Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Argos Entertain Blue Bombers-2012

On Wednesday evening, the Toronto Argonauts host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a mid-week game at the Rogers Centre. The Argonauts are reeling after a disappointing loss to their arch-rivals, the Hamilton Tiger Cats, last weekend. The Blue Bombers are off to a horrid start, thumped last weekend by the Edmonton Eskimos.

The Argonauts have placed kicker Noel Prefontaine on the shelf for the next nine games. Although he leads most categories as a kicker over his career, he was not experiencing a stellar start to this season, rolling along at a fifty per cent success rate. The Argos have signed an import, Swayze Waters, to handle the kicking duties Wednesday. They have also signed Etienne Boulay, a former Alouette, to play Wednesday.

Many of the National Football League camps are now under way south of the border. Traditionally, Canadian football scouts keep a close eye on the roster moves from those camps. There are always outstanding players cut by the NFL teams. They find their way to Canadian teams, learn a little about three-down football, and enjoy their careers in the CFL.

The Blue Bombers have relegated quarterback Buck Pierce to the sidelines for this game. They will be starting Alex Brink at the helm, in hopes that he will be able to kick start their anaemic offence. In their three losses this season, the Blue Bombers have been outscored 116 to 56.

The loss to the Tiger Cats was significant for the Argos. They have four games scheduled against the Cats this season, including the Classic on Labour Day, always a fan favourite. Even though they fell 36-27 to the Tabbies, they had a significant advantage in first downs, and controlled much of the play. Their prime problem was that they could not get the ball into the Hamilton end zone, after marching down the field. Reminder: Touchdowns count for six points, missed field goals-one point.

Chad Owens is having another stellar season for the Argos, and his play is worth the price of admission. The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” is a brilliant runner from scrimmage, and snares his share of passes. But it is his returning of punts and kickoffs that brings the fans at the Rogers Centre out of their seats. He stands at five feet, eight inches, and has the ability to leave the giants floundering in their attempts to bring him down. A little reminiscent of a former Argo, Pinball Clemons.

Early in July, the Argos scratched a win over the Calgary Stampeders in Toronto. The Calgary quarterback, Drew Tate, went down early in the game on a seemingly innocuous play. He left the game, and did not return. This past week, he was informed that he requires surgery, and that he is done for the season. Just an unfortunate part of the world of professional football.

In the game against Calgary, the Argos introduced the lineup from one of its teams in the early 1970s. Included in this group was quarterback Joe Theismann. He went on to have a stellar career in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Argos organization, there were less than 20 000 fans in the seats, and few of them paid any attention to the activities on the field during the introduction of the old boys. Even Russ Jackson tipped his hat to the fans!

Argo faithful will be keeping a close eye on Ricky Ray, as he attempts to lead the double blue in his fourth game at the helm. He was acquired in the off season to lead the team to the Grey Cup Championship, and he is well aware of the pressure. This will be his time to step up to the plate. Otherwise…….

James Hurst Sportslices.blogspot.com July 17, 2012.

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