Monday, August 18, 2014


Ready for REDBLACKS Football!


The Ottawa REDBLACKS did not trail in the Canadian Football League game last Friday night for 59 minutes. As you well know, these games last one hour. With about five minutes remaining in the game, the Eskimos’ long snapper Ryan King fired several balls back to one of the personnel from the team. He wanted to make sure that he had it right when the moment came.

                                                      Long Snapper # 53 Ryan King
With less than a minute remaining, King sprang into action. He placed both his hands on the ball, and fired it back perfectly to the holder. Grant Shaw kicked the ball through the uprights to give the Eskimos the lead at 10-8. That was all she wrote, as they say. Game over. The REDBLACKS remain tied for second, with a record of 1-7.


The Eastern teams have really taken it on the chin thus far in the season. It does not appear likely to change much as the season nears the halfway point.


In case you have not yet been to a REDBLACKS game this year, and you enjoy football, it should be in your plan book. There are six games remaining, including the game this Sunday against the Calgary Stampeders. Tickets are scarce, as the game last Friday was sold out. There are 24 000 seats in TD Place, but they managed to squeeze in a few extras.


The stadium was officially opened in July at Lansdowne Park. Included in the rearrangement of the facility is a sweet 10 000 seat arena for the Ottawa 67’s. TD Place will also be the home of the Ottawa Fury Football Club of the North American Soccer League.


Mike Reilly led the Eskimos attack, completing 26 passes in 35 attempts. He also scampered for 78 yards on 8 carries. But it was a game dominated by the defence of both teams. On several occasions, it appeared that momentum had swung to either team. But ineptitude reared its ugly head for both teams. The Eskimos marched down to the REDBLACKS three yard line, only to fumble and turn the ball over.


Ottawa quarterback Henry Burris threw an interception on the very next play, and Edmonton defensive backfielder Marcell Young ran it in for a touchdown; however, the Eskimos were penalized on the play, negating the TD.


Without labouring the issue, there were far too many penalties in the game, especially the unnecessary ones: objectionable conduct, unnecessary roughness, etc. Both teams could be faulted for inept play, particularly the pass receivers who dropped far too many balls.


But the fans remained to the end, the bitter end. They will be back, without a doubt, because they are real football fans, and they are thrilled to have the CFL back in Ottawa.


“Big Joe”, the REDBLACKS’ mascot, was inspired by a logger named Joseph Montferrand. In the 1800s, logging was an important industry in the Ottawa area. The late Bernie Bedore wrote about “Big Joe” in a series of children’s stories. The stories will be provided in a series of books that will be distributed to young fans who join the REDBLACKS youth fan club.


All in all, a great night in the nation’s capital.



James Hurst

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