If you are a Western Canadian, there is no doubt that you have made fun of Eastern Canada at some point.
If you haven’t, you’re clearly lying.
We all make fun of Toronto and its self-importance. When we think of Ottawa, we think of politicians and wasting money – not all that unlike how the city has managed to lose its football franchise twice at the expense of its fan base.
And everyone, including those who live there, wonders why anyone would voluntarily choose to live in Hamilton.
We Westerners have thumbed our noses at Eastern Canada since time immemorial; it’s part of our birthright. And we have made fun of their feeble football teams for years.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Arblows and Kitty Cats were propped up by the league (although it was mostly the Western teams and David Braley propping them up because they were the ones that had money). And who knows when Ottawa will need saving again.
The Eastern football teams have generally sucked for the last decade, except for the Alouettes and a blip now and then by the Arblows. The Kitty Cats were a complete joke, and the Bumblers were only there because neither division really wanted them. Plus, they fit in with the East’s losing ways.
These days, though – and I admit that it is very early days yet – the East is becoming a more stable, exciting division with young QBs (minus Henry Booris), new stadiums and growing fan bases.
The proof? Last week, Eastern teams went 4-0 over their Western counterparts; overall, the East is 5-1 against the West. If this continues, the balance of power in the CFL may shift East, and I have to admit that such a shift would likely benefit the league as a whole.
Regardless, it’s nice to have some parity in the CFL again.
Here’s a reminder of this week’s games:
And here are my thoughts on this week’s games:
- OTTAWA @ EDMONTON: Normally, I would pick the Schmoes no matter what. But the RODBLACKS are 2-0, and the Schmoes haven’t won a game yet. The Schmoes will be without QB Broke Pierce Jr, (Mike Reilly) for at least 10 weeks, if not the season, and they’d previously lost their starting running back. The Schmoes’ defence was also shredded by the Arblows in Week 1. But there is one important factor that should be taken into account: the Schmoes had a bye last week and have had ample time to prepare. Matty Ice (the Schmoes’ backup QB, Matt Nichols – nickname not mine) will have the reins and he should be all practiced up. Prediction: Edmonton by 5
- MONTREAL @ WINNIPEG: Is The Rookie (Rakeem Cato) a one-game wonder? Is Free (Drew) Willy truly healthy enough to play? Like most games, this one comes down to the QBs. The Bumblers’ defence has had a rough start to the year, while Montreal’s stifled the Stumps in surprising fashion last week. Then again, Montreal looked très terrible in its opening game, and the Bumblers looked rather promising. Therefore, I declare that this game is a toss up. While my head is telling me that Montreal will win, my gut says that the Bumblers will finally win one at home this year. Prediction: Winnipeg by 3
- SK @ BC: This is another tough game to pick. Both teams are winless. Both teams have strong receiving cores. Both teams have solid QBs. The main matchups, though, are on defence. Can the Riders’ secondary shut down Emmanuel Arcenaux et al? Can the Lions’ linebackers render Jerome Messam ineffective and stop the Riders’ passing game? All eyes will be on The Lion King (a Rod Black-ism), Solomon Elimimian, as he comes off an MOP season. This game might come down to which team is more desperate for a win, and right now I’d say it’s the Riders. Prediction: Riders by 4
- TORONTO @ CALGARY: You’ve gotta think the Stumps are one ticked off team that will be more than ready to play on Monday after getting outplayed, outmanned and outgunned by the Als last week. The Arblows, on the other hand, have managed to win both of their games so far this season – and both were road games. The Arblows’ totally awesome and unnecessary road trip (sponsored by the ogres at ROGERS) continues this week, and you have to think that a third week on the road might make the team start to show a bit of wear and tear. Then again, the team might be motived by that whole ‘us against the world’ thing. Still, I think the Stumps will feel that they have something to prove after last week’s debacle. Prediction: Calgary by 7