55 Yard Line
Montreal Alouettes have reached out to Michael Sam, who could be an excellent addition, but he may not be ready to come to the CFL just yetAndrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line39 mins ago
,Troy Smith, Chad Johnson and now Michael Sam? The Montreal Alouettes have been linked to more high-profile players than anyone over the last two years, with Tebow declining but Smith and Johnsoneventually coming in, and now they're in pursuit of another big name. That would be Sam, who became the first openly-gay player selected in the NFL draft earlier this year, but was cut by the St. Louis Rams Saturday and has since passed through NFL waivers unclaimed. According to NFL.com'sIan Rapoport, the Alouettes have Sam on their negotiation list and have reached out to him to see if he'd consider the CFL:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line2 hrs ago
The most remarkable thing about Monday's Labour Day Classic is that someone won it. For 60 minutes of football, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts both demonstrated almost every imaginable way to lose a game, from goal-line fumbles to inept offences to last-minute turnovers to terrible late-game playcalling. In the end, though, even a game between 1-6 Hamilton and 3-6 Toronto had to be won by one team (although a tie would have been poetic justice), and the Tiger-Cats inaugurated their new stadium with a 13-12 win thanks to some puzzling decisions down the stretch by the Argonauts.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line6 hrs ago
The annual Labour Day Classic game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Stampeders (4:30 p.m. Eastern, TSN/ESPN3) always produces some sparks given the provincial rivalry and the teams' long-seated dislike of each other, but it may be even more fiery than usual this year. For one thing, these teams are both 7-1 and are duking it out for first place in the West Division. For another, the first game they played this year was a hotly-contested 26-22 Calgary win in Edmonton July 24, and it produced some extra fuel in the aftermath when a group of Stampeders posed with Eskimos' head coach Chris Jones' motorcycle. That photo (seen at right) resurfaced this week ahead of Monday's rivalry game in Calgary, with Stampeders players like Shawn Lemon and Charleston Hughes using it as their Twitter avatar and getting into social media wars with Edmonton's Odell Willis and Almondo Sewell. Here are some of the back-and-forth tweets (language warning):
Can the Ticats open Tim Hortons Field with a Labour Day Classic win, or will the Argos solidify their hold on first place in the East?Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line8 hrs ago
With Tim Hortons Field's partial occupancy permit finally approved late Sunday night, the focus ahead of Monday's Labour Day Classic between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts (1 p.m. Eastern, TSN/ESPN3) can turn to the on-the-field action. Both 3-6 Toronto and 1-6 Hamilton could desperately use a win in this one, with the Argonauts looking to solidify their hold on first place in the struggling East Division and the Tiger-Cats hoping to move up into a tie for second. Which team is more likely to come out ahead, though?
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line23 hrs ago
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' decade-long streak of not winning in Regina was almost, but not quite, snapped Sunday. The Bombers jumped out to an early lead and were up 7-0 after the first quarter, but the Roughriders stormed back with 21 straight points. Winnipeg then notched 17 consecutive points to take a 24-21 lead, and the game seesawed down the stretch, but in the end, a late Anthony Allen touchdown and some good defence proved enough to give Saskatchewan a 35-30 win.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
The saga of Tim Hortons Field continues, with the news coming Sunday afternoon that the city's decision on whether the stadium will receive its partial occupancy permit for Monday's scheduled Labour Day Classic against Toronto won't be made until Sunday night. Early Sunday was already a tight turnaround, and getting that decision late Sunday makes things even tougher. However, the team's so confident the permit will come that they've already cancelled the backup plan of playing at the Rogers Centre Tuesday, making particularly apt. As Drew Edwards of The Hamilton Spectator writes, some remaining issues still need to be sorted out before the permit can be approved, though:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line2 days ago
There's been a remarkable drop in touchdowns across the CFL this year. Through nine weeks of last year's season (32 total games), there were 162 touchdowns, or 5.1 per game. Through nine weeks of this season (before the Labour Day Weekend games), there had been 36 games played thanks to the introduction of a ninth team (the Ottawa Redblacks), but the total touchdowns had dropped to 135, or just 3.8 per game. However, while touchdowns have dropped, there have been many more unusual touchdowns, and plenty from unusual players. Consider this one from 310-pound Saskatchewan Roughriders offensive lineman Dan Clark, who lined up as a tight end and caught a touchdown pass last week against the B.C. Lions:
- Neate Sager at 55 Yard Line2 days ago
Someone had to win; fittingly, the basement bowl that was also a showdown for second place in the CFL (L)East, turned on a blown coverage in the fourth quarter.
The Montreal Alouettes played well enough to beat the Ottawa Redblacks 20-10 in Jonathan Crompton's first start on Friday, getting the late sealing touchdown in the fourth quarter just three plays after Ottawa finally managed its first offensive TD in 42 possessions.
On the first play of the Als' possession after Ottawa scored with 6:06 left, Crompton found Duron Carter (five receptions for a game-high 127 yards) for a 48-yard gaineer down the right sideline after cornerback Jermaine Robinson had fallen to the Molson Stadium turf. The Als sealed the win on the next play when former Oregon State speedster James Rodgers (brother of NFL running back Jacquizz Rodgers) scored on a 17-yard run. That made it two games in a row that the Redblacks were burned by a rookie receiver running a fly sweep for a decisive touchdown.
Montreal (2-7) is now in the driver's seat for a playoff spot, amazingly enough, ahead of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-6) and struggling Redblacks (1-8).
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line2 mths ago
What do you do if you have a whole bunch of CFL players together in the offseason? Well, why not have them toss tires for a quarterback to throw a football through! That's what happened at a photo shoot a few weeks back for Reebok's CFL authentic sideline apparel collection, featuring the likes of Edmonton Eskimos' quarterback Mike Reilly, Winnipeg Blue Bombers' defensive end Jason Vega, B.C. Lions' linebacker Adam Bighill, Hamilton Tiger-Cats' defensive tackle Brian Bulcke and many more. Here's the behind-the-scenes video, via the CFL's YouTube account:
- Andrew Bucholtz at Andrew Bucholtz3 yrs ago
While the Edmonton Eskimos have been busy on the housecleaning front under general manager Eric Tillman, their team isn't going to be entirely built of new faces this year. In their search for roster consistency, the team's brought in plenty of guys who have played for Tillman or head coach Kavis Reed in previous stops. Their latest addition is 37-year-old veteran quarterback Kerry Joseph, who played under Tillman in both Ottawa and Saskatchewan as well as in a brief stint with the Eskimos last fall.