Tuesday Morning QB (Week 5)

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The CFL is a league that rarely sees much big controversy off of the field with suspensions rarely handed out and with players rarely getting into much trouble. There are always fines and bad behaviour as the sport of football just lends itself to this type of intensity.  Despite these minor incidents the league is generally well-behaved as the controversy of many leagues and the suspensions handed out tends not to be a major issue. That all changed in week 4 when Khalif Mitchell brought the issue of suspensions into full view in a story that dominated the fifth week of the CFL season. During BC’s week 4 game against the Edmonton Eskimos Mitchell did something that was almost unheard of in the CFL. During a hard-fought play Mitchell was looking to get to the backfield but was being blocked, and likely held, by offensive lineman Simeon Rottier. Out of frustration Mitchell took the left arm of Rottier and twisted it across his body and almost looked like he was trying to break Rottier’s arm. For the play Mitchell received little punishment in the game but last week the CFL made sure they were not as lenient. The CFL handed out a 2 game suspension, the longest in CFL history, to Mitchell for his actions. Mitchell last week announced that he would appeal the suspension extending his ability to play in week 5 and 6 until the CFL can hold a hearing with an independent arbitrator. There are a few things to take away from this incident and everything that follows. First and probably most important is that this type of behaviour in the CFL should never be tolerated. Yes it is an intense game and yes offensive lineman hold on every play, it is just a fact of the game, but your job as a defensive lineman is to keep your cool and find out a way around it. Just because someone is doing something technically against the rules does not give anyone the right to attempt to break someone’s arm. The second thing is that the CFL realizes that it is unacceptable and suspended Mitchell for 2 games. To many that may not seem to be much of a punishment but in an 18 game season it means a lot, it would equal about a 19 game suspension in the MLB, and also means a lot for the player’s wallet. The final thing to take away is that the appeal process is both one of the fairest appeal processes in professional sports but is also broken. The appeal process is fair because it allows for what many players unions have been fighting for, an independent arbitration. Right now the NHL and NFL both do their appeals through the commissioner meaning that in the NFL you appeal to the person who gave you the suspension and in the NHL you appeal to the person who likely had a say in the suspension. For both leagues it is clear that the appeal process does not garner much in the way of reversals. Meanwhile in the CFL appeals can be heard by an independent party and the result is usually a reduced suspension. The CFL system is also broken as Khalif Mitchel filed an appeal that would take two weeks to be heard meaning that Mitchell would play in the next two games. This is not only besides the point of a suspension but also allows for some players to take liberties with Mitchell who now has a target on his back. Nothing much happened this week but you can bet that there was plenty going on that we couldn’t see. The process needs to be sped up to allow for a hearing almost immediately or at least force the player to sit out for the next two games and get paid back the money he missed if the appeal is successful. This was one of the biggest events in terms of discipline that the CFL has been involved in for a few years and in the eyes of this fan it was handled to the best of their ability. It remains to be seen if Mitchell will sit out, suspensions are usually cut in half by the arbitrator, as fans wait to see the official decision of the arbitrator as Mitchell awaits his true suspension for his terrible decision.

 

Four Quarters:

(Four quick thoughts on Week 5)

 

Home Field Does Mean Something:

Due to a mix-up with a new stadium in Winnipeg the Blue Bombers spent the first four weeks on the road and lost all four but when they came home in week 4 they proved that Home Field Advantage is real winning their first game

 

The Als may be over the Hill:

The Als have been the beasts of the east for years but so far in 2012 they have been one of the worst teams in the league as Anthony Calvillo has slowed down thanks to an injury and the defence seems lost

 

Homecoming not so sweet for Fantuz:

Andy Fantuz left by his own choice in the offseason as he traded Rider green for the black and yellow of Hamilton and would return to Regina for the first time with a win but not thanks to him as he caught 2 passes for 39 yards

 

There is Canadian Talent in the CFL:

The Lions are happy about their Canadian quota as Andrew Harris and Akeem Foster completely dominated the game as the two best players in the game along with possibly the best Canadians this week

 

CFL Players of the Week:

 

Offensive POW:

Henry Burris, QB (Hamilton Tiger-Cats)

29/40

356 yds

4 TD

0 INT

 

Defensive POW:

JC Sherritt, LB (Edmonton Eskimos)

10 tkl

0 sck

0 INT

0 FF

 

Special Teams POW:

Daryl Townsend, S (Montreal Alouettes)

4 STT

0 FF

0 Fret

 

Canadian POW:

Andrew Harris, RB (B.C. Lions)

9 rsh

55 yds

0 TD

0 F

 

CFL Standings

 

Eastern Division:

1. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6)

2. Toronto Argonauts (6)

3. Montreal Alouettes (4)

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2)

 

Western Division:

1. Saskatchewan Roughriders (6)

2. Edmonton Eskimos (6)

3. B.C. Lions (6)

4. Calgary Stampeders (4)

 

Scores:

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23 – 22 Edmonton Eskimos

– The Blue Bombers came home against one of the best defences in the CFL and barely pulled out a victory in their home opener which was their first of the season as the Eskimos ending a two-week run

 

Toronto Argonauts 23 – 20 Montreal Alouettes

– The Argonauts have not had much of a good time in Montreal over the last few years as the beasts of the east have dominated the series but with the Als struggling and the Argos gelling the roles were reversed in a tight battle

 

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35 – 34 Saskatchewan Roughriders

– The Ti-Cats were in for a challenge by the 13th man as Andy Fantuz made his return and public enemy #1 Henry Burris made his only appearance in Regina this year but the fans were not enough as the Riders blew a lead in the second half

 

B.C. Lions 34 – 8 Calgary Stampeders

– The Lions seemed to struggle for the last few weeks looking like a pedestrian team but that all changed against the Stamps as they seemed to be back in Grey Cup form dominating the Stamps

 

Next Week:

Montreal Alouettes vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Friday August 3rd; 8:30 pm ET)

– Winnipeg remains at home as they hope that the home field advantage continues when they take on the Montreal Alouettes who have continued to struggle with a defence that allows an average of 30+ points a game

 

B.C. Lions vs. Toronto Argonauts (Monday August 6th; 5:00 pm ET)

– The Argos are on a high winning two in a row and seemingly beginning to gel as a team as they welcome the defending Grey Cup Champions to Toronto who seem to be back to form after stumbling early

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