Here we go Tiger-Town . . . between now & Labour Day, our 'Cats will face off against the hated Argonauts four times . . . I don't understand why the schedule maker could not spread these games out a little further, but there is no use arguing about that.
I just want to make a couple of points, leading into this string of games:
There are not many Argonauts' players that I personally admire/like, but Brandon Banks definitely fits in that category. During the post-game show on Thursday, I listened to Andy Fantuz & Luke Tasker as they were setting up the next home game versus the Argos, and they were wondering what sort of reception Speedy B will get from the Tiger-Cats' fans at THF on August 12th. Luke was guessing that Speedy B will get booed by the fans, based upon past history & the receptions given to other former Tiger-Cats in the past. While I agree with the treatment of Mike O'Shea (& others) in the past, I think it should be nothing but love for Speedy B on August 12th . . . of course, I still hope he falls flat on his face in each of the games against Hamilton, but I have nothing but respect for the many years that he played in the Black&Gold.
And at the other end of the spectrum . . .
2. I still think that Shawn Oakman (#2) is one of the most despicable human beings earning a living in the CFL. This miscreant should be locked up in a Texas penetentiary right now. Enough about that . . .
While I despise Oakman for his felonies off the field, I have just as much disrespect for Chris Edwards (#6) for his reckless behaviour on the field. This guy is a dirty cheap shot artist, who has zero regard for his fellow professional football players. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to when this "mental midget" completely loses control, but it seems like his coaches are not able to control him. There was no better example of this, than the Argos game versus the RedBlacks today, when first of all he delivers a very dirty, and very late hit on Caleb Evans in 4thQ, and then he follows up that stupid play with a very selfish Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty. I did not really notice him after that . . . does anyone know if he continued to play after that ??
I don't know if any of our current O-Linemen possess enough of a mean streak to bury this guy when given an opportunity . . . but I hope so. Someone needs to deliver a message to this clown.
Four games against the Argos over a span of five games over a span of about 4 weeks (more or less) . . . ?
Bring it ON !!
Edwards seemed to eject himself. He earned both penalties on the same play, and then trotted off to the dressing room. I saw him high-fiving a few fans, but he did not assault any of them, to my knowledge.
Then he trotted back out, as someone must have realized that the ejection only applies when there are two misconduct penalties incurred after a play.
What's not clear to me is whether anyone ever actually told him to hit the showers. I heard the ref call the second penalty, and he never said anything about an ejection. Maybe Edwards just felt guilty, or believed himself unworthy to continue. I think he should have stuck with his gut and kept going to the locker room.
As for Speedy, some Ticat fans like to boo current Ticats, so I can't imagine any restraint on booing (even legendary) ex-Ticats.
If I'm Speedy, I might start to think about job security. He did have the nice TD catch early in the game. After that, he proceeded to generate a negative average on punt returns, including minus-10 at a crucial point in the game to bury them deep in their end. And then he dropped a tough but catchable ball on 3rd down to effectively end the game.
TOR has some no-name receivers picking up game experience as guys like Davaris Daniels, Eric Rogers and Brescacin sit on the injured list. When they are ready to come back, does Banks still have a spot on the active roster?
Bank's greatest asset was his speed (Duh! ) which allowed him to get crazy separation from opposing DBs. The jury was out if his lack of production in 2021 was an anomoly or was this evidence that his speed was on the decline. He's battled through some injuries over the years, (broken collar bone, ribs) and the cumulative effect on his body might have been the reason for his decline in play.
However now with a new team and fresh start with the Argos, the old Speedy B has yet to emerge. In 6 games he has 15 receptions for 224 yards. He is on pace for about 675 yards this season which is not even half of the 1550 yards he attained in 2019.
It appears more and more clear that Bank's presence in the Hamilton offence this year would not have been a factor just like it wasn't last year and is not this year in an Argo uniform. Speedy B was fast but he can't outrun Father Time.
So these 4 games will come down to a number of factors.
a) McBeth.. Even though he may get his passing yards he doesnt have good receivers.
b) Andrew Harris.. Depending if we can shut him down like we did against James Butler when we played BC Lions I can see us winning 3 of 4 games. You shut down Harris and we increase our chances of winning the games.
c) like Krisiun and ExPat both mentioned above... Gittens Jr is their best rec hands down even better then Rogers in my mind. With Daniels on IR along with Daniels, if you look at their Rec group out of that. They only have 1 Rec in the top 20 rec Yards. Ambles if you include the top 22-23 WR/SB. Brandon Banks is 30th in rec yards but leads the team with 3 TDs. If you shutdown their top rec in Gittens Jr and Harris Argos do not have the experience receiving core that they have.
If you look at the offense. They have 119 pts scored in 6 games played. Thats an average of 19.8 pts a game so say 2 TDs and 2 FG thats it... That is not going to cut it in 2/3rds left of the season.
They won 20-19 over Montreal Week 2
Week 3 - lost 44-3 to BC
Week 4 - lost 23-22 to WPG
Weeks 5 and 6 won 30-22 and 31-21 (first game they won within the last 30 seconds or so) and game 2 they won against a practice squad.
Yesterday they lost 10 pts to Ottawa..
They may be in first now but I don't think they have the offense to go far.. if they make the playoffs i dont think they go far.
d) Discipline. Discipline. Discipline. If you dont have Discipline. your team is not going to win. We clearly saw that today. They were within what 1 FG and then all of a sudden 2-3 penalties later Ottawa had half the distance to the goal and then if you look at the TD that Ottawa scored, the defender was on the other side of the goal post and left him wide open.
Our boys cannot let the Argos get into their heads. We have to stay Discipline. We know how bad the rival is between the Argos and Ticats. With 4 games in 5 weeks it wouldnt surprise me that by the time August 26th or Sept 3rd comes if a player or two from each team is either fined or suspended from each team.
I am going to respond to the reference to MLSE's Marketing & Promotional Dept . . .
I do not subscribe to over-reactions from various fan bases, claiming that their favourite team is not trying to win . . . I consider those reactions to be ridiculous, but in spite of that, I really question whether MSLE wants the CFL to succeed in Toronto.
We are all exposed to the Toronto area television & other media outlets here in Southern Ontario, and the Toronto Argos are noticeably absent in all areas of Sports media. Mike "Pinball" Clemons is arguably the most recognized personality associated with the Toronto Argonauts Football team. Where is he hiding?? I have not seen him on any Toronto media. You would think that TSN has the most to gain from a strong franchise in Toronto (in terms of better ratings for their broadcasts), perhaps even more than MLSE . . . what are they doing to raise the Argonauts' profile on the Toronto Sports landscape ?? Why isn't Pinball Clemons' face all over TSN ?? The Argos just defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders in consecutive games; why aren't MBT & other players being interviewed to tell Toronto sports viewers (their quasi-fans) what it feels like to be in first place at this point in the season ?? At our end of the Lake, we expect that to be shortlived, but why isn't TSN doing their part to promote football in Toronto. It all seems very strange to me. I really hate promoting any of these conspiracy theories, but is Larry Tanenbaum attempting to position Toronto for an NFL franchise ?? Does MLSE believe they have more to gain, by the failure of the Toronto Argonauts & the CFL ??
The Argonauts are totally invisible in Toronto, and I don't see a single person attempting to change that wretched truth.
It might simply be that they feel that spending advertising dollars on the Argos is futile. Why throw good money after bad? There have been many attempts over the decades to build up interest in the Argos (the Gretzky, McNall, Candy partnership is an example) and it never really helps with attendance. The Argos appear to be nothing more than a tax write-off for MLSE.
Usually the Cats do a Home and Home against the 5 Western teams and the remaining 8 games are split up against the 3 Eastern teams. I'm not sure why they deviated from that unless they are trying to limit travel because of Covid.
I think the limited travel is more due to cost cutting; Covid is just an excuse. This is really narrow thinking.
This league already has too few teams and now their contracting the league further by increasing the divisional games.
If Atlantic Schooners ever came to fruition; they'll probably never play the lions as they are too far.
Very short sighted.