The Final review of the regular season, a weekend of action which really had little to provide us with other than a few record collectors, a few rested players and the elimination of the Tiger Cats from football's post season.
The Argos dismissed the Cats with a last second field goal that delivered on the drama of the night, sending the Cats to the exits, a departure that surely few thought was possible when the season started.
The rest of the schedule for the most part was simply running out the string of the nineteen weeks of CFL regular season play, providing a feel good home victory for the last game (we really really believe the Bombers this time) at Canad Inns stadium, a grudge match between the Stamps and Esks that delivered two records for the night, one for the home side one for the visitors and a practice run through for the Riders and the Lions in front of a large BC Place crowd, clearly warming up for the CFL West Final in two weeks.
The review of the final weekend of play is as follows.
Hamilton at Toronto
The Tiger Cats finally ran out of chances, bowing out of the prospect for post season play on the last game of the regular season, a season of what could have, hell, should have beens left wasted on the Rogers Centre field.
Perhaps losing in Toronto, on the last play of the game is was some kind of sign for Hamilton this year, a team that was on paper the cream of the CFL crop, on the field though the cream was sour and foul at times, leaving the Cats nowhere near where the fans of the team thought they would be.
Making matters even worse perhaps, they lost to a Toronto team that was resting star QB Ricky Ray, really, if they couldn't beat Toronto's B listers, they truly had no place being considered for a long shot playoff bid anyways.
The Argos will move on to face the Edmonton Eskimos on Sunday in the Eastern semi-final, the Cats will move on to next year, a season of anticipated upheaval starting with the fact that they don't even have a home stadium to play in at this point, with the prospect of playing home games in such locales as London, Moncton and maybe even Halifax still being bounced around by team officials.
Perhaps the road warrior thing might be best, until they work out their dysfunction on the field it's probably best that they become the Harlem Globetrotters of the CFL for a year, then again the way they played 2012, they more resemble the Washington Generals.
The full review of the final weekend for the Cats can be found here.
Calgary at Edmonton
The game itself was for the most part incidental, the Eskimos were making the playoffs, the only thing to be settled whether they go east or south, by the time the Stamps had taken the two points from the Esks the travel agents were on the phone booking flights and hotels in Toronto.
Like the Argos/Cats game the night before, the game came down to a field goal with the Eskimos securing the victory with a last play of the game effort from Rene Parades, a thrilling end to a game that looked like it was already in the books for the Stamps by the half.
Head Coach Kavis Reed however manage to shake his teams lethargic efforts as the second quarter was winding down and set the stage for the second half comeback for the Esks.
Still, some of the old problems for the Eskimos came along, with turnovers and incompletions slowing down their travels back to the win column, a place last visited three weeks ago, in the end they never quite finished the journey, ending the season with a 7-11 record and Toronto on their appointment calendar.
The Stamps will host the Riders on Sunday afternoon, when Saskatchewan tries to bring the first upset of the playoff season and a chance to travel further west for November 17.
The main highlight of the Friday night game was the record running of Jon Cornish who captured the most yards in a season by a Canadian, breaking Normie Kwon'gs mark of 1,437. An achievement that wasn't saluted by the Edmonton organization, not that Cornish probably cares.
The Eskimos claimed a record of their own on Sunday, as linebacker J. C. Sherritt made his 11th tackle of the game setting a new league record for single season tackles, passing by Calvin Tiggle's record of 129 set in 1994.
The review of Friday night's Esks and Stamps game can be found here.
Montreal at Winnipeg
The Bombers finally can clear out their lockers at Canad Inn Stadium and move their belongings over to the other side of town, who gets to check out the new digs will however have to wait until next Spring, for with Saturday's final whistle came to an end Blue Bomber football for 2012.
They went out on a winning note, claiming a 19 to 11 victory over the visiting Alouettes, who rested Anthony Calvillo and a few other key players on the roster.
The Bombers get the consolation prize of third place in the East, a nice sounding ring to it, holding above the water line of the Ticats who sank to fourth, however, the Bomber record wasn't good enough to halt the march of the Eskimos into Ontario, Edmonton claiming the crossover berth into the East semi final for this weekend.
The final game provided a final bit of relief from a season of woe for the Bombers, a season that started with a lengthy road trip of four games, all of which were losses and cost the team a head coach, kept their starting QB on the sidelines for most of the season owing to injury and left the always supportive Bomber fans weary for the year to end.
Montreal used the game as a tune up, though the reviews of back up QB Adrian McPherson weren't particularly of the rave variety in Montreal, with Anthony Calvillo edging closer to retirement by the year, it would seem that perhaps a search may soon be required for that fateful day.
That however is for another day, another month and who know's perhaps even another year, Calvillo will be back at the controls on the 17th when the Als host either the Argos or the Esks, well rested and rehearsed, looking to make yet another Grey Cup appearance for the Rouge, Blanc et Bleu of the gridiron.
The Bombers and Als in review can be found here.
Saskatchewan at British Columbia
The home side attracted quite a crowd for the final regular season game at BC Place and with the stands looking quite impressive the Lions put on a show that offers up the promise of more to come in two weeks.
Saskatchewan already aware of their fate of a date with Calgary next week, played Saturday's wrap to the season with little in the way of imagination or effort, walk through participants in a game time practice of sorts for Travis Lulay who got in some required reps after coming back from injury and then sat and watched the second stringers take the game to the Riders.
When it was done the score was an underwhelming 17-6 result for the Lions, both teams no doubt content that they managed to make it through the full sixty without injury.
The Riders most likely were already focusing on the Stamps, the Lions on the Western Final of two weeks and should they find success at home then, a trip to Toronto for the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup.
The look back at sleepy time by False Creek can be found here.