Monday, November 25, 2013


Football in November 2013

Football weather has arrived!


Last weekend in Quebec the Laval Rouge et Or captured the Vanier Cup as the best university football team in Canada, disposing of the Calgary Dinos in short order. The temperature was brutally cold, with enough wind to seriously affect the game.


The 101st Grey Cup game was played in Regina, in relatively balmy weather. It was slightly below freezing, quite nice compared to the minus 30 degree weather earlier. In case you were asking, 30 degrees below zero is cold, no matter if you want to use Celsius or Farhrenheit.


Those of us who have become reasonably adept with a channel changer were treated to a fine NFL game on Sunday night. In a battle between two of the very best quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning laid a severe beating on the New England Patriots, and their QB Tom Brady, in the first half. An almost insurmountable lead, 24-0. For those of you who managed to stay up for the entire game, AND the overtime, it was truly a remarkable result. Their place kicker, Stephen Gostowski, split the uprights in the overtime to grab the victory.


Closer to home, the Trojans from Moira Secondary School captured the National Capital Bowl title, defeating the Gananoque Trojans 26-8 in Belleville. This is the second year in a row that Moira has won the Ontario title, the only Belleville team ever to do so. The Centennial Chargers won the same title in 2000 at the SkyDome in Toronto, and became the first local team to capture the title.


All in all, the Grey Cup victory was a very satisfying achievement for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Quarterback Darian Durant won his first championship as a starter, future Hall of Famer Geroy Simon caught his first two Grey Cup touchdowns, and running back Kory Sheets rewrote the record book. Sheets ran for 197 yards, breaking the record established by Edmonton’s Johnny Bright in 1956.


Home cooking may have contributed to the success of the Green Riders. Twelve of the starters for the Riders are Saskatchewan natives, including Chris Getzlaf. He snagged three passes for 78 yards in the game, and was chosen as the top Canadian.


Durant was on the money most of the game, completing 17 passes on 24 attempts for 245 yards. His pass to diminutive Weston Dressler in the end zone sealed the deal for the Riders. Dressler is listed at five feet, seven inches, on the charts, but that may be stretching it a little. With teammates in the huddle, he looks a little out of place; however, since entering the league in 2008, he has made his mark. He gained Rookie of the Year status, and always ranks with the best as a pass receiver.


The Buffalo Bills spent the weekend gearing up for their game against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday in Toronto. Naturally, there is plenty of excitement surrounding the game in Hogtown, beginning with a Friday night tilt between the Sabres and the Leafs. Folks in St. Catharines will be using the fast lane through customs in Fort Erie a number of times this weekend.


Speculation has it that the Bills will spend a lot of time in the Falcons’ backfield. The Atlanta offensive line is porous, and the Bills’ rushers can’t wait to fatten up their sack totals.


The grid iron in late November? It is where you should be.



James Hurst

November 25, 2013   


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