At first I had no idea what to write about this week but it wasn’t long before a tsunami of rage exploded inside me like yesterday’s bad bean burrito. Then the words poured forth from my fingers faster than the serve yourself beer taps inside the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge on Grey Cup weekend.
So Timmy’s field isn’t going to be ready, probably the least shocking thing about the 2014 season thus far. Winnipeg was late, Ottawa was late, so of course Hamilton is late too. Ron Joyce Stadium (at McMaster U) holds 5,550. It doesn’t sound like anyone in Ti-Cat management had the foresight to prepare for this as I haven’t heard mention of any temporary seating being installed. Does anyone else think it’s odd that the team is scrambling rather last minute to move games to Ron Joyce? I submit that the Liberal government (Infrastructure Ontario is overseeing construction as part of the Pan Am Games) has long known the stadium wouldn’t be ready in time and have kept it under wraps because of the election last month. If the Cats had known earlier and started preparing it could have become an election issue in Hamilton. Just sayin’.
This is a huge black eye for the league because the Cats v Bombers game on July 31st is the only one scheduled to be on the main ESPN network this year. What a perfect game to showcase the league down south to take maximum advantage of momentum built up there over the past couple of weeks. It’s bush league and everyone watching in the US will see it.
Also, I’m sick of the term “world class” being used every time someone talks about a new CFL stadium. There is absolutely fucking zero “world class” about any new, old or renovated stadium in Canada. “World class” stadiums cost over $1B to build, not $150-250M. There’s nothing world class about narrow concourses with the shittiest in/out traffic patterns north of Brazil (IGF) or standing room for 1500 people (THF). Nice, new, clean and better than before — hell yes but please for the love of the football gods stop saying “world class”!
I for one don’t understand what all the debate is about concerning Odell Willis’ hit on Zach Collaros. This was clearly a criminal act under the laws of the CFL. If Ike had lead with his shoulder it wouldn’t have made any difference back then either, he still hit Tina in the head.
In the CFL you can’t ever hit a QB in the head (Zach got it in the chin to be exact). There’s a very good reason for this: IT OFTEN RESULTS IN A CONCUSSION! Which is exactly what happened to Collaros. Over Hamilton losing their starting QB I will not shed a tear but it is the principle of the matter and the dissmissiveness of many so called experts (#CFLonTSN) motivating this particular tirade of mine. After years of watching Buck stare through space-time the last thing any Bomber fan wants to see is Drew Willy’s hand twitching at his side (just like Zach’s) after a hit to he head. Righteous indignation would certainly follow!
The CFL is colloquially known as a “passing league” but when you take out the man throwing passes it usually devolves into a one sided 2-point giveaway. It’s terrible for the league when Lulay, Tate, Pierce et al. are knocked out of games, or even a season. That’s why you can’t put a dirty hit on the QB whether it’s below the knees (I’m getting to that felon Gavins in a second, just lemme finish) or above the shoulders. End of story. Argue all you want about football hits, football being a violent game, blah blah blah. Willis has enough experience to know better, so fuck him and his pay cheque. If I were the commish I’d keep him out for as long as Collaros is sidelined. This kind of shit would stop the very next week (I’m looking at you too Hebert, Cornish still isn’t back from week 1).
Jerrell Gavins, that slime thinks he can come up to Canada and pull one of the oldest and dirtiest tricks in football: hitting the QB from behind and below the knees. That has been illegal for as long as I can remember both North and South of the 49th. That it was deliberate can’t be debated, it was clearly an attempt to injure. A $1500 fine is about a pay cheque when you’re making the league minimum and he 100% deserves it. He also totally deserves ass of the week but I’ve got someone else in mind:
Ass of the Week: Kevin Glenn
HAHAHA! What a hoser! Two picks and no TDs. His replacement came in and got one though! Clock is ticking Kevin! All those in Winnipeg saying the Bombers needed to bring him back should be just about gorged on crow by now. I’m thinking of putting up a Kevin Glenn interception counter on the home page but how much longer will he last?. He’s done once BC runs him out of town and then it’s all double doubles for owner operator KG.
Heineken Hero of the Week: Nick Grigsby
His numbers speak for themselves. 112 yards rushing and receiving combined with 3 TDs.
Check out CBC’s power rankings for Week 2. In case you missed Saturday afternoon’s game, Toronto abused Saskatchewan worse than a red headed step child, 48-15 and it was never even close! CBC ranks the CFL thus:
1. Edmonton (OK sure, 2-0)
2. Calgary (played one game)
3. Winnipeg (2 wins is less than 1, see above)
4. Saskatchewan (lost so bad to the Argos they needed a map to get home)
5. Toronto (ate the beating hearts of the Riders but somehow sit below them)
6. Montreal (I dunno they were pretty bad in week 1)
7. Ottawa (welcome back I guess)
8. Lions (Kevin Glenn!)
9. Hamilton (I’d at least give them 8th spot)
Now check out CFL.ca’s version:
5. Winnipeg (what?!)
Again Saskatchewan’s apparently a better team than Toronto and as a bonus Winnipeg is in the middle of the pack despite them sharing the CFL’s best record with Edmonton. I know it’s only two games into the season but this kind of thing doesn’t make any sense.
I’m not sure which genetic disorder these writers suffer from though I have a feeling their thought process must go something like this:
Update: Check out the pseudo crowd sourced CFL Reddit rankings though, I’d say these are about right!
There’s a serious problem here and it needs to be addressed. Barely 17k fans came out for the first Argos home game of 2014 and I can tell you first hand fully 2/3rds of them were greenies. This was a Saturday afternoon game, on a non-long weekend in July with the dome open. In a city of 6M people it should have been packed. No way could an outsider tell it was the home opener. The Jays bring more fans in for a Monday night game against the Astros. There was no promotion and zero excitement, just apathy. Chris Rudge, CEO of the Argonauts, blames it on Toronto being the third largest theatre center in the world. I’ve been down King St. many times and the people filing in to see “The Lion King” aren’t 18-40 year old males. Just sayin’.
David Braley seems content losing money on the franchise until he can pass it along to the next chump which I suppose is admirable, sort of like donating to a charity named the Canadian Football League. The problem is at this rate no one is ever going to take it, especially not MLSE who seem about as interested in them as they would a woman with testicles. Nine years from now we may be welcoming the Toronto Blueblues back if this ship isn’t captained around immediately. Plus as it stands today they won’t have anywhere to play in three years! The CFL has hit rock bottom in Toronto and is much closer to folding than anyone is willing to admit.
Attendance is also way down across the league through the first two weeks of 2014, not just Toronto. The Star has the numbers here. Although some of the figures can be explained (weather) they are still depressing.
Gotta stop here or I’ll never get this posted.
If any of you have the balls to disagree then leave your comments below.
Tune in next week for more beer fueled keyboard abuse. Same Bastard time, same Bastard blog!