Pinball, Gizmo, Pee Wee (it is my perspective). The first two were return specialists and have had many great returns during their playing days. I have had a few return touchdowns and used to have a Grey Cup record until Tony Tompkins broke it by one yard (I did ask CFL officials to recount his yards to see if he did acutually break the record. After further review, instant replay found that there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the yard count). Anyway, why am I talking about returns for touchdowns? Because there has only been one this year. It was Bashir Levingston’s return against Saskatchewan. You do see a lot more flags thrown in the kicking game. Why, You ask? Because they changed the blocking rules this year.
This year, there are only two planes that the referees look at. The front and the back. If a player blocks his opponent in the front, it is legal and if he blocks him in the back, it is illegal. In years’ past, there were four planes. Front, back, left side, and right side. If a player blocked his opponent on the side, his helmet would have to be positioned toward the front of the player to be legal. If the helmet was positioned toward the back of the player, it would be a penalty. I don't like this change because you take away one of the most exciting plays in the game. You have guys fighting downfield to block and they get penalized for a block in the side. Do you know how hard it is to keep a player in front of you during a football game? It is nearly impossible.
Second of all, why is the rule changed on returns but not on an offensive play? Linemen, running backs, and receivers can still block their opponents in the side and it is legal. You don't hold them to a different set of standards. So why is it good for one phase of the game and not another phase of the game? For someone who plays both offence and special teams, they have two different rules for blocking. So, what is good for one play is not good for another. Now players are out on the field thinking about which rule is good for this play on top of other assignments they have. It is either a good block or a bad block. There shouldn't be two sets of rules. I guarantee you that Pinball and Gizmo would have never achieved legendary status with these new rules and, with that, the CFL would have missed out on some great returns. But for now, don't look for many returns this year. Look for more flags.