Toronto Sun Article "Year of the Tiger"


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Ticats on the road to stability


These Ticats are a franchise on the road to stability, if they’re not already there.

And that’s on the field and in the board room
where the team, while not yet showing a profit,

is no longer bleeding red ink like it has in the past.

..The team is at 94% on season-ticket renewals
and on pace for 1,700 new season seats.

... Mitchell explained that for the team to be truly healthy

they would require another 30-40% growth in
the season-ticket base over the next few years

— but he felt that was doable.

“We’re going to have less [fewer] changes on the field this year
than we’ve had in either of the past two,? Ticats GM Bob O’Billovich said.

The Tabbies recently extended the contracts
of both O’Billovich and head coach Marcel Bellefeuille

bringing another layer of continuity to the club.

O’Billovich joked his off-season, while more expensive,

was much easier as he wasn’t out trying to lure players to Hamilton,

he was merely spending his time and the team’s
money negotiating to keep what he already had.

...The Ticats are so stacked in returning Canadian talent there is even talk

of going with a lineup of more than just the minimum number of non-imports,

although Bellefeuille said that is something
that will be worked out during training camp.

While I'd be ecstactic to see this, I'll believe it when I see it.

For those of you that maynot be familiar with roster rules;

*CFL teams are required to start 7 Canadians at all times.
*The Hamilton Tiger-Cats use Canadian "Starters" at these positions -

  • 4 Offensive Linemen
  • 1 Reciever
  • 1 Fullback
  • 1 Safety
  • 1 Kicker (posibly add 1 Punter)

(Notes) We Occasionly rotate in Matt Kirk, or Jermain Reid on the Defensive Line. Depending on injuries, and American talent in the front 4 though, this is never garunteed.

Our Fullbacks count as a starter because they are listed at the top of the depth chart for their position. Regardless of the fact that our Base Offence is a Shotgun Single back set (No Fullback, except goal line, and short yardage plays. This makes the Fullback essentialy a special teams player listed on offence.)

The kicker is also a player that is on the field for only 1 play per drive, but counts towards the roster Ratio.

So the thought is nice but untill I see it on game day this fan is gonna take it as nothing more than lip service.


Thanks for the background. I always wonder how the coaches are able to keep track of all this during the game.

Last year, one of the referees said they don't keep track of
these players coming on and off the field all that well either.

Special teams players (ie: kicker, punter) are not considered starters.
Furthermore, there is technically no rule stating you need 7 starters.
That's simply the number you get when you subtract the number of imports (16, not including QBs and Designated Imports) from the number of non-QB offensive and defensive starters (23).

So when the "starting" fullback comes out of the game, he's usually replaced by a Canadian receiver. Because the 3 DIs can only come on the field to replace another import.
But if you're playing more than 7 Canadian starters, that means one of your 16 "non-designated" imports is not starting, and can replace a Canadian (ie, the fullback).

The only thing the refs need to keep track of is that when a DI comes in on offense or defense, another import has to come out.


Love the Greg Giraldo quote in your signature. :slight_smile:

well, underwear does go inside your pants