting the Grey Cup in three weeks.
  14. Where the hell has Odell Willis been the last month?
  15. A very nice return for Ken-Yon Rambo. In his first game back, Rambo played a major role for the Stamps. His return could be the key to any run the Stampeders want to make.
  16. That has to be the worst game I have ever seen the Montreal Alouettes play. There numbers were putird and they lost 43-1. I'll repeat that: they lost 43-1! The Montreal Alouettes lost by six touchdowns. I never thought I'd type that sentence.
  17. There has been a lot of focus (and deservedly so) on Jerome Messam and Jon Cornish, but don't forget the play of Andrew Harris when discussing the next, great Canadian Running Back.
  18. Congratulations to Shawn Gore on getting his first CFL touchdown. Gore has had a very good season, and it's nice to see him finally find the end zone.
  19. Of the eight men that were nominated, everyone seems to be handing the MOP award to Anthony Calvillo. While he is deserving, I'd give it to Travis Lulay. Calvillo's stats are better, but the eyeball test says Lulay should win the award. Will he? Probably not. But here is hoping the voters see what I see and give Lulay his first MOP.
  20. To end the regular season, I went 2-2 and had a total record of 41-31. Not what I wanted, but not horrendous either. At this time last year, I was 38-34. At least I can say I improved.

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