I thought this might allow for some things potentially fun.
Hopefully, this thread is one that can be added to all through the coming season, with predictions of events to come, in a less serious vein than usual. So, to get things rolling, here are my predictions for the 2007 season.
May 12: Toronto announces the signing of unwanted NFL receiver Terrel Owens. “He’s an excellent role model,? says Adam Rita in a statement, “just like Ricky was last year.? That same day, Edmonton announces the signing of Khari Jones, before Jones is shockingly let go a week later.
June 28: Though they show great enthusiasm, Edmonton ultimately loses their opener to Winnipeg on the last play of the game on a 110 yard Milt Stegall touchdown pass. This comes as news to Edmonton coach Danny Maciocia, who had been dancing in a celebration since an early first quarter field goal attempt which he thought had sealed the win. Says Edmonton defensive coordinator Rick Campbell: “I thought for sure after last year, blitzing would be the last thing they’d expect on the last play of the game!?
June 30: In their opening game of the season, Hamilton is shut out 57-0 by Calgary. The offence, led by Jason Maas, fails to register a first down the entire game. “I’ll take some positives out of this,? says new coach Charlie Taafe. “We almost moved the ball past our own 30 yard line on one play. Jason just needs to cut down on his interceptions.? (Maas sets a league record by throwing 23 picks in the game.)
July 9: Saskatchewan GM Eric Tillman announces the firing of new coach Kent Austin following a 1-1 start. “This is to show that mediocrity will no longer be tolerated in Saskatchewan,? says Tillman. “We’re at pace to finish 9-9 again! In retrospect, I admit it was a mistake to make my head coach the offensive coordinator of what was one of the CFL’s worst offences. That’s why I’m pleased to announce the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders is…Joe Paopao!?
July 14: The night after losing their second game of the season to Winnipeg on an ill-advised blitz by the defence, Edmonton coach Danny Maciocia decides to pin the loss on the running game. “Clearly I did not bring enough good running backs to camp,? says Maciocia, even though Troy Davis, Ron McClendon, Antonia Warren, and Josh Ranek each rushed for 100 yards. “That’s exactly what I need!? In a press conference the following day, Maciocia introduces new running backs Kelvin Anderson, Mike Pringle, and Ron Williams. “We’ve begun negotiations with George Reed,? says Maciocia. “And at this point I have an interest in Ron Stewart. I’ve heard he knows how to ‘cash in’ some ‘big numbers.’ But I think he’s on vacation right now!?
July 19: B.C. beats Hamilton 9-0 in the lowest scoring game of the season. Wary of committing turnovers, B.C. coach Wally Buono opts to have Paul McCallum punt for a single every time B.C. reaches the 35 yard line. But it makes no difference, because Hamilton continues the CFL-record streak of games without a first down. Hamilton G.M. Marcel Desjardins voices his displeasure after the game, announcing plans to rid the team of experienced veterans. But he soon learns there aren’t very many besides Jason Maas to release.
July 21: With Toronto off to a mediocre start, receiver Terrel Owens rips into Damon Allen in the press. “I expected the best passer in pro football history,? says Owens. “I didn’t expect the second coming of Drew Bledsoe!? Owens also responds in anger to criticisms by Calgary’s Nik Lewis and Jermaine Copeland about his touchdown dances. Lewis asserted that he would give 100% in the Toronto-Calgary rematch to show up Owens’s dancing abilities.
August 3: Hamilton extends their record streak of games without a first down on offence with a 66-0 loss at home versus Winnipeg. Fans attending the game recall the Joe Paopao era on offence with fondness. As one fan recalls, “In the Paopao days we could usually rely on the offence to move the ball far enough for Pat Fleming to punt us a single. I remember how those points used to bring us to our feet. Now, there is nothing.? Following the loss, Ron Lancaster is named interim head coach of the team. “ Many of the players are obviously very familiar with Ron,? says Marcel Desjardins. “I haven’t released all of the ones from last year yet. Hopefully, he is the one to turn this team around.? The GM’s statement at first appears prophetic as Jason Maas and company roll into Edmonton the following week and demolish Edmonton 27-17 in one of Maas’s finest efforts as a Ticat. “It all comes together when we face the Eskimos,? says a beaming Maas afterwards. (They are soon returned to their typical offensive ineptitude without the first downs.)
August 9: Montreal continues their spotless early season play with a 26-14 win over Calgary. “Maybe this won’t be the year when we fade in the second half,? suggests Calvillo. “Not having Nealon Greene around to fumble around is of immense importance. Unfortunately, Marcus Brady has some similar traits…?
After making seven fumbles, Calgary quarterback Henry Burris admits, “It’s hard to blame Ken-Yon Rambo this time.?
August 31: On the eve of a major game between Montreal and B.C., Lions owner David Braley weighs in on the possibility of the NFL coming to Toronto. “No chance!? says Braley. “Why, the NFL has as good a chance of coming to Toronto as I do of keeping a commissioner more than three years! Or one of the teams in the Banjo Bowl hosting a playoff game! Or the Toronto Maple Leafs winning something of value! Ha ha ha ha!? Braley, with the league still without a commissioner asserts that the new man must be agree, “to have my signature on all the balls again.?
September 3: Toronto enthusiastically announces the return of Michael Bishop from the AFL in time to start on Labour Day. “I feel more chemistry with Bishop than I ever did with Tony Romo!? proclaims Terrel Owens. “And who knows? Maybe Bishop knows how to hold on field goals too!? However, Bishop struggles the first half, in which not one pass is completed by either quarterback and the score is 0-0, causing many more critics to lament on the lack of excitement in the CFL once again, especially Globe and Mail reporters. The Tiger-Cats are still without a first down, much less a point, against any team other than Edmonton. (Ironically, Edmonton is undefeated against every team except Hamilton and Winnipeg.) Still, Toronto finds Ted White on the street during half-time and White roars to life in the second half, showcasing his sensational mobility and running for eight touchdowns, plus another two completed to Terrel Owens in a 70-0 Toronto romp. “I hope Donovan McNabb was taking notes,? says Owens.
September 8: Ticat fans across Canada give an ovation as the Jason-Maas led team picks up their first first down against a team other than Edmonton in the midst of a 63-0 rematch loss in Toronto. The much-awaited first down comes on a Toronto penalty for roughing the kicker. The Ticat offence finishes with seven yards of offence, their second-highest total of the season. After the game, Toronto’s Arland Bruce complains about the first down. “It’s racist,? says Bruce. “I think Hamilton bribed the refs to get that first down.? Bruce merely laughs out loud when the press asks him why Hamilton did not bribe the racist refs for a win. “Thanks, you made my day,? says Bruce.
September 23: Former WADA head Dick Pound, who stipulated the previous year that the CFL was a haven for drug users with a lack of a testing policy, now suggests a drug problem is prevalent in CFL management circles. “How else can you justify this Jim Popp guy trading Richard Karikari, for Keith Stokes, for crying out loud!? says Pound. “Ricky Williams must have given Popp some of his stash.?
October 12: Ex-Hamilton Tiger-Cat Jamie Boreham is selected to compete in Wendy’s Kick For a Million. Though Boreham misses every attempt, Marcel Desjardins is impressed with “how he almost made some,? and signs Boreham to a three-year deal.
October 16: Saskatchewan CEO Jim Hopson announces the firing of GM Eric Tillman after a 49-0 win over Hamilton. “Same story as when we fired Roy Shivers last year,? explains Hopson. “If your team doesn’t beat Hamilton by more than 50 points, clearly the GM hasn’t been doing his job.?
November 25: The Grey Cup is played between Winnipeg and Edmonton. Edmonton narrowly upsets Saskatchewan in the West Final after Edmonton had finished first in the West with a 14-4 record (losing only to Winnipeg and Jason Maas). Before the playoffs, Hamilton trades Corey Holmes to Edmonton in exchange for a pair of donuts and a conditional 10th round draft pick. It was pointed out to Hamilton GM Marcel Desjardins that the CFL draft is only six rounds, but Desjardin merely smiled and said, “No wrongdoing here! But I’ve heard some of our players were trying to deliberately get their GM fired and I’ll have to investigate those claims.? In an inspirational story later to be the basis of a movie, Jason Maas calls Danny Maciocia on Grey Cup day to remind him not to blitz too many on the last play of the game. It pays off, and the Eskimos are Grey Cup champions. The earlier trade with Hamilton is completed when Jason Tucker arrives in Hamilton three days later, signifying a new era in Hamilton Tiger-Cats football. Montreal also retools, in response to a year where an 8-0 start was followed by an 8-10 record, good enough for first in the east in the season. Toronto says goodbye to Owens, and the CFL heads to a new off season thinking of changing the balls once again, but with Braley putting out a reminder that he doesn’t care how the stripes are put on as long as his name is visible.