Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ticats to Burlington?

According to this Spec article, the Cats have been talking to Burlington about a possible site in Aldershot (the Cats have bandied this site about earlier). It is near the GO station, plus obviously well situated near highways. If you're coming from the Mountain via public transportation, not so hot.

At first glance, this deal seems like a longshot (like the CP site) where everything would have to go right to proceed. First Burlington would have to put in money to make it happen (Hamilton was going to contribute $45 million from the future fund, money I don't think Burlington has just lying around) and considering the current slate of politicians were elected after the pier debacle, I don't see the citizens of Burlington being very happy about it. Plus the deal would be contingent on the new site getting all the federal and provincial money earmarked for a Hamilton site. I find it difficult to believe that a Liberal premier would allow such a large chunk of money to go to a long time PC city and in the process possibly piss off a far larger city with seats potentially in play in the October election.

Bratina is quoted in this CP article about the situation. Here's one of the comments from user FS5513:

"If Bob Young wants to foot the bill the Ticats can go wherever they want but don't ask me as a Burlington taxpayer to pick up the tab for yet another foolish project in our city."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CP Stadium Dead, Confederation Park Dead

Well the potential CP rail site died from being too expensive and now Confederation Park is pretty much dead as a potential stadium location after Bob Bratina's motion got stomped. As an aside, people complained about Fred Eisenberger being a weak mayor, but Bob might end up even weaker.

Here's the Spec story and here's the National Post story,, complete with Ticat president Scott Mitchell comments.

Personally as a season ticket holder living downtown, Confederation Park has always been my least favourite site. I'm still a fan of Ivor Wynne although obviously the Cats are not. Ivor Wynne has character, whereas an new stadium that will be built today will probably end up a soulless steel bandbox like BMO. Sure people might be excited for a couple of seasons, but then what?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Khari Jones, New Ticats Offensive Coordinator

Perry Lefko has a story on the Sportsnet site about the Cats promoting quarterbacks coach Khari Jones to offensive co-ordinator. Can Jones be successful? Obviously only time will tell, but Jones does have an advantage in having a proven starter in Kevin Glenn going into 2011 and a decent receiving corps. Last year I could barely remember Mike Gibson as the offensive co-ordinator. Jones won't have that anonymity next year.

Kavis Reed is in as the Eskimos head coach. No real predictions, but the defence will probably improve. Will the team keep Ricky Ray is probably the biggest question.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Here's a Reddit IAMA thread from a former CFL player that's somewhat interesting. Apparently Tom Higgins is a douche.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gibson and Burrato Gonzo

Drew Edwards is reporting in the Spec that offensive coordinator Mike Gibson and offensive line coach and serial CFL retread Steve Burrato are gone from the Ticats.

Can't say I'm sorry to see them gone, but going into the season I expected a bit more from the Cats offence. Statwise the offensive results seemed OK, but for me, one thing that was lacking was conversion on third and short. This season there seemed to be a lot of key failures in that situation that cost the Cats games that didn't show up much on the score sheet (OK they show up as turnovers, but players can still rack up good individual stats).

Will Gibson's replacement end up doing better next season? Unlike in previous years, I'm not so sure.

Toronto at Hamilton, East Semi-Final 2010

A bit late, but here's a few photos I took of the East semi-final against Toronto at Ivor Wynne. Some what depressing thinking about that game and losign to Cleo "the Party" Lemon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alouettes Repeat

I managed to catch Montreal's 21 to 18 victory on the radio. Not a huge fan of football on the radio as I find I end up getting distracted between plays, especially if the Cats aren't playing. I'm wondering if I had a Telus phone and Wifi if I would have been able to watch it on my phone here in Chile.

Not really a lot to say about the game, the Alouettes were better in the second half. The Alouettes repeated as champions to me proves one truism, to win Grey Cups try to be decent every year. That sounds obvious, but for the other three North American leagues with 30 plus teams you're better to shoot for mediocrity one year and greatness another if you're trying to maximize the number of championships. In the CFL, just keep getting in there, the probabilities are bound to work out sooner or later.

Calvillo's post game announcement of a thyroid condition is a bit strange, but it does sound like he's coming back unless it is really bad. I'm betting on Cahoon to retire as his play dropped off considerably this year. He had 703 yards receiving this year compared to 1031 in 2009. That means the Als have to find a new Canadian receiver, although Cahoon probably receives a decent salary so some cap space is opened up.

One still has to favour Montreal to win the East next year, although the Cats will probably be closer. The Argos still have a quarterback situation to deal with. Winnipeg, well good luck with Buck Pierce.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Grey Cup Prediction, Montreal versus Saskatchewan

Due to being in Chile the best I can hope for is listening to the game over a bad internet connection. The latest line I've seen is 3.5 points in favour of Montreal which came down over the week. I would favour Montreal as well. Generally when they've had to play well they did, including last week's dismantling over the Argos. The Riders are a lot more consistent than the Argos and have an offensive attack that can challenge the Alouettes. I do think it will be close.
Alouettes 29, Saskatchewan 27

Friday, November 26, 2010

Knowlton Wins Best Defensive Player Award

Congrats to Markeith Knowlton on winning the CFL's best defensive player award. When was the last time a Cat won this award? Joe Montford, in 2001.

Some decent ratings for the West and East finals. The East still has some ways to go, although with the Riders in the West game it is a tough comparison.

Monday, November 15, 2010

No Joy in Mudville, Ticats Lose to the Argos

Watching the Cats lose to the Argos 16 to 13 yesterday at Ivor Wynne was certainly frustrating. Turnovers certainly cost Hamilton. Thigpen's fumbles were crucial, as was Glenn's first interception. Penalties weren't kind to the Cats either.

The turning point though was on the Argos last series where they started at three and managed to drive a good way down the field into the win. If the Cats had been able to stop them at any point earlier, making the tying field goal would have been much easier.

Bauman had another good game with 108 yards on five catches. McDaniel had a decent game with 7 catches for 85 yards, while Bruce had 76 yards on seven catches. Stala only had two for 22 yards. Bauman's is very likely gone after this season.

The Cats should still be a decent team next year. If Calvillo retires we might even be the preseason favourites for the East.

Anyways, more analysis to come.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ticat Game Day, East Semifinals

The Ticat offensive line has been stable for quite a while. Gauthier and import Jimenez at tackle, Dyakowski and Rottier at guard and Hage at centre.

Mann and Bruce are listed as the wideouts, with McDaniel and non-import Stala as the slots. Carter is listed ahead of Bauman as a backup receiver.

Glenn starts at quarterback, with Cobb as the running back and Schmidt as the non-import fullback. That's six non-import starters on offense.

Hickman and Baggs are the ends, with McIntyre and Bolden in the middle. Non-import Reid backs up.

Knowlton, Floyd and Johnson are the linebackers as they have been all season.

Non-imports Hinds and Tisdale are the corners. Dennis and Shivers are listed as the defensive backs, with non-import Barker as the safety. That's two non-import starters on defence. Deangelis kicks and Wilbur punts.

For the Argos offensive line, import Murphy and Mac product Van Zeyl are the tackles, with former Cat Gagne-Marcoux andRobertson as the guards and Picard as the centre.

Rideau and Owens are the starting wide receivers. Copeland and McNeal are the slots. Lemon starts at QB (with Burlingtonian Brannigan as the third stringer), with Boyd as the running back/fullback and non-import Durie as the running back/slotback. That's five non-import starters on offense.

Non-import Foley and Flemons are the starting defensive ends, with Huntley and Taylor in the middle.

Younger, non-import and Mac product Pottinger and non-import Eiben are the starting linebackers.

Smalls and Parker are the starting corners. McCollough and Shell are the defensive backs, with Pile the starting safety. That's three non-import starters on defence, eight total.

Prefontaine kicks and punts.

The CFL will honour veteran's today at the two games.

Last time the Cats won a playoff game? Apparently 2001 according to this Scott Radley article. Ouch.

CFL Predictions, Division Semifinals

Toronto at Hamilton,
Hamilton is favoured by 6.5 points at home, which seems a little high. Hamilton has lost two coming in, while Toronto has won one. The Ticats are 5 and 4 at home, while the Argos are 5 and 4 on the road. The Argos are still starting Cleo "the Party" Lemon, who has passed for 3,433 yards going 285 for 462, a not terrible 61.7% completion rating. 15 TDs to 19 picks certainly isn't good. Glenn went 388 for 602 (64.5%) for 5,102 yards with 33 TDs and 17 interceptions. Amusingly both teams ended up with 9 and 9 records despite the quarterback disparity.

Toronto has a chance if Cory Boyd gets hot and they get excellent special teams play and don't fall behind early. That's a lot to count on. Hamilton wins their first playoff game in quite some time.
Hamilton 29, Toronto 25

BC at Saskatchewan,
The Riders are favoured by 4 points at home, where they are a stellar 7 and 2. The Lions do sport a good 5 and 4 away record. BC is 7 and 3 over the last ten games and has won their past 3. The Riders have a one game winning streak, ending the Eskimos' season. BC has some good offensive weapons, but quarterback Travis Lulay isn't as good as Saskatchewan pivot Darian Durant. There's a chance of a BC upset, but the Riders are a different team at home.
Saskatchean 33, BC 27

End of Regular Season Power Rankings

1. Calgary
You can't really argue with a 13 and 5 team that was relatively hot down the stretch and has both a good offense and defence. Odds on favourite for to take the Grey Cup.
2. Montreal
Finished 12 and 6, but a little weak down the stretch when it didn't matter. Lost last week to the Argos, but they rested pretty much everyone apart from the long snapper. Heavy on playoff experience.
3. Saskatchewan
Somewhat shaky down the stretch, but they managed to beat the Eskimos last week where a win would have put Edmonton in the playoffs. Hurt by injuries of late and a bad road record at 3 and 6.
4. Hamilton
Up and down over the last part of the season. Lost a close one last week against a BC team that had to win. Some injuries, where earlier in the season they were remarkably healthy. Above average offense and defence.
5. BC
Went 7 and 3 over the last ten games. Won on the road when they had to last week. Quarterback Travis Lulay seems to be developing OK. Good road record.
6. Toronto
Good defence and special teams. Bad offense, bad starting quarterback in Cleo "the Party" Lemon. Better than one would expect from last year's team.
7. Edmonton
Terrible at the start, mediocre at the end of the season.
8. Winnipeg
Can things get worse than having Michael Kelly as your coach. The Bombers proved that last year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

CFL East All-Star Selections

I suppose I should say something about the CFL East all-star selections. Nine Alouettes being selected obviously makes sense. Seven Argos is a bit dubious, but Toronto was strong on defence and special teams and sucked on offense, so some of the defensive and special teams players making does make a certain amount of sense. Strange that the Ticats only had four players, Bruce, Stala, Hage and Knowlton. Especially only one defensive player making the squad, considering the Cats ended up with a decent defence by the end of the season.

But what it is really weird is Winnipeg a 4 and 14 team having seven players. I certainly don't remember the Cats having many all-stars during their 3 and 13 seasons. In a four team division you're going to see some weirdness I guess. Plus a lot of it is based on racking up stats by playing your position the entire season.

Here's a CBC article on the history of Argo Ticat playoff football.

Here's a TSN article singing the praises of Ticat receiver Chris Bauman who ended the regular season with 298 yards and 3 TDs. Hopefully he has a good post-season.

Finally looks like Richie Hall is out as the Edmonton Eskimos coach. If he had won last week to get in the playoffs but then lost against the Riders on Sunday, would he still have a job? Hard to say. Edmonton was pretty mediocre considering they had a bona fide starting quarterback, which is a lot more than the Argos had and they managed to eke out nine wins.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Comparison of 2009 and 2010 Ticat Attendance

Two 9 and 9 seasons back to back make it a bit more convenient to compare attendance for this year and last year. Here's the 2010 regular season attendance game by game with the opponent:

Calgary 25,248
Winnipeg 21,408
Winnipeg 23,653
Toronto 30,319
Montreal 23,452
Saskatchewan 23,108
Edmonton 20,791
Montreal 23,118
BC 23,931
Total 215,028 (23,892 Average)

Besides the Labour Day, the next biggest was the Calgary game with 25,248. Strangely the game against BC last weekend was third with 23,931 attending. It didn't look like a bad crowd but it didn't look like a great crowd either so I'm wondering if this number is a bit suspect. I did see more BC fans than I expected including some at the Prince Edward Tavern following the game.

The Edmonton game at 20,791 was the low point, but Edmonton was relatively weak at that point in the season. No sub 20,000 games this year. The Rider game was weaker than last year. I blame this on the fact the Riders played back to back in Toronto and Hamilton this year. Spreading out the games would probably maximize Southern Ontario Rider fan attendance. Plus Saskatchewan is the richest team in the league, so don't bother trying to save them money by doing Hamilton and Toronto on one road trip.

Toronto 23,211
Winnipeg 24,292
BC 20,103
Edmonton 19,206
Toronto 30,293
Calgary 19,448
Montreal 22,083
Winnipeg 19,562
Saskatchewan 24,586
Total 202,784 (22,532 Average)
Compared to the 2010 opener, the 2009 was significantly smaller and had an ostensibly better opponent in Toronto. Hopefully the Cats can build on this and make the opener their second Labour Day. Three sub 20,000 games in 2009 were a big difference from 2009. In terms of teams, BC and Calgary were up significantly from 2009.

Overall the attendance was up by a healthy 6% in 2010. It will probably be difficult in getting as large a percentage bump in 2011 since the 2009 team was significantly improved over the 2008 version which likely showed up in higher ticket sales for 2010. A 3% increase is probably a realistic goal.

Hamilton Tigercats Cheerleaders

Here's a photo set from the game on Saturday.

Bizarre that Jesse Lumsden tore his ACL playing for Calgary on the weekend and is done for the season. There's not really much to say.

Kudos to Andy Fantuz for being the first non-import to lead in receiving yards (1380) since the Stamps Dave Sapunjis in 1995 (1655). That pretty much locks down the best Canadian award for him. Congratulations also to the Ticats' Dave Stala who finished 12th overall in receiving with 1,023. Sadly Marquay McDaniel finished with 994 yards. Six yards. Ouch.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BC at Hamilton

I suppose after the disappointment of yesterday's 23 to 21 loss at Ivor Wynne to the BC Lions I should say something. Somewhat pathetic that the team couldn't drive into field goal range at the end of the game. They certainly had enough time. Sad the team couldn't win with Glenn out there the entire time. Sad that Porter couldn't make a key third down conversion on a sneak.

At least Stala picked up the yards he needed for 1000 on the season, but 28 yards on three passes isn't too impressive. McDaniel had a shot at 1000 yards as well, but blew it, only getting 29 yards on 3 catches. Certainly the ball was thrown enough his way. Cobb had 36 yards on ten attempts which doesn't bode well for the playoffs.

Bright spots were Mann with 115 yards on 6 catches with 2 TDs, no doubt receiving the ball more due to Bruce's injury. Bauman caught three passes for 95 yards which was also nice and shows the depth the Cats have at receiver this year. Jermaine Reid, in for the injured Kirk was a force with five tackles and two sacks and seemed to be almost playing every down. Maybe the Cats should have been using him all season.

Ultimately disappointing that the Cats finished with the same regular season record as 2009 at 9 and 9. Hopefully fans will take note of this and not continue the Bellefeuille lovefest that seems to have been going on this season.

The Cats finished the season with 481 points scored and 450 points against. Depending on how the Toronto Montreal tilt goes, the Cats do have a chance for the least amount points against in the CFL. So that's something. Photos of the game should be up by tomorrow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

CFL Predictions, Week 19, Part A

Calgary at Winnipeg,
Calgary being the best team in the league and Winnipeg the worst, one might think I'm picking Calgary. You're right.
Calgary 40, Winnipeg 13

Edmonton at Saskatchewan,
The Riders are favoured by 1.5 points at home, but Edmonton needs to win to get in the playoffs and keep alive the slim hope of playing for the Grey Cup at home. Edmonton has won three straight while the Riders have lost four. Not sure if Ray or Zabransky is starting for the Eskimos. I'll go with the hot team that needs to win.
Edmonton 28, Saskatchewan 24

Monday, November 1, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 18

1. Calgary
After their dismantling of a hot Ticat team, with at least up until this game, a great defence, the Stampeders have to be considered the best team in the CFL. Especially considering the Hamilton game didn't really mean much.
2. Montreal
The game didn't mean much, but they managed to come from behind and beat the Argos in Hogtown. Still a last second victory over a Cleo "the Party" Lemon quarterbacked team isn't really saying a lot.
3. Hamilton
Sure they got spanked by Calgary, but the Cats are still relatively hot.
4. Saskatchewan
Losing again, to a BC team at home that needed to win. Still a good team, but definitely second tier now and whereas before they were pretty much a lock to win their home playoff date, things don't look so sure now.
5. Toronto
Had chances to beat the Alouettes at home and keep their home playoff spot alive. Somehow managed to be ahead until Cleo Lemon starts sucking. Bizarre how such a bad offence can still be 8 and 9.
6. BC
Beat a relatively good team in Saskatchewan. Still a mediocre team with a crappy home record.
7. Edmonton
Beat a bad Bomber team in overtime. Sure they control their own destiny, but if against BC this week I wouldn't bet on them.
8. Winnipeg
Worse than last year's Mike Kelly coached team. Ouch.

Friday, October 29, 2010

CFL Previews, Week 18, Part A

Montreal at Toronto,
Toronto could in theory host a playoff game, but they have to win. Montreal has nothing to play for. Toronto's quarterback is Cleo "the Party" Lemon. Montreal has some injuries. Toronto is at home. Montreal probably wants to play at least some decent football before the playoffs. Montreal looked awful last week against the Ticats, but they got behind early after some bad breaks and no incentive to bust their asses to get back in the game. I would expect more from Calvillo this week and Toronto's offence is crime against humanity.
Montreal 27, Toronto 19

Hamilton at Calgary,
The Ticats have been hot, winning their past three games. Calgary has been more tepid lately and already have captured their division and losing last week. Hamilton could lose the right to hold a playoff game, but they would have to suck pretty hard. How hard will the Stampeders play in this game? If the Hamilton front four comes after Burris hard what happens. I get the feeling that Hamilton has no desire to let up going into the playoffs, although missing Arland Bruce this week hurts. I'll go with the Cats in a squeaker, with Stevie Baggs making the difference.
Hamilton 33, Calgary 32

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ticats Lose Morencie off Practice Roster to Winnipeg

A bit of a strange story here from the Windsor Star, about Ticats offensive lineman Matt Morencie getting picked up off of the practice roster by Winnipeg. Sad to lose a young offensive lineman, although the Cats could have moved him to the active roster if they wanted to keep him bad enough. Did the bad behaviour at the Windsor Lancer game affect the Cats decision? Maybe, although Winnipeg being totally out of it gives them more roster flexibility for the last couple of games. Interesting that Morencie is a J.P. Metras award winner for best university offensive lineman in the CIS, but still only practice roster material.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 17

1. Calgary
Sure they lost to BC at home, but it was close. They sort of had something to still play for, which is a bit disturbing, but it is only one week.
2. Montreal
The Alouettes getting spanked 40 to 3 in Hamilton shouldn't mean too much, considering the game meant nothing to them, plus they had some injuries. But, Calvillo was in there for a lot of the game and losing by 37 points is something bad teams do to good teams. Can Montreal do anything the last two weeks of the regular season?
3. Hamilton
The Ticats are probably the hottest team in the league right now. The addition of Stevie Baggs on the defensive line has been one of those rare midseason NFL signings that has worked out well. Signing Hebert gives the Cats even more depth on defence.
4. Saskatchewan
Bumbling and stumbling. Injuries have laid the once excellent Riders low. Losing to Edmonton without Ricky Ray is pretty pathetic. At least they will have a home playoff date no matter what else happens in the regular season.
5. Toronto
Probably the worst 8 and 8 team in recent years. Still led by arguably the worst starting quarterback in the CFL Cleo "the Party" Lemon, the Argos have a good running back, special teams and defence (especially the front four). That'll get you a few wins this year in the CFL.
6. BC
Managing to beat Calgary at home is impressive. Getting rid of Casey Printers was addition by subtraction. Still a mediocre team.
7. Edmonton
Things are looking up the Eskimos. No longer the worst team in the CFL and still in the hunt for a playoff spot winning against the Riders with their backup quarterback Zabransky. Maybe they're better without Ray.
8. Winnipeg
Officially the Bombers can't do better than last year's Mike Kelly coached squad. What use are the Bombers if they're going to have a dull coach and do worse. Now their top two quarterbacks are injured. Getting spanked weekend by Argo quarterback Cleo "the Party" Lemon has to hurt.

After yesterday's post about what the Hamilton municipal elections would mean for the Ticats, there was an article about Bratina from Sportsnet.ca and another article on Jason Farr from the Spec. Certainly Bratina sounds pretty Ticat friendly from that article.

The Eskimos signed quarterback Kerry Joseph, who hasn't played since last year. Doesn't show a lot of confidence in Jason Maas, but I guess you need a third quarterback when you still have the slightest glimmer of playing at home in the Grey Cup.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Does Hamilton's Election Mean for the Ticats?

Well Bratina won, which pretty much confuses things. Bratina came out relatively early against the West Harbour and thus a plan for fixing up a brownfield in his own ward. After the East Mountain deal hit the skids, Bratina came out for West Harbour in dramatic fashion, removing his jacket to show a West Harbour Tshirt at a rally at Hess Village. Now it seems he wants Confederation Park, probably the worst site for HSR public transit back as a site for the Pan Am stadium. Since he's only one vote on council, that seems unlikely. Who knows what will happen with the CP Rail site with Bob as mayor. Besides the stadium issue, one would assume that Bratina will be relatively Ticat friendly.

The other result of interest was Jason Farr, radio guy, Cable 14 guy and Ticat announcer winning the Ward 2 race slightly ahead of local activist Matt Jelly. I've heard that Farr was involved with the Go East Mountain rally for the East Mountain site, which frankly perplexes me as to how he got elected as councillor for Ward 2. As a Ticat fan and Ward 2 resident who's interested in getting the brownfields in the ward cleaned up, someone running who was for the Cats moving far away from the downtown and building on a greenfield doesn't seem like a viable candidate. But Hamilton has a long, sad history of electing media types so perhaps that's the explanation. Besides the stadium, one would have to expect Farr to be very friendly to the Ticats, based on past behaviour and employment as opposed to a candidate like Matt Jelly. It will be interesting to see if he continues as the stadium announcer after council is sworn in, in December.

With regards to what's next for the stadium, who knows. Although if there was any flicker of hope for West Harbour, that's done now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Best Defence in the CFL?

Look which team has only given up 372 points after sixteen games, the best in the league. That's right the Hamilton Tiger Cats. The Cats are fourth in offence with 436 points scored. I will also point out that the Argos are dead last in points scored with only 313. Bizarrely the Argos have given up 401 points yet still have a 500 record at 8 and 8.

I've noted in the past that the CFL is the ultimate home field advantage league. Currently the only team with a winning away record is Calgary at 5 and 3.

Cat Victory Aftermath

The Cats winning 40 to 3 was impressive, especially without having Bruce for a lot of the game, but really the game meant little to Montreal. Statwise Glenn had a great game going 22 for 31 for 371 yards and two TDs. Bruce only picked up one reception for 12 yards, leaving him at 1303 yards for the season, still good for the league lead, but a ways away from Tony Champion's Ticat record.

Stala caught four catches for 35 yards leaving him at 955 yards and still an excellent shot at 1000 yards. McDaniel caught 2 passes for 32 yards leaving him at 918 yards overall. 1000 is still easily possible.

Bauman had six catches for 147 yards and two TDs. Where did that come from? Oh yeah, he's a free agent at the end of this year. I say he signs in TO.

Cobb had nine rushes for 30 yards and a TD, which is pretty sucky average wise, but then he grabbed four passes for 73 yards so you can't really fault him. A yard is a yard.

Excellent effort overall. The Cats went for the jugular when they got ahead like good teams do. The Cats can wrap up a home playoff spot if they can beat Calgary on the road this week. One wonders if Bruce will be playing.

Nice article from the Montreal Gazette on Stevie Baggs. Over the Bob Young era, there's been some midseason NFL signings that didn't really go anywhere. Printers and Keith certainly come to mind. Baggs looks like the real deal. The $400,000 over the life of the deal is interesting. I'm guessing that's the rest of 2010, 2011 and 2012, for an average of $133,000 per year. The Cats probably had a chunk of salary cap room left for 2010 and used it for Baggs.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

CFL Predictions, Week 17, Part B

Winnipeg at Toronto,
This is a bit biased considering I'm writing this after the BC Calgary game last night, which pretty much screwed the Blue Bombers. Fulling expecting BC to lose, Winnipeg really needed this game, whereas Toronto not so much, especially with Hamilton winning this week as well. Knowing all this, I'll go with the Argos. They find weird ways to win this year, whereas the Bombers have massive skills in losing close games. Admittedly the Argos are still starting Cleo "the Party" Lemon, who may go down as the year long starting quarterback with the worst stats in CFL history. Steven Jyles isn't really that good either.
Toronto 22, Winnipeg 15

Saskatchewan at Edmonton,
This is a hard one. BC has won, putting pressure on Edmonton to step things up. Calgary losing makes this game more important for the Riders, trying to take the division for two years in a row. Saskatchewan has some injuries, Edmonton sucks. The Riders have some pride and aren't likely to go into this game half-assed like Alouettes into Ivor Wynne last night. I'll pick the Riders.
Saskatchewan 33, Edmonton 28

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ticats Game Day, Alouettes Edition, We've Got a Shot!

Tigercatatonia is stuck on another continent and hoping to get some sort of internet feed of tonight's game against the Alouettes. The spread is down to 2 points in favour of the Als, no doubt due to Vegas realizing that the game doesn't matter much to Larks and are sending out some scrubs.

On to the starting Ticat offensive line. Gauthier and import Jimenez as the tackles, Dyakowski and Rottier as the guards and Hage as the centre. Surprise surprise.

Mann and Bruce are the wideouts, with non-import Stala and McDaniel as the slots. Glenn in at quarterback, Cobb as the running back and San Diego State product Steve Schmidt as the starting fullback. Darcy Brown what happened to you? Deangelis kicks and Wilbur punts.

The defensive ends are Hickman and Baggs, with Bolden and McIntyre in the middle. Knowlton, Floyd and Johnson are the linebackers.

Non-import Hinds and Smith are the corners with Dennis and Tisdale as the defensive backs. Non-import Barker starts at safety, provided he doesn't suddenly quit to join the fire department. So the Cats end up starting eight Canadians again.

The Alouettes start an all Canadian offensive line, Bourke and Perrett as the tackles, Woodruff and Flory as the guards and Brodeur-Jourdain as the centre.

Bratton and Green are the wideouts. Richards and non-import and Mormon Cahoon are the slots. Note that Cahoon only has 618 yards so far this year. Cobourne is listed as the running back and I don't think that's right. Non-import Carter is the fullback, with Calvillo obviously starting. That's seven Canadians starting on offence right there.

Bowman and Stewart are the defensive ends, with Wilson and McElveen in the middle.

Guzman, non-import Emry and Cox are the linebackers.

Dix and Estelle are the corners. Parker and Brown are the defensive backs, with non-import Proulx as the safety. That's nine total non-import starters.

The backwardsly named import Colt David punts and kicks in place of the injured Duval.

Hopefully the Cats can take this one and step closer to locking up the home semi-final. If the Cats win and the Argos lose, the Cats marketing department can start selling and maybe Bob Young buys the rights from the league for the game. With the Argos as the opponent, that should mean a few more opposing fans will come to the game than last year's tilt with BC. I'm not sure the Cats will get quite as many home fans as last year, which was close to a sellout, but it is possible. Hopefully they don't set the prices at a crazy level that keeps the casual fan away.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CFL Previews, Week 17, Part A

Montreal at Hamilton,
The Alouettes are favoured by 2.5 on the road and have beat the Ticats both previous games and in fact are riding a six game win streak against the poor Tabbies. Both are riding two game win streaks. The Alouettes are only 4 and 3 on the road as opposed to 7 and 1 at home, so they are almost two different teams. The Cats are 4 and 3 at home, which isn't particularly impressive considering they went 6 and 3 at home during the regular season last year. There is some hope for the Cats though in this late season engagement. The Alouettes have already locked up home field for the East division final so they don't really have a lot to play for and won't take many chances injury wise. The Alouettes won't have running back Avon Cobourne, linebacker Diamond "the Pimp" Ferri nor kick returner Tim Maypray and still no Kerry Watkins nor kicker/punter David Duval. It helps to have a veteran booting the ball late in the season at Ivor Wynne.

The Cats on the other hand still need to beat out Toronto to host the East semi, so they should actually care somewhat. The Cats also picked up linebacker Kyries Herbert (who I was shocked to learn was actually in the NFL the past couple of seasons with Cincinnati) who probably won't do much apart from special teams this week. Stevie Baggs should make things more difficult for Anthony Calvillo, who probably is on a pretty short leash anyways, being pretty crotchety and all.

Hopefully the Cats can get a decent crowd out this game, as the Cats should beat the Alouettes this week. However the Cats could end up sucking as usual versus Montreal.
Ticats 29 Montreal 25

BC at Calgary,
Calgary, unlike Montreal hasn't quite locked up the Western final home field advantage. Calgary, unlike Montreal is also at home this week. Plus BC is a lot worse than Hamilton. So it isn't really a surprise the Stampeders are favoured by 9.5 points. The Lions are a surprising 3 and 4 on the road, but the Stamps are 6 and 1 at home. BC has lost 2 while Calgary won last week. In theory BC should be desperate, considering they are life and death with Edmonton and the Peg for the final spot in the West, but they are a bad team starting the mediocre Travis Lulay who apropos of nothing reminds me of former Hamilton quarterback Timmy Chang. Barring a small Brother Andre sized miracle, the Stamps easily take it , even covering the spread.
Stampeders 31, BC 22

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hamilton Ticats Noteworthy Stats for 2010

Bruce still leads in receiving yards with 1291 and is in second with 85 receptions. With three games to go Bruce has a shot at breaking Tony Champion's 1656 yard receiving record although he needs 365 yards to do it. Bruce is already in the top ten for single season receptions since three were tied at 8th with 80. Darren Flutie holds the record with 98 in 1998. So Bruce only needs 15 in three games to break that Ticat record.

Dave Stala is tenth in receiving yards with 920 and looks pretty likely barring injury to break 1000 yards receiving. I have no idea what the Ticat non-import receiving record is. Could be held by Mike Morreale with 1076 yards in 1998, could be held by something else. The tenth best year was 1213 yards and I don't think any of the top ten is held by any non-imports so the record must be less than that. Stala is also tied for fourth in receptions with 74.

McDaniel has 886 yards so also has a really good shot at 1000 yards receiving. When have the Ticats last had 3 1000 yard receivers. Tigercatatonia has no idea. Some year with Danny Mac?

Cobb already has 1030 yards rushing, breaking the 1000 mark twice now (barring losing a ton of yards over the next few games). Tenth all time for the Ticats is Jimmy Edwards with 1046 yards, so Cobb is pretty much guaranteed to move up the top ten list. Troy Davis' 1628 yard mark in 2004 is in no danger, but Ronald Williams' third overall mark of 1,264 in 2000 is. Porter is second this year with 227 yards rushing for the Cats.

So some things to watch offensively over the last few regular season games of the year. Maybe a marketing opportunity for the Cats for the last game against BC.

CFL Team Google Hits

In yesterday's post, I looked at the number of hits resulting from doing a Google search of a CFL city together with the team name as a proxy of popularity. Obviously there's some issues with that methodology, but I thought why not do it anyways for all the the teams. I searched with quotes and used whatever seemed to get the most hits, i.e. "toronto argonauts" rather than "toronto argos".

1. "Saskatchewan Roughriders" 463,000
2. "BC Lions" 361,000
3. "Edmonton Eskimos" 291,000
4. "Calgary Stampeders" 263,000
5. "Toronto Argonauts", 210,000
6. "Hamilton Tiger Cats" 203,000
7. "Montreal Alouettes" 191,000
8. "Winnipeg Blue Bombers" 172,000

Probably the biggest surprise for me is the BC Lions coming in second. I would have thought middle of the pack tops, but the Lions are solidly in second. Winnipeg coming in dead last was a little bit of a surprise. Is low internet usage in Manitoba responsible? The Alouettes coming in second last also a bit of a surprise considering they have the entire province as a fan base. Maybe I should have searched with an accent in Montreal, but I'm pretty lazy.

The Cats didn't do too bad, considering the population of the area they draw from. The Riders kicking ass is also no surprise.

For laughs I also looked at "Ottawa Rough Riders" (16,100) and "Ottawa Renegades" (9,110). Better than nothing I suppose and also more than the "Atlantic Schooners" with 2,470. Well 2,470+1 after this post.

Not particularly scientific, but interesting nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 16

1. Calgary
Beating another good team in Saskatchewan is further indication that the Stamps are the team to beat this season.
2. Montreal
Sure they beat Calgary recently, but only winning by three at home to Winnipeg? That's not that impressive and these power rankings are pretty biased towards what has been achieved lately.
3. Hamilton
A solid bitch slapping of a decidely medicore Argo team and two good games in a row is enough to bump up the Cats. Are the Cats hot or is this blog biased? We'll know on Friday.
4. Saskatchewan
Losing to Calgary is one thing, but losing to Cleo "the Party" Lemon and the Argos the week before shows that something is amiss. Fortunately there's a lot of worse than mediocre CFL teams out there.
5. Toronto
Embarrassing themselves against the Cats. Why is Lemon still starting? Any tool can hand the ball off to Cory Boyd and mooch off of good special teams play. Somebody has got to be better at getting the ball to Jermaine Copeland. Also how do you start an all import receiving corps and have fuck all receiving yards?
6. Edmonton
The Eskimos are hot! One win in a row against a self-destructing team hot, but hot nonetheless.
7. Winnipeg
Gave their best shot against Montreal, with a playoff spot on the line and came up short. Time to start thinking about next year unless they are really lucky.
8. BC
Smelly, smelly team. Sure there's no more Casey Printers, but that's not enough. Maybe time for Buono to give up the coaching chair, although I pity the chump who has to work under him as GM.

I received an email addressed from Stevie "Shakespeare" Baggs (huh?) to season ticket holders saying every seat in the stadium is available for 50% off, plus free youth tickets. I don't mind these offers being focused at season ticket holders as opposed to wild spamming of tickets. This is just semi-wild.

One thing I wonder about when I hear about how much merchandise the Riders sell, especially in relation to other teams is how the Cats rank and how the amount sold has changed over the years. Googling "Hamilton Tiger-cats" gets you 300,000 hits while "Toronto Argonauts" gets you only 266,000. Conversely looking at the "Saskatchewan Roughriders" on the Google gets you 491,000 hits.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ticat Game Day: Argos Edition

For this week's game at Toronto, the offensive line doesn't change, Gauthier and import Jimenez at the tackles, Dyakowski and Rottier as guards and Hage is the centre. Mann and Bruce start as the wideouts, with non-import Stala and McDaniel as the slots. Glenn is the quarterback, big surprise however the starting fullback this week is non-import Schmidt, listed ahead of Darcy Brown. Cobb is the running back and is set to go over 1000 yards if he doesn't totally suck this week. That's six starting Canadians on offence.

For the defensive line, Hickman and Baggs are the ends, with McIntyre and Bolden in the middle. Knowlton, Floyd and Johnson are the linebackers. Non-import Hinds is one of the corners and Smith is the other. Dennis and Tisdale are the defensive backs. Barker is the non-import safety. So that's two starting Canadians on defence, so eight total, one above the minimum.

For the Argos on the offensive line, it is import Murphy and Mac product as Van Zeyl as the tackles, with Gagne-Marcoux and Robertson as the guards and Picard as the centre. Robinson and Owens as the wide receivers, with Copeland and McNeil as the slots. Boyd and non-import Durie are the starting running backs/fullbacks, with Lemon starting as quarterback. That's five non-import starters on offence.

On the defensive line it is all imports, with Buzbee and Flemons as the starting ends. Huntley and Taylor are the tackles.

Younger, and non-import and Mac product Pottinger and non-import Eiben are the starting linebackers.

Middlebrooks and Parker are the starting corners, with McCoullough and Shell as the defensive backs and Willie Pile as the starting safety.

The recently traded for non-import Prefontaine is the kicker and punter.

CFL Previews, Week 16, Part A

Hamilton at Toronto,
Both teams sport 7 and 7 records, but as I posted yesterday there's a big difference in points for and against, with the advantage for the Tigercats. The Cats are favoured by a slim 1.5 points away, with Hamilton having a 3 and 4 record away and the Argos having a 4 and 3 winning record at home. Both have one game winning streaks. Hamilton's secondary is still banged up, but the Argos are starting Cleo "the Party" Lemon, who one would be lying about if described as mediocre. The Cats already hold the Harold Ballard trophy after winning both the previous games against the Argos. The question boils down to, can the Cats front seven stop the Argo's running back Cory Boyd. The answer is yes. Plus after last week's Argo win powered by several trick plays, the Cats will be ready for them.
Hamilton 29, Argos 21

Edmonton at BC
Battle of the ass teams. The good thing about these two teams is that one of them has to win (barring a tie) which is to their advantage concerning the Bombers crossing over. Edmonton is 4 and 10 which is pretty sad and BC isn't much better at 5 and 10. The Eskimos are 1 and 6 on the road, whereas the Lions are 2 and 5 at home. The Lions last week were leading before losing in overtime whereas the Eskimos were thumped last week by Hamilton. BC should be a little better this week by releasing quarterback Casey Printers, but I don't have a lot of faith in Travis Lulay. I'll pick the Eskimos to tighten up the race in the West even though the Lions are favoured by 5.5 points.
Edmonton 29, BC 26

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Points For And Against Weirdness

After fourteen games, looking at the points for and against for the various team, there's some weirdness. Hamilton at 7 and 7 has scored 366 points and had 366 points scored against, which is unsurprising. Toronto however, also 7 and 7 has scored 283 points while giving up 363 points, which is certainly unusual. Perhaps even stranger, Winnipeg with a 4 and 10 record has scored 392 points while giving up only 385 points. BC at 5 and 9 has scored 356 points while giving up 366.

BC releasing Casey Printers isn't that surprising after his history in Hamilton. Doubtful that any CFL team will bother to pick him up. Just too much baggage there. That doesn't mean I have a lot of faith in Lulay as the Lions starter. At this point I would bet against BC locking up the final playoff spot, but when your competition is Winnipeg and Edmonton, anything is possible.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 15

1. Montreal
Hammering Calgary at home by a healthy 27 points is enough to move up to the top and certainly makes the Alouettes the favourites in the East.
2. Calgary
Sure they lost, but even great teams will have a poor performance now and then.
3. Saskatchewan
Somewhat disturbing losing to the Argos, but apart from the trick plays the Riders would have won.
4. Hamilton
Beating the Eskimos isn't that much of an accomplishment, but handily beating them shows some improvement.
5. Toronto
Finding ways to win with special teams is enough considering the mediocrity of the rest of the league.
6. BC
Sure they lost to Winnipeg this week, but the Bombers were lucky at the end.
7. Winnipeg
They finally win another game in rather stirring fashion. They still suck this year.
8. Edmonton
Honking it up but inexplicably still on the hunt for a playoff spot. The CFL desperately needs an expansion team.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Barker Sack, Edmonton at Hamilton

Here's a set of photos from the Edmonton game, including this photo of Ticat safety Dylan Barker about to sack Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray. This photo of the boxes at Ivor Wynne shows TSN commentators Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor with their green screen behind them if you look closely enough.

Monday, October 11, 2010

CFL Predictions, Week 15, Part B

Calgary at Montreal,
Montreal is favoured by 3.5 points at home in the premier matchup in the CFL this week, which means the odds guys think Calgary is the better overall team. I think this is a fairly safe assumption, although Calgary only has one more win this year. The Alouettes are 5 and 1 at home, while the Stamps are an excellent 4 and 2 on the road. The Alouettes are still a great team, but I'm going to go with Henry Burris' better mobility (and not his lingerie choices) compared to Anthony Calvillo.
Calgary 33, Montreal 28

BC at Winnipeg,
This is pretty much a must win game for the Bombers if they have any hope of beating out BC for the crossover. Considering Winnipeg is two wins behind and has to have more points than BC to cross over, it isn't likely even if they do win. BC is 3 and 3 on the road and Winnipeg is 3 and 3 at home. BC has won the last two games while the Bombers have lost three in a row. I'm going to go out on a little bit of a limb and say the Bombers win this one. They're kind of due and they are OK at home. The Lions I just don't trust this season. Sadly the Bombers look unlikely to beat their record with Mike Kelly last year.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saskatchewan at Hamilton

Saskatchewan at Hamilton
Originally uploaded by philinator
Here's a few photos from the Saskatchewan at Hamilton game, including this one of the Carling beer race on the Jumbotron.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

CFL Predictions: Week 15, Part A

Toronto at Saskatchewan,
The Argos are 2 and 4 on the road, have lost two games in a row and are apparently starting Cleo "the Party" Lemon again (how he started 12 games for Miami is a mystery for the ages). The Riders are 6 and 0 at home and have won three straight. Not surprisingly, the Riders are 11 point favourites.

The Riders beat Toronto 27 to 16 last week in Dead Ted's Dome, so one would have to think the Riders are heavily favoured. The Argos have running back Cory Boyd playing so they shouldn't totally embarrass themselves, but the Riders non-import based receiving corps will be just too much for them.

Riders 30, Argos 21


The Cats laid a relative 36 to 11 beating on the below mediocre Edmonton Eskimos last night, avenging their close loss last week. Probably the big difference this week was the secondary, with Edmonton only passing for 224 yards with two picks. The Eskimos also only rushed for 35 yards.

Glenn had a decent night, going 22 for 32 for 339 yards with 3 TD passes and no interceptions. Cobb had 49 yards on 16 carries with a TD, which is pretty poor average-wise. Cobb already has 980 yards, which seems strange because he's perceived to have had a bad season. Bruce had 142 yards on six catches with a TD, putting him at 1237 for the season and pending the rest of the games this weekend, the league lead. Stala had seven catches for 92 yards with a TD, putting him at 853 yards for the season, which looks good for cresting the 1000 yard plateau. Mann caught four passes for 75 yards and Schmidt caught a single pass for a yard. Way to go.

Bo Smith had eight tackles to lead the team. Maybe he's not as sucky as people thought.

Sad to see only 20,791 in the crowd last night, but Edmonton is not a particularly great draw and the Cats now seem to draw better in the summer. Thankfully it wasn't raining. The Cats should still be ahead of last year's total.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 13

1. Montreal
There, I did it. Montreal back on top. Sure it was close against the Bombers, but you're not going to win every game with a bitchslapping.
2. Calgary
Obviously still a great team, but getting pounded by 19 points by the Lions doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.
3. Saskatchewan
Weathered an early storm and beat the Ticats with bombs and some convenient turnovers by Hamilton.
4. Hamilton
Had their chances against a good Rider team. Doesn't have the killer instinct like the top teams in the rankings. Secondary appears to smell too.
5. BC
Beats Calgary and suddenly not so crap. We're pretty sure that Printers will soon get some silly injury and they'll start to suck again, but for now they're the best of the mediocre.
6. Toronto
Sure they lost somewhat pathetically against the Eskimos. Still they have good defence and special teams and if they could get back Cory Boyd they would be reasonable.
7. Edmonton
Not the worst team in the league. We'll see if they're sort of for real this week.
8. Winnipeg
Somebody had to be the worst team this week and despite playing the Alouettes tough, there's not a lot of wins this year for a team that was freed from Mike Kelly.

These photos of Calgary Stampeder quarterback Henry Burris posing in a bra, with a woman also wearing a bra are a bit puzzling. Surely there will be some signs in the stands in the next couple of weeks.

Here's an article suggesting the Cats be the team to be the home team in Moncton next year (I'm sad that I've never included Ticat Boogaloo as a post title). Attendance hasn't been bad this year, but it hasn't been great this year either. It makes sense for Bob Young financially. The Cats spread their group sales over one less game and potentially lose one of their poorer performing home draws. I still would bet on the Argos being the team next year though.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ticats Lose to the Riders, 32 to 25

It is always annoying when the Cats lose at home to the Riders because you're inevitably surrounded by a shitload of Riders when you sit on the North side of the stadium.

Obviously the Cats started out hot, going up 15 to 0, so credit to the Riders for not folding.
where a lot of teams would have. For me the TSN turning point was probably giving up the TD to Saskatchewan just before the half. Or either of Cobb's fumbles deep in Rider territory.

What should the Cats do about Cobb anyways? Fumbles are inevitable and the Riders practically tried to strip every time, sometimes to their detriment, but still two critical fumbles in one game is nasty.

Bruce at least went over 1000 yards (1037) and could break the Ticats single season receiving record of 1656 yards set by Tony Champion way back in 1989. Stala has over 753 yards and has a pretty good shot of getting to the 1000 yard mark. I assume the last non-import to do that for the Cats was Mike Morreale, but I haven't checked it. Not sure what the all time mark for non-imports is either.

Kind of surprised the Cats only got 23 thousand and change against the Riders. Relatively poor weather? Up against SuperCrawl? Night game? Cheap Hamiltonians?

Friday, September 24, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 12

1. Calgary
Sure they lost to Saskatchewan last week, but it was close. If they lose this week I may reconsider the top ranking.
2. Montreal
Calvillo is back and they whack a sad sack Edmonton team.
3. Saskatchewan
Lose one week to Winnipeg, then beat Calgary the next. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but these rankings are a lot of what have you done for me lately.
4. Hamilton
Hard fought victory over BC on Pacific team at Empire. Defence seemed a bit weak in the first half, but turned it on in the fourth quarter. We'll see if they're for real this week.
5. Toronto
Beat the Bombers last week in pretty inept fashion. How a team with Cleo "the Party" Lemon can still have a winning record after 11 games in the CFL is a mystery. Certainly there's some suckier teams out there which is kind of scary. The Argos are a better team with Cory Boyd in the lineup.
6. BC
Hard choices here. Stayed with a decent Ticats team last week. Offence wasn't bad, until Casey Printers morphed back into the turnip he was in Hamilton in the fourth quarter.
7. Winnipeg
Couldn't beat Cleo Lemon without Cory Boyd. Weak.
8. Edmonton
Still sucking, albeit against one of the better teams in the league.

There's an article here in the National Post that Ticat Stevie Baggs got a call from the Arizona Cardinals, who had cut him, after he signed with the Cats. Ouch. That's some lost money there.
Hopefully he takes out any bitterness on Darian Durant.

I also like the Ticats Fantuz Flakes idea. One thing I hate about section five when the Riders come is all the idiot Fantuz family and friend entourage who come and sit around me. Sometimes sitting on the South Side seems appealing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

CFL Previews, Week 11, Part B

Winnipeg at Toronto,
The Argos are favoured by a mere one point at home where they are three and one. Winnipeg is zero and five on the road, so the Argos should have an advantage. The Argos offensive line is beat up with Zeyl and maybe Gagne-Marcoux out this week. Not sure if Boyd is out this week or not. Belli appears to be out too, but with the signing of Ricky Foley that should improve the line and certainly help out with the ratio. Winnipeg is still missing Pierce, but Jyles isn't too bad. Winnipeg has a one game winning streak and Toronto a three game losing streak, so I'll go with momentum.
Winnipeg 29, Toronto 26

Edmonton at Montreal,
Montreal is favoured at home by a massive 13 points, which may be the biggest spread this year. Calvillo is back, the Alouettes are four and one at home, the Eskimos winless on the road and Edmonton just a bad team. Pretty easy to go with Montreal
Montreal 37, Edmonton 15

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hamilton at BC Lineup Preview

On the offensive line, Gauthier and import Jimenez at tackle, Dyakowski and Rottier at guard and Hage at centre. Mann and Bruce start at wide receiver, McDaniel and non-import Stala start at slot. Reggie Fish is listed as a backup receiver. Glenn starts, as does Cobb at running back and non-import Brown at fullback. That's six Canadian offensive starters.

Some weirdness this week on the defensive line, with Hickman and Jeremy Gibbs as the starting ends, and Bolden and non-import Kirk starting in the middle. McIntyre is listed but I thought he had an ankle injury.

Linebackers as always, Johnson, Floyd and Knowlton.

In the secondary, Heward and Tisdale start, with Dennis and Shivers as the defensive backs. Non-import Barker is at safety. That's two non-import starters on defence and eight total, one above the minimum.

For BC, on the offensive line, import Randolph and McGrath start at tackle. Hameister-Ries and Olafioye are the guards and Reid the centre. Black and non-import O'Neil start at wide receiver. Three starting slots are listed, Simon, non-import Jackson and Arceneaux. Printers starts at quarterback, with Davis the running back and non-import Lee as the fullback. McCallum kicks and punts.

Williams and non-import Johnson are the starting defensive ends, with Williams and Brown in the middle. For the linebackers, I think the starters are McKenzie, non-import Gesse and Reddick, but it is hard to tell from the pdf.

For the starting corners, it is Geogre and non-import Sanchez, with Phillips and Franks as the defensive backs and non-import Arakgi as the safety.

Friday, September 17, 2010

CFL Previews, Week 11, Part A

Calgary at Saskatchewan,
The Stampeders are only favoured by 3.5 on the road, which seems a little light considering the Riders were annihilated by the Bombers last week. Calgary has a seven game winning streak going, four and one on the road however the Riders are perfect at home. Pretty much have to go with Calgary here. The Riders are a good team, but not a great team.
Calgary 35, Saskatchewan 25

Hamilton at BC,
BC is favoured by 3.5 at home, even though they are only 1 and 4 at home. The Cats are only 2 and 3 on the road. BC has won two straight, while the Cats have lost one. This one is a tough one to call. Which Hamilton team will show up? Or more precisely which Kevin Glenn? Unfortunately for the Cats they will not have new signing Stevie Baggs in the lineup, who would definitely help corral BC quarterback Casey Printers. This is a late game, which never benefits Eastern division teams. This factor makes me pick BC in a close one.
BC 25, Hamilton 22

Montreal at Hamilton, Aftermath

Montreal at Hamilton
Originally uploaded by philinator
I didn't comment right after the Ticats 27 to 6 loss, mainly because I was irritated at the Cats not getting it done against the Alouettes without Calvillo in the lineup. I'll give credit to Montreal's backup quarterback McPherson who did what he had to do to win. Certainly 21 for 37 passing for 238 yards with one TD and a pick is pretty mediocre, but 16 rushes for 121 yards is fantastic. McPherson constantly made the Ticat defensive line look stupid by making big runs up the middle. This possibly contributed to Hamilton signing Stevie Baggs this week.

Glenn, after a great game on Labour Day, plainly sucked last game. Going 11 for 27 for 159 yards with a pick, numbers that even Michael Bishop would laugh at. Amazing that Glenn could go from such a high completion rate one week to the depths the next. Cobb had four rushes for 59 yards, but a lot of those yards came right at the end.

Personally I thought the turning point was the failed fake punt. Getting that would have made a big difference in my mind. Hopefully the Cats will do better this week in BC.

A set of photos from the game is available here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stevie Baggs Signs in the Hammer!

Tigercatatonia might have preferred signing Rickey Foley, just because he's a non-import, but no question the signing of Stevie Baggs upgrades the Cat defensive line which was mostly ineffective versus Montreal last week. I like the 12 sacks last year certainly, but the 55 tackles is impressive as well. It will be interesting to see who gets reduced playing time with Baggs on the roster.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 11

1. Calgary
Not really much to be said. Head and shoulders above everyone else.
2. Montreal
Apparently the Alouettes can win convincingly without Anthony Calvillo. Who knew?
3. Saskatchewan
Sure they sucked in the Banjo bowl on the weekend, but they are still a decent team.
4. Toronto
Signing non-import defensive end and 2009 sack king Rickey Foley is enough to juice the Argos into fourth even starting Cleo "the Party" Lemon.
Losing lamely against a Montreal team with Calvillo. Exceptionally feeble offense. They better right the boat soon.
6. BC
Convincing win against Toronto at home, but Casey Printers can still suffer a small injury that keeps him out of the game at any time.
7. Winnipeg
Three wins! The crossover dream lives on.
8. Edmonton
Still sucking. Hopefully Eric Tillman can help the Eskimos, but I recommend avoiding him when he mixes medications.

Friday, September 10, 2010

CFL Power Rankings: Week 10

Should have gotten this up earlier, but here they are:

1. Calgary
2. Saskatchewan
3. Hamilton
4. Montreal
5. Toronto
6. BC
7. Winnipeg
8. Edmonton

CFL Previews, Week 11, Part A

I'm writing this as the Calgary Edmonton game has already started, but I emailed myself my picks earlier, so there is no cheating. Of course, I could have sent myself a bunch of emails and just pick the appropriate one to show, so you'll just have to accept my honesty.

Calgary at Edmonton,
Bad, bad team versus best team, although bad team is at home. I'm picking Calgary, although closer this week.
Calgary 30, Edmonton 21

Montreal at Hamilton,
Obviously the main fact here is that Anthony Calvillo is not starting, instead Adrian McPherson, fresh off the nine game injured list. Monteal is coming off a loss, Hamilton has won four straight. The Ticats are favoured by 3.5 at home which isn't that much considering no Calvillo. After seeing the beating BC gave Montreal last week, I have to go with the Cats. Hamilton has a decent front four, which should make things difficult for McPherson, especially since he's wearing a brace. Perhaps big things for Garrett McIntyre.
Hamilton 35, Montreal 25

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lumsden to Play for Bombers?

There's an article in the National Post about Buck Pierce getting injured, yet again. No surprise there, but at the end of the article it mentions the Bombers interest in another oft injured player, Jesse Lumsden. I predicted that Lumsden would probably not be signed until midway through the campaign. Whether he could last another nine games is another question, that I would be inclined to answer no.

The fact that Calvillo is supposedly not playing this Saturday in Hamilton is welcome news. Which ever backup is playing, hopefully the Ticats can mangle the Alouettes like BC eventually did last Friday. People often point out the success of Montreal GM Jim Popp, but Tigercatatonia wonders how much of that success is due to having Calvillo for a large chunk of those years in Montreal, as opposed to say Jason Maas or Casey Printers.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ticats Victory!

Well that was enjoyable, especially after consuming three large mugs of 50 at the Prince Eddie before proceeding to the game. For me the TSN turning point was the fake punt for a first down by Wilbur. Sure the TD off the blocked punt just before the end of the half was important, but continuing drives, keeping the defence on the field is what wins are made of and that's what that fake punt did.

Excellent completion percentage for Glenn, going 27 for 33 for 313 yards with a TD and pick each. Once could make a decent argument for Glenn being the best quarterback half way through the season. Nice play by Stala picking up 90 yards on seven passes and continuing his march to 1000 yards on the season. I wasn't really sure what he was trying to do with his celebration after the TD, but the hacky sack is hard to top. Cobb only had 20 yards on ten carries, but sometimes the run sets up the pass.

Cleo "the Party" Lemon was actually decent statwise except for the three picks, passing for over 300 yards (although losing teams often pad their passing stats at the end).

A few worries on the injury front, especially after reading this in the National Post:

I'm hoping that Jimenez is ready to start next week, especially if offensive tackle Belton Johnson is out too.

The million dollar question next week is whether Calvillo will start for Montreal next Saturday. I hope the Cats get a good crowd whether Cavillo plays or not. Looks like we won't have to worry about the Alouettes leading special teams tackler next week, due to uh, a bar fight. Getting dummied unconscious outside a bar is never fun.

Toronto lucks out by playing BC next week, which could mean for a tight race for first in the East.

Football Outsiders

Here's a post from the footballoutsiders.com site, discussing some truths in NFL football after a lot of research. A lot is intuitive, but interesting throughout.

Some truths seems highly NFL specific, but some apply equally to the CFL, especially the one about receivers being judged on both complete and incomplete passes. Drisan James, I'm looking at you.

I'll probably come back to this article in future, looking for what does and doesn't apply to the CFL.

CFL Previews, Week 10, Part B

Toronto at Hamilton,
Hamilton is favoured by a only four points at home, indicated the teams are quite closely matched. The Ticats have a three game winning streak while the Argos have lost one. The Cats are 2 and 1 at home, while the Argos are even on the road. In their last meeting, neither offense could get on track and the Argos lost primarily due to penalties (at least in my opinion).

When the teams are close, two factors can be useful in predicting a CFL game. First, who has the better quarterback? Hamilton obviously. Second who has the better Canadians? The Ticats have an edge here, starting eight versus the Argos seven, which shows more depth. Plus Argo non-import tackle Van Zeyl may be injured this week, putting even more pressure on the Argos to come up with a suitable replacement or rejig the ratio. The Argos do have arguably the best defence in the league, so anything can happen, especially in a close game.
Hamilton 25, Toronto 23

Edmonton at Calgary,
The Eskimos win last week and are rewarded with being 12.5 point underdogs on the road, one of the higher point spreads of the year. The Stamps are perfect at home and the Eskimos have no wins on the road. Calgary also has a five game winning streak. Various injuries on both sides, but the Eskimos seem more depleted, especially with regards to receivers (Stamps and Peterson). I could do some more analysis, but Edmonton is simply a bad team this year.
Calgary 42, Edmonton 25

The Star's Damien Cox had an article about Ticat former safety Sandy Beveridge quitting the team to become a firefighter. As a Hamilton taxpayer, if there's 2000 applications for 14 spots, maybe we are paying firefighters too much, where that money could be put to better uses like lowering business taxes. Here's another article from the Star on the Labour Day game, complete with Otis Floyd quotes.

Here's a Globe article on some of the recent NFL cuts pertinent to the CFL, including receiver and Hamilton draft pick Samuel Giguerre who had been with Indianapolis. Will he ever play for Hamilton?

Tigercat Game Day: Labour Day Edition

On the offensive line, the depth chart lists pretty much the same line as the past few games, Gauthier and import Johnson as the tackles, Dyakowski and Rottier as the guards and Hage as the centre.

Mann and Bruce are the starting wideouts, with McDaniel and non-import Stala as the slots. No Americans listed as backup receivers.

Glenn has the controls, with Cobb as running back and non-import Brown as the fullback. So that's six Canadians on offense.

A little different on the defensive line, with Hickman and McIntyre as the ends, with Bolden and non-import Kirk in the middle. Long backs up.

Knowlton, Floyd and Johnson are the linebackers.

Bradley and Tisdale are the cornerbacks, with Dennis and Shivers as the defensive backs and the non-import Barker is the starting safety. So that's two non-imports starting on defense and eight total, one above the minimum.

For the Argos on the defensive line, import and Twitterer Rob Murphy and Mac grad Chris Van Zeyl are the tackles, with Gagne-Marcoux and Robertson as the guards and Picard as the centre.

Robinson and Owens are the receivers, with Lucas and Rideau as the slots. Boyd is listed as the runningback/fullback with non-import York product Durie as running back/slotback. Quarterback? Lemon Party all the way.

Buzbee and Flemons are the defensive ends with Huntley and Taylor in the middle.

The linebackers are Younger, non-import and Mac product Pottinger and non-import Eiben.

The corners are Middlebrooks and Parker. McCollough and Shell are the defensive backs with Pile as the safety. So two Canadians on defense and seven total.

Friday, September 3, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 9, Part A

BC at Montreal,
Montreal is favoured by a rather large 10.5 points at home against BC, despite having to go with backup quarterback Chris Leak due to Anthony Calvillo falling on a football. Of course BC is the worst team in the league and Montreal is 4 and 0 at home so that sounds about right.

I guess Printers is starting this game, but Travis Lulay isn't much better. I suppose the question can BC put enough pressure on Leak to take advantage of his lack of experience. Given enough opportunities (ie many two and outs by the Alouettes) Printers could end up doing well, but Montreal will probably end up feeding the ball to Avon Cobourne (providing he is healthy this week). This should give Montreal enough time of possession for the rest of the team to overpower the lowly Lions. Probably not much scoring here, except maybe off turnovers.
Montreal 23, BC 20

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan,
The Banjo Bowl. Saskatchewan is perfect at home this year and Winnipeg has lost every game on the road. So the Riders being favoured by 9.5 points isn't much of a surprise. Buck "the Glassman" Pierce looks to be injured yet again, although backup Steven Jyles doesn't seem that much worse. The Riders sucked last week against Edmonton so they should come out fired up at home. Can't really say too much positive about the Bombers other than they are no longer coached by Mike Kelly.
Saskatchewan 40, Winnpeg 27

Thursday, September 2, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 9

1. Calgary
Gave up a lot of points to BC last week, but scored even more. Powerful offense with Ken-Yon Rambo back at receiver.

2. Saskatchewan
Sure they lost to Edmonton in rather inept fashion at the end, but they still have a healthy starting quarterback.

3. Montreal
Can't really give them much higher while Anthony Calvillo is still injured. Still have a decent shot to win against BC at home this week.

4. Hamilton
Hot, three game win streak and a relatively healthy club.

5. Toronto
Good on special teams and defense, good running, no passing.

6. Edmonton
One game win streak, which is a lot for the lower ranked teams.

7. Winnipeg
Needs to win a third game. Still doubtful they will win more games than Mike Kelly as coach last year.

8. BC
Simply smelly. Buono gives up the coaching duties sometime before the next season. Unfortunately his GM skills put together this POS team. Numerous Hamilton coaches have been canned mid-year for slightly better teams.

From the latest Ticat season ticket email missive, there's apparently a new mobile service for ordering food and soft drinks called StadiumVIP. Order with a Blackberry or iPhone app (no Android love?) and they text you when your stuff is ready for pickup. Sadly no beer or whiskey though. The Cats under Bob Young are certainly technologically advanced customer service wise, but I'm still waiting for a Ticat iPhone app like the Riders app. Seems a natural thing for MRX to do.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mac Wins!

It was a little close at the end, with Mac beating Queen's 23 to 18. Really Queen's shouldn't have managed to get all the way down the field at the end, but Mac prevails with the Queen's receiver getting absolutely annihilated on the last play of game.

One could argue that Queen's played better, but Mac made some decent long runs in the final quarter. Tough game against Laurier coming up.

Queen's at Mac Halftime

Mac was pretty lucky to only be trailing by 1, 11 to 10 at half time. They started off well, but in the second quarter their pass defence started to get shredded which doesn't bode well for the second half.

I thought Mac's running game would have done better, but maybe Queen's has a good defence this year. Mac needs to cut down on the fumbles in the second half if they are going to have a chance to win.

West Harbour is Dead, Long Live Longwood!

So council has apparently voted 13-2 in favour of pursuing the new stadium at the Longwood and Aberdeen site. Whether the city can make a deal with Mac is a bit up in the air. The city has land to trade, plus the medical centre Mac wanted to build in the MIP (McMaster Innovation Park) was never a good fit for that location, so maybe the city can find a better site for it closer to downtown. The city has had problems dealing with Mac lately so who knows. With the city and the Ticats on board, plus assumedly the province and the feds who I'm sure wish this would just go away maybe there's a deal to be made.

I'm still not convinced that the deal is that great for the Ticats compared to West Harbour, but they do, so I guess that's what's important. One thing I hope comes out of this is a focus on getting the West Harbour remediated. Judging by the time it has taken for the Lister Block or Randle Reef to be addressed, I'm afraid it is going to be a long wait, even with concrete plans. One of the benefits of putting the stadium at the West Harbour, from the city's perspective is that with the tight timeline things would start moving quickly.

In football news, last year's CFL sack leader, Ricky Foley has been released by the Seattle Seahawks. With BC last year, he's a free agent and obviously will draw some interest as a non-import rush end. Should the Cats go after him? Good question. The Cats defensive line has been decent, although not stellar and Foley would be an improvement, at least in terms of ratio. Starting him and Matt Kirk on the line would be pretty sweet. However the Cats have been burnt by midseason NFL signings in the past (see Keith, Kenton), so maybe they're a little gunshy. Whoever signs Foley will have to have some cap room. I'm sure BC will make a run at resigning him, although a team with a single win probably won't make the playoffs if that's a concern for Foley. Historically the Argos would be in there. Speaking of history, the Cats have been rumoured to have cap room every season, so maybe they could win the bidding war and frontload the contract this year so the next two seasons wouldn't have as big a cap hit.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Longwood and Aberdeen Lives!

The Spec has reported that Bob Young has sent a letter to the Mayor and various other politicians about locating a stadium at Longwood and Aberdeen, near the McMaster Innovation Park (MIP).

I've stated before that I'm not really that enamoured by the site compared to the West Harbour. Bus service is pretty mediocre unless you walk down to Main. There's not many bars in the area, with I'm guessing Ray's Place on Dundurn being the closest. Of course for the Cats that is likely a feature, not a bug. There's parking at the MIP, plus whatever they can get on the site, although it won't be 6,000 spots. GO bus service is OK, considering one could use the Dundurn stops, but I don't see much with regards to the GO train. I think it is a bit rich of the Cats to mention transit, considering their favourite site, Confederation Park, has a route that only runs Saturdays and Sundays in the summer. Never too late to get religion, I suppose.

Building a pedestrian bridge over the 403 linking the Ainsile Wood neighbourhood might be a decent idea down the road, both for the stadium and the MIP, although the length required would probably mean a ridiculous cost.

Perhaps this is an opportunity for both Bob Young and the Mayor to compromise. Again I don't see how much better this is for the Cats over West Harbour, apart from naming rights being higher due to being beside the highway. If anything, traffic will be more of a hassle.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

CFL Previews, Week 9

I forgot to put a pick for the Calgary BC game last night, but I'm pretty sure I would have taken Calgary.

Saskatchewan at Edmonton
So Edmonton is at home which is something I guess. The Riders are currently favoured by 6.5 points, which seems a little small for a 5 and 2 team versus a 1 and 6 team. Looks like Edmonton is missing receiver Fred Stamps too. With all the Rider fans who will be at the stadium, I'm not sure you can even really count it as a home game for the Eskimos. I'm picking the Riders to cover.
Saskatchewan 39, Edmonton 28

Friday, August 27, 2010

No Real Stadium at West Harbour

It just goes on and on. According to the Spec, the Pan Am Games organizers are now only willing to pay for a 5000 to 7000 seat stadium on West Harbour. Obviously that becomes more difficult for the council to support. Is Aberdeen and Longwood still a possibility? Who knows. At this point I wish the Pan Am games had never come along. Everyone would be pumped about the season and hopefully the Cats would have a decent year revenue wise at Ivor Wynne. I'm curious to see if the Labour Day game will sell out. Without the Pan Am debacle, I'm almost positive it would, but now with a lot of resentment to the Ticats lingering, I'm not sure they can fill it up.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, Week 8

There were only two games last week, so somewhat of a limited data set to work off of.

1. Calgary
I remember at the beginning of the year there was concern about Calgary's offensive line being decimated in the off-season. It caused some problems in the beginning of the year, but now Calgary has won four straight and is looking good for a trip to the Grey Cup in Edmonton.

2. Saskatchewan
Durant is healthy as far as I know, so that's enough for me.

3. Montreal
Calvillo's status is not well known, but clearly without him, the Alouettes are a much worse team. Maybe not Eskimo bad, but the Bombers could possibly beat them.

4. Hamilton
Sure I'm biased, but the Cats won ugly on the road and actually have a quarterback rather than some guy named after an Internet shock photo. Things could change after Labour Day, but for now the Cats are into the top half of the league.

5. Toronto
Still a decent team with an awesome defence and a good running game. They would be scary with a quarterback, but I'm sure they are not paying Lemon much so maybe the money is going to the defence.

6. Winnipeg
Still rocking two wins and a chance for the Western crossover. They might want to win a third game at some point.

7. Edmonton
Sure they got spanked in their last game, but they still have Ray. That's not enough to win many games, but gives you a shot at the bottom feeders.

8. BC
No real viable quarterback and the loss of Ricky Foley to the NFL is hurting them more than one would have thought. So much for playing outside.

Here's an article about Oshawa going after a CFL team via the Pan Am games. The mayor seems to know the score.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stat Breakdown, Cats at Argos

Argos Cheerleaders
Originally uploaded by philinator
So it is time to look at the stats for the ugly 16 to 12 win by the Cats at Dead Ted's Dome last week. As illustration, I included this photo of an Argo cheerleader looking wistful as the game ended, wondering "what if the Argos hadn't taken all those holding penalties at the beginning of the game or what if Jim Barker knew you couldn't challenge a spot on second down." Anyways the rest of the photos I took of the game are located here. A bit cheerleader heavy maybe, but with the layout of the stadium my view of the game was terrible unless the play was right down near me. There's also a picture of Pinball and a blurry one of CFL commissioner Mark Cohon.

It was definitely a defensive battle. Glenn's numbers weren't terrible, going 25 for 36 for 247 yards with a pick. Cobb had an OK week, with 99 yards on 20 carries with the games's only TD, but he can't seem to crack that 5 yards per carry barrier. Toronto does have a tough defence, so not a bad outing.

Bruce had a reasonable game with 68 yards on 8 passes. Mann had a good game with 57 yards with five catches and Stala also had 57 yards on one less catch. Stala is on track for a 1000 yard season which might be enough for him to win the Most Outstanding Canadian Award.

Hickman had a good week with six tackles as an end. Johnson had five tackles and a sack. Four sacks total, but Cleo "the Party" Lemon holds on to the ball a lot. Barker had a great chance for an interception but eventually bounced it off his face and dropped it. Not to sound like too much of an old-timer, but Rob Hitchcock hit hard and made interceptions.

For the Argos, Lemon went 18 for 31 for 210 yards, which generally won't win you many games. Boyd had only 81 yards on 16 carries, so the Ticats did a good job of bottling him up. The Argos were missing Gagne-Marcoux on the offensive line so maybe that contributed.

Durie led the Argo receivers with 69 yards on seven catches. Which makes one wonder where the Argo import receivers are. Maybe Drisan James can expect a call so he can make some awesome catches and then inexplicably drop easy ones.

Eiben led the Argos with ten tackles.

I saw this article on Raise the Hammer, comparing Buffalo and Hamilton with regards to stadium sites and I pretty much agree with it.

Bruce Article

Hamilton at Toronto
Originally uploaded by philinator
Here's an interesting article from a US paper about Arland Bruce III and his success in the CFL today, especially this season. What's fascinating is that Bruce only caught 24 passes during his two seasons with the University of Minnesota Gophers. Sure maybe they were a run oriented offence (or maybe not), but that's amazing for Bruce to succeed at such a higher level in the CFL. The photo shows Bruce from last Friday's game in Toronto

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Originally uploaded by philinator
I put up some photos on Flickr of the last Winnipeg at Hamilton. You can check out the set here. There's a photo of the 1972 Grey Cup winning team, plus a few of the cheerleaders in their 70s garb.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Calvillo Released From Hospital

So Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo has been released from the hospital after two nights from a falling on the ball injury. Two nights actually sounds a bit serious. But of course as luck would have it, the Alouettes have a bye week followed by the 1 and 6 BC Lions. I was looking forward to the Lions losing that game and then going into Lion message boards and trolling by demanding Wally Buono be fired. Now maybe the Lions have a chance.


Back to 500 for the Cats. I attended the game at Dead Ted's Dome yesterday and obviously enjoyed the outcome. Not much of a game, with neither team able to finish off drives. Both defences played well, although the Argos offence is reminiscent of the Dr. Dre song Bitches Ain't Shit.

I can say the Cats benefitted from some refereeing in their favour, especially very early on in the contest when the Argos almost began with a bang. The penalty for wrongly calling for a challenge review on second and short was critical, although that was Barker's fault. I didn't know you couldn't challenge the spot on second down either, but I'm not a CFL head coach either.

The Rogers Centre is a mediocre venue especially if one is close to the sidelines. I was sitting very close to the five yard line, which was great for action down at our end, but was mostly mystified by what was going on for the other parts of the field.

I'll do a stat breakdown tomorrow and hopefully post some photos on Flickr including some Argo cheerleader shots. They were right there, plus this site could use the pageviews.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yet More Stadium Rumours

You know that old Timex Social Club song Rumours? The one about hating rumours. Well I'm starting to get sick of stadium site rumours. Now some land near the McMaster Innovation Park, right by the 403 is the newest subject of rumours. Personally I like it better than the East Mountain site and less than the West Harbour. The Ticats get their beloved highway access, plus a crapload of parking one would assume and as a feature, not a bug, not many places to grab a beer or food before or after the game.

For the city, well it is still somewhat near downtown. If the West Harbour still gets fixed up then maybe that's OK in the end. I still prefer the West Harbour for the city and the Cats. I am a bit curious about the big boxes the Cats wanted to develop at the EM site. Seems less likely there, so is it financially worth it for the Cats there? Who knows at this point.

CFL Previews, Week 8

Winnipeg at Montreal,
So Montreal is 11.5 point favourites at home, one of the bigger spreads this year in the CFL. Can't really say much in favour of the Bombers in this one, especially after they got their asses handed to them at home last week by the Ticats. I'm even doubtful if they will cover. Montreal is missing running back Avon Cobourne which should help Winnipeg a bit, but Pierce seems to be out with knee injuries. Montreal isn't the team that went 15 and 3 last year, but they are still pretty good. No need to overanalyze this one.
Alouettes 45, Winnipeg 28

Hamilton at Toronto,
Finally a meaningful midseason game between these two teams. Both teams looked good last week although one would have to give the edge to the Argos for having the better opponent. Toronto has a great defence, an awesome running game and a quarterback who does just enough to allow the Argonauts to win in Cleo "the Party" Lemon. Questions are can the Cats stop Boyd enough to force Lemon to pass? Glenn has been pretty good of late, can the Argos slow him down? This one could come down to special teams. The Argos are favoured by 2.5 at home, which isn't much considering their respective records. Not making a homer pick, I'll take the Argos by two points.
Argos 25, Ticats 23

CFL Power Rankings Week 7

Sorry, I've been on vacation for a bit, which involved being out of radio contact for a while. Anyways, here's this week's power rankings.

1. Calgary
Granted totally bitchslapping an Edmonton Eskimo team in absolute turmoil isn't hard, a 6 and 1 record and winning 4 straight is impressive. No doubt Terry and Dean are enjoying this.
2. Montreal
Yeah so they ended up losing rather convincingly to the Argos away. It will take another loss to see them tumble down.
3. Saskatchewan
A real tossup between them and the Argos. I'll say something pithy like the Riders have better Canadian talent to justify it.
4. Toronto
Could be as high as two, but I'm not quite convinced they are the second best team in CFL right now. We'll see how they do against Hamilton.
5. Hamilton
Three and four! That's almost 500. Or total mastery of Winnipeg. That will get you the five ranking.
6. Winnipeg
Two wins! Two wins! Western crossover possibility.
7. BC
Seems hard to have a team that is 1 and 6 and has lost 6 straight not be the last team in the league, but anything's possible. When does it become acceptable to say fire Wally Buono?
8. Edmonton
After last week's beating, this is a bad football team. Almost Hamilton from a couple of years ago bad. And that's bad.