Hello, Nathan Rourke. Way to take on the pressure of being anointed a No. 1 quarterback amidst a healthy dose of observers’ skepticism. Not to mention the added pressure of a nation turning its lonely eyes to you, hoping to finally once again see a star quarterback of home and native brand.
Time to explore the Canadian running game for the Cats and allow for an improvement in the offensive line. Great to have CFL Football back, the games did not disappoint: plenty of action, lots to talk about, and exciting games to look forward to. Kudos to potent Masoli on his new start; and, really pleased with Nathan Rourke, hard to imagine a more thrilling start for a young talent.
Maaax! presents an in-depth interview with our very own Kellyhelen:
(Kellyhelen) The Elks SUCKED!!! Or is BC that good?
(Maaax!) Yes they did. Interesting question.
(Kellyhelen) Winnipeg is not going to dominate this year. I still pick them to be first but it will be a dog fight.
(Maaax!) That is a VERY fair assessment Kellyhelen.
(Kellyhelen) Rider O-line is improved from 2021. The receivers are top notch and they do have the best linebackers in the CFL...not just on paper. (and Teitz is injured).
(Maaax!) Uh huh. Yes, yes... do go on. You and I are on the same page.
(Kellyhellen) Hamilton O-line struggled big time. Changes needed.
(Maaax!) You are some kind of genius Kellyhellen. I couldn't have put it better.
(Kellyhellen) Mitchell hurt again, Maier steps in...the beginning of the end for BLM?
(Maaax!) That's soooo true. That Maier's a keeper. BLM's days as #1 are certainly numbered.
(Kellyhellen) Stanback out! Big time problem for the Al's. You don't replace him. E. Lewis, arguably the best receiver in the CFL. He is worth the price of admission.
(Maaax!) Yes. Absolutely. You are very wise indeed. VERY wise.
(Kellyhellen) Massoli looks dangerous. Good for Redblacks.
(Maaax!) He DOES look dangerous. The Redblacks are sooo much better with Masoli in there. Great observation.
(Kellyhellen) I will pick Ottawa over Winnipeg next week....I think?
(Maaax!) WHAT THE?!! (I slap my head) OH YOU... YOU... YOU KELLYHELLEN!!! BOOOOO!!!
(Kellyhellen) My new book is coming out later this month...
(Maaax!) I'll be sure to buy a copy. Your books are ALWAYS a terrific read. You're the best. Let's have a hand for Kellyhellen!
1st weeks impressions for me,
Lions looked to be much improved and its hard not to cheer for guys like Rourke and Butler, not only on their on field performance but just as impressed with their post game interviews.
Riders looked like a team that really wants to be represent the West in the Grey Cup and play in their own back yard.
Redblacks, like the Lions, looked much improved and certainly could have been the team to come out with two points against the two time defending Grey Cup champions.
Alouettes also had their chances to go into a difficult place to play and come out with the win. Losing Stanback won't be easy but looked good
Stampeders were happy to take the two points and have to be happy with Jake Maier, he's impressed me every time I've watched him play and wonder how long it will be before taking over the reigns in Calgary.
Tiger Cats, although keeping it close for some of the game, really looked outclassed by the Riders. I'm sure it was a difficult choice for the Cats choosing Evans over Mosoli but made sense with Evans being much younger. For me personally, one concern I'd have with Evans is that he seems to get rattled so quickly. Thinking back to the 2019 Grey Cup game and he seemed to constantly show his frustration, much like he did this past weekend.
Blue Bombers (my team) by no means played a great game and certainly could be argued they didn't deserve to win, however, they did what good teams do and that's find a way to win when you aren't at your best.
Elks, to be polite, were off from start to finish but for all the Elk fans, sometimes that isn't always a bad thing as you have to believe they will come out much more engaged next week.
It will always feel better (for players and fans) to start the season off with a win but means nothing come November. Wonder how many people remember the BC Lions starting the season 0-5 in 2011 only to go on and win the Grey Cup. I remember because sadly, it was against my team, the Blue Bombers. As the old saying goes, its not necessarily how you start the season but how you end it.