Don Matthews?  Didn't see that coming.  Finally something tops the Don King apperance in the TSN booth for "oddest moment of the year". The fact that the whole Argo section at the Labour Day game didn't boo and heckle Mel Lastman for doing a commercial in a Ticats jersey ranks a distant third. 

Of course all of this news (the Taafe firing, the Canada-Moreno trade) comes during a week where I basically am screwed for time, so more in the coming days.  As an initial reaction though, presuming that Don doesn't do the "Weekend at Bernie's" act that he had going on the sidelines for the last year in Montreal (hopefully the medication helps with that) it should work out well.  The alternative is to hire Jonathan Silverman to help prop him up during games.  I hear that he's available.

Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 09:35PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | Comments5 Comments

Making Ourselves Look Foolish - Week 11

Calgary at Edmonton
Maybe the first sign that Dave Dickenson wasn’t going to be OK was when he fumbled in a non-contact mini football game while being chased by a middle-aged man during last year’s Grey Cup festivities. If we actually made anything from this blog, we’d finally be able to write off the beers consumed while we were watching that touch football game.  It was research, see.

As an aside, what number do you suppose Ben Sankey is on the Stamps speed dial?

Pick: Edmonton

BC at Hamilton
Well that was certainly a busy week for the Leos. We’ll deal with the Roberts trade a little bit later, but they may have only been the second biggest piece of news from BC this week what with the training camp fight between Geroy Simon and Tyrone Williams. Presumably the scuffle was a result of the un-Lions like 4-5 start to the year, but honestly that has us a little perplexed. At this stage, if you were a Western club wouldn’t you much prefer to get the cross-over and try and go through the East?

On the Ticats side… well at least it was a close Labour Day game this year. How close?  Well let’s see a yard is about half of the length of a horse, so they did quite well if you had the place bet.

Pick: BC

Toronto at Montreal
With the signing of P.K. Sam it’s becoming plain to see that the Argos are trying to recreate the 2004 New England Patriots. We’re betting that J.J. Stokes who “hasn’t officially retired” but last played in 2004 is the next to be signed.  He’s available.  Very available.

Of course, we’ll be perfectly happy with this strategy if it leads to a disoriented Ricky Ray vomiting on the field in the waning moments of the Grey Cup (and you’re welcome for getting the image of McNabb being sick all over the field in your head)

Pick: Toronto

Saskatchewan at Winnipeg

How many times does trading one underachieving star player for another actually work?  At the very least we can see why the Bombers did this. Joe Smith immediately vaults to the top of the depth chart and provides a RB that is similar to the guys used by Doug Berry in Montreal.

Who will actually win this trade? We have no idea. However, if we had to chose a financial advisor amongst the two, we’d definitely go with Joe Smith.  From Ed Tait:

 “Talk about cheap… He used to collect pop cans and bottles kicking around the Lions’ clubhouse and haul them down to a recycling depot for the $10 to $15 they would deliver. So cheap that he’d take his own popcorn bag to the movies and then head up to the concession stand for a free refill.”

On the other hand, that sounds a little too much like Harold Ballard.

Pick: Saskatchewan

Posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008 at 08:45PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | Comments2 Comments

So... what'd we miss?

Amazing what can happen when you're away in Vegas for a few days (cheers to the Stampeders for winning over the Lions and paying for the flight, jeers to the manish craps dealers for taking it all back). Hard to say what was more surprising, the Bishop trade, the Steinauer release or the Kevin Millar Hitler mustache look.  Check that, it was definitely Steinauer.

For the record, the Bishop trade now means that the deals with the Riders look like this:

To Sask:

- T.J. Acree, negotiation list player, 3rd round pick, Leron Mitchell, Glenn January, Michael Bishop, Steve Morley

To Toronto:

- Kerry Joseph, Jamal Robertson, Nathan Hoffart, 5th round pick, whatever they got for Bishop

All hail the hedgehog. 

Posted on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 08:07PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 9

Saskatchewan at Edmonton
It’s time to face it. If the ‘97 Argos couldn’t go undefeated, nobody is going undefeated.

Outside of the undefeated bid, obviously the biggest story in Riderville this season has been the somewhat absurd number of injuries the team has suffered. So we thought it‘d be interesting to see how some of them are spending their time off, namely backup QB Drew Tate. 

Now presumably this was taken during Halloween but here he is as one of the characters from Dodgeball.  Hopefully.

If he's smart his next costume won’t involve the Robert Downey Jr. character from another Ben Stiller movie.

Pick: Saskatchewan

Calgary at BC
The Calgary offence has been extremely efficient and impressive so far this year and should be one of the tougher units the Lions see this year. So how are they planning on stopping them? By confusing their own defense with new signals in the hopes that it’ll stifle backup QB Dave Dickenson. 

Whatever works I guess. 

In any case, in order to limit confused glances amongst the defense, we humbly submit that the Lions go back to the days of yore and simply use carrier pigeons to deliver messages to the field. (Somewhere Damon Allen is in a rocking chair nodding his head)

Pick: Calgary

Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 08:47PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08 - Week 8

Hamilton at Winnipeg

A huge game for both teams and possibly the biggest non-Labour Day game for Hamilton for a few years. The Bombers are going back to Kevin Glenn ending the great Ryan Dinwiddie Experience v. 2.0. Has there been a team in the past 5 years to have more quarterbacking issues than the Bombers?  Tee Martin… Jonathan Quinn… Brad Banks… we weren’t really going anywhere with those list of names, we just enjoying torturing Bombers fans.  Anyway, Bryan Randall is waiting patiently in the wings and let’s hope he gets his chance soon if only so that his google image search pulls up a photo of him as a professional that isn’t from the AAFL.

Pick: Winnipeg

Montreal at Toronto

Given last week’s performance and our attempts to stay positive we aren’t going to reference the Argos this week… except to wish Ross Weaver the best of luck.  On to the Als, how is it that Anthony Calvillo isn’t getting the full “Brett Favre” treatment at this point in his career? We mean the “this guy loves to play”, “he’s like a little kid out there”, “I’d like my wife to be impregnated by him” treatment. Not the “let’s make an absurdly big story out of this and follow him around incessantly” treatment. Although if that were to happen to a CFL personality, you’d think it’d be Tillman. Maybe Gainer. 

Pick: Toronto

Bonus Pick:

All of the Argos have been injured in practice leaving Pinball to play the Als by himself. Unfortunately, the Canadian Olympic team has also asked him to help end their drought and win some medals. How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: Despite not being an actual Canadian, Pinball talks his way into letting the Olympics allow him to compete in for Canada. Not having all of the proper equipment, Pinball proceeds to win the epee fencing event wearing no protective gear and using a toy “He-Man sword”. He then proceeds to win the 110 meter hurdles by using his football skills and simply barrelling through them. Not wanting to embarrass the other athletes, Pinball returns to Canada and proceeds to beat the Als handily.  No rest for Pinball.  The final tally: Pinball 253 and 2 gold, Als 5

Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 08:27PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | Comments3 Comments

Or You Could Watch Charlie Batch For 2 Quarters

Things that you can buy for $575 that aren’t a single ticket to the NFL exhibition game:

- 176 pounds of copper
- 17 tickets to the Argos-Alouettes game
- half of the City of Detroit
- 43 copies of the Maestro’s Urban Landmark
- 27 copies of Matt Dunigan’s book on football
- 30 copies of Matt Dunigan’s book on cooking (honestly this shocked me, after his coaching career I would have assumed that his cook book would have been more expensive)
- Buy 575 copies of the newspaper.  Make 575 newspaper hats
- 35 haunted Coleman coolers
- 580 alien raisin heads
- 542 copies of the Sacramento Gold Miners media guide
- The rights to the Sacramento Gold Miners

Reasons we can think of for spending $575 to watch preseason football:

Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 10:20PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Making Ourselves Look Foolish... Again

Bombers vs. Als

Understand, this has been an enormously difficult summer for us. Ordinarily, we can rely on the unintentional comic stylings of Jack Todd to supply roughly 80% of our Als-related content. But Jack has apparently been spending his summer toodling around Europe, depriving us of his regular baiting of Als fans, his potshots at Jim Popp's taste in cars and that weird thing where he inexplicably strings together the same vowel 18 times in a row at the start of his columns. The good news is that, in his absence, he somehow possessed the soul of fellow Gazette writer Herb Zurkowsky, who's managed to go to war with both Popp and pretty much every Als fan in the city. Now that Todd has returned from his European odyssey, these two are going to be unstoppable!

Pick: Als

Eskimos vs. Lions

Just in time for this week's rematch, has enlisted the services of Siddeeq Shabazz to tell us about "the game of life." Blogs by professional athletes don't normally require a ton of deep thought, but we'll be honest: The debut entry on the enjoyably named "Siddeeq Sezz" goes a little over our heads, at least when it comes to this thing. If anyone can explain what exactly Siddeeq's "extraordinary transformation centre" does, we're all ears. In the meanwhile, we're going to follow the centre's advice and begin referring to our bodies as our "body vehicles." This promises to greatly impress and intimidate the other flag football players.

Pick: Lions

Posted on Friday, August 8, 2008 at 04:57PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | Comments2 Comments

Making Ourselves Look Foolish By Having 3 Consecutive Posts With the Same Title

Yup, we're doing this in two parts this week.  Lucky bastards. Time for a set of predictions made while pondering why the Argos haven’t resigned Patrick Johnson…

Toronto at Hamilton

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and it appears as though this year’s version of the Ticats are going to demonstrate about 15 of those. 

Pick: Toronto

Calgary at Saskatchewan
It was the right call from the league to apologize for ejecting JoJuan Armour unnecessarily during last week’s game against the Riders. That being said, we here at boatmenblog are still waiting for the following apologies to be issued:

“We apologize to our loyal fans for allowing a serial entrepreneur with little discernable signing talent to perform at various games in previous seasons.” ~ The Toronto Argonauts

“We are very sorry that the considerable talent of Duane Ford is making you actually prefer games being called by Rod Black” ~ TSN
“We know that these look ridiculous, our apologies” ~ The Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Pick: Calgary - I'll get it right one of these weeks

Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 07:40PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | Comments3 Comments

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 6

Hamilton at Montreal


We’ll admit it. We’re big fans of Richie Williams. (not big enough to be in his fan club, but close). Although it’s possible that we just have a thing for backup Ticats QBs – hell at one point I wrote a preview praising Kevin Eakin – Richie has always appeared to have to tools to excel at this level and it’ll be interesting to see how he does.

Further along the Cats backfield, Ken Peters had a post up the other day where he made an interesting case for Jesse Lumsden to bolt to Edmonton after this season. One to add to Ken’s list: between his time at Mac and as a Ticats, Jesse has probably already gone through all of the eligible women in Hamilton.

Pick: Montreal

BC at Edmonton

I’m guessing it’s because of the Nissan ad where they’ve dubbed Wally’s voice with a honking horn but at this point every time I see Buono talking on the sideline I imagine him sounding like the teacher from Charlie Brown. What does this mean for the game? Well, how many games did Charlie Brown’s team win?

Ah who am I kidding? Charlie Brown would still beat Maciocia.

Pick: BC

Winnipeg at Toronto

At this point it has become abundantly clear that Adriano Belli is determined to get a 15 yard penalty that leads to an opponent’s score in every game. So at this point, the only thing left to do is to lay down some money on how he figures out how to commit objectionable conduct this week. My guess, he takes a hot dog from a fan and throws it at the side judge. After all, he’s just really intense and besides, he was only trying to give away free meat. (As an aside, we do really like the Wiser ads with Belli being shown at the Argodome).

Pick: Toronto

Saskatchewan at Calgary

Why are there no child labour advocates picketing Riders’ games? Ignore the bio, there’s no way that Stu Foord is older than 15.

Pick: Calgary

Bonus Pick:
All of the Argos have been injured in practice leaving Pinball to play the Bombers by himself. Adding to the challenge is that the dastardly Bombers have been allowed to use actual planes during the game. How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: While the game is a defensive struggle in the first half – on account of Pinball not letting the Bombers land in the end zone – Pinball gets annoyed with the pace and destroys the planes using a combination of charisma and brute force. Then, of course, it’s all Pinball, all the time. Pinball 147 Bombers In Actual Bombers 0.

Posted on Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 02:00PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

A Friday night on Wally Buono's casting couch

It's Friday night, and there's a rematch of the terrible 2006 Grey Cup. How could we not live blog it? Let the field goals begin!

First Quarter

0:55 Why isn’t Mark Estelle wearing a black arm band in honour of Estelle Getty? For shame.

1:42 Geroy Simon breaks the Lions’ all-time receiving mark, previously held by Jim "Dirty 30" Young. Dirty 30 appears on the sidelines, showing off the "dirty" physique Geroy can look forward to in 30 years. 

2:37 Chris Cuthbert tells us that the Lions have "come under pressure" from Diamond Ferri. Really, who hasn't?

2:58 Honestly, how is Coors Light still selling its product on the basis that it’s the coldest beer? How are people buying this?

3:45 Avon Cobourne breaks a huge run then gets knocked over when teammate Jamel Richardson tries too vigourosly to do a chest bump. We didn't think that sort of thing would happen with Etienne Boulay off the team.

5:06 Cobourne continues to chew through the Lions' defence. Maybe the Als should have tried running the ball in previous games.

5:35 Touchdown Als. This is shaping up to be a much better game than usual for these diaries. But Adrian McPherson, who just turned up for the 1-yard plunge, is really screwing up people who took Avon Cobourne in their pools.

5:35 Is it just us, or does Als' coach Mark Trestman looks suspiciously like Tom Higgins? Judge Doom lives!

5:45 We just noticed that "Dirty 30" has a name tag with his name on it. Apparently the Lions were out of sideline passes,or else he's going to some sort of singles' night after the game.

8:34 Cuthburt and Glen Suitor have used the term “self-scouting” three times so far this game. This is otherwise known as practice or watching film or coming up with a game plan. Self-scouting... well, it just sounds dirty.

10:45 Kerry Watkins is on the receiving end of a Calvillo touchdown toss after a highly dubious roughing-the-kicker call on a missed field goal – then slinks around the end zone doing the “Jump On It” dance while a pair of linemen stand around

12:20 Cuthbert tells us that with a blocked convert (!), Barron Miles tied Gerald Vaughn for “the record”. No word on what that record was. Trying to find something on Gerald Vaughn, the first Google hit is for an agricultural real estate agent in the UK. We’ll assume Miles has tied the record for most commissions in June. Congrats!

13:30 Tad Crawford on the tackle for the Lions. Nice that he could take time out from his day job of being an 80s movie villain.

2nd Quarter:

0:00 Why does Cuthburt wear the headset so far forward? It’s more like a faceset! (Oh, snap!)

0:00 Suitor informs us that Montreal hired “a football man” in Trestman. Better than Jim Popp’s original choice of a stripper. (Possibly Diamond Ferri.)

0:33 Instead of showing us the play, we get an extended Geroy Simon graphic. At least we now know what Geroy looks like when talking on a cell phone.

0:38 Rufus Skillern on the catch. Sounds like a in character in a Rodney Dangerfield movie. Bet he’s a good diver.

1:28 After Mark Estelle breaks up a Paris Jackson catch, we’re informed that “it’s his birthday”. No mention of whose birthday it is. Come on, to whom do we send this delicious birthday cupcake? And when will Diamond Ferri burst out of a cake?

2:00 Sara Orlesky informs us that Joe Smith is known to be a man who “beats to his own drum”. At least now we know what he was doing in those weeks when he wasn’t attending the games.

4:02 We’re treated to another one of those “profiles” that features Anthony Calvillo pointing at things and tossing a ball around. Do they do these for non-QBs or star offensive players? Does Paul McCallum’s feature him shoveling manure from in front of his house?

12:00 There appears to be a drunk-looking pelican in a ferry boat in the end zone. It looks kind of like one of the Winnipeg mascots, so we can only assume he's moved out west. If you're his friend, stand by for insufferable phone calls telling you  how great Vancouver is.

12:58 Rufus Skillern drops a pass. He gets no respect. No respect at all.

13:21 In a fantastic interview clip, Joe Smith tells us the following: “Joe does things that make Joe happy. I’m not really trying to please other people. When I please myself I go out I know my assignments and do my job well. That’s pleasing myself. If it happens to please other people so be it.” OK, we’re just going to say it: Joe Smith obviously did not spend last week’s game gardening. He was clearly spending a lot of time “beating to his own drummer”.

13:25 Suitor points out that Joe really has to please his head coach. A disturbing peak inside the workings of the Lions - or, as we like to call it, "Wally Buono's casting couch.” (Yes, we’re 15 years old.)


Jock Clime breaks the paramount “don’t mention Matt Dunigan’s coaching career" rule by asking how he handled injured players. Remember, much like the John Huard era, Matt’s coaching days never happened.

3rd Quarter

0:00 We start the quarter with a 30-second shot of Wally Buono gazing downfield, winking, spitting and looking like he just smelled something bad. It's amazing how long 30 seconds can feel.

5:24 The Als very efficiently move down the field for another TD and a 24-6 lead. This was unexpected.

6:06 While talking about how the Lions DBs were praising Mark Estelle, Suitor exclaims “OK I’m gonna watch this guy on the corner.” Does that not kind of imply that despite the fact that he’s been in the league for at least three years, the #1 colour commentator in the league hasn’t really ever noticed that Estelle existed?

7:19 Murray Clarke goes under the hood to review a fumble. He’s been in there for about 5 minutes, leading to the obvious suspicion that he's watching some sort of porn in there. If Joe Smith joins him, we'll know for sure.

10:55 Joe Smith signs the football he just scored a TD with and throws it into the crowd. But he didn’t attend the last two Lions games, so he’s clearly a jerk.

14:48 Ian Smart takes a kickoff 92 yards for another Lions TD, and we’ve got a game. This is something of a rarity when we do these things.

4th Quarter

3:00 Paris Jackson scores to take the lead for the Lions. Seems to us that the Als are great off the top running scripted plays, but have no idea each week how to adapt to other teams' adjustments.

3:43 Brian Bratton scores a long TD to reclaim the lead for the Als. Let that be the last time we attempt to offer something resembling serious analysis.

7:57 Chip Cox tries to bust through the Lions' line, but is Cox blocked by Angus Reid.

12:28 The two teams exchange interceptions as an entertaining game suddenly turns into the Timmy Chang Bowl.

13:36 The Lions bring out "the elephant team." Sharon, Lois and Bram are nowhere to be found.

14:15 In direct defiance of Suitor, BC has passed on almost every play on this last drive, as opposed to “running out the clock” (despite trailing).

14:24 With two consecutive penalties, the Lions appear to be beginning a Steven Page-esque self-destruction.

0:00 On a McCallum field goal, the Lions win. But wait - "Glen's Gladiator" is now just "the Friday Night Gladiator"? Having now lost both is mustache and his Gladiator, we have no idea how Glen Suitor goes on.

Posted on Monday, July 28, 2008 at 10:55AM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment