Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 5

Calgary at Winnipeg
And so begins the curse of Westwood.  Oh sorry, I meant the curse of Little Hawk. 

Honestly, I don’t think that the Bombers have been as bad as their record would indicate at this point.  They’ve only really had the one game where they looked completely overmatched. That being said, I kind of understand benching the man who was the East nominee for MOP last year.  He’s thrown an interception on 6% of his passes.  That’s not just bad, that’s Mike McMahon territory.

Pick: Calgary

Edmonton at Hamilton

Seeing this game on the schedule last year would have made me repeatedly vomit.  This year, I’m merely indifferent. 


Pick: Edmonton

Montreal at BC

How could they schedule one of these valuable Als-Lions rivalry games prior to Labour Day?  Is nothing sacred CFL?  Nothing!?!?!

Pick: BC

Toronto at Saskatchewan

The Argos announced last night that they have signed Todd Lowber, a receiver that had no football experience prior to signing with the Vikings last year. Lowber was apparently a slam dunk champion in high school. Basically, they’re hoping to find lightning in a bottle again like they did with Byron Parker.  Next up to be signed, former New Hampshire high school slam dunk champion, Matt Bonner.

Pick: Toronto

Bonus Pick:

All of the Argos have been injured in practice leaving Pinball to play the Riders by himself. Adding to the challenge is that the dastardly Ken Miller has developed a gigantism ray and has made all of the Riders 12 feet tall.  How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: Pinball easily manoeuvres through the legs of the giant Riders rapidly piling up points. Dejected with the result, Giant Scott Schultz and Giant Mike Abou-Mechrek break out of the stadium and terrorize the Saskatchewan countryside by eating all of the crops they could find. The price of wheat skyrockets on the lower supply causing a worldwide foot shortage and causes riots in major cities throughout Asia, Africa and South America.  Oh, and Pinball wins.  Pinball 147  Giant Riders 8

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 08:33PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

Argo Notes

No, not the delightful pep band, but a collection of random thoughts from the win over the Eskies.

  • Always nice to see Ricky Foggie get another win for the Argos (and for the record I still call the Ballad of Ricky Foggie for a CFL fantasy team). Foggie of course was the impetus for the Argos brain trust to take a look at James Robinson, and yes there's no way before the game that I would have guessed that the heroes would include James Robinson and Tyler Scott.  Tyler Freakin' Scott!
  • If we had our way, every halftime show would be mascot football. Another good outing this year, even if the Raptor strikes us as the Ben Johnson of the group. There's a good chance that 10 years from now that he'll be promoting  some hair replacement system for the 2030 version of D'Angelo. Anyway, it's unfortunate that the Coffee Time Coffee Mug was unavailable this year. Scouts have called the potential to lob the ball up into the mug "enticing".
  • It was a great idea by the Argos to have the players run out on to the field with their kids. It was a better idea to wait for Andre Rison to be off the team before doing this.
Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 08:57PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | Comments1 Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 4 Take Two

Winnipeg at BC
Anybody heard anything from the Blue Lightning recently?  Oh right… Those. (warning NSFW)

I think it’s safe to say we’ve gotten to the bottom of who was behind the topless tizzy in Regina in 06.

Pick: BC

Montreal at Saskatchewan
I think that I’ve probably counted out Anthony Calvillo at the start of every CFL season for the past 5 years., of course roving what we all already knew… I have no idea what I’m doing.  

The obvious comparison to Calvillo would be a horror movie villain like Jason or Freddy, but he used to play for the Posse, so it’s actually much worse than a fictional character. Basically he’s like the casino where you have an outstanding marker.  Every time you think they’re on the verge of giving up and going home they come back and you have to change your name and face again.  It’s tiring.  You never get to know anyone and despite what the books say constantly adding and removing tattoos to alter your appearance isn’t painless.  After awhile you run out of good ideas and end up getting a picture of Angelo Mosca on your arm, and try explaining that to the ladies…

Anyway, where was I?  Right, Calvillo.  He’s over the hill.  Take the Riders.

Pick: Saskatchewan

Edmonton at Toronto
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it.  Let’s hope the Argos defence didn’t drink until blacking out after last week’s game

Pick: Toronto

Bonus Pick:

All of the Argos have been injured in practice leaving Pinball to play the Eskimos himself.  But for some reason the Argos also go and sign Hugh Schmelfendorf, a regular guy off the street, and refuse to name a starter.  How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: Seriously?  Pinball goes berserk on the Eskimos and convinces Schmelfendorf to buy 1,000 Argo season tickets during the break.  Pinball 562  Eskimos 6
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2008 at 06:00AM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

We're Not Quite Sure How This Happened - Part 2

We figure enough time has passed that we can publish our National Post article without getting into too much trouble.  Once again thanks to the Post for publishing our ramblings.


CFL fans are part of the experience

Derek Russell,  National Post  Published: Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm in my 20s, was born, raised and currently live in downtown Toronto, and I love the Canadian Football League. Based on some of the columns published in these pages recently, you'd think I was a rarity. But there are actually many more young, urban Toronto CFL fans like me.

Part of the reason is CFL football itself -- it's fast, well-played and available to watch live and up close at very reasonable prices. But the appeal lies even more in the CFL culture.

Ours is a league where fans care more about the game being played on the field than about gambling on it. It's a league where players spot fans wearing their jersey and insist on buying them a beverage after the game; or joining their table at the post-game party to discuss the finer points of what just happened on the field. It's the conduit for The Great Canadian Party, where for the better part of a week people from across the country (plus some incredibly loyal Baltimorians still lamenting the demise of the CFL's U. S. expansion) gather to swap stories about their team and their city. It's a league where the games themselves become communal experiences as much as sporting events -- and yes, that applies even in Toronto.

I've had season tickets for the Toronto Blue Jays for the past six seasons, getting to roughly 40 games per year. But it's rare to see any of the other ticket-holders more than a few times over that year. It's rarer still that any of us strike up a conversation. To suggest going for a beer after the game would draw blank stares and possibly a restraining order.

By contrast, in the nine or 10 home games the Argonauts play each year, I've forged genuine friendships with the cast of characters in my section -- young and old, male and female, and for the most part unlikely candidates for me to encounter in my day-to-day life. That we've gotten to know each other may have something to do with my astonishing lung capacity and ability to lead random chants. But it's also because the CFL seems like part of a past era when fans were part of the experience, rather than just consumers.

The players understand this as well. So one is hardly surprised when Jonathan Brown engages in elaborate six step handshakes with fans before the games. Or when Sandy Annunziata shows up at 4 a. m. at a deli, hours after having won the Grey Cup and lets fans hoist the trophy, letting them know that they too played a role in the big win.

To celebrate the CFL is not necessarily to turn one's back on the glitzier product south of the border. At this stage, there's little point debating which brand of football is better, even if the fair catch rule is a little silly. Not only is it a boring debate, but neither side has come up with any new arguments in the last 15 years.

For the relatively small number of fans able to afford tickets, bringing the NFL to Toronto would be a boon. But for their benefit, one of the few institutions that brings this whole country together -- that gives Torontonians something in common with Winnipeggers and Hamiltonians and Saskatchewanians -- would be jeopardized. I don't want to see that happen. And not just because it would be a waste of my chanting abilities.

Derek Russell is a lifelong CFL fan and is the co-founder of He can be reached at

Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 4 Game 1

Real life is getting in the way a bit this week (even I admit that it's a poor excuse) so the rest of the previews should be up some time Friday morning.  In the meantime, we hope this will tide you over:

Hamilton at Calgary

Let's get this out of the way, the Cats were robbed last week. We're not really sure why that sort of play can't be called a rouge and hopefully this is something the league reviews in the offseason.  That being said, welcome to my 2003 East Final nightmare Hamilton.  Except, you know, less important.

Pick: Calgary

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 09:49PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

Only In The CFL!!!!

Honestly at the start of the day we just assumed that the "Mike Bishop on waivers" story would be the oddest CFL story of the day.  So imagine our surprise when Rod Black and  Duane Forde were joined by Don King in the booth during the Als-Stamps game.  Don freakin' King. To steal one of A-Rad's lines here, it seems like King would show up to the opening of a wound. So many things come to mind here:

  • How the hell do Wetenhall and the splendiforous, whimsical, wonderflous wizard of pugilistic promotality krow each other?
  • Was King there only to ensure that the quota of having someone who has committed a Class 1 felony involved in the game was filled? (The Als really miss Lawrence Phillips)
  • What would Rod Black and King talk about off camera? 
  • And what is going through the Pope's mind here?
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 08:29PM by Registered CommenterRusty in | Comments4 Comments

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 3

Hamilton’s winning in Toronto… Edmonton is winning at all… MartyYork successfully called the Cito coming back thing… Start stocking up on canned food.

Calgary At Montreal

We here at boatmenblog are obviously known for two things, one of which is asking all of the tough questions. With that in mind… how the hell did Nik Lewis manage to participate in that bobsled touchdown celebration a few years back when he clearly doesn’t have a neck?

Pick: Montreal

Toronto at Edmonton

I’m a little surprised that we haven’t seen a number of articles on Prefontaine and Younger this week. Maybe they’re being saved for Thursday. It would admittedly be nice to have Younger back this week, if only because Wayne Shaw is not a suitable replacement for Willie Middlebrooks.

Also, good job by Adriano Belli getting kicked out of the game in the third quarter last week. The season hasn’t officially started until he’s done something stupid. Game on.

Pick: Toronto

BC at Winnipeg

No snaky comments here. Bob Ackles had a tremendous influence on the CFL and we are honoured to have been even tangentially associated with him through the football series run by the Post. Hopefully, he’ll be smiling and watching this one.

Pick: BC

Saskatchewan at Hamilton

I was admittedly a little stunned to see TJ Acree traded to the Riders but at least this means that I can continue to make vague references to the time he was shocked outside of a sushi restaurant in Vancouver. In any case, with the injury to DJ Flick this makes a lot of sense from the Riders perspective. What doesn’t make a lot of sense is that when I heard that Darien Durant was starting at QB for the Riders this week I was excited because it meant that we could run this photo of him getting Romero Miller’s leftovers again.

Pick: Hamilton (I can’t believe it either)

Bonus Pick:

All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the Eskimos himself. But first decides to make a quick stop by the Calgary Stampede. How does Pinball do?

Boatmenblog Pick: Pinball starts the day by heroically downing 132 pancakes and then cooking up enough to feed the Greater Calgary Area for 6 months. During the rodeo, he proceeds to ride a champion bull for over 20 minutes and then for show bucks the bull off of him. Oh, and he beats the Eskimos 418-13.

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

Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 08:55AM by Registered CommenterRusty in , | CommentsPost a Comment

Reason #468 David Cynamon is cooler than Bob Young

One of the things we love about David Cynamon - and there are many - is that, in keeping with the random burst of Andrew WK that piped in through the loud speakers last night, he's a man who appreciates the value of partying hard. And so we especially enjoyed his summation of the Argos' debacle of a home opener:

"It's a major disappointment. I mean, it's like hosting a party at your home, you've got everything lined up, everybody is showing up, weather is great and you forgot to bring the alcohol, and everybody goes home disappointed."

We've been to a party at David Cynamon's home, so we can attest that this is a man who would never, ever forget to provide alcohol. (Nor would he forget to scantily clad women lounging on ice sculptures, but we digress). That being said, what we witnessed last night was worse than going to a party without alchohol. It was like going to a party where the only alcohol turns out to be Steelback.

In other words, we didn't just go home disappointed. We went home confused, angry and slightly nauseous, knowing that we'd feel worse before we felt better. Even the absence of a certain Steelback founder himself wasn't enough to make up for that.

Posted on Friday, July 4, 2008 at 06:55PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | CommentsPost a Comment

Making Ourselves Look Foolish '08: Week 2

This probably deserves its own post sometime in the coming weeks, but are we really going to be getting three games a week from the Cuthburt/Suitor combo? Understand that we’re perfectly fine with Cuthburt, even if he did mis-identify numerous players last week, but isn’t this going to get very old rather quickly? Is there nobody else in the TSN cabal that is capable of calling games?

And shouldn’t they have some different guys on hand so that they can show up a few days before the game and talk to some of the players?

Hamilton at Toronto

Not a good first week for the Ti-Cats as the defence got carved up like a whole chicken placed in front of Rob Murphy. The main change for the Cats this week is that the coveted “yellow shoes” have been passed on to Tre Smith after the departure of Willie Pounder. This of course leads to the obvious question: who the hell is Willie Pounder?

Pick: Toronto

Calgary at Edmonton

Wow, that was a lot of bluster from Fred Perry last week without any payoff at all. Good to see that he’s on the same page as his coach. Perhaps the Stamps relatively inexperienced line will prove more palatable.

Pick: Calgary

Winnipeg at Montreal

Presumably this game will be a better indicator, but that was a heck of a start by the Als. The benefit of course of having Trestman succeed this year would be that it would mean that more owners might become more creative in their hiring, something that has been lacking since Greg Marshall was unfairly blamed for the disastrous Ti-Cat team of two years ago.

Pick: Montreal

Saskatchewan at BC

Odds that Wally gives us a nonsensical quote about the QB change: Off the board, it’s already happened (“Was I mistake on my part? I’m not saying it was a mistake or not. I’m not making two mistakes. If I don’t correct it, then I’m afraid to say maybe I didn’t make a good choice.”

Odds that Roy Shivers attacks Eric “The Hedgehog” Tillman with a toothpick: 5 to 1

Pick: BC

Bonus Pick:

All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the Ti-Cats himself. Unfortunately, Pinball was taking part in a pre-game promotion that had him sitting in a go-kart, which the dastardly Ti-Cats have superglued him into. How does go-kart bound Pinball do?*

Boatmenblog Pick: Pinball 274 Ti-Cats 5. This proves to be Pinball’s biggest disadvantage yet. The go-kart severely hampers his ability to tackle and actually makes him slower. On the other hand, he’s playing the Ti-Cats.

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

Posted on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 06:00AM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

2008 Preview: Hamilton Ticats

Much unrest in Steeltown this season over a 40% increase in ticket prices, but it seems a little misplaced. Surely, 40% more money means 40% more entertainment - and 40% more wins!

In fact, we're going to go out on a limb and suggest that Ticat fans may actually get more than their money's worth. Suppose, for a moment, that they win 5 games this year. We know, we know - it sounds crazy. But hey - Casey Printers could find his form. And if it happens, they won't just be 40% better than last year's 3-win total - they'll be 66.7% better!

If that sounds too good to be true, consider last night's home opener.* At last year's opener, the Ticats disappointed their fans by scoring only five points against the Argos. This year, they literally doubled that total with a whopping 10 points against the Als! True, their opponents actually scored slightly more points this year (33) than last year (30). But not 40% more. Only the Ticats did that!

This is exciting news, because the past couple of Labour Days we've started to feel a little guilty watching the Argos so decimate the Ticats that Hamiltonians don't even have the energy to throw bottles at our heads or attempt to bite our ears. This way, the Argos should still be able to win by a convincing score - just not so convincing that it's over by the middle of the first quarter. 

So relax, Bob O'Billovich. Unpack those pink suitcases and stay a while. Casey Printers may not be in MVP form, but he's at least 40% better than Timmy Chang. And if he's healthier than usual, Jesse Lumsden might even appear in 40% of the games. Provided that the in-game crew pipes in MC Hammer proclaiming it "Hammer Time" at least 40% more often each game, you really can't go wrong.

*This is the advantage of procrastinating so long that your "previews" appear the day after the season starts.

Posted on Friday, June 27, 2008 at 02:43PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in , | Comments2 Comments