Saturday 13 November 2010

Preview: East Division Semi-Final


Do I really need to hype this up? It's Toronto... versus Hamilton... at Ivor Wynne Stadium... in the playoffs. This game hypes itself.
"Labour Day on 'roids"
– Kate McKenna
"WOOO! Not for the faint of heart, baby. YEAH!"
– Otis Floyd
"TURNT UP!!!!"
– Maurice Mann

Just look at the three above quotes. That tells you what this game is all about. OK, the Mann one doesn't make much sense without context, but the quotes by Floyd and Ti-Cat TV host Kate McKenna capture the mood perfectly.

The atmosphere for this game will be off the hook. Anyone who attended last year's playoff game against BC knows that this one will be louder and rowdier. I can't wait.

The goal for the Cats will be to stop Cory Boyd and force Cleo Lemon to beat them. That's a recipe for disaster for Toronto. Lemon has not looked good this season, and when forced, he makes mistakes. Capitalizing on those mistakes will be key for the Tiger-Cats.

For the Argos, the emphasis will be on making Kevin Glenn uncomfortable and getting him off his rhythm. When Glenn is on, he's as good as anyone in the league. The Argos must get Glenn off his game. If they don't, it will be a long day for the Boatmen.

The Cats and Argos played three times this season, and the Cats beat the Argos in all three matchups. In fact, the only team the Argos did not beat this year was Hamilton. Also of note is that the Tiger-Cats' margin of victory grew in each subsequent game: they won 16-12 on August 20th, 28-13 on Labour Day and 30-3 on October 15th.

But those three previous meetings mean nothing come Sunday. This is the playoffs, and the playoffs are a different beast than the regular season.

And it is that "different beast" aspect that gives the Cats a slight advantage. This year the Cats play the East Semi with the experience advantage. Not many Argos have tasted playoff football, similar to the Cats last year. There is nothing better than afternoon football at Ivor Wynne... except afternoon playoff football at Ivor Wynne.

If you're not going to the stadium to take this in (and you better have a damn good reason for not going), as always you can listen to the game on AM900 CHML and Y108 or watch the game on TSN and TSN HD.

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