I’m back. Sorry for essentially taking the month of March (or as I am petitioning it to be renamed Lousy Smarch) off. I decided to try and hold out for more money… which doesn’t work so well when you are your own employer. Anyway, I’m back and let’s get caught up on what’s happening.
Jamal Campbell is a big time signing. The Argos, in their infinite wisdom, decided that spending on an aging Andrew Harris was a priority over a 28 year old starting Canadian OL. Their questionable decision making is our win as we not only scooped up a solid player but also got him cheaper than he would normally go for. Brett Boyko was employed purely because he happened to play tackle and happened to be Canadian. Jamal Campbell is actually good at the playing part, his passport is a bonus not the only redeeming quality. With Vaughn, Na’ty Rogers and Campbell we are looking to have an actually competition at training camp and possibly some depth… as opposed to that garbage the fans, and Fajardo, were forced to endure.
Speaking of Fajardo. I recently discovered that he blocked me on Twitter. Not really sure when that happened, and definitely not sure why. I like Fajardo and have certainly not been hating on him… and I’m a guy who doesn’t shy away from hating on people. Had this been Dan Clark, Brett Boyko, Jon Ryan, etc... I’d completely understand. Kinda like the time I made a joke about Luca Congi being pro-cancer and his girlfriend ripped me a new one. Cause and effect, I understood that one. But for whatever reason, Fajardo has blocked me (maybe he doesn’t like my “I have a Fajardon” t-shirts?). I find it amusing, though would like to know what my transgression was.
Most of this past month has been spent rehashing the 3 vs. 4 down conversation. Which is stupid and I’m not wading into it. Lots of potential rule changes are also being chatted about. Refs riding trained ostriches still doesn’t get the traction is deserves as a suggestion.
Any conversation about rules needs to be rooted in this principle: encourage/incentivize exciting plays and discourage/disincentivize boring plays. Best example of this was the tweak to converts to encourage going for 2 (more exciting play) and discourage settling for 1 (boring play). The one that tops my list of suggested tweaks has to do with punting. Simply put any punt that does not land in the field of play should be a penalty. A while back they added the penalty for it going out between the 20’s (which was a good start) but it needs to go farther. Even though directional punting has been an endangered species in Saskatchewan for the last couple years, I still respect the skill of the actual good punters who can coffin corner. But Richie Leone just punting it straight out of bounds without even trying to have it land in bounds is a super boring play. Not to mention that its counter to all football logic that being in bounds just doesn’t matter in that situation. Land 6 inches in bounds and bounce out? Great play. Not land in bounds at all, even if it “goes out” past the 20? Should be penalized.
Tied to that, while I am a diehard fan and lifelong supporter of the rouge. I would be in favour of a minor tweak to that rule in the interest of not rewarding boring plays. Simply expand the rule on kickoffs, to punts and FG. The ball must be downed in the endzone to get the single point. If it goes straight out of bounds, no point. Still keeps the best part of the rouge (encouraging returns, plus the extremely Canadian punt it back and forth out of the endzone to end a close game play) while still not incentivizing boring plays.
I would also make challenges illegal in the following 2 scenarios: preseason games and in the final 8 minutes of any game where a team leads by 3 scores or more. The penalty would not be yards, but the opposing QB would get to throw a football at the groin of the offending coach as hard as he can from close distance.