55 Yard Line

  • Will the Stampeders' motorcycle taunts backfire, or will they run over the Eskimos again?

    Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line3 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):

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  • Tim Hortons Field occupancy permit still hasn't come, but Ticats expect to play there Monday

    Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line22 hrs 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

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  • Touchdowns are falling, but we're seeing more touchdown diversity

    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:

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  • Kerry Joseph's signing turns up heat in Esks' backup battle

    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.

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  • Jordan Matechuk's steroids arrest may spell trouble for CFL

    Andrew Bucholtz at Andrew Bucholtz3 yrs ago

    A quirk of geography may have proven disastrous for Hamilton Tiger-Cats' long-snapper and linebacker Jordan Matechuk—and it could have implications for the CFL as a whole as well. Matechuk was apparently heading to Hamilton from Alberta for training camp May 31 when he was arrested for possession of anabolic steroids at the International Bridge border crossing between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. News of his arrest came out Tuesday thanks to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which tends to spotlight unusual cases. A professional football player caught with "543 anabolic steroid pills, 262 millilitres of anabolic steroids in liquid form, 1.25 grams of marijuana, 19 syringes, and 51 replacement needles" certainly qualifies there.

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  • Walter Spencer's incredible comeback

    Andrew Bucholtz at Andrew Bucholtz3 yrs ago

    The Montreal Alouettes' training camp is producing some of the most interesting stories of the CFL pre-season so far. We've already talked about linebacker Marc-Olivier Brouillette's battle to keep his leg and the Alouettes' decision to cut former star NFL running back Ahman Green, but the story of linebacker Walter Spencer is just as notable. Spencer was stabbed twice in a Montreal bar last September, once in the heart, and his very survival was in question. Now, he's back on the field and competing to make the team again, but his memories of his frightening past few months are still vividly clear. In a piece published Tuesday, Spencer opened up to The Gazette 's Herb Zurkowsky about what he went through last fall. It makes for incredible reading, particularly the part where Spencer talks about how he didn't notice the pain en route to hospital, but felt his body shutting down:

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