CFL Shocker!

This is a quick post to address a couple CFL events the past 24 hours. A Hamilton-Saskatchewan trade needs some analysing and the CBC needs to make explanations for its lack of CFL coverage once again.

‘Riders Get Holmes, Getzlaf for Armstead

My first feeling when reading the news that the ‘Riders had re-aquired RB Corey Holmes was not surprise, then “What the…” when I read it was WR Jason Armstead heading to Hamilton. Finally, when I read the whole story and saw the ‘Riders also acquired Regina-born WR Chris Getzlaf I was left scratching my head. Initially, I was grasping as to the reasoning behind the trade for both sides.

After letting it sink in, I’ve come to the following conclusions. First, the primary players in the deal, Armstead and Holmes, seem to defy reason on the surface. While Armstead is not tearing up the league in receiving, he is competing for the ball with WR‘s Matt Dominguez and D.J. Flick who are having outstanding seasons, while in returns, one TD return and minimal yards probably has the ‘Riders thinking they can improve in that area. Holmes just happens to be a return specialist. The ‘Riders cannot believe they can offer Holmes more time in the backfield behind the RB Wes Cates/FB Chris Szarka tandem than the zero time he received in Hamilton, so they must want Holmes for his return ability. Hamilton on the other hand is in need for quality experienced receivers and since Holmes was an unused talent behind RB Jesse Lumsden, they sought to correct the error of last years trade that sent Holmes to Hamilton so the ‘Riders could have the first two picks in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft and take QB Kerry Joseph and Armstead. Saskatchewan, tired of fleecing Hamilton, decided to provide Armstead an opportunity where he may catch more balls, and having WR Yo Murphy coming off the injured list soon allowed them to make this move going into their bye week.

The Chris Getzlaf add-on part of the trade is more difficult to understand. Sure, the ‘Riders had a desire to acquire home-boy Getzlaf. Getzlaf, though, has not played for Hamilton this year, spending the whole season on the practice roster. Practice roster players are free to be acquired by any team for no compensation as long as they are placed on the active roster immediately by the acquiring club. So the ‘Riders could have gotten Getzlaf for free if they put them on their active roster. If the ‘Riders do not dress Getzlaf and leave him on their practice roster, he is left open to poaching by other clubs. If he wanted to avoid the home town scrutiny, he could go back to Hamilton, whose system he knows, and dress as a special teams player. As a Canadian, Hamilton gave up on a top prospect while the Roughriders strengthened their Canadian talent, a signature of GM Eric Tillman’s teams.

Wicked Weather, the CBC and Scoring

The whole country seemed to be abuzz this morning about last night’s football game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Edmonton Eskimos. With approximately 14 minutes left in the game and the Eskimos leading 32-27, a torrential thunderstorm forced the teams off the field and shortly after a lightning strike left the stadium without power. While not the first time this has occurred, it is rare enough that there does not appear to be a standard procedure. With a late start already (10 PM Eastern) and the outage occurring at 12:35 AM Eastern, the CBC first went to alternative programming. There was no message on the screen about the situation, nobody to cut to in the studio (the panel was located at the stadium) and after 25 minutes started their scheduled movie, The Good Thief, on time at 11 PM Mountain (1 AM Eastern).

What was a very exciting game before the outage became all the more interesting due to the weather. It was unclear whether the CBC would return to broadcast the end of the game if it resumed. For those with local radio or an Internet connection, rumours were abound about the game being resumed on Sunday or Oct. 26 in Edmonton or on the verge of being called with Edmonton declared the winner. After about 45 minutes the power was restored and the lightning moved away from the local area, allowing the game to be resumed after a 55 minute delay. For the local market at least, CBC returned to cover the end of the game, which finally ended shortly after 12 AM local time (2 AM Eastern).

First indication this morning that something went wrong was an annoucncement on that the final hour of the game would be available on the CBC Monday morning at 12:30 AM local time in all markets. Following that was a statement from CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon regarding the disrupted CBC broadcast. It was clear that the CBC had screwed up somehow. Perhaps they did not return to the game in all markets.

Only this evening do I understand the full extent of the CBC‘s actions. The CBC not only did not return to the game in all markets, they returned to the game only in the Saskatchewan market and only after the game executive producer convinced a mid-level executive to broadcast the end of the game in Saskatchewan after she initially refused to air it in any market. Calls by CBC Sports staff to Sports head Scott Moore, who could reverse the decision, went unanswered because Moore had shut his cell phone off and staff did not have his home number due to a recent move.

There are so many things wrong with this series of events it is hard to know where to start. In a nutshell if CBC staff making decisions know nothing about their properties (Saskatchewan Roughrider fans are populous across the country due to province depopulation) or common sense (how many people are waiting for the end of the game compared to how many are staying up to watch the movie?) then they do not deserve to have sports properties. Thankfully, TSN has all the games starting next year, but that does not help fans this year who missed seeing the Roughriders comeback to win the game 39-32.


After stories this week that CFL scoring has not increased much over last year despite rule changes, the league pulls off two high-scoring, exciting finish games. Going into the week the average points per game was 43.8. After a 90 and 71 point games in Week 8, the points per game average shot up to 50.1, an increase of 6.3 points per game. At the same time the average margin of victory dropped from 13.5 to 12.9. Unfortunately, 8:00 PM local starts for both games this week involving only Western clubs combined with the unfortunate CBC decision means that many people in the East did not get an opportunity to see the CFL at its best so far this year.

8 Responses to “CFL Shocker!”

  1. billm Says:

    i think this is a pretty awesome trade – just to get holmes back in rider green!
    and to prevent him from going elsewhere. I thought maybe edm or someone would sweep in and do a trde. someone did and it was us :)

    I’m sorry to see armstead go, but i think it’s a pretty even trade (holmes vs armstead).
    I’m actually surprised we got 2 people – i would have thought holmes would have been pretty even with armstead. But desperation in hamilton helps us out :)

    Holmes must be thrilled (like it said it rod petersen’s blog).
    going from last to first – and back to the riders too.
    He’ll have to duke it out with james johnson for #19 :)

    oh and maybe getzlaf is happy to be back at home too?

  2. billm Says:

    oh and i know they didn’t show the game in edmonton.
    My cousin in edm (rider fan!) was pretty pissed there was no end of game shown.

    He had to rely on bryan hall – haha! poor guy :)

    there was the cbc broadband too but he had some initial problems getting it working and ended up missing our big touchdown

  3. Jon Says:

    This is one of those good player for a good player deals. Since they play different positions I hope we don’t lose something with Armstead’s departure that affects the passing game. Despite his low numbers this year he is somebody opposition teams need to watch.

    Not showing the remainder of the game in Alberta too, let alone all of Canada is just unfathomably stupid and shows a total lack of knowledge and common sense. It’s a live event, you show it until it is complete.

  4. Jon Says:

    A history of Roughrider Blackouts
    Maybe they should get some emergency power?

  5. Jon Says:

    Sounds like Armstead asked to be traded early in the season, but was upset with the trade to Hamilton according to radio reports.

    The ‘Riders are trying to sort out whether security staff told fans Saturday’s game had been called, causing them to leave and miss the final 13 minutes.

  6. billm Says:

    emergency power? nah! they should do something like phantom bowling but with football :)

  7. Grantm Says:

    i was there, the police were telling people that the game was canceled and to go home.

  8. Jon Says:

    So Grantm, did you stay and see the end or leave and miss the comeback?

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