The Labor Day weekend show is here and it marks the halfway point for the season.The big question is which teams can make a move in the back nine of the season. This weekend the move into serious football territory begins in the CFL.
The B.C. Lions meet the Alouettes in Montreal tonight. Three weeks ago, this game is a no-brainer. Anthony Calvillo was healthy and the Als were on their way to first place in the East Division. A.C. will sit out tonight’s game, so understudy Chris Leak gets his first start at quarterback for Montreal. Leak has impressive college credentials, but that does not mean a great pro career is an automatic for him.
Leak is mobile and he has an array of great receivers to help him through his apprenticeship. All of this information still points toward a B.C. victory for me. The Lions are hungry and they gave a veteran quarterback like Henry Burris big problems for part of the game last weekend.
I just can’t see a rookie quarterback winning this game for Montreal. The learning curve is too steep for Leak to win against an inspired Lion defense.
Next up is the Sunday game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Bombers will use a healthier Buck Pierce and/or Stephen Jyles at quarterback in this game, but they will not be enough to win the game.
The ’Riders have separated their season into a win-at-home-lose-on-the-road philosophy. The streak will continue this weekend as the ’Riders enjoy home cooking in Sunday’s game. The motivational 13th man concept (that will also be frozen in time as a very tired ’Rider joke punch-line) still counts as a factor at Roughrider home games.
For some reason, ’Rider quarterback Darian Durant has been immune from direct criticism during his two seasons as a starter. This game will go a long way towards deflecting some of the painfully obvious problems with Durant’s game of late. All he has to do is earn the over-exaggerated accolades about his abilities. Deeds not words Mr. Durant; it should be easy at home against Winnipeg.
The Hamilton vs. Toronto Labor Day war has been around for a long time. Every now and then, the game mutates from a football game into a hockey brawl because these teams really don’t like each other. The fact that a mere two points separates the teams will heat things up to a fast boil.
These two teams met in the Boring Bowl two weeks ago when the lack of on-field action sent most fans home in a light coma. Maybe the teams can wake them up with a little offense and some touchdowns in this game. I think that Hamilton is capable of an offensive outburst and I believe that they will win this home game.
Toronto has stuck with the Lemon quarterback program and it is time to give Dalton Bell a few reps behind center. It won’t happen and the Argos will lose this one.
Lastly, can Edmonton ride a wave of momentum to a victory in Calgary on Monday? I’ll answer that question with another question: Was Edmonton that good or was Saskatchewan that bad last weekend? The answer to both is a Calgary victory — make that a massacre.
Jim Sutherland is a local freelance writer whose columns appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. He can be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com