The CFL’s 100th Grey Cup game in 2012 will be an event of national significance and is worthy of commissioner Mark Cohon’s request to have the federal government become a partner by contributing $12 million.
The CFL truly is Canada’s game, a culturally significant institution and, unlike many other events the feds waste money on, a worthwhile investment. Federal subsidies for professional sporting events are a tough sell, and handouts for events and facilities can trigger a landslide of similar requests, so the Ottawa will be wary. But if the 2010 Grey Cup organizers use the cash to help celebrate the game’s unique place in Canadian culture, the money will be well spent.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a bad team, but not as bad as their 3-10 record. With a little luck, and possibly some more astute coaching, the Bombers could have a respectable record and be in position to earn a playoff spot in the miserable East Division.
The Bombers’ 16-14 loss last week in Vancouver was typical of their season and of a team that has yet to learn how to win. It was their seventh defeat by a touchdown or less and their sixth by four or fewer points — one shy of a league record for losses by such a margin.
Winnipeg is six points behind both Hamilton and Toronto, but would need to finish ahead of both, having lost the season series to each. And with five games left, Winnipeg needs to finish ahead of the third-place team in the West to earn the crossover playoff berth, an unlikely scenario now that B.C. is on a roll.
Montreal Alouettes slotback Ben Cahoon needs four catches to become the CFL’s all-time leader and has a chance to set the record at home this weekend against Calgary. The 38-year-old is just three behind Terry Vaughn (1,006). The pint-sized pass catcher has already eclipsed retired CFL legends Allen Pitts (966) and Darren Flutie (972).
Who says Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray is washed up? All the 30-year-old pivot needs is a little pocket protection, something that has been missing from the Edmonton offence most of this season. Ray threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns against Hamilton last weekend, reminiscent of his heyday when the Esks owned the most dangerous offence in the CFL.
With time to operate, Ray completed 28 of 36 passes for a season-high 384 yards and sent a message across the league that he’s far from finished.