Do or die for CFL’s playoff teams

Sudden death is a horrific concept. A loss in the CFL playoffs is not the worse kind of sudden death on the menu, but it will mean the end of the road for two teams. The trick is to decide which CFL teams get a toe tag by Sunday night.

Sudden death is a horrific concept. A loss in the CFL playoffs is not the worse kind of sudden death on the menu, but it will mean the end of the road for two teams. The trick is to decide which CFL teams get a toe tag by Sunday night.

The B.C. Lions already had a near-death experience last weekend when they shot themselves in the foot against Edmonton on Friday night and had to wait until Sunday to see if Hamilton could stop the bleeding. The Tiger-Cats came through and now it will be feline warfare in Hamilton when the Lions meet the Tiger-Cats on Sunday morning.

The B.C. Lions will change three time zones and meet the Ticats at 10 a.m. PST. The biological clock will be set for football after breakfast for the B.C. Lions. This is hardly good news for B.C., but they are now faced with that reality.

The other reality is the quarterback carousel and the battered choices available to the B.C. Lions. Casey Printers appears to be healthy enough to take the job because his thumb injury is not a break or tear, according to reliable sources. All athletes have to play hurt and Printers is well aware of the concept.

Hamilton will enjoy home field advantage and that includes an internal clock set for afternoon in the Eastern time zone. The early games have been brutal for West Division teams and Hamilton has been a handful for the Lions this season.

Tigers are actually a larger predator than lions and I suspect that a healthy tiger would annihilate a wounded lion seven days of the week including Sunday. Look for Hamilton quarterback Kevin Glenn and tailback DeAndra’ Cobb to impose their will on the Lions’ defence while a pride of ex-Lion Hamilton linebackers make life difficult for Printers. Hamilton wins this one but Printers is an X factor.

The Battle of Alberta is a concept that has been beaten to death by every sports team in the province but the original and only legitimate title belongs to the Eskimos and Stampeders because they started it and they have fought in it for many decades.

Hostilities resume in Calgary on Sunday afternoon when the Stamps throw down with the Eskimos at McMahon Stadium in an uncivil war. The past season’s games between the squads were a showcase for both teams’ quarterbacks as they shot out the lights in a couple of match-ups.

Edmonton has played better football in the late season with a good balance of run and pass on offense and better quarterback pressure from the front seven on defense. They also played a Lion quarterback with zero game experience last weekend. Calgary quarterback Henry Burris has plenty of experience and success against Edmonton.

Home field is a big advantage for Calgary because Eskimo fans do not flock to other stadiums like another green team’s fans east of us. This will be a close game but I feel that Calgary will win. Edmonton played Toronto and a fourth- string B.C. quarterback in their last few games so there is no real measurement against a good team like Calgary. The bubble bursts for the Eskies in Cowtown. See you Tuesday.

Jim Sutherland may be reached at

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