Problem for CFL: Brandon Isaac

That hit by Brandon Isaac on Durant, direct intended contact to the head, though not called by the on field officials, is clearly contrary to the CFL's stated policy to avoid helmet to helmet hits and especially to protect the quarterback. This hit is certainly and without doubt, subject to disciplinary action, if not, then the CFL policy is toothless and it is wide open season.

The problem is that they cannot just levy a fine on Isaac, as he is a repeat offender, having been punished and fined weeks ago for a similar hit on Buck Pierce which really has rendered Buck Pierce ineffective and likely ended his career. Isaac, merely got an undisclosed fine that time, for putting out the opposing QB.

Now he has done it again, helmet to helmet.

If the CFL does nothing, then there is no policy and it is, as mentioned, wild wild west on QBs.

If the CFL fines him again, the signal is that the CFL does not really mean what it says, so there is no reason why not to hit the opposing QB in the head and potentially knock him our of the game or out for the year, as it is only a fine. Heck, why not do it on Calvillo on the first series and pay the fine and win the game.

So, the only logical option is a multi game suspension of Isaac who is now known for this kind of cheap shot.

However, to suspend Isaac would weaken the Toronto defence signficantly, and the CFL's unannounced preference of the Argos being in the 100th Grey Cup at home may vanish. As such the CFL braintrust has to be careful what is does with Isaac as it's very credibility is at stake.

My guess is they wimp out by either giving him a larger undisclosed fine (translates to a bounty on QBS to others), or they give him only a one game suspension for the last game of the season as it means nothing to Toronto.

Should be interesting on how the CFL handles repeat offenders.

Lucky that Durant was not knocked out for the season or else Isaac would have had two kill notches in his belt, and is that what the league wants?

I find it refreshing that they let these hits go...

The one on Kerry Joseph today was another correct non-call.

I remember when these things were totally legal and no one batted an eye.If these hits happen to any other player on the field nothing gets said.I'm tired of the overzelous protection of QB's,and I hope the League does nothing at all...

In fact,I hope they review their overzealous "Protect the Prima Donna" (Roughing the Passer) penalties and loosen things up...

The overprotection of QB's is a serious problem because it's taking legal hits out of games that should never be legislated out.The last I checked,QB's are wearing pads and helmets for a reason...

The reason QBs get protected with these rules is not because they are prima donnas, but because they are vulnerable. They can’t protect themselves because, like with the Isaac hit, they often times don’t see it coming. The league is rightly trying to take these types of hits out of the game. If you don’t like what the CFL is doing to curb unnecessary head trauma, don’t watch it. I don’t watch games to see guys get their brains scrambled. There is still a place in the game for good clean hits (see JJ’s sack of Buck Pierce last year), but it’s the head hunting that needs to be gone.

Oh and for those good old days when these hits were legal, those are the same guys that are suing the NFL for the injuries they sustained or ask Matt Dunigan how he feels.


I've seen too many QB's deliberately taking dives trying to draw a Roughing the Passer flag over the last few years...

I've seen too many officials throwing a flag to protect prima donna QB's because they might get (what should be legal) roughed up a little...

The biggest reason for overzealous protection of QB's is that they are the meal tickets for most teams...The potential health risks are secondary...

And Dunigan???...This would be the same Matt Dunigan who had a cow today because Kerry Joseph got hit on the head by a defender's chest while he claimed Joseph got clobbered by a hand to the head??

Sorry,if you really want to protect these people then just have any contact at all with them outlawed..

And I'll watch whatever I want to watch,irrespective of what you think...

And more to the point, star quarterbacks are needed to help sell the league. If you make it open season on quarterbacks, every team will end up starting freshly signed rookie QBs as their injured lists grow. A few old-school fans may say "so be it", but the reality is that without recognizable, competent quarterbacks, TSN's CFL ratings would tank and the league would be in deep financial trouble.

If you take away the danger, you take away the game.
Plenty of Halll of Fame quarterbacks played the game without this protective bubble.

Get real. Isaac's hit on Pierce was on an uber-fragile QB. His glass head just can't absorb a hit anymore.

The hit on Durant was a football hit and not dirty. In fact, I thought he could've really laid Durant out. He was in full flight with an unobstructed path to Durant but he tackled him hard but clean.

I don't want the CFL to mean Canadian Flagfootball League.

An Argo-Cat fan

Alas, the league may suffer, and the quality of life of some of the men we all cheer for may be irreparably damaged. But at least it would appease the caveman instincts of a certain subset of fans, including a couple who have posted on this thread.

Just a wild guess here: you guys are big Don Cherry fans, right?

ExPat you've guessed wrong. Donald S. Cherry is one reason I no longer watch HNIC.

An Argo-Cat fan

I'm a little surprised that more people aren't calling for this guy's head (if you'll pardong the pun) he is a repeat offender and I have seen him lead with the helmet more than once.

No brain can absorb a severe hit to the head regardless of whether an individual is able to "shake it off".

You may wish to read the vast studies/literature pertaining to CTE cause/effects.
EACH and EVERY hit to the head causes irreversible damage, whether it be via micro-afflictions or macro.

Fibrotic tissue envelops, causing nerve pathways to disrupt and/or become pallid/atrophied, resulting in permanent function impairments.

If a loved one of yours were to sustain multiple helmet to helmet hits to the head, I'm quite certain you would be outwardly concerned and clamoring for immediate suspensions.

I agree. This is 2012 and mountains of scientific evidence have shown that a career of repeated contact to the head has some pretty detrimental consequences later in life. Moreover its been shown that its not only the disastrous, "lights-out" KOs but also all the little undocumented hits to the head that have a cumulative effect on the athlete's mental health.

I support a game where contact is limited to being above the knees and below the neck. We'll never completely eliminate the incidental head to head contact. That said, I'm proud of a sport that can be both a physical tussle and progressive with regards to the athlete's health at the same time.

We already know how the CFL handles repeat offenders. Shea Emry walks up to Brendon LaBatte and punches him in the balls between plays in a Montreal/Saskatchewan game last week. Deliberate and premeditated.
The CFL levies a fine on Emry - the THIRD time a fine has been levied on Emry for on-field infractions this year - no suspension whatsoever. Just another reason why the CFL continues to be seen as incompetent and bush by many observers.

Need to protect the star players. Period. That's the plain truth in the two contact sports of football & hockey and the new rules they are implementing. Sure, it's frustrating from time to time as a fan to know what's a penalty & what's not etc. But we're in early days of this agenda and there will be problems. Simply come down hard on helmet to helmet or head shots period and the culture will change over time. So will the attitudes of certain pockets of fans simply through time.

Chop blocks used to be legal. Clipping and hitting from behind on kicks were once too. Clothes line tackles. Head slaps. Don't see anyone harking back to those days? Heck, let's just go back to making the forward pass illegal! That'll solve the whole issue!

Yes, football is a collision sport. But it's not cock-fighting or gladiator sports. Risking permanent physical disability for your entertainment pleasure is not what I believe the game is about. If you want this, go to areas of the Third World where the value human life is so minimal that they'll gladly perform this for you and let you gamble on it!

Looks like the CFL thought it was a problem also and suspended Isaac for one game.

I heard on the The Fan590 this afternoon that the league has suspended Isaac for 1 game (Thursday's Cats-Argos match) for that Durant hit

…and now in “print”:

Issac will take the suspension during the last game of the season which means nothing to the Argos but may for Hamilton. If this were to happen during the playoffs the player would be able to appeal it in which time he would be able to play in all playoff games and the suspension would be served the 1st game of next season

I'm quite familiar with the literature on concussions. If the league was serious about truly protecting its players, then they would bar Pierce from ever playing again because the effects of his concussions are cumulative. He's more fragile now than he was before the last one and the one before that, and so on. And that's my point---he's so fragile now that he can't take a hit but they still punish the tackler.

Also, notice I said players and not star players. I don't see why people make the distinction. Every player deserves to be protected from dirty play, plays with intent to injure, etc. People pay to see the stars but every player deserves the same protections.

I would be amazed if Pierce doesn't suffer from some form of cognitive impairment and premature death down the road. Sure it's his decision to play but the league and the Bombers will have blood on their hands.

BTW, Dunigan who had to retire because of concussions forced his son to quit football because of the threat of same.

And I still don't tink Isaac's hits were illegal. Not even the TSN panelists were unanimous on his hits.

An Argo-Cat fan

1000% correct,Barney...

Protecting players from dirty hits are one thing...

Protecting prima donna's from actually getting tackled,where the flag wouldn't be thrown for any other player, is another...Those players have pads on for a reason!!!

Nevermind that this a rule that is warping the way the game is being played,and along with more than a few other overzealous "protecting the player" infractions that are called,making the game almost impossible to defend properly..