Surprise-surprise. The Ottawa REDBLACKS! have one good game and they vault into third place in the CFL Nissan Titan Power Rankings. Okay, fine, we’ll see how they do against the Edmonton Eskimos this week.
Here is my review of what the Mighty and Holy Staff at CFL.CA had to say this week in its CFL Nissan Titan Power Rankings.
- CALGARY STAMPEDERS
Can we just hurry up to the part of the season when the Stampeders blow it? Given the injuries to the receiving corps (or corpse, I suppose), the Stampeders’ post-season this year will be a one-and-done, but it is getting tiresome watching the Stampeders beat everyone up during the regular season. Thank goodness we get a reprieve this week.
- EDMONTON ESKIMOS
I predict an Edmonton Eskimos victory in Ottawa this week, not because the Eskimos are better than the REDBLACKS!, but because an Eskimo victory would damage the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ hopes for a home playoff game.
See, that’s one of the things you can always count on. A team that should not win in Mosaic Stadium will look like Grey Cup Champions for one night only, beating up a stunned and boobish Roughriders’ team. Then the next week, when that same team has a chance to help the Roughriders by continuing to play well, they will return to their former semi-pro status and get pounded into oblivion.
So you’re welcome, Edmonton Eskimos.
- OTTAWA REDBLACKS!
As last week’s game began, I actually thought that the Roughriders’ defense was going to shut Mr. Powel down. It was fairly clear they had designed their entire game plan around stopping Mr. Powel. The problem is that there is another guy on the REDBLACKS!’ offense who typically does some serious damage to any Roughrider defense: Trevor Harris
Trevor Harris is one quarterback who always seems to carve up the Roughriders. Ricky Ray is another. Travis Lulay also usually has his carving knives out with the Roughriders.
- SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
As soon as I saw the Six Horsemen of the Apocalypse over at CFL.CA had all predicted a Saskatchewan Roughriders victory last week, I knew the fix was in. Only the Calgary Stampeders are good enough to withstand that kiss of death.
The other thing is that, as I have harped on for years, the Saskatchewan Roughriders always lose when they are supposed to win. A normal person can see these losses coming a mile away if he has any sense of CFL history. I did not see this loss coming because I am as blind to impending doom as any other member of Rider Nation. This is a psychological defense mechanism designed to enable us to remain otherwise (relatively) sane during football season. Otherwise, we’d all be jumping off buildings or throwing ourselves in front of Gainer’s touchdownmobile (or whatever that thing is).
Anyway, last week, I wrote that if the Roughriders’ defense remembered it needed to shut down William Powell, a victory would be likely. So 148 yards and two touchdowns later, the Roughriders’ four game winning streak is in tatters and Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach, defensive coordinator, general manager, Vice-President of Football Operations, and guy who’s relieved he doesn’t have to keep wearing that damned green “Hughes” shirt anymore, Chris Jones, is back talking about stubbed toes again.
Here’s something to think about. If you are stubbing your toe that many times, maybe it’s time to amputate.
- HAMILTON TIGER-CATS
Okay, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, it’s time to show everyone what you’ve got. Beat BC in BC this week, and we can start taking you seriously. And a victory will have the added bonus of snuffing out all the false hope that is brewing in BC right now.
So you see, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a victory would be doing a favour for both teams. And with the Ottawa REDBLACKS! losing this week, you’ll find yourselves alone in first place again (in the semi-pro East Division, mind you, but that’s still pretty good).
- BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS
What are we to do with Travis Lulay? Is it time to consider the possibility that he is simply too brittle to play professional football anymore? He seems like a really good guy and a person who is easy to root for, and he is obviously an elite quarterback in this league when he is healthy, but this is getting ridiculous.
In any event, the British Columbia Lions should enjoy their brief appearance in playoff contention, which will dissolve in the next two weeks. While I expect the Lions may beat the jet-lagged Hamilton Tiger-Cats this week, they will not be so lucky the following week, and it will be all downhill from there.
- WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers get to beat up the Montreal Alouettes this week. Good on them.
Although I enjoyed the struggles of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the Labour Day Classic and the ensuing Banjo Bowl, I regard the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as something of a lovable cousin to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Blue Bombers put their fans through the same shit that the Roughriders put Rider Nation through. Winnipeg is a cold and wind-swept prairie city that is even more under-rated than Regina. We had Ron Lancaster, the Bombers had Kenny Ploen. We had Kevin Glenn, the Bombers had Kevin Glenn. Tom Clements screwed over the Roughriders in two different ways, but Darian Durant screwed over the Blue Bombers just once, but really well.
Both teams play in nice stadiums, although I have to say that Mosaic Stadium is Predator and Investors Group Field is The Predator. Both good movies, but come on. If you don’t have the bicep awesomeness of Carl Weathers and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the hyper-macho coolness of Jesse “The Body” Ventura, and no one yelling “Get to da ‘Choppa!”, don’t bother with a remake. Just don’t. Seriously. And yes, I realize that Investors Field was built before Mosaic Stadium, but it doesn’t matter. Just spend a little time in both stadiums. There is no comparison. And don’t get me started about the ending of The Predator.
I realize that this is not exactly a timely comment, but I have never understood why, at the Banjo Bowl, Blue Bomber fans dress up like Banjo-pickin’ hillbillies. Isn’t it the point that it is Saskatchewan Roughrider fans who are the banjo-pickin’ hillbillies, not Blue Bomber fans? Wouldn’t it make sense to dress up as a Roughrider fan (i.e. green and white) with the missing teeth and the straw hat and the cardboard banjo and so on. Granted, it would be a little confusing since then they would appear to be Roughrider fans, but it would still make more sense.
- MONTREAL ALOUETTES
Poor, poor Montreal Alouettes. They get to play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this week at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.
I see no way for the Alouettes to beat the Blue Bombers, Johnny Manziel or no Johnny Manziel. This will be a bounce-back game for Matt Nichols, who will have the entire offense working overtime to help him out of his rut. It will also be the game that turns the Blue Bomber season around, including a terrible pummelling of the Saskatchewan Roughriders later this year, with Mr. Nichols throwing for over 400 yards against a Roughrider defense nursing multiple stubbed toes.
Where is Vince Ferragamo when the Alouettes really need him?
- TORONTO ARGONAUTS
Does former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ star Duran Carter get his revenge this week?
Who fucking knows. This league is insane.
This Toronto Argonauts team has no business being on the same field as this Saskatchewan Roughriders team. There is no reason that the Argonauts should score anything but maybe an accidental opening-drive field goal and/or a garbage-time touchdown. This should be an easy and stress-free 35-10 victory for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, one that I can watch at home relaxing on the couch without having to pace around the room and wonder why I put myself through this every damn year.
The Roughriders will have plenty of fans in the stands at BMO Field and the team will be coming off a jolting loss that would have (should have) shaken any complacency out of them. They can focus on shutting down James Wilder Jr. without worrying that Sir McLeod Bethel-Thompson Mountbatten Saxe-Coburg-Gotha von Hindenburg, Esq. will carve them up like the aforementioned Trevor Harris. And yet, this is the Saskatchewan Roughriders, so who knows what’s going to happen.
It is entirely possible that, post-game, we will have a calm and erudite Mr. Trestman quietly pontificating about how well the team responded to recent adversity while the occasionally ruddy, typically exasperated and possibly mercurial Mr. Jones will be talking about stubbed toes again.
(I am sick of hearing about that damned stubbed toe.)