A CFL season that couldn’t end soon enough

Thus ends the 2009 CFL regular season.

Thus ends the 2009 CFL regular season.

It’s a mercy killing for Winnipeg and Toronto as both teams attempted to do the impossible: Play the game of football without a quarterback. The Bombers crashed shortly after take-off, while the Argonauts never had any oars in the water all season.

It is appropriate that neither team made the playoffs because nobody needs to watch Kerry Joseph and Michael Bishop play quarterback anymore this season.

The only mystery to me was both quarterbacks’ inability to tackle the many guys who intercepted their passes. You would think that much tackling practice would help but then again, practice never helped their passing games.

The same thing could be said for their head coaches. Bomber coach Mike Kelly alienated Winnipeg media, fans and players — the trifecta of stupid moves.

Then he brought in a coach-killer like Bishop to solve his quarterback problems. This move was a little like slapping around a bear cub in front of its mother, because it was destined to have painful results.

Argo coach Bart Andrus had a dispute with superstar receiver Arland Bruce, so he traded him to a divisional rival and ensured that incompetent Toronto quarterbacks would have even less chance of success.

Welcome to the playoffs Hamilton and a big tip of the football helmet to Andrus on this one comes from the ‘Cats.

Anyhow, both teams are done so let’s move onto the rest of the league. How would you like to be a B.C. Lion quarterback this year? It would probably be less painful to throw yourself in front of a city bus.

These guys spend more time in orthopedic wards than on football fields, but they have a playoff date ahead of them. They may have backed into the playoffs, but now they have to decide who has enough healthy body parts to line up behind center. I’ll have more to say on this dilemma in my Friday column when I look at the semifinals.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have finally reached the summit of first place after 33 years of finishes that ranged from bridesmaids to many years of no invitation to the wedding.

I was at the last game in 1976 that gave the Riders first place in a final regular season game against Calgary when Ron Lancaster hit Rhett Dawson for a touchdown on the last play of the game.

Little did I, my brother Jerry, and fellow Rider fan Ken Morrison know that we would not witness this event for another 33 years.

Another long time would be the career of Eskimo play-by-play man Bryan Hall, who will call his last games this year. I know Hallsy has rubbed people the wrong way, including Eskimo fans for many decades, but he is a big part of the CFL and I’m going to miss the guy that single-handedly strengthened my Rider loyalties over the past 40 odd years.

Thanks for the memories Hallsy, some of which included fighting painfully intense urges to punch my radio during your broadcasts. You may be an unapologetic Eskimo fan, but you are an even bigger CFL fan and that is your real strength.

Playoff picks on Friday.

Jim Sutherland is a local freelance writer whose CFL column appears on Tuesdays and Fridays. He can be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com

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