I thought Damon's performance was a great metaphor for his whole career. Absolute mediocrity. (19 of 36, 201 yards, 3 interceptions, no TDs, 29 rushing yards ... 11 points!)
Fans were left scratching their heads -- is this guy actually any good, or was I mistaken? No one watching this game alone would come away mistaking Damon Allen for the greatest QB in league history, or even the greatest of this weekend. But he did finish the game (metaphor for his interminable longevity).
And yet, in the end, on that final drive, he did what was necessary to win.
Yes, not only did the Argos offense sputter but good ol' Hamilton managed to be worse. Toronto actually played a lot like the Tiger Cats last night. Marching into scoring position only to screw it up. If the Argos manage to clean up there scoring game, this one is a blowout too. However after one of the worst games all year Damon drives from his own 20 to win. Could Maas do that? Well maybe if he got lucky and didn't get sacked or throw the big INT. But would it matter, the Cats would miss the field goal. Its been that kinda year.
How ironic that you'd say that when Prefontaine missed TWO last night (I've been dying to bring that up :oops: ) I think Maas controlled the ball a lot better. Using the argument that if the Argos cleaned up their scoring game it would have been a blowout is ironic as well. The same could be said for the Cats. If we were able to punch it in from inside the 30 we'd be a totally different team this year. You could also say that if Cheatwood doesn't go down to injury there would have been better pressure on Damon (as there was in the first half) and he doesn't make the drive into field goal range successfully. All speculation my friend. I was hoping DA would throw 5 int and he threw 3 so I was somewhat happy about that
Actually that's not true. His teams have had 11 winning seasons in his 21 years, plus three .500 seasons. Although the first 4 seasons with Edmonton, only once did Allen throw for over 2,000 yards, so he might be thanking Matt Dunigan for most of those Ws. Since emerging as a clear-cut starter with Ottawa in 1989, Allen has had 7 winning seasons out of 17.
In other words - mediocrity. Just like yesterday's game. His whole career, he has been a mediocre player who comes up big in the clutch more often than not. (Contrast with Dave Dickenson who plays an amazing game, but only when it doesn't count. I'd probably rather have a guy like Allen as my QB.)
Call me a knuckledragger if you want, Optimist. Or better yet, refute my argument with something more intelligent, given your self-declared knowledge of football. For example, start with how many CFL all-star selections Allen has earned in all those years.
But remember: a whole career of (regular season) mediocrity doesn't transform into something else just because it stretches out into its third decade.
Like when he first went to BC in 1996, after McManus had led the team to 10 wins in 1995 and a Grey Cup win in 1994. Allen proceeded to mastermind a 5-win season in 1996, and only 2 winning seasons (plus one Grey Cup) in his 7 years there. Since they replaced him with Dickenson they've averaged 12 wins a season. But it was the rest of the team, right?
Allen only had 1,309 passing yards in 1988, so I have to think that Ham had more playing time that year.
But regardless, the point is that Allen has been far from a consistent winner. Unlike guys like Flutie, McManus and Dunigan, who could move to a new team and turn a loser into a winner in their first season at the helm.
Well, the bottom line is that Damon is the all time leading passer in pro football. All the would'ves, should'ves, could'ves didn't get it done for what ever reason. You've got to do it between the white lines on game day and that's what Damon has done, but we wouldn't be Canadian if we couldn't try and tear somebody down would we.
Not saying that per se, I was basing my remark on what has turned out to be an incorrect statistic. If he had amassed 70 000 passing yards playing 17 of 21 seasons on below .500 teams than I think my question would be a fair one.
The 1996 season that you mention was one of monumental change for the Lions- 18 new faces on the team, and DA was not the starting QB, only brought in after the team started 0-4!
There was also new ownership and you might recall that Dave Ritchie was replaced as coach by none other than.... Joe Paopao.