CFL Pass

CFL Pick ‘em, week 16: Tuesday Night Football and one crazy stat

My wife is going to kill me. This heavy realization of mortality dropped during the Seahawks-Lions game last night, a capper for five days’ worth of quality viewing: CFL, NFL and NCAA football games interspersed with rugby World Cup, Premier League soccer, Major League Baseball and the World Series of Poker (of all life’s indignities, television commercials are the worst and must be avoided at all costs).

With the NFL kicking off at a fantastic 6am PST on Sunday, it had been a glorious five days of football viewing – well, except for the Alouettes getting disturbingly chumped by the RedBlacks – before the exchange. It went down something like this.

“How long will this go on?”

“The game? It’s in the second quarter now, so –”

“No, football season.”

“Well, the Canadian league ends in December.”

“:|”

“But the Super Bowl is in February.”

“February? So football is going to be on every day until February?”

“Well, not every day. CFL goes from Thursday to Sunday, typically, and the NFL is only on Monday, Thursday and Sunday. So there’s nothing on Tuesday and Wednesday.” [Note the surreptitious avoidance of mentioning college ball.]

“:(”

“Football is awesome.”

“You know, you have two daughters.”

“Yeah, but … aren’t they in school or something?”

She definitely will not be thrilled to hear of tonight’s Ottawa RedBlacks-Toronto Argonauts game, a game which, perhaps in a show of sympathy for those like myself, comes with the descriptor “extremely rare,” courtesy TSN and the CFL official website.

Adding to the oddity is Ottawa’s status as both host and “visiting” team, the first in what could be a series of schedule reshufflings due to the Toronto Blue Jays’ first appearance in the MLB playoffs in 22 years.

And finally, what does this strange scheduling do to the Fantaseh football schedule? Coming down the homestretch, lineups could not be adjusted as of this (Tuesday) morning and if there’s one thing my team doesn’t need in facing our league’s no. 2 team, it’s the Montreal kickers scoring me zero against the bye.

So let’s get down to the real nitty-gritty of CFL Pick ‘Em: Ottawa “at” Toronto.

The wags among fandom (including the 2 and Out CFL Podcast guys) have joked that this could be the Argos’ first “home” game to sell out in 2015 – though the official website reports tickets still on sale as of 2½ hours prior to kickoff.

Clever jibes aside, however, the venue change could well be key for the RedBlacks: With just five days between the game at Montreal and 10 since the last meeting with Toronto, Ottawa needs to play at the home venue more than any other CFL side this week. This is literally the least the league can do to recompense for a third game in a week and a half – against competition that’s been off for the aforementioned timespan.

(Of course, the way Henry Burris has been playing, it’s easy to believe the man could play back-to-back nights right about now…)

Indeed, the home venue is one of the few plusses the RedBlacks can truly boast going into this one. Toronto has already topped Ottawa this season in weeks nine and 14, running up 30 and 35 points, respectively, and thus showing themselves perfectly capable of playing the pinball machine-style offence preferred by the RedBlacks.

No team mirrors Ottawa like this Toronto side in terms of scoring and current depth; in addition, the RedBlacks’ abysmal 1-5 mark against teams with a winning record makes CFLpass want to run (not walk) to the nearest bookie, where the Argos are getting a mere 1.5-point handicap.

Worst of all for the RedBlacks is this. Are you ready for the craziest stat of the week? The Argonauts have led at halftime exactly twice this season; by process of elimination, you can easily guess against which team both leads were managed. And, as previously stated, Toronto is 2-0 against that team.

Burris The Ageless Wonder aside, the RedBlacks  simply cannot keep up with the scoring the Argos “no-name offence” is capable of putting up against his defence. Get out the brooms: The pick is Toronto Argonauts over Ottawa RedBlacks.

Now … how to break it to the wife that NBA basketball tips off in three weeks and runs into June…?

– written by Os Davis