Hello, Bryan Burnham. Another one, eh? Tell me, are we at the point where you actually hear circus music in your head as you’re making catches like that? Any thoughts of a touchdown celly where you wave your hand over the football and turn it into a rabbit?
Here are this week’s takeaways.
SOME GAMES JUST MAKE YOU WANNA TAKE A SHOWER
Wait a second. I guess they’re all like that, really. Everybody showers after the game. But you know what I mean.
If you don’t, take Toronto’s win over BC on Saturday night as an example.
After that harrowing adventure with the oddball finish was over (can’t believe the team wearing orange and black wouldn’t win that Hallowe’en weirdo) both Argos’ head coach Ryan Dinwiddie and quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson answered post-game questions, sheepishly.
Dinwiddie was asked about the strange decision to take two knees before punting away and giving BC another shot at winning with seconds on the clock.
“I totally blew it,” he said, admitting that he hadn’t realized BC had a timeout remaining. “It’s on me. I apologized to our guys afterward. It was a bad mistake and it could’ve cost us.”
Dinwiddie then was asked about missed opportunities on offence and he talked about assignments blown, moaning that they were mistakes that even Pop Warner kids wouldn’t make before catching himself and saying “speaking of Pop Warner, I’m sure most Pop Warner coaches could’ve been better than me today with the last 44 seconds.”
Bethel-Thompson looked very unhappy for a guy whose team had just clinched a playoff spot.
“I’m gonna be embarrassed by watching that game film,” said McBeth. “Three wide open receivers and gimme touchdowns. It’s professional football and you shouldn’t be a starting quarterback if you can’t hit wide open receivers.”
“They literally had created ten yards of separation if not more,” he said, grimly.
Hey, it’s a win. But it’s the kind that would have a quarterback standing in the shower for an extra-long period of time, hoping to rinse away the ghosts of missed opportunities. The Lions, by the way, might still be in the showers at BMO Field even as you read this.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: There’s nothing quite like a Bethel-Thompson Q and A session. Saturday night, he tossed in a parable of two monks as he answered a question about putting things behind you.
BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: Postmedia’s Frank Zicarelli is a national football beat treasure. Saturday night, he opened up Dinwiddie’s post-game media avail by asking, bluntly yet sympathetically: “What the hell happened at the end with the time management?” Never change, Zic.
EVERYTHING’S COMING UP TICATS
Defence is rolling. Offence is too, now.
And one play, in particular, tells you that the Hamilton Ticats are starting to really feel the steam building, if you believe in signs.
In Hamilton’s win over Edmonton on Saturday night, play 112, run with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, stands out in that regard.
Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli takes the snap, and turns to hand off to running back Don Jackson who, perhaps, didn’t feel he was getting the ball in that situation. A fumble occurs, but the ball bounces right back into Masoli’s hands and he scampers around the edge for 16 yards and a first down.
When you’re playing well and then that kind of thing starts happening, the wave usually builds. Looks like surf’s up in the Hammer.
DON’T THINK, JUST THROW. DON’T THINK, JUST THROW.
Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo thinks the same thing that got Ebby Calvin LaLoosh over the hump in Bull Durham might work for the Roughriders’ offence as the stretch drive heats up.
In Saturday night’s win in Montreal, offensive coordinator Jason Maas had the ‘Riders go tempo after a Loucheiz Purifoy interception set them up with great field position. Fajardo then orchestrated a seven-play, 57-yard touchdown march out of it.
“I feel like this offence is really good when we get to go quick, don’t have to think too much,” said Fajardo immediately after the game.
Don’t think, just throw. Or hand off. And breathe through your eyelids if you can.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Candlesticks always make a nice gift.
The kings have a little more company as the weeks roll on.
For a while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ defence was by far and away the best, most-feared unit in all the land. They’re still seated on the throne, with a ferocious front four, swarming, cohesive linebacking corps, and air-tight secondary.
It is fair to say that a handful of other teams have defensive teams that continue to round into form just in time for the playoff football that’s around the corner. A simple eye test tells you that, even before you get to the stats packages for confirmation.
Hamilton’s defence is humming, and they boast as good a D line as any.
Say, that kinda describes Saskatchewan too. Oh, and Calgary. Calgary’s defence is on fire and the flames are climbing higher. Not The Flames, but the flames. Although The Flames are pistol hot right now aren’t they? Good times in Calgary these days.
But back to football. The Alouettes defence has reported for duty in a big way, lately, as well.
As we get closer to post-season, these teams all have defensive units that can give any opponent hell and they illustrated that in Week 13.
The Blue Bombers are still the clear favourites. But the picture is bit blurrier these days. Will it continue to get even blurrier?
SEEMS LIKE IT’S DUCK SEASON
As the Ottawa REDBLACKS finish up with the two games that remain in their season, it’s time to give the ball to Devlin “Duck” Hodges and let him get some real reps in.
He got a taste in a game in Hamilton a couple weeks back, but not enough action to call it consequential, right?
The REDBLACKS have a pretty full read on what they’ve got with Caleb Evans by now and the young QB might well benefit from a bit of a breather and watching a game unfold from the sideline.
Quack quack, everybody. Quack quack.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Speaking of a team’s pivot picture and an eye on 2022 – I do believe the Edmonton Elks have a goodly amount of in-game action on which to form judgment on what they have in Taylor Cornelius. They made the big trade for Nick Arbuckle, let’s see what kind of chemistry he can whip up with the Elks by anointing him the starter for their final four games. Besides, don’t you wanna see an up-to-speed Arbuckle face the Argos in Week 16?
AND FINALLY… No, Kameron Kelly. No. Just… no.