A few more (mostly less serious) Fearless Predictions™ for CFL in 2015
Perhaps the only thing bigger and better than anticipation for a new season of football is the uncertainty. Opening Day is the day when all preseason analysis, speculation, punditry and guesswork may be blown away as the reality of, you know, actually playing the games starts.
One last chance for some predictions, then, only one or two of which should really be taken seriously.
• Travis Lulay will recover from his lingering injury woes magnificently; he’ll start every game for the BC Lions and shatter nearly every conceivable CFL passing record this season. Why, yes, I did get stuck with the BC quarterbacks in the CFLpass Fantaseh football league – why do you ask?
• Offering a contrasting viewpoint to that of CFLpass lead writer Travis Currah, another take on the final standings in the West division: Calgary Stampeders; Edmonton Eskimos; Saskatchewan Roughriders; Winnipeg Blue Bombers; BC Lions. (Okay, so it’s not *that* different.)
• Though it won’t be admitted in the public sphere, ESPN and CFL execs will be slightly disappointed with the ratings today’s Opening Day game gets. On one hand, a wide swathe of American sports fandom is on a football jones, and there’s little competition for the viewers’ attention this afternoon/evening; through August, about the only TV draw is increasingly less popular Major League Baseball games.
In hindsight, however, the CFL brain trust may regret the actual pairing of the Ottawa RedBlacks and Montreal Alouettes – the two teams who arguably had the most trouble with the new rules during the preseason – for this breakout venture. Too many flags are sure to trigger itchy fingers on remotes after an NFL season in which grousing about referees hit an all-time non-replacement ref high in 2015.
• Nevertheless, the ESPN/TSN deal will indeed ultimately create CFL fans in the US – at least until September. Surely no one figured that all 17 regular-season games on the schedule airing before the NFL kicks off was coincidence. But hey, some will likely come back for more in 2016.
• Solomon Elimimian breaks Fantaseh football when he runs up 43½ of the BC Lions’ 46 total tackles to go with seven sacks and three forced fumbles in a week three (or maybe week four) loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. An official statement from management of the temporarily offline Fantaseh.ca reads simply, “It was the numbers. The numbers...”
• As for those Roughriders, they’ll … wait, what did Currah say? Third place at 10-8? Then that. I say that.
• Draft Kings and/or Fan Duel, looking to expand their ubiquitous presence in the sports world, release a daily fantasy game for CFL football. No one notices.
• Frustrated by Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s refusal to keep his NFL team in St. Louis but still wanting to soak the citizens for a few hundred million in tax revenue for stadium funding, city officials announce plans for a CFL expansion team to begin play in 2016. The short list of names for the new team include the St. Louisans, CFL Rams, Stallions and Roughriders.
• Alternative predictions for the East division: Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ottawa RedBlacks. And yes, Montreal at least will top a .500 mark this season.
• Thanks to the M*A*S*H unit’s worth of bodies not on the field to start the season for Hamilton, the Tiger-Cats dig themselves a 1-6 hole. For the first time in the team’s existence, the RedBlacks are not in the cellar – but the second-year squad’s hold on third place doesn’t last long.
• Before bottoming out entirely, the Tiger-Cats announce the return of Gizmo Williams for the week nine game against the Edmonton Eskimos. The 53-year-old looks amazingly spry for his age, even returning a third-quarter kickoff for a TD – which is unfortunately nullified due to penalty.
• The Montreal defense becomes such a finely-tuned machine that in week 15, the CFL sees its first-ever negative score when the Alouettes top the RedBlacks 23 to minus-2. Why, yes, I am a Montreal Alouettes fan geeked by the potential of this D – why do you ask?
• Since I’ve already publicly given out my Grey Cup prediction – which I’m sticking with – I’ll repeat it here: Calgary over Montreal for the repeat.
– written by Os Davis