CFL WEAKLY PREDICTOR: ROUGHRIDERS’ LITMUS TEST APPROACHING

I have found it is much easier to predict the outcome of CFL games if they have already been played.  Let me show you.

I predict the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will defeat the Edmonton Eskimos.  By one point. On a walk-off field goal. After being down by 14 points in the second half. After jumping out to a ten point lead in the first half.  Despite Mike Reilly throwing for…. Okay, you get the point.  Post game predictions are awesome.

Let’s see whether I can pull it off with games that have not already been played. (I vote no.)

TORONTO ARGONAUTS @ MONTREAL ALOUETTES

Hmm….  This is a tough one.  Let’s go crazy and predict an Argonaut victory.

Argonauts starting quarterback Sir McLeod Bethel-Thompson Mountbatten Saxe-Coburg-Gotha von Hindenburg, Esq., seems to be a keeper, and playing the doleful and moribund Alouettes, who I believe have been forced to use the Alouettes’ VP of Finance’s sister’s second cousin’s babysitter’s phys-ed teacher at quarterback this week, will do nothing to change the perception that Sir McLeod Bethel-Thompson Mountbatten Saxe-Coburg-Gotha von Hindenburg, Esq. is the quarterback of the future for the Toronto Argonauts.

On the positive side for the Montreal Alouettes, uh, Johnny Manziel says he’s feeling a little better?

PICK:  TORONTO (100% confidence; of course, what is the matter with you people? Are you blind? Have you been following the CFL this year?)

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS @ CALGARY STAMPEDERS

Calgary ran into a brick wall last week.  Winnipeg is no brick wall.

I thought it was weird that the Blue Bomber fans started acting like Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and began booing their own starting quarterback, who happens to be the only reason the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are not in the basement of the CFL West Division.  Don’t get me wrong, the Blue Bombers are an all-around competent team, having enjoyed “moderate success” over last season and this, but Matt Nichols is clearly the catalyst for that success. Take him out of the picture and you got yourself a house-cleaning at the end of 2018.

By and large, notwithstanding some initial comments that sounded a little bitter, Mr. Nichols seems to have taken the booing well, being quoted as saying: “I’ve been booed before and will be booed again.” I would have gone with “I’ve been booed worse by better fans”, but whatever.

In any event, you are correct, sir.

PICK:  CALGARY STAMPEDERS (100% confidence; Are you kidding? At McMahon Stadium? Are you stupid? Don’t waste my time.)

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS @ BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS

Okay, this game is the only reason I’m writing this dumb post, despite the fact that real work is piling up in my office. (When I say “real work”, I mean boxes of Domino’s Pizza and Pop Tarts, and when I say “office”, I mean the corner of my basement apartment kitchenette with the broken hotplate that I found when I moved in.)

As I predicted last week, the Saskatchewan Roughriders defeated the Calgary Stampeders, just as I predicted the Saskatchewan Roughriders would shit the bed against the Calgary Stampedes in their first game.  The Roughriders operate just like clockwork, regardless of which poor bastard happens to be the general manager, head coach, defensive coordinator, starting quarterback, athletic trainer, ball boy, janitor or guy who dresses up as Gainer for home games (this year I assume it’s Craig Reynolds).

This week, Rob Vanstone and Brendan Taman are the yin and yang of Saskatchewan Roughriders media prognosticators.  In their August 21st dueling predictions, both make well-informed and valid points when coming to diametrically opposite conclusions as to the likely outcome of this week’s game against the British Columbia Lions.  Mr. Vanstone rightly focuses on the unpredictable nature of the Roughriders, who seem to follow their successes with failure(s).  Mr. Taman correctly suggests the Roughriders are now locked in while the British Columbia Lions are tanking.

My only quibble with either of these positions is that, contrary to Mr. Taman’s very reasonable explanation, the direction the British Columbia Lions may be headed is a completely irrelevant consideration.  The sole determining factor in this game is the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The British Columbia Lions have historically served as nothing more or less than the bellwether of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  When the Roughriders beat the Lions in BC Place, that means the Roughriders are for real.  If they do not, we are in for six more weeks of winter.  Or worse. Much worse. Like Nuclear Winter worse.

In any event, we are going to find out whether Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach, general manager, defensive coordinator, Vice-President of Football Operations, and guy who may or may not be the President Donald Trump of the Canadian Football League, has built a real live Grey Cup contender.

Whatever happens this Saturday in Vancouver will determine the rest of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ season.  I don’t think I can take another ten games like the last eight games, so purely out of a desire to preserve my fragile and tentative sanity…

PICK:  SASKATCHEWAN (100% confident this game makes or breaks the season)

And now, back to my Pop Tarts.  They ain’t gonna eat themselves.

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