July 4, 2012

Cauz: Apologies to the West, I was wrong

Wow was that ever a perfect storm of wrong.

I spent over 1,200 words talking about how this was the year the East would be “The dominant division” in the CFL.

I may as well have proclaimed Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes would be together forever, buying RIM would only help your portfolio and Adam Sandler better start prepping his best Actor acceptance speech for the upcoming Academy Awards.  

So yes to reader, RobS, I was “way off”.

» By the Numbers: Week 1 Results
Roughriders 43, Tiger-Cats 16
Lions 33, Blue Bombers 16
Eskimos 19, Argonauts 15
Stampeders 38, Alouettes 10

For anyone rooting for at least one Eastern team to win, the only positive moment from that Montreal vs. Calgary game was Glen Suitor saying that “Nik Lewis can use that girth to his advantage”.

Yes I giggled at that moment; yes I am 37 years old.  

The realistic approach is to not get ahead of ourselves, that it’s only one week and this is not the time for a knee jerk reaction.

Now anyone who knows me knows this is not the mindset I recommend for sports fans. Logic and a reasoned approach is for doctors and air traffic controllers; not for people who wear face paint and put back a six-pack before kickoff.

It is sports, it is supposed to be fun, an escape from reality, don’t listen to what sports writers and talking heads have to say, I say go nuts!  

I say if you’re a Roughrider fan you should revel in Darian Durant’s best game since the 2010 home opener.

You should start counting down to Week 8 when Weston Dressler breaks Milt Stegall’s single-season record for receiving touchdowns (23).

Poor Milt he’ll have nothing left by the 100th Grey Cup.

If I’m Eric Tillman I’m strutting down Jasper Avenue, chest puffed out and bellowing to the world “I know what I’m doing, now leave me alone and let me do my job.”

In Calgary I’m feeling very comfortable with the Tate/Cornish combo replacing the Burris/Reynolds one.

Finally if I’m a Lions fan I’m confused, how did my team outscore the opponent, isn’t in June? You can’t start the first month of the season winless while playing this way.

On the flip side, the East is in a tough spot. Hamilton fans are wondering if they’ll ever be able to slow down a passing attack. In Toronto everyone is having 2011 flash backs while the fanbase in both Winnipeg and Montreal are wondering about the health and age of their starting signal callers.  

Now if you want the measured approach to the weekend’s action it’s this: No team’s season is won or lost in Week 1, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take away some interesting snapshots.

(1) If you’re a Blue Bombers fan you have to be frustrated by Buck Pierce’s injury. This is nothing against Buck or his toughness; it’s more about the fan experience. It’s tough when you have to wonder week in and week out who will be starting under centre. Last year, it took some time before the Pierce injury speculation sweepstakes kicked off. This season it took about a half.  

(2) I’m not going to start writing the inevitable “time has finally caught up on Anthony Calvillo” column, at least not for one more half of football. Full credit to Calgary’s game plan but when was the last time you saw Montreal’s offence look so out of synch?

(3) I loved watching the Lions flex their muscle against Winnipeg. In every professional sport you want to see a proper title defence. Nothing saps the legitimacy away from a Grey Cup or really any championship game than the reigning champs falling flat on their face the following season. Yes it’s only one game but I think we’re all on board that B.C. is the class of the league.

(4) I’m not worried about the Argonauts, at least not yet. Ricky Ray had a solid second half and both mistakes and penalties did in Toronto. Great job by the Edmonton fans for their respectful treatment directed towards Ray.

(5) There is more pressure on Hamilton than any other team. After getting the East Finals last year coupled with the additions of Henry Burris and Andy Fantuz, expectations were, and are, sky high. A slow start will not sit well with management.

(6) The league is better off with Durant at the top of his game. I love the multiple formations and plays the coaching staff uses to get the ball into the hands to Dressler.

(7) Yes, all the focus was on Burris and Ray wearing new colours, but for Argonauts fans it was jarring seeing Kevin Eiben in Ticat Black and Gold. After 11 seasons and 704 career tackles it is going to take a while to get used to seeing Eiben playing on the other side of the QEW.

(8) I was tempted to talk about the brilliant debut but I’ll be honest I’m afraid of any twitter rage directed at me by Avon Cobourne.

Don’t worry I’m not going to be making any predictions for Week 2, but after looking at the schedule I feel fairly confident that will see the East win at least one game.