The second last week of the regular season is already upon us. I was 2-2 last week but if picking Calgary to win was wrong, then I don’t want to be right — to paraphrase an old song.
Anyhow, let me jump into the fire again this weekend.
Tonight’s first game pits Montreal against the hometown Toronto Argonauts.
The Argos are now in the playoffs. That may sound odd to people, but underrated Argo head coach Jim Barker is a solid candidate for coach/magician of the year for his efforts.
The real magic is success in the CFL without a legitimate passer as a starting quarterback. The smoke and mirrors for Toronto are solid defensive play, an excellent tailback in Cory Boyd and incredible special teams play. The return game for Toronto is an actual offensive weapon.
Toronto wins this game.
Next up is tonight’s late game in Calgary. The Stamps have been roughed up at home by felines (B.C. Lions) twice already this season. The situation might be the same tonight because the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have more on the line in this game.
Hamilton has an opportunity to secure home field for the playoffs with a win against Calgary tonight. In fact, if the Argonaut ship runs aground against Montreal, then the ’Cats are playing for practice against the Stamps.
But I have to live with my first prediction that the Argos will beat the Alouettes. Thus Hamilton will be involved in a meaningful game and Kevin Glenn will play at quarterback for the Ti-Cats. You can see how my house of cards works in this week’s picks.
The easiest pick of the weekend is an Edmonton victory over the Black and Blue Bombers on Saturday afternoon. Winnipeg will start their fourth-string quarterback in this game for one good reason: the first three guys are injured.
The guy’s name is Joey Elliott and he will carry the hopes and dreams of the Bombers for the next two games. Joey is probably well known to his family and close friends, but he is a little light on pro football experience.
The upside is that he will have no pressure on his shoulders. The downside is that he will face a great deal of pressure from the rejuvenated Edmonton defence. They are hungry and a healthy Greg Peach has helped ramp up interior pressure. Immensely.
Recently, former Friends girl Courtney Cox separated from her husband. There is more reason to believe that she will drunk-dial me this weekend than to expect a Bomber victory. And sadly, Courtney and I are not close.
So my house of prediction cards brings me to the Sunday afternoon game in Vancouver. It seems appropriate that Saskatchewan visits B.C. on Halloween because the past month has been a horror story for the ’Riders. I see little evidence that this Halloween game will change the program for Saskatchewan.
An Eskimo victory means that the Lions will be hungry and fresh gopher will be on their menu.
The ’Riders are playing out the string, so they will presumably play more of the bench brothers in this game. That will likely include backup quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie as the Roughriders protect their assets in this game.
The Lions will sleep well on Sunday night after a victory over the ’Riders.
Jim Sutherland is a local freelance writer whose columns appear on Tuesdays and Fridays. He can be reached at mystarcollectorcar.com