Saturday, November 25, 2006

So where do the real football fans live?

Two images of a kick off today, at roughly the same time, from opposite ends of a continent.

From Tallahassee, Florida, USA -- Florida v/s Florida State, sunshine and a game time temperature of around 75 above.

From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada -- Laval v/s Saskatchewan, sunshine and a game time temperature of -20 below.

You have to like any game that starts off with the announcement, ladies and gentleman please remove your toques and join in on the singing of our national anthem. A toque for those not familiar with the term, is a form of headgear that you wear to keep your cranium nice and warm for extended periods in the cold. There were not many toques (let alone parkas) spotted in Florida on this day.

In Saskatoon today, 13,000 football fans sat from start to finish to watch the battle for Canada’s college football championship. That number may seem small compared to the huge crowds of US college football, but with sustained temperatures of -20 one can safely say that the football fans of Saskatchewan are crazy about football, or maybe just crazy.

There is no doubt that Florida and many other places in the USA have some great football fans. But for today when you’re looking for real football fans, look no further than Saskatoon and 13,000 fellow travellers of the Canadian college game.

Frigid Football finale on the frozen field

If you want to look for the most successful college football program in the country look no further than Quebec City, in less than ten years of existence the Laval Univerity Rouge et Or of the CIS have won the Vanier Cup four times. They have spurred a remarkable growth in the sport in the Province and stand as a source of pride for their school and province.

The now a four time winners of the Vanier Cup, survived the frozen elements of the prairies to defeat the Saskatchewan Huskies 13-8 in their own ball yard. The low scoring game was indicative of the defensive nature of a game played in -20 temperatures. It was Laval's third Vanier Cup in four years, no doubt giving them lasting standing as a Canadian college football dynasty.

While both teams would tempt the fates with occasional flares offence with pass throwing ingenuity, using short dump patterns and longer treks down the sidelines. But on a day such as this it’s the running game that can dictate the play; the boys from Laval controlled the explosive Husky running game all day long, holding back the tide until the late stages of the fourth quarter. On the day it was the Laval defence that set up the time for the offence to win this one.

Saskatchewan made a game of it with a remarkable toss down field that set up their only touchdown of the game, but as things would end up it was a case of just a bit too little, a bit too late. The Huskies a most successful program in their own right, once again go home disappointed from the National Championship, a game they have been a partner in quite a bit in the last five years.

But give Laval full credit for their latest Vanier Cup, they lost on that same field last year in the semi finals, so to return to Saskatoon and take the Cup back to Quebec speaks volumes about their dedication to their game plan.

The game featured all the trappings of a Grey Cup, from the anthem singing; to the Snowbirds fly past and the trophy presentations at the end of the game.

This year it was a sweep for the winning team as players from the Rouge et Or took home the post game trophies in both categories and hoisted the Vanier Cup.

Ted Morris Trophy Player of the Game went to Eric Maranda

Bruce Coulter Trophy - Offensive Player of the Game went to Samuel Gregoire-Champagne

The folks in Saskatoon put on a remarkable week for the players and filled the stadium to capacity on a rather frigid afternoon, proving once again that some of the best football fans live in Saskatchewan. This year however, the best football team for college football comes from Quebec City, the Rouge et Or.

One more game for fans of the three down game

There's one more date on the football calendar for fans of the Canadian version of football. Saturday afternoon Saskatoon hosts the Vanier Cup, Canada's college football championship.

This year's match up on the frozen plains of Saskatchewan features a Quebec powerhouse the Laval Rouge et Or, and the hometown University of Saskatchewan Huskies, who will be spurred on by the vast majority of the sold out crowd of 13,000. The two teams renew a rivalry that has been one of the more entertaining in recent CIS years. This marks their second match up with Laval having won the cup back in 2004 by a score of 7-1.

Since 1990 Saskatchewan has played in seven Vanier Cups winning three with Laval, while the Rouge et Or have played in three winning all three. Saskatoon returns to the Championship for the third time in a row, hoping that indeed three is the charm.

It marks the first time that the Canadian college championship has been held outside of Southern Ontario, a bid to take the game to other parts of Canada where the game is growing. No better location could be found than Saskatoon, though they probably were hoping for a warm westerly breeze or two instead of the Arctic front that has cruised south.

The cold temps should have an impact on the game perhaps making it more of a running affair than an aerial show. If that's the case look for Saskatoon to prevail by games end, this season the Huskies found great success with the running game, carrying that threat into the playoffs where they have run up a total of 800 yards in three games.

The college season celebrated its year of excellence this week with the awarding of the Hec Crighton award, which goes to the top college football player in the CIS, this years recipient was Daryl Stephenson of the University of Windsor Lancers, the first Lancer to win the trophy in 27 years.

Other award winners announced last night were Concordia middle linebacker Patrick Donovan, who was selected the nation's best defensive player for the second time.. The Waterloo Warriors celebrated achievement with tackle Chris Best, who was picked as the outstanding down lineman and from the University of Calgary quarterback Dalin Tollestrup, was named rookie of the year.

While the folks in Saskatoon huddle in the stands to keep warm, the rest of the country can settle into their LazyBoys and watch the match on television, The Score is giving the game the big time presentation, including HD coverage, a virtual yellow first down marker and a pre and post game program game time is 2pm ET (11am) PT for the pre game, with kick off at 3 pm ET, Noon Pacific. For those not near a TV, the game is being webcast by The Score through the universitysport link here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Signed on the dotted line

With the Grey Cup handed out to the BC Lions, the CFL season comes to an end on the fields of the leagues eight (and occasionally nine) teams. Now the action turns to the inner rooms of the stadiums, the GM's and coaches offices where the blue prints for 2007 are being put together.

Below are some of the signings post Grey Cup, that set the stage for training camp in May 2007.

November 27 Eskimos sign Braidwood and Brown
November 22 Argos re-sign five
November 22 Esks ink pivot LeFors
November 20 Lions trying to keep team intact
November 20 They're in the money
November 20 Stamps bring back Boerigter
November 20 Stamps to make a great catch
November 20 Alouettes sign 22 players
November 16 Bombers try to beat the cap

The answer is...

Kelly Bates... that will be the answer to the question, which CFL player broke the historic Grey Cup trophy in half during a post game celebration.

Bates, who is apparently a serial offender when it comes to championship hardware (he once broke the Junior football trophy while in Saskatchewan) picked up the trophy and before he knew it was holding bookends of Lord Grey's Chalice.

The trophy which dates back to 1909, is comprised of the Bowl portion and the base with the names of the winning team dating back the previous 93 years with the Lions soon to join the exclusive club.

Perhaps it was appropriate that Bate's decided to divvy up the Cup, the Defense was more than worthy of their own trophy after the way they handled the Montreal Alouettes and the offense while not dominant racked up the yardage when it counted.

In fact if Bates were so inclined perhaps he should have shaken it a bit harder, distributing thirds of a trophy, considering his success on Sunday, Lions kicker Paul McCallum probably deserved a hunk of the historic bowl all to himself.

The Cup was returned to its complete self before the Lions departed for Vancouver and a celebration Tuesday at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Ben Klumper of Winnipeg becomes the second part of our trivia quest for the 94th Grey Cup, Klumper was the man who put the Grey Cup back together again.

Somehow we think that there's an Order of Canada waiting for Mr. Klumper for services rendered to the country!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It was more of a growl than a roar, but still just as effective.

The 94th Grey Cup Championship won’t go down as one of those “where were you when moments”, providing as it did a rather routine workday kind of game, as opposed to the back and forth classics of days gone by.

But that perhaps should not have been unexpected. The B. C. Lions claimed the title to Lord Grey’s Bowl for 2006, based on a well put together game plan that moved the ball for the entire first half and a portion of the second. For the Lions the game went off like a well run practice, the receivers ran their routes, the runners ran the ball, the defensive players marked their assignments and the kicker kicked the ball, and the kicked the ball and kicked the ball.

The Lions Paul McCallum accounted for eighteen of the Lions points (and provided the Als with four of theirs) on the way to a 25-14 victory in front of a sold out Canad Inn stadium in Winnipeg. McCallum’s efforts on the day tied a CFL record for most field goals in a championship game and purged the manure toting ghosts of Saskatchewan once and for all.

The scoring spree of McCallum probably is a testimony to the dedication of the Alouette defence, which while obviously giving up yardage and field goals, held the Lions out of the endzone for most of the game, allowing only one major during the game, keeping the Als within striking distance right through until the bitter end of the national championship.

Dave Dickenson amassed some respectable statistics during the course of the game, did a fairly solid job of ball control and took a few hits on the noggin for the team, leading them on to Grey Cup victory, his understudies Buck Pierce and Jarious Jackson both saw a bit of action in different situations, Pierce setting up Ian Smart with a handoff that resulted in the only Lion major of the day.

While the high octane heroics of the Dickenson to Simon combination were limited, the Lion QB made good use of the other receivers on the squad as Paris Jackson, Jason Clermont and Ryan Thelwell were frequent recipients of Dickenson tosses, gaining the six and seven yards at a time that ate up the clock and the Alouettes chances.

Defensively the Lions were as solid as ever, the front four provided frequent pressure on Anthony Calvillo to make him rush his throws, the linebackers and secondary were equal to the task of breaking up any threat that seemed to come their way.

The puzzling aspect of the game was the Alouettes first half, Calvillo had difficulties in the first thirty minutes with passes that were too low, came up too short or were just plain dropped by normally reliable receivers. Only Ben Cahoon seemed to be in tune with the Als plan of attack and once the Lions keyed on him that option would become limited. The first thirty minutes saw limited use of Robert Edwards the Als running back who had a break out year, the lack of touches of the ball by Edwards took away an important aspect of the game for Montreal and made things a lot easier on the Lions who could concentrate on the pass rush and pass defence.

The third quarter was a bit of a turning point for the Als, they dominated the bulk of the play in the third fifteen minute frame, rattling off first downs and taking charge offensively having partially solving the Lions defence, when the Als forced a Dave Dickenson fumble in the third, the stirrings of a comeback were in the wind. A quick whistle denied the Als a defensive touchdown on that play and had that play been allowed, who knows how the game might have developed, as it turned out the Als would capitalize on field position shortly after that and pulled to within seven points of the Lions by three quarter time 19-12.

In the fourth the Lions had the chance to put the game away for good with two separate opportunities in the Als end, both ending with Paul McCallum trotting onto the field to kick a field goal. The Als were still alive, all be it barely, but all hope would be extinguished when Edwards would fumble the ball on the Lions one yard line, Otis Floyd recovered the ball turning the game over to the Lions for good.

With the balance of the game at stake it’s puzzling that Als coach Jim Popp did not challenge the officials call, replays on CBC seemed to show that Edwards knee had hit the ground before the ball had popped out. The challenge would have possibly over turned the decision on the field and left the Als still in the game, the word from high in the Als booth was that it was a fumble so the flag didn’t fly. An official review might have had a different outcome with more than just that play, an Alouette TD at that point might have rocked the Lions a bit, it was an opportunity missed, one of many for both teams that seemed to dominate the game.

In the end, the team that deserved to win based on the play of the season won the championship; the Lions were the dominant team all season long. They show that form on defence for most of the game and showed flashes of it on the offence during portions as well.

Dave Dickenson was given the nod as the Most Valuable Player while Paul McCallum was selected as the Canadian Player of the game for his finishing touches on those Lion drives. I’m not sure exactly how the media selectors picked Dickenson as the Outstanding player, he had a decent game but wasn’t the dominant player on the field, the fact that McCallum factored into so much of the play, from field goals, to outstanding punts and safeties, suggests that perhaps he should have been a double winner on this Grey Cup Sunday. Perhaps the theory that it was the guy that gained the field position for McCallum was the deserving candidate and McCallum merely benefited from Dickensons work.But that’s what makes these games so worthwhile, the endless debates that can rage on long after the Cup is handed out and the teams head for home.

When the history books of the CFL are looked over some twenty years from now though, the only statistic and bit of information that matters will be BC Lions 25, Montreal Alouettes 14.

It’s what the players and fans will remember the most. The game itself won’t be remembered as a clash of the titans, but instead as a hard nosed workmanlike contest, much like the way the Lions played through the season.

Not every Grey Cup can be a barnburner, sometimes you just have to get on with the chores, the Lions did just that and for their troubles they are bringing the Grey Cup West. A much deserved reward for a well prepared and hard working team.

The Grey Cup

November 19 British Columbia 25, Montreal 14

The BC Lions win the 94th Grey Cup

The Prediction!

We join the chorus on this Grey Cup Sunday, from the Globe and Mail's trio of Brunt, Maki and Naylor to the dean of the Edmonton media Terry Jones and everyone in between, the Grey Cup should be heading west by Monday morning.

While Montreal has been a succesful organization and top flight football team for the last decade, this Lions team for 2006 is the ultimate CFL machine. There's no weakness to be found on this squad, from a Dave Dickenson at the top of his game, to the remarkable Geroy Simon and his fellow corps of receivers and an ordinary Joe that does nothing ordinary with a running game, offensively these Lions have all the weapons. The offensive line has a mission this Grey Cup Sunday, keep Dave Dickenson in the game, they'll be on the job and keeping the faith with the promise.

Defensively you enter their turf at your peril, from the front line and the linebackers to some of the best DB's in the league, opposition teams this year learned a hard truth, there's no easy way to the Lions end zone.

Wally Buono is the template for success when it comes to coaching, his credentials from his days in Calgary, through to his time in Vancouver spell out one of the best football minds the CFL has seen.

This Lions squad has been the showcase team of his time in BC, they have bought into his proram and stand poised to reach that ultimate prize. They offer up a true team effort, all for one, one for all as they say.

While Montreal will put up a good fight, Anthony Calvillo wouldn't have it any other way, you can't help but think this has to be the year of the Lion. They were simply the class of the league this 2006 season, they not only deserve to be the Grey Cup Champions they will work hard til the last whistle to reach that goal.

BC 35, Montreal 24

Dave Dickenson is your MVP
Brent Johnson is your Best Canadian

David Braley gets his reward for his work with the Lions (and perhaps keeping the CFL alive all these years)

Enjoy the game!

Bring on the party, bring on the game

It’s perhaps the most nationalistic day this country ever celebrates; perhaps dare we say it even more so than Canada Day. What other day will find millions of Canadians gathered in bars, rec rooms, living rooms and this year in a stadium in Winnipeg all ready to celebrate a game with such a colourful history.

It’s Grey Cup Sunday, one of the best days on the calendar. The most unifying factor in the country and there’s not a government grant in sight. It’s pure grass roots Canadianna, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, from the largest of cities to the smallest of towns, Grey Cup Sunday is perhaps the symbol of all that is great about this country.

From the roar of the CF 18’s before the anthem, to player introductions and the half time show through to the sight of the Red Serge wearing Mounties carrying Lord Grey’s Holy Grail of Canadian football, the day is steeped in memories of the past and anticipation of yet another exciting chapter to be written.

Over the years the Grey Cup has lived up to its billing as perhaps the most exciting of championship matches, the uniqueness of the rules, the whims of Mother Nature all combine in some years to provide some wild finishes, leaving the viewer gasping at the end of sixty minutes or more.

By far, the Grey Cup is the people’s championship, nowhere near as corporate as the Super Bowl, nor as pretentious as the World Series or NBA championships. With Canadian teams an infrequent participant in the Stanley Cup, Canadians can only watch that championship from far away with a wistful feeling of times that once were.

Not so with the Grey Cup, we become not only participants but business partners in late November. This game is not owned by the league, nor the teams owners, it’s in the custody of the fan, those that follow their teams with devotion from training camp and the Johnny come latelies that arrive in time for the semi final and divisional finals.

From the fan friendly events of Grey Cup week, to the hospitality rooms hosted by any number of diverse groups all brought together to celebrate a uniquely Canadian institution. Parades, award shows and parties they all serve as the background to the celebration.

Talk of future expansion or past franchise woes is left for other times; Grey Cup Sunday is about the survival of the fittest, the two teams that had the best plan, the best execution and the best determination.

Sunday is all about the football. The pre game show takes up to three hours to set the scene, but as soon as that ball gets kicked off it’s always about the game. The fans in the stands are there for the football, not the business deals, while the fans at home sit back and wish they could join those in the stadium.

The two teams this year were probably the ones expected to be here this final game of the year. The Lions by far the dominant team of the CFL this year, the Alouettes a favourite who stumbled at mid season and have recovered to come back for yet another shot at the title.

For the players today is what all the training camps and regular season games were all about, eight teams set out for the chance, but only two get to go to the dance. Today is their day, the winners take the much desired prize, the losers the unwanted hurt. The fans keep the memories.

Tee the ball up and let’s play some football. It’s Grey Cup Sunday, may it never change!

Tom Wright’s final shift

CFL Commissioner Tom Wright will hand off his final Grey Cup sometime Sunday evening in the cold Winnipeg air. His last public function as guardian of the Canadian Football League, a four year journey that has seen him go from the highs to some of the lows of a rather eccentric fraternity.

Wright is being pushed out the door, though one wonders how a league with only eight team’s forces their figurehead to leave based on the word of two of the eight. But that’s a debate for another day, a debate that no doubt could make use of any number of psychologists to try and figure out the neurotic tendencies of Canada’s professional football owners.

Wright’s two main detractors ironically are the two owners competing for the Grey Cup, British Columbia Lions owner David Braley and Montreal Alouette’s owner Bob Wetenhall, neither it seems had been particularly in favor of Wright’s hiring in the first place and certainly never changed their opinions over the four years.

While he’s had his successes, Wright has seen a few failures as well, most noticeably the disappearance of the Ottawa Renegades from the CFL scene as this season was about to begin. It most likely is the one event that sealed his fate, he having let the situation deteriorate over the off season to the point of hopelessness.

As he leaves office, the situation is yet to be resolved, as the front runner to purchase the dormant franchise bowed out due to health concerns, another potential investor was turned down by the league, which leaves only the third option, that of an American group of investors as the only solid choice and they aren’t exacting moving at a fast pace.

Still, putting aside the Ottawa disappointment, for the most part Wright did a fairly good job with the CFL, the league hasn’t been this popular in years, for the most part the remaining eight teams are in the best financial shape they have been in for years and the television ratings on both the CBC and TSN continue to make the CFL a popular brand and strong presence on the television sets of the nation.

The solid salary cap is still a goal, but it seems to have been a floating option of late teams hiding salaries and padding the figures a tad.

A drug policy is still lacking in a league that seems to want to have a see no evil, hear no evil policy, though to be fair, for the most part CFL players don’t seem to be sufficiently reimbursed to be buying any large amounts of pharmaceuticals, whether legitimate or illegal.

When you consider the laundry list of those that have come before him, surviving four years in the cut throat executive office could be a badge of honour. There is always one or two owners unhappy with the direction of the league, wanting to push their agenda at the expense of the whole.

Wright’s problem was that the two most successful of the owners, are the two that felt he was going in the wrong direction. Success breeds power and as they say power is meant to be used from time to time.

The league is said to have a fairly healthy list of those looking to take on the challenge, apparently people of strong backbone and tough skin, for this is a job that seems to come with no shortage of landmines and little in the way of public thanks.

As he leaves the office, Wright can take with him the knowledge that the league is in a far better shape than it was as the nineties were coming to a close, his four years at the helm while not the reaching the accomplishments of a Jake Gaudaur, certainly didn’t resemble the gong show days of Donald Crump. To his credit, Wright never once complained about his lot, never pointed fingers and always acted with the highest of professionalism.

He learned a lot about his country over his four years, has been a tireless booster of the game and leaves office with the league in pretty good shape, even if some (well two anyways) suggest he had little to do with that achievement.

In the running of the CFL, it’s a good day when the news stories feature football and not financial statements, for the bulk of his four years at the helm; it’s been the football we remember, that in itself is something for him to take with him as he hands off that final Grey Cup on Sunday.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It’s no Fluke that Flutie was picked number one!

The TSN Top Fifty was released on Friday in a well presented ceremony in the Grey Cup city, a testimony to some of the finest players to ever pull on the pads in the modern era of Canada’s long time passion.

From Jackson to Lancaster, Reed to Parker and many, many before and after, it was like a live action history book as the elder statesmen took one more bow and the younger guns tested out the waters of potential legend making.

And the voters’ pretty well got it right with their pick for number one, while he’s brash and self confident, traits that Canadians don’t seem to take to at times, Doug Flutie was still the best choice for number one. He redefined the game while he played it in Canada, rewrote a number of record books and had he played an entire career in the league one just wonders what he would have done with all the extra awards he would have carted across the border when he went home.

When Doug Flutie arrived on the CFL scene it was as if he’d been given a blue print of a league just right for his skills. A passing game that featured a huge acreage to play on, it seemed just the thing for the Heisman Trophy winner best known for the Hail Mary pass of Boston College.

With previous stops in the USFL and the NFL behind him, Flutie began his journey in the Canadian game in BC in 1990, part of the stable of colourful personalities of the Murray Pezim days. During his CFL career Flutie would have only one losing year, it would be that first one in BC, from then on it was no looking back for Flutie as he put the exclamation point of excitement in the CFL through the nineties.

His next stop would be in Calgary, a by product of the wild days of Larry Ryckman’s wallet and a run and gun offence that made Allen Pitts the object of much attention by CFL Defensive backs. The Flutie years in Calgary resulted in Grey Cup success as the Stamps brought home Lord Grey’s cup in 1992, named the Games MVP it was in that game that Flutie began to put his stamp on the league, leaving a permanent impression on it that lasts to this day.

Before long he would end up in Toronto, a city that was primed for his arrival and benefited greatly from his learning curve of the previous years, Flutie delivered two Grey Cups to the nation’s largest city, in 1996 and 1997.

His career in the CFL is a litany of achievement, numerous passing records, six outstanding player wards and three Grey Cup MVP awards. It all made for a statement of excellence and a template for many of today’s Quarterbacks to study from.

Any game with Doug Flutie at the controls would be a festival of football talent, ordinary players would shine, the greats would be highlighted even more, defenses rose to the occasion desperate to stop him, his team mates equal to the task would do whatever it would take to help him succeed. In short, he made a great game, that much greater when ever he took to the field.

Fluties career spanned three decades, in three different leagues. A legend in the States from his college days, he would go on to even more success in the NFL. But its his CFL days that seem to stick with him the most, he frequently points to his time in the CFL as the best times he has had in football, a sentiment that many CFL fans might say is reciprocated from their perspective.

A lot of times in these types of polls, the right person gets overlooked. Not this time, while it would no doubt be a hard choice to make going over the years, you can’t argue with the numbers, Flutie had them on the field, on the score board and as it turned out at the ballot box.

The committee did their due diligence and in the end they got it right! The list reads like the who's who of Canadian football, each name will bring back a memory of some great talent and some great moments in this three down game we call our own. It was a job well done!

View the Top Fifty list here.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Men of the Mountains dominate Awards

It was BC night at the Rogers CFL Awards on Thursday night, as the BC Lions collectively won all but one award on the night. An impressive display of domination of the awards show not seen for quite a while.

Broadcast live (and extremely well done) on TSN and hosted by the always smooth Brian Williams, the night quickly became the Lions review!

Of the Leos who collected trophies on Thursday, Geroy Simon was key to the night. The Lions receiver who had an amazing year for Vancouver this season made three trips to the podium to collect his hardware.

Simon was recognized as the Outstanding Player in the CFL for 2006, a most deserved bit of recognition for his efforts in Vancouver this year, with a contract extension until 2009, there's every chance they may have to rename the award the Geroy Simon award by the time 2010 rolls around.

Simon also found himself as the people's favourite, winner of the Rogers People's choice award as voted on by football fans across the country. To begin his trek to the podium on Thursday, Simon was called up on stage to receive the award as outstanding player in the West

The other national double winner for the Lions on Thursday was Brent Johnson, the most impressive Defensive End to come along in the CFL for a number of a years. Johnson who controls a game from his perch on the Leos D line was honoured as Best Defensive Player of the year and Best Canadian of the Year, a testimony to his formative football years in Kingston Ontario.

On the other side of the line, Rob Murphy picked up the award for Outstanding Offensive Lineman for his work in protecting the hides of Dave Dickenson, Buck Pierce, Jarious Jackson and Joe Smith to name a few that wander around behind the Lions line.

The Rookie of the Year award belonged to Aaron Hunt, the rookie Defensive Lineman for the Lions who made Dave Ritchies' life a lot easier in those defensive meetings, Hunt has quickly grasped the nuances of the Canadian game and added great skill to an already impressive looking Leos D line.

The Lions even collected an award for off field activities, as Mark Washington received the Tom Pate award for his contribution to the community. Washington is heavily involved in working with youth in Vancouver and was a worthy if reluctant recipient of the award.

The only national award that the Lions didn't get their paws on was the Special Teams award which went to the Stampeders Sandro DeAngelis, who should have been offered status as an honourary Lion just for the sake of continuity.

Charles Roberts was awarded the Terry Evanshen award for his outstanding play in the Eastern Division this season.

Eight awards over the night, seven of them bound for British Columbia. But, for the Lions there is but one more award that has yet to be handed out, and that one they'll get to work on at 5 pm Manitoba time on Sunday.

Only the Montreal Alouettes stand in the way of the Lions and the Big One, the Grey Cup. Th re's room in the duffel bags for one more trophy and like an American Express card, the Lions won't want to leave Manitoba without it!

View the list of The Winners here!

Off line at the worst time

Blecch, our local internet service went out last night at 11:30 and didn't return until about 1 pm today, so obviously we're a tad behind now in our Grey Cup coverage.

We'll try and get things back up to speed as we get a chance, but we really wish we had a few of those hours back from last night...

Bear with us as we try to get our material from head to web...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

And the Award goes to……

Its Awards night at the CFL, Thursday night will see the CFL celebrate excellence in six categories as the league recognizes the best of each team’s best. They used to be known as the Schenley Awards back in the day of Jackson and Lancaster, and as the CFL went through its pains changed sponsors from time to time.

This year’s event will be known as the Rogers CFL Awards, though the fact that they are being televised nationally on TSN seems to mean they drop the Rogers from time to time.

The tuxedo parade gets underway at Winnipeg’s Centennial Concert Hall at 9:30 pm EDT, 8:30 CDT and 6:30 PDT.

And the nominees (and our choices for winners) are:


Ben Cahoon-Montreal
Arland Bruce III-Toronto
Tay Cody-Hamilton
Charles Roberts-Winnipeg
Kenton Keith-Saskatchewan
Joffrey Reynolds-Calgary
Rickey Ray-Edmonton
Geroy Simon-British Columbia

***Geroy in a walk, by far the best player in the league this year


Ben Cahoon-Montreal
Kevin Eiben-Toronto
Rob Hitchcock-Hamilton
Doug Brown-Winnipeg
Scott Schultz-Saskatchewan
Sandro DeAngelis-Calgary
Dan Comiskey-Edmonton
Brent Johnson-British Columbia

***In any other year this would probably be Ben Cahoon’s trophy, but this year it belongs to Brent Jonhson who has dominated the game like few others this year.


Anwar Stewart-Montreal
Byron Parker-Toronto
Ray Cody-Hamilton
Barrin Simpson-Winnipeg
Fred Perry-Saskatchewan
Brian Clark-Calgary
Robert Brown-Edmonton
Brent Johnson-British Columbia

*** A double win for Johnson, he led the Leos defensive corps this year and will be full value for an award as most outstanding Defensive player.


Scott Flory-Montreal
Jude St. John-Toronto
George Hudson-Hamilton
Ibrahim Khan-Winnipeg
Jeremy O’Day-Saskatchewan
Jay McNeil-Calgary
Joe McGrath- Edmonton
Rob Murphy-British Columbia

***Considering the dominance of the Lions in the regular season this year, it’s hard to bet against Murphy taking the stage to accept an award.


Etienne Boulay-Montreal
Raymond Fontaine-Toronto
Lawrence Gordon-Hamilton
Arjel Franklin-Winnipeg
Luca Congi-Saskatchewan
J. R. Ruffin-Calgary
Adam Braidwood-Edmonton
Aaron Hunt-British Columbia

***Boulay’s star seems to be rising in Montreal, a good sign for someone just starting to make his mark in the game. Good enough to be an award winner too.


Avon Cobourne-Montreal
Noel Prefontaine-Toronto
Rob Hitchcock-Hamilton
Albert Johnson III-Winnipeg
Luca Congi-Saskatchewan
Sandro DeAngelis-Calgary
Mike Maurer-Edmonton
Paul McCallum-British Columbia

***The usual cast of suspects control the nomination list here, the kickers. However, for a change of pace we’ll go with the Alouettes and Cobourne, who spends a fair amount of his time running back those punts and kicks..

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Historically speaking, it’s best to ignore the past

The two combatants in Sunday’s National championship game won’t be looking to the history books for any incentive for the Big Game. Chris Cariou of the Winnipeg Free Press has traced the playoff times of the Leos since they arrived in the CFL back in 1954.

While they have had some pretty remarkable teams over the years, at times the Lions have stumbled when the ultimate prize was on the line, the most recent stumble coming back in 2004 with a 27-19 loss to the Toronto Argonauts. Over the course of their eight Grey Cup appearances the Lions have split appearances evenly with four wins and four losses. This makes Sunday’s match up the chance to move ahead in the won loss column.

As for the Alouettes, just facing the Lions alone is enough to keep them from any late night reading of the CFL almanac. The CBC has worked out the book on the Als and since 2002 the Lions have beaten the Alouettes eight out of nine times, the ninth game a one point loss back in 2005. To say that the Lions have had the Als number would be an understatement.

When it comes time to hand out Grey Cups the Als have been in a bit of a slump as well, the most recent occasion of the red white and blue hoisting Lord Grey’s Mug back in 2002. Since then they’ve been to two more dances but came up short each time.

No doubt both teams will be living in the now as they saying and won’t be consulting the ancient books of CFL Grey Cup history, instead focusing on the task at hand and a chance to redefine their legacies in the books of the CFL.

Historically Lions struggle in CFL's biggest game
Wed Nov 15 2006
By Chris Cariou

VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Lions are the CFL's Johnny-come-lately, but they haven't been all that Johnny-be-good.

While Vancouver has been the host city for the Western Final each of the last three seasons since Wally Buono took the reins as coach and the Lions have advanced to the Western Conference championship five out of the last eight years, the youngest of the eight CFL clubs has the worst winning playoff record of all CFL teams.

Heading into last Sunday's Western Final at B.C. Place Stadium, where the Lions beat up the Saskatchewan Roughriders 45-18 to advance to their ninth Grey Cup game, B.C. was 16-23 in 39 playoff games since they entered the league in 1954 for a CFL worst .410 winning percentage.

The Edmonton Eskimos, for example, are tops at .576 and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers second at .551, although the Lions are 4-4 in the Grey Cup appearances they have made.

So when Lions' president/CEO Bobby Ackles talks about the 94th Grey Cup game at Canad Inns Stadium being very important for the franchise, you can understand why. The club has been very strong for the past several seasons but comparatively, Vancouverites have more often suffered over the team's record.

From that 1-15 mark in the first season in 1954 under Annis Stukus, the club suffered mostly in futility until 10 years later in 1964 when they won their first Grey Cup under the likes of quarterback Joe Kapp, running back Willie Fleming and Bill Munsey, a 34-24 win over Hamilton, the team they had lost to in the championship a year earlier.

But then hard times would return again and the Lions didn't get back to the Grey Cup game until 1983, the rookie season for Don Matthews as a head coach in the CFL. B.C., with quarterback Roy Dewalt and wide receiver Mervyn Fernandez, scored a league high 477 points that season and intercepted 42 passes, but fell to Toronto in the title tilt.

Matthews though continued to build the team and posted a club record 13-3 campaign in 1985, crushing the Tiger-Cats 37-17 in the Grey Cup that year after clobbering the Bombers 42-22 in the Western Final. The Bombers returned the final in B.C.'s next Grey Cup appearance in 1988, winning 22-21.

B.C. didn't get back to the CFL's title game until 1994 under the guidance of Dave Ritchie, who would eventually become the Blue Bombers' head coach. Ritchie had helped turn around a 3-15 squad in 1992 into a 10-8 outfit in 1993. In 1994, the year the CFL expanded into the U.S., the Lions beat the Baltimore Stallions 26-23 for their third Grey Cup.

There were more lean years ahead until Steve Buratto was elevated to head coach following the departure of Doug Mohns in 2000. The Lions finished 8-10-1 but upset both Edmonton and Calgary in the western playoffs before knocking off Montreal 28-26 for their fourth Cup win, the first sub-.500 CFL team to ever do so.

Buono led the Lions to a 13-5 record in 2004 and a Grey Cup berth, but the Leos lost 27-19 to the Argos -- their most recent appearance in a Grey Cup.

Alouettes ignore past history
Last Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2006 12:22 AM ET
The Canadian Press

The Montreal Alouettes head into the Grey Cup with neither history nor statistics on their side.
But in a one-game showdown with everything on the line, the Alouettes believe none of that matters and that they can beat the favoured B.C. Lions in Sunday's Grey Cup (CBC, 5:30 p.m. p.m. ET).

"They're a great football team," Alouettes guard Scott Flory said Wednesday. "We give them all the credit in the world.

"They beat us twice this season and they're the first place team in the West and they've got a lot of talent. But we think we're a pretty good football team too.

"We're here. We're in this game and anything can happen in any given game."

Oddsmakers have the Lions as seven-point favourites, a modest figure given that B.C. had the CFL's best offence and third-best defence this season.

Montreal was middle of the pack on both sides of the ball.

And the Lions (13-5) pounded the Alouettes (10-8) both times they met: 48-13 in Montreal on Sept. 1 and 36-20 in Vancouver on Sept. 16.

"That was the regular season — the Grey Cup is a new season," insisted Alouettes general manager and head coach Jim Popp. "I think it's a 50-50 shot."

B.C. has won eight of nine games against Montreal since 2002, with Montreal's lone win a 46-44 squeaker in 2005.

The two defeats this season came during a six-game losing streak that all but erased a 7-0 start to the season.

The first setback at home was bad, but the second at B.C. Place was an embarrassment as the Lions put up a statistic the Alouettes will hear about repeatedly this week: 12 sacks on Montreal quarterbacks Anthony Calvillo and Marcus Brady.

Lions led CFL in sacks

The B.C. front four of all-stars Brent Johnson and Tyrone Williams, rookie of the year candidate Aaron Hunt and Chris Wilson had a league-leading 59 sacks this season and are one of Calvillo's top concerns.

"They're got four monsters on that defensive line that cause us a lot of problems and in order for us to be successful, we'll have to control those four guys," he said.

He said the B.C. defence is built on the front four getting a big pass rush while the rest play zone defence.

The Alouettes hope to counter by changing their blocking schemes and having Calvillo move his pocket around the backfield.

The prospect of another B.C. sack festival is "the last thing on my mind," he added.

The Alouettes say the sacks were partly due to injuries to their offensive line.

They were without tackle Dave Mudge, the CFL's outstanding lineman in 2001 who missed the first 17 games of the season with a pectoral muscle injury.

Others were playing hurt.

Now they have a veteran offensive line intact with Bryan Chiu at centre, Flory and Paul Lambert at guard and Mudge and Uzooma Okeke at tackle, with Luke Fritz moved in and out from play to play.

"Guys are back healthy and feeling good and we played some really good football these last few weeks," said Flory, a canadiate for the CFL's Most Outstanding Lineman Award.

"That's what's important."

Alouettes thrive in Winnipeg

The Alouettes also like Winnipeg's Canad Inns Stadium, where they won twice this season and where they have won on five of their last six visits.

The latest victory, a 23-20 win over the Blue Bombers on Sept. 29, marked fifth-year head coach Don Matthews' last game before he resigned due to what the team said was unspecified health concerns and which Matthews later said was stress and mental fatigue.

"We like this stadium," added Flory. "We've always had success here in Winnipeg and that is something that has to translate on the field for us on Sunday."

Popp took over as head coach and has since posted a 3-2 record, including last week's victory over Toronto in the East Division final.

The Alouettes look more relaxed since the coaching change and have cut down somewhat on the penalties and missed assignments that marked thier mid-season losing run.

The stadium was cold and windy for a two-hour workout Wednesday, Montreal's first since they landed in the Manitoba capital for their fifth Grey Cup game in seven years.

The Alouettes have taken only one championship in that time, in 2002 against the Eskimos in Edmonton.

They have lost two since then, including an overtime loss to Edmonton last year. And few will pick them to beat the Lions this time time around.

"People are going to continue to write what they will, but we didn't come out here for nothing," said Calvillo. "We're coming here expecting to win.

"B.C. is a tough team. They've won a lot of games for a good reason, because they're a solid team. But we believe we can beat them."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Grey Cup Week media frenzy

We'll highlight some of the sites put together by Canada's media as Grey Cup week progresses towards Sunday's national championship.

November 14 TSN's Grey Cup homepage
November 14 CBC's Grey Cup Archives
November 14 CBC's Road to the Grey Cup
November 14 Canoe's Grey Cup Coverage
November 14 The Globe and Mail's Grey Cup Blog

10 key qustions for the CFL

David Naylor and Stephen Brunt are two Globe and Mail columnists who follow the CFL with a fair amount of interest during the year. They have observed the machinations of the owners, the thrills and spills of the players and the impact that the game has on the fans of the nation.

So for an independent view of the state of the league, there are perhaps not many better than they to comment on the direction of the league and examine its errors of the past year and provide a preview of where the league may wish to go in the near future.

The two columnists have offered up a post mortem of sorts on the 2006 season, providing ten key questions for the CFL's eight owners to chew over during Grey Cup week. It makes for an interesting look at the game, the key participants as they focus on the road ahead for the CFL.

Quandaries for three-down football
Globe and Mail Update

November 13, 2006

By the wild and woolly standards of the Canadian Football League, this year's Grey Cup week will surely seem dead calm.

At times in the past as the grand old game prepared to award its championship mug, league commissioners were being hired and fired, ambitious expansion plans were being hatched or were collapsing, wacky club owners were plotting coups, cash calls were being made to pay the bills and tickets were being hustled in desperate attempts to fill an embarrassingly empty stadium.

On the surface, none of that will be taking place in Winnipeg. Though commissioner Tom Wright will be making his farewell address on Friday after being handed his walking papers last spring, there's no hint yet of who might replace him.

Returning a team to Ottawa, which seemed like a front-burner issue immediately after the Renegades breathed their last, is no longer such a high priority. It appears that the eight-team league will remain so, at least for the time being. And the announcement of a new television deal, one that might reshape the economics of the sport, is imminent, but isn't expected before the kickoff on Sunday.

Beyond that, no bankruptcies loom. No one is suggesting it's time to put a team in Halifax or Honolulu. No Gliebermans are being welcomed back into the fold.

But the truth is, the CFL faces a series of fundamental questions now that, in their own way, are as crucial as those that were being asked during more obvious times of crisis. Beneath the placid surface, behind Wright's winning smile, Canadian football is at a crossroads on several fronts.

The answers to these 10 queries will go a long way toward deciding its future:

1. Who's the boss? With Tom Wright's term about to end, there's no indication the league knows whom or what it wants in its next commissioner. Or, some would ask, whether they need one at all? Some see it as a purely a ceremonial position, with no real decision-making power. Others believe there's no point hiring a commissioner without giving him the power to blow up the league's business model.

2. What's the vision for the future? Over the past 15 years, the CFL has been constantly striving to become something else. There was the U.S. expansion phase and the radically Canadian notion, followed by the goal of becoming a 10-team league stretching from coast to coast. That's now a pipe dream. Montreal Alouettes owner Robert Wetenhall, for one, wants the league to expand into cities such as Rochester, N.Y., and Fargo, N.D. So what exactly does the CFL want to be?

3. What's the television horizon? The CFL is in the midst of negotiating a new television deal that many throughout the league believe will bring significantly more revenue its way. The league has been a strong property during the regular season, with its playoffs and Grey Cup anchoring its value. But with ratings down this season, what's driving this notion that the league is about to hit the television jackpot? And could it mean selling all of its advertising properties to the networks in order to drive up the overall price?

4. Wither Ottawa? The CFL announced its intention to return to Ottawa even before the smoke had cleared from last spring's collapse of the Renegades' franchise. Not everyone in the league was on board, however, then or now. Many see no point riding back into a market where teams have twice collapsed within the past decade and few fans seem to miss the game. There's one group at the table still talking about 2008. But unless the league gets a sweetheart deal, it's not going back to Ottawa any time soon.

5. Does a $4.05-million salary cap make good business sense? The CFL will debut its new salary cap next season. But in a league where most clubs continue to lose money, some wonder how that's going to change with player payrolls of more than $4-million? Just four years ago, the CFL was trying to operate with a $2.5-million cap. How it managed to increase that figure by 60 per cent in an environment with no inflationary pressure has many shaking their heads.

6. What happened to all the fun? There's no overstating how drastically the CFL's entertainment value dipped this year. The number of touchdowns was down, the number of field goals and penalties was up and big kick returns became nearly extinct. Most regular-season games varied from dull to unwatchable. The league intends to revisit the changes it made to blocking rules on returns. But it's going to have serious issues if it can't find a way to make the restore the entertainment value of its product next season.

7. What are the prospects for the 2007 Grey Cup in Toronto? It's been 14 years since the CFL last dared to stage its big show in the Big Smoke. The 1992 Grey Cup week was a disaster, which is why the league cancelled plans to stage the '93 game in Toronto and moved it to Calgary. Now, it's back — with a lot riding on its success for both the league and the Toronto Argonauts' owners, who also own rights to the 2012 Grey Cup, the 100th anniversary game. A good show would be a boon to the league's biggest market, but a flop would be a killer to a club trying to keep its off-field momentum going.

8. What's the fan backlash going to be like in Hamilton? The Hamilton Tiger-Cats created a lot of new fans when owner Bob Young took over three years ago and their attendance soared. But they've put fans through two of the most dreadful CFL campaigns in memory, 4-14 in 2006 and 5-13 in 2005. Fans were fed up this season and some were becoming cynical. How cynical will determine whether they come back next year.

9. Where are all the quarterbacks? Ten years ago, the CFL's quarterback stable looked something like this: Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia, Matt Dunigan, Damon Allen, Danny McManus, Kent Austin and David Archer. This season, just one quarterback — Ricky Ray of the Edmonton Eskimos — was nominated as his team's top player. The roster of up-and-comers doesn't get anyone excited. The CFL no longer can count on scooping up the athletic quarterbacks the National Football League used to shun. So who is going to make up the next generation of pivots?

10. Is the threat of the National Football League real? New NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has quickly proven he's not beholden to the views and ideas of his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue. Which is why the NFL might not be so opposed to one of its franchises relocating north of the border. There are those within the CFL who believe that day is coming and its best course is to make a deal with the NFL today that would protect the Canadian game's existence in the future.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Let's do the time warp again

Late Night CBC is where the passionate CFL fan will want to be all this week, as the CBC celebrates some of the great Grey Cup games of years gone by.

They started off their nightly look at those Grey Cup moments on Monday night, with the 1954 Classic between Montreal and Edmonton, which saw the Eskimos begin a trend that they would become very good at, winning a Grey Cup game. The 1954 game featured some of the legends of Canadian football, Sam Etcheverry, Chuck Hunsinger, Bernie Faloney and Normie Kwong, it would also introduce a young man from the Deep south who would go on to redefine the Canadian Game, the late Jackie Parker.

Tuesday Night they present the 1968 Grey Cup match up of the Stampeders and the Ottawa Rough Riders, a showdown between Peter Liske and Russ Jackson, two of the pre-eminent CFL quarterbacks of the era.

The games continue on through the week each night at midnight on your local CBC station. Saturday afternoon (morning on the west coast) the CBC replays last years Grey Cup game between Montreal and Edmonton (Edmonton fans may wish to tune in to remember the feeling)

The games are a homage to the great moments that the CFL has offered up to Canadians over its 94 years of Grey Cup showdowns, many of them nail biting finales that leave one side of the country in agony while the other celebrates into the wee hours of the morning.

They make for a great way to get into that Grey Cup spirit!

Thursday, November 16, BC and Winnipeg 1988
Wednesday, November 15, Saskatchewan and Hamilton at Hamilton 1972
Tuesday, November 14, Ottawa and Calgary at Toronto 1968
Monday, November 13, Montreal and Edmonton at Toronto 1954

From the Alouettes Camp

We track the developments of the East Division Champion Montreal Alouettes as they prepare for the 94th Grey Cup in Winnipeg this Sunday.

November 20 Montreal mayor dons Lions sweater
November 20 Calvillo takes the blame
November 20 Blown call nail in the coffin of Als
November 19 Calvillo passing record
November 19 Calvillo well prepared for cold weather
November 18 Als serve as examples to newcomers
November 17 Calvillo to start in fifth Grey Cup
November 16 Als find strength in D line
November 16 Belli takes centre stage at Als breakfast
November 16 A Family affair
November 16 Daydream believer
November 16 A matter of perspective
November 15 Combatants ride with real warriors
November 15 Brothers in arms
November 15 Philion planning dirty deed
November 15 Alouettes happy to be in big game
November 15 Als the Better team
November 14 Familiar Territory
November 14 Hostile Takeover
November 13 Als put past behind them
November 13 Als win over Argos

From The Lions Camp

We track the developments of the West Division Champion BC Lions as they prepare for the 94th Grey Cup in Winnipeg this Sunday.

November 20 No denying Lions
November 20 Sweet moment for McCallum
November 20 Surgical precision
November 20 Lions exorcise demons in forgettable game
November 20 Smart acquisition pays off for Lions
November 20 Lions split uprights and the Cup
November 20 Grey Cup synopsis
November 20 Grey Cup caps Johnson's week
November 20 Top of Grey Cup breaks off
November 20 Lions rule in the CFL
November 20 Lions break Grey Cup
November 19 Ritchie itching for Cup title with buddy Buono
November 19 Hockey is in his blood
November 19 Reid has no illwill towards old team
November 19 Maintaining focus
November 18 Dickenson looking for protection
November 18 Surprise! shoes fit fine
November 18 Buono pumps up his players
November 18 Decorated Lions a reminder of 01 Bombers
November 18 Giving up baseball difficult
November 18 Twelve sack game against Als a benchmark
November 18 Braley rebuilds Lions into league power
November 18 Clermont relishing his role as part time scribe
November 18 Kidd raring to face Als
November 18 Braley spearheading Wright's removal
November 18 A major flashback
November 17 Lions enter as heavy favourites
November 17 It's all about Dave
November 17 Pundits bet heavy on Lions over Als
November 17 Banks says Bomber Blew it
November 16 Lions enjoy Western sweep at Awards show
November 16 Johnson named CFL's top Canadian
November 16 Murphy named CFL's top lineman
November 16 Hunt named CFL's top rookie
November 16 Simon takes top honours
November 16 Lions Circle of trust
November 16 McCallum hasn't looked back
November 16 About that game
November 16 Joe Who?
November 16 Simon a shoo in
November 16 Video Kidd keeps loose with Madden, others choose food
November 16 Slotback hopes for continued success in River City
November 15 Dickenson has fond memories of 98
November 15 Colon back in town for Grey Cup
November 15 Lions not biting
November 15 Lions players cut loose
November 14 What's a Peg Grey Cup without Wally
November 14 Lions growl for fifth Grey Cup
November 14 Lions boast perfect record against Montreal
November 14 Look who's back
November 14 Lions' quiet contributor
November 13 Lions Roar to Victory
November 13 Lions shake Quarterback controversy

Grey Cup Countdown

We'll catalogue all the stories related to this Sunday's Grey Cup right here in this very spot. From the wacky traditions of Grey Cup week to the last minute details of the big event, all the links we can dig up will be listed on a daily basis. It's one stop shopping for all your Grey Cup news..

November 20 94th Grey Cup notes
November 20 Grey Cup helps Bombers
November 20 Furtado performs at half time show
November 20 Fan-tastic experience
November 20 Fans laud Peg Cup
November 20 Great job Winnipeg!
November 20 Grey Cup televised in Kandahar
November 20 Greatest passing combo
November 19 Turf could pose problems for kickers
November 18 Players and fans will seek warmth
November 18 Jones to Stegall made the connection
November 18 Stampeder Coe wins Gibson's CFL fan choice award
November 18 Always the high road
November 18 Turtle man thankful
November 18 About that CFL list
November 18 Let the Debate start
November 17 Grey Cup officially Sold Out
November 17 Doug Flutie at the top of TSN Top 50
November 17 Doing the Wright thing
November 17 Players to watch on Sunday
November 17 Maritimes partiers dreaming of expansion
November 17 Who will be Grey Cups Lord of the Ring
November 17 Keys to the game
November 16 Ireland named head official for Grey Cup
November 16 DeAngelis named best special teams player
November 16 Trophy honours Cup MVP
November 16 Let the parties begin
November 15 Police warn Grey Cup revellers
November 15 Latecomer's chances of booking a room slim
November 15 Celebrations kick off at the Forks
November 15 Fans reuinte in the Peg
November 15 Coaches pay tribute to The Don
November 15 Simon overwhelming favourite
November 15 No regrest for Wright
November 14 Loose atmosphere as Grey Cup week gets underway
November 14 Peg' introducing new Cup tradition
November 14 Who do we hate less?
November 14 Plenty of seats left
November 14 Grey Cup thriller on taap?
November 13 A Unique Experience
November 13 Top Ten Greatest Grey Cups
November 13 Rolling into the Peg
November 13 Cup Organizers till hope for sellout