Receivers have claimed the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player award just twice in the past decade, but it’s time to throw the silverware to a pass catcher once again.
Calgary’s Nik Lewis is the leader of the league’s best team this season, has eclipsed 1,000 yards for the seventh straight season, and is the Stamps’ inspirational force. When not lighting a fire under his own club with sensational catches or breaking tackles for extra yards after the catch, Lewis is devastating opposing defences with highlight reel hits like the classic on Montreal’s Mark Estelle a few weeks back.
He’s the league’s most reliable weapon with yards after the catch and should also get his hands on the Most Outstanding Player award Grey Cup week, joining Geroy Simon (2006) and Milt Stegall (2002).
Give Barker some hardware, too
While we’re handing out the hardware, we might as well pass the Coach of the Year trophy to Toronto Argos boss Jim Barker.
The Argos can do no worse than finish 8-10 this season and could still host a playoff game, a vastly superior mark than most suspected the Double Blue were capable of during training camp.
While much of the credit goes to defence and special teams, and Barker has stubbornly insisted on sticking with aptly named starting QB Cleo Lemon, who would have thought a team that won just three games last season could contend in the East this year? The credit goes to Barker.
Not so fast, Rider Nation
If there’s one playoff team ripe for an upset, it’s the Saskatchewan Roughriders, losers of three straight. While the Riders have clinched second in the West and will host either Edmonton or B.C. in the semifinal, either opponent looks capable of knocking off the Greenies.
The Eskimos are the CFL’s hottest team, having won four of their last five and are suddenly looking like a contender. The Esks roster has also evolved this season with backup quarterback Jared Zabransky taking over for injured Ricky Ray while running back Daniel Porter has been dangerous, rushing for 292 yards in two games. The Lions have also been transformed into a legitimate threat with the departure of QB Casey Printers and the emergence of Travis Lulay. Riders beware!
B.T.O. in the CFL
The CFL announced this week that Canadian music legends Randy Bachman and Fred Turner will provide the halftime entertainment at the Grey Cup in Edmonton. If the league is trying to attract new, young fans, why dig up bleached bones from the ’70s for the halftime show?