I wear prescription glasses, but I must need laser eye surgery because I simply cannot believe what I’ve been seeing in the CFL in 2006.
Or perhaps I should say I can’t believe what I haven’t been seeing.
I haven’t been seeing many touchdowns or nearly enough long, exciting plays, as I saw regularly and routinely in past CFL seasons.
And it isn’t as if I’ve been seeing exceptional defence this season.
What I’ve been seeing — unless my eyes have been deceiving me — is brutal, boring, bewildering and bad football, where offences generally are inept and unimaginative and generally beating themselves.
The pathetic performances continued again this past weekend, when the Argonauts were able to produce only one touchdown (on an interception) for the second consecutive week, when Winnipeg could manage only one TD (on its first drive) and when Saskatchewan couldn’t even find the end zone at all.
The Argos followed up their embarrassment by firing their offensive co-ordinator, Kent Austin, as if he were to blame for the club’s foolish recruitment of suspended NFLer Ricky Williams or for its failure to find a capable backup quarterback for injured grandpa Damon Allen.
Edmonton, like Toronto, is a wretched 2-5, and the Eskimos’ new scapegoat is Joe Montford, the star defensive lineman whom they cut before the season and brought back. Well, they’ve whacked him again, this time for good. Montford was 22 sacks away from the CFL record. Edmonton has a lousy defence, too, which is weird when you consider how lamentable CFL offences are. (For their defensive woes, the Esks should be blaming their defensive co-ordinator, Rick Campbell, but how likely is that? I mean, his father is club chief Hugh Campbell.)
The reasons for CFL boredom in ’06 have become clear:
• QBs are getting old and hurt and there are only a couple of decent backup QBs in the league.
• Offensive players, particularly QBs, cannot get used to the heavier footballs being used in the CFL this season.
• New blocking rules were instituted on kick and punt returns this season and they’ve negated long and dramatic runs.
The CFL must take steps soon to revive itself and become entertaining again.
Bring in some good new quarterbacks. Bring back the old footballs. Bring back the old blocking rules.
The CFL that I’ve been seeing in the first half of the season has been plain awful, and I have never said that before.
And I never thought I’d be saying this, either: I can’t wait for the NFL season to start.
Marty York’s column appears Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen for Marty on The ROCK 94.9 FM, Monday and Friday at 8:40 a.m.