Hello, Martese Jackson. You are fast, sir. FAST. I looked something up, prompted by your display on Thursday night. Did you know the Peregrine Falcon has been clocked at a stunning 389 kilometres per hour? Perfect.
I dub thee the “Martese Falcon.”
Here are this week’s takeaways.
1. BRYAN BURNHAM’S GAME PREP? WATCHING THE LATEST SPIDER-MAN MOVIE
And here I thought the best summer blockbuster I’d see in 2017 would be “War For The Planet Of The Apes.” Bryan (Neo) Burnham’s touchdown catch against Hamilton is almost beyond description and the rest of the CFL’s sticky-handed artists have an almost impossibly tough act to follow if they want to equal it. Forget about topping it, that would take, I dunno, emerging from a burning building with the football in one hand and a rescued puppy in the other.
Michael Bay directed Bryan Burnham’s touchdown catch. And he said “you know how I love adding explosions in post but even I don’t think we need ’em here.” Bryan Burnham beat out Jason Statham, The Rock and Charlize Theron for the lead role in that catch. Kylo Ren saw Bryan Burnham’s touchdown catch and said “man, that’s some evil right there.” Bryan Burnham’s touchdown catch grossed $136 million at the box office during its opening weekend. Bryan Burnham is getting his own booth at the next Comic-Con, right in between Robert Downey Jr. and Gal Gadot. Bryan Burnham’s touchdown catch should have been followed by a screen scroll of the names of the three or four dozen CGI artists it took to render it. I mean, it looked so real.
2. YOU UNDERESTIMATED THE MONTREAL ALOUETTES
And by “you,” I mean me, although I am certain I will not stand in that line alone. As a penance, I will now write “I will not underestimate the Alouettes again,” fifty times.
I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate the Alouettes again. I will not underestimate….
Look. I’ve learned my lesson, so I’ll stop right there. And let me be totally honest. I wasn’t writing that out. I was just cutting and pasting, so that’s enough.
Montreal’s defence is still the Montreal defence, even with aging vets, injuries and newbies in the unit, proving once again that the Als’ defensive MVP is coordinator Noel Thorpe. On offence, Montreal may have found the answers they were seeking on how to get their cart out of that muddy ditch; Have Tyrell Sutton pull it out. Also, that new guy? Number nine? He’s pretty good so throw his way, even in traffic. Working the ball deep paid off for Montreal, too. The arsenal is coming together as long as Darian Durant takes that little over-the-shoulder throw out of the playbook.
I will not underestimate….
3. JACQUES CHAPDELAINE HAS PERFECTED HIS DEATH-DAGGER STARE
Holy cold snap. Look at that scowl. I screen-capped that from TSN’s broadcast on Friday night. Alouettes’ Head Coach Jacques Chapdelaine shot that out just after his team took a time count violation on a field goal attempt near the end of the first half.
If you, as a teenaged boy, walked into your house and your dad was standing in the hallway and he gave you that look, you’d immediately – without uttering a word – turn around, walk out the door and go wash the family car. Then cut the lawn and clean the barbecue. That’s some Clint Eastwood “get off my lawn” stuff right there. That’s some “don’t ever underestimate my team again” stuff.
I’m gonna study that stare and try to recapture it the next time someone asks me what I think of this year’s Emmy nominations (Michael McKean was robbed, people. ROBBED). Actually, I think I’ll just get a wallet-size of that image printed and laminated. That way I can dramatically lay it out on people, like a soccer official.
4. THE BLUE BOMBERS GOT WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR
More importantly, they may have gotten what they needed. It’s true, dropped Toronto passes and an infamous flag on an Argos’ kick return touchdown played major roles in Winnipeg’s 33-25 home win. But, a win is a win is a win and the Bombers were desperate for some kind of home-cooking momentum, having not yet made IGF a scary place to play for visiting teams. “It was just a dogfight for four quarters,” said quarterback Matt Nichols after the game, praising the rising Argonauts.
“I think it was great for a lot of the young guys on this team to play a game like that and find a way to win.” It was far from perfect, although the play of running back Andrew Harris and the Winnipeg offensive line both approached the standard, but the Blue Bombers may have gotten that type of game that every successful club needs once in awhile; the one that tightens the laces on team unity and belief.
5. YOU’RE NOT ENJOYING THIS AS MUCH AS ODELL WILLIS IS
You’re not. Look, that’s just a scientific fact. Unless you’re watching Friday Night Football on a giant screen, from a hot tub, while your favourite celebrity crush is hand-feeding you pizza, and Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are waiting patiently in your yard to play you your own halftime show, you’re not. Willis has always been a character but now his game personality seems to be increasingly informed by fun. Earlier in his career, his brash nature seemed a lot less jovial and there were many fans who just couldn’t stand the Mayor of Swaggerville.
Friday night, how could you not be taken in by Willis’ zest for life? He strutted as though on a catwalk as he and his Edmonton teammates waited for player introductions. He did a little dance when his call won the pre-game coin toss. He jokingly gave Ottawa’s rifle-armed quarterback Trevor Harris a visual tutorial on follow through. And during one extended stoppage in play, he walked over to the Ottawa sideline, said something to REDBLACKS Head Coach Rick Campbell and the two shook hands.
Odell Willis is 32-years-old, his place in the pantheon of greats secured. It looks like he knows it, and has made a decision to drink it all in. To stop and smell the roses. On his way to the quarterback, of course.
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Four out of five offensive coordinators recommend Zylstra. The fifth didn’t watch the game.