Let’s get you caught up on all the news that is news across the CFL...
Hall of Fame
In: Doug Flutie, Mike Clemons, Mike Pringle, John Bonk, Tom Shepherd (2008 inductees)
Why is it that when I read this list, I had flashbacks to watching Sesame Street as a kid? Come on, sing it with me - "One of these things is not like the others!" As I had my first look at the list, I was pretty impressed with the selections. First I saw three of the greatest players to step on a CFL field in the last 15 years. Then I saw a versatile Canadian whose only real fault was a long-term affiliation with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. And then there's Tom Shepherd, who will for reasons unknown be enshrined as a builder.
Now, I guess if they were determined to induct Shepherd, builder is the only category they could put him in. After all, he wasn't a player, so he doesn't fit in with the rest of the nominees in their category. I'm told that some categories that were tossed around were "Megalomaniac Ford Defender", "Inebriated Radio Enthusiast", and "What's the Opposite of Builder?" but apparently they didn't want to have to construct a whole new wing down at the Hall.
But in honour of Tom Shepherd and his contributions to the Riders over the years, I'm going to start my very own $100,000 Rider Prophet Lottery. Just send me $100, and I'll send you a ticket. "I have a feeling that someone reading right now will win a major prize!"
In: Jamal Robertson (re-signed), Jeremy Burnett, Kevin Garrett (free agents)
Eric Tillman has signed another running back with an impressive resume. Robertson was named NFL Europe's offensive MVP in 2002 and also spent time in the NFL with San Francisco and Carolina returning kicks. The combination of Robertson and Quentin Griffin has people pretty excited about our running back situation this year. I, however, will reserve my judgment until training camp. Let's not forget that last year we brought in 2 highly touted running backs by the name of Childs and Russell and we all know how that turned out.
In: Rob Pikula (trade with BC)
Pikula is being passed around like a doobie at a rock concert. For those of you keeping score at home this is now Pikula's 4th team in 2 years. At this rate, he'll have made the complete league circuit and be back in BC before the Olympic Torch.
Out: Derrell "Mookie" Mitchell (released)
And that should be the last of them... It seems as though the Argos have completed their purge of over-the-hill veterans that were rejected by other teams. This may signal a change in philosophies in Toronto. Instead of trying to improve their offense by signing rejected veterans such as Mitchell, Davis, Edwards and Boerigter, they appear to be trying to improve their offense by trading for players with a history of being injured such as Hoffart, Ebell, Acree and Joseph. Only time will tell if this shift in philosophies will work out.
In: Wally Buono, LaVar Glover (contracts extended)
Ol' Squinty will remain a fixture on the BC sideline until at least 2010. This extension was kind of a no-brainer for the Lions as the team has been among the league's most successful since Buono arrived in 2003. In that time he's given BC fans: 5 winning seasons, 2 Grey Cup appearances, 1 Grey Cup win, 2 Most Outstanding Players, 2 separate QB controversies and an offensive line that is currently competing with the Philadelphia Flyers for the right to be called the dirtiest group of athletes in sports.
Word is the Alouette's are interested in signing former Rider Corey Holmes, there's just one problem... they can't get ahold of him. Holmes apparently hasn't returned any of their calls. This has lead to a great deal of speculation as to his whereabouts. Some people are even speculating that foul play might be involved. Yeah, because that's the most likely explanation... Let's ignore the likely possibility that Corey's just on vacation and away from his phone. Or the even more likely possibility that Corey has call display and enough common sense not to answer a call from "J Popp".