What could possibly beat Chad Owens’ catch at the end of the yesterday’s Toronto/Ottawa tilt? Nothing, so the CFL might as well take the week off. Sadly, that’s not how it works so we all have to get through four games that will not produce a moment as spectacular and picturesque as a leaping tatted-up superman snagging a slightly overthrown ball that landed perfectly into his one outstretched hand like he was gently cradling a baby tossed from the third story of a burning building.
They could use that picture of Chad as the model for the CFL MOP award, similar to the bronzed Ed Smith figure on the Heisman Trophy. They could call the CFL MOP Award the Chad Owens Does Something None of You Will Ever Do But You’re Still Pretty Good Award, with a bronze statue of Chad suspended mid-air like some kind of Hawaiian god of awesomeness.
Incidentally, do the CFL Awards have a name this year beyond “CFL Awards”? They are known to old men like me as the Schenley Awards, but I believe they changed over to the GMC and Chrysler Awards, or something, and then back to the booze with Gibson’s Finest Awards for a while. Maybe they still are the Gibson’s Finest Awards, or maybe they never were. I don’t know.
(And what the hell is Schenley exactly? It’s apparently a Quebec distillery but I cannot figure out exactly what they produce beyond generic hard stuff, which I do not ever recall imbibing.)
Anyway, as seems to be my modus operandi, I preface my dumb weekly CFL picks with a comment on Jamie Nye’s picks, and in particular, his Roughrider pick. This week, Mr. Nye seems to have finally figured it out: the Riders are lousy. I don’t like it, he doesn’t like it. Rod Pedersen and Rob Vanstone don’t like it. None of us like it, but we don’t have to like it. We’ve just got to accept it like adults and move on with our shattered lives.
By the way, I am not placing myself in the same esteemed company as professional journalists like Nye, Pedersen and Vanstone, I’m just making a point, and it’s my dumb blog so screw y’all.
And now to my dumb picks.
Saskatchewan Roughriders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats
The Tiger-Cats are doomed without Zack Collaros, but they still have enough to beat the Roughriders, especially since this game is being played at Tim Hortons Sports Field and Booze Emporium. That place is described as a “multipurpose stadium”, but as I understand its design, the “multipurpose” is merely a veiled reference to the multiple types of alcohol (rum, rye, vodka, beer, whatever) you can purchase and consume within its confines. This is not a criticism.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats over Saskatchewan Roughriders
Edmonton Eskimos at Calgary Stampeders
These are the two best teams in the league. Someone’s got to lose, and it will be the Eskimos.
I really have nothing much to say about these teams. Competence and competitiveness is boring.
Maybe if Odell Willis were to say something stupid again, I might have some material. Don’t get me wrong, the content of his statements themselves is not stupid, and indeed, he typically has accurate, correct and entertaining comments, but I call it stupid because I don’t see how his statements have any purpose other than to fire up the opposing team, so I think they’re stupid. Nevertheless, the CFL needs more guys who seem to be interesting and articulate like Willis. When he retires, he needs to go straight to the TSN broadcast team. I predict fisticuffs between him and Stegall before the end of his first preseason in the studio.
Calgary Stampeders over Edmonton Eskimos
Winnipeg Blue Bombers at British Columbia Lions
I like the Blue Bombers. I want the Blue Bombers to play at home in the Grey Cup this year, or at least make the playoffs, but alas, they stink.
On the other side of the football, Wally Buono seems to have found another good quarterback with Jonathon Jennings. I think that Jennings will flame out this season once teams have enough video of him (like Montreal’s Rakeem Cato), but even with some video of him, Winnipeg is not playing well enough to beat BC in BC Place right now, much to my chagrin.
(Jennings, like Cato, may eventually become a star CFL quarterback, but he’s still too green to be considered anything but a promising rookie who will be demolished when he faces a real defence like Edmonton’s or Calgary’s.)
I recognize that Winnipeg almost found a way to win last week against a strong Edmonton squad, but a more accurate way to describe Winnipeg’s play is they found a way to lose.
I’ve had to listen to football experts talk about how the Roughriders are better than their record, and these experts point to all the close games this year. The thing is, good teams find a way to win, and bad teams find a way to lose. A bunch of close losses is not a sign of a good team any more than a bunch of close wins is a sign of a bad team. Toronto didn’t win yesterday because they are a bad football team.
Without a starting quarterback, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, like Hamilton and Saskatchewan and BC, are doomed. D-O-O-O-MED!
British Columbia Lions over Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Toronto Argonauts at Montreal Alouettes
At this point, I can’t tell whether Toronto is playing a home game or an away game. It used to be that a “home” game was traditionally played in the team’s home city, but not this year.
The Argonauts should lose this game, coming off of yesterday’s high, but Montreal lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, so that’s all you need to know about the Alouettes.
I pick the Toronto Argonauts to be the Eastern representative in the Grey Cup, so I am picking this team every game for the rest of the season until they get demolished by either Calgary or Edmonton in the championship. (I expect Ottawa to have something to say about this, but yesterday’s game is not a good sign.)
And Scott Milanovitch should win the unfortunately-named Annis Stukus Trophy this year, and every year he is in this league. He seems to be able to field respectable-to-championship teams regardless of how badly the team is treated by Rogers Centre, the Toronto media and the city’s uninterested, unappreciative and bandwagon-jumping sports fans (all in the context of having the perpetually injured Ricky Ray standing on the sidelines with that vaguely glazed look in his eyes).
I assume it was Milanovitch’s XFL experience that turned him into the coach he is today. That is to say, if he could survive in that insane league under those crazy conditions, anything Toronto throws at him is a walk in the park.
Toronto Argonauts over Montreal Alouettes