Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 2)

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The first week of the season was dominated by the debate over a hit by Simoni Lawrence on Zach Collaros.

The hit was clearly late and earned the Ti-Cats a 25-yard penalty on the play and shortly after the week ended it also landed Lawrence a 2-game suspension.

The most unfortunate result though was the fact that Collaros landed on the 6-game injured list with his third concussion in two years.

It was not the greatest way to open the season but the situation was handled and whether or not people agree with the 2-game ban it was a pretty standard suspension for the situation.

What came next dominated the headlines most of the lead-up to the second week of the season though and it had little to do with the game on the field.

When the league handed down the suspensions to Lawrence the CFLPA filed an appeal of that suspension.

It is a typical thing but it also is a strange thing that seems to have been normalized and Randy Ambrosie pointed out that strange situation in a public statement.

Ambrosie stated that he was disappointed in the decision by the union to appeal the suspension and that the appeal was “regrettable.”

Of course, this is not an uncommon thing as many of the players appeal their suspensions no matter what they did.

That is what has made it so normalized as the union has a responsibility to represent their players if they wish to appeal.

The problem with this is the fact that football unions and football players have been constantly on the leagues to make the game safer.

There have been many reports of players not believing the league when they say that they are looking to make the game safer.

Despite the rules passed and the attempts to make the game a better one that won’t damage players for the rest of their lives, it never seems to be enough for the players who just think the league s out to make money no matter who gets hurt.

Yet when a player breaks those rules and takes out one of the stars of the game for at least 6 weeks and could take him out for a lot longer.

The hit was clearly illegal and there is little doubt that Lawrence deserved the suspension he received yet he decided to appeal it and the CFLPA backed him.

Again, it is not surprising that this happened but for the union to back a player who took out another player for 6 weeks or more seems strange even if it is normal.

Although they have a responsibility to support their players where is that responsibility when it comes to Collaros and the future of his career?

They seemingly sided with Lawrence, at least in the public eye, and essentially delayed an inevitable punishment.

It allowed Lawrence to continue to play and will continue to allow him to play as his hearing will take place on July 9 meaning he will once again be in the line up for Canada Day weekend.

Despite the strange nature of the PA backing one player who took out another one of the players they represent what this public spat did was highlight the divide forming between the two sides.

This year the league barely got underway when the PA and the league struggled to get a new CBA signed.

With reports of it being signed and then falling apart only days before the beginning of spring training both sides eventually came together.

Every year where the league and the PA need to come to an agreement on the CBA it seems to be getting tougher and tougher.

It is following a trend in professional sports around North America as CBA negotiations are becoming events in themselves.

Nobody really knows if the next CBA negotiations will be the one that cancels a full season or reduces a season.

For the CFL it seems to be getting closer every season and the comments by Ambrosie aren’t likely to help the situation.

A growing divide between players and leagues is making its way North and although labour peace is here at least through the 2021 season.


Fourth Down

The Worst First Impression

The Toronto Argonauts had an extra week to prepare for the beginning of their season in hopes that a revamped team could find the success that brought them to the Grey Cup two years ago. That preparation didn’t seem to go all too well as the Argonauts hung in against the Ti-Cats in their home opener for the first quarter. After that, it was one of the worst losses in team history as the Ti-Cats put up 64 points with the Argos managing only one touchdown which came in the fourth quarter of the game. The question now is whether or not that demolition is a sign of how good the Ti-Cats are or how bad the Argonauts are.

Back Where it Started

In 2015 a relatively unknown young QB was taken out of South Alabama by the Montreal Alouettes. He had begun to make a name in his final year in the NCAA and was considered a potential star in the league. Thee young QB from Toronto was looking like a potential Canadian star at the most important position in the game and he was going to be the replacement for the legend Anthony Calvillo. Yet without much commitment to giving him a shot he never quite took hold and spent much of the next few years bouncing around the league. He has put his name in the record books as the only Canadian to start a game at QB in almost two decades and now with Anthony Pipkin out he might just get another shot after signing a one year deal with the Alouettes to fill in.

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