Friday, June 27, 2008

This is our league!

The CFL unveiled its new video celebrating our game of Canadian football.

Lots of familiar faces and a great message for Canadians to join in on this 96th season... pretty well done feature, certainly positioning the CFL this year as Canada's game.

New view of future Bomber stadium

Winnipeg's latest field of dreams has been given a downtown location, with the release of a new version of the David Asper aspired stadium to be home to the Blue and Gold.

The latest version of the stadium will find it located to the Point Douglas area of the city, an area which traditionally isn't thought of when you think of exciting developments in Winnipeg, generously described by some as downtrodden it's normally a part of the city that is quickly forgotten by those that travel on the streets through the district.
Included in the new design in addition to the striking design of the outer shell will be a water park, designed along the lines of a Disney park or West Edmonton Mall. If that were to be constructed as part of the new stadium, it would be the second large scale water park development planned for Winnipeg in the last six months, though many suspect that if the Asper plan moves forward the second park will disappear into the Manitoba sunset.

The redesign and shift of location is all part of the ongoing bid by Asper to build Winnipeg's new destination park, the re-design has also resulted in Asper not having to chase as much in public financing for his project, this plan now requires contributions of 15 million dollars in federal money and 25 million from the province of Manitoba, down significantly from the 40 million each that the previous plan for Polo Park had required. While he seeks less from the government the actual final price of the project will be significantly higher than the previous Polo Park design.
The financial aspect may help to move the project further along, though there will surely be some fallout from some opponents, who may not find the idea of relocating long time residents out of their homes in the Point Douglas area.

The plan however, could be part of the long term rejuvenation plans for the neighbourhood and taking advantage of the proximity to the downtown area and its view of the skyline as well as providing another link to the St. Boniface district of the city via a foot bridge across the Red River.

The facility would gain a year round availability possibility with the installation of a bubble over the field portion of the stadium, though you wonder why in a city with Winnipeg's climactic challenges the thought of a full scale domed stadium never seemed to gain much traction.

The details of the new and improved proposal were just released today, so it will be interesting to watch the feedback that Asper and the City of Winnipeg receive over their plans over the next few weeks.

Below are some links to the details of the plan, included in some of the news stories are some comments from the public, an early sounding board for the rather exotic stadium project and those that would like to see it finally come to completion.

Blue Bomber website-- Blue and Gold, Stadium plan
Winnipeg Sun-- Letters to the editor
Winnipeg Free Press-- Asper unveils new stadium vision
Global TV Winnipeg-- Point Douglas plan revealed

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Season Previews

From two a days, to lengthy nights of film study, on to the final cuts, each CFL squad has been assembling the rosters that they think will carry them on to Montreal in November.

Now comes the time to see how they shape up on the field with the games that count. As season 96 gets underway we'll search out the prognostications for this CFL regular season, what they think will be the key players and changing situations that spell success or failure on the field.

National Post-- Western Preview
National Post-- Eastern Preview
Globe and Mail-- Interactive League Preview
Montreal Gazette-- Season Preview
Winnipeg Free Press-- Season Preview
Winnipeg Sun-- Three-down pigskin primer
Sportsnet-- Lefko: CFL East Preview
Sportsnet-- Lefko: CFL West Preview
Sportsnet-- Lang: CFL West Preview
TSN-- Season Preview synopsis

Week One June 26-28

The regular season finally gets underway as the CFL enters its 96th year of football entertainment for Canadians, with a doubleheader for opening night, the always popular Friday night football one night later and with TSN laying claim to Saturday nights as well.

The Sports Network is now what appears to be the official channel of Canadian football, set to broadcast every one of the leagues games from coast to coast to coast.

Week one begins with some interesting match ups, all of which will count as we head towards November in Montreal and the 96th Grey Cup.

June 26-- Montreal 33 @ Hamilton 10 ( 20,587)
June 26-- BC 18 @ Calgary 28 (30,159)
June 27-- Toronto 23 @ Winnipeg16 (26,155 )
June 28-- Edmonton 13 @ Saskatchewan 34 (28,800)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Put me in coach, I'm ready to play...

The training camps are over, the final cuts have been made, some old favourites are gone, while new and exciting names are set to add more chapters to the always entertaining CFL story.

With players hidden on, er, transferred to the practice roster, the line ups are all but set for the 96th edition of Canadian football.

With all roads leading to Montreal and the November 23rd date with the Grey Cup, all eight teams begin their quest for the legendary trophy, with two games set to kick off the season on Thursday night.

Below, we'll list the rosters from each team, more than a few teams will see some changes as the season moves along, but come Thursday, these are the players that set the early course for Montreal.

British Columbia Lions
Edmonton Eskimos
Calgary Stampeders
Saskatchewan Roughriders
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Hamilton Tiger Cats
Toronto Argonauts
Montreal Alouettes

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Well we can’t fire the entire team…

As the CFL begins to launch another season of Canada’s favourite summer pursuit, the middle management ranks will be eager to showcase their skills and plans, hoping that their plays, schemes and systems will be the one to lead to the Grey Cup.

While the CFL is a tad more secure at times than the other professional leagues in North America, it’s more due to finances than any sense of dedication to long term planning.

The NHL, Major League Baseball, NBA and even the NFL can be revolving door for the coaching fraternity, but the CFL for the most part at least can provide a full year of employment for the coaching ranks, unless things really, really go off the rails.

In a gate driven league such as the CFL, the prospect of unraveling the coaching structure in mid stream is an added expense that most teams are unlikely to approach, now the end of the season, well that could be a different story….

The bastion of stability this season once again is British Columbia, where Wally Buono continues to mould the Lions in an image to his liking, confident as any coach could be in the CFL considering his solid grip on football operations on the West coast.

Hamilton and Winnipeg bring returning coaches to the field for a new season, Hamilton hoping that the addition of Casey Printers for a full season will make a coach’s life easier for Charlie Taafe and Winnipeg which will be eager to capitalize on the taste of a Grey Cup appearance to make Doug Berry's job an easier prospect than years past.

Four teams feature a new head coach and revised assistants on hand, including Toronto where Pinball has moved upstairs placing Rich Stubler at the helm of the good ship Argonaut, Montreal where Marc Trestman gets his first head coaching job in the CFL, Saskatchewan where a Grey Cup win wasn’t enough to keep Kent Austin around, bringing Ken Miller to head up the Green and White staff and in Calgary where former CFL great John Hufnagel takes over, hopefully to do for Henry what he did for Eli.

For this season they will be the teams gaining the most attention teams under a watchful eye, but they will not face anywhere near the scrutiny that beckons for Danny Maciocia as he tries to revive the Eskimos strive for excellence. He faces a steely gaze in Edmonton, where the passions are perhaps the most emotional, the attention the most dedicated and the pressure surely the greatest.

Below we’ll list the season’s starting coaching roster for each of the CFL teams, should there be an unexpected change to the managing order through the season, we’ll archive it here as well…

Montreal Alouettes

General Manager-- Jim Popp

Marc Trestman
Head Coach
See Biography here


Tim Burke-- Defensive coordinator and defensive backs
Scott Milanovich-- Offensive coordinator and Quarterbacks coach
Scott Squires-- Special teams coordinator
Casey Creehan-- Linebackers coach
Jaime Elizondo-- Receivers coach
Vince Martino-- Offensive Line coach
Michael Sinclair-- Defensive Line coach
Andy Bischoff-- Running Backs coach and offensive quality control
Jean-Marc Edme—Defensive Quality control Assistant

Montreal Alouettes Personnel Page

Toronto Argonauts

General Manager-- Adam Rita

Rich Stubler
Head Coach
See Biography here


Steve Buratto-- Offensive coordinator
Bill MacDermott-- Offensive Line coach
Jerome Erdman-- Receivers coach
Kavis Reed-- Defensive coordinator
Marcello Simmons-- Special Teams Coordinator

Toronto Argonauts Personnel Page

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

General Manager-- Bob O'Billovich

Charlie Taaffe
Head Coach
See Biography here


Marcel Bellefeuille-- Offensive coordiantor
Dennis Goldman-- Receivers coach
Jeff Bleamer-- Offensive Line coach
Denny Creehan-- Defensive coordinator
John Kropke-- Defensive Line coach
Chip Garber-- Defensive Backs coach
Dave Easley-- Special Teams Coordinator

Hamilton Tiger Cats Personell Page

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

General Manager-- Brendan Taman

Doug Berry
Head Coach
See Biography here


Kit Cartwright-- QB’s coach, Offensive coordinator
Dan Daniel-- Defensive Backs coach
Bob Dyce-- Receivers coach and College draft coordinator
Richard Harris-- Defensive Line coach
Greg Marshall-- Defensive coordinator and Linebackers coach
Cory McDiarmid-- Special teams coordinator and Running backs coach
Bob Wylie-- Offensive Line coach

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Personnel Page

Saskatchewan Roughriders

General Manager-- Eric Tillman

Ken Miller
Head Coach
See Biography here


Mike Gibson-- Assistant Head coach and Offensive Line coach
Richie Hall-- Defensive coordinator
Paul LaPolice-- Offensive coordinator
Alex Smith-- Linebackers and Special Teams coach
Ron Estay-- Defensive Line coach
Jamie Baressi-- Running Backs coach
Gary Etcheverry-- Defensive Assistant coach

Saskatchewan Roughriders Personnel Page

Calgary Stampeders

General Manager-- John Hufnagel

John Hufnagel
Head Coach
See Biography here


George Cortez-- Associate Head Coach, Offensive coordinator
Chris Jones-- Defensive coordinator, Assistant Director Player Personnel
Pete Costanza-- Receivers Coach
Kris Sweet-- Offensive Line Coach
Craig Dickenson-- Special Teams Coordinator
Cornell Brown-- Defensive Line Coach
Mark Kilam-- Assistant Linebackers, strength and conditioning coach

Calgary Stampeders Personnel page

Edmonton Eskimos

Director of Football Operations-- Danny Maciocia

Danny Maciocia
Head Coach
See Biography here


Rick Worman-- Offensive coordinator and Quarterbacks
Ronnie Vinklarek-- Offensive Line
Mike Kelly-- Receivers
Terry Eisler-- Running backs
Rick Campbell-- Defensive coordinator and Defensive Backs
Don Wnek-- Defensive Line
Dan Kepley-- Linebackers
Noel Thorpe-- Special Teams Coordinator and Defensive Backs
A. J. Gass-- Defensive assistant
Rob Ralph-- Video coordinator and Offensive assistant

Edmonton Eskimos Personnel Page

British Columbia Lions

General Manager-- Wally Buono

Wally Buono
Head Coach
See Biography here


Mike Benevides-- Defensive coordinator
Dan Dorazio-- Offensive coordinator, O line coach
Mike Roach-- Defensive coordinator
Mark Washington-- Defensive Backs coach
Steve Kruck-- Quarterbacks coach
Jacques Chapdelaine-- Receivers coach
Chuck McMann-- Special Teams coordinator and Running Backs coach
Justin Coderre-- Video Coordinator

BC Lions Personnel Page

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Don’t shoot til you see the whites of their eyes!

Standing guard for the invasion signs.
The debate over the possible incursion of Canadian soil by the NFL is gathering steam, as the Buffalo Bills make their plans to have Toronto become part-time supporters of the home team (perhaps with an eye to adopting the lads lock, stock and Gatorade barrel)

We’ll archive all the chatter over the potential invasion here, for no other reason than we suspect it will be a long running and entertaining bit of theatre.

We'll keep our archive under the team notes section on the sidebar to the right.

June 21-- Under a shadow

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Standing on guard for and from the 55 yard line

The National Post is seemingly working to become the paper of record for the CFL this season, they are in the midst of a pretty interesting feature called "Turf Wars".

Tackling the issue of the would be Buffalo stampede northwards, they have pulled together a number of articles that highlight the importance of Canadian football to our ever required need for nation building.

The series has approached the subject from a Southern Ontario perspective, which considering the topic of the Bills moving northwards seems a good approach, reminding Southern Ontario that it's roots in the game are just as deep as the Western reaches where the game is still a vital part of every community.

The comments from the participants in the series are heartfelt and certainly showcases the league in a positive light, as well it should, a key component of the Canadian experience and one that we would miss should it ever be rendered obsolete.

The articles are well worth the read for CFL fans who will no doubt enjoy this well put togerher theme from the National Post, bring a hankie and maybe a pom pom or two to the reading room.

Part Three-- In Micheal's memory
Part Four-- The Toronto bounce

The expansion grapevine

From this link, we'll catalogue those developments in the CFL as the league continues its quest of its ninth and beyond franchise for Canada's summer obsession.

June 19-- OTTAWA-- Acquiring MLS squad could spur Frank Clair Stadium renovation
June 5-- OTTAWA-- Private talks with developers in public interest
May 15-- OTTAWA-- Ottawa kickoff point looms

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pre-season week two (June 19)

The final week of pre-season games as CFL teams reduce their rosters and set their line ups for next weeks regular season debut.

Week two of pre-season is the make or break week for a good number of training camp attendees, hopeful to catch on with a club.

June 19-- Hamilton 28 @ Toronto 21 (21,422)
June 19-- Montreal 16 @ Winnipeg 19 (29,553)
June 19-- Saskatchewan 7 @ Edmonton 37 (33,500)
June 19-- Calgary 26 @ B. C. 39 (26,242)

Stemming the invasion with legislation?

Last week BC Senator Larry Campbell (a former Vancouver mayor and made even more famous, by Nicholas Campbell's loose interpretation as a Vancouver coroner on Da Vinci's Inquest and the subsequent Da Vinci's City hall) weighed into the debate over any NFL incursion into Canada.

Campbell's contribution was the introduction of legislation for the Canadian Senate, S-238, the Canadian Football Act. A wide ranging bit of political theatre that could, if it ever sees the sunshine outside of the Canadian Senate, send offending football executives off to jail for crossing the border and swashbuckling their games onto Canadian soil. Exhibition games not included goes the rider we suspect.

The NFL had no particular comment on the shot across their might bow, though perhaps they've been given a heads up as to the actual success rate of Senate initiatives of late (even more so those that are lone wolf offerings) and more importantly are aware that unless Canada's numerous free trade regulations are all overthrown, there's little basis for the bill in the current Canadian political setting.

What Campbell's bill has done has made him a rather unpopular person with a segment of Toronto society who have counselled him in any number of ways as to what he may wish to do with his bill, should his attempts slow down the march of those other Bills...

There are a number of background pieces on Senator Campbell's version of speak loudly and carry a really big stick policy planning, though many suspect that while the NFL may never actually set up in Canada on a full time basis it most likely won't be thanks to the efforts of the Senator from British Columbia.

And while we would prefer to see the CFL live a long and prosperous life, we don't think that this legislation is going to do much more than frame the debate over Canadian football and it's importance to the Canadian fabric.

In fact, we suspect that the Senate will more than likely be extinct long before the CFL, with or without Senator Campbell's efforts. Though at least with Canadian football fans, there will always be a warm spot on the bench for Senator Campbell, apparently the meanest ole Defensive player that CFL may have ever seen and one willing to go on the offence when the need arrives.

National Post-- When two leagues collide
Saskatoon Star Phoenix-- Senator comes to CFL's defence

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pre-season week one (June 12-13)

The first week of pre season activity gets underway in four CFL cities, the first bit of action outside of the rigours of training camp.

June 13-- Edmonton 14 @ Calgary 39 (20,219)
June 13-- BC 13 @ Saskatchewan 33 (28,800)
June 12-- Winnipeg 10 @ Hamilton 12 (15,231)
June 12-- Toronto 34 @ Montreal 34 (20,202)

2008 Pre season review

Week Two results
Week One results

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Former CFL warrior has fought his last battle

The tributes are pouring in today for Tyrone Jones, one of the most gifted defensive players to ever take to a CFL field and one of the most respected Blue Bombers to ever play for the blue and gold.

Jones passed away from brain cancer on Tuesday at a Georgia hospice, taken away far too young at age 46 but yet outliving many a medical prediction of his demise and taking on his disease with courage and on a timetable of his own making.

The eight year veteran of the Blue Bombers reigned supreme on two Grey Cup champion squads, as he and James West laid waste to many an opposing offensive line and backfield. While he had stops in Saskatchewan and British Columbia during his colourful CFL career, he will forever be remembered as one of the key cogs in the Blue Bomber machines of the eighties.

His records are numerous in the CFL history books, his persona larger than life among those that have played the game. And yet, in one of the more puzzling omissions, he was never named to the CFL Hall of Fame, a terrible oversight that could not be remedied before his passing.

One hopes that as we pause to remember his achievements in the three down game, the movement to enshrine him in the Hamilton hall will take on a new momentum.

What is being remembered today is the energy and enthusiasm that Jones brought to the dressing room and field during his CFL days, a leader among a very talented team that is still talked about with reverence in Winnipeg.

But just as much as his exploits on the field are being remembered today, so to is the battle that he waged for the last three and a half years, a courageous fight against a foe that in the end won’t be denied.

He never went in for self pity they say, and just faced his latest challenge head on.

Like those many days on the CFL battlefields of yesterday, Jones once again has proven that he was a warrior to the end.
Condolences to the family can be left on the Tyrone Jones appreciation site.

Winnipeg Free Press-- Tyrone Jones dies of brain cancer
Winnipeg Free Press-- He never gave an inch
Winnipeg Sun-- Tyrone Jones dies
Blue Tyrone Jones 1961-2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The party preparations are already in full swing

We haven’t even kicked off the first ball in anger yet and already the Montreal Grey Cup committee is up, running and well on with its plans for this year’s version of the 96th Grey Cup classic.

The year end celebration of football has taken on a very impressive dynamic over recent years as it becomes of the high holidays for Canadians and a festival of Canadian football that seems to grow with each event.

From the days where they were giving away Grey Cup tickets at supermarkets as part of a pack the park desperation plan, the Grey Cup now is something that requires you to make your reservations early on in the season, whether your particular home team is good, bad or indifferent.

This years plans seem to be on the path that was premiered in Toronto last year, with a high element on entertainment and big city feel to the event, with a downtown Grey Cup village with a variety of musical offerings that will keep celebrants out late into the traditionally late, late Montreal night (or is that early, early Montreal morning?)

The Big O, once again will be the centerpiece to the actual game, a destination that in the past has brought some 68,000 plus CFL fans together to watch the year end classic (well normally a classic).

So far, 40,000 seats have already been sold, with the most coveted platinum seats already sold out at the tasty price of $274. The rest of the stadium is selling for $240, $174, $134 and $84, still if you think about it one of the great bargains for a championship game in any sport.

The Grey Cup in recent years has become one of the great entertainment and sport combinations that the country can put together and the template has been a successful one across the nation.

Considering Montreal’s embrace of football over recent years, we suspect that once again, the Grey Cup will be a huge success. A must attend for those that love football and a good party, providing you can afford all the extras that come with the sixty or so minutes of football on the field!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The working agreement doesn't seem to be working anymore

"We've communicated to the NFL that nothing's been put on the table that is going to strengthen and grow our league to my satisfaction, or the satisfaction of our board of governors,"-- CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon explaining why the CFL has chosen to discontinue negotiations on a working agreement with the NFL.

The CFL seems to have been signalling more patriotic tone and determined tone of late, with a few subtle hints that a more sure of itself league wasn't ready to roll over in the shadow of the NFL.

Whether its the less than flattering messages directed towards the Buffalo Bills displayed on the T shirts of Toronto Argonauts in training camp to the surprise announcement today that the CFL has broken off negotiations with the NFL for their working agreement, things are about to change once again in the always tentative relationship between the two leagues.

The mood between the two leagues seemed to change significantly when the NFL announced plans to test the waters of Toronto through a string of Buffalo Bills games played at the Rogers Centre.

With the eight CFL franchises suggesting that the agreement as it stood over the recent years no longer was working for the league, CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon announced that the league would no longer continue on with negotiations for the agreement that had expired back in 2006.

That agreement came out of the darkest moments for the CFL when struggling franchises bled red ink and the very survival of the league seemed in doubt, a cash infusion from the NFL provided a cushion for those troubled days, but it came with a cost, that of access to CFL players who entered a set period of time specified in their option years.

It has in the past led to a few high profile poaching sessions which have seen CFL stars head for the south earlier than would normally be allowed and leaving CFL teams with unexpected holes to fill.

The National Post's Sean Fitz-Gerald provided some indepth analysis of the announcement and the league's interpretation of the path ahead for the CFL.

CFL ends working agreement with NFL
Sean Fitz-Gerald, National Post
Published: Wednesday, June 04, 2008

TORONTO -- The Canadian Football League has ceased negotiations on a new working agreement with the National Football League -- ending a formal relationship that began a decade ago -- as the powerful U.S.-based league prepares for an unprecedented eight-game series that will open this summer in Toronto.

While stating his belief that the leagues maintain "a strong relationship," CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said talks were not progressing as his employers might have hoped.

And while Mr. Cohon declined to outline specific aspects of the discussion, one CFL source suggested the move was based in part on a symbolic show of strength against a potential foreign invader.

In February, it was announced that the Buffalo Bills would stage eight games at Rogers Centre over the next five seasons, beginning with an exhibition on Aug. 14 -- one day before the Argonauts host the Montreal Alouettes.

"You work with us or you don't work with us, there's no half-pregnant," said one CFL source who requested anonymity.

The initial agreement was reached in 1997, when the CFL was at one of its lowest financial ebbs and was kept afloat by a US$3-million loan from its wealthy southern neighbour.

The debt has been repaid and the circumstances have changed, with the CFL on more stable financial ground. The Toronto Argonauts, for example, are believed to have cleared more than $5-million in profit from hosting the Grey Cup last fall.

"We've communicated to the NFL that nothing's been put on the table that is going to strengthen and grow our league to my satisfaction, or the satisfaction of our board of governors," Mr. Cohon said Wednesday. "And we're not moving forward with discussions with the NFL any more."
The NFL was notified of the decision earlier this week.

The two leagues have been working without a new agreement since the old one expired in 2006.
"We have not been able to reach an agreement on a broader relationship but remain open to future discussions with the CFL," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said yesterday in an e-mail.
Canadian teams were hemorrhaging money in 1997, not long after failed expansion experiments in such U.S. cities as Shreveport, La., Memphis, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala. In exchange for its critical infusion of cash, the NFL was granted access to CFL players entering a defined window in the option year of their contract.

That practice will be allowed to continue, Mr. Cohon said, because it has been written into the CFL's collective bargaining agreement with its players. He did, however, say it would remain open "through the end of this agreement."

"I have a lot of respect for [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell, and there's been a long history of a relationship between our two leagues," Mr. Cohon said. "What we're saying right now is, ‘there's nothing on the table that satisfies our need to grow and strengthen this league.' So we're going to focus on what we need to focus on."

Speculation has been swirling around the NFL's future in Canada, especially since it was revealed that Rogers Communications has agreed to pay $78-million to host the Bills in Toronto. Some have predicted a swift death for the CFL if the NFL ever makes a full-time home in Canada, and Senator Larry Campbell has begun drafting a bill to protect the league from an invasion.

The Bills are based in one of the league's smallest markets and their owner, Ralph Wilson, is approaching his 90th birthday. Mr. Wilson has indicated he does not intend to sell the team before his death, which could leave the franchise open to the highest bidder and a potential relocation.

"I always think there will be discussions between the two leagues," Mr. Cohon said. "I think we have co-existed fine, with them south of the 49th parallel and us north of the 49th parallel. There's always been good relationships in that, but we can't do one-off, small initiatives that don't create any benefit to us."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Final snaps of June 2008

July 1-- "I think I got that out of the way when Mike hit me"
June 30-- "There's a lot of people that don't feel that way. But I appreciate that"
June 29-- "We do lots of things to confuse the offence"
June 28-- "We are a better football team than we showed out here"
June 27-- "You gotta be able to play! It's professional football"
June 26-- "I wanted to get it done and off of my chest"
June 25-- "First and foremost it's all about the game"
June 24-- "I think we've got some good receivers here"
June 23-- "It's fresh in our minds, which is a good thing"
June 22-- "They come around like every five or 10 years"
June 21-- "But usually it doesn't work longer than two years. By the third year, somebody gets antsy and wants to move on"
June 20-- "I thought Kerry came out and did some really good things"
June 19-- "It's obviously a learning experience, but you have to learn it quickly"
June 18-- "At least get into a game, get some game shape"
June 17-- "I just didn't want to leave the team"
June 16-- "If we were playing tomorrow and it was a regular-season game, Scott Gordon would be there"
June 15-- "This was never an issue about personality and friendship"
June 14-- "To be honest, I kind of got caught up in looking at the fans"
June 13-- "We did some good things, but we've still got a lot of work to go to get ready for the regular season."
June 12-- "There's a lot of things that go on I can't control, so why worry about it?"
June 11-- "Part of the reason I came down was to tell him what it was like for me,"
June 10-- "He was definitely an impact maker and one of the greatest linebackers you'll ever see in the Canadian Football League."
June 9-- "It's allowed me to be more of a big-picture guy and not a micromanager"
June 8-- "There is no place for fighting on the football field at all"
June 7-- "We're excited to be here. But they're really excited to be here. They're gunnin' for jobs, and it gets us [veterans] going."
June 6-- "I looked at the schedule and I think we only have two Sunday games, which is a great benefit because obviously being a pastor you need to be in church on Sunday, or you should be any-ways."
June 5-- "If I can get out of camp healthy and I'm fortunate enough to make the team, then I feel I can contribute at any time."
June 4-- "We've communicated to the NFL that nothing's been put on the table that is going to strengthen and grow our league to my satisfaction, or the satisfaction of our board of governors," June 3-- "It’s great to see our fans coming out and showing, there are many of us here and the vast majority are Canadian Football League [fans] first.”
June 2-- "We've had two down years, and that's behind us"

Opening kick offs June 2008

July 1-- Argos forced to make changes for game against Ticats
July 1-- Alouettes trying to move Payton
July 1-- Reynolds off and running
June 30-- Rider pride overflows as Grey Cup visits Afghanistan
June 30-- New linebacker, starting quarterback for Lions
June 30-- Calvillo is taking it one season at a time
June 29-- Crandell and Bowman brought it home
June 29-- 'We did a great job' vs. Bombers: Stubler
June 29-- Get it right, cautions expert
June 28-- Grey Cup champs Roughriders win season opener
June 28-- CFL commissioner proud of Canadian football
June 28-- Pierce suffers bruised shoulder
June 27-- Argos grind out a win
June 27-- Crandall, Miller aware of pressure on the Roughriders
June 27-- NFL dismisses fears of Bills move to T.O.
June 26-- Calgary strong arms B. C.
June 26-- Just like old times
June 26-- Argonauts hand the football to Joseph
June 25-- The NFL in Toronto: Be very afraid, Canada
June 25-- Ticats’ Printers primed to leave mark on CFL
June 25-- Argos' season rides on Joseph-Bishop dynamic
June 24-- TSN goes whole hog on CFL football
June 24-- Trestman stands alone in CFL coaching fraternity
June 24-- Carter released by Argos after argument with Stubler
June 23-- Pierce nabs B.C.'s opening night start
June 23-- Ticats' Lumsden anxious for CFL return
June 23-- CFL loses Rogers as awards sponsor
June 22-- Lions’ Murphy puts family first
June 22-- Bombers hope lineup losses don't equal setbacks
June 22-- Argos sign former Raider Morant
June 21-- Under a shadow
June 21-- No QB controversy here
June 21-- How do Eskimos spell relief?
June 20-- Buono brushes off first-place predictions
June 20-- Foord could be a find
June 20-- Ray dodges a bullet
June 19-- 'Pre-' emptive action taken
June 19-- No QB controversy for Argos
June 19-- Alouettes have lost their swagger
June 18-- Buono remains mum about QB
June 18-- A hold in the heartland
June 18-- Joseph anxious for the games to begin
June 17-- Bills, CFL headed on collision course
June 17-- Tucker's game after one practice
June 17-- Teaching career all but back on hold
June 16-- Bob Ackles: Standing up for the CFL
June 16-- Football universal language for Stamps rookie Lapointe
June 16-- The Argo bounce
June 15-- Blue Bombers release Westwood
June 15-- Argos’ Durie to see hand specialist
June 15-- The CFL's homegrown saviours
June 14-- Roughriders' Miller has successful coaching debut
June 14-- Stampeders have nice problem at QB
June 14-- Spiritual Argo here to have fun
June 13-- A cultural icon at stake
June 13-- Argos lose running back Durie
June 13-- Hufnagel shows an eye for detail
June 12-- Joseph shines in Argos debut
June 12-- Chang leads Tiger-Cats past Bombers
June 12-- Ban NFL season games in Canada: Bill
June 11-- Taffe looks to new leadership to turn Ticats around
June 11-- Maciocia wants more attitude
June 11-- Pathon on sidelines
June 10-- Tyrone Jones passes away
June 10-- J.R. LaRose gets comfort from his team
June 10-- Taylor has speed to burn
June 9-- CFL-NFL imbroglio deepens
June 9-- Peterson cool in face of higher expectations
June 9-- There's no time for tears
June 8-- Italo-Kentuckian 'the next guy?'
June 8-- Rain tests Stamps' Offence
June 8-- Kicker Serna has an impressive day
June 7-- Catch them if you can
June 7-- Journey home fires up Stamp
June 7-- Flutie joins Wall of Fame greats
June 6-- Slimmer, maturer Freeman takes his best shot at CFL
June 6-- CFL Switch is a matter of fitting in for Johnson
June 6-- Plenty of character added to Eskimos coaching staff
June 5-- Argos lose Ebell, get Robertson from Riders
June 5-- Maciocia's problem is made in Canada
June 5-- A Twist to the soap opera
June 4-- Quarterback duel dominates Lions camp
June 4-- Signalling a change
June 4-- Argos running back Ebell carried off field
June 3-- Now one holds the whistle
June 3-- Esk's question period
June 3-- Tiger-Cats sign Chris Leak
June 2-- Argos' quarterback starts season with chip on his shoulder
June 2-- Armstead interested in joining Als
June 2-- One more year for Wake, then likely to NFL

Monday, June 02, 2008

The camps are open and footballs are in the air!

Okay, we know we promised a couple of times to be more diligent about note taking on CFL matters in the off season, but slacker that we are things kind of slid for a bit in the colder months.

But hey, the Sun is out (well maybe not here at twelve men central but somewhere) and in eight CFL cities the two a days and film sessions are getting underway.

The training camps opened up over the weekend and the thoughts of the CFL are starting to stir again.

We dust off the blog today, hoping to improve a few things and keep the information flow going during the 2008 season, so bear with us as we try to get the wheels back in motion for another season.

There's been much to talk about in the off season and we'll try to recap some of the key points as the training camps continue leading up to the regular season kick off towards the end of June.

Now to paraphrase Hank Jr. "Are you ready for some football?"

CFL Notes: June/July 2008

CFL league news will be archived here, items on expansion, rule changes and other matters of universal importance to the league in general.
June 25-- Made in Canada
June 21-- Under a shadow