Your weekly Pinball pick

All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the 'Riders by himself. Making matters more complicated, Barry Sherman has purchased the Argos, installing his 24-year-old son as head coach and Frank D'Angelo as "chairman." How does Pinball do?*

Pinball 814, 'Riders 1 (D'Angelo is a non-factor, since he's busy rehearsing for his part in "a big major movie." Sherman Jr. is more of a problem, since he knows as much about running a football team as he does about running a beer company. But with his head-coaching experience, Pinball not only calls his own plays - he spends breaks mentoring Sherman Jr., who by game's end is widely conceded to be only the second-worst coach in the league. Maciocia! )

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

Posted on Saturday, November 3, 2007 at 12:33PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | CommentsPost a Comment

Kenny Wheaton's Gonna Score

University of Oregon grad and avid reader Karl let us know that the Ducks play this clip of Kenny Wheaton before every home game to get the crowd going.  Hopefully he'll provide some of these heroics in the playoffs as well. 

Also, we can only hope that Kenny had the announcer belt out this call whenever he was chatting up the ladies.

Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2007 at 10:56AM by Registered CommenterRusty in | CommentsPost a Comment

Your weekly Pinball pick

All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the Bombers by himself. Always loyal to his old friends, Pinball insists on playing the game riding aboard a broken-down Diesel. How does Pinball

Pinball 612, Bombers 14 (Pinball realizes after the first quarter that the broken-down Diesel doesn't move quite like he used to, and so the final three quarters are spent with Diesel riding Pinball instead. This poses all sorts of problems for Mark Lee, but is much more innocent than it sounds.)

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

Posted on Friday, October 26, 2007 at 05:23PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | CommentsPost a Comment

On the plus side, it's the only management in town that Brian Burke doesn't hate

For most of the year I had assumed that Hamilton's front office was going to have the most work cut out for it after the season, but at this stage the Eskimos are in much worse shape. Danny Maciocia surely has to be let go as both the GM and head coach at the end of the year and according to reports the players aren't particularly fond of "head coach in waiting" Jacques Chapdelaine. In the only moment of "insight" we've had on this site, we once wrote of Chapdelaine: "You know those movies where they have the team of snotty rich kids going up against the scrappy gang of misfits from across the lake? Lions' O.C. Jacques Chapdelaine totally looks like he should be coaching the snotty rich kids." And while we thought this would make him the perfect coach of the Eskimos, the players apparently disagree.

Anyway, for the last couple of weeks I've been cheering on the Eskimos in large part because I'd rather see anyone other than Montreal lose the Grey Cup this year. But at this stage, it almost seems like they are going into a rebuilding mode as opposed to trying to win against the Riders. 

Why else would they bench their "top rookie" nominee and arguably the most dangerous offensive weapon they have left in Tyler Ebell in favour of a guy who has a total of 9 CFL carries? Does Maciocia just assume that, since they won the Grey Cup with Troy Davis coming in as a late season replacement, they need to change the RB near the end of every year? 

And the excuse that they needed to replace Ebell with an import special teams player is absurd. You use the draft to get non-imports who can play special teams or you poach someone off of another team's practice roster. Or hell, sign Sean Millington. He's available. Very available. Or if they were going to change backs, at least give the fans something they'd enjoy and put Gizmo in the backfield.

In any case, over just the past two years Maciocia has used a number of different options in looking for a #1 running back. There was Troy Davis, that McClendon fellow, Josh Ranek, Ebell and now Anderson. I'm probably missing a few.  Was Mike Bradley supposed to start? Ronald Williams?  Anyway, let's hope for their sake that he's finally found an answer.

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 07:59PM by Registered CommenterRusty in , | Comments1 Comment

Things you need to know (special how-to edition)

Once again, Shoomy steps in with what's becoming a weekly information session for you. This week's is a little confusing, since Thing #1 is actually several things, but hopefully you won't hold that against him.


Thing #1: Many are the Argos fans who've fixed their gaze on Section 109A and wondered what sort of creative genius we were coming up with. Well, this is your lucky day. Whether you're at the game, watching from the privacy of your own home or merely in Hamilton and spoling for a fight, Boatmenblog sanctions the following cheers.

  • “Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!”  This is an obvious one, to be used anytime Arland Bruce does anything. And conveniently, it can be adapted to honour Rich Stubler (Stuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuub!) anytime the defence does anything, or when his commercial comes on the Jumbotron. Just make sure to keep it in the low baritone range; otherwise, you'll sound ridiculous.
  • “An-dre Tal-bot,” (Clap-Clap <pause> Clap-Clap-Clap) We were doing this one when a certain Canadian receiver's catches were pretty rare, which made it slightly ironic. Now that he's hauling them in constantly, so much the better. And like our first option, this one's pretty versatile: Where appropriate, it can also be used for By-ron Par-ker. Or, if you really love special teams tackles, Bry-an Craw-ford.
  • Okay, this is a complicated one. To celebrate an Argo first down, begin with a disco-inspired roll of the arms in front of the chest. Then break into a full arm point in the direction of the advancing Argos offense. This movement is to be accompanied by a dull roar, building to a boisterous call of “first down”. (If you're not quite following, look to the Jumbotron following a first down. There's an alarming possibility they'll be showing us doing it. And if you're on the aisle, please be careful: Surprisingly, people who have their their beers knocked out of their hands tend not to share the celebratory spirit.)

  • Flemons! This, obviously, is to celebrate the greatness that is Ronald Flemons. Since that greatness doesn't often involve sacks, forced fumbles or other things that typically invoke cheers for defensive ends, it's best to use this one randomly. (Note: This also has the benefit of confounding casual Argo supporters who were certain the name of that loveable coach was "Clemons.")
  • “Steelback Sucks!” This is by far the most important one, and should be yelled at the commencement of every  3rd quarter – which, tragically, is sponsored by a certain brewery. Not coincidentally, we've estimated that in the “Steelback quarter” the Argos have been out-scored by a total of 173 – 27. Perhaps it's time for a new sponsor? (Personally, I recommend this beer. Any chance Ravinder Minhas might be interested in starting up a CFL team in Ottawa?)

Thing #2: Last week, Joe Theisman made a cameo appearance on Off The Record. I quite hate the show, but like any car wreck I had to watch when I stumbled across Mike (don’t call me Mikey) Landsberg asking Joe if he was still embarrassed to be associated with the Argos. Joe said yes...then went on to say he thought the ownership was doing a great job and he loves the people and city of Toronto. With that kind of clear answer, no wonder ESPN has him doing its broadcasts. Oh, wait...

Thing #3: Unsurprisingly, there's some lingering confusion around the announcement that Lenny Kravitz will be playing the Grey Cup halftime show. Now, we know that Lenny’s guitarist and longtime collaborator Craig Ross grew up in the High Park area; in fact, he married a Canadian and lived with his family in Toronto up until last year. But what many don’t know is that Lenny has actually been enticed over the border by our Prime Minister. As it turns out, he couldn't turn down the Grey Cup after he received a personalized Rosh Hashanah card from Stephen Harper.

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 12:50AM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | CommentsPost a Comment

Mark Lee: You so crazy!

Unbeknownst to us, Chris Zelkovich apparently has a sense of humour. And so he beat us to the punch in pointing out the unequivocal highlight of Saturday's broadcast: Mark Lee informing viewers that the Als' "DBs have got a pretty interesting key on Bishop as they continue to jump his balls throughout the game."

For the record, that sounds more like the sort of thing that would throw our old friend Spergon Wynn off his game, at least in the right company. (You thought we were going to go for the easy Rod Black joke, didn't you? Suckers.) But having been convinced for some time that Mark Lee is a robot, we're more intrigued by the potential that his wiring is loose and we're headed for a full-fledged meltdown by season's end.

Grey Cup...the last game for now, possibly forever, on the CBC. And Mark Lee starts getting so blue that you'll think Bob Saget has stormed the broadcast booth.

If nothing else, it would at least be more entertaining than Lenny Kravitz. 

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 12:09AM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | CommentsPost a Comment

Your weekly Pinball pick

In the interest of bringing you fresh and insightful commentary all week, instead of one giant dump of content on Fridays, you'll note that we've narrowed things down a little for our weekend previews. Now, on to more important things...


All of the Argos have been injured in practice, leaving Pinball to play the Als by himself. Meanwhile, the Als have been replaced by Paul Godfrey, Ted Rogers and Larry Tenenbaum, who are sneakily trying to prove their theory that anyone can play in the CFL. How does Pinball do?*

Pinball 86,428, Godfrey/Rogers/Tenenbaum 0 (A cheap thrill, but don't tell us you don't feel better now.)

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

Posted on Saturday, October 20, 2007 at 01:42PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | CommentsPost a Comment

Apparently, Shaggy was unavailable

Well, we didn't really see this one coming. Your halftime entertainment for the 2007 Grey Cup is...wait for it...Lenny Kravitz!

Hopefully, he'll bring Lisa Bonet. And Ricky Williams

Either way, resistance is futile. In that spirit, we will begin taking up arms this weekend as we ready ourselves for the "love revolution" Lenny has promised.

Posted on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 06:19PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | Comments2 Comments

Go local

Last year's Grey Cup halftime show prompted Rusty to rave to CBC Radio about the incredible super-awesomeness of Nelly Furtado. (He was quite drunk.) So as you can imagine, we're pretty psyched for Wednesday's announcement of who will be gracing us with their presence at this year's halftime festivites. (Watch out, Andy comes Rusty.)

Now, we've seen enough Grey Cups to be able to make an educated guess as to who it'll be. Our gut, alarmingly enough, tells us it'll be Avril Lavigne. Our heart is with a more tasteful dark horse like Sloan. Our deepest fear is a repeat of the 2004 Tragically Hip performance, which we mercifully missed most of because we were stuck in a 35-minute bathroom lineup at Landsdowne Park.

But frankly, these are all a little...impersonal. With the Grey Cup back in Toronto for the first time in 15 years, it's time to show the CFL what we're made of with some distinctive Argo flavour. Some options:

  • Diane Clemons. Pinball's wife has a lovely singing voice, as we discovered when she performed the anthem a couple of years ago. The only catch is that, on the evidence of that performance, they'd have to extend halftime to about 90 minutes. (And yes, we just made a joke - albeit a mild one - about Pinball's wife. We're going straight to hell.) 
  • Clifford Ivory. They call him "Sweet Music" for a reason. Okay, they called him "Sweet Music" once, after he sang the anthem. But he did a really nice job. More importantly, it would give some of us a reason to keep wearing our favourite jersey. And anything that gets him back to the Grey Cup parties is well worth it.
  • Shake Severs, featuring the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The return of Robert Baker speaks for itself. If Noel Prefontaine can learn to rap, he could join him on stage and they could settle their differences 8 Mile style. And the presence of the TSO would give our man Shake the gravitas he deserves.
  • This person.
  • Cody Pickett riding a mechanical bull. And now, a little something for the ladies. The Argos have a former rodeo star from a multi-generation rodeo family hovering behind Rocky Butler on the depth chart; isn't it about time to put him to good use? An entire rodeo might be a little expensive to stage, but anyone who's been to a crappy Western-themed American bar knows there's nothing sexier than partying atop a mechanical bull. Sort of like this.
  • Sherwood Schwarz: The Musical. It had comedy. It had drama. It had Shaggy. It's a story that needs to be told, and nothing could be more fitting than enlisting Garth Drabinsky to stage it.
  • Frank D'Angelo and the Steelback 2-4. Surely the pan-Canadian crowd at the Grey Cup, unlike those ingrates at regular Argos games, will appreciate the great talent that is in their midst. And if not, it'll at least have the upside of bringing us all together - 50,000 Canadians from places big and small, coming together as a single voice to drown out his cover of My Girl
Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 01:34AM by Registered CommenterA-Rad in | Comments1 Comment

Things you need to know

First off, apologies for the lack of picks this week...occasionally real life gets in the way. Second, apologies for the lack of anything intelligent to say right now; we're still blown away both by how well the Argos played last night and by how many Van Halen fans we encountered at the bar after. (Most of them, by the way, marched up to our table and asked with considerable concern how the Argos had done. There's nothing quite like getting the fist pump from a Van Halen fan when you tell them they won.)

Anyway, we wouldn't want to leave you without any sweet, sweet Boatmenblog meat for you to sink your teeth into. (Wait, that doesn't sound right.) And so our good friend Shoomy (the guy with the Jerome Davis jersey) is valiantly stepping in with what may become a recurring feature, if he proves more disciplined than us in actually writing stuff.


Considering Rusty and A-Rad know more about the Argos and the CFL than I ever will, I wish to take this opportunity to address some of the other, less reported - yet in my mind no less significant – issues facing our beloved team. I shall call it: “Things you need to know.”

Thing #1: Regular readers of this space may remember that I have an unhealthy obsession with veteran Blue Thunder Cheerleader Michelle G. So it should come as no surprise that my heart broke when I learned she was not a finalist for Miss Argo 2007.

Perhaps the issue was that Michelle’s Facebook group, “Vote Michelle Miss Argo 2007,” only had 240 members. To put this in perspective, the group “Concerned Citizens against Zombies (C.C.A.Z)” has 1,855 members and “Just Say No to Fake Maple Syrup” has 2,077 members.

I think Michelle needs a new publicist. I’m available.

Thing #2: Was it just me or was the guest Blue Thunder “senior” cheerleading squad at last week's game against Edmonton horribly misnamed? I mean, the age range was 12–29. Someone please tell me that we haven't reached a consensus that 12 is what counts as “senior” these days.

Thing #3: I’ve been having a terribly difficult time choosing a new Argo jersey this season.

Recently, I've been considering purchasing an Obed Cetoute #16 jersey. The last couple of games I've been at, my new man “O” has made a catch in the fourth quarter to put a nail in the proverbial coffin. Rusty and I have enjoyed taking these opportunities to get out of our seats and shout a resounding “C'EST TOUT”, thus signaling in our own unique way that the game is officially over. A jersey would surely complement the effect, and he seems like the sort of guy who would be very pleased to see me in it if we ever ran into each other.

Of course, I've also toyed with getting a custom made F. Murphy Itawamba Community College Football T-shirt.

Thing #4: Always bet on shrimp.

Thing #5: We really need a new song for that moment in the game when it's decided that what fans want to see is other fans singing along to something. I know Neil Diamond’s “Sweat Caroline” is well-known and generally gets a good reception, but it sure is getting annoying.

I think we can do better. Isn't it time for “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, “Don’t stop believing” by Journey, “Pinball Wizard” by The Who or “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot?

Thing #6: The Argos have won the past 7 games I've attended and had a losing record in the games I've been unable to make it to. Unfortunately, I'm likely not going to make it for the final home game, but I will be at the Grey Cup. I'm not sure if I should be rooting for the streak to continue.

Posted on Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 01:20PM by Registered CommenterA-Rad | Comments1 Comment