In that dreaded lull in March between free agency and the draft it’s rare to get a week where something notable happens in the CFL. This week we were treated to all kinds newsworthy events from schedules to tampering to Grey Cup locations. Normally I would be leery of using up all my potential material on a Friday and leaving nothing for Monday, but in an extremely rare burst of effort I have already come up with my concept for Monday’s post. After solving the league’s scheduling problem last Monday, I will be using this Monday’s post to solve the sponsorship problem resulting from Rona and Scotiabank dropping out. You won’t want to miss it.
Let’s get into this week’s news.
Tuesday the schedule was finally released allowing football fans across the nation to plan out schedules with respect to vacations, drinking and days where they won’t be making it into work. Overall the schedule is vast improvement over the crap we were subjugated to last year. We actually get some night games! I would of course prefer more but thanks to the fact that ratings for Rider games are high regardless of timeslots, they are reluctant to waste too many prime TV slots on us. We are a victim of our own success and have to take what we can get.
It’s no coincidence that the bulk of our home games come after Labour Day. The expanded Grey Cup seating will be in by then so this is the team’s way of maximizing $$$.
I honestly can’t wait for the Friday home opener against the much hated Stamps… the intensity, noise and my blood alcohol level will be off the charts!
This week the CFL handed down a $10,000 fine on the Eskimos for tampering with Odell Willis. Let’s just call a spade a spade here, the Esks didn’t get fined because they tampered… every team tampers. The Esks got fined because they were dumb asses. While I bet other teams spoke to free agents before the free agency period open and may have even had deals in place, none of them were stupid enough to send out a press release announcing the signing complete with quotes from the coach on the signing 4 minutes after free agency opened. For goodness sake Hervey, wait 30 minutes at least! Short of getting on a megaphone and yelling “Tampering! We’re tampering over here!” it’s pretty tough to get caught. Yet Hervey managed to find a way.
The only way this could get more entertaining from my perspective is if Odell gets arrested for DUI again and the Esks end up paying $10K to tamper with a guy they can’t even get across the border.
BC Grey Cup
Word is BC will be getting the 2014 Grey Cup. This created a small uproar amongst some folks as BC just hosted the event 2 years ago. Not to mention the fact that David Braley’s other team just hosted last year, meaning he will get to host 3 cups in 4 years. Personally I could care less. Fact is BC has a newly renovated domed stadium which rightfully should get priority as a host for the championship game. Also when a guy owns 25% of the league and has 2 domed stadium a his disposal he’s going to get preferential treatment. NFL does this all the time. Almost half of the Super Bowls have been played in Miami or New Orleans because they are the prime locations.
Besides who else was going to host it?!? Hamilton is due for one but their stadium is currently a pile of ruble (plus Dave Naylor reports that Hamilton’s turn in the GC rotation was ’11 but their stadium was too crappy so BC took their place). Winnipeg is due for one but the league wants to make sure the new stadium can actually withstand a season without collapsing before awarding them a GC. Ottawa will get one once they have a team and a stadium. All the west teams have hosted one recently. So the only other real option was Montreal… and BC has a nicer stadium and a more powerful owner.
O’Sullivan & Moss Gone
One last bit of Rider news for you today, the Riders have released JT O’Sullivan and Sinorice Moss. Moss I could care less about. Despite his NFL-hype he failed to impress when given a chance.
As for O’Sullivan, personally that makes sense to me. I never really liked the idea of using a roster spot on a 30 year old QB who had never played CFL ball… though I did get the logic of wanting a veteran presence in case Durant went down (plus he wasn’t Ryan Dinwiddie so that was a plus). At least O’Sullivan knew his role (as evidenced by his adopting the #0) and seemed like a decent team guy. I’m still not entirely unconvinced that JT’s signing here wasn’t just part of his life plan to collect as many different O’Sullivan jerseys as possible (that’s 13 and counting now).
But now that Willy and Brown each have a year in the league (and Willy even got some meaningful action… #PotentialWillyHeadline) we have no need for O’Sullivan short of admiring his last season moustache. I assume this means Willy and Brown will be battling it out for #2 with a brand new 4th QB being brought in for an audition.