Hello, Tre Ford. Your running is breaking my brain. Or, at least, it’s forcing me to question my perception of reality.
Whenever you take off, Laurence Fishburne, clad in a long dark coat and cool, ominous sunglasses, grins that evil grin of his. “Is Tre Ford really running towards you or is he running away even as he approaches?”
Here are this week’s takeaways.
» Dolegala, Riders couldn’t ‘dream up’ better win over Bombers
» O’Leary: Ouellette lays down the hammer in LD win
» Maier praises ‘big team effort’ as Stamps stop losing streak
» Adams scores three touchdowns in return to Montreal
» Sign up and watch CFL games on CFL+ in the U.S. and Internationally
HOLY CRAP IS RIGHT
During his post-game interview on TSN, Saskatchewan quarterback Jake Dolegala exclaimed “holy crap, I’m gonna go celebrate this one.”
There is much to huzzah in Saskatchewan right now. A big win over Winnipeg on OK Tire Labour Day Weekend. Impressive, back-to-back victories over two of the CFL’s ‘Big Three.’ A defence that is cooking and swarming the football. And there’s Dolegala, looking comfy cozy as a starting quarterback, improving each week.
The Bombers still rule the West, but only just, with the BC Lions a mere two points behind and the third place Roughriders six out of first, but with a game in hand.
And if the Riders pull off a double by winning this weekend’s rematch?
Once again, holy crap.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Jaxon Ford with a game-sealing play in overtime? The prophecy is fulfilled.
THEY ARE FULLY IN COMMAND NOW
Remember the cool confidence of James T. Kirk, relaxing in his captain’s chair on the bridge of the Enterprise, gently swivelling back and forth and tossing off one-liners with Dr. McCoy before laughing and casually commanding Mr. Sulu to head off to the next adventure at warp factor one?
That’s the Toronto Argonauts right now.
If the top of the West is in question as we turn for home, you have a much tougher time saying that about the East.
Toronto’s win in Hamilton pushes the Argos six points clear of the second place Montreal Alouettes and they hold a game in hand as well. That’s what you’d call a stranglehold. Even if the Als were to sweep the upcoming home and home set in Weeks 14 and 15, Toronto would still be two points clear and still holding that game in hand.
Put it this way: While the Argonauts have not yet fully glided into a first place berth, they have mooring ropes in hand and they can see well-wishers waving to them from the dock.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: The luxury of being able to say to Adarius Pickett “okay, go play there now” and have him do it. Do it well.
BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: No, a short week is not always a pain in the arse. “The good thing is we get to play in four days,” said Hamilton quarterback Taylor Powell. “And get this cruddy taste out of our mouth.”
STOP TALKING ABOUT THEM AS THOUGH THEY WERE DEAD
The Saskatchewan Roughriders were not the only team to get a truckload of energy drinks poured into their system on Labour Day Weekend.
Say hello to the revitalized Calgary Stampeders, down and nearly out as their game with Edmonton dawned. And then down and most assuredly out as that game progressed into the fourth quarter, with the Elks in control. A ninth place showing in this week’s power rankings was on the horizon. Gulp.
But with a splash of big, huge plays in the fourth quarter – including two third and long conversions that led to touchdowns – the Calgary Stampeders might have found the catalytic converter they’ve been searching for most of the season, and if that is so a playoff spot is not out of sight.
Even if they were to be kept outside the West Division post-season mixer, they have a crossover spot in range, tied with Hamilton with 8 points, though the Ticats have played one fewer game and the Stamps would need to do better than a tie in order to lay claim to what would be their first ever crossover playoff berth. The two clash, in Hamilton, on September 30th.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: We don’t talk enough about Markeith Ambles. Absolutely have to have a conversion? Markeith Ambles.
THE SECRET TO BEING A GREAT RECEIVER
BC Lions’ receiver Alexander Hollins had just a fine night in Montreal on Saturday, with five catches for 88 yards. His evening was made even better by his having scored two touchdowns amongst those five catches of his.
When asked, afterward, what his ‘secret’ was to a strong showing (something he’s done pretty regularly in 2023 as he headed into the week in the top five in receptions and in third spot in receiving yards), Hollins said nothing for what seemed like an eternity, a perplexed look on his face. Almost four seconds passed.
Finally, he sort of shrugged and said “I just keep going to get the ball, man. That’s it.” That was followed by a giant, radiant smile.
Maybe his quarterback, Vernon Adams, can be of help in unlocking the mystery.
“Hollins is Hollins, man,” said Adams.
I get the feeling the really good ones don’t think about the “why” of their successes. They work hard and they just do the damn thing.
DON’T TAKE THE CHEESE, MAN
Saskatchewan head coach Craig Dickenson gave credit to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for goading (he claims) his team into unnecessary penalties during the Sunday’s game.
“They’re good at it,” Dickenson said. “They hang on to ya, the whistle blows, they still hang on to ya. So we’ve just gotta show the film (and say) ‘don’t take the cheese, man.’ We’ll have to just keep showing the guys and try to be the bigger team and not respond to that.”
Coaches always say that, though. They always say their team needs to be more disciplined and that they need to ignore bait. Yet if coaches are always saying that, it is an age-old problem in football, one that never really goes away. The cycle is never-ending.
Talk is, you know, inexpensive, right? We’ll see if Dickenson’s players can stay away from “the cheese” on Saturday.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Of course, not all of Saskatchewan’s penalties were results of being ‘goaded.’ Why, Pete Robertson? Why?
AND FINALLY… Misconduct foul after misconduct foul, after misconduct foul. Tell me it’s Labour Day without telling me it’s Labour Day.