Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ralph Wilson, Buffalo Bills Owner Dead

So the Bills weasel out of their Toronto Rogers Centre home game this year and Ralph Wilson dies. Coincidence? Probably not, Wilson was in his nineties.

For the CFL fan, Wilson approaching death is/was important because of what happens to the team next. His heirs didn't want to take over so the team will be sold. Obviously there's some Toronto interests and even Jon Bon Jovi according to some Toronto newspaper writers that want to move an NFL team to Toronto. The Bills were likely the best possibility so it will be interesting to see if the team moves or not.

I have the feeling that a lot of Americans have feelings of goodwill toward the Bill being in Buffalo, so the NFL would have to brave their opprobrium to move it to Toronto. I'm guessing they don't want to do that and will try and shepherd an ownership group committed to keeping the Bills in Buffalo. I'm also guessing that the two US State Senators from New York will also be looking to facilitate such an ownership. Interesting period coming up in any case.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Winnipeg Gets 2015 Grey Cup

Just saw on Twitter that the Bombers have been awarded the 2015 Grey Cup. I'm going to go out on a limb and say there's not much of a chance of the Bombers being in the 2015 Grey Cup, but stranger things have happened.

Hamilton would appear to have a good shot for the 2016 Grey Cup, as the stadium will be completed certainly some time in 2014. We're just not sure when. That would be 20 years after the last Hamilton Grey Cup.

Good Article on CFL Trailblazer Normie Kwong

Check out this article on CFL running back Normie Kwong by friend of the blog, M@. Definitely a very impressive Canadian running back.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tim Horton's Field to Be Delayed Six Weeks

Confirmation on what a lot of people have been suspecting. Ontarios Sports Solutions which is apparently the consortium building Tim Horton's Field has sent a letter to city council stating the stadium opening could be delayed six weeks from the planned June 30th ready date.

Adding six weeks of prime summer weather certainly would help progress, although the Cats are scheduled to host Ottawa in their home opener on July 26th with another game just five days later on a Thursday night (ugh Thursday night games, who are we Toronto?). Hamilton's third home game isn't until August 16th.

So two games will probably be impacted. One thing to keep in mind is that the new stadium has a lot of fancy areas that could be potentially finished and opened later and thus perhaps an earlier opening would be possible with just the main core seating.

Of course the six week delay could also be wildly optimistic and more fuckups could still occur. Likely at least some games will be hosted in the stadium unlike Winnipeg a couple of years ago. And get ready for more Mac lotteries.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tim Horton's Field Progress Pictures, Not Looking Good

Here's two photos I took yesterday of Tim Horton's Field (I had gone to donairs@gage for the first time, pretty good but not as good as Germany). Progress isn't looking particularly good. Considering that the Ottawa stadium already has some seats installed and from what I can see the Ticats has none, things are looking a bit grim for the opener which is basically four months away. 

Obviously it has been a bad winter by recent historical standards. However the silence from both the Ticats and quiescent local media is interesting. Certainly a lot could be accomplished in the last four months, however even the rest of March is looking colder than average with a possible storm tonight.

I'm less surprised the Ticats are staying quiet, but what is sadder is the lack of reporting from Hamilton media. So as a lowly blogger, don't be surprised if the stadium is severely late.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Doug Brown on CFL Bargaining Talks

Doug Brown has a good article in the Winnipeg Free Press about the collective bargaining talks between the players and the league. I'm not sure that there are many jobs that have done as poorly salary wise versus inflation over the past two decades as a CFL player. Considering the salary cap is slightly over $4 million currently, player expenses are quite low versus the $15 million it apparently takes to run a CFL team.

BMO Field Expansion Approved, Argos Moving

The expansion of BMO Field has been approved (strangely with Argo fan Rob Ford the only one voting against). The Argos can now move there. I'm sure Toronto FC supporters are annoyed with gridiron football now to be played there.

I've argued that the Argos playing at BMO is valuable to MLSE because it adds value to the naming rights. Argos games get high television ratings and TFC historically hasn't.

As a Ticat fan, I'm glad our nemesis has somewhere to play. Although I'm kind of afraid of how expensive a beer will be there.

Ottawa Red Blacks Have 13,000 Season Ticket Holders

Just saw a tweet from @arashmadani stating that Ottawa has 13,000 season tickets sold, according to one of the owners Jeff Hunt. That's impressive with a few months to go until the start of the season.

Maybe even more than the Argos. I recall the Ticats stating they were going to cap season tickets at 16,000, maybe Ottawa will have to do something similar.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Interesting Take on Why Bob Bratina Isn't Running Again for Hamilton Mayor

Tim Horton's Field Conspiracy Theory over at the Surly Hamilton blog:


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Arash Madani Article on the 2014 CFL Collective Bargaining

This article by Arash Madani about the impasse between the CFL and the CFLPA for their next contract is required reading. Interesting that Madani works at Sportsnet and yet is probably the best reporter on the CFL beat.

One item I found interesting from the article was about practice rosters:

"2) Expanded practice rosters and injured lists. While presently, practice rosters are expanded after NFL cuts in September, the league wants more players at the $600/week stipend, which would provide more competition to usurp more expensive veterans."

Never would have occurred to me that players wouldn't want expanded practice rosters, but I suppose as a vet I could see their perspective. Personally I like the idea of expanded practice rosters for non-imports, so that more Canadian players are getting experience practicing rather than waiting at home for injuries to strike.

Every team having a few more Canadian receivers and linemen on the practice roster would increase Canadian depth in the CFL.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Defensive Tackle Torrey Davis Re-signs with the Ticats

Just saw that import Torrey Davis re-signed with the Tiger-Cats. He had 16 tackles and a sack last year for Hamilton, and 24 tackles and 2 sacks between Hamilton and Calgary in 2012.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ottawa's TD Place Construction Progress Versus Tim Horton's Field

I saw that the @TD_Place, the twitter account for the Ottawa Red Blacks has some pictures of seats being installed. What's happening seat wise in Hamilton? Actually I have no idea. Maybe I'll swing by today and have a look.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Injury Prone Quarterback Buck Pierce Retires from CFL

Buck Pierce has announced his retirement. Tigercatatonia will miss Buck, primarily because it was easy to make jokes about how injury prone Pierce was, although we always saluted his efforts. Farewell Buck, and try not to get any more concussions.