Friday, September 30, 2011

BC Place Half Time Reopening Show

What was that? Electric guitarist, tenor sax, bongos? I don't know who co-ordinated that, but I hope that most of the people in the stadium went for a beer. Where's the tried and true half time events like mascot soccer (who doesn't love Smiley the No Frills banana?)? Stadium does look nice though.

CFL Predictions, Week 14, 2011

Montreal Alouettes at Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Looks like Bomber quarterback Buck Pierce is out with bad ribs (like in the Polynesiantown episode of SCTV). Montreal is favoured by a solid 7 points on the road, so I'm assuming either Anthony Calvillo is back this week or the oddsmakers really like the backup Adrian McPherson and dislike Bomber backup Alex Brink. Or maybe the fact that Bomber running back Fred Reid is gone for the season. The Bombers still have a good defence, so I'll say they'll cover the spread but lose. Are the Bombers on track for an epic Red Sox like collapse for the rest of the season? Who knows.
Corruption People 24, Injured People 18

Edmonton at BC
BC is favoured at home by a healthy six points, has a win streak going and will have a big crowd as they return to BC Place. The Eskimos have basically sucked since starting the season with five straight wins. I'm not sure if I'm a total believer in the Lions, but they can tie the Eskimos with a win. Lions fairly easily
Dome People 31, Oilsands People 20

Saskatchewan at Calgary Stampeders
The Riders plainly suck this year. Calgary has looked inconsistent, but can score points. The Stamps are favoured by 5.5 points this week, which seems a little small considering they're at home. Stamps easily.
Inconsistent People 35, Pilsner People 21

Hamilton at Toronto,
The Ticats are on the road against a bad Toronto team and favoured by 3.5 points. Sure the Argos beat the Bombers last week at home, but Winnipeg players basically imploded as the game went on and were left with only the long snapper healthy at the end. I'm assuming that won't happen to Hamilton this week, plus the Ticat offence looked pretty lethal last week on the East Coast. A loss ends the Argos playoff chances, slim as they may be, so I'm sure they'll play some spirited defence but still lose.
32 Bratina People, 16 Suck People

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CFL Power Rankings, Week 14, 2011

1. Montreal Alouettes
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.

Winnipeg Down Running Backs, First Place Still Up For Grabs?

There's a report on that Winnipeg Blue Bomber running backs Fred Reid (second in rushing yards) and Carl Volny are both done this year with ACL injuries after the Toronto game. Since the Bombers rely on running, especially on first down, that's gotta hurt. Winnipeg has won two more games than the Cats and hold the tie breaker over the Cats with six games left. Normally it would be unlikely for the Cats to end up more wins than the Bombers, but with the injuries Winnipeg could implode down the stretch.

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

Thoughts on Touchdown Atlantic in Moncton

Just finished the drive back from Moncton after attending the Touchdown Atlantic
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

CFL Predictions, Week 13, 2011, Down East Edition

Montreal at Edmonton,
Edmonton has the slightly better record at 7 and 4, with the Alouettes a game back. The Esks are at home hence them being slight 1.5 favourites. Montreal lost against Winnipeg last week, but it was close and Edmonton doesn't have the Bombers defence. I'm going against the odds and picking the Alouettes.
Tabernac People 29, Tar People 24

BC at Saskatchewan
This game has real playoff implications, with the 5 and 6 Lions battling the 4 and 7 Riders on the road for the third playoff spot in the West. There's possibilities of cross-over as well, so both teams should be motivated. Both teams are relatively hot, but I'm more impressed with the Lions. The Riders are slight two point favourites at home. If this were in BC, I'd pick the Lions in a landslide, but I'll chose the Riders as slight favourites at home.
25 Rapeseed People 22 Sushi People

Winnipeg at Toronto
I'm not what sure what the oddsmakers are up to, but the Bombers are only 3.5 point favourites at Dead Ted's Dome. Maybe they're big fans of Steven Jyles. Sure he's a big step up from Cleo Lemon, but the Bombers are coming off a big road win in Montreal. It'll be a beating, and Jyles will be running for his life.
Portage People 34 Suck People 19

Calgary at (sort of ) Hamilton
Earlier today it was even odds, but when I last checked the Stamps are favoured by a single point. Ostensibly the Cats are the home team, but I'm doubting that's much of an advantage when the game is in Moncton. I suppose the fans will try and cheer for the Cats, but I'm sure they'll just jump on the bandwagon of whatever team is winning. Calgary lost last week and looked lame, but the Cats have lost badly the last two weeks and looked like the 3 and 15 teams a few years ago. That's generally not good. I expect the Cats to play better this week, but not enough to win. Interestingly the game is on grass, but I have no idea which team has the advantage with it.
Spur People 33, Balsam People 28

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Could the Ticats Miss the Playoffs This Year?

After back to back losses for the Tiger-Cats, things have become murkier with regards to where the team ends up in terms of playoff position. At first glance, at 5 and 6 the Cats look good for at least third in the East. The 2 and 9 Argos are essentially out of it barring a miracle run over the last seven games.

The problem for the Cats is the cross-over spot, where the fourth place West team has a better record than the third place East team (or vice versa). The Lions now have the same record as the Cats and are considerably hotter now. The Eskimos and Stampeders both have 7 and 4 records and are likely to have better records than the Cats at the end of the season. Now the Saskatchewan Roughriders have a 4 and 7 record after winning three straight and are only a game back of the Cats.

For the cross-over the other division team has to have a better record, i.e. in division teams tied on points get the playoff spot, so the Cats do have an advantage. However the upcoming "home" game in Moncton against Calgary has become more important. If the Cats win, they either tie or stay close to Montreal and hosting a home playoff game is still possible, especially with a game remaining in Montreal. If the Cats lose and the Riders win (although they're playing BC which complicates this scenario) the two teams would then be tied. Henceforth, if the Riders even end up with a single point more at the end of the season they would be in over the Cats.

Certainly this makes for more excitement in the league, and is part of the reason for the crossover. For the Cats it makes this next game against Calgary crucial. Win it and beating Montreal is still possible. Lose and the possibility of losing out on a playoff spot becomes more likely. Too bad the Cats aren't getting the full home field Ivor Wynne advantage this weekend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CFL Power Rankings, Week 13, 2011

1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
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.

Ticat Lawn Parking Revenues

There's a few houses right near the Beechwood Avenue entrance of Ivor Wynne that do a decent trade in allowing cars to park on their lawns and driveways for Ticat games. One house in particular has interested me, namely 121 Prospect Avenue North at the corner of Beechwood. Before last Friday's game, there were eight cars parked on the property with what looked like room for three more. Assuming the owner was smart and parked his car on the street before the game and charged $20 per car, that's $220 per game and $2200 for the whole season, including the pre-season, but not any playoff game.

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

What Was That?

I suppose I should say something about the Ticats' home 38 to 23 loss to the Eskimos on Friday. It felt a lot like the Jason Maas era, where the Cats offense would have a festival of two and outs in the first half and barely any scoring. Certainly being down 25 to 6 at the end of the first half is not a good thing. One game in a row like that isn't a massive concern, even a good team can have a terrible first half and get blown out. Two in a row though? This makes me wonder if the Cats will even end up 500 again this year. They're 5 and 6 and need to go 4 and 3 over the last seven games to do it. Possible? Sure. Will they do it? I'm not so sure after the last two games.

Friday, September 16, 2011

CFL Predictions, Week 12, 2011, Revenge Edition

Edmonton Eskimos at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Both teams are coming off losses, coming off wins. Both teams looked bad, but Hamilton looked especially terrible. The Eskimos started the season hot, with five straight wins, followed by a single win and four losses. The Ticats are 4 and 1 at home, while the Eskimos are a very respectable 3 and 2 and the road. Hamilton is notably missing starting centre Marwan Hage at centre again this week. Hamilton is favoured by 4.5 points at home. I don't think the Cats will cough up two furballs in a row this week and Edmonton's not the same team as the first five weeks, especially their defensive line.
Balsam People 35, Permafrost People 23

Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders
The 2 and 7 Argos visit the 3 and 6 Riders, however the Riders are coming off of two straight wins over the Bombers and the Argos not so much. Plus the Riders have Andy Fantuz back in the fold after his NFL sojourn. The Argos are missing their best offensive lineman in Rob Murphy and are starting Steven Jyles not that Cleo Lemon has been jettisoned. The Argos are 1 an 5 on the road, but the Riders are 1 and 4 at home which is almost equally as sucky. Maybe more sucky considering CFL teams usually perform much better on the road. The Riders are favoured by a whopping 7.5 points. Which may be generous.
Gopher People 32, Suck People 18

BC at Calgary
BC's hot! The Lions just beat the Argos twice in a row, once with Cleo Lemon, once without. That's not really saying much. The Lions are a semi-respectable, while the Stamps are a very respectable 7 and 3. Weirdly the Lions are 2 and 3 on the road and the Stamps are 2 and 3 at home. Calgary is favoured by 4.5 points and I think BC comes back down to Earth. Not every opponent is the Argos.
Fubar People 40, Feline People 32

Winnipeg at Montreal
The Bombers just lost two in a row to the formerly woeful Riders. Do the engines drop off the plane and the Winnipeggers lose three in a row and begin a slow death spiral into second half mediocrity? Yes. Montreal looked awesome at home against Hamilton last week and have a 4 and 1 record at Molson Stadium. The Bombers have 3 and 1 record on the road, but that was the old Winnipeg. The Alouettes are favoured by 7.5 points and rightfully so.
Oiseau People 32, River People 20

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Longest CFL Field Goal, Longest Ticat CFL Field Goal

After Justin Medlock booted a 57 yard field goal in Montreal on Sunday to tie the Ticat record (also apparently held by Bernie Ruoff and Paul Osbaldiston according to this article) for longest field goal and Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 63 yard field goal to tie the NFL record for longest field goal at Denver's Mile High Stadium (which has a sponsor, but since I get no revenue I'm not naming them) I was curious about the CFL records. Current BC kicker Paul McCallum had a 62 yard field goal for Saskatchewan against Edmonton on October 27, 2001 for 62 yards. Three kickers have kicked 67 yard field goals in the NCAA, I'm not sure of the CIS record, but I should look it up.

Monday, September 12, 2011

CFL Power Rankings, Week 12, 2011

1. Calgary
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.
2. Montreal
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.
3. Winnipeg
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.
4. Hamilton
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.
5. Saskatchewan
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.
6. Edmonton
Back down to Earth. Fred Stamps returned from injury but didn't do much which is a bit demoralizing. Offensive line inconsistent.
7. BC
Some momentum, but beating the Argos twice in a row isn't much of an accomplishment. Lions shouldn't get cocky.
8. Toronto
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

Ticats Get Asses Handed to them in Montreal, Lose 43 to 13

Well that was disappointing. After last week's shellacking against the Alouettes in Hamilton, Montreal turned things around and whipped Hamilton in Montreal. Lots of blame to go around, both the offense and defence were poor. Glenn had a poor performance going 13 and 30 for 151 yards, no picks though. Glenn was under a lot of pressure though so it wasn't all on him. Cobourne only had five rushes for two yards, so the offensive line was terrible. I'm not sure if the missing Marwan Hage at centre made that much of a difference, but a terrible effort anyways.

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

CFL Predictions, Week 11, 2011, Revenge Edition

Calgary at Edmonton,
While the Eskimos dog sledded all over the Stampeders last week in Calgary, the oddsmakers aren't believing it, with Calgary favoured by 3 points on the road. I've heard Eskimos receiver Fred Stamps is back, although I'm not sure. Edmonton was good last week, after losing three in a row, but I'm not on the bandwagon just yet. Stamps tight.
Saddle People 29, Dog People 27

Toronto at BC,
No Cleo "the Party" Lemon any more for the Argos. Everything rides with Stephen Jyles as the new quarterback. The Lions are at home and favoured by a solid 7.5 points. A new quarterback won't make a lot of difference for a mediocre Argo team.
Coast People 33, Suck People 13

Hamilton at Montreal,
The Ticats won big last week at home, so Montreal will be looking for revenge. Calvillo probably won't have two bad games in a row, especially at home. The Alouettes are favoured by five, but I expect a closer game with Montreal squeaking one out.
PQ People 30, Crawl People 28

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg,
In a huge shocker, the Riders rode the Bombers out of Swaggerville like a bunch of Gaddafi loyalists. This week they're on the road and they might have Andy Fantuz in the lineup. The Bombers are at home and favoured by 5.5 points. Don't expect the Riders to do much in this game.
Mennonite People 35, Fantuz People 17

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

CFL Power Rankings, Week 10, 2011

1. Winnipeg
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.
2. Hamilton
Homer pick? Good point differential, plus they've now beat Montreal twice, with a thumping last week. Good team with potential to be great.
3. Montreal
Needs to stop losing to Hamilton. Defence is still good, but Calvillo is looking a little shakier. Always waxes the crap teams.
4. Calgary
Good record, loss to the Eskimos at home, have only scored one more point than they've given up over nine games.
5. BC
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.
6. Edmonton
Excellent victory over the Stamps showed they've still got something. When Stamps comes back from injury, they'll move up.
7. Saskatchewan
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.
8. Toronto
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.

Old Article on Earl Winfield

I was looking at the wikipedia entry for former Ticat receiver Earl Winfield and found that it wasn't particularly informative, but did have a link to a preserved Geocities page with an old Globe and Mail article from Stephen Brunt about Winfield. The article is interesting from a historical perspective, including the fact that Winfield earned around $100,000 way back then, but was looking at a substantial pay cut due to the usual periodic CFL hard times.

The Geocities page also helpfully has Winfield's career stats, which were what I was looking for anyways. His ninth season, 1995 was his best year with 92 receptions and 1496 yards and 13 scores, which is pretty impressive compared to the league leaders from last year.

Lateral Stat Weirdness, Infinite Yards Per Catch?

After Dave Stala's lateral to Maurice Mann in the Labour Day game against Montreal, I was wondering how the stats work for laterals. I assume that after a lateral, the player receiving the lateral gets credit in receiving yards (or maybe running yards if the play was originally a handoff). What I'm wondering now is what happens statwise if you have no receptions yourself and receive the lateral. Mann had a few receptions in the game and I assumed the lateral yards were included in his yardage total. What if he had no receptions? Could one get receiving yards and no receptions in a game? Infinite yards per catch? Maybe programmers working with football stats need to watch for divide by zero errors.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ticats Mauling of Alouettes Analysis

Well yesterday at Ivor Wynne was most enjoyable from the perspective of a Ticat fan. Despite giving up a TD off a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, the Cats were relentless from that point on, ending up with 44 to 21 victory over the Alouettes. Calvillo looked mortal and perhaps a bit Cleo Lemon like and all was right with the universe in East Hamilton.

Kevin Glenn's numbers on the surface don't look that remarkable, and frankly how the Cats got 44 points from them seems a little weird. Glenn was 14 for 18 for 237 yards with 1 TD and no picks. Often the most important stat for passers is completion percentage and a 77.8% is excellent. That keeps the ball moving downfield and also minimizes two and outs, the real killer in the CFL.

Chris Williams kept up his leading receiver performance going with five catches for 108 yards. No need for Arland Bruce III here. Stala had catches for 59 yards which included a long reception followed by a lateral to Mann for a few more yards. I'm not sure what the head coach thought about that (likely don't do that again), but I've always thought laterals are somewhat under utilized in the CFL. I'm also a bit confused as to who gets credit for yards after a lateral. I assume Mann would have in this case.

Cobourne had a heavy load against his former team, but performed with a 19 carry performance with 102 yards, 2 TDs and a fumble. As long as the average is over five yards per carry, you're usually good in the CFL.

Porter had one of those up and down performances that keep him as the backup. He did well when he came in for Glenn briefly, including a nice long run for a TD up the middle with a celebratory spin across the goal line, but threw a pick six near the end of the game when the game was already long decided. Still a good sign that Porter could come in and keep the team going against the Alouettes when it mattered.

Calvillo had a mediocre day, going 17 for 30 for 216 yards, with no TDs or picks. It seemed a lot of Alouette receivers dropped short passes that should have been caught, but at the same time, pressure from the Hamilton D made Calvillo pass early than he wanted too. Hickman had a good game with two sacks and Johnson had six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. There were a few passes knocked down that were nice too. Overall the defence looked great against the Alouettes.

Montreal also had penalties up the wazoo and Hamilton had almost none. Trestman probably didn't like that.

Attendance was a bit weaker than I predicted at 26 and change. I had said 28 and change, but the weather with the possibility of rain probably kept some people away. I saw almost no Alouette fans (in fact I think I saw more for the last game against Montreal) whereas if Toronto had been the opponent, I'm sure the game would have closer to a sellout. No doubt the Ticats want Toronto back as the Labour Day opponent next year and for it to remain as Toronto no matter what David Braley says.

The Party's Over! Cleo Lemon Released By the Argos

The Argos have apparently released Cleo Lemon and installed former Bomber pivot Steven Jyles as their new quarterback and person who has to throw to the league's worst receivers. Lemon survived a surprisingly long time, but the Argos didn't have a lot of options. Jyles was distinctly mediocre last year in the games he started for the Bombers (especially considering they didn't have a bad defence) but is still a step up from Lemon. Last year his stats for the Bombers were surprisingly good: 196 for 318 (61.6% completion percentage), and 19 TDs versus 7 picks for a rating of 100.9. He also rushed for a very respectable 452 yards on 65 carries (7.0 average). For a team with mediocre receivers, if the quarterback sees he can get a run for a first down, he probably should

The Argos while in theory still in it for a crossover birth, have to think about next year, especially with their best offensive lineman Rob Murphy out with injury. The Argos overachieved wildly last year and are probably underachieving a bit this year. Considering the riches the Ticats have at import receiver, its amazing the Argos can't find some decent ones, but finding out who to keep for next year is the double blue's task for the second half of the season.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labour Day Attendance

I haven't heard much about what the attendance is expected to be in today's game against Montreal. Not having Toronto definitely hurts, although they are so poor this year one wonders how many Argos fans would make the journey down to Ivor Wynne. The Ticats have a good opponent in Montreal, with a lot on the line in the game. The weather is looking mediocre, which will likely keep some away. I'll predict 28 thousand and change. Not a sellout, but a decent crowd. The atmosphere won't really be the same without the Argos though. The league needs this game to go back to the Argos versus Ticats.

Maurice Mann could be back today after his bizarre locker room foot injury. That should help with the Cat offence, but he could be pretty rusty. Also Mann is a decent player, but hardly the second coming of Tommy Joe Coffey. Sometimes absence builds up a player more than is warranted.

The Cats need a good start against Montreal. Calvillo is good and clinical enough that when he gets ahead the Alouette offence is unstoppable. The Cats need to keep it close and keep up the pressure on Calvillo every play.

Friday, September 2, 2011

CFL Predictions, Week 10, 2011, Labour Day Weekend Edition

BC at Toronto,
Battle of the two victory teams. I suppose that's better than the earlier battle of the single victory teams. The Lions are favoured by two points on the road, which would indicate Las Vegas doesn't like Cleo Lemon and frankly I don't blame them. BC has gotten the benefit of the doubt a lot the past few seasons, despite being a mediocre team. I'll stick with the home team here, although Arland Bruce would probably love to have a good game here.
Suck People 25, Pot People 22

Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
The Bombers are only favoured by 3 in Regina. Thats seems weird considering they have inverse records, one team has one loss, the other one win. I really can't see the Winnipeg defence just taking the long weekend off. The Bombers get a head early and silence the crowd.
Jets People 41, Watermelon People 19

Montreal at Hamilton
The Ticats aren't getting much respect, with the Alouettes favoured by two and a half at Ivor Wynne. Maybe if the Cats were better than 500 they would get more respect. Despite this, the Cats beat the Alouettes fairly convincingly last game at Ivor Wynne and the crowd should be jacked. Montreal is only good, not great this year.
Escarpment People 29, Poutine People 25

Edmonton at Calgary
The Stamps are favoured by 8.5 at home and surprisingly it's not more. With Edmonton's injured receiving corps and suddenly turnstile like offensive line, things aren't going to go well for the Eskimos. The Eskimos should really pick up the now released Marquay McDaniel.
Stetson People 37, Injured People 17

CFL Power Rankings, Week 10, 2011

On vacation in Ireland this week, so no posts until today.

1. Winnipeg
Beat Hamilton in a close one at home. Still the best. Having back to back games against Saskatchewan should keep them here for a while. Unless Buck Pierce explodes. Which could happen.
2. Calgary
Quoting Ric Flair, "to be the man, you have to beat the man." Calgary beat Montreal, therefore they are ranked higher. They did win at home, but that's just semantics.
3. Montreal
See above.
4. Hamilton
Lost to the Bombers on the road. Clearly a good team, but not a great team.
5. BC
Some one has to be number five.
6. Toronto
Still has Cleo "the Party" Lemon as quarterback. Needs to win a third game to move up.
7. Edmonton
Assumedly the Eskimos receivers are healing up. Edmonton needs Fred Stamps to return to get back on track.
8. Saskatchewan
Only a single win. The good news is that somehow they are still in playoff contention.