What up, what up, what up! CFL heads in the house! We don’t care about the NFL and NCAA starting their seasons! WE WANT CANADA!!!!
While as football lovers we will consume all of this great football, I hold the CFL close to my heart and I will not ignore it as my own season and the seasons of my favorite American teams start up. That being said, the Labour Day Classic was another one to remember. The Montreal Pipkins have obtained another win as they go into the bye week, the Riders have staked their claim as the second place team in the West, Calgary squeaks by Edmonton to push them down to 3rd place in the West, and Hamilton gets back on track to fight for 1st place in the East.
As the CFL season continues to unravel, injuries are starting to ravage the league’s best WRs. Calgary’s Kamar Jorden and Hamilton’s Jalen Saunders both are out for the season with torn ACLs and Edmonton’s Derel Walker is out for 6-8 weeks with his own knee injury. While these teams certainly have competent replacements for these players, everyone wants to the league’s best players on the field. And these players will truly be missed.
But… it’s next man up and the season rolls on. Let’s take a gander at Week 13.
Ottawa Redblacks vs. British Columbia Lions, Friday (9/7), 10 PM ET, ESPN+
Oh BC. Things were looking up when Travis Lulay took over the reins at QB; not so much. Lulay has played fairly well but he can’t do everything for BC. Their defense has gotten slightly better with the addition of DE Shawn Lemon but they still give up way too many yards through the air. On paper they look to have a solid defense but they have not played like it.
And now they get to have their hands full with one of the most prolific offenses in the league. An offense that was shut down by Montreal last week and will probably be looking for blood this week. The upside for BC is that they are coming off of a bye week and they are 3-1 at home.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts, Saturday (9/8), 1 PM ET, ESPN+
After an up-and-down start for Hamilton, they have won their last two games and are only one game behind Ottawa for the lead in the East. Jeremiah Masoli and the boys are getting right. Losing Jalen Saunders for the year definitely hurts but Luke Tasker and Mike Jones have stepped up in their past two wins. Plus… Brandon Banks can block. And he can block very well.
MBT and the boys have a chance for revenge this week after getting smashed by Hamilton last week. Despite Toronto scoring 28 points, Hamilton shut down their offense. MBT’s completion percentage was under 50% and he threw for 163 while James Wilder Jr. only rushed for 47 yards in 11 carries. Toronto’s offense has been a problem all season and while it has looked up with MBT at QB, Ricky Ray’s absence is a glaring problem along with their receiving core. Toronto needs Duron Carter to hit the field ASAP!!!
Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Saturday, 4 PM ET, ESPN+ (My Game of the Week)
THE BANJO BOWL IS HERE!! History time!
The Banjo Bowl is the rematch of the Labour Day game between the Riders and the Bombers. It was named the Banjo Bowl by Blue Bombers board member David Asper in 2004. It all started in 2003 before the Western Division Semifinal between these teams. Before the game, Blue Bombers kicker Troy Westwood called people of Regina “a bunch of banjo-pickin’ inbreds”. He later apologized and said “the vast majority of the people in Saskatchewan have no idea how to play the banjo.” Ever since 2004, their rematch after the Labour Day Classic has been known as the Banjo Bowl. The best part about the rivalry are the Rider fans bringing banjos to the game. Priceless.
The Bombers lead the series 8-6 with a 3 game winning streak; the last Banjo Bowl the Riders won was in 2014 with Darian Durant. The Riders have another chance to win the Banjo Bowl this year. Andrew Harris ran wild but he did not score a TD and Matt Nichols is still going through his slump. The Riders have their QB and their defense so they have their formula to keep making their playoff push. Winnipeg better pull some tricks out the bag or Matt Nichols better come alive or it’s going to be a repeat of Week 12 in the Banjo Bowl.
Calgary Stampeders vs. Edmonton Eskimos, Saturday, 7 PM ET, ESPN+
The last of the rare Saturday night triple-header! This rematch was a very close one last week. I think these are the most evenly matched teams in the CFL.
Of course Edmonton’s defense is not as good as Calgary’s but it’s strong enough to help out their offense. Both offenses have big play-makers on the outside and in the running game, and they have the two best QBs in the game. That being said, Calgary pulled it out last week late. Maybe Edmonton can pull it out this week? Who knows.
But I will not be the man to bet against the team that is 9-1 when all other teams have at least 4 Ls.
Enjoy the football folks! College, NFL and CFL. You don’t have to choose one; CATCH EM ALL!!!!