Two weeks ago all of Canada was shocked when the country learned that Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Since then, tickets went on sale for the Hip’s summer tour only to sell out in minutes. I just can’t wait for the August 1st show in Calgary!
Last Wednesday, John Fraser and I celebrated the legacy of Gord Downie by assigning Tragically Hip songs to describe the 2016 season for each team in the CFL’s West Division on Episode 35 of the 2 and Out Podcast.
On Episode 37, CFLpass’ own Joe Pritchard joined me to start previewing the CFL’s East Division and dish out more Tragically Hip songs.
Nautical Disaster from “Day for Night” (Montreal Alouettes)
Most people around the CFL are picking the Montreal Alouettes to finish last in the league despite the return of Duron Carter and a full season with Kevin Glenn, assuming health, under centre. Jim Popp’s trade with Wally Buono’s Lions to acquire Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. screams of desperation. The loss of Josh Bourke, recent retirement of Dominic Picard, and injury to Luc Brodeur-Jourdain all mean the Als offensive line may have a rocky season. On top of all that, Jim Popp’s track record on the sidelines as head coach is mediocre at best as he owns a 19-26 regular season record. The Alouettes have a lot of talent but no one’s convinced they can put it together.
Escape is at Hand for the Travellin’ Man from “Phantom Power” (Toronto Argonauts)
The fact that the Argos snuck in the playoffs last year is nothing short of a miracle. No one could have predicted the season Trevor Harris would have last year. This is a team that had “home” games in Fort McMurray, Ottawa, *and* Hamilton due to the Pan-Am Games and Blue Jays success.
Finally, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for fans of the Double Blue: The new ownership group wants this team to succeed and they’re moving into the perfect venue at BMO Field. All the while Ricky Ray is throwing pain free for the first time in years. Watch out for the Boatmen.
(The following two songs will be revealed on Episode 38 of the 2 and Out Podcast so this is a CFLpass exclusive)
Three Pistols from “Road Apples” (Ottawa RedBlacks)
Trevor Harris goes from backing up Ricky Ray to backing up 2015’s MOP Henry Burris only for Burris to sign an extension through 2017. Remember the rumor that Trevor Harris wanted to be the highest paid quarterback in the CFL? While backing up the CFL’s Iron Man (and getting paid quite handsomely for it) would be an easy job, do you think a 30-year old Trevor Harris wants to spend another season or two holding a clipboard?
As much as they say there isn’t the clichéd “quarterback controversy” brewing, I’m not buying it. We chose “Three Pistols” because trouble is brewing in the Nation’s Capital with one too many quarterbacks.
The Luxury from “Road Apples” (Hamilton Tiger-Cats)
Isn’t it a luxury to have brilliant football minds like Kent Austin, Eric Tillman and Orlondo Steinauer all on one staff? Isn’t it a luxury to possess the depth that the Tiger-Cats have? Even though the Tabbies lost Bakari Grant to the Calgary Stampeders, young receivers Terrence Toliver and Tiquan Underwood are still in the Hammer looking to improve on their stellar output from last year. Oh, and Brandon Banks and Chad Owens are on the same team? You’re kidding me, right?
The Ticats’ highly underrated signing of linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis will be huge as he will line up alongside Simoni Lawrence. Combine those linebackers with defensive end John Chick and the Cats should produce another fierce front seven. Once Collaros returns, Hamilton will be as dangerous as ever.
Now all we need to do is confirm The Tragically Hip as the halftime show for the 104th Grey Cup in Toronto. Make it happen, CFL.
– written by Travis Currah