Monday, January 31, 2011

Calvillo cleared for action, signs on for another two years with Als

The best news of last week in the CFL wasn't the extension of Anthony Calvillo's contract with the Alouettes until the 2012 season, though that was pretty good news for Als fans, but the more important aspect of the press conference came when it was announced that Calvillo had been given the all clear by doctors to continue on with his CFL career.

The Als quarterback and team leader had recently undergone surgery to remove his thyroid gland and recently completed follow up radiation treatments from that surgery.

Such has been the positive reaction to those treatments that Calvillo's surgeon, Dr. Roger Tabah believes that the Alouette will fully recover.

Calvillo provided an update on his situation and touched on how cancer had previously touched his family in a press conference in Montreal.

As for the football aspect of the story, while it means that the rest of the CFL's members teams will have to make plans to counter his skills at Quarterback, we're thinking that it's unanimous among those teams that his successful result from his surgery is something they are more than happy to have to deal with.

Beyond the obvious that CFL fans will be happy to hear that his health issues have had a successful result, the prospect of him continuing on with his stellar career on the field will offer up more thrills for fans across the league.

Some of the items of note on his return to football and contract extension can be found below.

Montreal Gazette-- Cancer under control, Calvillo says
Montreal Gazette-- Anthony Calvillo regaining health, signs contract extension with Alouettes
Montreal Gazette-- Calvillo's thyroid removed; outlook positive
CBC-- Calvillo ready to return to Als after cancer therapy
TSN-- Als' Calvillo feeling great; inks two year contract with club
CJAD-- Calvillo confidently looks ahead to next season Anthony Calvillo recovering well from thyroid cancer
Sun Media-- Calvillo keen to resume career

Friday, January 28, 2011

And the nominees for coach of the year are...


The CFL outlined the three candidates for its coach of the year award on Thursday,  two Grey Cup finalists and the architect of the rebuilding process in Toronto making the short list for league honours this season.

With another Grey Cup to show off, Mark Trestman who has found some remarkable success with the Alouettes once again finds himself on the nomination list. A well deserved honour for the coach who frequently seems to pop up on the list of possibles for NFL employment.

Since his arrival in Montreal, the Als haven't seemed to miss a step in their dominance of the Eastern division of the CFL, his steady hand continuing on with the tradition of winning football that seems to be the mark of the Montreal franchise over the last decade.

Ken Miller who has twice come close to that anticipated province wide celebration in Saskatchewan, stepped aside from his coaching duties following this years Grey Cup loss. His disappointment balanced by his personality, which exudes calmness and class.

He moved up into the higher management ranks  this off season, but no doubt will continue to offer guidance and assistance not only to his replacement, but to the remainder of the coaching staff and players as well, many of whom regard him as a guiding force of Roughrider football.

In Toronto, the rebuilding process of the Argos continued forward in 2010, Jim Barker providing a blue print for the team that while providing for sometimes slow motion forward should serve the team well in the seasons to come.

He has worn a number of hats during his time in the CFL, but his most rewarding moments may yet be in the future, as he puts in place the blocks to bring the Argonauts back into contention in the East and provide for entertaining football for the sports fans of Toronto eager to find one team that can offer hope.

They hand out the Annis Stukus trophy on February 25th when league officials gather in Vancouver, whle the decision will be a tough one to make, considering the impact that each brought to their team in the last year, either of the three would be a worthy candidate for league honours for the year just past.

Globe and Mail-- Trestman, Miller, Barker up for CFL coach of the year award
TSN-- Trestman, Miller Barker  up for CFL coach of the year honours
Sportsnet-- Three finalists named for coach award
National Post-- Barker, Miller, Trestman up for CFL’s top coach award
Toronto Sun-- The case for Jim Barker
Regina Leader Post-- Saskatchewan Roughriders' Ken Miller finalist for 2010 CFL coach-of-the-year award
Montreal Gazette-- Trestman finalist for award

Talk softly, carry a big stick and pass the buns please

The problem it seems with "off the cuff remarks" is that sometimes perhaps they need to be a little further thought out before making it into the conversation.

Tiger Cat President Scott Mitchell is finding that out today, after he apparently suggested that should the ever confusing on again. off again stadium project for Hamilton fall off the rails, the the Tiger Cats would be calling Ottawa home.

Ottawa Citizen-- Ti-Cats could move to Ottawa: team president

A suggestion which travelled far beyond the Hamilton luncheon where Mitchell was doing his off the cuff thinking.

And while it's true that should things once again go awry in Hamilton then the Cats will need a new home, we're not so sure the CFL will be thrilled about moving the Cats into their first expansion site in recent years.

Especially since it would seem to under cut their new partners in Ottawa, and not to mention the fact that Ottawa at the moment is going through its own march of the damned discussions on stadium projects, though it would seem that Ottawa at least have agreed that a new stadium (or rejuvenated Frank Clair stadium) is something worth pursuing.

And while perhaps the residents of Ottawa might welcome a ready to go franchise on their door step, from the side of the table of the expansion rights holders having all their work go for naught probably wouldn't leave  a very good taste in the mouths of those that might have the most potential to make such a franchise work.

One of the many problems the CFL has had in the last few trips into the capital has been the nature of ownership, that being out of town owners thinking they know the Ottawa market. With the current roster of investors in the expansion franchise project that issue has been resolved, we're not sure a Tiger Cat relocation would be the best thing for long term stability in the city.

Beyond that, this constant drum beat that we may have to leave is probably growing a little old in Hamilton.

So It would seem that a little Steel town damage control will be in order today, the image of the Tiger Cats somewhat tarnished over the last few months in the loud rhetoric over the Hamilton stadium situation.

But with the goal on the horizon it seemed like a strange time to pull out a big stick to make a point.

Especially when the Tiger Cats may not even have been certain if a franchise shift to Ottawa would have been approved by the league considering the investment thus far in the expansion plans.

Sometimes when it comes to luncheon meetings, the best topics of conversation should be left to pass the butter and the chicken tastes pretty good today.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Building the better hangar

The Blue prints are out, the pilings are getting pounded in and there's progress in Bomberland as the prep work for the Bombers new stadium on the campus of the University of Manitoba begins to take shape.

The much discussed, frequently moved new home for the Bombers at times seemed like a stadium too far, but with Winnipeg looking forward to spring (though there may yet be a few more months of winter to go) the movement on the stadium project is in motion.

With the steel pilings in place Manitobans and Bomber fans can finally begin to see some tangible proof that the era of Canad Inn Stadium may finally be at hand. And for proof that it's mot a mirage, the bombers have provided a webcam link to track the progress of construction.

Some of the reviews of the latest developments can be found below.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers-- New stadium update
Winnipeg Free Press-- Construction starts on Bombers' new home
Winnipeg Free Press-- Building revenue opportunities
Winnipeg Sun-- New stadium on track
CJOB-- New stadium construction proceeding on schedule
CJOB-- View stadium construction online
CBC-- Bomber Stadium construction begins

Ben Cahoon takes his final bow

It was a decision that rumbled in Canadian football ever since the Als brought home the Grey Cup from Edmonton in November, lost at the moment in the sudden concern over the health of Anthony Calvillo.

But yesterday, the Als made it official, after a spectacular run as one of the marquee players of the Canadian Football League, Ben Cahoon has brought his career to an end.

The stats are impressive;  13 seasons of play as a Montreal Alouette , 224 regular season games, 1,017 receptions, 13,301 yards and 65 touchdowns.

The awards of a 13 year career are many, and even more could have, should have been bestowed upon him.  Outstanding Canadian twice, league all star three times, three time Grey Cup champion, the outstanding Canadian in two of them.

He was a complete player, an icon for the Alouettes and the league, leading by example, without fanfare or boasting, a work ethic worthy of a league that is perhaps one of the most workmanlike of all the sports leagues on the continent.

The word class has been used many times whenever Cahoon's name comes up, a worthy candidate for the moniker, though talent as always is the defining character in sport and Cahoon had that as well.

He was part of one of the most magical of passing combinations the league has seen, the frequent target of Anthony Calvillo, one's success dependent on the other and both complimented each other like few combos have in the past.

When Calvillo dropped back to pass, there was a pretty good chance that Cahoon was going to be at the other end of the pattern, shaking off double coverage, diving that extra few inches to make the catch, almost always gaining the needed yards, almost always moving the ball forward.

The Als have been as much of a dynasty over the last decade as any of the ancient teams of CFL legend of the past, slowly they are filtering away, retirement and age taking its toll on the chemistry that has been assembled and helped take football to its most popular place in Quebec's long storied football history.

An ongoing reference material that features some great names of the past, with a few more destined to the join the ranks of Sonny Wade, Peter Dalla Riva, Sam Etcheverry and oh so many more, they'll be saving a chapter for Anthony Calvillo and as should be expected, there will be a section for Ben Cahoon.

Likewise, we are sure that it won't be too long before he makes yet another trip north, for his enshrinement at the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton, where he will received his due from the league at large.

His final day with the Alouettes took place this week at a press conference to announce his departure, sometime this season we imagine there will be a public celebration of a great CFL career in Montreal, to fully recognize the talent, work ethic and personality that has made football worth watching in Quebec for 13 years.

There are countless videos uploaded to YouTube featuring his amazing catches, among the best of them is this one:



With word of his retirement, the tales are being told about his remarkable run with the Alouettes, samples of what he brought to the game and what CFL fans were fortunate to view for thirteen years, some of them can be found below.

Montreal Gazette-- 'Magical ride' ends for Cahoon
Montreal Gazette-- Alouette's Cahoon retires as CFL's all time leading receiver
Globe and Mail-- Als' Cahoon closes out stellar career
National Post-- Cahoon retires as CFL's all time leading receiver Class Act Cahoon goes out on top
Toronto Sun-- CFL's all-time leading receiver Cahoon retires
CBC-- Alouette's Cahoon retires

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CIS sends two to Shrine Game

Saturday's final college game of the season, the East-West Shrine Game which doubles a kind of a final exam for some draft eligible players featured two Canadian participants this year.

The showcase of football talent was broadcast on the NFL network and provided a good measuring stick for the two Canadians as they went to an extra level of their football careers this weekend.

The University of Calgary's Anthony Parker donned the uniform of the West team, while Queen's offensive lineman Matthew O'Donnell went to work for the east.

Two players from relatively humble CIS programs moving into the realm of the football factories of the American game, making the journey to Orlando with football and not Disneyworld on their minds.

Showing that the lead up week to the Shrine Game isn't a matter of dropping off your bags and getting ready for a pick up match, NFL teams run combine drills, exam sessions and interview each of the participating players, all designed to make a more complete list of draft eligible seniors for the April NFL draft.

CFL scouts dot the stands and sidelines as well, seeking to track down a player who may slip through an NFL crack or come up just short of expectations, possibly hoping to hone his skills north of the border for a few seasons or possibly more.

The game itself was dominated by the eastern squad, which handily defeated the west by a score of 25-8, the Eastern team's defensive units proving to be more than up to the challenge of the West's offensive threats.

And while neither of the two Canadian participants made it into the top ten of improved draft  prospects list from Saturday's game,  both Parker and O'Donnell left impressions on the scouts and testing personnel a showing that could provide for more notice on both sides of the football border.

Some of the reviews of Shrine Game week can be found below.

Vancouver Sun-- CFL teams eye seniors in East-West Shrine Game
Montreal Gazette-- Parker brings his game to passel of NFL scouts
Calgary Sun-- Dinos standout pumped for Shrine Bowl
The Gauntlet-- Parker to play in Shrine Game

Friday, January 21, 2011

Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes!

Our section dedicated to the on again, off again (mostly Toronto centred) fascination with bringing an NFL franchise to Canada.

A topic that has popped up on the Canadian Football radar  since the 1970's (when Montreal was the anticipated domino for Canadian football) but as of yet has provided for little more than exhibition football and the odd regular season game in Toronto.

However, the drum beat does go on and so we'll catalogue the latest offerings below.

Oct 9-- Globe and Mail-- NFL will do everything it can to keep Bills in Buffalo
May 6-- Globe and Mail-- Doug Ford apologizes to New Orleans football fans
May 6-- Toronto Sun-- Councillor Ford talks football again, gets hate mail
May 6-- Toronto politician aims for NFL franchise north of border
May 6-- CBS Sports-- Toronto Councillor: Um, never mind about Saints
May 6-- USA Today-- Saints reject idea they're on list for relocation to Toronto
May 5-- CBS Sports-- Toronto wants an NFL team, thinks it could happen
May 5-- Fox Sports-- Jags could move to Toronto, politician says
May 5-- Toronto Life-- Doug Ford's NFL plans just got (slightly) less crazy
May 5-- Orland Sentinel-- Toronto Jaguars? City official says Jags may be in play ...
May 5-- The Score-- Toronto Councillor on NFL: "They can't keep ignoring a market ..."
May 5-- New Orleans .com-- Toronto councillor apologizes for New Orleans Saints remarks
May 5-- So called Toronto NFL plan has flaws beyond reason 
May 5-- New Orleans Examiner-- The Toronto Saints? Not likely - rumours shot down ...
May 5-- ESPN-- Saints to Toronto? Not a chance
April 1-- Globe and Mail-- Bills trying to find ways to raise their profile in Toronto
March 29--National Post-- Toronto experiment paying off for Bills
January 21-- Globe and Mail-- Rob Ford's brother says four groups seek to bring NFL team to Toronto
January 21-- Toronto Sun-- Toronto's dreaming the impossible NFL dream
January 21-- Toronto Sun- Councillors take sides on NFL in Toronto
January 21-- Toronto Star-- Ford brothers revive dream of NFL franchise in Toronto
January 21-- Toronto Sun-- Argos Prez: Mayor can keep jersey
January 21-- Toronto Sun-- T. O. NFL team 'not a pipe dream'

CIS Twelve Men original posts

An archive of our original items on the blog, items which highlight developments in the football side of Canadian Inter University Sport.

August 31-- CIS Season Kickoff Arrives and the rankings are
August 17-- CIS Team by Team 2011 Season
January 23- CIS sends two to Shrine Game

CIS 2011

Our page for items of note on Canadian University Football for 2011.

CIS homepage
CIS (Quebec) Schedule for 2011
CIS Digest (our notes on events in the CIS)
CIS Twelve Men original Posts for 2011
CIS Team by Team 2011

CIS Digest 2011

A digest of items of note from Canadian Inter University Football.

September 2-- Rams deserve larger crowds
September 2-- Carabins beat Redmen to open CIS season
September 1-- Herd last in poll, high on hope
September 1-- Laval Rouge et Or the team to beat once more

August 31-- Maciocia set to make university coaching debut
August 31-- Huskies QBs to go head to head Friday
August 31-- Bisons ranked low by league's coaches
August 31-- Charles has set lofty goals
August 31-- Huskies, police launch cop cards
August 31-- Head coach Nill prefers Dinos 'fly under the radar'
August 30-- Baby Bisons budding
August 30-- Peressin's veteran presence bolsters Marauders
August 30-- Plaszek whips Marauders, himself into shape
August 29-- Good rookies held back
August 29-- Rams pass pre-season test
August 29-- Kapway looks like a keeper
August 28-- Dinos' offence crushes Golden Bears
August 28-- Bisons lose in Regina
August 28-- Dinos romp to 49-14 pre-season win over Alberta
August 27-- University of Regina Rams win pre-season clash
August 27-- Hicks healthy and happy
August 27-- Ringlein loses weight, gains yardage
August 27-- Coaches have tough decision
August 27-- Golden Bears think big
August 27-- Dinos trounce Golden Bears on gridiron
August 26-- Lancers to face Huskies
August 26-- Eyes on Bisons quarterback
August 26-- Gleason back in the saddle
August 26-- Dogs eager to assess on-field talent
August 25-- Running Wild
August 25-- Lancers to face Huskies Friday in the first pre-season game
August 25-- Windsor coach savours chance to play Huskies
August 25-- Rookie Ralph looks like a keeper
August 25-- Dogs go deep on defence
August 22-- Bisons QB Williams natural born leader
August 22-- Dinos rookie kicker has at least one big shoe to fill
August 24-- Healthy Riva hopes to bid flashy farewell
August 24-- Prized recruit bolts Western
August 24-- Lancers' new coach makes his debut in Huskies matchup
August 24-- Huskies, Lancers get set
August 24-- Big Bears tailback primed for big season
August 24-- 'Feisty' Connor Ralph impresses Golden Bears coach
August 23-- Missimg Mustangs a shocker
August 23-- D'Amore begins auction
August 23-- Huskies have money riding on upcoming Lancers match-up
August 21-- Dinos counting on talented gridiron 'man child' Chungh
August 20-- Thiel brings CFL experience back from Riders
August 20-- Top high school recruit provides added beef to Dinos' line
August 20-- No more meetings, lets play ball!
August 20-- Harty ready to make big impact
August 19-- Patriarch's loss poignant time for Mustangs
August 19-- Time for Dogs to return favour on the field
August 19-- Dinos' hopes rest with reigning CIS rookie of the year
August 19-- Golden Bears hit training camp
August 18-- Hinds thankful for Huskies' progress
August 18-- Depleted Dinos reloading
August 18-- Dogs face questions heading into camp
August 18-- Dinos set to begin another Vanier Cup quest
August 17-- Rans QB brings CFL experience back to Regina
August 16-- Injury takes Hassler out for the season
August 16-- Calgary football coach remembered
August 16-- UBC Thunderbirds football hosts CIS Vanier Cup for the firs time
August 16-- Dobie's Green team
August 16-- New stadium Bison's 'ace in the hole'
August 12-- Kovach wants to set the tone in pre-season
August 11-- OUA's University Rush returns
August 7-- The Canadian game suits me better as a quarterback
August 5-- Huskies happy to have Kohlert back
August 5-- Regina's Kohlert rejoining Huskies

March 25-- Bisons host football camp
March 22-- Mark Mueller profile
March 15-- DeLaval returns to join Dinos football coaching staff
March 14-- DeLaval joins Dinos coaching staff
March 8-- Can Sinopoli break the Canadian QB curse?
March 8-- Mustangs quartet impresses scouts
March 7-- Lineman smashes bench-press record at CFL combine
March 7-- Grandson of a CFL great takes his shot
March 7-- Danny Maciocia comes full circle with U de M
March 6-- Observations from day one of the CFL's E camps
March 6-- Anthony Parker is running down a CFL dream
March 5-- Maciocia plans to get schooled in new job
March 5-- CFL Combine: Knill smashes bench press record with 47 reps
March 4-- 4 Mustangs headed to CFL evaluation camp this weekend
March 3-- Europe: Where one day off between football games is enough
March 3-- CFL sizing up high-ranked Dino players
March 3-- Players finding alternative routes to CFL
March 3-- CFL sizing up Dino players
March 3-- Argos end search for top scout
March 3-- Evaluation camp a chance for CFL long shots to impress
March 2-- Canada taking the gridiron to a world stage
March 1-- Bison linebacker will attend CFL evaluation camp

February 22-- UBC could finally be joining the NCAA
February 19-- CIS Athletes dominate CFL E camp invitations

January 31-- Etcheverry interested in Canadian university coaching gig
January 21-- CIS bureaucracy leaves a player with no place to play in 2011 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CFL Snowbirds

Every January a good number of Canadians head for sunnier climes for a little relaxation in the sun and a break from the rigours of a Canadian winter.

Known as Snowbirds they depart in the darkest days of winter and come back fully rested to face the final weeks of Canada's coldest season.

The CFL has its own version of the snowbirds, a collection of CFL free agents that take advantage of a window in their CFL contracts to test the waters of the NFL.

Some make the trek and find that they come up a little short of expectations from the NFL factory, in most cases returning to don the uniform of the team they last played for.

Others however show enough that NFL teams sign them up for the following season, or at least for a training camp appearance complete with signing bonus.

Below we'll keep track of those CFL free agents import and non-import alike that are making the circuit of NFL teams, anxious to make their mark in football below the 49th.

For some background on this annual migration see the items below.

National Post-- Cory Greenwood's fast track to the NFL
National Post-- Coming soon to the NFL: More CFL players
Sportsnet-- Hoping for a shot down south

As the free agents pack their bags and bring their film, we'll monitor the departure gates from this location.

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

CFL Snowbirds: BC Lions

An update on departing Lions off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

January 27--  Danny Watkins isn't a Lion yet, and if things work out the way that the Vancouver Sun suggest, the Baylor University player and current Lion pick may never see the CFL.

January 24-- A contract extension for the Lions Jamal Robertson who now signs on until 2012

January 24-- Robertson's helping hand points Arceneaux in the direction of the NFL.

January 19-- Arceneaux poised to leave Lions' den

CFL Snowbirds: Edmonton Eskimos

An update on departing Eskimos off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

January 17-- Restelli signs on with NFL’s Dolphins: report

CFL Snowbirds: Calgary Stampeders

An update on departing Stampeders off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

January 19--  Stamps' Johnson inks deal with NFL's Saints
January 18-- Stamps all star corner back Brandon Browner set to join Seattle Seahawks

CFL Snowbirds: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

An update on departing Bopmbers off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

CFL Snowbirds: Hamilton Tiger Cats

An update on departing Tiger Cats off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

CFL Snowbirds: Toronto Argonauts

An update on departing Argonauts off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

CFL Snowbirds: Montreal Alouettes

An update on departing Alouettes off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

January 12-- Andre Hawkins signs with St. Louis Rams

CFL Snowbirds: Saskatchewan Roughriders

An update on departing Riders off to seek fame and fortune outside of the CFL.

January 20-- Roughriders Fantuz works out for NFL's Bears

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CFL lays the ground work for Ottawa's return

With the caveat that there really, really does need to be a stadium in place, the CFL has offered up the first stages of the league's plans to return to the National capital in time for the 2013 season.

The league today provided the blue print for the league draft that will stock the Ottawa franchise with players, providing details on what the Ottawa team can look forward to once they get to plotting their roster for that 2013 debut.

The expansion draft which will take place in December of 2012 will provide for three rounds of picks for Ottawa, one for imports and two round for the all important non import aspect of a CFL roster.

In total, Ottawa will be allowed to select a total of eight imports and sixteen non imports from CFL rosters. Included in that total will be two quarterbacks from the other eight members of the collective.

Providing the team is set to go, Ottawa's management will also be allowed to take part in the 2013  college draft, picking first in all six rounds of the 2013 Canadian draft and having selected as many as four underclassmen from the NCAA in 2012 CFL Canadian draft.

Some of the details on the expansion draft can be found below

Globe and Mail-- CFL develops expansion plan for Ottawa 
Vancouver Sun--  Draft plan supposed to make Ottawa competitive. We'll see 
Ottawa Citizen-- Ottawa's CFL franchise could have a partial roster by Christmas 2012 
Ottawa Sun-- CFL board confirms Ottawa team expansion draft

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Can't tell the coaches without a scorecard

Journalists and bloggers alike are keeping rather busy in the middle of a cold January, tracking the arrivals and departure desk of the CFL's coaching fraternity.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders receive a makeover as new head coach Greg Marshall makes a number of personnel changes for his sidelines for the year to come, some of those decisions were examined in a number of insightful posts found below.

In particular, our first selection featuring Murray McCormick's thoughts for his Rider Rumblings blog outlines the very personal nature of coaching and how the game can change their personal directions in a very short period of time.

Regina Leader Post-- TGIF: An off season edition
Regina Leader Post-- Murray's musings on a bitterly cold Thursday 
Winnipeg Free Press-- CFL coaching carousel keeps spinning

At the top of the draft list for the Ogdensburg US Border Service office

A CFL agent has found himself out of touch with his clients for the foreseeable future, after  being placed under arrest by US customs officials over an outstanding warrant.

According to media reports, CFL agent Mark Maren was placed under arrest in December, after applying for admission to the United States at the Ogdensburg, New York border crossing.

Upon a record check conducted by US border officials it was learned that there was a felony warrant issued against him out of Florida over fraud related incidents.

A press release issued by the US Border Services office also stated that Maren had an extensive criminal record in Canada, which made him inadmissible into the United States.

He reportedly is currently in jail in the United States, awaiting extradition to Florida

Among his clients in the CFL are Kevin Glenn, Barrin Simpson, Obby Khan, Joe Lobendahn and Otis Floyd.

Globe and Mail -- U. S. Customs and Border protection officials arrest CFL agent Mark Maren
Toronto Star-- CFL player faces fraud charges 
Sportsnet-- Prominent CFL agent arrested

Friday, January 14, 2011

Location, location, er location?

The long and winding road that leads to a new football stadium for Hamilton will apparently be a round about, as the City of Hamilton and Tiger Cats finally come to an agreement that in the end, while not a perfect solution, the best place you can be, is where you are.

This week details were released on the plan to refurbish Ivor Wynne Stadium,  a rehabilitation project that will see the south side seating area rebuilt, with improvements made to the north side seating area.

Though it being Hamilton, controversy seems to follow every announcement, this time the surprise nature of the Mayor's discussions with the Tiger Cats and the sudden, surprise announcement that Ivor Wynne was in the picture, with dreams of a sparkling new stadium now banished to the coulda, shoulda filing cabinet.

Should the latest plan fall through, the city intends to build a 5,000 seat stadium on the West Harbour for Pan Am soccer and the Cats we imagine would begin the process of looking for a new home, most likely out of Hamilton, though we suspect they can cross Burlington off of any relocation short list now.

In the wake of the latest twist in the tale of the Tabbies, the folks who call Burlington home are feeling just a little bit used, from their recent discussions with the Tiger Cats management team.

All in all, a pretty messy affair for the Tiger Cats to try and mend over (perhaps either discounts for season tickets for the Burlington postal code, or not mailing any pamphlets at all the two options for the Cats there).

Still, once Hamilton council approves the plan (never a sure thing we guess) the actual blue prints will be passed out, showing what the "new" Ivor Wynne (how long the name lasts in this era of corporate branding remains to be seen) will look like.

One thing we'll all be watching for is to see if the cramped sidelines are to be relegated to the past, the character of the current stadium has always featured the "heads up" approach to football, where a push out of bounds has a fifty fifty chance of sending the shovee off to intensive care, we imagine that feature of the old Ivor Wynne will be but a foggy memory in the future.

The reviews of the latest chapter of the Cats stadium desires can be found below.

Hamilton Spectator-- Council gives Ivor Wynne plan cautious support
Hamilton Spectator-- The imperfect compromise
Hamilton Spectator-- Wynne win situation
Hamilton Spectator-- Ivor Wynne not so bad after all
National Post-- Ticats, Hamilton mayor strike stadium deal
National Post-- One man never gave up on Ivor Wynne
National Post-- Pan-Am Games boss has questions about Ticats’ stadium plan
Globe and Mail-- Tiger-Cats staying put in Hamilton
Globe and Mail-- Hamilton stadium decision expected by mid February
Toronto Sun-- Ticats fans are happy they're staying at Ivor Wynne 

Friday, January 07, 2011

Khari Jones takes the helm of the Ti Cats offence

The Tiger Cats may still be looking for some real estate for their franchise home, but they covered a lot of ground this week in the administration department, with the announcement that Khari Jones, the teams quarterback coach will be taking over the entire offensive game book in the 2011 season.

The relationship between Quarterback coach and quarterback no doubt played some role in the decision, but it wasn't the only factor that Ti Cat head coach Marcel Bellefeuille considered when he looked over his short list of candidates for the offensive coordinator position.

The Cats no doubt hope to put that wealth of CFL experience that Jones brings to his position after nine campaigns in the CFL, on field performances that garnered him all star accolades and status as the leagues most outstanding player in 2001 when he played with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Point production will be the goal of the Jones offensive schemes, designed to deliver more than statistics but wins in the ledger as the season progresses.  A remix of the offensive play book seems in the works as well, with a bit more of an emphasis on the run than last year, while taking advantage of Kevin Glenn's skills at scrambling as well as passing.

The Cats who recently lost defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall, who took on the duties as head coach in Saskatchewan will continue on with the remake of the management lists, but the addition of Jones to the offensive rolodex is one that is being welcomed within the ranks, an indication that the path of last year wasn't one that was universally endorsed by those on the field.

It will be up to Jones to make sure that his blue print for 2011 is one that can be executed to success, as Ti Cat fans once again wonder if this is the year that their long lasting support finally brings them a chance to bring back the Grey Cup.

Hamilton Spectator-- Ti Cats hand ball to Khari Jones
Sun Newspapers-- Jones a quick study
National Post-- Ticats' Jones downplays potential QB controversy
Globe and Mail-- Tiger Cats name Khari Jones offensive co-ordinator
TSN- Former MVP Khari Jones named Ticats' offensive co-ordinator

Quick Snaps: CFL head office

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the head office of the CFL.


August 16-- Defences advocated degrees of roughing
August 15-- CFL Teams finding ways to gain the longest yard
August 12-- Meet Bernie Custis, football's first AfricanAmerican quarterback


July 21-- Vancouver Grey Cup sold out
July 15-- CFL War room meets the video review challenge
July 10-- Matt Dunigan reveals dark days with post-concussion syndrome
July 9-- Football hall of fame goes online
July 6-- CFL mirrors what's great about Canada


June 30-- Unplugged: Commissioner Cohon on the state of the CFL
June 29-- Some want to change confusing import rule
June 29-- Barker aims to make T. O. a CFL kind of town
June 28-- Task force recommends doping snitch line
June 24-- Unplugged: Theismann on the CFL, NFL and Marc Trestman
June 21-- CFL returning to NFL network
June 21-- NFL Network will air more CFL games
June 20-- Ottawa CFL group puts GM search on hold...
June 18-- CFL doc focuses on Bombers rookie
June 9-- Lawyer: Pryor not interested in CFL
June 1-- Damon Allen and the great Canadian QB hope


May 30-- Toronto Mayor must choose between CFL, NFL
May 15-- Taking brain injuries head on
May 8-- Receivers go fast at the CFL draft
May 7-- Everything to know about the quirky  CFL draft
May 7-- Mississauga school a football factory
May 7-- Lure of NFL can play havoc on CFL draft
May 7-- What to look for in the CFL draft
May 6-- CFL draft prospect ready to make the move
May 5-- CFL's draft a much trickier dance than NFL version
May 5-- CFL split on inexperienced intriguing prospect
May 5-- The risk of drafting Vaughn Martin
May 3-- Nationwide concussion awareness campaign launched


April 14-- Crazy CFL sequence leads to rule change
April 7-- 'Awareness is half the battle' for CFL and concussions
April 6-- CFL releases draft rankings
April 5-- Scott Mitchell named top ranked prospect for upcoming CFL draft
April 5-- Life expectancy of 55 shocks CFLers into push for safety


March 31-- CFL drug testers out in force
March 28-- Can NFL players come to CFL during lockout?
March 24-- Americans may turn to CFL
March 24-- No agent, no problem for some CFLers


February 25-- Cohon aims for more southern exposure
February 25--  Barker gets special surprise at awards luncheon
February 24-- 'Opportune time' for CFL expansion: PA boss
February 24-- Cohon not finished with CFL
February 23-- GM's sure Damon will get in
February 22-- Argos president defends CFL schedule makers
February 21-- Canadian Football Hall of Fame voting shrouded in bizarre secrecy
February 20-- Former CFL players' brains used in study link between concussions and disease
February 18-- Another Classic CFL blunder
February 7-- Moncton lands CFL regular-season sequel 


January 26-- False Facts
January 19-- While there are a few conditions still in place, (like a stadium for instance), the plans are moving forward to develop expansion plans for the Ottawa franchise planned for an entry into 2013 season.
January 17-- By way of the Huffington Post, The Nation provides an interesting look back at the career of Cookie Gilchrist