Here's a photo of the Ticats junior cheerleaders, standing beside the endzone. I felt a bit like a Vladimir Nabokov character, but a decent shot nonetheless.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
Kevin "You Disrespecting Me?" Glenn 50%
Before the Argos Eskimos Ray Jyles switcheroo, I would have said higher. Theoretically the Cats could trade Glenn, but who would take on his salary? A hearty Bad Boy "NOBODY!" Glenn could stay just because the Cats don't have any real options when next rolls around besides Porter. Or the Cats could outright release him. Cue article about Glenn feeling disrespected.
Quinton "Give Me Another Chance" Porter 55%
If the Cats cut loose Glenn, in theory they could be handing the starting job to Porter. Problem is Porter hasn't really done much to deserve. Sure he's better than Cleo "the Party" Lemon, but that's not saying much. If Porter had a whole season of starting, the Cats might be a 500 team, er just like under Kevin Glenn. Porter probably does have some trade value and was arguably the best backup quarterback last year (although the competition wasn't very fierce).
Simeon "the Red Animal" Rottier 20%
Free agent and wants to be near his family apparently. The Cats could make the guard an awesome offer, but non-import guards aren't that hard to replace. Wasn't the plan for him to play as tackle eventually?
Avon "the Tweetmaster" Cobourne 50%
Did an OK job in 2011, but not good enough to inspire his own headgear. Didn't do a lot in the playoff loss to the Bombers where he should have been more useful. Good as a receiving running back and would be better at that than whoever the Cats would replace him with. Big salary would be the main reason for the Cats to cut him and replace him with Terry Grant, providing he heals from his injury.
Aaron "I'm a Tall Receiver, Somewhat Slow" Kelly 30%
Probably comes to camp next year, but gets replaced by a couple new import receiver flavours of the week who show stuff in camp and proceed to drop a lot of balls early in the regular season.
"Back in 2001, the football club sold the naming rights to Winnipeg Stadium to Canad Inns, a Manitoba-based hotel chain, for $1.5 million over 10 years ($150,000 annually). The deal wasn't great for the Bombers, as they had little leverage with a crumbling stadium and a product that didn't enjoy the rabid fan base it does today.
Sources in the business community indicate the club was looking for at least $500,000 a year for the rights this time around, but Thompson wouldn't confirm that figure or expand on what Investors Group is on the hook for."
Probably with all the high MERs Investor's Group mutual funds charge, the company can afford half a million a year, plus a Grey Cup will be hosted there soon too. The price Canad Inns was paying seems like a steal.
What will the Ticats get for their new stadium? Is $500,000 possible for an Ivor Wynne site with minimal traffic going by?
Monday, December 12, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Normally I would go with the Lions, but I've got a feeling that the Bombers will do better than people give them credit for. As long as Bomber quarterback Buck Pierce doesn't explode in the first quarter, I'll pick the Bombers in a close one.
Bombers 29, Lions 27
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Non-import cornerback Ryan Hinds appears to be back in the lineup, setting off a ratio shuffle that gets Baggs back in starting at defensive end. Will Baggs step things up and have something to prove after being a healthy scratch last week?
The line has come down to only three points for the Bombers, indicating the odds makers think the two teams are evenly matched on a neutral field. I have to think the cold helps the Bombers as passing will suffer. Glenn is a better pure passer than Pierce and Pierce is a way, way better runner than Glenn. If the Bombers are going to win, Pierce is going to have to have some solid runs up the middle. If the Cats are going to win, they have to prevent Pierce from running for first downs.
I'm going to go with the Cats this week. They have the momentum compared to Winnipeg and their offense is looking lethal. I expect the Bombers defence to keep the score down, but not generate enough of their own offense. Of course the Bombers beat the Tiger-Cats every game this season, so what do I know.
Buck Pierce injured in the third quarter.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Incidently, I wonder how long it has been since the East home team has been favoured by so few points. If Pierce were to get ruled out, would Vegas make the Cats the favourite?
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
1. BC Lions
Didn't play, but didn't have any injuries either. Beating Montreal 43-1 now looks doubly impressive after the Alouettes last game.
2. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Big battle with Montreal on the road, but rolled with punches and made the big plays when needed. Two headed quarterback monster is scary. Bakari Grant is emerging as a force at receiver. Will they have Stevie Baggs back in the lineup? Have momentum.
3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Also did not play, Buck Pierce situation still up in the air. Had a weak end of the regular season.
4. Edmonton Eskimos
Injured Jerome Messam? Esks are toast in BC.
5. Montreal Alouettes
Anthony Calvillo put up big numbers, but ultimately the defence couldn't get it done and gave up too many TDs to the Cats.
6. Calgary Stampeders
Not a bad team, but not great either. Burris is probably gone next year.
7. Toronto Argonauts
Locker rooms cleaned out, but they are still better than the Riders.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Glenn was only 23 for 32 for 275 yards with a TD and a pick, but he certainly played well and the Cats had a good running game. Cobourne had 97 yards and Thigpen had 56 yards rushing. Grant had six catches for 99 yards and a TD with some good blocks as well. Williams had 6 catches for 65 yards.
On to Winnipeg with some momentum. Picking Johnson over Baggs this week worked out, hopefully cornerback Ryan Hinds comes back and we get Baggs playing with something to prove.
Nice passing by Glenn, nice catches by Stala and Bakari Grant and a nice run by Marcus Thigpen.
Defence looking good, with excellent pressure on Calvillo, and consequently multiple sacks and multiple turnovers.
Looking at the Cats starters, the team appears to be doing OK injury wise. Imports Belton and Simmons start at the offensive tackle spots, so no Jason Jimenez (who I'm guessing won't be back with the Ticats next year). Grant and Thigpen start as the wide receivers, with Stala (who a decent number of receptions the last couple of games which is a good sign) and East rookie of the year Chris Williams as the slots. Cobourne starts as the running back and Darcy Brown is the fullback when the team isn't in five or six receiver sets.
Kevin Glenn starts. I'm not sure of the scenarios where he would get pulled. I doubt Bellefeuille will do any sort crazy switching mid-game with Porter besides short yardage situations. Should be interesting to see if the Cats can avoid going down early.
On defence, some weirdness compared to the offense. Sack leader Hickman and Baggs are the ends, with non-import Steele in the middle with import Robert Rose, who only signed with the Ticats on October 18th. Probably worth watching if Montreal attacks up the middle.
Linebackers are as usual Knowlton, Williams and Johnson. Knowlton has been looking better as of late.
In the defensive secondary, uh, it's confusing. Loyce Means (who only signed with the Cats on September 2nd) and Marcell Young are the corners. Former Argo Webb and Smith are the defensive halfbacks, with Carlos Thomas as the safety.
For the Alouettes, the injury to non-import left tackle Josh Bourke causes some changes, with Perrett moving to left tackle and import Jeraill McCuller coming in as the right tackle. If the Cats are going to win, Hickman and Baggs will need to get to Calvillo and McCuller could be exploited.
Montreal is favoured by 6 points at Olympic Stadium. Personally, I think if the Alouettes are going to win, they're going to win big. However, I'm going to go out on a bit of a homer limb and pick the Cats 29 to 23. The Cats are a Jekyll and Hyde team and I think they show up for once today.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sure they lost on the road to Winnipeg, but only by a single point. Still the most consistently good team right now in the CFL.
2. BC Lions
Blown out on the road, eight game win streak ended, but great teams still lose the occasional game. Some games things just go against you early.
3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Big comeback victory over the Alouettes and looking good for home field advantage in the East. Still a bit inconsistent.
4. Edmonton Eskimos
Leading the West and could have home field advantage. The reason? Canadian running back Jerome Messam. Having an awesome non-import in the CFL just does so much.
5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Slammed BC. Weird quarterback system. 500 team. We'll see what happens the last two games of the regular season against some gimme teams.
6. Calgary Stampeders
Beat Saskatchewan. Big deal. The fact they did it with backup Drew Tate is at least good for next year.
7. Toronto Argonauts
Kept it somewhat close to the Eskimos at the end. That's something.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Should be better next year when Canadian receivers are again a strength. Now, plain sucky.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Travis Lulay completed less than half of his passes so good on the secondary. Turenne, whoever he is played awesome and is my new hero. Props to Medlock for kicking seven field goals, easily outplaying McCallum who had a pick six that Ray Mariuz ran back.
Since the Bombers won earlier against Montreal, the game was meaningless for Hamilton which ends the season with two meaningless games against Saskatchewan and Toronto on the road. Can Hamilton reach double digits in wins for the first in time in a long while? Who starts at quarterback next week? Who comes back from injury? Will Antonio from Stoney Creek call the Fifth Quarter next week?
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Running back Avon Cobourne is in second for rushing yards in the CFL with 867 yards on 180 yards (4.8 yard average) with 8 TDs and two fumbles. With no Terry Grant the rest of the year, Cobourne should get his 1,000 yards.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Simply put, on fire. Massive win streak and favourite to win the West and play a Grey Cup at home. Strange to think how bad they were early in the season.
2. Montreal Alouettes
Good close win at home against Hamilton. Consistently good.
3. Edmonton Eskimos
The Eskimos haven't got a lot of respect lately, but beating the Bombers shows their quick start in 2011 wasn't a fluke.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Losing to the Eskimos when they really needed a win for home field advantage in the playoffs, doesn't help their ranking. Are the Bombers running out of steam at the end of the year?
5. Hamilton Tiger Cats
Almost came back to tie against the Alouettes, but didn't win and now are below 500. Two decent quarterbacks, but no consistently great one. Lots of defensive injuries. Almost guaranteed to be on the road for the playoffs.
6. Calgary Stampeders
Losing to the Argos? Burris benched? Likely third place in the West? Not good.
7. Toronto Argonauts
Won a game at home. That's something.
8. Saskatchewan Roughriders
Monday, October 17, 2011
The first stat I'm interested in would be across the league, for a given number of yards to go on second down, what's the probability of making a first down. Thus I'm curious, what's the odds of getting a first down when it is 2nd and five versus say 2nd and ten. I would accept first downs that would be subsequently made on third down and disregard 2nd and goal situations. This would answer questions like "is getting a couple of yards on first down a big difference compared to 2nd and 10?" I'm sure the CFL could compile these stats relatively easily. For a fan to do it would be quite time consuming.
Maybe next game, I'll try keeping track for a small sample size. One thing I'm not sure about is how to keep track of penalties. Say it is second and five and there's a five yard penalty against the offense. Do I keep keeping track for second and five and in addition also add a new entry for second and ten? I'm tempted too, because the distribution of penalties is affected by the yardage. Second and short, there's going to be more defensive offside penalties, second and long more offensive holding.
Similarly, I'd like to see for a given field goal yardage, what's been the chance of success over the years for CFL teams. We know instinctively that a 50 yard field goal is hard to accomplish, but exactly how hard? Less than 33% overall? A fan could probably compile this over a season, but since the higher yardages are attempted relatively rarely, to get a good statistical sample one would have to do it over a number of years. Ticats kicker Justin Medlock has had a good record 50 yards and over this year, but with a plot of this stat available, one would have a sense just how good. Plus, at the end of a game, if your team needs a 50 yarder with time expiring, you would not what your chances are. Coaches may have these stats, as it would certainly be a good decision making tool.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I assume Glenn starts next week as long as the injury at the end of the game isn't serious. Too bad that running back Terry Glenn looks done for the season.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
They just keep winning. Can't keep them out of the top spot. Who would think they would be here after the start of the season? I'm not sure if the Ticats are regretting trading Arland Bruce, but it sure has worked out for the Lions.
2. Montreal Alouettes
Solidly consistent team. Had a bit of trouble with the Argos at home, but the Alouettes play well almost every week, with only a few honkers.
3. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Dominated the Cats at home and are looking good for the home stretch. Awesome defence. Offense does what it has to.
4. Calgary Stampeders
Lost a tight one to BC. Definitely second best in the West.
5. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
I still think they have a bit more than the Eskimos. Call me crazy or a homer, but I think they're the mildly better team.
6. Edmonton Eskimos
See above. Plus they beat a terrible Rider team this week. When was the last time they beat a good team?
7. Toronto Argonauts
Were ahead at half time on the road against Montreal. Still have a good defence. Maurice Mann was a good pickup since the Argos lacked in the import receiver department. Jermaine Copeland is past his prime and is probably eating up a lot more salary cap room than he is worth at this point.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Wow. They're terrible. If you told me at the beginning of the season they would be this bad, I would not have believed you.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Maurice Mann being traded for some defensive back I've never heard of (who I refuse to look up) and a draft pick to the Argos is a bit odd, but the secondary is a bit weak with all the injuries lately. Although after all the running the Bombers did on Friday I think the front four is also problematic. My assessment of Mann's Ticat tenure: a solid meh.
At least Quinton Porter played well for once in relief time. Had to happen sooner or later, but he's not going to ever challenge for Glenn's job if he honks it up totally in garbage time. Milk that prevent defence for as many yards as you can!
Friday, October 7, 2011
Is Hamilton a good team or an average team. That's a question that will be partially answered tonight? Is Winnipeg for real this year or are they going to implode down the stretch like they were destined to before the season. To get the preliminaries out of the way, the Bombers are 8 and 5 and the Ticats are 7 and 6. Winnipeg is a healthy 4 and 2 on the road, while the Cats are 5 and 2. Hamilton is favoured by 3.5 points, which is pretty small considering they're at home, although this year has been the year of the road team in the CFL.
Last I heard, oft injured Bomber quarterback Buck "the Glassman" Pierce was going to start. I don't know if that will happen, or if will manage to make it through the entire game if he does play. Bomber running back Fred Reid is out for the season which is problematic considering the Bombers run a lot. The Cats have injury problems too, probably the most important being centre Marwan Hage, plus non-import receiver Matt Carter.
Normally I would pick the Cats here (even if I wasn't a fan) however the Cats have shown a bizarre ability to never really get beyond 500. However the last two games the Cats have shown the ability to insert new offensive players like running back Terry Grant and pseudo receiver Marcus Thigpen (who isn't really new, but was stuck on return duty) and gain a lot of yards. A lot of that has to do with quarterback Kevin Glenn and his experience. Cats not that easily.
Offense People 29, Defense People 22
This post will be updated with the rest of the picks tomorrow.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
With that the Argos are done for the playoffs (I'm not sure if it is even mathematically possible now). That means the game in Hamilton against Winnipeg is of critical importance for a home playoff spot as a Ticat victory leaves the two teams tied on points. Montreal hosts the Argos next week in what is pretty much a gimme game, especially after watching the Double Blue tonight.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
There's certainly concern for quarterback Anthony Calvillo's status, however Montreal is basically the only consistent team. Big point differential doesn't hurt either.
2. BC Lions
One could make an argument that the Lions should be number one. They did hammer the Riders the past week, but that doesn't say a lot. Have also scored way more point than they have allowed.
3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Beat the Stamps badly in a quasi home game, but this team is still up and down. Explosive offense sometimes, but the regular use of Marcus Thigpen should make the offense more consistent. Defence still gives up long bombs, but also makes the occasional sack to end a drive.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Are the Bombers regressing to the mean? With running back Fred Reid out for the season and down to their third string quarterback in the last game and to top it off, losing by a single point to Toronto, things aren't looking that hot for Winnipeg. Defence still good.
5. Calgary Stampeders
Not a good defence and mediocre overall of late. Burris still good, but good enough to carry this team to the Grey Cup? Who knows?
6. Edmonton Eskimos
Lost at home to Montreal, have been poor overall since starting the season with five straight wins. Not that great a team, especially when Ray isn't on fire. Which he isn't every game.
7. Toronto Argonauts.
Wow the Argos aren't ranked last. I didn't really expect that, but gritting out a win over Winnipeg showed some character and good defence. Reasonable running game and improved quarterbacking over Cleo Lemon, but this is still a bad team. Just not the very worst.
8. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
Totally blown out by BC. Playoff hopes pretty much done. Worse than Toronto. Not good times in Riderville.
One caveat, running backs in the CFL are a fungible commodity, so finding a new one won't be that hard (De'Andra Cobb?). Reid was one of the better running backs in the CFL, so replacing him with someone close to his ability will be tougher.
Monday, September 26, 2011
game. Certainly coming from Hamilton, seeing the 55 to 26 victory over the Calgary Stampeders made for a better drive home that's for sure. The stadium itself wasn't bad. I sat in one of the endzone sections. The view was worse than a seat between the goal lines, but acceptable. Concessions were a little understaffed, but you really can't expect much for a one off game. Regular cans of Canadian and Coors light were $6. Didn't seem like beer sales ended at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The crowd wasn't super into the game, likely due to most fans not having a true home side to root for. The crowd was excited for the various big plays that occurred in the game, but probably hoped for a tighter game towards the end. A good number of Hamilton fans made the trek to Moncton, but the vast majority of people seemed to locals (or relatively local). The Stamps also had a surprising number of supporters. Weather was superb, sunny and realitively hot for late September. The grass was in excellent condition and didn't seem to be a huge factor in the game. Flyby was two helicopters.
I also attended the Saturday night Tigertown in the Empress theatre which turned out to be an intimate venue, with Pigskin Pete MCing. A lot of Hamiltonians were in attendance. CHML colour commentator John Salavantis spoke, as did Mayor Bob Bratina (I resisted the urge to yell out LRT forever while he was talking). The cheerleaders performed briefly and then a few hung around selling their charity calender. We were promised that Ticat president Scott Mitchell would speak, but I left pretty late and I never saw him so I'm not sure what was up with that. Molson cans were $4.50 which was good considering I consumed a solid number. The band Pogey was excellent. Tigertown to me seemed quite well done, so props to the team.
I'll have another post about the game itself tomorrow. Which was most enjoyable.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
After two weeks of suckitude, the Bombers edged out the Alouettes at home with mainly good defence. With the win over Montreal, the Bombers are looking good for home field advantage in the East.
2. Montreal Alouettes
Lost a close one to the aforementioned Bombers, but were by no means blown out. Looked awesome versus Hamilton on the road the week before. Still a good consistent team.
3. BC Lions
They're hot. Left for dead at the beginning of the season, like most recent seasons, the Lions have surged back and are soon returning to BC Place. Beating Calgary on the road is impressive. Now suddenly have a shot at a home playoff game, although the late start is going to make it tough.
4. Calgary Stampeders
Good, but not great. Stumbles at weird times, mediocre record at home. Is this the start of decline for Henry Burris from one of the two best quarterbacks to decent geezer?
5. Edmonton Eskimos
Fred Stamps is back. That seems to pretty much sum up the Eskimos year. Good with him, sucky without him. Manhandled Hamilton away from home, but with receiving and their Canadian running game. Offensive line looked good too.
6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Wha' happened? The Cats didn't win every game, but were at least in them, but the past two games they've been totally blown out by the first half. Feels like the bad old Jason Maas days. Is Kevin Glenn a good quarterback? Becoming harder to say. Even Cleo Lemon kept it close some games.
7. Saskatchean Rough Riders
Beat Toronto, but didn't look that great. Another win will move them up.
8. Toronto Argonauts
Steven Jyles is an improvement over Cleo Lemon and at least the Argos have realized that if your offense sucks, your quarterback should run more. May become somewhat respectable at the end of the year.
That I think would pay your property taxes on the property. I'm wondering if that would be a selling point for the property and how much it would add to the value of the home. Considering that an investment of $44,000 that pays 5% (very generous in these times) would also yield $2200 per year, the extra income would surely bump up the value of the house. I'm guessing the owners are glad the team's not moving to the West Harbour.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Won on the road in the rematch with Edmonton to prove they are the best team in the West. Looking good to win the West division title.
Back to playing how Montreal does by wiping the Ticats at home in all facets of the game. Still need to prove they can win on the road to move to the top spot.
Back to back losses to the Riders isn't going to help your ranking much. Buck Pierce is supposed to be visiting the doctor this week. Will the Bombers implode in the second half? Top spot in the East is back up for grabs.
Decent team but no better than that. Good at home, mediocre on the road, offense grinds to a halt early in some games for no particular reason. Unknown whether Chris Williams is a number one receiver when the going gets tough.
Back to back wins over the formerly top ranked team and slotback Andy Fantuz is back from his NFL sojourn and a new old coach. The Riders are back. Probably.
Back down to Earth. Fred Stamps returned from injury but didn't do much which is a bit demoralizing. Offensive line inconsistent.
Some momentum, but beating the Argos twice in a row isn't much of an accomplishment. Lions shouldn't get cocky.
The grand Cleo Lemon experiment is over and the Steven Jyles experiment begins. Crossover is likely done unless a miracle occurs. Offensive lineman Rob Murphy is injured which can't help. Playing for next year.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Notable defensive miscues included Markeith Knowlton failing to make a tackle, which would have been a sure third down and allowing a TD instead. Minimal pressure from the defensive line.
Medlock had a good day including a 57 yarder. I'm not sure if that's a Ticat record, but it was a long field goal.
Hamilton also lost the penalty battle and couldn't buy a pass interference against them to save their lives.
Hopefully the Ticats can regroup against Edmonton at Ivor Wynne this week.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
OK so they sucked on the road in Regina. Every time has a speed bump now and then. With only two losses, the Bombers are still the class of the CFL. Unless they lose to the Riders at home this week.
Homer pick? Good point differential, plus they've now beat Montreal twice, with a thumping last week. Good team with potential to be great.
Needs to stop losing to Hamilton. Defence is still good, but Calvillo is looking a little shakier. Always waxes the crap teams.
Good record, loss to the Eskimos at home, have only scored one more point than they've given up over nine games.
Bad record, beat Toronto on the road, have scored 13 more points than they've allowed. Not really sure what they would do right now against a great team.
Excellent victory over the Stamps showed they've still got something. When Stamps comes back from injury, they'll move up.
Beat the top team at home, new old coach and have Fantuz coming back. The Riders should move up the rankings, but they're still 2 and 7.
Getting rid of Cleo "the Party" Lemon is definitely addition by subtraction. Until Jyles shows something, the Argos are a bad team trying to figure out who to keep for next year.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
After writing this post about the importance of Andy Fantuz to the Riders and the fact that not having him this year is the main reason for Saskatchewan sucking, the Rider braintrust has canned the former Ticat defensive co-ordinator. Sad, but something that had to be done, just to placate the fans and the general manager wasn't going to fire himself. The fact that the Riders are still inexplicably in the hunt for a playoff spot is an argument for keeping Marshall (who was fired before the BC victory), but the trigger was pulled. I'd be curious to see how many years Marshall signed for. The Riders are the most profitable team in the league, so if they signed Marshall to a three year deal, they can eat the next two and a half year's salary easily. No matter how much the Argos suck, I don't see Barker getting canned this year.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
The most obvious difference this year is the absence of non-import receiver Andy Fantuz. Fantuz led the CFL last year in receiving yards, with 87 catches for 1,380 yards and six TDs. The Riders also had non-import receivers Chris Getzlaf (who had a good game last night, but couldn't come up with the winning TD) and Rob Bagg (who has been injured all this year). The Riders also had serviceable non-import receiver Jason Clairmont and an excellent import receiver in Weston Dressler.
The benefits last year of the Riders having three starting non-import receivers (although I'm not sure if Getzlaf and Bagg started almost every down, I'm pretty sure they didn't) meant they had a ton of flexibility with the import ratio. Between the receivers and their offensive line, the Riders likely had their seven required Canadian starters for every game and could have easily had an all American defence if they chose.
Fantuz' value individually is interesting, because he was both a non-import and arguably the best receiver in the league. Quarterbacks in the CFL are obviously considered the most important player and typically command by far the highest salaries, often between $400,000 and $500,000 in a low salary cap environment. Receivers can be paid well, but I've never heard a salary quoted as over $200,000. Fantuz drew significant defensive coverage yet was still able to produce, making his fellow receivers and running backs better. The evidence is the difference in performance between the Riders this year and last. Great last year and totally sucky this year, with a 1 and 7 record, but the same quarterback.
Fantuz went to try out for the NFL this year, where obviously orders of magnitude more money is available, with risk of not making the team. Considering how valuable Fantuz was to the Riders, the Riders should have offered significantly more money to Fantuz to induce him to stay, taking money from Durant if necessary. The Riders are likely paying Durant a big salary this year for a terrible team and now it seems, it isn't warranted.
Battle of the one and six teams! Two teams enter, one leaves with 100% more wins. Or if there's a tie everything is screwed up. With three teams in two divisions tied with a single victory, this game has bizarre playoff implications. If the Riders win, they'll have a stranglehold (such as it is) over Toronto for the third playoff spot in the West and the possibility of a cross-over, due to ties going to the in division team. If Toronto wins, they're a game a head.
The Argos are favoured by three points at home. Cleo "the Party" Lemon has a had a few good passing results lately but alas no victories. Perhaps one useful piece of information is that the Argos have been outscored by 55 points this year, the Riders by an atrocious 82. That's not good. Argos take it, in a mediocre fashion.
Suck People 27, Prairie People 13
BC at Edmonton
Can the Lions win another game? With the Eskimos reeling and their wide receiver cupboard bare, I'd consider the Lions if they were at home. But they're not and the Eskimos are favoured by 5.5. I say Edmonton and a healthy dose of Jerome Messam prevails. But no spread cover.
Murder People, Environmentalist People
Linebacker Chip Cox won for the Alouettes, with two sacks and two forced fumbles. Also the Eskimos scored four points. The Cats allowed the Argos to score 32 points, so I'm sure no Cat even got a sniff.
Kicker and punter Sean Whyte won with four field goals for the Alouettes, the longest a 47 yarder. Ooh, a 47 yarder. How many field goals does the Cats Justin Medlock have beyond that this year? I'm not sure and am too lazy to look it up. I think Medlock only had three field goals last week, so I can understand it.
Jabari Arthur won the best Canadian for the Stamps, with seven catches for 92 yards and a TD. Didn't even know he was a non-import.
Looking at how many awards each team has won this year: the Alouettes have leapt into the lead with seven, the Bombers still have six, Edmonton still has five, BC and Calgary both weirdly have three, considering their records, the Ticats are stuck on two, now tied with the Argos and the Riders still have none. So BC seems to be getting more CFL player of the week than is warranted.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Radley mentions that signing him would mean cause roster problems, leading to somebody else getting the boot. But it doesn't have to! The solution, the nine game injury list. Giguerre is in theory injured anyways, and would probably take time to get him up to speed while taking up a roster spot. Plus salaries on the nine game injury list don't count against the salary cap. So sign him to a two year plus an option deal, front load it so less counts against the cap while he is on the nine game list and there you go. Of course you're screwed if he's a bust, but that happens all the time (cough, cough Kenton Keith). Or the Cats can just trade his rights to Montreal for a smoked meat sandwich (I'm serious, I can see this happening).
One interesting question is Giguerre better off if he would have just signed here initially and skipped the three practice roster years in the NFL? Giguerre would probably have made more on the practice roster, since CFL rookies get paid little, but he probably would have made it to the active roster and developed into a quality receiver by now. Hard to know and the possibility is always there for the big score of making it on an active NFL roster once you're in training camp.
Finally, maybe Giguerre just sucks. It is a possibility. Lots of players get a few sniffs in the NFL, come down to the CFL and are never heard from again. Rarer for a non-import, but it does happen. I predict with Giguerre though, that if the Cats don't sign him, there's plenty of other teams in the CFL that will have interest.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Swaggerville can't be stopped and more importantly the Bombers have Buck Pierce healthy for several games in a row.
The Alouettes waxed the formerly good Edmonton Eskimos and kept them to four points. Could get the top stop if they were to play Winnipeg and beat them.
Beat the Riders by ten last week, which is OK for a road game, but not that remarkable considering the Riders are the worst team in the CFL (foreshadowing).
Beat a team with one win at home and it was close and the opposing quarterback was Cleo Lemon. Still the Cats have a strong young receiving corps, without Maurice Mann and Marquay McDaniel in the lineup and a good, consistent quarterback. That's good enough for fourth.
From undefeated to fifth on the power rankings. Ouch. That's what happens when Fred Stamps is out for a while and the team is forced to pickup Hamilton and Montreal castoff Prechae Rodriguez due to a depleted receiving corps. Pretty much all of the Eskimo offense is Jerome Messam now.
The first of the three 1 and 6 teams. Not really a lot to justify them as the best of the worst, but at least they've won most recently. New arrival Arland Bruce tied Geroy Simon with the most passes with four, but that only totaled 34 yards. No thousand yards receiving for Bruce this year.
Cleo "the Party" Lemon went 26 for 36 for 368 yards with three TDs and no picks. However the Argos still lost, albeit on the road and somewhat closely. That's something I guess.
Lost by ten at home to Calgary. Lots of offensive yards, but the Riders still lost. I think the Riders have basically given up until Andy Fantuz gets cut from the NFL. If he doesn't, or sticks around on the practice roster, the Riders are really screwed.
Kevin Glenn had a good game, with 22 passes on 31 attempts and 310 yards with 2 TDs and no picks. The Ticat running game was mostly meh, with Cobourne rushing 13 times for 61 yards and a TD. The 4.69 yard average is also just OK.
Aaron Kelly had another good game, with 80 yards on seven catches. Williams had only 2 catches, but 64 yards. Bakari Grant had his first good game with 53 yards on four catches and Matt Carter had a good game with four catches for 49 yards. Amazingly the Cats have pretty much totally changed around their receiving corps from last year without any really drop in performance. That probably speaks more to having a good and experienced quarterback rather than all the young receivers being that remarkable. No Marquay McDaniel this week. Perhaps the Cats are looking for the right trade rather than releasing him, but he's a good receiver in case of receiver injuries (hello, Edmonton) and we've still got Maurice Mann to come back from his bizarre locker room accident.
Defence was just OK. Didn't seem like a lot of pressure on Lemon this week
I think the real hero though was Justin Medlock and probably the difference in the game. The Cats here have a real asset and can possibly get points up to 55 yards, whereas De Angelis had no real possibility of points over 45 yards last year. Makes the Cats more dangerous late and builds up points throughout the game. Easily the best kicker in the league this year.
OK crowd of 24,347, although it seemed like more. The Argos only being 1 and 5 this year going into the game likely did not help. Hopefully the Cats can still sell out on Labour Day this year. I still think all the stadium brouhaha is depressing attendance this year.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Getting a tenth team besides Ottawa soon after would be fantastic for the league. Moncton looks like they're still in the lead, but if Halifax can get a stadium they would probably vault ahead. However getting federal funding for a stadium during this economy is probably easier said than done.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
The Eskimos are 5 and 1 versus the Alouettes 4 and 2. Two pertinent facts, Montreal is at home and probably the best receiver in the CFL Fred Stamps is out with internal bleeding for the Esks. The Alouettes aren't as good as they were in previous years, but they're still pretty good, especially when a team isn't on the top of its game. Unsurprisingly the Als are favoured by 6.5
NDP People 35, Mall People 19
Calgary at Saskatchewan
The Stamps are 4 and 2 and coming off a victory. The Riders are 1 and 5 and lost last week to the previously winless Lions. Stamps are favoured by 3.5 on the road, which means no one has real confidence in the Riders. I thought the Riders would be worse this year, but not this bad. Greg Marshall, I fear your head coaching career will be short, shorter than the other Greg Marshall.
Stetson People 29, Potash People 19
Toronto at Hamilton
Hamilton is favoured by a relatively massive 7 points at home against the 1 and 5 Argos. The Cats played well last week in the first half and then sucked and were shut out in the second half. The Argos mostly sucked last week and sucked more as the game went on and then fired their defensive co-ordinator when their offense sucks. I've heard rumours that Boyd is back this week at running back for the Argos this week, but I'm too lazy to check it. Ticats still win.
Timmies People 30, Suck People 24
Winnipeg at BC
Winnipeg is so hot that the players have dubbed themselves Swaggerville, no doubt to move as many T-shirts as possible. BC is 1 and 5 and beat the Riders last week. Buck Pierce is currently uninjured and the Bombers have a lethal defence. Lulay is becoming better for the Lions (certainly better than Cleo Lemon), but he'll be running for his life this week.
33 Jets People, 22 Rain People