WE HAVE FOUND THE COMMISSIONER!
He was only on TV because of a serious lightning delay during Friday night’s Bombers/Alouettes game, but still – HE WAS THERE!
However, we now know exactly why he hides most of the time: HE’S ASHAMED OF THE FACT THAT HE SAYS INANE THINGS LIKE ROD BLACK.
*An actual conversation from the delay during Friday night’s game.*
Rod Black: After one year on the job, what have you learned most about yourself, this league, and the future of football?
Commissioner: Wow, that’s a…
Rod Black: We’ve got a lot of time here, and if you have any pictures of your winter vacation, we can look at those, too, because we’re in a bit of a delay here!
Commissioner: Well, I can look at it from an existential standpoint, or I can look at it from a practical standpoint…
LAUGHTER FROM ALL (not sure if Duane Forde’s is forced or not)
Commissioner: I think one of the things that was a realization for me was that the Commissioner does not have a magic wand, in that it takes working with the Board of Governors, it takes working with the Players’ ASsociation, it takes working with the fans and the media in terms of listening really attentively. You’ve gotta be an active listener, and I think my first year was about a lot of listening, and learning, preparation, planning, and now it’s time for action. So you have really three kinds of relationships: you have a conversation for relationships, you have a conversation for possibilities and you have a conversation for action, and I think we’re at that action stage and that’s what we’ve been doing both on the field and off the field.
WTF is a “conversation for relationships”? It’s right up there with Rod Black’s greatest quips, but it sounds like some ridiculous corporate-speak to me. I bet the CFL Head Office is full of flow charts and meetings about upcoming meetings.
I’m with Duane Forde:
I went 0-4 with my picks in Week 1. Yuck. Let’s recap the games anyway.
HAMILTON AT TORONTO
I do not know what defensive signal Argo Defensive Coordinator Rich Stubler is showing here, but whatever is, I can guarantee you that the call didn’t work.
So I was completely and utterly wrong about the quarterback match up. Ricky Ray was ‘Rusty Ray‘ (thanks, Matt Dunigan!), while Jeremiah Masoli looked like the veteran. Masoli was 27/37 for 318 yards and 3 touchdowns.
This stat line might be more than all of his starting statistics combined.
The real story, though, was Hamilton LB Simoni Lawrence, who was allllllll over the field:
And John Chick got in on the action, too, spurring a thread by one sad Rider fan.
But you wouldn’t know the Tiger-Cats were in control of this game from the opening kickoff by Kent Austin’s demanour:
Kent Austin is the personification of grumpy cat:
Even though his team won. Handily.
FINAL SCORE: Hamilton 42, Toronto 20
MONTREAL AT WINNIPEG
From the opening kickoff, you could tell that it was going to be a long night for the Bombers.
The opening kickoff by Winnipeg K Justin Medlock landed out of bounds.
The referees then mistakenly placed the ball on the 40 yard line instead of the 45 yard line, nearly allowing the play to proceed before realizing their mistake and moving the ball.
A few plays later, Weston Dressler lowered his head and ended up colliding helmet to helmet with an Alouette defender, after which he had trouble getting up.
He did not return.
(Side note: In the pre-game set up, Jock Climie referred to Dressler and Ryan Smith as “Saskatchewan receivers” and no one caught his mistake. And when TSN put up Dressler’s stats throughout his career, for some reason they left out 2015. I told you: 2015 NEVER HAPPENED.)
And then? The skies opened up, the lightning chased the players off the field, and we were subjected to TSN commentary for over an hour.
Of course the Riders had to chime in:
And then the Bombers got BURNED:
And once play resumed, this happened:
The holder: MATTY ICE. (Dressler is the usual holder.) I blame Medlock’s miss solely on him. Now Bombers, listen up: You should not have a holder whose name includes the word ‘ICE’ in it, as you don’t want a holder with ICE for hands.
In the end, the score flattered the Bombers, as the Alouette defence never let Drew Willy get into a rhythm, and some ill-timed penalties by the Alouette offence took a number of points off the boards. So this guy’s stat line should have been a little bit better:
I guess the Bombers should put away their Grey Cup Parade plans for now. And Matt Dunigan should think long and hard about picking the Bombers to represent the West in the Grey Cup. (??)
FINAL SCORE: Montreal 22, Winnipeg 14
OTTAWA AT EDMONTON
“No one trolls harder or better than CFL fans.“
Anyway, would you believe that with five minutes left in the first half, the score was 4-3 for the Eskimos?
After that, though, the offences went on a tear.
But first, let’s talk about Henry Burris’ pinky.
Early in the third quarter, Henry Burris went down like he’d been shot. Turn out something happened to the pinky on his throwing hand, rendering him unable to properly grip the football.
Enter Trevor Harris.
On his first play, Harris connected with WR Chris Williams for a 71 yard touchdown.
The rest of the way, he went a ridiculous 17/19 for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Can you say, QUARTERBACK CONTROVERSY??
Throughout the third and fourth quarters, the lead went back and forth. Eventually, the Eskimos went up 37-34 with just under a minute left in the game.
And with a few second left, Chris Milo nailed a 55 yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
There was a little bit of controversy before the field goal, as the REDBLACKS pulled their offence on the field in order to get their field goal team on. Here’s the CFL’s explanation:
Overtime was, as usual, a little anticlimactic. And the REDBLACKS, as usual, had a bit of luck on their side, as CB Patrick Watkins went down with an injury, leading to this:
Could Brad Sinopoli have been any more wide open??
The Eskimos couldn’t respond and that was that.
Usually defences are a little ahead of offences at this time of year, but these defences. The Eskimos’ defence, which was the league’s best last season, gave up over 500 passing yards.
Mike Benevides and his hoodies have some work to do.
FINAL SCORE: Ottawa 45, Edmonton 37
CALGARY AT BC
Ah, yes. TSN’s top 50 list of CFL players, which is released before the start of the season. It always contains a head scratcher or two. But Nik Lewis’ passive aggressiveness against BC QB Jonathon Jennings seems a bit much.
This was a weird one. BC’s special teams were atrocious in the first half, allowing 3 (!!) blocked punts and missing a field goal.
But Calgary couldn’t take advantage, as it missed a field goal of its own, but mostly due to boneheaded play calls like this:
I will always enjoy watching Drew Tate fail.
Calgary *finally* got it together in the third quarter, pulling into the lead, when this happened:
And then Calgary imploded.
A near interception.
Throwing to three guys, none of whom are Stampeders.
A sack. And then a missed field goal to tie the game.
Coach Brillo is back. Damnit.
FINAL SCORE: Calgary 18, BC 20