Friday, November 5, 2010

Some CFL thoughts headed into final week

The last few weeks of the CFL season are usually 'playing for nothing but pride' time, but this year has actually had one of the more compelling playoff races in recent years.

Maybe it's just because both teams started off so bad. Maybe it's because the talent pool is pretty lousy this year. But both the Edmonton Eskimos and BC Lions have been hot lately--the Esks have won 5 of 6 and the Lions 4 of 6, with both of their losses coming in overtime.

This week, it's simple for Edmonton at Mosaic against the Roughriders (who are playing for nothing but pride). Win, finish the year winning 6 of 7 and be the hottest team headed into the playoffs. They have the disadvantage of playing two hours after the conclusion of the Lions/Tiger-Cats game on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions fan in me wants to deliberately rationalize this into meaning that the Eskies will pay too much attention into the other game than they do the pre-game warmups, or that, once BC dispatches the Tabbies, (who are playing for nothing but pride) Edmonton will tighten up a little bit, or something.

It will be an oddly compelling Saturday afternoon of football. We can only hope it ends like this:

Calgary has first place sewn up. They'll be in Winnipeg, who have last place sewn up. Toronto and Montreal will kick off in a rematch of the crazy kick game and an attempt to quell interest in a rivalry that doesn't exist.

Also of note: on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills (or: Toronto NFLs) are playing the Chicago Bears at Skydome Rogers Centre. That game isn't going head-to-head timewise against the Als/Argo game, so you still don't have a good excuse to not watch a meaningless end-of-season game. Even though there is pride on the line.

Calgary -4 @ Winnipeg
BC -3.5 @ Hamilton
Edmonton PK @ Saskatchewan
Toronto +7 @ Montreal

Weather forecast: Just chilly. It IS November in Canada, after all (as I'm sure it is in many other countries). There's supposed to be freezing rain in Hamilton on Friday night, but they say it won't spill over into Saturday for the football game. We'll see the player's breath, but alas, no snow until the playoffs.

Bonus points to whoever at the start of the season said that Jared Zabransky and Travis Lulay would be behind centre for the two most important games on the CFL schedule. Unless Ricky Ray starts.

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