Saturday, 13 October 2012

BC 37, Hamilton 17

I have witnessed some putrid football at Ivor Wynne Stadium during my two decades of attending games, and last night's Stinker in Pink (both teams wore pink gear to kick off the 2012 CFL Pink campaign) against the BC Lions ranks up there with some of the worst performances I have ever witnessed. The whole night was just a waste. The team was terrible, the weather was cold and the outcome was all but decided by the end of the first quarter.

This will be short, sweet and feature but one name: Avon Cobourne. In every game, win or loss, the only player I see that looks like they remotely give a crap is Avon Cobourne. He plays hard every play and I would hate to see where this team would be without him. The team is bad right now, but it would be even worse if he wasn't around.

The secondary has been a lightning rod for criticism over the last couple of years and last night I might have figured out why. It looks like the guys they have playing defensive back just don't have any instincts. And it is not just one player either. Plenty of times I saw the ball going to a receiver that was decently covered and the Ti-Cat player covering him never turned to make a play. A lot of those times, they would be called for pass interference. The DBs just didn't know when to turn to try to knock down or pick off the pass. It is something that has probably been obvious for some time, but I really picked up on it last night.

Despite the offense's inability to do much of anything after the first quarter, this loss hangs on the defense. Forget the 37 points against, the defense allowed the Lions to march down the field at will, offering nothing in the way of resistance. Sitting in the stands, we were joking about how many yards BC would pick up on one of their many second-and-long plays to get the first down. Too many times, we were right. There is way too little time to fix anything now, but this unit, from the coaching staff on down to the plays, will need a major overhaul in the off-season if they hope to field even a competent defense next season.

But like pretty much every Tiger-Cat loss this year, mistakes did them in. Sometimes it is turnovers and sometimes it is penalties, but it is always something. Tonight, it was penalties. Two touchdowns were called back due to penalties (they got one of them back a couple of plays later) and what could have been a game-turning interception was negated by an offside penalty. Another typical showing for the Ti-Cats in 2012.

Final Thoughts
The Ti-Cats, at 5-10, will finish under .500 for the sixth time in eight years. But this might be the most disappointing of all those sub-.500 teams. Hopes were higher this year than in any since 1998/1999, and they have come crashing down in an almost unfathomable way. The Ti-Cats have won five games all year, three of which came in the month of July. Since their bye week, the Ti-Cats have won two of 10. The fact of the matter is, this just isn't a good football team. And depending on the outcomes of the games this afternoon, the Ti-Cats could find themselves in last place in the entire league. Not exactly what was expected back in the off-season.

Next up for the Cats is a trip out west to take on the Calgary Stampeders. McMahon Stadium has not exactly been a kind place to the Tiger-Cats in the last 10 years. Hamilton was won once in their last 10 trips to Calgary. And when they lose, they usually get blown out. Going to Cowtown does not seem like a recipe for success.

Three games left before we can put this miserable and disappointing season behind us. Those three games cannot come soon enough.

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