55 Yard Line
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 hr ago
The single point from a rouge in the CFL can often matter, and Saturday night's Edmonton Eskimos-Hamilton Tiger-Cats' clash was certainly an example of that. The game swung back and forth all night, with Edmonton leading 15-3 at halftime and Hamilton storming back, but with just under two minutes left, the Eskimos were set to get the ball back down only eight points. That's a one-score game, with only a touchdown with a two-point conversion needed to tie the game. The Tiger-Cats' Justin Medlock drilled the punt deep into the end zone, though, and the Hamilton cover team did an excellent job of pinning Edmonton's returner there, giving the Tiger-Cats one more vital point. Mike Reilly led the Eskimos down the field for a subsequent touchdown with just six seconds left, but that was no longer enough, and the failure of the subsequent onside kick meant that Hamilton both hung on for a 25-23 win and proved the value of the rouge. It also led to a great Canadian officiating call (of a subsequent penalty):
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line10 hrs ago
While the Toronto Argonauts managed to go into B.C. and come out with a 40-23 win over the Lions Friday, the night didn't end as well for Argonauts' legendary running back, former head coach and current team vice-chair Michael "Pinball" Clemons. Clemons was hanging out on the Toronto sidelines all night, doing everything from acting as the team's waterboy to cheering them on, and he also took the time to socialize with fans in the stands. Unfortunately, when he tossed one fan one of his Grey Cup rings (he has four) to try on, someone reportedly walked off with it:
Please RT! Get Pinball's GC ring back. Female at #BCLions game caught it and left when he tossed it to some fans to look at
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line22 hrs ago
Heading into Friday night's game against B.C., the Toronto Argonauts looked to be in tough. They were just 3-8 on the year, they were playing in a hostile environment where they'd struggled historically, they were facing the 7-4 Lions and they were coming off a disastrous second-half collapse against Calgary. The CFL's never predictable, though, and the Argonauts built another dominant first-half lead, then managed to hang on to it for a 40-23 win. That gave them their first victory in B.C. since 2002, and an excuse to troll the Lions on social media:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
Much has been made of the offensive downturn in the CFL this year, but just how bad has it been? To find out, I went to the numbers. The league releases a wide variety of team stats each week every year, so with some spreadsheet-juggling, numbers from a variety of categories can be compared from 2013 and 2014, and we can see how each team has done from year to year. This is through 12 weeks, so it's how the numbers looked heading into this week's games. I also included 2012 for additional context. First off, here's how the points and points-per-game for each team have changed through 12 weeks of play over the last three years, sorted by the change from 2013-14 (Ottawa has zeros in the 2013-14 change thanks to not existing in 2013):
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
A team wouldn't normally be all that down after losing 40-33 on the road to the side with the league's best record, but that's not the case with the Toronto Argonauts, and that's because of how they lost. The Argos looked all set to knock off the 9-1 Calgary Stampeders last week, leading by 26 at one point and holding a 19-point lead at the half, but the Stampeders tied a club record with a ferocious comeback and gave Toronto a "one that got away" loss to brood on for a week. The Argonauts get a chance to redeem themselves Friday night against B.C. (10 p.m. Eastern, TSN/ESPN3), but will they be able to rebound from such a staggering loss? That could be difficult, especially considering they're playing a good team in a tough environment.
Arland Bruce's lawsuit is about negligence, and the CBA and standard player contract don't relieve the CFL or its clubs from any negligenceAndrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
One particularly interesting element of the CFL's motion to dismiss Arland Bruce III's concussion lawsuit is the league's request "that the case be dismissed and sent to arbitration under terms of the CFL's collective bargaining agreement." That raises the question of just what the CFL's CBA says about injuries and injury-related grievances, and how that applies in Bruce's case. A full version of the 2014 CBA hasn't been published anywhere, but Bruce's claim (PDF, via ) is about what happened in 2012 and 2013, and the 2010-2013 CBA (PDF) and standard player contract (PDF) are fortunately both available through CFLDB. Most notably, the provisions of the standard player contract don't appear to release clubs or the league from charges of negligence, which are what Bruce is bringing. From the standard player contract, section 20:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
In court documents obtained by TSN, Tator has asked that Bruce be responsible for the doctor's legal costs. Tator also asked the court to move the case to Ontario if it isn't dismissed. The CFL also filed its response to Arland's claim. In what Bruce's lawyer described as an expected development, the league has asked that the case be dismissed and sent to arbitration under terms of the CFL's collective bargaining agreement. The CFL's tactic is the same one that the NFL employed during its own concussion litigation. Both leagues argued that individual teams are responsible for the health and safety of players. The NFL lost its argument and the case went to trial. Arland's lawyer Robyn Wishart said it would be months before a court rules on the motions to dismiss or move the case to Ontario.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line2 days ago
The ongoing discussion about a potential sale of the Toronto Argonauts and its complicating factors, including the team's need for a new stadium, took a notable turn this week when owner David Braley told The Toronto Star he had received two offers for the team outside of MLSE's reported interest.One of those offers is reportedly a proposal that would set the team up as a not-for-profit community-owned franchise, along the lines of other CFL teams such as Edmonton, Saskatchewan and (to a degree) Winnipeg. The Star 's Curtis Rush dug into that idea more deeply Wednesday, exploring how those other franchises work and how much money might be needed, but his piece suggested "annual operating expenses could be in the area of $30 million to $35 million." That's drawn from the Roughriders' reported $32.1 million in operating expenses in 2013 (report available in PDF here), but it seems very high; Saskatchewan's the CFL's richest team and spends way more than anyone else, so a more reasonable number can be obtained by looking at the costs Edmonton and Winnipeg have reported. In reality, operating expenses for the Argonauts could be around half of that $35 million number, potentially making community ownership more feasible in Toronto. Here's a look at the operating expenses for Edmonton and Winnipeg over the last two years:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line3 days ago
When CFL commissioner Mark Cohon announced in August that he wouldn't seek a third term and would step down in the spring of 2015, Michael Copeland seemed like the natural candidate to replace him. The long-time league chief operating officer had been with the league since 2006 (even before Cohon came on board), had shone in a variety of roles (including TV contract negotiation, CBA negotiation, cap development and implementation and more) and had been promoted to president as well as COO in 2013. However, TSN's Dave Naylor reported Wednesday that Copeland has declined to seek the commissioner's job, and CFL director of communications Jamie Dykstra confirmed that report. That means there's now no obvious succession plan for Cohon, and that could be problematic.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line4 days ago
Argonauts' owner David Braley's comments published Tuesday about new offers for the team are interesting, but what's perhaps even more important than ownership is a stadium solution. The team's Rogers Centre lease ends in 2017, and what Braley told Toronto Star reporter Curtis Rush on that front is quite notable. Braley said he's focused on trying to get the team a lease at BMO Field (owned by the city, but run by MLSE for its soccer team). Moveover, he said that lease may come before he sells the team, and it may not require MLSE owning the Argonauts: