Brace for a pair of pre-Labour Day upsets

The CFL has another light schedule this weekend as the final days of August and summer are both very close to the exit sign.

The CFL has another light schedule this weekend as the final days of August and summer are both very close to the exit sign.

The final four of August CFL teams play tune up games before the traditional Labour Day weekend show puts a big wrap on summer next week. This weekend will feature a couple of inter-divisional games with a little less curb appeal than the Labour Day opponents.

Tonight’s game pits the Toronto Argonauts against the Calgary Stampeders in Toronto’s Rogers Centre and baseball emporium.

One would think that a brutal team like the Argos would be a lock for the loss column in a game with the Calgary Stampeders. Last year the Stamps were a machine as they rolled over everybody in their way on the back nine of the season en route to a Grey Cup. One would think that the heart, soul and guts of the 2008 Calgary squad are still left on the team and the Argos will get torpedoed once again at home.

I don’t agree.

There are missing pieces in the Calgary Stampeder puzzle this year and one of the bigger pieces is their defense against the run. Last year the Stamps had an aggressive front four who shut down the run and exerted pressure on quarterbacks. Jo Juan Armour anchored the linebackers, beat up opponents rather than teammates, and all was well in Stampeder-land in 2008.

This year teams have been able to run on the Stamps and the new D guys in camp indicate that coach Hufnagel is very concerned about the problem. However, the Stamps will face the Argos without inside guy Mike Labinjo again this weekend and the Argo run game will still be a concern for the Stamps. Tailback Jamal Robertson has been a force at times for the Argos in an otherwise pathetic Toronto offense.

The Argos are stone cold killers on defense and they thrive on controlled violence.

Conservative ball control offense and a bloodthirsty defense will give the Argos their first home win since George W. Bush started to phone moving companies last year.

The other game has the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Edmonton against the Eskimos. The Eskimo offense has come to life in the past few games because they added “offensive consultant” Kevin Strasser to their coaching staff. Strasser was their first and best choice for offensive coordinator over Rick Worman and the Esks leapt at an opportunity to get him. Strasser will save Worman’s job long enough to replace him.

The Eskimos have found their offense and now can run with anybody in a shootout, but they will miss the pass and run abilities of Calvin McCarty against Hamilton. This guy has been money for the Esks anytime he gets within a long shadow of the goal posts. His contribution has been a big part of the touchdown package for this team.

Expensive linebacker Mo Lloyd will also miss Saturday night’s game and that may be a problem for the Eskimo run defense against newly discovered Ticat tailback sensation Deandre Cobb.

The Tiger Cats will win on Saturday night against the Eskimos. A bigger than average ‘Cat front seven has been tough on opponent O-lines and Hamilton has a much improved offense in 2009.

See you on Tuesday.

Jim Sutherland is a local freelance writter who’s CFL column appears in the Advocate on Tuesdays and Fridays and can be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
Select Alberta physicians to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine next week

Some Alberta physicians will now be offering the COVID-19 vaccine. In an… Continue reading

An example of zero lot line properties. Red Deer County council approved rezoning to allow zero lot line properties on three streets in Springbrook.
Photo from Red Deer County
Narrower house lots being tested in Springbrook to improve affordability

Zero lot line homes will be built on three streets in Springbrook

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair listens to a speaker during a news conference Tuesday June 9, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Red Deer part of project to support victims of human trafficking

Federal government sends $500k over next four to Alberta-based project

Mayzie the Canada goose is back nesting in a flower pot on a backyard balcony in Anders on the Lake. (Contributed)
Canada goose is back nesting on Red Deer balcony

Third year in a row geese return

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

File photo
City of Wetaskiwin awarded $5.1 million grant for additional RCMP officers

10 Additional RCMP officers to serve the City of Wetaskiwin as a result of the grant.

In this Nov. 12, 1995, file photo, Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy looks on during the second quarter of the Bills game against the Atlanta Falcons at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Bill Sikes, File
Former Alouettes head coach Marv Levy tops 2021 Canadian Football Hall of Fame class

The ‘21 class will boost the Hall of Fame’s membership to 316

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, provides an update on health system preparations in Nova Scotia for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, in Halifax on Friday, March 6, 2020. Strang says plans are in place to stage the women’s world hockey championship in the province next month with limited spectators.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Nova Scotia plans to allow limited crowds at women’s world hockey championship

All 10 teams in Halifax and Truro must participate in a 14-day quarantine

”Kim’s Convenience” cast member Andrew Phung poses in this undated handout photo. “Kim’s Convenience” has just ended but Andrew Phung is already “knee-deep in ideas and stories” for his next project, “Run the Burbs.” The Calgary-raised actor, who played comical car-rental employee Kimchee on “Kim’s,” co-created the upcoming comedy series and will star in it as a stay-at-home dad with an entrepreneur wife and two kids. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - CBC
‘Kim’s Convenience’ actor Andrew Phung on crafting his own series, ‘Run the Burbs’

‘Run the Burbs’ production could start in the summer or fall

Canisia Lubrin poses in this undated handout photo. Rising literary talent Canisia Lubrin is among the Canadian finalists for the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize. The Griffin Trust announced the three homegrown wordsmiths and four international poets on this year’s short list on Wednesday. Lubrin, who recently received the US$165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize, is nominated for “The Dyzgraphxst” (pronounced diss-graff-ist), published by McClelland and Stewart. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Anna Keenan
Rising writer Canisia Lubrin among Canadian finalists for $65K Griffin Poetry Prize

Griffin will award two winners, one international and one Canadian

A prairie fire in the Burnt Lake district. (Photo by Bert Fors via Red Deer Archives)
Michael Dawe: Fires of spring 1931 in central Alberta

Central Alberta has just come through a relatively warm and dry winter… Continue reading

Gwynne Dyer
Opinion: Boris Johnson is to blame for what’s happening in Ireland

Twenty-three years of peace in Northern Ireland, after a sectarian war that… Continue reading

Most Read