Tuesday, August 09, 2016




The Canadian Football league recently announced that the 2017 Grey Cup game will be played in Ottawa. The game usually takes place in late November. If you plan to attend, I recommend that you bundle up. But if you want a truly spectacular professional football experience, I suggest that you head up to Ottawa for a REDBLACKS game in the near future.

On Friday, August 19th, the Ottawa crew entertain the Montreal Alouettes. The following week on Thursday, August 25th, they will play the British Columbia Lions. They don’t return to TD Place for a month after that game. There are a few tickets available for those games, but once the teams settle on the field for the opening kickoff, you will be turned away at the gate.

They are playing their third season this year. The original Ottawa team played from 1907 to 1996 as the Rough Riders-Senators. The team was revived in 2005 as the Renegades, but only lasted four years. But now the football flame in Ottawa has been rekindled, and it is a football experience you should not miss.

                                        These guys can make some noise!!   

After all, it is less than three hours away. The parking and bus shuttles to the game are very efficient. And the pre game activities in and around the field will certainly get you ready for the game: parking lot street food, great restaurants,  great music, and all of the characters you would expect to find in a nation’s capital. Might I suggest you take a couple of days to really appreciate the city. With all of its museums, nature drives through the Gatineau, and the splendour of Parliament Hill, you will not be disappointed.


The REDBLACKS won their first home game last Saturday night defeating the Edmonton Eskimos 23-20. With 91 seconds left on the clock, Chris Milo’s field goal split the uprights to put the REDBLACKS ahead for good.

                          # 2 Jermaine Robinson, in the sun, before the game.

The Eskimos and the REDBLACKS were never separated by more than a few points the entire game. In the dying minutes, Eskimo quarterback Mike Reilly moved his team methodically toward the REDBLACK’S goal line. He spotted receiver Chris Getzlaf, (yes, the hockey player’s brother) downfield, and fired a strike to him. Slightly out of his line of vision, Jermaine Robinson lurked in the shadows in the Ottawa secondary. He dashed in front of Getzlaf and snatched the ball to intercept the pass. With a brilliant bit of open field running, he was able to return the ball far enough into Eskimo territory to set up the winning field goal.

REDBLACKS quarterback Henry Burris had a fine game. It was his second game back after sustaining an injury in the first game of the season, way back in late June. There was some controversy as he had been maligned by television commentators for his inconsistent play the week before. Milt Stegall, Matt Dunnigan, and Chris Schultz all played in the CFL for many years. Their work is usually very good; however, with too much time to kill, on occasion, talking heads can develop looser tongues, and can be overly critical.

Burris summed up his position after the game. “All I’m focused on is winning games, helping this team win games. That’s my job. I make sure I get better week in and week out, and I was able to improve throughout this week of practice, and hopefully it showed in the game where I was able to make key throws.”

He finished the game with 26 completions on 39 tosses for 341 yards. There were also a few dropped balls that should have been completions. Pretty good stuff for the future Hall of Famer who had his 41st birthday in May!

James Hurst

August 9, 2016

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