Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:35 AM
Almost a year ago to the day, I nervously sent in my picks ahead of the 2015 season and felt pretty good about what I predicted.
I didn’t predict Montreal missing the playoffs for the first time since returning to the city, I didn’t predict Saskatchewan’s implosion or Ottawa’s *ex*plosion along with the now infamous “2nd and 25”.
I was actually pretty confident with my predictions last year but this year is a different ball game. It’s been a historic off-season for changes on the field and on the sidelines and it’s tough to tell how everything is going to gel but let’s give this a shot!
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 11:33 PM
The regular season is upon us! Featured Fan Joe B is back in the Turf District to regale us with more Esks stories and talk about his first time getting onto Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium, i.e. the Esks Kids Club is awesome. The fan question this week of how to bring 20- to 30-year-olds back to the game stirs up some great ideas.
The boys review the last preseason win by the Eskimos and who looked good on home field. The cuts came on Sunday and there were a couple surprises. Everyone surprised at the release of Natey Adjai and Cauchy Muamba. Both were outplayed for their spots and that brings up a discussion of who is left as part of the 2016 team.
Monday, June 20, 2016 11:19 PM
CFL fans have been asking for more platforms to play CFL Fantasy on and late Saturday afternoon a very interesting tweet came across from Daily Fantasy Sports Giant DraftKings:
Could it be? There are three laces there. What other football league could possibly be starting?
Fans from all over North America instantly became desperate to find information so they could build the optimum lineup for this week’s games. Let’s get started with a little CFL 101 to help you win some cash in your first week.
Friday, June 17, 2016 12:39 AM
We are six days away from having *new* CFL games to watch on TSN instead of repeats every single night. I’m actually watching the 2015 East Final right now as I roundup this week’s news in the CFL.
Can I just fast forward to this part?
What a moment.
• CFL teams were to trim rosters to 65 players on Tuesday and most of the cuts weren’t surprising as was expected. Jacoby Ford, Chad Kackert, Kyler Elsworth and Jerry Rice Jr. were a little surprising for me, though. Someone should sign that Jerry Rice Jr., you know, just in case. Teams will announce their final cuts this Sunday.
• The RedBlacks have lost projected starting running back William Powell for the year with an Achilles injury. Travon Van is the man to watch. What’s with all these Achilles injuries, man?
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 11:58 PM
Lavelle Hawkins decided to retire, Kenny Stafford is a bit banged up and William Powell’s season may be in jeopardy.
The Ottawa RedBlacks put Winnipeg in their place with a modest 18-14 victory, but the story of the game had to be the loss of projected starting running back William Powell.
Bracing for the worst on William Powell. Doesn't sound good. Season in doubt. #RNation— AJ Jakubec (@AJonSports) June 14, 2016
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 11:40 PM
The Italian Connection Break out the panini and the wine as the Empire welcomes Anto and Lulu into the Turf District as featured fans!
The ladies have been Esks fans for most of their lives and tell the boys about some of their favorite memories with the team, their favorite players and the changes for the upcoming season. The debate then rages on for who had the "best butt" on teams past. The poll will be up on the Eskimo Empire Twitter feed.
The whole gang gives their thoughts on the first preseason win over the Stamps and who looked good. (Or sounded good as it may be) Is Bryant Mitchell a receiver to watch? Is Franklin still the number 2 QB? Is there a drop off with this defense? So many questions and each person gives their impression.
Thursday, June 9, 2016 6:44 AM
In episode #47 of the Eskimor Empire Podcast, the guys welcome Eskimos stats guru Brian and Superfan Mike into the Turf District.
Brian has been in the media booth collecting stats since 1993 and tells us what it's like to watch the game from that perspective. Stats play a key role for some fans and the guys get into how they each follow the stats and when. Brian brought some key things to watch for with the Esks players this year, including Mike Reilly climbing the Eskimos ladder in passing attempts and yards!
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 11:37 PM
As much as preseason football isn’t designed to entertain the fans, I must admit that my heart grew three sizes just seeing CFL Football on my TV Guide again. While winning is a nice result, that’s not necessarily the goal during the preseason. Veterans just want to shake off the rust while staying healthy and coaches want to evaluate the talent they’ve brought in for the upcoming season.
Don’t tell the players that winning doesn’t matter in the preseason, though. You could tell both the Montreal Alouettes and Winnipeg Blue Bombers wanted to head home with a win under their belts on Wednesday night. It’s only June 9th, but Winnipeg proved to be the team with better depth following a 36-13 victory for the Blue & Gold.
Jim Popp didn’t take long to puzzle us with his coaching decisions either.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 11:27 PM
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)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 2:20 AM
All reports out of Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp leading up to Saturday’s mock game were positive. Every new player was fitting in nicely, practice was fast and intense, and franchise quarterback Darian Durant looked like he was in the best shape of his life.
Then the mock game happened. And Chris Jones was *not* happy.
Of course, the mock game was only on Day 6 of training camp and it comes after a complete off-season rebuild with endless new names on the roster in Saskatchewan.
Could that poor performance be a reminder to temper expectations heading into the season?
@danejahoMay I'm concerned after Green & White game. Have to temper our expectations. Loads of new players take time to adjust.— Murray McCormick (@murraylp) June 5, 2016