Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ticats Junior Cheerleaders, Alouettes at Ticats

Alouettes at Ticats by philinator
Alouettes at Ticats, a photo by philinator on Flickr.

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.

Ticat Cheerleaders, Alouettes at Ticats

Alouettes at Ticats by philinator
Alouettes at Ticats, a photo by philinator on Flickr.

Here's a photo of the Ticats cheerleaders in action against the Alouettes in 2011.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dave Dickenson No Longer Candidate for Ticats Head Coaching Job

So according to TSN, Calgary offensive co-ordinator is staying in Calgary and won't be considered further for the Hamilton head coaching job. I assume his thinking was that he's not ready to be a head coach quite yet, he's a good candidate to take over in Calgary when Hufnagel leaves and stays closer to his Montana home. For me at least, the one bonus here is that it lowers the chance of Henry Burris coming to Hamilton.

So Winnipeg Blue Bomber defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke for sure? Or what about the rumours about Buffalo Bills quarterbacks coach George Cortez? Frankly considering the suck of the Bills over this last epoch, I'd rather not touch anything associated with them.

CFL 2011 Attendance Analysis, League and Team Averages

A bit late, but here's the average attendances for each CFL team in 2011:

1. Edmonton 34625 (35035)
2. Calgary 30601 (30795)
3. Saskatchewan 30021 (30048)
4. BC 29725 (24327)
5. Winnipeg 29559 (26083)
6. Montreal 24058 (25012)
7. Hamilton 23676 (23890)
8. Toronto 20018 (22069)

Note stats on best road drawing teams are in this post.

The 2010 attendances are in parentheses. Only BC and Winnipeg showed increases with every other team having lower attendance. The order was pretty similar to, but BC was able to move ahead of Winnipeg and Montreal. Montreal had some games that did not sellout for once.

Overall, the average CFL attendance for a game was 24,698 a minor increase compared to the 24,140 of 2010. Maybe the league can get over 25,000 average attendance next year.

BC had a bit of a weird year for attendance. Still playing at Empire Field earlier in the season, the Lions reopened BC Place with 50,213 attendees against the Eskimos, the highest attended game of the CFL regular season.

Saskatchewan being the worst team this year didn't make a big difference in their own attendance, but hurt other teams (especially Calgary and Edmonton) when the Riders were their opponents. Hear's hoping for at least a 500 team for the Riders next year, as it's good for the CFL. The Riders should also consider trying to boost the capacity of Moasaic Field a bit more. I know it's already been juiced a bit, but if you have the worst record in the league and it doesn't do anything to your attendance, you can afford a couple of extra thousand seats.

Hamilton was slightly lower, but that included their home game in Moncton which dragged down the average attendance. However the Cats only had to sell tickets for eight home games in their own market. The Cats were also hurt by not having the Argos as an opponent on Labour Day as the Alouettes only drew 26,964. Hopefully in the last year in the old Ivor Wynne, the Cats can get a good number for attendance, including a game with the Argos back for Labour Day. Maybe they can pass the Alouettes in 2012 for average attendance.

Toronto was hurt by their sucky performance. With them hosting the Grey Cup next year, there's nowhere for the Argos to go but up.

Here's some analysis for last year's CFL attendance (2010).

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Argos Mississauga Practice Facility Burns Down!

Yes it's true in case you missed it, the Argos training facility burned down. Kind of sad, but very Argo like.

Friday, December 23, 2011

No To Henry Burris!

Tigercatatonia keeps seeing articles that Henry Burris will wind up in the Hammer. Please no.

Burris will be 37 by the time the season starts next year and had a mediocre 2010, ending with him being supplanted by Drew Tate who hasn't really done a lot except for be a lot younger than Burris. Frankly I'm not convinced he'll be an upgrade on Quinton Porter.

The worst thing Hamilton could do is actually trade with Burris. If they have to have him, wait until Calgary releases him outright. Still though, I'd rather go into 2012 with Glenn and Porter than pick up Burris on the downslope of his career.

If Hamilton had real balls, they would release Glenn, go with Porter cheaply, use up the salary cap savings to shore up the secondary, but also try and evaluate some quarterbacks (including Boltus) to be the next great Ticat quarterback. The one issue is that the Cats run the risk of a crappy season 5 and 13 type season that would depress the fan base. Ideally the crap season, if there has to be one would be in 2013 when the Cats are on the road. I've no idea what the Cats will do, although if Calgary Stampeder offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickinson gets hired as head coach things could get interesting.

New Coach Down to Two Candidates?

CHML's Rick Zamperin is reporting that the Ticats are down to two for the vacant head coaching position, Calgary offensive co-ordinator (and former CFL quarterback and frequent concussion victim) Dave Dickenson and Winnipeg defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke.

Personally I like former offensive co-ordinators as head coaches as coming up with a good offence is the harder task, at least in my opinion. Plus examples like former Hamilton defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall flaming out in Saskatchewan this year (although not having Andy Fantuz really hurt the Riders this year). Winnipeg did have an awesome defence, good enough to get to the Grey Cup this year so who really knows. The Cats do need to make a decision though to avoid getting the dregs of the co-ordinators. Former defensive co-ordinator Corey Chamblin was rewarded after a fairly mediocre defence in 2011 with the head coaching job in Regina and I doubt offensive co-ordinator Khari Jones will be back.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Who's Back in Catland Next Year? Half Assed Predictions

So I'm going to name a few Cats and give a percentage of them being on the roster on Opening Day. Note these predictions have nothing backing them but my own somewhat delusional feelings.

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.

How Much Is Investor's Group Paying for Naming Rights in Winnipeg

I've been trying to figure out how much Investor's Group is paying for naming rights for the new CFL stadium. The best I can find is this article, which suggests maybe $500,000 a year.

"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

Ricky Ray an Argo?

Looks like there's news that Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray has been traded to the Argos in exchange for quarterback Steven Jyles, a first round pick and defensive back Grant Shaw. Obviously the Argos want to do better with the Grey Cup in Toronto in 2012, but this smells a bit of desperation.

Ray is not exactly young at 32, but at least had a decent season last year. The problem I see is Ray's salary cap hit being pretty high and the Argos still needing some decent receivers to throw to. No doubt the Argos would have been better last year with Ray instead of Cleo "the Party" Lemon, but Lemon was no doubt cheaper too. Maybe new Argo coach Scott Milanovich can do something with Ray.

I'm not sure how I would feel as an Eskimo fan. Many probably thought that Ray is no longer good enough to take them to the next level. I'm not sure Steven Jyles is the guy to do that, although his cap hit is likely less, allowing the Eskimos to sign some better free agents or retain their own.