Thursday, June 30, 2011

CFL Gameday: BC at Montreal (June 30, 2011)

The Lions travel east to kick off the 2011 season against the defending Grey Cup champion Alouettes, the usual packed house at Molson Stadium set to honour their champs at the teams home opening night.

Below you can find information about the game, both previews and game reviews as well as other items of note from both CFL.ca and other sources.

Game Time 7:30 PM at Molson Stadium (TSN)

Pre Game


Vancouver Province-- Simon shows better than he tells
Vancouver Sun-- Lions-Alouettes: Players to watch, three themes to the game
Globe and Mail-- Calvillo eyes passing record as CFL season kicks off
National Post-- Is Calvillo the best quarterback ever?

Quick Snaps Montreal Alouettes
Quick Snaps BC Lions


Post Game


Montreal 30, British Columbia 26
(Attendance 22,317)


Globe and Mail-- Alouettes down Lions in CFL opener
Vancouver Province-- Leos tame in 30-26 loss to Montreal
Vancouver Sun-- BC Lions rally comes up short in loss to Alouettes
National Post-- Calvillo, Alouettes outlast Lions
Canada.com-- Alouettes hold off Lions to open CFL season

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

CFL Regular Season: Week 1

The CFL kicks off it's 99th year this Canada Day weekend, a season that holds much hope and a fair amount of distance from the dark days of not too long ago.

That positive atmosphere is outlined in the Commissioner's Season welcome, which not only touches on the current season and the plans for Grey Cup 99 but offers up a look to the future as well.

As for the action on the field,  the games of the 99th season debut include:

Thursday, June 30-- BC 26 at Montreal 30 (A-- 22,317)
Friday, July 1-- Winnipeg 24 at Hamilton 16 (A-23,852)
Friday, July 1-- Toronto 23 at Calgary 21 (A-- 27,248)
Sunday, July 3-- Edmonton 42 at Saskatchewan 28 (A-- 30,048


Twelve men prognostications:  Predicted Winners


Montreal
Hamilton
Calgary
Regina


Weekly Record -- 1 for 4

British Columbia Lions: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

Vancouver hosts the Grey Cup this November, and with a brand new BC Place to show off to the country, the Lions most likely would like to be the host of the big party at the end of the CFL season.

Wally Buono, the Lions GM and Head coach starts the 2011 campaign with Travis Lulay as his starter, last years dramas of the Casey Printers return now firmly in the Lions rear view mirror.

The move of Lulay up to definitive number one spot has been well received by his Lions team mates, he arrived in Vancouver in mid winter to work out with the Lions staff and his receiver corps, a bit of familiarity that should pay dividends through the summer and into the fall.

The names of that receiving corps are familiar ones to CFL fans, Simon, Jackson and Peterson, all ready to snare Lulay's tosses and turn them up field. Should he get in a jam or Buono require a change of pace, Jarious Jackson will once again be on the sidelines ready to step in and turn the on field dynamics around.

The backfield could possibly have seen an addition or two, the bulk of the load to be carried by Jamal Robertson.

The Lions had some hopeful thoughts that Jerome Messam might have been a good fit into the Lions backfield, but he had disciplinary issues in the early going of the Lions camp and quickly found himself off to Edmonton.

His departure, if nothing else a helpful teaching moment for the Lions that Buono would be sure that the team came first this season, that individual issues would not be tolerated and would be dealt with quickly.

That template for the season may be a handy guide for the Lions as to what they need to do to make the 2011 campaign a success.

In order to be the "real" home team for the West when the Grey Cup kicks off, the Lions will need more than talent to challenge the Stamps and Riders, providing his team with the message that all of the players are working to the common goal could provide the Lions with the edge required to put some British Columbia content into Vancouver's Grey Cup week celebrations.

The task is a tough one this year, both Calgary and Saskatchewan are strong, with that same goal no doubt scribbled on a board sometime during training camp this spring.

It's who can best live up to the concept of one team, one goal that will dictate which team will claim the West title this season.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:

Calgary Stampeders: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

Are the Stamps poised to become the talk of the league again?

Indications from the Stamps training camp and pre season efforts offer up clues that there may be a shift in the West again, with Calgary ready to take back the status of the team to beat in the West and maybe in the entire CFL.

The depth of the Stampeders starts with its coaching staff, where two of the leagues greats are in charge.

With Head Coach and GM John Hufnagel the Stamps have long been a force in the West, known best for a strong offensive look, led by last years MVP Henry Burris.  Now in his 13th CFL season, Burris has provided many a thrilling night a McMahon Stadium, this year he will have Dave Dickenson to offer up guidance on the offense, as Dickenson having put away the shoulder pads a few years ago, now takes over as offensive coordinator.

For the Stamps the idea that he might want to dust them off probably might have been tempting, especially since Stamps back up Drew Tate was injured in the last pre season game and will be out for at least the first third of the season.

However, rather than tap the former CFL star to contemplate a return, the Stamps went and picked up Michael Bishop to cover off the injury time for Tate, allowing for Canadian rookie Brad Sinopoli to continue to learn the ins and outs of the CFL game.
The best scenario for the Stamps of course is that Burris remains healthy and Tate eventually recovers, making Bishop the insurance policy that is good to have but not necessarily required.
Should that be the reality, its hard to see a challenge to the potential numbers that the Stamps can put on the scoreboard, and while defensively they may be a little less fluid, on most nights we imagine the Stamps offensive numbers will be more than enough to put a W in the proper column.
And it's likely that there will be enough of them to keep the fans at McMahon happy through till November.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:


Edmonton Eskimos: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

It's another rebuilding year for the once upon a time monsters of the west, the Eric Tillman era gets its first full season underway with opening day, as the Eskimos GM strives to put his stamp on a team that once was synonymous with success.

There have been a few lean years in Northern Alberta in recent seasons, the Esks struggling to bring back the swagger to the old days of the City of Champions eras,  the steps that fans hope lead back to those days get under this season, and while there won't be instant success, the foundation is no doubt being put in place to once again challenge the remainder of the Esks West division rivals.

The task of leading the Esks down the field once again falls to Ricky Ray who Esks fans hope will return to launching some missiles down the field rather than scrambling to stay alive.  For a bit of extra back up for the Eks, Tillman has brought in veteran Kerry Joseph, who will help provide some stability at the QB spot and provide as a helpful second tutor for the up and coming QB ranks.

The key addition however of the year is that of Kavis Reed, who left Winnipeg to take over as head coach after the departure of Richie Hall who returned to Saskatchewan in the off season.

Reed will bring his vast knowledge of defensive styles and schemes with him, providing a focal point for an Eskimos team that in the last few years has been rather weak in that department.
The key for the Eskimos and their fans for that matter however, will be to take things slow, developing a sense of winning again, recovering from mistakes that in the past few years have led to some serious troubles on the field.
It’s doubtful that they’ll get to the Grey Cup this year and maybe not next, but Tillman can build football teams, something he has proven from BC, to Toronto and on into Saskatchewan.
Edmonton has long been one of the strongest of franchises in the CFL, one with a passionate fan base and one which had grown used to success.
For those fans, it may yet be another tough season, but progress we imagine will be seen.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:

Saskatchewan Roughriders: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

He may be a new coach, but he's going to hear much about an an old ambition in Saskatchewan, a return to the Grey Cup Final and a chance for a parade in Regina.

Greg Marshall, takes the helm of the iconic Roughrider name this summer, a much deserved rise to the upper levels of coaching in Canadian football and a stop that will come with no shortage of assistants directly behind his back up in the stands amongst the Rider Nation.

Of all the CFL teams, the Riders are the ones that perhaps are claimed the most by the fan base, far beyond  Saskatchewan the Rider Nation knows its team and expects performance year in and year out, for Marshall it is an opportunity to show what any number of teams may have missed out on over the years, teams that always had him on a short list, but went in a different direction when the time came to name a field boss.

Most recently of the Tiger Cats, Marshall's legacy there was a return to the kind of tough as nails, don't take us for granted approach that the fans in Hamilton always appreciated, its no doubt an approach that will find favour in Saskatchewan as well.


There are however some gaps to fill in on the Riders roster, most significantly in the receiving corps with the departure of Andy Fantuz, who is off to the Chicago Bears (providing they actually play this fall), while Robbie Bagg is injured and not expected back this season.
Those targets of last season may very well be missed by Darian Durant, who will once again be taking to the pivot position with the goal of a third consecutive Grey Cup appearance in the blue print for his Riders.
The domination of the Riders however, may start to decline this season as both Calgary and BC seem ready to step up again and challenge, it will be up to Greg Marshall to find a way to secure what seems of late to have been the Riders natural spot for the end of November, lining up for another Grey Cup kickoff!

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:

Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

Despite some lean years on the field, the CFL continues to be a strong brand in Manitoba, a statement that was only reinforced earlier this month when the Bombers announced another successful season ticket drive , numbers that were added to in the same week that the newly arrived NHL franchise had launched its much publicized and expensive season ticket drive of its own.

It's a testimony to the sports fans of the province that they continue to proclaim their support of the league and the Blue that they have posted season ticket sales well past 20,000, a fine foundation for the move next year, to their new state of the art stadium on the University of Manitoba campus.

That support for the team should pay some dividend's this year, as the gong show atmosphere of a few years ago seems to have been replaced by a much more stable situation in the front office.

Head Coach Paul LaPolice, has instilled a much more accountable standard for his players, seeking to reward the Bomber faithful with a team that indeed seems designed to play for each other and the fans as opposed to sow of the individual drama that tended to infect the team in seasons past.

The key of course remains the quarterback situation, if Buck Pierce can indeed remain healthy this year, the continuity from training camp towards the playoffs should help the Blue make major strides this year, it might be a little bit early to think Grey Cup in Winnipeg, but a good long run in the regular season and maybe a playoff surprise could help send out Canad Inn stadium in style this year.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:


TSN Winnipeg Blue Bombers season preview
Rogers Sportsnet Winnipeg Blue Bombers season preview
The Score Winnipeg Blue Bombers season preview
CFL Sports Winnipeg Blue Bombers season preview
Canadian Press Winnipeg Blue Bombers season preview
National Post Winnipeg Blue Bombers season preview

Hamilton Tiger Cats: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

By all standards the 2010 season was a disappointment for the Hammer, the Cats took a step back in their progress last year, no doubt much to the chagrin of head coach Marcel Bellefeuille who watched as his team had an inconsistent regular season and then bowed out in the semi final to the rival Argonauts, something that no doubt made the Ti Cat coaches and staff just a little bit snarly in the off season.

This year may offer up its own challenges, with the departure of Greg Marshall, the architect of the always tough Ti Cat defence has moved on to take on the head coaching duties of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. A well deserved and one of those about time developments, but one that leaves big shoes to fill in Hamilton.

While the Cats work out the changes to their defensive planning, the offense seems to have improved measurably in the off season. The addition of Avon Cobourne from Montreal proves the Cats with a dynamic running back that should keep the opposing defense honest, combined with a healthy Kevin Glenn and scoring could see a serious uptick on the board at Ivor Wynne this year.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:

TSN Hamilton Tiger Cats Season preview
Rogers Sportsnet Hamilton Tiger Cats Season preview 
The Score Hamilton Tiger Cats Season preview 
CBC Sports Hamilton Tiger Cats Season preview
Canadian Press Hamilton Tiger Cats Season preview
National Post Hamilton Tiger Cats Season preview

Toronto Argonauts: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

It's often stated that there is no more important franchise to the CFL than that of Toronto, though at times you have to wonder if the folks that live around the GTA understand that much.

The Argos at times run through the cash in head spinning amounts, leaving owners in their wake shaking their heads at the folly of trying to keep Canadian football as a going concern in the nations' largest market.

David Braley is the latest of community minded Canadians to take up the challenge, in Braley's case at the same time as he operates the BC Lions, which he rescued from a similar situation a number of years ago.

The turn around worked in BC based on a good local office and some smart football judgement to go with it, having success on the field also has assisted the Lions to once again rate high on the sports calendar on the west coast.

We're not sure if Mr. Braley brought an actual blue print to Toronto a year or so ago, but last years learning curve has laid some good roots for the Argos, making this a year that the Double Blue will have to back up some of that organizational stability with some success on the field.

General Manager and Head coach Jim Barker knows what he wants to see on the field and where he wants his team to be at the end of the season, as an organization he points east to the success of Montreal over the last few years as a pretty good guideline as to what success should look like.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Montreal Alouettes: Season Preview 2011

Training camps are finished and the cut down day has passed, as we head towards the kick off to the 2011 CFL Season, we take a look at the previews for each team.

The defending Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes kick off our season preview, with a few key departures heading into training camp in the names of Ben Cahoon (retired) and Avon Cobourne (moved on to Hamilton), it will be a bit  of a new look to the Alouette offence this season.

That being said, the most important cog into what makes the Alouettes work is back for another season, Anthony Calvillo, who announced at  the conclusion of the Grey Cup game that he would undertake thyroid cancer surgery in the off season, has a clean bill of health and a laser like focus on what is ahead this year.

Beyond the quest for a return to the Grey Cup, Calvillo is in pursuit of the record book with Damon Allen's passing yardage numbers among some of his targets.

For the most part the Alouettes have had almost a free ride in the last few years in the east, however, this year may be a slightly different dynamic, both Hamilton and Toronto have made upgrades and should be much stronger in the east, while Winnipeg may be yet another year or so from putting a scare into the defending Grey Cup champs, they too could make things interesting, especially if Buck Pierce remains healthy in Winnipeg.

Should Montreal advance to the Grey Cup and a defence of its title, it's certain that the path will have been a little bit harder than past years.

However, a little hard work has never been something that head coach Marc Trestman has been afraid of, his teams traditionally have been among the best prepared squads in the league, something that the fans who regularly fill Molson Stadium to the top have come to expect.

This year won't bring any disappointment on work ethic, but whether the talent can measure up to that work ethic will be discovered as the season moves forward.

Some of the previews from across the media that cover the CFL season can be found below:

TSN Montreal Alouettes preview
Rogers Sportsnet Montreal Alouettes preview
The Score Montreal Alouettes preview
CBC Sports  Montreal Alouettes preview 
Canadian Press Montreal Alouettes preview
National Post Montreal Alouettes preview

Saturday, June 25, 2011

CFL Attendance Tracker 2011

Overall Attendance Leaders
(Regular Season only -- Average of attendance)
Final tally

Edmonton -- (34, 737)
Calgary -- (30,541)
Saskatchewan - (29,940)
British Columbia -- (29,725) ** first two thirds of season at Empire Field
Winnipeg -- (29,561)
Montreal -- (24,058)
Hamilton -- (23,676)
Toronto -- (20,018)


League Average-- 27,782
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Team by Team
Week by Week


Montreal Alouettes

November 13-- Hamilton at Montreal (33,051) at Olympic Stadium (East Semi Final)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 30-- Calgary at Montreal (24,051)
October 16-- Hamilton at Montreal (23,668)
October 10-- Toronto at Montreal (23,960)
September 18-- Winnipeg at Montreal (24,642)
September 11--  Hamilton at Montreal (24,304)
August 11-- Edmonton at Montreal (24,448)
July 24-- Saskatchewan at Montreal (24,434)
July 15-- Toronto at Montreal (24,698)
June 30 -- BC at Montreal (22,317)
---------------------------------
Pre season- 21,223

Toronto Argonauts

November 3-- Hamilton at Toronto (20,833)
October 21-- Edmonton at Toronto (19,176)
October 14-- Calgary at Toronto (18,720)
October 1-- Hamilton at Toronto (21,853)
September 24-- Winnipeg at Toronto (19,108)
September 2-- BC at Toronto (19,593)
August 18-- Saskatchewan at Toronto (20,482)
August 4 -- Montreal at Toronto (19,204
July 23-- Winnipeg at Toronto (21,189)
---------------------------------
Pre season 12,851

Hamilton Tiger Cats

October 22-- British Columbia at Hamilton (25,536)
October 7 -- Winnipeg at Hamilton (23,268)
September 25-- Calgary at Hamilton (20,153) at Moncton NB
September 16-- Edmonton at Hamilton (22,654)
September 5-- Montreal at Hamilton (26,964)
August 13-- Toronto at Hamilton (24,347)
July 29-- Montreal at Hamilton (24,068)
July 16-- Saskatchewan at Hamilton (22,245)
July 1 -- Winnipeg at Hamilton (23,852)
---------------------------------
Pre season-- 26,732

Winnipeg Blue Bombers
** Temporary seats added to CanadInn Stadium August 26


November 20-- Hamilton at Winnipeg (30,051)  East Final


--------------------------------------------------------------------


October 28-- Toronto at Winnipeg (29,751)
October 21-- Montreal at Winnipeg (30,360)
September 30-- Montreal at Winnipeg (30,447)
September 11-- Saskatchewan at Winnipeg (30,518)
August 26 -- Hamilton at Winnipeg (30,338)
August 5-- Edmonton at Winnipeg (29,553)
July 28-- British Columbia at Winnipeg (29,553)
July 14-- Calgary at Winnipeg (27,890)
July 8-- Toronto at Winnipeg (27,638)
----------------------------------
Pre season-- 29, 117

Saskatchewan Rough Riders

October 29-- Hamilton at Saskatchewan (29,073)
October 16-- British Columbia at Saskatchewan (30,048)
September 24-- British Columbia at Saskatchewan (30,048)
September 17-- Toronto at Saskatchewan (30,048)
September 4-- Winnipeg at Saskatchewan (30,048)
August 12-- Calgary at Saskatchewan (30,048)
July 30-- Calgary at Saskatchewan (30,048)
July 9 -- Montreal at Saskatchewan (30,048)
July 3 -- Edmonton at Saskatchewan (30,048)
-----------------------------------
Pre season-- 29,130


Edmonton Eskimos


November 13-- Calgary at Edmonton (30, 183) West Final

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


November 4-- Saskatchewan at Edmonton (30,845)
October 16-- Winnipeg at Edmonton (30,734)
October 10-- Saskatchewan at Edmonton (38,054)
September 23-- Montreal at Edmonton (40,274)
September 9-- Calgary at Edmonton (45,672)
August 19-- British Columbia at Edmonton (36,216)
July 29-- Toronto at Edmonton (32,478)
July 16-- British Columbia at Edmonton (32,297)
July 9 -- Hamilton at Edmonton (26,266)
------------------------------------
Pre season-- 32,796

Calgary Stampeders

November 5-- Winnipeg at Calgary (29,076)
October 21-- Saskatchewan at Calgary (29,698)
October 1-- Saskatchewan at Calgary (33,489)
September 17-- British Columbia at Calgary (29,929)
September 5-- Edmonton at Calgary (35,650)
August 27-- Montreal at Calgary (30,386)
August 6-- Hamilton at Calgary (29,307)
July 23-- Edmonton at Calgary (29,910)
July 1  -- Toronto at Calgary (27,428)
--------------------------------
Pre season-- 8,235


British Columbia Lions
First five games played at Empire Field, final four played at BC Place - marked as **

November 27-- Winnipeg at British Columbia (         )  Grey Cup Championship

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 20-- Edmonton at British Columbia (41,313) Western Division Final

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


November 5-- Montreal at British Columbia (35,454)
October 29-- Edmonton at British Columbia (29,749)**
October 8-- Calgary at British Columbia (30,622)**
September 30-- Edmonton at British Columbia (50,213)**
September 10-- Toronto at British Columbia (25,263)
August 11-- Winnipeg at British Columbia (24,131)
August 5-- Saskatchewan at British Columbia (25,238)
July 22-- Hamilton at British Columbia (24,117)
July 8-- Calgary at British Columbia (22,378)
--------------------------------
Pre season-- 18,742





Friday, June 24, 2011

CFL Gameday: Calgary at Edmonton (June 24, 2011)

The Battle of Alberta gets a pre-season workout as the Stampeders travel north to take on the Eskimos.

Below you can find information about the game, both previews and game reviews as well as other items of note from both CFL.ca and other sources.

Gamed time, 7 PM MT Commonwealth Stadium (TSN 2)

Pre Game

CFL.ca-- Battle of Alberta caps off pre season
Edmonton Journal-- Rookie's anthem sets a light tone at Eskimos' practice
Edmonton Sun-- Esks eager to renew Battle of Alberta
Calgary Herald-- Murphy's golden opportunity
Calgary Sun-- Stamps still have plenty to prove

Quick Snaps Edmonton Eskimos
Quick Snaps Calgary Stampeders


Post Game


Calgary 37, Edmonton 22 
(Attendance-- 32,796 )


CFL.ca-- Stamps ride to pre-season victory over Esks
Calgary Sun-- Stamps win final tuneup
Edmonton Journal-- Good news, bad news outing for Eskimos

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Home is where the heart is

While Ottawa's civic officials and advocate groups argue over whether they even want a stadium (see Twelve Men passim), other Canadian cities are moving forward with their plans either for renovation or construction of new stadium facilities.

Cities such as Vancouver are moving towards a completion date of the jewel of the CFL's BC Place (soon to be fitted with its retractable roof), Hamilton finally moving forward towards a new facility at Ivor Wynne and Regina reviewing its options for its own downtown stadium, a structure which could very well make Saskatchewan's capital the envy of most Canadian cities.

In Winnipeg, the actual shovels are in the ground at the University of Manitoba site where the Bombers will call home in 2012.

With the end of the era for Winnipeg Stadium/CanadInn Stadium now within sight, the Winnipeg Free Press is offering up a look back at some remarkable Blue Bomber history.

The Winnipeg paper has begun an affectionate look back at the 58 year old stadium that provided thrills and tears for Bomber fans through its history, home to Grey Cup celebrations as well as games that denied their Blue a chance to compete for the CFL's coveted Cup.

We will provide a link to each remembrance as they update their scrapbook, planned for each Bomber home game.

June 23--  Opening night, August 15, 1953

CFL Gameday: Toronto at Winnipeg (June 23, 2011)

The Blue Bombers showcase their 2011 roster to their fan base on Thursday, the Bomber which recently made news owing to the healthy number of season ticket holders are hoping to reward that loyalty with a solid effort against the Argonauts.

Below you can find information about the game, both previews and game reviews as well as other items of note from both CFL.ca and other sources.

Game Time 7 PM  CT CanadInn Stadium (TSN)

Pre Game

Winnipeg Sun-- Success could earn Pierce rest
Winnipeg Free Press-- Tonight's tix going like hotcakces
Toronto Star-- Argos coach Barker faces tough decisions after Winnipeg game

Quick Snaps Toronto Argonauts
Quick Snaps Winnipeg Blue Bombers


Post Game

Toronto 30, Winnipeg 23
(Attendance - 29,117 )

CFL.ca-- Down to the wire: Argos squeak out exciting win
Winnipeg Free Press-- Argos beat Bombers 20-23
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers have plenty of work to do
Toronto Star-- Lemon sharp as Argonauts beat Bombers in pre-season thriller
Globe and Mail-- Argos outlast Blue Bombers
National Post-- Late TD lifts Argonauts past Bombers

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CFL return to Ottawa more of a slow march, rather than a two minute drill

The prospect of the CFL's return to the nation's capital took a slight detour this week, with word that the ownership of the proposed franchise has decided to put on the back burner their quest for a General Manger for the team.

With the approval stage of the team's hoped for home at Lansdowne Park still in the midst of legal dispute, the owners are  now targeting 2014 as the launch date for the city's return to the CFL, that of course probably contingent on whether the City of Ottawa and it's warring factions in opposition to the Lansdowne project ever get their act together.

The latest stumbling block to a rebuilding of the Lansdowne site is the fate of the Horticulture building, purported by some seemingly to be an architectural gem that must be left in its historic state, not to be moved as was the original plan of development.

OMB supports Lansdowne project; remaining challenge to be heard in court next week
Internal Document: City's Lansdowne Media Strategy
Friends of Lansdown post legal case to scrap redevelopment plan
Mayor and councillors unfazed by recommendation against moving Horticulture Building
Watson calls proposal to move Ottawa Art Gallery to Lansdowne "political"

Now, this is an interesting twist of the tale of Lansdowne, the Rideau canal side lands that have been the home for both football, hockey and exhibitions in its long and regaled history.

I grew up not far from the place, spent more than a few summers wandering the midway of the Central Canada Exhibition and then it's spawn the SuperEx, and while we remember the Cattle Castle to this day, (some memories and aromas are forever ingrained) we can't say we had any particular attachment to the other various pavilions of the Lansdowne area, most of which seemed to be just blocks of cinder hosting trade show like items of some interest.

Having long ago left the city, we are not quite up to speed on all the uses of the various buildings at Lansdowne now, nor are we aware of all the issues of the day in the region when it comes to large scale land developments.

But this approval process for an entertainment complex, which seems to be along the same lines as the myriad of developments across North America these days with its mixed land use prospects, seems to have taken on glacial proportions when it comes to moving forward.

If anything, in a city that through Parliament Hill has long been regarded across the nation as a place where change is done at a snails pace, this land debate over the Lansdowne site makes the folks on the Hill look like fast moving and efficient administrators.

The concept of a stadium on the banks of the Rideau has been part of Ottawa history through the decades of the last century, so the idea of a football stadium/hockey rink there is not exactly something just dropped onto the populace.

The fact that the proposed project seems to be designed to make the site much more beneficial to the Metropolitan Ottawa region beyond the football, hockey or exhibition dates, should be celebrated, bringing back life to a part of the city that perhaps has been forgotten owing to the city's massive sprawl over the last few decades.

The latest approach of those that are against the development, using a building that really has little resonance to the population at large as its stop sign, is an indication that the greater good of the community can be held hostage by those who wish to stop any form of forward movement in the city.

The ownership group that has been assembled for the CFL's return appears to be a first class group, with the public face of Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt in the fore front, the prospects for a successful return to the league, with an engaged local ownership has never been better.

The only thing seemingly in the way of a rebirth of a valuable part of Ottawa's past (both with football and with Lansdowne) seems to be a small, but loud group of opponents, seemingly well organized though we wonder if their complaints resonate with the larger pool of residents that call Ottawa home.

Hopefully the rest of the city's residents will begin to weigh in on this and send some indication as to what they want for the Lansdowne site.

Far too often in Ottawa's history the chance to develop something of a grand scale has slipped by (especially when it comes to the ages old debate over the future of Lansdowne Park), once again it seems that the same old scenario is rising up.

Hopefully some common sense will prevail and what appears to be a positive development for the city's south side will finally get a go ahead and with it the ownership group of the city's CFL team can get back to work on putting together a management team to bring a successful CFL team back to the field in the nations capital.

For those with a bit of time on their hands, the Ottawa Citizen is providing coverage of the OMB hearings this week, providing a glimpse into the political machinations involved in the development.

Some of their findings can be reviewed below.




Lansdowne showdown begins
Lansdowne Hearings Day 1
Lansdowne Hearings Day 2
Lansdowne Hearings Day 3
Lansdowne Hearings Day 4
Lansdowne Hearings Day 5

Friends of Lansdowne get their day in court
Judge questions lack of expert evidence on alleged Lansdowne subsidies
Judge questions lack of expertise to deal with Lansdowne case

CBC-- Lansdowne bad-faith claims rejected by city lawyer
CBC-- Lansdowne sole sourced deal questioned
CBC-- Lansdowne Park legal showdown begins
CBC-- The fight over Lansdowne Park
CBC-- Read the documents: Lansdowne Park hearings
CTV-- Trial begins for Lansdowne redevelopment project

CFL Pre-season Week 2

The final week of training camp and pre-season games wraps up this week, four final tune up games before the regular season kick off next week.

Games this week include:

Wednesday, June 22-- Montreal 20 at Hamilton 57 (A 26,732)
Wednesday, June 22-- Saskatchewan 6 at BC 34 (A 18,742)
Thursday, June 23-- Toronto 30 at Winnipeg 23 (A 29,117)
Friday, June 24-- Calgary 37 at Edmonton 22 (A  32,796 )

CFL Gameday: Saskatchewan at BC (June 22, 2011)

The pre-season comes to a close for the Lions and Riders tonight, as Saskatchewan heads west for a final tune up session in Vancouver.

Below you can find information about the game, bot previews and game reviews as well as other items of note from both CFL.ca and other sources.

Game Time 7 PM PT Empire Field (TSN)

Pre Game


CFL Gameday: Montreal at Hamilton (June 22, 2011)

The final tune up of the CFL pre-season for the Ticats and Alouettes is set to go, offering up the fans in Hamilton a chance to see what kind of team their Ticats will field in the 2011 season.

Below you can find information about the game, bot previews and game reviews as well as other items of note from both CFL.ca and other sources.

Game Time 7 PM ET Ivor Wynne Stadium (TSN)

Pre Game

CFL.ca-- Ticats welcome Als to Ivor Wynne
Hamilton Spectator-- Roster battles continue against Alouettes
National Post-- Al's DeAngelis: "Emotion has been beaten out of me"

Quick Snaps Montreal Alouettes
Quick Snaps Hamilton Tiger Cats


Post Game


Hamilton 57, Montreal 20
(Attendance 26,732 )

CFL.ca-- Ticats prevail in pre-season fog
Hamilton Spectator-- Ticats lay 57-20 trouncing on the Als
Globe and Mail-- Ticats overwhelm Alouettes
National Post-- Ticats make statement against Alouettes