Thursday, November 18, 2010

I Have No Idea What To Expect Sunday

The weather is the big story leading into Sunday's Western final at MacMahon Stadium. We all know it is going to be nasty. It may seem somewhat calm for the Riders after what they went through on Thursday. I was not out there, but I can't imagine how uncomfortable it must have been. The conditions were absolutely horrible, yet coach Ken Miller said they got a lot accomplished. Really? If Miller is true to his word, the Rider offence may be able to do a lot of what they want Sunday.
In talking with some people about what we might see, it could very well be a survival of the fittest. The team that gets the last good bounce wins the football game. I can't help but think this game will be like the 1975 Grey Cup. That game was played in Calgary and when they kicked off, it was minus 15 degrees with a 25 k wind which played havoc with the passing and kicking game. No touchdowns were scored and the Eskimos won the game 9-8.
However, some will tell you the game could resemble the 91 Grey Cup when the Argos beat the Stampeders 36-21 in a game that was -27 at kickoff. I guess it all depends on how strong those winds are and what type of shape the MacMahon Stadium turf is. However, I just can't see both offences doing what they want to do. It could very well come down to who is better--Wes Cates or Joffrey Reynolds.
While everyone is talking about the weather for the Western final, everyone has seemingly forgotten that there is a University game there on Saturday. The Calgary Dinosaurs will play St. Mary's at MacMahon on Saturday afternoon. That might give us a good indication as to what conditions could be like.
A lot of CFL love in the Thursday night NFL battle. There was a Henry Burris mention, a Cleo Lemon mention, some Cam Wake talk, even a sentence or two about Israel Idonije being Canadian but not playing in the CFL. In the end, the Bears beat the Dolphins to go to a record of 7-3. How exactly are the Bears 7-3. I can't even start to mention them as one of the top teams in the NFL. Jay Cutler is horrible, they have no receivers, their defence is not as good as it has been in the past, yet somehow this team is getting it done. I'm confoozed.
I shovelled the sidewalk and the driveway today. The city is asking us to do that. Can we in turn then ask the city to have a grader go down our street on a regular basis. Oh wait, I'm on what I think is a Level 61 street or something. I doubt highly as if I'll see any city equipment coming down our street. It means our cars will get beat up going through the icy ruts, it means that delivery vehicles will have a tough time navigating down the street and hey, there's nothing like having to push out a neighbour when he or she is stuck in the middle of the road. Why should my neighbours with snowblowers be blowing our street to make it a much smoother travel down my little street. Ask us to do our part, but I ask you to do your part too.
When do we start putting Steve Stamkos in that Crosby-Ovechkin status. If we're not already, why not? I still can't believe this kid wasn't part of the Olympic team.
How about the Access Communications SJHL game of the week. The Battlefords had a 4-1 lead on home ice against Estevan midway thru the third only to see the Bruins tie it with 57 seconds left and then take the lead with 38 seconds left. Undaunted, the Stars tie it with just .8 seconds left and then take it with a goal with just 19 ticks left in overtime for a 6-5 win. You won't get much better than that one.
Did the CHL tell the Russians they wanted a competitive team for this year's Super Series or did the Russians just decide to ice something better against the stars of the three Canadian junior leagues. I have had no interest in this series for quite a while and I haven't watched a second of any game. The Russians have been playing the CHL teams tough though. They beat the WHL for the first time inwhat I think is a long time Wednesday in Kamloops and then they followed it up with a win in Prince George. In fact, the Russians won 4 of the 6 games in this series to win the event---that has to be a first.
I'm very interested to see what the future of Canadian sports television is going to be like in the next six months and beyond. Scott Moore has left CBC to join his good friend Keith Pelley at Rogers. There is talk Sportsnet may be getting ready to give TSN a run for its money. If they do, it will be good for all Canadian sports fans. Perhaps this will spur TSN to give us more ESPN programming like Baseball Tonight and it will prompt both networks to get rid of things like poker and darts. Maybe Sportsnet will start taking more of an interest in the CFL and perhaps, just perhaps maybe they can get in on the next CFL TV deal whenever that comes up.
Rod Pedersen says he wants to ask CFL commish Marc Cohon if there is any interest in moving the season up a month and starting in June. I don't know if we need a whole month, but maybe starting the season in mid-June. If Rod is going to ask the Commish anything, I would like him to ask if there is any thought of having teams start overtime further back. I had a good discussion with this with Carm Carteri this week. Carm thinks its fine because you want to get the game over with in a hurry, but I think a team should at least get one first down before being in field goal position. That is the case now with teams scrimmaging at the 35. Make them work for it by putting the ball at midfield.
The only good thing about the snow----it makes my yard look as good as the neighbours.


Ryan F said...

I like the idea of moving the season one month forward. November is just too damn cold to be playing the most important football of the year. Also, playoffs would be during NFL bye weeks, so less competition if the CFL (TSN?) insists on having playoff games on Sunday.

I also agree with moving the OT starting position back a bit. I had this discussion last year with some friends when the CFL was talking about introducing new rules for the 2010 season and most (all?) of us agreed that it should be moved back. You shouldn't be able to get stuffed twice in OT and still easily kick a field goal. Starting at, say, the 50 yard line would require the team to get a first down in order to have a 47 yd field goal, which is difficult, but still very makeable.

Another rule change that I'd like to see is the introduction of fair catch and the elimination of "no yards". No yards is just way too difficult to call accurately (as witnessed time and time again). A 15 yd penalty is way too severe of a penalty when no infraction has actually occurred on the play. 15 yds is also way to severe just for being within 5 yds of the returner catching the ball--you should at least have to hit him to get 15 yards.

I know many people will argue that having no yards allows for more exciting football because there is a better chance for returns. However, in the NFL, it also makes for exciting football when teams bat down the ball on the one, pinning the receiving team really deep. It's even more exciting when someone dives into the end zone to bat the ball out to pin them on the 1 yard line and avoiding the touchback.

In the end, I just don't think "no yards" is fair because it hasn't, nor will it ever, be called consistently and accurately. In my opinion, the more subjectiveness we can remove from the game, the better it will be. This is why the NFL removing the "push out" rules was one of the best ideas ever :-)


Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with the season. You and Pedersen need to stop bitching and moaning about it.