Friday, October 22, 2010

Wally's Lament, and other CFL Week 17 storylines

I am very proud of the Globe and Mail's Matthew Sekeres:
If his name weren’t Wally Buono, there would be grounds to fire the man in charge of the B.C. Lions.
The rest of Sekeres' story 'Buono's catchet begins to fade', is required reading.

Wally started the season by not having enough non-imported starters and ended last week by fluking out an overtime game with a 48-yard field goal from a kicker he didn't even know he had dressed.

You can forgive the occasional coaching mistake during the course of the game because things are happening so fast on the sideline and you need to get the right personnel on the field. Hours before gametime, not so much. Buono put backup kicker Sean Whyte on the 42-man roster and accidentally left actual kicker Paul McCallum off of it.

Wally was always a fan of cutting players before they hit their career decline (except for any player who was important during the 2004 season) but David Braley's failure to let Buono go before he went batshit senile turned out to be the difference between landing Eric Tillman as your new GM and anybody not named Eric Tillman.

With the playoff races decided for the most part, the story shifts to concussions. Andrew Bucholtz, as always, was on top of this one in the CFL Internet world.

Three NFL players were fined for helmet-to-helmet hits last week, and that's a step in the right direction. James Harrison of the Steelers, recipient of one of the fines, said that he's contemplating retirement because he feels the ability to go out onto the field and acting like a brutish, braindead asshole are compromised. If Harrison retired, there would be another step in the right direction.

Football is a physical game, but the more concussions are in the game, the more likely we won't have any football to watch because some sappy political organization, likely NDP contributors, named Mothers Against Violence in Football (or, as Jon Stewart would say: NAMBLA) will try to stop everybody's kids from looking like roid-induced maniacs at the linebacker position.

I equate the concussion problem in football to the clutching-and-grabbing problem that was apparent in hockey before the lockout. The NHL came out in their post-lockout season with a slew of new rules that made it impossible to watch a penalty-free game. Watch a game now compared to one from ten years ago, and you notice a lot less stickwork and players have more room to move. As a result, youth coaches and players are learning to avoid stick infractions and the like, and in fifteen years, as a result of this, the game will be better still because players won't know to use their sticks or hold when somebody blows by them--they'll turn around and skate to catch up to them.

In football, we'll see a similar thing: youth defensive players will learn to stop leading with the helmet, reducing the liklihood that a strong safety will be able to press a running back's brain against a newspaper and create a print impression.


Montreal (-1) @ Hamilton
BC @ Calgary (-9.5)
Toronto @ Winnipeg (-3.5)
Saskatchewan (-2.5) @ Edmonton

Early notice: there is a chance of precipitation in Edmonton on Sunday, and the early forecast calls for a low of -1. A snow game? Pretty please?

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