Hello, Peter Dyakowski. Lemme get this straight. You played your 150th career game on the day Canada celebrated its 150th birthday? We all knew you were smart but to be able to map that out? That is sesqui-sensational. And a little show-offy.
Here are this week’s takeaways.
1. WE COULDN’T REALLY WATCH OTTAWA AND CALGARY PLAY EVERY WEEK.
That’s a lie, of course. A big, fat, juicy lie. Along the lines of “I couldn’t eat another bite.” Yes, you could eat another bite. You could eat another bite when what’s placed in front of you is more of the yummy goodness that the REDBLACKS and Stampeders regularly serve up. Big plays on offence and defence. Long bombs, fancy footwork, thunderous hits and a scoop and score. A kick return for a touchdown. And another one. One team pulls away, the other fights back. Just keep eating.
The REDBLACKS and Stamps are like one of those monstrous sandwiches you see on a TV food show, where the host finds a place where they serve giant hamburger buns stuffed with two or three barbecued prime rib beef patties, pulled pork poutine and a chicken cutlet. Then, they take that burger and surround it in cheddar and bookend it with thick cut sourdough bread and then slap it on a griddle and call it a “Grim Reaper Grilled Cheese Deluxe,” or something. Served with a side of onion rings the size of dinner plates.
Just watching the REDBLACKS and Stampeders can boost a person’s cholesterol levels by at least 20 per cent. But I’ll take that chance.
Garçon! Another Grim Reaper here.
2. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND LOSING IS A SHOESTRING TACKLE.
Folks in Ottawa and Calgary are saying “yes, we already knew that.” Fine, you can sit this one out, since you have the requisite knowledge based on Abdul Kanneh’s game-saving tackle on Andrew Buckley in last year’s Grey Cup. In Winnipeg and Regina, the object lesson came during the second overtime mini-game on Saturday night. With a first-and-10 from the Winnipeg 24 yard line, Roughriders running back Cameron Marshall took a hand off from quarterback Kevin Glenn, turned up field and saw nothing but prairie flatlands between him and the goal line. See ya. Riderville becomes Gonesville. Take the lead there and maybe, probably come out on top.
Hold on and don’t crack a celebratory Pilsner just yet. Bombers’ defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman dives, nicks Marshall’s foot and down he goes. For good measure, Westerman follows up that play with a sack, forcing the Riders into a 33-yard field goal attempt and, perhaps, another takeaway: The difference between tying and losing is the width of an upright.
3. YOU WILL BE GETTING FAMILIAR WITH THE NAME VICTOR BUTLER.
Victor Butler is the newest of the new guys on the Toronto Argonauts’ defensive line and he is rapidly approaching the point where you won’t be saying “who’s that, again?” Butler was a force on Friday night, even in a losing cause against BC. The native of Los Angeles racked up two sacks, and three quarterback pressures beyond that. He had a knockdown and a forced fumble. Same numbers in his first game, a week prior, against Hamilton. So, in two starts, Victor Butler has four sacks, two pass knockdowns, two forced fumbles and six quarterback pressures.
We already know what the guy at the other end, Shawn Lemon, can do. Now we’re getting a crash course in what Victor Butler can do. Victor Butler is gonna be a thing in the CFL in 2017.
Victor Butler strips the football from Lions pivot Jonathon Jennings (The Canadian Press)
4. YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING SOMEWHERE? KYLE KNOX BEGS TO DIFFER.
You can ask Saskatchewan kick returner Greg Morris about that. Knox, the second-year Blue Bomber linebacker, had three special teams tackles on Saturday night. Check that. One special teams tackle and two proton collider-level collisions, blasting away at Morris as he looked to find some daylight on kick returns. Knox came in from the side on one of those hellacious hits and straight in for the other. Because Kyle Knox ain’t havin’ it. Teams had better get a hat on that guy as he comes down field this season or there’s gonna be another solar system born out of one of those impacts.
Bonus takeaway: Greg Morris is a tough son of a gun. Neither of those hits separated him from the ball when they had the potential to separate him from the stadium, never mind the rock. The Saskatchewan returner did manage to avoid Knox enough to put together an average of 27.5 yards per return on the night, including a 47-yarder.
5. ANDREW BUCKLEY’S GOT SOME DECENT WHEELS.
The Calgary quarterback might not be a 2017 Ferrari but it is also true that he ain’t no 1978 Ford Granada. Most of the time when Buckley comes in for Bo Levi Mitchell, it’s to plunge forward in a short yardage situation, or maybe knock on the next door down the line before falling forward under a hail of human flesh. Maybe even scoot the corner from five yards out for a touchdown score. But from his own side of midfield?
Didn’t know he had it in him until he took a snap on third and one from the Calgary 50, veered right and around the corner, trucking it like all get-out down the rail for a major score. Ottawa defensive back Imoan Claiborne couldn’t track him from behind, trying for a desperate punch out of the ball at around the 15-yard-line. Not pointing any fingers, but we know not every quarterback can make that trek and now Buckley has something to his credit that even most running backs won’t get this season; a 60-yard touchdown run. Did you see that, Abdul Kanneh?
Did you see Brian Williams’ tour of Mosaic on the TSN pre-game? Showed us the draught beer delivery system. Holy hops, that stadium has pipes and tubes running all through it, all over the place. That stadium LITERALLY has beer running through its veins! As Liz Lemon famously said on the TV show 30 Rock, “I want to go to there.” Nice place ya got there, Regina. Can’t wait to see it in person.