Wednesday 6 March 2013

Breaking Down the 2013 Schedule

So after months of people complaining, the CFL finally released their 2013 schedule yesterday. The big takeaways from a Hamilton-centric view are no Labour Day Classic and a return to Moncton for Touchdown Atlantic.

So let's start with the big one and that's no Labour Day game. As someone who was furious when the game was altered in 2011, you'd probably expect me to be a little peeved this bit of news. But I'm actually not at all bothered by it. This season was always going to be different, so losing the game for one year is hardly anything to get angry about. And since the two teams didn't meet two years ago, and the world didn't collapse because of it, I think everything will be fine this season. I would have liked to see the game played in Toronto, but such is life.

The return of Touchdown Atlantic comes as no surprise. When it was announced that the Ti-Cats would play there in 2011, I was a little upset because I knew that they would be playing there in 2013. Lo and behold, they're playing in Moncton in 2013. But this is a great way to grow the game, so I hope it is just as successful as the previous two contests. And I cannot recommend enough that people go. Going in 2011 was great and anyone who is thinking of going should go. Trust me, you will not regret it.

There were some other interesting things of note in the schedule. The Ti-Cats will play a lot of back-to-back games. Five times, to be exact. The team has home-and-home dates with the Roughriders, Lions, Blue Bombers, Alouettes and Argonauts, and are the home team in the second half of those back-to-backs all five times. The Ti-Cats have been a decent home team during the last few years, so if they can steal a couple of wins on the road, they could be in line for a few sweeps.

The Cats will end the season with five consecutive games against their East Division rivals. The play the Argos, Argos, Als, Als and Bombers to end the season. Should the team get off to a slow start, they have a chance to make-up ground at the end of the year.

And maybe the most interesting scheduling anomaly is no games at West Division teams after their September 13th game in Calgary. The other three teams in their division all play at least two games out west during that time, with the Argos playing three West Division opponents after Hamilton has made their final trip out west.

There really isn't much to dislike about the schedule, but the schedule is only as important as the team that is one the field. We now know when and where the Ti-Cats will play; all that is left to find out is the how. And we'll have to wait another four months before we get the answer to that.

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