Apparently, the dude from Arli$$ was unavailable

We've seen some random things over our years of Argofandom, but this one is straight out of the short-lived Drabinsky era:

When three-time Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Jeremy Piven comes to Toronto to promote his upcoming film The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard, he’ll be made an honorary member of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts when he’s presented with his own jersey by Quarterback Kerry Joseph, Defensive Tackle Adriano “The Kissing Bandit” Belli and Vice Chair Michael “Pinball” Clemons. 

Admittedly, the plot of this immensely promising film - which is "about a man asked to help an ailing car dealership" - sounds somewhat along the lines of what the Argos are hoping will happen to Arland Bruce. 

And yes, it's arguably the closest brush the Argos have had with Hollywood since Mike Vanderjagt served as Tony Danza's stunt-leg in The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon. But we're still not entirely sure what this has to do with anything.


Taking our moral victories where we can find them

If you went to the bathroom for about 25 minutes during the second quarter of Saturday's home opener...well, you should probably see a doctor about that. But also, you might have come away with the impression that the Argos played a pretty decent game, the final score notwithstanding.

Granted, it's a little hard to ignore what happened before halftime, which was among the worst implosions we've ever seen. But we're still feeling...encouraged might be too strong a word, but at least not totally discouraged.

It's probably a sign of diminished expectations when you find comfort in how your team lost. Be that as it may, we see some cause for optimism. The offensive line is vastly improved. Not coincidentally, the Argos now have an actual running game. The secondary still has some holes, but the run defence doesn't seem as porous as in past years. And on the evidence of two weeks, the team is certainly well-prepared to start games; it's just, you know the stuff afterward that's in need of a little work.

That, and team discipline. And special teams. And Kerry Joseph's ability to hit receivers inside 15 yards. But we won't fuss, so long as some of those things are fixed by Aug. 1. Because if we have to watch anything resembling today's second quarter on the day the Rogers Centre goes dry, we might be a little less charitable.

Posted on Saturday, July 11, 2009 at 10:45PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | Comments1 Comment

Better Late Than Never, Or How I Learned To Love Preparation H

Bonus Pick:

All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the Riders himself. Pinball is a man of compassion, but this might be taking it too far. In order to show solidarity with Arland Bruce III, Pinball develops sympathy hemorrhoids. How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: Well this might be the most uncomfortable bonus pick we've ever done. Pinball quickly realizes that running isn't really an option and so he proceeds to play that game while running on his hands. While this is impressive in and of itself, Pinball further surprises the fans by scoring the decisive twentieth touchdown by using one hand in a spring like fashion pushing himself off of the ground and landing in the end zone 70 yards away.  Tackling was a bit of an issue for Pinner this week, hence the closer score.  Pinball 142  Riders 26

* Everything we need to know about football analysis, we learned from early ‘90s SNL sketches.

Posted on Friday, July 10, 2009 at 06:05PM by Registered CommenterRusty in , , | Comments1 Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '09 - Week 2

Edmonton at Montreal
Wow, that Eskimos-Bombers game last week was pretty much the typical CFL game:

  • A somewhat inexplicable to U.S. football fans score of 2-2.
  • A temper tantrum by a star player
  • An exciting finish featuring a rouge
  • A Jesse Lumsden injury

Poor Jesse. It’s not his fault that he seems to have the durability of that old brown banana that you have sitting in the back of the fridge. So I guess the question becomes, what does Jesse do from here?

Well you’re asking the wrong guy. My medical knowledge comes exclusively from the autopsy scenes in Law and Order. So I may be able to tell you that he suffered blunt force trauma to the shoulder, but he’s not dead and we already know who did it. See? Useless.

In the mean time, Calvin McCarty looks like a good back and maybe Arkee Whitlock works out but really whenever the Esks have a returner, receiver or running back go down, our refrain will be the same. Bring back Gizmo.

Pick: Montreal

Calgary at Winnipeg
The most remarkable part about the Derick Armstrong story to me isn’t that the Bombers tried to have him come in as a substitute and it isn’t that he hasn’t reacted well to the “demotion”. It’s that the Bombers tried to get Matt Dominguez but were rebuffed when he decided not to leave his job at a Regina based realtor. That’s at least 100x worse than Rob Waldrop not coming back to the Argos to go to a Sheriff’s Academy in California.

Pick: Calgary

Hamilton at BC
Wait, the Ticats are going to be missing both Terry Caulley and Tre Smith, Nick Setta is somewhat banged up, they’ve been moving players to different positions “to see where they can help us” and they get to play the late game in B.C. where no eastern team has won probably since the last time Pinball played. Looks like I can go to a bar on Friday night that doesn’t have a TV.

Pick: BC

Saskatchewan at Toronto
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game with 15 combined turnovers like the Lions and Riders had last week. It was a close game and all, but with offences so ugly, you would have thought that Gary Etcheverry was a head coach in that game as opposed to a defensive co-ordinator. Anyway, with three interceptions and one fumble the meaning of Darian Durant’s sloppy seconds has been redefined.

Pick: Toronto

That's not the Timmy Chang we know

Well, this is unfortunate. We knew Timmy Chang would have difficulty readjusting to life in Hawaii after the bright lights of Hamilton and Winnipeg. But a life of crime isn't really what we were imagining.

Still, we have our doubts about this story. Consider the specifics of what allegedly happened:

The 27-year-old Chang was arrested at his Mililani home Thursday after a woman alleged her camera was taken away from her while she was filming a brawl last month in the Pearlridge area. ...

A man, whom Honolulu police say was Chang, told the woman to stop filming the fight. A struggle ensued and the suspect allegedly took the camera and threw it on the roof of a nearby building.

Having watched Timmy Chang play for the Ticats, there are at least two problems with this version of events.

First, if the struggle continued once Timmy had the camera in his possession, we're quite positive he would have dropped it, and the woman in question would have picked it up and run away while Timmy was lying helplessly on the ground.

Second, does anyone seriously believe that he actually would have hit the roof of that building?

Let the record show that if this really was Timmy Chang, another building would have stepped in front of the one he was aiming for and intercepted the camera as it wobbled through the air.

We'd be more than happy to fly down to Hawaii and testify on Timmy's behalf, provided he doesn't mind footing the bill.

In the meanwhile, we trust he'll be devoting his time to finding the real camera-thrower. (Hint: Brian Ah Yat has recently been sighted back in Hawaii, selling bread.)

Posted on Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 01:19PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | CommentsPost a Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish 09 - Week 1

Thank God. It’s time for another CFL season, which unfortunately for you means another season of snarky comments and truly terrible predictions. Now it’s the start of the season, so we’re probably going to be a little worse on the predictions than usual. Much like the start of a sports comedy movie, we’ll flounder around here at the start and probably go 0 for 4 while knocking the head off of a metal cut out of a batter with a fastball.

Toronto v. Hamilton

The start of the year always brings on a flood of pundits claiming that this will be the year that “possibly, maybe” the Ticats will be better this season. This is always the easiest of predictions if they improve on the 3 wins from last year then you’re right, if they don’t... well they’re the Ticats. The question posed should be, how much will they improve?

It’s like if your friends have a dog and every time they bring the dog over it takes a dump on your rug. Then one day they bring the dog and it only spits up on your rug. Sure it’s better than crap, but it’s still dog vomit. And I guess that’s my prediction for the Ticats this year. Not quite crap, but still dog vomit.

Pick: Toronto

Montreal v. Calgary

Hey, a Grey Cup rematch to start the year, nice work scheduling committee.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to come up with anything new to say about the Alouettes. On the plus side for Argos fans, Anthony Calvillo and Ben Cahoon are now another year closer to mandatory retirement.

Pick: Calgary

Winnipeg v. Edmonton

Damn it, all of our favourite Bomber jokes are useless now. No Milt Stegall, No Little Hawk, No fake Greg Marshall... just an awful turn of events.

Frankly the Bombers are a complete enigma to me. They could finish in first in the East or in dead last and I wouldn’t be overly surprised by either result. Ok, maybe I’d be surprised if they finished first. We’ll see how Mike Kelly works out as the head man in the Peg, but it was nice to see the Bombers management keep to the golden rule of football: when you have the chance to sign a former consultant to NFL Films as your head coach, you have to do it. However, not hiring former NFL Films guest narrator Gary Busey as special teams coordinator/motivational speaker is a travesty.

Pick: Edmonton

BC v. Saskatchewan

Well at least with the departure of DJ Flick and the injury to Wayne Smith, Ticats fans can take solace in that trade for Rocky Butler now being somewhat even.

Pick: BC

Bonus Pick:
All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the Ticats himself. Oddly though, the league has mandated that he plays the whole game in the same well tailored suit he showed up to the game in. How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: Another easy win for Pinball. While the presence of a necktie helps the Ticat defenders a little, it’s not nearly enough. Pinball 567 Ticats 3 (because Nick Setta is actually pretty good).

* Everything we need to know about football analysis, we learned from early ‘90s SNL sketches.

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 06:42PM by Registered CommenterRusty in , , | Comments1 Comment

Wait...THAT'S the guy who was shredding our secondary?

We learned a long time ago that pre-season football is inherently terrible, and so we were going to wait for the regular season before gracing you with our presence once more. But then we stumbled onto this nugget about Anthony Calvillo stand-in Adrian McPherson in Wednesday night's game report:

McPherson made headlines in 2006 when he filed a lawsuit after being injured an in NFL exhibition game. He was run over by a golf cart driven by the Tennessee Titans's raccoon mascot and sued the NFL team for US$20 million in damages.

See, there are some things we're prepared to accept. $10 beers, for instance. Or air inside the Rogers Centre that's so damp, it's almost squishy. Or long snappers who cannot, in fact, actually snap the ball a long distance. But one thing that is absolutely unacceptable is losing to a team being led by a dude whose claim to fame is being run over by a human-sized raccoon driving a golf cart.

No mascot inside the former SkyDome has done anything particularly useful (outside of mascot football, obviously) since that time back in the '90s when the giant Talk 640 dog was knocked unconscious by a drunk, but refused to take his his dog-head off while being escorted from the field because he didn't want to "scare the children." (We're not making this up.) But if Jason were worth anything at all, then McPherson wouldn't have made it out of the first quarter without being run over by a...well, by some sort of fake Greek boat, or whatever it is that Jason would drive.

We really hate to encourage vigilante justice in our first post in seven months, and promise to be more constructive next time (which will be considerably less than seven months from now). But honestly, some things are just beyond the pale.



Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:35AM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | Comments2 Comments

Touched By A Doodle


Big ups to Montreal – the kids still say “big ups,” right? - for setting up a Grey Cup village that provides a rather diverse drinking experience.

At the heart of this temporary community is a bar that looks like something the Euro-party set might stumble into if they took a very wrong turn in Ibiza. It’s a giant inflatable sphere, with silhouetted images of cheerleaders being projected onto the enormous tented walls. Inside, there are white couches, a DJ spinning dance tunes, and girls who may or may not be paid to be there dancing by themselves and being more friendly than you’d expect when you’ve been wearing the same jerseys for three days. Around the time we saw a dude giving a girl a lap dance, we decided to see what was next door.

Unfortunately, what was next door – in the largest of the village’s venues – was a U2 cover band named Elevation. Admittedly, our expectations for cover bands remain sky-high because of the transcendent experience that was Free Ride, the Rolling Stones imitators who rocked Grey Cup ’06 with two Keith Richards and nary a Ron Wood in sight. But Elevation just took themselves way too seriously. Honestly, when you’re in a cover band, you really don’t need to have entrance music from another band you’re not in. But for the record, we did enjoy the Bono impersonator describing the guy pretending to be The Edge as “the one, the only, The Edge.”

In the final pavilion – “The Bistro” – we finally found what we were looking for. No, not Free Ride – something called Wang Dang Doodle, a cover band that’s actually more of a jam band, complete with a saxophonist, a bassist who looked sort of like a shorter and more robust version of Geddy Lee, and an imposingly bald singer/guitarist who seemed to spend large chunks of the set serenading us with endless solos that we don’t remember being in the original version of Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl.

We know that this sounds awful. But while it’s conceivable we were just swayed by their ridiculous name, we happened to find Wang Dang Doodle many shades of awesome. By the time they closed with some AC/DC, prompting tens upon tens of Montrealers to spastically gyrate like life-sized bobbleheads, Elevation had been left thoroughly in the dust.

Sadly, it appears they’ve not experienced the level of celebrity they deserve. At show’s end, following an encore slightly delayed because the bassist had disappeared into the can, the saxophonist was seen exiting the Bistro by himself. Honestly, we’d have thought there’d be a lineup of eager young ladies waiting to Wang Dang his Doodle.



Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 01:09PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | Comments1 Comment

To Fait Or Not To Fait (the bruit)

Most of yesterday was spent driving to Montreal in a crappy rental car, so not a lot of interesting activity to report. Given the lack of anything interesting to look at on the drive - with the notable exceptions of the Big Apple and the Hell Holes Provincial Park - we thought we’d start off the weekend with our burning questions:

- Will any Als fans show up to the events outside of the Grey Cup village? Number of Als jerseys seen during our four hours at the Spirit of Edmonton room last night...three

- Suzy (or is it Susie, or maybe Suzie... screw it, we’ll go with this spelling) McNeill is playing the half time show on Sunday, but don’t worry if you miss her at the game. Next week she’ll be playing in the area under the food court at First Canadian Place in Toronto. So does that mean we got a sub-par halftime act or is the allure of Taco Bell and crappy Chinese food much stronger than we thought?

- We’ve written pretty extensively over the years about how ridiculous the crowds in the Big O are, and to reiterate we think that the fans that show up to Molson are great. But for some reason the bigger crowd doesn’t cut the mustard. During last week’s playoff game with Edmonton, it sounded very quiet in the Dome when Ricky Ray had the ball - except when the “fait du bruit” instruction played, and then the place went nuts. So given that this is supposed to be a neutral site game, if you’re working the PA system do you play the “fait du bruit” chant when both teams have the ball - which could potentially lead to an epic Calvillo/Chiu freak-out - or do you choose to play it like the Als aren’t involved at all, and accept that most of the crowd will spend the entire game in stony silence?

Off to Touchdown Manitoba...

Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:55AM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

So, did we miss anything?

Anyone else excited for this season? Looks like the Argos are rounding nicely into form. New coach..

Wait, what? 4-14? Seriously? Looks like we picked the right season to sleep through.

Indeed, it's been something of a lost year all around. But here's the good news. Tomorrow morning, we head to Montreal for four days of the usual fun. If you know us personally, brace yourself for drunken text messaging. And if you don't? Well, that's where the drunken blogging comes in.

No longer dormant, we shall erupt like a volcano - or like Adriano Belli five seconds after the whistle has blown. Consider yourselves forewarned.

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:07AM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | CommentsPost a Comment