I figure the reference to “Nissan Titan” Power Rankings in my headline is a lawsuit waiting to happen, but I assume no one reads this blog anyway so I’m pretty safe. Speaking of lawsuits, who do I sue over the way the referees stole the Labour Day Classic from the Roughriders? Ah, whatever; like it would make any difference at this point. Let’s see what TSN.CA and CFL.CA have to say about the relative strengths of the teams this week.
- CALGARY STAMPEDERS
Can anyone do anything about this juggernaut? This team is a wrecking ball. Edmonton might be able to make a dent this week when they lock horns again in a couple of days, but no permanent damage, I’m sure. Hamilton is our only hope– when the Stampeders and the Tiger-Cats face each other in Toronto this November.
- BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS
In theory, the ranking of the BC Lions at number two by the “staff” at CFL.CA is defensible. In reality, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats belong at number two and Scott Cullen over at TSN.CA has correctly made the call. As for the British Columbia Lions, I still don’t know what to do with them. They shouldn’t be this good, but there they are.
- WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
Winning streaks get you to number three and keep you at number three. It took a little more than it should have to beat the Roughriders last Sunday, but we can chalk that up to the mystery that is Labour Day in Regina. This week, the Roughriders will be (Blue) bombed into oblivion. I would sit Mr. Durant just to protect him from the hellfire.
- HAMILTON TIGER-CATS
Now that Zach Collaros is fully recovered, this team has plenty of time to turn into the only team that has a legitimate chance at preventing another Stampeder Grey Cup victory.
Speaking of Collaros, I’m a huge fan, but does anyone else think he looks like an 8-year old boy? I suspect that’s why it took me so long to take him seriously.
- EDMONTON ESKIMOS
The short interviews of Mike Reilly and Odell Willis that TSN played during the Edmonton/Calgary Labour Day game, where both of them just started yelling at each other off camera, were funny and enjoyable surprises. That’s the kind of quirky stuff TSN should throw at us more often. We never learn anything from those short interviews anyway; just a never ending parade of football clichés from football players who look and sound as bored as I am listening to them. The same goes for the sideline reports. Forget about Sara Orlesky or John Lu telling us how much athletic tape is used before a game or what Duran Carter’s favourite colour is. Unless they have some real breaking sideline news, they should be focused on providing constant non sequiturs:
“I spilt some taco sauce on my pants right before the game.”
“There is going to be a total solar eclipse on North America on August 21, 2017, and I’m gonna be in Idaho when it happens.”
“You know who deserves an Oscar? Chuck Norris.”
On this note, I like the recent attempts to throw some weirdness into the TSN panel’s wheelhouse. Covering Jock Climie with Hamilton cheerleaders was a step in the right direction (covering anyone with Hamilton cheerleaders is a step in the right direction). I suspect that there are several TSN football people just itching to turn part of the telecasts into a total shit-show (for some reason Matt Dunigan comes to mind). You don’t have to go too crazy. Start with wearing no pants during a stand-up half-time segment, but don’t make any reference to it whatsoever. Just have the guys in their underwear talking football like nothing is amiss. The CRTC might get some complaints, but even bad publicity is good publicity.
- OTTAWA REDBLACKS
I realize that the RedBlacks are first in the East, and that would normally mean they ought to be ranked higher than sixth. Mr. Cullen puts them at fifth; again, a seemingly low rank for the top Eastern team. However, we cannot lose sight of two important facts. First, the RedBlacks are the only team that the Saskatchewan Roughriders have beaten in 2016. Second, Henry Burris is 800 years old. Sorry, that last one was a cheap shot.
But seriously, any team that loses to the Saskatchewan Roughriders must immediately be sent to the bottom of the rankings. The Roughriders are like rogue icebergs in the middle of the Atlantic. If you can’t managed to avoid hitting them, you deserve to sink.
- TORONTO ARGONAUTS
Yeesh, that was ugly. I still have faith in Coach Milanovich and the two Rickies (Ray and Foley), so I maintain that the Eastern Final will be Hamilton versus Toronto, but that second-half unravelling was unpleasant to watch.
PS – I see that they have finally managed to remove Scott Milanovich’s mugshot from the google images, or at least it is no longer the first image that pops up when you Internet him. Well done.
- MONTREAL ALOUETTES
Nik Lewis is taking the “The Beatings Will Continue Until Moral Improves” approach to motivational speeches. There might not be any “I” in team, but as far as Nik Lewis is concerned, there is an “M” and an “E”, as in: Throw ME the ball every play, dummies.
I can’t actually argue with anything Mr. Lewis has to say. Anyone who can play professional football at that level while carrying an extra 25 pounds around deserves all the respect in the world.
- SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
Hello, next year. Surprised to see us so soon?
One might ask: what do these players have to play for at this point? Yes-yes, I know, they are professionals and they get paid to play football, but seriously, what?
I’ll tell you what. This team is eventually going to get its shit together, and when it does, shit’s gonna get real. Every one of these guys who have been getting beat up week after week is gonna want to be around when it all snaps together and this team begins laying the lumber. It’s gonna happen. I know it. The team knows it. The rest of the league knows it. So y’all get your licks in now because when it happens, it’s all gonna happen.
In the meantime, here’s a tip, Roughrider players. Each game in the CFL starts on the opening kick-off. The first two quarters of a game are not part of the warm-up. I repeat: not part of the warm-up. Those touchdowns and field goals being scored against you in the first 30 minutes actually count in the actual score in the actual game, and those endless offensive two-and-outs are not just opportunities for you to practice a few plays before the game starts. The game has already started. I can’t stress this enough, guys.
You are killing me.