Week 11 Recap – Labour Day Love

As my nephew would say, “MMMMMMMM!!!!”  Wins taste good, I tell ya!

bellyrub

Oh Rider fans – don’t you feel like a cloud has been lifted?  A weight has been removed from your chest?  That the football season has finally started?  And aren’t you ecstatic that you won’t have to suffer through any more of those silly knock-knock jokes?

owmen

YES!

Did the Riders miss Brett Smith last week?  Oh yes they did.

And what about Bobby Dyce?  You had to feel good for him, as he stepped into a tough situation and got the job done.

owennomore

BOBBY DYCE FOR PRIME MINISTER!

(Seriously.  Have you SEEN the other guys??)

Even though TSN tried to build up the Labour Day weekend match ups, in the end, most of the games were duds.  And what made it worse was the fact that I swore Rod Black was in Mexico covering the FIBA Americas Championship, when, alas, he resurfaced on Labour Day.  Bah.  Anyway, let’s take a look at the games that were:

BC vs. Montreal

pickemAfter picking up two unlikely wins in a row, Les Alouettes were brought back down to earth by Tanner Marsh, who threw FIVE interceptions. He’s gotta by the KING of the CFL’s pick ’em game, right?  BC wasn’t all that much better, throwing two interceptions of their own.  Rakeem ‘THE DREAM’ Cato wasn’t available, which is why Marsh was allowed to play.

As for the Leos, Travis Lulay went down to injury (again), but this time it wasn’t his shoulder (surprisingly).  Instead, Lulay suffered an MCL sprain and is expected to miss anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks.  John Beck then came into the game and managed to do enough to help the Lions gets the win.

This was a terrrrrrrrrrrrrrible game to watch, as the teams seemed to play a game of hot potato, completely forgetting that the purpose of the game is to maintain possession.

As the Alouettes were terrible this week – more than likely because of Marsh’s ineptitude – Popp Top decided to make yet another change to the Alouettes’ coaching staff after the game by firing Offensive Coordinator Turk (yes, that’s his real name) Schonert.  Hall of Fame great Anthony Calvillo has been promoted to take his place, completing a world-record career ascension from receivers coach to top of the offensive food chain, and he’ll co-coordinate (heh) with former Rider second stringer and 2007 Grey Cup loser (as well as blue-eyed wonder) Ryan Dinwiddie.  As someone more observant than I am said, “Calvillo will show QBs what to do, and Dinwiddie will show them what not to.”

FINAL: BC 25, Montreal 16

Winnipeg vs. Saskatchewan

backwardsIt doesn’t matter what each team’s record is when it comes to Labour Day.  It’s like the playoffs: the records just don’t matter.

In this vein, let’s take a walk down memory lane…

The year was 2011.  The Riders were 1-7 and had fired Greg “You haven’t heard the last of me!” Marshall (BTW, have you heard from Greg Marshall since then?  No? Pro tip: don’t make bold statements that you can’t back up), and  ‘Grandpa’ Ken Miller stepped back in to take the reins of the reeling Riders.

In Manitoba, Bomber fans were feeling like they were about to exorcise the ghosts of 1990, as their team got off to a 7-1 start.  Their defence was stellar, and Odell Willis named himself the Mayor of Swaggerville.  Bomber fans, so desperate for a winner, followed Odell’s lead and tattooed themselves with Swaggerville paraphernalia.

So what happened?  On Labour Day, the Riders thumped the Bombers 27-7.  And the Riders beat them again the following week in the Banjo Bowl by a score of 45-23.  It was such poetic justice.

Anyway, even though the Riders were 0-9, Bomber fans, remembering what happened previously, were wary.  And they had every reason to be, as the Riders pummelled the Bombers 37-19 (you’re welcome for the pity points, Bumblers).

I was kinda feeling sorry for Bumbler fans after the game, as Brian Boo-rohm just didn’t give them much of a chance to win. And then life-long Bumbler, and man with a surprising superiority complex for someone who never won a Grey Cup, Doug Brown, had to open his mouth:

Bumblers, thou reapest what thou sowest.  So suck it.

FINAL: Winnipeg 19, Saskatchewan 37

Toronto vs. Hamilton

The Arblows have the best social media game in the CFL.  And prior to their historic Labour Day match up, it was ON.

But those who speak loudest often get their asses handed to them.  And so it was with the Arblows this day as the Kitty Cats dominated them alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll afternoon long.

The most interesting part of the game was that Ricky Ray was dressed.  If I’m Trevor Harris, I’m feeling a little itty bitty bit of pressure to get the Arblows back on track next week.

P.S. Due to their win, the Kitty Cats are the winners of the Harold Ballard Trophy for the 2015 CFL season. Yes, Toronto continues to get screwed around by Ballard – even in the CFL.

FINAL: Toronto 12, Hamilton 42

Edmonton vs. Calgary

loseWhat a freaking snoozefest.  The best part of this game – by far – was the jackrabbit’s antics.  Hey Jeremy O’Day – sign that rabbit up!

James Franklin did not have a good game.  Let’s call it a form of the sophomore slump.  But as I believe I said last week, facing a Rich Stubler defence is a crap ton different than facing a Casey Creehan defence.  So what did the Schmoes do?  They put in Mike Reilly.  Yeah.  They put Reilly in.  I’m not sure this was the best idea, as coming in cold off of the bench might not be the best way to help a QB ease back into playing.

After looking more like the team that dominated the CFL last year over the last couple of weeks, the Stumps laid another offensive egg, only managing to score 16 points.  What was most disappointing about this game was that it was supposed to highlight two teams that will probably contend for the Grey Cup this year.  Instead, these teams could barely string two first downs together.

Too bad the Riders aren’t better this year, because I think the West is truly up for grabs for the first time in years.

FINAL: Edmonton 7, Calgary 16

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