World Anger Increases After CFL Game

There is too much anger and hate in the world today. From the political differences in the Western world to the Middle East, we all could use some more peace, love and understanding. Unfortunately, world anger increased after the events of the Toronto-Saskatchewan game July 22.

First, CFL fans can be angry with the CBC insisting on a 7:00 PM Eastern start for their Saturday night CFL games. With a heat wave sweeping the country, Western clubs must host games starting at 5:00 PM where players and fans alike bake under the prairie sky. Eastern clubs do not host Saturday night games because of the cottage exodus so Western teams’ schedules are dictated for an Eastern audience. A later start certainly should not hurt TV audiences during the sweltering summer months either, as sitting down to watch a game is more appealing and guilt-free after the evening is over. The CBC does not have any programming to follow the game anyway but old Godzilla movies.

Next, NFL fans, owners, the Miami Dolphins and new Argonaut season ticket holders will be angry with the CFL, the Toronto Argonauts, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Taylor Field turf, the NFL, Ricky Williams and others. The worst fears of the Dolphins occurred when Williams broke his left forearm late in the second half. Thankfully, it is not the type of injury that can affect a career. Besides the controversy surrounding his signing while under suspension in the NFL, risking an injury when he is obligated to the Dolphins was a major concern to many parties. Unfortunately it happened and many will be blaming the Argos, ‘Riders, the turf and on and on for the injury to the star Williams. Others may just be calling it justice for Williams. Those who have really been short changed are American fans that bought Argo season tickets and will have seen nothing out of Williams when the halfway point of the season arrives.

The Argos and Spergon Wynn must also be angry. The Argos because Doug Flutie apparently just changed his mind about joining the Argos as emergency QB replacement until Damon Allen could return. With Wynn performing well in the first half until a devastating hit knocked him out of the game with a concussion, the Argos may be in desperate need for QB’s the next two weeks. Allen is expected to be out two more weeks, so the Flutie potential signing story seems more like a PR move than trying to find a long-term replacement. Wynn must be angry over his concussion that likely could keep him out of starting the next two games. Argo management was definitely angry with the ‘Riders as the half-time show went on around the injured Spergon Wynn as he was treated right through halftime before being loaded into an ambulance. The beneficiary here seems to be Eric Crouch, who got his first playing time in the CFL when he replaced Wynn, and closed out the win for the Argos with 117 passing yards in one half of play.

Finally, what really boiled the World Anger meter over would be the anger unleashed by Saskatchewan Roughrider fans on their club. It may not show but I can feel the anger vibes all through the air. This is the most deserved of any of the anger resulting from the game. Playing at home against a 1-3 Eastern opponent the ‘Riders let go another game they needed to win. Like previous years, they are underperforming but instead of being bad from start to finish, they let brief breakdowns cost them the game.

The defence went through hot and dry spells in the first half which spread to special teams as well when they gave up a punt return for a touchdown, the first in the CFL this year. The defence has shown a pattern of playing the run tough and when getting pressure on the quarterback, delivering punishing hits. However, put them in second and long situations, they give up big plays, which happened three or four times Saturday. Starting the second quarter against a team without its starting QB and RB the defence should have been buoyed. While they stymied the Argo offence for most of the second half, they gave up a 94 pass and run completion on a 2nd and 11, which turned out to setup the winning score, and let Crouch run for 20 yards on a 2nd and 6. Some games these big punishing hits can turn the game in your favour despite your other breakdowns, and other games all it does is bring you close. The defence needs to tighten up their secondary and play calling to take away the deep vulnerabilities they have shown in the first six weeks of the season.

‘Rider fans are also angry with the offence, which needs to provide some support for the defence. In the first half, the offence only put a single field goal on the board. As they started to improve in the second half, they also left points on the field. Kerry Joseph threw an interception in the end zone after a very long and promising drive in the fourth quarter. A field goal from that drive would have changed the outcome of the game. As it was, the pressure was on the team to score 15 points in the fourth quarter to tie. After scoring with 1:09 left and recovering an onside kick, they popped their second with 44 seconds remaining. The miracle comeback to tie was not to be, however, after a misdirected two-point convert attempt left no one in the backfield on a slow developing play against the blitz. The Argos could not kill the remaining time, but bungles by the return team to not catch the punt in the air and immediately give up the single point cost them 4 seconds, which is what they needed after two completions put them in field goal range to tie at the 12-yard line when time expired.

Fortunately, all this anger should be temporary. In a few days or after the next game it will all be forgotten. Such is life in the whacky world of the Canadian Football League.

One Response to “World Anger Increases After CFL Game”

  1. Bill Says:

    Rolling Stones tickets for rider season ticket holders helps dull the pain :)

    More wins would be good too!

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  • March 30, 2007
    Task List for New CFL Commish → The CFL video game thing comes up again. I recently did a survey on this for CFLNation.ca I would welcome it but I think it is very hard to commit your resources to something that as a best seller for the CFL would be considered a flop to the industry. #
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