Monday 8 November 2010

Morning-After Thoughts (Week 19)

And we are done. Ladies and gentlemen, that puts a wrap on the 2010 CFL regular season. And what a season it was. Now we get ready for the playoffs. Before the calendar turns we will have crowned the champion of the 98th Grey Cup.
  1. I know there is the possibility of him retiring, but did Friday's game really have to be "The Doug Brown Appreciation Hour"? The guy is a good player, but c'mon. There was no need to slurp him like that. It made all the schmaltzy Brett Favre stuff of the last five years seem tame by comparison.
  2. Did Drew Tate just make himself a lot of money? He will be a free agent following the season, and I firmly believe he can be a starting QB right now. My gut says he stays in Calgary and waits for Henry Burris to retire in the next couple of years, but I can also see a team like Toronto throwing a bunch of money at him that is just too much to turn down.
  3. So it took three games this time, but Jesse Lumsden is once again injured. Can't say I'm surprised. Well, I guess I am surprised that it took this long.
  4. Winnipeg may have finished 4-14, but all is not hopeless in the 'Peg. Winnipeg lost an astounding 10 games by a touchdown or less, nine of them by four points or less. If they somehow win half of those games, they finish 9-9 and make the playoffs.
  5. First, the boat. Then, the plane. Finally, the ATVs and Ski-Doos. Seriously, Winnipeg, quit putting easily accessible vehicles in the end zone.
  6. A very nice day for BC Lion WR Emmanuel Arceneaux. Two nice TD catches (though one is questionable) and over 100 yards helped BC get a much-needed win and put Arceneaux over 1,000 yards for the season.
  7. While still looking every bit the young player that he is, there is something I like about Travis Lulay. He reminds me of Dave Dickenson. No, it's not just the the fact that they are both Gingers, but he has the same moxie that Dickenson displayed during his career. Lulay looks like the real deal.
  8. Full credit must be given to the BC Lions for making the playoffs. Going into the Labour Day weekend, the Lions were 1-7 and calls for Wally Buono's job were growing louder and louder. During the final ten games, the Lions went 7-3 and now have a date with the Riders in Regina next week to see who goes to Calgary the following week. Raise your hand if you thought BC would make the playoffs. Yeah, didn't think so.
  9. It was a bit of a noodle scratcher to see Glenn et al. play the entire game. I know Marcel Bellefeuille wanted to see the Offense get into a rhythm before pulling guys, but when Glenn came out to start the second half (after having displayed said rhythm by scoring 21 first-half points) I was surprised. To see Glenn take the final offensive snap was even more surprising. That said, Saskatchewan was in the very same predicament that Hamilton was in, and their starters played the entire game too, but they had the added motivation of not wanting to go into the playoffs on a five-game losing streak. Plus, had the Eskimos won, they would have been Saskatchewan's opponent next week. Maybe, instead of questioning we should be praising. In a time when teams are undefeated and sit their starters (*cough*Indianapolis Colts*cough*) it was refreshing to see two Head Coaches give a damn about winning what was, in fact, a meaningless game. Perhaps we should stricken the words "meaningless game" from our vocabulary.
  10. Even though he's only been credited (so far) with two sacks, Jermaine Reid had a whale of a game replacing the injured Matt Kirk. From where I sat, Reid had three sacks, but the official score sheet has him listed with two. Either way, nice to see Reid step up when needed.
  11. I have been saying all year that Arland Bruce is the best WR in the CFL. I may need to amend that statement. Fred Stamps continues to stake his claim for the title, and I'm inclined to at least give him a share of it. As impressive a WR as there is in the Canadian Football League.
  12. Is there any tougher QB than Ricky Ray? The last few seasons have seen Ray get the tar beaten out of him, yet he dusts himself off and heads back to the huddle for the next play. Much respect for Ricky Ray.
  13. Once Eric Tillman took over the Edmonton Eskimos, the team got better. He didn't make many moves, but I expect Tillman to solidify the roster in Edmonton much like he did in Saskatchewan. I would be stunned if the Eskimos miss the playoffs in 2011.
  14. Edmonton, however, did miss the playoffs in 2010, and that will likely cost Richie Hall his job as Head Coach. Hall seems like a nice guy, and he is a very good Defensive Coordinator, but I would suspect that he is not long for the Head Coaching ranks. Now, let the speculation begin as to who will replace Hall. I bet Tiger-Cat Defensive Coordinator Greg Marshall will at or near the top of Tillman's list.
  15. As much as it pains me to write this, a hearty congratulations must go out to the Toronto Argonauts for finishing the season 9-9. I don't think even the most optimistic of Argo fans would have thought a .500 record was possible in 2010.
  16. This year is just seems that certain teams have other teams' number. The BC Lions were the only team to win at McMahon Stadium, and they did it twice. Toronto went 0-3 against the Tiger-Cats, with Hamilton's margin of victory getting bigger in each subsequent game. Perhaps the most astounding is that same Toronto team beat the Montreal Alouettes twice, and actually won the season series between the two on point differential.
  17. It looks like the career of Toronto Argonaut DB Willie Middlebrooks could be over. He has a nerve impingement in his vertebrae that doctors have told him could result in serious injury if he continues to suit up. It's a sad end to a very good career.
  18. Was there a worse way for the Alouettes to end the season? They lost to both the Argos and Tiger-Cats by a combined score of 70-4 in two of the last three weeks. They will see one of those teams in the East Division Final in 13 days. Their lone win in the last three games came on that only-in-the-CFL play to beat Toronto. They very easily could have lost that game as well. Montreal will still be favoured going into the East Final, but it's no longer a sure bet that the Als will get to Edmonton, regardless of if it's the Cats or Argos they play on the 21st.
  19. With the season now at a close, the league leaders in all the statistical categories are set. Only two QBs – Darian Durant and Kevin Glenn – threw for over 5,000 yards, with Durant leading the league, with 5,542. Five RBs – Fred Reid, Cory Boyd, Joffrey Reynolds, DeAndra' Cobb and Wes Cates – eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing barrier. Reid led the way, with 1,396. Twelve players amassed more than 1,000 receiving yards, with Andy Fantuz leading the way, with 1,380. This is the first time a Canadian has led the CFL in receiving since Dave Sapunjis in 1995. Barrin Simpson led a trio of players – Jamall Johnson and Kevin Eiben being the other two – who went over 100 tackles. Simpson finished with 104. James Patrick led the league in interceptions, with nine, Philip Hunt led the league in sacks, with 16, and rookie Rob Maver led the league in points, with 185.
  20. It was an up-and-down season making game predictions. I had some atrocious weeks, and some very good ones. I pegged a few upsets, but missed the mark by picking Hamilton 18 times. I finished the regular season a very respectable, at least in my mind, 38-34. I will continue to make picks for the playoffs, and I will count them towards my overall total. With five games left to play, I would have to get all five wrong to finish below .500 for the season.

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